Environmental impact assessment—screening and scoping

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environmental impact assessment—screening and scoping
  • Key legislation and Brexit implications
  • Stages of EIA
  • Deciding what the project is for EIA purposes and salami slicing
  • Screening
  • Circumstances in which screening decision must be taken
  • Procedure for requesting a screening opinion from the LPA
  • Requesting a screening direction from the SoS/Welsh Ministers
  • Decision whether EIA is required
  • Schedule 2 development in sensitive areas
  • More...

Environmental impact assessment—screening and scoping

Key legislation and Brexit implications

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) aims to protect the environment by ensuring that a local planning authority (LPA), in deciding whether to grant planning permission for a project which is likely to have significant effects on the environment, takes into account those likely significant effects in the decision-making process.

Archived Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (the Archived EIA Directive), as it had effect immediately before 11 pm on 31 December 2020, is implemented from 16 May 2017 onwards by:

  1. the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 (English EIA Regulations), SI 2017/571 in England, and

  2. the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Wales) Regulations 2017 (Welsh EIA Regulations), SI 2017/567 in Wales

together the 'EIA Regulations'.

Derived from EU law, the EIA Regulations were made pursuant to the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA 1972), which was repealed from 31 January 2020 (Exit Day) by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018). However, the repeal of ECA 1972 was subject to specific savings provisions in the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, to allow for the operation of the implementation

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