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Environmental Impact Assessments

The Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations (Forestry) (England & Wales) 1999 require anyone who wishes to carry out a relevant project to obtain consent for the work from the Forestry Commission.

There are four project areas that the Forestry Commission is the ‘competent authority’ for in determining whether an Environmental Impact Assessment has to be undertaken by an applicant, they are;

  • afforestation – planting new woodland on previously open land,
  • deforestation – removing woodland and converting to another land use e.g. heath land,
  • forest roads – constructing new forest roads within woodland, and
  • forest quarries – constructing new forest quarries within woodland.

Woodland removal for heathland restoration in Surrey

Woodland removal for heathland restoration in Surrey

Each proposal is assessed by the Forestry Commission against thresholds set within the regulations for each project.  If the proposals exceed the threshold in the regulations the works to be undertaken are then treated as a relevant project. 

Determination of the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment

Once a proposal meets the criteria of a ‘relevant project’ the Forestry Commission will then make its determination under the regulations.  If the Forestry Commission determines that the project requires to be assessed in full it will call for an Environmental Impact Assessment to be undertaken and an Environmental Statement to be produced and published.

In order to make information about ongoing and recent determinations available the Forestry Commission has set up a register, the Register of Environmental Impact Assessments for South East England. The Forestry Commission also publishes details via this web site, which you can view by following the links in the top left hand side of this page.

We welcome you to view the proposals that are being considered at the moment and make any comments regarding the proposals to the Regional Director South East England.

Publicising our Decision:
Once a project has been considered in full and all the processes have been completed we will publicise the decision in a document that you can view.  This document sets out any conditions the Forestry Commission has applied to the planned works, any issues that were resolved and the approved works including the time scale within which the works must be completed to the satisfaction of the Forestry Commission.

Woodland removal for heathland restoration in Surrey

Restored ground immediately following on from tree felling for heathland restoration in Surrey

Full details of the Regulations and how they work can be found on: Register of Environmental Impact Assessments page as downloadable booklets in PDF format. 

Alternatively please contact us on 01420 23337 for more information.