Local Development Plan - Habitats Regulation Appraisal
A Habitats Regulation Appraisal (HRA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA) [2Mb] were undertaken for the Adopted Local Development Plan and a record of these processes was published in November 2012, with an addendum [462Kb] then produced in January 2013 to take account of the outcome of the Council meeting on 23 January relating to the Council's response to the outstanding representations to the Proposed LDP.
What is a Habitats Regulation Appraisal (HRA)?
Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive requires that any plan or project, which is not directly connected with, or necessary to the management of a European Site, but would be likely to have a significant effect, either alone or in combination with other plans or projects, should be subject to an appropriate assessment.
The Perth and Kinross Local Development Plan (LDP) is subject to such an assessment. This means that the Plan can only be approved once it has been determined, following an assessment, that it will not adversely affect the integrity of a Natura 2000 site.
What are Natura 2000 sites?
Natura 2000 is a network of protected sites across the European Community which is made up of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA). They are also referred to as European sites.
Special Areas of Conservation are designated under the 'Habitats Directive' and are internationally important for threatened habitats and species. There are 21 SACs within Perth and Kinross.
Special Protections Areas are designated under the 'Birds Directive' and are chosen for a number of rare, threatened or vulnerable birds. There are 8 SPAs within Perth and Kinross.
What are the results of the Local Development Plan HRA?
The HRA process identified those elements of the Plan which could potentially affect the integrity of European sites. For some parts of the Plan it was possible to put in place 'straightforward' mitigation measures such as making amendments to the policy wording or suggesting the deletion of a site proposal. However, for those remaining policies, guidance and proposals likely to have a significant effect, an appropriate assessment was required. The outcome of that assessment resulted in the identification of mitigation measures to be included in the Plan.
At the end of the process, Perth & Kinross Council were able to conclude that, when the mitigation set out in the HRA is incorporated into the adopted Plan, the LDP will either have no likely significant effects on Natura 2000 sites, or will not adversely affect the integrity of European sites, either on its own or in combination with other plans and projects.