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Environmental permit

You must have an environmental permit if you operate a regulated facility in England or Wales.

You can apply on the GOV.UK website:

Apply for an environmental permit part B
Apply for an environmental permit part A2 Apply to change an environmental permit

What is a regulated facility?

A regulated facility includes:

  • installations or mobile plants carrying out listed activities
  • waste operations
  • waste mobile plant
  • mining waste operations

Listed activities include:

  • energy - burning fuel, gasification, liquefaction and refining activities
  • metals - manufacturing and processing metals
  • minerals - manufacturing lime, cement, ceramics or glass
  • chemicals - manufacturing chemicals, pharmaceuticals or explosives, storing chemicals in bulk
  • waste - incinerating waste, operating landfills, recovering waste
  • solvents - using solvents
  • other - manufacturing paper, pulp and board, treating timber products, coating, treating textiles and printing, manufacturing new tyres, intensive pig and poultry farming

Listed activities are divided into three categories, part A(1), part A(2) and part B.

Part A

Part A permits control activities with a range of environmental impacts, including:

  • emissions to air, land and water
  • energy efficiency
  • waste reduction
  • raw materials consumption
  • noise, vibration and heat
  • pollution prevention

Part B

Part B permits control activities which cause emissions to air.

The permit your business requires depends on the specific processes involved and resulting emissions.

Permits are available from the Environment Agency or your local authority (the regulator) depending upon the category your business falls within:

  • Part A(1) installations or mobile plants are regulated by the Environment Agency
  • Part A(2) and Part B installations or mobile plants are regulated by the local authority, except waste operations carried out at Part B installations which are regulated by the Environment Agency
  • waste operations or waste mobile plant carried on other than at an installation, or by Part A or Part B mobile plants, are regulated by the Environment Agency
  • mining waste operations are regulated by the Environment Agency

Am I eligible for a permit?

Applications must be made on the form provided by the regulator, or online and must include specified information which will vary depending on the operation.

A fee may be payable if:

  • further information is required (the applicant will be notified by the regulator and they must provide this information or the application will be deemed to be withdrawn)
  • the application must be from the operator of the regulated facility

For waste operations no licence will be granted unless any required planning permission had first been granted.

Regulation summary

What happens next?

The regulator will pay regard to the protection of the environment taken as a whole by, in particular, preventing or, where that is not practicable, reducing emissions into the air, water and land.

The regulator may inform the public of the application and must consider any representations.

The application must be from the operator of the regulated facility and the regulator must be satisfied that they can operate the facility in accordance with the environmental permit.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact us.

When will a decision be made?

We are required to either grant an application for a Part A2 or Part B process subject to conditions against which future enforcement action may be taken, or else refuse it. A statutory timeframe of four months is set within the legislation for assessing an application provide an application is considered “Duly Made”.

An application will only be considered Duly Made by the authority if there is sufficient information submitted to enable us to determine the application. We must either determine an application Duly Made or return it to the applicant within ten working days of submission.

The four month statutory timeframe is subject to a number of additional provisions and it is therefore advisable to have pre-application discussions with officers.

What if my application fails?

Please contact us in the first instance.

An applicant who is refused an environmental permit may appeal to the appropriate authority. In England the appropriate authority is the Secretary of State and in Wales it is the Welsh Ministers. Appeals must be lodged no later than six months from the date of the decision.

Licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

If an application to vary, transfer or surrender an environmental permit has been refused or if the applicant objects to conditions imposed on the environmental permit they may appeal to the appropriate authority.

Appeals must be lodged in relation to a regulator initiated variation, a suspension notice or an enforcement notice, not later than two months from the date of the variation or notice and in any other case not later than six months from the date of the decision.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, further information about making a complaint can be found on the information for consumers page.

Other redress

Compensation maybe payable in relation to conditions affecting certain interests in land.

Public register or database

We are required to maintain a register containing information on all permitted installations in the district. The register is available for inspection by the public at Wyvern House, The Drumber, Winsford, Cheshire, CW7 1AH.

Copies of any entry can be taken on request and it is recommended that an appointment is made prior to arrival.

A database of existing permitted processes can be found on our permitted processes page.

Trade associations