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Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a means of drawing together, in a systematic way, an assessment of the likely significant environmental effects arising from a proposed development.

All developments falling within a description in Schedule 1 to the 2017 EIA Regulations require EIA.

Developments of a type listed in Schedule 2 to the 2017 EIA Regulations will require EIA if they are likely to have a significant effect on the environment, due to factors such as their size, nature or location.

Guidelines for different regimes

EIA guidelines differ depending on which EIA-consenting regime(s) a development comes under:

  • Planning
  • Energy
  • Marine licensing
  • Transport
  • Agriculture
  • Land drainage
  • Forestry
  • Flood management
  • Ports and harbours
  • Controlled activities

Planning EIA

The guidelines for EIA within planning are as follows:

If working from the 2011 EIA regulations, use the below:

Requesting a screening decision

Generally, it is a matter for planning authorities to consider whether a proposed development requires EIA. To request a screening opinion, developers should contact the relevant planning authority.

Scottish Ministers are empowered to make directions in relation to the need for EIA under certain circumstances. Further guidance can be found in Planning Circular 1 2017: Environmental Impact Assessment regulations 2017.

Requests for a screening direction from Scottish Ministers should be made to:

Scottish Government
Planning and Architecture Division
Area 2H South
Victoria Quay

Email: Marion Hunt marion.hunt@gov.scot

Tel: 0131 244 7072