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

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

  • Appropriate assessment under the Habitats Directive—checklist for developers
  • Introduction
  • Screening
  • Appropriate assessment
  • Derogations

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—the implications for English and Welsh planning law and practice or visit the Planning area of the Brexit toolkit.

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.