Environmental Impact Assessments
ECL’s knowledgeable and experienced planning agents can help you with all aspects of your Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). From screening and scoping all the way through to the preparation of your Environmental Statement. Whether you’re a small business or an international company, we can help.
What is Environmental Impact Assessment?
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an important technique, or process for ensuring that the likely environmental effects of a new development are fully understood and considered prior to the development being built.
The Environmental Impact Assessment process should start early on in the planning stages of a project. There are three main stages to the EIA process:
3. Preparation of the Environmental Statement
This is the process of determining if a development requires Environmental Impact Assessment – does the development have, is it is likely to have significant effects on the environment.
If a development is listed in Schedule 1 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 then it will require an EIA.
These are developments such as oil refineries, chemical installation, some waste disposal installations and other large scale developments. If a development is listed in Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 then it may require an EIA and it is the Local Planning Authority who will consider if the development is likely to have significant effects on the environment.
These are developments such as some intensive farming activities, installations for the processing of ferrous metals, breweries and some waste disposal installation.
Screening requests can be submitted to the Local Planning Authority and must contain sufficient information about the development to allow the LPA to make an informed decision. Such information includes:
- A plan identifying the land for development
- A description of the development, including the physical characteristics of the development with regard the environmental sensitivity of the land on, and around which, the development will occur
- A description of the aspects of the environment likely to be affected by the development
- A description of the likely significant effects resulting from residues and emissions and the use of natural resources
- Any other relevant information.
Should the development be deemed by the Local Planning Authority that an EIA is required, the developer can then ask the local planning authority for its opinion on what information needs to be included in the Environmental Impact Assessment – this is known as a scoping opinion.
This process ensures a more focussed EIA. The information required for a scoping opinion request is broadly similar to that required for a screening opinion, consequently a request for a scoping opinion can be made at the same time as a request for a screening opinion.
The LPA will consult with various consultation bodies before providing its opinion. The statutory timescales for this process is 5 weeks, however it can be longer if agreed with the applicant.
The Environmental Statement
Where it is decided that an Environmental Impact Assessment is required, the developer must then prepare and submit an Environmental Statement – or ES. This is a document that sets out a developers own assessment of the potential likely effects of their proposal.
It is the report that documents the Environmental Impact Assessment process. The Environmental Statement is submitted with certain types of planning application and it is the responsibility of the developer to prepare the ES in consultation with various regulatory authorities (such as the Local Planning Authority, relevant Environmental Agency etc) and also where relevant the public.
The developer must therefore ensure that the Environmental Agency is prepared by competent experts such as ECL and that the ES contains a statement outlining their relevant expertise and qualifications.
What Must An Environmental Statement Include?
An Environmental Statement must include:
- A description of the location of development
- A description of the physical characteristics of the development including, where relevant, any demolition required or land-se requirements during the construction and operational phases of the development
- A description of the operational phase of the development, including any production processes – this may include energy creation and usage, materials to be used, natural resources used etc
- An estimate of the type, quantity and nature of any residues and emissions (to air, land and water) which may be generated during the construction and operational phases
- A description of the current state of the environment – known as the baseline
- The potential effects it may have on the environment
- A description of measures that will be required to mitigate or minimise significant adverse effects or to where this is not possible off-set any such effects
- A description of the methods used to identify and assess significant effects on the environment, including any difficulties in assessment, or any uncertainty
- An outline of alternatives to the development
- A reference list detailing the sources used for descriptions and assessments
- A non-technical summary of the Environmental Statement.
Your Environmental Planning Assessment Specialists
ECL’s team of experienced specialist planning consultants have vast experience in preparing numerous Environmental Impact Assessments for a range of sectors including Energy from Waste (EfW) developments, Landfill and Quarrying Operations, housing development, road improvement schemes and other industrial developments.
We can provide the following services to assist our clients through the EIA process:
- Preparation of Screening Requests
- Preparation of Scoping Requests
- Production of the Environmental Statement and Non-Technical Summary
- Public consultation
ECL can also aid you with Project Managing or undertaking individual chapters or the full range of Environmental Impact Assessments and specialist technical studies required to form an Environmental Statement including:
- Air Quality
- Human Health
- Landscape and visual
- Geotechnical and Contaminated Land
- Drainage and Flooding
- Archaeological and Cultural Heritage
- Climate Change
- Cumulative Impact
- Alternatives Assessment
Whether you’re a small business or a large multi-national company, ECL can help.
Contact ECL via our Enquiry Form or call us on 01443 841 760 for any queries regarding our wide range of planning applications, environmental impact assessment, environmental consultancy or environmental statement services.