Understanding at an early stage whether a project will require an EIA is vital, especially where delivery timescales are tight or future funding is dependent on obtaining consent. Whilst most major infrastructure projects are likely to require an EIA to support applications for planning consent, so generally do not require screening, for many others it is less clear so it may be necessary to submit a formal request for screening.
Thomson’s EIA team are able to provide advice on the probability of EIA being required, undertake preliminary desk-based studies to determine the likelihood of ‘significant impacts’ (as required by the EIA Regulations) and prepare formal screening requests for submission to local authorities or other determining authority.
Using state of the art GIS technology such as our award-winning Thomson Interactive Mapping (TIM) application, we are able to generate detailed environmental constraints plans and undertake rapid appraisals, giving clients early warning of the potential need for EIA and likely scope. We can also undertake early consultation with key stakeholders (Environment Agency, Natural England and Historic England) on behalf of clients to understand their concerns.
Where EIA is required, our team of EIA practitioners will coordinate more detailed studies as part of the formal scoping process, working with the client’s design team to identify the environmental topics that will require detailed assessment. Proportionality is at the heart of all of our EIAs so we work with trusted technical specialists to robustly scope the EIA, focusing only on the topics where there are likely to be significant effects.
Our evidence-based approach gives clients, stakeholders and the consenting authority confidence that the technical, temporal and spatial scope of the EIA and resulting Environmental Statement will provide the appropriate level of information and detail to enable informed decision-making.