Application support for dredging licence

Helping aggregate producers meet regulator requirements

To improve loading and accessibility, Tarmac Marine and Heidelberg Materials Marine (formerly Hanson Aggregates) were seeking permission to dredge and remove marine aggregate from Area 531, a replacement and extension of Area 470 (North Bristol Deep).

The Welsh/English border runs through Area 531, resulting in the area existing in both English and Welsh waters. Two marine licences, one from the English authority (the Marine Management Organisation (MMO)) and the other from the Welsh authority (Natural Resources Wales (NRW)) were thus required before aggregate extraction could occur in the respective jurisdictions.

Additionally the seabed making up Area 531 is owned by The Crown Estate; permissions from the Crown Estate must also be gained before aggregate extraction can begin.

ABPmer was commissioned to provide the assessments to accompany the respective marine licence applications. This included undertaking the Environmental Impact Assessment, Habitats Regulations Assessment and a Water Framework Directive Assessment.

Our environmental assessments were underpinned by a Coastal Impact Study which involved extensive numerical modelling for a series of dredge scenarios.

We also undertook comprehensive stakeholder engagement to ensure full co-ordination across the various consenting bodies including The Crown Estate.

ABPmer’s planning and consents specialists regularly prepare environmental statements and support developers through the minefield of marine consents.

Image © OpenStreetMap contributors