Planning Circular 1/2017: Environmental Impact Assessment regulations

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

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Annex A: Selection Criteria for Screening Schedule 2 Development

This is a reproduction of Schedule 3 of the Regulations (see paragraphs 24, 28, 32, 53, of the Circular).

Characteristics of development

1. The characteristics of development must be considered having regard, in particular, to:-

a) the size and design of the development;
b) cumulation with other existing development and/or approved development;
c) the use of natural resources, in particular land, soil, water and biodiversity ;
d) the production of waste;
e) pollution and nuisances;
f) the risk of major accidents, and/or disasters which are relevant to the project concerned, including those caused by climate change, in accordance with scientific knowledge;
g) the risks to human health (for example due to water contamination or air pollution).

Location of development

2. The environmental sensitivity of geographical areas likely to be affected by development must be considered having regard, in particular, to:-

a) the existing and approved land use;
b) the relative abundance, availability, quality and regenerative capacity of natural resources (including soil, land, water and biodiversity) in the area and its underground;
c) the absorption capacity of the natural environment, paying particular attention to the following areas:-
i. wetlands, riparian areas, river mouths;
ii. coastal zones and the marine environment;
iii. mountain and forest areas;
iv. nature reserves and parks;
v. european sites and other areas classified or protected under national legislation;
vi. areas in which there has already been a failure to meet the environmental quality standards, laid down in Community legislation and relevant to the project, or in which it is considered that there is such a failure;
vii. densely populated areas;
viii. landscapes and sites of historical, cultural or archaeological significance.

Characteristics of the potential impact

3. The potential significant effects of development must be considered in relation to criteria set out under paragraphs 1 and 2 above, with regard to the impact of the development on the factors specified in Regulation 3A(3),taking into account -

a) the magnitude and special extent of the impact (for example geographical area and size of the population likely to be affected);
b) the nature of the impact;
c) the transfrontier nature of the impact;
d) the intensity and complexity of the impact;
e) the probability of the impact;
f) the expected onset, duration, frequency and reversibility of the impact;
g) the cumulation of the impact with the impact of other existing and/or approved development;
h) the possibility of effectively reducing the impact.


Email: William Carlin

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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