Natural England   EIA (Agriculture) regulations: apply to make changes to rural land use

Find out when you need to apply for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) screening or consent decision to change rural land use. Click to read more


  1. When to get permission to change rural land
  2. Apply for a screening decision
  3. Apply for a consent decision
  4. Consent and screening decisions
  5. Appeal against a screening or consent decision
  6. Contact

The EIA regulations protect rural land in England that’s uncultivated or semi-natural from changes in agricultural activities that might cause damage by:

  • increasing productivity
  • physically changing field boundaries

Uncultivated land is land that has not been cultivated in the last 15 years by:

  • physical means, such as ploughing or an activity that breaks the soil surface
  • chemical means, such as adding fertiliser or soil improvers

Semi-natural land includes priority habitats, heritage or archaeological features, or protected landscapes. It’s usually land that has not been intensively farmed, such as unimproved grassland or lowland heath.

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