Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirteenth Report


Memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions



  1.  The Committee has requested a memorandum on the following point:

Regulation 12(4) requires the relevant planning authority and the consultation bodies (notified in accordance with paragraph (3)) to enter into consultation with the person who intends to submit an environmental statement (if he so requests) to determine whether the body has in its possession any information which he or they consider relevant to the preparation of that statement, and if they have the body is also required to make the information available to that person. Are the underlined words intended to include the relevant planning authority? If so, explain why no express provision is made to this effect: compare regulation 12(6) which refers to "a body, including the relevant planning authority".

  2.  The underlined words are intended to include the relevant planning authority. This is necessary to give effect to Article 5(4) of the amended Directive, which applies to "any authorities holding relevant information".

  3.  The Department considers that when regulations 12(4) and (6) are read together, the underlined words must be interpreted as including the relevant planning authority: otherwise an authority could not, as envisaged in regulation 12(6), make information available "in accordance with paragraph (4)".

  4.  There is no significance in the absence in regulation 12(4) of the words "including the relevant planning authority" found in regulation 12(6), and the Department considers that it is sufficiently clear that the expression "the body" has the same meaning in both provisions. But if a convenient opportunity arises, the Department will consider whether to make an amendment to help the reader by bringing regulation 12(4) into line with regulation 12(6).

5 March 1999

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