Screening and Scoping Opinions (Environmental Impact)

Screening is the process of deciding which projects require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). A scoping opinion only considers what information should be included in an EIA. These are not planning applications and we do not notify local people about them.

There will always be the need for a separate planning application which will involve full notification of local people before a decision is reached..

An applicant for planning permission may ask the planning authority for a "screening opinion" before submitting the application. Once received we have to issue an opinion within three weeks of the date of receipt.

The aim of the screening process is to identify those projects that are likely to have significant effects on the environment. In the UK determining "significance" follows a two-stage approach:

  • Firstly by applying 'exclusive' thresholds and criteria specified in the EIA Regulations
  • Secondly, on a case by case basis having regard to the selection

The broad intention of requesting a screening opinion is that developers can obtain a clear view from the council on the need for an EIA well before they reach the stage of lodging a formal planning application. This should minimise the possibility of delay or uncertainty. No action will be taken on the planning application until the developer has prepared an ES and submitted it to the planning authority.

To make a request write to or email us.

Planning Help
Ashford Borough Council
Civic Centre
TN23 1PL

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