You'll need an environmental permit if you do industrial activities that have the potential to cause pollution.

Licence summary

Under Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016, industrial activities that have the potential to cause pollution are required to hold permits.

The permits have conditions that protect the environment through the use of agreed industry-wide Best Available Techniques', which are published by the Government's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

Some permits are issued by Bristol City Council whilst others are issued by the Environment Agency.

The Council currently regulates over 100 processes listed below, ranging from petrol service stations to manufacturing plants, with additional information being held on a public register.

Officers work closely with industry to help improve environmental performance and to ensure compliance with regulations.

Operators who are unsure whether they need a permit are recommended to contact the Pollution Team to discuss the requirements in detail.

Bristol City Council's permits describe the permitted installation or mobile plant, state who the Operator is, and detail the conditions under which the installation or mobile plant must be operated.

You can view the public register for the activities regulated by Bristol City Council.

You must have an environmental permit if you operate a regulated facility in England or Wales.

A regulated facility includes:

  • installations or mobile plants carrying out listed activities
  • waste operations
  • waste mobile plant
  • mining waste operations

Listed activities include:

  • energy - burning fuel, gasification, liquification and refining activities
  • metals - manufacturing and processing metals
  • minerals - manufacturing lime, cement, ceramics or glass
  • chemicals - manufacturing chemicals, pharmaceuticals or explosives, storing chemicals in bulk
  • waste - incinerating waste, operating landfills, recovering waste
  • solvents - using solvents
  • other - manufacturing paper, pulp and board, treating timber products, coating, treating textiles and printing, manufacturing new tyres, intensive pig and poultry farming

Listed activities are divided into four categories: Part A(1), Part A(2), SWIP and Part B.

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

Small Waste Incineration Plants (SWIP) control emissions to air and water.

Part B permits control activities which cause emissions to air.

The permit your business requires depends on the specific processes involved and resulting emissions.

Permits are available from the Environment Agency or your local authority (the regulator) depending upon the category your business falls within:

  • Part A(1) installations or mobile plants are regulated by the Environment Agency
  • Part A(2), SWIP and Part B installations or mobile plants are regulated by the local authority, except waste operations carried out at Part B installations which are regulated by the Environment Agency
  • waste operations or waste mobile plant carried on other than at an installation, or by Part A or Part B mobile plants, are regulated by the Environment Agency
  • mining waste operations are regulated by the Environment Agency

Eligibility Criteria

Applications can be submitted online. The information required on the form does vary depending on the operation. 

Please be advised that you may be contacted if the Council require any further information and if you do not respond promptly your application may be withdrawn. 

Please note that no licence will be granted unless any required planning permission had first been granted for waste operations.

Regulation Summary

A summary of the regulation relating to this licence

Application Evaluation Process

The Council shall pay regard to the protection of the environment taken as a whole by, in particular, preventing or, where that is not practicable, reducing emissions into the air, water and land.

The Council may inform the public of the application and must consider any representations.

The application must be from the operator of the regulated facility and the Council or Environment Agency must be satisfied that they must operate the facility in accordance with the environmental permit.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. In the interests of human health and the environment the Council must process your application before it can be granted.

If you have not heard from the Council within a reasonable period, please contact us. 

The application period is 90 days.

Apply online

Apply for a B Environmental Permit ( website) Go to (opens new window)

Apply for an A2 Environmental Permit ( website) Go to (opens new window)

Some installations have specific application forms, please contact us to see if this applies to your installation. 

Apply by post

Applications may be submitted to the contact address provided. For copies of the application form and fees which are set by the government please see  Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.  

Please make cheques payable to Bristol City Council.

Alternatively we can raise an invoice upon request, if you would like us to do this please contact us providing a purchase order number when required.

Fees and charges

Information regarding fees and the application process is available from Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and is subject to annual review. 

We will notify you of the fee payable once you submit your application and raise an invoice accordingly,.

Applicant complaints

Please contact us in the first instance.

An applicant who is refused an environmental permit may appeal to the appropriate authority. In England the appropriate authority is the Secretary of State and in Wales are the Welsh Ministers.

Appeals must be lodged no later than six months from the date of the decision.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact Pollution Control in the first instance.

If an application to vary, transfer or surrender an environmental permit has been refused or if the applicant objects to conditions imposed on the environmental permit they may appeal to the appropriate authority.

Appeals must be lodged in relation to a regulator 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 six months from the date of the decision.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you, preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery).

If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, the Citizens advice consumer service will give you advice.

From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other redress

Compensation maybe payable in relation to conditions affecting certain interests in land.

Contact information

Contact details


Tel: 0117 922 3400

Contact information

Public Protection (Pollution)

Bristol City Council
PO Box 3399
Bristol BS1 9NE

Contact details

Tel: 0117 922 2500 option 3