Marine licence application support for Isle of Wight aggregate dredging

Environmental Impact Assessment and Habitats Regulations Assessment for Area 522

CEMEX is in the process of applying for permission to dredge marine aggregate from a new area, named Area 522, west of the Isle of Wight. CEMEX is seeking permission to extract a total of 4.5 Million tonnes (Mt) of sands and gravels over a 15-year licence term from Area 522, with an annual maximum extraction of 0.6 Mt and an average annual extraction of 0.3 Mt.

Before aggregate extraction from Area 522 can begin a licence from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and a production agreement with The Crown Estate (who own the seabed making up Area 522) is required.

ABPmer was commissioned to provide the assessments to accompany the marine licence application. This included undertaking the Environmental Impact Assessment and Habitats Regulations Assessment.

To undertake the impact assessment a standard method was applied. For each environmental topic this involved describing the current conditions, identifying all the potential pathways through which an impact could occur, assessing the significance of the potential impacts and identifying ways in which any significant adverse effects can be reduced. A confidence score was also assigned to the conclusions reached.

Our role also included comprehensive stakeholder engagement to ensure full co-ordination across the various consenting bodies as well addressing wider stakeholder concerns.