The EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (‘the EIA Directive’) is applied across the European Union (EU) to development projects with likely significant effects on the environment (by virtue of their nature, size or location). The Directive requires such projects to be subject to an assessment of those effects before development consent can be given.
In 2014 Directive 2014/52/EU amended the EIA Directive (2011/92/EU) to: reduce the burden on developers, by aiming for: fewer projects being subject to assessment; and reductions in the size and cost of environmental statements; and where assessments are required. The focus should now be on those environmental factors that are significantly affected and not any potential impact. The UK Government now needs to make amendments to domestic regulations to implement these changes by 16 May 2017.
This is a joint consultation by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in England, the Welsh and Scottish Governments and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland. This consultation concerns amendments to domestic legislation on Environmental Impact Assessment for forestry, agriculture, water resources, land drainage, fin-fish farming in marine waters and marine works.
Why We Are Consulting
We are seeking views on amendments to domestic EIA legislation. Our consultation focuses on those areas where we have discretion over how domestic legislation will be changed. The consultation document also includes information about the other changes (where we have no discretion). In these cases, we will simply copy out new requirements them from the EU Directive. As we have no discretion on how we implement those changes, we have not asked for views.
In addition, we welcome evidence about the extra costs to business from these changes, and whether the changes could be made in a way that would involve a lower cost to business while ensuring equal environmental protection.