1.8.3 Environmental Assessment The definition of an Environmental Assessment (EA) states EA is the process by which information about the environmental effects of a project is collected, assessed and taken into account by the planning authority in reaching a decision on whether the proposed development should go ahead’. Only certain types of development require that an Environmental Assessment (EA) be carried out. Projects are categorised into two schedules depending on their likely environmental affects. Environmental assessment is mandatory for Schedule 1 projects where an EA maybe appropriate, which includes oil refineries and major road schemes. Schedule 2 projects are those such as mining or industrial installation where there maybe significant effects by virtue of their size, nature or location. The proximity to Sites of Special Scientific Interest or other designated sites is a casein point. Government advice as to the likely need for EA is given in circulars, which are updated at intervals when new information is available. The information required for an EA can be collated from published documents, consultation exercises and survey work but should be sufficient fora reasonable judgement to be made on the project, whether it is a major road scheme or the development of anew housing estate. The final decision may, for example result in the scheme being turned down, the rerouting of the road link or alteration of the housing-estate design. The Environmental Statement (ES) is the document produced at the end of this data collation process and should include the following information to
meet current guidelines a description of the development; • data necessary to identify the main effects of the development; • an assessment of the likely significant effects on the environment (including fauna); • measures to avoid, reduce or remedy the impacts of adverse effects. The needs of bats must betaken into account if they are present on the site of a proposed development that is subject to an EA.