EIA: DCLG corrects definition of competent expert

25th April 2017

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Built environment ,
  • Planning ,
  • Management



The definition of who will be responsible for ensuring that EIA practitioners are ompetent' has been amended following intervention by IEMA and other membership bodies.

In its consultation on transposing the amended Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, the Department for Communities and Local Government (Dclg) had put the onus on local planning authorities to confirm that a developer’s consultants had sufficient expertise, and do this after an environmental statement was completed.

IEMA, the Royal Town Planning Institute, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and several EIA Quality Mark registrants called for this to be amended, arguing that the approach carried significant risk of delays and costs for a developer should the planning officer disagree with an EIA professional’s credentials.

The Dclg has now amended the final wording of the regulations to align with the directive and the approach being adopted in Scotland, so that responsibility will be placed on the developer to employ competent experts and justify this in documentation alongside the environmental statement.

Josh Fothergill, IEMA policy and practice lead on EIA, welcomed the change and said that common sense had prevailed.

The regulations were laid before parliament last week, ahead of the pre-election purdah period.

The election on 8 June means that some of the new or revised regulations across the UK’s 22 EIA regimes may not all launch by the 16 May deadline for transposing the EIA Directive into UK law, he said.

However, the main town and country planning regimes in England and Scotland will, with regulations laid in mid-April and late March respectively:

IEMA is running two free full-day conferences on the introduction of the new EIA regulations:

  • 16 May, London. Hosted by CBRE.
  • 24 May, Edinburgh. A joint event with the Scottish government, sponsored by AECOM, ERM, LUC and WSP|Parsons Brinkerhoff.

IEMA is also running a webinar to discuss the regulations on 17 May between 12.30pm and 1.30pm. It will also feature speakers talking about IEMA’s new EIA advisory documents on health and greenhouse-gas emissions.

To book any of these events go to iema.net/events. To access IEMA’s EIA transposition hub visit iema.net/policy/ia/eia-transposition.


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