Achieving consent for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C marks the first time in more than 20 years that a nuclear standard EIA has been prepared, and the final submitted document (including all of its appendices and supporting information) was substantial and wide ranging.
The principal challenge for this EIA partnership, which began in 2007, was for Royal HaskoningDHV to provide British Energy, and now EDF Energy, with strategic and tactical advice and direction to support the Company’s nuclear new build programme. Recently this has meant supporting the timely submission of a Development Consent Order (DCO) application for Hinkley Point C (HPC), the smooth and efficient running of the examination process, and the achievement of planning consent (in March 2013).
Royal HaskoningDHV has been coordinating, managing and undertaking complex EIAs, Cumulative Impact Assessments (CIAs) and Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRAs) since the transposition of the EIA Directive and the Habitats Directive into UK law in the late 1980s and mid-1990s. We have in recent years become established as an industry leader in consultancy services for the UK nuclear industry. Following the introduction of the Planning Act in 2008, much of our experience has focussed on EIA and associated assessments to support DCO and other related consent applications.
Royal HaskoningDHV therefore brings highly relevant experience and expertise to the role of EIA lead as a recognised expert practitioner in the UK for major infrastructure developments.
Royal HaskoningDHV studies that contributed to the HPC Project included:
- Preparing the Environmental Scoping Reports, and the (Stage 1) Environmental Status Report for the DCO application;
- Advising on and leading the methodology for the EIA, HRA and Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessments associated with the DCO, Site Preparation Works Planning Permission and Temporary Jetty Harbour Order;
- Provision of transport advice in support of the DCO application, including the preparation of a Transport Master Plan, Preliminary Works and Main Site Transport Assessments and Travel Plans; as well as design of the transport Associated Development;
- Coordination of and lead author for the (Stage 2) Environmental Appraisal for the HPC DCO;
- Coordinating and preparing the EIA Scoping Reports, Environmental Statements (ES), ES Addendums, Non-Technical Summaries, Design & Access Statements, HRA reports and WFD assessments for the Preliminary Works applications (the Site Preparation Works and Temporary Jetty);
- Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) for Associated Development sites (Cannington Park & Ride and Cannington Bypass); identifying and shortlisting proposed sites, and peer review of other FRA work.
- Regular engagement with regulators and statutory consultees to identify the opportunities and constraints to achieving a successful outcome;
- Derivation of coastal flood conditions for Hinkley Point B and calculation of wave overtopping volumes for HPC to simulate coastal flooding;
- Drafting and reviewing key elements of the submission ES and the CIA for the HPC DCO;
- Preparing the HPC HRA in its entirety – where the conclusion was received that an adverse effect on site integrity would not arise for the project alone or in-combination with other plans and projects;
- Preparing and submitting the Temporary Jetty and DCO marine licence applications;
- Providing post-application support through the preparation of consultation responses and provision of expert witness input to the Temporary Jetty Public Inquiry;
- Provision of responses to written representations during the DCO consultation period; and
- Provision of expert evidence to the examination.