Environmental Impact Assessment
Local Planning application requirements
The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 (as amended) requires that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is undertaken, and an Environmental Statement (ES) produced for certain developments.
This legislation can be found on legislation.gov.uk.
EIA is a procedure which serves to provide information about the likely significant effects of a proposed project to inform the decision making process and whether the project should be allowed to proceed, and if so on what terms.
An overview of the EIA process is provided as part of government’s Planning Practice Guidance. An EIA is normally only necessary for a small proportion of projects.
An EIA Screening Opinion can be obtained from the council to determine whether your proposed development needs an EIA.
Once it has been determined that an EIA is required, an EIA Scoping Opinion can be obtained from the council to provide advice on the scope and content of the Environmental Statement (ES).
In 2012 the council produced a EIA Scoping Guidance which is available for reference.
Requesting an EIA Screening or Scoping Opinion
We recommend that you discuss your proposed development/project with our EIA officer before requesting an EIA Screening or Scoping Opinion. You can contact the EIA officer through:
Tel: 020 7364 5009 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday – except public holidays)
When submitting a request for an EIA Screening or Scoping Opinion, this must be submitted to both the EIA officer (details to be obtained as above) and to: Development.Control@towerhamlets.gov.uk. Please copy in the relevant case officer, if applicable. Any deviation from this may result in delays registering the request.
Applicants are advised that while every endeavour will be made to meet the statutory timescales as set out within The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 (as amended), due to a high number of recent requests for EIA Screening and Scoping Opinions, and EIA Applications submitted, extension of time requests for EIA Screening and Scoping Opinions should be expected.
Applicants are reminded that in line with best practice guidance, EIA Screening and Scoping Opinions should be requested well in advance of the planned submission of EIA Applications.
As per Planning Officers Society (2020), Good Practice Guidance Note: Strategic Applications, EIA Screening Opinions should be sought during initiation of projects (stage 1), and EIA Scoping Opinions should be sought during urban design (stage 2).