Habitats regulations assessment for your environmental permit

What is a European site?

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 enable the designation and protection of areas that host certain important habitats and species. These are known as European protected sites and include the following areas:

  • Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for the protection of certain habitats and species
  • Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for the protection of certain wild bird species
  • Ramsar Sites, wetlands of international importance

You can view the locations of these sites on DataMapWales

What does the Habitats Regulations Assessment do?

The Habitats Regulations Assessment process determines if a permit application could negatively impact recognised protected European sites. The impact of the permit could be on or near the designated European site. It could also be applied at feeding areas used by a species from a designated European site.

If we determine the permit could negatively impact these sites it’s likely your application for a permit will be refused unless there are ways to avoid or reduce (mitigate) any potential impact.

How will I know if a Habitats Regulations Assessment is needed?

When we receive your application for a permit we use a screening stage to determine if a Habitats Regulations Assessment is required. If this is the case, we will contact you to discuss the next steps of your application and any additional charge you’ll need to pay for us to undertake the assessment.

You can also use our pre-application advice service for Environmental Permits and we’ll tell you before you apply if we would need to undertake a Habitats Regulations Assessment as part of assessing your permit application.


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