New consent system for hazardous installations

New rules to enable local authorities to control the storage and use of hazardous substances which have been seven years in the making are finally to be brought into effect on 1 June. They will introduce a system of hazardous substances consents (HSCs), although up to 2,000 or so existing installations which qualify for control will avoid significant restrictions on their activities for the time being.

The HSC regime was devised to provide local authorities with the opportunity to consider the need for curbs on the storage and use of hazardous substances where these were introduced on land in ways which did not require planning permission. It was initially embodied in the Housing and Planning Act 1986, but this was subsequently found to contain drafting defects and apparently unintended restrictive clauses to which the chemical industry obje

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