You may need an environmental permit if you do an activity that could pollute the air, water or land and increase flood risk by adversely affecting land drainage.

You are breaking the law if you operate without a permit when you should have one. To check if you need a permit and for further information about environmental permits please see the guidance from GOV.UK.

Part A permits

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
  • accident prevention

Part A (1) installations or mobile plants are regulated by the Environment Agency, whereas Part A (2) installations or mobile plants are regulated by the local authority.

Part B permits

Part B permits control activities which cause emissions to air. The permit your business requires depends on the specific processes involved and resulting emissions.

Part B installations or mobile plants are regulated by the local authority, except waste operations which are regulated by the Environment Agency.

Application process

All applications should give all the information the authority needs to make a decision and must include the relevant fee. 

If your application does not include all the required information a request for additional information will be made delaying any decision. If any additional information requested is not provided the application will be deemed to be withdrawn.

The application must be from the operator of the regulated facility. For waste operations no license will be granted unless required planning permission has first been granted. 

Applications are then decided within 4 months of receipt, or 3 months for dry cleaners and small oil burners. 

The Public Register

We inspect facilities routinely, more often where we suspect problems may be happening. Breaching the conditions set out in your permit may lead to enforcement action and can lead to prosecution. We must also keep information about these processes on a public register.


An applicant who is refused an environmental permit may appeal to the Secretary of State. Appeals must be lodged no later than 6 months from the date of the decision.

Appeals must be lodged to us in relation to the 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 6 months from the date of the decision.

Environmental Protection Service