Northern Ireland updates EIA rules

DoE has opened consultation on updating and consolidating planning regulations.

The Department for the Environment Northern Ireland (DoE) has opened consultation on updating and consolidating the Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.1

The main changes to the legislation essentially mirror those contained in the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011, which cover England and Wales. They entered into force in August (ENDS Report 440, p 50).

The main amendments proposed cover the publication of negative screening decisions, extension to developments, multi-stage consents, public involvement and the inclusion of carbon capture and storage technology.

New guidance is likely to be published shortly after the new regulations enter into force.

Northern Ireland environment minister Alex Attwood said: “This consultation proposes changes to speed up the inquiry process for major planning applications and make planning regulations easier to understand, use and a means to move applications onwards.

“Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations... help us make sure the north remains an attractive place to live, work and invest.

“But making a planning system easier and quicker are also key objectives which I will push and pursue,” he added.