C6.3 Benefits of Environmental Impact Assessment


Although there are legal requirements surround the completion of an EIA, there are also many benefits to be gained from conducting an EIA.


The preparation of an environmental statement provides a useful framework within which environmental considerations and design development can interact. Environmental analysis may indicate ways in which the project can be modified to avoid possible adverse effects, for example through considering more environmentally friendly alternatives. Taking these steps is likely to make the formal planning approval stages run more smoothly.

Local Authority

Environmental impact assessment provides a basis for more informed decision making. It allows a more thorough analysis of the implications of a new project before a planning application is made. It also ensures that more comprehensive information is supplied with the application, which may reduce the time required to make a decision.


The general public is often concerned about the potential effects of any development, whether known or not at the time. By providing a full analysis of a project’s effects, an environmental statement can help to allay fears created by lack of information. Engagement with the public at early stages can enable developers to make adjustments which will help to secure a smoother passage for the proposed development.

The environmental statement may help to inform the public on the some of the issues that the local planning authority will have to consider in reaching a decision. [It is a requirement within the regulations that the environmental statement must include a description of the project and its likely effects together with a summary – in non-technical language.]

The Environment

The EIA process can assist in the selection of alternatives, including the selection of the best practicable and most environmentally friendly option. Environmentally unsound projects may be modified or screened out. The process should result in best practice and mitigation of potential adverse effects of a project.