Environmental Impact Assessment: Screening directions and Scoping opinions

The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011 Statutory Instrument 2011: 1824 – also known as the EIA Regulations – form part of the development control system in England and relate to certain types of development.

The EIA process

The EIA Regulations relate to a European Union Directive (Directive 85/337/EEC as amended by Directive 97/11/EC on the assessment of the effect of certain public and private projects on the environment), and give planning authorities a means of ensuring that they can take account of the environmental, economic and social implications of individual developments in their decisions on planning applications.

The EIA Regulations place a number of responsibilities on planning authorities, which relate to the different stages of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process.

Stage 1: Screening to determine whether EIA is required

The EIA Regulations only apply to certain types of development, and before the Council can request an EIA it must determine whether the proposal is subject to the Regulations and can be classified as ‘EIA development’, and decide whether EIA is required in that particular case. This process is called 'screening' and there are two ways in which it can be applied:

  1. A developer can ask the planning authority to give an EIA screening opinion before the application for planning permission is submitted.
  2. Where a planning application has been submitted without an environmental statement and alternatively no request has been made in the past for a screening opinion, the planning authority has the right to adopt an EIA screening opinion for the proposal, which will determine whether or not the scheme requires EIA.

In either case the planning authority has 3 weeks within which to adopt their EIA screening opinion from the date on which the request was received (for (1) above) or the planning application was deemed to be valid (for (2) above). In both cases the 3 week period can be extended, if the developer agrees in writing to the extension. Once the screening opinion has been adopted, it is required to be held in a public register for 2 years. The list below contains all EIA Screening & Scoping Opinions issued in the past two years and where an Environmental Statement is available a link to it is provided.

Stage 2: Scoping to determine what information should be covered by an EIA

Where a proposed scheme is determined to be ‘EIA development’, the developer can ask the planning authority for advice on the scope of the information to be gathered during the EIA and to be covered in the Environmental Statement (which reports on the findings of the EIA).

The planning authority has a period of 5 weeks within which to produce an EIA scoping opinion, which can be extended if the developer agrees in writing to the extension. The planning authority is legally required to consult with the Environment Agency, Natural England, English Heritage and the Greater London Authority. Once the scoping opinion has been adopted, it is held in a public register for 2 years, this is available online below.

Stage 3: Reviewing the adequacy of environmental statements

Once an environmental statement has been submitted with a planning application the planning authority can request additional information if it considers the environmental statement to be inadequate. The adequacy of environmental statements is determined by comparison with the content requirements of the EIA Regulations.

Public register

East Stand, Twickenham Stadium

Former Imperial College Private Ground, Teddington

Screening opinion for the proposed development of up to 130 retirement living homes, communal facilities, car park, GP surgery, playing pitches, conversion of existing pavilion, new clubhouse and a public park on Former Imperial College Private Ground.

Former Imperial College Private Ground, Teddington

Scoping opinion for the development of up to 130 extra care units, communal facilities, car park, GP surgery, playing pitches, conversion of existing pavilion, new clubhouse and a public park on Former Imperial College Private Ground.

Land west of Hospital Bridge Road, Whitton

Formal application for a screening opinion in respect of the redevelopment of the site to accommodate a new 5FE secondary school and 300 place sixth form, associated internal and external sports facilities, new pedestrian and vehicular access and servicing.

Latchmere House, Former HM Remand Centre, Church Road, Ham

Demolition of existing prison buildings and re-develop to provide 73 residential units.

Richmond upon Thames College

Screening opinion for Reserved Matters pursuant to outline application 15/3038/OUT for College Development Zone, College Building Zone 1.

Screening Opinion for Reserved Matters pursuant to outline application 15/3038/OUT.

Demolition of the music, science, Z, LRC and A Blocks (Phase 1(b)) at Richmond upon Thames College, Twickenham.

Redevelopment of existing college site to provide:

  • A new college
  • A new secondary school
  • A new secondary school for children with special educational needs
  • A new technical media hub
  • A replacement on-site sports centre
  • An upgrade of Craneford Way playing fields
  • Possible residential development
  • An energy centre to support development
  • Possible alterations to existing means of vehicular access to Langhorn Drive and on-site parking and landscaping

Submitted scoping documents:

River Thames Capacity Improvements and Flood Channel Project (Teddington Weir, Ham Lands and Molesey Weir)

Royal Star & Garter, Richmond Hill, Richmond

Proposed development to change the use from C2 to C3 to create approximately 90 residential units.

Stag Brewery, Mortlake

Scoping opinion for the redevelopment of the former Stag Brewery site. To facilitate the development, the majority of the buildings and structures within the site would be demolished. However, the façade of the former Bottling Plant would be retained and the Maltings and the former hotel would be retained, altered and refurbished.

The development would compromise new buildings, ranging in height from 3 to 8 storeys and would accommodate approximately 1000 (pdf, 393.3 KB) residential units, and also provide retail, office, hotel, leisure, community, education and healthcare uses, and areas of public and private open spaces.

St Pauls School, Lonsdale Road, Barnes

Amendments to the approved applications 08/1760/OUT and 08/1760/EXT comprising the substitution of Parameter Plans relating to parcels 4 and 7 and other alterations as set out in the applicant’s letter.

Teddington Studios, Broom Road, Teddington

Proposed redevelopment of the site including demolition of all buildings and erection of buildings comprising up to 250 units.

Teddington Weir HydroPower Project

The Temperate House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Proposed development to restore Temperate House to include kitchen extension, public toilets and central activity space for community outreach.

Twickenham Riverside

Screening opinion request for a mixed use redevelopment of the Twickenham Riverside Site to provide:

  • New commercial floor space on the ground floor comprising A1, A2 and A3 with the inclusion of some B1 incubator space totalling no more than 1500m²
  • Residential uses on upper floors – up to a maximum of 50 units (mix of one, two and three bedroom units)
  • Public realm works
  • A public open space / performance space for community uses
  • An underground basement car park for no more than 55 car parking spaces

Twickenham Sorting Office Site, London Road, Twickenham

Proposed development to provide 80-115 residential units, community building, restaurants and other commercial uses, new park land.

Twickenham Station site, London Road, Twickenham

Proposed development to provide improved railway facilities, ground floor retail and commercial uses, 170 residential units and new public space.

Up to:

Updated: 19 June 2018