The Habitats Regulations require that all English competent authorities, including Natural England, must undertake a formal assessment of the implications and potential impacts of new projects or developments which are capable of affecting the designated features of European Sites before or authorising such a project or development.

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended) (‘the Habitats Regulations’), which transpose the European Habitats Directive 1992 and Wild Birds Directive 2009 into English law determine Natural England’s statutory duties on securing compliance with the EU Directives.