Habitat Regulation Assessments (HRA)

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  • Habitats Regulation Assessments © Arbeco Ltd.
  • © Arbeco Ltd.
  • © Arbeco Ltd.
  • © Arbeco Ltd.

Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) is a systematic, consistent process where the assessment of likely impacts of a strategic plan’s policies on the integrity of internationally important sites for nature conservation is undertaken.

These internationally important sites are Natura 2000 sites which include Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation and Ramsar sites.

Under Regulation 61 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 there is a legal requirement to consider the impacts of a plan or project on these sites where it is not directly connected with the management of the site.

HRA includes two stages; screening and appropriate assessment.

Screening involves an initial assessment of the plan or project. In some cases, screening shows that no significant effects on the internationally important sites are likely. However, if there are significant adverse effects then it is progressed to the appropriate assessment phase where the mitigation measures should be put in place before the plan can be taken forward.

The outcome is related to the integrity of the European site, the objective being to determine whether an adverse effect on the site’s European interest is likely. If there are no appropriate mitigation measures strict tests need to be met before the plan can be taken forward.

The HRA process involves consultation with Natural England and best practice includes the public.

We also provide help and support to our clients in the form of the following related services:

  • Advice on European Protected Species licensing, including the preparation of applications and supervision of their implementation
  • Legislative compliance advice
  • Stakeholder liaison and negotiation, including both statutory and non-statutory consultees
  • Ecological Impact Assessment including preparation of ecology chapters and technical appendices for formal submission
  • Habitat Regulations Assessment advice
  • Protected species mitigation
  • Post-construction monitoring for developments, including wind farms

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