ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA) is an integral part of planning and development, for projects of a certain size and nature.
It is a process by which the anticipated effects on the environment of a proposed development are measured to inform the decision making process. The EIA process can often be seen as complex and confusing, particularly for key stakeholders. However, if managed well it offers an opportunity to de-risk development and enhance reputation.
Our approach is to focus the EIA process upon the key issues and take a proportionate approach to the assessment to minimise project risk and maximise opportunities for success. When adopted at an early stage in a development the EIA can feed into the design of the project.
For some developments, there is no question about the need for an EIA. But for other developments the need is less clear and hinges on the likely significance of the predicted environmental effects. Although local authorities will often give a ‘screening opinion’ that an EIA is required. Where appropriate, we produce ‘screening reports’ explaining why there will be no significant effects and hence why an EIA is not required, thus saving the client time and money. As an alternative, specialist technical reports will be prepared to accompany a planning application.
The stages of EIA
- Screening Request – some projects, depending on their size and what they are, may need a Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). We can provide advice on this, and in certain situations the need for an EIA may be avoided through early consideration of potential impacts and providing an assessment of impacts to the Local Authority, to aid in their determination.
- Scoping Opinion – If an EIA is required, we can confirm the required scope of the EIA. Many potential aspects may be able to be ‘scoped’ out at an early stage therefore saving costs of specialist components.
- Project Management – depending upon the required scope of the EIA there will be a significant number of specialist studies and surveys that may be required such as ecology, odour dispersal modelling, visual impact assessments, landscaping. We provide full co-ordination of our trusted specialist associate consultants to deliver the Environmental Statement on time