An Bord Pleanála’s processing of Section 7 requests
An Bord Pleanála procedures in respect of such requests for EIA / AA screening determination / scoping opinions are set out below:
- Timelines: An Bord Pleanála has eight weeks to make its screening determination or 16 weeks to provide its scoping opinion.
- Where both a screening determination and a scoping opinion is sought, both must be sought at the same time. An Bord Pleanála has up to 8 weeks to make the screening determination and then must provide a scoping opinion within 16 weeks of receipt of the request(s).
- Refusing a request: An Bord Pleanála may refuse to deal with a request if the details accompanying a request as set out above are not provided by the prospective applicant or the appropriate fee is not submitted. In such circumstances An Bord Pleanála must give reasons for this decision to refuse to consider the request and return copies of the request and any part of the fee that accompanied it within 2 weeks of receipt of the request.
- Where refusing to consider a request An Bord Pleanála may make a copy of the documents, retain an electronic copy of the documents or by agreement with the prospective applicant retain the documents subject of the request(s).
- Consultations with prescribed bodies: An Bord Pleanála will consult with prescribed bodies (or other persons or bodies it considers appropriate) on receipt of an EIA scoping opinion request. The prospective applicant will be notified of any such person or body consulted. The person or body consulted have 3 weeks to respond to the notice and will be notified of An Bord Pleanála’s screening determination / scoping opinion on the SHD.
- Further information: An Bord Pleanála may seek further information from a prospective applicant in regard to a request for a screening determination or scoping opinion. The prospective applicant has 2 weeks to respond to such a notice.
Prescribed bodies for the purpose of Scoping
Prescribed bodies for purposes of EIA scoping are:
- The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government,
- The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine,
- The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional Development and Gaeltacht Affairs,
- The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment,
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and
- Relevant planning authority(s).
The Regulations only formally prescribe bodies for purposes of scoping SHD for EIA however An Bord Pleanála will use its discretion to consider whether to consult in cases relating to screening and scoping for AA.