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

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PART 4Preparation of Environmental Statements

Scoping opinions of the local planning authority

13.—(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)in relation to an application for planning permission—

(i)a plan sufficient to identify the land;

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

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

(b)in relation to a subsequent application—

(i)a plan sufficient to identify the land;

(ii)sufficient information to enable the relevant planning authority to identify any planning permission granted for the development in respect of which a subsequent application has been made;

(iii)an explanation of the possible effects on the environment which were not identified at the time planning permission was granted; and

(iv)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 5 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 5 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 14(1) ask the Secretary of State 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 have 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 or a subsequent application for the same development as was referred to in the request.

Scoping directions of the Secretary of State

14.—(1) A request made under this paragraph pursuant to regulation 13(7) shall include—

(a)a copy of the request to the relevant planning authority under regulation 13(1);

(b)a copy of any relevant notification under regulation 13(3) and of any response;

(c)a copy of any relevant screening opinion received by the person making the request and of any accompanying statement of reasons; and

(d)any representations that the person making the request wishes to make.

(2) A person making a request under paragraph (1) shall send to the relevant planning authority a copy of that request, but that copy need not include the matters mentioned in sub-paragraphs (a) to (c) of that paragraph.

(3) If the Secretary of State considers that the information provided pursuant to paragraph (1) is insufficient to make a scoping direction, the Secretary of State shall give notice in writing to the person making the request of any points on which additional information is required; and may request the relevant planning authority to provide such information as they can on any of those points.

(4) The Secretary of State—

(a)shall consult the person making the request and the consultation bodies before making a scoping direction in response to a request under paragraph (1), and

(b)within 5 weeks beginning with the date of receipt of that request or such longer period as may be reasonably required, make a direction and send a copy to the person who made the request and to the relevant planning authority.

(5) Before making a scoping direction the Secretary of State shall take into account the matters specified in regulation 13(6).

(6) Neither the Secretary of State who has made a scoping direction in response to a request under paragraph (1) nor the relevant planning authority shall 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 or a subsequent application for the same development as was referred to in the request.

Procedure to facilitate preparation of environmental statements

15.—(1) Any person who intends to submit an environmental statement to the relevant planning authority or the Secretary of State under these Regulations may give notice in writing to that authority or the Secretary of State under this paragraph.

(2) A notice under paragraph (1) shall include the information necessary to identify the land and the nature and purpose of the development, and shall indicate the main environmental consequences to which the person giving the notice proposes to refer in his environmental statement.

(3) The recipient of—

(a)such notice as is mentioned in paragraph (1); or

(b)a written statement made pursuant to regulation 10(4)(a), or 11(5) or 12(6)

shall—

(i)notify the consultation bodies in writing of the name and address of the person who intends to submit an environmental statement and of the duty imposed on the consultation bodies by paragraph (4) to make information available to that person; and

(ii)inform in writing the person who intends to submit an environmental statement of the names and addresses of the bodies so notified.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), the relevant planning authority and any body notified in accordance with paragraph (3) shall, if requested by the person who intends to submit an environmental statement, enter into consultation with that person to determine whether the authority or body has in its possession any information which that person or they consider relevant to the preparation of the environmental statement and, if they have, the authority or body shall make that information available to that person.

(5) A planning authority or other body which receives a request for information under paragraph (4) shall treat it as a request for information under regulation 5(1) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004(1).

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