New EIA Regulations become UK law

This week changes to all 22 of the UKs Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations become law, implementing the 2014 amendment to the EIA Directive.

Background of the regulations

The Town & Country Planning EIA Regulations 2017 is the main land-based development consenting regime for implementing the new requirements, with the Infrastructure Planning EIA Regulations 2017 applicable to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). Relating specifically to the Water Environment are the EIA Land Drainage Improvement Works Regulations 2017 and the Marine Works EIA Regulations 2017, both of which are amendment regulations.

The recent updates

The 2017 EIA Regulations set out more stringent procedural requirements to be taken by the relevant planning authority. These are to be used when considering whether planning permission or subsequent consent should be granted for EIA development.

This includes consideration that the Environmental Statement (ES) report is:

  • Up to date
  • Addresses the likely significant effects on the environment
  • Considers whether it is appropriate to impose post-development monitoring measures.

Where applicable, there is now a requirement that EIA is coordinated with the Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA).

The new regulations also bring about

  • Changes to the timing, requirements and weighting of screening & scoping opinions
  • New environmental assessment topics (human health, hydromorphology, risk of/vulnerability to accidents/disasters, emissions of greenhouse gases, and climate change adaptation)
  • Greater emphasis on selecting environmental alternatives and mitigation at all stages of EIA
  • Stronger commitment to the delivery of post-consent mitigation and monitoring
  • A requirement that competent experts undertake EIA.

EIA’s as a whole

Environmental Impact Assessments play an important role in informing the planning and design of your development project, so that potential significant environmental effects are addressed early on.

Our EIA experts can help you by coordinating EIA to ensure it aligns with the projects planning and design requirements, giving you the reassurance you need.

Want to know more?

Our Senior EIA Consultant, Mark Cope, can provide specific advice on how the new regulations will affect your project.

You can also visit our Environment section for more information.


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