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Impact Assessment Screening and Scoping


Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations in England and Wales cover agriculture, energy, forestry, land drainage, marine works, planning and water resources. Each set of regulations has a set of schedules and thresholds to determine if a project or activity will require to be assessed under an Environmental Impact Assessment.


Ecological Impact Assessments are part of the Environmental Impact Assessment but can also be required outside of the Environmental Impact Assessment regulations. This is often the case where works are close to non-statutory designated habitat with a high local importance or in areas where certain protected species exist.

To determine if an Environmental Impact Assessment is required for a particular project or activity, and what should be included within that assessment, a formal 'screening and scoping process'* can undertaken with the regulator for the respective Environmental Impact Assessment regulations. HalpinRobbins undertake this process for projects under the agricultural and planning Environmental Impact Assessments.

Once a development or activity has been drafted the details can be compared against the set threshold criteria and, were projects are above or around the threshold levels, a formal screening opinion will need to be drafted and sent to the regulating body to requests a formal 'screening opinion' on the requirement for the project or activity to undertake and Environmental Impact Assessment; 'screening opinions' can often require the submission of some supporting evidence such as ecology surveys, archaeology or landscape plans. The regulator will then return a formal decision giving reasons for or against the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment.

If a project or activity is required to undertaken an Environmental Impact Assessment then a formal ‘scoping opinion’ will be required from the regulating body. A 'scoping opinion' sets out the regulating body’s decision on the areas and impacts the Environmental Impact Assessment should include to properly assess the project or activity; 'scoping opinions' can often require the submission of further supporting evidence such as ecology surveys, archaeology or landscape plans to show why certain areas may or may not be included in the assessment. The regulator will then return a formal decision about the areas of assessment for the Environmental Impact Assessment.

For a better idea about our projects and work involving screening and scoping and Impact Assessments see our case studies or contact us to discuss your project.


Eco-camping Jersey

*Environmental Screening and Scoping sets out the need to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment and the level of detail and areas required to be considered as part of the assessment process. These processes should be undertaken at the earliest available opportunity in relation to projects and developments and can be undertaken at any time of the year; if supporting information is required there may be some seasonal restrictions associated with ecological surveys.

Key definitions:

  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) - a process for identifying the likely consequences of an implemented activity or activities on the environment and conveying this information, at a stage when it can materially affect their decision, to those responsible for sanctioning the proposals.
  • Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) - a process for identifying the likely consequences of an implemented activity or activities on the habitats and species at a given location, region or area and conveying this information, at a stage when it can materially affect their decision, to those responsible for sanctioning the proposals.
  • Environmental Statement (ES) - a report or statement in which an EIA is presented to the decision maker.
  • Environmental Impact - the change in an environmental condition or parameter, over a specified period and within a defined area, resulting from a particular activity compared with the situation which would have occurred had the activity not taken place.

Affiliations

Our staff maintain and enhance their knowledge of ecology and the environment through research, specialist training and by maintaining membership of several professional and specialist bodies including:

Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management
Royal Entomological Society
British Ecological Society
CIWEM
FSB

If you wish to find out more about permitting, ecology services or to discuss a project or development please contact us directly for a free, non-committal discussion.

"Nothing is too much trouble and the two way communication is second to none. I would not hesitate to recommend HalpinRobbins to anyone and we wouldn’t even contemplate going anywhere else."

Samantha Southam - Managing Director

Falcon Rural Housing Limited

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