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Last edited 06 May 2021
Alternative site assessment ASA
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) ensures that the environmental effects of a proposed development are properly considered. For more information see: Environmental Impact Assessment. It provides the local planning authority with better information about certain types of projects, enabling them to make a more informed decision about whether permission should be granted and to allow imposition of more appropriate conditions and obligations to mitigate possible negative impacts.
Due to the impact they may have on the outcome of the planning process, it is important to have ASAs undertaken during the very early stages of a project - not as a process of post-rationalisation after a site has already been selected, and very early appraisals of potential sites may be carried out by a surveyor before the appointment of the consultant team during the business justification stage.
 ASA guidance
There is no formally prescribed process or methodology for undertaking an ASA. The process should be adapted to the characteristics of different projects. However, the Surrey County Council offers suggested stages of an ASA, including:
 Assessment of requirements
- Physical, including size of site and building requirements.
- Access, including distance to and from roads.
- Location, including desirability based on the existing or proposed area of operations.
- Relationships, including proximity to any existing/remaining premises, suppliers, markets.
 Criteria for ASAs
- Whether the site is previously developed land or in active use for the proposed development.
- Likely visual impact.
- Standard of access.
- Likely impact on residential amenities.
- Distance from designated (i.e. environmentally sensitive) areas.
- Flood risk.
- Site availability (e.g. evidence of whether the site is listed for sale).
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- A guide to the updated National Planning Policy Framework.
- Environmental impact assessment EIA.
- Environmental statement.
- National planning policy framework NPPF.
- Planning permission.
- Site appraisal for construction.
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