Planning Circular 1/2017: Environmental Impact Assessment regulations

Guidance on The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017.

Submission of EIA Application and Initial Publicity Procedures

Submission of EIA report by developer

104. When submitting an EIA report along with a planning application, the developer should send to the planning authority all the documents which must normally accompany a planning application, together with the requisite fee (which is not affected by the fact that an EIA report is required).

105. The developer must provide the planning authority with sufficient copies of the EIA report for the authority to send copies to Scottish Ministers and the consultation bodies plus an additional copy. Alternatively, a single copy may be submitted electronically to the planning authority for onward transmission, provided it satisfies the provisions of Regulation 43. In practice, and regardless of the format in which it is provided, developers will wish to ensure that the EIA Report is readily accessible and clearly labelled.

106. The developer must also make a reasonable number of copies of the EIA report available to the public, either free of charge or at a reasonable cost, reflecting printing and distribution costs (Regulation 25). Planning authorities and developers may wish to consider whether these copies should be held at the authority's offices, and whether the authority's staff should collect any charges for those copies on behalf of the developer.

Notification and Publication of EIA Report (Regulations 20 and 21)

107. Where a developer submits an EIA Report to a planning authority or Scottish Ministers, the authority or the Scottish Ministers as the case may be must notify those with an interest in "neighbouring land" [5] to that on which the proposed development would take place, of the availability of the report. The form of notification is specified in Schedule 5 to the Regulations and the process should, when the EIA Report is submitted at the same time as the planning application, be combined so far as possible with the neighbour notification requirements under Regulation 18 of the Development Management Procedure Regulations. Where an EIA Report is only later submitted to the Scottish Ministers to accompany an application which they have called-in for their determination or which is before Scottish Ministers on appeal, the relevant planning authority should provide the Scottish Ministers with full details, including the postal address, of all premises situated on "neighbouring land" as defined by Regulation 3(1) of the Development Management Procedure Regulations.

108. On receipt of the EIA Report, the planning authority (or as the case may be the Scottish Ministers) must publish a notice in the local press, the Edinburgh Gazette and on the application website (Regulation 21(5)). The applicant must, when submitting the EIA report, pay the costs of publishing the notice in the local newspaper and the Edinburgh Gazette. The notices published must (in accordance with Regulation 21(2)):-

  • Describe the application and the proposed development to which the EIA report relates;
  • State that the proposed development is subject to EIA and, where relevant, that it is likely to have significant effects on the environment in another EEA state;
  • state that the report is available for inspection free of charge and the times and places, and the means by which (including the application website), the report is available for inspection;
  • state how copies of the report may be obtained;
  • state the cost of a copy of the report;
  • state how and by what date representation may be made (not less than 30 days from date of notice);
  • provide details of the arrangements for public participation in the decision making process including a description of how notice will be given of the subsequent submission by the developer of any additional information and how representations in relation to that additional information may be made;
  • state the nature of possible decisions to be taken in relation to the application and provide details of the authority by whom such decisions are to be taken.

Consultation where EIA report received by planning authority

109. The planning authority should consult the consultation bodies, and any other public body they consider may have an interest, on the EIA report and the related planning application. Additionally, where the request relates to an application in respect of which the Health and Safety Executive (' HSE') would be required to be consulted under paragraph 3 or 4 of Schedule 5 to the Development Management Procedure Regulations ('the DMR') - i.e. broadly speaking developments involving or in the vicinity of major accident hazards - the authority must also consult the HSE on the EIA Report. Authorities will wish to clearly differentiate between a consultation on the EIA Report and any consultation, where relevant, on the related planning application, to which different procedures apply.

110. The planning authority must inform all bodies consulted how and by when they may make representations. The date by which representations may be made must be no earlier than 30 days after the date on which copies of the report were sent to these bodies.

EIA report submitted after a planning application

111. Where an applicant is submitting an EIA Report which relates to a planning application that has already been made, the procedures are essentially the same as described in paragraphs 105- 108 above.


Email: William Carlin

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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