Investigation of different stakeholder views of local resident involvement during Environmental Impact Assessments in the UK

Michael Robinson, Alan Bond

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Based on the possibility that different stakeholders have different views and aspirations about public involvement in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), a study was carried out to test whether this was the case, and whether the urban/suburban public might have different views on involvement of local residents (who are considered to be stakeholders) in EIA to the rural public and whether the views of those with experience of such involvement differ from the views of those without such experience.

A questionnaire survey was carried out of UK EIA consultants and residents of one rural village and one urban area in the UK. The questions were structured in relation to seven issues relating to local residents involvement in EIA: importance; when (at which EIA stage); when (with respect to development sector); when (with respect to impact areas, e.g. air, fauna); to what extent; who; and for what purpose. Chi-squared tests were carried out to identify significant differences between pairs of results.

Significant differences were found between the views of the consultants (who would organise the local residents involvement) and the local residents themselves, for many of the issues investigated. There were also some differences in views between the views of the rural and urban/suburban public for a limited range of issues and some, but not many, differences between the views of those with experience of local residents involvement and those without.

Bearing in mind the limited nature of the survey, the results indicate that there is potential, even where consultants design what they consider to be very good public involvement programmes, for poor acceptance from the local residents and a lack of confidence in the programme. Consultants need to be aware of the range of views of stakeholders in order to develop successful public involvement programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-82
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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