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.
New 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).
Legislation, guidance and advice