Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations

Applies to EnglandApplies to Wales

Title: The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations

Category: England and Wales Regulations

Date: 1999 (amended 2000)

Reference: SI 1999/293 [Full text] (2000/2867 [Full text])

General Description:

These Regulations implement, in relation to town and country planning in England and Wales, Council Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, as amended by Council Directive 97/11/EC.

The Regulations revoke and re-enact, with amendments, the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988 (and later instruments amending them) and the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Assessment and Unauthorised Development) Regulations 1995. They revoke the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Assessment and Permitted Development) Regulations 1995 and regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Simplified Planning Zones) Regulations 1992, and enact provisions with similar effect.

The main changes made by Directive 97/11/EC, which these Regulations implement, are as follows. The number of categories of project subject to environmental impact assessment (EIA) is increased. An individual determination on whether EIA is required must be made in respect of every project in Annex II to the Directive which exceeds thresholds established by a Member State. Advice on the content of an environmental statement must be given to a developer who requests it before submitting an application. Competent authorities must give reasons for their decision on granting or refusing development consent. The Directive establishes detailed procedures for consulting other Member States on projects which are likely to have significant environmental effects in their territories.

The Regulations impose procedural requirements in relation to the consideration of applications for planning permission under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and in relation to enforcement of planning control, and restrict the grant of permission by simplified planning zone schemes, enterprise zones and the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

All specific types of developments listed require an EIA. Regulation 3 prohibits the grant of planning permission for EIA development unless the local planning authority, the Secretary of State or an inspector have first taken account of the environmental information which is before them.

Regulations 4 to 9 set out procedures for determining whether development is EIA development ("screening"). They require a "screening opinion" of the local planning authority or a "screening direction" of the Secretary of State in relation to all Schedule 2 development. Such an opinion or direction must be made by reference to the criteria in Schedule 3. Where the authority or the Secretary of State determine that development is EIA development, they must notify the applicant (or appellant) that he is required to submit an environmental statement.

The Regulations enable a person to seek an opinion from the local planning authority ("a scoping opinion") or the Secretary of State (a "scoping direction") on the information to be included in an environmental statement. The local planning authority or the Secretary of State must consult bodies with environmental before adopting a scoping opinion.

The Regulations also require the local planning authority to notify the consultation bodies of applications for planning permission which are accompanied by an environmental statement.

The 2000 amendment affects applications for mineral planning permission. It introduces amendments to the procedures for handling applications.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Agricultural Land, Building, Planning Permission, Environmental Impact Assessment

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