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61. (1) A competent authority, before deciding to undertake, or give any consent, permission or other authorisation for, a plan or project which—
(a)is likely to have a significant effect on a European site or a European offshore marine site (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects), and
(b)is not directly connected with or necessary to the management of that site,
must make an appropriate assessment of the implications for that site in view of that site’s conservation objectives.
(2) A person applying for any such consent, permission or other authorisation must provide such information as the competent authority may reasonably require for the purposes of the assessment or to enable them to determine whether an appropriate assessment is required.
(3) The competent authority must for the purposes of the assessment consult the appropriate nature conservation body and have regard to any representations made by that body within such reasonable time as the authority specify.
(4) They must also, if they consider it appropriate, take the opinion of the general public, and if they do so, they must take such steps for that purpose as they consider appropriate.
(5) In the light of the conclusions of the assessment, and subject to regulation 62 (considerations of overriding public interest), the competent authority may agree to the plan or project only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the European site or the European offshore marine site (as the case may be).
(6) In considering whether a plan or project will adversely affect the integrity of the site, the authority must have regard to the manner in which it is proposed to be carried out or to any conditions or restrictions subject to which they propose that the consent, permission or other authorisation should be given.
(7) This regulation does not apply in relation to a site which is—
(a)a European site by reason of regulation 8(1)(c), or
(b)a European offshore marine site by reason of regulation 15(c) of the 2007 Regulations
(site protected in accordance with Article 5(4) of the Habitats Directive).
(8) Where a plan or project requires an appropriate assessment both under this regulation and under the 2007 Regulations, the assessment required by this regulation need not identify those effects of the plan or project that are specifically attributable to that part of it that is to be carried out in Great Britain, provided that an assessment made for the purpose of this regulation and the 2007 Regulations assesses the effects of the plan or project as a whole.
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