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The Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999

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Scoping opinions of the planning authority

10.—(1) A person who is minded to make an EIA application may ask the relevant planning authority to state in writing their opinion as to the information to be provided in the environmental statement (a “scoping opinion”).

(2) A request under paragraph (1) shall include–

(a)a plan sufficient to identify the land;

(b)a brief description of the nature and purpose of the development and of its possible effects on the environment; and

(c)such other information or representations as the person making the request may wish to provide or make.

(3) An authority receiving a request under paragraph (1) shall, if they consider that they have not been provided with sufficient information to adopt a scoping opinion, notify the person making the request of the points on which they require additional information.

(4) An authority shall not adopt a scoping opinion in response to a request under paragraph (1) until they have consulted the person who made the request and the consultation bodies, but shall, subject to paragraph (5), within five weeks beginning with the date of receipt of that request or such longer period as may be agreed in writing with the person making the request, adopt a scoping opinion and send a copy to the person who made the request.

(5) Where a person has, at the same time as making a request for a screening opinion under regulation 5(1), asked the authority for an opinion under paragraph (1) above, and the authority have adopted a screening opinion to the effect that the development is EIA development, the authority shall within five weeks beginning with the date on which that screening opinion was adopted or such longer period as may be agreed in writing with the person making the request, adopt a scoping opinion and send a copy to the person who made the request.

(6) Before adopting a scoping opinion, the authority shall take into account–

(a)the specific characteristics of the particular development;

(b)the specific characteristics of development of the type concerned; and

(c)the environmental features likely to be affected by the development.

(7) Where an authority fail to adopt a scoping opinion within the relevant period mentioned in paragraph (4) or (5), the person who requested the opinion may under regulation 11(1) ask the Scottish Ministers to make a direction as to the information to be provided in the environmental statement (a “scoping direction”).

(8) Paragraph (7) applies notwithstanding that the authority may not have received additional information which they have sought under paragraph (3).

(9) An authority which has adopted a scoping opinion in response to a request under paragraph (1) shall not be precluded from requiring of the person who made the request additional information in connection with any statement that may be submitted by that person as an environmental statement in connection with an application for planning permission for the same development as was referred to in the request.

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