Environmental Statements are often considered a soft target for those wishing to challenge developments during the planning consent process. For project promoters, they want reassurance that the EIA and ES are compliant with the EIA Regulations and able to withstand third party scrutiny. For local authorities, they will want similar reassurance particularly if the proposed development is aligned with identified local needs, such as to meet housing targets, which the authority is supportive of.
An independent expert review of the ES can provide assurance that not only is it legally compliant but has also addressed all the requirements set out in the formal Scoping Opinion, on which the EIA and ES should be based.
Our EIA team undertakes reviews at differing levels of detail, from basic compliance checks through to detailed reviews of the individual technical assessments. Where appropriate, we will identify issues requiring clarification and, if necessary, recommend further information to be provided. Our reviews are based on a combination of industry standard review criteria and the experience of our EIA practitioners.
For developers, we can undertake pre-submission reviews. For local authorities, we review once the planning application and ES have been submitted. We can also provide ongoing support and advice during and post-determination.
We are currently providing support to Guildford Borough Council preparing EIA Scoping Opinions and undertaking reviews of the ES’s covering 5 strategic housing sites in the borough.