Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA)

Without exception, all development plans and policies within the vicinity of, or encompassing Natura 2000 sites (Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation) and Ramsar Sites legally require a formal HRA to protect the integrity of these sites (Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017). Penny Anderson Associates Ltd. (PAA) carries out such works routinely, in a systematic and thorough manner, to ensure all elements of this process are completed as requested and to the standards required by law.

HRA systematically assesses all likely impacts of any given development plan or policy on the integrity of Natura 2000 and Ramsar sites, including possible effects ‘in combination’ with other plans, projects and programmes. In the first instance, this involves a Stage 1 Screening Assessment (in consultation with statutory agencies and key stakeholders) to identify all relevant sites, including details of their qualifying features and conservation objectives, and the range of potentially negative impacts on their integrity.

In all cases, where it cannot be concluded that a given plan or proposal will not result in significant impacts on the integrity of a site, a Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment will be requested by the competent authority. At this stage, if there is any doubt concerning adverse impacts on site integrity, permission will be refused.

Habitat Regulations Assessment

Our Expertise
PAA has carried out a diverse range of HRA Screening and Appropriate Assessment work, including:

A wide range of protected sites:

  • Belfast Lough SPA/Ramsar Site
  • Cannock Extension Canal SAC
  • Humber Estuary SPA/SAC/Ramsar Site
  • Ribble and Alt Estuaries SPA/SAC
  • Martin Mere SPA/SAC
  • North Wirral Foreshore SACHRA Services
  • South Pennines SPA/SAC

Diverse plans and policies including:

  • Airport expansion plans, including masterplan optioneering and runway lengthening
  • Local Development Plans and Policies
  • Renewable energy plant development
  • Sports pitches and recreational facilities
  • Flying club expansion
  • Urban regeneration/development plans
  • Reservoir dewatering
  • Quarrying

A wide range of qualifying features such as:

  • Waterbirds
  • Freshwater crayfish
  • Floating water-plantain

Various key issues such as:

  • Air, water, light and noise pollution
  • Operational and construction-based disturbance
  • Temporal and spatial population dynamics
  • Population viability, connectivity and habitat functionality
  • Habitat loss/degradation
  • Barriers to movement
  • Water abstraction and discharge

For more details on our services relating to Habitats
Regulations Assessment
, please contact us