The IAU (Impacts Assessment Unit) at Oxford Brookes was established by John Glasson (now Emeritus Professor) in the late 1970s with an initial focus on the assessment of the socio-economic impacts of major projects, particularly in the UK energy sector. Over the last 40 years IAU’s remit has widened and it is now an internationally recognised centre for excellence for research, knowledge exchange and all aspects of environmental and social impact assessment.

The work undertaken by staff within the IAU has always been ‘close to practice’. Our current consultancy focus is on:

  • Evaluating the quality of environmental statement/reports submitted with consent applications
  • Providing expert peer support to the environmental statement production
  • Providing expert input to aspects of the assessment process
  • Audit/ follow up and compliance monitoring

Examples of recent projects

Evaluation of quality of environmental statement and supplementary information to provide support for Proof of Evidence for planning inquiry

The IAU was commissioned by a consultant representing a local planning authority (decision making body) in a legal appeal against the refusal of planning permission (consent) for an onshore windfarm. IAU was commissioned to assess the quality of the environmental statement and supplementary environmental information which had been submitted in support of the original application. IAU’s report provided background information to support the consultants Proof of Evidence in the Inquiry.

External peer review of environmental statement

IAU was commissioned by to undertake external peer review of an Environmental Statement (ES) being produced by an environmental consultancy on behalf of the developer. The ES was prepared in support of a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application to be submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport to permit the upgrade of an underground rail station. The IAU’s role was to peer review the ES during the final stages of production to assess the quality of the assessment and ensure the ES addressed current good practice.

Evaluation of quality of ES submitted with planning application

IAU were commissioned by a local planning authority to undertake an independent evaluation of the Environmental Statement and other Environmental Information submitted by a developer for 555 residential units on a greenfield site adjacent to a small town in Oxfordshire. The ES was submitted under the terms of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011. (No.1824).