Request an environmental impact assessment (EIA) screening opinion for a marine licence

Before submitting an application for a marine licence, potential applicants can request a ‘screening opinion’ from the Marine Licensing team to determine whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is required in relation to the proposed works. 

How to apply for a screening opinion

Potential applicants should provide the information detailed below to the Permit Receipt Centre:


‘Marine Screening Opinion’ should be clearly referenced on the correspondence.

Requests for screening opinions are charged at a fixed fee.

Find out our service level for determining a screening request.

What information should be provided with a request for a screening opinion?

As required by the Marine Works Regulations, a request for a screening opinion must be accompanied by:

A chart or map (or both) sufficient to identify the location of the project and of the regulated activity

A description of the whole project, including:

  • A description of the physical characteristics of the whole project (and demolition works if relevant), including working methods
  • A description of the location of the project, with regard to the environmental sensitivity of the area likely to be affected
  • A description of the aspects of the environment likely to be significantly affected by the project
  • A description of any likely significant effects of the project on the environment, on such effects resulting from: expected residues and emission and production of waste, where relevant; use of natural resources, in particular soil, land, water and biodiversity
  • Such other information or representations as the applicant may wish to provide, including a description of any features of the project or measures envisaged to avoid or prevent what might otherwise have been significant effects on the environment

When compiling the information above to request a screening opinion, the selection criteria laid out in Schedule 1 of the Marine Works (EIA) Regulations (Matters relevant to consideration of whether or not a Schedule A2 project is likely to have significant effects on the environment) must be taken into account.

Details should also be provided of any application made to another consenting authority or Natural Resources Wales in relation to all or part of the proposed works. This should indicate whether that consenting authority has requested an Environmental Statement (ES) for the project and, if so, a copy of the ES should be provided in support of your request for a screening opinion.

We recommend that a scoping opinion request is also submitted at the same time as a screening opinion request.

How a screening opinion is reached?

Before issuing a screening opinion, we will consider the proposed works against Schedule A1 and A2 of the Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007 (as amended). For projects that fall under any of the paragraphs of Schedule A2, we will consider whether the selection criteria set out in Schedule 1 of the Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (as amended) are relevant to the project.

In line with Regulation 2(1), Regulation 11(4) and Schedule 2 of the Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007, when we in receipt of an EIA Screening Opinion request from an applicant, we will consider on a case by case basis, the need to further consult to inform our opinion. This process is not subject to a public consultation and we will make a decision on the most appropriate bodies to consult with. We may choose to consult with internal experts and external bodies, which may include the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas),the relevant Local Planning Authority and the Welsh Government.

Can I submit an application without obtaining a screening opinion?

Yes, this is expected to be the case for smaller projects where the need for an EIA is unlikely.

However, if a screening opinion is not requested for a project that we consider may require EIA, we will not proceed with the application until first arriving at a screening opinion.

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