Screening and scoping
To confirm whether a project needs an Environmental Impact Assessment developers can ask for a formal 'screening opinion' from the council. A screening opinion sets out the council's decision and gives reasons for it, and is normally issued within three weeks of the request.
We are required to keep screening requests and opinions for two years on the Screening Register.
If a planning application is subsequently made for the development the screening opinion will be moved to the planning register.
It is preferable for screening to be carried out prior to submission of a planning application. However, where a planning application is made for a type of development that requires screening but where no screening opinion has previously been issued, screening will be carried out at that point.
A developer intending to carry out EIA may formally ask us what should be covered in the Environment Statement. This is not essential, however it is recommended as failure to include required information in the EIA can lead to delays in processing the planning application.
We will then consult with the statutory bodies and then provide a Scoping Opinion giving this information.
Scoping Opinions will normally be issued within 5 weeks of the request being received.
We are required to keep requests for scoping opinions and the related opinions on the Scoping Register for two years.