The charity making life better by water

Environmental impact assessment

Planning regulations, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Environmental Statement

The planning application process requires an assessment of the scheme's environmental impacts. The Local Planning Authority (LPA) will decide what needs to be submitted, based on the scale of the proposal and the sensitivities at the location.

The regulations state that the LPA may require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) where the surface area of the enclosed water-space is greater than 1000 square metres (we estimate that this area may accommodate only 10 berths) or more than 100 berths are planned. The application will then need to include an Environmental Statement. Refer to the Feasibility - Planning page for early considerations relating to EIA.

If the LPA have indicated that the proposal is likely to be appropriate/acceptable and an Environmental Statement is required, you are advised to seek their Scoping Opinion on the content. We are willing to review with you, in advance, the information in your approach to the LPA on this issue. The LPA will consult statutory consultees, including us, on the information to be included such as desk study and investigations.

The statutory consultees are obliged by the LPA to provide the developer (on request) with any information in their possession that is likely to be relevant to the preparation of the Environmental Statement. The onus is on the developer to make the request and identify the type of information required. Consultees may make a reasonable charge for the consideration and provision of that information. However, to demonstrate our commitment to new mooring development, in cases where we are broadly supportive of the proposal, we will not charge for the consideration and provision of such information, for our part as a statutory consultee.

We will provide a schedule of information relevant to either the Environmental Statement or the planning supporting statement (where it is ruled that an EIA is not required). The issues highlighted in the subsequent section, Wildlife and Natural Environment, are likely to feature within an Environmental Statement if an EIA is required. The majority of other environmental impacts such as noise impacts on neighbours, light pollution, etc will vary on the type of location of the site. If an EIA is required they will be addressed through the scoping exercise. Where an EIA is not required early discussions with the LPA should identify the information to be provided in the planning application on these matters.

At this stage, consultees would not be expected to express a view about the merits of the proposal. However you should note that, as part of our Application Process, we send you reports on our appraisals of your submissions which include our views (which may be positive or negative). Such views will be made on the basis that they are without prejudice to matters that we may like to raise or are required to be raised in connection with our status as statutory consultee in planning matters.

Useful references and links

  • Environmental Impact Assessment: guide to procedures
  • Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and their journal "Planning" which can be viewed at
  • "Scoping guidelines for the Environmental Impact Assessment of Projects" produced by the Environment Agency, particularly section F4, Scoping the environmental impacts of marinas

Last Edited: 16 February 2022

photo of a location on the canals
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