EIA Update | March 2013

11th March 2013

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  • Guidance ,
  • EU



IEMA's latest update on legislation and guidance relating to environmental impact assessment (EIA) including an update on the Institute's work discussing the proposed revision of the EIA Directive with practitioners

Revising the EIA Directive

IEMA has completed two expert roundtables, 13 member workshops and numerous meetings with the government, devolved administrations, statutory consultees, developers and NGOs to gather comprehensive evidence on the implications for the UK of the European Commission’s proposals to revise the EIA Directive (2011/92/EU).

While aspects of the commission’s proposals are sound, they go too far and must be scaled back if future EIA is to be effective for developers, communities and the environment into the 2020s.

Changes are also needed to prevent the revised Directive introducing new avenues for delay and legal challenge.

IEMA is redrafting article 5 (scoping) and identifying consequential changes, so as to provide an alternative approach that will lead to more effective and proportionate EIA.

IEMA’s position, to be published in late March, will also identify areas where clarity is needed.

GLVIA3 prepares for launch

IEMA and the Landscape Institute will jointly launch the third edition of the Guidelines for landscape and visual impact assessment (GLVIA3) next month.

The revised guidance places greater emphasis on collaboration in the assessment process.

It also promotes greater use of professional judgment in effectively applying the most relevant principles and approaches, and in setting out the specific context of the development and receiving environment. As such, GLVIA3 places the power of LVIA in the hands of those best placed to deliver effective assessments.

With such power comes the responsibility to deliver proportionate assessments, however, which is something the guide reiterates throughout its chapters.

The need for LVIA professionals to work within the framework of a wider EIA is emphasised and GLVIA3 also includes more on cumulative effects assessment, with a whole chapter dedicated to the topic.

IEMA is hosting a webinar to launch GLVIA3 on 10 April, and a short series of workshops around the UK will follow to promote the new guide.

The workshops will be held in: London (30 April), Cardiff (1 May), Birmingham (2 May), Newcastle (8 May), Glasgow (9 May) and Manchester (10 May).

New EIA regulatory guidance

The communities and local government department is to consult on guidance to replace EIA circular 02/99.

Based on the findings of the Taylor review of planning guidance, the new guide will be relatively short and focus on interpretation of key regulatory steps and the government’s views on the application of EIA legal findings.

The aim of the guide is to ensure that planning authorities apply EIA legislation correctly and avoid additions that can lead to disproportionate assessments. IEMA also understands that the Practical guide to EIA, which was published in 2000, is to be scrapped.

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