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Changes to Welsh EIA regime highlighted

Words: Roger Milne

Welsh chief planner Neil Hemington has written to all heads of planning about changes to the environmental impact assessment regime due to come into force on 16 May.

The new regulations have been laid before the National Assembly.

The process of screening ‘schedule 2’ development has been amended. This includes changes to the information that must be submitted with a screening request and what the local planning authority must consider when making a screening opinion. The 21-day period for making an opinion remains, however, where an extension is agreed, the maximum time before an opinion must be given is 90 days.

The information to be included in an environmental statement has been expanded. There are also new requirements affecting who prepares and considers an environmental statement.

The consultation requirements have also been amended, providing a minimum public consultation period of 30 days, online publicity, and making certain information electronically accessible. New transitional arrangements have been set out so the 2016 regulations will continue to apply in certain circumstances.

The letter and the 2017 regulations can be found on the Welsh Government website.

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