The Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994 have been amended again, with the new regulations coming into force at the end of January. The main changes affecting ecologists and developers are that the guidance notes provided by the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations will now have legal force and will have to be taken into account by the courts.
This judicial review case addresses how local planning authorities (LPAs) discharge their statutory duty under Regulation 3(4) of the Conservation Regulations (1994) to have regard to the requirements of the Habitats Directive in the exercise of their functions. The case focuses on how LPAs should approach the discharge of this duty in coming to planning decisions and in particular the need to properly consider the three tests set out in the Conservation Regulations that should be considered when harm to European Protected Species (EPS) is likely.
BSG Ecology co-funded a research project with Newcastle University, which was designed to assess the effect of wind turbines on the distribution of farmland birds in light of the move towards constructing more wind farms in lowland agricultural areas.