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The Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (Wales) Regulations 2017

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Additional requirements relating to the Habitats Regulations

16.—(1) The Welsh Ministers must not grant consent for a project which would be unlawful under regulations 41, 43 or 45 of the Habitats Regulations.

(2) But that does not include anything for which a licence has been granted under regulation 53 of the Habitats Regulations.

(3) Paragraphs (4) to (7) apply when the Welsh Ministers are deciding whether to grant consent for a project which is likely to have a significant effect on a European site, whether alone or in combination with another project (referred to in those paragraphs as “the project”).

(4) The Welsh Ministers may only grant consent for a project if they have considered the implications of the project for the European site (including an appropriate assessment of the implications in the view of that site’s conservation objectives) and are satisfied that the project will not adversely affect the integrity of the site, unless paragraph (5) applies.

(5) If the Welsh Ministers are satisfied that the project must be carried out for imperative reasons of overriding public interest (which may be of a social or economic nature, subject to paragraph (6)) and that there is no alternative solution, they may grant consent for the project even though the assessment of its implications for a European site is negative.

(6) If the European site hosts a priority natural habitat type or a priority species, the reasons in paragraph (5) must be either—

(a)reasons relating to human health, public safety or beneficial consequences or primary importance to the environment, or

(b)other reasons which in the opinion of the European Commission are, in the case of the site concerned, imperative reasons of overriding public interest.

(7) If the Welsh Ministers decide to grant consent for a project in accordance with paragraph (5), they must secure any necessary compensatory measures are taken to ensure that the overall coherence of Natura 2000(1) is protected.

(1)

See regulation 3(1) of the Habitats Regulations for the definition of “Natura 2000”.

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