Case study

The Marine Works, Isle of Wight

The Marine Works site is a 0.21 hectare parcel of land located on Embankment Road off Bembridge Harbour on the Isle of Wight. At the time Mayer Brown was engaged, it was vacant land which had formerly been used as a boat yard. The Client’s vision was to re-purpose this land, formalising and refurbishing it to provide an additional 6 workshops / storage units and associated landscaping and parking.

Transport Planning
Infrastructure Design
Environmental Assessment

Details

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.

Mayer Brown’s Continued Support with a Positive Outcome

During this frustrating period, Mayer Brown was able to support the Client by helping to interpret requirements and translate these into measures which could be easily applied on site. Our work at all times was undertaken with a view to minimising or negating the escalating costs which the Client was having to bear.

After nearly two years of protracted negotiations, the Client’s application finally received approval and an area of neglected ground is now being brought back into safe and productive use.


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