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Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) provides for the assessment of the likely significant effects of a proposed development in the environment. Due to the ambiguous nature of the legislation on EIA, there are widely differing views as to whether the impact of a proposed development o surrounding property values should be considered as part of the EIA process. The primary objective of this thesis was to establish if property values should be considered within the Irish EIA process. In this regard, the most relevant provisions of the EC Directive 97/11/EC and the corresponding Irish legislation (Part X of the Planning and Development Act 2000 and Part 10 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001) were reviewed and it was established how these legislative provisions were being interpreted in practice. This was achieved by means of interviews with key personnel in the Irish EIA process and through a review of all of the Environmental Impact Statements submitted to ‘competent authorities ‘in Ireland over a ten year period. The thesis concludes that ‘impacts on property values’ are economic impacts upon “human beings” and “material assets” i.e. land and/or property, and as such, they should be considered in the Irish EIA process., but only in instances where the potential impact of the proposed development on property values is likely to be significant. The secondary objective of the thesis was to establish if it was possible to devise a suitable quantitative methodology for property value assessment for application in the Irish EIA process. Three quantitative methods were identified that have been used for property value assessment in countries such as the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia. The methods were the hedonic pricing method, the ‘before and after’ study method and the benefits/costs transfer method. These methods have been applied to a limited extent in EIA world-wide. The study, explores, through the use of case studies, the practical application of the three quantitative methods to property value assessment in the Irish EIA process. However, the thesis concludes that there are a number of inherent problems which need to be overcome in formulating and testing a quantitative approach and methodology for the assessment of the potential impact of a proposed development on property values. The main problem is the lack of public access to accurate and detailed information on both property transactions and environmental considerations.
Cawley, S.: Property Value Assessment and the Irish EIA Process. Masters Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology, 2003.