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LDP habitat regulations assessment

Under the Habitats Regulations, the Council is required to assess whether the Swansea Local Development Plan (LDP) is likely to have a significant effect on the integrity of any European Site either directly or indirectly, alone, or in combination with other plans and projects. This mandatory appraisal process is known as a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA). European Sites are Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), European Marine Sites (EMS) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs). Under UK and Welsh Government policy, proposed European Sites and Ramsar sites are given the same level of protection as designated European Sites and therefore need to be considered by the HRA.

The HRA of the LDP must be undertaken in parallel with, but separately to the SA/SEA, and the findings of each process will inform each assessment. The HRA should be undertaken throughout the LDP preparation process.

HRA of the Pre-Deposit LDP

Only the Deposit LDP must be subject to a full HRA as a matter of law before it is adopted, rather than the pre-deposit proposals (including the Preferred Strategy). However, it is good practice to ensure that the requirements of the Habitat Regulations and therefore the potential effects on European Sites are considered as an iterative process from the earliest stages of the plan making process. For this reason preliminary screenings have been undertaken on the  Preferred Strategy and the   final amendments of the Preferred Strategy in July 2014.

HRA of the Deposit LDP (The Main HRA)

The HRA of the  Swansea LDP Deposit Plan  (the main HRA) has concluded that, with the incorporation of suggested mitigation, the Deposit LDP will have no likely significant effect either alone or in combination with other plans and projects, on any European Site. No appropriate assessment under the Habitats Regulations is required in relation to the Deposit LDP. 

Updates to the HRA of the Deposit Plan

The main PDF Document HRA was updated in February 2018 (PDF, 1MB)Opens new window to reflect issues relating to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a Statement of Common Ground (SoCG), agreed between the Council and Dwr Cymru Welsh Water during the examination hearing sessions.  These updates affected paragraphs 3.41-3.62 only and are solely concerned with facilitating alignment with these documents. The conclusions of the HRA are unchanged from those recorded in 2016.

A further update to the PDF Document HRA of the Swansea LDP Deposit Plan was undertaken in June 2018 (PDF, 1MB)Opens new window to reflect the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case of C-323/17 People Over Wind v Coillte handed down on 12th April 2018.  This involved the undertaking of an appropriate assessment, as presented in chapter 7, in light of the references to reliance on mitigation measures, as presented in Chapter 7.  The overall conclusion of this further updated HRA of the Deposit Plan is that providing the mitigation measures are implemented there would be no significant adverse effect on the integrity of any European sites.

Addendum to HRA of the Deposit Plan

An PDF Document addendum to the main HRA (PDF, 1MB)Opens new window to take account of the PDF Document Matters Arising Changes (MACs) (PDF, 29MB)Opens new window and the Inspectors Matters Arising Changes (IMACs) to the Deposit Plan has also been undertaken.  This should be read and interpreted alongside the main HRA (as updated in February and June 2018). The overall conclusion of the HRA of the Deposit Plan MACs and IMACs is that there would be no significant adverse effect on the integrity of any European sites.

The revised HRA (updates and addendum) is subject to public consultation, alongside the Schedule of Matters Arising Changes to the Deposit Plan and the updated Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of the Deposit LDP, between 1st November and 14th December 2018.  A copy of the revised HRA report is available to view and consultation responses can be submitted through the LDP consultation web page - https://swansea.jdi-consult.net/ldp/index.php

 

 

 

 

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