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Environmental Impact Assessment

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required for certain developments. The process enables planners to take into account the environmental implications of a development before a planning decision is reached. The public have the right to comment and participate in the process.

The procedure for Environmental Impact Assessments was established in European Union law: Council Directive 85/337/EEC. The original 1985 Directive has been amended several times, and the most up-to-date version is the codified version: Directive 2011/92/EU.

The directive has been implemented in England and Wales through the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011.

Developments that require an Environmental Impact Assessment

All projects listed in Schedule 1 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011 (as amended)
These are major projects and include crude oil refineries (excluding those set up solely for the manufacturing crude oil lubricants), thermal power stations of more than a heat output of 300 megawatts, nuclear stations, motorways, integrated chemical installation plants, radioactive waste installations, railway lines and ports.
Schedule 2 projects

A screening process is used to determine if a Schedule 2 project requires an Environmental Impact Assessment. A project will require one, if it is likely to have significant effects on the environment due to its size, nature or location. Examples include sites that are located in an ancient monument, golf courses, retail parks, holiday resorts and thermal power stations with a heat output of less than 300 megawatts.

Legislation

Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (the EIA Directive, codified version)

England and Wales regulation

The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011

The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2015

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