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The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations consolidate with amendments the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 (“the 1999 Regulations”) and subsequent amending instruments. The 1999 Regulations consolidated and updated earlier instruments which implemented the Council Directive on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment(1)

These Regulations include provisions in relation to projects serving national defence purposes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but apart from those provisions these Regulations apply in relation to England only. They also include provisions regarding the application of these Regulations to the Crown, which are similar to the provisions in article 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Application of Subordinate Legislation to the Crown) Order 2006 (“the 2006 Order”), which modified the 1999 Regulations. Article 22 of the 2006 Order is consequently revoked.

The main changes to the 1999 Regulations are:

  • a limitation to the requirement for subsequent applications to be subject to the screening process to those cases where the development in question is likely to have significant effects on the environment which were not identified at the time that the initial planning permission was granted (regulation 8).

  • a requirement for the reasons for negative screening decisions to be provided in writing and placed on Part 1 of the Register, to be available for public inspection (regulation 4(5) and (7)).

  • an amendment to clarify that any person may ask the Secretary of State to exercise the power of direction (regulation 4(8)).

  • the inclusion of sites for the geological storage of carbon dioxide in Schedule 1(22) and installations for the capture of carbon dioxide streams for the purposes of geological storage in Schedule 2(3)(j). These amendments are required by the Directive on the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Directive 2009/31/EC).

  • an amendment to the provisions relating to changes or extensions to existing development, so that the effects of the development as a whole once modified are considered (Schedule 2(13)).

Regulation 64 requires the Secretary of State to review the operation and effect of these Regulations and lay a report before Parliament within 5 years after they come into force and within every 5 years after that. Following a review it will fall to the Secretary of state to consider whether the Regulations should remain as they are, or be revoked or amended. A further instrument would be needed to revoke the Regulations or to amend them.

There are transitional provisions (regulation 65) and consequential amendments to a number of instruments (regulation 66 and Schedule 6).

A full impact assessment of the effect that this instrument will have on the costs of business, charities and the voluntary sector has been placed in the Library of each House of Parliament and copies may be obtained from the Planning Directorate, the Department for Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU or http://www.communities.gsi.gov.uk.

(1)

O.J. No. L 175, 5.7.1985, p. 40. Council Directive 85/337/EEC was amended by Council Directive 97/11/EC, O.J. No. L 73, 14.3.1997, p.5; Directive 2003/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, O.J. No. L 156, 25.6.2003, p.17; and Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, O.J. No. L 140, 5.6.2009, p. 114.

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