Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (England) (No.2) Regulations 2006

Applies to England

Title: The Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (England) (No.2) Regulations 2006

Category: England Regulations

Date: 2006

Reference: SI 2006/2522 [Full text]. Also see Guidance from Natural England

General Description:

These Regulations implement Council Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (as amended by Directive 2003/35/EC) ("the EIA Directive") in relation to two types of project in paragraph 1 of Annex II to that Directive: projects for the restructuring of rural land holdings, and projects for the use of uncultivated land and semi-natural areas for intensive agricultural purposes.

They also implement Council Directive 1992/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild flora and fauna (as last amended by the Act concerning the conditions of accession of the new Member States ("the Habitats Directive") insofar as those projects affect sites protected by that Directive.

Regulation 3 sets out the types of projects which are excluded from the scope of the Regulations. It also gives the Secretary of State the power to exclude certain projects from the scope of the Regulations in accordance with the EIA and Habitats Directives.

Regulation 4 prohibits any person from beginning or carrying out certain uncultivated land projects or restructuring projects unless that person has obtained a screening decision allowing the project to go ahead. Regulation 5 and Schedule 1 set out how to calculate the appropriate threshold for a project. Regulation 6 sets out provisions relating to the service of "screening notices" which allow Natural England to remove the application thresholds from areas of land.

Regulation 7 sets out what must be included in an application for a screening decision, and allows Natural England to ask for further information. Regulation 8 and Schedule 2 set out the factors to be taken into consideration by Natural England when it makes a screening decision, and the procedures relating to a screening decision. Schedule 2 is based on Annex III to the EIA Directive.

Regulation 9 prohibits a person from beginning or carrying out a project likely to have significant effects on the environment unless he has first obtained consent from Natural England.

Regulation 10 sets out the procedure by which Natural England can give an applicant an opinion on the scope of an environmental statement. Regulation 11 sets out the duties of consultation bodies from whom information is sought in connection with applications and scoping opinions.

Regulation 12 provides that applications for consent must include an environmental statement and sets out consultation procedures relating to the application. Regulation 13 sets out further procedures relating to any further information that is required from the applicant.

Regulations 14 and 15 set out the procedures to be followed where a significant project in England might affect another EEA State, and a significant project in another EEA State might affect England.

Regulations 16 and 17 set out the factors to be taken into consideration when Natural England makes a consent decision, including the situation where a project is likely to affect a European Site, and provide for the timing of consent decisions. Regulation 18 sets out the conditions which must be applied to a consent and Regulation 19 sets out the procedures following the consent decision.

Regulation 20 makes provision on the treatment of transborder projects.

Regulation 21 and Schedule 4 make provision for the situation where, following a decision permitting the commencement of a project, the relevant land becomes a European site.

Regulation 22 makes it an offence to begin or carry out a project without obtaining a screening decision or a consent decision (where these are required). Regulation 23 makes it an offence to breach a condition of consent. Regulation 24 makes it an offence to procure a decision by deception or the supply of false or misleading information or documents.

Regulation 25 empowers Natural England to issue stop notices. Regulation 26 makes it an offence to contravene a stop notice.

Regulation 27 empowers Natural England to issue "remediation notices" requiring a person in breach of the Regulations to return his land to the condition it was in before the breach, or to good environmental condition. Regulation 28 makes it an offence to fail to comply with a remediation notice without reasonable excuse.

Regulation 29 allows prosecutions under regulations 22, 23, 24, 26 and 28 to be brought within 6 months of the date sufficient evidence comes to the prosecutor's knowledge. But prosecutions must be brought within 2 years of the date on which the offence is committed.

Regulation 30 confers powers on persons authorised by the Secretary of State or Natural England to enforce these Regulations. Regulation 30(8) makes it an offence to obstruct an authorised person in the exercise of those powers.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Conservation, Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, uncultivated land

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