What is Preliminary Environmental Information?
Preliminary Environmental Information (PEI) is defined in the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 as ‘information which has been compiled by the applicant; and is reasonably required for the consultation bodies to develop an informed view of the likely significant environmental effects of the development (and of any associated development).’ This is a broad definition which can encompass many different formats. The Planning Inspectorate’s Advice Note 7 confirms that there is no prescribed format as to what PEI should comprise and it is not expected to replicate or be a draft of the Environmental Statement.
What are ‘likely significant environmental effects’?
An environmental effect is typically a function of the importance, value or sensitivity of the receptor or resource (e.g. habitats for wildlife, a watercourse or a nature reserve, community amenity) and the magnitude or scale of the impact, meaning the change as a result of the proposed development.
Effects determined to be slight or neutral are not deemed to be significant, and as such are not reported in detail and will not require specific mitigation. The exception to this is where the combination of multiple non-significant effects has the potential to lead to a significant cumulative effect.
For some environmental impact types, such as noise and vibration or air quality, numerical values are used to identify the magnitude of impacts. Other impact types such as potential impacts on landscape character, visual amenity or heritage assets make use of specific guidance as well as their professional judgement to assess the significance of effects.
What is Preliminary Environmental Information for?
The Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) enables consultees (both specialist and non-specialist) to understand the likely significant environmental effects of the Proposed Development and helps to inform consultation responses on the Proposed Development during the pre-application stage.
The information is ‘preliminary’. Anglian Water is actively seeking consultees’ comments to inform the Development Consent Order application related to design and mitigation. There will be the opportunity for both the design of the Proposed Development and the Environmental Impact Assessment process to take into consideration any comments received through consultation.
What is the approach and content of this Preliminary Environmental Information?
Anglian Water has chosen to facilitate the consultation process by providing this PEIR in a more accessible format. The content of the PEI has been presented in two formats; a series of papers which can be accessed from the main consultation site, or the information can be viewed and explored through the following digital pages.