30.62An environmental statement has to be deposited if the bill authorises work to be carried out on land specified in the bill. An environmental statement is not required in relation to any works for which planning permission has been granted. In the case of a hybrid bill, the statement is deposited at the same time as the bill is introduced.1
Members of the public can comment on the statement before a bill's second reading (Standing Order 224A). The public are granted a minimum of 56 days from the introduction of the bill in Parliament to submit comments on the environmental statement to the Government. The Government is required to publish the comments received. The comments are assessed and summarised by an independent assessor, appointed by the Examiners of Petitions for Private Bills. The independent assessor's report must be submitted to the House within a period of not less than 28 days determined by the Examiners after consultation with the relevant Minister. If the assessment is submitted to the House, a period of 14 days must then elapse before the bill can be given a second reading (Standing Order 224A).
If supplementary environmental information is submitted after the deposit of the environmental statement, a minimum of 42 days is provided for comments to be submitted on the supplementary information. These comments will be published and a summary of them, made by the independent assessor, must be published. At least 14 days must then elapse before the third reading of the bill (or, if the supplementary information was submitted before second reading, before the second reading of the bill).
- 1. SO 27A requires that an environmental statement is produced and deposited when the bill is introduced; such environmental statements must comply with the objectives of the EU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessments, which include a requirement that the public are consulted on the formal environmental statement (on the requirements for public consultation, see SO 224A which was revised in June 2013 to make that requirement explicit). SO 27A requires a hybrid bill to meet the requirements of the EIA Directive.