A public consultation has been launched on proposed changes to environmental legislation in the planning process that could impact on future Tyrone proposals.
The European Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requires the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and operation of development projects to reduce their impact on the environment.
Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard, who will have final say on the Greencastle gold mine, said the changes will simplify the framework for environmental assessments.
He said: “Balancing the demands of environmental protection with the need for development and economic growth presents us all with a degree of challenge. The new Regulations provide a clearer and simplified legal framework for environmental impact assessments. Their introduction will lead to an improved assessment process, better decisions and increased transparency in environmental decision making which will benefit the development industry, the public and our environment.
“The revisions to the EIA Directive aim to improve the soundness and predictability of decisions on public and private investments, ensuring that they are sustainable in the longer term,” the minister continued.
“I want to help develop a regionally balanced economy, encourage sustainable development, whilst protecting our environment.
“I would encourage people to participate in this consultation process so that they can help shape the direction of sustainable development.”
The consultation will close on 9 February 2017 and is available here at https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/consultations