Non-Statutory SINCs

GiGL is the official custodian of information on London’s more than 1,500 sites of importance for nature conservation (SINCs) – their citations and boundary information. This core dataset is one on which many of our products and services rely. Its accuracy is vital and we are constantly working with our partners to help them update and maintain this important collection of data.

Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs)
– London importance

SINCs are designated by a panel of local ecological professionals. This is a non-statutory designation, although SINCs are still afforded a high level of protection within the planning system. Development that negatively impacts on a SINC will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances and where mitigation can be proven from the beginning.

In London, SINCs are designated as one of a hierarchy of types.

Sites of Metropolitan Importance are selected on a London-wide basis.

Sites of Borough Importance (grade 1 and 2) are selected from candidates within each borough, so ensuring that borough has some sites identified.

Sites of Local Importance are the lowest tier of sites, selected to redress any remaining local deficiencies.

Selection of and changes to sites of borough or local importance is now the responsibility of the local boroughs. The London Wildlife Sites Board provides guidance on selecting and confirming SINCs designed to ensure consistency and a process which is compliant with various policy frameworks.