Surface coal mine restoration: final report to opencast coal task force

Final report on regulation by Scottish Opencast Coal Task Force's compliance and finance subgroups.


The Scottish Government Energy Consents and Deployment Unit Gate check process

Online guidance encourages applicants to submit a draft of the environmental statement to the ECDU two weeks in advance of formal submission, to ensure that all requirements of the scoping opinion have been met prior to submission. In practice, there is a two stage gate check process, which includes an additional stage to the process outlined in the online guidance. The two stage process was introduced in response to feedback from applicants on perceived limitations of the process described in the online guidance.

At gate-check stage 1, the applicant is asked to produce a paper outlining how requirements of scoping and subsequent direct engagement with consultees has been reflected in the EIA work undertaken. The case officer will circulate the applicant's gate-check report to consultees, inviting comments on whether all issues have been addressed and opinions on whether the applicant's engagement has been meaningful and constructive. The case officer will then provide feedback to the applicant on additional issues which consultees have raised and will form a view on whether an all-party meeting is required to progress matters. Gate-check stage 1 is encouraged at project design freeze stage, when there is more information available to the case officer and to consultees on the final layout and siting of the proposed development than is available at scoping stage. Gate-check stage 1 is properly viewed as a continuation of pre-application discussion around scoping and design iteration.

Gate-check stage 2 is a pre-application validation exercise, where case officers use the scoping opinion to undertake a check that all requirements have been met prior to submission, as described in the online guidance.

Gate-check discussion does not attract an application fee.


Email: Graham Marchbank

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