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[F1PART VN.I.Environmental Impact Assessment

Environmental impact assessmentN.I.

67.(1) In this Part—

  • F2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • “Annex” means an Annex to the Directive;

  • [F3“the Directive” means Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council;]

  • EEA State” means a Member State, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein;

  • [F4EIA report” means an environmental impact assessment report prepared in accordance with paragraphs (5) and (6);]

  • [F4“environmental impact assessment” means a process consisting of—

    (a)

    the preparation of an EIA report by the Department;

    (b)

    the carrying out of any consultation, publication and notification required by Article 67A and, where relevant, Article 67B;

    (c)

    the examination by the Department of the environmental information;

    (d)

    the reasoned conclusion by the Department on the significant effects of the project on the environment, taking into account the results of the examination referred to in paragraph (c) and, where appropriate, its own supplementary examination; and

    (e)

    the integration of that reasoned conclusion into the decision as to whether to proceed with the project;]

  • [F4“environmental information” means—

    (a)

    the EIA report;

    (b)

    any supplementary information obtained under paragraph (7);

    (c)

    any relevant information, including representations, received through the consultation required by Article 67A and, where relevant, Article 67B; and

    (d)

    any representations duly made by any other person about the environmental effects of the project;]

  • [F4“Habitats Regulation Assessment” means an assessment under regulation 43 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995;]

  • [F4“improvement”, in relation to a road, has the meaning given by Article 43;]

  • member of the public” includes any body of persons;

  • [F5“project” means a project for the construction of a new road or for the carrying out of works for the improvement of a road;]

  • [F5“public concerned” has the same meaning as it has in Article 1 (2) of the Directive;]

  • “relevant project” means a project for constructing or improving a road where the area of the proposed works—

    (a)

    exceeds 1 hectare; or

    (b)

    is situated in whole or in part in a sensitive area.

  • [F6“Union legislation” means any enactment in the domestic law of Northern Ireland giving effect to an EU obligation.]

(2) In paragraph (1) in the definition of “relevant project”

  • “area of the proposed works” includes any area occupied by apparatus, equipment, machinery, materials, plant, spoil heaps or other facilities or stores required for construction or installation; and

  • “sensitive area” means any of the following—

    (a)

    an area of special scientific interest, that is to say, land so declared under [F7Article 28 of the Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002] ;

    (b)

    an area of outstanding natural beauty, that is to say, an area so designated under Article 14(1) of the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985;

    (c)

    a National Park, that is to say, an area so designated under Article 12(1) of the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985;

    (d)

    [F8a 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,]

    (e)

    a scheduled monument within the meaning of the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;

    (f)

    a European site within the meaning of regulation 9 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995[F9;]

    (g)

    [F10a marine conservation zone, that is to say, an area of sea so designated under section 13 of the Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013.]

(3) If the Department is considering a project for constructing or improving a road the Department must, before details of the project are published, determine whether or not the project falls within Annex I or II.

[F11(4) The Department may direct that this Part does not apply in relation to a particular proposed project specified in the direction either—

(a)in accordance with Article 2(4) of the Directive; or

(b)if the project comprises or forms part of a project having the response to civil emergencies as its sole purpose, and in the opinion of the Department compliance with this Part would have an adverse effect on that purpose.

(4A) Where the Department gives a direction under paragraph (4) (a), it must—

(a)make available to the public by general and local advertisement the information considered in making the direction and the reasons for making the direction;

(b)consider whether another form of assessment would be appropriate;

(c)make available to the public any information obtained under that other form of assessment;

(d)inform the Commission, prior to granting consent, of the reasons justifying the exemption granted, and provide it with the information referred to in (4A)(a) and (c).

(4B) Subject to paragraph (4), where the Department determines that a project—

(a)falls within Annex I; or

(b)is a relevant project falling within Annex II and determines that the project should be subject to an environmental impact assessment,

it must prepare an EIA report.

(4C) Where the Department has to make a determination under paragraph (4B) (b) as to whether a relevant project falling within Annex II should be subject to an environmental impact assessment, it must take into account in making that determination—

(a)the information compiled by the Department on the characteristics of the project and its likely significant effects on the environment, including the information specified in Annex IIA;

(b)such of the selection criteria set out in Annex III as are relevant to the project; and

(c)where relevant, the available results of other environmental assessments of the effects of the project carried out pursuant to Union legislation other than legislation implementing the requirements of the Directive.

(4D) Where the Department makes a determination under paragraph (3) or (4B), it must make that determination available to the public in accordance with paragraph (4E), and the determination must—

(a)state the main reasons for the determination, with reference to the relevant criteria set out in Annex III; and

(b)where the determination is to the effect that the project should not be subject to an environmental impact assessment, state any features of the project and measures envisaged to avoid or prevent what otherwise might have been significant adverse effects on the environment.

(4E) The Department must make available to the public the determination, including any accompanying statement of reasons, on a website used by the Department for the purpose of giving information to the public about projects.]

[F12(5) An EIA report prepared by the Department must include at least—

(a)a description of the project comprising information on the site, design, size and other relevant features of the project;

(b)a description of the likely significant effects of the project on the environment;

(c)a description of the features of the project and measures envisaged in order to avoid, prevent or reduce and, if possible, offset likely significant adverse effects on the environment;

(d)a description of the reasonable alternatives studied by the Department which are relevant to the project and its specific characteristics, and an indication of the main reasons for the option chosen, taking into account the effects of the project on the environment;

(e)a non-technical summary of the information referred to in sub-paragraphs (a) to (d); and

(f)any additional information specified in Annex IV relevant to the specific characteristics of the particular project or type of project and to the environmental features likely to be affected.

(6) The EIA report referred to in paragraph (5) must—

(a)be prepared by competent experts in order to ensure the completeness and quality of the EIA report;

(b)contain a statement by the Department setting out how sub-paragraph (6)(a) has been complied with;

(c)include the information reasonably required for reaching a reasoned conclusion on the significant effects of the project on the environment, taking into account current knowledge and methods of assessment; and

(d)with a view to avoiding duplication of assessments, be prepared taking into account the available results of other relevant assessments under Union legislation or other legislation applicable in Northern Ireland.

(7) In order to ensure the completeness and quality of the EIA report, the Department must where necessary obtain supplementary information about any matter referred to in paragraph (5) which is directly relevant to reaching a reasoned conclusion on the significant effects of the project on the environment.

(8) Where, in relation to a proposed project, an environmental impact assessment is to be carried out under this Part, the assessment must identify, describe and assess in an appropriate manner, in light of each individual case, the direct and indirect significant effects of the project on the following factors—

(a)population and human health;

(b)biodiversity, with particular attention to species and habitats protected under Directive 92/43/EEC and Directive 2009/147/EC;

(c)land, soil, water, air and climate;

(d)material assets, cultural heritage and the landscape; and

(e)the interaction between the factors referred to in sub-paragraphs (a) to (d).

(9) The significant effects to be identified, described and assessed under paragraph (8) include—

(a)the operational effects of the project, where the project will have operational effects; and

(b)the expected effects deriving from the vulnerability of the project to risks of major accidents or disasters, so far as relevant to the project.

(10) The Department must ensure that it has, or has access as necessary to, sufficient expertise to examine the EIA report.

(11) Where, in relation to a project, there is, in addition to a requirement for an environmental impact assessment to be carried out under this Part, a requirement to carry out a Habitats Regulation Assessment, the Department must, where appropriate, ensure that the Habitats Regulation Assessment and the environmental impact assessment are co-ordinated.]

F2Art. 67(1): definition of "the Directive" omitted (10.9.2007) by virtue of Roads (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 (S.R. 2007/346), reg. 2(2)(a)(i) (with reg. 3)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

ProcedureN.I.

67A.F13(1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(2) F14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F15(3) Where, in relation to a proposed project, the Department has prepared an EIA report, it shall publish, in accordance with paragraph (9), notice of the report so as to ensure that the public concerned and the consultation bodies are given a reasonable opportunity to express their opinion before the Department decides whether to proceed with the project.]

[F16(3A) The notice must state—

(a)that the Department is considering [F17proceeding with] the project;

(b)the proposed location and nature of the project;

(c)that the project is subject to the environmental impact assessment procedure required by this Part and, where relevant, that Article 67B applies;

(d)that a copy of the [F18EIA report] may be inspected at an address in the area in which the project is proposed to be situated during the period specified under sub-paragraph (i);

(e)the times at which the copy of the [F18EIA report] may be so inspected;

(f)an address from which copies of the [F18EIA report] may be obtained and from which further information about the project may be requested during the period specified under sub-paragraph (i);

(g)if a charge is to be made for a copy of the [F18EIA report] , the amount of the charge;

[F19(h)that a copy of the EIA report and a non-technical summary of the report may be inspected on a website used by the Department for the purpose of giving information to the public about the project during the period specified under sub-paragraph (i), and the address of the website;]

[F20(ha)an indication of the availability of other information gathered in the development of the EIA report;]

(i)that any person wishing to make any representations about the project and the [F21EIA report] may do so in writing to the Department at a specified address within a specified period, being not less than 6 weeks from the date of publication of the notice; and

(j)that the Department will take into consideration any representations so made before deciding whether or not to proceed with the project with or without modifications.

(3B) The Department shall ensure that during the period specified under sub-paragraph (3A)(i)—

(a)copies of the [F22EIA report and supplementary information, as referred to in Article 67(7), used in reaching the decision] are available for inspection by any person free of charge at all reasonable hours at the address [F23specified under] sub-paragraph (3A)(d);

(b)copies of the [F24EIA report] are available to be obtained by any person from the address [F25specified under] sub-paragraph (3A)(f); and

[F26(c)a copy of the EIA report and a non-technical summary of the report are available for inspection by members of the public on the website referred to in paragraph (3A)(h).]

(3C) A reasonable charge reflecting the costs of printing, copying and distribution may be made by the Department for the supply of a copy of the [F27EIA report]

(a)to a person, other than a consultation body; or

(b)to a consultation body to which one copy has already been supplied free of charge.]

(4) The Department must ensure that the consultation bodies are given an opportunity to express an opinion on the F28. . . project and the [F29EIA report] before the Department decides whether to proceed with the construction or improvement to which the assessment relates.

(5) After considering any opinions which have been expressed in relation to the [F30EIA report] the Department shall cause a local inquiry to be held if it appears to the Department to be necessary to do so.

(6) Where a local inquiry is held any interested person shall be permitted to appear in person or by a representative and to be heard at the inquiry.

[F31(6A) Having considered the report of the person who held the inquiry, the Department will publish the report on its website.]

[F32(7) When deciding whether to proceed with a project the Department must—

(a)examine the environmental information;

(b)where a local inquiry is held under paragraph (5) consider the report of the person who held the inquiry;

(c)reach a reasoned conclusion on the significant effects of the project on the environment, taking into account the results of the examination referred to in sub-paragraph (a) and, where appropriate, its own supplementary examination;

(d)integrate that reasoned conclusion into the decision as to whether to proceed with the project; and

(e)if the decision is to proceed with the project, consider whether it is appropriate to implement monitoring measures.

(7A) The reasoned conclusion referred to in paragraph (7) must be up to date at the time that the decision as to whether to proceed with the project is taken.

(7B) The decision of the Department must—

(a)if the decision is to proceed with the project, incorporate—

(i)the reasoned conclusion referred to in paragraph (7)(c);

(ii)any conditions to which the decision is subject which relate to the likely significant effects of the project on the environment;

(iii)a description of any features of the project and any measures envisaged in order to avoid, prevent or reduce and, if possible, offset likely significant adverse effects on the environment; and

(iv)any monitoring measures considered appropriate by the Department; or

(b)if the decision is not to proceed with the project, state the main reasons for this decision.

(7C) When considering whether to implement a monitoring measure under paragraph (7)(e), the Department must—

(a)ensure that the type of parameters to be monitored and the duration of the monitoring are proportionate to the nature, locations and size of the proposed project and the significance of its effects on the environment;

(b)in order to avoid duplication of monitoring, consider whether monitoring arrangements required under Union legislation (other than legislation implementing the requirements of the Directive) or other legislation applicable in Northern Ireland are more appropriate than implementing a monitoring measure; and

(c)if monitoring is considered appropriate, consider whether provision should be made for potential remedial action.

(7D) Where mitigation measures or monitoring measures are required, the Department must take steps to ensure that those measures are implemented.]

[F33(8) When the Department has decided whether or not to proceed with a project which has been subject to an environmental impact assessment, it must promptly—

(a)inform the consultation bodies of the decision in writing;

(b)inform the public of the decision in accordance with paragraph (9); and

(c)make available for public inspection at an address in the area in which the project is proposed to be situated the following—

(i)information regarding the right under Article 67BA(1) to challenge the validity of the decision and the procedure for doing so;

(ii)the content of the decision, including the reasoned conclusion referred to in paragraph (7)(c), and any conditions attached to it or monitoring measures as referred to in paragraph (7B);

(iii)a statement containing the main reasons and considerations on which the decision is based, including information about the participation of the public; and

(iv)a summary of the results of the consultations carried out under this Article and, where relevant, Article 67B, and information gathered in respect of the project, and how those results (in particular comments received from an EEA State pursuant to consultation under Article 67B) have been incorporated or otherwise addressed.]

(9) Publication by the Department in accordance with paragraphs (1), (3) and (8) [F34 shall be—

(a)in the Belfast Gazette;

(b)in at least one local newspaper circulating in the area in which the project for the construction or improvement of the road is proposed to be situated; and

(c)[F35on a website used by the Department.]]

[F36(10) In this Article—

“the consultation bodies” means—

(a)

any district council for the area in which the proposed project is situated; and

(b)

any other bodies likely to be concerned by the proposed project by reason of their specific environmental responsibilities or local and regional competences;

“monitoring measure” means provision requiring the monitoring of any significant adverse effects on the environment of a project.]

F32Art. 67A(7)(7A)(7B)(7C)(7D) substituted for art. 67A(7) (16.5.2017) by The Roads (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 (S.R. 2017/87), regs. 1(1), 4(10)

Other Member StatesN.I.

67B.(1) This Article applies if—

(a)it appears to the Department that a project [F37is subject to environmental impact assessment and] is likely to have a significant effect on the environment in another [F38EEA State]; or

(b)[F39an EEA State] the environment of which is likely to be significantly affected by such a project asks the Department for information about the project.

(2) The Department must give the [F38EEA State]

(a)a description of the project, together with any information available to the Department which suggests that the project may have a significant effect on the environment in the [F38EEA State];

(b)any information which the Department has as to the nature of the decision which may be taken on the project;

[F40(c)such information about the procedure required by this Part as the Department considers appropriate; and]

(d)a reasonable period within which to indicate whether the [F38EEA State] wishes to participate in that procedure.

(3) Paragraph (2)(a) and (b) must be complied with no later than the date of publication referred to in [F41Article 67(4D)] .

(4) If the [F38EEA State] indicates that it wishes to participate in the [F42procedure required by this Part], the Department must give to the [F38EEA State]

(a)a copy of the [F43EIA report] for the project (if it has not already done so); F44. . .

[F45(b)the information required by Article 67A(3A) to be included in the notice under Article 67A(3); and

(c)any information about the procedure required by this Part which it considers appropriate to give and which has not already been given to the EEA State.]

[F46(5) The Department must ensure that the EEA State concerned is given an opportunity, before the decision as to whether to proceed with the project is taken, to forward to the Department, within a reasonable time, the opinions of the authorities designated to be consulted in accordance with Article 6(1) of the Directive and of the members of its public who are likely to be concerned.]

(6) The Department must, in accordance with Article 7(4) of the Directive -

(a)enter into consultations with the [F38EEA State] concerned regarding, among other matters, the potential significant effects of the project on the environment of that [F38EEA State] and the measures envisaged to reduce or eliminate those effects; and

(b)agree with that [F38EEA State] a reasonable period for those consultations.

[F47(7) Where an EEA State has been consulted in accordance with paragraph (6) the Department must, after deciding whether to proceed with the project to which the [F48EIA report] relates, inform the EEA State of the decision and give it documents containing the matters referred to in [F49Article67A(8)(c)] .]

[F50Projects in another EEA State likely to have significant transboundary effectsN.I.

67BZA.(1) Where the Department receives from another EEA State pursuant to Article 7(1) or 7(2) of the Directive information which the EEA State has gathered from the developer of a proposed project in that EEA State which is likely to have significant effects on the environment in Northern Ireland, the Department must—

(a)enter into consultations with that EEA State regarding, amongst other things, the potential significant effects of the proposed project on the environment in Northern Ireland and the measures envisaged to reduce or eliminate such effects; and

(b)determine in agreement with that EEA State a reasonable period, before development consent for the project is granted, during which members of the public in Northern Ireland may submit to the competent authority in that EEA State representations pursuant to Article 7(3)(b) of the Directive.

(2) The Department must also—

(a)arrange for the information referred to in paragraph (1) to be made available, within a reasonable time, both to the authorities in Northern Ireland which it considers are likely to be concerned by the project by reason of their specific environmental responsibilities or local or regional competences, and to the public concerned in Northern Ireland;

(b)ensure that those authorities and the public concerned in Northern Ireland are given an opportunity before development consent for the project is granted, to forward to the competent authority in the relevant EEA State, within a reasonable time, their opinion on the information supplied; and

(c)make available to the public concerned, in an appropriate manner, any information received from the competent authority of the relevant EEA State in order to comply with Article 9(2) of the Directive.]

[F51Validity of decisionsN.I.

67BA.(1) If a person aggrieved by a decision of the Department to proceed with the construction or improvement for which an [F52EIA report] has been made desires to question the validity of the decision on the ground that—

(a)it is not within the powers of this Order; or

(b)any requirement of this Part has not been complied with in relation to the decision;

[F53that person] may, within 6 weeks from the date on which the decision is first published under Article 67A(8), make an application for the purpose to the High Court.

(2) On any such application, the Court—

(a)may, by interim order, suspend the operation of the decision, or any aspect of it, either generally or insofar as it affects any property of the applicant, until the final determination of the proceedings; and

(b)if satisfied that the decision is not within the powers of this Order, or that the interests of the applicant have been substantially prejudiced by a failure to comply with any requirement of this Part, may quash the decision, or any aspect of it, either generally or insofar as it affects any property of the applicant.

(3) Subject to paragraph (2), a decision to which paragraph (1) applies shall not be questioned in any legal proceedings whatever.]

ApplicationN.I.

67C.  This Part shall not apply to projects where an environmental statement or the details of the project were published before the coming into operation of the Roads (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.]

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