1.8.4 Local plans and unitary development plans There is one other area in which bat workers/groups may take an interest in planning issues. Local plans and unitary development plans should identify relevant international, national and local nature conservation interests. They should ensure that the protection and enhancement of those interests is properly provided for in development and land-use policies, and place particular emphasis on the strength of protection afforded to international designations. Plans should offer reasonable certainty to developers, landowners and residents about the weight that will be given to nature conservation interests in reaching planning decisions. Nature conservation issues should be included in the surveys of local authority areas as required by sections 11 and 30 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (S. 4 of the Town & Country Planning Scotland Act 1997), to ensure that plans are based on sufficient information about local species, habitats, geology and landform. Plans should be concerned not only with designated areas but also with other land of conservation value and, possibly, provision of new habitats. All local authorities will maintain a record of important nature conservation sites in their area. In many cases the authority will work with the local wildlife trust to achieve this. Recently some authorities have started to store this data on Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The advantage of this method is that planners can refer directly to a computerised map and database to see if there is a nature conservation issue connected with a planning proposal. Important bat sites can be included on the GIS and bat groups should encourage authorities to record these sites on their systems (subject to an appropriate confidentiality agreement).