Appropriate assessment under the Habitats Regulations—checklist for developers
Appropriate assessment under the Habitats Regulations—checklist for developers

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Appropriate assessment under the Habitats Regulations—checklist for developers
  • Introduction
  • Screening
  • Is the proposed activity a 'plan or project'?
  • Is the plan or project exempt from the HRA requirements?
  • Is the plan or project likely to have a significant effect?
  • Have the combined effects of other relevant plans/projects been considered?
  • Appropriate assessment
  • Can mitigation measures be incorporated?
  • Have post-consent monitoring and conditions been considered?
  • More...

Introduction

The Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) requirements require the assessment of 'plans or projects' that may have a 'likely significant effect' on a European site. Such plans or projects can only proceed if the competent authority is convinced they will not have an 'adverse effect on the integrity of a European site'. If the plan or project will have adverse effects, or if there is uncertainty over its effects, it can only be granted consent if certain 'derogations' apply. See Practice Notes: Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC—snapshot, Implementation of the Habitats Directive in England and Wales and Appropriate assessment under the Habitats Directive.

Screening

Is the proposed activity a 'plan or project'?

The HRA requirements only apply to 'a plan or projects'. The legislation does not define the terms 'plan or project' but they are generally taken to have a very broad meaning, covering a wide range of activities.

If the activity is not a plan or project, there is no need for screening to see whether an appropriate assessment is required. However, other consents, such as planning permission, may be required.

See Practice Note: Appropriate assessment under the Habitats Directive—Determining whether the activity is a ‘plan’ or a ‘project’.

Is the plan or project exempt from the HRA requirements?

Plans or projects directly connected with or necessary to the management of a European site are not subject to the appropriate assessment requirements.

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