EIA Procedure
Projects Requiring EIA: 
Government projects
Private Projects
Abridged Assessments: 
Best Practices in Lieu of EIA: 
Who Conducts Screening: 
Who Conducts Screening Detail: 
Either the local planning authority or Scottish Ministers may issue a screening opinion (Authority) or direction (Ministers). EIA Regulations, sec. 6(2). Project developers may opt to simply submit an EIA in relation to a proposed development without a screening opinion or direction. Id., sec. 6(2)(c).
Criteria for Screening: 
List or appendix of project or activity types
Proposed project or activity may cause significant environmental impact
Criteria for Screening Detail: 
""EIA development” means development which is either— (a) Schedule 1 development; or (b) Schedule 2 development likely to have significant effects on the environment by virtue of factors such as its nature, size or location[.]" EIA Regulations, sec. 2 (definition of "EIA Development"); also see Schedules I, II, III
Who Prepares EIA: 
Project Proponent (with or without contractor)
Who Prepares EIA Detail: 
"An EIA report is a report prepared in accordance with this regulation by the developer . . . ." EIA Regulations, sec. 5(2)
Who Pays for EIA: 
Project Proponent
Who Pays for EIA Detail: 
"An EIA report is a report prepared in accordance with this regulation by the developer . . . ." EIA Regulations, sec. 5(2)
EIA Contractor Qualifications: 
EIA Contractor Qualification Detail: 
Scotland's 2017 Town & Country Planning Regulations do not specify minimum qualifications of experts preparing an EIA, however, "the EIA report must be accompanied by a statement from the developer outlining the relevant expertise or qualifications of such experts." EIA Regulations, sec. 5(5)(b)
Conflict of Interest: 
Conflict of Interest Detail: 
Although Scotland's EIA laws do not contain conflict of interest provisions directed towards the entities that prepare EIA reports, the EIA regulations state: "The planning authority or the Scottish Ministers, as the case may be, are to perform their duties arising under these Regulations in an objective manner and so as not to find themselves in a situation giving rise to a conflict of interest." EIA Regulations, sec. 52(1)
Terms of Reference: 
Terms of Reference Detail: 
If a project developer requests a scoping opinion, the opinion will address the "scope and level of detail of information to be provided in the EIA report[.]" EIA Regulations, secs. 5(3), 17, and definition of "scoping opinion."
Days for Decision Maker Review: 
2-4 months
Automatic Approval: 
Written Decision: 
Written Decision Detail: 
A decision notice is issued. EIA Regulations, sec. 29.
Authority to Impose Conditions: 
Authority to Impose Conditions Details: 
A [d]ecision notice must include "any conditions to which the decision is subject . . . ." EIA Regulations, sec. 29(2)(f)
Expiry of Decision: 
3 years
Expiry of Decision Detail: 
Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, sec. 58(1). This period may be modified by the planning authority.
Financial Assurances or Bond: 
EIA Content
Interdisciplinary Team: 
Interdisciplinary Team Detail: 
[T]he EIA report must be "accompanied by a statement from the developer outlining the relevant expertise or qualifications" of the experts who prepared the EIA, but there is no requirement for an interdisciplinary team. EIA Regulations, sec. 5(5)(b)
Range of Alternatives: 
Range of Alternatives Detail: 
An EIA report must include "a description of the reasonable alternatives studied by the developer, which are relevant to the development and its specific characteristics, and an indication of the main reasons for the option chosen, taking into account the effects of the development on the environment . . . ." EIA Regulations, sec. 5(2)(d)
No Action Alternative: 
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Direct environmental impacts
Cumulative environmental impacts
Social impacts
Cultural impacts
Health impacts
Mitigation Detail: 
An EIA report must contain a description of "any measures envisaged in order to avoid, prevent or reduce and, if possible, offset likely significant adverse effects on the environment[.]" EIA Regulations, sec. 5(2)(c); Schedule 4
Monitoring Plans: 
Monitoring Plans Detail: 
If planning permission is granted, the local planning authority or Scottish Ministers "must consider whether it is appropriate to require monitoring measures to be carried out." EIA Regulations, sec. 30
Access to Information
Public Notice of Draft EIA: 
Draft EIA Available: 
Draft EIA Locations: 
Not available
Public Notice of Final EIA: 
Public Notice of Final EIA Detail: 
Authorities must provide notice to the owner, lessee or occupier of land or premises adjacent to the project site. EIA Regulations, sec. 20. Notice of the availability of the EIA must also be published on the application website, the Edinburgh Gazette, and in a local newspaper. EIA Regulations, sec. 21
Final EIA Available: 
Final EIA Available Detail: 
The project developer must ensure that a "reasonable number" of copies of the EIA report are made freely available at the locations for inspection identified in the notice. EIA Regulations, sec. 25. EIA reports must be lodged on the application website and in the office of the local planning authority where the register is located. EIA Regulations, sec. 21(5)
Final EIA Locations: 
Local government office
Fee to View EIA Documents: 
Fee to Obtain EIA Documents: 
Availability of Reference Studies: 
Availability of Reference Studies Detail: 
An EIA must contain "[a] reference list detailing the sources used for the descriptions and assessments included in the EIA report," but the studies and data are not required to be disclosed. EIA Regulations, Schedule 4(10).
Public Notice of Final Decision: 
Public Notice of Final Decision Detail: 
The decisionmaker must publish notice of the decision on the application website or a local newspaper, and make a copy of the decision available for public inspection. EIA Regulations, sec. 31.
Public Participation
Public Scoping: 
Public Scoping Detail: 
Scoping occurs among government entities, not with the public
Public Review of TOR: 
Public Review of TOR Detail: 
If a project developer requests a scoping opinion, the opinion will address the "scope and level of detail of information to be provided in the EIA report[.]" EIA Regulations, secs. 5(3), 17, and definition of "scoping opinion." The public is not engaged during this step.
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Public Meetings and/or public hearings
Review of final EIA
Public Meetings: 
Public Meetings Detail:: 
The Scottish Town & Country Planning Act and regulations are not clear on the criteria for holding public meetings concerning proposed development activities. The EU EIA Directive, Art. 6(5)(as amended) gives Member States discretion in this regard: "The detailed arrangements for informing the public, for example by bill posting within a certain radius or publication in local newspapers, and for consulting the public concerned, for example by written submissions or by way of a public inquiry, shall be determined by the Member States."
Public Input at Meeting: 
Public Input at Meeting Detail: 
It is presumed that if a public meeting is held, the public may make submissions. There are no regulations specifically addressing this issue, however.
Criteria to Hold Public Meeting: 
Ministry or agency has discretion to decide whether to hold a meeting and/or hearing
Days for Public to Review Final EIA: 
30 days
Public Comments on Draft EIA: 
Public Comments on Final EIA: 
Public Comments on Final EIA Detail: 
30 days. EIA Regulations, sec. 21(2)(f)
Response to Public Comments: 
Response to Public Comments Detail: 
The planning authority shall take into account any representations relating to that application which are received by them . . . ." Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, sec. 38
Facilitation of Public Participation: 
Judicial Review/Enforcement
Citizen Administrative Review: 
Citizen Administrative Review Detail: 
There are appeal options to the Secretary of State for the project developer, but not for the public. Compare secs. 47 and 239 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act.
Citizen Judicial Review: 
Citizen Judicial Review Detail: 
"Any non-governmental organisation promoting environmental protection and meeting any requirements under the law is deemed to have an interest for the purposes of Article 11(1)(a) of [EU Directive 2011/92/EU] and rights capable of being impaired for the purposes of Article 11(1)(b) of the Directive." EIA Regulations, sec. 51; see also Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, sec. 239. Appeals are filed with the Court of Sessions.
Project Monitoring: 
Project Monitoring Detail: 
"Where mitigation measures or monitoring measures are required the planning authority must take steps to ensure that those measures are implemented." EIA Regulations, sec. 30(4)
Enforceability of EIA: 
Enforceability of Permit: 
Modified: October 25th, 2019