The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 enables the designation and protection of areas that host certain important habitats and species.

These European protected sites are known as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs). In the UK, wetland sites designated under the Ramsar Convention, are afforded the same level of protection.

Any application for works within, or adjacent to, a European site is subject to the provisions of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.

This means that a competent authority, normally the local planning authority (LPA), will undertake a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA). This consists of the likely significance test and an appropriate assessment.

UES provides ecological surveys, impact assessments, and mitigation strategies, that will allow you to provide the information needed by the LPA to complete a HRA. This evidence is submitted in the form of a report to inform or shadow HRA.

We can help you demonstrate to the LPA that adverse effects on European protected sites can be avoided or mitigated. We’ve worked with clients on projects that presented significant technical challenges because of their potential impacts on SACs, SPAs and Ramsar Sites, achieving a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved.