Posted on Jan 31, 2022

EIA Planning Support for Local Authorities

Recent case studies highlighting our EIA Planning Support for Local Authorities

Client: Guildford Borough Council

Contract: Planning Consultancy Services

Date: 2020 – ongoing

Thomson was appointed by Guildford Borough Council (GBC) to provide EIA consultancy services in relation to five strategic sites within the borough allocated in the Guildford Local Plan (2019) for major housing development. The Plan includes for the delivery of at least 10,678 additional homes by 2034 whilst ensuring all development is sustainable and takes account of the unique and valuable environment within the borough, including the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV).

To date, we have completed work on three of the five strategic sites (c.4,000 homes), including preparation of scoping opinions for each and an ES review on one. All schemes have proven to be contentious. Key challenges have included the need to provide Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG), geographic and environmental impact overlap with a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and cumulative effects with the development of a major wastewater treatment facility, requiring detailed unpicking of the constituent effects.

Our commission has been extended to provide support on other EIA developments across the borough. This includes preparation of EIA screening and scoping opinions, attending pre-application meetings with developers and their EIA consultants, and undertaking ES reviews. Work has been completed or is ongoing on five other developments.

Client: Suffolk County Council

Contract: ES Review

Date: 2021

Thomson was appointed by Suffolk County Council (SCC) to undertake a review of the ES submitted to support a planning application to extend the operation of a landfill site in Great Blakenham near Ipswich for an additional 13 years. Although not a complex application in itself, it is opposed by the developer of a major sport and holiday resort on adjacent land and which shares access with the landfill site. Two of the key challenges for the ES review related to the lack of consideration of the consented resort development within the cumulative effects assessment and the reliance on out of date ecological survey data.  Our Director of EIA provided expert advice to SCC on the requirements for cumulative effects assessments and how the requirements of the EIA Regulations should be applied.

Client: Hart District Council

Contract: EIA Scoping & ES Review Services

Date: 2021 – ongoing

Thomson has been appointed to prepare EIA scoping opinions and undertake ES reviews in relation to two major housing developments in the district. Both are proposed on Green Belt land and are close to sensitive areas as defined in the EIA Regulations. The first scoping opinion has been prepared for and adopted by the council.

Read more:  The top 3 challenges for planning officers dealing with EIA development planning applications

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    Posted by:
    Peter George
    Director of EIA
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      Knowledge Hub EIA Planning Support for Local Authorities