Phased payment for EIA scoping
Scoping is the process under the Electricity Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 by which Scottish Ministers determine those matters to be included within an environmental impact assessment.
The Scottish Government proposes the introduction of phased payments for section 36 and 37 applications where a scoping request is sought, with the relevant payment specified in column 4 of Table 1 of Annex 1 accompanying the request for a screening opinion. Our analysis shows a 1:4 ratio of administrative costs between pre-application and application work, which is reflected in the proposal at Table 1. The payment made at scoping stage will act as an instalment towards the total application cost and only the outstanding balance would require to be paid when the application is submitted.
Scoping is not a mandatory process, but is strongly encouraged in all cases where environmental impact assessment is required. By engaging in meaningful scoping discussion, applicants can develop an early understanding of Scottish Ministers' and consultees' views on a proposed development. Scoping is essential to ensure that applications are both proportionate and comprehensive at the point of submission, thereby avoiding the requirement for the submission of supplementary environmental information and associated consultation processes. Scoping is one of the key tools available to both Scottish Ministers and the developer in streamlining the application process.
The phased payment will support Scottish Ministers in continuing to deliver timeous responses in accordance with regulatory requirements, and in delivering enhanced services including attending/chairing meetings with stakeholders and appropriate interested parties, site visits and community engagement.
By investing in scoping up front, applicants can save time and abortive costs at application stage.