Environmental Impact Assessment

Last Updated: 23 August 2023

The aim of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is to protect the environment by ensuring that when we decide whether to grant planning permission for a project, which is likely to have significant effects on the environment, we do so in the full knowledge of the likely significant effects, and take this into account when making a decision.

The regulations set out a procedure for identifying those projects which should be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment, and for assessing, consulting and coming to a decision on those projects which are likely to have significant environmental effects. An Environmental Impact Assessment will also ensure that the public are given early and effective opportunities to participate in the decision making procedures.

When required

Required for developments listed under Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 projects Town & Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2017).

Also for developments that are likely to have significant effects on the environment by reason of its nature, size or location.


There is lots of guidance available about the relevant information needed Town & Country Planning Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2017.

Screening Opinion

If you are unsure whether a proposal requires an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) you may submit a request for a Screening Opinion.
You will need to include the following information with your request:

  • site location plan (1:1250 or 1:2500)
  • description of proposal and its possible effects on the environment together with any other information that may be useful

When we receive the request for a screening opinion we will consult with relevant organisations and reply to the request within 21 days.

If we consider that the proposal could have significant effects on the environment we will require an Environmental Impact Assessment to be submitted with the planning application. We will let you know the outcome of the screening opinion in writing.

Scoping Opinion

If you are sure that a proposal is an Environmental Impact Assessment Development (by virtue of either Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the Regulations) or from the results of a screening opinion, then you may submit a scoping opinion.

You will need to include the following information with your request:

  • site location plan (1:1250 or 1:2500)
  • description of the proposal and its possible effects on the environment

The request should provide sufficient information so that we can agree the scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment.

We will consult all relevant specialists and the developer as part of the process. We must issue the scoping opinion within 5 weeks. This period may be extended if the developer agrees in writing.

We will then confirm what we consider to be the main effects of the development and the topics that the environmental statement should cover. This does not prevent us from requesting additional information as part of the EIA process.

Environmental Statement

The developer should describe the likely significant effects of the development on the environment and set out the proposed mitigation measures, for example, with an air quality assessment or transport assessment.

A planning application proposing EIA Development has a target decision date of 16 weeks to allow the Local Authority and all interested parties greater opportunity to consider the impacts of the proposed development.