New good practice guidelines for EIA in the UK and an amended Circular on EIA have been released for consultation. These take into consideration some decisive EIA case law and recent judgements of the European Court of Justice:
UK Case Law:
- A single project cannot be divided into smaller parts to avoid thresholds.
- The scheme must be sufficiently fixed to allow adequate assessment of the environmental impacts.
- Information relating to potentially significant impacts should be made available at the time of the decision. Conditioning surveys is not sufficient unless this is accompanied by mitigation to prevent significant impacts.
- ES should be self contained.
- In some cases EIA can be required at the reserve matters stage (R-v-London Borough of Bromley, ex parte Barker)
- The EIA Directive should have a “wide scope and broad purpose” in it’s application.