2. Aims of Environmental Impact Assessment
2.1 EIA aims to ensure that the likely environmental effects of a development proposal are properly understood before any development consent is granted. EIA therefore provides a means of assessing the likely significant environmental effects of a proposal, and the potential for avoiding, reducing or offsetting any adverse impacts, in a manner which is both systematic and transparent.
Environmental information and the planning process
2.2 For the majority of applications the usual planning process provides a means of assessing the environmental effects of a proposal, and the absence of a formal EIA does not mean that environmental issues are not being considered. Planning authorities have at their disposal wide ranging duties and powers to collect and evaluate information from consultees and the applicant before determining any planning application. However, in cases where a proposal is likely to have a significant environmental effect by virtue of factors such as its nature, scale or location, these powers are further supplemented by the procedures set out in the EIA Regulations.