Atmos Consulting were recently commissioned, pre-construction, to provide ecological and environmental advice to Dee Valley Water (DVW) for the replacement of an 8.5km water pipeline between Bronwylfa and Llwyn Onn, south of Wrexham in North Wales. The new pipeline is required to be installed and operational by December 2017, presenting us with a tight timescale for completion of the work.
Ordinarily, works would have been carried out under permitted development rights. However, the pipeline crosses two important archaeological features as well as skirting a European designated site with the largest known populations of Great Crested Newts (GCN) in Great Britain. Therefore, the proposal went to the local planning authority for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening. Atmos Consulting carried out an Environmental Appraisal of the proposed route which incorporated results from archaeological and extended Phase 1 habitat surveys. We also provided specific ecological advice in relation to the potential for effects on designated GCN populations. As a result of this work, the local planning authority determined that the project would not require an EIA meaning that DVW could carry out the works under permitted development rights. We modelled the Great Crested Newt population and the likelihood of presence using data obtained from the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust and our own survey results. This strategy enabled DVW to take a pragmatic and flexible approach to the pipeline installation and avoided the large costs of installing amphibian and reptile fencing along the 8.5km route and the associated trapping effort.
Ultimately, DVW were able to start the construction phase earlier than originally planned and construction is now continuing under the careful supervision of Atmos Ecologists.
A spokesperson for Dee Valley Water said: “Probably as a result of the detailed reports, risk assessments and method statements provided by Atmos, the Company were able to avoid a full EIA and allowed to carry out the works as Permitted Development by the Local Authority Planning Department. To ensure compliance with ecological and archaeological mitigating measures, Atmos will continue to work with us to provide supervision, site inductions and pre-construction assessments and we are pleased to recommend their services.”
Contact us today to find out how we can successfully mitigate the environmental implications of your next project.