Policy update - Progress on streamlining EIA

9th April 2013

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Local government ,
  • Construction ,
  • Consultancy



Josh Fothergill, IEMA's policy lead on impact assessment, discusses chancellor's failure to meet his deadlines on updating EIA guidance

In his 2012 autumn statement the chancellor said: “The government will consult on updated guidance on conducting environmental impact assessments (EIAs) by budget 2013, and will consult on raising the screening thresholds set out in the Town and Country Planning (EIA) Regulations 2011 later in 2013.”

So how are his plans progressing? Well, the communities and local government department (Dclg) failed to launch a consultation on updated EIA guidance by the budget.

This is not to say the plans are to be shelved. In fact, replacing the existing guidance was also identified as a priority by the 2012 Taylor review of planning guidance. However, these further delays will not surprise practitioners, who have already seen seven years pass since the original consultation on replacing the guidance.

On the second action, the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the Salzburg Airport case may temper the government’s ambition to raise the EIA screening thresholds in England.

The judgment ruled that legislation in Austria, which established an arbitrary quantitative threshold for determining EIA requirements when expanding an airport, failed to comply with the EIA Directive. The ruling has wider implications for member states.

The CJEU also stated that where a member state establishes thresholds incompatible with article 2(1) – requiring any project with likely significant effects to undergo an EIA – local planning authorities should ignore the threshold and apply case-by-case screening, which would generate a significant administrative burden.

The ruling doesn’t specify what an incompatible threshold is, but implies that arbitrary quantitative thresholds, like those in Schedule 2 of the UK Regulations, may not comply with the screening criteria in annex 3 of the Directive.

Transform articles

Steering group tackles habitats regulations assessment in the 17th edition of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal

Members of IEMA’s Impact Assessment Network Steering Group have published the 17th edition of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal, which provides a series of thought pieces on the policy and practice of habitats regulations assessment (HRA).

26th September 2023

Read more

In July, we published the long-awaited update and replacement of one of IEMA’s first published impact assessment guidance documents from 1993, Guidelines for the Environmental Assessment of Road Traffic.

1st August 2023

Read more

Are we losing sight of its intended purpose and what does the future hold for EIA? Jo Beech, Tiziana Bartolini and Jessamy Funnell report.

15th June 2023

Read more

Luke Barrows and Alfie Byron-Grange look at the barriers to adoption of digital environmental impacts assessments

1st June 2023

Read more

Susan Evans and Helen North consider how Environmental Statements can be more accessible and understandable

1st June 2023

Read more

IEMA’s Impact Assessment Network is updating its advice note on non-technical summaries (NTS).

31st May 2023

Read more

Matthew Coe looks at the challenges of securing biodiversity net gain on environmental impact assessment projects

25th May 2023

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert