ABPmer has been contracted by Hanson Marine Aggregates Limited to prepare environmental statements to support a programme of marine aggregate licence renewals and applications in the Anglian Marine Aggregate Region.
A number of long-standing marine aggregate production licence areas have been operating under permissions issued through a non-statutory regulatory system called the Government View procedure. These Government View permissions expire at the end of 2013. The industry is therefore seeking to secure their renewal by applying for new 15-year licences under the statutory licensing regime which now exists as well as apply for new extraction area licences.
All of the licence applications will be supported by Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and, as appropriate, Habitats Regulations Appraisals (HRAs) and Water Framework Directive (WFD) Assessments. It may also be necessary to carry out assessments of potential impacts to Marine Conservation Zones.
Dr Stephen Hull, ABPmer Technical Director said: "ABPmer is delighted to have been awarded this contract. It is another important win for us, furthering our involvement in the marine aggregates sector and increasing our involvement in this market.
Our approach to this study takes account of the legal requirements of EIA and HRA processes and our experience of undertaking previous marine aggregate EIAs. The Anglian MAREA will provide the majority of the information to support preparation of the EIAs. A key element of the commission will be to use this material to maximum effect and streamline ES production to avoid repetition. We will work with Hanson and the regulator to generate comprehensive and concise reports that complement the MAREA. This approach was first applied for the West Wight EIAs and the regulators have accepted the sufficiency of the MAREA evidence base as a basis for undertaking site specific EIAs."
ABPmer is a leading UK marine environmental consultancy. It has a history of providing strategic research and local consent advice to the marine aggregate industry.