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The Forestry (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017

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Requests for scoping opinions of the Commissioners

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15.—(1) An applicant may request the Commissioners to adopt a scoping opinion.

(2) A request under paragraph (1) must include—

(a)a plan sufficient to identify the land;

(b)a brief description of the nature and purpose of the forestry project and its likely effects on the environment; and

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

(3) If the Commissioners consider that they have not been provided with sufficient information to adopt a scoping opinion, they must, within the period of 28 days beginning with the date of receipt of the request under paragraph (1), notify the applicant of the points on which they require further information.

(4) The Commissioners must not adopt a scoping opinion in response to a request under paragraph (1) until they have consulted—

(a)the applicant; and

(b)the consultation bodies.

(5) Before adopting a scoping opinion, the Commissioners must take into account—

(a)the specific characteristics of the particular forestry project;

(b)the specific characteristics of forestry projects of the type concerned; and

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

(6) Subject to paragraph (7), the Commissioners must within the period of 35 days beginning with the date of receipt of a request under paragraph (1) or such longer period as may be agreed in writing with the applicant, adopt a scoping opinion and send a copy to the applicant.

(7) Where—

(a)an applicant has, at the same time as making a request for a screening opinion under regulation 12(1), made a request for an opinion under paragraph (1); and

(b)the Commissioners have adopted a screening opinion to the effect that the forestry project is an EIA forestry project,

the Commissioners must within the period of 35 days beginning with the date on which that screening opinion was adopted or such longer period as may be agreed in writing with the applicant, adopt a scoping opinion and send a copy to the applicant.

(8) Where the Commissioners fail to adopt a scoping opinion within the relevant period mentioned in paragraph (6) or (7), the person who requested the opinion may request the Scottish Ministers to make a scoping direction.

(9) Paragraph (8) applies even if the Commissioners have not received the information which they have sought under paragraph (3).

(10) Where a request has been made to the Commissioners under regulation 12(1) to adopt a screening opinion but no request has been made under paragraph (1), the Commissioners may of their own volition adopt a scoping opinion and paragraphs (3) to (6) and (11) apply in relation to such a scoping opinion as if a request had been made under paragraph (1) on the date on which the Commissioners adopt the screening opinion.

(11) Where the Commissioners have adopted a scoping opinion, in response to a request under paragraph (1), neither they nor the Scottish Ministers are precluded from requiring the applicant to submit additional information in connection with any EIA report that may be submitted by the applicant pursuant to an EIA application relating to the same forestry project.

(12) A later scoping opinion supersedes the terms of an earlier scoping opinion.

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