The Challenge of the Marine Works Site
The Marine Works site is situated upon a narrow area of land between the sea and Bembridge Lagoon, which is an offshoot of the River Yar. As with many areas on the Isle of Wight, Bembridge Lagoon is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Ramsar site, due to its unique habitat and assemblage of plant and animal life.
As a result, Natural England was a statutory consultee on the planning application and as expected, had clear concerns regarding the commercial use of a site so close to such a highly protected area. In the first instance Mayer Brown joined the team and pulled the various mitigations required into a coherent Construction Environmental Management Plan. We worked with our Infrastructure Engineers, based at Mayer Brown's Isle of Wight office, who assessed various interrelated drainage and environmental issues present at the site. They designed a workable, cost effective drainage scheme (dealing with both foul and surface water flows) that ensured full protection for this sensitive site. This ensured that the redevelopment of the site could proceed without harm to the adjacent environment.
However, the sensitive nature of the adjacent site resulted in a period of numerous and evolving requirements from Natural England. Each of these needed to be considered by the Client’s team before elements of the application could be adjusted and re-submitted.