Navitus Bay Wind Park
See attached letter from Freeths LLP on behalf of Challenge Navitus
Thank you for your email. I hope I can explain the purpose of the Report on the Implications for European Sites (RIES).
Under Regulation 61(3) of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended) (the Habitats Regulations) and Regulation 25(3) of The Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 2007 (as amended) (the Offshore Marine Regulations), the competent authority (the Secretary of State) must consult the appropriate nature conservation body and have regard to any representations made by that body. A RIES is issued during the examination of nationally significant infrastructure projects to ensure that Natural England, as the statutory nature conservation body, has been consulted formally on Habitats Regulations matters.
The RIES is an account of the information and evidence provided to the Examining Authority (ExA) on HRA matters during the examination up to the date of the publication of the RIES. It is a signposting document for the purposes of assisting the Secretary of State, as competent authority, to undertake their HRA. It will be used by the Secretary of State in conjunction with the ExA?s recommendation report, which will take account of detailed submissions from all interested parties on Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)matters. It is also important to note that whilst the RIES is an ExA document, it is not the ExA?s opinion on HRA matters. The publication of the RIES is not the final stage of a HRA and comments on the RIES have been invited by the ExA for Deadline VII (5 March 2015). We note your concerns that your previous submissions appear to have not been taken into account in the Navitus Bay RIES and recommend that you express these comments in your response to the RIES. It will be useful for you to look in detail at the RIES and comments on areas where you feel your specific issues have not been noted, with reference to your previous representations. Any comments received will be taken into account as part of the ExA?s recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State. An Appropriate Assessment, if required, will subsequently be undertaken by and reported upon by the Secretary State as part of their decision making process; this will take into account the RIES, any consultation responses and the ExAs recommendation report.
Your letter and this advice will be published on our website under section 51 of the Planning Act 2008