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Extension of Nutrient Neutrality advice: What is a Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA)?

by on March 24, 2022

Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017

Following an extension of nutrient neutrality advice, applications for planning permission in designated protected sites must now undergo a Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA). Proving that the surface water runoff and wastewater will be less than that generated by the existing use. An increase is often found on developments which result in a greater net population being served by a wastewater system, such as overnight accommodation developments.

Developments must comply with nutrient neutrality to pass the HRA and become eligible for planning consent. The aim of the assessment is to reduce the levels of damaging nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus which reach the protected areas. The Local Planning Authority (LPA) should conduct the assessment, but they may request a Nutrient Neutrality Statement from developers. The statements requirements will be individual to every LPA but in general should show the levels of wastewater and ground water runoff before and after the proposed development. Including any mitigation techniques either on or offsite used to offset any adverse effects.

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