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EIA Quick guide

Find out when an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is required and how the EIA process works

On 16 May, 2017, amended The Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) (England and Wales) (amendment) Regulations 2017 will come into force. All applicants with Environmental Impact Assessment relevant projects should review these amendments. We are in the process of updating this page, in the meantime if you have any queries please contact forestregulations@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

EIA Regulations

Natural Resources Wales is the competent authority for assessing the four types of forestry project noted in the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) Regulations 1999 (England and Wales) in Wales.

We encourage all customers who have Environmental Impact Assessment relevant projects to review the relevant regulations. This includes areas in which NRW is the determining authority for EIA, such as the Marine Licensing and Forestry regimes under the Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations and the The Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) (England and Wales) Regulations respectively.

The amended regulations transpose Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 amending Directive 2011/92/EU and follow on from consultations that have been undertaken by the UK and Welsh Government departments to which we have provided responses.

We are in the process of updating the relevant NRW webpages, in the meantime, if you have any queries regarding the EIA regulations that NRW is the determining authority please contact:

The Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) Regulations: forestregulations@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

Under these regulations, we must consider whether the work proposed for any of these projects will have a significant effect on the environment. If this is the case, the applicant must apply for consent to carry out the work. Applications for consent must include an Environmental Statement.

A quick guide to the EIA process

This quick guide summarises the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. For further details, please see the other pages in the EIA section.

Every Glastir Woodland Creation scheme will require an Opinion to be made by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to find out if you need consent to carry out your proposed new planting work. In the majority of cases, the EIA opinion will be assessed as part of the GWC plan verification process and separate EIA opinion forms will not be needed. For larger, more complex GWC plans, an EIA consent may be needed – for more information, refer to Potential sources of guidance for EIA opinions. Ask the Forest Regulations team forestregulations@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk if you are uncertain whether a GWC plan needs an EIA consent.

Step 1 – Is it a forestry project?

Confirm whether the proposed work is a forestry project. The four activities (called 'projects') noted in the EIA Regulations are as follows:

  • Afforestation – planting new woods and forests. This includes direct seeding or natural regeneration, planting Christmas trees or short rotation coppice
  • Deforestation – felling woodland to use the land for a different purpose
  • Forest roads – formation, alteration or maintenance of private ways on land used (or to be used) for forestry purposes. This includes roads in a forest or roads that lead to a forest
  • Forestry quarries – quarrying to obtain materials required for forest road works on land that is used or will be used for forestry purposes

Step 2 – Is the project above the area threshold?

Calculate whether the project is above the area threshold, as defined in the EIA Regulations. If any work has been carried out in an area adjacent to the project within the previous five years, this area must also be counted towards the threshold.

Please see the EIA Forestry project threshold page to see the thresholds for each type of project. If the area of the project is under the threshold, Natural Resources Wales's consent will not be required, unless the work will have a significant environmental impact.

Step 3 – Do you need our consent?

If the project is above the area threshold, you must submit an Opinion Form to us to find out if you need Natural Resources Wales's consent. Within 28 days you will receive a decision from us either by letter or email confirming whether our consent is required. Do Not carry out any work until you have received the letter or email. Please see the EIA Apply for our opinion page for more information.

The majority of applications proceed only so far as the end of step 3. If Natural Resources Wales's consent is not required, you will not need to follow step 4.

Step 4 – Apply for our consent

If Natural Resources Wales's consent is required, you will need to:

Please see the EIA Apply for our consent page for more information.

Work carried out without consent

If work is carried out without the required consent, we may serve an Enforcement Notice to put things right.

Contact us

If you have questions about the EIA process, please contact us:

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