ABPmer has been contracted by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to undertake the scoping phase for the South Inshore and Offshore Marine Plans Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA).
Under the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC any plan or project that may have an impact on European Natura 2000 Sites requires an Appropriate Assessment. In marine planning, the HRA runs parallel to the plan-making process and ensures that it conforms to The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. It also forms an essential counterpart to the Sustainability Appraisal which is itself a legal requirement.
Colin Scott, Project Director, said: “We are delighted to win this piece of work. We are practiced in delivering plan-level HRAs and will bring to this project the experience we have gained from previous studies as well as our knowledge of the activities that take place in the South marine area.
“The HRA scoping project outputs will inform the decision as to whether the South marine plans should be subject to a full HRA, and if necessary will be the basis for that HRA and Appropriate Assessment. These outputs will form part of the supporting documentation for the adoption of the South Marine Plans.”
The final scoping report is expected to be submitted to the Marine Management Organisation at the end of March and will be published by the MMO within the planning process documentation.
ABPmer is a recognised specialist in marine planning and policy and has previously undertaken marine planning related HRAs for The Crown Estate, Marine Scotland and MMO including leading the HRA process for the draft East Coast Marine Plan.
Marine Plans will inform and guide activities, managing the sustainable development of marine industries while taking account of local communities and the need to protect leisure uses and the environment too.
Press Release, January 21, 2014