The HRA process

Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) is a process that identifies if a plan, programme or project has the potential to have an adverse effect on a protected ‘European site’, due to the project’s nature, size or location. Examples of European sites include Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas and Ramsar sites.

The HRA is carried out by the decision maker as the competent authority under the Habitats Regulations. The developer is required to submit sufficient scientific evidence to enable the authority to complete the HRA and this evidence is submitted in the form of a ‘report to inform’ or ‘shadow’ HRA.

HRA services

APEM’s experienced staff are able to:

  • Scope the need for desk studies, surveys and predictive modelling.
  • Carry out the studies and surveys necessary to screen a proposal for its likely significant effects on a European site.
  • Carry out the more detailed studies and impact assessments necessary for screened-in projects to identify whether or not there has been an adverse effect on the integrity of any protected European site.
  • Propose and design any necessary avoidance, mitigation or compensation measures.
  • Design and deliver construction and post-project monitoring and mitigation plans.

Technical services for the HRAs:

  • Aerial habitat mapping
  • Analysis of marine survey data
  • Bird and marine mammal modelling
  • Marine field surveys
  • Marine consultancy
  • Offshore bird and mammal surveys
  • Protected species surveys.
  • Habitat Eelgrass Walney
  • Marine sunset
  • Rocky and Sandy Coastline Habitat

If an HRA has been necessary, it is also likely that a proposed project will need an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). APEM’s experienced staff are also able to provide the baseline, ecological and impact studies that are necessary components of the EIA.

We are also able to provide developers, regulators and statutory advisers with a peer review service of HRA reports prepared by other consultancies.

If you have any queries, please contact Dr Mark Rehfisch, head of ornithology.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.