4. Scoping of Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) (Stage 2)
Upon receipt of notice that the planning application must be made directly to the Board, the prospective applicant may request the Board to scope the EIAR to be submitted with the application, i.e. give an opinion in writing regarding the information which should be contained in the EIAR. The scoping stage is not mandatory. Before providing this opinion, the Board must consult with bodies prescribed by the Minister under article 211 of the Regulations including the relevant planning authority. It may also invite submissions or observations from a wide range of other bodies prescribed under article 213 of the Regulations.
In the case of 7th Schedule developments, the pre-application consultations must have concluded with the issuing of the Board's opinion before a request for scoping is made.
A request to scope an EIAR should be made in writing to The Secretary, An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1. The prospective applicant must supply the Board with sufficient information in relation to the proposed development to enable prescribed bodies to make informed submissions and for the Board to give an opinion in relation to the request. In particular, the proposed development must be adequately detailed and described and clearly indicated on drawings of an appropriate scale.
The Board may request the prospective applicant to submit sufficient hard or electronic copies of the scoping request so that it can be circulated to the appropriate prescribed bodies.
The Board is required to comply with a request for scoping as soon as is practicable.
In accordance with the provisions of section 144 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, the Board has determined that a fee shall be charged for any scoping request received on or after 5th September 2011 for a written opinion on the information to be contained in an Environmental Impact Assessment Report. Please refer to the Board's "Guide to Fees payable to An Bord Pleanála" for information on current fees
4.4.1 Scoping can be defined as the prior determination of the nature and detail of the information to be contained in an EIAR. It seeks to identify the areas of significant potential impact and assessments required prior to the commencement of detailed data collection or survey. The information to be contained in an EIAR is set out in article 94 and Schedule 6 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, as amended, and the criteria for determining whether a development would or would not be likely to have significant effects on the environment is set out in Schedule 7 of those Regulations. These are matters to which the Board will have regard when giving a scoping opinion and prospective applicants will be required to submit sufficient information to the Board to enable it to provide such an opinion. The Environmental Protection Agency's Guidelines on the Information to be contained in Environmental Impact Assessment Reports (March 2002) should be consulted for further information on the matter. Ultimately, it is a matter for the applicant to prepare the EIAR in accordance with the statutory requirements when making the application under Stage 3.
4.4.2 The Board may hold a meeting (at officer level) with the prospective applicant in order to clarify any matter or obtain any additional information. A scoping opinion provided by the Board will be sent to the prospective applicant and will also be attached to the planning application file upon the making of an application.
4.4.3 The Board’s file on the scoping procedure will be open for public inspection at the Board’s offices following the giving of the written opinion. The case will be listed on the Board’s weekly list of cases determined and the opinion will be posted on the Board’s website.
4.4.4 Any opinion given is without prejudice to the Board and cannot be relied upon in the formal planning process or in legal proceedings.