A deliberate breach of the EIA Directive by North Ayrshire Council

Fairlie Coastal believe that the irrational approach the Developers and Planning Authorities have and continue to take in relation to the scoping, screening, planning and consenting processes constitutes an ongoing and manifest breach of the EIA Directive. This approach is contrary to the stern commitment from Government to uphold and correctly transpose European Law. This strategy is already having a significant environmental impact, fragmenting and polluting the nationally protected SSSI while threatening OSPAR listed habitats and European Protected Species. Public Bodies and Planning Officers are failing their legislative duty to further the conservation of biodiversity through institutional failure to properly affect the environmental screening procdures. This is being exacerbated by pursuing a paper chased mitigation strategy which is being used purposively as a surrogate and to circumvent the EIA Directive and transposed legislation. 

(1) There has been a failure to apply ‘Wide Scope and Broad Purpose’ when considering Schedule 1 Paragraph 8(b) EIA Directive project descriptions.

(2) There has been additional failure to apply Schedule 2 EIA project descriptions.

(3) The planning procedure has been purposively subdivided (salami-sliced) to avoid application of the EIA Directive. This restrictive process using delegated powers further deprive the community the opportunity to challenge decisions.

(4) Demolition works must be considered under EIA Directive and recent paper-chased and catch up screening procedures have been used to breach the purpose of the EIA Directive with planners making it up as they go along.

(5) The developer and all authorities (NAC, SNH, SEPA, MS) have failed to fully identify the scale of environmental impacts during the EIA scoping and screening process.

(6) The desk-top environmental appraisal process and inadequate site visits have failed to identify OSPAR listed Priority Marine Features that are currently impacted by developers pollution and under significant environmental risk from further development.

(7) The ‘negative’ screening opinion is contrary to the SNH Site Management Plan that acknowledges the risk of significant environmental impact from further coastal development.

(8) Mitigation proposal during screening procedures were used to frustrate the purpose of the EIA, and serve as surrogate for it. It is contrary to directive to start from premise that although there may be significant impacts, that these can be reduced to insignificance by the application of various conditions.

(9) The SSSI is misrepresented in the CMPP Clyde Assessment and within the marine spatial planning framework. The site is at risk of further fragmentation and being de-notified as the Clyde Marine Plan progresses despite community efforts to highlight issues.

(10) Statutory Consultees CMPP were not informed of screening / planning / license procedures by fellow board member. This avoided environmental scrutiny and prevented CMPP of performing their Statutory function to screen for marine related EIA. This is contrary to ecosystems approach, the ethos that underpins Clyde 2020 Vision and contrary to the function of the marine planning that Ministerial Direction CMPP was granted to effect.

(11) Peelports have exerted an overt influence over the terrestrial and marine planning procedure. This conflict of interest extends to membership of CMPP and relations to Clyde Harbour Authority.

(12) The SNH screening opinion was made without site examination, realisation of environmental impacts, knowledge of marine ecosystems, and relied on the developer’s desk-top environmental appraisal. SNH’s failure to attend to environmental concerns, during the local authorities subjugated planning process, has led to an increase in environmental risk.

(13) There has been manifest and material changes in the development proposal and environmental appraisal since original screening opinion and must be re-considered under Schedule 2 Paragraph 13 (a/b) EIA.

(14) The subjection of Terrestrial and Marine Planning legislation has exacerbated the negative planning issues in developments concerning Integrated Coast Zone Management. Procedural idiosyncrasies between Terrestrial and Marine Planning are being exploited by developers and local authority to circumvent the EIA Directive.

(15) The Petroleum Act EIA legislation is being incorrectly offered by NAC local authority and planning committee as a surrogate for a mandatory Schedule 1 EIA that would otherwise examine decommissioning, construction and operations at the Hunterston decommissioning port

(16) There has been a lack of openness and transparency during whole Hunterston Project process. This has frustrated the communities ability to adequately challenge aspects of planning process and leading to possible time barr on review or ministerial appeal.

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