The Controlled Activities Regulations 2011, Scotland
Applies to – Scotland and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)
Any construction activity in Scotland leading to a discharge to the water environment, abstraction, and physical works in rivers and lochs can threaten the water environment and therefore may be subject to regulatory control.
The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011, more commonly known as the Controlled Activity Regulations (CAR) apply regulatory controls (enforced by SEPA) over activities which may affect the water environment.
Making sure you comply with CAR
If you’re a contractor then CAR covers discharges, diffuse pollution, abstractions, engineering works in inland waters and groundwater; and the level of authorisation required from SEPA is dependent on the effect your works will have on the water environment. Three levels of authorisation include:
- General binding rules;
- Registration; and
As a contractor you should engage with your Environmental Clerk of Works early on to determine the authorisation remembering its key to understand your site and by following the ‘practical guide’ (located here).
What sites require a licence?
You will need a licence from SEPA if your construction site will:
- have an area greater than 4 hectares;
- include a road, track or other linear structure of greater than 5km in length; or
- have an area of more than 1 hectare, or a length of more than 500 metres, on ground with a slope in excess of 25 degrees.
Activities considered of moderate to high risk to the environment require either a simple or complex licence. A complex licence is for activities that need a more complicated environmental assessment.
The licence needs the identification of a ‘responsible person’, who must ensure compliance with the conditions of the licence. SEPA should be contacted and there is an application fee and the activity may potentially be subject to an annual charge.
I am planning starting construction soon, what do I do?
You must not commence any construction work (including land preparation) for which a licence is required without:
- obtaining a licence from SEPA;
- adhering to a pollution prevention plan for the site that SEPA has reviewed;
- allow sufficient time for SEPA to review the licence and pollution prevention plan (up to four months).
You can submit your pollution prevention plan to SEPA when making your application for a licence or at a later date.
Potential delay for contractors
Please remember the 4-month determination period by SEPA for changes, updates or licence determination and outline your programme of works accordingly.
If you need any advice or information about the above, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org