Our brief was to design a wet grassland as part of the compensation for the impacts of the Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP) development on the Humber Flats, Marshes and Coast Special Protection Area (SPA) and Humber Estuary Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
AMEP is a bespoke port facility for the renewable energy sector, particularly offshore wind. It covers an area of 364 hectares and includes 1.3km of deep-water quays. AMEP will result in the loss of approximately 40ha of intertidal habitat within the Humber Flats, Marshes and Coast SPA and Humber Estuary SAC. It was decided that the development is of sufficient importance to override the effects of the development on the SPA/SAC but that compensatory habitat would need to be created in order to maintain the overall coherence of the designated site network.
Our client had secured a site close to the Humber Estuary, comprising arable farmland for compensatory habitat provision. Part of that compensation was to provide an area of wet grassland suitable for foraging black-tailed godwits and a waterbody with an island suitable for roosting black-tailed godwits. The new habitat required planning consent before it could be constructed. The total area for the wet grassland site is 38.5 ha.
Our role was to
- Produce an outline design for the wet grassland and waterbody, for discussion with the regulators
- Produce a full and detailed design for the wet grassland site which included 5 ha of open water, an irrigation system for the grassland, the achievement of a cut-fill balance and details of the final topography
- Produce the supporting construction management documents, including a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP)
- Assist with the preparation of management plans for the wet grassland site (and other areas of compensatory habitat)
- Provide support to Able UK at the Compensation Hearing, part of the examination of the AMEP project by National Infrastructure Planning
- Provide support to Able UK in securing planning permission for the wet grassland and waterbody, including dealing with comments from Natural England and the RSPB, both of whom objected to the AMEP development.