Suitable environmental risk assessment is all too often completely passed on or noted as “to be confirmed” and left for designers and even worse construction contractors to deal with. We are talking about early stage desktop checks that could affect project feasibility. These include desktop study issues such as protected areas or known protected species habitat amongst others.
When you’re in detailed design or construction stage it will by default be to late to deal with many risks that should have been recognised and assessed during early project development by the client. This is mainly because potential survey requirements or consents cannot be completed within the project timeframes at this point or the design cannot be sufficiently changed to avoid risks. This is especially true for projects that do not require planning permission such as infrastructure projects where the client is not forced through development consent requirements to adequately assess environmental risk.
If you could only pick one point at which to do environmental risk assessments for development and infrastructure projects, it must surely be at early development and business case stage. Confirm during tender stage if the basic checks have been completed and if not make sure to note these as potential programme risks.
Contact sustainabilitysciences.com for specialist advice on how to manage these and other infrastructure or development project risks firstname.lastname@example.org.