Out of proportion: have EIAs grown too big?

Environmental impact assessment in the UK has long been considered to have a problem with proportionality. Why does this matter and what can be done to improve the situation? Isabella Kaminski investigates

Illustration of man looking up at a tall pile of paper

Information dump: the average length of environmental statements for offshore wind farms has grown to 8,000-10,000 pages

A recent scoping opinion from the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) about how the environmental impacts of an offshore wind farm should be considered piqued the interest of EIA practitioners. Renewable energy firm Ørsted had sought PINS’ opinion on the scope of Hornsea Project Four’s environmental statement, arguing that the project’s visual effect on protected parts of the Yorkshire coastline would be “limited due to distance”.

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