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Habitats Regulations Appraisal

The Conservation (Natural Habitats, & c.) Regulations 1994 require that certain plans which are likely to have a significant effect on a 'Natura 2000' site must be subject to an "Appropriate Assessment" by the plan-making authority. The process for determining whether an appropriate assessment is required, together with the appropriate assessment itself - where necessary - is known as 'Habitats Regulations Appraisal'. Natura 2000 is the Europe-wide network of protected sites developed under the European Commission Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC) and the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC).

  • Habitats Regulations Appraisal is mandatory under the Habitats Directive which, in Scotland, is implemented through The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994.
  • Where an appropriate assessment is required, plan-making bodies may not usually adopt the plan unless, following that assessment, they can conclude that the plan would not adversely affect the integrity of any Natura 2000 site.
  • Plan making authorities must consult SNH as part of any appropriate assessment.
Further Information

Habitats Regulations Appraisal - Development plans: Advice sheets; these advice sheets are intended to compliment the newly updated SNH guidance for Plan-making bodies in Scotland (version 2).

HRA of Development plans Forum

Scottish Natural Heritage HRA

European Commission (EC) Guidance


Launch of the HRA Databank for Development Plans:

The HRA Databank for Development Plans has been designed to provide an opportunity for practitioners to share their HRA Records and remove some of the difficulty associated with trying to find relevant records. To be successful and supportive the HRA Databank is completely reliant on members proactively loading their own HRA documents onto the site.

To aid practitioners wanting to use the HRA Databank we have produced the following guidance note for users.

HRA Databank - User guidance

Downloadable document:

Title:Habitats Regulations Appraisal
Description:Habitats Regulations Appraisal
File:HRA Databank guidance notes - version 2 [PDF, 269.4 kb: 17 Dec 2014]
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