The purpose of this guide is to help developers and regulators meet the requirements of the Habitats Regulations on the Forth when first considering proposals. It does this by drawing together and presenting information on qualifying interests, explaining basic principles of ecology and the most important impact pathways. It considers the issues involved in carrying out projects on the Firth of Forth that affect qualifying interests of associated Natura sites, such as the Firth of Forth Special Protection Area (SPA) or the River Teith Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
We hope it will help in making decisions about projects, including how to avoid or mitigate impacts on Natura sites before proposals become so defined that solving problems is more expensive and difficult. It is not however, an exhaustive “how to” guide to carrying out Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) or associated Appropriate Assessments (AA). It simply introduces broad principles to consider.
Links to formal guidance are provided throughout this document and these should be used when carrying out HRA.