Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRAs)

What is a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)?

A Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) is a formalised process of identifying, and evaluating impacts of proposed works upon designated sites protected by the Habitats and Birds Directives. These directives are transposed into law in Northern Ireland by the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995.

Under this legislation all competent authorities in Northern Ireland are required to conduct this process of identifying and evaluating effects of projects that have potential to impact upon protected sites prior to the undertaking, permitting or authorising of such projects.

Developers and others may also wish to have their own ‘shadow’ HRA completed to submit with their proposals. An HRA will be informed by an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA), which is informed by all necessary ecological surveys and assessments.

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