The revised Environmental Impact Assessment Directive will come into force on 16th May 2017. The key changes for planners and developers are as follows:
• The revisions increase the emphasis on environmental mitigation and monitoring. Local planning authorities must ensure that mitigation and monitoring are implemented, which means that planning conditions are likely to include post-construction monitoring of the effectiveness of any mitigation measures.
• More information will be required on the environmental impacts of the scheme and mitigation measures at the screening stage. Currently, impacts and mitigation are considered at the end of the process. Including mitigation within the screening process could allow more projects to be scoped out of the Environmental Impact Assessment process.
• The revised Directive includes clearer requirements on the information to be submitted for biodiversity, climate change, and landscape, with more emphasis on an evidence-based approach.
• Authorities will have to ensure that the reasoning behind their planning decisions is transparent and robust, which should make the outcome more consistent and predictable.