Statutory Regulations: England

Conservation of Habitat and Species Regulations (2010)

Find out more >> The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010

The Conservation of Habitat and Species Regulations 2010 transpose European Union Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (EC Habitats Directive) into national law.

These regulations provide for the designation and protection of 'European Sites', the protection of 'European Protected Species' and the adaptation of planning controls for the protection of such sites and species.

Under the regulations, public bodies have a duty in exercising their functions to have regard to the EC Habitats Directive.

NOTE: The 2010 Regulations consolidate the previous regulations formerly set out in the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c) Regulations 1994 (as amended).

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SEA Regulations (2004)

Find out more >> The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a systematic process for ensuring that environmental issues are taken into account at every stage in the preparation, implementation, monitoring and review of plans, programmes and strategies.

The requirement for assessment has come from Directive 2001/42/EC, known as the Environmental Assessment Directive. In Scotland this was brought into practice by the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005. SEA is carried out by the authority responsible for the production of the plan, programme or strategy.

Implementation of SEA allows for better integration of environmental considerations at the heart of decision-making through a more rigorous and transparent planning process. It benefits the development planning process and provides a framework enabling the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of individual projects to be more efficiently and effectively targeted.

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EIA Regulations (1999)

Find out more >> EIA Regulations (1999)

Find out more >> The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2008

EIA is a procedure that must be followed for certain types of development before they are granted development consent. The requirement for EIA comes from a European Directive (85/33/EEC as amended by 97/11/EC). The procedure requires the developer to compile an Environmental Statement (ES) describing the likely significant effects of the development on the environment and proposed mitigation measures. The ES must be circulated to statutory consultation bodies and made available to the public for comment. Its contents, together with any comments, must be taken into account by the competent authority, eg local planning authority (LPA), before it may grant consent. 

Stage 1: Screening
The EIA regulations apply only to certain types of development and the competent authority (ie local planning authority) must assess whether the proposal is an 'EIA development' by referring to Schedules 1, 2 and 3. This process is called 'screening'.

Stage 2: Scoping
Where a scheme is an 'EIA development', the developer can ask the planning authority for advice on the scope of information required.

Find out more >> Explanatory Memorandum to the Regulations (which contains an informal consolidation of the EIA Regulations as amended)

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Hedgerow Regulations (1997)

Find out more >> Hedgerow Regulations (1997)

The Hedgerow Regulations have effect in England and Wales and were introduced to control the dramatic loss of hedgerows in the countryside. Ancient and/or species-rich hedgerows were included as a Priority Habitat in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) published in 1995.

Regulation 3 defines the hedgerows to which the Regulations apply. This includes all continuous hedges of over 20 metres in length (or less than this if connecting to other hedges at either end) in the countryside i.e. outside of the curtilage of a dwelling house. For the purposes of determining continuous length of the hedge, gaps of less than 20 metres are counted as being part of the hedge.

Regulation 4 sets out the criteria for identifying “important hedgerows”. The hedge (or a substantial part of it) must have existed for more than 30 years and must meet at least one other of the criteria from Part II of Schedule 1.The criteria are complex and include the history and archaeology of the hedgerow and its wildlife and landscape value.

Regulation 5 requires that any person wishing to remove a hedgerow as defined in Regulation 3, can only do so having given the appropriate notice (hedgerow removal notice) to the relevant local planning authority. A local planning authority receiving such notice, must then decide whether to approve the removal or issue a hedgerow retention notice requiring the hedge to be retained. A hedgerow retention notice can only be issued in relation to hedgerows which meet the criteria set out in relation to Regulation 4.

It is an offence for any person to remove a hedgerow without having given the required removal notice or to remove a hedgerow which is subject to a retention notice.