EIA Update | September 2012

18th September 2012

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IEMA's latest environmental impact assessment (EIA) update including news on delays to guidance from the European Commission on integrating climate change into EIA

Delay to EU EIA and SEA guides

The European Commission has delayed the launch of its guidance on integrating climate change and biodiversity into environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and strategic environmental assessments (SEAs) until later this autumn. The launch has been revised to ensure it occurs after the commission’s proposals for the new EIA Directive are released (expected later this month or October).

IEMA is discussing with the commission how best to ensure that members have the opportunity to learn more about the guidance. One of the guide’s authors is speaking at this year’s EIA Quality Mark Forum on 17 October. A webinar setting out the main points of the guidance is also planned and will be delivered by commission officials.

HRA advice for Scotland

In August, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) updated its guidance on habitats regulations appraisal (HRA) of development plans. The Scottish government has also published two complementary advice sheets to align with SNH’s guidance. These cover the alignment of development plan procedures with HRA procedures, and screening general policies and applying simple mitigation measures.

Wales EIA consultation

The Welsh assembly is aiming to consult on updating its Town and Country Planning EIA Regulations after the summer recess. The revised Regulations take account of recent legislative and case law developments.

GLVIA3 progress

IEMA and the Landscape Institute (LI) have announced that the third edition of the Guidelines on landscape and visual impact assessment (GLVIA3) will be published in March 2013.

IEMA and LI are planning for GLVIA3’s launch to ensure both EIA and landscape professionals have opportunities to attend events setting out the key updates. Details of the launch and related events will be advertised to IEMA members in early 2013.


On 20 June, the Scottish government played host to a discussion on environmental assessment and energy consenting as part of the EU sustainable energy week events at Scotland House. A discussion paper and presentations from the event are available to view on the Scottish goverment website.

Forthcoming webinars

  • 27 September – Effective scoping practices in EIA
  • 25 October – Presenting and communicating EIA findings


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