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Plans & Projects
n addition to general management and regulatory functions, many competent authorities have statutory functions to make decisions on applications for consents, authorisations, licences and permits as governed by statute. Such consents, authorisations, licenses and permits give permission for ‘plans or projects’ within the meaning of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive. The Regulations state that where such consents are given which are likely to have a significant effect upon a European marine site, full consideration must be given to the provisions of the Habitats Directive.

The management scheme may also provide guidance for the assessment of plans and projects, particularly those of a repetitive nature. The Solent Forum have produced a Guide to Marine Consents. A plan or project is any operation that requires an application to be made for a specific statutory consent, authorisation, licence or other permission. This is in contrast to "activities" which are controlled or managed by competent authorities on a continuing basis.

Co-ordinated approach
There is no general requirement to produce a management scheme for an EMS, but government guidance suggests that local bodies prepare a management scheme. There may be only one management scheme for a EMS and it is in the interests of all relevant authorities on a site to contribute to its production. The management scheme should be integrated as far as possible with other relevant plans and statutory frameworks e.g. local and regional plans, and supported by relevant authority bye-laws as appropriate.

Nature conservation objectives
English Nature and the Countryside Council for Wales are the Government's advisory bodies on nature conservation issues and are relevant authorities in their own right. In addition to the general responsibilities as relevant and competent authorities, they have other specific duties under the Habitats Regulations. They are required by Regulation 33(2) to advise other relevant authorities as to the conservation objectives of a European marine site and any operations which may cause deterioration to habitats or disturbance to species for which it has been designated. "This advice will guide the relevant authorities in developing the management scheme through which they must comply with their own duties under the Regulations." (DETR guidance para 3.21)

Further reading
European Marine Sites in England & Wales - A Guide to the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994 and to the Preparation and Application of Management Schemes. DETR and Welsh Office, June 1998.
European marine sites: An introduction to management. EN, CCW, SNH, JNCC, DoENI, SAMS, 1996.
Natura 2000 - Indications of Good Practice for establishing management schemes on European marine sites. UK Marine SACs Project. EN, SNH, CCW, EHS (DoE (NI)), JNCC & SAMS 2001.