Environment Agency guidance for planning applications
Environment Agency guidance for planning applications

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environment Agency guidance for planning applications
  • Introduction
  • Pre-application enquiries
  • EA's guide for developers
  • Environmental issues in planning applications

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—the implications for English and Welsh planning law and practice or visit the Planning area of the Brexit toolkit.


Environmental considerations can be critical in determining the success of planning applications. The Environment Agency (EA) has powers to engage in the planning application process as a planning consultee, providing information and advice where decisions of local planning authorities (LPAs) are conducive to the EA’s functions.

The EA provides advice in relation to proposed development and other issues related to its responsibilities including:

  1. flooding

  2. waste

  3. land contamination

  4. pollution

  5. water quality

  6. foul drainage

  7. biodiversity

  8. navigation, and

  9. environmental impact assessment

The EA section of the government's website also contains a wide range of guidance which can assist developers in ensuring that environmental considerations are dealt with adequately in the application.

Pre-application enquiries

Free pre-application advice for developers

The EA offers free pre-application advice to developers about a proposed development, or change of use, for a specific plot of land.

There is an online pre-application enquiry form, to ensure that applicants provide all of the