An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process which involves gathering detailed information to assess the environmental consequences of a large infrastructure or development proposal. Archaeological and cultural heritage information is one set of data collected alongside many other disciplines such as landscape, hydrology, ecology and noise. The information is collated and presented as an Environment Statement (ES).
The EIA process for archaeology and cultural heritage involves:
- establishing baseline conditions - a review of the known archaeological and cultural heritage assets present at the site and in the surrounding area, similar to a desk-based assessment;
- gathering further site specific information in the form of archaeological field survey and investigation (such as geophysical survey or trial trenching) if required, to provide sufficient information on the presence of - and potential for - buried archaeological remains that may be affected by the proposals, and
- based on the evidence gathered, an impact assessment is made on the likely effects (direct and indirect, adverse or beneficial) of the proposed development and where applicable strategies are proposed to avoid or mitigate impacts.
APS has extensive experience of carrying out EIA's for the archaeological and cultural heritage resource across a wide range of developments, including quarries, renewables (such as wind and solar farms), road schemes and industrial, retail and housing developments. We advise and liaise with other disciplines involved in producing an EIA for the client.