EIA Update | April 2014
- Local government ,
- Construction ,
IEMA's latest update on environmental impact assessment (EIA) practice including new online practice guidance for English planning authorities
In March, the European parliament voted in favour of amendments to the revised EIA Directive (see pp.16–18). The final step is a vote by the council of ministers, which is expected this month. Under the timeframe agreed by MEPs and the European commission, member states have until spring 2017 to implement the revisions. If you missed the IEMA webinar on 18 March, which analysed the main changes to Directive 2011/92/EU, catch up at iema.net.
New English planning guidance
The communities and local government department has launched its online national planning practice guidance (NPPG – planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk).
The NPPG covers both environmental impact assessment (EIA) and strategic environmental assessment. It also provides information on planning matters related to noise, air quality and climate change. As a part of the launch more than 150 government guidance documents were deleted, including DETR circular 02/99 on EIA and the related good practice guide.
The EIA focus in the online NPPG is firmly on regulatory compliance – the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (EIA) Regulations 2011 – and key pieces of case law. As such, it is likely that IEMA’s 2011 EIA report and EIA Quality Mark guides will play a greater role in directing good practice in the future.
Streamlining in Scotland
The Scottish government is working to improve information and assessments that support planning applications in Scotland. IEMA members are invited to complete the online survey from the devolved administration by 25 April to help establish the evidence base to test the success of future changes.
IEMA to launch guidance on noise impact assessment
IEMA has commissioned Graham Parry and Martin Broderick to finalise its long-standing project to issue guidance on noise impact assessments. Members provided their input at workshops in Oxford and London in March. The guide will be available to purchase this summer, with the launch anticipated in August.
Parry is an environment consultant at ACCON UK, while Broderick is honorary research associate in the faculty of technology, design and environment at Oxford Brookes University, and an examining inspector at the Planning Inspectorate.
EIA Quality Mark forum 2014
The theme of this year’s EIA Quality Mark forum is “What is effective EIA?”. The event, to be held at Ort House in London on 12 June, will include perspectives from government representatives, as well as lawyers, developers, practitioners and consenting authorities. A limited number of tickets for the forum are on open sale. These are priced at £250 (+VAT). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.
Future EIA webinars from IEMA include:
- 24 April – What is effective EIA?
- 29 May – Linking EIA, BREEAM and CEEQUAL.
- 26 June – Linking EIA and strategic environmental assessment.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a new 'Green Claims Code' to ensure businesses are not misleading consumers about their environmental credentials.
Over two million hectares of Brazilian rainforest could be legally converted to supply the UK with soy under a new anti-deforestation law proposed by the government, the WWF has found.
In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
In R. (on the application of Hudson) v Windsor and Maidenhead RBC, the appellant appealed against a decision to uphold the local authority’s grant of planning permission for the construction of a holiday village at the Legoland Windsor Resort.