Previous editions of the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment)Handbook issued by SNH (Scottish National Heritage)have become the "go to" reference for many professionals involved in environmental assessment. The 4th edition of the Handbook has proved its worth since 2014, recognised by professionals throughout the industry. The 5th edition has recently been published.

Why now?

European Union Directive 2015/52/EU (16 April 2014) was implemented last spring by both the UK and Scottish governments in the form of a number of statutory instruments which became effective on 16 May 2017. The principal purpose of the Directive is to ensure that an authority granting consent for a project has full knowledge of any likely significant effects on the environment.

Why a 5th edition?

Over nine sets of regulations were made by the Scottish Parliament alone, replacing Environmental Statements with EIA Reports among other effects. Other regulations were passed at Westminster. As a consequence SNH recognised that a full review, and new edition, of the Handbook was required.

We were instructed to assist with the review of the 4th edition of the Handbook, taking account of the 2017 statutory instruments and other changes made in the law since 2014.

Is the 4th edition still relevant?

The 2017 regulations include transitional provisions and the 4th edition remains relevant.

We are pleased to have assisted in the production of the 5th edition which is available on SNH's website, along with the earlier edition. It was a significant piece of work for our planning team and the staff at SNH.