HABITATS REGULATIONS ASSESSMENT
Habitat regulation assessments are essential in evaluating the impacts of any proposed scheme upon the nearby sites of importance to nature conservation. Such conservation sites that would need to be considered include, Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA), Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Sites of community Importance (SCI) and Ramsar Sites. The aim is to evaluate the wider nature impact on the continuity and connectivity of these habitats. Due to a recent ruling in case law ‘People over Wind, Peter Sweetman v Coillte Teoranta (C-323/17)’, HRsA are crucial in determining if a further Appropriate Assessment is required.
If your Site is situated in proximity to a site of conservation importance and the scheme will increase the risk of impacts to the biodiversity and ecosystem, directly or indirectly, then this assessment will be required to evaluate the likelihood of the impacts. If impacts are significant and envisaged, then a further Appropriate Assessment may be required.
Understanding how your proposed scheme fits within the wider network of nature conservation habitats is crucial in being able to successfully progress through planning.