From September 2012 a new process will allow developers of nationally significant infrastructure projects in England, or located in both England and Wales, to agree evidence plans with relevant statutory nature conservation bodies. This was a commitment from the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives Implementation Review.
An evidence plan is a formal mechanism to agree upfront what information the developer needs to supply to the Planning Inspectorate as part of a Development Consent Order application to help ensure compliance with the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives.
The guidance published explains the new evidence plan process.
It is an applicant’s decision to decision to request an evidence plan. A request should first be made to the Major Infrastructure and Environment Unit (MIEU) in Defra at MIEU@defra.gsi.gov.uk