Evidence to Inform an Appropriate Assessment
What is an Appropriate Assessment?
Where a project or proposal may impact upon an European Protected site - such as a Special Protection Area (SPA) or Special Area for Conservation (SAC) - then an 'Appropriate Assessment' must be undertaken to characterise and assess the potential impacts.
An Appropriate Assessment is undertaken by a Competent Authority - usually the Local Planning Authority - but they would expect to be provided with the evidence to support this assessment, often in the form of a Shadow Appropriate Assessment. This is usually developed by an Ecological Consultant working on behalf of the applicant.
The first stage in the process is a Screening Assessment (SA) and this can sometimes identify that an impact is unlikely and no further works are required. Where this cannot be determined a full Appropriate Assessment of the proposals is required to determine whether they will have a significant adverse impact on the integrity of the SPA or SAC site.
The assessments are often highly scientific and specific to the species or habitats for which the site is designated. A detailed understanding of these receptors is critical if the evidence is to be robust, comprehensive and relevant.
How can LSC help?
LSC has highly experienced ecologists who can undertake a Shadow Appropriate Assessment for a range of sites and habitats. Recent projects include the assessment of a proposed road widening scheme on SAC designated heathlands; and assessments of proposed housing development on the nesting birds for which an adjacent SPA is designated. Other projects which were assessed to the Scoping Stage only include housing and commercial sports ground developments, especially in terms of their potential to impact upon more distant Protected Sites through increased recreational use.
We have an excellent track record in securing permission for schemes through development of Appropriate Assessment documentation to support Planning.
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