Mitigation of impacts
The adoption of some mitigation measures may involve considerable costs, though other effective measures may cost very little (for example, alteration of road access, alternative material storage arrangements). Canter (1996) suggested that their cost-effectiveness should be assessed prior to the final choice of mitigation measures. There will normally come a point at which the developer may withdraw a proposed development because the additional costs associated with mitigation measures are deemed to be too high (Wood, 1989). On the other hand, the decision-making authority may ask whether mitigation of the impacts of a proposal will contribute towards the achievement of sustainable development. In other words, it may be that the authorities will seek either no deterioration of environmental resources, or even a net improvement of eJlVironmental resources through offsets or compensation (as in US air pollution non-attainment areas), rather than merely a reduction of (or a remedy for) impacts. In these circumstances, it may be necessary to consider radical alternatives to the proposal.