What is Environmental Permitting?

Environmental permitting is a regime to regulate certain types of factory and other activities such as dry cleaners and mobile crushers.  The purpose is to achieve statutory environmental targets and outcomes, such as helping to improve air quality.

Local authorities regulate about 80 different types of installation that are categorised as ‘Part B’ or ‘Part A2’ processes.  The Environment Agency regulates the often larger and more complex ‘Part A1’ installations. Businesses which operate any of these Part A or Part B processes must have a permit.  Permits contain conditions such as emission limits that must be achieved.  They also encourage the adoption of the best available practice in the operation of facilities.

Does my installation require a permit?

Activities that require an Environmental Permit include:

1.  An installation carrying out the activities listed in Schedule 1 of the EP Regulations.  These include activities in the energy, metals, minerals, chemicals and waste sectors.  A list of these installations together with the appropriate Process Guidance note can be found on the DEFRA website.

2.  A waste operation.  This includes the disposal or recovery of waste which is not exempt under the EP Regulations.

3.  A mobile plant carrying out one of the above activities or waste operations.

If you are unsure whether you need a permit please email us at environmental_monitoring@bathnes.gov.uk or telephone 01225 396693.

How do I apply for or make a change to an existing permit?

Complete the appropriate Application Form and email it to environmental_monitoring@bathnes.gov.uk.  Alternatively, you may send a hard copy to:

Environmental Monitoring
B&NES Council
Lewis House
Manvers Street
Bath    BA1 1JG

Please see the Fees and Charges section below for details on how to pay.  Applications are also required to be submitted to vary, transfer and surrender permits.

Application Procedure

From receipt of a Duly Made application the regulator has up to 4 months to issue the permit.  The reason for this time is because the regulator may need to consult with interested parties such as the Environment Agency and Natural England, for example.  Consultation may need to be undertaken both for new applications and substantial change applications.

In addition to the need to consult with statutory bodies, the regulator has the option to advertise the application in a local newspaper.  This usually occurs when the application is likely to give rise to local controversy, or where the activity subject to the application could have impacts wider than the immediate vicinity, and a newspaper advertisement will be the best way of alerting potentially interested people.

Duly Made Applications

An application is duly made when all the information required by the local authority to make a determination has been received.  If an operator fails to do this, the authority may have to request additional information, delaying the determination.

Fees and Charges

Fees are levied when you apply for a permit or when you apply to vary, transfer or surrender a permit.  The exception is for reduced fee activities where no charge is levied to transfer or surrender a permit.

On receipt of an application, an invoice will be issued.  If an appropriate fee has been enclosed with the application then a retrospective invoice will be issued.  We request that any payments made in person at the One Stop Shop are made after an invoice has been issued to enable payments to be recorded against debtors.

There are several ways to pay this.  Payment methods include: online, over the telephone, in person and by sending cheques in the post.  For further details please visit the Council’s Pay For It web page.

Once a permit is issued, the operator must comply with the permit conditions and pay an annual charge.  This covers local authority costs for checking the permit is complied with.

Local authorities rate installations as high, medium or low risk.  This is based on two things:

  • Firstly, what the environmental impact would be if something went wrong; and
  • Secondly, how reliable and effective the operator of the installation is. The annual charge is lower for low and medium risk installations.

A list of fees set by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) can be found at:


Late Applications

The charging scheme specifies a higher than normal fee for applications made where an operator has been operating a listed activity unlawfully without a permit.

Reduced Fee Activities:  LAPPC only

There are some industrial activities which fall under the EP Regulations which are seen as significantly less technically complex than other activities and which also pose a very low risk to the environment.  As such, these activities do not come under the “standard activity” category and have their own “reduced fee” categorisation which requires the operators of these installations to pay reduced fees as set out in the LAPPC charging scheme.  Currently, this category comprises dry cleaners, petrol stations, concrete batching and most vehicle refinishing activities (as covered by process guidance note PG6/34b).


If the authority decides to refuse a permit, a business can appeal to the Government.  A business can also appeal if it has received a permit but does not agree with any of the conditions.

Risk Assessment Scores

Please contact us if you wish to view the Risk Assessment Scores for any of the permitted activities.

Can I apply for a single regulator for my site?

Some sites have historically been regulated by the Environment Agency for the waste activity and by the Local Authority for other activities that may result in emissions to air, for example.  Now all activities can be regulated under the same environmental permit. If you wish for this to take place then please discuss this with us.

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