HC Deb 16 June 1992 vol 209 c439W
Mr. Dafis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action is currently undertaken by his Department to ensure the environmental impact assessments are conducted as early as possible in a project cycle.

Mr. Maclean

Where a project which is the subject of a planning application requires environmental assessment, the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988 require the applicant to prepare and submit with the application an environmental statement setting out the applicant's own assessment of the likely environmental effects of the proposed development. This ensures that the environmental information —the applicant's environmental statement and any representations from statutory consultees and the general public—is taken into account in the decision making process.

DOE circular 15/88 and the Department's booklet "Environmental Assessment—A guide to the procedures" advise developers to discuss with the planning authority the scope of the environmental statement before its preparation is begun and to approach statutory consultees and other bodies concerned with environmental issues at an early stage.