Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening/Scoping Opinion
When is this required:
All applications where the development is listed in Schedule 1 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.
Developments that are listed in Schedule 2 of the above regulations, either above or below the thresholds, may require an Environmental Statement if it is likely to have significant effects on the environment by virtue of factors such as nature, size and location.
What information is required:
The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017, Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulation 2017 and the Town and Country Planning and Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 set out the circumstances in which the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required.
Under the provisions of the Regulations, an Environmental Statement will be required to accompany planning applications for major developments over a certain size where the development would have significant impacts, or where smaller developments would have a local impact of significance. An EIA may obviate the need for other more specific assessments.
Where an EIA is required, Schedule 4 to the regulations (sets out the information that must be included in an Environmental Statement. The information in the Statement has to be taken into consideration when the local planning authority decides to grant planning permission. It may be helpful for a development to request a ‘screening opinion’ (i.e. to determine whether an EIA is required) from the local planning authority before submitting a planning application.
A development can also request a ‘scoping opinion’ from the local planning authority which sets out the scope and level of detail of the information that will need to be provided in the Environmental Statement. In cases where a full EIA is not required, the local planning authority may still require environmental information to be provided.
For more information on Environmental Impact Assessments please visit Government website.