To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has for extending the requirements for environmental assessment to projects not already covered.
Section 71A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as inserted by section 15 of the Planning and Compensation Act 1991, enables the Secretary of State to make regulations adding to the categories of project subject to planning control which may require environmental assessment. The Government have promised to consult those concerned before making regulations.
My Department is today issuing a consultation paper inviting comments on proposals to amend the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988 to add the following categories: trout farms, water treatment plants, wind generators, motorway and similar service areas, coast protection works and golf courses. The effect would be to require environmental assessment where a project of this type was likely to have significant environmental effects. The paper also proposes adding privately financed toll roads to Schedule I to the Regulations, the effect of which would be to require environmental assessment for all projects of this kind; and various minor amendments to the existing procedures. The Welsh Office is undertaking a similar consultation exercise in Wales.
A copy of the paper is being placed in the Library.