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Roads (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999

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Amendment of the Roads (Northern Ireland) Order 1993

2.  For Part V of the Roads (Northern Ireland) Order 1993(1) there shall be substituted the following—

PART VEnvironmental Impact Assessment

Environmental impact assessment

67.(1) In this Part—

“the Directive” means Council Directive No. 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, as amended by Council Directive No. 97/11/EC;

“Annex” means an Annex to the Directive;

“relevant project” means a project for constructing or improving a road where the area of the proposed works—

(a)

exceeds 1 hectare; or

(b)

is situated in whole or in part in a sensitive area.

(2) In paragraph (1) in the definition of “relevant project”—

  • “area of the proposed works” includes any area occupied by apparatus, equipment, machinery, materials, plant, spoil heaps or other facilities or stores required for construction or installation; and

  • “sensitive area” means any of the following—

    (a)

    an area of special scientific interest, that is to say, land so declared under Article 24 of the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985(2));

    (b)

    an area of outstanding natural beauty, that is to say, an area so designated under Article 14(1) of the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985;

    (c)

    a National Park, that is to say, an area so designated under Article 12(1) of the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985;

    (d)

    a World Heritage Site(3);

    (e)

    a scheduled monument within the meaning of the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (Northern Ireland) Order 1995(4);

    (f)

    a European site within the meaning of regulation 9 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995(5).

(3) If the Department is considering a project for constructing or improving a road the Department must, before details of the project are published, determine whether or not the project falls within Annex I or II.

(4) If the Department—

(a)considers that the project falls within Annex I; or

(b)considers that the project is a relevant project falling within Annex II and determines, having regard to the selection criteria contained in Annex III, that the project should be made subject to an environmental impact assessment in accordance with the Directive,

it must, not later than the date when details of the project are published, publish an environmental statement.

(5) To the extent to which the Department considers—

(a)that it is relevant to the specific characteristics of the project and of the environmental features likely to be affected by it; and

(b)that the information may reasonably be gathered (having regard among other matters to current knowledge and methods of assessment),

the environmental statement must contain the information referred to in Annex IV.

(6) That information must include at least—

(a)a description of the project (comprising information on the site, design and size of the project);

(b)a description of the measures envisaged in order to avoid, reduce and, if possible, remedy significant adverse effects;

(c)the data required to identify and assess the main effects which the project is likely to have on the environment;

(d)an outline of the main alternatives studied by the Department and an indication of the main reason for its choice (taking into account the environmental effects); and

(e)a non-technical summary of the information mentioned in sub-paragraphs (a) to (d).

Procedure

67A.(1) The Department must publish any determination made by it as to whether or not a relevant project should be made subject to an environmental impact assessment in accordance with the Directive.

(2) Any project for the construction or improvement of a special road which falls within Annex II is to be treated as having characteristics that require it to be made subject to an environmental impact assessment.

(3) An environmental statement must be published so as to ensure that members of the public who are likely to be concerned are given a reasonable opportunity to express their opinion before the Department decides whether to proceed with the construction or improvement to which the assessment relates.

(4) The Department must ensure that the consultation bodies are given an opportunity to express an opinion on the published details of the project and the environmental statement before the Department decides whether to proceed with the construction or improvement to which the assessment relates.

(5) After considering any opinions which have been expressed in relation to the statement the Department shall cause a local inquiry to be held if it appears to the Department to be necessary to do so.

(6) Where a local inquiry is held any interested person shall be permitted to appear in person or by a representative and to be heard at the inquiry.

(7) Before deciding whether to proceed with the construction or improvement in relation to which an environmental impact assessment has been made, the Department must take into consideration—

(a)the environmental statement;

(b)any opinion on that statement expressed by a member of the public, by any of the consultation bodies or by any Member State consulted under Article 67B; and

(c)where a local inquiry is held, the report of the person who held the inquiry.

(8) When the Department has decided whether to proceed with the construction or improvement for which an environmental impact assessment has been made, it must publish its decision together with a statement confirming that it has complied with paragraph (7) and must make available to the public documents containing—

(a)the content of the decision and any conditions attached to it;

(b)the main reasons and considerations on which the decision is based; and

(c)where the decision is to proceed with the construction or improvement, a description of the main measures to avoid, reduce and, if possible, offset the major adverse effects of the project.

(9) Publication by the Department in accordance with paragraphs (1), (3) and (8) shall be in the Belfast Gazette and in at least one newspaper circulating in the area in which the project for the construction or improvement of the road is situated.

(10) In this Article “the consultation bodies” means—

(a)any district council for the area in which the project for the construction or improvement of the road is situated; and

(b)other authorities likely to be concerned by the project by reason of their specific environmental responsibilities.

Other Member States

67B.(1) This Article applies if—

(a)it appears to the Department that a project to which Article 67(4) applies is likely to have a significant effect on the environment in another Member State; or

(b)a Member State the environment of which is likely to be significantly affected by such a project asks the Department for information about the project.

(2) The Department must give the Member State—

(a)a description of the project, together with any information available to the Department which suggests that the project may have a significant effect on the environment in the Member State;

(b)any information which the Department has as to the nature of the decision which may be taken on the project;

(c)information about the environmental impact assessment procedure (if the Department considers it appropriate); and

(d)a reasonable period within which to indicate whether the Member State wishes to participate in that procedure.

(3) Paragraph (2)(a) and (b) must be complied with no later than the date of publication referred to in Article 67A(1).

(4) If the Member State indicates that it wishes to participate in the environmental impact assessment procedure, the Department must give to the Member State—

(a)a copy of the environmental statement for the project (if it has not already done so); and

(b)any information about the environmental impact assessment procedure which it considers appropriate to give and which it has not already given to the Member State.

(5) The Department must—

(a)arrange for the information which it has given to the Member State to be made available, within a reasonable time, to—

(i)the authorities referred to in Article 6(1) of the Directive; and

(ii)members of the public in the Member State who are likely to be concerned; and

(b)ensure that those authorities and members of the public who are likely to be concerned are given a reasonable opportunity to give the Department their views before it decides whether to proceed with the project to which the environmental impact assessment relates.

(6) The Department must, in accordance with Article 7(4) of the Directive—

(a)enter into consultations with the Member State concerned regarding, among other matters, the potential significant effects of the project on the environment of that Member State and the measures envisaged to reduce or eliminate those effects; and

(b)agree with that Member State a reasonable period for those consultations.

(7) Where a Member State has been consulted in accordance with paragraph (6) and the Department has decided whether to proceed with the construction or improvement for which an environmental impact assessment has been made it must inform the Member State of the decision and must give it documents containing the matters referred to in Article 67A(8).

Application

67C.  This Part shall not apply to projects where an environmental statement or the details of the project were published before the coming into operation of the Roads (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999..

(1)

S.I. 1993/3160 (N.I. 15) as amended by S.R. 1994 No. 316

(2)

S.I. 1985/170 (N.I. 1) as amended by S.I. 1989/492 (N.I. 3)

(3)

A World Heritage Site identified under the 1972 UNESCO World Convention. See Command Paper 9424

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