Attwood makes further improvements to planning process
Published on Wed, 21 Mar 2012 by firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regulations to improve the planning process for development projects involving Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) come into operation on 13 March.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood said today he was introducing the regulations to make the process easier for people to understand and to use.
He said: “These new regulations represent a significant step forward. They will streamline the public inquiry process by placing responsibility for the processing of additional environmental information with the Planning Appeals Commission rather than the Department, as was previously the case. In practice this will help to remove uncertainty and delays from the public enquiry process and improve the quality of decision making for projects requiring an EIA.
“They will be particularly important for large development projects which should now be processed faster and more efficiently, an important factor in securing much-needed investment.”
The Minister added, “The new regulations will ensure that the cumulative effects of any change to an existing development are considered and will provide the necessary safeguards in determining significant applications with environmental effects.”
Notes to editors:
1. The Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012, consolidate and update the Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 (S.R 1999 No.73), as amended.
2. The Regulations implement European Council Directive 85/337/EEC, as amended, on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.
3. A copy of the Regulations can be obtained at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr
4. All media enquiries should be directed to the DOE Press Office on 028 9025 6058. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.