Advice and Support

Environmental Statement

An overview of the Environmental Statement used to report the results of an Environmental Impact Assessment.

1 Overview

The results of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) may be reported in an Environmental Statement (ES). This is submitted with the application for consent for the project that requires the EIA.

When writing the ES, you should bear in mind that the purpose of the EIA is to make environmental information accessible to both specialist and non-specialist readers.

The ES alone won’t determine the outcome of the application for consent. Information gathered during the consultation period on the application and the ES will also be taken into account.

This includes comments from:

  • the planning authority
  • statutory consultees
  • members of the public

What information to include

The ES should report in full the conclusions of the EIA, so that the decision maker has an accurate view of the potential impacts of the project. The assessment contained in the Cultural Heritage chapter should be clear about the level of impacts predicted for the sites assessed, without justification.

There’s no set format for the ES. But you should include in it the information outlined in Parts 1 and 2 of The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

This includes information on the mitigation measures considered in the design of your development.

2 Cultural Heritage chapter

This chapter of the Environmental Statement (ES) should be easy for specialist and non-specialist readers to understand.

What information to include

The Cultural Heritage chapter should:

  • address issues such as direct impacts and setting
  • explain how mitigation measures have been applied to any significant impacts predicted
  • show how such measures have avoided, reduced or offset impacts
  • contain an assessment of any cumulative impacts
  • contain appropriate visualisations

This chapter should also contain the assessment of impacts on any Inventory gardens and designed landscapes.

Analysis should be clear and the ES should explain any assumptions underpinning the assessment. It’s helpful to cross-reference any chapters containing information relating to the historic environment.

Again, visualisations can be helpful to support the conclusions contained within this chapter.

More information

Download the Managing Change in the Historic Environment – Setting guidance note [PDF, 2.5MB]

3 Visualisations

Visualisations are helpful when used to show the likely impact of the development on the setting of the heritage asset – even though they can never match what is experienced in reality. They are just one part of the information that can be provided as part of an assessment, however.

We can agree a suitable format for visualisations and relevant viewpoint locations for visualisations as part of any pre-application engagement. It can be more useful to do this after your adviser has made an initial assessment of impacts on the historic environment

More information

Download the Managing Change in the Historic Environment – Setting guidance note [PDF, 2.5MB]

4 More policy information and guidance

Find out about the key legislation relating to environmental assessment.

The Scottish Government’s policies on alteration or change in the historic environment are set out in its Scottish Planning Policy (SPP).

More information on the historic environment is available throughout our website and on the Scottish Government Historic Environment web pages.

We also offer our Managing Change in the Historic Environment guidance notes for download.

Download the Managing Change in the Historic Environment – Setting guidance note [PDF, 2.5MB]

Download the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties [PDF, 4.31MB]

Guidance for offshore and marine EIA projects

The additional guidance below is useful for these specific types of project.


For a copy of the COWRIE Guidance for Assessment of Cumulative Impacts on the Historic Environment from Offshore Renewable Energy, email

You can also find out about Historic Marine Protected Areas on our website.