Information Leaflet 1: Your Permitted Development Rights
Who Decides Whether EIA is Needed?
As a developer you may conclude that a particular project should be subject to EIA. If so, you should submit a planning application accompanied by an ES. The EIA Regulations will then apply in the normal way (see "What if Environmental Impact Assessment is required?").
Alternatively, after checking the EIA Regulations, you may conclude that EIA is not required for a particular project - projects outside sensitive areas and below the thresholds in column 2 of Schedule 2 to the EIA Regulations do not require EIA.
However, for projects where all or part of the development is in a sensitive area or the threshold in column 2 of Schedule 2 to the EIA Regulations is exceeded or met, you must seek a determination from your Divisional Planning Office as to whether the project is EIA development i.e. likely to have significant environmental effects. You may also consult the Divisional Planning Office if you are uncertain if the development would require EIA.
There is no fee payable for the determination on the need for EIA, although any subsequent application for planning permission will be subject to the usual payment of fees.
What happens if I do not agree with the EIA determination?
If you do not accept the Planning Service's decision that EIA is required you may ask for a hearing before the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC). You must notify the Planning Service that you accept the determination or that you propose to seek a hearing before PAC within 4 weeks of the determination. The PAC or your Divisional Planning Office can advise on the procedure to be followed.