Hazzard seeks public’s views on environmental regulations

Date published: 15 December 2016

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has launched a consultation seeking views on proposed changes to the planning process in assessing environmental impacts of development proposals.

DfI Minister Chris hazzard

The European Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requires the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and operation of development projects to reduce their impact on the environment. Recent revisions to the EIA Directive are intended to improve current levels of environmental protection while lightening the administrative burden through a more harmonised regulatory framework.

Chris Hazzard said:

“Balancing the demands of environmental protection with the need for development and economic growth presents us all with a degree of challenge.  The new Regulations provide a clearer and simplified legal framework for environmental impact assessments.  Their introduction will lead to an improved assessment process, better decisions and increased transparency in environmental decision making which will benefit the development industry, the public and our environment.”

The Infrastructure Minister continued:

“The revisions to the EIA Directive aim to improve the soundness and predictability of decisions on public and private investments, ensuring that they are sustainable in the longer term. I want to help develop a regionally balanced economy, encourage sustainable development, whilst protecting our environment.

“I would encourage people to participate in this consultation process so that they can help shape the direction of sustainable development.”

The consultation is open now and will close on 9 February 2017. The consultation is available at:

Notes to editors: 

  1. DFI will be undertaking consultation on the draft Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 for a period of 8 weeks ending on 9 February 2017. The consultation document can be accessed via the Department for Infrastructure website or at www.planningni.gov.uk.
  2. A copy of the document can also be obtained from DfI’s Planning Policy Division, Clarence Court, 10-18 Adelaide Street, Belfast, BT2 8GB.
  3. Media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 373 and your call will be returned.
  4. Follow the department on Twitter @deptinfra

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