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Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process which identifies the environmental effects of a development proposal. This mainly applies to larger scale developments but smaller scale proposals in or close to sensitive areas can also result in significant environmental effects.

The aim of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 2017 (EIA) is to protect the environment by ensuring that the Council is fully aware of any significant effects on the environment that a proposal for planning permission may have and to take account of this in the decision-making process.

Is EIA required?

Projects of a type listed in Schedule 1 of the EIA Regulations are always subject to EIA. 

Projects listed in Schedule 2 must be subject to EIA where they are likely to have significant effects on the environment by virtue of factors such its nature, size or location.

Changes or extensions to developments in Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 which may have significant effects on the environment also fall within the Regulations.

Screening opinion

Before submitting a planning application that falls within Schedule 2, you can apply for a screening opinion from the Council. This will advise whether an EIA is required. You should submit a plan indicating the proposed location of the development and a brief description of the nature and purpose of the proposal and its possible environmental effects, including any mitigation measures. We have three weeks to respond to you. There is a right of appeal if we decide an EIA is required.  If you wish to submit a screening opinion request, please use our form.

Scoping opinion

If an EIA is required, you can also ask the Council for a scoping opinion and we will advise you what information should be included in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report.

Further information

Further information and advice about Environmental Impact Assessment can be found on the Scottish Government website: