New EIA Regulations Call for ‘Competent Experts’

EIA Regulations
Regional Director, John Goodwin

Earlier this week, amendments made to the EU 2014 Environmental Impact Assessment regulations were enforced across the UK. The revised edition, Town and Country Planning (EIA) Regulations 2017, takes closer consideration of issues such as climate change and resource efficiency, as well as issuing new changes to monitoring and enforcement regulations. A fundamental addition to the directive is the requirement for ‘competent experts’ in the preparation and review of Environmental Statement (ES) Chapters, for example air quality, noise and ecology.

The revised regulations state: “In order to ensure the completeness and quality of the environmental statement, (a) the developer must ensure that the environmental statement is prepared by competent experts; and (b) the environmental statement must be accompanied by a statement from the developer outlining the relevant expertise or qualifications of such experts’.

REC’s Regional Director, John Goodwin, comments on the additional amendments, ‘Although no official guidance has been set yet on what constitutes sufficient expertise, an Environmental Statement could be rejected on the grounds that the works were not conducted by a ‘competent expert’. Looking ahead, it’s predicted that ‘sufficient expertise’ will most likely consist of a combination of relevant experience, qualifications and membership of the expert’s respective professional association.

UK environmental consultancy, REC, has inputted component studies and chapters to multiple EIAs across a number of sectors, particularly property developments and in support of developers, planners and EIA practitioners. ‘We invest time into developing the technical expertise of our staff and ensuring that they’re accredited to conduct work in their technical discipline’ says John. This includes noise, air, ecology, lighting, and contaminated land.

REC’s national, multi-disciplinary teams have a wealth of expertise and knowledge in compiling technical chapters, and are all fully qualified to professional standards, as well as established members of appropriate professional bodies. If you’re preparing an Environmental Statement and require assistance or a quote, then get in touch with one of our consultants today at 0845 676 9303

For full guidelines on the amended EIA directive, visit IEMA’s website for a free copy here.