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Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations

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Farm land

The EIA Regulations are designed to allow routine agricultural operations whilst protecting land with special environmental, historic or cultural importance.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (Wales) Regulations 2017 (external link) apply to all uncultivated land and semi-natural areas in Wales. This excludes forestry and woodlands which have their own regulations.

You will need to consult us before you carry out:

  • agricultural improvements on uncultivated land or semi-natural areas
  • projects involving restructuring of rural land holdings on any agricultural land type.

Under the Regulations it is illegal to proceed with projects without obtaining a screening decision. Failure to do so may lead to:

  • a Cross Compliance penalty in your Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)
  • a requirement to stop any projects for improving the affected land
  • a requirement to reinstate the land to its previous condition
  • prosecution.

The EIA Unit only deals with agricultural projects. You should contact Natural Resources Wales (external link) or your local authority about Forestry and Planning issues.

We will be happy to discuss the EIA regulations or any agricultural projects you are planning. You can contact us via the Rural Payments Wales (RPW) Customer Contact Centre:

Tel: 0300 062 5004
Fax: 01286 662193

E-mail: rpwonline@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30-17:00

You can also contact the EIA Unit directly at EIA.Unit@wales.gsi.gov.uk.

We are consulting on proposals to implement the amended European Directive 2011/92/EU on Environmental Impact Assessment which will:

  • strengthen the EIA screening process
  • streamline existing procedures
  • enhance the protection of farmland habitat sites.

For more information please visit Review of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (Wales) Regulations 2007.