Impact Assessments, Environmental Assessments, EcIA and PEA
Understanding the quality and reliability of the science behind the data collected and presented by developers is fundamental. Because there are often very basic concerns over the material, and claims, in an ES and the precursor Preliminary Ecological Assessments (PEA) and EcIAs, many development proposals end up at Public Inquiry. These include housing developments, infrastructural plans and energy sites such as windfarms. For any of these to go ahead, full appraisals of the potential short, medium and long-term ecological impacts of any planned development are critical. This requires validly collected data. These are often missing or at issue.
Drawing upon Dr Tim Reed's ornithological and broad ecological background, we are used to providing an impartial evaluation of the material presented in planning and at Inquiry.
We review the quality of the methods, the data collected, the assumptions, the interpretation and the limitations of the case presented. In the same way, we also appraise the case presented by Action Groups. As well as providing written proofs, we are experienced at cross examination at Inquiry.
Just as importantly, we do PEA and EcIA surveys and collect data, so know what is needed, and the limitations in data sets that others neglect or ignore. That means we know what should be there, and what it should contain.
Many of the methods stated as used in wind farm impacts are common to other planning proposals, such as major developments for motorways and housing projects. All refer to standard methods of survey, reporting and interpretation.
Given one of our director's background in developing the Common Standards model used by Government Agencies and the NGO sector, we are frequently called upon to evaluate the use/ mis-use of survey standards for proposed developments at a range of site types- of which wind farms are now a very small minority.
We also give training courses on the use and abuse of data in development proposals, wind farms and other EIA documents for a wide range of clients, including the NGO sector
No matter what the proposal, we expect adherence to BS42020, and the availability of all data for review.