Client: South West Water
Location: Plymouth, Devon
In 2008 Nicholas Pearson Associates were commissioned by Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd on behalf of South West Water to undertake an assessment of the potential environmental constraints associated with a proposed 13km treated water main located to the north of Plymouth and extending into the South Hams countryside in Devon.
We prepared and submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) screening report to South Hams District Council. On the basis of the information provided, the Council determined that the scheme was not EIA development. This also meant that South West Water were not required to submit a planning application for the scheme and could implement it under their Permitted Development Rights. Despite this, South West Water retained us to examine the potential environmental effects of the pipeline and advise on its routing, means of construction and any additional mitigation measures that may be required. We undertook a landscape and visual assessment and ecological assessment of the pipeline and also coordinated an archaeological assessment, undertaken by Wessex Archaeology.
We undertook a detailed ecological assessment of the proposed pipeline route which included a desk study and Extended Phase I Habitat Survey followed by surveys for Badgers, bats, Dormice, Reptiles, Otters, Great Crested Newts as well as further botanical surveys of grassland and woodland, hedgerow assessments, River Habitat Survey and tree climbing assessments to check for bats. A comprehensive ecological baseline report was written within which all survey results were described and shown on figures produced in GIS format. In addition ecological constraints drawings were produced in GIS to highlight where habitats, features and species of importance were evident. Corresponding advice notes made recommendations for avoidance, protection and mitigation of important habitats, features and protected species identified.
Nicholas Pearson Associates' input throughout the design process helped to minimise environmental impacts and this extended to the compilation of an outline method statement relating to the treatment of all the affected hedgebanks. Nicholas Pearson Associates also advised the client regarding the appointment of an arboricultural consultant and contractor in order to devise an appropriate strategy for the large number of trees located in the vicinity of the route of the pipeline. We also provided advice regarding the compilation of the tender documents for the construction contract. The pipeline was constructed in 2009.