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Environmental Impact Assessment | MBEC

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Environmental Impact Assessment and Appropriate Assessment

Ecological and ornithological input to the EIA process is a core service that MBEC offers. We have undertaken Impact Assessments for a wide range and scale of development proposals in the UK. These projects often involve a range of detailed ecological survey work (including Phase 1 and NVC level habitat survey, protected species surveys, bat activity surveys, breeding and wintering bird surveys, bird flight activity surveys, fisheries surveys etc.) to inform the evaluation of the sensitivity of the affected habitats / populations, the assessment of impacts and the development of mitigation measures.

Effective consultation is also critical to ensure that delays due to concerns and expectations of relevant stakeholders not being met are avoided. MBEC has considerable experience in undertaking such liaison, as part of the EIA process for development proposals, with statutory and non-statutory consultees as well as with officers from local planning authorities and civil servants.

MBEC has extensive experience of writing a range of report styles to suit particular circumstances. This includes reporting for non-EIA projects as well as ecology chapters to be included in a project’s Environmental Statement. In the past, MBEC has also coordinated whole ES’s, usually when these have been led by ecology issues. For ES chapters, this work often includes undertaking desk studies, collating field data and undertaking the assessment as to the significance of any impacts from a proposed development.

Due to our recognised expertise we are frequently approached by clients to quality assure the ecology assessments of other consultants. As well as private sector clients, we have also undertaken this audit role for The Scottish Ministers and for Transport Scotland (in our Ecological Advisor role).

On behalf of developers, MBEC has collated, reviewed and provided data to local planning authorities and the Scottish Ministers to assist with the assessment of the effects of proposed development on the qualifying interests of European Sites. These sites may be Special Protection Areas (SPAs), and/or Ramsar Sites, or Special Areas of Conservation (SACs); collectively known as Natura sites. The decision by the “competent authority” as to whether a proposal will have an adverse effect on the integrity of such a site is often referred to as an “appropriate assessment”. MBEC has provided advice, data and special studies to competent authorities to assist in making such appropriate assessments, for ornithological and ecological interests, ranging from bean geese to marine mammals. MBEC have also acted as advisers to competent authorities in their decision making on local and national development plans that have the potential to affect Natura sites.

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