EIA Update | May 2013
- Local government ,
IEMA's latest update on legislation and guidance relating to environmental impact assessment (EIA) including information on legislative updates ongoing across the UK
Revising the EIA Directive
IEMA launched its position on proposed revisions to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive in April, after a series of 2013 member events.
IEMA’s position recognises the need for mandatory scoping. However, it calls for changes to article 5 (on scoping) to create a developer-led process based on pre-application consultation. By contrast, the European Commission is proposing that planning authorities lead on determining scoping decisions.
IEMA has been promoting its position to the government and has met officials from the communities and local government department, which is leading the negotiation on the revision for the UK at the European council.
IEMA has also put its views to members of the European parliament, the EU committee of the regions and the UK’s devolved administrations, as well as other interested parties.
The Institute ran a series of EIA update workshops around the country in early May to inform members about the position and will continue to track developments in the EU parliament and council.
The IEMA workshops on updating the EIA Directive also provided details on the recently published third edition of the Guidelines for landscape and visual impact assessment (GLVIA3) and provided nearly a dozen EIA Quality Mark case studies. The presentations from the workshops can be found at iema.net/event-reports.
EIA in the UK
England – despite a 20 March deadline set by the Treasury, the communities and local government department has failed to launch its planned consultation on the EIA regulatory guidance which will replace DETR Circular 02/99. IEMA understands this consultation will not launch until the summer.
Scotland – new Scottish government guidance on EIA practice, to replace PAN58, was developed in 2012. However, the document has not been published and there is, as yet, no clear date for launch.
Wales – IEMA understands that the long-awaited consultation on the Welsh government’s plans to replace the Town and Country Planning EIA (England & Wales) Regulations 1999 with an updated and consolidated set of Welsh regulations will be issued in June.
New European guidance
In early April, the European Commission launched two documents, entitled: Guidance on integrating climate change and biodiversity into EIA and Guidance on integrating climate change and biodiversity into SEA. The first references IEMA’s principles on considering climate change adaptation in EIA.
IEMA will devote the EIA Quality Mark lunchtime webinar on 30 May to presentations focused on disseminating the key messages from both guidance documents. The European Commission has also updated its EIA of projects: rulings of the Court of Justice, which includes key EIA case law up to March 2013.
The document is a useful reference for practitioners and sets out over-arching principles of EIA case law. It also provides details on rulings related to the EIA Directive and its annexes. All three documents can be downloaded from ec.europa.eu/environment/eia.
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.