Information Leaflet 8: Handling of Major Planning Applications
How will 'Environmental Effects' be Assessed?
The Department considers that judgements as to what constitutes ‘environmental effects’, and in consequence the cases to which Article 31 should be applied, must be informed by the Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 , and its published guidance in Development Control Advice Note 10 – Environmental Impact Assessment, DCAN 10 provides clarification on its approach to Schedule 2 developments.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations identify two categories of development:
- Schedule 1 cases, for which an EIA is considered mandatory; and
- Schedule 2 cases, for which an EIA is considered discretionary, depending on the nature of the proposals.
The Department will apply Article 31 procedures to planning applications that involve Schedule 1 developments, and to Schedule 2 developments that are major developments of such a scale as to have wide ranging environmental effect and be of more than local importance. Where environmental impacts are judged to require the submission of an Environmental Statement but the impacts are localised, the Department will deal with such applications by the normal process route.