Appropriate assessment under the Habitats Directive
Appropriate assessment under the Habitats Directive

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Appropriate assessment under the Habitats Directive
  • Review of existing decisions and consents
  • Determining whether the activity is a ‘plan’ or a ‘project’
  • Consent or permission
  • Conservation management exemption
  • Determining whether the plan or project is likely to have a significant effect
  • Appropriate assessment
  • Derogations under Habitats Directive
  • Habitats Regulations Assessment relevant to nationally significant infrastructure projects

The Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC (Habitats Directive) aims to promote the maintenance of biodiversity by requiring Member States to take measures to maintain or restore natural habitats and wild species at a favourable conservation status, introducing robust protection for those habitats and species of European importance. The Habitats Directive is mainly transposed in England and the UK offshore area by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA), Part 1 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, SI 2017/1012 (Habitats Regulations) which apply in England and its seas up to 12 nautical miles from the coast and the Conservation of Offshore Marine Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, SI 2017/1013 (Offshore Regulations) which apply in UK waters more than 12 nautical miles from the coast. The Habitats Regulations and the Offshore Regulations apply from 30 November 2017 and consolidate and update the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, SI 2010/490 and the Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 2007, SI 2007/1842.

Article 6 of the Habitats Directive, transposed by Habitats Regulations, SI 2017/1012, reg 63, requires a competent authority, before deciding to undertake or give consent or permission for a plan or project, which:

  1. is likely to have a significant effect on a European site (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects), and

  2. is not directly connected with