Environmental Impact Assessment consultation
26 January 2017
Defra recently launched a consultation on how amendments to the EU EIA Directive should be transferred into domestic legislation. The EIA Directive was amended in 2014 and the changes will come into effect through national legislation in May 2017. The consultation asks for views on those areas of the Directive’s implementation where there is some flexibility in their implementation.
A key aspect of the amended Directive is a stronger focus and requirement for more information to be provided at the application stage to help regulators make more informed decisions on whether a proposed project should be subject to the EIA process. The consultation asks for views on the guidance applicants would like to support this requirement.
Defra are taking this opportunity to also formally seek views on proposals to increase the EIA thresholds for afforestation projects in non-sensitive areas (currently five hectares). Three options for an increased threshold are suggested for comment as well as options to maintain environmental protection should thresholds increase.
The consultation can be found here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/housing-and-planning/environmental-impact-assessment-eia-changes/ and Defra would prefer responses to be submitted online. The consultation will close on 31st January 2017.
Confor has submitted the following response:https://consult.defra.gov.uk/housing-and-planning/environmental-impact-assessment-eia-changes/consultation/my_response?user_id=ANON-QXK1-FEX2-T&key=01bc01f144193d1a2b1b4058d110dd08e5554151
Members are urged to submit their own response.