DCLG announces consultation on hazardous substances consents

DCLG have published for public consultation a Technical Consultation on the role of planning in preventing major-accident hazards involving hazardous substances. The consultation closes on 1st December 2014.

Background Context

The Seveso III directive (2012/18/EU) became European law in August 2012. The stated intention is to prevent on-shore major accidents involving hazardous substances and limit the consequences to people and/or the environment. At present, the Seveso II directive applies to around 700 sites in England, mainly establishments related to petrochemical and chemical industries, large scale fuel, gas and chemical storage and distribution depots, and some pharmaceutical and metal manufacturing sites.

Seveso III has to be transposed into domestic legislation by 31 May 2015. The Health and Safety Executive lead on transposing the bulk of the directive’s requirements across Great Britain. The Executive consulted on new control of major accident hazards regulations in May and June 2014 (COMAH). The Department for Communities and Local Government have responsibility for transposing the land use planning requirements of the directive in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have separate responsibility for transposing the land-use planning requirements in their areas.

Main changes from Seveso II

Seveso III makes a number of changes relating to land-use planning, in particular:

Scope – the directive changes the list of hazardous substances it controls. The new list reflects internationally recognised standards set out in separate EU legislation on classification, labelling and packaging. These changes were supported by industry and bring trade benefits through improved integration;

Public consultation about decisions – the directive now includes specific requirements on public consultation relating to decisions on where hazardous substances are to be located and on development around those locations. These are intended to bring the directive in line with the provisions of the Aarhus Convention.

The Consultation document includes draft:

The Town and Country Planning England

The Planning (HazardousSubstances) (England) Regulations 2015

There will also be associated Planning Practice Guidance.

This document can be reviewed at the link below.


For further information about this guidance and how we might be able to assist you please contact your normal CgMs/RPS contact or Maureen Darrie

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