Section 8 – Exemptions: screening
27.Certain plans and programmes as listed in section 8(1) require to undergo a formal screening process to establish whether or not they should be subject to a full environmental assessment. It applies to plans or programmes referred to in section 5(3) which determine the use of small areas at local levels, a minor modification of a plan or programme referred to in section 5(3), a plan or programme described in section 5(3)(c); or a plan referred to in section 5(4) which a responsible authority has decided is not exempt under section 7(1).
28.Section 8(3) provides that the criteria in schedule 2 of the Act have to be applied when making a determination under section 8(1). Where the determination is that the plan or programme is unlikely to have significant environmental effects, then it is exempt from the requirements of the Act (section 8(2)). Reasons must be given for reaching that determination, and those must state how the criteria in schedule 2 were applied to reach that determination.