Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA)
A Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) is required for all plans deemed likely to have an adverse effect on a protected 'Natura 2000' site. Natura 2000 is the Europe-wide network of protected sites developed under the European Commission's Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC) and Birds Directive (79/409/EEC). Read more on the European Commission's Natura 2000 webpage.
A HRA comprises both the process for determining whether an 'appropriate assessment' of the environmental risk is required, and the appropriate assessment itself.
Plan-making authorities must consult Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) as part of any appropriate assessment process, and may only take the plan forward if the appropriate assessment concludes that the plan would not adversely affect the integrity of any Natura 2000 site.
The latest Habitats regulations appraisal of plans: guidance for plan-making bodies in Scotland, from January 2015, is available on Scottish Natural Heritage's website.
The guidance is complemented by our HRA advice sheets, which offer practical HRA guidance to Scottish HRA practitioners dealing with development plans.
European Commission guidance
- Assessment of plans and projects significantly affecting Natura 2000 sites (2001)
- Guidance document on Article 6(4) of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC (2007)
- Managing Natura 2000 Sites The provisions of Article 6 of the 'Habitats' Directive 92/43/EEC (2000)
- Nature and Biodiversity Cases Rulings of the European Court of Justice (2006)
HRA Databank for development plans
The HRA Databank for development plans is designed to provide an opportunity for practitioners to share their HRA records and make it easier to find relevant records.
To access the HRA databank you need to be a member of Knowledge Hub and to join the HRA Databank group.
To aid practitioners wanting to use the HRA Databank we have produced HRA databank: guidance.