Environmental impact assessments and Development Consent Orders
Environmental impact assessments and Development Consent Orders

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

  • Environmental impact assessments and Development Consent Orders
  • Legislation and guidance
  • What is EIA development?
  • Environmental statement (ES)
  • Preliminary Environmental Information (PEI)
  • Pre-application consultation
  • Notification of the EIA consultation bodies
  • What must be included with the DCO application?
  • Good practice
  • Brexit and EIA

For an overview of how the UK’s proposed withdrawal from the EU (Brexit) will impact the environmental impact assessment (EIA) regime, see Brexit and EIA.

The Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008) sets out a development consent regime for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) in the fields of energy, transport, water, waste water, and waste.

Applications for development consent orders (DCOs) are decided in accordance with National Policy Statements (NPSs), which set out the national policy in relation to NSIPs. See Practice Notes: Permission for nationally significant infrastructure projects and National Policy Statements.

EIA is a process whereby a project's likely significant environmental effects are assessed and given due weight in the process of determining whether development consent should be granted. It ensures environmental impacts are given due weight, along with economic or social factors, and allows the public to participate in environmental decision-making procedures. EIA is required in certain circumstances in the DCO process in order to discharge the duty under EU Directive 2011/92/EU of 13 December 2011 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

Legislation and guidance

The Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017, SI 2017/572 (the EIA Regulations) set out the procedures for determining whether a proposed development requires the applicant to undertake an EIA, and the EIA process that must be followed.

The