Working with the same project team from 2016 through to the granting of the development consent by the Secretary of State in October 2019, our primary role was to assess the likely noise, vibration, air quality and lighting impacts of the proposed development on surrounding residents, identifying any potentially adverse effects and mitigating and minimising them in line with Government policy. We produced the relevant chapters for the Environmental Statement and have been fully involved in the consultation and examination process with the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). As our largest and most significant environmental project to date, we needed to consider numerous external factors, further complicated by a similar scheme proposed directly adjacent to the development site. Therefore, our assessment had to consider the potential cumulative effects that might occur if both schemes were granted consent.
A key part of our success was the application of our experience and lessons learned from our involvement in the similar East Midlands Gateway SRFI. Here we were tasked with the implementation of the scheme following the granting of development consent. This gave us the benefit of seeing the challenges that were likely to arise in implementing Northampton Gateway and actively taking measures during the assessment process to avoid them.
Effective mitigation was key to overall design of the scheme, with a significant level of earth bunding placed around the SRFI and bypass used to screen nearby residents from adverse environmental effects.
Given the scale and significance of the project, our assessment was heavily scrutinised by the Planning Inspectorate and other interested parties, including two local councils, residents and action groups, and representatives of a similar scheme directly adjacent to the site.
Throughout the project, we were mindful of presenting our assessment and responses in a coherent way, given the primary audience were not technical experts in our fields. Key to our methodology was clearly reflecting the requirements of local and national planning policy. Vanguardia provided unwavering support to the project team, providing information, evidence and prompt responses to any questions and concerns. We attended all environmental specific hearings to provide direct responses to the PINS examination panel on all matters relating to noise and vibration, air quality and lighting.
The scheme was granted development consent in October 2019. We have already in discussions with the client with regard to moving forward and assisting the team in implementing the requirements of the DCO.