Department for Communities and Local Government_webAs the importance of building new homes becomes more and more evident, among the steps taken to reduce barriers and bureaucracy in the housebuilding process is the assessment of what threshold is appropriate for Environmental Impact Assessment.

Changes to the thresholds, when Environmental Impact Assessments screening is required when submitting a planning permission application for development, came into force on the 6th April 2015.  This was implemented by The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.

In terms of residential development, the threshold has been raised from areas in excess of 0.5 hectares to 5 hectares.   However, if the development includes more than 150 dwelling houses but falls below the 5-hectare threshold, it will require Environmental Impact Assessment screening.

This positive change follows the Government response to the technical consultation on environmental impact assessment thresholds published in January 2015.

TKatherine Gray LL.B (Hons) LPChe changes will reduce the volume of ‘Red Tape’ encountered by Local Authorities when dealing with planning permission applications and should, in theory, speed up the planning process and help Local Authorities meet the ever increasing demand for new residential homes.

If you wish to discuss how this might affect your land or development please call me on 01252 762007 or email katherineg@mackenziesmith.co.uk.