Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Environmental Impact Assessment is exactly “what it says on the tin”. It is an assessment of the risk to the environment, human health and amenity of the local area from a proposed development. The base line is the site as it exists at the present time.
These assessments can be required for most planning applications for minerals and waste schemes and that is decided through a request for screening a proposal for the Council to see if an EIA is required. If it is decided that it is then a request for a scoping opinion can reduce the impacts to be assessed by discussion with the various stakeholders.
The impacts can be beneficial and negative to the area and these impacts have to be weighed against each other to provide a planning officer and the stakeholder consultees, such as the Environmental Health Officer at the Council, and the Environment Agency with sufficient detail in an Environmental Statement (ES) for the stakeholders to assess the impact on the area if the development was to go ahead.
A project manager should be commissioned to manage the preparation of the planning application and the collection of data from the start just in case the development falls under the EIA Regulations.
There is a procedure to go through under the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2017 which requires a request to the Planning Authority for a screening opinion to see if an EIA is required.
As much information as possible should be submitted with the request from the applicant to the Planning Authority for a screening opinion including the design of the proposal, an assessment of the traffic generation, any emissions, the visual impact and how there will be mitigation through good design including landscaping.
The consultant should be involved from the beginning of the design work for a development so that it can be prepared to provide as much information as possible at the screening stage as it may be that an EIA is not required if it is a Schedule 2 development in the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2017.
If the Council decide that an EIA is required then the consultant project manager can ask the Council for a Scoping Opinion so that only the impacts that will have a direct effect on the area in terms of risk to human health, amenity, habitat and environment are dealt with in the ES and the benefits can be weighed against them such as the employment, social inclusion and growth in the local economy.
The ES accompanies a planning application and at Fennell Green and Bates an ES is prepared separately from the planning supporting statement and plans so that application documents are approved without all the information in the ES. The ES can be referred to if need be if there are any planning issues once permission has been granted.
Fennell Green and Bates have specialised in project managing planning applications for quarries and mines, waste management and commercial development together with preparing Environmental Statement since 1988.
The issues raised are usually
- The traffic generation
- Noise emissions
- Air Quality
- Effect on the Local Amenity of the Residents
- Effect on the Habitats nearby
- Effect on the Watercourses and Groundwater
- Landscape and Visual Impact
We have an excellent success rate in achieving planning permission where the proposal was deemed to be EIA development.
On many occasions where the proposal was border line for EIA we have managed to provide sufficient information at the screening opinion stage to satisfy the Planning Department that an ES is not required as there will be sufficient information provided in the planning application supporting statement saving our clients costs.
For any other information, please do not hesitate to contact this office and speak to John or Sandra Carlon.