Environmental Impact Assessment

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process designed to evaluate the potential environmental effects of development and identify ways in which they can be avoided, reduced or offset through the application of appropriate mitigation measures. EIA is only required for those development projects that have the potential to generate significant environmental effects by virtue of their size, nature or the sensitivity of the receiving environment.

Environmental Impact Assessment Process

The EIA process is enshrined in UK legislation in the form of the 2011 EIA Regulations with additional practice guidance provided by the National Planning Practice Guidance. It contains three key stages, as follows:

  • Screening: to determine through a formal consultation process, whether EIA is required for a particular project;
  • Scoping: to confirm through consultation with the local planning authority and key stakeholders the extent and scope of the assessment based on the potential significant effects. Projects can necessitate various component assessments such as ecology, archaeology, noise and air quality, the need for which is determined at this stage; and
  • Assessment: the stage at which the development proposals are tested to determine the significance of potential environmental effects and mitigation measures are specified in order to address these effects.

The findings of the EIA are presented in an Environmental Statement (ES) that is submitted with a planning application to the local planning authority. The application and the ES are then consulted upon and the information presented will be a key influencing factor in whether a development is acceptable and is granted planning consent. Our EIA specialist holds a Master’s Degree in EIA, is a Chartered Environmentalist, a Full Member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and an IEMA Registered EIA Practitioner with over a decade of EIA project management experience in the private sector.