Strategic Environmental Assessment

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is a systematic evaluation of the likely significant impacts of a plan or programme on the environment, before the plan or programme is adopted. SEA provides high level environmental protection and encourages sustainability and allows the integration of environmental protection with Plans and Programmes. Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is covered in Irish law through the provision of the Planning and Development (Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations, 2004 (S.I. No. 436 of 2004) and the European Communities (Environmental Assessments of Plans and Programmes) Regulations, 2004 (S.I. No. 435 of 2004).  These regulations were amended in 2011 (S.I. No. 200 and S.I. No. 201 of 2011).

Services Provided

JBA Consulting offers the following SEA services:

  • A screening assessment of the Plan or Programme as per Schedule A of the Regulations to determine the need for a SEA
  • Presentation and discussions on SEA with the Elected Members of a Council
  • Preparation of a Scoping Report and consultation with the statutory stakeholders
  • Preparation of the Environmental Report as per Schedule B of the Regulations
  • Preparation of an Appropriate Assessment for the Plan or Programme
  • Amendment of the Environmental Report to take cognisance of the amendments to the Plan or Programme
  • Preparation of the SEA Statement.


JBA has several years of experience in working on Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) for a range of clients, including local planning authorities and the Office of Public Works (OPW). By forming a multi-disciplinary team of experienced ecologists, landscape architects, hydrologists and environmental analysts, we are able to conduct all stages of an SEA, from screening, baseline data collection, scoping, options appraisal and development of alternatives/mitigation to environmental report production, consultation and monitoring. We have experience of both conducting SEAs in their entirety and also working with plan making authorities, advising them on best practice techniques and appropriate methodologies to conduct SEAs in-house. 

In conjunction with the SEAs, and also as standalone projects, JBA's ecologists are highly experienced in conducting Habitats Regulations Assessments to assess how plans and projects may impact on Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Ramsar Sites. At the screening stage, we use our extensive experience of assessing ecological impacts to determine how plans and projects could potentially affect designated sites of European and international importance. Where likely significant effects are identified, our ecologists are highly competent in devising suitable, and often innovative, avoidance or mitigation strategies to ensure that the integrity of the site is not compromised.