The EU Habitats Directive and UK Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 distinguish between ‘activities’ and developments that require some sort of specific statutory consent, authorisation, licence or permission from a competent authority before they are allowed to proceed. Such developments are known as plans and/or projects.
When such plans and projects occur within or have the potential to affect the SAC, they are required to undergo a formal Habitats Regulation Assessment. This is a formal step-wise process that should ensure that any effects to the SAC are considered, and that plans and projects only get the go ahead if they will not have an adverse effect on site integrity, and will not result in deterioration of SAC habitats or significant disturbance of SAC species. Under certain specified conditions, plans and projects with adverse effects on site integrity can go ahead provided that those effects are compensated through other measures.
There are many plans and projects within the Pembrokeshire Marine SAC, particularly in the busy commercial part of the Milford Haven Waterway. Examples range from maintaining sea defences, through to navigational dredging and larger development projects such as oil and gas terminals, power stations and tidal energy installations. These assessments are a routine part of a competent authorities’ role in complying with the Habitats Directive. They are all the more important, because it is recognised that, in Pembrokeshire, plans and projects have perhaps the biggest collective impact on the SAC’s features.
The Pembrokeshire Marine SAC Relevant Authorities Group are working hard to build a better understanding of the collective impacts of plans and projects. To aid this, work has started on an online plans and projects inventory for the site.
By following the link below, you will be taken directly to the plans and projects layers held within the Wales Activity Mapping (WAM) project. Note that, whilst plans and projects data is still being collated and verified, access to it will be password protected. Please contact the SAC Officer for details.
Wales Activity Mapping is an on-line spatial database born from an earlier project known as the South West Wales Coastal Recreation Audit. Current data layers focus on the type, amount and distribution of recreation carried out on the South West Wales coastline, and includes useful information on relevant infrastructure and management issues. With the growth in activity tourism, recreation managers especially wanted to take a proactive approach in managing recreation to ensure the long term sustainability of the tourism and recreation industry. The expansion of the Recreation Audit work, now means that Wales Activity Mapping shows non-recreational activity too, and covers areas outside of Pembrokeshire; this is intended to increase with time. The advantage of having the SAC layers hosted by Wales Activity Mapping, aside from the cost advantage of adding to an existing relevant system, is that users gain from the data already held; recreational activity information, conservation designations, site infrastructure information (access points, amenities), and diverse site-specific reports.
All information held on the plans and projects layers is publicly accessible. No confidential information is included. The information has been compiled in order to act as a useful inventory. Not only does it make clear the array and complexity of various consents and permissions, but it should enable managing authorities and developers to deal more easily with in-combination assessments as part of any Habitats Regulations Assessment.
Click on the image above to open the GIS Map