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Environmental permits

Certain industrial premises are required to have an environmental permit in order to operate. The purpose of the permit is to control emissions from industrial processes which are harmful to the environment.

The responsibilities for regulation are shared between local councils (activities termed Part B & A2) and the Environment Agency (Part A1 activities) and depend on the type and scale of the activity concerned.

List of environmental permits issued

In order to help an operator understand what will be required by the permit, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued process guidance notes for each prescribed activity.

Permitting check list

  • You must have an environmental permit in order to operate a prescribed activity.
  • An environmental permit must be applied for through your local authority or Environment Agency. When determining the application, various bodies including statutory consultees and the general public may be consulted. The enacting regulations (Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010) allow a local authority up to four months to determine an application for a permit.
  • There is a fee on permit application and an annual subsistence charge thereafter. Annual subsistence fees are determined by inspection and through the risk assessment methodology undertaken at the end of a full inspection.
  • Once an application for a permit is considered ‘duly made’, details will be placed on a public register.
  • You can apply for commercial confidentiality or confidentiality in the interests of national security which will be determined in conjunction with the application.
  • There are penalties should you not comply with your permit conditions.

Applying for a permit

It is illegal to operate certain activities without holding an environmental permit. The Defra website lists all industrial activities that require an environmental permit and where applicable, threshold levels.

See details of guidance notes for both Part B and A2 activities regulated by the local authority on the Defra website.

Part A1

For Part A1 processes you should contact the Environment Agency.

Part A2 or Part B

For an application form to register for a Part A2 or Part B environmental permit, contact Norwich City Council.

Fees and charges and risk assessment

A one-off application fee needs to accompany the completed application form. An application is not ‘duly made’ until the correct fee has been received. Once a permit is issued, there is also an annual subsistence charge payable to the local authority. See the Defra website for fees and charges.

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