Implications of the revised EIA screening thresholds

Ruth Jones, environmental consultant at Campbell Reith, examines the pros and cons of recent changes to the EIA screening process.

EIA has been formally established in the UK since 1988, however the framework allows for flexibility and adaptation, resulting in changes to legislation. This article summarises recent amendments to the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011 (EIA Regulations) and examines the benefits and disadvantages of increasing the thresholds to the screening process in project development. 

Overview of EIA and schedule two thresholds

EIA is a systematic process used to identify, predict and evaluate the significant environmental effects of proposed actions. There are three stages to an EIA; screening, scoping and the environmental statement (ES). The changes examined in this article concern screening, which determines whether an EIA is required in the first place.

Proposed development either falls with schedule one or two of the EIA regulations. Developments under schedule are required to go through EIA. EIA is only needed for developments under schedule two if the nature, scale and location meet certain criteria. It is the responsibility of the local planning authority (LPA) to establish whether a project ...

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