Environmental Considerations

Environmental Impact Assessment

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is the statutory process used to assess the environmental effects of the A701 Relief Road and A702 Link Road project. The Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) will contain:

  • details of the current environmental conditions;
  • an assessment of potential impacts;
  • measures to avoid, reduce or compensate any potential environmental impacts;
  • and information about any lasting environmental effects from the project.

To inform the EIA process, a consultation will be carried out with key statutory consultees including:

  • NatureScot;
  • Midlothian Council;
  • Transport Scotland;
  • Historic Environment Scotland; and
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Protection of the Environment

A key consideration for the project is the need to avoid or reduce potentially adverse impacts on the environment and this will be done through:

  • The route selection is being informed by detailed environmental assessments (including ecology, physical and historic environment, local communities and the current or planned future land use in the area ).
  • Mitigation measures will be developed and, where possible, included within the design.
  • An EIA will be undertaken. Environmental constraints and issues will be identified and considered as part of the decision making process throughout the design development of the project.

Environmental Constraints and Engineering Constraints

The forthcoming planning application will be supported by a series of technical environmental assessments which will be detailed within the EIAR. A broad range of topics will be covered, as follows:

  • Air Quality – assessing impacts from construction activities and emissions created by an operational project.
  • Noise and Vibration – addressing the effects from construction activities and the impacts associated with the project when it is operational.
  • Cultural Heritage – including the impact of the project on nearby listed buildings and features of historical significance.
  • Landscape – addressing the likely effects of the project on the surrounding landscape character and on visual amenity.
  • Soils – addressing the likely effects of the project on soils and agricultural land.
  • Ecology – addressing the effects of the project on existing habitats and protected species.
  • Ground Conditions and Mining – assessing the impacts the project will have on the geo-environmental conditions of the site during construction and operation.
  • Population and Health – assessing the impacts the project will have on local communities, including health impacts and any impacts to Core Paths.
  • Hydrology and Hydrogeology – addressing the likely effects of the project on the surrounding water environment, including flood risk.