The Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government has issued recent Guidance on Appropriate Assessment,
A copy of the Guidance Document can be downloaded here.
Appropriate Assessment is defined as: ‘An assessment carried out under Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive of the implications of a plan or project, either individually or in combination with other plans and projects, on a Natura 2000 site in view of the site’s conservation objectives’.
Article 6(3) requires that any plan or project that is not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the Natura 2000 site concerned but is likely to have a significant effect on it, on its own or in combination with other plans and projects, is to be authorised only if it will not adversely affect the integrity of that site. If screening indicates the need, Appropriate Assessment itself, must be carried out and the assessment and conclusions recorded to ensure that existing and future plans or projects are not authorised if they are likely to adversely affect the integrity of a site. These safeguards are designed to ensure the conservation of Natura 2000 sites.
In order for a Planning Authority to apply the Appropriate Assessment process it must be presented with a Statement for Appropriate Assessment which addresses the Qualifying Interests and Conservation Objectives of the Natura 2000 sites in question and how the plan may affect these objectives.
Moore Group has compiled several Appropriate Assessment Screening Documents and Statements for Appropriate Assessment. If you have any queries on the process please feel free to contact Ger at Ger@mooregroup.ie or telephone 091-765640.