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The Environmental Impact Assessment and Natural Habitats (Extraction of Minerals by Marine Dredging) (England and Northern Ireland) Regulations 2007

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PART 3PRELIMINARY MATTERS

Preliminary determinations of the regulator

6.—(1) A person who proposes to carry out dredging may request the regulator’s preliminary determination as to—

(a)whether or not the dredging would constitute a relevant project; and

(b)whether or not the dredging would constitute a habitats project..

(2) Before making a preliminary determination in response to a request under paragraph (1), the regulator shall consult—

(a)the owner (if the owner is not the person requesting the determination); and

(b)the appropriate consultation bodies.

(3) The regulator may ask the person making the request under paragraph (1) to supply such further information within such specified period and in such form as may reasonably be required.

(4) If the person making the request under paragraph (1) fails to supply the information requested within the specified period, or such further period as the regulator may allow, the request shall be deemed to be withdrawn.

(5) In making a preliminary determination in response to an application under paragraph (1)(a) the regulator shall take into account such of the selection criteria as are relevant in the particular case.

(6) As soon as reasonably practicable after making a preliminary determination, the regulator shall—

(a)send a copy of it to the person making the request under paragraph (1) and to any persons consulted under paragraph (2); and

(b)take such steps as the regulator considers appropriate to ensure that it is made available to the public concerned(1).

Opinion of the regulator as to the content of the environmental statement

7.—(1) In these Regulations, “environmental statement” means a statement that includes—

(a)at least the information set out in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to these Regulations; and

(b)such of the information set out in Part 2 of that Schedule as is reasonably required to assess the environmental effects of the relevant project and which, having regard in particular to current knowledge and methods of assessment, the applicant can reasonably be required to compile;

and Schedule 1 shall have effect for these purposes.

(2) At the request of a prospective applicant, the regulator shall give an opinion as to the information to be provided by an environmental statement.

(3) Before giving an opinion, the regulator shall consult—

(a)the prospective applicant;

(b)the owner (if the owner is not the person requesting the opinion); and

(c)the appropriate consultation bodies;

as to the information to be provided by the environmental statement.

(4) The regulator shall send a copy of an opinion given under this regulation to any person who has been consulted under paragraph (3).

Provision of information to facilitate preparation of environmental statement

8.—(1) A prospective applicant may, where the proposed application requires an environmental statement, give notice of an intention to submit an application to the regulator.

(2) A notice under paragraph (1) shall include the information necessary to identify the location and nature of the dredging, and shall indicate the main environmental consequences of the dredging which will be referred to in the prospective applicant’s environmental statement.

(3) On receipt of a notice under paragraph (1), the regulator shall—

(a)notify the appropriate consultation bodies of the name and address of the prospective applicant and of the duty imposed on such consultation bodies by paragraph (4) to make information available to that person;

(b)notify the prospective applicant of the names and addresses of the bodies notified under sub-paragraph (a); and

(c)notify the prospective applicant of the name and address of each government department which may hold information which may be relevant to the preparation of the environmental statement.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), any body notified under paragraph (3)(a) or government department notified to the prospective applicant under paragraph (3)(c), or the regulator, shall, if requested to do so by the prospective applicant, determine whether or not it has in its possession any information relevant to the preparation of the environmental statement and, if it has, the body, department or the regulator shall make that information available to the prospective applicant.

(5) Paragraph (4) shall not require the disclosure of any information—

(a)to which the Environmental Information Regulations 2004(2) apply, where the person holding it would be entitled to withhold it in response to a request made in accordance with those Regulations; or

(b)which in any other case would be exempt information if a request for its disclosure were made in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000(3).

(6) A reasonable charge reflecting the cost of making the relevant information available may be made by a body or any government department (other than the regulator who is responsible for deciding the application) which makes information available in accordance with paragraph (4).

Fees for preliminary matters

9.—(1) Where a request is made under regulation 7(2), or a notice is given under regulation 8(1), the prospective applicant shall pay to the regulator the fee determined in accordance with regulation 25, but where both a request is made and a notice is given in respect of the same application, only one such fee shall be payable.

(2) The regulator shall not be obliged to carry out any action in response to the request or notice until the fee has been paid.

(1)

For “the public concerned”, see Article 1 of the EIA Directive.

(3)

2000 c. 36, see specifically Part II of that Act.

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