The Planning Hazardous Substances regime implements the planning requirements of the European Directive on the control of major accident hazards involving dangerous substances (known as "hazardous substances" in domestic legislation), often referred to as the Seveso Directive. The latest version of the Directive (the Seveso III Directive - 2012/18/EU) requires to be implemented from 1 June 2015.
The aims of the Seveso III Directive are to limit the risks of major accident hazards involving such substances occurring and the consequences of such accidents for human health and the environment. The non-planning elements of the Seveso III Directive are implemented (from 1 June 2015) by the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015, which are the responsibility of the UK Government.
The main Scottish legislation in this regard consists of the Planning (Hazardous Substances) (Scotland) Act 1997 and, from 1 June 2015, the Town and Country Planning (Hazardous Substances) (Scotland) Regulations 2015.
This Scottish legislation has requirements for hazardous substances consent for the presence of specified substances or categories of substance at or above controlled quantities. It also includes relevant appeal procedures and enforcement procedures.
The 2015 Regulations also amend other planning legislation regarding requirements in relation to the preparation of development plans and supplementary guidance and on the processing of applications for planning permission for sites with hazardous substances and for development in the vicinity of such sites. In particular, in order to meet the requirements of the Seveso III Directive, the 2015 Regulations also have new provisions on: the preparation of national planning policy; public involvement in the preparation of relevant plans and programmes; and public participation procedures in relation to decisions on planning permission in cases within scope of the Seveso III Directive and to decisions on hazardous substances consent taken outside the normal application process.