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The Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (Wales) Regulations 2017

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PART 2Screening

Requirement for a screening decision

4.—(1) A person must not commence or carry out a project on semi-natural and/or uncultivated land unless they have first obtained a screening decision permitting the project to proceed.

(2) A person must not commence or carry out a restructuring project of an extent equal to or exceeding the applicable threshold (calculated in accordance with regulation 5) unless they have first obtained a screening decision permitting the project to proceed.

Thresholds

5.—(1) This regulation provides the method for determining whether the extent of a restructuring project is equal to, or exceeds, the threshold applicable.

(2) The threshold for a type of restructuring project specified in column 1 of Schedule 1 is set out in column 2 or 3.

(3) Paragraphs (4) and (5) apply where a restructuring project consists of only one of the types of restructuring projects specified in column 1.

(4) Where a restructuring project is to be carried out wholly outside a sensitive area, the threshold applicable to it is that specified for that type of restructuring project in column 2.

(5) Where a restructuring project, or any part of it, is to be carried out in a sensitive area, the threshold applicable to it is that specified for that type of restructuring project in column 3.

(6) Where a restructuring project is made up of more than one of the types of restructuring project specified in column 1—

(a)each relevant part of the restructuring project must be assessed so as to determine the threshold applicable to that part, and

(b)if any relevant part of the restructuring project equals or exceeds the threshold applicable to that part, then the entire restructuring project is to be treated as having an extent equal to or exceeding the threshold applicable to it.

(7) In this regulation, “sensitive area” (“ardal sensitive”) means—

(a)land notified under section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981(1) as a site of special scientific interest;

(b)a property appearing on the World Heritage List kept under article 11(2) of the 1972 UNESCO Convention for the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage(2);

(c)a European site within the meaning of regulation 8 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010(3);

(d)an area of outstanding natural beauty designated as such by an Order made under section 82 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (designation of areas of outstanding natural beauty) and duly confirmed by the Welsh Ministers under section 83(3) of that Act(4);

(e)a National Park within the meaning of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949(5);

(f)a scheduled monument within the meaning of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979(6).

Application for a screening decision

6.—(1) An application for a screening decision must—

(a)be made to the Welsh Ministers;

(b)contain a plan sufficient to identify the relevant land;

(c)contain a brief description of the nature, extent and purpose of the project and of its possible effects on the environment;

(d)contain any other information or representation as the applicant may wish to provide or make, such as a description of any features of the project and/or measures envisaged to avoid or prevent what might otherwise have been significant adverse effects on the environment.

(2) If the Welsh Ministers consider that they do not have sufficient information to make a screening decision, they may ask the applicant to supply any additional information they require.

(3) The Welsh Ministers must notify the applicant of the date on which they receive the application for a screening decision.

The screening decision

7.—(1) The Welsh Ministers must, in accordance with paragraph (2) and the selection criteria in Schedule 2, decide whether a project, or part of it, is a significant project.

(2) If the Welsh Ministers decide that a project, or part of it, is likely to have significant effects on a European site, alone or in conjunction with other projects, and the project is not directly connected with, or necessary for, the management of the site, the project is to be treated as being a significant project.

(3) Before making a screening decision the Welsh Ministers may consult any of the consultation bodies.

(4) The Welsh Ministers must make a screening decision within 35 days of—

(a)the date in regulation 6(3); or

(b)the date on which the Welsh Ministers receive any additional information they have requested under regulation 6(2),

whichever is the latest.

(5) The period in paragraph (4) may be extended with the agreement of the applicant.

(6) After making a screening decision the Welsh Ministers must—

(a)notify the applicant of it within the period applicable under paragraph (4), with reasons;

(b)enter it in a register, to which the public must have access at all reasonable times; and

(c)notify any of the consultation bodies they consider might wish to be informed of the screening decision.

(7) If the Welsh Ministers have failed to make or notify a screening decision within the period in paragraph (4), the applicant may notify the Welsh Ministers that they intend to treat that failure as a decision that the project is a significant project.

(8) Where the applicant has notified the Welsh Ministers in accordance with paragraph (6), the Welsh Ministers are deemed to have decided that the project is a significant project on the date of that notification.

(9) If, after the Welsh Ministers have made, or are deemed to have made, a decision that the project is a significant project—

(a)the Welsh Ministers receive additional information or representations; and

(b)as a result of the information or representations the Welsh Ministers decide that the project is not a significant project,

the Welsh Ministers must take all steps listed in paragraph (6) in respect of that decision.

(10) The screening decision will cease to have effect if the project to which it relates is not commenced within a period of 3 years from the date on which the screening decision—

(a)was notified to the applicant; or

(b)was deemed to have been taken under paragraph (7).

(1)

1981 c. 69. As amended by paragraph 79 of Schedule 11 to the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (c. 16) and paragraph 172 of Schedule 2 to the Natural Resources Body for Wales (Functions) Order 2013 (S.I. 2013/755 (W. 90)).

(2)

See Command Paper 9424.

(4)

2000 c. 37. Orders designating areas of outstanding natural beauty made before the coming into force of section 82 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 are treated as having been made under section 82 by virtue of paragraph 16 of Schedule 15 to that Act.

(5)

1949 c. 97. Relevant amendments were made by the Environment Act 1995 (c. 25), Schedule 10, paragraph 2, the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (c. 16), Part 5, section 59(1) and Schedule 11 paragraph 10(a) and the Natural Resources Body for Wales (Functions) Order 2013 (S.I. 2013/755 (W. 90)), Schedule 2, paragraph 16.

(6)

1979.c. 46, section 1(11).

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