Could new environmental regulations for town planning impact on your farm project?

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Planning for large livestock buildings or infrastructure projects on farm? Members, read about new regulations you may need to comply with:

New Environmental Impact Regulations for town planning projects came into force on Tuesday 16 May*. These regulations update English planning law to comply with a 2014 EU Directive and are known as the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017. 

Intensive livestock installations (building over 500sqm) and larger on-farm water projects such as on-farm reservoirs (land take over 1ha) are the most common English agricultural projects under the town planning regime, which may need assessment under the new regulations.

Among the changes in the new regulations, farmers can expect:

  • more robust checking of farm projects by local planning authorities to see whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required,
  • a need to show that they have employed a competent expert to carry out EIA work,
  • increased monitoring of EIA projects, which have been granted permission. 

The good news is that there are only 500-600 planning application submitted every year that need an EIA (representing just 0.1% of all applications), so most large farm projects should only require initial checking or screening.

NFU members can read more information here.

*There are separate Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations for agriculture (land), forestry, land drainage, water resources and marine projects as well as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. There will also be separate regulations for town planning projects in Wales.


Last edited on: 16:05:2017

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