Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)
The EU Habitats Directive requires that any project which may have a significant effect (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects) on the integrity of one or more European site(s), and which is not necessary for the management of the site, must be subject to a process of Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA).
European sites, in this context, include Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) designated under the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated under Council Directive (2009/147/EC) on the conservation of wild birds (the ‘Birds Directive’). In addition, Ramsar sites (internationally important wetlands – Ramsar Convention 1971) are to be subject to the same process.
In the UK, the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (Amendment) (EU Exit) regulations 2019 transpose the requirements of the EU Habitats Directive into domestic UK law. The Regulations aim to protect sites in the UK that have rare or important habitats and species in order to safeguard biodiversity.
Ecology Partnership have undertaken HRA for numerous sites and have developed mitigation measures and have undertaken consultations with relevant bodies to ensure that development does not pose any significant harm to protected sites.