Habitat Regulations Appraisal

The Habitats Regulations require competent authorities to carry out appropriate assessments in certain circumstances where a plan or project affects a ‘European’ site designated for its nature conservation interest (Special Area of Conservation, Special Protection Area and Ramsar sites).

Competent authorities are any body that has the power to consent a plan or project. For example, local authorities are competent authorities in respect of planning applications and Forestry Commission is the competent authority for felling licences. The competent authority, with advice from the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural England, Countryside Council for Wales) decides whether appropriate assessment is necessary and carries it out if needed.

The information to inform the appropriate assessment can be complex and it is often the responsibility of the applicant to provide this. Reuben has undertaken a number of Appropriate Assessments for road schemes and can provide advice and support to developers who have been asked to undertake such work.