The provisions relating to screening are changing under the forthcoming Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.
Firstly, the aim is to standardise the type of information to be provided by a developer when asking a local planning authority (LPA) to screen a proposal. The information required has been extended to include additional detail about the development, its location and likely significant environmental effects. To the extent that the information is available, significant effects resulting from residues, emissions, waste and the use of natural resources, should also be provided. Details of mitigation measures can also be provided and taken into account.
The thresholds for Schedule 1 and 2 development remain unchanged, as does the three week timescale for a LPA to adopt a screening opinion. There is, however, a new provision limiting the time period for an extension to this to 90 days, or as agreed in writing.
When issuing a screening opinion, LPAs also now need to state the main reasons for their conclusion. If it is determined that a proposed development is not EIA development, then the mitigation measures relied upon to prevent what might otherwise have been significant adverse effects should be described.
We are well placed to guide you through the transitional arrangements and can advise on obtaining a screening opinion ahead of 16 May 2017 and beyond.
Please contact us for further advice.