Certain public and private sector projects that are likely to have significant effects upon the environment are subject to the requirements of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The EIA is a detailed assessment carried out in order to measure the impact a development proposal may have upon the receiving environment. The EIA culminates in a Cultural Heritage Environmental Impact Statement.
As archaeologists and architectural heritage consultants, we carry out the Cultural Heritage component of an EIS. This involves a thorough desktop study and field survey and may include specialist applications, if warranted. The aim of the EIS is to protect the environment by achieving a balance between heritage protection, heritage management and development. For this reason, an EIS presents mitigation measures in order to ameliorate, reduce, avoid or off-set the impact that a proposed development may have upon the cultural heritage of the receiving environment.
The scope of a Cultural Heritage EIS includes assessment of archaeological sites and monuments, areas of archaeological potential, places with ritual and religious associations, riverine and estuarine sites, find spots of archaeological or heritage objects, architectural and built heritage, designed landscapes, historic townland boundaries, natural landscapes with cultural heritage associations, relict landscapes and folklore associations.