Habitats Regulations Assessment applies to development plans as well as projects. Lepus provides assessment of plans advice to local planning authorities.
Created in 1994, the Habitats Directive forms one half of the legislative cornerstone of Europe’s nature conservation policy. It has led to the identification of a suite of sites across Europe’s member states and created a list of species that are strictly protected.
The directive protects over 1000 animal and plant species and over 200 so called “habitat types” (e.g. special types of forests, meadows, wetlands, etc.), which are of European importance. The sites of European nature conservation interest that have been identified via the directive are called Special Areas Of Conservation. These are often called SACs.
The Birds Directive is older, having been originally signed off by the EU in 1979, and represents the other half of the cornerstone. It operates in a similar fashion, providing strict protection for important species of bird and identifying a network of sites. The sites are called Special Protection Areas (SPAs). Both directives can affect a number of land use planning scenarios, not just the more obvious large scale developments.
• HRA of the Braintree Allocations Plan
• Stratford-on-Avon District GI Study
• Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) GI Strategy