Westwick, Worstead, Norfolk

Albert Bartlett 2.25km water main installation – Environmental Management (2022 – 2024)

The Albert Bartlett food processing/manufacturing facility, situated approximately 17km northeast of Norwich, previously obtained its water supply from a borehole under an extraction licence from The Environment Agency. An alternative water supply is required to maintain a potable water supply to the site as their extraction license will not be renewed when it expires.

As part of Anglican Water’s East Ruston Mains Laying Scheme, the proposal is to install a new 355mm diameter polyethylene (PE) water main approximately 1km South of the Albert Bartlett site which is planned to feed the site from this new water main. In order to achieve this, the new water main will be installed across rural farmland to connect the Albert Bartlett site to the new Anglian Water 355mm diameter water main with the work due to commence in July 2024.

The works involves the installation of a new 225mm Polyethylene (PE) water main over a total distance of 2,255m and includes the following:

  • The installation of approximately 2,105m using traditional open-cut trenching through arable farmland and across 2 No. roads/lanes.
  • The installation of approximately 150m using trenchless Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) under/across 2 No. roads.

The requirement to provide Environmental Management for the installation of this 2.25km pipeline was granted by UK Power Solutions Ltd to ensure the design and build of the new water main remained compliant with UK and European Legislation.

The total working area was determined at ca.20,000m2, including the provision for all construction access routes, storage of materials/plant and enabling access of construction vehicles. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening Opinion request was required as the works met the ‘Schedule 2’ type development and submitted to North Norfolk District Council to confirm the works are not an EIA development and proceed in line with Anglican Water’s permitted development rights.

The fields surrounding the proposed pipeline route contained habitats suitable for bats, dormice, great crested newt (GCN), ground nesting bird, breeding bird and reptile which all needed to be accounted for as part of the initial design.

An active badger sett was identified within close proximity to the initial pipeline route, so the route was modified and kept outside of a 30m buffer to avoid the active sett completely and the requirement to apply for a closure licence with Natural England.

eDNA pond water samples were taken of 2 No. ponds within 250m of the proposed pipeline route which returned both positive and negative for the presence of GCN. The pipeline route was subsequently modified to remain outside of a 250m buffer of the pond which tested positive for GCNs to mitigate the impact of the construction works.

NPT Engineering & Environmental consulted with the County Archaeologist and a local archaeological contractor to determine the most suitable areas that required archaeological supervision and provide an archaeological resource on site during the necessary times.

The works crossed a number of mature trees which had potential to contain roosting bats and breeding birds. NPT Engineering & Environmental Ltd engaged with a local arboricultural contractor to assess the trees and advise on the most suitable and practical working methods around the trees.

Consultation with The Norfolk Drainage Board took place to confirm the land drainage consent requirements as two sections of the pipeline route will be horizontally directionally drilled at ca.1.2m – 1.5m depth with the drill pits located ca.10m from the watercourse.

NPT Engineering & Environmental Ltd identified the works took place close to two sections of Common Land, Sloley Charities and Sloley Commons which were located ca.130m southeast of the pipeline route at the northern section of the works. NPT Engineering & Environmental Ltd advised these areas should be avoided and provided advice to ensure an application to The Planning Inspectorate would not be required.

NPT Engineering & Environmental Ltd facilitated a detailed desk study of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) to assess and potentially zone the hazard level across the site. Following the initial desk study report, no significant sources of UXO had been identified.

The works included the removal of 6 x 5m sections of hedgerow to enable construction plant and machinery to access the neighbouring fields and install the new water main. An application for hedgerow removal consent was submitted to North Norfolk District Council with consent granted within the statutory 42-day determination period.

3 public rights of way (PRoW) lead towards the field boundaries where the works will take place but did not propose to be affected by the works on this occasion, therefore, a temporary PRoW closure application was not required.

All the environmental actions relevant to the construction phases of the project were summarised within a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) which was briefed out to the construction teams to raise their awareness and improve their understanding of the main environmental constraints connected to the works.

On completion of the works NPT Engineering & Environmental Ltd supported with the hedgerow reinstatement works which included a more diverse mix of native species to enhance the local biodiversity across the site.

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