Major projects have a wide range of impacts on a locality – including biophysical and socio-economic – and the trade-off between such impacts is often crucial in decision making. Major projects may offer a tempting solution to an area’s, especially a rural area’s, economic problems, which however may have to be offset against more negative impacts such as pressure on local services and social upheaval, in addition to possible damage to the physical environment. Socio-economic impacts can be very significant for particular projects and the analyst ignores them at his/her peril. Nevertheless they have often had a low profile in EIA although there is a growing awareness of their importance in decision making.