Plans and projects which have the potential to affect European sites of nature conservation importance have to be assessed against the requirements of the Habitats Regulations.
The Habitats Regulations Assessment has been carried out alongside the development of the Waste Core Strategy to determine whether the Strategy will have any likely significant effects on the integrity of any European designated sites.
Assessment has been undertaken at the following stages in preparation of the Waste Core Strategy:
- Initial Habitats Regulations Assessment
- Full Habitat Regulations Assessment
- Addendum to the Waste Core Strategy Habitats Regulations Assessment
- Record of Screening Decision
Initial Habitat Regulations Assessment
An Initial Habitats Regulations Assessment was undertaken of the Waste Core Strategy Emerging Preferred Options Report.
That assessment aimed to identify broad areas that would not require detailed consideration of the Habitats Regulations and those that would.
Full Habitat Regulations Assessment
The "First Draft Submission" document included a detailed methodology of how we proposed to identify "Areas of Search" and the Publication Document set out a "Spatial Strategy".
A Full Habitats Regulations Assessment was undertaken for the identified areas of search and informed the development of the "Spatial Strategy"
Addendum to the Waste Core Strategy Habitats Regulations Assessment
Following representations on the soundness and legal compliance of the Waste Core Strategy during the Publication Document (Regulation 27) consultation (which was held from March to May 2011), it became clear that further Habitats Regulations Assessment of the Waste Core Strategy was required.
This work was completed and is set out in an Addendum to the Habitats Regulations Assessment.
This has informed the development of an Addendum to the Waste Core Strategy Submission document which was consulted on from October to November 2011, as well as an Sustainability Appraisal of the Submission Document Addendum.
Record of Screening Decision
Following consideration of all the above stages of assessment, we conducted a Screening Assessment of the Waste Core Strategy Development Plan Document in accordance with the requirements of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.
An assessment has been undertaken to take account of any implications of the Proposed Changes – 5th April, and an Updated Habitats Regulations Assessment Screening Decision was published alongside the consultation on the proposed changes from 5th April 2012 to 5.30pm on 21st May 2012.
How the work has been carried out
We used external consultants to undertake the Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment of all the early stages of the development of the Waste Core Strategy in order to give us an impartial advice. In order to save costs however, we undertook the later stages of assessment with in-house staff.