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Public Consultation: SEA Scoping, Habitat Reg Assessment & AA Screening for SEM Regional Prog 21-27

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

Public Consultation: SEA Scoping, Habitat Reg Assessment & AA Screening for SEM Regional Prog 21-27

The Southern Regional Assembly, as designated Managing Authority, is currently preparing the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) co-financed Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme 2021-2027. 

ERDF funding aims to strengthen EU economic, social and territorial cohesion by correcting imbalances between regions. This programme supports balanced regional development by co-funding investment under EU policy objectives of a more competitive and smarter Europe (PO1), a greener, low-carbon transitioning towards a net zero carbon economy and resilient Europe (PO2), and a Europe closer to citizens by fostering sustainable and integrated development (PO5).

The programme will also align with and deliver national and regional objectives under Project Ireland 2040: The National Planning Framework (NPF) and the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSES) of the Southern Region and the Eastern and Midland Region.

Strategic Environmental Assessment Scoping Report

The Southern Regional Assembly has procured RSK Ireland Ltd to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and SEA Environmental Report of the likely significant effects on the environment of implementing the Southern, Eastern & Midland Regional Programme 2021-2027. This is in accordance with EU Directive 2001/42/EC and the European Communities (Environmental Assessment of Certain Plans and Programmes) Regulations 2004 (SI 435 of 2004), as amended by S.I. No. 200 of 2011.

The purpose of this SEA Scoping Report is to provide the context for, and determine the scope of, the SEA and to set out the framework for undertaking the later stages of the SEA.  Through consultation, the Southern Regional Assembly wishes to establish the range of environmental issues and the level of detail to be included in the Environmental Report for the Programme.

Habitats Regulations Assessment Appropriate Assessment Screening

The Southern Regional Assembly has procured RSK Ireland Ltd to undertake a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) Appropriate Assessment (AA) screening on the Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme 2021-2027 in accordance with S.I No.477/2011 European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011.

On completion of the AA Screening, the following conclusion has been drawn:

  1. The potential for likely significant effects can be ruled out (alone and in combination) in relation to PO1 SEM1 RSO1.1 and PO2 SEM2 RSO2.1. No further HRA of these Specific Objectives is required. 
  2. The potential for likely significant effects cannot be ruled out at this stage of the assessment (either alone or in combination) in relation to PO1 SEM1 RSO1.3 and PO5 SEM3 RSO5.1. It is therefore recommended that an Appropriate Assessment is carried out for these Specific Objectives, and a Natura Impact Statement Report should be prepared.

Consultation Reports 

The following reports have been prepared:

Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme 2021-2027 SEA Scoping Report

Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme 2021-2027 AA Screening Statement

Observations on these reports and statements are welcome by close of business Friday15th April 2022. Please address these comments by email to: info@southernassembly.ie

Next Stages

All submissions received will be taken into consideration. Following this stage of the process, the Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement Report will be prepared to inform the Draft Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme 2021-2027.

There will be a further period of public consultation in Q2 2022 on the Draft Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme 2021-2027 and accompanying Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement Report.

Data Protection

We are committed to engaging with stakeholders in a clear, open and transparent manner. Any person or organisation can make a submission in relation to this consultation. All submissions and feedback will be considered before the final version of the Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme 2021-27 is published.

Please note that responses to this consultation are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 (FOI), Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2007-2018 (AIE) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Please also note that we intend to publish the contents of all submissions received to this consultation on our website. Please indicate in your response whether you are submitting a response in a personal capacity or on behalf of an organisation. We will redact personal data prior to publication. There will be no redaction of contact information or names in submissions from an organisation. In responding to this consultation, parties should clearly indicate where their responses contain personal information, commercially sensitive information or confidential information which they would not wish to be released under FOI, AIE or otherwise published.

We would like to draw your attention to our Data Privacy Notice which is available on our website and explains how and when we collect personal data, why we do so and how we treat this information. It also explains your rights in relation to the collection of personal information and how you can exercise those rights.

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