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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EIA and Other Types of Environmental Assessment

73. There are a number of other European Community Directives which require the assessment of effects on the environment. For example:

  • Developments which will affect a Special Protection Area designated under the Wild Birds Directive or Special Areas of Conservation designated under the Habitats Directive must be subject to an assessment of those effects in accordance with the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994.
  • Most major industrial developments will require a permit under the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012.
  • Certain establishments, which have the potential to cause a major accident hazard involving dangerous substances, require a consent under the Control of Major Accident Hazards Directive.
  • The "Strategic Environmental Assessment" ( SEA) Directive which is given effect in Scotland through the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005. The Act requires an environmental assessment of plans, programmes and strategies, including all new or replacement development plans.

74. These requirements and EIA are independent of each other in that the requirement for one does not mean another automatically applies. The individual tests set out in each system still apply. However, there are clearly some links between them and developers will benefit from identifying the different assessments required at an early stage and coordinating them to minimise undesirable duplication where more than one regime applies. For example, the EIA Report should include consideration where relevant of the operational effects of a development, and the EIA Report should inform any application for a PPC permit.

75. With regards to paragraph 73 above, the Regulations specifically require that, where a development is EIA development and also requires a Habitats Regulation Assessment, the planning authority (or Scottish Ministers as the case may be) must where appropriate ensure the Regulation Assessment and the environmental impact assessment are coordinated (regulation 54(1)).


Email: William Carlin

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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