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Environment Protection: EU Law

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to amend legislation to meet the requirements of the EU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessments. (176158)

The Town and Country (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 (SI No. 293) (the 1999 Regulations) are the principal regulations which apply environmental impact assessment (EIA) to development proposals. On 15 November 2000 they were amended to apply EIA to applications for review of conditions attached to mineral planning permissions.

We are currently planning to make two further amendments to the 1999 Regulations. The first will allow EIA to be applied at the reserved matters stage following the grant of outline planning permission

The second amendment will apply the requirements of the 1999 Regulations, as amended in 2000, to the few outstanding applications for initial review of old mineral permissions which pre-date 15 November 2000 and which are stalled because information to enable EIA to be carried out has not been provided. The effect of the new Regulations will be to allow new conditions to be attached to permissions to mitigate the environmental impact of mineral operations.