28. To comply with European legislation, Appropriate Assessment (AA) under the Habitats Regulations 1994 is mandatory for all relevant local plans. This is to ensure that policies and proposals will avoid adverse effects on certain habitats of national and international significance, whether these are already protected by a formal designation or are sites proposed for such protection (candidate sites). The council may only adopt a plan after it has been shown that the plan will not adversely affect the integrity of the sites concerned.
29. An independent consultant, the Landscape Partnership, was commissioned to prepare an appropriate assessment screening report which was issued in December 2010. They have concluded that, since the policies of this plan are not site specific and will apply in general throughout Norwich, no impacts are likely to arise from the policies themselves which will impact on protected sites in the city or further afield. An Appropriate Assessment of the DM policies plan is not therefore required. Natural England have confirmed their agreement with this conclusion.