1- Introduction - Halton Borough Council

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Extension of Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes

Environmental Statement June 2011

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement, June 2011

CONTROL SHEET

CLIENT:

Stobart Developments Ltd

PROJECT TITLE:

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes

REPORT TITLE:

Environmental Statement

PROJECT REFERENCE:

89429

Issue and Approval Schedule:

ISSUE 1

Name

Signature

Date

Prepared by

Edward Harvey

30 June 2011

Reviewed by

Matthew Stafford

30 June 2011

Approved by

Matthew Stafford

30 June 2011

Revision Record:

Issue

Date

Status

Description

By

Chk

App

2 3 4 5 6 7 8

This report has been prepared in accordance with procedure OP/P03 of W A Fairhurst & Partners' Quality Assurance System.

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement, June 2011

CONTENTS Environmental Statement 1.0

Introduction

2.0

Site Description

3.0

Description of Development

4.0

Need and Alternatives

5.0

Planning Policy

6.0

Sustainability

7.0

Socio-Economic Considerations

8.0

Ecology and Nature Conservation

9.0

Landscape and Visual Impact

10.0

Archaeology and Cultural Heritage

11.0

Flood Risk and Drainage

12.0

Land Contamination

13.0

Water Quality

14.0

Waste Management

15.0

Traffic and Transportation

16.0

Noise and Vibration

17.0

Air Quality and Dust

Drawings 11026/05a

Application Site Plan

11026/04b

Site Masterplan

11026/03 89429/8001a

Biomass Plan Environmental Mitigation Masterplan

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement, June 2011

Appendices 1.1

EIA Scoping Report (Ref: 89429/0017)

6 - Sustainability 6.1

BREEAM Credit Summary

8 - Ecology and Nature 8.1

Desk Study Data

8.2

Plant Species List

8.3

Target Notes for Habitat Map

8.4

Photographs

8.5

Tree Survey Report

8.6

Bird Species List

Figure 8.1

Phase 1 Habitat Map

9 - Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment 9.1

Natural Character Area 60 – Mersey Valley

89429/8001a

Environmental Mitigation Masterplan

89429/8003

Visual Analysis Plan

89429/8004

Landscape Context Plan

89429/8005

Photo Viewpoint A

89429/8006

Photo Viewpoint B

89429/8007

Photo Viewpoint C

89429/8008

Photo Viewpoint D

89429/8009

Photo Viewpoint E

89429/8010

Photo Viewpoint F

89429/8011

Photo Viewpoint G

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement, June 2011

89429/8012

Photo Viewpoint H

89429/8013

Theoretical zone of visual influence – Biomass facility and office building

10 - Archaeology and Cultural Heritage 10.1

Gazetteer of Sites

Figure 1

Site Location and Area Study

Figure 2

Part of W. Yates’ Map of Lancashire (1786)

Figure 3

Part of Greenwood’s Map of Lancashire (1818) showing Widnes

Figure 4

Gilbert’s Map of the Proposed Extension of the Sankey Canal (1819)

Figure 5

Part of Hennet’s Map of Lancashire (1830)

Figure 6

Composite tracing of the Tithe Maps for Widnes (LRO DRB 1/86, Dated 1839)

Figure 7

Part of First Edition 6 inch OS map published 1849

Figure 8

Part of Roper’s Map of Widnes (1875)

Figure 9

Part of Second Edition 6 inch OS map published 1896

Figure 10

Part of 6 inch OS map published 1968

Figure 11

Part of 6 inch OS map published 1982

Figure 12

Stratigraphic profile across the site. Norwest Holst (1984)

Figure 13

Stratigraphic profile across the site. Strata Surveys (1993)

11 - Flood Risk and Drainage 11.1

Flood Risk Assessment (Ref: 80962/R1.1)

12 - Land Contamination 12.1

Figures – EAME 2011 Sampling Location Plans

12.2

Historical Maps

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement, June 2011

12.3

Summary of Previous Investigatory Work

12.4

Photographic Log

12.5

Exploratory Logs

12.6

Land Gas Assessment Data

12.7

Equipment Calibration Certificates

12.8

Soil Laboratory Analytical Certificates

15 - Traffic and Transportation 15.1

Transport Assessment (Ref: 80962/001jls)

15.2

Travel Plan (Ref: 80962/006ph)

16 - Noise and Vibration 16.1

Introduction to Acoustics

16.2

Full Noise Measurement Results

16.2

Construction Plant Assumptions Used in the Assessment

16.4

Traffic Flows Used in the Assessment

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Non Technical Summary June 2011

1.0

INTRODUCTION

10.1

This Environmental Statement (ES) has been prepared by W.A. Fairhurst & Partners (Fairhurst) in conjunction with Earth & Marine Environmental (EAME) on behalf of Stobart Developments Ltd to accompany an application for the expansion of Stobart Park / 3MG at Mersey Multi-Modal Gateway, Widnes.

10.2

The ES accompanies a planning application submitted in outline including details of access, with all other matters including: appearance; landscaping; layout; and scale reserved for future approval.

10.3

The proposal is for the comprehensive remediation of the 33.03ha (81.63 acres) site and expansion of Stobart Park / 3MG, including: 1. 131,750sq m (1,416,150sq ft) of storage and distribution floorspace (Use Class B8) including ancillary offices and vehicle parking; 2. 13.7MWe biomass facility; and 3. All associated land remediation, engineering works and landscaping.

10.4

The Application Site Plan (Drawing 10140/05a) and indicative Site Masterplan (Drawing 10140/04b) illustrate the existing site and proposed development respectively.

10.5

In conjunction with the submission of this application to expand Stobart Park / 3MG a further outline planning application has been prepared for the construction of a multistorey office development on 0.68ha (1.68 acres) of land to the east of the site to accommodate the Stobart Group of companies.

10.6

The cumulative impact of the proposed office development and expansion of Stobart Park / 3MG.has been fully addressed in this ES.

10.7

A Scoping Report (Appendix 1.1) was submitted to Halton Borough Council (HBC) on 4 March 2011 to agree the scope of this Environmental Statement. The ES addresses all issues raised within the Scoping Response.

10.8

The ES contains a separate Non Technical Summary (NTS), the necessary assessments and detailed appendices relating to each chapter have been contained separately for ease of reference.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

2.0

SITE DESCRIPTION Application Site

2.1

The site is irregular in shape and comprises a total area of 33.03ha (81.63 acres). The entirety of the site is previously developed land, and its boundaries are illustrated on Application Site Plan 11026/05a.

2.2

The majority of the site is allocated as a Primary Employment Area under policy E3 of the Halton Unitary Development Plan (HUDP) (2nd Deposit, April 2008). The area of the Reclamation Mound is allocated Greenspace, although previously developed.

2.3

The application site is also allocated as an Environmental Priority Area under policy BE3 of the HUDP. Within these areas it is expected that development proposals should contribute to the enhancement of the character of the area.

2.4

The northern boundary of the site is formed by the West Coast Mainline which follows an arc west from the Widnes Railway Bridge, a Grade II* listed structure which carries the main rail line in and out of Widnes, before extending west to complete the northern boundary. The eastern area of the site adjoins the existing Stobart Ports trans-modal container port to the north.

2.5

The eastern boundary of the site is formed by Marsh Brook running north-south to the River Mersey and Estuary. The Tesco Distribution Centre (Tesco DC) lies immediately east of Marsh Brook and was developed as phase one of Stobart Park. The development comprises a two phased circa 50,000sq m (540,000sq ft) chilled warehouse, 10,000sq m (112,000sq ft) Recycling Services Unit (RSU) and Vehicle Maintenance Unit (VMU) adjoining the eastern boundary of the site.

2.6

The southern boundary of the site is shared with PDM Group, an integrated renewable energy and recycling plant consisting of a number of units of varying size, which is located immediately south of the eastern area and separates the application site from the River Mersey and Estuary.

2.7

The site is bounded to the west by Ditton Brook, with Stewards Brook running north to south through the centre of the site to a downstream point where it converges with Ditton Brook on the site’s western boundary.

2.8

Vehicular and pedestrian access to the site will be taken from the existing roundabout located at the north-west boundary of the site from Desoto Road East and the A533 Queensway. The roundabout and site access have already undergone highway works to increase the size and capacity of the road network serving the site as part of the new Tesco DC development.

2.9

The site comprises three distinct areas referred to as the West Bank Dock site, which occupies the eastern portion of the site; the Reclamation site, which comprises the central portion of the site; and the Foundry Lane site, which occupies the western portion of the site.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

West Bank Dock Site 2.10

The eastern area of the site known as the West Bank Dock consists of three parcels of land divided previously by Mathieson and Ronan Roads. The area previously consisted of storage and distribution uses which have now been cleared, leaving the area largely vacant with building coverage limited to: § § § §

2.11

a steel frame, high bay with metal cladding warehousing unit (circa 2002/2003); a two-storey brick building (circa 1960) formerly used as office accommodation and now appears to be utilised for welfare amenities; a redundant, brick built gate house; and a redundant and derelict, brick built amenities block.

The eastern portion of the West Bank Dock site was the former entrance to the site via Mathieson Road. The original roadways of Mathieson Road and Ronan Road remain evident, in part, with the parcel of land bounded by these roadways comprising the concrete bases of former warehousing units. Reclamation Mound

2.12

The reclamation mound was formed by Halton Borough Council (HBC) from galligu (a chemical waste common to the area) and other wastes from the local chemical industries. The reclamation scheme was a project undertaken by HBC in the mid 1990s and comprised the capping (with clay and topsoil) and landscaping (with trees and vegetation) of the waste material into stable slopes.

2.13

A roadway, which links the West Bank Dock site to the Foundry Lane site, bounds the mound to the north. The mound has largely been re-modelled as galligu from this area was removed and treated to enable its re-use as an engineering material for the earthworks during the construction of the new Tesco DC. However, there remains a quantity of this industrial waste which rises above the surrounding land to a maximum of 27.0 m AOD. Foundry Lane Site

2.14

The Foundry Lane site, is occupied by existing large scale storage and distribution units. The central part of the site comprises four high bay units with metal cladding and corrugated roofs. With the exception of the REHAU warehouse located on the eastern section of the site, which was newly constructed in 2000, the warehouses were constructed circa 1970.

2.15

Unit 1 (known as the REHAU building) is the most significant in terms of scale. The warehouse is operated by DHL and is REHAU’s storage and distribution facility. The remaining three warehousing units (Units 2-4) are used by Stobart’s Fleet Division for trailer decommissioning activities.

2.16

The Foundry Lane site comprises a railhead, which was constructed in 1998 but not considered operational at this time. The railhead consists of two lines running parallel with the northern boundary, with a third line running adjacent to Ditton Brook. The rail lines meet in the north-western corner of the site prior to converging with the main railway line located off-site to the north. 3

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

2.17

The site is previously developed requiring remediation. The setting of the overall application site can be best characterised as a mixture of light industrial and storage and distribution uses. Site Surroundings

2.18

The site is located on the north bank of the River Mersey, at Stobart Park / 3MG Mersey Multimodal Gateway (formerly known as the West Bank Industrial Estate) approximately 1km (0.6 miles) west of Widnes Town Centre.

2.19

The site is located to make best use of the main road and rail routes in and out of Widnes, the West Coast Mainline and A533 Queensway, as well as the rail line forming the northern boundary of the site, which currently serves the existing Stobart Ports transmodal container port.

2.20

The Widnes Railway Bridge and Silver Jubilee Bridge run in parallel, and are Grade II* and Grade II listed structures respectively carrying the main road and rail routes between Widnes and Runcorn.

2.21

Regeneration Action Areas allocated in the HUDP are located to the west and northeast of the site. The proposed development will help support and revitalise the local economy by improving the image of the area and attracting further investment to these areas.

2.22

The site is separated from residential properties to the east (approximately 750m) by the West Coast Mainline viaduct and A533 Queensway, forming a significant barrier between the site and residential areas, thus protecting residential amenity. The nearest residences to the east of the site are located over 1km from the western boundary.

2.23

The proposed development will regenerate a redundant, previously developed site in need of remediation. It will accord with surrounding land uses and support the regeneration objectives of the Council’s ‘Mersey Gateway Regeneration Project’.

2.24

The proposed Stobart Office development being run in conjunction with this application is situated in the eastern extent of the wider Stobart Park / 3MG area. The 0.68ha (1.68 acre) site is located on redundant land to the east of the existing Tesco DC, approximately 100m west of the Grade II* Listed Widnes-Runcorn Railway Bridge. The western boundary of the proposed office site is situated approximately 400m from Desoto Road which forms the eastern boundary of the industrial site.

2.25

In its current form, the site is an underused resource, contributing little to the economy or environmental quality of the area. It currently provides few employment opportunities and detracts from the character of an area earmarked for regeneration and employment development. The proposed development will provide state of the art premises which accord with economic, regeneration and design aspirations set out in the development plan for the area.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

3.0

DESCRIPTION OF DEVELOPMENT

3.1

The development is proposed via an outline planning application including details of access, with all other matters including: appearance; landscaping; layout; and scale reserved for future determination

3.2

The proposal is for the comprehensive remediation and redevelopment of the site and the construction of 131,550sq m (1,416,150sq ft) of new storage and distribution floorspace (B8 Use Class as set out in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order as amended), a 13.7MWe biomass facility (Sui Generis Use Class) with associated vehicle parking, landscaping and all associated engineering work.

3.3

The proposal will provide purpose built, state of the art storage and distribution centres suited to meet modern day business needs. An indicative Site Masterplan (Drawing 11026/04b) confirms that the proposed quantum of development can be satisfactorily delivered on site. The Masterplan forms the basis for the accompanying assessments and EIA. Remediation

3.4

The application site will require remediation to be made suitable for development. A comprehensive Site Investigation (SI) has been carried out to assess the existence of and level of contaminated land, to inform the production of a Site Remediation Plan to address the risk of potential sources of contamination. The site will be made suitable for development through re-profiling and remediation. The strategy will include the ‘capping’ of the site with fill material (stabilised galligu) and the raising of site levels, an exercise deemed acceptable during the successful remediation and implementation of the new Tesco DC, adjoining the eastern boundary of the site.

3.5

The remediation of a previously contaminated site will bring land back into beneficial economic, employment and safe use in accordance with national and local planning policy. Storage and Distribution Units

3.6

The proposal is in outline and will deliver 131,550sq m (1,416,150sq ft) of B8 storage and distribution floorspace. The indicative Site Masterplan illustrates that the floorspace can be delivered across approximately 4 units ranging in size (i.e. 1,500sq m (16,150sq ft) to 79,000sq m (850,000sq ft)), to create a state of the art storage and distribution park.

3.7

The range and size of units will be established via future reserved matters submissions but are considered to best reflect current market demands, make best use of the redundant site, maximise the use of existing infrastructure and best exploit the accessibility of the site via multi modal transport. Biomass Facility

3.8

The development incorporates a 13.7MWe biomass facility set on approximately 2.4ha (6 acres) of land. The proposed facility is similar to a conventional fossil fuel power station but is designed to use clean, renewable wood chip as fuel. The plant

5

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

uses conventional combustion technology which is proven to operate reliably and is highly efficient. 3.9

The proposed biomass facility will give a net exportable capacity of 13.7 MWe. The plant will use 92,000 tonnes per year of fuel at a designed 49% moisture content. The fuel will be wood sourced from commercial wood processing operations in the UK to run the plant. This includes round logs, brash, chips, slabwood, briquettes, clean recycled wood and any other forms of clean wood.

3.10

The biomass facility, illustrated in Drawing 11026/03, will comprise five main buildings: the air cooled condenser; boiler and turbine building; process/wood chipping building; timber storage building; and an administration building. The facility is approximately 7,800sq m (84,000sq ft) in size.

3.11

The design of the biomass facility has not yet been finalised for construction and will be subject to agreement via the future reserved matter submissions. In assessing the potential impacts of the biomass facility a ‘stack’ height of 55m above ground floor level has been adopted. The detailed design stage will establish and seek to reduce the stack height but this approach ensures analysis of the highest envisaged scenario. Landscaping and Boundary Treatment

3.12

The significant remediation necessary on site coupled with the scale of the proposed development will result in changes to the existing landscape of the application site. There is currently little soft landscaping and where it does exist it is spread sporadically due to the size and historic use of the site for light industry and storage and distribution uses.

3.13

It is proposed that the site undergo additional hard and soft landscaping to serve the new storage and distribution units. Existing landscaping, will be best retained and new landscaping will provide an enhanced landscape setting and wildlife habitat as well as helping screen and integrate the development with its surroundings.

3.14

The individual units will be secured by new security fences 2-3 metres in height, in keeping with the existing buildings on site or recently approved Tesco DC and RSU. Where parking areas are to be more open a low fence will be erected (less than 1 metre) to delineate ownership. Access

3.15

As shown on the indicative Site Masterplan (Ref: 11026/04b), vehicular and pedestrian access to the site will be taken from the existing roundabout located at the north-west boundary of the site from Desoto Road East and the A533 Queensway. The roundabout and site access have already undergone highway works to increase the size and capacity of the road network serving the site as part of the new Tesco DC development. The roundabout was enlarged and upgraded to facilitate safe access/egress to an increased volume of vehicles.

3.16

The roundabout also connects to Desoto Road which accesses land to the west of the site. The two roads converge upon a roundabout immediately north of the Tesco DC. The roundabout also provides access to MacDermott Road.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

3.17

It is proposed to replace the existing highway network west of Desoto Road, creating an improved network to serve the storage and distribution units, biomass facility, Vehicle Maintenance Unit (VMU) and the existing Stobart transmodal container port.

3.18

The highway improvements will include the development of a second roundabout south of the existing Desoto Road West roundabout. This roundabout will serve as a hub, providing an improved access to Stobart transmodal container port immediately north, south to Desoto Road and the VMU, and the new highway to extend west, serving the new storage and distribution units.

3.19

A third roundabout will be developed to the western extent of the new highway, providing access to the areas currently occupied by the Foundry Lane Estate and Reclamation Mound, which will accommodate further state of the art storage and distribution units.

3.20

An emergency access will also be provided from Foundry Road to the west of the site. A shared footway/cycleway will link through the site from Desoto Road through to Foundry Road.

3.21

The proposal incorporates significant parking facilities, providing approximately 970 HGV, car and motorcycle spaces to serve the new storage and distribution centres and biomass facility in accordance with HUDP minimum standards and standards set out in Planning Policy Guidance 13 (PPG13 – Transport). Cumulative Impact of Multi-Storey Office Development

3.22

The proposal and EIA have been prepared having regard to the cumulative impact of the storage and distribution floorspace and biomass facility with the adjoining multistorey office development for the Stobart Group. The offices are anticipated to meet the growth in employment through the expansion of Stobart Park and proposes: § §

3.23

25,885sq m (278,625sq ft) multi storey office development over 12 floors; and 770 vehicle parking spaces to be situated internally on 7 decks;

The proposal seeks to bring forward the office development to house the Stobart Group of companies, on land immediately east of the existing Tesco DC, to assist in the regeneration and remediation of an underutilised site that forms a further essential component of Stobart Park / 3MG Multimodal Gateway.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

4.0

NEED AND ALTERNATIVES INTRODUCTION

4.1

This chapter assesses the need for Use Class B8 (Storage and Distribution) development and a biomass facility at the application site. It determines the future situation regarding the delivery of employment development in the area and the impact of delivering 131,550sq m (1,416,150sq ft) of new storage and distribution floorspace (B8 Use Class as set out in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order as amended) including ancillary offices, vehicle parking and a 13.7MWe biomass facility (Sui Generis Use Class).

4.2

The chapter also explores alternatives to the proposed development and the capability of alternative employment sites in Widnes to deliver the proposed quantum and type of development, before assessing the possible implications should the proposed development not take place on site. ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

4.3

Fairhurst have assessed the need for the proposed development with regard to current national planning policy, the RSS for the North West (2008), saved policies within the Halton Unitary Development Plan (HUDP) (2nd Deposit, April 2008), and the emerging Local Development Framework (LDF) Core Strategy (Proposed Submission Document, November 2010).

4.4

Fairhurst have considered the need for the proposed development against the most up-to-date employment development figures available for Halton Borough Council (HBC), contained within the Employment Baseline Report 2010 and Joint Employment Land and Premises Study (JELPS) (January 2010).

4.5

The proposal has also been considered with regard to relevant Government policy on renewable energy, most notably the Annual Energy Statement (July, 2010), produced by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), which sets out the Coalition Government’s strategic energy policy.

4.6

Alternative sites within Halton allocated for employment use have been identified through the JELPS. Alternative employment sites have been considered based on their capacity to deliver the proposed quantum of new industrial employment development.

4.7

The chapter also considers the implications of not delivering the site for large scale B8 storage and distribution development and a biomass facility. BASELINE CONDITIONS

4.8

The proposed development area is identified as the ‘Ditton Freight Terminal’ within the HUDP, now renamed as Stobart Park / 3MG (Mersey Multimodal Gateway). The majority of the site is allocated as a Primary Employment Area (HUDP policy E3). This allocation seeks to retain land for business and industrial use and to restrict other uses in these areas.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

4.9

The site is also allocated as a Strategic Regional Investment Site (HUDP policy S20), a major site well suited to, and earmarked for further development. Regional Investment Sites are allocated to meet the needs of economic sectors that are considered significant in raising the economic competitiveness of the region.

4.10

Stobart Park / 3MG is identified as a ‘Key Area of Change’ within HBC’s emerging Core Strategy, emphasising the contribution of the 90ha area to the economy of Halton and the wider region as a key employment generator.

4.11

The development site is the largest allocated employment site in the Borough. The site is previously developed land, historically used for a mixture of light industry and storage and distribution uses. The area of the site is largely vacant, occupied in part by existing B8 storage and distribution premises and adjoins most notably, the existing Stobart Port trans-modal container port and the recent development of a new Tesco Distribution Centre (Tesco DC).

4.12

The baseline for the existing site is a largely vacant and underused site previously occupied by a number of existing small/medium scale B8 storage and distribution premises. Joint Employment Land and Premises Study (January 2010)

4.13

The Joint Employment Land and Premises Study (JELPS) (2010) was undertaken by Halton, Knowsley, Sefton and West Lancashire Councils, and analyses the existing employment land situation in the study area and the need for further land to be made available in order to meet the needs of the economy and deliver economic growth over the emerging LDF plan period.

4.14

The study projects the likely future requirement for employment land need in the Borough over the LDF plan period 2008-2026. It suggests Halton should plan for 326.56ha of employment land to 2026 to meet predicted needs. The figure includes the then identified (as of 2008) ‘realistic’ supply of 178.94ha, including the proposed development site. These figures amount to an annual requirement of 18.17ha of employment land to be delivered to 2026.

4.15

The JELPS confirms that there is a very real issue that many industrial estates in Halton no longer meet the requirements of modern businesses. Lack of investment, inadequate security, insufficient parking and poor image can lead to reduced competitiveness, increased vandalism and recruitment problems. Employment Baseline Report 2010

4.16

The Employment Baseline Report serves as a statement detailing the take up and supply of land within Halton Borough for employment development as of 1 April each year. It provides baseline information about actual rates of development achieved over the period 1996-2010. The 2011 report is yet to be released.

4.17

The report identifies that the average completion rate for employment development in Halton over the period 1996-2010 amounts to 17.28ha. The historic average completion rate is 5% lower than that required to meet targets identified within the JELPS.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

4.18

In May 2010, a total of 194.72 ha of land was available for employment development within Halton. In terms of Greenfield/brownfield proportions, this is split 104ha (53%) Greenfield and 90.76ha (47%) brownfield. Department of Energy & Climate Change – Annual Energy Statement (July, 2010)

4.19

The Coalition Programme for Government is committed to producing an Annual Energy Statement to set strategic energy policy, the first being delivered on 27 July 2010. One of the key themes of the statement is the need to secure a low carbon energy supply for the UK in order to: reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and to improve the security, availability and affordability of energy through diversification.

4.20

The UK currently imports approximately 8% (net) of its total oil, 32% of gas and 70% of its coal. It is estimated that overall, energy import dependency could be set to rise from 27% in 2009 to 46-58% in 2020.

4.21

The Energy Statement identifies that demand for electricity will double over the coming forty years, as a result of the need to electrify large parts of the heat and transport sectors. For this to have the required impact on emissions, the electricity being consumed will need to be almost exclusively from low carbon sources.

4.22

The Statement sets out clearly the Government’s intention to increase the target for energy from renewable sources, with a greater focus on all forms of renewable energy including heat and transport fuel in addition to electricity.

4.23

Government policy is to stimulate the development of new and renewable energy sources wherever they have prospects of being economically attractive and environmentally acceptable in order to contribute to sustainable energy supplies. IMPACT ASSESSMENT Need Storage and Distribution Development

4.24

The development will accord with the need at a national level to maintain high and stable levels of economic growth and employment set out in PPS1.

4.25

As a Strategic Regional Investment Site (HUDP policy S20), there is a need for development to make a key contribution to the economic outputs of the region in terms of job creation and efficient use of land. The proposal will deliver at least 1,750 direct employment opportunities. This is a significant contribution to the delivery of economic growth that will encourage inward investment to the area and help sustain the economy.

4.26

HUDP policy S1 (Regeneration) identifies the need for proposals to stimulate economic development and create jobs for local people. The development will deliver approximately 1,750 full time jobs, meeting the need to potentially employ 36% of the population of the surrounding Riverside area (See Chapter 6 - Socio-

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Economic). The proposed development will also generate significant employment involved with the remediation and construction of the site and opportunities arising within the haulage and distribution sector. 4.27

HUDP policy S20 (Strategic Regional Investment Sites) identifies the need for new development to bring into use derelict land that currently acts as a deterrent to new investment. The development provides the opportunity to make lasting improvements to the quality of the built environment. In addition, improving the environment of the area would act as a catalyst for further regeneration and investment.

4.28

Based on the figures provided in the JELPS, 18.17ha per annum of employment land is required to be delivered to 2026. The proposed development will deliver 33.03ha (81.63 acres) of employment land in addition to employment development at other sites. This development would maximise the regeneration opportunity of the largest allocated employment site in the Borough.

4.29

In accordance with the JELPS, policy CS4 (Employment Land Supply and Locational Priorities) of the emerging Core Strategy identifies the requirement to retain existing employment sites in order to “sustain Halton’s economic future” due to an increasingly constrained supply of available employment land. Opportunities for making the most efficient use of existing employment areas should be utilised if employment completion targets are to be met.

4.30

On completion of the proposed development, usable accommodation will have increased significantly to provide new, modern storage and distribution centres which will be integrated with the existing freight terminal, in accordance with HUDP policy E7 (Ditton Strategic Regional Investment Site). The site will create substantial levels of new employment and help retain jobs within Widnes and the Borough. At present, the area remains an underused resource which is not capable of meeting the need for further employment development to increase investment, expand the economy and create new jobs.

4.31

A unique opportunity exists to remediate and secure the wholesale reuse of the entire 33.03ha site to meet local employment needs and provide a more attractive operating environment for employment use. The creation of a quality employment site to meet the needs of modern industry accords with HUDP policy S19 (Provision of Land for Local Employment).

4.32

The Halton Annual Monitoring Report 2010 identifies a target of 70% of all employment floorspace in Halton to be delivered on previously developed land. The Employment Baseline Report identifies only 90.76ha (47% of total employment land supply) of brownfield land available for employment development across the Borough. At present the application site is an underused brownfield resource which can be utilised to meet employment needs. It is proposed to make the most efficient use of the site, utilising the full area remaining within Stobart Park / 3MG to provide sufficient employment development to meet local needs. Biomass Facility

4.33

The 2010 Annual Energy Statement identifies the need to avoid overdependence on natural gas imports and to secure the UK’s energy supply as one of its key themes.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

This objective is closely linked with the need to reduce carbon emissions by switching from reliance on traditional hydrocarbon fuels for electricity generation. The use of woodchip as a fuel for the generation of electricity is recognised as being carbon free, as the wood plantations reabsorb carbon as the replanted trees grow. 4.34

Climate change is recognised as a serious environmental problem, with the majority of scientific opinion supporting the view that human activities are contributing to climate change. The proposed biomass facility will assist in combating climate change through the carbon neutral status of the wood chip fuel and the displacement of existing, or avoidance of new emissions from fossil fuel based energy generation.

4.35

The facility will produce approximately 13.7MWe of renewable electricity that will be fed into the local distribution network. The production of renewable electricity accords with the strategic aim of the HUDP in reducing and counteracting greenhouse gas emissions which would otherwise be produced through the burning of fossil fuels to create energy.

4.36

The Government’s policy is to stimulate the development of new and renewable energy sources wherever they have prospects of being economically attractive and environmentally acceptable in order to contribute to sustainable energy supplies. The proposal satisfies the Government aim for energy diversification through the introduction of a new energy generation source. It is considered to be a valuable addition to the energy generation portfolio that will assist in securing the UK’s energy supply system.

4.37

The proposed biomass facility will create significant economic benefits associated with local employment generation and potential educational-tourism related opportunities. The facility will create around 18 permanent jobs comprising a mix of manual, technical administration and managerial staff. A further 200,000 man hours will be required during construction. There will also be a range of employment opportunities created and reinforced indirectly in the forestry, transport and wood processing industries. Alternatives

4.38

Two alternative approaches exist for the development site. One option is to retain the site in its current form (i.e. do nothing). The other option is to provide an alternative form of development comprising different land uses to those proposed. Alternative Sites

4.39

Based on the schedule of available employment sites within the JELPS, no other sites in Widnes are capable of accommodating the proposed quantum of employment development. The second largest site, north of Hale Bank Road is 24.8ha in size, 27% smaller than the proposed application site (33.03ha) at 3MG.

4.40

The JELPS identifies the Hale Bank Road site as likely to be available for development in 5+ years. There are no other sites above 4ha identified as readily available for employment development. Should planning permission be granted, it is the developer’s intention to implement the proposal at Stobart Park / 3MG immediately.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Do Something 4.41

Consideration must be given to whether the proposal offers the most appropriate development solution for the site. However, given that the proposed land use does not conflict with HBC’s aspirations for the site (i.e. B8 employment development), there is no need to consider alternative approaches beyond the site area. Rather it should be considered whether large scale storage and distribution units are the optimum solution or whether a mix of uses is more appropriate.

4.42

The Employment Baseline Report reveals a significant shortage (50ha) of available, developable employment land in the Borough to meet identified targets within the development plan period to 2026. The site allocations, as a Primary Employment Area and Strategic Regional Investment site, coupled with an increasingly constrained employment land supply, suggest any alternative uses are unlikely to be accepted due to the character and strategic location of the site. Furthermore, alterative uses will not exploit the opportunity for multi modal freight transfer/transport made available by the location of the site adjacent to Stobart Ports transmodal shipment centre.

4.43

The proposal provides the most viable and efficient employment development achievable in terms of quantum of development. The proposed development makes the most efficient use of the site for B8 storage and distribution purposes, with integrated transport links also providing rail freight facilities. The proposal provides a viable means of delivering a large quantum of employment development, supporting aspirations set out within the current development plan and emerging LDF to maintain the status of the site as a leading multimodal freight facility (Core Strategy Policy CS8 – 3MG). Do Nothing

4.44

Should the site remain undeveloped, its economic viability will deteriorate in conjunction with the quality of the site which is un-remediated and contaminated due to its industrial past. If undeveloped, there is a potential increase in environmental risks and liabilities associated with the large previously developed site. This is particularly undesirable given its proximity to the River Mersey SSSI, and location within an Environmental Priority Area (HUDP Policy BE3) earmarked for environmental and aesthetic improvement. No contribution will be made to the appearance of the site or economy of the surrounding area. Rather it will detract from the quality of an allocated Regional Investment Site (HUDP Policy S20) reducing the economic competitiveness of the area.

4.45

Due to poor site conditions, future redevelopment may become financially unviable if the opportunity to pursue the current development is missed. The proposal offers the wholesale remediation of the entire site. Such an approach would be unattractive and unnecessary if developing on a smaller scale.

4.46

This approach could result in the site becoming redundant, as other large scale storage and distribution uses could be developed elsewhere in the Borough. This would result in a loss of occupiers and employment, and detract from the economic performance of the area.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

4.47

Should the site remain viable, it would likely be subject to sporadic, smaller developments over an extended period of time. This would not result in a planned or consolidated approach to developing the area especially in terms of design, appearance, infrastructure and utilities. Investment could not be coordinated or targeted and is unlikely to generate a similar total level of investment. As a result, the impacts will not be as significant in terms of employment generation, the economy, social objectives, and environmental enhancement.

4.48

A ‘do nothing’ approach would be a missed opportunity to expand on the development of the Tesco DC (completed in 2010), to further contribute substantial economic and social benefits associated with employment development of this size.

4.49

As identified in Chapter 6 (Socio-Economic) of this statement, the proposed development will significantly benefit the economy of the wider area, promoting inward investment and increasing both direct and indirect employment, enhancing the economy. If the site is not developed it will likely remain undeveloped and detract from the local amenity of the area, without providing modern day employment premises to meet demand. Cumulative Impacts

4.50

The proposal and EIA have been prepared having regard to the cumulative impact of the industrial units and 13.7MWe biomass facility, with the adjoining multi-storey office development, east of the site (See Drawing 11026/05b).

4.51

Whilst the proposed development will create significant (131,550sq m (1,416,150sq ft)) new B8 storage and distribution development, the proposal for a 12 storey office development will create 25,885sq m (278,625sq ft) of B1 office floorspace.

4.52

The multi-storey development has the potential to make a significant contribution to the economy of Halton and meet the wider employment needs of the area. The offices are proposed as the headquarters for the Stobart Group of companies who aim to provide an important contribution to the local economy. The development will result in the creation of full time office/administration employment opportunities which will meet local employment needs. The proposal is to enable the development of a building that could accommodate approximately 1,726 full time employees, in addition to construction and off site jobs Combined, the proposals could result in 5116 jobs being created by the Stobart Park / 3MG development as a whole (See Chapter 6 – Para 6,90).

MITIGATION 4.53

The need for the development to provide new employment floorspace, jobs and sustainable energy production through the re-use of an underused brownfield site exists at a national, regional and local level.

4.54

The planning application is for the wholesale development of the site but will be undertaken in phases as specific needs are better defined. This will give the local authority control of the delivery of floorspace and jobs in the area, which can be controlled via the subsequent reserved matters to be approved.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

RESIDUAL IMPACTS 4.55

In its present condition, the application site makes a limited contribution to the aesthetic and economic prosperity of the area. The proposed development will contribute significantly in the delivery of new employment development in the Borough, enabling the regeneration and expansion of Stobart Park / 3MG as a Regional Investment Site and Key Area of Change. No alternative sites in Widnes are capable of delivering the proposed quantum of employment development proposed and the overriding residual impact will be positive and beneficial to the economy and job creation.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

5.0

PLANNING POLICY INTRODUCTION

5.1

This chapter of the Environmental Statement (ES) has been prepared following consideration of the existing land uses on site, development proposed and the planning policy framework for the proposal. Planning policies and the legislative framework provide the context against which the application will be considered.

5.2

Each chapter of the ES considers the potential impacts of the proposed development against the national, regional and local policy relevant to that topic. The legislation is contained within statements of Government Policy, the Regional Spatial Strategy and Unitary Development Plans or Local Development Frameworks.

5.3

This chapter does not assess whether the proposed development complies with current policy as such considerations will be addressed fully in the accompanying Planning Supporting Statement. Existing Land Use

5.4

The application site extends to 33.03ha (81.63 acres). The site is located at Stobart Park / 3MG (Mersey Multi Modal Gateway), formerly known as the West Bank Industrial Estate, approximately 1km (0.6 miles) west of Widnes Town Centre.

5.5

A detailed description of the site in its current form is set out in Chapter 3 (Description of Development) of the ES. The large, entirely previously developed site, is currently occupied by small/medium scale B8 storage and distribution operations which make up a small proportion of the total available area of the site.

5.6

The site area is considerable but can be subdivided into three notable sections as illustrated in the Application Site Plan (Ref: 11026/05 RevA). The eastern area of the site consists of three parcels of land divided by the Mathieson and Ronan Roads. The area consisted primarily of B8 storage and distribution uses but now lies redundant.

5.7

The west of the site is characterised by two areas: a large reclamation mound; and existing storage and distribution units. The reclamation mound was formed by Halton Borough Council (HBC) from galligu (a chemical waste common to the area) and shaped to create steep sides. One of the objectives for 3MG set out within the emerging Core Strategy (policy CS8) is the redevelopment of the mound.

5.8

The area west of the reclamation mound is occupied by existing large scale warehouses falling within Use Class B8 (Storage and Distribution). Proposed Land Use

5.9

A detailed description of the proposal is set out in Chapter 3 (Description of Development) and illustrated in the indicative Site Masterplan (Ref: 11026/04 RevB), included within the Appendices of the Environmental Statement. The proposed development will result in the construction of large scale B8 storage and distribution units, the primary existing use on site, on an increased scale to the current

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

development. The proposal incorporates a 13.7MWe biomass facility (Sui Generis use class) which will produce renewable power through sustainable woodchips. 5.10

Stobart Developments Ltd intend to demolish all existing buildings and clear and fully remediate the application site, before erecting fully serviced, state of the art storage and distribution units. The development will complete the expansion of Stobart Park / 3MG, accessible by both road and rail, and will include all landscape and transport infrastructure to provide a modern, sustainable distribution hub. ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

5.11

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been prepared based on consideration of the relevant development plan framework and policies prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 as amended and supplemented by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 and the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

5.12

This chapter is based upon the identification of national policies relevant to the proposal as well as regional and local policies forming the Statutory Development Plan for the area.

5.13

Under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, all policies in existing development plans were ‘saved’ until September 2007. Beyond this point certain policies could be extended by a Direction from the Secretary of State (SoS) which was undertaken by Halton in April 2008 and saves the current UDP policies beyond the automatic three years from adoption of the UDP (i.e. 7 April 2005), until the emerging LDF documents are implemented. Until the adoption of Local Development Documents (LDDs) including the Core Strategy, the ‘saved’ policies identified within the Halton Unitary Development Plan (HUDP) will remain the core legislation on which all planning decisions are based. BASELINE CONDITIONS

5.14

The planning policy framework within the UK is formed from a number of sources. Planning policy and guidance flows down from the national to local government tiers with increasingly detailed degrees of interpretation. As such, there is a range of detailed documentation which must be adhered to by decision-makers charged with determining planning applications: § § § § § § §

5.15

Ministerial Statements; White Papers; National Planning Policy Guidance (PPGs) notes and Planning Policy Statements (PPSs); Government Circulars; Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS); Local Development Plans (Unitary, Structure and Local Plans); and Local Development Frameworks (LDF).

The proposed development will be considered in light of national planning policy guidance, and the development plan.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

National Policy 5.16

The Government’s strategic policy position with regard to the intensification and redevelopment of industrial sites and the mitigation of potential impacts from large scale development such as that proposed, is set out in the following Planning Policy Statements (PPS) and Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) notes: § § § § § § § §

PPS1 PPS4 PPS9 PPG13 PPS22 PPS23 PPG24 PPS25

– Delivering Sustainable Development; – Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth; – Biodiversity and Geological Conservation; – Transport; – Renewable Energy; – Planning and Pollution Control; – Planning and Noise; and – Development and Flood Risk.

Planning Policy Statement 1 – Delivering Sustainable Development 5.17

PPS1 identifies sustainable development as the core principle underpinning planning. The Government’s overarching planning policies on the delivery of sustainable development are set out in PPS1 which states that urban regeneration should be promoted to improve the wellbeing of communities, improve facilities, promote high quality and safe development and create new opportunities for people living in those communities.

5.18

PPS1 states that the planning system should make efficient use of land and seek actively to bring vacant brownfield land back into beneficial use to achieve Government targets for development on brownfield land.

5.19

Urban development should be facilitated and promoted by contributing to sustainable economic development and ensuring the maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment in ways that protect and enhance the physical environment and optimise resource and energy use.

5.20

PPS1 seeks to maintain and improve the local environment and help to mitigate the effects of declining environmental quality. Planning Policy Statement 4 – Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth

5.21

PPS4 sets out Government planning policies for economic development (identified as Use Class B) and other development which achieves at least one of the following: provides employment opportunities; generates wealth; or produces or generates economic output.

5.22

It sets out the policy framework for sustainable economic development in urban areas, identifying objectives for planning to achieve sustainable growth. PPS4 states that to reduce disparities in economic growth rates, planning should promote regeneration.

5.23

To promote the vitality of towns and other centres the Government wants new economic growth and development to be located in identified employment areas. Local Planning Authorities (LPA) should seek to make the most efficient and

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

effective use of land, prioritising previously developed land which is suitable for reuse, and reflects the different location requirements of businesses such as size of site, access and locally available workforce. Planning Policy Statement 9 – Biodiversity and Geological Conservation 5.24

PPS9 sets out planning policies on the protection of biodiversity and geological conservation through the planning system. The aim of planning decisions should be to prevent harm to biodiversity and geological interests.

5.25

Local Plan policies should aim to maintain, enhance, restore or add to biodiversity and geological interests. Where significant harm cannot be prevented, adequately mitigated against or compensated for, planning permission should be refused. Planning Policy Guidance 13 – Transport

5.26

PPG13 advises on the role of the transport system and its integration with the development of land. It states that an efficient and integrated transport system is central to a strong and prosperous economy and recognises that quality of life is dependant upon transport and ease of access to employment.

5.27

Three main objectives are advocated through PPG13: promoting more sustainable transport choices for the movement of people and materials; promoting accessibility to jobs by public transport, walking and cycling; and reducing the need to travel, particularly by car. Planning Policy Statement 22 – Renewable Energy

5.28

PPS22 sets out the key principles local authorities should follow in their approach to planning for renewable energy. The wider environmental and economic benefits for all proposals for renewable energy projects, whatever their scale, are material considerations which should be given weight in the determination of planning applications.

5.29

The document states development proposals should demonstrate any environmental, economic and social benefits as well as how any environmental and social impacts have been minimised. The level of output generated by a proposal should not be a determining factor in the decision making process. Planning Policy Statement 23 – Planning and Pollution Control

5.30

PPS23 sets out the Government’s core policies and principles relating to pollution control that should be integrated into development plans and taken into account in the determination of planning applications. The document states that any consideration of the quality of land, air or water and potential impacts arising from development, possibly leading to impacts on health, is capable of being a material planning consideration, in so far as it arises or may arise from or may affect any land use.

5.31

PPS23 states that pollution issues should be taken into account as appropriate in planning decisions. The generation of pollution from road traffic and discharges to the environment associated with any development should be considered.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Planning Policy Guidance 24 – Noise 5.32

The impact of noise can be a material consideration in the determination of a planning application. PPG24 outlines the considerations to be taken into account in determining planning applications both for noise-sensitive and for those generating noise.

5.33

PPG24 seeks to achieve separation of noise generating activities from the most sensitive receptors, particularly residential areas. However, it states that the while development should not cause an unacceptable degree of disturbance, the planning system should not place unjustifiable obstacles in the way of development. Planning Policy Statement 25 – Development and Flood Risk

5.34

PPS25 sets out Government policy detailing how flood risk should be considered at all stages in the development process to avoid inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding. Development should be directed away from the areas at highest risk to future damage to property or loss of life. The susceptibility of land to flooding is a material consideration when determining planning applications.

5.35

The effective disposal of surface water from development is also a material planning consideration in determining proposals for the development and use of land. Site layout should be influenced by the topography of the land and the location of buildings where surface water may flow naturally, or as a result of development, under extreme circumstances should be avoided if possible. The Development Plan

5.36

Section 38 (6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires planning applications to be determined in accordance with the provisions of the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

5.37

On 27 May 2010 a letter was submitted by the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP highlighting the Government’s commitment to rapidly abolish Regional Strategies and return decision making powers on planning to local councils. In July 2010, Regional Strategies were revoked under s79 (6) of the Local Democracy and Construction Act 2009 and were no longer to form part of the development plan. However, a High Court judgment followed by a letter from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) dated November 2010 re-established Regional Strategies as part of the development plan. While the coalition Government remains committed to scrapping planning at the regional level, the RSS will continue to form part of the development plan until the passing of the Localism Bill through Parliament.

5.38

The development plan comprises Regional Strategies, adopted Development Plan Documents (DPDs) contained within Local Development Frameworks (LDF), as well as saved policies in Unitary Development Plans (UDP) or Local Plans.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

North West of England Plan: Regional Spatial Strategy to 2021 (RSS) (Adopted September 2008) 5.39

The role of the RSS is to provide a framework for development and investment in the region over an extended period (e.g. 15-20 years). It establishes a broad vision for the region, identifying priorities for growth and regeneration across its sub regions and policies to achieve sustainable development across a range of topics – from jobs, housing and transport to climate change, waste and energy.

5.40

The overriding vision and strategy for the North West, set out in the RSS, is for the sustainable development of the region. It is a fundamental strategy of the RSS to seek to improve productivity and to close the gap in economic performance between the North West and other parts of the UK.

5.41

The Regional Strategy identifies a focus for the Liverpool City Region of increased economic prosperity. The Liverpool City Region has close economic, social and cultural links with Warrington, Manchester City Region, Central Lancashire and parts of North Wales. The local authorities of Halton, Knowsley and Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral contribute some 17% of the North West’s total Gross Value Added (GVA). The RSS aims to maximise the region’s economic potential, connect areas of economic opportunity to areas of need, with a particular focus on those areas in need of economic, social and physical restructuring and regeneration.

5.42

The RSS includes policies DP1 (Spatial Principles), RDF1 (Spatial Priorities), and LCR1 (Liverpool City Region Priorities), which focus development in established urban areas and district centres, based on sustainable development principles.

5.43

Policy W2 (Locations for Regionally Significant Economic Development) of the RSS sets a framework for the development plans of individual local authorities to contribute in increasing the competitiveness of the regional economy. Sites should be identified within local development documents which are: capable of development; highly accessible; well related to areas in need of regeneration; and well related to neighbouring uses. The Regional Strategy endorses the location of the proposed development as it is a site for regionally significant logistics development which is well connected to the primary freight transport networks.

5.44

The RSS superseded Regional Planning Guidance for the North West (RPG13), which required development plans and other strategies to identify Regional Investment Sites for strategic business investment. The importance of the proposed development site to the regional economy remains. Stobart Park / 3MG retained its allocation as a Regional Site for employment purposes in a review by the North West Development Agency (NWDA) in 2009. It is also allocated as a ‘Key Area of Change’ within the emerging LDF Core Strategy for Halton. The Regional Strategy will be considered as a material planning consideration until the Localism Bill is passed by Parliament. Halton Unitary Development Plan (HUDP) (2nd Deposit, 2008)

5.45

Land at the application site is accompanied by the following site specific policies: § §

Policy E3 Policy E7

– Primary Employment Areas – Ditton Strategic Rail Freight Park

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

§ § §

Policy S20 Policy GE30 Policy BE3

– Strategic Regional Investment Sites – The Mersey Coastal Zone – Environmental Priority Areas

5.46

HUDP policy E3 states that within identified Primarily Employment Areas, ’development falling within Use Classes B1 (Business), B2 (General Industry), B8 (Storage and Distribution) and Sui Generis industrial uses will be permitted’. The policy seeks to retain land for business and industrial use and to restrict non industrial uses within these areas.

5.47

HUDP policy E7 seeks the development of a phased strategic intermodal freight park on land at Ditton (the application site). Development will be permitted provided that it complies with certain criteria. Proposals should: utilise the railway for freight transportation; be of a quality suitable for occupation by regionally/nationally important distribution companies; mitigate environmental impacts; and demonstrate through a detailed Transport Assessment (TA) and Travel Plan that it would not significantly detriment existing local transport networks.

5.48

Policy E7 seeks to bring into use extensive areas of derelict and contaminated land that currently acts as a deterrent to new investment. It is intended to encourage significant job creation for local people and facilitate lasting improvements in the quality of the built environment.

5.49

Strategic Regional Investment Sites allocated under HUDP policy S20, are considered significant in raising the competitiveness of the economy of the North West region. Sites have been allocated to meet the needs of economic sectors and include Stobart Park / 3MG and the proposed application site. Any new development on Regional Sites will be expected to make a contribution to the economic outputs of the region in terms of job creation.

5.50

HUDP policy GE30 encourages proposals for development within the Mersey Coastal Zone which would contribute to the regeneration of the zone and enhance its environmental quality, tourism and recreation potential, particularly those which would lead to improvements in the accessibility of the coast. A small proportion of the eastern area of the application site falls within the developed Coastal Zone.

5.51

Stobart Park / 3MG is allocated an Environmental Priority Area under policy BE3. Within these areas the council will pay particular regard to raising environmental standards. Proposals for development are expected to be of a quality of design that enhances the character and appearance of the area. Development will be expected to improve standards of visual amenity, particularly where visible from residential areas, the railway, the Green Belt, Hale Bank Road and Queensway.

5.52

There are a number of non site-specific policies within the UDP which will require consideration in the assessment of the proposed development. HUDP policy S1 (Regeneration) identifies that development should: stimulate economic development and create jobs for local people; reclaim derelict and contaminated land for beneficial use; and protect and enhance the environment. Specifically within Stobart Park / 3MG, development is expected to stimulate economic development through job creation and provide for the reclamation of areas that are currently derelict and/or contaminated and provide for the enhancement of the local environment.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

5.53

HUDP policy PR14 (Contaminated Land) states that planning applications on land known or suspected to be contaminated, will need to assess the level of contamination and relevant remediation measures. Proposals within 3MG will be required to take such issues into account at the outset, due to the history and industrial use of the application site.

5.54

HBC promote the development of safe, efficient and inclusive integrated transport systems and infrastructure through HUDP policy S13 (Transport). Priority will be given to measures which: promote an integrated system; stimulate sustainable economic growth in sustainable locations; improve accessibility; create a safer environment; and protect and enhance the environment. The fact that development at 3MG is intended to provide employment opportunities for the local and wider population requires development proposals to be accessible by a range of means. Moreover, proposals must not hinder accessibility to uses and facilities within 3MG and in proximity to it.

5.55

HUDP policy S11 (Renewable Energy Sources) is supportive of renewable energy schemes where it can be demonstrated that development would not cause ‘demonstrable harm to interests of acknowledged importance’. Halton Borough Council acknowledges that new and renewable energy sources can potentially contribute to energy needs in a significant and sustainable way. 3MG (Mersey Multimodal Gateway) Supplementary Planning Document (2009)

5.56

The 3MG Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) acts to complement the existing policies of the Unitary Development Plan. The UDP identifies the Ditton Strategic Freight Terminal as the opportunity to create a rail freight interchange of regional significance to underpin the economy of the region. The document acts to outline the vision for 3MG while setting out the planning policy context within which the application site sits. The SPD also identifies the major development constraints relating to the site, before highlighting the key development opportunities relating to individual sites within the wider 3MG area. IMPACT ASSESSMENT

5.57

The development of 33.03ha (81.63 acres) of employment land to provide 131,550sq m (1,416,150sq ft) of new B8 storage and distribution development including a 13.7MWe biomass facility will have a positive impact by meeting the main aims and objectives of the development plan in terms of: § § § § § § § § §

Supporting development compatible with the intermodal rail freight park on land allocated for such development; Creating a renewable energy source to feed the local distribution network; Bringing into use an extensive derelict and contaminated site; Making the most effective use of the land; Promoting significant sustainable economic growth and competitiveness; Creating jobs for local people; Enhancing the environmental quality of the area; Contributing to urban regeneration; and Mitigating the impacts of development where appropriate.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

5.58

The planning policy context has been set out in this chapter to inform the assessment of the development within other specialist chapters comprising this Environmental Statement. It is not the purpose of this chapter to assess whether the proposed development complies with all current planning policy, as this will be considered in the Planning Supporting Statement (Ref:89429/0030) accompanying the planning application. Cumulative Impacts

5.59

The proposal and EIA have been prepared having regard to the cumulative impact of the industrial units and biomass facility and a multi-storey office development.

5.60

It is anticipated that the development of a redundant area of land to provide 25,885sq m (278,625sq ft) of additional B1 office employment development will have a positive impact by creating employment to meet the aims and objectives of the development plan and accords with overriding national planning policy.

5.61

Whether the proposed office development complies with current planning policy will be considered in the accompanying Planning Supporting Statement (Ref: 89429/0030). MITIGATION

5.62

The proposed development at Stobart Park / 3MG is unlikely to have any significant adverse impacts on planning policy. However, where necessary, planning conditions will secure appropriate mitigation to ensure the development is delivered in accordance with the development plan. RESIDUAL IMPACTS

5.63

The application site currently makes a limited contribution to meeting the objectives and policies of the development plan and securing sustainable development. The proposed development will result in the development of a site identified for employment and allocated as a Strategic Regional Investment Site to support the local and wider regional economy and create jobs. The regeneration and expansion of Stobart Park / 3MG will make a significant positive contribution to meeting the objectives and policies of the development plan and the overriding residual impact will be beneficial to the economy, job creation and developing the areas role as a key multi modal freight interchange.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

6.0

SUSTAINABILITY INTRODUCTION

6.1

This chapter of the Environmental Statement (ES) considers the sustainability of the proposed development in relation to issues such as: energy; building design; materials; and waste management, to demonstrate the overall approach taken towards sustainable development.

6.2

Whilst it is recognised that certain aspects will have been addressed in other chapters of the ES, it is relevant to examine aspects related to the overall sustainability of the development in relation to national, regional and local policy. Economic sustainability, which is central to national and local policy guidance on the delivery of sustainable development, will not be assessed in this section, but has been addressed extensively in Chapters 4 (Needs and Alternatives) and 7 (SocioEconomic Considerations) of this Environmental Statement. ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

6.3

This chapter will assess any relevant policy and good practice guidance relating to the sustainability of development to determine how the proposal can accord with such policy and guidance.

6.4

The proposed development has been subject to BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) criteria, focusing on the sustainability measures to be adopted in the design of the proposal to seek the highest achievable rating. The undertaking of BREEAM has informed the impact of the proposed development. BASELINE CONDITIONS

6.5

Sustainable development occurs when social, economic and environmental benefits are achieved at the same time. Four aims for sustainable development set out in the Labour Government’s 1999 Strategy (A Better Quality of Life – A Strategy for Sustainable Development for the UK) are still applicable today: § § § §

Social progress which recognises the needs of everyone; Effective protection of the environment; The prudent use of natural resources; and The maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment.

6.6

National Planning Policy Statement 1 (PPS1 - Delivering Sustainable Development) states that these aims should be pursued through a sustainable productive economy that delivers high levels of employment and promotes sustainable communities in ways that protect and enhance the physical environment and optimise resource and energy use.

6.7

As referred to in Chapter 5 (Planning Policy) of this Statement, PPS1 identifies sustainable development as the core principle underpinning planning. The overarching planning policies on the delivery of sustainable development state that regeneration should be promoted to improve the wellbeing of communities, improve facilities, promote high quality and safe development and create new opportunities for people living in those communities.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

6.8

It is recognised that development plans can make a significant contribution to the achievement of objectives for sustainable development, with the issue of sustainability central to the formulation of strategic aims, objectives and policies at the local level. The main strategic aim of the Halton Unitary Development Plan (HUDP) Revised (2nd Deposit) Version (2008) is to ‘transform the quality of Halton’s environment and improve economic prosperity and social progress through sustainable development’.

6.9

The strategic aims were updated in the revised UDP to reflect a ’greater emphasis on providing for necessary sustainable development in a manner and in locations which do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs’.

6.10

The current use of the site does not accord with the principles of sustainability. The site is not in the most efficient and effective use, due to vacant plots and sporadic development implemented over a significant time period. The current operations comprise ad-hoc construction materials, transport arrangements and waste management methods. Furthermore, many areas of the site are unused or poorly utilised where they could be made more viable economically and make better use of the large, previously developed site. Renewable Energy

6.11

Global climate change presents a serious threat to human society and the natural environment. Evidence shows that the ten warmest years globally since records began have occurred since 1994. If no action is taken against climate change, the global average temperature could be as much as 5.8 degrees Celsius higher by 2100 (Climate Change: The UK Programme 2006) with a serious impact on the economy and natural environment.

6.12

The ‘Kyoto Protocol’ is seen as one of the key mechanisms to combat climate change internationally, under which the UK is legally bound to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5% below the 1990 levels by the period 2008-2012. The ‘Climate Change Act’ (2008) made the UK the first country in the world to have a legally binding long-term framework to cut carbon emissions.

6.13

The Coalition Government’s ‘Annual Energy Statement 2010’ identifies the need to avoid overdependence on natural gas imports and to secure the UK’s energy. One of its key themes is the need to secure a low carbon energy supply in the UK. This objective is closely linked with the need to reduce carbon emissions by switching from reliance on traditional hydrocarbon fuels for electricity generation.

6.14

National planning policy (PPS1) aims is to stimulate the development of new and renewable energy sources wherever they have prospects of being economically attractive and environmentally acceptable in order to contribute to sustainable energy supplies.

6.15

The Coalition Government aims to stimulate development of renewable energy resources through positive planning in order to facilitate the delivery of commitments on both climate change and renewable energy. One of the key principles of PPS22 (Renewable Energy) states that ‘the wider environmental and economic benefits of all proposals for renewable energy projects, whatever their scale, are material

26

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

considerations that should be given significant weight in determining whether proposals should be granted planning permission’. 6.16

In line with national policy, HUDP policy S11 (Renewable Energy Sources) is supportive of renewable energy schemes where it can be demonstrated that development would not cause ’demonstrable harm to interests of acknowledged importance’. Building Design and Materials

6.17

Around 50% of the UK’s total CO2 emission arises from energy used in the heating, lighting and cooling of buildings, and 10% from energy used during the production and transportation of materials for new construction projects. BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design, addressing the environmental and sustainability issues relating to the environmental performance of new buildings.

6.18

The development is subject to a BREEAM assessment and the sustainability criteria by which new industrial buildings are measured are as follows: § § § § § § § §

6.19

Management – Steps that have been taken to allow good management of the environmental impacts of the construction and operation of the industrial unit/s; Health and Well-Being – The effect that the design of the unit/s and indoor environment has on its occupants; Energy – Operational energy and resulting emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere (mandatory credits must be achieved if a rating of ‘Very Good’ is to be realised); Transport – The provision of cyclist/parking facilities and Travel Plan to demonstrate integrated/sustainable transport systems; Water – The consumption of potable water from the public supply systems or other ground water resources (mandatory credits must be achieved if a rating of ‘Very Good’ is to be realised); Materials – The environmental impacts of construction materials for key construction elements; Waste – Waste generated as a result of the construction process and facilities encouraging recycling of waste materials; Land use and Ecology – The impact of the industrial unit/s on the local ecosystem, biodiversity and land use.

Building Regulations exist to ensure the health and safety of people in construction and also set standards for design and construction which apply to new buildings. They promote standards for most aspects of a building’s construction including energy efficiency. New consolidated Regulations came into force on 1 October 2010. The proposed development will be required to comply with the minimum standards set out by law within the Building Regulations 2010. Waste Management

6.20

The construction industry is the UK’s largest user of natural resources and producer of waste. Each year around: §

400 million tonnes of material is used;

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

§ §

120 million tonnes of waste is produced (more than 1/3 of the UK’s annual waste); 25 million tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation waste is disposed to landfill.

6.21

The Labour Government set broad targets for reducing waste in the construction industry as outlined in the ‘Strategy for Sustainable Construction’ (June, 2008). The Strategy set a target of a 50% reduction in construction, demolition and excavation waste sent to landfill in 2012, compared to 2008. Targets have been set for the use of reclaimed aggregate, and in keeping with best practice, demolition and construction contractors will be required to maximise the materials recycled.

6.22

The Site Waste Management Regulations 2008 require any person intending to carry out a construction project with an estimated cost greater than £300,000 to prepare a Site Waste Management Plan.

6.23

A Site Waste Management Plan provides the framework for detailing the targets, amount and type of wastes produced as part of the construction works, and also the targets set and achieved in relation to waste reduction, reuse, recycling and disposal. The Plan is a ‘live document’ and should be continuously reappraised/revised during the key design and construction stages up until final completion of the construction project.

6.24

The principal aims of a Site Waste Management Plan are as follows: 1. To improve materials resource efficiency by promoting the economic use of construction materials and methods so that waste is minimised and that any waste which is produced is reused, recycled or recovered in other ways, where possible, before disposal options are adopted; 2. To maximise, where possible, the use of materials with a recycled content; 3. To record design decisions and forecasts relating to waste management; 4. To set out responsibilities for waste management on site; 5. To record waste movements during construction and to provide comparison between actual and estimated quantities; and 6. At project completion, to document final project declarations, quantify savings and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

6.25

The need to recycle has been recognised by the through ‘The Landfill Directive’, which provides targets for reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill sites in the UK. The Directive aims to ‘prevent or reduce as far as possible, negative effects on the environment from the landfilling of waste’. The targets are: § § §

By 2010, the waste sent to landfills should be 75% of that sent in 1995; By 2013, the waste sent to landfills should be 50% of that sent in 1995; and By 2015, the waste sent to landfills should be 35% of that sent in 1995.

IMPACT ASSESSMENT Renewable Energy 6.26

The proposed biomass facility will assist in combating climate change through the carbon neutral status of the wood chip fuel and the displacement of existing, or

28

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

avoidance of new emissions from fossil fuel based energy generation. The use of woodchip as a fuel for electricity generation is recognised as being carbon free. There will be no net increase of carbon dioxide as the wood plantations reabsorb carbon while the replanted trees grow. It is intended that wood will be sourced for from sustainably managed sources, where at least as many trees are planted as those that are harvested using the Forestry Stewardship’ Council (FSC) accreditation system. The project will avoid significant carbon dioxide emissions otherwise produced by an equivalent fossil fuel power station. 6.27

The biomass facility will produce approximately 13.7MWe of renewable electricity using clean, untreated woodchip from forests and sawmills that will be fed into the local distribution network. The production of renewable electricity accords with the strategic aim of the HUDP, as it will assist in reducing/counteracting greenhouse gas emissions which would otherwise be produced through the burning of fossil fuels to create energy. Management

6.28

It is intended that the buildings to be constructed on site will be certified under the BREEAM certification scheme, and that a rating of at least ‘Very Good’ will be achieved (see Appendix 6.1 - Credit Summary). The proposal has been produced with a commitment to best practice in terms of the design and construction of the building fabric, services for the proposed industrial units and responsible sourcing of materials.

6.29

An appropriate project team has been appointed by Stobart Developments Ltd (SDL) to ensure the project will be carried out in line with current best practice and there is a commitment to comply with best practice site management principles. Health and Wellbeing

6.30

Appropriate measures will be taken to ensure the wellbeing of occupants of the storage and distribution buildings and any ancillary office space including daylight, views out, glare control, internal and external lighting levels and controls, ventilation, thermal control and acoustic performance. Energy Management

6.31

To ensure efficient energy use during the operation of the industrial development proposal, a number of measures have been considered. To keep CO2 emissions down, in accordance with Part L2 (Conservation of Fuel and Power in New Buildings Other Than Dwellings) of the Building Regulations 2010, the buildings will be assessed at the design stage by accredited energy assessors. It is intended that the proposal will achieve an EPC (Energy Professors Council) output of 40 or greater on the CO2 index.

6.32

The development will incorporate sustainable building energy management systems including the sub-metering of all major energy consuming plant (small power and lighting etc.), to ensure efficient energy supply across the buildings. The proposal will also incorporate the sub-metering of high energy load areas and individual tenancy areas.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

6.33

It is intended that energy efficient building materials are adopted to ensure heat is retained in the buildings including measures such as: personnel doors between internal and external areas; insulated loading bay doors; air / plastic strip curtains at the delivery bays; and rapid rise bay doors. An ‘air tightness test’ will be carried out in accordance with the Building Regulations in addition to a comprehensive thermographic inspection, to be conducted once the development is complete.

6.34

Energy Management measures will help alleviate the unavoidable effects of climate change, in accordance with the environmental aims set out within the HUDP. Transport

6.35

Accessibility to the public transport network and key accessible local amenities appropriate to the building type and its users has been considered and a Travel Plan (see Chapter 15 – Traffic & Transportation) specific to the development produced which confirms measures to encourage car sharing, cycling and walking. The site layout has been designed in accordance with best practice to ensure safe and adequate pedestrian and cycle access. Water

6.36

Appropriate measures will be taken to ensure the sustainable use of water on site. Identified ‘good practice’ flow rates will be achieved through the installation of efficient sanitaryware in the development. A water meter with a pulsed output will be installed on the mains supply of each unit of the development, enabling the meter to be connected to a BMS water leak detection module. The buildings will also incorporate ‘sanitary supply shut off’ to each toilet area, enabling the flow of water into the areas to be controlled by a link to either infra-red movement detectors or sensors placed on entry doors to each facility. Materials

6.37

Materials will be considered with regard to the ‘Green Guide to Specification’ ratings for the major building/finishing elements and their constituent materials, namely the roof and external walls. The contractor will be required to ensure that materials are responsibly sourced, confirming the location of the materials specified, including details of the specific source/supplier and relative volumes for each building element. It is intended that 80% of the building materials are responsibly sourced in accordance with BREEAM criteria.

6.38

Based on the current design proposals materials used for the external envelope of the distribution centres are currently expected to be insulated cladding, which is generally rated at ‘A’ or above under the Green Guide to Specification. The same rating will apply to all fabric and services insulation.

6.39

The current design of the external landscaping will use recycled aggregate for the sub-base, as a result of the remediation strategy that has been employed on the development. Hard landscaping with a recycled sub-base generally achieves a rating of ‘A’ or above under the Green Guide to Specification. Boundary treatment/protection will also be ‘A’ rated or above, with wire mesh Palladin fencing currently proposed to all units of the development.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Waste 6.40

During the construction and operation of the proposed development, various wastes will be generated and there will be an emphasis to promote the use of recycled materials. These materials must be managed in order to minimise the impact to the environment. A Site Waste Management Plan (see Chapter 14 – Waste Management) will be produced to ensure the effective management of waste throughout the construction process.

6.41

The proposal will incorporate central dedicated space/s for the storage of waste and recyclable waste streams produced by operations at the site. Given the nature of operations, an industrial waste compactor or baler will be installed for the compacting/baling of waste materials generated on site.

6.42

The development provides the opportunity to excavate and stabilise galligu (a chemical waste common to the area) which represents a long term pollution threat on the site. The site will be capped with treated (lime stabilised) galligu, which will be placed in layers across the application site to achieve suitable finished ground and floor levels.

6.43

The reuse of galligu is a particularly sustainable approach to development. The process will involve actively removing a substantial volume of contaminated material which currently forms ‘the mound’, and converting it into a useable sustainable construction material. The requirement to import aggregate to perform the same role will be avoided, as will the costs and energy involved in the production and transportation of ‘virgin’ aggregate. Land Use & Ecology

6.44

The majority of the footprint of the proposed development utilises previously developed land and adequate remedial steps will be taken to decontaminate the site prior to construction.

6.45

The land is of low ecological value and all existing features of ecological value will be protected from damage during site preparation and construction works. The change in the site’s existing ecological value, as a result of development, is expected to be minimal. Pollution

6.46

Refrigerants with a global warming potential or emissions from heating sources are not anticipated to be significant due to the nature of the distribution centres.

6.47

The development will be above the flood level for the site and reducing water run-of from the site can be achieved to ensure that excess run off during a 1 in 100 year design storm event is attenuated on site, or by discharging all run off water directly into the Mersey estuary.

6.48

Oil interceptors would be installed through out the development covering all outfalls from the development to minimise watercourse pollution.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

6.49

The development will operate on a 24hr basis and controls will be in place on all external lighting which would allow for lighting to be switched off between 2300 and 0700 if required. The external lighting strategy for the development is designed to meet the Institution of Lighting Engineers (ILE) Guidance notes for the reduction of obtrusive light, 2005 and time control requirements of BREEAM.

6.50

The noise assessment (see Chapter 16 – Noise & Vibration) demonstrates that sources of noise from the development do not give rise to the likelihood of complaints from existing noise-sensitive premises and amenity or wildlife areas that are within the locality of the site. Cumulative Impacts

6.51

The proposal and EIA have been prepared having regard to the cumulative impact of the industrial units and biomass facility, with the multi-storey office development.

6.52

It is intended that both the industrial and office developments be certified under the BREEAM certification scheme, and that a rating of at least ‘Very Good’ will be achieved (see Appendix 6.1). For this reason, the developments are, for the most part, subject to the same criteria to achieve the most sustainable building design.

6.53

In terms of building design, the developments together are intended to achieve high standards of sustainable design. While the nature of operation at the office development requires a different approach to certain design aspects, the framework for achieving sustainable development will remain the same, therefore the overriding sustainability of the cumulative development will remain at a high standard in accordance with BREEAM criteria.

6.54

Cumulatively, the proposed development will require additional resources, increase energy and water consumption, transport and produce increased amounts of waste. The cumulative development will result in the re-use of an increased volume of recycled aggregates and there is the potential for related sustainability benefits in terms of transport, land use, employment and the economy. MITIGATION

6.55

Mitigation is being delivered by the proposed development through seeking to achieve BREEAM rating ‘Very Good’, which includes a range of measures to ensure sustainable design and address the environmental and sustainability issues relating to the environmental performance of the new buildings. Meeting the requirements of Building Regulations will also mitigate the impact of the development.

6.56

The annual generation of 13.7MWe of renewable energy will assist in mitigating the impact of increased energy consumption.

6.57

A Site Waste Management Plan during construction including waste recycling and as part of future operations will help minimise waste and best promote the use of recycled materials.

6.58

It is considered no further mitigation measures are necessary.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

RESIDUAL IMPACTS 6.59

The proposal will result in the sustainable development of an under used site, and by ensuring buildings meet at least a BREEAM rating Very Good, the development will minimise the use of natural resources in the construction and operation of the future development and waste and maximise the opportunity for recycled content such as the re use of stabilised galligu.

6.60

Once operational, in seeking a BREEAM Very Good rating, the development will minimise the consumption of resources including water and energy and through the biomass facility will generate 13.7MWe of renewable power.

6.61

The proposed development is considered to demonstrate the overriding principles of sustainable development and will achieve high standards of sustainable design and operation. The proposal will make efficient use of vacant and derelict land to improve the local environment and halt declining environmental quality in the area. It will promote urban development by contributing to sustainable economic growth, enhancing the physical environment and optimising resources and energy. Buildings will be designed to promote sustainability in their operation and best minimise the use of resources.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

7.0

SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS

7.1

This chapter assesses the current socio-economic baseline, outlines any potential significant effects (positive and negative) which may arise as a direct result of the development, and outlines any required mitigation, where necessary.

7.2

This chapter also provides an assessment of the current demographics of the area, and how the proposed development can be designed/tailored at the reserved matters stage (or through other future planning applications) to have a significant benefit to Widnes, the Borough of Halton and the surrounding area.

7.3

The ES looks at the potential economic impacts of the project and makes an assessment as to the economic impact of the expansion of Stobart Park / 3MG at Mersey Multi-Modal Gateway, Widnes that will include: § § §

131,550 m2 (1,416,150 ft2) of B8 storage and distribution floorspace including ancillary offices and vehicle parking; 13.7MWe biomass facility; and All associated land remediation, engineering works and landscaping.

7.4

The proposal is for a storage and distribution development that will improve the local economy, create jobs, enhance the site and surrounding area in its own right, provide significant additional community benefits and assist in continuing to deliver the wholesale redevelopment and regeneration of a Regional Employment Area, also highlighted for environmental improvement.

7.5

The scheme will be a significant component of regeneration in Widnes, providing opportunities to encourage new businesses into the area and create employment. ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

7.6

The document provides a comprehensive assessment of socio-economic consideration and demographics based upon a range of reliable and accurate data sources. These data sources can be crossed referenced to provide assumptions and indications that satisfy the requirements of HBC. The data sources used within this chapter are as follows (sourced throughout): § § § § § § §

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and 2001 Census data; ONS Labour Market Statistics February 2011; Local area information sourced at www.mouseprice.com; Nomis (Labour Force Information); Liverpool University Development Centre Bulletin October, 2010 Halton Borough Council Economic Review, 2008; and Halton Borough Council Employment Baseline Report, 2010.

7.7

This chapter also provides an assessment of the current demographics of the area, and how the proposed development can have a significant benefit to the town of Widnes and the surrounding area.

7.8

The construction and operational impacts of the proposed development will be assessed upon the existing baseline conditions and benefits to the local community

34

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

and where necessary, mitigation measures proposed to reduce any potential negative impacts upon socio-economic factors. BASELINE CONDITIONS 7.9

The proposed development area is within Stobart Park ./ 3MG Multimodal Gateway and is designated for employment use by the Halton Unitary Development Plan (UDP), 2005 and HBC's emerging Local Development Framework Core Strategy (policy CS8) which identifies the site as within the Mersey Multimodal Gateway. Stobart Park / 3MG is a ‘Key Area of Change’, emphasising the contribution of the area to the economy of Halton and wider region as a key employment generator.

7.10

The proposed development accords with national regional and local policy as it will identify the potential of the site to deliver 131,550 m2 (1,416,150 ft2) of employment development, increasing the number of people that will be employed on the site.

7.11

The proposed development will provide opportunities within the logistics and distribution sector in alliance will the 3MG initiative. The storage and distribution development proposed will create new employment opportunities and add to the envisaged regeneration of the area.

7.12

Population The primary potential impact of the development on population relates to the provision of employment and the effect this will have on inwards and outwards migration.

7.13

The significance of the impact can be determined by the scale of the migration measured against the existing population and the timescale over which demographics of the area change.

7.14

Where reference is made to 'Widnes' this relates to the Riverside ward of which Widnes is included, in addition reference is made to HBC in the text which relates to 'Halton' within the figures.

7.15

The population of Riverside was 4,814 in the 2001 Census. This comprised of 2,327 males (48%) and 2,487 females (52%). Data from the 2010 Mid Year Estimates provided by the ONS (updated 4 November 2010) indicate a population of 4,958, which is an increase on the actual 2001 population count by 144 people. Figure 6.1 - Population Estimates Riverside 4,814

2001 Census Population 2010 ONS Mid Year Population Estimates 4,958 7.16

Halton 118,208

North West 6,729,800

England 4,913,8831

118,700

6,897,900

5,180,9700

Halton is projected to have a growth in population. Growth is predicted to be the 25th largest rate of population growth out of the 39 North West Local Authorities (Halton Borough Council Annual Monitoring Report (AMR), 2010).

35

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Figure 6.2 - Halton's Population Projection 2008-2023 124000

123000

Population

122000

121000

120000

119000

118000

117000 2006

2008

2010

2012

2014

2016

2018

2020

2022

2024

Year

7.17

Age Structure The Riverside Ward and Halton tend to have a higher proportion of children, younger people (0-39 years) than the North West and England. Figure 6.3 - Population by Age 10.00

9.00

8.00

7.00

6.00

Riverside

5.00

Halton North West 4.00

England

3.00

2.00

1.00

0.00 0 - 4 5 - 9 10 - 15 - 20 - 25 - 30 - 35 - 40 - 45 - 50 - 55 - 60 - 65 - 70 - 75 - 80 - 85 - 90 14 19 24 29 34 39 44 49 54 59 64 69 74 79 84 89 and over

36

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

7.18

Halton’s AMR confirms that Halton has a comparatively young population structure with the arrival of young families with the development of Runcorn New Town. Figure 6.4 - Population by Age Breakdown for Towns of Widnes, Runcorn and Halton Borough

65+

Widnes Runcorn Halton

16-64

0-15

0

10,000

20,000

30,000

40,000

50,000

60,000

70,000

80,000

Source: based on ONS mid-year estimates, 2007-2009

7.19

It is understood that the first generation of the new-town residents are getting older. The proportion aged 65+ is projected to grow by 43% from 16,900 in 2008 to 24,200 in 2023 with projected reductions in the working age population by 6% in the same period.

7.20

Younger people (0-15) and older people (65+) are projected to show growth in population. Working age people (15-64) are projected to decline in the short, medium and long term (2023) with the rate of decline increasing.

7.21

Whilst the overall population is forecast to increase steadily, the only age group that is expected to grow consistently is those aged 60-90 years. This projected growth in Riverside for older people is projected to increase by over 40% in the long term.

7.22

Following national and regional trends, Halton's population continues to age with older people making up an increasing proportion of the population.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Figure 6.5 - Halton's Projected % Population Change By Age Group 50

40

30

%

0-14 20

15-64 65+

10

0 2013

2018

2023

-10 Year

7.23

Working Age There is a high proportion of the working age people in Halton (66%) compared to the North West (64.6%) and England (65%). The proportion of the population at retirement age is 7.7% in Riverside is lower than in Halton 8.6% (9.6% in the North West and 9.2% in England). Figure 6.6 - Halton Population Age Structure

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

7.24

7.25

There are currently a large proportion of people within working age (16-64) near to the proposed development site. 63.8% of the population in Riverside is within working ages. Migration Migration data clearly shows that migration is negative overall. A high number of 1624 year olds (800) moved out of Halton than moving in (700), which creates a negative population count for that age group. It is also evident that within the age group 25-44, there is a reduction in population count of 100. The 45-64 age group indicates that migration is generally neutral (Inflow of 400 and outflow of 400). Figure 6.7 - Migration for Halton, June 2009 1500

1000

Count

500

0 0-15

16-24

25-44

45-64

65+

Inflow Outflow

-500

-1000

-1500 Age

Source: ONS Estimates for Halton internal migration movements.

7.26

Main migration inflow for Halton is from Knowsley, Liverpool and to a much smaller extent Wirral. The main outflow of population is to Warrington Cheshire West and Chester and St Helens.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Figure 6.8 - Halton Inflow and Outflow From/To Other Authority Areas

7.27

Employment The proposed development will cater for a wide range of prospective jobs. Due to the characteristics of the proposed development the majority of jobs will be within the storage and distribution sector.

7.28

The Census data (2001) confirms that Riverside has 2,018 economically active people (61.3%). Halton as a whole has 54,521 economically active people (63.6%) which is lower than the North West average at 64% and lower than England average at 66.8%.

7.29

In the Riverside ward, 48.6% of the population are employed lower than the Halton rate of 52.4%, the North West (50.6%) and England (52.6%). Figure 6.9 - Employment and Unemployment

All People

Riverside 3,294

Halton 85,645

North West 4,839,669

England 35,532,091

Economically active Employee Employee: Part-time Employee: Full-time Self-employed with staff Self-employed with staff:PT Self-employed with staff: FT Self-employed no staff Self-employed no PT staff Self-employed no FT staff Unemployed Full-time Students

2,018 1,604 411 1,193 63 8 55 86 25 61 190 75

54,521 44,907 10,617 34,290 1,521 195 1,326 2,433 602 1,831 3,880 1,780

3,093,186 2450710 574505 1876205 134,165 18,941 115,224 209,682 56,524 153,158 175,549 123,080

23,756,707 186,952,82 4,196,041 14,499,241 1,049,823 151,575 898,248 1,905,165 542,458 1,362,707 1,188,855 917,582

Economically inactive Retired Student

1,276 345 114

31,124 11,008 3,174

1,746,483 691,072 223,770

11,775,384 4,811,595 1,660,564

Economic Activity

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Looking after home / family Permanently sick / disabled Other

277 408 132

5,892 8,355 2695

296,065 374,928 160,648

2,316,229 1,884,901 1,102,095

Source: ONS

7.30

The unemployment rate for Halton is 7.5% a fall of 0.5% from the quarterly change since July to September 2010 with 276,000 unemployed people. The inactivity rate is high, at a rate of 24.9% a rise of 0.5% from the quarterly change since July to September 2010 with 1,093,000 inactive people aged from 16 to 64 (Source: Office for National Statistics, Statistical Bulletin February, 2011).

7.31

The ward of Riverside and Halton have higher than the Great Britain Average for process plant and machine operatives which indicates the main employment in these areas is that of warehousing, factory, chemical processing plants etc and reflects the industrial legacy of the local area. Figure 6.10 - Employment by Occupation 18

16

14

12 1. Managers and Senior officials 2. Professional 3. Associate professional & technical

10

4. Administrative & secretarial 5. Skilled trades 6. Personal services 7. Sales and customer services 8. Process plant and machine operatives 9. Elementary occupations

8

6

4

2

0 Riverside (%)

7.32

Halton (%)

Great Britain (%)

Unemployment Unemployment in Halton follows the general pattern of other Greater Merseyside areas over the years, which is a decline not an increase. However, the recession has had a significant impact on unemployment levels in the UK and this has had an effect on increasing the number of unemployed

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Figure 6.11 - JSA Claimants (May 2011) for Persons Aged 16-64 Riverside (No’s)

7.33

Riverside (%)

Halton (No's)

Great Britain (%)

Halton (%)

All People

276

8.6

4,059

5.2

3.8

Males

189

12.3

2,740

7.3

5.2

Females

87

5.2

1,319

3.3

2.4

The claimant figures show the most significant concentration in the 25-49 age band. Figure 6.12 - Key Benefit Claimants by Working Age Group

Aged 50 and over

Great Britain (%) Halton (%)

Aged 25-49

Riverside (%)

Aged 18-24

0

7.34

10

20

30

40

50

60

The bulk of male and female unemployed have been claimants for less than six months. This remains a positive aspect of the local situation.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Figure 6.13 - Duration for Claimants 80

70

60

50 Riverside (%) Halton (%) Great Britain (%)

40

30

20

10

0 Up to 6 months

7.35

Over 6 up to 12 months

Over 12 months

18% of Halton's working age population claim benefits compared to the UK average of 11%. This equates to some 13,000 people and places Halton the 7th highest out of the 43 authorities in the North West. Riverside falls into the top 10% most deprived areas nationally for unemployment figures which are significantly higher than average. Figure 6.14 - Unemployment rate for Halton the North West and Great Britain

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

7.36

7.37

7.38

7.39

The Borough had an unemployment rate of around 10% in 2009/10 which has now fallen but the unemployment rate now appears to be increasing. Income The current average household weekly income for full-time workers in Halton is £444 compared to the North West being £471 and Great Britain being £502 (Source ONS annual survey of hours and earnings - resident analysis 2010). This equates to an average yearly household salary of £23,088 for Halton which is £1,404 less than the North West (£24,492) and £3,016 less than the Great Britain average yearly household salary. The median annual gross wage per person for Widnes is £18,427 (source: mouseprice.com - 2010) with the average household weekly wage being £370 for the Riverside ward which is just under £100 less than the North West figure of £471 (source: ONS annual survey of hours and earnings - resident analysis, 2010). Skills In line with many other parts of the region, education performance within Halton is behind the Great Britain Average. Figure 6.15 - Qualifications Riverside (No’s) All people No qualifications or level unknown Lower Level qualifications Higher level qualifications In employment No qualifications or level unknown Lower Level qualifications Higher level qualifications Unemployed No qualifications or level unknown Lower Level qualifications Higher level qualifications

7.40

7.41

Riverside (%)

Halton (%)

Great Britain (%)

1539 1528 231

46.7 46.3 7

42 46.7 11.3

35.8 43.9 20.4

577 1016 160

32.9 58 9.1

28.1 56.5 15.3

25.6 48.9 25.5

82 99 15

41.8 50.5 7.7

38.6 55.5 6

38.4 47.2 14.5

ONS statistics suggest that up to 86% of all working age persons in Halton have some identifiable qualification/skill which has improved from the 2003 profile comparison which had a value of 76%. Overall this shows that the skills distribution is adjusting upwards with higher qualified residents and fewer low/no skill residents. However Halton’s workforce remains significantly under-skilled as higher level qualification achievement is low at 11.3% compared with 20.4% for Great Britain. Employment Development Annual development rates of employment land show that high levels of development have been delivered since 2004 with an average annual rate of 19.66 hectares.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Figure 6.16 - Annual Development Rates of Employment Land Year 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 Average 7.42

Hectares 5.69 26.66 23.11 24.59 15.51 22.37 19.66

The vast majority of this employment development delivered Use Class B8 Storage and Distribution floorspace. Figure 6.17 - Floorspace Developed for Employment Use in 2009/10

4%

18%

0% B8 B2 B1c

0%

B1b B1a

78%

Source: Halton AMR 2010

7.43

Commuting Patterns The majority of Riverside and Halton’s working population travel at least 2km-20km for work. There is opportunity to reduce out commuting in these wards which have a readily available labour supply.

45

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Figure 6.17 - Commuting Patterns 35.00

30.00

25.00

20.00 Riverside Halton

%

North West England

15.00

10.00

5.00

0.00 Works from Less than 2km to 5km home 2km

5km to 10km

10km to 20km

20km to 30km

30km to 40km

40km to 60km

60km and over

IMPACT ASSESSMENT

7.44

7.45

7.46

7.47

Population The current population demographic reveals that the population structure of Halton is growing but also ageing. The increase in population needs to be maintained through the provision of employment opportunities. New business and employment opportunities will be attracted to the area by the availability of a workforce. This can further increase economic opportunities encouraging more people to stay in the area. Age Structure The development will meet demand for employment by the existing high proportion of young people in Riverside and Halton. The development provides an opportunity to change future demographics by increasing employment opportunities to retain people of working age for longer and bring people back into the area for work. People of working age are more likely to be families further increasing the age range of residents. This will enable a positive change to the age structure and help reduce the pressure placed on social care, support and health services by an ageing population. Working Age The development will provide increased opportunities to the large proportion of people of working age within Riverside. Encouraging people to stay in the area, especially those of working age, with the provision of an increased number of job

46

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

opportunities will help reduce the rate of growth in the ageing population, achieving a more balanced population.

7.48

Migration Halton has close economic, social and cultural links with Liverpool, Merseyside, Warrington, Manchester City Region, Central Lancashire and parts of North Wales. There is currently inflow and outflow from these areas and the development is anticipated to retain more economically active residents and attract economically active residents from these areas.

7.49

The development will allow the area to compete with the main areas of outflow especially Warrington and St Helens which do not offer the same opportunities as Cheshire West and Chester. Cheshire West and Chester may attract more residents retiring to the area.

7.50

People within the working age population maybe seeking employment elsewhere and is a trend which needs to be reversed in order to secure the long term future and sustainability of Halton. It may also indicate that the opportunities in terms of employment/social and community facilities do not exist and people have to migrate for these reasons. Increasing the prosperity of Halton could encourage these people (Outflow) to move back to the area.

7.51

The development as part of the 3MG vision for the area is envisaged to bring benefits to Widnes and the wider area including Liverpool City Region increasing the economic potential of the area and connecting areas of economic opportunity to areas of need.

7.52

The provision of a modern storage and distribution development of the scale proposed will also provide for further future in-migration and growth having a positive impact on the local population.

7.53

Employment The development will stimulate economic development and create jobs for local people through the operation of the distribution centres and direct employment as well as associated employment via the construction of the proposed development and associated ‘spin off’ jobs.

7.54

The proposed development is envisaged to directly create at least 1,659 jobs based on 1,644 jobs created through the development of large scale high bay B8 warehousing (source: Housing and Local Communities Guide: Using the Employment Densities Guide 2nd Edition, 2010 by Drivers Jonas Deloitte) and 15 jobs in association with the operation of the biomass facility.

7.55

There will also be significant employment opportunities that arise from this development within the haulage sector as a fully operational site would also require a substantial number of road haulage drivers. Based on the Tesco DC which provides 53,000 m2 (570,000 ft2)of floorspace (40% of the floorspace now proposed as part of the development) a figure of approximately 200 jobs for drivers was predicted based on the number of lorry loads and trips to site per day. Not all drivers will be newly employed but the increased demand will provide further opportunities for companies to expand and increase the need for further drivers. The Stobart Group expects further employment in the haulage sector and are

47

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

providing new office space for Eddie Stobart via an associated planning application to manage the increase. 7.56

The proposed development will also generate significant employment involved with the remediation and construction of the site and by local material/service suppliers. Taking industry standards into consideration and assumptions regarding local circumstances 28 on-site construction jobs is predicated for every 11,613 m2 (125,000 ft2) of B8 floorspace. The total construction jobs envisaged to be created for the duration of the construction period is 317 construction jobs. This does not take into consideration the further jobs created via the construction of the biomass facility and the road and utilities construction jobs that will also be created to further increase employment opportunities.

7.57

The scheme will also have the opportunity to generate significant 'spin-off/drip down' employment through associated uses/businesses and the distribution of earnings in local shops/services (off-site employment). Using the English Partnership's - Best practice Additionality Guide, for storage and distribution (B8) uses, an appropriate composite multiplier for the local area might be 1.3 i.e. for every ten jobs generated on site there are 3 additional jobs generated in the local area. Based on the estimated figure of 1,659 jobs generated by the development there is the potential for 498 jobs to be created (off-site). These jobs would not be realised without the development.

7.58

The employment market throughout Halton is not stable (due to the wider economic climate) and is not performing as well as the wider North West region. However, there is a large available labour market supply (people of working age 16-65) and this proposal aims to support this by creating a potential total of 2,474 of jobs based on: § § §

7.59

7.60

7.61

At least 1,659 full time jobs as a direct result of the development (excluding haulage drivers); 317 construction jobs; and 498 spin-off/drip down jobs.

The employment potential of the development is significant providing up to 2,474 jobs, potentially employing 50% of the population of Riverside and 2% of the population within Halton (ONS mid-year population estimates 2009). Unemployment The development will generate a significant number of new employment opportunities to reduce the amount of unemployed people within working age. This will reduce the amount of JSA claimants and long term JSA claimants. The capacity to create approximately 2,474 jobs has the potential to significantly reduce the number of JSA claimants. JSA claimants could be reduced by up to 61% in Halton however this rate will reduce as it is recognised that JSA claimants will not secure all the jobs created. The job opportunities will be available to the labour market and the majority of jobs will be in the storage and distribution sector at all levels. The jobs available will attract local residents’ particular those in Riverside where a large proportion are mainly employed in the warehousing, factory, chemical processing sectors.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

7.62

Halton's unemployment rate is higher than both the North West and Great Britain average but the scale of the proposal has the ability to provide long term structural changes in unemployment rates.

7.63

The current economic climate is resulting in increasing unemployment and the proposal has the opportunity to reverse this increase and promote further employment as part of the economic recovery.

7.64

Income The storage and distribution development will facilitate the expansion of Stobart Park, and Stobart Group’s existing operations in the area provide significant income to the local economy through business rates/turnover and salaries. The Group employs many people who live and spend money in the local area/economy and is a profitable business which will increase income available to be spent in local economy.

7.65

Based on the median annual gross wage for residents in Widnes (£18,427) and the number of full time potential jobs to be created as a direct result of the proposal (1,659) the development has the ability to generate £30.57 million of gross annual income. This money will be available to be spent in Halton’s economy and many residents will access new employment opportunities ensuring that a significant proportion of the £30.57 million is spent in the locality. This will assist in the wider regeneration of the area.

7.66

The figure of £30.57 million of gross annual income that the development is envisaged to generate is considered to be a conservative estimates as many workers may get paid above the current average especially those employed by the Stobart Group.

7.67

The figure does not take into account the income generated during the construction phase of £5.84M based on 317 construction jobs and £9.18M from the 498 spin off jobs. The development proposal therefore has the opportunity to generate a further £15.02 million of income which will provide a total annual income up to £45.59M.

7.68

It is clear that this development has the potential to inject a significant amount of income into the economy of Widnes. This income cannot be secured by any other means and will support the wider regeneration objectives of the area supporting the housing market, shops, services and local facilities.

7.69

Skills The jobs generated by the development are predominantly in the storage and distribution sector which mirrors the local skill base and will attract local residents.

7.70

New employment will provide the opportunity for residents to improve skills and qualifications via direct experience and further training/qualification opportunities.

7.71

Higher skilled and managerial positions will be created as a result of the development appealing to a wider section of the existing workforce. Higher skilled jobs will also provide the opportunity for promotion within the existing workforce.

7.72

The increased employment opportunities and variety of positions will encourage more residents to aspire to secure the necessary and/or higher qualification/skills.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Halton’s workforce remains under-skilled especially in terms of higher level qualification achievement and creating further employment opportunities that appeal to the local workforce and increase aspirations will address this issue.

7.73

7.74

7.75

Employment Development Industrial and former industrial land continues to dominate the area but new employment opportunities within the logistics and distribution sector are being created such as Stobart Park / 3MG and the Tesco DC. The proposal will continue the predominant land use but will secure modern up to date premises to attract occupiers and reinforce the success of the area as a location to base storage and distribution uses. The development of the remaining industrial land located within Stobart Park / 3MG will continue the high rate of employment land delivery and modern purpose built premises will further raise the successful profile of the area and attract further employment development. A more diverse and modernised supply of storage and distribution premises will provide greater job security for the local community; Commuting Patterns The jobs created will appeal to the local workforce and assist in preventing the need to commute out of the Borough to work (for example currently, 2.9% (1,690) of the total working population (59,000 people aged 16-64) of Halton currently leave Halton to work in areas such as Manchester, Liverpool, Sefton, Warrington, Knowsley and Cheshire). The development may increase in commuting given the appeal of jobs to workers from outside Halton.

7.76

The development is unlikely to lead to any significant increase in commuting patterns within Halton as the majority of Riverside and Halton’s working population already travel at least 2km-20km for work. Residents can access the site well within these distances and in many cases are likely to reduce the distance to travel to work reducing petrol/diesel consumption and minimising harmful emissions to the air.

7.77

The development includes measures (e.g. Travel Plan, cycle lanes) to promote more sustainable forms of transport than the private car. Reducing the distance residents’ need to travel to work will also make walking and cycling more attractive to workers and the development has the potential to reduce the need to travel by car.

7.78

7.79

Cumulative Impacts The proposed development will provide suitable employment in the storage and distribution sector, but a further proposal for office development (25,885 m2 (278,625 ft2) for the Stobart Group will generate accumulative socio-economic impacts. The office building is capable of accommodating approximately 1,726 full time employees based on a Net Internal Area of 20,708 m2 applying a 20% reduction to the Gross External Area (Housing and Local Communities Guide: Using the Employment Densities Guide 2nd Edition, 2010 by Drivers Jonas Deloitte). Many jobs will be associated with the management and operations of Stobart Park and will include higher skilled and managerial positions. The combined developments through increased employment opportunities at varying levels will help further retain the existing population and attract more people of working age to live in Halton.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

7.80

Based upon industry standard and past experience, there will be 125 on-site construction jobs to be created for the duration of the construction of the office development. This is a conservative estimate and does not take into consideration the subsequent road and utilities construction jobs that will also be created.

7.81

The office development will also have the opportunity to generate a further 517 jobs through the generation of significant 'spin-off/drip down' employment through the distribution of earnings in local shops/services (off-site employment) calculated using the English Partnership's - Best Practice Additionality Guide. For B1 (Business) uses, an appropriate composite multiplier for the local area is 1.3 i.e. for every ten jobs generated on site there will be 3 additional jobs generated in the local area. Using the job creation figure of 1,726, this would lead to an additional figure of 517 jobs created (off-site).

7.82

The employment potential of the proposed development could lead to the creation of approximately 2,368 jobs (1,726 jobs, 125 construction and a further 517 potential off-site jobs).

7.83

The accumulative total employment potential as a result of the proposal to expand Stobart Park / 3MG and develop offices for the Stobart Group is 4,842: Figure 6.18 – Accumulative Employment Creation Direct

Construction

Spin Off

Total

Stobart Park / 3 MG

1,659

317

498

2,474

Stobart Offices

1,726

125

517

2,368

Total =

3,385

442

1,015

4,842

7.84

The creation of 1,726 jobs via the proposed office development has the potential to inject £31.81 million into the economy based on the median annual gross wage for Widnes of £18,427. However, as the majority of jobs created by the Stobart Group will include higher skilled and managerial positions this is an under estimate as the average salary is expected to exceed the median annual gross wage for residents in Widnes (£18,427).

7.85

Taking into account the income from additional construction workers and spin off jobs (£11.83 million) the office development could generate further income of £43.64 million.

7.86

The accumulated income generation of the expansion of Stobart Park / 3MG and the office development confirms the potential to add £89.23m to the local economy: Figure 6.19 – Accumulative Income Creation Based on Widnes Median Direct £30.57m Stobart Park / 3 MG Stobart Offices Median £31.81m £62.38m Total =

7.87

Construction £5.84m £2.3m £8.14m

Spin Off £9.18m £9.53m £18.71m

Total £45.59m £43.64m £89.23m

The accumulative development has the potential to inject a significant further amount of employment and income into to the economy of Widnes. The accumulative

51

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

impacts will be significant and beneficial in maximising positive change to further support the wider regeneration of the area including the housing market, shops, services and local facilities. MITIGATION 7.88

No mitigation measures are considered necessary for this proposed development; however it is envisaged that, in order to ensure the local population benefit from the jobs created during demolition and construction, a local employment policy will be included within the building contract and implemented as part of the scheme. This policy will encourage the contractor to employ local people / sub-contractors wherever reasonably possible. Measures will be put in place to ensure that local people are encouraged to apply for the jobs available through advertisements in local newspapers and job centres.

7.89

Also, a travel plan will be created in order to encourage sustainable forms of transport to and from the workplace. RESIDUAL IMPACTS

7.90

The proposed development will have a positive impact on the local population in terms of providing increased employment to meet local demand for jobs in the relevant skill sectors, retaining working age people and minimising out migration. This will provide a more balanced population and slow the rate of growth in the ageing population. This will have a positive impact in terms of minimising the pressure on local social and health care services.

7.91

The development provides the opportunity to reduce unemployment rates and encourage more people back into work. Local employment close to the existing workforce will help encourage people to work, reduce out commuting and the distance travelled to work. Aspirations for employment and higher qualifications will improve through access to employment in the local area.

7.92

Significant levels of new investment and income will be generated by the development which will be available to be spent in to the local economy. This will support the wider regeneration of the area including the housing market, shops, services and local facilities.

7.93

Taking into account the significant direct and indirect socio-economic benefits of the proposed development, it will greatly benefit the economic and physical regeneration in the area, resulting in considerable employment generation; contribute to delivering economic growth to help sustain the economy, securing existing employment and providing new employment opportunities and investment to the locality.

7.94

The development will continue the use of the land for employment but with modern purpose built storage and distribution centres. The proposal will deliver development in a location identified for new economic growth and the re-use of derelict and redundant land will enhance the physical environment.

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

7.95

This development encourages sustainable economic development and job creation in the area, whilst enhancing the character and quality of Halton’s environment. The residual impact will be a major and positive socio-economic effect. SUMMARY

7.96

The site makes a limited contribution to the local economy and community. Stobart Park / 3MG has the potential to maximise socio-economic impacts through the development of largely redundant previously developed land to attract a mix of both occupiers to the area. A successful implementation of the proposal will enable regeneration and expansion of Stobart Park / 3MG to bring greater benefits to both the development and the local area including: § § § § § § § §

Significant new investment to secure the economic reuse of previously developed land; Increase in both direct and indirect employment; Increasing the income and revenue in the local area; Increasing the awareness of Widnes as a logistic hub; A more diverse and modernised business base in Widnes will provide greater security of employment for the local community; Attract skilled workers into the Borough and increase the proportion of Halton's working age population with appropriate qualifications; Improve existing infrastructure in order to meet the needs of businesses within the Borough and across the region; and Support the Borough's economic growth including a mix of offices and storage and distribution uses.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

8.0

ECOLOGY AND NATURE CONSERVATION INTRODUCTION

8.1

The assessment of the development proposals on ecology and wildlife was undertaken by Penny Anderson Associates Ltd (PAA) Consultant Ecologists during the spring and early summer of 2011. ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY Overall Assessment Framework

8.2

For the purposes of this Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) the assessment followed the frameworks presented in the Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) Guidelines for EcIA (IEEM 2006) and WebTAG (DETR 2004). The general approach is outlined below: 1. 2.

3.

4. 5. 6. 7.

Identifying the baseline conditions on site through a series of desk-based assessments and surveys. Assessing any change in the baseline condition between the time of the assessment and the likely commencement of the development, to identify any future baseline issues. Assessing how the development proposals are likely to affect the ecological features identified, both during the construction and operational phases of the proposed development. Evaluating the impact of the effect on each ecological feature, without mitigation or compensation measures. Presenting appropriate mitigation and compensation measures for each feature. Evaluating the impact of the effect of development on each ecological feature with mitigation or compensation measures. Identifying any residual impact that cannot be adequately mitigated or compensated for by the proposed measures.

Initial Assessment of the Site and its Environs Desk Study 8.3

The initial assessment of the site and its environs took the form of a desk-based evaluation. The desk study consisted of a consultation exercise whereby statutory and non-statutory authorities, wildlife organisations, ecological records repositories and wildlife recorders were contacted to gather local and site-specific ecological information. The results placed the development site within a wider ecological context and informed the requirements for further survey work.

8.4

The main search zone encompassed a 2km radius from the centre of the application site. The initial stage of the desk study involved identifying any statutorily designated sites (e.g. SSSIs, NNRs, SPAs and SACs) and any habitats or species that have specific conservation value (such as those that are the subject of a Biodiversity Action Plan). The locations of any non-statutory sites (e.g. Local Wildlife Sites and Regionally Important Geological and geomorphological Sites) were also identified.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

8.5

rECOrd, the biological records centre serving the Cheshire region, and Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society were contacted for information regarding specific protected and UK BAP species including mammals, birds, invertebrates and plants. UK and local Biodiversity Action Plans were consulted, to obtain a clear understanding of important habitats and species of conservation concern in the region of the application site. Additionally, a number of other data sources were used, including the Natural England website (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/); the Multi-Agency Geographic Information for the Countryside Interactive Map (MAGIC) (http://www.magic.gov.uk/website/magic/); and the National Biodiversity Network (http://www.searchnbn.net/).

8.6

It is important to note that the desk study results provide an indication of the species present and do not confirm actual presence or absence of any particular species. Protected species are often under-recorded in county wildlife databases. Responses from the various agencies and data holders can be found in Appendix 8.1 of this report. Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey

8.7

An extended Phase 1 Habitat survey was undertaken across the application site following the methods of JNCC (2003) and the Institute of Environmental Assessment (1995). This entailed a walkover of the site by two ecologists to assess and map the habitats and features of the site in accordance with standard methodologies. The methodology allows for the classification of habitats and features based primarily on vegetation types but also on topographic features and substrate.

8.8

A list of the main plant species was also compiled for the habitats present on site with each species being assigned a relative abundance score using the DAFOR scale (D = dominant, A = abundant, F = frequent, O = occasional, R = rare).

8.9

The habitat survey was ‘extended’ to include a list of animal species and their signs observed during the survey, along with an appraisal of the habitats for their suitability to support protected species and species of conservation interest.

8.10

The survey was undertaken over three separate visits on 1st, 6th and 27th April 2011 with additional plant species also recorded during site visits to undertake the detailed species surveys in May and June 2011. Tree Survey

8.11

A tree survey of the site was undertaken on 6th April 2011 using the survey criteria as laid out in British Standard Tree Survey Guidance (BS 5837:2005). Each tree was given a reference number and assessed in terms of the following criteria: § § § § §

Species; Stem diameter (m); Approximate age (years); Physiological condition (good, fair, poor, dead); Comments including notes on tree surgery.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

8.12

Following the assessment each tree was classified and recommendations for retention or removal presented using the categories below: § § § §

Category A: High quality and value. Retention recommended; Category B: Moderate quality or value. Retention recommended; Category C: Low quality or value. Removal recommended within 10 years; Category R: Removal recommended for arboricultural reasons only.

Species Survey Methodologies 8.13

Following the initial assessment of the site and its environs a number of more detailed species surveys were undertaken for those species or species groups for which there was evidence of, or potential for, the species to be present on or adjacent to the site. Schedule 9 Invasive Plant Species Survey

8.14

The extended Phase 1 Habitat survey identified the presence of two species of invasive non-native plants, Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed, both of which are listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). This legislation makes it an offence to knowingly allow these species to spread in the wild.

8.15

A survey to map the location of these two species, and any other plants listed on the schedule, was undertaken by an ecologist on 27th April 2011. The entire site was walked over and the locations of the plants were mapped onto an appropriately scaled base map. Bat Survey Building Inspections for Bats

8.16

Two buildings were inspected for use by bats and an assessment of their potential for bat roosts also completed. The building inspections were completed by Jon Byrd who holds a Natural England survey licence (Licence Number: 20104222) in respect of bats and their roosts. Jon is highly experienced at surveying all types of structures/sites for bat use. Survey methods followed guidance within the Bat Mitigation Guidelines (Mitchell-Jones 2004) and the Bat Survey Guidelines (Bat Conservation Trust 2007).

8.17

The surveys were undertaken during daylight hours on 27th April 2011. The external inspections involved walking slowly around the buildings and visually inspecting features, such as gaps around door frames, gaps under felt, eaves and areas of missing mortar, for any evidence of bat use. These same features were also assessed for their potential to provide crevices for roosting bats, or access points to other parts of the building which may also be used for roosting e.g. roof voids.

8.18

Evidence of bats looked for included the presence of bat droppings, staining on crevices by fur oils or urine, prey residues (e.g. moth and butterfly wings) as well as the bats themselves. Potential access points that were noted included features such as missing brickwork, gaps under the roofing felt, external walls/window sills and areas around the doors.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

8.19

The internal inspection of the two properties was carried out at the same time, the area being searched systematically for signs of bats or bat use. The inspection was aided by the use of a high-powered torch, close-focusing binoculars and ladders as required. The orientation and construction materials of both buildings were also noted along with the temperature and lighting levels. Bat Activity Surveys

8.20

The bat activity surveys were carried out by two suitably qualified and licensed bat workers - Dr. Sarah Ross (Licence Number: 20111791) and Helen Hamilton (Licence Number: 20103385) and two competent assistants. The presence of a significant bat roost can normally be determined on a single visit at any time of year, provided that the entire structure is accessible. However, to gain a more accurate picture of bat use at a roost, to determine the number of bats and, therefore, the roost status, activity surveys during the active season for bats are a useful adjunct to building inspections.

8.21

The equipment used was Pettersson Ultrasound Detectors and Batbox Duet bat detectors. Two AnaBat SD1 recorders were also used to record the bat calls and to help compile a species list of bats utilizing the application site and immediately surrounding the buildings. A digital thermometer was also used to get an accurate temperature reading for the activity surveys. Dawn Roost Re-entry Surveys

8.22

A single dawn roost re-entry survey was carried out to create a further understanding of the results of the building inspection, since they can be an efficient method of locating bat roosts. Towards dawn, many bat species swarm outside their roosts and as a result, this can be an effective means of detecting roosts in large and complex buildings or where there are several potential roosting areas within smaller roosts. A dawn re-entry survey typically begins 90 minutes before dawn and continues until sunrise. Dusk Roost Emergence Surveys

8.23

The two dusk surveys started approximately 10 to 15 minutes before sunset and continued for around 90 minutes after sunset (or until it was too dark to see bats emerging), based on the guidance in the Bat Survey Guidelines (Bat Conservation Trust 2007) and the Bat Workers’ Manual (Mitchell-Jones 2004). The methods are similar to that of the dawn survey, however, bats are slightly more difficult to see emerging from the roost as there is no indication of when they are going to do so. Site Activity Transects

8.24

Two evening bat activity survey were undertaken on selected habitats and landscape features within the application site. The surveys were targeted at identifying the type and intensity of bat activity in or adjacent to the application site, as well as the bat species present. This method also gives estimates of the relative abundance of any bat species present and the importance of different habitat features/areas on site.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

8.25

The surveys were carried out along a pre-determined transect route, devised to encompass habitats of potential value for bats, including hedgerows, self-seeded trees and river corridors. Transects were interspaced with a number of ‘listening station’ stops or ‘point counts’, where surveyors would pause for five minutes to record levels of bat activity, including the number and species of bat, number of bat passes (discrete bursts of bat echolocation) of each species, and activity types i.e. commuting, foraging and/or social calling. Notes of bat activity and species encountered were also made when walking between point counts, including direction of bat travel and their use of features in the landscape.

8.26

The activity transects took place under suitable weather conditions when bats would be expected to be active i.e. warm, dry and with light winds. Surveys commenced shortly before sunset and lasted for approximately two hours, thus coinciding with the peak period of bat activity, following current best practice guidelines (Bat Conservation Trust 2007). The surveyors also used broadband bat detectors (Pettersson D-240x/D-230 and Anabat SD1) to record any bat echolocation calls to enable confirmation of bat species after the survey. Breeding Bird Survey

8.27

The survey methodology was based on the breeding bird survey (BBS) methodology devised jointly by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Joint Nature Conservancy Council (JNCC) (Gilbert et al. 1998).

8.28

This methodology requires three visits to be made between late March and early July, with each visit being at least four weeks apart. The start and finish dates for a particular site will vary depending upon latitude and altitude. The first of these visits is required to scope the site, record the habitats and set up a route and survey approach. For the site in question, the scoping exercise was completed as part of an extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey, which established the distribution of habitat types and identified their potential function for breeding birds, allowing an appropriate survey methodology to be applied.

8.29

The dates of the three visits were 4th and 26th May and 13th June. In keeping with the methodology, surveys began early in the morning and attempted to avoid poor weather conditions, which reduce visibility and can suppress bird activity. On each of the survey visits the following details were recorded: § § §

8.30

Bird numbers, species, age and sex; Habitats being used; and Bird behaviour, e.g. singing, feeding, evidence of breeding.

The site was surveyed using a combination of transects and point observations. This involved following a pre-determined route at a slow walking pace with longer periods of observations made at strategic points. Sightings were registered on an appropriately scaled base map using standard BTO codes. Determination of Breeding Status

8.31

The breeding status of the bird species on the site was determined using guidance devised by the European Ornithology Atlas Committee (EOAC 1979) and the British

58

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Breeding evidence used in this report follows EOAC guidelines 1997 and BTO guidelines. Briefly, this entails attributing each species to one of four categories: confirmed breeder, probable breeder, possible breeder and non-breeder based on the behaviour, sex, age and location of individual birds. 8.32

The four categories: confirmed, probable, possible and non-breeders are used to indicate the likely breeding status of birds recorded within the survey site. Where it was considered likely that the survey site performed significant function for them (e.g. as a foraging resource) bird species were recorded in the immediate vicinity of the site. These records are highlighted and discussed in more detail in the results section of this report. Methodology for the Evaluation of Potential Impacts Assigning a Value to an Ecological Site or Feature Value Based Geographical Frame of Reference and Designation/Legal Protection Status

8.33

The evaluation of habitats and species are put into context by placing each site or feature into one of five geographical levels, i.e. National, County etc. In addition, each site or feature can also be assessed in terms of its designation or protected status. The combination of the geographical importance and the protected status provides a framework from which to identify the ecological value of that site or feature as either ‘very high’, ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ (Table 8.1). Where an ecological feature falls into more than one category of scale (e.g. a site designated at both the International and National level) then the highest category is always selected for evaluation purposes. Value Based on Biodiversity Attributes

8.34

The IEEM guidance also requires the identification of various characteristics for each ecological feature that are important in terms of biodiversity, but which are not necessarily related to the geographical frame of reference or designation status. The characteristics identified by the IEEM guidance comprise: § § § §

§ §

§

Animal or plant species, subspecies or varieties that are rare or uncommon, either internationally, nationally or more locally; Endemic species or locally distinct sub-populations of a species; Ecosystems and their component parts, which provide the habitats required by the above species, populations and/or assemblages; Habitat diversity, connectivity and/or synergistic associations (e.g. networks of hedges and areas of species-poor pasture that might provide important feeding habitat for rare species such as the greater horseshoe bat [Rhinolophus ferrumequinum]); Notably large populations of animals or concentrations of animals considered uncommon or threatened in a wider context; Plant communities (and their associated animals) considered typical of valued natural/semi-natural vegetation types - these will include examples of naturally species-poor communities; Species on the edge of their range, particularly where their distribution is changing as a result of global trends and climate change;

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

§ §

8.35

Species-rich assemblages of plants or animals; and Typical faunal assemblages characteristic of homogenous habitats.

A number of sources of information have been used to assess the importance of the ecological features in terms of biodiversity, including UK, regional and local Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPS), local flora and faunal atlases and lists of species of nature conservation concern. The resulting analysis informs the final value assigned to each ecological feature (see Table 8.1). Table 8.1: The Nature Conservation Evaluation Framework in Relation to the Geographical Framework and the Designation of Sites and Features, based on IEEM 2006 Description

International

National

Regional, County, District (or Unitary Authority, or Borough)

Local

Within zone of influence / on the site

Relevant Ecological Site or Feature Within Each Class All internationally important sites such as NATURA 2000 sites – Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs). Ramsar sites. Species receiving the highest level of protection within the UK legislative framework – European Protected Species (EPS) Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and other nationally important sites such as National Nature Reserves (NNR). Species receiving protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) 1981 and its amendments. Priority Species and Habitats in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP). These categories typically relate to sites that may be classified as non-statutory ‘Local sites’, as defined by Defra (2006). They are resources that are already, or would merit consideration for designation as, local wildlife sites. Sites of Importance of Nature Conservation (SINC), Local Nature Reserves (LNR), County Wildlife Site (CWS), Regionally Important Geological and geomorphological Sites (RIGS). Regional or Local BAP species and habitats. Birds of high or medium conservation concern (Red or Amber listed). Typically within the scale of a parish. Species or species assemblages of local interest as identified from local atlases for flora and fauna. Ecological resources of value within the boundaries of the site, or extending to its zone of influence for the feature concerned. Badgers as protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Invasive plant species as identified under Schedule 9 of the WCA 1981 and its amendments.

Level of Importance

Very High

High

Medium

Low

Assessing the Magnitude of the Impact 8.36

A framework has been used to assess the magnitude of the impact on the ecological sites and features identified (Table 8.2). The approach is based upon the WebTAG 60

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

guidance (see www.webtag.org.uk) and Byron (2000). Following this approach, the magnitude of impacts of the proposed development upon ecological sites and features are set out in Table 8.2. Table 8.2

8.37

Framework for Categorisation of the Magnitude of the Ecological Impact

Category of Magnitude

Description of Magnitude of Ecological Impact

Major positive

Likely to represent a key factor in the decision making process with effects generally associated with features of national importance.

Moderate positive

Beneficial effects associated with regional or district scale considerations, which are likely to be important issues in the decision process.

Minor positive

Positive effects important at local scale but not likely to be key issues in the decision process.

Negligible

No effect or none of significance.

Minor negative

Effects important at local scale but not likely to be key issues in the decision process (generally capable of amelioration by mitigation measures).

Moderate negative

Effects associated with regional or district scale considerations which are likely to be important issues in the decision process. Mitigation measures required may not be successful / adequate.

Major negative

Likely to represent a key factor in the decision making process with effects generally associated with features of national importance. Mitigation measures are likely to be inadequate.

However, the interpretation of the magnitude of the impact also draws upon other important characteristics (based upon IEEM 2006) as follows: § § § §

Confidence (certain, probable, unlikely, highly unlikely); Duration (short, medium or long term); Reversibility (temporary, permanent); and Timing / frequency (occurring at a critical stage in lifecycle, regular or irregular).

Assessing the Significance of the Impact on Each Ecological Site or Feature 8.38

The assessment of the significance of the potential impacts considers both the likely magnitude of the ecological impact and the values of the site / feature category to derive an overall ‘Appraisal Category’. This is presented in Table 8.3 and again is drawn from the WebTAG (2004) guidance.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Table 8.3

Matrix Used for the Assessment of Significance of the Potential Ecological Impacts

Magnitude of potential impact

Major negative Moderate negative Minor negative Negligible Minor positive Moderate positive Major positive

8.39

Nature Conservation Value of Sites/features Damaged or Improved Very high

High

Medium

Low

Very large adverse Large adverse Slight adverse Neutral Slight beneficial Large beneficial

Very large adverse Large adverse Slight adverse Neutral Slight beneficial Large beneficial

Moderate adverse Moderate adverse Slight adverse Neutral Slight beneficial Moderate beneficial

Slight adverse Slight adverse Slight adverse Neutral Slight beneficial Slight beneficial

Very large beneficial

Very large beneficial

Moderate beneficial

Slight beneficial

Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral

It is acknowledged that the matrix approach presented above is inevitably simplistic, however, the inclusion of other factors such as the extent and duration of the impact, cumulative effects, its timing and the probability that the potential impact will occur all enable the evaluation to become more refined. The benefit of the matrix approach is that it does highlight and describe in simple terms those impacts with potentially significant effects and, importantly, identifies circumstances where the development of mitigation or compensation measures are required, and the likely effectiveness of such measures. BASELINE CONDITIONS Desk Study Statutory Designated Sites Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)

8.40

There are no SACs within 2km of the application site. Special Protection Areas (SPAs)

8.41

These sites are strictly protected in accordance with Article 4 of the EC Directive on the conservation of wild birds (79/409/EEC) (also known as the Birds Directive). They are designated for rare and vulnerable birds (listed on Annex I of the Directive) and for regularly occurring migratory species.

8.42

There is one SPA within 2km of the application site (Figure to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report). The Mersey Estuary SPA comprises large areas of saltmarsh and extensive intertidal sand-flats and mud-flats, with limited areas of brackish marsh, rocky shoreline and boulder clay cliffs. The intertidal flats and

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

saltmarshes provide feeding and roosting sites for large populations of water birds. During the winter, the site is of major importance for ducks and waders. The site is also important during the spring and autumn migration periods, particularly for wader populations moving along the west coast of Britain. 8.43

The site qualifies for SPA status under Article 4.1 of the Birds Directive for its wintering population (of European importance) of European golden plover (an Annex I species). The site also qualifies under article 4.2 for its populations (of European importance) of the following species: common redshank and ringed plover on passage, and for wintering dunlin, northern pintail, common redshank, common shelduck and Eurasian teal. The site also qualifies under Article 4.2 for regularly supporting more the 20,000 waterfowl.

8.44

In addition to its status as an SPA, the Mersey Estuary is also a Ramsar Site, a wetland of international importance designated in 1995 under the Ramsar Convention. National Nature Reserves (NNRs)

8.45

There are no NNRs within 2km of the application site. Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)

8.46

The SSSI series has developed since 1949 as the national suite of sites providing statutory protection for the best examples of the UK's flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features. These sites are also used to underpin other national and international nature conservation designations. There are over 4,000 SSSIs in England, covering around 7% of the country’s land area. Originally notified under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, SSSIs have been renotified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Improved provisions for the protection and management of SSSIs were introduced by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (in England and Wales) and the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004.

8.47

There is one SSSI within 2km of the application site (Figure to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report). The Mersey Estuary SSSI is an internationally important site for water fowl (see section on SPAs above) and also supports habitats such as salt marsh, brackish marsh and boulder clay cliffs which are valuable in their own right. The SSSI citation is provided in the Supplementary Ecology Report, to follow. Local Nature Reserves (LNRs)

8.48

LNRs are places with wildlife or geological features that are of special interest locally. There are over 1,280 LNRs in England, covering almost 40,000ha in total area. LNRs make an important contribution to the UK’s biodiversity, play an important part in local Biodiversity Actions Plans and help local authorities to meet their nature conservation targets.

8.49

There are three LNRs within a 2km search area of the proposed application site (Figure to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report):

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

§ §

§

Hale Road Woodland supports woodland, grassland and reedbed habitats together with a range of wildflowers, invertebrates and birds. Clincton Wood is directly to the north of Hale Road Woodland and comprises mature woodland, newly planted woodland, grassland and four ponds. It supports a range of bird species including some species of Conservation Concern (Eaton et al., 2009) and is known for supporting a range of butterfly species. Pickering Pastures was formerly a salt marsh, then an industrial and household waste tip which was reclaimed by capping the tip with a thick layer of clay. The site now comprises a range of habitats including species-rich grassland and woodland. It supports a range of wildflowers, invertebrates and birds.

Non-statutory Designated Sites Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) 8.50

These are non-statutory designated sites usually administered by local authorities, which are important sites at a local (borough or county) level. LWS are defined in Local Plans and are a material planning consideration when planning applications are being determined. LWS are often named differently in different administrative areas, but in Halton, they are named simply as ‘Local Wildlife Sites’.

8.51

There are four LWS within a 2km radius of the application site (Figure to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report): § § § §

Pickering’s Pasture (also an LNR and described above); Clincton Wood (also an LNR and described above); Pond off Meadway and Adjacent Grassland which is notified primarily for its pond;and Upper Mersey Estuary which is notified primarily for its intertidal ecosystems.

Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites (RIGS) 8.52

RIGS, also known as Geological Sites of Interest, are important sites that complement the SSSI coverage and are selected on the basis of their educational, geological, historical and/or aesthetic value. Although not given any statutory protection, RIGS are notified to the Local Planning Departments and may be listed on local authorities’ development plans where they are protected via the planning process.

8.53

There is one RIGS within a 2km radius of the application site (Figure to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report): §

Liverpool Road Former Quarry which was notified for the pebbly sandstone exposures which are visible on both sides of Liverpool Road where it runs through a former quarry site. This site is approximately 1.5km to the north of the application site.

Ancient Woodland Inventory 8.54

There are no ancient semi-natural woodland sites within 2km of the application site.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

UKBAP Priority Habitats 8.55

Other than Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland, MAGIC also holds inventories of other important habitats, relating directly to UKBAP priority habitats. The inventories show locations for the following priority habitats within 2km of the site: § § §

Traditional Orchard; Lowland Meadows; and Intertidal Mudflats.

The Mersey Forest 8.56

The Mersey Forest aims to create a network of woodlands and green spaces across Merseyside and north Cheshire within an area of 115,000ha. Through the establishment of new habitats it aims to rejuvenate derelict industrial landscapes and to improve the quality of life of local residents through providing new recreational, employment and educational opportunities. It also aims to enhance the wildlife value of the area.

8.57

The Mersey Forest Plan contains strategies for each of the eight administrative areas that make up the Forest. In the area of the application site, the Forest Strategy for Halton proposes to create a link between the River Mersey and the A562 (Speke Road), using woodland planting, and to create a wooded edge to the Mersey. The map accompanying the strategy proposes planting a large proportion of the application site with >30% woodland cover and a smaller amount at 20-30% cover. Protected Species Records1 Badgers (Meles meles)

8.58

No records for badgers were supplied by rECOrd for a search area of 2km around the application site. NBN held no records of badgers within 2km of the site. Bats

8.59

The bat data are analysed separately in the bat survey report (see later sections). Birds

8.60

The breeding bird data are analysed separately in the breeding bird survey report (see later sections). Great Crested Newt (GCN) (Triturus cristatus)

8.61

1

Great crested newts are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) 1981, which has also been amended by various legislation, including the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. GCN are also listed under Annexes IIa and IVa of EC Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora,

Only a summary of the legislation is provided; the original Acts and Schedules should be referred to for the precise wording.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

also known as the ‘Habitats Directive’. Inclusion on Annex IVa means they are identified as EPS and protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. Under these Regulations it is an offence to damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place, whether the animal is in occupation or not, and protection extends to all life stages of the animal in question. GCN is also a listed UKBAP and CrBAP species. 8.62

rECOrd provided no records of GCN within 2km of the application site. NBN Gateway provided a single record of GCN, together with a record of the UKBAP species common toad, within railway land on the edge of the application site, at SJ 493 846. European Otter (Lutra lutra)

8.63

Neither rECOrd nor NBN Gateway provided any records of otters within 2km of the application site. Reptiles

8.64

Neither rECOrd nor NBN Gateway provided any records of reptiles within 2km of the application site. European Water Vole (Arvicola amphibius)

8.65

Water voles receive protection under the WCA (as amended) in respect of Section 9 parts 4(a) and 4(b), which make it an offence to intentionally damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place which water voles use for shelter or protection, or to disturb water voles whilst they are using such a place. Protection is afforded in recognition of the significant decline that water voles have undergone during recent years, which is partly attributable to habitat damage and loss. Water voles are also listed as a Priority Species in the UKBAP and the CrBAP. Water voles are also identified in the CRoW Act as being species of principal importance for the conservation of biodiversity in England.

8.66

rECOrd provided three records of European water vole within 2km of the site (Figure to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report): § § §

St. Mary’s Church, West Bank, Widnes – approximately 1km from the application site. South of St. Helen’s Canal – approximately 1.8km from the application site. The River Mersey, Astmoor – approximately 1.2km from the application site.

White-clawed Crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) 8.67

Neither rECOrd nor NBN Gateway provided any records of white-clawed crayfish within 2km of the application site. Habitats and Plant Species

8.68

The descriptions of the habitats on site are separated into those on the Foundry Lane part of the site to the east, those on the central earth bund (‘Reclamation Mound’) and adjacent bare earth areas, and those of the West Bank part of the site.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

8.69

The habitats across the site are mapped in Figure 8.1. The Target Notes (TN) that accompany the habitat map and the plant species list for each of the key habitat types are in to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report, and will include the scientific name of each plant species (following Stace 2010). Photographs are also to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report. The descriptions also include the findings of the dedicated Schedule 9 plant species surveys that mapped the distribution of Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed. The Foundry Lane Area

8.70

This part of the site is bounded by the Ditton Brook along the south-east and the railway to the north. The brook, which is tidal in this section, does not fall within the application site and is generally some distance from the site boundary. There is a small security lodge (labelled A on Figure 8.1) near to the access bridge over the brook and two large warehouse buildings (labelled B and C) covering a large proportion of the area. The most obvious ecological feature is the line of Leyland cypress to the north which forms a shelter belt on a slightly elevated bank (Figure 8.1 TN2). Along with the Leyland cypress there are a small number of hawthorn, alder and silver birch plus a very sparse ground flora including common nettle, creeping bent, spear thistle, perennial ryegrass and Yorkshire-fog.

8.71

The majority of this part of the site is dominated by hard standing areas with very sparse ephemeral/short perennial vegetation. There are a number of very shallow depressions and more compacted soils where drainage is impeded and the moss Homalothecium occurs (TN 3). Elsewhere on this area species are typical disturbed ground, bare soil species such as herb-Robert, self-heal, common ragwort, fairy flax, red fescue, germander speedwell, field forget-me-not, scentless mayweed and common mouse-ear. Near to the edges of the site there are some taller species and some shrubs including rosebay willowherb, mugwort, green alkanet, weld, dog rose and goat willow. There are a number of piles of debris such as pallets, tyres and girders close to the factory buildings (TN 4).

8.72

The most ecologically diverse area on this part of the site is to the far eastern corner where there is a mix of grassland and scrub on a bank separating the site from Ditton Brook. In this area a small section of the common reed-dominated inundation vegetation that has developed along the edge of the brook falls within the development site boundary. The grassland is fairly diverse with a good range of grasses and forbs including nectar-rich species such as bird’s-foot trefoil, black medick, perforate St John’s-wort, wild carrot and devil’s-bit scabious. A number of bee orchids (15 to 20 spikes) were noted on the grassland. Scattered scrub includes hawthorn, blackthorn, gorse and goat willow. Closer to the silt/mud of the tidal brook species such as hemlock water dropwort and hard rush were found amongst the common reed. The Reclamation Mound and Adjacent Areas

8.73

This part of the site is dominated to the south of the access road by a large mound of soil which is in parts disturbed by digging with a shallow ephemeral ditch dominated by algae (TN 5) and a number of vehicle tracks, but otherwise largely well compacted and dominated by bare soil and ephemeral/short perennial vegetation. Species include those plants found on the Foundry Lane site plus additional species

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

such as ox-eye daisy, greater bird’s-foot trefoil, cleavers, creeping cinquefoil, dove’sfoot geranium and thale cress. On the lower area to the south-west there is an area of accumulated debris and partly re-vegetated mounds of soil, some of which includes garden waste and a small clump of Japanese knotweed (TN 6). Further north of here the bare ground and ephemeral/short perennial vegetation that dominates much of the mound becomes increasingly dominated by butterfly-bush with more frequent taller species such as common ragwort, creeping thistle, spear thistle, weld, foxglove, and evening primrose (TN 7). Further east there is an area of recently planted native and introduced trees and scrub (TN 8). 8.74

Along the Western edge of this area is a band of scrub which leads down to Steward’s Brook. On this part of the site the brook forms the redline boundary of the application site. The scrub is very dense along much of its extent, and therefore has little ground flora, and includes gorse, goat willow, bramble, silver birch, alder, hawthorn and elder. A single clump of native bluebells were noted (TN 9) in this area. The scrub gives way to a small area of grassland (TN 10) that comprises a similar species mix to the grassland/scrub mosaic on the Foundry Lane area of the site. Again there is a diverse mix of grasses and forbs including the same range of nectar-rich species such as common bird’s-foot trefoil, common vetch, selfheal, yarrow and oxeye daisy. In addition, species of note include occasional yellow-wort, grass-leaved vetch and a marsh orchid (likely to be northern marsh orchid, but flower spikes undeveloped at time of survey and identification not confirmed).

8.75

Steward’s Brook is a narrow incised brook that has a mud/silt base and is tidal in this section. It had no aquatic vegetation present at the time of the initial survey and had a limited number of emergent plant species including hemlock water dropwort, wild celery, garden angelica and common reed. Later in June the vegetation had developed significantly in height and density but the species still remained very limited. The land immediately adjacent to the brook (TN 11) comprised inundation vegetation dominated by common reed, reed canary-grass, garden angelica, common orache, common cleavers, couch, broadleaved dock, curled dock, great willowherb and sea clubrush, the latter reflecting the tidal influence. There was a medium-sized clump of Japanese knotweed noted on the opposite back outside the application site (TN 12).

8.76

To the north of the access road there is a lower-lying area of compacted bare soil with ephemeral/short perennial vegetation with the same range of plant species as present on the Mound, but with no scrub or tree species present. To the far northern boundary the vegetation is slightly denser, forming a strip of tall ruderal species including weld, rosebay willowherb, mugwort, colt’s-foot, common ragwort and other similar disturbed/wasteground species. There is a large pile of rotting loft insulation material (TN 13) and a further accumulation of debris to the east of this area (TN 14). West Bank Dock Yard

8.77

Crossing Steward’s Brook to enter the West Bank Dock Yard, a large patch of Japanese knotweed was noted on the western bank of the brook (TN 15). This site is dominated by a mix of compacted bare ground with ephemeral/short perennial vegetation (largely to the south of the area) and expanses of hard standing with occasional buildings (largely to the north and west) and rubble/debris piles. There are some patches of scrub development largely occurring along the edges of the site

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

or associated with the remaining grassland areas. The main scrub species comprise butterfly-bush, goat willow, grey willow, silver birch, elder, hawthorn and bramble. The unmanaged grassland is associated with remnant strips of landscaping between the hard standing areas and comprises a mix of grasses and forbs typical of the site. These include false oat-grass, creeping bent, Yorkshire-fog, perennial rye-grass, common bent, cow parsley, mugwort, weld, herb-Robert, yarrow, colt’s-foot, broadleaved willowherb, spear thistle, black medick and bird’s-foot trefoil. 8.78

The majority of the area to the north of the site is hard standing with stockpiles of wood chippings (TN 18), plus some scattered buildings. The area is in active use for the production of wood chippings. The Northern boundary has a narrow strip of unmanaged grassland with scattered scrub and also has occasional to frequent shoots of Japanese knotweed (TN 17) along with some non-native casual species such as yellow figwort. The knotweed develops into dense stands further to the west (TNs 19 and 20). This area also has a large patch of mown amenity grassland with scattered birch trees (TN 21). The only other item of note in this area is a clump of giant hogweed on the grassland bank to the south of the site (TN 22). Incidental Record of Species

8.79

During the extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey a list was compiled of any faunal species observed on site. This is presented in Table 8.4, although it excludes bird species as this information is superseded by the dedicated breeding bird survey. Table 8.4: Incidental Records/Evidence of Faunal Species (Excluding Birds) Common Name

Scientific Name

Location

Seven-spot ladybird

Coccinella 7-punctata

West bank dock yard grassland

Clouded yellow butterfly

Colias croeus

Steward’s Brook scrub

Pill woodlouse

Armadillian vulgare

Bumblebee species

Bombus sp.

Rabbit (burrows and droppings)

Oryctolagus cuniculus

Across entire site

Fox (scat and prints)

Vulpes vulpes

Foundry Lane grassland

West bank dock yard grassland West bank dock yard grassland

Assessment of the Potential of Habitats to Support Protected Species 8.80

Using both the desk study data and the habitat survey, the potential of the site to support a range of protected species and species of conservation concern was evaluated. Table 8.5 provides a summary of this.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Table 8.5: Summary of the Potential of the Habitats on Site to Support Protected Faunal Species of Species of Conservation Concern

8.81

Species/ Species Group

Suitable Habitat Present?

Bats

Yes

Otter

No

Water vole

No

Badger

No

Birds breeding

Yes

Birds wintering

Yes limited

Amphibians

No

Reptiles

No

Whiteclawed crayfish

No

Description of Suitable Habitat Buildings suitable for roosting and habitat suitable for foraging and commuting. Some local records of bats identified in the desk study. Further surveys undertaken. Steward’s Brook does not support fish stocks to attract otter use, due to high levels of contamination. No records from desk study. No further assessment required. Steward’s Brook does not provide suitable burrowing areas and has limited food resources. The nearest record of water vole was 1 km away from the site. No further assessment required. Although there is suitable habitat for badgers adjacent to the site, there is limited forage habitat on site, and no signs of badger use were found on site. No records of badgers or their setts were identified through the desk study. No further assessment required. Areas of scrub and trees likely to provide suitable nesting areas for passerines, while the more open areas could support ground nesting species such as ringed plovers and sky larks. Further surveys undertaken. Areas of scrub likely to provide suitable foraging and sheltering habitat for passerines but very limited in extent and retained under development proposals. No further surveys considered necessary due to significant desk study data being available for evaluation. Detailed evaluation of desk study data undertaken – to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report. Although there are a number of rubble and debris piles that would provide suitable hibernation and shelter habitat, there are no waterbodies on site that would support breeding amphibians. There are a number of ditches and ponds within 500m of the site but all but one are separated from the site by significant barriers to dispersal. The only ditch within dispersal distance to the site is a recently cleared ditch with no established vegetation meaning it would not support breeding amphibians. A single record of a GCN on the railway line was identified in the desk study. No further assessment required. Although a number of rubble and debris piles provide suitable hibernation and shelter habitat, there is limited forage habitat to support a population. In addition no records of reptiles were uncovered from the desk study. No further assessment required. Steward’s Brook does not provide any suitable habitat for this species, as it is dominated by silts/muds, has tidal influence and supports very little aquatic life due to high levels of contamination. No records were identified during the desk study. No further assessment required.

The above assessment indicated that further surveys should be undertaken for bats and breeding birds, and the results of these are presented in the following paragraphs. In addition, the extensive wintering bird data available from the desk 70

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

study enabled sufficient evaluation of wintering birds without the need for additional field survey. All other protected species/species groups were scoped out at this stage. Tree Survey 8.82

A total of 54 individual trees, plus three groups of Leyland cypress trees (largely planted as shelter belts) were surveyed across the site. The report presenting the detailed results of the survey is provided in the Supplementary Ecology Report, to follow. The assessment identified the majority of trees to be in good physiological condition and of an age range of approximately 10 to 15 years. There were a smaller number of older trees in the range of approximately 20 to 30 years of age. The majority of trees were silver birch or alder with a small number of oak and odd records of sycamore, a cherry species and a poplar species. In terms of final category grading, all the individual trees except for a single sycamore fell into Category A (high value). The sycamore and the three groups of Leyland cypress were classified as Category C (low quality/value). Bat Survey Desk Study

8.83

All species of bats are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) 1981 (as amended), which has also been amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000. Bats are listed on Schedule 5 of the 1981 Act and are therefore subject to the provisions of Section 9, which make it an offence to destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place which bats use for shelter or protection, and to disturb bats whilst they are using such a place.

8.84

All species of bats are European Protected Species (EPS), listed on Annexes IIa and IVa of the EC Habitats Directive, and protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, and Schedules 5 & 6 of the WCA 1981 (as amended). Under these Regulations it is an offence to damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place whether the animal is in occupation or not. In addition, several species are listed as priority species in the UKBAP and LBAP, including soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus), noctule (Nyctalus noctula) and Daubenton’s (Myotis daubentonii).

8.85

rECOrd supplied records of the following three bat species within 2km of the application site (Figure to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report): §

§ §

8.86

Soprano pipistrelle – recorded once in Pickering’s Pasture LNR, approximately 0.8km from the application site and twice on Spike Island approximately 1.6km from the application site; Daubenton’s - recorded once along the St. Helen’s Canal, approximately 1.6km from the application site; and Noctule – recorded twice from Pickering’s Pasture, approximately 0.8km from the application site and twice from Spike Island, approximately 1.6km from the application site.

The NBN Gateway held records no records for bats within 2km of the application site.

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Building Suitability for Bat Roosts 8.87

A total of 10 buildings were present on site (their locations presented in Figure 8.1) and each was assessed for their suitability to support bats and their roosts. The majority of buildings were found to be of low roosting potential, supporting very few features that could be used by roosting bats. The results are presented in Table 8.6. Two buildings, E and G, were identified as holding medium potential to support bat roosts and therefore further detailed inspections were undertaken on these, as detailed below. Table 8.6: Summary of the Roosting Potential for Each Building Present on Site Building Code A B C D

E

F

Building Description

Roost Potential

A small security hut with very low potential to support roosting bats. No loft area or external features that cold be used by roosting bats.

Low

A suite of large metal industrial warehouse buildings. No wooden fascia boards or soffits. Although bats could enter the buildings, there appears to be no roosting potential within them. As such these present a low potential to be used by bats as a roost.

Low

Two prefabricated flat roofed portable cabins. As is typical of their style, very little roosting potential for bats.

Low

A prefabricated concrete, single-storey building with a shallow pitched asbestos roof. Wooden fascia boards appear dilapidated with rotten window frames. Gaps under eaves also allow access for bats. A large industrial building with a brick base up to approximately 2m with metal sheeting making up the rest of the wall and roof. A much smaller brick extension with a flat roof joins the building on the eastern aspect.

Medium

Low

G

A brick built, two-storey house with a single pitched, tiled roof. The UPVC windows were tightly sealed to the walls, with no obvious gaps or potential access to the well pointed cavity wall.

Medium

H

A brick built office with a flat roof.

Low

I

Large brick building with a flat roof, no fascia boards or soffits. Several ventilation tiles are missing and/or damaged.

Low

J

A smaller concreted block built structure with a flat roof. No wooden fascia board or soffits present. Very little suitability for a bat roost.

Low

K

A small brick built building with a flat roof. Wooden fascia boards and window frames were present, however, these did not appear to present any roosting opportunities for bats.

Low

Building E - Prefabricated Office Buildings 8.88

A suite of joined, prefabricated, single-storey buildings with a corrugated asbestos roof. The shallow pitched roof has allowed an equally shallow roof void to be present. This roof void was unable to be inspected internally due to a fragile false 72

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

ceiling, furthermore, the void was too shallow to safely enter and exposed asbestos roofing ran throughout. 8.89

The external walls were pebble-dashed, consistent with the building style. The front aspect had a small porch with a sloping roof. A similar prefabricated building, but of a different style, is attached at the rear of the building. This appeared to show a lower potential to support roosting bats due to its better condition.

8.90

Although the building inspection showed no signs of bats being present, the structure did appear to deliver a ‘moderate’ potential to support roosting bats based on the presence of suitable roosting features. Such potential features came in the form of: § § § §

8.91

Gaps underneath fascia boards, which allow easy access to the roof void; A large crack where two rooms have been joined, showing that a cavity has developed; Windows throughout the building which have been smashed or have been left open, allowing access to the entire inside space; and Gaps underneath eaves and asbestos ridge tiles.

Based on these potential access points and an inability to satisfactorily survey the roof void, three night time emergence/re-entry surveys were recommended. This would enable an appropriate assessment to be made of the bat roost status of the building. Building G - 1950s Red brick House

8.92

A large roof void was present, measuring approximately 3m high by >12m long, consisting of a very open, uncluttered space. The void was insulated and lined with underfelt. The entire roof space was particularly dusty and very warm.

8.93

From inside the roof void, the only suitable access for bats to the space appeared to come from a large hole in the otherwise tightly secured roof. Likely to have been caused by vandals, the hole was at lease 0.5m above the loft hatch. The hole in the roof also allowed large levels of light to enter the void; there were, however, darker areas, due to void’s large dimensions. The ridge beam was highly cobwebbed at the hips of the roof. No evidence of bats was found in the roof void and the entire space was able to be searched entirely.

8.94

There were no signs of any small mammal presence or nesting birds in the roof void. However, due to the hole in the roof, there is potential for birds (such as feral pigeons) to begin nesting.

8.95

Externally the building is of red brick construction, with well pointed mortar throughout. A cavity wall appears to be present; however, it does not appear possible for bats to access it. The UPVC windows were well sealed, with no suitable gaps or crevices surrounding them. Other than the large hole in the roof, from the ground, no other access to the roof void appears likely.

8.96

There are no fascia boards and the soffits are very tightly fitted to the eaves. The tiles are also tight, but there were a small number of raised hip ridge tiles. Several of the windows had been smashed, allowing access to the building (no evidence to

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suggest bats were present within the building was located). A slate tiled porch at the front of the property was present; some of these tiles were raised, allowing access to the small void below. 8.97

Based on the access potential for bats and the high suitability of the roof void to support a roost, the building was classified as presenting a ‘moderate’ potential to support a bat roost. As such, three dusk emergence/dawn re-entry surveys were recommended in order to be satisfied that no roosting bats would be affected by the proposed works.

8.98

The locations of the two buildings within the application site can be found in Figure 8.1. The following section details the findings of the building inspections and all night time bat surveys carried out as part of this ecological assessment. Dusk Emergence and Dawn Re-entry Surveys

8.99

A suite of three emergence/re-entry surveys were carried out for the two buildings which were assessed as having moderate potential to support roosting bats. The following tables detail the date and times these surveys were carried out, as well as the weather conditions and observed bat activity. Table 8.7: Summary of Times and Weather Conditions for Dusk Emergence and Dawn Re-entry Surveys Date

Survey Type

Sunset/ Sunrise

Start

End

10/05/11

Dusk emergence

20:57

21:00

22:30

11/05/11

Dawn re-entry

05:19

03:55

05:20

01/06/11

Dusk emergence

21:30

21:15

22:45

Weather Light rain showers the day before. Slight rain at the start of survey, but stayed dry thereafter. Cloud cover 45%, increasing to 75% by the end. 13.4°C. Dry and mild, with no breeze. Heavy cloud cover. 11.9°C. A dry, calm evening with heavy cloud cover. 12°C.

Table 8.8: Results of the Three Evening Emergence/Dawn Re-entry Surveys at the Prefabricated Former Office Building Date

Survey Type

10/05/201 1 (Survey 1)

Dusk emerge nce

11/05/201 1 (Survey 2) 01/06/201 1 (Survey 3)

Dawn re-entry

A single common pipistrelle was observed foraging around the structure on the south-west aspect where there was some selfseeded scrub and tall herb vegetation, between 22:30 and 22:35. No other bat activity was recorded during the surveys. No bats were seen emerging from the structure. No bats were observed entering this building, or seen in the vicinity of the building.

Dusk emerge nce

One common pipistrelle bat observed at 22:35, assessed to have emerged from behind the fascia board on the north-east aspect of the building.

Findings

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8.100 One common pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) emerged from beneath a fascia board on the north-east aspect of the building during the final survey (Figure to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report). This confirms the structure is being used as a bat roost. The low number of bats recorded at the site and the lack of any build-up of droppings below the point of emergence indicates this should be classed as an occasional, non-breeding summer at roost. Otherwise, minimal bat activity was recorded during the surveys. Table 8.9: Results of the Three Evening Emergence/Dawn Re-entry Surveys at the 1950s Red Brick House Survey Type

Date 10/05/201 1 (Survey 1) 11/05/201 1 (Survey 2) 01/06/201 1 (Survey 3)

Findings

Dusk emerge nce Dawn re-entry

One common pipistrelle bat was seen foraging and feeding around building. No bats were observed emerging from this building. No bats were observed entering this building, or seen in the vicinity of the building.

Dusk emerge nce

No bats were observed emerging from this building, or in the vicinity of the building.

8.101 No bats were seen or heard emerging from the 1950s red brick building. Furthermore, very little bat activity was recorded in the area surrounding the building either. As such, based on the building inspections and activity surveys, this building does not support roosting bats. Bat Activity Transect Surveys

8.102 Two dusk emergence surveys were carried out across the application site to assess the level of bat activity on the site and identify any features of importance for bat foraging and/or commuting. The site was divided into two transect routes for the purposes of these surveys. The routes of the surveys and the recorded bat activity will be presented in the Supplementary Ecology Report, to follow. The following tables detail the date and times these were carried out, as well as the weather conditions and observed bat activity. Table 8.10: Summary of Survey Times and Weather Conditions for Dusk Bat Activity Surveys Date 10/05/ 11 (survey 1) 01/06/ 11 (survey 2)

Survey Type

Sunset/ Sunrise

Start

End

Weather

Dusk bat activity survey

20:57

21:00

22:30

Light rain showers the day before. Slight rain in early evening, but dry and light breeze during survey. Cloud cover 75%. 13.4°C.

Dusk bat activity survey

21:30

21:15

22:45

A dry, calm evening with heavy cloud cover. 12°C.

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Table 8.11: Results of the Evening Bat Activity Survey Transects – Foundry Site Route (Transect 1) Date

Times

10/05/11 (Survey 1)

Start at 22:45 22:56 23:30-23:40

01/06/11 (Survey 2)

End at 23:45 Start at 23:00 23:13

23:37

Species

Noctule

Activity

Heard commuting near the northern boundary of the site. Heard commuting in the distance.

Common pipistrelle

Common pipistrelle

Heard and seen foraging along the River Mersey in a North to South direction alongside the warehouses. Two passes by a single bat were observed. Very faint commuting activity heard in the distance, this may have been off site, although this cannot be confirmed.

Common pipistrelle

End at 24:00

Table 8.12: Results of the Evening Bat Activity Survey Transects – Western Bank Site Route (Transect 2) Date 10/05/11 (Survey 1)

Times

Activity

Start at 22:45 22:46 22:53 22:54-22:59 23:01 23:18 23:19 23:29-22:33 23:36-23:38

01/06/11 (survey 2)

Species

Commuting along fence line at southern boundary of the site adjacent to the area of woodland outside of the site. Commuting along fence line boundary in similar position to previous bat recording. Heard foraging along distant woodland edge. Bat passes heard along woodland edge, possibly outside the site boundary. In the distance near to the off site area of woodland. Heard over distant woodland, outside the site boundary.

Common pipistrelle Common pipistrelle Common pipistrelle Common pipistrelle Common pipistrelle Noctule Common pipistrelle Common pipistrelle

Heard foraging faintly in distance. Foraging adjacent to the warehouse situated at the centre of the site.

End at 23:45 Start at 23:00 23:16

Common pipistrelle

23:18

Common pipistrelle

23:40

Common

Distant foraging and commuting heard at the central southern boundary of the site near the warehouse buildings. Distant foraging and commuting heard at the central southern boundary of the site near the warehouse buildings. Heard foraging at near the centre of the

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Date

Times

Species pipistrelle

Activity site close to the warehouse buildings.

End at 24:00

8.103 The above tables show that very little bat activity was recorded over the two activity transects carried out at dusk. Based on these and the level of bat activity recorded during the roost emergence/re-entry surveys the application site provides minimal foraging or commuting interest for low numbers of common bat species. Bird Survey Desk Study 8.104 The results of the desk study are presented in the Supplementary Ecology Report, to follow, which represents bird records held by rECOrd, and the Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society. No records from within the boundary of the survey site were returned. 8.105 Many of the bird records to the south and east of the survey site were associated with the Mersey Estuary. To the north and west of the Mersey Estuary records were more scattered, probably denoting more sporadic recording outside the more favoured estuarine bird watching sites. 8.106 The three most frequently recorded birds were sky lark (179 records), Eurasian curlew (86 records) and northern lapwing (80 records). It is likely the most of the records for the latter two species were made in the winter months (due to the propensity of these species to select estuarine habitats at this time of year). The estuary records also included 77 sightings of peregrine falcon, including one close to the south-eastern corner of the survey site. Across the search area, other frequently recorded species (≥ 20 records) included common starling (65 records), reed bunting (64 records), song thrush (47 records), common linnet (34 records), house sparrow (33 records) and mallard (20 records). 8.107 The closest location to the survey site with a cluster of records was Pickering Pasture. Several seed-eating farmland birds had been recorded here including common bullfinch and brambling together with the winter migrants fieldfare and redwing. Field Survey 8.108 A total of 40 species were recorded over the three survey visits (Figures to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report). These included 16 Birds of Conservation Concern (BoCCs) (Table 8.13), of which 7 were UKBAP species and 5 were LBAP species. No Schedule 1 species were recorded on the survey site. See the Supplementary Ecology Report (to follow) for the full bird species list.

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Table 8.13: Birds of Conservation Concern (BoCCs) Recorded on the Application Site BoCC Category Red List

Amber list

Common Name

Scientific Name

Carduelis cannabina Common linnet Sturnus vulgaris Common starling Perdix perdix Grey partridge Vanellus vanellus Northern lapwing Turdus philomelos Song thrush Hirundo rustica Barn swallow Larus ridibundus Black-headed gull Falco tinnunculus Common kestrel Apus apus Common swift Sylvia communis Common whitethroat Prunella modularis Hedge accentor Larus argentatus Herring gull Lesser black-backed gullLarus fuscus Anas platyrhynchos Mallard Charadrius hiaticula Ringed plover Phylloscopus trochilus Willow warbler

UKBAP

CrBAP

+ + + + +

+ + + + +

+ +

8.109 Quality of Life index is a UK Government scheme to measure the changes in 15 headline indicators of sustainable development and quality of life. Within these 15 indicators are population, economic growth, health and the state of the environment. The wild bird index is a summary of the population trends of the more common native species that breed in the UK and is divided into species groups, namely farmland and woodland species. The UK Government is committed to reversing these declines by 2020 and will use this indicator to assess its performance. 8.110 In terms of the Quality of Life Indicator, the site supported 53% of the published list. Statistically, this total comprised 75% of the woodland generalist species and 20% of the woodland specialist species, together with 57% of the farmland generalist species and 55% of the farmland specialist species. 8.111 Of the 40 species recorded in total, 4 were confirmed breeders including the BoCC amber listed species common kestrel and ringed plover. A further 12 species were classed as probable breeders including the BoCC red listed grey partridge and common linnet and the amber listed common whitethroat and willow warbler. The 8 possible breeders included the BoCC song thrush and the amber listed hedge accentor. The remaining 16 species were classified as non-breeders, these included the BoCC red listed common starling and northern lapwing and the amber listed barn swallow, black-headed gull, common swift, herring gull, lesser black-backed gull and mallard. All of the latter species were recorded flying over the site.

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Survey Constraints Extended Phase 1 Survey 8.112 The majority of the extended Phase 1 habitat survey was undertaken in April and as such may have missed some later flowering plant species; however, surveys in May and June were used to add to the plant species list, in particular in terms of nonnative invasive species (Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed) and species within the two more diverse grassland areas. Bat Survey 8.113 Like almost all ecological assessments, the bat survey was subject to minor constraints and limitations, although none are considered to have compromised the conclusions of the assessment. Therefore it is considered that the survey represents a thorough inspection and the results can be relied upon to accurately reflect the bat usage and potential of the buildings. Bird Survey 8.114 The survey methodology deviated slightly from the BBS approach in that a shorter interval between surveys was needed (21 days between visits 1 and 2; 18 days between visits 2 and 3) in order to comply with the deadline of the project. However, the overall survey period covered the core of the bird breeding season, allowing both early breeding resident species and later arriving migrants to be recorded. Thus, the shorter than recommended interval between surveys is not considered to be a major limitation of the survey. 8.115 There were no limitations to any of the surveys in terms of access or weather conditions. Future Baseline 8.116 Given this assessment is for outline planning permission there is likely to be some time delay before full planning permission may be granted and development begin on site. It is therefore important to note that the habitats and species on site may develop and change over this intervening period. It is considered likely that the more mobile species such as bats, birds and badgers may alter their distribution within the site and in the local area and the need for these assessments to be repeated would be considered at the application for full planning permission. The habitats are less likely to change however there is some potential for an increase in scrub cover on the Mound and within the grassland close to Steward’s Brook. Again, these habitats in particular will be re-evaluated on application for full planning permission to enable any changes to be assessed.

IMPACT ASSESSMENT Habitats 8.117 The habitats on site represent a low value ecological resource. The scrub and open disturbed ground offer some habitat for breeding and wintering birds and this is

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

evaluated separately below. In terms of the vegetation assemblage, the small areas of remnant grassland by Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook that lie within the application site do retain some species of note. These include bee and marsh orchids, grass-leaved vetch and yellow-wort. However, the small size of these areas still causes these grasslands to be assessed as low value. 8.118 The development proposals are likely result in the degradation and partial loss of these grasslands without suitable mitigation measures. The magnitude of this impact is assessed as being minor negative. The overall significance of the impact is therefore assessed as slight adverse. Trees 8.119 Although the majority of trees on site were identified as being in relatively good condition in terms of arboricultural assessment, none of them provided significant ecological resources as they are generally too young to support features of importance in terms of veteran trees, bat roost potential or significant bird nesting potential. As a whole the trees on site are assessed as a low value ecological resource. 8.120 The development proposals will result in the loss of the majority of trees on site, and as such the magnitude of the impact is minor negative. The overall significance of the impact is therefore assessed as slight adverse. Invasive Non-native Plants 8.121 There are several patches of Japanese knotweed and a clump of giant hogweed within the application site. These are low values ecological resources as they provide no ecological benefits to the habitats on site. The development proposals are likely to remove the majority of these species on site however, for Japanese knotweed in particular there is a potential for construction to cause these species to spread within and possible outside the application site. Given the connectivity of the application site to the Mersey Estuary SSSI/SPA, via the Ditton Brook, there is some potential for plant material to be transported downstream onto the protected site. 8.122 Given the invasive nature of this non-native plant, this results in an overall assessment of a moderate negative impact on a very high value receptor. The overall significance of this potential impact is therefore classed as large adverse without mitigation. Bats 8.123 A total of three impacts with potential to affect different ecological receptors related to bats and their roosts are anticipated as a result of the construction phase of the proposed development. These are: § § §

Demolition of prefabricated building, containing an occasional, non-breeding common pipistrelle roost; Loss of a small amount of bat foraging and connecting habitat across the site; and Potential disturbance to bats from operational phase lighting.

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Demolition of Prefabricated Building, Containing an Occasional, Non-breeding Common Pipistrelle Roost 8.124 Building E, the prefabricated office building which is scheduled for demolition, is currently used as an occasional, non-breeding summer roost by at least one common pipistrelle bat. This native species of bat is regarded as being a very high value receptor. 8.125 The proposed demolition of this confirmed bat roost would result in the permanent loss of a roosting opportunity to a very high value receptor. However, Natural England Guidelines (Mitchell-Jones, 2004) class this type of roost containing small numbers of relatively common species, as low value. Therefore the loss of the occasional roost is identified as being a minor negative impact. 8.126 The overall significance of the impact of the loss of this building without mitigation would, therefore, be classed as slight adverse. Loss of Bat Foraging and Connecting Habitat across the Site 8.127 The habitats within the application site were assessed for their importance to the local bat population as a foraging area and as a commuting resource for bats. Bat species observed using the site, in low numbers, were largely common pipistrelle bats with a single noctule bat heard commuting over the site on two occasions. 8.128 The proposed site clearance and development, without mitigation, would result in a reduction in the available foraging and commuting resource for small numbers of common pipistrelle bats, however, the paucity of the bat activity within the application site suggests the site presents a low value resource for bats. The survey results for the noctule bat indicates this species flies over the site only, and is not reliant on the habitats for either commuting corridors or foraging habitat. Overall the habitats on site are therefore classed as a low value feature for bat foraging and commuting and the impacts upon them as minor negative. 8.129 The overall significance of the impact of the loss of bat foraging and connecting habitat throughout the site, without mitigation, would therefore be classed a slight adverse. Disturbance to Bats and their Habitats from Lighting 8.130 Lighting can be a key impact on bats in relation to the operational phase of any proposed development. Bright lights that spill light into foraging areas or along commuting routes, such as the off site wooded hill and Steward’s Brook, can cause bats to alter their route or avoid an area. The species known to forage within and/or commute over the site (common pipistrelle and noctule) are not especially light averse. However without a considerate lighting programme these species may still be affected by over-spill of light. The habitats on site are assessed as being of low value for bat foraging and commuting and the magnitude of the potential impact as being minor negative. 8.131 With this in mind, the predicted impact of lighting on bat foraging, commuting and roosting is considered to be slight adverse.

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Breeding Birds

8.132 Individual bird species have been included in the impact assessment where a potentially significant effect on UKBAP and/or BoCC species that were categorized as either confirmed breeders or probable breeders in the breeding bird survey results (full list to follow in the Supplementary Ecology Report). 8.133 Although willow warbler a (BoCC amber listed species) was categorized as a probable breeder, it should be noted that the species was only recorded outside of the red-line boundary of the site. As no direct or indirect impacts of development are anticipated to affect the habitat in which they were recorded, no further consideration is given to willow warbler within the impact assessment. 8.134 A total of five impacts with potential to affect breeding birds are anticipated as a result of the construction phase of the proposed development. These are: §

§

§

§ §

Loss of grey partridge (UKBAP and BoCC red listed) breeding habitat, which comprises the scrub / grassland mosaic on the north-west facing slope of the mound; Loss of common linnet (UKBAP and BoCC red listed) foraging habitat, which comprises sparse ephemeral / short perennial vegetation on the mound and adjacent areas; Loss of ringed-plover (BoCC amber listed) breeding habitat which comprises a low-lying area of compacted bare soil with ephemeral/short perennial vegetation to the north of the access road; Demolition of the prefabricated building containing a regular common kestrel (BoCC amber listed) nesting site; and Reduction of breeding habitat and loss of foraging habitat for common whitethroat.

Loss of Grey Partridge Breeding and Year-round Foraging Habitat 8.135 A pair of grey partridges was recorded on the mound on all three of the breeding bird survey visits. The birds were most frequently recorded on the north-west facing slope of the mound. The vegetation in this area is a diverse mix of grasses and herbs providing a range of invertebrate and seed food sources throughout the year while scattered scrub provides additional cover. This is considered to be the only area of optimal habitat for grey partridge on the site and it is likely that this species breeds here, despite no conclusive evidence of breeding having been found during the breeding bird survey. Grey partridge is a UKBAP, LBAP and BoCC red list species and is thus regarded as being a high value receptor. 8.136 The proposed development would result in the total loss of habitat on which the grey partridges depend for breeding sites and foraging year-round. Consequently, the site would no longer be able to support grey partridges. 8.137 In order to evaluate the magnitude of the impact of this predicted loss on the conservation status of grey partridge it is necessary to examine the numbers occurring on the application site within the context of UK population as a whole and in the context of the Cheshire Region population. A single pair of grey partridges was recorded on the site (a third bird was seen during Visit 2 of the Breeding Bird Survey but was not considered to be within optimal breeding habitat or to be part of

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a pair). This constitutes a very small fraction of the UK breeding population, currently estimated at approximately 72,457 pairs (JNCC 2010b) and likewise, is also a very small fraction of the Cheshire Region population, which is estimated at 2,040 individuals. 8.138 As the loss of the identified grey partridge breeding and foraging habitat from the application site would not have a measurable impact on the conservation status of the species in the UK or the Cheshire Region, the impact is assessed as minor negative. 8.139 The overall significance of the impact of the loss of the grey partridge habitat without mitigation has therefore, been assessed as slight adverse. Loss of Common Linnet Year-round Foraging Habitat 8.140 Up to eight common linnets were recorded on the mound and adjacent areas during the breeding bird surveys. While the sparse ephemeral / short perennial vegetation does not represent suitable breeding habitat for common linnets (the adjacent dense scrub along Steward’s Brook was deemed optimal, although breeding was not confirmed), it is rich in nectar and seed-bearing plants and is therefore likely to provide an important foraging resource for common linnets in both the breeding season and the winter months. Common linnet is a UKBAP, LBAP and BoCC red list species and is thus regarded as being a high value receptor. 8.141 The proposed development would result in the total loss of habitat which common linnets use for foraging, although current breeding habitat would be retained. Consequently, it is likely that the breeding success of linnets on the site would diminish over time. 8.142 In order to evaluate the magnitude of the impact of this predicted loss on the conservation status of common linnet it is necessary to examine the numbers occurring on the application site within the context of UK population as a whole and in the context of the Cheshire Region population. Up to eight common linnets were recorded on the application site which, for the purposes of the impact assessment, is assumed to be four pairs. This number constitutes a very small fraction of the UK breeding population, currently estimated at approximately 556,000 pairs (JNCC 2010a) and likewise is also a very small fraction of the Cheshire Region population, which is estimated at 17,800 individuals. 8.143 As the loss of the identified common linnet foraging habitat from the application site would not have a measurable impact on the conservation status of the species in the UK or the Cheshire Region, the impact is assessed as minor negative. 8.144 The overall significance of the impact of the loss of the common linnet habitat without mitigation has therefore, been assessed as slight adverse. Loss of Ringed Plover Breeding and Spring / Summer Foraging Habitat 8.145 Up to six ringed plover were recorded during the breeding bird surveys on a lowlying area of compacted bare soil with ephemeral/short perennial vegetation to the north of the access road. Only one juvenile was seen at a time, but juveniles at approximately the same stage of development were noted on Visit 2 (26th May 2011)

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and visit 3 (13th June 2011). It is therefore reasonable to assume that two pairs bred on the site, with a further pair being probable breeders. The sparse vegetation present in this area and damp, sparsely vegetated ground provides optimal nesting habitat and a source of invertebrate food during the breeding season. Ringed plovers winter communally on estuaries and similar habitats where it eats primarily marine worms, molluscs and crustaceans and is therefore not expected to use the application site outside of the breeding season. Ringed plover is BoCC amber listed species and is therefore considered to be a medium value receptor. 8.146 The proposed development of the site would result in the total loss of breeding and spring/ summer foraging habitat for ringed plover. Consequently, the site would no longer be able to support ringed plover. 8.147 In order to evaluate the magnitude of the impact of this predicted loss on the conservation status of ringed plover it is necessary to examine the numbers occurring on the application site within the context of UK population as a whole and in the context of the Cheshire Region population. Up to two pairs of ringed plover were recorded on the application site which constitutes a very small fraction of the UK breeding population, currently estimated at approximately 5,300 pairs (Robinson 2005). A population size estimate was not available for the Cheshire Region. 8.148 As the loss of the identified ringed plover breeding and foraging habitat from the application site would not have a measurable impact on the conservation status of the species in the UK or the Cheshire Region, the impact is assessed as minor negative. 8.149 The overall significance of the impact of the loss of the ringed plover habitat without mitigation has therefore, been assessed as slight adverse. Demolition of the Building Containing a Regular Common Kestrel Nesting Site 8.150 A common kestrel nest containing three nearly fledged young was recorded within the canopy of a large warehouse building during Visit 3 of the Breeding Bird Survey. It is considered that the areas of sparsely vegetated ground on the mound and adjacent areas and the other semi-natural habitats (that would be lost during development of the site) represent sub-optimal foraging habitat for common kestrel as they do not provide enough cover for small mammals, their main prey. On this evidence and the basis that no common kestrels were recorded foraging over the site on any of the breeding bird survey visits it is considered that only the favoured nest site would be lost, with favoured foraging habitat being outside the application site. Common kestrel is a BoCC amber listed species and is therefore considered to be a medium value receptor. 8.151 The proposed development of the site would result in the loss of a favoured nesting site for common kestrel. The lack of other suitable sites for nesting would mean that common kestrel would no longer be able to breed on the application site. 8.152 In order to evaluate the magnitude of the impact of this predicted loss on the conservation status of common kestrel it is necessary to examine the numbers occurring on the application site within the context of UK population as a whole and in the context of the Cheshire Region population. One pair of common kestrels were recorded on the application site which constitutes a very small fraction of the UK

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breeding population, currently estimated at 55,000 pairs (Robinson 2005). A population size estimate was not available for the Cheshire Region. 8.153 As the loss of the identified common kestrel nesting site from the application site would not have a measurable impact on the conservation status of the species in the UK or the Cheshire Region, the impact is assessed as minor negative. 8.154 The overall significance of the impact of the loss of the common kestrel nesting site without mitigation has therefore, been assessed as slight adverse. Reduction of Breeding Habitat and Loss of Foraging Habitat for Common Whitethroat 8.155 Up to seven common whitethroat were recorded holding territory in various locations around the site during the breeding bird surveys. Three birds were also recorded in the northern part of Steward’s Brook which is outside the red-line boundary of the application site. Most of the records were from isolated patches of scrub that will be lost as part of the proposed development, although two records were from habitats that will be retained. The scrub patches and adjacent habitats provide optimal nesting habitat and a source of invertebrate food during the breeding season. Common whitethroats are migratory and the species is therefore not expected to use the application site outside of the breeding season. Common whitethroat is a BoCC amber listed species and is therefore considered to be a medium value receptor. 8.156 The proposed development of the site would result in the loss of breeding and spring/ summer foraging habitat for whitethroat, in which five territories were recorded during the Breeding Bird Survey. Consequently, the numbers common whitethroat breeding on the site would be reduced. 8.157 In order to evaluate the magnitude of the impact of this predicted loss on the conservation status of common whitethroat it is necessary to examine the numbers occurring on the application site within the context of UK population as a whole and in the context of the Cheshire Region population. A total of five common whitethroat territories were recorded in habitat that will be lost to development. This constitutes a very small fraction of the number of territories held in the UK, currently estimated at 931,000 (Robinson 2005). A population size estimate was not available for the Cheshire Region. 8.158 As the loss of the identified common whitethroat breeding and foraging habitat from the application site would not have a measurable impact on the conservation status of the species in the UK or the Cheshire Region, the impact is assessed as minor negative. 8.159 The overall significance of the impact of the loss of the common whitethroat habitat without mitigation has therefore, been assessed as slight adverse.

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MITIGATION Habitat 8.160 The habitats considered to be of highest value are the remnant grassland areas by Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook as these are more diverse with notable species such as orchids, yellow-wort and grass-leaved vetch. In addition, the scrub along Steward’s Brook provides important fringing habitat to this waterbody as well as forage and cover for several bird species on site (discussed in more detail below). 8.161 The mitigation measures are to include retention of grassland and scrub habitats along Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook, creation of new grassland to the far northwest corner of Foundry Lane site and new scrub planting to include native species. All would provide appropriate mitigation and some enhancement, resulting in an overall moderate beneficial impact. Trees 8.162 There is a relatively small number of trees across the site, however, all are currently in relatively good condition and support some nesting bird species (although none of specific conservation concern). 8.163 The mitigation measures for the loss of trees will comprise new tree planting and include native species. A Management Plan will be provided to retain woodland habitat into the future. All measures would provide appropriate mitigation and some enhancement, resulting in an overall moderate beneficial impact. Non-native Invasive Species 8.164 Two non-native Schedule 9 invasive plant species are present on the site. Giant hogweed occurs as a single patch. Japanese knotweed is more persistent across the site and both have the potential to spread during construction and operational phases of the proposed development. 8.165 Mitigation measures will include a management/eradication plan for Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed for both the construction and operational phases. This would provide appropriate mitigation and some enhancement, resulting in an overall moderate beneficial impact. Bats Demolition of Prefabricated Building, Containing an Occasional, Non-breeding Common Pipistrelle Roost 8.166 Building E, the prefabricated office building has been confirmed as an occasional non-breeding summer roost by at least one common pipistrelle. As such a European Protected Species (EPS) licence will be required for the demolition of this structure to take place. Such a licence cannot be applied for until full planning permission (and all relevant planning conditions fulfilled) has been received. 8.167 As previously discussed, Natural England Guidance (Mitchell-Jones 2004) places a low value on such occasional roosts by low numbers of common species. This would

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therefore, incur a less stringent mitigation programme. The measures to minimise the impact on bats by the loss of this roost would comprise: § § §

Sympathetic timing of the proposed demolition (during the winter months when bats are not predicted to be present); Sympathetic demolition method including a “soft strip” of suitable roosting features by hand; and Erection of three bat boxes on suitable retained trees and/or newly constructed buildings at appropriate locations close to commuting and foraging routes.

8.168 The introduction of these mitigation and compensation measures is assessed to reduce the significance of the impact on common pipistrelle bats to neutral. Loss of Bat Foraging and Connecting Habitat throughout the Site 8.169 Small numbers of common pipistrelles have been identified as using the habitats within the application site to forage within and/or commute. Although the habitats within the application site are of only low values for bats, the loss of the current foraging and commuting resource would still result in an adverse impact to those individuals which are present. Short term, this is unavoidable; mitigation measures would, however, reduce the potential long-term impact and, indeed, improve the available foraging and commuting resources for bats. The measures suggested to minimise the impact on bats by the loss of this roost would comprise: § §

§

Retention of the grassland, inundation vegetation and scrub areas within the application site along Steward’s Brook and a small section of Ditton Brook; Extending the existing grassland, scrub and tree planting to include wider bands of native, species-rich grassland, woodland and scrub to increase the forage and commuting features for bats; and Creation of a new species-rich grassland area in the far north-west corner of the application site to provide additional forage areas for bats.

8.170 These mitigation measures would reduce the significance of the potential impact on common pipistrelle bats to large beneficial. Disturbance to Bats and their Habitats from Lighting 8.171 The impact of operational phase lighting on bats would be mitigated for through the sensitive design of the lighting scheme to minimise the light-spill onto commuting and foraging habitats. 8.172 With this mitigation measure, the overall significance of the impact of lighting on bats would be reduced to neutral. Birds Loss of Grey Partridge Breeding and Year-round Foraging Habitat 8.173 Grey partridge are dependent on a mix of grassland and scrub habitats on this site to breed and for cover and foraging. The current area of these habitat types that the grey partridge are using would be lost to development; however, new areas of grassland and scrub planting will be included in the landscape plan to provide

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replacement habitat for this species. The overall significance of the impact following implementation of these mitigation measures is assessed as neutral. Loss of Common Linnet Year-round Foraging Habitat 8.174 Common linnet was associated with the scrub and open areas of the mound, along with the scrub along Steward’s Brook. The mitigation measures comprise the retention of this scrub area plus the creation of new grassland areas close to the scrub and elsewhere on the site to provide forage areas. The new grassland area will aim to include a number of plant species that would provide the seed forage resource this species relies on, and to maintain this via appropriate management. The overall significance of the impact following implementation of these mitigation measures is assessed as neutral. Loss of Ringed Plover Breeding and Spring / Summer Foraging Habitat 8.175 This species is wholly associated with the ephemeral / short perennial habitat for breeding and summer feeding on site. Although the grassland creation scheme will include the management of some areas as shorter more open grassland habitat, it is unlikely that the area available for mitigation will be large enough or bare enough to provide suitable alternative habitat for this species. Therefore with mitigation measures in place the significance of the impact remains unchanged as slight adverse. Demolition of the Building Containing a Regular Common Kestrel Nesting Site 8.176 The adverse impacts related to the loss of the kestrel breeding site and the lack of alternative nesting sites in the locality can be successfully compensated for by the inclusion of at least two kestrel nest boxes within the new development proposals. The locations of the nest boxes will be agreed in conjunction with a suitable experienced ecologist. The overall significance of the impact following implementation of these mitigation measures is assessed as slight beneficial. Reduction of Breeding Habitat and Loss of Foraging Habitat for Common Whitethroat 8.177 As for common linnet, the common whitethroat was associated with scrub areas, grassland and associated ephemeral/short perennial habitats on the site. The retention of some of these areas and the creation of new grassland areas and scattered scrub will provide suitable mitigation for this species. The overall significance of the impact following implementation of these mitigation measures is therefore assessed as neutral. Other Breeding Birds 8.178 All actively breeding birds, irrespective of their conservation status, are afforded protection from direct disturbance/damage to nests, eggs and dependant young. Site clearance is likely to result in such impacts if not sensitively timed; therefore, no site clearance will be undertaken within the bird breeding season unless the areas affected are assessed by an appropriately experienced ecologist and deemed clear of active nests. This will avoid any impact on breeding birds and result in a neutral level of significance.

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RESIDUAL IMPACTS 8.179 The table below (Table 8.14) presents a summary of the likely impacts and the proposed mitigation and compensation measures in relation to each ecological resource or feature. The predicted residual impacts, after mitigation measures have been implemented, are also presented. With the application of the appropriate mitigation measures the majority of predicted residual impacts have been reduced to either neutral or beneficial. The only impact identified that cannot be adequately mitigated for is the loss of plover breeding habitat, as they rely on the open ground currently on site which will be lost under the development proposals. Table

8.14:

Ecological Feature / Receptor

Summary of the Predicted Impacts on Each Ecological Feature/Receptor Showing Magnitude of Impact Prior to Mitigation, Outline Mitigation Measures and Residual Impact Magnitude of Impact before Mitigation Negligible

Mitigation Measures

Residual Impact after Mitigation

N/A

Neutral

Retention and creation of new habitat New woodland planting Eradication and management plans

Moderate beneficial

Slight adverse

Appropriate timing, sensitive demolition method and provision of roosting opportunities. Demolition will need to be undertaken under an EPS licence

Neutral

Permanent

Slight adverse

Retain and expand habitats on site

Large beneficial

Probable

Permanent

Slight adverse

Neutral

Certain

Permanent

Slight adverse

Sensitive lighting design to reduce light spill onto habitats Timing to avoid breeding season, habitat retention and creation

Confidence

Reversibility

Mersey Estuary SSSI/SPA Habitats – grassland and scrub Trees

Unlikely

Reversible

Certain

Permanent

Slight adverse

Certain

Permanent

Invasive non-native plant species Demolition of prefabricate d building, containing an occasional, nonbreeding common pipistrelle roost Loss of bat foraging and connecting habitat throughout the site Disturbance to bats from lighting Loss of grey partridge breeding and yearround habitat

Certain

Reversible

Slight adverse Very large adverse

Certain

Permanent

Certain

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Moderate beneficial Moderate beneficial

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Ecological Feature / Receptor Loss of common linnet yearround foraging habitat Loss of ringed plover breeding and spring / summer foraging habitat Demolition of the building containing a regular common kestrel nesting site Reduction of breeding habitat and loss of foraging habitat for common whitethroat Impacts on other breeding birds

Confidence

Reversibility

Certain

Permanent

Certain

Permanent

Certain

Magnitude of Impact before Mitigation Slight adverse

Mitigation Measures

Residual Impact after Mitigation

Timing to avoid breeding season, habitat retention and creation

Neutral

Slight adverse

Timing to avoid breeding season, but no mitigation for loss of habitat

Slight adverse

Permanent

Slight adverse

Timing to avoid breeding season, provision of additional nest boxes, creation of additional hunting habitat

Slight beneficial

Certain

Permanent

Slight adverse

Timing to avoid breeding season, habitat retention and creation

Neutral

Probable

Temporary

Slight adverse

Timing to avoid breeding season, habitat retention and creation

Neutral

Mechanisms to Implement Mitigation Measures 8.180 To ensure mitigation measures are fully implemented there needs to be an appropriate mechanism in place both for construction and operational phases. 8.181 Construction phase mitigation such as avoidance of breeding birds, eradication of Japanese knotweed, creation and retention of habitats and location of suitable roost and nesting boxes will be delivered through a series of Method Statements. 8.182 The success of the retained and created habitats into the longer term relies on appropriate establishment and management into the future. This will be achieved through the creation of a Management Plans to implement the mitigation measures and ensure long-term management of the habitats during the operational phase of the development.

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REFERENCES Bat Conservation Trust, 2007. Bat Surveys Good Practice Guidelines. Bat Conservation Trust. Byron, H., 2000. Biodiversity and Environmental Impact Assessment: A Good Practice Guide for Road Schemes. The RSPB, WWF-UK, English Nature and the Wildlife Trusts, Sandy. DEFRA, 2006. Local Sites: Guidance on their Identification, Selection and Management. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Eaton, M. A., Brown, A. F., Musgrove, A. J., Hearn, R., Aebischer, N. J., Gibbons D. W., Evans, A. and Gregory, R. D., 2009. Birds of Conservation Concern 3: the population status of birds in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. British Birds, 102, 296-341. EOAC, 1979. Categories of Breeding Bird Evidence. European Ornithological Atlas Committee Gilbert, G., Gibbons, D.W. and Evans, J., 1998. Bird Monitoring Methods. RSPB. Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, 2006. Guidelines for Ecological Impact Assessment. IEEM. JNCC 2010a. Common linnet (Carduelis cannabina subsp. autochthona/cannabina ) – UK Priority Species, Version 2. http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/_speciespages/188.pdf JNCC 2010b. Grey partridge (Perdix perdix) – UK Priority Species, Version 2. http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/_speciespages/506.pdf Mitchell-Jones, A.J. and McLeish, A.P. (eds), 2004. Bat Workers’ Manual. Third Edition. Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Robinson, R.A., 2005. BirdFacts: profiles of birds occurring in Britain & Ireland (BTO Research Report 407). BTO, Thetford (http://www.bto.org/birdfacts, accessed on 29/06/2011)

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9.0

LANDSCAPE AND VISUAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT INTRODUCTION

9.1

W.A. Fairhurst and Partners (Fairhurst) have been commissioned by Stobart Developments Ltd to undertake a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment to support the outline planning application for the expansion of the Stobart Park / 3MG site at the Mersey Multi-Modal Gateway, Widnes.

9.2

To assess the landscape and visual impact of a development it is necessary to assess the landscape and visual amenity not just of the proposed site, but also of the surrounding area in which the site sits. The assessment methodology has been developed from the guidance given in ‘Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment’ (Second Edition) published by the Landscape Institute and The Institute of Environmental Assessment; and ‘Landscape Character Assessment Guidance for England and Scotland’ published by the Countryside Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage.

9.3

This sets out the purpose, approved method and terms of the assessment process; and it makes it clear that the emphasis should be on the assessment of the landscape character of an area, by which it means the geographically specific area sharing a distinct and recognisable identity within which the site sits. ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

9.4

The five main steps in the landscape assessment process are: § § § § §

Data collection; Description of landscape baseline; Classification (character & quality); Evaluation; leading to potential positive / negative effects; and Assessment of significance of identified effects.

9.5

Landscape assessment consists initially of the collection of baseline data relating to the components, character and scenic quality of the landscape, and an assessment of the sensitivity of the landscape to change.

9.6

In undertaking the assessment, consideration was given to the following factors: § § § § §

9.7

Experience of the landscape is not only visual, but involves all five senses; Data relating to the components of the landscape, its character and quality will include reference to baseline information presented in separate related sections (e.g. Ecology & Nature Conservation, Archaeology & Cultural Heritage); The value placed on an area is dependant not only on its inherent scenic quality, but on its situation, rarity and usage; Historical and cultural associations may contribute to the value placed on landscape not generally considered to be of visual or other importance; and Landscapes which, although not of a quality to warrant national or regional designation may be of great local value.

The objective of the baseline study is to create a comprehensive audit of those features on the site and within the surrounding area that contribute to creating a 92

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distinctive sense of place and so may be considered to be environmental capital i.e. that which is of landscape value. 9.8

From this, it is possible to determine those features of the landscape and visual amenity that will be affected by the development proposals and so consider how that development will fit into the landscape and be mitigated.

9.9

The purpose of the landscape and visual assessment is to: §

§ § § § § §

Establish existing or ‘baseline’ conditions of the site and surrounding area, including identification of landscape character types, landscape planning designations, identification of visual receptors, existing view and visual amenity and the recording of landscape features in the vicinity of the proposed development; Describe the landscape features of the proposed development; Predict the likely landscape and visual impacts on baseline conditions, arising from the development; Assess the magnitude of these impacts and subsequently determine the significance of the impacts; Identify mitigation measures to reduce, offset, avoid and compensate for these impacts; Determine potential areas for enhancement in view of the proposed development; The landscape and visual impact assessment seeks to identify the magnitude and significance of changes to the character of the existing landscape and visual resources which would arise from the proposed development.

Photography and Photo Viewpoints 9.10

As part of this assessment, Photo Viewpoints have been prepared to assist with assessment of the potential impacts arising from the development. Photography for the LVIA has been carried out in accordance with recommendations within ‘LVIA Use of Photography and Photomontage in Landscape and Visual Assessment Guidance Note (2011)’.

9.11

Photographs taken during the field survey assessment have been taken using a Nikon D50 digital SLR camera at a focal length of 35mm in order to represent a 50mm equivalent focal length. This is the equivalent size to a 35mm film frame and the resulting photographs produced are comparable to those which would be achieved with a non-digital SLR camera.

9.12

GPS co-ordinates for the location of each photograph have been established using a Garmin GPS Map 76S handheld GPS for each Photo Viewpoint and verified through detailed analysis of mapping data.

9.13

Individual photographs have been spliced together to create the photo viewpoints using Adobe Photoshop software. Photographs have been taken with an approximate 50% overlap, in line with guidance listed above. The photo viewpoints have been chosen following production of a TZVI and subsequent field study to determine where views of the proposed development can be gained. Eight number representative photo viewpoints have been included within this assessment.

9.14

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9.15

The LVIA is supported by the following drawings and Photo Viewpoints: § § § § § § § § § §

89429/8003 – Visual Analysis Plan 89429/8004 – Landscape Context Plan 89429/8005 – Photo Viewpoint A - Pex Hill Visitor Centre Car Park 89429/8006 – Photo Viewpoint B - Trans Pennine Trail at Pickering’s Pasture Nature Reserve 89429/8007 – Photo Viewpoint C - Junction of Mersey Road / Parsonage Road 89429/8008 – Photo Viewpoint D - Trans Pennine Trail at Hale Head 89429/8009 – Photo Viewpoint E - Halton Castle grounds 89429/8010 – Photo Viewpoint F - Footpath at Runcorn Hill 89429/8011 – Photo Viewpoint G - Hoghton Road, Hale 89429/8012 – Photo Viewpoint H - Collier Street, Dukesfield

Landscape and Visual Impacts 9.16

Landscape and visual impacts are considered separately but are related subjects: §

Landscape impacts are changes in the fabric, character and quality of the landscape – impacts on the environmental resource. These could include direct impacts upon specific landscape elements (such as loss of woodland/hedgerows); more subtle changes to the perception of the landscape by effects upon the overall pattern of elements that give rise to landscape character and quality; or impacts on landscape character and designated areas of landscape, conservation sites and cultural associations.

§

Visual impacts relate to changes in the character of views and the effects of those changes on visual receptors – the population (e.g. users of roads and rights of way, residents or users of recreational facilities). These could include direct impacts on the views through intrusion, obstruction, or loss of valuable elements of a view; reactions of visual receptor groups; and the overall impact on visual amenity. Visual impact to the setting of cultural heritage features is also considered e.g. Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas, as these interests are protected by planning policy.

9.17

The significance of an impact is determined by a function of the sensitivity of the receptor and the magnitude of the change that they will experience. The magnitude of the impact (assessed as substantial, moderate, slight or negligible/no change) predicts the degree to which the landscape character, landscape features or view would change as a result of the proposed development. The duration and nature of the impact contributes to the magnitude of an impact, i.e. whether it is direct, indirect, temporary, permanent, reversible, irreversible, single or cumulative.

9.18

The term sensitivity incorporates the relative value of the landscape and how tolerant it is to change, in view of the proposed development. The sensitivity (assessed as high, medium or low) predicts the degree to which individual receptors will be affected by the change. Sensitivity varies between receptor types, for example, a small-scale rural landscape may be more sensitive to change than an urban fringe landscape which has been modified by man-made detractors. Views from public rights of way would normally be more sensitive to change than views from roads given the relative speed at which the observer moves.

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9.19

By combining the assessment of magnitude and sensitivity, it is possible to predict the significance of the impact, which may be major, moderate, minor, negligible or none and can be beneficial, adverse or neutral depending on the nature of the development and the mitigation and enhancement measures proposed. Determining Sensitivity

9.20

The following criteria are used to determine sensitivity of receptors/features: Table A: Sensitivity Criteria Sensitivity of Impact High

Medium

Low

Example of Landscape Receptor/Feature Important elements of a landscape of a particularly distinctive and valued character (e.g.: National Park, AONB) susceptible to relatively small changes. Landscape features of particularly distinctive character such as broadleaf woodland and mature trees, old intact diverse or visually significant hedgerows, significant landforms, natural watercourses, historic/archaeological features, semi-natural vegetation. A landscape of moderately valued characteristics, perhaps of local significance and reasonable tolerant to changes; or a formerly highly sensitive landscape whose sensitivity has been degraded by the presence of intrusive features. Landscape features such as coniferous forestry and scrub, young fragmented or species poor hedgerows, young or senescent trees, recent or fragmented walls. Low value or degraded landscape tolerant of substantial change without adverse impact on character. Landscape features such as arable land or improved grassland, derelict or reclaimed land, fences, degraded or remnant hedgerows, dead, moribund or diseased trees, general landform without significant features.

Example of Visual Receptor/Feature A view from a landscape designated as being of quality or importance (eg: Area of High Landscape Value), direct views from residential properties, public rights of way, areas of passive recreational activities; visual setting to Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Conservation Areas, and Grade I Listed Buildings.

Sporting and active recreational pursuits (other than the appreciation of the landscape), visual or setting effects to archaeological sites and other Listed Buildings. Views from local roads, railway lines or other transport routes. Oblique, very long distance, or very well screened views from residential properties where views are only partially affected.

Industry; places of work where attention is focused on activities rather that the view; strategic roads.

Determining Value 9.21

For the purpose of this assessment, landscape value or importance has been defined as “the importance ascribed to the landscape by public perception, value to the community or professional judgement.” In this study, informal public use of open

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spaces, roads and footpaths as observed during the course of the field survey, together with professional judgement on landscape quality was used to ascertain the value of the landscape and whether this was considered to be of local, regional or national importance. 9.22

The guidelines stated within The Countryside Agency Landscape Character Assessment ‘Guidance for England and Scotland’ recommend the development of thresholds of landscape value and Table B provides a definition of the criteria used to assess value for the purpose of this study. The analysis of landscape value or importance aims to reflect the perceived value of the landscape at a specific scale, identify the group to which it is important and describe why it is important. Table B – Criteria for Assessing Landscape Value Typical Criteria

Typical Scale

World Heritage site, National Park, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Scenic Area (NSA), Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA).

Designated at a National or Regional level.

National Park, AONB, National Scenic Area, Areas of Great Landscape Value (AGLV), Regional Scenic Area.

Designated at a Regional or Local level.

AGLV, Regional Scenic Areas, ESA

Undesignated but of Regional or, local scale value

Undesignated but value expressed for instance in demonstrable use

Low importance and rarity

Local

Areas identified as having some redeeming feature or features and possibly identified for improvement

Degraded condition

Local

Areas identified for restoration or improvement.

No or very limited potential for substitution

High Medium Medium -Low

Limited potential for substitution

Medium importance and rarity Limited potential for substitution Medium importance and rarity Some or good potential for substitution

Poor

Moderate

High importance and rarity

Very poor

Low

9.23

Typical Examples

Designated at International or National level

High importance and rarity;

High

Exceptional

Value

Table B establishes general guidance on the perceived level of landscape value. A landscape may have international, national, regional and local level planning and

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environmental designations, which may reinforce the associated value by the general public. 9.24

Quantification of landscape ‘value’ can be attributed to the use and perception of particular characteristics that contribute to a sense of place, the visitor, or user experiences of the landscape.

9.25

National scale or publicly recognised/designated/or defined policy areas reflect the perceived value of the landscape to society as a whole. The ‘broad brush’ nature of any designations as stated within Table B, and their boundaries require more detailed study at a site-specific scale. This establishes what is locally important about the affected landscape and to whom it is important.

9.26

In addition landscapes that are not of a quality to warrant national or regional designation may be of great local amenity value, in particular natural features, seminatural vegetation, local parks and gardens in urban areas. Determining Magnitude

9.27

The following criteria are used to determine the magnitude of impacts: Table C: Magnitude of Impacts Magnitude of Impact Substantial

Moderate

Slight

Negligible/No change

Criteria for assessing Landscape Impact

Criteria for assessing Visual Impact

Notable change in, or substantial removal or loss of landscape characteristics or features over a wide area or very intense change over a small area. Moderate changes in, or partial loss, removal or modification of landscape characteristics and features. Slight change in, or loss of, landscape characteristics, or imperceptible changes in landscape features. Virtually no significant changes to landscape characteristics or features.

A major change in view; direct or open views of the site; majority of viewers affected.

Many viewers’ affected, moderate changes in the view, partial or oblique views of the site. Few viewers’ affected; minor changes in the view; well screened or obscured views of the site. Obscured views, barely perceptible changes in the view.

Determining Significance 9.28

Significance is not absolute and should be defined in relation to individual developments and their context and location. The two principal criteria determining significance are the magnitude of the impact and the sensitivity of the receptor as defined above. A higher level of significance is generally attached to large-scale impacts and impacts on sensitive or highly sensitive receptors; thus moderate magnitude impacts on highly sensitive sites can be more important than substantial impacts on less sensitive sites. Professional judgement is required to make a balanced and objective assessment taking all of these criteria into account.

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9.29

Significance thresholds can therefore be determined from different combinations of sensitivity of the landscape and visual receptor and magnitude of impact, which is simplified in Table D below: Table D –Significance of Impact Sensitivity of Receptor

Magnitude of Impact Substantial

Moderate

Slight

Negligible

None

High

Major Impact (significant)

Medium

Major Impact (significant)

Major Impact (significant) Moderate Impact (significant) Minor Impact (not significant)

Moderate Impact (significant) Minor Impact (not significant) Minor Impact (not significant)

Minor Impact (not significant) No change (not significant) No change (not significant)

No change (not significant) No change (not significant) No change (not significant)

Low

Moderate Impact (significant)

Mitigation 9.30

Best guidance emphasises that the mitigation of significant impacts should not be an afterthought to a development proposal, but should be an integral part of the development design exercise.

9.31

The mitigation proposals have been developed incorporating a number of environmental objectives to mitigate certain landscape and visual impacts. Impacts that could be best mitigated by "Avoidance" or “Reduction” by the adoption of alternative designs have been incorporated in the proposals. It follows, then, that mitigation in this report will concentrate on the following categories: § § §

Compensation: in which impacts that cannot be avoided are compensated by the rehabilitation of other parts of the landscape. Such measures may take time to reach maturity. Reduction: in which reduction of impact by site design, detailed design or screening proposals will be considered. Conservation and protection: the retention of valuable landscape features within the site.

BASELINE DESCRIPTION Description of Proposals 9.32

Please see Chapter 3 ‘Description of Development’ within the Environmental Statement. The Site Context

9.33

The site lies within the authority of Halton Borough Council (HBC). Halton Borough includes the towns of Widnes and Runcorn and the surrounding villages of Hale, Daresbury, Moore, Preston Brook and Preston on the Hill.

9.34

The site is located approximately 2.5km south west of Widnes Town Centre, approximately 12km south west of Warrington Town Centre, approximately 2km 98

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north west of Runcorn Town Centre and approximately 16km south east of Liverpool City Centre. 9.35

The site is situated on the north bank of the River Mersey, to the west of the Grade II* Listed Britannia Railway Bridge and the Grade II Listed Silver Jubilee Bridge.

9.36

The site is bounded to the north by the Liverpool Branch of the West Coast Main Line and the Stobart transmodal container port, to the east by Marsh Brook running south to the Mersey. The south boundary of the site is formed by the PDM Group renewable energy and recycling plant containing a number of units of varying sizes, Hutchinson’s Hill (former HEDCO Landfill Site) and Steward’s Brook. The west boundary of the site is formed by Ditton Brook.

9.37

The site consists of a range of level platforms and localised mounds. Level areas range between 6.3m AOD and 13.10m AOD across the site. The highest mound is 27.11m AOD in the west part of the site. Planning Policy Context

9.38

The following Landscape Designations and allocated polices are taken from the Halton Unitary Development Plan.

9.39

The Halton Unitary Development Plan (HUDP) was adopted in April 2005, revised 2nd Deposit April 2008. This is to be replaced by the Halton Local Development Framework currently being developed.

9.40

The following designations lie within the site: § §

§

9.41

The extent of the site is allocated ‘Environmental Priority Area’ (Policy BE3); An area of land within the south west quarter of the site (reclamation mound) is allocated ‘Greenspace’ (Policies GE5-7, 10, 11, 13, and 14) although it has been previously developed. The reclamation mound was formed by HBC from galligu (a chemical waste common to the area) and other wastes from the local chemical industries. The mound has been reduced and re-modelled in the recent past as much of the galligu from the area was removed and treated to enable its use as an engineering material for the earthworks during the construction of the Tesco DC; and Part of the south east corner of the site is allocated ‘Coastal Zone developed’ (Policy GENEW2).

The following designations are located within 5km of the study area and are considered to be relevant to this study: §

‘Greenspace system’ (Policy GE8) which covers: o Spike Island, the sports ground to the south east corner of the 3MG site, the former St Michael’s golf course and adjoining recreational grounds and playing fields to the north and east, Widnes golf course, an area to the north west adjacent to the A562, Runcorn Hill, Runcorn Heath and adjoining fields, Runcorn golf course, Runcorn cemetery and the area surrounding Runcorn Town Hall and Council Offices.

§

Proposed Greenspace/System’ (Policy GE5) covers: o Hutchinson’s Hill forming part of the southern boundary of the site. 99

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9.42

§

‘Greenspace’, (Policies GE5-7, 10, 11, 13, and 14) which covers: o St. Michael’s golf course and Widnes golf course to the north, various public and private playing fields to the north (such as Leigh Recreation Ground and King George V), School Playing Fields to the north (such as Ashley School, Chesnut Lodge School, Bankfield County High School and Community Centre, Wade Deacon High School and Widnes Sixth Form College), Widnes Cemetery, Spike Island, Widnes Warth, Runcorn Cemetery, Runcorn Hill, Runcorn Heath and the small areas of land surrounding the residential developments within Hale Bank.

§

‘Green Belt’ (Policies S21, GE, 1, 2, 3) which covers: o The area to the west of Hale Bank approximately 2km west of the site incorporating Hale Village Green Belt and Hale Head.

§

‘Proposed Greenways’, (Policies TP9, GE5) are found: o Along the southern edge of the Manchester Ship Canal to the south east running through the areas of Dukesfield and adjacent to the Astmoor Industrial Estate.

§

‘Conservation Areas’, (Policy BE14,15,16) are located at: o The West Bank Conservation Area to the east.

§

‘Important Landscape Features’, (Policy GE22) is located within: o Spike Island to the east and on the adjoining spaces to the immediate north and west across the St. Helens Canal, along a section of the Trans Pennine Trail to the south of the site and an area adjacent to the north of the Manchester Ship Canal to the south east of the site (part of Wigg Island).

§

‘Coastal Zone developed’ (Policy GENEW2) this covers: o An area of land immediately south of the site incorporating Hutchinson’s Hill, a stretch of the Manchester Ship Canal and a large area on the western banks of Runcorn stretching from Dukesfield to Weston Point.

§

‘Coastal Zone undeveloped’ (Policy GENEW2) this covers: o An area of land located to the south of the St. Helens Canal including Spike Island and Widnes Warth, an area on the River Mersey located south west of the Runcorn Gap and an area of land on the northern banks of the River Mersey around Hale Head.

§

‘Areas of Special Landscape Value’, (Policy GE21) this covers: o The Mersey Estuary from Hale Head in the west to Cuerdley Marsh in the east incorporating Widnes Warth and parts of Wigg Island. Runcorn Hill to the south of the site and the Hale Green Belt to the west of the site.

§

‘Trans-Pennine Trail’ (Policy TP1) runs along: o The northern edge of the River Mersey from east to west to the south of the site.

Other relevant designations which have been considered include: §

‘RAMSAR site’ (Policy GE15) is located: o Part of the Mersey Estuary stretching from the west of Runcorn Gap. 100

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9.43

§

‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ (SSSI) (Policy GE16) covers: o Part of the Mersey Estuary stretching from the west of Runcorn Gap.

§

‘Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), (Policy GE17) this covers: o The River Mersey Estuary stretching from the Britannia Railway Bridge to the east and the adjoining areas of Widnes Warth and Wigg Island, Pickerings Pasture to the west of the site and Runcorn Hill 2.5km to the south of the site.

There are also a number of Listed Buildings surrounding the site and these include: Grade II* listed: § The Britannia Railway Bridge (Widnes Railway Bridge); § Former Transporter Bridge Power House; and § Church of St. Mary. Grade II listed: § Silver Jubilee Bridge carrying the A533. Landscape Character National Landscape Character

9.44

The site is located within National Landscape Character Area 60 the Mersey Valley as described by Natural England’s - National Character Areas. The Mersey Valley area extends from the flat mosslands to the west of Manchester to the Merseyside conurbation (see Appendix 9.1 for full details of the character area).

9.45

The key characteristics of the Mersey Valley area are: § § § § § § § §

A very distinctive river valley landscape focusing on the Mersey, its estuary and associated tributaries and waterways, although the Mersey itself is often obscured. A range of landscape types, including salt marshes around the estuary, remnants of semi-natural mosslands and pockets of basin peats towards Manchester, with the broad river valley in between. Broad linear valley with large scale, open, predominantly flat farmland supporting substantial bands of mixed agriculture. Trees and woodland are scarce and are mainly associated with settlements. Field pattern is regular and large scale, often defined by degraded hedgerows. Large scale highly visible industrial development, particularly at the river crossings of Runcorn, Widnes and Warrington. The valley has a dense communication network with motorways, roads, railways and canals producing a large number of bridge crossings. Power lines are also prominent along this corridor. Distinctive cultural landscape with major towns of Runcorn, Warrington and Widnes having much in common in relation to past and existing development pressures.

Local Landscape Character 9.46

For the purposes of this assessment the local character of the site and surrounding area has been broken up into 4 distinct areas, these are: 101

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§ § § §

Industrial; Residential and mixed-use; The Mersey Estuary; and Hale Green Belt.

Industrial 9.47

Industrial areas consist of both historic and new areas of industrial development and are characterised by large scale built form and associated areas of hard landscaping. Typically building types range from large warehouses to power stations, port facilities and stacks. The main industrial areas are located on the north banks of the River Mersey adjacent to the development site (3MG site, Halebank Industrial Estate), to the south east of Widnes Town Centre along St Helens Canal and the A562, along Weston Point on the south banks of the River Mersey to the west of Runcorn and to the east of Runcorn between the Manchester Ship Canal and the A558 (Astmoor Industrial Estate).

View of Fiddlers Ferry Power Station. Residential and mixed-use 9.48

The residential and mixed-use areas consist of the wider built up areas of Widnes and Runcorn and include housing areas, town centres, shopping and leisure facilities and business parks and office space. These areas are characterised by a range of residential, commercial and leisure buildings of various scales and types. They include a range of street patterns and layout styles with dense areas of terraced housing and low density areas of semi-detached and detached housing with associated landscape areas.

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View of housing in Westfield, Runcorn. The Mersey Estuary 9.49

The Mersey Estuary is designated as an Area of Special Landscape Value (Policy GE21) in the HUDP and part of the estuary is also a SSSI, SINC and a Ramsar Site. It is dominated by the open, large scale character of the river which allows long distance views of the river corridor and surrounding riparian landscape to the east and west. The ‘Area of Special Landscape Value’ incorporates Wigg Island and Widnes Warth to the east of the site.

View of River Mersey estuary from Wigg Island, Runcorn. Hale Green Belt 9.50

The Hale Green Belt consists of an irregular field pattern of various scales bounded by hedgerows. It is located to the west of the site beyond Hale Bank and extends to the edge of Speke to the west. The area is characterised by large open areas of farmland and undulating topography with pockets of sporadic woodland and farmsteads. The area contains a number of water courses and features including Ram’s Brook, Decoy Marsh and Hale Gate Marsh. Built development within the area

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consists of groups of farms and agricultural buildings, individual residential properties, Halewood water pumping station and a wastewater treatment plant.

View of Hale Green Belt. Landform and Topography 9.51

Land within the site lies between 6m AOD at the lowest point and rises to 27m AOD at its highest point. The site is split into two parts by Steward’s Brook, a narrow watercourse running from north to south into the River Mersey.

9.52

Within the east part of the site there are a series of level plateaus separated by engineered slopes and mounds formed by previous site clearance operations. The highest mound is approximately 20m AOD and lies on the south east boundary with the PDM Group renewable energy and recycling plant. The majority of the area is made up ground with pockets of hard standing remaining.

9.53

Within the west part of the site there are 2 large predominantly flat areas. The north east corner lying at 11m AOD and the north west corner lying at 6m AOD. Along part of the west boundary there is an engineered mound running along the bank of Ditton Brook approximately 3m AOD in height. Between the existing warehouses in this part of the site and Steward’s Brook a large reclamation mound is located approximately 27m AOD at its highest point. The reclamation mound was formed from galligu (a chemical waste common to the area).

9.54

Beyond the site to the north the topography steadily rises to a level of 50m AOD, 5km from the site. Pex Hill is a local highpoint situated 4.2km to the north of the site at a level of 67m AOD.

9.55

To the east of the site the land slopes towards Marsh Brook which runs south towards the River Mersey. The Tesco DC lies immediately east of Marsh Brook and lies on level ground of 10m AOD. Further to the east the topography rises gently to the West Bank area at a height of 15m AOD. Beyond this the landform is dominated by the River Mersey corridor, here the topography sits at approximately 5m AOD following the river.

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9.56

Immediately to the south of the site lies the PDM Group renewable energy and recycling plant which consists of a number of varying sized units situated on predominantly flat land at 5-10m AOD. Also adjacent to the south boundary of the site is Hutchinson’s Hill which is a large mound covered with dense vegetation. Approximately 3km south of the site across the River Mersey the land rises gradually to a height of 75m AOD at Runcorn Hill.

9.57

Land immediately to the west of the site comprises of a mix of industrial units and residential properties situated on predominantly level ground at 10m AOD. To the west and north-west of the site the topography is varying in height ranging from 10m to 20m AOD. From here the topography slopes gently southwards towards Hale Head and the River Mersey to a height of 5m AOD. Land Use

9.58

The east part of the site consists of predominantly cleared brownfield land with the exception of an operational warehouse and service yard and a small group of abandoned buildings.

9.59

Much of the west part of the site is occupied by the large reclamation mound with the other areas containing an operational distribution centre and service yard and areas of cleared brownfield land. In the north-west corner of the site there are the remnants of the former rail lines and spurs.

View of distribution centre in the west part of the site. 9.60

The north boundary of the west part of the site is marked by the Liverpool Branch of the West Coast Mainline whilst the north boundary of the east part of the site backs onto the Stobart transmodal container port.

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View of Stobart Ports transmodal container port. 9.61

The site is bounded to the east by Marsh Brook which runs north to south towards the River Mersey.

9.62

To the south the site boundary is defined by three individual elements; Steward’s Brook, Hutchinson’s Hill and the perimeter of the PDM Group renewable energy and recycling plant.

9.63

Ditton Brook forms the western edge of the site which runs north-west to south-east towards the River Mersey.

View of Ditton Brook. 9.64

Beyond the northern boundary of the site the land use is mixed, consisting of warehouse units in the immediate vicinity. Approximately 1km to the north of the site lies an area of predominantly residential housing and areas of designated green space including golf courses and playing fields which contain footpaths and bridleways that connects Widnes with Ditton. A Visitor Centre is also located approximately 5km north of the site at Pex Hill.

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9.65

Immediately east of the site is the Tesco DC which is contained by the Railway Viaduct which connects to the Britannia Railway Bridge, both Grade II* listed structures which carry the rail line in and out of Widnes. Within 1km to the east of the site boundary lies a Nature Reserve at Spike Island, the Catalyst Museum and a Visitor Centre with the Trans Pennine Trail running along the north boundary of the River Mersey.

9.66

Across the River Mersey within Runcorn approximately 5km to the south east of the site, land use is mixed with residential and commercial areas. Within this area are a range of green spaces including Woodland Trust areas. This area also contains Norton Priory Museum and Gardens and Halton Castle. Whilst to the south west of the site the area consists of large scale industrial facilities at Weston Point.

9.67

Adjacent to the south of the site lies the Trans Pennine Trail (National Trail / Long Distant Route) which runs along the north bank of the River Mersey. Approximately 3km south within Runcorn lies a Nature Reserve located on Runcorn Hill and the Mersey Valley Trail which runs through Runcorn.

9.68

Within 1km proximity to the west of the site the land use is mixed, consisting of residential units, Hale Bank Industrial Estate and warehouse units. On the outskirts of these areas lie Hale Green Belt and a Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre at Pickering’s Pasture. The Green Belt consists of open areas of farmland with numerous farm buildings and woodland scattered throughout. Landscape / Townscape Features

9.69

The following landscape / townscape features are present within the site and are considered to be relevant to this assessment: § § § § § § § § § §

9.70

The row of semi-mature trees adjacent to Desoto Road; Steward’s Brook which separates the east part of the site from the west; The level plateaus and engineered slopes in the east part of the site; Localised mounds in the east part of the site; The existing warehouse and abandoned buildings in the east part of the site; The large reclamation mound in the west part of the site; Grassed flood plain area at the confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook; The grass mound in the north west corner of the site on the banks of Ditton Brook; The existing warehouses and distribution centre in the west part of the site and The row of conifers along the north boundary of the west part of the site.

The following landscape / townscape features surrounding the site are considered to be relevant to this assessment: § § § § § § §

The sculpted mound to the north boundary of the east part of the site; Stobart transmodal container port to the north of the site; The Liverpool Branch of the West Coast Mainline forming part of the north boundary; Marsh Brook to the east of the site; The existing Tesco DC and associated parking to the east of the site; The Grade II* Listed Britannia Railway Bridge and Viaduct to the north-east of the site; The Grade II Listed Silver Jubilee Bridge to the east of the site; 107

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§ § § § § §

The PDM Group renewable energy and recycling plant to the south of the site; Hutchinson’s Hill to the south of the site; The Trans Pennine Trail to the south of the site on the north bank of the River Mersey; The River Mersey to the south of the site; Ditton Brook forming the west boundary of the site; and West Bank Conservation Area.

Vegetation 9.71

Much of the east part of the site is clear of vegetation with the exception of some semi-mature trees on the east boundary adjacent to Desoto Road, areas of self sown tree and shrub species along the south boundary. There are also remnants of hedgerows and pockets of semi-mature trees scattered between the areas of cleared land.

9.72

The large mound in the west part of the site is partially covered in self sown grass, wildflowers and shrubs. The south part has pockets of small trees and shrub species along the site boundary. There is a row of large conifers along the north boundary adjacent to the railway line. The engineered grass mound on the north west boundary is covered in self sown tree and shrub species.

9.73

For locations of areas of significant vegetation outside the site reference should be made to dwg 89429/8003 Visual Analysis Plan. Access

9.74

Access to the site is restricted due to the Liverpool Branch of the West Coast Mainline and the Stobart transmodal container port to the north, Hutchinson’s Hill to the south, Steward’s Brook which runs through the centre of the site and Ditton Brook forming the west boundary of the site.

9.75

Vehicle access into the site is achieved from Mathieson Road to the north east corner of the site with Foundry Lane to the west of the site providing additional access via a bridge over Ditton Brook. Further vehicle access point is located at the northern end of Ronan Road leading from the south. St Michael’s Road formerly provided access to the site from the north, however, the road is now flooded and closed.

9.76

Pedestrian access into the site can be gained from Mathieson Road and Foundry Lane.

9.77

Within 1km of the site the following key roads, rail lines, footpaths and waterways are located: § § § § §

To the north of the site the A562 which connects Widnes to Halewood to the west; To the north west the A5300 which joins to Junction 6 of the M62; To the south the A557 which runs along the western edge of Runcorn Peninsula connecting to the M56 approximately 5.6km south of the site; The A568 is the main arterial route running along the east of Widnes Town Centre; The A5419 which runs north to south through the centre of Widnes; 108

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§ § § § § § § § § § §

9.78

The A533 runs north to south over the Silver Jubilee Bridge (Grade II listed structure) which is the main road route between Widnes and Runcorn; Desoto Road including cycleway which runs along the west boundary of the site; Macdermott Road which runs along the north east boundary of the Tesco DC; Ronan Road which runs to the south of the site adjacent to Hutchinson’s Hill; Ditton Road which runs east to west approximately 0.3km north of the site; The Liverpool branch of the West Coast Mainline which runs across the River Mersey and along the north boundary of the site; The Trans Pennine Trail which runs east to west along the north bank of the River Mersey; A Public Right of Way footpath also exists either side of the A562 which connects the residential areas of Lower House and Ditton and the industrial areas to the north of the site; The public footpath which runs adjacent to Macdermott Road; East of the site a Public Right of Way footpath exists which ties into the Trans Pennine Trail along Spike Island; To the south, the River Mersey is an important waterway used for commercial and recreational purposes.

Beyond 1km of the site the following footpaths and bridleways can be found: § § § § § § § § §

A number of footpaths running between Lower House located 1km from the north edge of the site to Pex Hill located 5km from the northern edge of the site; Footpath running through Lugsdale located to the south-east of Widnes; The Mersey Valley Trail which runs through Runcorn on the south of the River Mersey; Footpaths to the west running through Hale Green Belt and through farmland to the north; Footpaths surrounding Windmill Hill and Town Park located approximately 5km south-east of the site; Footpaths to the east running through Moss Side and Moore Nature Reserve approximately 7km away; Footpaths to the north west running between Hough Green and Netherley approximately 3km away; Footpaths running through areas of farmland between Barrow’s Green and Penketh approximately 6km away; and Footpaths surrounding Runcorn Hill located approximately 3km south of the site.

Pattern and Scale of Landscape 9.79

The landscape pattern within the development site is marked by a series of predominantly level plateaus created by site clearance works, a large reclamation mound (containing galligu) and a number of engineered mounds and embankments. Much of the site consists of areas of made up ground and left over areas of hard standing. The site is divided into two parts by Steward’s Brook, whilst the west boundary is bordered by Ditton Brook. The brooks are charcterised by steep slopes and dense vegetation.

9.80

To the north of the site the landscape pattern is marked by large areas of built development including residential areas, commercial and shopping areas and transportation infrastructure including the Silver Jubilee Bridge and the Britannia Railway Bridge and Viaduct. The built form is broken up by pockets of open space which include playing and recreational fields, golf courses, school playing fields and 109

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a cemetery. The topography is generally undulating and rising gradually to a height of 50m AOD at Pex Hill to the north of Widnes. 9.81

To the east of the site beyond Runcorn Gap the landscape pattern is marked by the River Mersey Corridor and contains a number of islands, marshlands and waterways including Spike Island, Widnes Warth, Wigg Island, the Manchester Ship Canal and The St Helen’s Canal. Built development on the north and south shores of the corridor is generally made up of large scale industrial buildings including industrial estates, warehouses, chemical plants and power stations. The topography of the river corridor is generally level at 5m AOD.

9.82

Approximately 2km to the south across the River Mersey lies the built up area of Runcorn. Central and eastern Runcorn is marked by residential and commercial areas, whilst the west of Runcorn Peninsula, around Weston Point, is marked by large scale industrial development including warehouses, power stations, chemical plants and port facilities along the south bank of the river. The topography of Runcorn is formed by the Peninsula rising to a central point up steep slopes to Runcorn Hill which sits at 75m AOD.

9.83

To the west of the site the landscape pattern is marked by an irregular field pattern of various scales with scattered areas of woodland. The area also contains an area of marshland on the banks of the River Mersey with Ram’s Brook intersecting the agricultural fields running from north-west to south-east. Built form within the area consists of small farmsteads and associated agricultural buildings and detached residential properties. The topography of the area is generally undulating, sloping gently southwards towards Hale Head and the River Mersey.

9.84

In the wider context, landform slopes towards the River Mersey corridor and land meets the river in marshlands, mud lands and embankments.

9.85

A series of watercourses and Brooks form varied patterns within the landscape, from steep sided trenches to wider, more open channels towards the estuary. The pattern and scale of the water courses, marshlands and islands form a significant part of the landscape character and identity.

ASSESSMENT OF IMPACTS Photo Viewpoints (Key Views) 9.86

The following is a summary of Photo Viewpoints produced: Table E - Photo Viewpoints Photo Viewpoint Reference

Location Description

Brief description

A

Footpath next to Pex Hill Visitor Centre Car Park

B

Trans Pennine Trail at Pickering’s Pasture Nature Reserve

View from the footpath next to the car park to the south of Pex Hill Visitor Centre facing southwards. View from Trans Pennine Trail footpath adjacent to Pickering’s Pasture Nature Reserve to the west of the site facing eastwards towards the development.

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C

Junction of Mersey Road and Parsonage Road

D

Trans Pennine Hale Head

E

Halton Castle grounds

F

Footpath at Runcorn Hill

G

Hoghton Road in Hale

H

Collier Street, Dukesfield

Trail

at

View from the junction of Mersey Road and Parsonage Road in the West Bank area to the south east of the site facing westwards. View from the Trans Pennine Trail footpath at Hale Head to the south west of the site facing eastwards. View from grounds of Halton Castle to the south east of the site facing north west. View from footpath at Runcorn Hill to the south of the site looking northwards across the River Mersey. View from footpath at front of residences on Hoghton Road, Hale to the south west of the site facing northeastwards. View from residential car parking area adjacent to block of flats on Collier Street in Dukesfield, Runcorn looking northwards towards the site.

Landscape Receptors 9.87

The landscape receptors to be assessed, as highlighted in the baseline study, will be as follows: § § § § § §

Landform and Topography Land Use of the Site Vegetation Pattern and Scale of Landscape Access Landscape Features within the Site o Steward’s Brook which separates the east part of the site from the west o Disused railway tracks in the north west corner of the site

§

Landscape Features outside of the Site o Marsh Brook to the east of the site o The Grade II* Listed Britannia Railway Bridge and Viaduct to the east of the site o The Grade II Listed Silver Jubilee Bridge to the east of the site o Hutchinson’s Hill to the south of the site o Ditton Brook forming the west boundary of the site

§

Landscape Designation/Cultural Heritage o West Bank Conservation Area & Victoria Promenade Important Landscape Feature o Coastal Zone Developed to the South o River Mersey Area of Special Landscape Value, Site of SSSI (part of), SNCI (part of), Ramsar Site (part of) o Trans Pennine Trail at West Bank Dock Section ‘Important Landscape Feature’

§

Landscape Character Types

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o o o o 9.88

Industrial Residential and mixed-use The Mersey Estuary Hale Green Belt

Refer to Table G for the full Landscape Impact Assessment. Visual Receptors

9.89

The bare ground TZVI (as indicated on drawing 89429/8013, Theoretical Zone of Visual Influence – Biomass facility and office building) captures a number of visual receptors. However, following the field study it was determined that no photo viewpoints would be included from the Visual Receptors to the north and west of the site due to views being restricted by topography, built form and vegetation. Significant visual receptors within a 10km radius from the centre of the site are listed below (for location please refer to 89429/8003, Visual Analysis Plan): Residential § Residential east of Netherley § Residential Halewood Village § Residential at Speke § Residential at Hale § Residential at Ditton § Residential at Lower House § Residential at Westfield § Residential at West Bank § Residential at Lingley Green § Residential at Doe Green § Residential at Elton § Residential at Halebank § Residential at Dukesfield Public Rights of Way § Trans Pennine trail § Footpath at Pex Hill § Mersey Way Long Distance Footpath and Cycleway § Mersey Valley Trail § Other public access route along Macdermott Road Local Roads § Mathieson Road § Foundry Lane § Ronan Road § A533 (Silver Jubilee Bridge) § A5080 Railway Lines § Liverpool Branch of the West Coast Mainline Listed Structures / Cultural Heritage § Halton Castle (Ancient Monument) § West Bank Conservation Area § Runcorn Hill Conservation Area and Area of Special Landscape Value 112

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Miscellaneous § Wigg Island (Important Landscape Feature) § Mersey Estuary Area of Special Landscape Value 9.90

The following Visual Receptors were initially identified through preparation of a TZVI, however, following on site field survey it is confirmed that there is no change in their view: Public Rights of Way § Footpath next to Holme Farm; footpath next to Manchester Ship Canal; footpath on Spike Island; footpaths between Lower House and Pex Hill; footpath at Lugsdale; footpaths through Hale Green Belt; footpaths at Windmill Hill and Town Park; Footpaths at Moss Side and Moore Nature Reserve; footpaths at Hough Green and Netherley; footpaths at Barrow’s Green and Penketh; and footpaths at Runcorn Hill. Local Roads § Desoto Road; Vickers Road; Desoto Road East; Desoto Road West; Macdermott Road; A557; A5300; A568; A562; and Ditton Road. Listed Structures / Cultural Heritage § Goddagers Tower (Catalyst Museum); Church of St Mary’s; former transporter bridge power house; Hale Bank Conservation Area; Victoria Square; Higher Runcorn; and Halton Village. Miscellaneous § Spike Island (Important Landscape Feature); Stenhills open space; Victoria Park (Important Landscape Feature); Hale Area of Special Landscape Value; Victoria Promenade (Important Landscape Feature); Clincton Woods (Important Landscape Feature); Runcorn Town Hall Grounds (Important Landscape Feature); former St Michael’s golf course; amenity areas to the south of Runcorn Hill (due to prominent topography); and amenity areas to the north of former St Michael’s golf course (due to prominent topography).

9.91

No views from the River Mersey have been assessed because access to the waterway could not be gained. IMPACT ASSESSMENT Landscape Assessment

9.92

Refer to Table G for the full Landscape Impact Assessment.

9.93

There will be no significant impacts on the landscape or cultural heritage designations surrounding the site. This is due to the contained nature of the development site, the surrounding topography and the location of the designations. The nearest designations are the Coastal Zone Developed (of which the south east part of the site lies within), the River Mersey Area of Special Landscape Value and the West Bank Conservation Area. This assessment has determined that there will be no direct or indirect impact on these designations as a result of the proposed development. 113

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9.94

There will be no direct loss of elements, features or characteristics of the landscape character types outside of the site. This is because the proposed development sits within an existing industrial area and will maintain the character and nature of this area. The contained nature of the site and its setting within an existing industrial area ensures that their will be no direct impact upon the features or elements of the other neighbouring character areas.

9.95

The proposed development will alter a predominantly derelict brownfield site into a new industrial park with associated new landscape. The addition of the proposed storage and distribution development, associated buildings, biomass facility, new road infrastructure and associated car parking areas will maintain the landscape for industrial use. Due to the layout of the proposed development and the proposed development being of a similar scale and nature to the surrounding context, the impact will not be significant.

9.96

There will be an impact on vegetation, with the loss of the semi-mature trees in the east part of the site as they will be removed to accommodate a new roundabout. Existing areas of vegetation within the site will be removed. This includes some trees and shrub planting, although vegetation on the periphery of the site may be retained. Vegetation on the large reclamation mound in the west part of the site will also be removed as the mound will be remodelled to accommodate the new development. A strip of conifers running along part of the north boundary of the site adjacent to the Liverpool Branch of the West Coast Mainline will also be removed. However, the impact on vegetation is not considered significant, as the vegetation is not considered to be of high sensitivity and the landscape strategy will suitably compensate for the loss of vegetation throughout the site.

9.97

Within the site there will be a significant impact upon the landform and topography, concentrated in the west part of the site. There will be a change in landform across the site, with topography remodelled to accommodate the proposed buildings and road infrastructure. The large reclamation mound in the south west part of the site will be remodelled and levelled to accommodate the new development. The proposals have already considered the mitigation of this impact, with sensitive design layout, which will assist in minimizing the impact of the proposals on landform.

9.98

The impact on access is not considered significant. The development incorporates a new roundabout in the east part of the site from Desoto Road. Foundry Lane will be removed and replaced with a new spine road running through the site with the existing crossing point over Steward’s Brook being maintained and enhanced to accommodate the spine road. The improvements will not result in a significant change to access, as this will be a private vehicular access route. There will be localised impacts on access routes during construction; however these will be temporary and not significant. There are no footpaths within the development site which will be impacted by the development.

9.99

There will not be a significant impact upon the pattern and scale of the landscape as the proposed development is in keeping with the existing pattern and scale of the area. The proposed development will integrate comfortably with its surroundings and establish a more defined and legible structure within the 3MG site maintaining the pattern and scale of the site and surrounding area.

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9.100 There will be an impact on landscape features within the site; however, there will be no impact on landscape features outside of the site. Visual Assessment 9.101 Refer to Table H for the full Visual Impact Assessment. 9.102 Significant visual impacts resulting from the development are restricted to close range receptors that surround the site and long distance views from limited elevated locations to the south (please refer to Table H Visual Impact Assessment). The majority of the high sensitivity receptors will experience either a minor impact on views or no change on views due to the contained nature of the site and surrounding topography and vegetation. This is particularly true when referring to receptors to the north, west and east of the site. 9.102 To the south of the site there will be a Moderate Adverse effect on the elevated long distance views from residential properties on the north edge of Westfield, Runcorn and on views from residential properties in Dukesfield on the north edge of Runcorn. 9.103 There will be a Major Adverse impact on views from the Liverpool Branch of the West Coast Mainline which runs adjacent to the north of the site, with close range, direct views of the development. Along a section of the railway line only the new storage and distribution development will be visible. This effect will be long term during all stages of the development process, from construction and operation to decommission. 9.104 There will be a Moderate Adverse effect on views of the site from the Trans Pennine Trail, the Mersey Way Long Distance Footpath and Cycleway along the north bank of the River Mersey, the Mersey Valley Trail to the south of the river and the Other Public Access route along Macdermott Road. 9.105 There will be Minor Adverse effects on views from Mathieson Road entering the site from the east and on views from the new spine road which runs through the site. Views from these receptors will consist of new built form and the new landscape infrastructure. 9.106 It can be assumed that long distance elevated views of the site would be gained from the receptors to the south of the site at Runcorn Peninsula, however, due to surrounding topography only views of the east part of the site can be gained whilst views of the west part of the site are screened by Hutchinson’s Hill. Where views of the site can be achieved from either elevated or long distance receptors, the site is viewed within the context of neighbouring industrial uses surrounding Widnes and Weston Point. CUMULATIVE ASSESSMENT Introduction 9.107 Guidance recommends that although planning applications must be determined on their individual merits, recognition should also be given to the other factors such as

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‘cumulative effects’. The cumulative effect is considered to be the combined effect of a number of developments taken together. 9.108 For the purposes of the cumulative assessment the following developments are included: § §

New distribution centre and biomass facility including stack height 55m AOD (Outline Planning Application); and New multi-storey office development at a height of 85m AOD (Outline Planning Application).

9.109 An assessment has been made of the cumulative impacts which are likely to arise from the combination of these 2 proposals, this assessment has been carried out through completion of the following tasks: § § § §

Review of baseline information relative to the selected developments; Production of cumulative TZVI’s for combined developments; Assessment of viewpoints selected for the visual assessment of the distribution centre and biomass facility and the multi-storey office developments; and Description of the nature of the cumulative effects (the effects associated with the multi-storey office development upon the LVIA significant effects).

9.110 Those viewpoints (key views) which are considered to be the potentially most effected within the LVIA have been considered as part of the cumulative assessment, along with those viewpoints where an additional cumulative effect is predicted. Baseline 9.111 The baseline description within the above LVIA for the expansion of Stobart Park / 3MG Development is considered to be relevant for the cumulative assessment of the two developments to be considered, due to the location of these developments within close proximity of each other and within the context of the sensitive receptors previously highlighted within the baseline of the LVIA. This area of study has been confirmed through the preparation of the cumulative TZVI (please refer to drawing 89429/8013) and confirmation of the expected area of impact through field study. The two development proposals are illustrated within the following drawings 89429/8001 & 89429/8002. Viewpoint Analysis 9.112 An assessment of the potential cumulative impact on the most effected visual receptors is included below. Table F below shows a review of the cumulative effect on identified Photo Viewpoints (Key Views) previously included within the LVIA. Table F – Cumulative effect on viewpoints Key ref: A

View

Location Description Footpath at Pex Hill Visitor Centre

Brief description of cumulative effect View from the car park to the south of Pex Hill Visitor Centre to the north of the site facing southwards. New distribution centre and biomass facility are not visible in the view due to existing vegetation. Long distance glimpse views will be limited to the upper floors of the

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B

Trans Pennine Trail at Pickering’s Pasture Nature Reserve

C

Junction of Mersey Road / Parsonage Road

D

Trans Pennine Trail at hale Head

E

Halton Castle grounds

F

Footpath at Runcorn Hill

G

Hoghton Road in Hale

H

Collier Street, Dukesfield

multi-storey office development, adjacent to the Silver Jubilee Bridge. View from Trans Pennine Trail footpath within Pickering’s Pasture Nature Reserve to the west of the site facing eastwards. New distribution centre and biomass facility are not visible in the view due to Hutchinson’s Hill and vegetation. Full extent of Multi-storey office development would be clearly visible with the exception of the lower floors due to the existing built form (Tesco DC), to the north of Runcorn Gap. View from the junction of Mersey Road / Parsonage road in the West Bank area to the south east of the site facing westwards. New distribution centre and biomass facility are not visible due to existing built form. Upper floors of the multi-storey office development would be visible above the existing built form and bridges, at short range. View from the Trans Pennine Trail footpath at Hale Head to the south west of the site facing eastwards. Long distance views eastwards towards the new distribution centre and biomass facility would not be visible due to intervening landform. Upper floors of multi-storey office development would be visible to the north of Silver Jubilee Bridge above the landform, but are long distance views. View from grounds of Halton Castle to the south east of the site facing north west. Long distance partial views of new distribution centre and biomass facility will be visible, however, they will be partly screened due to the existing built form at West Bank and adjacent development (Tesco DC). Clear views of upper floors of multi-storey office development will be visible within long distance views above the built form of the West Bank. View from footpath at Runcorn Hill to the south of the site looking northwards across the River Mersey. Long distance views of part of new distribution centre and biomass facility will be visible, whilst views towards west part of the development will be screened by Hutchinson’s Hill. Partial views of upper floors of multi-storey office development to the west of Silver Jubilee Bridge will be visible above intervening significant vegetation. View from footpath at front of residences on Hoghton Road, Hale to the south west of the site facing northeastwards. New distribution centre and biomass facility will not be visible due to existing vegetation and landform. Long distance views of upper floors of multistorey office development will be visible above existing vegetation to the north of Silver Jubilee Bridge, at long range. View from residential car parking area adjacent to block of flats on Collier Street in Dukesfield, Runcorn looking northwards towards the site. New distribution centre will not be visible due to existing built form, topography (Hutchinson’s Hill) and vegetation. Views of upper portion of biomass facility stack will be visible above existing vegetation and built form. Clear views of multi-storey office development with the exception of the lower floors due to existing vegetation, will be visible to the west of the Britannia Railway Bridge. 117

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Cumulative Landscape Effects 9.113 There will be a limited effect on the local industrial landscape character of the area as both of the developments are set within an existing industrial character area and are of an industrial nature in terms of size, scale and use. There is not likely to be any cumulative impacts on the landscape designation of the ‘Coastal Zone Developed’ to the south of the site. There will be a significant cumulative effect on the River Mersey ‘Area of Special Landscape Value’, the West Bank ‘Conservation Area’, the Victoria Promenade ‘Important Landscape Feature’ and the stretch of the Trans Pennine Trail designated as an ‘Important Landscape Feature. 9.114 Landscape impacts identified relate to the scale and massing associated with biomass facility (including the stack) and the multi-storey office development. Any associated cumulative effects within the immediate townscape / commercial / industrial context add to the emerging modern industrial setting in which the two developments would ‘fit’. The more recent and future infrastructure / port / commercial developments continue to inform and influence the local landscape character within Widnes and Runcorn, contributing towards the historical river corridors past and future character. 9.115 The cultural heritage setting of both the Britannia Railway Bridge and Silver Jubilee Bridge listed structures, is likely to be affected as a result of the cumulative impacts, due to the close proximity of the multi-storey office development to the listed structures. The additional massing associated with the multi-storey office development is of a similar scale to the Silver Jubilee Bridge, but it will add to the built form which surrounds the river crossing between Widnes and Runcorn. 9.116 Any landscape impacts over the wider study area in particular at a regional or national landscape character were assessed as negligible or none. Cumulative Visual Effects 9.117 Visual receptors as highlighted within this Assessment are likely to be limited to those immediately adjacent to the site boundaries and those to the south at mid and long distance from the site with uninterrupted views to the development. A range of these different receptors have been assessed to establish how the development fits into the wider context (please refer to 89429/8003). 9.118 The proposed development sites are on former industrial land, on the north banks of the River Mersey with part of the site having been remodelled to include a large reclamation mound. The proposed developments would result in associated visual changes, however, the developments are of a similar, size, scale and nature to existing buildings surrounding the site. Screening topography to the north of the site, will prevent significant visual impacts to a large number of sensitive receptors outside of the immediate context. However, the open nature of the River Mersey and the elevated topography of Runcorn Peninsula will result in a significant impact on the visual amenity of receptors to the south and south west of the site. Residential 9.119 There is likely to be an impact on views from residential properties in the areas of Hale Village and Hale to the west of the site. No views of the new distribution centre and biomass facility will be achievable due to existing built form, topography and 118

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vegetation. The upper floors of the multi-storey office development will be visible in the long distance above the intervening topography and vegetation. There is likely to be a significant impact on residential properties at Westfield which lies 2km to the south of the site across the River Mersey in Runcorn. Views of part of the new distribution centre and biomass facility will be clearly visible, however, the west part of the new distribution centre will be screened by topography (Hutchinson’s Hill) and vegetation. Clear long distance views of the multi-storey office development will be achievable having a significant visual impact upon the properties. There are likely to be significant visual impacts on the residential properties in the West Bank area to the east of the site, as there will be clear views of the upper floors of the multi-storey office development above the existing built form and bridges. There will also be significant impacts upon the residential properties within the Dukesfield area of Runcorn to the south of the site on the south bank of the River Mersey. Parts of the new distribution centre and biomass facility and stack will be visible, whilst there will be clear views of the multi-storey office development with the exception of the lower floors. Public Rights of Way 9.120 There is likely to be a significant impact on the Trans Pennine Trail which runs along the north bank of the River Mersey to the south of the site. There will be clear short and mid distance views of the multi-storey office development along the route stretching westwards from the bridges. The impact of the new distribution centre and biomass facility is not likely to be as significant, as neighbouring built form and topography screen much of the development from the route. There is likely to be an impact on the footpath at Pex Hill caused by partial long distance views of the upper floors of the multi-storey office development, however, this impact is not deemed to be significant due to vegetation within the Pex Hill area. There will be no clear views of the new distribution centre and biomass facility from the footpath due to built form, topography and vegetation. There is likely to be a significant impact upon the views from the Mersey Way Long Distance Footpath and Cycleway to the west of the site as clear long distance views of the multi-storey office development with the exception of the lower floors. There is likely to be a significant impact on the Mersey Valley Trail which runs through Runcorn to the south of the site. There will be elevated long distance views of the 2 developments from certain points along the route where views towards the site are uninterrupted. There is likely to be a significant impact upon the public access route adjacent to Macdermott Road to the north east of the site due to the proximity of the developments and low lying nature of the surrounding built form. Local Roads 9.121 There will be a significant impact upon the views from the local roads which run through the site or along the site boundaries due to their proximity to the two developments. There is likely to be a significant impact upon the views from the A533 which runs north-south across the Silver Jubilee Bridge due to the elevated nature of the route and the scale and proximity of the multi-storey office development. However, the impact will be minimised due to the screening of the two developments created by the Britannia Railway Bridge which runs parallel to the road. There is unlikely to be a significant impact on views from the A5080 which runs approximately 2.5km to the north west of the site, due to surrounding vegetation and topography.

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Railway Lines 9.122 There is likely to be a significant impact on views from the Liverpool Branch of the West Coast Mainline which runs along the east and north boundary of the site, due to the elevated nature of the route and the loss of existing vegetation which screens part of the new distribution centre site. Cultural Heritage 9.123 There is unlikely to be a significant impact on the views from Halton Castle Conservation Area approximately 2km to the south east of the site, due to the built form of the West Bank area and the bridges across Runcorn gap. There is likely to be a significant impact upon views from the Runcorn Hill Conservation Area as there are uninterrupted elevated views north across the River Mersey towards the multistorey office development. There is also likely to be a significant impact on views from the West Bank Conservation Area due to the areas close proximity to the site and the size and scale of the multi-storey office development. Miscellaneous 9.124 There is likely to be a significant impact upon views from the Mersey Estuary Area of Special Landscape Value, due to the open nature of the Estuary. However, parts of the new distribution centre and biomass facility will not be visible from certain points within the area due to topography (Hutchinson’s Hill) and vegetation. However, the impact will be minimised as the two developments will be viewed within the context of the wider industrial character of the area which includes industrial uses along both banks of the Mersey. Summary of Cumulative Effects 9.125 The two developments would give rise to several significant cumulative effects. The cumulative effects would have a significant impact upon both the landscape and visual amenity of the area. 9.126 The multi-storey office development would have the greatest impact upon the landscape due to its size and scale. In particular the development would impact upon the setting of the listed bridge structures which cross the River Mersey as they are located 100m to the east of the site. The development would also impact upon the setting of the Conservation Areas at Runcorn Hill and West Bank, due to their elevated nature (Runcorn Hill) and their proximity to the site (West Bank). There is unlikely to be a significant impact upon the local character areas indicated in this assessment as the sites are located within an existing industrial character area. 9.127 The significant cumulative effects on the visual amenity of the landscape would be limited to a number of residential areas, local roads, footpaths and cultural / heritage features within close proximity to the sites and where uninterrupted views can be achieved from elevated positions. Again, the impacts are associated more with the multi-storey office development rather than the distribution centre and biomass facility. In particular, the effects would be limited to residential receptors at Westfield, Dukesfield, Hale, Hale Village and West bank, footpaths along the north bank of the River Mersey (Trans Pennine Trail and the Mersey Way), footpaths within elevated areas of Runcorn (Mersey Valley Trail), local roads surrounding the site and the A533 which crosses the Silver Jubilee Bridge and Halton Castle.

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9.128 Due to the existing nature of the site and the wider industrial character of the Mersey Estuary the developments would form part of a wider industrial / commercial landscape. MITIGATION 9.129 Best practice guidance emphasises that the mitigation of impacts should not be an afterthought to a development proposal but an integral part of the development masterplanning exercise. 9.130 Impacts that could be mitigated by “Avoidance” or “Reduction” by the adoption of alternative designs have been incorporated where practicable into the site layout. It follows then that mitigation in this report will concentrate on the following categories. § § §

Reduction: in which reduction of impact by site design, detailed design or screening proposals will be considered; Conservation and protection: the retention of valuable landscape features within the site; and Compensation: in which impacts that cannot be avoided are compensated by the rehabilitation of other parts of the landscape. Such measures may take time to reach maturity.

9.131 The layout of the site has been carefully arranged to comfortably fit within the existing site context with impacts on existing significant landscape features being minimised where possible. 9.132 Mitigation for the loss of vegetation has been provided through a comprehensive landscape design for the entire site. Landscape mitigation measures are based upon the principles of incorporating native species and features throughout the site to create additional habitat and promote biodiversity within the site. 9.133 Existing trees and shrubs will be retained wherever practicable to foster and maintain existing features and habitats. Native hedgerows will be introduced to define boundaries between different elements of the site and create new habitat. Formal tree planting in amenity grassland will be introduced to define entrance features. Areas of wildflower grassland will be introduced to enhance the visual appearance of areas, create new habitat and benefit insects. New native woodland planting will be introduced along the site boundaries to help screen short and mid distance views from neighbouring areas and to supplement existing areas of woodland. Woodland glades will be created within the new native woodland areas and adjacent to existing streams to benefit insects and foraging bats. Formal tree planting has been introduced to parking areas where practicable to soften the hard environment and an area of wetland and wildflower seeding will be introduced to the confluence area between Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook in the south of the site. SUMMARY 9.134 The development identified within the indicative masterplan proposes the construction of four storage and distribution centres and a biomass facility, associated parking areas, an improved road network and a new access roundabout.

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The proposed development will expand Stobart Park and form part of the wider 3MG site. 9.135 This assessment has considered a 10km study area for the visual impact of the proposed development and a 3km study area for the physical impact of the proposed development, to determine the impact of the development on the surrounding area. Impacts on representative sensitive receptors have been considered within the study areas. 9.136 In keeping with best practice guidelines the extension of Stobart Park/3MG has been assessed for its landscape and visual resource, with a view to the design process being guided by the analysis of this assessment, and resulting in the more significant features of the site being retained and assimilated into the proposals where possible. The resultant development proposal is one that takes into consideration the value and sensitivity of the existing landscape character and visual resource of the site and surrounding areas. Primary mitigation measures assist in retention of the most significant features of the existing landscape character, whilst reducing the visual impact of the development from the most sensitive receptors though careful siting and layout of the proposals. 9.137 The proposed development is in keeping with the current land use of the site and will result in a large area of the site being redeveloped and brought back into use. The proposed development is large in nature and scale due to its proposed use but is similar in scale to neighbouring buildings such as the Tesco DC and the PDM Group renewable energy and recycling centre. 9.138 As part of the new development a comprehensive landscape scheme is to be provided. The landscape scheme will retain where possible existing landscape features and will improve the biodiversity of the site. 9.139 The development site is contained by the Liverpool Branch of the West Coast Mainline to the north and east, the River Mersey and Hutchinson’s Hill to the south and Ditton Brook and Halebank Industrial Estate to the west. 9.140 As highlighted within the assessment, the majority of the development will be partially screened by existing features surrounding the site. Surrounding features providing partial screening of the development include the Stobart transmodal container port and Britannia Railway viaduct to the north, the Britannia railway bridge and viaduct and the Silver Jubilee Bridge to the east Hutchinson Hill to the south and Halebank Industrial Estate to the west. 9.141 The stack of the proposed biomass facility will have the most significant visual impact on the landscape. The stack will be viewed from receptors within the 10km visual study area however views of the stack will be seen within the existing industrial context. 9.142 There are a number of residual significant impacts following implementation of mitigation measures. There a number of significant adverse visual impacts to sensitive residential receptors to the south of the site at Westfield and Dukesfield. These impacts arise as a result of the location of the receptors to the south of the site across the River Mersey.

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9.143 There are a number of significant adverse visual impacts to the views from Public Rights of Way. These include parts of the Trans Pennine Trail, the Mersey Long Distance Footpath and Cycleway along the north bank of the River Mersey and the Other Public Access Route along Macdermott Rd. These impacts arise as a result of their sensitivity and their close proximity to the site. In addition there is a significant adverse effect on the view from the elevated Mersey Valley Trail in Runcorn to the south of the site as a result of the sensitivity and the elevated location of the route providing clear mid distance views of the east part of the site. 9.144 The proposed development results in significant adverse visual impacts on views from Mathieson Rd and Foundry Lane. Although these receptors are low sensitivity, the magnitude of the impact is substantial due to the close proximity of these receptors to the site. There will be significant visual impacts to views from the Mersey Estuary Area of Special Landscape Value due to the sensitivity of this receptor and views from the Runcorn Hill Conservation Area due to the sensitivity of the receptor and the elevated location. 9.145 The only residual significant impact on landscape receptors following implementation of mitigation measures is a Moderate Beneficial impact on the existing landform of the site as a result of extensive earth remodelling to accommodate the new development.

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IDENTIFICATION AND EVALUATION OF IMPACTS Landscape Impacts Table G – Landscape Impact Assessment Receptor

Description

Landscape Receptors Land within the site lies Landform between 6m AOD at the and Topography lowest point and rises to 27m AOD at its highest point. Within the east part of the site there are a series of level plateaus separated by engineered slopes and mounds. The highest mound is 20m AOD and lies on the south east boundary. Within the west part of the site there are 2 large predominantly flat areas. The north east corner lying at 11m AOD and the north west corner lying at 6m AOD. Between existing warehouses and Steward’s Brook a large mound is located approximately 27m AOD at its highest point.

Sensitivity

Low

Magnitude

Nature of Effect

Mitigation Measures

Substantial

Landform throughout the site is to be remodelled to accommodate the new built form. The large mound in the western part of the site is to be removed.

The existing landform will be remodelled to allow new built form to fit comfortably within the site.

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Residual Significance of Effects Moderate beneficial

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement

Land Use of the Site

Vegetation

The east part of the development site consists of predominantly cleared brownfield land with the exception of an operational warehouse and service yard and other abandoned office buildings. Much of the west part of the site is occupied by the large mound with the other areas containing an operational distribution centre and service yard and areas of cleared brownfield land. In the north west corner of the site there are the remnants of the former rail lines and spurs. Much of the east part of the site is clear of vegetation with the exception of some semimature trees on the east boundary adjacent to Desoto Road, areas of self sown tree and shrub species along the south boundary. There are also remnants of hedgerows and pockets of semimature trees scattered between the areas of cleared land. The large mound in the

Low

Slight Moderate

In the west part of the site there is a large warehouse and 2 smaller warehouses which will be replaced by 2 new distribution centres. In the east part of the site the existing made up ground and warehouse is to be replaced with 2 new distribution centres and a biomass facility.

The proposed commercial / industrial development is appropriate to the existing land uses within the site.

Minor beneficial

Low

Moderate

Several semi-mature trees in the east part of the site will be removed to accommodate a new roundabout. Existing areas of vegetation within the site will be removed, although vegetation on the periphery of the site will be retained where possible. Vegetation on the large reclamation mound in the west part of the site will also be removed. Vegetation

The landscape strategy prepared for the site has been designed to mitigate against the loss of existing vegetation on site. The landscape design includes extensive areas of new woodland planting, native hedgerows, wildflower areas and specimen tree planting.

Minor beneficial

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Pattern and Scale of Landscape

west part of the site is partially covered in self sown grass, wildflowers and shrubs. The south part has pockets of small trees and shrub species along the site boundary. There is a row of large conifers along the north boundary adjacent to the railway line. The engineered grass mound on the north west boundary is covered in self sown tree and shrub species. The landscape pattern within the development site is marked by a series of predominantly level plateaus created by site clearance works, a large reclamation mound (containing galligu) and a number of engineered mounds and embankments. Much of the site consists of areas of made up ground and left over areas of hard standing. The site is divided into two parts by Steward’s Brook, whilst the west boundary is bordered by Ditton Brook. The site is large and open in nature with a number of existing

running along the north west boundary of the site adjacent to Liverpool Branch of the West Coast Mainline will be lost.

Low

Negligible

The proposed development will consist of a number of large scale storage and distribution centres and a biomass facility with associated areas of hard standing. The proposals also include a new road network and associated car parking. The proposed development will integrate comfortably with its surroundings and establish a more defined and legible structure within the Stobart park / 3MG site.

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Proposed pattern and scale of the development is in keeping with the existing pattern and scale of the site and wider areas. A new landscape infrastructure will be introduced which will integrate the proposed built form within the site.

No change

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement

Access

large scale industrial buildings and warehouses in the adjacent areas. Access to the site is restricted due to the Liverpool Branch of the West Coast Mainline and the Stobart transmodal container port to the north, Hutchinson’s Hill to the south, Steward’s Brook which runs through the centre of the site and Ditton Brook forming the west boundary of the site. Vehicle access into the site is achieved from Mathieson Road to the north east corner of the site with Foundry Lane to the west of the site providing an additional access via a bridge over Ditton Brook. A further vehicle access point is located at the northern end of Ronan Road leading from the south. St Michael’s Road formerly provided access to the site from the north, however, the road is now flooded and closed. Pedestrian access into the site can be gained from Mathieson Road and

Low

Negligible

Vehicular and pedestrian access to the site will be gained from a new roundabout located at the north-east boundary of the site from Desoto Road and spine road through the site. The bridge which crosses Ditton Brook (Foundry Lane) on the west boundary of the site will function as an emergency access only.

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Vehicle access to the site will be greatly improved by new transport infrastructure which will serve the proposed development.

No change

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement

Foundry Lane. Townscape/ Landscape Features within the site Steward’s Brook runs through Medium the centre of the site northsouth and along the south boundary of the west part of the site adjacent to Hutchinson’s Hill. The brook runs through a channel with steep banks and is quite degraded in nature. Vegetation within the channel consists of grass, shrubs and trees. Townscape/ Landscape Features outside the site Marsh Marsh Brook forms the east Medium Brook to boundary of the site the east separating the site from the existing Tesco DC further to of the the east. The Brook has site recently been re-profiled and enhanced when construction of the Tesco DC took place. The Brook runs through a wide open ditch with gentle slopes. The The Britannia Bridge and High Grade Viaduct lie to the east of the II* site beyond the Tesco DC Listed separating the Stobart Park / Britanni 3MG site from the residential a area of West Bank on the Railway other side of the bridge. The Bridge bridge and viaduct rise to a and height of approximately 30m. Steward ’s Brook which separat es the east part of the site from the west

Slight

Work will include the construction of an improved access road which will cross the brook connecting the east and west parts of the site. The physical impact on the existing brook and adjacent vegetation will be minimised.

The landscape strategy prepared for the site will suitably mitigate against the loss of existing vegetation on site.

Minor beneficial

No change

There will be no impact upon Marsh Brook.

N/A

No change

No change

There will be no impact upon the setting of the Britannia Railway Bridge and Viaduct.

N/A

No change

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Viaduct to the east of the site The Grade II Listed Silver Jubilee Bridge to the east of the site Hutchin son’s Hill to the south of the site

Ditton Brook forming the west boundar y of the site

The Silver Jubilee Bridge lies to the east of the site beyond the Tesco DC separating the 3MG site from the residential area of West Bank on the other side of the bridge. The bridge carries 4 lanes of the A533 across the River Mersey and rises to a total structural height of 87m. Hutchinson’s Hill is a large mound adjacent to the south of the site lying between the site and the River Mersey. The mound is covered in dense vegetation and open areas of grass. Hutchinson’s Hill is bounded on the north and west by Steward’s Brook and the River Mersey to the south. The area is designated as Open Space within Halton’s UDP. Ditton Brook is an open ditch with steep grass banks and areas of tree planting. The brook forms the west boundary of the site and merges with Steward’s Brook at the southern most point of the site boundary before flowing into the River Mersey.

High

No change

There will be no impact upon the setting of the Silver Jubilee Bridge.

N/A

No change

Medium

No change

There will be no impact on Hutchinson’s Hill.

N/A

No change

Medium

No change

There will be no direct impact upon Ditton Brook as the existing crossing point will be retained and resurfaced as part of the proposed development.

N/A

No change

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Landscape Designations/Cultural Heritage West West Bank Conservation High Bank Area incorporates the Victoria Conserv Promenade, the former transporter bridge power ation house, the former transporter Area & bridge offices and St Mary’s Victoria Promen Church on the south eastern most edge of the West Bank. ade Importa nt Landsca pe Feature The developed Coastal Zone Low Coastal to the south incorporates part Zone Develop of the Manchester Ship Canal and Weston Point on the ed to western edge of Runcorn the which is a heavily industrial South area. River The landscape designations High Mersey on the River Mersey stretch Area of from Hale Cliff in the west of Special the borough across to Wigg Landsca Island in the east. The pe estuary includes a number of Value, islands, marshlands, Site of grasslands and mud banks. SSSI (part of), SNCI (part of), Ramsar Site

No change

There will be no direct impact upon features or elements of the Conservation Area.

N/A

No change

No change

There will be no impact upon features or elements of the Developed Coastal Zone.

N/A

No change

No change

There will be no impact upon the features, elements or character of the River Mersey Estuary.

N/A

No change

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(part of) A The area of ‘Important stretch Landscape Features’ near to of the the West Bank Dock Section on the Trans Pennine Trail Trans Pennine route. Trail at West Bank Dock Section ‘Importa nt Landsca pe Feature s’ Landscape Character Industria The industrial areas outside l of the site are characterised by large scale warehouses and industrial facilities including power stations, chemical works, distribution centres and port facilities. The industrial areas within the site are characterised by existing industrial uses and other industrial / commercial facilities adjacent to the site. Much of the east part of the site comprises of made up ground and broken up areas of hard standing leftover from previous uses. The large reclamation mound in the

High

No change

There will be no impact upon features or elements of the ‘Important Landscape Features’ at the West Bank Dock Section area.

N/A

No change

Low

Slight

There will be no direct loss of elements, features or characteristics of the industrial areas outside of the site as the proposed development is of the same character and nature.

The proposed development will improve the transport infrastructure, provide new storage and distribution centres and facilities whilst the landscape strategy will ensure that landscape features introduced will enhance the condition of the site and bring ecological improvements. The landscape strategy will ensure that landscape features introduced will enhance

Minor beneficial

Within the site the proposed development will see the creation of large scale storage and distribution centres and a biomass power station facility with associated car parking and highway infrastructure. The development will require much of the site to be re-

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west part of the site was formed from galligu (a chemical waste common to the area). Residen tial and Mixeduse

The residential and mixeduse areas consist of the wider built up areas of Widnes and Runcorn and are characterised by a range of residential, commercial and leisure buildings of various scales and types.

High

No change

The Mersey Estuary

The Mersey Estuary is a large tidal watercourse and is large and open in character, providing a vital transport route for commercial and recreational users and a vital ecological habitat for wildlife.

High

No change

Hale Green Belt

The Hale Green Belt lies to the west of the development site and is characterised by large open areas of farmland and agricultural fields with sporadic areas of woodland, farmsteads and residential properties.

High

No change

modelled to allow the buildings to sit comfortably within the site.

the appearance of the development and suitably soften and screen the built form.

There will be no direct loss of elements, features or characteristics of these areas as the proposed development is set within an industrial character area and the views from the residential and mixed-use areas will remain generally unaffected. There will be no direct loss of elements, features or characteristics of the areas as the proposed development is set within an industrial / commercial character area and the character of the Mersey Estuary would remain generally unaffected. There will be no direct loss of elements, features or characteristics of the areas as the proposed development is set within an industrial / commercial character area and the character of Hale Green Belt would remain generally unaffected.

N/A

No change

N/A

No change

N/A

No change

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Visual Impacts Table H –Visual Impact Assessment Rece Description Sensitivity ptor Individual Homes and Residential Areas VR1

VR2

VR3

Residential east of Netherley – Residential properties on the east edge of Netherley situated approximately 5km north west from the site. Views obscured by topography, vegetation and built form. Residential Halewood Village – Residential properties on east edge of village approximately 4.7km north west from the site. No clear views of the site due to built form, topography and vegetation. Residential at Speke – Residential properties on east edge of Speke approximately 4.5km west from the site. No clear views of the site due to built form, topography and vegetation. Some residences are 3 storey flats and it is perceived that they to will have no views towards the site.

Magnitude

Nature of Effect

Mitigation Measures

Residual Significance of Effects

High

No change

There are no views towards the site due to built form, topography and vegetation.

N/A

No change

High

No change

There are no views towards the site due to built form, topography and vegetation.

N/A

No change

High

No change

There are no views towards the site due to built form, topography and vegetation.

N/A

No change

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VR4 (also photo viewp oint G from footp ath to front of reside ntial prope rties)

VR5

VR6

Residential at Hale – Residential properties on east edge of Hale approximately 3km south west from the site. Partial long distance views east towards Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station and Silver Jubilee Bridge. Views of the site are screened by woodland vegetation and topography of Hale Gate Marsh and Pickering’s Pasture Nature Reserve. Clear mid distance views of Weston Point and Runcorn Hill on south shore of River Mersey. Clear short distance view of neighbouring farmland and Hale Gate Farm. Residential at Ditton – Residential properties on south edge of Ditton approximately 1km north from the site. No clear views of the site due to the topography of the former St Michael’s golf course and vegetation. Residential at Lower House – Residential properties on south edge of Lower House approximately 1km north of the site. No views of the site due to the topography of the

High

No change

There are no views of the site due to topography and vegetation.

N/A

No change

High

No change

There are no views of the site due to topography and vegetation.

N/A

No change

High

No change

There are no views of the site due to topography and vegetation.

N/A

No change

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former St Michael’s golf course and vegetation. VR7 (also photo viewp oint F from Westf ield Road)

VR8 (also photo viewp

Residential at Westfield – Residential properties on north edge of Westfield approximately 2km south from the site. Elevated long distance views north across River Mersey towards residential areas of Ditton and the wider Widnes area. Clear mid distance views of the existing stack in east part of site and adjacent industrial facilities. Views of west part of site obscured by Hutchinson’s Hill and vegetation. Partial mid distance views of north west corner of site. Clear mid distance views of east part of 3MG site and the Britannia Railway Bridge viaduct. Partial mid distance views of Dukesfield industrial area on south shore of River Mersey. Clear short distance views of residential areas on Westfield Road and Penn Lane. Residential at West Bank – Residential properties on south west edge of area approximately 0.8km from

High

Slight

Views of the east part of the site including the proposed biomass facility will be seen. Views of the west part of the site are screened by Hutchinson’s Hill and vegetation along the edge of the north bank of the River Mersey.

N/A

Moderate Adverse

High

No change

There are no views of the site due to built form and vegetation.

N/A

No change

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oint C from Mers ey Road in West Bank) VR9

VR10

VR11

VR12

the site. No views of site due to bridge infrastructure, vegetation and built form in foreground.

Residential at Lingley Green – Residential properties on north west edge of Penketh approximately 6.8km from the site. No clear views of the site due to topography and vegetation. Partial mid distance views of Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station. Residential at Doe Green – Residential properties on west edge of Penketh approximately 6km from the site. No clear views of the site due to topography and built form. Clear mid distance views of Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station. Residential at Elton – Residential properties approximately 10km from the site. No clear views of the site due to topography and built form. Residential at Hale Bank – Residential properties on east edge of area approximately 0.6km from

High

No change

There are no views of the site due to topography and vegetation.

N/A

No change

High

No change

There are no views of the site due to topography and built form.

N/A

No change

High

No change

There are no views of the site due to built form, topography and vegetation.

N/A

No change

High

No change

There are no views of the site due to built form and vegetation.

N/A

No change

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the site. No clear views of the site due to built form and vegetation. VR13 Residential at Dukesfield – Residential properties on (also photo north edge of Runcorn viewp approximately 1.2km from oint H the site. Partial short distance views north of from reside Manchester Ship Canal. Partial mid distance views of ntial 3MG site on north shore car with views screened by park vegetation on a narrow bank on Collie between the Manchester Ship Canal and the River r Street Mersey. Views of wepart of site screened by , Hill and Duke Hutchinson’s sfield) vegetation on north shore. Public Rights of Way VR1 4 (also phot o view point B from Tran s Penn ine Trail)

Trans Pennine Trail (part of Important Landscape Feature) – Short and mid distance views looking north towards the site from West Bank Dock Section area adjacent to Tesco DC. Partial glimpse views of proposed development. Views obscured by vegetation, Hutchinson’s Hill and adjacent built form. Long distance views east of Mersey Estuary and bridges

High

Slight

Views of the east part of the site including the proposed biomass facility will be seen. Views of the west part of the site are screened by Hutchinson’s Hill and vegetation along the edge of the north shore.

N/A

High

Slight

Partial views of biomass facility above vegetation and existing built form. Mid distance views towards the site screened by Hutchinson’s Hill and vegetation. No long distance views of the development as screened by topography and vegetation. Views of the site from various points along the Trans Pennine Trail are suitably screened by vegetation, topography and

N/A

137

Moderate adverse

Moderat e adverse

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement

VR1 5 (also phot o view point A from footp ath at visito r centr e) VR1 6 (also phot o view point D from footp ath at

across Runcorn Gap from Pickering’s Pasture Nature Reserve 1.2km to the south west. Long distance views of parts of 3MG site. No clear views of site as screened by Hutchinson’s Hill and vegetation. Footpath at Pex Hill Elevated view to the south with no clear long distance views of the site. Partial views of Silver Jubilee Bridge near to the site can be achieved through vegetation.

Mersey Way Long Distance Footpath and Cycleway Short and mid distance views looking north towards the site from footpath adjacent to Tesco DC. Partial glimpse views of proposed development. Views obscured by vegetation, Hutchinson’s Hill and adjacent built form. Long distance views east of

built form along the north bank of the river.

High

No change

No clear impact on long distance views due to surrounding vegetation around Pex Hill.

N/A

No change

High

Slight

Partial views of biomass facility and stack above vegetation and existing built form. Mid distance views towards site screened by Hutchinson’s Hill and vegetation. No long distance views of site as screened by topography and vegetation. The site will be in context with the surrounding areas.

N/A

Moderat e adverse

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement

Mersey Estuary and bridges across Runcorn Gap from footpath at Hale Head. Long distance views of parts of 3MG site. No clear views of site as screened by Hutchinson’s Hill and vegetation. VR1 Mersey Valley Trail – 7 Elevated mid distance views north towards the site. Views partially obscured by vegetation and built form within Runcorn. VR1 Other public access route 8 along Macdermott Road – Short distance views south west towards site. No clear views due to existing built form (Tesco DC) and vegetation. Local Roads Hale Head )

VR1 9

VR2 0

VR2

Mathieson Road (connecting Desoto Road to the site) – Short distance direct narrow views looking west into the site. Clear views of the site. Foundry Lane (running through the site connecting Mathieson Road to the east with Waterside Lane to the west) – short distance views looking into the site. Clear views of the site. Ronan Road (connecting

Moderat e adverse

High

Slight

Clear views towards east part of the site. No clear views towards west part of the site due to Hutchinson’s Hill and vegetation.

High

Slight

View of biomass stack above existing built form.

N/A

Moderat e adverse

Low

Moderate

Substantial

The landscape scheme will provide partial screening of the proposed development and will help to fit new built form within the site. The landscape scheme will provide partial screening of the proposed development and will help to fit new built form within the site.

Minor adverse

Low

There will be direct short distance views of the new development. Views partially obscured by surrounding industrial buildings / facilities. Clear views of the site due to proximity of the site.

Low

Moderate

Direct

Proposed planting in the

Minor

139

partially

screened

Moderat e adverse

Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement

1

VR2 2

Desoto Road to Foundry Lane) – short distance narrow and partially screened views looking into the site in the context of the other industrial buildings / facilities in the foreground. A533 (running north-south) via Silver Jubilee Bridge connecting Widnes and Runcorn. Mid distance views west towards the site.

VR2 3

A5080 – Long distance glimpse views south east towards the site 2.5km north west of Cronton partially screened by vegetation. Long distance views south towards the site on approach to Cronton, screened by vegetation and built form. Railway Lines

Low

No change

Low

Slight

VR2 4

views of Unit 6 in the east part of site. No views of west part of site due to Hutchinson’s Hill.

foreground of the view will provide screening of the proposed development.

adverse

No clear views of the site due to Britannia Railway Bridge and Viaduct running parallel with Silver Jubilee Bridge. Views also screened by vegetation and built form in the foreground. Long distance glimpse views of the proposed biomass stack along length of route, partially screened by vegetation (to the west) and later by vegetation and built form on approach into Cronton.

N/A

No change

N/A

Minor adverse

Liverpool Branch of the West Medium Coast Mainline – elevated short distance views looking south into the site. Views of west part of the site partially obscured by vegetation. Listed Structures / Cultural Heritage

Substantial

Elevated short distance views west and south into the site. Views of the site are partially obscured by vegetation and other large scale built form.

The landscape scheme will provide partial screening of the proposed development and will help to fit new built form within the site.

Major adverse

VR2 5 (also

Slight

Long range elevated views of the proposed biomass facility and stack will be partially

N/A

Minor adverse

Halton Castle (Ancient Monument) – Clear long distance views north west

Medium

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement

towards Runcorn Gap and Mersey Estuary. Partial long distance views of east part of site and biomass facility stack with west part of site obscured by bridges and Hutchinson’s Hill. Views further west and east obscured by nearby vegetation. Clear mid distance views of residential areas of Halton Brook and east Runcorn. Clear long distance views of Widnes and West Bank on north shore of estuary. VR2 Conservation Area (West 6 Bank) – Short distance views west towards the site. Views screened by built development of West Bank area and vegetation. VR2 Conservation Area (Runcorn 7 Hill) - Mid distance views (also north across the River phot Mersey. West part of site not o visible due to Hutchinson’s view Hill and vegetation. Long point distance clear views of Ditton F) achievable to the north of the site. Misc receptors

screened by bridges and topography of West Bank. Views of west part of site screened by Hutchinson’s Hill.

phot o view point E from Halto n Castl e adjac ent to car park)

High

No change

There are no views of the site due to built form and vegetation.

N/A

No change

High

Slight

Clear mid distance views of east part of site and proposed biomass facility behind Renewable Energy and Recycling Centre. No clear views of west part of site as screened by Hutchinson’s Hill.

The sensitive site layout has looked to minimise the visual impact of the proposed built form on the surrounding landscape.

Moderat e adverse

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Stobart Park / 3MG Widnes Environmental Statement

VR2 8

VR2 9 (also phot o view point D from Hale Head )

Wigg Island (Important Landscape Feature) - Mid distance views looking west. No clear views of the site due to Bridges across Runcorn Gap and built form of West Bank. Mersey Estuary Area of Special Landscape Value (footpath along north bank of the estuary at Hale Head) – Long distance views looking east along Mersey Estuary towards Runcorn Gap. Views of north bank of the river and towards the site obscured by landform and vegetation. Clear long distance views towards Weston Point.

High

No change

No direct impact upon views towards the site due to bridges across Runcorn Gap and built form of West Bank residential area.

N/A

No change

High

Slight

Partial views of east part of the site from certain points along the estuary. No clear views of west part of the site due to Hutchinson’s Hill and vegetation.

The sensitive site layout has looked to minimise the visual impact of the proposed built form on the surrounding landscape.

Moderat e adverse

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10.0

ARCHAEOLOGY AND CULTURAL HERITAGE INTRODUCTION

10.1

This section details the Archaeological and Cultural Heritage importance of the development site and assesses the potential impacts and effects of the proposed development. This section comprises an archaeological desk-based assessment of land at Widnes, which was produced in accordance with National and Local Policy following National Museums Liverpool Field Archaeology Unit’s standard procedures for projects of this nature. LEGISLATION, PLANNING POLICY AND ARCHAEOLOGY

10.2

Archaeological sites may be protected by the following legislation and planning policies. Policies relating specifically to church archaeology are considered at the end of this section.

10.3

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act (1979) as amended by the National Heritage Act (1983) provides statutory protection for sites of national importance as scheduled by Secretary of State upon advice from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as advised by English Heritage. This Act, building on legislation dating back to 1882, provides for nationally important archaeological sites to be statutorily protected as Scheduled Ancient Monuments. There are currently around 19,000 entries in the Schedule, covering 35,000 sites ranging from prehistoric standing stones and burial mounds to Roman forts and medieval villages, and include some more recent structures such as collieries and wartime pill-boxes. The scheduling of a monument means that permission - 'Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent' - is required for works to that monument. English Heritage will presume a 10 m fringe around the boundaries of a scheduled site to also require consent.

10.4

The National Heritage Act (1983) established the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England (English Heritage). English Heritage is an Executive Nondepartmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It acts as the government's advisor on the historic environment, working with the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Departments for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and for Trade and Industry.

10.5

The work of English Heritage is overseen by a board of up to 16 Commissioners selected by the Government for the breadth of their national and regional expertise. Expert advisory committees and panels in turn, advise the Commission.

10.6

English Heritage works in partnership with the central government departments, local authorities, voluntary bodies and the private sector to: § § §

10.7

Conserve and enhance the historic environment Broaden public access to the heritage Increase people's understanding of the past

The National Heritage Act (2002) extended English Heritage’s responsibility for marine archaeology including ancient monuments in, on or under the seabed within a 12-mile boundary around England.

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10.8

However, the vast majority of archaeological sites have no formal statutory protection and are dealt with through Planning Process.

10.9

Listed Buildings. The Town and Country Planning Act (1971) as amended by the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act (1990) empowers the Secretary of State for the Environment to maintain a list of built structures of historic or architectural significance.

10.10 Conservation Areas The ‘Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 requires local authorities to designate areas of ‘special architectural or historic interest’ as Conservation Areas with the aim of preserving and enhancing their character and appearance. English Heritage may need to be consulted with regard to proposed works within a Conservation Area and section 72(1) requires Local Authorities to pay particular attention to Conservation Areas in the planning process. 10.11 Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. English Heritage has responsibility for maintaining the Register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest in England under section 8C of the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 (Inserted by section 33 of, and paragraph 10 of section 4, to the National Heritage Act 1983). This ensures that they are managed in a manner that considers their historic character and value. 10.12 Listed building and conservation area legislation requires that statutory consultation takes place with a number of national amenity organisations, such as the Victorian Society, the Georgian Group, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), the Ancient Monuments Society, the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and English Heritage. 10.13 World Heritage Sites. The UNESCO World Heritage List aims to: § § § § § § § §

Encourage countries to sign the World Heritage Convention and to ensure the protection of their natural and cultural heritage; Encourage States Parties to the Convention to nominate sites within their national territory for inclusion on the World Heritage List; Encourage States Parties to establish management plans and set up reporting systems on the state of conservation of their World Heritage sites; Help States Parties safeguard World Heritage properties by providing technical assistance and professional training; Provide emergency assistance for World Heritage sites in immediate danger; Support States Parties' public awareness-building activities for World Heritage conservation; Encourage participation of the local population in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage; Encourage international cooperation in the conservation of our world's cultural and natural heritage.

10.14 National policies on the place of the historic environment in the planning process have recently been revised (23 March 2010). The earlier guidance (PPG15 and PPG16) was replaced by Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 5 on 23rd March 2010 and integrates the approach to buried archaeological sites, historic buildings, parks, landscapes and submerged sites into a holistic whole, applying the term ‘Heritage

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Asset’ to the diverse components which comprise the Historic Environment. PPS5 is accompanied by a guidance document from English Heritage which sets out how the PPS is to be implemented and interpreted. 10.15 Heritage Assets are defined as ‘Those parts of the environment that have significance because of their historical, archaeological, architectural or artistic interest.’ In addition to archaeological sites these can include buildings, parks and gardens, landscapes and other features. PPS5 also states that ‘Planning has a central role to play in conserving our heritage assets and utilising the historic environment in creating sustainable places’ and sets out the aim that heritage assets should be conserved and enjoyed. To achieve this the planning system should deliver sustainable development by recognising that heritage assets are a nonrenewable resource, take account of the wider benefits of conservation and recognise that ‘intelligently managed change’ may be necessary in some instances. Other objectives are to conserve heritage assets in ‘a manner appropriate to their significance’ and to contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the past by ensuring that opportunities are taken to ‘capture evidence……..and make this publically available’. The management of Heritage Assets in the planning system is covered by policies HE6 to HE12. HE6 specifies the information requirements for applications affecting heritage assets which should include at a minimum consultation of the appropriate HER. A desk-study, and in some cases, a field evaluation may also be required. 10.16 Policy HE7 defines the principals guiding determination of consent relating to heritage assets, specifying the means of assessing significance, the sources to be consulted and the principals of field evaluation. HE7 also specifies early consultation with the Planning Authority and any other relevant bodies. 10.17 Policies HE8, HE9 and HE10 set out the principals guiding the consideration of applications for consent relating to non-designated and designated heritage assets whilst policy EH11 governs enabling developments. 10.18 Policy HE12 provides the principals relating to the recording of heritage assets and in particular specifies that whilst investigations such as excavation may reveal new knowledge ‘…a documentary record of our past is not as valuable as retaining the heritage asset’. The policy further specifies that evidence gained through investigations should be made publically available. Local planning authorities should impose planning conditions or obligations to ensure that such work is undertaken to appropriate standards. 10.19 Halton Borough Council Unitary Development Plan. The Unitary Development Plan (UDP) is a statutory document that sets out council policies used to guide development, conservation, regeneration and environmental improvement activity. The council is required by the government to keep the UDP up-to-date, to reflect changes to national and regional guidance, local conditions and the councils own priorities. The Unitary Development Plan (UDP) is the current development plan for Halton Borough pending the adoption of the Local Development Framework (LDF). In March 2008 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government directed that all but six policies in the UDP would be saved until superseded by the LDF. These policies will remain in force until the adoption of Local Development Documents (LDDs) for Halton such as the emerging Core Strategy. Decisions on planning applications must be made in line with the UDP, unless there are clear

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material considerations which indicate otherwise. The most relevant sections of the current UDP for Halton are paragraphs 20-40 of Chapter 2 ‘The Built Environment’ which cover archaeology, Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings. 10.20 The Archaeological Research Framework for North West England (Brennand, 2006) is a key document, setting out the current state of knowledge and describing the nature of the archaeological resource for an area extending from Cheshire in the south to Cumbria in the north. It identifies gaps in current understanding and identifies research priorities for the region. 10.21 The Archaeological Research Agenda and Strategy for North West England (Brennand 2007) identifies the gaps within current knowledge, assesses the potential for addressing these and defines consequent research initiatives. It also sets out priorities and proposals for delivery of future research, work programmes and changes in working practice to promote research objectives. ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY 10.22 The assessment comprised a desk study, site walkover, discussions with the relevant bodies and consulted the following sources: § § § § §

Cheshire Historic Environment Record. Lancashire Record Office. Cheshire Record Office. Widnes Local Studies Library. The internet / world wide web.

10.23 Sources used included: § § § § § §

Printed and manuscript maps, including estate maps, Tithe maps and Ordnance Survey maps. Place and fieldname evidence. Aerial photographs. Published and unpublished documentary sources. Engineering/borehole data as available from the client.. Geological/soil surveys.

BASELINE CONDITIONS Site Location and Description 10.24 The site is located at NGR 495 845 (centred) to the west of the modern town of Widnes (Figure 1). Although the site is currently situated within the County of Cheshire; prior to local government changes in 1974 it was situated in Lancashire. Much of the site is vacant but the western area of the site is characterised by two distinct areas: a large reclamation mound; and existing storage and distribution units. The westernmost area of the site is currently occupied by a mix of storage and distribution uses. South of this area lies a landscaped reclamation mound formed from galligu and shaped to create steep sides. The site is broadly triangular in plan; the Ditton Brook forms its south-western boundary, the main Liverpool to Manchester railway the northern boundary whilst the south eastern limit is defined by the Steward Brook.

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10.25 A rectangular area to the east abuts the first area and is defined on its northern boundary by rail sidings. The eastern area of the site consists of three parcels of land divided by the Mathieson and Ronan Roads. The area, which has now been cleared, consisted primarily of storage and distribution units. The application site is separated from the Mersey Estuary by adjoining properties on its southern border. Solid and Drift Geology and Soils 10.26 The drift geology consists of Quaternary alluvium (BGS Sheet 97) with rockhead contours of between –20 to –40 m below Ordnance Datum. Further information on the soils and geology of the site are presented in Chapter 13: Land Contamination. 10.27 The soils are depicted as ‘unsurveyed’ on the Soil Survey map of the area (Hall & Folland, 1970) but by analogy with adjacent areas are likely to have been waterlogged gleys or podzols of the Astley Hall or Sollom Associations. Historical and Archaeological Background 10.28 The site lies on the western fringe of modern Widnes, straddling the boundary between the townships of Widnes to the east and Ditton to the west. The study area lay within Lancashire until the reorganisation of local government in 1974 so regional comparisons are made with that county, rather than Cheshire. 10.29 No recent archaeological fieldwork has taken place either in the study area or within the immediate vicinity, though this may at least in part reflect the past neglect of archaeologists in investigating the archaeology of the Lancashire lowlands. Two archaeological desk-based assessments have occurred within the search area (Adams 2004 & Gifford 1997) and a series of other desk studies outside the proposed area for development (Gifford 2003, Oxford Archaeology North 2005 & Earthworks Archaeological Services 2007). A geophysical survey at Ditton was undertaken by Stratascan in 2006 but also lies outside the study area (Stratascan 2006). Consequently the only available evidence for settlement within the study area is documentary and cartographic, supplemented by the site visit (See below). Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Periods (up to 4000 cal BC) 10.30 The north of England remained glaciated until the end of the Ice Age, consequently there is little evidence for occupation prior to the Mesolithic period. The remains of an elk, with an associated bone barbed point, were found at Poulton-le-Fylde and provided a radiocarbon date of 10400 ± 300 BC, though the dates may have been taken from contaminated samples and could require revision (Middleton et al 1995, 87). The remaining evidence consists of two sites from the north of the (pre-1974) county. 10.31 Evidence for Mesolithic activity is largely confined to scatters of flint tools gathered from fieldwalking on the Pennine uplands in the west of the county. However, systematic fieldwork conducted since the 1980’s has begun to expand the available evidence from the lowlands. Fieldwalking has demonstrated the presence of small scatters of flintwork, often as few as two or three pieces, primarily concentrated around the coastal zone. This evidence is supplemented by that from studies of the palaeo-ecology of the region. This has shown that the woodland which covered the

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region was being extensively affected by fire and this may represent human management of the woodland. There is a limited quantity of excavated evidence, especially from the lowland sites (Cowell 1996). 10.32 Given the fragile nature of deposits dating to this period and the extensive 19th and 20th century disturbance across the site there is little or no potential for deposits off this date within the study area. Neolithic (4000-2500 cal BC) 10.33 The Neolithic is generally associated with the construction of large scale funerary monuments and ‘ceremonial’ earthworks though relatively few are known from Lancashire and those tend to be confined to the upland areas. 10.34 Most of the evidence derives from fieldwalking, particularly that conducted as part of the North-West Wetlands Survey (Middleton et al 1995), and palynological evidence. It seems that, in the north of England at least, the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic was stimulated largely by a gradual rise in population which resulted the establishment of year round settlements, especially in coastal areas. No sites dating to this period are located close to the study area (Middleton et al 1995) though by analogy with adjacent areas would consist of surface material distinguished by the presence of small blades removed from cores of good flint. 10.35 In addition to flintwork polished stone axes have been found at a wide range of locations across the county, though there is a ‘notable lack’ of this type of material from the study area (Middleton et al 1995,110). Most seem to originate from Great Langdale, Cumbria and the majority have been found in or close to rivers or mires and it has been suggested that this represents intentional ritual deposition rather than casual loss. 10.36 Pollen evidence suggests that there was a gradual transition from Mesolithic practices, which may have involved careful management of woodland in order to manipulate wild resources, to a Neolithic economy involving limited arable agriculture. However, meat probably remained the main basis of the diet. In fact the pollen evidence suggests that cereal production declined later in the Neolithic and it is assumed that the economy largely depended upon herding. 10.37 Little excavated evidence exists for the nature of settlement and that which exists tends to be confined to isolated post-holes and pits located by chance on excavations of later sites. Evidence from fieldwalking suggests that settlements were concentrated along river valleys and on the coasts in the Early and Late Neolithic, there is little or no evidence for occupation of the uplands. There seems to have been a general preference for light, well drained soils. It is likely that many of the river valley sites are buried by a substantial thickness of clays and silts. 10.38 No sites are recorded within Widnes, the closest evidence to the present site are scatters of flint tools at Hale 3 km to the west, though it is conceivable that the area may have been a focus for activity, possibly as a crossing point for the Mersey (Cowell, pers. comm.). However, given the 19th and 20th century disturbance across the site there is little or no potential for deposits off this date within the study area.

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The Bronze & Iron Age (2500 cal BC-43 AD) 10.39 Slightly better evidence is available for the Bronze Age. Relatively large numbers of stone and bronze implements are known and occur as casual finds, with a marked concentration of axe-hammers in the north of the county and Cumbria. Though little is known about their relationship to settlement or date, most stone objects seem to occur in ‘dryland’ locations and are probably Early Bronze Age. In contrast most of the early metalwork has been found in wetland areas and this seems to be a continuation of the tradition of ritual disposal in wet areas observed in the Neolithic (see above). Most of the metal finds occur singly, though a few hoards are known. 10.40 Funerary monuments are relatively more common than in the Neolithic and round barrows and cairns have been excavated at several locations in the county. The best preserved occur in upland locations, though ‘ploughed-out’ examples have been excavated at lowland sites, for example at Peel c. 20 km to the west of the study area (Middleton et al 1995, 91-98). Flat burial sites containing cremations are also known and occasional use seems to have been made of caves. 10.41 Very little is known about the settlement and agriculture of this period, though pollen evidence suggests a decline in cereal production and an increased emphasis on stock rearing and hunting. Most of the evidence for settlement is based upon flint tools gathered during fieldwalking. These consist of small discrete scatters suggestive of a relatively mobile society following a seasonal migration pattern. The only excavated evidence for Middle Bronze Age settlement is from Kirkby, Merseyside (Adams in prep) where two radiocarbon dates of 3360 +/- 110 BP (19101410 cal BC) and 3490 +/- 60 BP (1945-1655 cal BC) were obtained from the fill of a heavily truncated gully. The site was difficult to interpret but could have been a temporary camp. Otherwise the only evidence from the lowland North-West is from Irby, Wirral where radiocarbon dates suggest that settlement began in the Middle Bronze Age (Philpott and Adams 2010). There is even less evidence for Late Bronze Age activity and it has been suggested that the lowland areas were largely abandoned during this period. 10.42 This paucity of evidence continues into the Iron Age; Lancashire has the fewest known Iron Age sites of all the English counties. However, on a regional scale it is becoming clear that the lowland north-west was more densely populated than had previously been realised (e.g. Matthews 2000). A few Iron Age settlement sites have been excavated in the region, e.g. Irby, Wirral (Philpott & Adams 2010), Brook House Farm, Halewood (Cowell & Philpott 2000) and possibly Lathom (Cowell & Adams 2000) though these have largely been found by chance as a result of work on later settlements. In addition palynological evidence suggests that episodes of forest clearance occurred in many parts of Lancashire and there is evidence to suggest that the heavier clay soils became more attractive for agriculture as a result of technological developments. It is likely that the current paucity of Iron Age sites is largely the result of the relative ‘archaeological invisibility’ of the sites. Few Lancashire soils are conducive to the formation of cropmarks and even on excavated sites few artefacts likely to occur as finds in fieldwalking are found. These problems are compounded by the fact that most of the likely locations are under pasture and so not available for fieldwalking and by the relatively high density of modern urbanisation across much of Lancashire. It is also possible that many lowland sites were unenclosed and therefore totally undetectable by aerial survey. Hillforts are generally small and confined to the Pennine fringes and the limestone

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hills in the north of the county. The limited available evidence suggests that most were abandoned in the later 1st millennium BC. 10.43 Isolated finds of metalwork are known, generally from bogs and rivers and these were probably part of the wider Iron Age tradition of ritual disposal of items into wetland. This tradition may also be associated with at least some of the ‘Bog Bodies’ which have been recovered from several sites across the region. These include a number of apparently severed heads. 10.44 No sites of this date are recorded within Widnes, and whilst it is conceivable that items of metalwork would have been discarded in the wetlands which occupied the site prior to the mid-19th century it is highly unlikely that these could be located in advance of construction. Romano-British Period (from 43 AD to 410 AD) 10.45 The Roman occupation of North West England began in the AD 70’s following the gradual subjection of the Brigantian tribes which occupied the area. Until relatively recently most excavation and research focussed upon the readily visible military and urban centres. No villas are known from west of the Pennines north of Cheshire and the rural settlements suffer from the same problems of visibility as those of earlier periods. 10.46 Most evidence for settlement is based upon the vici established close to or around forts, e.g. Lancaster, Ribchester and Manchester. The exact status of the apparently civilian centres at Wilderspool and Walton-le-Dale remains uncertain. Both were clearly involved with the manufacture and supply of goods to the military, though to the extent to which ‘private enterprise’ was involved is unclear. 10.47 Recent work has begun to demonstrate that this picture is at best incomplete and most likely misleading. Aerial photography in the south of the region (e.g. Philpott 1994; Cowell & Philpott 2000) has begun to locate numerous enclosed farmsteads, though few have been evaluated or excavated. Similar surveys have also been conducted in the Lune Valley. However, the only extensively excavated settlements from the region, Lathom (Cowell & Adams 2000) and Court Farm, Halewood (Adams & Philpott in prep) appear to have been unenclosed and would therefore be undetectable by aerial photography. Pottery from Wilderspool was being used at Court Farm and possibly Lathom and it seems possible that Wilderspool had some role as a redistribution centre to these settlements (Adams in prep). 10.48 These, and other excavations at Ochre Brook and Brunt Boggart, (Cowell & Philpott 2000) have demonstrated that the areas fringing the Mersey were in fact much more densely settled than had previously suspected. The site at Ochre Brook appears to have operated briefly as a tile works for the XX legion then based at Chester. Prior to these excavations the only direct evidence for occupation close to Widnes was from excavations at Halton, south of the Mersey (Newstead & Droop, 1937). Intensive Roman occupation is known to have been present at Wilderspool, Warrington 11 km to the east where a series of excavations since the 19th century (e.g. Hinchcliffe & Williams 1992) have produced evidence for a large settlement associated with industrial activity. The closest undisturbed possible Romano-British settlement site is in Ditton, c. 5 km to the west (R. Philpott pers. comm.).

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10.49 However, potential prehistoric and Roman activity in the wider area was identified in 1881 when an artesian well was sunk 2km west of Widnes. This revealed a medieval jug along with two Roman coins, a Samian sherd, bones, stags horns and worked bog oak of potential prehistoric date (Site 2). Also located within the River Mersey a 1st century AD Roman coin was discovered (Site 27) and east of this a metal object also of 1st century date (Site 28). There may have also been an early crossing point of the Mersey located at the Runcorn Gap. This crossing is well documented in the medieval period and may have a much earlier origin (see below). 10.50 This evidence suggests that settlement in the area was dominated by isolated small farmsteads, probably occupied by individual kinship groups. This pattern of settlement appears to have continued into the Medieval and early Post-Medieval Period (See below). Pre-Conquest Period (410-1066AD) 10.51 The Pre-conquest period is probably the least well represented period in Lancashire’s archaeology and studies remain almost entirely dependent upon the limited documentary and place-name evidence. 10.52 The broad political picture supplied by documentary sources is one of a series of small British kingdoms developing during the fifth and sixth centuries. Through the seventh century these were subsumed into the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria which eventually established the Mersey as its southern boundary. The decline of Northumbria from the ninth century created a power vacuum, filled by Mercia and then Wessex as the latter established itself as the predominant English power. However, political instability was probably compounded by the claims of the Scots kingdom of Strathclyde, which laid claim to much of North-West England, and by Norse settlers from Ireland and the Isle of Man who occupied most of the coastal fringe of the region in the ninth and tenth centuries. 10.53 Place-name studies tend to support this evidence, names with Scandinavian origin dominate the coastal region, whilst British and Anglo-Saxon place-names tend to occur in land, especially along river valleys. Exactly how these relate to settlement patterns has not been established. For example it is not clear if the survival of British place-names relates to a remaining core of British population or if Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian usage merely reflects political control. 10.54 Very few archaeological sites are known and those are mostly ecclesiastical such as carved stone crosses and church buildings. These tend to be concentrated in the Lune Valley, though Heysham, Halton and Lancaster all have good examples. Other concentrations occur at Whalley and along the Mersey. The only extensive modern excavation was of the church site at Heysham, the remaining material has been derived from chance finds of burials or hoards of metalwork and coins. The closest excavated settlement site is at Irby on the Wirral (Philpott & Adams 2010) and possibly at Wallasey, also on the Wirral (NMLFAU fieldwork in progress). 10.55 There is no documentary evidence for settlement at Widnes, though the placenames of the hamlets composing the original parish suggests that the area was settled. Runcorn was the site of a fortress or burh built in 915 AD by Æthelflæd, daughter of King Alfred the Great. This was intended to control the crossing of the Mersey, which formed the northern boundary of Mercia, against the Danes (Stenton F. 1971,

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326). Unfortunately the site was destroyed in the 19th century though some descriptions survive (Bu’lock 1972, 61), though its existence implies the use of Widnes as a crossing point and therefore of settlements on both sides of the Mersey. 10.56 The name Widnes is probably of Old English origin meaning the Wide Promontory (Wid + Ness) (Mills 1976) taking its name from the headland which still projects into the Mersey to the east of the study area. 10.57 Domesday Book supplies a little additional information though this is scant by comparison with the rest of the country. Medieval Period (1066-1485AD) 10.58 The political instability of the region during the Pre-conquest period is reflected in the fact that the county of Lancashire is a medieval foundation. At the time of the Domesday Book the area covered by modern Lancashire was still organised along Pre-conquest lines; the northern part of Lancashire was regarded as part of Yorkshire, whilst the area between the Mersey and Ribble was listed under Cheshire and this division was retained until the 12th century. The area had few towns and no cities and appears to have been almost entirely rural. 10.59 The rural settlement of the early part of this period is as poorly represented in the archaeological record as earlier periods, again largely as a result of the apparent paucity of ceramic material which normally allows such sites to be located. It seems likely that settlement patterns followed that of earlier periods and consisted largely of dispersed single farmsteads, the evidence of the Tithe Map (see below) suggests that Widnes followed this pattern. 10.60 Moated sites occur throughout Lancashire and are generally believed to be associated with higher status settlements such as manors and granges and several are known in the borough of Halton, the closest to the study area is at Lovell’s Hall c. 2 Km to the west of the study area. Population growth in the 12th and 13th centuries led to much new land being taken into cultivation from woodland. These assarts frequently resulted in small irregularly shaped fields situated close to the new farmstead. 10.61 Population decline in the 14th century, largely the result of plague, resulted in the abandonment of many settlements, especially on marginal land. However it is possible that many abandoned villages may simply be the result of shifting settlement patterns. 10.62 The town of Widnes has only existed since the mid-19th century, becoming a borough in 1892, though the name dates to at least the 14th century (Farrer & Brownbill 1907, 386). Widnes (spelt Wydenesse, Wedenes or Wydnes) appears to have referred to the district, Appleton being the name of the township and the hamlet at its centre, though the township was actually composed of five other hamlets. Farnworth lay to the north and was the site of the chapel, Upton was situated to the north-west and Denton to the north-east. Simm’s Cross and Lugdale lay to the east. 10.63 The district of Widnes formed the northern portion of the fee of Halton which was known as the barony or lordship of Widnes. Farrer and Brownbill (1907) provide a detailed account of the various holdings in Widnes which are well documented from

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the 13th century onwards. In 1242 the earl of Lincoln held half a fee in demesne in Appleton and Cronton when Appleton was valued at £3 7s 11d. This passed to the earls of Lancaster in 1311 who held it into the 20th century. Most of the documentary evidence for this period is concerned with rents, fines and other charges due to the estate, Baines (1891) also reviews this evidence. Mention is made of a water mill and a windmill in the 14th century though these are impossible to locate (Farrer and Brownbill (1907)). However Baines (1891, 252) documents a Tudor (1557-8) reference to ‘Appleton Mill’ in a court case between Sir Bryan Brereton and others with Roger Charnock and Richard Daveyson. This produced earlier documentary evidence regarding levys on goods and chattles ‘ in the Warthe and Plocks, adjoining the waters of Marseye, called also Wydnes More; and particularly of a place called Appleton Mill. This suggests that the mill was located close to the Mersey, possibly near the present site. 10.64 Free Passage across the Mersey to Runcorn was permitted very early. The passage was granted to the Hospitallers by John, Constable of Chester early in the 12th century. In 1190 the prior, Garner de Nablous granted it to Richard de la More who was to maintain a boat for the purpose. In 1311 Richard, son of Henry del Shaw held of the earl of Lincoln two acres in Appleton for maintaining the passage. A boat and two men were to freely convey all wishing to cross. A report on the state of the river bank was made by Edward Eyes in 1828 Trans. Hist. Soc. Xxii, 217. At this time the ferry was owned by Lord Colmondeley as a lessee from the crown. The north bank was described as marshland divided into 69 cowgates. 10.65 The documentary sources present a picture of a rural area occupied by a scatter of small farms and hamlets. The site of the manor appears to be unknown, though from patents dated to the 17th century it appears to assigned as part of the dowers of the queens. It was leased to Richard, Earl rivers in 1699 and in 1728 to George, earl of Cholmondeley. The population appears to have been widely dispersed with few large concentrated areas of settlement. Even in the early 19th century most of the rural population lived in scattered cottages and farms. This dispersed pattern of settlement would probably be difficult to detect even on land which had remained relatively undisturbed to the present day. Therefore it is unlikely that any traces of occupation dating to this period survive on the site. Post-Medieval Period (1485-Present) 10.66 The late medieval settlement pattern continued largely unchanged in Lancashire until well into the 18th century. However the industrial revolution had a major impact upon the county. One of the most obvious changes was the rise of the industrial cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Preston. 10.67 The area around Widnes appears to have been prosperous and well populated following the population expansion of the 15th and 16th century. Documentary sources describe a landscape of enclosed meadows and pasture, interspersed with areas of unenclosed moss and heath. This prosperity is reflected in the substantial 17th century farmhouses constructed in the area, some of which still survive on the fringes of Widnes. The dispersed pattern of settlement described above characterised the area until well into the middle of the 19th century when the first detailed maps of the area were produced.

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10.68 The area was not greatly affected by Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and it was not until the construction of the railway link between St. Helens and the Mersey that the chemical industry became established and Widnes began to expand rapidly. 10.69 The Sankey Canal linked the St. Helens coalfields to the Mersey and allowed the development of a chemical industry at St. Helens based partly upon the import of salt from Cheshire. The canal was very successful and this success was reflected in the dividends paid to shareholders in the canal which were of the order of 33% per annum in the early 19th century (Barker & Harris 1993 p.185). However, when the Liverpool-Manchester Railway was constructed two miles to the south of St. Helens between 1826 and 1830, the potential of a similar line linking St. Helens to the Mersey was soon realised by the mine owners. Construction of a railway link between St. Helens and the Mersey met with understandable opposition from the shareholders in the canal, who by that time had little direct interest in the coal industry. The first record of the coal proprietors interest in constructing a railway dates to 1829, Royal assent was gained for the Act of Parliament in 1830 and the railway carried its first commercial load in 1833. The Widnes Dock at Spike Island was the first rail, canal and dock complex. Although the railway was very successful at transporting coal and helped to further stimulate coal mining in the St. Helens area, it was not in itself a commercial success. In 1844 the railway company merged with the canal company in a bid to ease the problems experienced by both companies. 10.70 The town of Widnes began to develop in the 1830s as a result of these improved communications, although it did not truly develop as a town until the 1860s (Shaw and Clark 2003). The manufacture of alkali at Widnes rapidly out competed that at St. Helens because of the lower transport costs at Widnes (Barker & Harris 1993, 342-4) and opposition to the pollution the industry caused at St. Helens (Brooks & Wilson 1986, 7). Although the town grew largely as a response to the expansion of the chemical industry Baines (1891, 252) also lists bone manure works, iron foundries, sail cloth making, oil, paint and railway grease works. 10.71 As late as 1841 the population of Widnes was only 2,209 and it was still a rural township, with 80% of land under cultivation and only 3.6% occupied by buildings (Shaw and Clark 2003). The first chemical factory was built by John Hutchinson in 1849 but even by 1858 Widnes was not of sufficient importance to appear in Slater’s Directory of Lancashire. However, by the time of the 1867 edition it was described as ‘a very populous and important place with extensive chemical works, soap works, and an oil mill’ (ibid). 10.72 Descriptions of Widnes at the turn of the 19th century provide a dismal picture of a heavily polluted industrial landscape, permanently overhung by clouds of smoke from the chemical works and surrounded by an agricultural landscape of open fields devoid of trees (Farrer & Brownbill, 1907, 386). One writer, in a describing Warrington, was driven to comment ”...a town more dreary or dismal, more dirty, or damp, could not have been imagined, had not Widnes happily sprung into existence and revealed a still lower depth of ugliness.” (Langton, 1892). 10.73 The population of Widnes doubled every ten years between 1841 and 1871 when it reached 14331. Settlements were located in West Bank, Spike Island and Newton and attracted immigrant workers from Southern Lancashire, Ireland and Europe. In

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the late 19th century the new town began to acquire facilities such as a sewage system, water and gas supplies. Widnes adopted the Local Government Act of 1858 in 1865 and was created a borough in 1892 (Farrer and Brownbill 1907, 389). The Town Hall was constructed in 1887 and the library and technical college in 1895 and 1896. 10.74 The chemical industry still forms a significant aspect of the local economy, though the associated problems of pollution and other intrusions into the landscape have been resolved at least in part by the advent of modern legislation. 10.75 Ditton, to the immediate east of the study area, remains a relatively rural area, though the section fronting the Mersey was incorporated into the industrial development from Widnes in the early 20th century and the area has recently seen extensive redevelopment for housing. The placename is also of Old English origin meaning farm or settlement with a ditch (Dic + Tun) (Mills 1976). Documentary, Cartographic & Other Sources Early Map and Field-Name Evidence 10.76 Although Lancashire is depicted on many early maps (e.g. Saxton’s Map of Lancashire, printed in 1577) none are of a sufficient scale to provide useful detail of the study area. The earliest map to show any useful detail is William Yates’s Map of Lancashire (1786) (Fig. 2) which provides no evidence of any structures within the present site. Ditton Mills are shown on the banks of the Ditton Brook and a boathouse for the crossing to Runcorn is shown to the east. Otherwise the present site is shown as devoid of any buildings and Stewards Brook is omitted. Greenwood’s Map of Lancashire, dated 1818, shows the area largely unchanged since the Yates survey apart from the road from West Bank to Ditton Mill which runs across the study area (Fig. 3). Later mapping (see Tithe Map below) shows that this road was never actually constructed. Gilberts ‘Map of the Proposed Sankey Brook Navigation Extension’ dated 1819 (Fig. 4) is the first detailed map of the area and shows Widnes Marsh as undeveloped marsh land. George Hennet’s ‘Map of Lancashire’, published in 1830 (Fig. 5), shows the area after the construction of the St Helens Canal. Widnes & Ditton marsh are still shown without any buildings. The road to Ditton Mill shown on the Greenwood & Gilbert maps is also omitted. 10.77 The Tithe Map for Widnes (LRO DRB 1/86) which covers the area to Stewards Brook was produced in 1839 but is based upon a survey of 1808 (Fig. 6). The present site is shown as a series of large, irregularly shaped fields with curving boundaries. These probably result from gradual enclosure of the marshland. The accompanying apportionment provides details of ownership, tenancy and land use in addition to the acreage of each plot. Details of fieldnames are also given. The present site is listed as salt marsh and no fieldnames are given. The Ditton Tithe Map (LRO DRB 1/123), surveyed in 1844, covers the area to the north-west of the Stewards Brook (Fig. 6) and depicts a similar landscape of relatively large, subrectangular fields, also reclaimed from the salt marshes. This is the first map to show the Ditton and Steward Brooks meeting at Snipe Head, the earlier maps all appear to show the Steward flowing into the Mersey slightly to the east. A small area on the west bank of the mouth of the Ditton is actually within Halewood township (Fig. 6). The Halewood Tithe Map (LRO DRL 1/32) also produced in 1844, depicts an identical landscape of sub-rectangular fields fronted by marshland on the Mersey

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shoreline. The line of the proposed road to Widnes (as depicted on the Greenwood map) is shown as ‘obsolete’ suggesting it was never constructed. 10.78 The earliest OS coverage of the area is the First Edition 6 inch map published in 1849 (Fig. 7). This shows the area largely unchanged since the tithe maps apart from the construction of the Liverpool Manchester Railway to the north and the Ditton Brook Iron Works have been established on the west bank of the Ditton Brook. The line of the proposed road to Widnes is still shown and the eastern half of the marsh is named as Hurst’s Marsh. 10.79 Roper’s ‘Map of Widnes’ surveyed in 1875 (Fig. 8) covers the study area as far as the boundary with Ditton (i.e. the Steward Brook) and shows most of the study area as undeveloped marsh land, unchanged since the Tithe Award. However, industrialisation is beginning to encroach upon the northern and western fringes, most notably in the form of the Mathieson & Co. Chemical Works, Widnes Metal Works and the Marsh Alkali Works which are served by a system of rail sidings extending from the west. The L&NWR railway from Widnes to Liverpool is shown running alongside the northern boundary of the site whilst the West Dock now forms its eastern boundary and the Runcorn line runs just to the north of the dock. However, much of the marshland appears to remain undeveloped, though targets, presumably for the rifle range shown on later mapping, are depicted on the banks of the Mersey. 10.80 The First Edition 25 inch Survey published in 1893 and the second edition 6 inch survey published in 1896 (Fig. 9) show an increase in industrialisation since Roper’s survey of c. 20 years earlier, particularly on the eastern side of the site where the Mathieson Chemical Works, Satinite Works and Widnes Pottery are situated. Additional sidings have been constructed around the Mathieson Works and an addition branch to the West Bank Dock has been excavated south of the Hall & Shaw Chemical Works. Little change appears throughout the early 20th century, most development occurring on the fringes of the site as a result of changes in use of some of the smaller properties. This was presumably as a result of the site’s use as a dumping ground for chemical waste. The biggest change occurs between the production of the 1968 and 1982 editions (Figs. 10 and 11) when the West Bank Dock was filled in and the West Bank Dock Estate constructed on the sites of the former Mathieson works, Satinite works, Widnes Pottery and Hall & Shaw works. A timber yard and sidings have been constructed in the angle between the Ditton and Steward Brooks. Later maps to the present show the expansion of the timber yard (though the sidings have been removed) and additions and alterations to the West Bank Dock Estate. Existing HER Data 10.81 Information from the Cheshire Historic Environment Record is presented in Section 14 and the location of the sites is given on Fig. 1. Most of these lie outside the present site and relate to the industrial history of Widnes, primarily chemical works established from the mid-19th century onwards. Other sites include a timber yard (Site 14), metal works (Site 23) and the Ditton Brook Iron Works (Site 7). 10.82 The only sites located within the application area the Ditton Marsh Cement Works (Site 6), Widnes Pottery (Site 26), Satinite Works (Site 24), a cement works

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(4241/56/0) and ‘Craig’s Saw Mill (Site 25). All of these sites have been demolished and new buildings erected over them. 10.83 Other sites in the wider study area reflect the areas pre-industrial past and include Ditton Mill (Site 3), first shown on Yates’ map and demolished by the production of the 1st Edition 25 inch OS map in 1893 (though its site was marked by the ‘Windmill Inn’). 10.84 Although all of the available evidence suggests that from the end of the Roman occupation to the 19th century the present site was unoccupied marshland, there is a surprisingly large amount of evidence for Roman activity in the area. A Roman coin found ’27 feet deep in sand at Runcorn Bridge’ (Site 27) and a hoard of twenty lead pigs dated to AD 84-96 and AD 76 (Site 28) show that at the very least this section of the Mersey was in use for the transport of materials. Further evidence of Roman and medieval activity in the area is provided by finds made during the sinking or an artesian well at Ditton Station in 1881 (Site 2). The stratigraphy consisted of ‘5 feet of dark grey marsh silt…..(above) 13 feet of dark brown earth….(over) 16 feet of peaty earth, before a stratum of gravel lying on red sandstone was reached. At 12 feet a medieval jug (12th or 13th century) was found and at 14 feet two Roman second brass coins, one of Domitian, AD 96, the other of Nerva, AD 98. A fragment of Samian ware (2nd century AD pottery imported from Gaul) was found with them. In the peaty earth great quantities of bones and stag’s horns occurred with remains of trees. There was also a quantity of black oak timber which had been worked, and which, Mr. Webb informs me, had evidently been used as tanking, for keeping an ancient well open.’ Thompson Watkin (1880, 227). Thompson Watkin speculated that Webb had chanced upon a Roman well, though the description of the deposits closely resembles those excavated at Gate Warth Farm, Warrington (SJ 586 869) in the 1990’s. This excavation demonstrated the survival of sequences of flood plain deposits up to 11.00m deep which contained peat, timbers, animal bones and deer antlers (Shimwell, 1996). A radiocarbon date of 2660 +/- 60 BP (calibrated 910-780 BC to 2 sigma) from the base of the main sequence of peats indicates that they began to accumulate during the Late Bronze Age. A timber from the top of the section was dated to 1660 +/- 60 BP (290 AD), dates from another cutting suggested that pollen analysis would cover the Mesolithic/Neolithic transition (D. Shimwell, pers. comm. to J. Collens). Analysis of the animal bones suggested that it was “a casual assemblage, accumulated by the natural processes of riverine deposition.” If the deposits at Ditton are indeed a similar assemblage it is possible that they extend into the study area. 10.85 A crop mark plotted from an aerial photograph taken in 1945 may indicate a Romano-British farmstead c. 1km to the north of the present site, though unfortunately this has since been built over (Site 1). 10.86 No metal detector finds have been reported from the area as a result of the portable antiquities reporting scheme (Teressa Gilmore, pers. comm.) Borehole and Test-pit Evidence 10.87 The site has been the subject of a number of geotechnical investigations since the late 1980’s, summarised in Table 10.1. Table 10.1: Summary of Ground Investigations Since 1980s.

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Author

Nature of study

WS Atkins (1992)

Desk Study

DTS (1997)

Desk study, Borehole and test-pits

Ironside Farrer (2001)

Desk study

Norwest Holst (1984) Strata Surveys (1988)

Boreholes, test-pits and concrete probes Boreholes and test-pits

Strata Surveys (1992)

Boreholes and test-pits

Strata Surveys (1993)

Boreholes and test-pits

Strata Surveys (1995)

Boreholes and test-pits

Strata Surveys (1997a)

Boreholes and test-pits

Strata Surveys (1997b)

Desk Study

10.88 In general these reports were concerned with providing data on ground conditions, in particular contamination relating to the site’s history as a dumping ground for chemical waste. The test-pits provide little useful archaeological data, being of insufficient depth to penetrate the deposits of chemical waste which are up to 10m thick in places. The boreholes generally penetrate at least to Boulder Clay and consequently provide a much better indication of the likely presence or absence of archaeological deposits. 10.89 Nearly all of the boreholes found evidence of a thick layer of alluvium underlying the chemical waste across the site. The descriptions of this deposit vary slightly but in general are very consistent, i.e. a soft to firm odourous silty clay with rotting roots and occasionally peaty. This is 2-5 m thick and usually overlies Boulder Clay at 0 to –4.5 m AOD. Occasional more substantial lenses of peat are also present along with lenses of sand. Figs 12 and 13 are reproduced from the Norwest Holst (1984) and Strata Surveys (1993) reports and provide a useful summary of conditions across the site. 10.90 Boreholes taken for the present scheme have also encountered undisturbed peat horizons (N. Coyne, pers. comm.) though detailed locational data was not available at the time of writing. Site Visit 10.91 The site visit for the original desk-study (Adams 2004) was undertaken on the afternoon of Tuesday 29th June 2004. Information from the client and current aerial photographs suggest that there have been significant changes to the site since. 10.92 In 2004 the site was set within an industrial landscape of warehousing and light industrial units served by a road and rail network occupied by AHC Warehousing, the successor company to the Hutchinson Estate & Dock Company. There was little surface indication of the topography of the site prior to its industrialisation other than the courses of the Ditton and Stewards Brooks. Since 2004 a large Tesco distribution centre has been built on the adjacent land (former Tessenderlo Chemical Works) utilising the material from the reclamation mound, and also most of the buildings which occupied the site have been demolished. 158

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10.93 In general little survives above ground of the areas’ industrial past, with all of the standing structures on the site being modern (i.e. late 20th century). One of the most prominent features are the large mounds of chemical waste, largely alkali waste (galigal) derived from the Le Blanc process. One mound lies at the centre of the development, the other lies to the south of Stewards Brook. These have recently been landscaped to form large regular mounds. In archaeological terms the two most significant features are the courses of the Ditton and Stewards Brooks. Both are tidal where they cross the site and the site visit was undertaken at low tide. This exposed the muds and silts in the beds of each, though there is currently no safe access to either. Summary of the Archaeological Sites Identified Within the Proposed Development. 10.94 No Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Listed Buildings, or other designated sites have been identified within the Study Area. There West Bank Promenade Conservation Area lies on the eastern fringe of the study area and is separated from the proposed redevelopment by a major road (the A533 Queensway) and the two sites are not intervisible. 10.95 The following Listed Buildings lie within the wider study area Table 10.2: Listed Buildings in Surrounding Area Name Location Church of St Michael Nazareth House Lane, Runcorn, Halton WA8 8TB Former Transporter 147 Mersey Road, Bridge Power House Runcorn, Halton WA8 0EG Wayside Pulpit to VICTORIA Church of St.Mary PROMENADE Church of St Mary 84 St Mary's Road, Runcorn, Halton WA8 0EB Gossages Tower

Grade Grade: II*

Grade: II*

Grade II Grade: II*

Grade II

Runcorn Bridge Railway Queensway, Runcorn, Grade: II* Bridge over River Mersey Halton WA7 1HB

Runcorn Widnes Road Queensway, Runcorn, Grade: II Bridge Halton WA7 1HB

10.96 From the 18th century to the present, the development of the study area can be traced reasonably well from the cartographic sources. Further details for this and later periods could probably be extrapolated from more detailed research,

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particularly of primary documentary sources, but are unlikely to modify the outline given in this report. There is no documentation for earlier periods. 10.97 Most of the identifiable sites within the proposed development relate to its industrial development since the late 19th century. However, the majority of these have been destroyed by redevelopment of the area since 1950 and the area retains little evidence of its industrial heritage. From the mid-19th century much of the area was used for the dumping of chemical waste which still covers much of the area. 10.98 Prior to its industrialisation the area was occupied salt marsh crossed by the Ditton and Stewards Brooks and was subject to periodic flooding by the Mersey. Map evidence suggests that the area was not occupied during the medieval and later periods. However, there is some evidence for the presence of Roman and earlier deposits within the site. 10.99 This consists of two elements; firstly the Ditton Brook is very likely to be the route by which tile produced at the tile works at Ochre Brook (a tributary of the Ditton) was transported to Chester. The site, excavated in 1993 was situated between Tarbock and Speke Boulevard, on the eastern edge of Liverpool close to the M62 Tarbock interchange. The excavation found quantities of Roman roof tile, some of it distorted and wasted, alongside burnt clay and amongst the tiles were a few bearing legionary stamps for the Roman army’s 20th legion, based in Chester. There were two different stamps, both of which were found in Chester but not at Holt, the legionary tile factory on the river Dee. One of the Tarbock stamps is the only British tile stamp with a date, the 3rd consulship of Verus in Rome, equivalent to AD 167. This stamp also referred to one Aulus Viducus, who was probably a contractor making tiles for the legion, perhaps for a short period. These were shipped to Chester where they were used to re-roof barracks buildings for the 20th legion after they returned to the fortress from the Antonine wall. There is therefore the possibility that the silts of the Ditton Brook contain remains relating to Roman transport networks. 10.100 In addition borehole data strongly suggests that the Roman deposits found during the excavation of a well at Ditton Station (See above), situated at the north-west corner of the site, are present within the proposed development. There is the additional possibility that deposits relating to Prehistoric land use also lie deeply buried within the proposed development. 10.101 It has not been possible to establish the extent of survival of these deposits within the study area. However, the site’s past history as a dump for Widnes’s chemical industry suggests that any such deposits are likely to be deeply buried and/or contaminated with alkali waste, though these deposits are extremely vulnerable to damage during earth moving operations and other deep groundworks. 10.102 Despite recent fieldwork the late prehistoric and Romano-British settlement of the region remains poorly understood, in particular in relation to coastal change. The deposits of peat present within the site boundaries are likely to contain significant evidence for these periods. Consequently on the above criteria, the study area contains remains of at least local importance, though it is possible that the deposits of peat discussed above contain evidence of at least regional significance. Archaeological and Heritage Potential of the Study Area

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10.103 Under PPS5 Archaeological sites, historic buildings and heritage landscapes are collectively termed ‘heritage assets’. The following criteria have been used to assess the significance of assets within the site boundaries. Table 10.3: Assessment Criteria Significance Criteria International World Heritage Sites (including nominated sites). Assets of acknowledged international importance.

National

Assets that can contribute significantly to acknowledged international research objectives. Scheduled Monuments (including proposed sites). Undesignated assets of schedulable quality and importance. Assets that can contribute significantly to acknowledged national research objectives. Grade I and Grade II* Listed Buildings. Other listed buildings that can be shown to have exceptional qualities in their fabric or historical associations not adequately reflected in the listing grade.

Regional

Conservation Areas containing very important buildings. Designated or undesignated assets that contribute to regional research objectives. Grade II Listed Buildings. Historic (unlisted) buildings that can be shown to have exceptional qualities in their fabric or historical associations. Conservation Areas containing buildings that contribute significantly to its historic character.

Local

Historic Townscape or built-up areas with important historic integrity in their buildings, or built settings (e.g. including street furniture and other structures). Designated and undesignated assets of local importance. Assets compromised by poor preservation and/or poor survival of contextual associations. Assets of limited value, but with potential to contribute to local research objectives. ‘Locally Listed’ buildings. Historic (unlisted) buildings of modest quality in their fabric or historical association.

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Table 10.3: Assessment Criteria Significance Criteria Historic Townscape or built-up areas of limited historic integrity in their buildings, or built settings (e.g. including street furniture and other structures). Assets with very little or no surviving archaeological or heritage interest. The sensitivity of the asset has not been ascertained.

Negligable Unknown Stobart Park

10.104 The following cultural heritage assets lie within the site boundaries. Table 10.4: Cultural Assets Onsite Site Description: Period/Date Number 6

24

25

26

NA

Cement Works marked on the First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile Lancashire Maps. A stibnite Works (a product used to line furnaces) marked on the First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile Lancashire Maps. Craig’s Saw Mill. A Saw Mill marked on the First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile Lancashire Maps, and the OS maps until the fourth edition 6 inch. Widnes Pottery. Pottery Works marked on the First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch to I mile Lancashire Maps. Deposits of peat and other organic material associated with the Ditton and Steward Brooks

Significance

Remarks

PostNegligible Medieval (1540 AD to 1900 AD)

The site has been destroyed by later redevelopment.

PostNegligible Medieval (1540 AD to 1900 AD)

The site has been destroyed by later redevelopment.

PostNegligible Medieval (1540 AD to 1900 AD)

The site has been destroyed by later redevelopment.

PostNegligible Medieval (1540 AD to 1900 AD)

The site has been destroyed by later redevelopment.

Roman?

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10.105 In addition two Listed Buildings, Runcorn Road Bridge (Grade II) and Runcorn Rail Bridge (Grade II*), lie adjacent to the eastern site boundary and the West Bank Conservation Area together with five Grade II Listed Buildings on the eastern fringe of the study area. ASSESSMENT OF IMPACTS 10.106 The archaeological impact of redevelopment on a site can be identified as follows. Direct 10.107 This would involve an alteration to the physical condition of the site. The alteration might be either positive or negative. A positive effect might, for example, remove possible threats to its survival e.g. causes of erosion. A negative effect would involve damage or destruction to a site. These impacts can be refined by assessing the likely extent of the alteration to the site. Indirect 10.108 This would involve an alteration to the setting of a site. Indirect impacts can be positive or negative, i.e. they can improve or detract from the appearance, understanding or appreciation of a site. Indirect impacts may be either temporary (i.e. lasting during the groundworks or other works for a development) or permanent. Stobart Park 10.109 The following sites have been identified as lying within or close to the proposed development and the impacts are assessed as follows. Table 10.5: Impact Assessment Site Description: Period/Date Number

Direct Impact

Indirect Impact

6

Post-Medieval (1540 AD to 1900 AD)

None

None

Post-Medieval (1540 AD to 1900 AD)

None

None

Post-Medieval (1540 AD to 1900 AD)

None

None

24

25

Cement Works marked on the First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile Lancashire Maps. A satinite Works (a product used to line furnaces) marked on the First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile Lancashire Maps. Craig’s Saw Mill. A Saw Mill marked on the First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile Lancashire Maps,

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Table 10.5: Impact Assessment Site Description: Period/Date Number

26

NA

and the OS maps until the fourth edition 6 inch. Widnes Pottery. Pottery Works marked on the First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch to I mile Lancashire Maps. Deposits of peat and other organic material associated with the Ditton and Steward Brooks

NA

West Bank Conservation Area

NA

Victoria Square Conservation Area

Direct Impact

Indirect Impact

Post-Medieval (1540 AD to 1900 AD)

None

None

Roman?

Slight Negative

Post-Medieval (1540 AD to 1900 AD) Post-Medieval (1540 AD to 1900 AD)

None

Possible slight negative as a result of local changes to drainage and/or intrusive groundworks. None

None

None

10.110 The negative impacts upon Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings all relate to the visual setting of the heritage assets. However, in general these will be relatively minor and only impact from distant view points. For example, the proposed development will not largely be visible from within the West Bank Conservation Area. 10.111 The impacts upon the Runcorn Road and Railway Bridges are upon their visual settings and should perhaps be viewed within the context of their setting within an industrial landscape which has seen significant changes within the last century. When this is taken into account the impact of the proposed development is relatively minor. PROPOSED MITIGATION MEASURES Stobart Park 10.112 The only elements of the proposals requiring mitigation are deep ground works (over 1 m below present ground level) which may affect deposits of peat in the area within c. 50 m of the banks of the Ditton and Steward Brooks. These should be monitored as an archaeological watching brief conducted to a method statement agreed in advance with the Development Control Archaeologist for Halton Borough Council. Monitoring would be confined to works such as the exaction of trenches for services and excavation around pile caps. The operation of piling rigs would not require monitoring.

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Sources Adams M. 2004 An Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment of Land at the Proposed Widnes Strategic Rail Hub. Unpublished NMLFAU Report. Atkin M. A. 1985 ‘Some Settlement Patterns in Lancashire.’ In Hooke D. (Ed.) Medieval Villages. Oxford University Committee for Archaeology. Monograph No. 5. Oxford. Baines T. 1867 Lancashire and Cheshire Past and Present. William McKenzie. London Bedale & Peel R. Sir 1971 – 1975 Fieldwork on the Mersey Flats. (CHER report no. N/A) Brennand M. (Ed) 2006 Research and Archaeology in North-West England: An Archaeological Research Framework for North-West Region: Vol 1 Resource Assessment. Archaeology North-West, Vol 8, Issue 18. Brennand M. (Ed) 2007 Research and Archaeology in North-West England: An Archaeological Research Framework for North-West England: Vol 2 Research Agenda and Strategy. Archaeology North-West, Vol 9, Issue 19. Brooks W.M. & Wilson C.M.J. 1986 The Industrial Archaeology of St. Helens. Non-Glass Manufacturing. Un-Published Report by the Groundwork Trust for Merseyside Museums CL Associates 1998 Landfill Gas and Ground Investigation Cottam Hall Brickworks, Preston. Report No. 3058/1. Report for Turner & Sons Ltd. Cowell R. W. 1996 The Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic. In Newman R. (Ed.) The Archaeology of Lancashire. Present State and Future Priorities. Lancaster University Archaeological Unit. Cowell R. W. & Adams M. 2000 Romano-British and Late Prehistoric Excavations at Duttons Farm, Lathom, West Lancashire. Unpublished NMGM Report. Cowell R.W. & Philpott R.A. 2000 Prehistoric, Romano-British and Medieval Settlement in Lowland North West England: Archaeological Excavations along the A5300 Road Corridor in Mereyside. National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside. Liverpool. Earthworks Archaeological Services 2007 Proposed Site of the Strategic Rail Freight Terminal at Ditton, Widnes. (CHER report no. 2767) Ekwall E. 1960 Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names. Oxford Farrer W. & Brownbill J.A. 1907 The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster. Vol. 3, London. Gifford 1997 Halewood Closure Project (CHER report no. R2174) Gifford 2003 Building a Bridge to Prosperity (CHER report no. R2520) Graystone P. 1996 Walking Roman Roads in the Fylde and the Ribble Valley. CNWRS. Hall G.H. and Folland C.J. 1970 Soils of Lancashire. Soil Survey of Great Britain England and Wales. Bulletin No. 5. Harpenden.

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Kenyon D. 1991 The Origins of Lancashire. Manchester University Press. Margary I. D. 1957 Roman Roads in Britain. Vol. II North of the Foss Way-Bristol Channel (including Wales and Scotland). Phoenix House Ltd. Matthews K.J. 2000 The Iron Age of Northwest England: a socio-economic model. Draft paper for forthcoming conference proceedings. Middleton R. 1996 The Neolithic and Bronze Age. In Newman R. (Ed.) The Archaeology of Lancashire. Present State and Future Priorities. Lancaster University Archaeological Unit. Middleton R., Wells C.E., Huckerby E. 1995. The Wetlands of Lancashire, North West Wetlands Survey 3, Lancaster Imprints 4, Lancaster Mills D. Lancashire Placenames Stratascan 2006 Geophysical Survey Report; Ditton, Widnes, Cheshire. (CHER report no. R2617) Sub-Surface Ltd. 1993 Desk Study at Cottam Hall Brickworks, Preston for Cassidy & Aston Architects. Report No. 2350. Morgan P. (Ed.) 1978 Domesday Book, 26, Cheshire. Phillimore, Chichester. Nevell M. 1991 A Field Survey of High Legh Parish, Pt I: Prehistoric and Roman Evidence. Archaeology North West, 2, 16-19. Newman R. (Ed.) 1996 The Archaeology of Lancashire. Present State and Future Priorities. Lancaster University Archaeological Unit. Oxford Archaeology North 2005 Ditton Rail, Freight Park, Widnes, Cheshire; Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment. (CHER report no. 2638) Philpott R. A. 1994 New Light on Roman Settlement: Recent Aerial Photography in Cheshire. Cheshire Past 3, 6-7. Philpott R.A. and Adams M.H. 2010 Irby, Wirral Excavations on a Late Prehistoric, RomanoBritish and Medieval Site, 1987-96. National Museums Liverpool. Sawyer P.H. & Thacker A.T. 1987 ‘The Cheshire Domesday’ in: Harris B.E. A History of the County of Chester (Victoria History of the Counties of England) Vol. 1, University of London. Shaw M. and Clark J. 2003 Cheshire Historic Towns Survey. Widnes Archaeological Assessment. Cheshire County Council. Shimwell, D.W. 1996 A Note on the Animal Bones and Deer Antlers Retrieved From Excavations at Gate Warth Farm, Sankey Bridges, Warrington. Unpublished Report to Cheshire County Council. Shotter D. 1997 Romans and Britons in North-West England. University of Lancaster.

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11.0

FLOOD RISK AND DRAINAGE INTRODUCTION

11.1

A detailed Flood Risk Assessment (FRA, ref. No 80962/R1/1) has been undertaken in order to recognise and address existing flood risks arising from the site being located in the vicinity of a number of watercourses and the Mersey Estuary. Additionally it describes the proposed surface water drainage strategy.

11.2

The draft version of the FRA (ref. 80962/R1.0_DRAFT) was submitted to the Environment Agency (EA) at a pre-planning stage in early June 2011. The EA reviewed the document and provided their comments (correspondence with the EA is included in Appendix C of the FRA) seeking further clarification to some matters, which included: § § § §

11.3

Confirmation that the most recent flood level information was included in the report Confirmation that the proposed finished floor levels would be above the 1 in 200 year plus climate change tidal flood level to allow for sufficient freeboard Details regarding the proposed surface water discharge rates into local watercourses Clarification that the there would be safe means of access/egress to and from the site during the potential flooding event

The amended FRA reflecting the EA’s comments listed above, will form part of the Planning Application for this development. ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

11.4

Information relevant to tidal flooding within the development has been collated from an FRA previously undertaken by Environ (Ref. No 67-C13641) in support of a 2007 Planning Application for a similar type of development and from the review of a ‘Strategic Flood Risk Assessment’ (SFRA) document issued by Halton Borough Council in October 2007.

11.5

Consultation with the External Relations Team of the EA was undertaken to confirm the extent and severity of fluvial risks of flooding.

11.6

Predicted extreme tidal and fluvial flood levels have been compared with the existing ground levels at the development to allow an assessment of the flood risks to the site.

11.7

As the proposed development site is in excess of one hectare risks associated with surface water flooding were also addressed and an outline drainage strategy (ref. 80962/0200) has been prepared.

11.8

As part of the drainage strategy an investigation into existing United Utilities (UU) assets located within the proposed development area has been undertaken. The impact of the development on existing UU infrastructure has been assessed as part of the drainage strategy.

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11.9

Based on the existing hydrology conditions within the developable area an appropriate surface water strategy has been established. The proposed drainage strategy has been assessed in relation to the current design standards, existing planning documentation i.e. Planning Policy Statement PPS25: Development and Flood Risks, and the Pollution Prevention Guideline.

11.10 A foul water drainage strategy has been determined in accordance with site constraints and the approval of the Environment Agency will be sought for installation of onsite treatment plants in order to compensate for the lack of available foul infrastructure. The effluent would be treated to acceptable levels in line with the requirement listed under Royal Commission standards. 11.11 Prior to undertaking the FRA, a scoping statement was prepared and submitted to the Planning Team of the EA. The comments received formed the basis for preparation of the FRA. BASELINE CONDITIONS 11.12 The development is located on the northern bank of the Mersey Estuary and in the vicinity of its three tributaries, namely Ditton Brook, Steward’s Brook and Marsh Brook. In accordance with the Environment Agency’s flood map, part of the existing site is located within the floodplain of Ditton Brook. 11.13 The outline application proposed the development of approximately 34 hectares of land within Stobart Park / 3MG currently comprising of a combination of brownfield and greenfield areas. The site consists of three distinct areas referred to as the West Bank Dock site, occupying the eastern portion of the site; the Reclamation site, in the central portion of the site; and the Foundry Lane site, which occupies the western portion of the site. The Foundry Lane site consists of four large warehousing units including the existing Rehau development. South-east of the Foundry Lane site, there is an engineered reclamation mound containing galligu material. The western area, is a brownfield post-demolition site, which formerly consisted of a number of industrial premises. The area is now largely vacant with one operational warehousing unit and stockpiles of crushed concrete/rubble covering the site surface. 11.14 Existing site levels vary with the lowest areas of approximately 6.40m to 8.00m Above Ordnance Datum located to the west and the highest areas comprising of the galligu material with the top level of 26.83m AOD. Centrally located areas vary between 9.90 and 13.00m AOD. 11.15 There is a United Utilities surface water sewer crossing the site from the north towards the south-west, where it outflows into Ditton Brook via a 300mm diameter pipe. Record plans obtained from UU indicate that as the sewer runs downstream, the pipe diameter increases and decreases in size varying between 150mm and 600mm. It has been acknowledged that this sewer is not performing efficiently and may be a potential source of flood risk to upstream catchments. 11.16 The five development plots are not in the immediate vicinity of any public foul or combined sewers.

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Fluvial Flooding 11.17 Modelled fluvial flood levels obtained from the EA’s External Relations Team have been compared with the existing ground levels. From this it is concluded that while there is a potential risk that water levels in the watercourses can rise as a result of increased water accumulation in upstream catchments, this does not pose fluvial risks to the existing site area, as it is set higher than critical fluvial flood levels. Tidal Flooding 11.18 The available information suggest that the site is not at direct risk from tidal flooding although flooding of Ditton Brook can occur due to ‘tidal locking’ at the outfall to the Mersey Estuary (at high tide the levels are too high for the watercourse to discharge). The majority of the area, benefits from protection by the River Mersey tidal defences, which are believed to be set at 9.00m AOD Additionally there are existing flood defences protecting the area from Ditton Brook flooding. These defences are in the form of a raised sheet piled wall structure, with a crest level set at approximately 7.66m AOD (higher than the 1 in 200 year flood level). The top of the existing bank along Steward’s Brook is at approximately 13.50m AOD, which is significantly higher than critical flood levels, and therefore afford protection against tidal flooding. 11.19 Information from the EA indicates that prior to the construction of existing flood defences along Ditton Brook, the western part of the site suffered from tidal flooding from Ditton Brook in 1990, when a combination of high tide with strong winds caused a tide with amplitude of approximately 7.03m AOD Surface Water Flooding 11.20 Research has shown no evidence of past flooding from sewers on the existing site. However as outlined in paragraph 11.14 the existing UU surface water sewer crossing the site is understood to cause flooding problems upstream of the site. Groundwater Flooding 11.21 Research has shown no evidence of any past groundwater flooding event that affected the existing development area. IMPACT ASSESSMENT Fluvial Flooding 11.22 As indicated in paragraph 11.16, there is no direct risk of fluvial flooding to the existing site areas. Tidal Flooding 11.23 The western part of the site is at risk of tidal flooding from Ditton Brook (for indicative flood map refer to Appendix B of the FRA).

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11.24 A detailed assessment of tidal flood levels in the area can be found in the FRA prepared by Environ in 2007. This is currently the most up to date information concerning tidal flood levels in the area. The Environ Report is included in Appendix H of the FRA. 11.25 Having considered the presence of the existing flood defence structures, the risk of flooding from Ditton Brook is considered low. However in the unlikely event of a breach of the flood defences during the 1 in 200 year scenario the site could flood to an approximate level of 7.30m AOD. Should climate change occur in the future this level may increase to 7.54m AOD. 11.26 The flood risk vulnerability classification of the development is classed as ‘less vulnerable’ usage in accordance with PPS25 so the impact of flooding on this type of development is not considered high as the site staff can be trained in evacuation procedures upon receipt of a flood warning. Surface Water Flooding 11.27 It is understood that the existing hardstanding areas of the Rehau building drain the surface water run-off into local watercourses, possibly via the existing UU sewer however the existing discharge rates have not been confirmed. 11.28 There are no details of drainage arrangements on the post demolition site. 11.29 The currently greenfield parts of the site are understood to have no drainage infrastructure. MITIGATION 11.30 The measures proposed to mitigate the ongoing residual effects of the proposed development on flood risk and drainage are discussed in this section with respect to both the construction and operational phases of the development. Typically all potential effects identified within the construction phase will be controlled by the contractor appointed for the development site. Any flooding and drainage risks will be forwarded to prospective contractors tendering for the work to enable the appointed contractor to formulate a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP). 11.31 Residual effects should be effectively mitigated so that there is no flooding on the development site or within the wider area. Where a residual effect remains it will be discussed in the next chapter. 11.32 Within the CEMP the contractor is to check for flood warnings and the weather forecast and not work within the flood plain areas during a storm event. 11.33 Mitigation measures for any construction works concerning the existing and proposed surface water systems should include over pumping of any drains that are being altered and managing the timing of the works to avoid the completion of impermeable areas without drainage connections, as this could contribute to flooding.

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Tidal Flooding 11.34 In order to mitigate the effect of tidal flooding the finished floor levels for the buildings are to be located above the 10.85m AOD tidal flood level, which is 3.31m higher than the critical tidal flood level of 7.54m AOD. External yard levels would also be set higher than the tidal levels with the minimum yard level at approximately 8.00m AOD. 11.35 This approach effectively removes the proposed development from the tidal Flood Zone 3 and will significantly reduce the risk of tidal flooding. Surface Water Flooding 11.36 Based on the existing hydrological conditions within the developable area an appropriate surface water strategy has been established. This assumes an unrestricted discharge into nearby tributaries via a below ground drainage network designed in accordance with current standards. 11.37 The new onsite surface water drainage system will have adequate capacity to convey water flows resulting from a critical 1 in 100 year plus climate change rainfall scenario. The highway drainage would be designed to accommodate a 1 in 5 year storm. Such design criteria should prevent any potential onsite flooding resulting from surface water. Additionally all the outfalls are set to be above the mean high water spring level of 5.46m AOD, as determined by Environ in the previous FRA issued in 2007. This approach was agreed with the EA and implemented for the adjacent distribution centre. 11.38 Based on current proposal development layout the existing UU surface water sewer would most likely require diversion works, which will also provide an opportunity for undertaking appropriate remediation works to alleviate flooding issues in upstream areas. Foul Water Drainage 11.39 As outlined in paragraph 11.9, the majority of the developable area does not contain any known infrastructure, which would provide means of foul water discharge. The proposal is to treat the effluent on site by use of specifically designed sewage treatment plants and discharge into an adjacent watercourse. Concentrations of contaminants are to be treated to levels acceptable by the EA. RESIDUAL IMPACTS 11.40 Residual risks are the outstanding risks which cannot be eliminated as part of flood risk management measures 11.41 It is considered that there is a low residual risk of breach or overtopping of existing flood defences along Ditton Brook affecting the proposed development, as the proposal includes significant elevation of yard and finished floor levels above the critical tidal flood levels.

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11.42 There is a residual risk of the failure of the proposed water mains serving the site. However flooding that would occur as a result of this should be intercepted by the proposed surface water system and conveyed away from the buildings on site. 11.43 The individual site maintenance procedures would ensure that the new drainage system is regularly maintained. However there is a risk of failure of the drainage network serving the proposed development site. Where possible the proposed levels will be set so that the ground would fall away from the new buildings in order to reroute any water flows and prevent them from entering the premises.

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12.0

LAND CONTAMINATION

12.1

Site investigations by their nature are complex and technical and a large number of technical terms and abbreviations are used. The table below provides a glossary of the key abbreviations used in this section of the Environmental Statement. Glossary of Terms EA HBC PPS EPR EPA PPC IPPC WML COMAH WFD EIA CIEH CLEA SGV GAC GSV MDL CSM QRA IBC AST BGS BH WS TP BGL HDPE PID PAH PCB ACM TPH CWG VOC SVOC TIC TOC PSD CEMP

Environment Agency Halton Borough Council Planning Policy Statement Environmental Permitting Regulations Environmental Protection Act Pollution Prevention and Control Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Waste Management Licence Control of Major Accident Hazards Water Framework Directive Environmental Impact Assessment Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Contaminated Land Exposure Assessment Soil Guideline Values Generic Assessment Criteria Gas Screening value Method Detection Limit Conceptual Site Model Qualitative Risk Assessment Intermediate Bulk Container Above-ground Storage Tank British Geological Society Borehole Window Sample Trial Pit Below Ground Level High Density Polyethene Photo-ionisation Detector Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Polychlorinated Biphenyl Asbestos Containing Material Total Petroluem Hydrocarbon Criteria Working Group Volatile Organic Compound Semi-volatile Organic Compound Tentatively Identified Compound Total Organic Compound Particle Size Distribution Construction Environmental Management Plan

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INTRODUCTION 12.2

This section of the assessment discusses the historical and current use of the proposed development site with respect to contaminated land and the underlying geology and to an extent hydrogeology (although this is covered in more detail in Chapter 13 of the Environmental Statement). It details the objectives, methodology and findings of a Phase I desk-based environmental review including a review of previous site investigation data, a Phase II intrusive site investigation (conducted by Earth and Marine Environmental Consultants (EAME) in 2011), and also considers the potential impacts of disturbance of the soils on the site associated with the redevelopment proposals.

12.3

The site is known to have had a long potentially contaminative history and over the recent years has been subject to several intrusive site investigations, sampling, monitoring and assessments identifying polluted soils, surface waters and groundwater on the site. Most notably, there is known to be a widespread presence of galligu (chemical waste from the alkali industry and in particular the Leblanc Process) contamination on the site and surrounding area. POLICY AND LEGISLATIVE CONTEXT

12.4

At the national planning policy level, the key Planning Policy Statement (PPS) directly relevant to land contamination is Planning Policy Statement 23 (PPS 23) which is intended to complement the pollution control framework under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2008 (EPR). The current version of PPS 23 was introduced in November 2004 and replaced Revised PPG 23: Planning and Pollution Control (published 1994). Importantly, PPS 23 stresses that land contamination, or the possibility of land contamination, is a material planning consideration in taking decisions on individual planning applications. It remains the responsibility of the landowner or developer to identify land affected by contamination and to ensure that remediation is undertaken to secure a safe development. What may be appropriate in terms of remediation is determined on the basis of a risk assessment, described in government guidance supporting Part IIA. A key part of the determination of an application involving contaminated land is whether the applicant has adequately identified the sources of contamination and put forward a restoration scheme suitable for the proposed use that will ensure that all the receptors are adequately protected from significant harm/pollution.

12.5

The planning process can influence how contaminated sites are managed through planning policy and development control. In terms of the latter, planning conditions often require detailed site assessment or, in some cases, the restoration of a site to render it suitable for its proposed new use.

12.6

The main legislation for contaminated land was set out in Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, as inserted by S.57 of The Environment Act 1995 which came into effect in England on 1st April 2000 as The Contaminated Land (England) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/227). These regulations were subsequently revoked with the provision of The Contaminated Land (England) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/1380), which consolidated the previous regulations and amendments and added in provisions regarding radioactive contaminated land. These regulations came into force on 4th August 2006. This modified the wording for “Contaminated Land” under Part IIA of the EPA.

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12.7

Section 78A(2) defines contaminated land as “land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land, that – § §

12.8

significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or pollution of controlled waters is being, or is likely to be caused”.

The above definition is amended with respect to radioactive contaminated land. “Significant harm” is defined in the Guidance on risk based criteria and must be the result of a significant “pollutant linkage”. The presence of a pollutant linkage relies on the Source-Pathway-Receptor concept, where all three factors must be present and potentially or actually linked for a potential risk to exist. An initial assessment of pollutant linkage can be made qualitatively (i.e. through identifying these factors) and may be assessed using qualitative risk assessment models.

12.9

Contaminated Land Report 11 (CLR 11), Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination identifies the risk management framework to be followed when dealing with land affected by contamination. Due to significant upheaval in the contaminated land community, DEFRA and the EA, under a special working task force, has decided to revisit many of the CLR documents and are currently in the process of providing revised guidance. 12.10 Further guidance documents relevant to the assessment of contaminated land are provided by various statutory and non statutory bodies and are referenced where applicable. The following list details the main legislation and guidance that has been used in preparation of this impact assessment: § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Part IIA Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as inserted by Section 57 of the Environment Act 1995). Contaminated Land (England) Regulations 2006. DEFRA Circular 01/2006 Contaminated Land Environmental Protection Act 1990 Part 2A. Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) (2001) Local Authority Guide to the Application of Part 2A. BS 10175:2001 Investigation of Potentially Contaminated Sites: Code of Practice BS 5930:1999+A2:2010 Code of practice for Site Investigations Environment Agency (September 2004): The Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination, CLR 11. Human Health Toxicological Assessment of Contaminants in Soil – Science Report SC050021/SR2 (January 2009). Environment Agency (2009): Updated Technical Background to the CLEA Model – Science Report SC050021/SR3. Environment Agency (2008) Science Report SC050021/SR7: Compilation of Data for Priority Organic Pollutants for Derivation of Soil Guideline Values. CIRIA (2007): Guidance C665 (Assessing risks posed by hazardous ground gases). The VOC Handbook - Investigating, Assessing & Managing Risks from Inhalation of VOCs at Land Affected by Contamination, CIRIA guide C682, 2009 Radon Atlas of England and Wales, published by the National Radiological Protection Board (2002) and Radon: Guidance on Protective Measures for New

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Dwellings, published by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1999) ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY Baseline Conditions 12.11 The study involved a combination of desk-based studies, consultations with stakeholders and regulators, review of previous investigation reports and soil and groundwater sampling and testing and associated analysis and risk assessment. Following the desk based review a site investigation was undertaken by EAME in 2011, which was designed to provide additional information on the baseline conditions of the area and supplement data obtained from previous investigations. 12.12 This assessment has been undertaken in accordance with current Government guidance on EIA1 and has involved a review of the following sources of baseline data: §

§

§ §

§

a Phase I assessment including a review of Envirocheck data and site sensitivity plans for the site and a 1km radius which provided data on landfill and waste sites, permitted installations, enforcement and prosecutions; a review of historical maps; a review of pertinent websites including www.environmentagency.co.uk and halton.gov.uk to provide information on contaminated land issues, aquifer classifications and designations; a Coal Authority search; a review of the British Geological Survey (BGS) map of the area (BGS Sheet 97, Runcorn, Scale 1:50,000) and on-line BGS Geology of Britain Viewer; information pertaining to surface water and groundwater discharges and abstractions, river quality, baseline hydrogeology, current groundwater quality, groundwater vulnerability and pollution incidents are reported in Chapter 13: Water Quality; discussions with regulatory bodies which included Local Authority, Environment Agency and review of online resources; a review of previous intrusive investigations of the proposed development site. Some of these facilitated the assessment of chemical conditions across the site but some were restricted to geotechnical testing and were thus of limited value to this study; and a site walkover by an experienced Environmental Consultant in April 2011 to provide an assessment of current site activities and the site’s environmental setting.

12.13 Based upon the desk based risk assessment an updated site investigation was designed to provide additional data. The locations were focussed on areas where the previous studies were limited and to provide data to update and build on previous ground investigation studies in order to develop a conceptual site model and allow sufficient characterisation of the site to adequately identify risks and develop appropriate mitigation measures. This comprised the following: §

the drilling and installation of six sentinel boreholes (BH1-BH6) up and down ground gradient of the reclamation mound and adjacent to the two watercourses

1 Environmental Impact Assessment – A Guide to Procedures, DETR, November 2000.

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§

§ §

§ § § §

(Stewards Brook and Ditton Brook) using cable percussive drilling techniques. Each borehole location was installed to facilitate gas and groundwater monitoring; the excavation of twelve window sample holes (WS1-WS12), using a hydraulic tracked window sampler, in locations identified as potential areas of contaminative concern in order to assess soil conditions in those areas not previously investigated (largely due to the presence of buildings, which have now predominantly been removed). Eight window sample holes were converted to monitoring wells to facilitate gas monitoring; the excavation of seventeen trial pit locations (TP1-TP17) using a mechanical excavator to facilitate the assessment of the shallow ground conditions in open surface areas; field examination of soil samples for olfactory and visual evidence of organic chemicals and also headspace testing which involves sealing samples in a bag and then testing the airspace above the sample for organic chemical vapours using an instrument called a Photo-ionisation Detector (PID) which gives a response on a display proportion to the concentration of organic vapours in the soil headspace (air above the soil); groundwater monitoring of all installed EAME borehole monitoring wells on one monitoring occasion; groundwater logging using automated level loggers to assist in the characterisation of the hydrogeological regime; collection of surface water samples from Stewards Brook and Ditton Brook on two monitoring occasions; and gas monitoring of all installed EAME borehole and window sample monitoring locations on one occasion.

12.14 Following the Phase I and Phase II investigations, a review of the findings was undertaken in context with current guidance and legislation in respect of the proposed development, to identify potential impacts and an assessment and evaluation of effects to provide proposed mitigation measures where necessary. Assessment Criteria – Soils 12.15 Assessment of contaminated soils in the UK follows a risk based approach and is structured in a tiered manner. As well as having a systematic approach to collecting the data it is also necessary to adopt recognised techniques and standards in assessing them and particularly with regard to environmental risk assessment. 12.16 The information gathered during the desk-based review and site investigation was utilised to develop a conceptual site model based on the risk assessment principles of:

PATHWAY

SOURCE

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12.17 The soil analytical results have been compared against an appropriate set of assessment criteria: § § §

Soil Guideline Values (SGV’s) for the eleven compounds published in 2009 by the Environment Agency; Generic Assessment Criteria (GAC) values for human health risk assessment derived by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Land Quality Management Group (LQM) in 2009 (second edition); and Generic Assessment Criteria (GAC) values for 35 compounds derived by EIC/AGS/CL:AIRE- The Soil Generic Assessment Criteria for Human Health Risk Assessment, December 2009 and published by CL:AIRE.

12.18 The SGV and GAC values for soil assessment were developed in accordance with current UK legislation and Environment Agency policy using the Contaminated Land Exposure Assessment (CLEA) risk assessment model (CLEA Version 1.04), whilst the values for the EIC GAC values used the slightly updated Version 1.06. The GAC derived for a specified land use and is the concentration of the contaminant in soil at which the predicted average daily exposure equals the health criteria value. The GAC values are intended to be ‘intervention values’ that mark the concentration of a substance in soil at or below which human exposure can be considered to represent a ‘tolerable’ or ‘minimal’ level of risk such that the land is suitable for its use. 12.19 Neither of these guidelines referred to have any legal status in the UK, they merely provide a useful screening guide to help identify where more site specific risk assessment may be required. Where known contamination exists above guideline values and this presents a significant risk to potential receptors then more sophisticated site specific Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) can be undertaken to better define the risks and identify appropriate remediation target values for the substances of concern. Assessment Criteria – Land Gas 12.20 A number of new guidance documents have been produced for new developments on gassing sites. BRE Report 465, 2004 Edition, is aimed at providing a framework for planners to ensure ‘contaminated land’ issues are adequately addressed, including guidance for methane and other ground gases. The framework includes CIRIA’s report 149, which provides further guidance and an initial attempt at characterising gassing sites in terms of volume of gas rather than just concentrations. This was further developed by Wilson and Card’s paper in 1999, which provided an approach considering the distribution of gas concentrations and flow rates. For the purpose of this assessment, reference has been made to the recent CIRIA (665) document, Assessing risks poses by hazardous ground gases to building, 2007, which provides the most up to date and comprehensive reference criteria for assessing land gas, by providing advice relevant to existing or planned development and a step-wise approach to risk assessment. 12.21 The CIRIA C665 document uses both gas concentrations and borehole flow rates to define a characteristic situation for a site based on the limiting borehole gas volume flow for methane and carbon dioxide. This provides a Gas Screening Value (GSV), based on the maximum gas concentrations (methane or carbon dioxide) and flow rates recorded at the site (Gas Screening Value (l of gas per hour) = borehole flow rate (l/hr) x gas concentration (%)), which then enables the appropriate

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Characteristic Situation to be determined. The GSV should only be considered as a guideline value and not an absolute threshold. Identification of Impacts 12.22 The effects on ground and groundwater conditions likely to arise from the construction and operational phases of the proposed development are principally the following: § § §

the potential movement and dispersion of contaminated material in the various media during the construction phase from earthmoving and general construction works; potential for piling and dewatering of excavations to enable cross contamination of the ground strata; and mobilisation of contaminants and leaching through the sub strata to impact identified controlled waters, such as surface watercourses and groundwater bodies by the creation of new pathways.

Assessment and Evaluation of Effects 12.23 The assessment of effects has involved the following general approach: § § § § §

the identification and assessment of potential sources, pathways and receptors in relation to the proposed end use of the site during and following development; the sensitivity of receptors has been established on the basis of their use, proximity to the site, existing quality or resource value and consideration of potential pathways; evaluation of the significance of the potential changes in ground levels, earth moving activities and assessment of the sensitivity of the resource to the predicted changes; the potential effects have been classified, prior to mitigation, as minor, moderate or major (either positive or negative); and where the predicted effects are considered to be significant, mitigation measures have been incorporated to eliminate or reduce the impacts to an acceptable level. The residual effects (post mitigation) are discussed in the final subsection of this chapter.

BASELINE CONDITIONS – SITE WALKOVER 12.24 The site is irregular in shape and comprises a total site area of approximately 34 hectares and is largely vacant with existing warehousing units located within the eastern and western portions of the site only. The site comprises three distinct areas referred to as the West Bank Dock site, which occupies the eastern portion of the site; the Reclamation site, which comprises the central portion of the site; and the Foundry Lane site, which occupies the western portion of the site. An unaccompanied site walkover was undertaken by EAME in April 2011 and the activities undertaken within each of the identified areas, as identified by EAME, are discussed below. A photographic log is presented in Appendix 12.4.

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West Bank Dock Site 12.25 This area of the site predominantly comprises vacant land with building coverage limited to: § §

§ § §

a warehousing unit of steel frame, high bay construction comprising part-brick and part-metal cladding to the external façade with an apex corrugated metal sheeted roof, which appears to have been constructed circa 2002/2003; a two-storey brick building, which appears to have been constructed circa 1960. Access into the building was not gained during the walkover, however the building was formerly used as office accommodation and now appears to be utilised for welfare amenities; a redundant, brick built gate house; construction date circa 1980s; a redundant and derelict, brick built amenities block; construction date circa 1980s; and the area of open space to the west of the warehousing unit comprising concrete hardstanding, believed to be the concrete bases of the former warehousing units. This area is currently utilised for the storage of bark and wood chippings by A.W Jenkinson Forest Products. The warehousing unit located within this area is reportedly utilised for the overnight storage of machinery; internal access to the warehousing unit was not gained during the site walkover.

12.26 The area to the south/south-west of the warehousing unit, beyond the existing roadway which is vacant, unsurfaced land, which appears to have been up-filled, in part, by circa 1m above exiting ground level, following the demolition of the warehousing units and the dismantling and removal of the associated above ground storage tanks (ASTs) that formerly occupied the area. 12.27 The original on-site roadways of Mathieson Road and Ronan Road remain evident, in part, with the parcel of land bounded by these roadways comprising the concrete bases of former warehousing units. 12.28 A sub-station is located in the area to the south, which is considered to have been contemporary to the surrounding buildings that once occupied the area. The substation, which appears to be owned and maintained by the local electricity supply company, comprises a building of brick construction with wooden doors and although the building appeared to be secure, it was noted to be in a state of disrepair. A specialist service tracing company, employed to scan the area for buried services prior to the commencement of the intrusive investigation, identified the main incoming electricity cable route to the sub-station, however, it is not known whether the output from the sub-station is still operational. 12.29 The eastern portion of the West Bank Dock site was the former entrance to the site via Mathieson Road. Mathieson Road divides an area of vacant land that is predominantly unsurfaced. Reclamation Site 12.30 The Reclamation site consists of an engineered mound comprised predominantly of galligu chemical waste, however other wastes from the local chemical industries were also known to have been deposited (the reclamation site was formerly known as Ditton Marsh prior to the deposition of waste). The reclamation scheme was a project undertaken by Cheshire County Council between 1995 and 1998 and comprised the re-grading, capping (with clay and topsoil) and landscaping (with trees

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and vegetation) of the waste material into stable slopes. A sheet piled wall was installed along the length of Steward’s Brook, on the mound’s eastern side and along Ditton Brook, which bounds the mound to the south and west. The mound’s western boundary comprises a palisade fence and the sheet piled wall, with gated access in the south-western corner. A roadway, which links the West Bank Dock site to the Foundry Lane site, bounds the mound to the north. The mound has largely been remodelled as galligu from this area was removed and treated to enable its re-use as an engineering material for the earthworks during the construction of the new Tesco distribution centre located to the east of Stobart Park, however, there remains a quantity of this industrial waste which rises above the surrounding land to a maximum of 27.0 m AOD. 12.31 The area to the north of the Reclamation mound comprises unsurfaced land, possibly comprising an amalgamation of made ground from previous on-site earthworks. This area is bounded to the north by railway lines serving the Stobart Port trans-modal container port with the West Coast Mainline beyond; Stewards Brook to the east and Foundry Lane site to the west. A mound (of substantial size) of demolition rubble is located within the western section of the area with volumes of packaged insulating material located in the south-eastern corner. Foundry Lane Site 12.32 The central part of the site comprises four large warehousing units. The warehouses are all high bay structures comprised internally of breeze block and externally of metal cladding and have apex corrugated sheeted roofs and concrete floors, with a partially remaining rail track noted within Unit 4. With the exception of the Rehau warehouse located on the eastern section of the site, which was newly constructed in 2000, the warehouses were constructed circa 1970, and appear to have undergone some form of refurbishment in more recent times including new roofing and recladding. However, two of the warehouses (Unit 2 and Unit 4) still retain the original roofs, which appeared to be composed of cement based asbestos containing materials (ACMs). 12.33 The Rehau building is operated by DHL and is REHAU’s storage and distribution facility for its UPVC systems and pre-cast aluminium and steel frame products. Rehau has occupied the warehousing unit following its construction in 2000 and DHL reportedly took over the operations of the distribution centre circa October 2009. The remaining three warehousing units (Units 2-4) are leased by Stobart Fleet Division from Stobart Ports for trailer decommissioning activities. The Stobart Fleet Division began operating at the site in March 2011 and the following activities are undertaken within each of the units: §

§ §

Unit 2 – the main area for decommissioning trailers, which is undertaken by Bibby Commercials (a sub-contractor to the Stobart Fleet Division) and involves the removal of trailer curtains; damage repairs to trailers; servicing of trailers to ensure they are road legal prior to re-sale; and trailer tyre changing activities; Unit 3 – the removal of graphics from trucks through the use of steamers; and the valeting of trucks; and Unit 4 – storage of pallets, tyres and trucks that are awaiting re-sale to Scania (truck retailer).

12.34 Reportedly, no mechanical maintenance activities/repairs are undertaken on-site; all mechanical works on the decommissioned trucks are undertaken off-site by Scania.

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12.35 During the walkover, two above ground storage tanks (ASTs) were noted on the Foundry Lane site, which are detailed below: §

§

one polyethylene AST (estimated capacity of 2,000 litres) comprising secondary containment located externally to the south of the Rehau building. Reportedly, the AST was installed in 2004 and serves the gas oil fired boiler for the office accommodation area within the Rehau building; and an AST located on the tarmac hardstanding in the north-western portion of the site, which comprises an unbunded steel tank, with an estimated capacity of 7,200 litres. Reportedly, the AST comprised gas oil and was used for the refuelling of the container lifting trucks when the site was operational by AHC Warehousing Ltd. It could not be ascertained during the walkover whether the AST was still operational or whether these refuelling activities had ceased following the closure of the AHC operations.

12.36 No bulk storage of chemicals or other hazardous substances was observed on-site, however, the following small scale storage of chemicals associated with the Stobart Fleet Division activities were noted: § §

§ §

a 205 litre drum labelled as antifreeze sited on a wooden pallet and located on a metal racking unit within Unit 2; three IBCs (intermediate bulk containers) were sited on wooden pallets and located on a metal racking unit. The contents of the IBCs could not be identified, however, the employee of the Stobart Fleet Division identified that two of the IBCs contained paraffin for the space located within the building with the third IBC containing water; a small quantity of paint (contained in approximately 5 litre containers) and a small quantity of oils (contained in approximately 5 litre containers) were noted within Unit 2; and within Unit 3, small quantities of cleaning products used in the valeting and graphic removal products were noted, which included dashboard sprays, window cleaner and glue remover.

12.37 Two waste skips were noted within Unit 2 (comprising the trailer decommissioning activities); one skip (supplied by Veolia) was utilised for general waste including the waste graphics removed from trailers and the other skip was utilised for scrap metal waste. 12.38 The external area located to the north of the warehousing units is utilised by Stobart Fleet Division for the storage of trailers awaiting decommissioning. 12.39 The Foundry Lane site comprises a railhead, which was constructed in 1998 and occupies the northern and western sections of the site. The railhead consists of two lines running parallel with the northern boundary, with a third line running adjacent to Ditton Brook. The rail lines meet in the north-western corner of the site prior to converging with the main railway line located off-site to the north. The railhead is not considered to be operational at this time, however it is unknown whether the oil interceptor associated with the rail head, which was installed circa 2002, and the chamber associated with the interceptor has subsequently been emptied and cleaned.

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12.40 There is a sub-station located in the area to the north of the Rehau building which is considered to be contemporary to the original surrounding buildings. The sub-station is owned by the local electricity supply company and is therefore, the responsibility of a recognised operator. BASELINE CONDITIONS - Historical Activities On-site 12.41 A number of historical maps were examined as part of the desk-based review. A summary of the historical development of the site, which for ease of reading has been divided into the three separate areas, together with the local surrounding area are detailed in Tables 12.1(a), 12.1(b) and 12.1(c) below. Historical maps are presented in Appendix 12.2. Table 12.1(a) Site History of the West Bank Dock site Date & Scale Features On-site Features Off Site 1849 1:10,560

The West Bank Dock site was part of the undeveloped Ditton Marsh.

1893 1:2,500

No significant changes were apparent.

1907 1:2,500 1908 1:10,560

By this date, the site was developed and comprised a Satinite works, a Saw mill and a pottery works annotated as Widnes pottery which occupied the northern part of the site.

1927 1:2,500 1928 1:10,560

The site still comprised the Satinite works, Saw mill and Pottery works to the north.

1937 1:2,500 1938 1:10,560

No significant changes were noted.

1955 1 :2,500 1956 1 :10,560

The Saw mill was now annotated as Craigs Saw Mills.

1958 1:2,500 1969, 1970, 1977 and 1982 1:10,000

No changes were apparent. The Satinite works, the Saw mill and Pottery works were no longer annotated. Changes were apparent to the configuration of the buildings

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Widnes Marsh, “covered by Spring tides” was located to the south and east, with Greenfield land to the north and west. Railway lines to the north of the site, beyond which, was the Ditton Copper works. Land to the south of the West Bank Dock site appeared to comprise marshland. The area to the north of the site comprised the Mathieson (Chemical) Works (presently occupied by MMG site). Beyond the railway lines, which formed the northern site boundary; various industrial works were located to the north-west comprising the Ditton Copper works, the Lever Alkali works and the Widnes Iron works. A rifle range was annotated to the south. The former Mathieson Works to the north of the site was now annotated as the Marsh Works. This renaming possibly coincided with the transfer of the site’s ownership to ICI. Raised embankments were shown on land to the south of the West Bank Dock site, possibly indicating landfilling operations. No further changes were apparent. West Bank Granite works had developed and occupied the southern section of the site. No significant changes were noted. The immediate area was collectively annotated as Woodend, with the West Bank Dock site to the south of the study site. A large refuse heap [HEDCO landfill] had developed to the

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Date & Scale

1984, 1987, 1990 and 1994 1:10,000

1999 1:10,000

2006 1:10,000 2010 1:10,000

Features On-site

Features Off Site

which were now annotated as a depot. It is known that the site transferred ownership to the Hutchinsons around this time. Further changes were noted to the configuration of the buildings / warehouses located on site, which were annotated as a Depot. Significant changes in the configuration of the site had occurred. No significant changes were apparent. No significant changes were apparent.

south-west of the site.

The immediate area had been collectively renamed as Ditton Marsh. No further changes were apparent.

The refuse heap [HEDCO landfill] to the south-west of the site now appeared to have been re-vegetated. No significant changes were apparent. Tessenderlo chemical works to the east of the site was no longer depicted and the site devoid of any features.

Table 12.1(b) Site History of the Reclamation Site Date & Scale Features On-site Features Off Site 1849 1:10,560

The site formed part of the undeveloped Ditton Marsh.

1893 1:2,500

No significant changes were apparent.

1907 1:2,500 1908 1:10,560

A small chemical works together with a number of associated tanks were shown in the northern part of the site. The southern section of the site remained part of Ditton Marsh. The site remained annotated as Ditton Marsh; however, ground levels on the marsh appeared to be elevated. This elevation is likely to have been caused by the deposition of the colloquially named galligu, a waste product of the Leblanc process, which was known to have been used at the Mathieson Works. Raised embankments were shown on the site. No significant changes were noted. Railway lines encroached on to the site from the main railway located to the north. Four buildings were shown on the site; however, the exact

1927 1:2,500 1928 1:10,560

1937 1:2,500 1938 1:10,560 1955 1:10,560 1958 1:2,500

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Widnes Marsh, “covered by Spring tides” was located to the south and east, with Greenfield land to the north and west. Railway lines were noted to the north of the site, beyond which was the Ditton Copper works. Land to the north beyond the railway lines, which formed the northern site boundary was occupied by various chemical works including Ditton Copper works, the Lever Alkali works and Widnes Iron works. To the east of Stewards Brook was a rifle range. The North British Fertiliser works, the Ditton Extract works and a Gelatine works now occupied the area to the south of the site.

The North British Fertiliser works was no longer annotated. No significant changes were apparent. No significant changes were noted.

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Date & Scale 1969, 1970, 1977 and 1982 1:10,000 1984, 1987, 1990 and 1994 1:10,000

1999 1:10,000

2006 1:10,000 2010 1:10,000

Features On-site

Features Off Site

nature of activities could not be ascertained. No significant changes were apparent. A small mound was shown on the site, to the east of which a Timber yard was annotated. The railway lines were no longer shown. The appearance of the mound coincides with the reclamation of the site by Halton and Cheshire County Councils. The small mound and the timber yard were no longer shown. A path was depicted round and to the top of the mound. No significant changes were apparent on the plan.

A large refuse heap [HEDCO landfill] had been developed to the south-east of the site. The surrounding area remained relatively unchanged.

The refuse heap [HEDCO landfill] to the south-east of the site appeared to have been re-vegetated. No significant changes were apparent. No significant changes were apparent.

Table 12.1(c) Site History of Foundry Lane Estate Date & Scale Features On-site Features Off Site 1849 1:10,560

The site was undeveloped land. Ditton Brook was present in the south-western part of the site.

1893 1:2,500

A Cement works was annotated in the north-western section of the site. The course of Ditton Brook had been changed; a new straighter course formed the western boundary of the site. The Cement works was now annotated as disused. Allotment gardens were shown in the north-western and south-eastern sections of the site. A Tar works and a Manure works were also annotated in the northern section. No significant changes were apparent. No significant changes were apparent. A Mill was annotated near the eastern boundary of the site, which also comprised a Timber yard, including a timber treatment works. Railway lines ran into the northern

1907 1:2,500 1908 1:10,560

1927 1:2,500 1928 1:10,560

1937 1:2,500 1938 1:10,560 1955 1:10,560 1958 1:2,500

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Ditton Marsh was located to the southeast. Widnes Marsh, “covered by Spring tides” was located to the south and east, with Greenfield land to the north and west. Railway lines were shown to the north of the site, beyond which was the Ditton Copper works An Oil Distillery was located to the west of Ditton Brook. The area to the north, beyond the railway lines which formed the site’s northern boundary are Ditton Copper works, Lever Alkali works and Widnes Iron works. To the west of Ditton Brook and to the south of the site were the North British Fertiliser works, Ditton Extract works and a Gelatine works.

The surrounding area remained relatively unchanged. No significant changes were apparent. No significant changes were noted.

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Date & Scale 1969, 1970, 1977 and 1982 1:10,000

1984, 1987, 1990 and 1994 1:10000 1999 1:10000

2006 1:10,000

2010 1:10,000

Features On-site

Features Off Site

section of the site and adjacent to the saw mill. The building configuration on the site had been changed and the site was now annotated as the Meyers’ Timber yard. The site remained annotated as a Timber yard with a number of buildings appearing to have been extended. There had been a significant alteration to the configuration of the buildings. This area remained annotated as a Timber yard, however anecdotal information reports that the buildings had been refurbished and were now used for the storage of tinned foodstuffs. The site was no longer annotated as a Timber Yard and one larger square-shaped building was located on the eastern elevation of the site. No significant changes were apparent.

A Timber yard had been developed to the north of the site beyond the railway. A Joiners and a Scrap Metal yard were located beyond Ditton Brook to the west. The Joinery and Metal Scrap yard had become annotated as a Depot and a Warehouse. The refuse heap [HEDCO landfill] to the south-east of the site appeared to have been re-vegetated.

Ditton Works was no longer depicted c. 600m to the north-west of the site and had been redeveloped into light industrial-style units. Changes to the configuration of the industrial units to the west of the site had taken place. No significant changes were apparent.

Additional Information 12.42 Prior to demolition, the warehousing units in the West Bank Dock site comprised; office accommodation; car/lorry/trailer parking; HGV maintenance workshop; and a number of above ground storage tanks (tank farm) and an uncontained drum store area associated with the liquid packing operations, which involved the re-packing of lube oil from bulk storage into small containers (2.5l and 5l containers) for domestic consumer use. In addition to the liquid packing, solid packing was undertaken on site, which involved the re-packing of powder, received in bulk, into various sized bulk bags for the different consumer industries (reportedly, the powder (dicalite) was used in industrial filtration processes). 12.43 AHC Warehousing took over the lease for the Reclamation Mound in 2000; no activities were undertaken on the Mound by AHC. Prior to this, the site was used as a timber yard until Cheshire County Council (the owners of the site at that time) undertook the reclamation scheme on the site between 1995 and 1998. Subsequently in 2009 a large amount of material from the reclamation mound was remediated and deposited on the former Tessenderlo works site to the east of the site. 12.44 Latterly, the Foundry Lane site comprised the railhead, which was constructed in 1998, office accommodation and the four warehousing buildings (as currently located on site), which were predominantly utilised for warehousing and warehouse distribution from the late 1990s when AHC Warehousing Ltd took ownership of the

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site from Meyers Forests Products Ltd, a former saw mill. There were five ASTs located on the Foundry Lane Estate for heating and refuelling purposes. 12.45 In more recent times, prior to ownership by The Stobart Group, the development site was owned by AHC Warehousing limited and was primarily used for road and rail haulage logistics with on-site activities including warehousing distribution, excise warehousing, a rail head and packing and blending for a range of industries including, for example, food and drink, clothing, textile, lube oil, chemical and construction engineering. These activities were conducted within two operational areas comprising the West Bank site and the Foundry Lane site. 12.46 Anecdotal evidence from site contacts, HBC and previous investigation reports suggests the following activities may have taken place: §

§

§

§

§ §

§

the West Bank Dock site is known to have originally been part of the Mathieson Chemical Works, which was located adjacent to the site’s northern boundary. The predominant type of manufacture involved the production of soda ash via the Leblanc process; the Leblanc process, was an extremely wasteful procedure, the waste from which, was colloquially known as “galligu”. It is known that this waste from the Mathieson Chemical Works and wastes from other local industries (ash wastes from coal powered boilers and power stations) were deposited on the Ditton Marsh area; reportedly, in producing a single tonne of product, upwards of two tonnes of waste materials were generated. An indication of the scale of the waste material produced as a result of the Leblanc process can be demonstrated from considering the operations of the Hutchinsons factory, as in its thirty five years of operation it is estimated that the factory produced a million tonnes of waste; the ownership of the West Bank Dock Site was transferred to ICI in the early 1930s. The site continued to be used for industrial chemical purposes related activities, including sulphuric acid and caustic soda production, for the next fifty years. Wastes from the ICI works continued to be tipped on Ditton Marsh and also on land that the West Bank Dock Site now occupies. Some of the railway lines associated with the original works are thought to be buried underneath the site. It is believed that no wastes were ever deposited on the Foundry Lane Site as the sites were historically separated by a drainage ditch; the site was purchased by Albert Constable who set up AHC Services circa 1980; Halton Borough Council and the freehold owners, Cheshire County Council, undertook a massive reclamation of the site between the West Bank Dock Site and the Foundry Lane site from 1995 to 1998. Following the insertion of sheet piling to protect the Ditton and Stewards Brooks, galligu waste from surrounding areas was heaped on the existing hardstanding and shaped to create a steep sided mound with an extensive plateau at its summit. Much of the material within the mound was stabilised and re-used in the redevelopment of the former Tessenderlo chemical works to the east of the site; and evidence also suggests that asbestos has also been buried on the West Bank Dock Estate and in construction of the present estate roads, battery cases were used as hard core.

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BASELINE CONDITIONS - Regulatory Authority Information Halton Borough Council Environmental Health Department 12.47 Halton Borough Council’s Environmental Health Department was contacted by EAME with reference to any potential contamination issues associated with the subject site or adjoining properties. EAME is currently awaiting a response. Halton Borough Council Planning Department 12.48 The following planning records pertaining to the site have been obtained from Halton Borough Council or via Halton Borough Council’s planning portal website: Table 12.2(a) Planning History for the West Bank Dock Site Application No. Description Decision

Date

98/649/Ful

No information

29/01/99

No information

10/02/94

Conditional approval No information

06/05/92

Conditional approval

04/04/90

Conditional approval

17/01/90

Conditional approval

02/06/89

Conditional approval Conditional approval Conditional approval Conditional approval

10/03/89

Conditional approval

12/10/84

No information

02/05/81

Unconditional approval

03/09/80

93/753/Ful

92/228/Ful 91/563/Ful 2/25327/F

2/25212/D

2/23906/O

2/22424/FB 2/22946/F 2/21453/F 2/20941/F

2/17695/F

2/12114/F

2/10887/F

Proposed replacement warehouse (1445 m2) at AHC Warehousing Ltd. Extension of blending plant, construction of offices, filing hall and canopy and relocation of security offices at AHC Warehousing Ltd. Proposed erection of 2 warehousing buildings at AHC Warehousing Ltd. Erection of a warehouse building at AHC Warehousing Ltd. To store waste products as an intermediate transfer station AHC Warehousing Ltd. Details of precast concrete works and welded lattice girder works including offices and toilets at Plots 4 and 5, Ronan Road. Outline application for use of land for precast concrete works and welded lattice girder works at Plots 4 & 5 Ronan Road. Erection of double car garage and switch room at Plot 3 Ronan Road. Proposed workshop and office with stores and garage at Plot 3. Proposed workshop and office with stores ad garage, Plot 3. Erection of workshop building for storage of gas valves and refurbishment of gas cylinders and tanks at, Mathieson Road. Erection of new office and warehouse for storage of camping and other equipment for distribution to retail outlets at Amazon depot, Mathieson Road. Use of land for open storage of caravans and boats together with fencing and site surface details at Mathieson Road. Proposed canopy to existing Warehouse (No.4) for covered unloading of vehicles 188

07/11/91

02/08/88 15/06/87 23/03/86

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Application No. 2/10789/F

2/9879/F

2/9671/F 2/9656/F

2/7578/F 2/6806/F

2/4308/F

Description at Mathieson Road. Alterations to existing garage/workshop at Hutchinson Estate and Dock Company Ltd. Use of land for storage of 100 tonnes (total capacity) of liquefied petroleum gas in bulk tank and cylinders on site south of Mathieson Road. The permission is illegible, therefore details cannot be provided Repositioning of existing vehicle pressure wash and fuel storage tanks at West Bank Dock Estate. Single storey warehouse, West Bank Dock Estate. Use of land for the open storage of calor gas bottles (total weight up to 25 tons) site south of Mathieson Road. Single storey warehouse building at Hutchinson Estate & Dock Co Ltd.

Decision

Date

Unconditional approval

05/08/80

Conditional approval

03/04/80

Conditional approval No information

12/02/80

Conditional approval Conditional approval

20/02/79

Conditional approval

28/04/77

Table 12.2(b) Planning History for the Reclamation Site Application Description Decision No. 02/498/Ful

97/61/CPO

96/390/CPO

94/172/CPO

Proposed erection of single storey 10,820 m2 warehouse with offices at AHC Warehousing Ltd. Land reclamation project involving the controlled disposal contaminated materials at West Bank Dock Estate. Sheet pile leachate cut off wall along Ditton Brook Widnes for a length of approx. 270 m and temporary storage of approx. 3000m3 excavated material. 1. Importation and temporary storage of clay subsoil for subsequent use in bunding, capping and sealing works. 2. Remodelling and sealing with clay subsoil the existing waste mound on land NW of Stewards Brook.

11/01/80

23/10/78

Date

Conditional approval

19/05/03

Unconditional approval

23/05/97

Conditional approval

07/10/96

Unconditional approval

22/06/94

Table 12.2(c) Planning History for the Foundry Lane Site Application Description Decision No.

Date

98/141/Ful

Unconditional approval

14/05/98

Unconditional approval Conditional approval Unconditional approval Conditional

07/06/94

94/272/Ful 2/27757/F 2/22750/F 2/20958

Proposed extension of existing railway lines on land off Foundry Lane, adjacent to AHC Warehousing Ltd. Single storey extension to office building at Meyer, North Foundry Lane. Erection of timber storage shed at Montague L Meyer (Widnes) Ltd. Extension to existing office building at Montague L Meyer (Widnes) Ltd Reclamation of derelict land and construction 189

19/07/91 15/06/88 08/04/87

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Application No. 2/6089/F

Description

Decision

of roads and sewers on site to be used for industry on land off Foundry Lane. Extension of Hardwood saw mills, Ditton sidings.

approval

Date

Conditional approval

15/06/78

Table 12.2(d) Planning History for the Whole Site Application Description No.

Decision

Date

05/00212/F ULEIA

Application by Drawbridge Securities and AHC Warehousing for a freight terminal to provide 78,308sq m of new distribution warehousing.

Conditional approval

24/03/06

07/00815/F ULEIA

An application was resubmitted to amend the permission for the development of the Drawbridge Securities and AHC Warehousing site by Stobart Group in 2007. Proposal was for a distribution centre and additional warehousing floorspace with a total floorspace of 140,000sq m associated access, vehicle parking, landscaping and ancillary development including diversion of existing watercourse.

Conditional approval

10/03/08

Coal Authority 12.49 The site is located in an area which may be affected by coal mining and subsequently, the Coal Authority was contacted by EAME. Their response is summarised below and presented in Appendix 12.2: § § § § § § § § §

the site is not located within the zone of likely physical influence on the surface from past underground workings; the site is not in the likely zone of influence of any present underground coal workings nor is the site in an area for any future coal workings; no notice of the risk of the land being affected by subsidence has been given under Section 46 of the Coal Mining Subsidence Act 1991; there are no known coal mine entries on or within 20m of the site; the Authority is unaware of any damage arising due to geological faults that have been affected by coal mining; the site is not within the boundary of an opencast mine, within 200m of an opencast mine or within 800m of any future opencast workings; there is no current Stop Notice delaying the start of remedial works or repairs to the site; the Authority has no record of an on-site mine gas emission requiring action by the Coal Authority; and the site has not been subject to remedial works, by or on behalf of the Authority.

Third Party Environmental Database (Envirocheck) 12.50 A commercial database was obtained (March 2011, reference: 34261095_1_1) to provide further information regarding the site and the surroundings. The datasheet reports are contained in Appendix 12.2 with relevant information/records summarised below.

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Landfills 12.51 According to the environmental database, there is one former landfill located on the study site. A landfill was located on the Foundry Lane Site, had a first input date of 1859 and the deposited waste included industrial waste. 12.52 Although it is recognised that the reclamation mound was a former waste repository, details of this were not provided in the environmental database, as this was not registered or licensed as a landfill. 12.53 A number of historic landfill sites were/are located in the immediate surrounding area, along the site’s southern, western and northern boundaries; the most significant off-site landfill being the HEDCO landfill located adjacent to the West Bank Dock site to the south-west. There are two licenses relating to this landfill site: §

§

The first recorded licence (licence reference 60381) for the landfill was registered to Hutchinson Est. & Dock Co. Under this licence, the landfill was categorised as being very small (less than 10,000 tonnes per year) and was licensed to accept construction and demolition waste (chemical waste was also known to have been accepted), however, since June 1977, the licence for the site either lapsed/ceased or was surrendered; and The second recorded licence (Licence reference 60303) for the landfill is registered to Waste Management Ltd. Under this licence, the landfill has been categorised as very large (equal to or greater than 250,000 tonnes per year) and was licensed to accept an array of industrial and chemical wastes, including for example, distillation residues, tank cleaning sludge, tannery and fellmongers waste, waste treated timber and lead, chromium, iron, nickel and copper compounds. This site ceased landfilling operations in May 1980, however, the waste management licence has not been surrendered.

Waste Transfer/Treatment/Disposal Sites 12.54 According to the environmental database, a former waste transfer and storage site was located within the site boundary. The licence was held by AHC (Warehousing) Ltd (Licence reference 61515) for waste storage, which was undertaken on the West Bank Dock site, authorised wastes included distillation residues, pesticides, organic/inorganic and nitro compounds, phenols and tar. However, it is stated that this licence has a completion certificate (which implies the area carries no on-going significant pollution potential associated with the licensed activities). 12.55 Anecdotal evidence from former AHC (Warehousing) Ltd personnel confirmed that the site was formerly licensed to operate as an industrial waste storage and transfer station. The site was contracted to receive and store waste from Cleanaway, a major industrial waste disposal company, until such a time when Cleanaway were ready to process this waste at their own facility. Reportedly, all waste was packaged correctly prior to being accepted on site and was stored in designated areas, both internally (old Unit 1, prior to demolition) and externally. Site personnel confirmed that this licence was surrendered in approximately 1994/1995, when the operation became economically unviable to continue with. 12.56 There are numerous valid waste transfer/treatment/disposal sites within a 1km radius of the site. The closest to the Foundry Lane site is a waste treatment and disposal site licensed to M & J Burns, which is located approximately 70m to the north-east of the Foundry Lane site. The site is operational as far as is known and is

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licensed to accept scrap metal and batteries. The closest operational waste treatment and disposal site to the West Bank Dock site is operated by Oakfield Oils & Fats Ltd and is authorised to accept vegetable fats and oils. 12.57 Widnes Skip and Reclaim is the closest waste transfer station to the Foundry Lane site. The site (Licence reference 80039), which is operational as far as is known, is located approximately 60m to the north of the site and is licensed to receive commercial and industrial non-hazardous waste, uncontaminated hardcore and soils. The closest waste transfer station to the West Bank Dock site is located 346m east and is operated by P McCawley (Licence reference 61526/M01) and is authorised to accept non-hazardous construction, household and industrial wastes and uncontaminated hardcore and soils. Environmental Permits 12.58 There are no current Environmental Permits associated with the activities of the study site. However, there are eight valid Environmental Permits to operate a Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Part A(1) process (formerly referred to as Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Authorisations). The closest of which is located 11m to the south-west of the West Bank Dock site and is registered to Granox Limited for ‘animal vegetable and food; disposing etc animal carcasses etc by rendering greater than 10 t/day’. 12.59 There are two Part A(2) (formerly referred to as Local Authority IPPC Authorisations) within the same search radius. The closest of which is located 391m north of the Foundry Road Lane site and is operated by Widnes Galvanising. 12.60 There are twenty Part B (formerly referred to as Local Authority PPC Authorisations) within the same search radius. The closest is located 36m to the north-east of the Foundry Lane site and is registered to Tarmac Ltd for the ‘blending, packing, loading and use of bulk cement’. The closest Permit to the West Bank Dock site is held by PDM Group (Widnes), 187m south-west and are authorised ‘animal by-product dealers’. Prosecution & Enforcement 12.61 There is one prosecution relating to Controlled Waters within a 1km radius of the site. This was located 158m to the south-east of the Foundry Lane site for ‘discharging effluent into nearby watercourse that did not meet with the standards outlined by their license’ into the River Mersey. No other pertinent data was provided. 12.62 In addition, there is one prosecution relating to Authorised Processes within 1km radius of the site at Ditton Sleeper Depot, located 33m to the north-west of the Foundry Lane site, for ‘burning waste without a WML’. No other pertinent information was provided. Radioactive Consents 12.63 No consents are listed for the holding or disposal of radioactive material at the study site. There are however, two current Radioactive Substance Consents within a 1km radius of the site. Both of which are related to Croda Chemicals Europe Ltd, approximately 270m to the south of the Foundry Lane site, for the keeping and use of radioactive substances and the disposal of radioactive waste. Under normal

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circumstances the disposal, keeping or use of such materials would not be expected to impact upon the study site. Contaminated Land Register 12.64 According to the database, there are no Contaminated Land Register Entries or notices associated with the study site; however, there is one entry within a 1km radius. St. Michael’s Golf Course, off Dundalk Road, located 362m north-east of the Foundry Lane site, was classified as a Special Site in April 2007. COMAH, Explosive, NIHHS Sites, Planning Hazardous Substance Consents and Enforcements 12.65 There are two former Lower Tier Control of Major Accident Hazards Sites (COMAH) related to the site, one was registered to Amazon Gas Company and the other to AHC Warehousing Ltd. In addition, there are four COMAH sites within a 1km radius of the site. One is Higher Tier and is related to Tessenderlo UK Limited, 194m north-west of the West Bank Dock estate, however, this chemical works has been decommissioned and redeveloped and thus has not been updated in the database. All other COMAH sites are Lower Tier, the closest of which is registered to GE Water and Process Technologies (UK) Ltd, approximately 14m south-east of the Foundry Lane site. 12.66 In addition, there are four Notification of Installations Handling Hazardous Substances (NIHHS). The closest is located 193m north-east of the Foundry Lane site and is registered to Transco. 12.67 Furthermore, there are eight Planning Hazardous Substance Consents, the closest consent is located 126m north-west of the West Bank Dock estate and is operated by BOC Ltd for the storage of liquid oxygen. Review of Previous Reports 12.68 Various parcels of land within the study site have been previously investigated and a review of previous site investigations has been undertaken to assist with the determination of the contamination status of the site. During the review of reports, it was identified that, although some did facilitate the assessment of chemical conditions across the site, the majority were completed for geotechnical purposes and were thus of limited value to this study. A summary of the previous reports is contained within Appendix 13.4 together with the sampling positions as identified within the previous reports which are presented within Figures 2a and 2b. Geology and Hydrogeology Published Geology 12.69 According to the British Geological Survey (BGS) Solid and Drift Map for Runcorn (Sheet 97, scale 1:50,000) and confirmed using the BGS online Geology of Britain viewer, the site is directly underlain by recent Tidal Flat Deposits (the River Mersey is tidal within this area). Tidal Flat Deposits commonly comprise soft dark grey clays, silts and occasionally sands, which may be organic and contain shelly material. 12.70 The superficial deposits are underlain by the Wilmslow Sandstone Formation (formerly known as the Upper Mottled Sandstone) of the Triassic Sherwood Sandstone Group at depths ranging from 12 to over 35m below ground level (bgl). The Sherwood Sandstone Group is underlain by Permian sandstones and further underlain by Carboniferous Coal Measures to depth. The Wilmslow Sandstone

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Formation is a fine to medium-grained, red-brown to brick red, generally pebble-free, with sporadic siltstones. 12.71 According to data issued by the National Radiological Protection Board (2002), the land is located in an area where less than 1% of residential properties are above the action level for Radon set by the National Radiological Protection Board. No radon protection measures are considered necessary by the British Geological Survey. Palaeo-Channel 12.72 The current course of the River Mersey flows to the south of the site and upstream [east] through an obvious geological gap between Runcorn and Widnes, the Runcorn gap can be seen annotated based upon approximate rock head contours. Previous discussions held with the Contaminated Land Officer at HBC indicated that it is conjectured that a previous channel (palaeo-channel) lies to the north of the Runcorn promontory and was subsequently naturally infilled with fluviatile [possibly fluvioglacial] deposits. This stratum may either be the result of deposition from glacial melt waters during the Devensian [last Ice age], a recent infilled meander of the River Mersey or a combination of both. A review of the Drift edition BGS Sheet 97 Runcorn indicates that the depth to rock head in this area is in the region of 20 to 40m relative to Ordnance Datum. Published Hydrogeology 12.73 The aquifer classification system was updated on 1st April 2010 which provided new aquifer designations to replace the old system of aquifer classifications, such as Major, Minor and Non-Aquifer. This new system is in line with the EAs Groundwater Protection Policy (GP3) and the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and is based on British Geological Survey mapping. A review of the maps produced on-line indicates the site is located on the following: Table 12.3 Aquifer Classification Formation Aquifer Classification Tidal Flat Deposits

Secondary (Undifferentiated)

Wilmslow Sandstone Formation

Principal

Hydrogeological Significance Low permeability deposits which have negligible significance for water supply or river base flow. In principle, these deposits have previously been designated as either minor or non-aquifer in different locations due to the variable characteristics of the rock type. These are layers of rock or drift deposits that have high intergranular and/or fracture permeability - meaning they usually provide a high level of water storage. They may support water supply and/or river base flow on a strategic scale. In most cases, principal aquifers are aquifers previously designated as major aquifer.

12.74 Details of groundwater abstractions, hydrogeological field observations and field evidence of contamination observed during the EAME 2011 site investigation and during subsequent monitoring rounds are discussed within Chapter 13 – Water Quality.

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Summary of Potential for Contamination from Desk Based Review West Bank Dock Site 12.75 At the West Bank Dock site the potential for contamination to be present as a result of current on-site activities is considered to be low. The area of former buildings, which have subsequently been demolished, has been upfilled, in part, possibly comprising an amalgamation of material made ground from previous earth works and building demolition rubble. 12.76 At the West Bank Dock site, a Satinite works together with a Saw mill and a Pottery works were developed during the early 1900s, which subsequently occupied the site until circa 1970. The Satinite works and the Saw mill appeared to have ceased their operations, which lead to the redevelopment of the site during the 1980s into a transport depot. The potential for historical contamination to be present on this part of the site is considered to be moderate to high. The Satinite works produced calcium sulphate for use in the paper, construction and fertiliser industry. Potential contaminants generally associated with this process would include, for example, various metals, sulphate, hydrocarbons, PAHs and PCBs, some of these contaminants together with sulphur are also indicative of pottery works. The Saw mill could potentially have generated contaminants such as metals, boron, arsenic, sulphate, phenols, and PAHs. The site’s use as warehousing in recent years is not considered significantly contaminative, however, activities on site also include liquid/solid packing and liquid blending, these activities involved the storage of oils and therefore, there is a potential for hydrocarbon and PAH contamination to have occurred through possible leaks and spills. Reclamation Site 12.77 The potential for contamination to be present due to current activities (area of open space) at the Reclamation site is considered to be low (although the mound itself comprises contaminated material). The Reclamation mound consists of an engineered mound comprised predominantly of galligu chemical waste together with other industrial chemical wastes. Between 1995 and 1999 the mound was regraded, capped and landscaped into stable scopes, however, the mound was largely re-modelled following the removal and utilisation of galligu from this area during the construction of the new Tesco distribution centre located to the east of Stobart Park. 12.78 There are no current activities undertaken on the area to the north of the Reclamation mound. This area is unsurfaced, possibly comprising an amalgamation of made ground from previous earth works. Waste material is apparent in this area with a mound of demolition rubble (western portion of the area) and a mound of packaged insulating material (south-eastern corner of the area). 12.79 From the early 1900s until circa 1920, a small chemical works with associated tanks appeared to have occupied the northern section of the Reclamation site. From circa 1920, the ground level of the site appeared elevated. This elevation is likely to have been caused by the deposition of the galligu contamination, a by-product of the Leblanc process (manufacture of sodium carbonate), which is also known to contain other industrial contaminants, such as heavy metals, hydrocarbons for example. Foundry Lane Site 12.80 At the Foundry Lane site the potential for contamination to be present due to current activities is considered to be low. Activities within this area comprise storage and storage and distribution, which have been undertaken on the site since the late

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

1990s together with the more recent trailer decommissioning activities (undertaken by the Stobart Fleet Division) that commenced on site in March 2011. 12.81 The site has been under industrial usage from at least the 1890s to the present day. The earlier maps indicate that the Foundry Lane site comprised a Cement works, which occupied the site until circa 1920, when a Tar works and a Manure works were developed. These works were subsequently replaced in the late 1950s by a Timber yard, which occupied the site until recent times. The potential for historical contamination to be present on this part of the site is considered to be moderate to high. The presence of the Cement works may have led to contaminants such as arsenic, lead, chromium and sulphur being present on the site, together with hydrocarbons, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The Tar works provides the potential for contamination from various metals, cyanides, sulphates, phenol and PAHs. The Manure works was likely to produce contaminating materials such as metals, arsenic, cyanide, sulphate, various hydrocarbons and PCBs. The presence of a timber yard may have led to compounds such as white spirit, creosote, metal based (copper, chrome, arsenic) preservatives and pesticides being used on site. These compounds could lead to contamination from metals, boron, sulphate, various hydrocarbons and PAHs. Overall Site Area 12.82 Potential areas of concern noted on the site include the following: §

§

§

§

the rail head located on the foundry lane site; contaminants often associated with railways include various metal species, sulphate, PAHs and PCBs. However the railhead is a recent activity following its construction in 1998 and is not currently considered to be operational. There is an associated interceptor that was installed within 2002 however, it is unknown whether the chamber associated with the interceptor has subsequently been emptied and cleaned; two above ground storage tanks located on the Foundry Lane site; there is a bunded tank comprising secondary containment that serves the gas oil fired boiler for the office accommodation within the Rehau building. It could not be ascertained whether the second, unbunbed, tank, which was historically utilised by the former AHC Warehousing for fork lift truck refuelling remains in operation. Potential contaminants may include hydrocarbons as a result of any uncontrolled loss of fuel, accidental spills or leaks, however, all of the ASTs are sited on hardstanding and no visual evidence of contamination was noted; there are two electricity substations, which are located within the West Bank Dock and Foundry Lane areas and appear to be contemporary to the surrounding buildings or former buildings (West Bank Dock area). The electricity sub-stations are owned and maintained by the local electricity supply company, and therefore, since the sub-stations are the responsibility of a recognised operator the presence of PCBs at concentrations above the designated threshold is considered to be low; and the potential for asbestos containing materials (ACMs) to be present within the shallow ground as a result of the building demolition works and upfilling activities on the West Bank Dock site. The area to the north of the reclamation mound also appears to comprise material possibly comprising an amalgamation of made ground from previous earth works.

12.83 Considering the site overall, the potential for contamination to be present as a result of current activities is considered to be low.

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12.84 Historically, railway lines have serviced the site and surrounding area since the mid1800s. A variety of contaminants can be attributed to railway activities including metal species such as arsenic, cadmium and copper together with asbestos, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, oils and fuels. 12.85 The site’s use for storage and distribution in recent years is not considered to be a significantly contaminative use. However, activities on site during the operational time of AHC Warehousing Ltd included liquid/solid packing and liquid blending and these activities involved the storage of oils and therefore, there is a potential for hydrocarbon and PAH contamination to have occurred through possible leaks and spills. Surrounding Area 12.86 The current surrounding area comprises a mixture of heavy and light industrial land uses such as the Stobart Port trans-modal container port; the recently developed Tesco distribution centre and associated recycling facility; the integrated renewable energy and recycling plant (PDM Group); and the HEDCO landfill site; whilst notwithstanding the widespread presence of galligu chemical waste across this area generally. The surrounding area still contains a number of medium to large scale chemical based industries that although operate to much higher standards still, nonetheless have the potential to cause contamination of soils and groundwater. BASELINE CONDITIONS – GROUND CONDITIONS Field Observations 12.87 A site investigation was undertaken in 2011 to provide additional data on the ground conditions at the site and to complement previous investigations. The geology at the site was found to be broadly consistent with published information and can be summarised as follows: §

§

Made Ground was encountered in all sampling locations. This generally comprises hardstanding (concrete or tarmac) or unsurfaced ground comprising a grass/soil, soil/clay matrix or a gravel/silt/sand/clay matrix of varying thickness over fill material such as brown/grey/black sand, silt or clay with variable quantities of brick, gravel cobbles, ash, fragments of coal and slag, timber, metal, wire, glass plastic, ceramic tile and polystyrene overlying galligu chemical waste material. All trial pit locations and window sample holes excavated on the West Bank Dock site were terminated within the made ground deposits. Natural Strata was encountered in all the borehole locations and window sample holes excavated on the Foundry Lane site. The natural deposits encountered comprised: Alluvial Deposits: consisting of soft to firm grey/brown/black silty clay, silt, clayey silt or sands. Alluvial deposits were not encountered in all exploratory hole locations; and Glacial Till: consisting of soft to stiff, brown silty or sandy clay with occasional fine fragments of gravel. Glacial Till deposits were not encountered in all exploratory hole locations.

12.88 Variances within each of the geological stratifications were noted between the three distinct areas of the site comprising the Foundry Lane site, the Reclamation site and

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the West Bank Dock site. Therefore, a more detailed discussion of the geology encountered at each of the site areas is outlined below: Foundry Lane Site 12.89 The material in this area comprised tarmac hardstanding or unsurfaced ground comprising a gravel/silt/sand/clay matrix over fill material such as sand, silt, clay with variable quantities of gravel, brick, cobbles, ash and fragments of coal. Glacial Till deposits were encountered at depth. §

§ §

§

Galligu chemical waste was encountered in three of the exploratory hole locations (WS8 and WS10-WS11) and generally comprised either a clayey or silty material which ranged in colour from green/orange/white, green/grey, orange/white to white. The depth of made ground was proven in all exploratory hole locations to depths ranging from 0.8m bgl (BH6) to a maximum depth of 2.20m bgl (WS11). The made ground was underlain by alluvial deposits generally comprising soft to firm grey/brown silty clay or grey clayey silt, which were encountered in all of the exploratory hole locations, with the exception of WS11, of up to 6.9m (BH6) in thickness. Low permeability drift deposits of Glacial Till were encountered beneath the Alluvium/made ground, which comprise soft to stiff, brown, silty or sandy clay with occasional fine fragments of gravel. The clay deposits within the Glacial Till were encountered at depths ranging from 1.8m bgl (WS10) to 7.7m bgl (BH6), however, the depth (base) of the Glacial Till drift deposits was not proven in any of the exploratory hole locations.

Reclamation Site and Area to the North 12.90 Made ground was encountered at each of the exploratory hole locations, the depth of which was proven only in the borehole locations. Alluvial and Glacial deposits were encountered at depth within the boreholes. §

§

§

§

Within the reclamation mound, the made ground horizon comprised unsurfaced material comprising grass/soil or a sand/clay matrix over fill material such as sand, silt, clay with variable quantities of gravel. The surfacing layer at BH3 comprised concrete hardstanding, which is the considered to be the original concrete plinth, as identified in the Health and Safety file for the Reclamation site compiled by Cheshire County Council, on to which waste material (predominantly galligu) was deposited. Underlying the concrete hardstanding at BH3 was a discrete dense black ash layer with fine to coarse gravel. Galligu chemical waste was encountered in two (BH2-BH3) of the four exploratory hole locations within the reclamation mound and generally comprised a clayey silt, silty clay or a solidified material either white, black, grey or mottled in colour ranging from black/grey/white, black/grey/green/yellow, brown/black, brown/yellow, to yellow/red. The made ground horizon, which was encountered to depths ranging from 3.2m bgl (BH5) to a maximum depth of 9.2m bgl (BH2), was underlain by alluvial deposits generally comprising soft to firm grey/black silty clay, sandy silty clay, black silt or grey/black silty sand. The depth of Alluvium was proven in two exploratory hole locations (BH3 and BH5) and was encountered to depths of 6.8m bgl (BH3) and 8.15m bgl (BH5) with a thickness of up to 4.95m. The Alluvial deposits within BH3 and BH5 were further underlain by Glacial Till deposits comprising firm to stiff, brown/mottled brown, silty or sandy silty clay.

198

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

§

§ §

The depth (base) of the Glacial Till drift deposits was not proven in either of the exploratory hole locations. Within the area to the north of the reclamation mound, the exploratory hole locations comprised an unsurfaced layer of clay/sand/gravel and soil directly underlain by fill material such as sand, silt, clay with variable quantities of gravel, brick and inclusions of metal, plastic, glass and timber (BH1) or galligu chemical waste. The galligu chemical waste comprised a silty, clayey silt, friable or solidified material, varying in colour from yellow, grey, yellow/grey, yellow/grey/black, yellow/brown, blue/white, white/yellow/orange to white. The made ground horizon was encountered within BH1 to a depth of 6.8m bgl and underlain by Glacial Till deposits comprising soft, brown silty clay to an undetermined depth.

West Bank Dock Site 12.91 Made ground within this area generally comprised a surfacing layer of either hardstanding (concrete or tarmac) or unsurfaced material of grass/soil, sand/clay matrix or limestone chippings overlying either brown/grey/black sand, silt or clay with variable quantities of brick, gravel, cobbles, ash, timber, plastic, wire, organic matter and fragments of coal and slag with occasional inclusions of polystyrene (TP17), glass and ceramic tile (TP3). A discrete dense black ash layer was also encountered within nine (WS4-WS7, TP5 and TP10-TP13) of the twenty-one locations and was generally encountered in locations positioned within the western portion of the West Bank Dock area. 12.92 Galligu chemical waste was encountered in all of the sampling locations, with the exception of TP7 and TP12, comprising a silt, clayey/sandy/gravelly silt or a powdery or solidified material ranging in colour from yellow, grey, green, orange, white to mottled colours such as yellow/orange, yellow/green, yellow/green/brown, yellow/grey, yellow/black/white, black/orange, black/grey, grey/black/yellow, grey/black/white, green/grey, white/grey, green/white, brown/white/orange, black/brown/orange/white, brown/black/yellow and blue/white. 12.93 All exploratory hole locations within this area were terminated within the made ground deposits, thus, the depth (base) of this horizon was not proven. Summary of Ground Conditions 12.94 The geological conditions for the development site are summarised in Table 12.4. Table 12.4 General Summary of Site Geology Site Strata Description

Foundry Lane Site

Made Ground

Alluvium

Tarmac or gravel/silt/sand/clay matrix Brown sand/silt/clay or ash layer with fragments of gravel, brick, cobbles, ash and fragments of coal Galligu chemical waste Soft to firm, grey/brown, silty clay or clayey silt

199

Depth Encountered (m bgl)

Thickness

From ground level Between 0.2m and 1.4m bgl

Up to 0.5m

Between 0.2m and 2.2m bgl Between 1.2m and 7.7m bgl

Up to 2.0m

Up to 0.7m

Up to 6.9m

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Site

Reclamation Site – southern section of mound

Strata

Description

Depth Encountered (m bgl)

Thickness

Glacial Till

Soft to stiff, brown silty or sandy clay with occasional fine gravel deposits.

From 1.4m

Made Ground

Grass/soil or sand/clay matrix Sand/silt/clay or ash layer with variable quantities of gravel Galligu chemical waste.

From ground level. Between 0.5 m and 7.2m bgl.

Depth not proven – in excess of 0.3m Up to 3.2m

Alluvium

Glacial Till

Reclamation Site – area to the north

West Bank Dock Site

Made Ground

Soft to firm, grey/black sandy silty clay or black silt or grey/black silty sand Firm to stiff, brown/mottled brown silty or sandy silty clay

Clay/sand/gravel/soil matrix Brown sand/silt/clay with gravel, brick, metal, glass and timber Galligu chemical waste

Glacial Till

Soft, brown silty clay

Made Ground

Concrete, tarmac, grass/soil, sandy clay matrix or limestone chippings Brown/grey/black sand/silt/clay, or a layer of ash with fragments gravel brick, cobbles, ash, timber, plastic, wire, organic matter, coal, slag polystyrene, ceramic tile and glass Galligu chemical waste.

Up to 4.3m

Between 1.5m and 9.2m bgl. Between 3.2m and 9.2m bgl

Up to 5.4m

From 6.8m

Depth not proven – in excess of 6.2m Up to 0.9m

From ground level. Between 0.9m and 3.0m bgl. Between 0.1m and 6.8m From 6.8m

From ground level.

Up to 4.95m

Up to 3.1m

Up to 3.8m Depth not proven – in excess of 3.2m Up to 0.45m

Between 0.15m and 2.9m bgl.

Up to 2.75m

Between 0.4m and 2.4m bgl.

Depth not proven – in excess of 3.8m

12.95 As part of the 2011 investigation, visual and/or olfactory field evidence of potential contamination was noted during the trial pitting, window sampling and drilling of boreholes. A high frequency of inert materials such as brick, gravel and cobbles was encountered during the site investigation along with discrete granular ashy layers and chemical waste material (galligu). Fragments of coal, slag, wire and variable quantities of clinker, plastic, timber metal and tile were also encountered particularly within the West Bank Dock area of the site. Occasional unidentifiable odours were

200

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

noted generally within the made ground horizon and occasional sulphide odours were noted within the natural alluvial drift deposits. Field Evidence of Contamination 12.96 Visual and/or olfactory observations of potential contamination, excluding the presence of relatively inert materials such as brick, gravels, concrete, cobbles and glass which have not been included, are presented in Table 12.5. Table 12.5 Field Evidence of Contamination Position Strata Depth m bgl Observations West Bank Dock Site: WS1 WS1

Made ground Made ground

0.35 – 0.8 0.8 - 1.7

WS1 WS2

Made ground Made ground

2.8 – 4.0 0.4 – 2.3

WS2 WS3 WS3 WS4 WS4 WS4 WS4 WS4 WS4 WS4 WS5 WS5 WS6

Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground

2.3 – 3.8 0.3 – 0.4 0.4 – 4.0 0.5 – 0.7 0.7 – 0.8 0.8 – 1.4 1.4 – 1.8 1.85 – 3.3 3.3 – 3.35 3.35 – 4.0 0.35 - .3 1.3 – 4.0 0.35 – 0.65

WS6 WS6 WS7 WS7 WS7 TP1 TP1 TP1 TP2 TP2 TP3 TP3 TP3

Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground

0.65 – 1.7 1.9 – 4.0 0.4 – 0.8 0.8 – 1.0 1.8 – 4.0 0.3 – 0.8 0.8 – 1.7 2.2 – 3.3 0.3 – 0.5 0.6 – 2.0 GL – 1.15 1.15 – 2.2 2.0 – 3.0

TP4 TP5 TP5 TP5 TP6 TP6 TP7 TP8

Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground

0.4 – 3.8 0.75 – 2.6 2.6 – 2.8 2.8 – 3.5 1.1 – 1.2 1.2 – 3.5 0.45 – 1.7 1.1 – 3.0

201

Galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste with fragments of coal Galligu chemical waste Fragments of coal, clinker, ash and inclusions of galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste Fragments of coal and slag Galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste Ash with fragments of coal Galligu chemical waste Fragments of coal and slag Galligu chemical waste Ash Galligu chemical waste Ash, fragments of coal and occasional slag Galligu chemical waste Ash with occasional fragments of coal and slag Galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste Ash with fragments of coal and slag Galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste Timber, plastic and wire Galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste Wire and plastic Galligu chemical waste Ceramic tile and metal Galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste with inclusions of timber at 2.9m bgl Galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste Ash Galligu chemical waste Inclusions of timber Galligu chemical waste Inclusions of wire Galligu chemical waste

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Position

Strata

TP9 TP10 TP10 TP10 TP10 TP11 TP11 TP11 TP12 TP13 TP13 TP17 TP17 TP17

Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground Made ground

Depth m bgl 2.4 - 3.8 0.3 – 1.0 1.0 – 1.4 1.4 – 2.0 2.0 – 3.5` 0.2 – 0.4 0.4 - 2.2 2.2 – 3.6 2.2 – 2.9` 0.4 – 0.7 1.4 – 3.0 0.2 – 1.2 1.2 – 1.5 1.5 – 2.6

TP17 Made ground Reclamation Site: BH1 Made ground BH1 Made ground BH1 Made ground BH1 Made ground BH2 Made ground BH2 Alluvium BH3 Made ground BH3 Made ground BH4 Alluvium TP14 Made ground TP15 Made ground TP16 Made ground Foundry Lane Site WS8 Made ground WS8 Made ground WS8 Made ground WS10 Made ground

2.6 – 2.7

Observations Galligu chemical waste Inclusions of wire Galligu chemical waste Ash Galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste Ash Galligu chemical waste Ash Ash Galligu chemical waste Inclusions of metal Galligu chemical waste Inclusions of timber polystyrene Galligu chemical waste

and

pieces

of

GL – 0.9 0.9 - 1.3 1.3 - 3.0 3.0 - 6.8 3.8 - 9.2 9.2 - >15.0 0.5 – 1.5 1.5 – 5.6 7.2 – 11.7 0.55 – 1.2 0.1 – 3.0 0.3 – 3.2

Occasional pieces of plastic Pieces of metal and galligu chemical waste. Timber and pieces of wire Galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste Strong sulphide odour noted Ash and galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste Sulphide odour noted Galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste

0.25 – 0.4 1.0 – 1.2 1.2 – 1.4 0.25 – 0.6

Galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste Ash Occasional fragments of coal and inclusions of galligu chemical waste Inclusions of galligu chemical waste and an unidentifiable odour noted Galligu chemical waste Unidentifiable odour noted Ash and galligu chemical waste Galligu chemical waste

WS10

Made ground

0.6 – 0.9

WS10 WS10 WS11 WS11

Made ground Alluvium Made ground Made ground

0.9 – 1.0 1.3 – 1.8 0.3 – 0.5 0.5 – 2.2

12.97 No suspected asbestos-containing materials were noted in any of the soil samples recovered from the made ground horizon during the site investigation. Headspace (Field VOC) Test Results 12.98 Soil samples were field tested by dynamic headspace analysis, for the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) using a photo-ionisation detector (PID). Dynamic headspace analysis refers to the manual agitation of a bagged soil sample to facilitate the volatilisation of organic compounds present in the soil into the headspace above (i.e. soil gas) which is then analysed using the PID. The PID screens for a wide range of organic vapours including aromatics, amines, alkanes (>C4), certain chlorinated solvents, alkenes and heterocyclics, but does not indicate a specific compound. The limit of detection for most species is 0.2ppmv (parts per 202

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

million by volume) and the operating range is 0.1 - 2000ppmv. The measurements obtained by the instrument provide a semi-quantitative indication of the concentration of hydrocarbon vapours that are present within the soil pore spaces. The results of the headspace testing are presented within the exploratory hole logs presented in Appendix 12.5. The calibration certificate for the PID (PhoCheck+ / Serial No.: 10-01578) is provided in Appendix 12.7. The PID was calibrated by the field operative prior to use. 12.99 Headspace readings were undertaken using a Photo Ionisation Detector (PID) on all samples. All recorded results were low and in most cases were below the detection limit of the instrument (in other words the instrument gave no response). The maximum value of 3.7ppmv was recorded within the alluvial deposits encountered at WS10 (1.5 – 1.7m bgl); an unidentifiable odour was noted at this sampling depth also. The very low and probably zero in many cases concentrations observed using the PID instrument indicate that there is an absence of volatile organic compounds from the soil. These would be key contaminants of concern and their absence should be seen as a positive result. 12.100 Gas/vapour monitoring within the well airspace was also undertaken prior to dipping of the monitoring wells as part of the groundwater level survey. All installed window sample and borehole monitoring wells gave no response above the analytical detection limit of the instrument. BASELINE CONDITIONS - CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION Analytical Strategy 12.101 The analytical strategy was designed to provide a broad assessment of the ground conditions underlying the site and developed with reference to known and potential contaminants arising from historical and current activities at the site. The analytical suites are detailed in Table 12.6. Table 12.6 Analytical Strategy Analytical Suite

Metals: Arsenic, Water Soluble Boron, Cadmium, Chromium, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Zinc, Selenium, Copper (Method: ICP-OES) Additional Metals: Barium, Beryllium, Vanadium (Method: ICP-OES) Asbestos (Method: VI) pH (Method: Potentiometric) Total Cyanide (Method: Colorimetric)

Rationale

No. of Soil Samples Submitted

Commonly associated with industrial sites. Typical chemical components of galligu chemical waste.

42

Rare metals; not commonly associated with on-site historic or current activities but possible general components of waste material. Associated with general fill material and demolition wastes. Selected to determine soil conditions respect to acidity or alkaline conditions. Commonly associated with gas works wastes.

5

203

6 35 35

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Analytical Suite

Rationale

No. of Soil Samples Submitted

Total Sulphate as SO4 (Method: ICP-OES) Sulphide (Method: ISE)

Commonly associated with industrial sites. Typical chemical component of galligu chemical waste.

40

Ammonia as NH3 and Ammonium as NH4 (Method: ISE) Monohydric Phenols (Method: Colorimetric) Total Phenols (Method: GC-MS) Speciated Phenols (Method: GC-MS) Speciated PAHs (USEPA Speciated Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons): naphthalene, acenaphthylene, acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo(a)anthracene, chrysene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, indeno(1,2,3cd)pyrene, dibenzo(a)anthracene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene

By-product of degraded wastes.

35

Commonly associated with industrial sites. Targeted analysis for historic site activities (timber yards). Targeted analysis for historic site activities (timber yards). Speciated suite to determine the presence of fuel derivatives and associated compounds.

35

Targeted analysis for fuels and oils. BTEX compounds are targeted analysis for lighter fuels (Petrol Range Organics).

35

40

16 16 19

(Method: GC-MS) TPH CWG (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon Criteria Working Group including Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylene (BTEX)) (Method: GC-MS/GC-FID) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) (Method: GC-MS) VOCs with Tentatively Identified Compounds (TICs) (Method: GC-MS) Semi-volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs) (Method: GC-MS) SVOCs with Tentatively Identified Compounds (TICs) (Method: GC-MS) Total Organic Carbon (TOC)

16 Targeted analysis for solvents and fuel constituents. TICs can be indicator compounds for chemical products.

16

16 Targeted analysis for PAH compounds and phenols. TICs can be indicator compounds for chemical products. To establish a baseline indication of the total organic matter in the soil. 204

16

4

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Analytical Suite

Rationale

No. of Soil Samples Submitted

Risk assessment parameter. Particle Size Distribution (PSD) Risk assessment parameter. 1 NB: As referenced on exploratory hole logs, the Suite 1 and Suite 2 analytical suites comprise as follows: Suite 1 = Metals, total cyanide, ammonia/ammonium, total sulphate, sulphide, pH, monohydric phenols, speciated phenols, TPH CWG, VOC & TICs, SVOC & TICs

Suite 2 = Metals, total cyanide, ammonia/ammonium, total sulphate, sulphide, pH, monohydric phenols, TPH CWG, speciated PAH Laboratory Methods: ICP OES - Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry VI - Visual Inspection ISE – Ion Selective Electrode GC-MS - Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry GC-FID - Gas Chromatography Flame Ionisation Detection

Assessment of Soil Results 12.102 A total of forty five samples were recovered from the exploratory hole locations and submitted for laboratory chemical analysis. The recovered samples consisted of thirty two made ground samples, of which, twelve samples were recovered from the various guises of galligu chemical waste and/or galligu contaminated soils; and thirteen samples from the natural strata, of which, seven samples were recovered from the Glacial Till horizon and six samples recovered from the Alluvial deposits. 12.103 For the generic assessment of risks to human health, concentrations of determinands detected above their respective analytical method detection limits (MDLs) have been screened using the Soil Guidelines (SGVs) and CIEH Generic Assessment Criteria (GAC) values for the commercial land use scenario. The soil analytical results for inorganic and organic parameters are summarised in Table 12.7 with the full analytical certificates presented in Appendix 12.8. Table 12.7 Summary of Soil Analytical Results Contaminant

No. of Samples

Inorganic Parameters pH 35

Total cyanide Total Sulphate as SO4 Sulphide Ammonia as NH3 Ammonium as NH4 Asbestos

Max. Conc. (mg/kg)

Location of Sample with Max. Conc.

Screening Criteria

H – 11.5 L – 7.0

NC

-

NC NC

-

Commercial

35 40

4.3 470,000

H – TP16 (0.5-0.7m) L – TP12 (0.4-0.6m) WS10 (0.6-0.8m) BH1 (5.5m)

40 35

5,700 47

BH2 (9.2m) BH1 (6.8m)

NC NC

35

49

BH1 (6.8m)

NC

6

Not Detecte d

-

N/A

205

No. of Exceedances of Screening Criteria

-

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Contaminant

No. of Samples

Max. Conc. (mg/kg)

Location of Sample with Max. Conc.

Screening Criteria Commercial

No. of Exceedances of Screening Criteria

Heavy Metals / Metalloids Arsenic

42

790

BH3 (5.0m)

6401

Barium Beryllium Boron Cadmium Chromium Copper Lead

5 5 42 42 42 42 42

1,000 4.6 6.6 13.0 190 450 6,400

WS12 (0.5-0.8m) TP11 (0.9-1.3m) BH1 (6.6m) BH2 (9.2m) WS4 (0.3-0.4m) WS2 (1.7-2.0m) TP11 (0.9-1.3m)

22,0003 420 192,000 2301 30,400* 71,700 7502

1 BH3 (5.0m) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 TP11 (0.9-1.3m) 0 0 0 0 0

Mercury 42 40 TP11 (0.9-1.3m) 3,6001* Nickel 42 140 WS5 (0.7-1.0m) 1,8001 Selenium 42 30 TP11 (0.9-1.3m) 13,0001 Vanadium 5 77 TP11 (0.9-1.3m) 3,160 Zinc 42 17,000 BH2 (5.8m) 665,000 Phenols 0 Total Phenols 35 34 BH2 (5.8m) 3,2001 (monohydric) 0 Total Phenols 16
**Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) including PAH results from SVOC Suite Naphthalene Acenaphthlen e Acenaphthene Fluorene Phenanthrene Anthracene Fluoranthene Pyrene Benzo(a) anthracene

35 35

34 4.2

WS10 (1.5-1.7m) WS10 (0.6-0.8m)

200 84,000

0 0

35 35 35 35 35 35 35

4.3 1.2 9 7.9 42 40 29

WS10 (1.5-1.7m) WS10 (1.5-1.7m) WS10 (0.6-0.8m) WS10 (0.6-0.8m) WS10 (0.6-0.8m) WS10 (0.6-0.8m) WS10 (0.6-0.8m)

85,000 64,000 22,000 530,000 23,000 54,000 90

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

140 100

0 0

140

0

14 60

1 WS10 (0.6-0.8m) 0

13

0

650

0

951 4,4001 2,8001

0 0 0

Chrysene 35 26 WS10 (0.6-0.8m) Benzo(b) 35 63 WS10 (0.6-0.8m) fluoranthene Benzo(k) 35 21 WS10 (0.6-0.8m) fluoranthene Benzo(a)pyren 35 51 WS10 (0.6-0.8m) e Indeno(1,2,335 37 WS10 (0.6-0.8m) cd) pyrene Dibenz(a,h) 35 4.8 WS10 (0.6-0.8m) anthracene Benzo(g,h,i) 35 45 WS10 (0.6-0.8m) perylene BTEX Compounds including BTEX results from VOC Suite Benzene 35 0.0023 WS10 (1.5-1.7m) Toluene 35 0.017 WS10 (0.6-0.8m) Ethylbenzene 35 0.031 WS10 (0.6-0.8m)

206

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Contaminant

p & m-xylene o-xylene MTBE (Methyl

No. of Samples

35 35 35

Max. Conc. (mg/kg)

Location of Sample with Max. Conc.

0.009.7 0.012
WS10 (1.5-1.7m) WS10 (0.6-0.8m) -

Screening Criteria Commercial

3,2001 2,6001 NC

No. of Exceedances of Screening Criteria 0 0 0

Tertiary Butyl Ether)

**Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons Criteria Working Group (TPH CWG) Aliphatic >C5– 35
0

C6

Aliphatic >C6–

35


-

8,300

0

35


-

2,100

0

35

41

WS5 (0.7-1.0m)

10,000

0

35

86

WS5 (0.7-1.0m)

61,000

0

35

170

WS10 (0.6-0.8m)

1,600,000

0

35

240

TP8 (0.3-0.5m)

1,600,000

0

35


-

28,000

0

35


-

59,000

0

35


-

3,700

0

35

46

WS10 (1.5-1.7m)

17,000

0

35

25

WS10 (0.6-0.8m)

36,000

0

35

430

WS10 (0.6-0.8m)

28,000

0

35

4,400

WS10 (0.6-0.8m)

28,000

0

C8

Aliphatic >C8– C10

Aliphatic >C10C12

Aliphatic >C12–C16

Aliphatic >C16–C21

Aliphatic >C21–C35 Aromatic >C5– C7

Aromatic >C7– C8

Aromatic >C8– C10

Aromatic >C10–C12

Aromatic >C12–C16

Aromatic >C16–C21

Aromatic >C21–C35

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) excluding results for BTEX Compounds (referenced above) (only VOCs detected above MDLs are presented below) 0 16 0.0045 WS10 (1.5-1.7m) 423* 1,3,5trimethylbenze ne VOCs & Tentatively Identified Compounds (TICs) – Discussed separately Semi Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs) excluding results for PAH Compounds (referenced in PAH section) (only SVOCs detected above MDLs are presented below) Dibenzofuran 16 1.2 WS10 (1.5-1.7m) NC Carbazole 16 1.2 WS10 (0.6-0.8m) NC SVOCs & Tentatively Identified Compounds (TICs) – Discussed separately Notes: MDL = Analytical Method Detection Limit NC = Not Calculated N/A = Not Applicable -= Not Relevant H = Highest pH value L = Lowest pH value Values used are CIEH GAC for Commercial Scenario except where indicated otherwise 1 = SGV

207

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Contaminant

No. of Samples

Max. Conc. (mg/kg)

Location of Sample with Max. Conc.

Screening Criteria Commercial

No. of Exceedances of Screening Criteria

2

= Former SGV (2002) used for lead value in lieu of any other criteria = EIC GAC (2009) * = CIEH GAC for Cr (III) 1 * = SGV for Inorganic Hg2+ (usual form analysed by laboratories) 3 * = EIC GAC for 1, 2, 4 Trimethylbenzene used as screening criteria ** = PAH and TPH screening criteria is CIEH GACs - 1% Soil Organic Matter (SOM) for Commercial Scenario 3

12.104 Soil pH values ranged from pH7 – 11.5 indicating neutral to alkaline conditions, of which the later are largely a result of the galligu chemical waste with the higher strength alkalinity being reflective of the caustic properties of galligu / galligu contaminated soils. 12.105 Total cyanide concentrations were generally below the laboratory analytical method detection limit (MDL), with the exception of six samples (five samples recovered from the made ground horizon and one sample recovered from the underlying natural Alluvial deposits). The maximum concentration recorded was 4.3mg.kg (WS10, 0.60.8m) and whilst there is no appropriate screening value for this parameter, the recorded concentrations are not considered to be of concern as they are still very low concentrations and infrequent in occurrence. 12.106 Sulphate (as SO4) concentrations ranged from 310mg/kg (WS11, 3.7-4.0m) to 470,000mg/kg (BH1, 5.5.m). Sulphate is a typical chemical component of galligu and is reflected in the significantly elevated recorded concentrations. The main consideration regarding elevated sulphate concentrations is predominantly in terms of foundation design during redevelopment as sulphate rich conditions are aggressive to building materials. 12.107 Sulphide analysis was undertaken on seventeen samples recovered from the general made ground horizon (with concentrations ranging from 1.1mg/kg to 120mg/kg); twelve samples comprising galligu chemical waste or galligu contaminated soils (with concentrations ranging from <0.1mg/kg to 4,100mg/kg); five samples from the Glacial Till horizon (with concentrations ranging <1.0mg/kg to 340mg/kg); and six samples from the Alluvial deposits (with concentrations ranging from 29mg/kg to 5,700mg/kg). There is no appropriate screening value for this parameter however, the recorded concentrations for the samples recovered from the general made ground and the Glacial Till horizon are not considered to be particularly elevated. Significantly elevated sulphate levels were recorded within the galligu chemical waste deposits within BH1 (1,000mg/kg) (located in the area to the north of the reclamation mound); BH2 (4,100mg/kg) and BH3 (2,800mg/kg) (located on the reclamation mound); this accords with documented material, which states that waste (galligu) arising from the Leblanc process (manufacture of sodium carbonate) was rich in sulphur compounds. Significantly elevated sulphide levels (5,700mg/kg and 4,100mg/kg) were also recorded in two samples recovered from the natural Alluvial deposits (BH2, 9.2m and BH4, 7.2-8.0m respectively), where hydrogen sulphide odours were noted during strata logging and sampling. 12.108 Ammonia is gaseous in its natural state and thus in soil and moisture tends to form its conjugate acid as an ammonium ion, thus, soil samples were analysed for both

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ammonia (as NH3) and ammonium (as NH4) (ammonia generally exists in soils as NH4 + which binds to soil particles). Ammonia and ammonium concentrations within each of the samples analysed were at comparable concentrations ranging from below the laboratory analytical MDL to 47mg/kg and 49mg/kg respectively (BH1, 6.8m). There are no appropriate screening criteria for ammonia or ammonium in soils, however the results for these parameters are not deemed to be of contaminative concern as the concentrations are considered to be indicative of general background levels for site, which are considered to be low for an industrial site with a long industrial heritage. 12.109 Asbestos screening was undertaken on six samples recovered from the made ground horizon across the site. No bulk fibres were identified by the laboratory and no visual field observations of suspected asbestos were noted during the sampling of the shallow soils. 12.110 Forty two samples recovered from the made ground and the underlying natural strata were submitted for a range of analyses for heavy metals. The majority of the metals analysed including beryllium, water soluble boron, cadmium, chromium (Cr III), copper, mercury, nickel, selenium, vanadium and zinc were all recorded at concentrations below the relevant screening criteria. Of the forty two samples analysed, one made ground sample comprising galligu chemical waste recovered from BH3 (5.0m) recorded an arsenic concentration of 790mg/kg which is marginally in excess of the screening value (640mg/kg); high arsenic and lead levels are a typical characteristic of galligu chemical waste. Lead concentrations exceed the screening criteria (750mg/kg) in one sample recovered from the made ground horizon at TP11 (0.9-1.3m). The sample consisted of an ash fill material and recorded a significantly elevated concentration of 6,400mg/kg which does not exceed the EIC screening criteria of 22,000mg/kg. 12.111 Monohydric phenol concentrations were detected above the laboratory analytical MDL in four of the thirty five samples analysed; all concentrations were recorded below the screening criteria. Sixteen samples recovered from the made ground and underlying natural strata were submitted for total phenol (GC-MS) and speciated phenol analysis, no individual phenolic compounds or total phenols were recorded above the laboratory analytical MDL. 12.112 PAH analysis was undertaken on thirty five soil samples; nineteen samples were analysed for USEPA Priority 16 PAHs and sixteen samples were analysed for USEPA Priority 16 PAHs within the scope of the SVOC analysis; however none of the samples analysed were subject to duplicate testing, thus, all PAH results are summarised herein. Of the thirty five samples submitted for PAH analysis, twenty four samples were recovered from the made ground (of which, seventeen samples were recovered from the general made ground horizon and seven samples consisted of galligu chemical waste/galligu contaminated soils) and eleven samples were recovered from the underlying natural strata (of which, six samples comprised Alluvial deposits and five samples comprised Glacial Till deposits). All detectable PAH compounds were recorded below respective screening criteria, with the exception of the PAH compound benzo(a)pyrene that was detected in excess of its screening criteria (14mg/kg) within one of the samples analysed. The elevated benzo(a)pyrene concentration (51mg/kg) was recorded within the made ground horizon encountered at WS10 (0.6-0.8m); however the presence of hardstanding in the area restricts the dermal contact pathway for this compound and therefore,

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

mitigates the risk, albeit low, posed by this contaminant. 12.113 Detectable hydrocarbon fractions (aliphatic and aromatic fractions >C10-C12, >C12-C16, >C16-C21 and >C21-C35) within the working group criteria (CWG) have been reported sporadically across the site within the made ground and underlying material strata however, all recorded concentrations are below the respective screening criteria. 12.114 BTEX compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, p&m-xylene, o-xylene) and MTBE (petrol additive) were analysed as part of the TPH CWG analysis and within the scope of the VOC analysis. This has generated two datasets and in some cases has duplicated the data available for the samples analysed. However, the same analytical method is used for the analysis of TPH CWG and VOCs; and the duplicated results for the effected samples have recorded the same concentrations through the TPH CWG and VOC analysis (with only one exception), thus, the datasets have been combined, removing the duplicated data, to produce one dataset for the BTEX compounds to enable consideration of the results herein. The only reportable difference between the two forms of analysis relates to one sample (WS10, 1.5-1.7m) and the recorded results for ethylbenzene. The recorded concentrations were 0.016mg/kg via TPH CWG and 0.015mg/kg via VOC analysis; this difference is minimal and does not warrant the datasets to be individually considered. With regards to the overall results for the BTEX compounds, all concentrations are considered trace and well below the respective screening criteria. 12.115 VOC analysis including tentatively identified compounds (TICs) was undertaken on sixteen samples recovered from both the made ground and underlying natural strata. Of the full VOC suite, with the exception of BTEX compounds and MTBE that have been discussed within Section 13.135, only one compound (1,3,5-trimethylbenzene) was reported above the corresponding method detection limit; the concentration for which (0.0045mg/kg) is considered trace. 12.116 SVOC analysis including tentatively identified compounds (TICs) was undertaken on sixteen samples recovered from both the made ground and underlying natural strata. Of the full SVOC suite, including phenols, phthalates, ethers and branched benzenes but with the exception of PAHs which have been discussed previously, only two compounds (dibenzofuran and carbazole) were detected above the corresponding method detection limits. Both compounds recorded a concentration of 1.2mg/kg and were detected within both the made ground and underlying natural Alluvial deposits encountered at WS10 (Foundry Lane site) which comprised olfactory evidence of contamination in the form of an unidentifiable odour during the field investigation. There are no associated screening criteria for these compounds. Carbazole is often used in agrochemicals and dibenzofuran is used as an insecticide and thus, these compounds may be attributable to the former use of the Foundry Lane site as a timber yard. 12.117 TIC analysis is an assessment based on a tentative comparison of chromatogram outputs against a library of compounds. Quantification of detectable TICs is not possible as a TIC is an unknown compound and thus, does not have a corresponding laboratory calibration standard; therefore, it is the compound’s library probability match that is reported. The sixteen soil samples submitted for VOCs and SVOCs were also scheduled for TIC analysis. No reported TICs associated with the VOC analysis were detected. Several TICs were identified with the SVOC analysis

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and are detailed in Table 12.8. Table 12.8 Summary of SVOC & TICs Analytical Results Sample Strata Tentatively Identified Compound Reference BH2, 5.8m WS2, 1.72.0m WS4, 0.30.4m

Made ground Made ground Made ground

WS10, 0.60.8m

Made ground

WS10, 1.51.7m

Natural Alluvium

Library Match Probability (%)

1-methyl phenanthrene 2,3-dimethyl naphthalene Benz(e)acephenanthrylene 2,3-dimethyl naphthalene

92 93 93 93

2,6,10,14-tetramethyl hexadecane 10-methylnonadecane 4-methyl phenanthrene Benz(e)acephenanthrylene Dibenzo(d,e,f,m,n,o) chrysene 9,10-dimethylanthracene 1-methyl pyrene 3,4-dihydro cyclopentra(c,d)pyrene 1-methyl chrysene Benzo(e)pyrene Perylene 3,4:8,9-dibenzopyrene Dibenz(a,e) aceanthrylene 2-methyl phenanthrene 11H-benzo(b)fluorine Azulene Benzocycloheptatriene 2-methyl naphthalene

95 91 90 97 94 93 94 95 97 98 96 96 96 93 93 94 91 91

Generally, the SVOC TIC analysis indicates PAH compounds. Given the recorded concentrations of known PAHs (US EPA Priority 16 PAHs) within the soils, contamination by SVOC TICs is not considered to be significant at the site. 12.118 TOC (Total Organic Carbon) analysis was undertaken on four samples; two from made ground and two from the natural strata that were free of obvious contamination. TOC concentrations ranged from 0.2% to 0.6% and TOC results are of relevance in order to establish a baseline indication of the total organic matter in soil and for more detailed quantitative risk assessments that may be required. Previous Soil Analytical Data 12.119 Environ UK Ltd (Environ) was commissioned in 2004 to undertake an intrusive investigation of the site to support the design of the development proposals at that time. Sampling locations were positioned to provide a representative spatial assessment of the ground conditions, to target identified areas of potential contamination (e.g. storage tanks) and to provide preliminary geotechnical information. The intrusive investigation was carried by Environ over a period of five weeks, from 8th November 2004 to the 16th December 2004 with subsequent periods of sample analysis, monitoring and assessment of results. This study and its results are presented in the Environmental Statement Report (67C12665 – ES Volume 2) that was submitted as part of the planning submission (planning reference HBC Ref 07/00815/FULEIA) in November 2007 (approved on 10 March 2008). 12.120 The Environ 2004 investigation provided a baseline assessment of soil conditions at the site on which, the 2011 intrusive investigation undertaken by EAME was based 211

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

upon in order to enable characterisation of the areas of the site that were not previously targeted (i.e. due to the presence of building cover) whilst enabling further characterisation to support the design of the current development proposals. Therefore, it is considered prudent to assess the existing Environ soil analytical data as part of the baseline assessment. 12.121 The soil analytical results obtained during the Environ 2004 investigation were assessed in relation to the prevailing contaminated land guidance; the 2002 CLEA Soil Guideline Values (SGVs) for commercial/industrial sites, which have now largely been withdrawn and Dutch Intervention Values that were, even at the time of use, considered to be conservative values but provided an initial reference point at that time. Therefore, the results have been reviewed in relation to current screening criteria (2009 SGVs published by the Environment Agency and the CIEH values (second edition, 2009), with the exception of the former 2002 lead SGV which has been used in lieu of any other criteria). A summary soil assessment is provided below. 12.122 Seventy four samples were submitted for a range of metals (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, zinc and water soluble boron). The majority of the metals analysed recorded concentrations below the relevant screening criteria with the exception of lead and arsenic. Two samples recorded arsenic concentrations (660mg/kg and 21,000mg/kg) in excess of the current screening criteria (640mg/kg); the highest concentration detected in a sample recovered from a trial pit location that was excavated within the reclamation mound and comprised galligu chemical waste. Lead concentrations exceeded the screening criteria in five of the samples analysed with the highest concentration of 5,000mg/kg recorded within a sample recovered from the made ground horizon. 12.123 Soil pH values were recorded as ranging from slightly acidic to alkaline in the range of pH 5.8 - 12.8. The alkaline conditions largely as a result of the galligu chemical waste. The slightly acidic pH of 5.8 was recorded in a sample recovered from the Alluvial deposits. 12.124 Three of the seventy four samples analysed for total cyanide detected concentrations above the laboratory analytical MDL and recorded concentrations of 10mg/kg; 14mg/kg and 3902mg/kg; the highest concentration of which, was detected in a sample recovered from the Alluvial deposits. 12.125 Two of the seventy four samples analysed for monohydric phenol recorded concentrations above the laboratory analytical MDL but were both below the screening value. 12.126 Water soluble sulphate was analysed during the 2004 investigation and concentrations ranged from 0.02g/l to 2.2g/l and again, would need to be considered in terms of foundation design during redevelopment. 12.127 Asbestos screening was undertaken on made ground samples recovered from across the site and asbestos was detected in only one sample out of the thirty five analysed. Amosite was detected in the shallow soils of a trial pit location excavated within the southern area of the West Bank Dock site. 12.128 Sulphide analysis was undertaken on fourteen samples and concentrations ranged

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

between 50mg/kg (a sample recovered from the natural Alluvial deposts) and 6,800mg/kg (a sample recovered from the galligu chemical waste). 12.129 Speciated PAH analysis was undertaken on seven samples and all detectable PAH compounds were recorded below the respective screening criteria. Seventy four samples were analysed for total PAH and concentrations ranged from below the laboratory analytical MDL to 200mg/kg (a sample recovered from the natural Alluvial deposits that was noted to be odorous). There is no current screening value for a total PAH concentration. 12.130 Fifteen samples recovered from the made ground were analysed for the presence of Poly-chlorinated bi-phenyls (PCBs). A range of seven PCB congeners were tested for, however, none were found to be present above their respective analytical MDLs. 12.131 A hydrocarbon broad scan (C10 – C40) was conducted on seventy four samples. The maximum recorded concentration of 2,500mg/kg was detected in a made ground sample recovered from a location that target the tank farm area located on the West Bank Estate, which reportedly accorded with field evidence of contamination in the form of a strong hydrocarbon odour. There is no current screening criterion for total hydrocarbon, however, when compared against the screening criteria for the aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbon fractions (>C10-C12, >C12-C16, >C16-C21 and >C21-C35) within the working group criteria (CWG), the highest recordable concentration (2,500mg/kg) is below the respective screening criteria for each of the fractions. Two samples were submitted for TPH CWG, however all results were below the laboratory MDLs or respective screening criteria. 12.132 Eleven samples were analysed for a range of commonly occurring organochlorine and organophosphorus pesticide compounds; none of the compounds were detected above their respective laboratory analytical MDLs. 12.133 Two samples obtained from boreholes located within the Foundry Lane site, which historically comprised a timber yard, were submitted for a range of analysis (e.g. organochlorines, phenolics, organotin compounds and additives) commonly associated with timber treatment chemicals. None of the individual determinands were identified above their respective laboratory analytical MDLs. 12.134 Analysis for major ions was undertaken on twenty three samples. It was reported that the maximum concentrations of ammonia, alkalinity (as CaCO3), sodium and calcium were all detected in samples comprising galligu chemical waste. The highest recorded concentrations of magnesium and potassium were recorded in samples recovered from the Glacial Till and the highest concentrations of nitrate and chloride were detected in the Alluvial deposits. 12.135 VOC analysis was undertaken on thirty four samples; BTEX compounds and individual chlorinated compounds were detected, however all recorded concentrations above the laboratory analytical MDLs are considered to be trace in relation to current screening criteria, where available. 12.136 SVOC analysis was undertaken on twelve samples. Three samples recorded PAH’s however, all concentrations were considered to be trace and below relevant screening criteria. Concentrations of phenol and 4-methylphenol were detected in four samples but were recorded well below the phenol screening value

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

(3,200mg/kg). A trace concentration of the compound anthraquinone was also detected in one sample; there is no screening value for this compound. Previous Soils Analysis from Reclamation Mound 12.137 In 2008, Environ completed a targeted trial pitting exercise within the area of the reclamation mound destined for removal and subsequent re-use in the development of the Tesco distribution centre located to the east of Stobart Park (referred to as Phase 1). A total of 30 samples of ‘pure galligu’ chemical waste were recovered from various depths and locations within the mound, which were analysed for a range of chemical parameters (metals, water soluble sulphate, chloride, fluoride, pH and organic carbon) and leaching tests in order to try and characterise the full range of pollution potential of the galligu. These results were assessed in relation to the prevailing contaminated land guidance (CLEA Industrial SGVs), which have now largely been withdrawn and showed that only arsenic and lead (and only in a few cases) exceeded the relevant criteria (CLEA Industrial SGV) and thus these were considered to be the principal contaminants of concern from an environmental risk perspective. The Total Organic Carbon (TOC) levels in the galligu characterisation analysis showed very low levels of organic matter present. For continuity and the purpose of this assessment, the results have also been reviewed in relation to current screening criteria (2009 SGVs published by the Environment Agency and the CIEH values (second edition, 2009) with the exception of the former 2002 lead SGV which has been used in lieu of any other criteria). Results are comparable with the 2008 assessment; with only three arsenic exceedances (maximum concentration of 900mg/kg) above its relevant screening value and one exceedance (1,200mg/kg) for lead. 12.138 In 2008, as part of the application for a Waste Management Exemption for material to be moved from the reclamation mound to the former Tessenderlo area, that was being redeveloped as the Tesco distribution centre, a further 174 samples were obtained from the reclamation mound by Environ. The targeted analytical suite comprised total arsenic and lead and in addition, every tenth sample was submitted for a comprehensive suite of analysis (pH, range of metals, total sulphate and sulphide). An assessment was made of the Hazardous Properties of the material sampled (representing the first 43,500m3 to be moved under the Phase 1 works). The assessment demonstrated that none of the samples would exceed the relevant hazardous property threshold for metals and thus the material would not be classified as hazardous waste due to metal content. For continuity and the purpose of this assessment, the results have also been reviewed in relation to current screening criteria (2009 SGVs published by the Environment Agency and the CIEH values (second edition, 2009) with the exception of the former 2002 lead SGV which has been used in lieu of any other criteria). Results indicate nine arsenic exceedances (maximum concentration of 1,200mg/kg) above its relevant screening value (640mg/kg) and only two exceedances (maximum concentration of 1,000mg/kg) for lead with one sample returning a concentration equal to the screening value of 750mg/kg. Sulphate concentrations ranged between 270 mg/kg and 52,000mg/kg and sulphide concentrations ranged from below the laboratory analytical MDL to 1,100mg/kg. No other chemical contaminants were identified above respective screening criteria. Summary of Chemical Baseline Conditions 12.139 The potential sources of soil contamination are extensive as the site has been under industrial usage from at least the 1890s and is made up, in large parts, from historic

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

chemical waste deposits (galligu) that also dominates the surrounding area. 12.140 Field evidence of potential contamination was noted during the recent investigation undertaken by EAME and accords with previous studies conducted at the site; identifying the widespread deposits of galligu chemical waste and a high frequency of inert materials such as brick, gravel and cobbles that were encountered across the site together with discrete granular ashy layers. Fragments of coal, slag, wire and variable quantities of clinker, plastic, timber metal and tile were also encountered particularly within the West Bank Dock area of the site; with occasional unidentifiable odours noted generally within the made ground horizon and occasional sulphide odours noted within the natural alluvial drift deposits. 12.141 The chemical testing of soils during the EAME investigation has not revealed significant concentrations of contaminants across the site in relation to screening criteria, where available. Of the sixteen USEPA PAH compounds, only one compound (benzo(a)pyrene) was detected above its screening value in one sample recovered from the made ground horizon. A significantly elevated concentration of lead (6,400mg/kg) was recorded above its respective screening value (750mg/kg) in one sample recovered from the made ground horizon; and a sample consisting of galligu chemical waste recorded an arsenic concentration slightly in excess of its screening criteria. The identified metals are considered to be relatively immobile, especially as soil conditions are neutral to alkaline. 12.142 The other key contaminants that have been identified during the EAME investigation were sulphate and sulphide. There are no screening criteria for either of these parameters. Sulphate is relatively benign in environmental terms and is considered to be an issue in engineering terms only. Sulphide compounds can be potentially hazardous (liberating hydrogen sulphide gas under certain conditions). Significantly elevated levels of sulphate and sulphide were recorded within the galligu chemical waste deposits, which accords with documented material that states that waste (galligu) arising from the Leblanc process (manufacture of sodium carbonate) was rich in sulphur compounds. Significantly elevated sulphide levels were also recorded in two samples recovered from the natural Alluvial deposits where hydrogen sulphide odours were noted during the investigation. 12.143 Organic contamination is not prevalent at the site within either the made ground or underlying natural deposits, nor are any complex organic (hydrocarbon) species typically associated with galligu chemical waste, which has been demonstrated through the petroleum hydrocarbon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and VOC (targeting aromatic compounds) testing and supported by the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) levels which showed very low levels of organic matter present; the absence of any notable visual and/or olfactory evidence of contamination; and low headspace (PID) test results. 12.144 The Environ 2007 EIA (67C12665 – ES Volume 2) concluded that chemical testing of the soils revealed that the site was contaminated to varying degrees. Following a review, by EAME, of the chemical data in relation to current screening criteria, where available, results from the previous Environ investigations accord with the recent EAME investigation in that lead and arsenic are generally the key contaminants associated with the site. Elevated levels of these metals were generally associated with the presence of ash and the galligu chemical waste deposits. Furthermore, leachability testing undertaken by Environ concluded that the metals within the made

215

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

ground were not in a readily soluble and thus leachable form. 12.145 Elevated sulphate and sulphide concentrations were also recorded within the Environ investigations with significant levels of both contaminants identified with samples consisting of galligu chemical waste. 12.146 The 2004 Environ investigation identified hydrocarbon contamination within the shallow soils located within the area of the West Bank Dock site that formerly comprised the tank farm. It was noted that the tanks were poorly bunded; surface staining was noted around the base of the breeze block bund; the concrete hardstanding was noted to be cracked in places and to generally be in a poor state of repair; the drainage system did not appear to be functioning properly i.e. oily water present on the surface; and field evidence of hydrocarbon contamination was noted in both the soil profile, in the form of a hydrocarbon odour and the perched water, which was discoloured and comprised a significant oily sheen. Hydrocarbon contamination was also identified in a trial pit location situated on the area of land located to the north of the Reclamation site however, no visual or olfactory evidence of contamination was noted during the excavation of the location. It was concluded that results were indicative of localised hotspots of TPH contamination rather than widespread contamination of the site by hydrocarbons. Following a review of the hydrocarbon chemical data, by EAME, in relation to current screening criteria, results from the previous Environ investigation accord with the recent EAME findings that organic contamination is not prevalent at the site. 12.147 Asbestos presence was only identified within the shallow soils at one exploratory location within the West Bank Dock site during the 2004 Environ investigation and the 2011 EAME investigation. However, given the known historic landfilling within the West Bank Dock area, the presence of other asbestos containing materials present on the site cannot be ruled out. BASELINE CONDITIONS - Land Gas Summary of Previous Land Gas Monitoring Data 12.148 As part of the 2004 Environ investigation, gas monitoring was undertaken on sixteen monitoring wells on two separate occasions. In addition, two gas samples were collected for laboratory analysis from the two monitoring wells, which detected the highest methane and carbon dioxide concentrations following the first gas monitoring round. 12.149 Concentrations of methane ranged from below the instrument’s analytical limit of detection to 6.5%. The maximum concentration of methane (6.5%) was detected during the second monitoring round within a borehole (BH15) located on the Foundry Lane site; and this borehole also recorded the highest methane concentrations of 3.6% during the first monitoring round. The response zone for this monitoring well was installed within the Alluvial drift deposits and it was considered likely that the degradation of natural organic matter within the Alluvial deposits were giving rise to the elevated level of methane. 12.150 Eleven of the sixteen monitoring wells recorded carbon dioxide concentrations below detection (<0.1%) with the remainder of the locations recording concentrations between 0.1% and 5.0%, with the exception of two locations. One of the locations

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

(BH51) recorded a carbon dioxide concentration of 5.1% during the first monitoring occasion however, this concentration was not sustained and the concentration reduced to below 1% within thirty seconds of the monitoring period. The second monitoring occasion did not record carbon dioxide concentrations from this borehole above the instruments analytical limit of detection (0.1%). The other location (WS6) recorded concentrations of 7.0% and 6.3% respectively. Both monitoring wells were installed within the made ground horizon and appear to correspond with the presence of fill material, which in WS6 comprised a strong hydrocarbon odour. 12.151 Concentrations of oxygen ranged between 7.0% (WS6) and 21.1% (BH12) during the first monitoring round. This depleted concentration of 7.0% coincided with the elevated carbon dioxide level detected within that well. The concentrations of oxygen during the second monitoring ranged between 1.0% (BH14) and 21.1% (BH9), although, the concentrations of carbon dioxide within BH14 were all recorded below the instruments analytical detection limit an odour was recorded within this borehole. 12.152 Hydrogen sulphide concentrations were not detected above the analytical limit of detection (<0.1 parts per million (ppm)) in any of the sixteen monitoring wells on either of the monitoring occasions. 12.153 Concentrations of carbon monoxide ranged between <0.1ppm and 8ppm; these concentrations are considered to be low. 12.154 Flow rates in the sixteen wells ranged between +1.5 litres/hour and -1.41 litres/hour during the first monitoring round and +0.9 litres/hour to -0.1 litres/hour during the second monitoring round. These flow rates are not considered to be representative of land gases being positively released on site, at any significant rate. 12.155 The data for the land gas monitoring undertaken by EAME during the recent 2011 investigation corresponded with the Environ 2004 data. In addition, the two gas samples recovered for laboratory analysis during the Environ 2004 investigation accorded with the 2004 field data in relation to methane, carbon dioxide and oxygen. Carbon monoxide levels were recorded below the analytical limit of detection (0.1%) in both of the monitoring wells, although concentrations were detected in the field, albeit low. The two gas samples were also submitted for VOC analysis. All of the individual vapours were detected at concentrations below the analytical detection limit, with the exception of the compound dichloromethane, which was detected at a concentration of 15ppm within WS6. Dichloromethane is an industrial solvent typically used in chemical processing, which evaporates quickly to gas if released as a liquid. Although this chlorinated solvent was not detected within the soil sample recovered from the window sample location, it was considered within the 2004 report that a small pocket would have existed within the soils, in order to have caused the compound to volatilise in the space of the monitoring well, albeit at a low concentration. Summary of 2011 Land Gas Monitoring 12.156 Land gas monitoring has been completed by EAME on one occasion. The EAME borehole monitoring wells were monitored on 13th April 2011 and the installed EAME window sample monitoring locations (WS2, WS5-WS10 and WS12) were monitored on 19th April 2011.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

12.157 The full gas monitoring results are presented in Appendix 12.6 and are summarised below. Table 12.9 presents the maximum concentrations recorded for methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide and the minimum concentrations recorded for oxygen during the monitoring round: Table 12.9 Summary of Land Gas Monitoring Data BH/WS Methane Carbon Oxygen Dioxide (% (% (% Volume) Volume) Volume) BH1

3.3

4.0

6.0

BH2

0.1

<0.1

BH3

<0.1

0.7

BH4

0.1

BH5

Carbon Monoxide (% Volume)

Hydrogen Sulphide (% Volume)

Flow

0

5

+0.12

15.6

2

0

+0.0

18.0

18

0

+0.1

0.2

16.1

0

0

+0.0

13.9

0.2

15.2

11

0

+0.0

BH6

0.2

<0.1

20.3

5

0

+0.1

WS2

<0.1

0.6

18.2

0

0

-0.2

WS5

<0.1

1.4

15.9

0

0

+0.1

WS6

<0.1

<0.1

16.6

0

0

-0.1

WS7

<0.1

<0.1

19.8

0

0

-0.1

WS8

<0.1

0.7

17.0

1

0

-0.1

WS9

<0.1

3.1

10.7

1

0

+0.0

WS10

<0.1

0.8

7.5

3

0

-0.1

WS12

<0.1

0.5

19.3

0

0

-0.0

Methane 12.158 Methane concentrations were predominantly recorded at concentrations below the instrument’s analytical limit of detection (<0.1%) or between the range of 0.1% and 3.3%. The only significant concentration of methane detected was 13.9% recorded in BH5, however, over a monitoring period of 150 seconds the methane concentration significantly reduced to a concentration of 1.3%. The response zone for this monitoring well was installed within the Alluvial drift deposits and therefore, the elevated level of methane detected may possibly be due to the degradation of natural organic matter under anaerobic conditions. Carbon Dioxide 12.159 Four monitoring locations recorded carbon dioxide concentrations <0.1%, with the remainder of the concentrations detected <5.0%. The maximum recorded concentration of 4.0% was detected in BH1, the response zone for which was the Glacial Till horizon. Oxygen 12.160 Concentrations of oxygen ranged between 6.0% and 20.3% and the depleted oxygen concentrations generally accorded with elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. Carbon Monoxide

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12.161 Concentrations of carbon monoxide ranged between < 0.1ppm and 18ppm (BH3); these concentrations are considered to be low. Hydrogen Sulphide 12.162 Concentrations were generally detected <0.1 ppm with the exception of BH1 that recorded a maximum concentration of 5ppm; this concentration is considered to be low. Flow Rates 12.163 Low measurable flow rates of +0.12 litres/hour to -0.2 litres/hour were recorded. The flow rates are not considered to be representative of land gasses being positively released at a significant rate. Atmospheric Pressure 12.164 Atmospheric pressure was recorded between 1014mb and 1022mb during the two monitoring days, which is considered to be relatively high pressure. The solubility of gas increases with pressure, which could result in the detection of lower concentrations. Summary of Land Gas Monitoring Results 12.165 Although the guidance is not directly applicable to the buildings that are intended for development on the site, they have been use for comparative purposes as the inferred risk is applicable. 12.166 The Gas Screening Value (GSV) was calculated for methane and used to determine the characterisation of the site in terms of potential risk from residual contamination and given its proposed redevelopment setting. Based on a ‘worst case’ scenario using the maximum recorded CH4 concentration (13.9% v/v), the calculated GSV is 0.00278 l/h (based on a maximum flow rate of 0.2l/h), and has been identified to primarily coincide with Characteristic Situation 1 (<0.007 l/h). However, the monitoring results for the locations of BH1 and BH5 suggest that a Characterisation Situation 2 is appropriate. 12.167 Using the modified Wilson and Card Classification (CIRIA C665, 2007), in respect of the current data and the identified GSV, the site is considered to be at low risk (<0. 7l/h) from land gases. The Modified Wilson and Card Classification and Typical scope of gas protective measures, as identified in C665, is presented in Appendix 12.6. Limitations of Land Gas Assessment 12.168 It should be noted that the above assessment is based on only one monitoring round and for redevelopment and residual contamination, further investigation of land gas levels would be required in order to refine the ground gas assessment as per current guidance and to support any potential planning application. However, such an evaluation (via additional monitoring) would best be undertaken following any planned on-site remedial works, which would remove or reduce residual contamination levels from key impacted areas and may reduce the emissions of methane and carbon dioxide from the site. 12.169 It is also recommended that discussions are held with the Local Authority Building Control Department regarding any requirements the Department may have in respect of land gas mitigation measures.

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IMPACT ASSESSMENT 12.170 The regime for contaminated land was set out in Part 2A (ss.78A-78YC) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA), as inserted by S.57 of The Environment Act 1995 and came into effect in England on the 1st April 2000 as ‘The Contaminated Land (England) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/227)’. These regulations were subsequently revoked with the provision of ‘The Contaminated Land (England) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/1380)’, which came into force in England on 4th August 2006, and consolidated the previous regulations and amendments. Under Part 2A of the EPA Section 78A(2), “contaminated land” is defined as “land which appears… to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land, that – § §

significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or pollution of controlled waters (including streams, lakes and groundwater) is being, or is likely to be caused.

12.171 “Significant harm” is described in the statutory guidance2 and relies upon a “pollutant linkage” being present. A "pollutant linkage" requires the following: § § §

a source of contamination present at concentrations capable of causing significant harm to the health of humans or other environmental receptors; there must be a human or environmental receptor present; and there must be an exposure pathway by which the contamination can reach the receptor.

12.172 Based on the above factors, an initial qualitative assessment of the presence of potential pollutant linkages can be undertaken. Conceptual Site Model 12.173 The ground conditions on the site, obtained through the site investigation process, have been summarised into a Conceptual Site Model (CSM), which defines the key sources, pathways and receptors that have been identified as being relevant to this site. The CSM within this chapter summarises the following: § § § §

the identification of contaminants within the soil that represent potential pollution sources; the identification of the potential exposure pathways between the potential sources; the identification of the potential receptors for the contamination; and the identification of potential pollutant linkages.

12.174 All discussions in this section have been made in relation to the site’s proposed industrial/commercial setting.

2The meaning of “significant harm” can be summarised as follows: § in relation to humans – death, disease or serious injury; § in relation to ecological systems and their living organisms – irreversible and/or substantial adverse change in the functioning of the ecological system within any substantial part of its location; and

§

in relation to property in the form of buildings – substantial failure, damage or interference with rights of occupation.

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Identification of Soil Contaminants (Potential Sources) 12.175 The potential sources of contamination include: §

§

§ §

the elevated concentrations of lead and arsenic identified within the soils that exceeded the screening criteria together with the elevated benzo(a)pyrene concentration. Any substances that were found to exist at concentrations below the relevant screening criteria are not considered to be environmentally significant; there are no screening values for several of the chemical parameters analysed during the EAME investigation, however the only parameters considered to be of significance are the elevated sulphate and sulphide levels generally found with the galligu chemical waste deposits and two samples recovered from the natural Alluvial deposits (relating to sulphide); in addition to the elevated levels of contamination identified within the galligu, the presence of galligu chemical waste across the site, is in itself a source of contamination; and the asbestos (amosite) presence as identified during the 2004 Environ investigation in one sampling location located within the West Bank Dock area.

12.176 In addition to the potential pollution sources that already exist at the site, the following potential sources of pollution that may arise as a result of the construction and operational phases of the proposed development have been identified. Although the site will not contain any chemical bulk storage or be occupied by businesses undergoing chemically intensive activities, there is still the potential for the development to add to the pollution burden as illustrated in Table 12.10 below. Table 12.10 Potential future sources of Soil Contamination at the site Construction Phase Operational Phase Spillages of polluting materials during construction activities (e.g. fuel spills during plant refuelling). Generation of large volumes of potentially contaminated soils and galligu chemical waste during the associated earthworks.

Poor housekeeping operations or the occurrence of spillages such as fuel and oil leaks (from for example, diesel operated fork lift trucks or parked vehicles). Storage of oils, fuels and maintenance chemicals by new site occupiers.

Receptors 12.177 Based on the site’s environmental setting and the proposed future end use of the site following redevelopment, the following receptors have been identified: § § § § § § §

Site buildings and structures; Site workers (i.e. current and future employees located at the site); Groundworkers (i.e. construction workers, maintenance workers or other personnel who may be directly exposed to contaminated soil in the course of their activities); Planted vegetation associated with the landscaping proposals; Local flora and fauna whose habitat could be damaged or altered by chemical contamination; third party land (i.e. the possibility of contamination migrating off-site onto third party via contaminated groundwater); and Risks to Controlled waters are reported within Section 13: Water Quality

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impact upon human health in the off-site community as no plausible pathway exists, hence this has been discounted as a potential receptor. It is recognised, however, that there may be dust emissions during construction works but the air quality impact assessment concluded that as the closest residential receptors to the site are more than 300 m from the edge of the construction site, even without mitigation measures it is unlikely that emissions of dust would cause a nuisance, however it should be noted that mitigation measures will be included as part of the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) which will reduce the level of impact. Identification of Potential Exposure Pathways 12.179 Exposure pathways are the potential routes that link the potential on-site sources to the identified potential receptors. However, it should be stressed that these risks have to be considered only through plausible pathways. 12.180 The following potential exposure pathways have been identified at the site: § § § § §

Inhalation, ingestion or skin contact with contaminated soils (although generally risks to construction workers or maintenance workers should be manageable by standard health and safety procedures); Migration of land gases into buildings and service conduits; Migration of soil contaminants via transmission along conduits; Migration of contaminated horizons with uncontaminated horizons through piling activities; and Leaching and capillary rise into landscaped areas.

Potential Pollutant Linkages 12.181 In order for there to be a recognised risk that requires some form of remedial action there needs to be an identifiable and likely pollutant linkage. In other words there must be a pollution source, a pathway for migration of or exposure to this source and a receptor that can be harmed or negatively affected by exposure to that source. 12.182 EAME has devised a conceptual model based on the information obtained to date through the site investigation and is based on future commercial/industrial redevelopment. This is detailed in tabular form in Table 12.11. HHR = Human Health Risk ESR = Ecosystem Risk BER = Built Environment Risk The Controlled Water Risk (CWR) is presented in Chapter 13 – Water Quality.

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Table 12.11 Conceptual Site Model - Current Source Pathway Contamination of soils from metals (arsenic and lead), asbestos, PAHs (benzo(a)pyrene), sulphate and sulphide.

Ingestion

Receptor

Potential Pollutant Linkage Likelihood & Significance

Human Health (Current site users)

(HHR1) Likely & Moderate Risk – Significantly contaminated soils (lead, arsenic, sulphate and sulphide) are present and widespread galligu deposits. The Reclamation site and the majority of the West Bank Dock site are currently unsurfaced, with areas that appear to be upfilled, possibly comprising an amalgamation of made ground from previous earth works. (HHR2) Likely & Low - Moderate Risk - Potential for inhalation of asbestos fibres. The presence of asbestos was identified in only one isolated hotspot encountered during the 2004 intrusive investigation however, the presence of other asbestos containing materials present on the site cannot be ruled out given the historic landfilling activities within the West Bank Dock area; and the subsequent demolition of the buildings located on the West Bank Dock site. (ESR1) Unlikely & Low Risk – Low ecological status due to the long historical usage of the site. However there is limited potential along the banks of both watercourses. (BER1) Likely & Moderate - Low Risk – Given the site’s long industrial usage, there is a possibility that the on-site drainage system may have been impacted by contaminants of concern and any leaking drains may provide a pathway to the aquifer. The identified metal contaminants are considered to be relatively immobile, especially as the soil conditions are neutral to alkaline. (BER2) Likely & Low - Moderate Risk – the ground conditions, with respect to the high sulphate content, may be harmful and corrosive to concrete and aggressively attack cement based foundation materials. The majority of the historic buildings located on the West Bank Dock site have subsequently been demolished; the remaining buildings date circa 1960 and 2002/2003. The buildings on the Foundry Lane site date circa 1970 and 2000.

Inhalation Dermal Contact

Widespread presence of galligu chemical waste deposits. Land gas (including volatile hydrocarbons).

Leaching and capillary rise

Ecosystems

Migration of soil contaminants via permeable conduits

Built Environment (On-site buildings & services)

Direct contact of contaminants with building materials Land Gas Migration (via fissures, conduits & void space)

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Table 12.11 Conceptual Site Model - Current Source Pathway

Receptor

Potential Pollutant Linkage Likelihood & Significance (BER3) Unlikely & Low Risk - Risk of land gas to migrate and accumulate in buildings and voids is possible. The gas monitoring undertaken to date has indicated a low overall risk however, further investigation of land gas levels would be required in order to refine the ground gas assessment as per current guidance.

Organic Vapour Migration (via fissures, conduits & void space) Built Environment (Off-site buildings & services)

224

(BER4) Unlikely & Low Risk – Risk of migration of land gas to off-site buildings and services via permeable conduits/geology. The on-site gas monitoring undertaken to date has indicated a low overall risk however, further investigation of land gas levels would be required in order to refine the ground gas assessment and identify the potential for off-site migration.

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MITIGATION 12.183 The site’s redevelopment proposals will mitigate the key pollutant linkages of human health exposure and on-site buildings and services. This is detailed in tabular form in Table 12.12.

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Table 12.12 Conceptual Site Model – Potential Impacts Following Site Development Source Pathway Receptor Potential Pollutant Linkage Likelihood & Assessment Contamination of soils from metals (arsenic and lead), asbestos, PAHs (benzo(a)pyrene), sulphate and sulphide.

Ingestion

Human Health (Future site users)

(HHR1) Unlikely & Low Risk – Significantly contaminated soils (lead, arsenic, sulphate and sulphide) are present and widespread galligu deposits. The proposed development will by its nature cap the site (buildings, roads, areas of concrete hardstanding, pavements, imported soils for any proposed landscaped areas) and therefore, no direct exposure would be expected post development. (HHR2) Unlikely & Low Risk - Potential for inhalation of asbestos fibres, though only one isolated sample encountered during the 2004 and 2011 intrusive investigations. Post development no direct exposure would be expected as building cover / areas of hardstanding would break any pathway. (ESR1) Unlikely & Low Risk – Low ecological status due to the long historical usage of the site. In landscape areas of the proposed development, a clean break layer will be placed to an appropriate thickness to avoid cross contamination and impacts on planting.

Inhalation Dermal Contact

Widespread presence of galligu chemical waste deposits. Land gas (including volatile hydrocarbons).

Leaching and capillary rise

Ecosystems

Migration of soil contaminants via permeable conduits

Built Environment (On-site buildings & services)

Cross contamination through piling activities

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(BER1) Unlikely & Low Risk – Given the site’s long industrial usage, there is a possibility that the on-site drainage system may have been impacted by contaminants of concern and any leaking drains may provide a pathway to the aquifer. The identified metal contaminants are considered to be relatively immobile, especially as the soil conditions are neutral to alkaline. The proposed development will comprise a new managed drainage system.

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Table 12.12 Conceptual Site Model – Potential Impacts Following Site Development Source Pathway Receptor Potential Pollutant Linkage Likelihood & Assessment Direct contact of contaminants with building materials Land Gas Migration (via fissures, conduits & void space) Organic Vapour Migration (via fissures, conduits & void space)

Built Environment (Off-site buildings & services)

227

(BER2) Unlikely & Low Risk – the ground conditions, with respect to the high sulphate content, may be harmful and corrosive to concrete and aggressively attack cement based foundation materials. The area is known to be sulphate rich. Therefore foundations will be designed to deal with the chemical nature of the soils i.e. sulphate resistant cement. (BER3) Unlikely & Low Risk - Risk of land gas to migrate and accumulate in buildings and voids is possible. The gas monitoring undertaken to date has indicated a low overall risk however, for redevelopment and residual contamination, further investigation of land gas levels would be required in order to refine the ground gas assessment as per current guidance and to support any potential planning application. It is unlikely to be significant for the proposed development given that the site surface will be substantially re-engineered and re-surfaced (including any treated galligu) and the size of the proposed buildings and nature of their use (large volume freight handling) makes them less prone to gas accumulation if there was a substantial gas source present. (BER4) Unlikely & Low Risk – Risk of migration of land gas to off-site buildings and services via permeable conduits/geology. The on-site gas monitoring undertaken to date has indicated a low overall risk however, for redevelopment and residual contamination, further investigation of land gas levels would be required in order to refine the ground gas assessment and identify the potential for off-site migration .

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Document Ref: 89429/0020

12.184 Consideration has also been given to the mitigation of potential impacts associated with the construction phase of the site’s redevelopment in addition to the operational phase of the site following its redevelopment. Construction Phase 12.185 Direct contact with contaminated soils and galligu chemical waste deposits will be encountered during earthworks. However, this impact assessment is not intended to assess transient risks to site workers or other construction workers during redevelopment. Ground works would be carried out under a controlled controlled programme and these risks would need to be dealt with by other legislation and regulations (such as Health and Safety at Work Act 1974) and be considered through health and safety risk assessments by the appointed construction contractor. 12.186 Due to the type and nature of the development it is envisaged that floor loads will be high, settlement criteria stringent and roof spans large such that foundation loads will be significant. In light of this and the variable nature of the soils encountered across the site, it is considered likely that some of the built structures may be founded upon piles. The contaminated nature of the near surface deposits and the potential for creating pathways to the underlying soils and aquifer as a consequence of the piling operation is recognised and understood. Certain piling methods can bring spoil (some of which may be contaminated) to the surface and other methods may drive contaminated soil down into deeper horizons which were previously uncontaminated. Thus, the specific piling technique that will be used (where piling will be required) will be influenced by a number of factors such as depth to rockhead; required bearing strength; presence or absence of contaminated soil along the Pile profile; the specific nature of the contamination; and the proximity to retained structures. The full details of the ground engineering strategy and techniques will be determined in conjunction with suitably qualified Ground Engineering & Piling Contractors and confirmed with the Regulatory Authorities. 12.187 All water supply pipes, where they are to be laid in contaminated ground, will be laid in well excavated and clearly defined trenches and will contain clean imported granular bed, surround and backfill. Advice will be sought from the relevant statutory authorities prior to the design and construction of service runs. 12.188 All site works will be undertaken in accordance with the EA’s Pollution Prevention Guidance Note 6 ‘Working at Construction and Demolition Sites’. Construction vehicles will be properly maintained to reduce the risk of hydrocarbon contamination and will only be active when required. Construction materials will be stored, handled and managed with due regard to the sensitivity of the local aquatic environment and thus the risk of accidental spillage or release will be minimised. Construction contractors will also take full account of the requirements of the EA’s General Guide to the Prevention of Pollution of Controlled Waters (PPG1) and guidance set out in PPG2 (Above Ground Oil Storage Tanks) and PPG3 (The Use and Design of Oil Separators). 12.189 Furthermore, mitigation measures will be incorporated into a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), which will set out measures for the control of site drainage, reducing the risk of accidental spillages and the storage and handling of materials.

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12.190 No underground storage tanks will be used during the construction phase. Any liquids such as degreasers, oils, diesel, required as part of the construction works will be stored in above ground tanks and located on designated areas of hardstanding. In accordance with the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001, any tanks storing more than 200 litres of oil will have secondary bunding. Bunding will be specified having a minimum capacity of “not less than 110% of the container's storage capacity or, if there is more than one container within the system, of not less than 110% of the largest container's storage capacity or 25% of their aggregate storage capacity, whichever is the greater.” 12.191 There is the potential for asbestos containing materials to be present within some of the buildings on site. The building asbestos survey will aid the assessment of the required asbestos removal works prior to the demolition of the buildings. Operational Phase 12.192 Hydrocarbon contamination from vehicles is considered to be a potential source of contamination from the routine operation of the site. The proposed development will provide an internal road and a substantial area of car parking space with oil/water interceptor systems positioned at strategic locations. All installed interceptors will be regularly inspected, cleaned and maintained. 12.193 Given the generally benign nature of the occupiers’ activities (storage and logistics), it is considered likely that only small quantities of fuels and oils maybe stored on site by tenants. There will be management and housekeeping protocols to be adhered to by the tenants, which will also meet the EA pollution prevention guidelines. RESIDUAL IMPACTS 12.194 All significant pollutant linkages can be eliminated or minimised to an acceptable level by the development proposals due to the low sensitivity end use (commercial in nature); the potential upfilling of the site with low permeability material; and hardsurfacing of the entire area with the exception of controlled drained landscaped areas. 12.195 The development proposals will involve substantially increasing areas of hard surfacing on the site which will serve to prevent the infiltration and percolation of incident rainwater through contaminated soils (and thus the flushing and leaching of contaminants) from the unsaturated zone to the saturated zone. This will also provide a “clean” barrier between incident rainfall and the contaminated soils, thus leading to uncontaminated surface run-off. Residual impact after mitigation; Minor Positive 12.196 The identified contamination within the soil represents a potential ongoing source, which may impact controlled waters; the effects and mitigation measures of which are discussed within Chapter 13 – Water Quality.

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13.0

WATER QUALITY

13.1

This section of the Environmental Statement deals with the assessment of the potential impacts of the proposed development on surface and groundwater quality and hydrology in the study area. The study area is defined as that within a 1km radius of the site, although a number of issues are considered at the river catchment level in this assessment.

13.2

The assessment of effects encompasses surface water and groundwater quality, and surface water and groundwater resources (in terms of water quantity). The site and wider area are known to have had a long potentially contaminative history and there are elevated levels of contaminants in surface waters and groundwater on the site and beyond it. Most notably, there is known to be a widespread presence of Galligu contamination in the area (galligu is chemical waste from the alkali industry and in particular the Leblanc Process). The former Ditton marshes that occupied this area and much of the hinterland were reclaimed and built up using galligu over many decades during the early development of the Widnes chemical industry. POLICY CONTEXT European Legislation

13.3

With regard to the protection of specific water resources, permissible water quality standards and related policy are set out in the following European legislation: §

§ § § § § § § § §

EC Water Framework Directive (WFD) (2000/06/EC) aims to introduce a simpler approach which will result in greater protection. In addition, the WFD establishes a legal framework for the provision sufficient quantities of good quality water across Europe. It requires EU member states to aim to achieve ‘good ecological and chemical status’ in all water bodies (both groundwater and surface water) by 2015. As a result of the WFD a number of existing European directives will be repealed. The EC Surface Water Abstraction Directive (75/440/EEC) was replaced by WFD in 2007; EC Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC); EC Freshwater Fish Directive (78/659/EEC) (to be fully repealed in 2013 by the WFD); EC Shellfish Directive (79/923/EEC) (to be fully repealed in 2013 by the WFD); EC Dangerous Substances Directive (76/464/EEC) (to be fully repealed in 2013 by the WFD); EC Groundwater Directive (80/68/EEC) (to be repealed by 2013 by the WFD); EC Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC); EC Nitrate Directive (91/676/EEC); Directive on Priority Substances (2008/105/EC), daughter directive of the WFD; and Directive on the Protection of Groundwater against Pollution (2006/118/EC).

13.4

The aim of water policy in England is to protect both public health and the environment by maintaining and improving the quality of natural waters. These include surface water bodies (e.g. rivers, streams, lakes, ponds) and groundwater.

13.5

The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is responsible for all aspects of water policy in England. Management and enforcement of water

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policy is the responsibility of the Environment Agency (EA). A summary of relevant UK water legislation is provided below: §

13.6

Environmental Protection Act (1990): sets out a range of provisions for environmental protection, including integrated pollution control for dangerous substances; § Water Resources Act (1991): consolidated previous water legislation with regard to both the quality and quantity of water resources; § Water Industry Act (1991): consolidated previous legislation relating to water supply and the provision of sewerage services; § Environment Act (1995) established a new body (the Environment Agency) with responsibility for environmental protection and enforcement of legislation. This Act introduced measures to enhance protection of the environment including further powers for the prevention of water pollution; § Anti-Pollution Works Regulations (1999): provides powers to the EA to stop any activity (e.g. construction) that gives rise or is likely to give rise to environmental pollution or to adequately enforce pollution control measures; § Water Act (2003) extends the provisions of the Water Resources Act (1991) and the Environment Act (1995) with regard to abstractions and discharges, water conservation and pollution control; § Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations (2009): Brings into force rules to force polluters to prevent and repair damage to water systems, land quality, species and their habitats and protected sites. The polluter does not need to be prosecuted first, so remedying the damage will be faster; § Flood and Water Management Act (2010). Introduces powers for local authorities to manage flood risk and allows water companies to restrict water use during shortages. When fully in force, it will encourage sustainable drainage systems and introduce a risk based approach to reservoir safety; and § River Basins Districts Typology Standards and Groundwater Threshold Values (Water Framework Directive) Directions (2010) gives directions to the EA in relation to the criteria and methods to be used in the assessment of ecological and chemical status of surface water bodies and the quantitative and chemical status of groundwater bodies as required by the WFD. The Directions also revoke and replace the River Basin Districts Typology, Standards and Groundwater Threshold Values (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Directions 2009 for the purpose of transposing Directive 2008/105/EC on environmental quality standards for priority substances.

In practical terms regarding the assessment of water quality and screening of the significance of contaminants that may be present, surface water results can be compared to Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) which have been developed for freshwater and estuarine water. In August 2010 new EQS’s were published under the Priority Substances Directive, a daughter directive of the Water Framework Directive. In the UK the European EQS’s have been adopted in the River Basins Districts Typology Standards and Groundwater Threshold Values (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Direction 2010. The EQS’s are detailed in Part 4 (Specific Pollutants) and Part 5 (Priority Substances) of the Directive. These values

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have been used in the screening and assessment of the surface water quality at the subject site. 13.7

At the national planning policy level, there are two key Planning Policy Statements (PPS) that are directly relevant: § §

PPS 23 – Planning and Pollution Control; and PPS 25 – Development and Flood Risk.

ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY Baseline Conditions 13.8

This assessment has been undertaken in accordance with current Government guidance on EIA1 and has involved a review of the following sources of baseline data: §

§

§ §

13.9

Envirocheck data for the site and a 1km radius; providing data on surface water and groundwater discharges and abstractions, river quality, baseline hydrogeology, groundwater vulnerability and pollution incidents; EA data records on groundwater Source Protection Zones (SPZs), chemical and biological river quality and the location of the indicative floodplain (www.environment-agency.gov.uk); consultation with the EA; and consultation with United Utilities via the services consultant (Utility Connections).

Site visits have been undertaken as part of the Phase II site investigation. Data on river quality has been acquired from the EA and from the Phase II site investigation work associated with the current application and previous development proposals on the site.

13.10 The findings of the Phase I and Phase II Site Investigations provided sufficient data on the site geology and hydrogeology to enable characterisation of these features; the specific methodology for these studies has been summarised in Chapter 12 (Land Contamination). 13.11 A standalone Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) has been completed in accordance with PPS 25, which formed the basis of the hydrological assessment within this chapter and is included as a separate document within the planning application package. The FRA is included as Appendix 11.1 of this ES report. Identification of Impacts 13.12 The effects on water quality and hydrology likely to arise from the construction and operational phases of the proposed development are principally the following: §

1

effects related to the discharge of construction site runoff during earthmoving and general construction works;

Environmental Impact Assessment – A Guide to Procedures, DETR, November 2000.

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§ § § §

the potential disruption of groundwater flows from piling and the dewatering of excavations; mobilisation of contaminants and cross contamination between water bodies by the creation of new pathways; effects related to the discharge of routine site runoff on local land drainage and water quality; and potential impacts arising in relation to water demand and foul drainage capacity.

Assessment and Evaluation of Effects 13.13 The assessment of effects has involved the following general approach: §

§

§ §

the sensitivity of aquatic receptors has been established on the basis of their use, proximity to the site, existing quality or resource value and consideration of potential pathways; evaluation of the significance of the potential changes in water quantity and quality and assessment of the sensitivity of the resource to the predicted changes; the potential effects have been classified, prior to mitigation, as minor, moderate or major (either positive or negative); and where the predicted effects are considered to be significant, mitigation measures have been incorporated to eliminate or reduce the impacts to an acceptable level. The residual effects (post mitigation) are discussed in the final subsection of this chapter.

BASELINE CONDITIONS Hydrology 13.14 The two nearest main surface watercourses to the development area are Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook. There is also a small watercourse known as Marsh Brook adjacent to the eastern boundary of the development site. This is effectively a local drainage channel that leads to the River Mersey. The locations of these watercourses are depicted in Figure 13.1. 13.15 Both Ditton and Steward’s Brook are tidal. The normal tidal limit for Ditton Brook is upstream of the bridge, near the northern entrance to the Foundry Lane site. The normal tidal limit for Steward’s Brook is approximately half way between the access road connecting the Reclamation Site with the West Bank Dock Site and the confluence of Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook. 13.16 Marsh Brook is also tidally influenced but unlike Steward’s and Ditton Brook, Marsh Brook is an artificially engineered channel that, outside of periods of tidal inundation, has little if any flow. Also this brook is hydraulically lined with a low permeability geotextile and whilst it receives surface water run-off periodically, is not expected to receive groundwater baseflow. 13.17 Steward’s Brook flows in between the area to the north of the Reclamation Mound and Stobart Park 3MG, before flowing through a culvert under the access road and then alongside the eastern boundary of the Reclamation Mound and the western boundary of the HEDCO landfill site (also known as Hutchinson’s Hill). The base

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substrate of Steward’s Brook has been observed to be white in colour and it has been assumed that it is substantially comprised of Galligu. Domestic refuse and debris has been observed within the brook on occasions and the water is often opaque and prone to notable changes in colour. A strong hydrogen sulphide smell is often noted emanating from the Brook and also when disturbing the river banks. Steel piles, installed approximately 17m below ground level (m bgl), were placed along the eastern boundary of the Reclamation Mound in the early-1990s to prevent the leaching of contaminants from the subsoils into the shallow groundwater from the Mound into the brook.

Photograph 13.1: Steward’s Brook, at high tide, taken from the HEDCO landfill side of the Brook. Note the steel piling separating the Brook from the Reclamation Mound. 13.18 Ditton Brook is quite substantially larger than Steward’s Brook and is located on the western boundary of the site, thereby flowing adjacent to the western elevation of the Reclamation Mound. Ditton Brook is faster flowing and deeper than Steward’s Brook particularly downstream of its confluence with Steward’s Brook. The steel piles were also placed alongside the western elevation of the Mound to prevent the movement of contaminants from the sub-soils and shallow groundwater into Ditton Brook. Domestic rubbish and debris have also been observed during the sampling exercises here, but the water appears visually to be more natural and there is no evidence of the odours that are associated with Steward’s Brook.

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Photograph 13.2: Ditton Brook, looking upstream, at the confluence with Steward’s Brook. This photograph was taken at low tide. 13.19 Information provided by Envirocheck (22nd March 2011, reference: 34261095_1_1) shows there have been four pollution incidents to controlled waters associated with the study site, the details of which are summarised in Table 13.1. Two of these were minor incidents on Ditton Brook and related to rubble/litter or chemicals. The two incidents on Steward’s Brook are believed to be due to leachate from the HEDCO landfill site. One was a minor incident and the other one was a significant incident. However, there have been no reported pollution incidents since July 1996. Table 13.1: Pollution of Incidents to Controlled Waters Date

Location

Receiving water Ditton Brook

19/01/93

Reclamation Mound

12/03/94

Foundry Lane site

Ditton Brook

24/05/95

Landfill Site

Steward’s Brook

31/07/96

Landfill Site

Steward’s 295

Pollutant Rubble/Litter (cardboard drums) Chemicals – Paints/Dyes due to wrong connection Tip leachate due to inadequate construction Tip leachate

Category of incident Minor Incident (Category 3) Minor Incident (Category 3)

Minor Incident (Category 3)

Significant Incident

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Table 13.1: Pollution of Incidents to Controlled Waters Date

Location

Receiving water Brook

Pollutant

Category of incident (Category 2)

13.20 It is understood from anecdotal evidence that there may have been five discharge consents associated with the study site. However, the EA have no record of this and such discharge consents do not appear to exist (nor are they physically evident on the site). 13.21 The topographical survey and various site visits have indicated the present of only one surface water outfall into Ditton Brook (managed by United Utilities) and one outfall into Steward’s Brook from the direction of the Reclamation Mound. 13.22 There is one former discharge consent related to the site, which was licensed to Grace Dearborn Ltd for the discharge of process water into Ditton Brook. The consent was granted in March 1980 and revoked in November 1994. 13.23 Details of sewage and trade effluent discharge consents within a 250m radius are detailed in Table 13.2. Table 13.2: Details of Discharge Consents within 250m Radius Distance from Distance from Operator Details Foundry Lane West Bank Site Dock Site 1m N Tarmac Surface water Buildings discharge Products Ltd Final/treated 3m SE Meyer Forest Products Ltd effluent 9m NW United Utilities Storm sewage 227m NW Water Plc overflow 10m NW Storm sewage United Utilities overflow 33m W Marsh Final/treated Maintenance effluent Ltd 63m NW Sewage Meyer Forest Disposal Products Ltd Works 112m NW Sewage United Utilities discharges – Water Plc pumping station 139m SW Marsh Final/treated Maintenance effluent Ltd 156m NW Marsh Final/treated Maintenance effluent Ltd 165m SW Marsh Final/treated 296

Watercourse

Ditton Brook

Ditton Brook Ditton Brook Ditton Brook Stewards Brook Tributary of River Mersey Ditton Brook

Marsh Brook

Marsh Brook

Marsh Brook

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Table 13.2: Details of Discharge Consents within 250m Radius Distance from Distance from Operator Details Foundry Lane West Bank Site Dock Site Maintenance effluent Ltd 176m E Alcan Septic tank Aluminium UK Ltd 200m NW United Utilities Storm sewage Water Plc overflow 217m NE Alcan Final/treated Aluminium UK effluent Ltd 232m SW Final/treated Granox Ltd effluent 235m SW United Utilities Storm sewage Plc overflow

Watercourse

Steward’s Brook Ditton Brook Steward’s Brook River Mersey River Mersey

13.24 There are no identified surface water abstractions within a 2km radius of the site. 13.25 Ditton Brook has been classified by the EA under the General Quality Assessment scheme (GQA) and this data is presented in Table 13.3. Steward’s Brook and Marsh Brook are unclassified by the EA. Table 13.3: Chemical and Biological Quality Water Quality Variable Classification Chemical Quality 1994 to 2009 – Grade E (poor) Nitrates 1995 to 2009 – Grade 6 (very high) Phosphates 1995 to 2009 – Grade 6 (very high) Surface Water Sampling 13.26 Surface water samples from Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook were obtained by EAME in March (R1) and April 2011 (R2). The sampling points were selected to provide a ‘snapshot’ of the conditions encountered on-site and were restricted to accessible and safe locations due to the nature of the site, the watercourses and therefore appropriate health and safety measures were employed. 13.27 The sampling methodology comprised using a telescopic stainless steel scoop which was decontaminated at each sampling point before and after use. The samples were then decanted into clean sterile glass jars, appropriate for the type of analysis intended. 13.28 The sample location points were described in Table 13.4 and depicted in Figures 13.2 and 13.3. Table 13.4: Sample Location Points Sample ID Location Steward’s Brook Upstream S1 (SBS1) Steward’s Brook Mid-stream

Observations Mar 2011 Transparent with grey tinge Apr 2011 Transparent with grey tinge Mar 2011 Transparent with light brown tinge

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Table 13.4: Sample Location Points Sample ID Location S2 (SBS2) Downstream of the culvert Stewards Brook Downstream S3 (SBS3) Prior to the confluence with Ditton Brook Ditton Brook S1 Upstream (DBS1) By Foundry Lane Bridge Ditton Brook S2 Mid-stream (DBS2) Ditton Brook S3 Downstream (DBS3) After confluence with Steward’s Brook

Observations Apr 2011 Transparent with brown tinge Mar 2011 Transparent with grey tinge Apr 2011

Transparent with grey-blue tinge

Mar 2011 Transparent with light brown tinge Apr 2011

Light brown

Mar 2011 Transparent with light brown tinge Apr 2011 Light brown Mar 2011 Transparent with light brown tinge Apr 2011

Light brown

13.29 The samples were analysed by an independent UKAS and MCERTS accredited laboratory (i2 Analytical) for a range of chemical determinands. With regards to the water quality assessment and screening of the significance of contaminants that may be present, surface water results were compared to Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) which have been developed for freshwater and estuarine water. 13.30 The analytical regime comprised the following suite: §

§ § § § § § § § §

General inorganic parameters (pH, total cyanide, sulphide as SO4, sulphide, chloride, ammonia as NH3, ammonium as NH4, nitrate as N, nitrite as N, alkalinity and dissolved oxygen); Total phenols (monohydric and HPLC); Speciated and total polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s); A range of dissolved metals (As, Cd, Cr, Pb, Hg, Se, Cu, Ni, Zn and Fe); Major ions (Na, K, Ca and Mg); Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) using the Criteria Working Group (CWG) methodology; Monoaromatics (Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, p & m-xylene, o-xylene (BTEX) and Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE); Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) including Tentatively Identified Compounds (TICs); Semi Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs) including Tentatively Identified Compounds (TICs); and Pesticide compounds – organochlorine pesticides (OCP) and organophosphorus pesticides (OPP).

13.31 The analytical results from Steward’s Brook were compared with UK EQS values and the interpretation is summarised in Table 13.5.

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Table 13.5: Summary of Steward’s Brook Analytical Results Determinant No. Max. Conc. Guideline Analysed Detected Values (Sample Ref.) (µg/l) Inorganic Parameters pH Total cyanide Sulphate as SO4

6 6 6

Sulphide Chloride

6 6

Ammonia as NH3 Ammonium as NH4

6 6

Nitrate as N Nitrite as N Alkalinity Dissolved oxygen

No. Equal to or exceeding Guideline

7.8 (SBS1 R1) ND 1,100,000 (SBS3 R2) 45 (SBS1 R1) 600 mg/l (SBS3 R2) 23,000 (SBS3 R2) 24,000 (SBS3 R2)

6 – 96 1* 400,0003

0 0 6 (all)

250 mg/l3

6 6 6 6

ND 140 (SBS2 R2) 250 (SBS1 R2) 8.5 mg/l (SBS2 R2)

50 mg/l4 5004 <6 mg/l5

1 (SBS3 R2) 6 (all) 2 (SBS2 R2, SBS3 R2) 0 0 2 (SBS1 R1 SBS2 R1)

Heavy Metals Arsenic (dissolved)

6

650 (SBS2 R2)

50*

Boron (dissolved)

6

3,400 (SBS3 R2)

2,0006

Cadmium (dissolved) Chromium (dissolved) Copper (dissolved) Iron (dissolved)

6 6 6 6

0.451 3.4* 1* 1 mg/l*

Fe2+ Fe3+

6 6

-

-

Lead (dissolved) Manganese (dissolved) Mercury (dissolved) Nickel (dissolved) Selenium (dissolved) Zinc (dissolved)

6 6 6 6 6 6

ND 1.8 (SBS3 R2) 11 (SBS3 R2) 0.29 mg/l (SBS3 R2) ND 0.29 mg/l (SBS3 R2) ND 560 (SBS3 R2) ND 12 (SBS3 R1) ND 160 (SBS2 R2)

2 (SBS3 R1, SBS3 R2) 1 (SBS3 R2) 0 0 6 (all) 0

7.2* 300 0.071 20* 104 8*

0 0 0 0 5 (SBS1 – S3 R1, SBS2 – S3 R2)

Major Ions Calcium (dissolved)

6

Magnesium (dissolved) Potassium (dissolved)

6 6

153 5004

250 mg/l (SBS1 R1) 31 mg/l (SBS2 R1) 11 mg/l (SBS2 -S3 -

299

-

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Table 13.5: Summary of Steward’s Brook Analytical Results Determinant No. Max. Conc. Guideline Analysed Detected Values (Sample Ref.) (µg/l)

No. Equal to or exceeding Guideline

6

R1) 390 mg/l (SBS3 R2)

200 mg/l4

1 (SBS3 R2)

6

11 (SBS3 R2)

7.7*

6

36 (SBS3 R2)

7.7*

1 (SBS3 R2) 1 (SBS3 R2)

Hydrocarbons Total EPA-16 PAHs

6

3.4 (SBS3 R2)

0.14

Naphthalene

6

3.1 (SBS3 R2)

1.22

Acenaphthene BTEX MTBE TPH Aliphatic (C5 – C35) TPH Aromatic (C5 – C35)

6 6 6 6

0.22 (SBS3 R2) ND ND 6,300 (SBS2 R1)

107

6

1,900 (SBS2 R1)

107

6 6 6

4.6 (SBS2 R2) 2.2 (SBS2 R2) 36 (SBS2 R2)

102 102

0 2 (SBS2 R2, SBS3 R2)

6

SBS3 R1

-

-

6 6

11 (SBS3 R2) 14 (SBS3 R1)

7.7* -

0 -

6 6 6 6

1.0 (SBS3 R2) 15 (SBS3 R2) 8.1 (SBS3 R2) 3.1 (SBS3 R2)

1.22

6 6 6 6

0.41 (SBS3 R2) 0.22 (SBS3 R2) 0.25 (SBS3 R2) 0.25 (SBS3 R2)

-

1 (SBS3 R2) -

Sodium (dissolved) Phenols Total monohydric phenols Total phenols (HPLC)

VOCs Cis-1,2-dichloroethene Trichloroethene Tetrachloroethene

VOCs TICs Bicyclo[2.2.1] heptan-2one,1,7,7-trimethyl SVOCs Phenol Bis(2chloroisopropyl)ether 2-Methylphenol 4-Methylphenol 2,4-Dimethylphenol Naphthalene 2-Methylnaphthalene Acenaphthene Dibenzofuran Carbazole

300

1 (SBS3 R2) 1 (SBS3 R2) 1 (SBS2 R1) 3 (SBS2 R1, SBS3 R1, SBS3 R2)

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Table 13.5: Summary of Steward’s Brook Analytical Results Determinant No. Max. Conc. Guideline Analysed Detected Values (Sample Ref.) (µg/l)

No. Equal to or exceeding Guideline

SVOCs TICS 1,7,7-trimethyl Bicyclo 6 BH3 & BH6 [2.2.1] heptan-2-one 3-methyl-thietane 6 BH6 Bis(1-methylethyl) 6 BH6 Disulfide 4,4'-(16 BH6 methylethylidene) bisPhenol Notes: All concentrations are in μg/l unless specified ND = not detected - = no guideline available *=EQS ‘Good’ standard for rivers and freshwater lakes 1 = MAC-EQS: environmental quality standard expressed as a maximum allowable concentration 2 = EQS Other surface waters 3 = EQS Freshwater Annual Average 4 = Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 5 = Freshwater Fish Directive 6 = Dangerous Substances Directive 7 = Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989/1147) as amended 13.32 The analytical results from Ditton Brook were compared with relevant EQS and the interpretation is summarised in Table 13.6. Table 13.6: Summary of Ditton Brook Analytical Results Determinant No. Max. Conc. Guideline Analysed Detected Values (Sample Ref.) (µg/l) Inorganic Parameters pH

6

Total cyanide Sulphate as SO4

6 6

Sulphide Chloride

6 6

Ammonia as NH3 Ammonium as NH4 Nitrate as N

6 6 6

No. Equal to or exceeding Guideline

7.7 (DBS1 R1, DBS2 R2) ND 1,000,000 (DBS2 R2, DBS3 R2) 15 (DBS1 R1) 5,300 mg/l (DBS3 R1)

6 – 96

0

1* 400,0003

0 6 (all)

250 mg/l3

1,300 (DBS1 R1) 1,400 (DBS1 R1) 5.3 mg/l (DBS2 R1)

153 5004 50 mg/l4

2 (SBS3 R1, SBS3 R2) 6 (all) 6 (all) 0

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Table 13.6: Summary of Ditton Brook Analytical Results Determinant No. Max. Conc. Guideline Analysed Detected Values (Sample Ref.) (µg/l)

No. Equal to or exceeding Guideline

Nitrite as N

6

530 (DBS1 R1)

5004

Alkalinity Dissolved oxygen

6 6

180 (DBS1 R1) 7.4 mg/l (DBS3 R2)

<6 mg/l5

1 (DBS1 R1) 0

Heavy Metals Arsenic (dissolved) Boron (dissolved) Cadmium (dissolved) Chromium (dissolved) Copper (dissolved) Iron (dissolved)

6 6 6 6 6 6

50* 2,0006 0.451 3.4* 1* 1 mg/l*

0 0 0 0 6 (all) 0

Fe2+

6

-

-

Fe3+

6

-

-

Lead (dissolved) Manganese (dissolved)

6 6

12 (DBS2 R1) 1,100 (DBS3 R1) ND ND 23 (DB S3 R2) 0.3 mg/l (DBS2 R1, DBS2, R2) 0.22 mg/l (DBS2 R2) 0.29 mg/l (DBS2 R1) ND 810 (DBS1 R2)

7.2* 300

Mercury (dissolved) Nickel (dissolved) Selenium (dissolved) Zinc (dissolved)

6 6 6 6

ND 10 (DBS2 R1) ND 85 (DBS1 R2)

0.071 20* 104 8*

0 3 (SBS1 R2, SBS2 R2, SBS3 R2) 0 0 0 3 (DBS3 R1, DBS2 R2, DBS3 R2)

Major Ions Calcium (dissolved)

6

-

-

Magnesium (dissolved)

6

-

-

Potassium (dissolved)

6

-

-

Sodium (dissolved)

6

410 mg/l (DBS2 R2) 240 mg/l (DBS3 R1) 110 mg/l (DBS3 R1) 980 mg/l (DBS3 R1)

200 mg/l4

4 (SBS1 R1, SBS2 R1, SBS1 R2, SBS2 R2)

6

230 (DBS3 R1)

7.7*

6

ND

7.7*

1 (DBS3 R1) 0

Phenols Total monohydric phenols Total phenols (HPLC)

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Table 13.6: Summary of Ditton Brook Analytical Results Determinant No. Max. Conc. Guideline Analysed Detected Values (Sample Ref.) (µg/l) Hydrocarbons Total EPA-16 PAHs BTEX MTBE TPH Aliphatic (C5 – C35) TPH Aromatic (C5 – C35) VOCs VOCs VOCs TICs SVOCs SVOCs SVOCs TICs

No. Equal to or exceeding Guideline

6 6 6 6

ND ND ND ND

0.14 107

0 0

6

ND

107

0

6 6

ND ND

-

0 0

6 6

ND ND

-

0 0

Notes: All concentrations are in μg/l unless specified ND = not detected - = no guideline available *=EQS ‘Good’ standard for rivers and freshwater lakes 1 = MAC-EQS: environmental quality standard expressed as a maximum allowable concentration 2 = EQS Other surface waters 3 = EQS Freshwater Annual Average 4 = Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 5 = Freshwater Fish Directive 6 = Dangerous Substances Directive 7 = Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989/1147) as amended Results Summary 13.33 The results show pH values were neutral to slightly alkaline (in the range 7.7 - 7.8) and are within the range to be expected naturally in such waters. 13.34 Sulphate (as SO4) was detected at a maximum concentration of 1,100,000 µg/l in Steward’s Brook (SBS3 R2) and 1,000,000 µg/l in Ditton Brook (DBS2 R2, DBS3 R2). All results were found to be elevated above the relevant guideline value. The significantly elevated concentrations of sulphate indicate that the surface water bodies across the site have been in contact with Galligu contaminated Made Ground. 13.35 Cyanide was not present above the laboratory detection limits, and therefore below relevant guidelines. 13.36 Concentrations of some dissolved metals (cadmium, lead, mercury and selenium) were below their respective analytical detection limits.

303

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

13.37 Arsenic was recorded above the laboratory detection limits in two of the six samples obtained from Ditton Brook and five of the six Steward’s Brook samples. The concentration range detected in the two samples from Ditton Brook was 11 – 13 µg/l, both of which were from the first round and below the EQS of 50 μg/l for rivers and freshwater lakes. The concentration range detected in the five samples from Steward’s Brook was 21 - 650µg/l. The highest concentrations from both rounds were found to be from SBS3, the downstream location between the Reclamation Mound and the HEDCO landfill, exceeded the EQS guideline value. Arsenic is a notable contaminant associated with Galligu. 13.38 Nickel was detected in all samples and at a maximum concentration of 12 µg/l (SBS3 R1). All results are below the EQS limit of 20 μg/l. 13.39 Zinc was detected above the laboratory detection limit in all samples from Ditton Brook and five collected from Steward’s Brook. The maximum concentration of Zinc was detected at SBS2 R2 (160 µg/l). Five of the six Steward’s Brook samples, and three samples from Ditton Brook were recorded above the EQS of 8μg/l. 13.40 Two samples from Ditton Brook and three samples from Steward’s Brook were found to be above the laboratory detection limit for iron. None of the samples were detected above the EQS of 1mg/l for rivers and freshwater lakes. 13.41 Under the Freshwater Fish Directive, if the dissolved oxygen concentration falls below 6 mg/l, it should be established if the result is due to pollution or natural phenomenon. None of the Ditton Brook samples were below this threshold, however, two of the Steward’s Brook results were below this threshold. 13.42 All twelve samples were analysed for monohydric phenol. Two samples were found above the laboratory detection limit, both of which, DBS3 R1 and SBS3 R2, were found to be above the EQS of 7.7 µg/l. 13.43 All samples were analysed for speciated PAHs, which records the sixteen most commonly occurring compounds. No PAHs were found in any of the samples submitted from Ditton Brook. With regards, to Steward’s Brook, one sample, SBS3 R2, was found to contain PAHs. SBS3 R2 was found to contain a Total EPA-16 PAHs value of 3.4 µg/l. Naphthalene was detected with a concentration of 3.1 µg/l above the EQS of 1.2 µg/l. 13.44 No VOCs or TICs were detected in any of the samples obtained from Ditton Brook. Three VOCs were detected in the samples SBS2 R1, SBS3 R1, SBS2 R2 and SBS3 R2. The concentrations of these contaminants were predominantly trace, however, the concentration of tetrachlorethene was found to be above the EQS guideline value (10 µg/l) at SBS2 R2 and SBS3 R2. 13.45 No SVOCs or TICs were detected in any of the samples obtained from Ditton Brook. Various SVOCS were detected in SBS3 R1 and SBS3 R2, however, these were mainly found at trace concentrations. 13.46 There is currently no EQS limit for TPH, therefore, the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989/1147) as amended was used for comparison (10 µg/l). None of the samples submitted from Ditton Brook were found to detect any

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

concentrations of TPH. Hydrocarbons were detected in three samples from Steward’s Brook, SBS2 R1, SBS3 R1 and SBS3 R2. TPH concentrations above the relevant guideline value were detected in three samples. Previous Water Sampling 13.47 In addition to the sampling undertaken by EAME, water sampling was undertaken by Environ on Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook in November 2004 as part of the Environmental Statement Report (67C12665 – ES Volume 2) and was submitted as part of the planning submission (planning reference HBC Ref 07/00815/FULEIA) in November 2007 (approved on 10 March 2008). 13.48 The results of the surface water analysis were assessed in relation to the prevailing contaminated land guidance (Drinking Water Standards, Environmental Quality Standards and Dutch Guideline Values). 13.49 The sampling indicated that several chemical species exceeded the EQS limits for Coastal and Estuarine waters, particularly an upstream sample obtained from Steward’s Brook. Concentrations were noted to be reduced downstream and generally lower concentrations were recorded within Ditton Brook. 13.50 The source of the elevated concentrations was believed to be the contaminating surrounding land use, historical deposition of galligu in the area and the HEDCO landfill site, which forms part of the eastern boundary of Steward’s Brook. Notably, the site upstream of Steward’s Brook (St Michael’s Golf Course) was undergoing remediation due to elevated metal species within the shallow ground and measures were being undertaken with respect to contaminated discharges to the watercourse. It was also anticipated that there will be an active leachate management and control system on the HEDCO site in the future which will collect leachate believed to be issuing to Steward’s Brook and send it for off-site treatment. 13.51 It was suggested that although the golf course and HEDCO site were likely to be the main contributors to contamination of Steward’s Brook, there may be some infiltration and leaching of contaminants from the development site that is adding to the pollution loading. It was stated that the reclamation mound (which also comprises galligu) was unlikely to be a pollution source for the Brook because a wall of sheet piling was installed to prevent cross-connection of groundwater beneath the reclamation mound with the water in Steward’s Brook. Comparison of Steward’s Brook EAME Analytical Data with EA Data 13.52 The EA have provided EAME with analytical data, dating from between November 2010 and March 2011, from their Steward’s Brook sampling regime. A comparison of the maximum concentrations is provided in Table 13.7 below. It should be noted that different parameters were analysed by EA and EAME and only determinands common to both studies have been tabulated:

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Table 13.7: Comparison of EA and EAME Steward’s Brook Analytical Results Determinant EA Data Maximum EAME Data Maximum Concentration (Location) Concentration (Location) Inorganic Parameters pH 8.44 (adjacent to 3MG) Sulphate as SO4 806 mg/l (confluence of Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook) Sulphide 2.34 mg/l (confluence of Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook) Ammonia as NH3 11.8 mg/l (prior to the confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) Nitrate as N 1.49 mg/l (adjacent to 3MG) Nitrite as N 0.138 mg/l (prior to the confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) Alkalinity 312 mg/l (prior to the confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) Dissolved 10.8 mg/l (culvert) Oxygen Heavy Metals Arsenic 333 µg/l (prior to confluence of (dissolved) Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) Boron (dissolved) 1,590 µg/l (prior to the confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) Cadmium 1.83 µg/l (adjacent to 3MG) (dissolved) Chromium 5.15 µg/l (prior to the (dissolved) confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) Copper (dissolved) Iron (dissolved)

Lead (dissolved)

Manganese (dissolved) Mercury (dissolved) Nickel (dissolved) Selenium

7.8 (SBS1 R1) 8,100 mg/l (SBS2 R2) 0.045 mg/l (SBS1 R1) 23 mg/l (SBS3 R2)

ND 0.14 mg/l (SBS2 R2)

250 mg/l (SBS1 R2)

8.5 mg/l (SBS2 R2)

650 µg/l (SBS2 R2)

3,400 µg/l (SBS3 R2)

ND 1.8 µg/l (SBS3 R2)

53.5 µg/l (adjacent to 3MG)

11 µg/l (SBS3 R2)

1,880 µg/l (prior to the confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 8.98 µg/l (prior to the confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 617 µg/l (prior to the confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 0.213 µg/l (prior to the confluence of Ditton and Steward’s Brook) 9.27 µg/l (adjacent to 3MG)

290 µg/l (SBS3 R2)

ND

ND 306

ND

560 µg/l (SBS3 R2)

ND

12 µg/l (SBS3 R1)

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Table 13.7: Comparison of EA and EAME Steward’s Brook Analytical Results Determinant EA Data Maximum EAME Data Maximum Concentration (Location) Concentration (Location) (dissolved) Zinc (dissolved) Major Ions Calcium (dissolved) Magnesium (dissolved) Potassium (dissolved) Sodium (dissolved)

Hydrocarbons Benzene

Toluene

Ethylbenzene

Total Xylene

o-Xylene

m-p-Xylene

PAHs Fluoranthene

Anthracene

Pyrene

Acenapthene

1,150 µg/l (adjacent to 3MG)

160 µg/l (SBS2 R2)

305 mg/l (prior to the confluence of Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook) 33.8 mg/l (prior to the confluence of Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook) 29.5 mg/l (prior to the confluence of Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook) 216 mg/l (prior to the confluence of Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook)

250 mg/l (SBS1 R1)

7.23 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 1.14 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 5 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 15 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 5 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 10 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook)

ND

0.0234 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 0.203 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 0.0188 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 0.823 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook)

ND

307

31 mg/l (SBS2 R1)

11 mg/l (SBS2 R1, SBS3 R1)

390 mg/l (SBS3 R2)

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0.22 µg/l (SBS3 R2)

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Table 13.7: Comparison of EA and EAME Steward’s Brook Analytical Results Determinant EA Data Maximum EAME Data Maximum Concentration (Location) Concentration (Location) Fluorene

Acenapthylene Naphthalene

Phenanthrene

Benzo (g-h-i) perylene

0.335 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 0.0866 µg/l (culvert) 0.117 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 0.181 µg/l (prior to confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook) 0.228 µg/l (adjacent to 3MG)

ND

ND 3.1 µg/l (SBS3 R2)

ND

ND

13.53 A comparison of EA and EAME analytical data for Steward’s Brook has shown that the data roughly corresponds. This is particularly evident with regards to the furthest downstream of the sampling points, where the majority of the maximum concentrations, for both data sets, were found (i.e. the reach between the HEDCO landfill and Reclamation Mound). This suggests that the principal pollution loading to the system is also in this lower zone. Surface Water Quality Assessment Conclusions 13.54 The sampling of Ditton Brook on the site’s western boundary and Steward’s Brook, which flows through the site has indicated that several chemical species exceed the EQS values, particularly SBS3, the lowest point, adjacent to the Reclamation Mound and the HEDCO landfill. The notable deterioration in water quality in this zone suggests that Steward’s Brook is being adversely influenced by contamination sources within the ground at the HEDCO site and possibly the Reclamation Mound site (although this is sheet piled along this stretch). Concentrations were generally lower within Ditton Brook compared to Steward’s Brook for the same parameters. 13.55 The source of the elevated concentrations of metallic and inorganic contaminants with respect to the various guidelines is likely to be a combination of the potential Galligu composition of the stream bed of Steward’s Brook, the galligu composition of the surrounding land and the HEDCO landfill site, which forms part of the eastern boundary of Steward’s Brook. The hydrocarbon components of the contaminants identified are less likely to be from the galligu which is a predominantly inorganic pollutant source and more likely to be from surface run-off and other sources of localised contamination and the possibly landfill leachate. 13.56 It is recognised that although the HEDCO site is likely to be the main contributor to contamination of Steward’s Brook given that it is an unlined chemical waste site, there may also be some infiltration and leaching of contaminants from the development site that is adding to the pollution loading overall. Notwithstanding these two sources, the area itself is made up of galligu contaminated soils and there will also be a widespread pollution burden from the general area.

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Flood Risk 13.57 A standalone Flood Risk Assessment, FRA has been completed in accordance with PPS25, which formed the basis of the hydrological assessment within this chapter and is included as a separate document within the planning application package. The FRA is included as Appendix 11.1 of this ES report and is discussed in detail in Chapter 11 (Flood Risk and Drainage). 13.58 This has determined that the site is partially located in the tidal floodplain from Ditton Brook with a flooding probability assessed as being 1 in 200 year or greater. Geology and Hydrogeology Desktop Research 13.59 According to the British Geological Survey (BGS) Solid and Drift Map for Runcorn (Sheet 97, Scale 1:50,000), the site is directly underlain by recent Tidal Flat Deposits (the River Mersey is tidal within this area). This is further underlain by the Wilmslow Sandstone Formation (formerly known as the Upper Mottled Sandstone) of the Triassic Sherwood Sandstone Group at depths ranging from 12m bgl to over 35m bgl. The Sherwood Sandstone Group is underlain by Permian sandstones and further underlain by the Carboniferous Coal Measures. 13.60 Tidal Flat deposits commonly comprise soft dark grey clays, silts and occasional sands, which may be organic and contain shelly material. The Wilmslow Sandstone Formation is a fine to medium-grained, red-brown to brick red, generally pebble-free, with sporadic siltstones. 13.61 The aquifer classification system was updated on 1st April 2010 which provided new aquifer designations to replace the old system of aquifer classifications, such as Major, Minor and Non-Aquifer. This new system is in line with the EAs Groundwater Protection Policy (GP3) and the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and is based on British Geological Survey mapping. A review of the maps produced on-line indicates the site is located on the following: Table 13.8: Aquifer Classification Formation Aquifer Hydrogeological Significance Classification Tidal Flat Secondary Low permeability deposits which have negligible Deposits (Undifferentiated) significance for water supply or river base flow. In principle, these deposits have previously been designated as either minor or non-aquifer in different locations due to the variable characteristics of the rock type. Wilmslow Principal These are layers of rock or drift deposits that have Sandstone high intergranular and/or fracture permeability Formation meaning they usually provide a high level of water storage. They may support water supply and/or river base flow on a strategic scale. In most cases, principal aquifers are aquifers previously designated as major aquifer. 13.62 As the site is within an urban area, any underlying soils are automatically classified as having high leaching potential (HU), i.e. they have little ability to diffuse source

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pollutants and liquid pollutants have the potential to move rapidly into underlying strata (it should be noted that all soils within urban areas are classified according to the worst case scenario). 13.63 The site does not lie within a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ). 13.64 According to the EA the site does not lie within a Groundwater Source Protection Zone (SPZ). 13.65 Information from the third-party environmental database indicates that there are two current groundwater abstractions, abstracting from four locations, within a 500m radius of the site. One abstraction, registered to Croda Colloids Ltd, for general cooling and process water, abstracts from 192m and 265m south and 333m southwest. The second abstraction for Granox Ltd (now PDM) is for general use is located 244m south. 13.66 None of these abstractions is likely to affect or be affected by the proposed development, because there will be no groundwater abstraction or contaminated discharges to groundwater from the site. Site Investigation 13.67 An intrusive Phase II Environmental Assessment of the site has been carried out by EAME to provide supporting information for the EIA, with a number of window samples, trial pits and boreholes being excavated. The objective of the investigation was to provide information on the current environmental condition of the soils and groundwater underlying the site. This was used to determine if significant risk and/or liabilities are associated with land contamination at the site in its current condition and in terms of potential risks for the proposed future end uses. Further details of the investigation and pollution source issue in the soils are provided in Chapter 12, but information from that and previous investigations are considered here in the context of groundwater quality. 13.68 The geology at the site was found to be broadly consistent with published information and can be summarised as follows. Made Ground was encountered in all sampling locations. This generally comprises hardstanding (concrete or tarmac) or unsurfaced ground comprising a grass/soil, soil/clay matrix or a gravel/silt/sand/clay matrix of varying thickness over fill material such as brown/grey/black sand, silt or clay with variable quantities of brick, gravel cobbles, ash, fragments of coal and slag, timber, metal, wire, glass plastic, ceramic tile and polystyrene overlying Galligu chemical waste material. All trial pit locations and the window sample holes excavated on the West Bank Dock site were terminated within the made ground deposits. 13.69 Natural Strata was encountered in all the borehole locations and window sample holes excavated on the Foundry Lane site. The natural deposits encountered comprised: §

Alluvial Deposits: consisting of soft to firm grey/brown/black silty clay, silt, clayey silt or sands. Alluvial deposits were not encountered in all exploratory hole locations; and

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§

Glacial Till: consisting of soft to stiff, brown silty or sandy clay with occasional fine fragments of gravel. Glacial Till deposits were not encountered in all exploratory hole locations.

13.70 The site investigation has shown that the chemical testing of the soil and groundwater has revealed that the site is contaminated to varying degrees and that this is impacting upon groundwater. Hydrogeological Field Observations 13.71 Shallow groundwater strikes/seepage were encountered in the made ground horizon in all boreholes with the exception of BH6. These groundwater strikes were encountered at approximate depths of between 2.2 - 8.7m bgl. 13.72 No groundwater strikes were noted at BH6 and only one groundwater strike was noted at BH1. However, for the remaining four locations, at least two groundwater strikes were observed. 13.73 Groundwater strikes were encountered in the alluvial deposits within three of the boreholes (BH2, BH4 and BH5), with two other strikes within the underlying Glacial Till horizon (BH3 and BH5). 13.74 Despite the lack of a discernible groundwater strikes at BH6, all boreholes subsequently ‘made water’ following well installation and were sampled appropriately. 13.75 Details of the groundwater strikes are presented in Table 13.9. Table 13.9: Details of borehole groundwater strikes BH No. Depth to Strata Rise m bgl Drillers Strike m (after 20 Comments bgl minutes) BH1 Seepage Made Ground 0.0 No rise at 5.5 BH2 Seepage Made Ground 0.0 No rise at 6.5 8.7 Made Ground 8.2 Slow seepage 13.5 Alluvium (silt) 13.0 Slow seepage BH3 3.8 Made Ground 3.5 Slow seepage Seepage Glacial Till 0.0 Slow seepage at 10.0 (silty clay) BH4 Seepage Made Ground 3.0 No rise at 3.3 5.05 Made Ground 4.45 Slow seepage 11.7 Alluvium (silty 10.65 Slow seepage sand) BH5 Seepage Made Ground 0.0 No rise at 2.2 3.25 Alluvium (silty 3.2 Slow seepage clay)

311

Date

07.04.11 06.04.11

07.04.11

12.04.11

11.04.11

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Table 13.9: Details of borehole groundwater strikes BH No. Depth to Strata Rise m bgl Drillers Strike m (after 20 Comments bgl minutes) 8.0 Glacial Till 7.9 Slow seepage (sandy silty clay) BH6 Dry

Date

08.04.11

Groundwater Monitoring 13.76 The six boreholes were installed specifically to determine if the groundwater on-site is in connectivity with the surrounding water bodies (Steward’s Brook, Ditton Brook and the estuarine River Mersey). It is not known if the steel piles along the eastern and western elevations of the Reclamation Mound are preventing the leaching of contaminants from the subsoils and shallow groundwater into the surrounding water bodies and determining whether or not there was hydraulic continuity between the Estuary and the groundwater within the site would help to understand if such leaching was possible. 13.77 Resting groundwater levels were monitored following the installation of the wells and prior to purging and sampling. The resting groundwater levels provide a more accurate representation of groundwater levels across the site compared to inflow depths. From a topographic survey conducted at the site, the groundwater levels were calculated in relation to ordnance datum, as shown in Table 13.10. Table 13.10: Groundwater levels of the boreholes BH No.

Date

GW level (m bgl)

GW level (m AOD)

5.44

Ground Elevation (m AOD) 11.40

BH1

13.04.11

BH2

13.04.11

8.69

13.37

4.68

BH3

13.04.11

4.68

11.34

6.66

BH4

13.04.11

7.53

11.91

4.38

BH5

13.04.11

2.14

8.01

5.87

BH6

13.04.11

1.79

6.67

4.88

m AOD = m Above Ordnance Datum

312

5.96

Observations During GW Purging & Sampling 24 litres removed during purging. Light brown in colour. Purged dry at 20 litres. Black in colour & sediment rich Purged dry at 15 litres. Light brown in colour. 30 litres removed during purging. Black in colour & sediment rich. Hydrogen sulphide odour. Purged dry at 5 litres. Light brown in colour. Purged dry at 10 litres. Light brown in colour running to a clear colour.

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Table 13.10: Groundwater levels of the boreholes BH No.

Date

GW level (m bgl)

Ground GW level Observations During Elevation (m AOD) GW Purging & (m AOD) Sampling BH1 and BH3 - installed with a 50mm diameter standpipe within the clay deposits within the Glacial Till horizon. BH2, BH4, BH5 and BH6 - installed with a 50mm diameter standpipe within the alluvial drift deposits. 13.78 Eight window sample locations (WS2, WS5 - WS10 and WS12) were pre-emptively installed as monitoring wells; although no discernible shallow groundwater strikes were encountered during drilling; five of the window sample locations (WS2, WS5, WS9 - 10 and WS12) subsequently ‘made water’ following well installation. Groundwater levels for the window sample locations are detailed on the gas monitoring data presented in Appendix 13.6. 13.79 The shallow groundwater encountered beneath the site, appears to be perched within the made ground. The made ground is underlain by alluvial drift deposits, which are further underlain by Glacial Till and then Fluvio-Glacial Sands and Gravels. These strata are all water bearing and would be sensitive to mobile sitederived contamination. Equally, the possibility exists that the underlying major sandstone aquifer is in hydraulic continuity with the groundwater encountered within the alluvial deposits and may therefore also be sensitive to site derived contamination. 13.80 Using the data from the EAME 2011 investigation and from the various investigations undertaken on-site, four different groundwater bodies have been identified at the site within the depth range of the site investigation. These comprise: Table 13.11: Groundwater bodies identified by the site investigations Water Body Description I – Perched Water Perched water located within the made ground horizon above the alluvial deposits. Perched water within the made ground is generally due to infiltration from unsurfaced ground and site drainage, which is known to be in a poor state of repair II – Sand/Silt Water bearing silt/sand lenses within the Alluvium, which is Lenses (alluvial) believed to be tidally influenced and possibly in continuity with the lower groundwater body; Water bearing silt/sand lenses within the clay deposits encountered in the Glacial Till. It should be noted that there is likely to be variability in the groundwater levels across the site area, within this stratum, which is dependent on the presence of sand/silt lenses within the clay deposits. It is believed that the thickness of the clay reduces in the eastern section of the site; III – Glacial Till Sand and gravel deposits encountered within the Glacial Till. Water These sands and gravels are likely to be a good indicator of potential contamination risk to the deeper major aquifer. In other words, if this horizon is relatively uncontaminated it is likely that the major aquifer will not have been affected by site based contaminants; IV – Sherwood The Sherwood sandstone aquifer which underlies the area

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Sandstone Aquifer

regionally is a major groundwater bearing stratum and Principal Aquifer.

13.81 The groundwater within the alluvial/glacial till horizons appears to be flowing in a south-westerly direction, towards the river basin, which is not unexpected. Similarly the groundwater in sand lenses will be confined within the sand lens. The Aquifer is believed to be in direct hydraulic connectivity with the estuary. 13.82 It should be noted that the groundwater regime is complicated due to the influence of other factors including for example, the installation of the sheet piled wall along the length of Steward’s Brook adjacent to the Reclamation side of the site and the Ditton Brook (in part). Furthermore, the hydrostatic pressure exerted by the Reclamation Mound and the adjacent HEDCO site is also likely to be an influencing factor together with the granular glacial deposits within the palaeo channel which exists at depth, which may affect the overall groundwater regime also. 13.83 The site investigation has focused on assessing shallow soil and groundwater conditions and has not been designed to include the assessment of the groundwater within the underlying Sandstone Series. However, the glacial clay overlying the sandstone is likely to restrict the vertical migration of mobile contaminants into the sandstone to an extent, although the clay layer is not reported to be continuous across the site. Overall, the risk to groundwater from site-derived contamination is considered to be moderate as there is the potential for contaminants to leach from the soils into the groundwater and surface water bodies, which may be interconnected. 13.84 Groundwater samples were obtained from the borehole and window sample locations after completion of the well installations. Prior to sampling the groundwater in each well, the depth to groundwater was first measured and the well developed by the removal of at least three well volumes. The groundwater levels were then allowed to recover before sampling to ensure that the samples were of “fresh” groundwater, representative of the surrounding water bearing strata. Samples were obtained using a disposable HDPE bailer or Waterra tubing, which were specifically dedicated to each well to avoid cross-contamination between sampling locations. These were disposed of following use. The groundwater samples were assessed in the field for sheens, colour and odours and particularly examined for the presence of free-phase product (i.e. a distinct layer of contaminated liquid). 13.85 During the groundwater sampling, no visual evidence of contamination was noted; however, a distinctive hydrogen sulphide odour was noted at BH4. The odour from BH4 may be related to organic matter within the alluvial deposits decomposing under anaerobic conditions. Groundwater Quality 13.86 There are no statutory UK guidelines for chemical contamination of groundwater at present. The UK Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 are often used to assess the results of groundwater investigations. However, since they are drinking water standards, they generally represent conservative reference values and they should not be applied prescriptively for all situations, particularly where water is not abstracted for drinking water supplies as is the case on this site. Where Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) exist these have also been considered.

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Table 13.12: Summary of Groundwater Analytical Results Determinant No. Max. Conc. Guideline Analysed Detected Values (Sample Ref.) (µg/l)

Inorganic Parameters pH Total cyanide Sulphate as SO4

6 6 6

Sulphide Chloride Ammonia as NH3 Ammonium as NH4 Nitrate as N Nitrite as N Alkalinity Dissolved oxygen

6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

Hardness

6

Heavy Metals Arsenic (dissolved)

No. Equal to or exceeding Guideline

11.7 (BH1) <10 – 160 (BH3) 2,700,000 (BH1, BH3) 310,000 (BH4) 3,000 mg/l (BH3) 19,000 (BH4) 20,000 (BH4) 5.2 mg/l (BH1) ND 930 (BH5) 6.2 mg/l (BH1, BH4) 488 – 2180 mg/l (BH3)

6.5 – 101 501 250,0001

1 (BH1) 1 (BH3) 6 (all)

250 mg/l1 152 5001 50 mg/l1 5001 <6 mg/l

6 (all) 6 (all) 6 (all) 0 0 3 (BH3, BH 5, BH6) -

6

88 (BH4)

101

Boron (dissolved) Cadmium (dissolved) Chromium (dissolved) Copper (dissolved) Iron (dissolved)

6 6 6 6 6

810 (BH6) ND 5.9 (BH4) 5.8 (BH6) 2.8 mg/l (BH6)

1,0001 51 501 2,0001 0.2 mg/l1

Fe2+ Fe3+ Lead (dissolved) Manganese (dissolved) Mercury (dissolved) Nickel (dissolved) Selenium (dissolved) Zinc (dissolved) Major Ions Calcium (dissolved) Magnesium (dissolved) Potassium (dissolved) Sodium (dissolved) Phenols Total monohydric phenols Total phenols (HPLC) Hydrocarbons Total EPA-16 PAHs

6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

2.35 mg/l (BH1) 2.76 mg/l (BH6) 9.6 (BH2) 3,300 (BH3, BH5) ND 10 (BH5) ND 33 (BH3)

251 501 11 201 101 5,0001

5 (BH1 – BH5) 0 0 0 0 3 (BH2, BH4, BH6) 0 5 (BH2 – 5) 0 0 0

6 6 6 6

610 mg/l (BH3) 160 mg/l (BH3) 78 mg/l (BH4) 1,100 mg/l (BH5)

200 mg/l1

6 (all)

6

ND

7.73

0

6

ND

7.73

0

6

1.8 (BH1, BH3)

0.11

4 (BH1, BH3, BH5,

315

-

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Table 13.12: Summary of Groundwater Analytical Results Determinant No. Max. Conc. Guideline Analysed Detected Values (Sample Ref.) (µg/l)

No. Equal to or exceeding Guideline

1.22 -

BH6) 0 -

-

-

-

-

0.44

0

14

0

6 6 6 6

<0.01 – 0.2 (BH1) <0.01 – 0.07 (BH1) <0.01 – 0.3 (BH1) <0.01 – 0.17 (BH1) <0.01 – 0.58 (BH3) <0.01 – 0.17 (BH3) <0.01 – 0.42 (BH3) <0.01 – 0.34 BH3) ND ND 630 (BH1)

105

6 (all)

6

ND

105

0

6 6

ND ND

-

-

6 6 6 6 6 6 6

0.2 (BH1) 0.65 (BH1) 0.37 (BH4) 0.07 (BH1) 0.3 (BH1) 0.2 (BH1) 0.21 (BH1)

1.23 0.13 -

0 1 (BH6) -

6 6 6 6 6

0.17 (BH1) 0.31 (BH1) 0.58 (BH3) 0.17 (BH1, BH3) 0.42 (BH3)

0.054 14 0.1

-

1 (BH1) 0 4 (BH1, BH3, BH5, BH6) -

-

-

Naphthalene Acenaphthylene

6 6

Acenaphthene Fluorene

6 6

Phenanthrene

6

Anthracene

6

Fluoranthene

6

Pyrene BTEX MTBE TPH Aliphatic (C5 – C35) TPH Aromatic (C5 – C35) VOCs VOCs VOCs TICs SVOCs Naphthalene Hexachlorobutadiene 2-Methylnaphthalene Acenaphthylene Acenaphthene Dibenzofuran 4-Chlorophenyl phenyl ether Fluorene Hexachlorobenzene Phenanthrene Anthracene Fluoranthene

Pyrene 6 0.34 (BH3) SVOCs TICs 91-pentylheptyl6 BH1 Benzene Notes: All concentrations are in μg/l unless specified. 316

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Table 13.12: Summary of Groundwater Analytical Results Determinant No. Max. Conc. Guideline Analysed Detected Values (Sample Ref.) (µg/l)

No. Equal to or exceeding Guideline

ND = not detected - = no appropriate guideline available 1 = Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 2 = EQS Freshwater Annual Average 3 = EQS 4 = MAC EQS – Maximum Allowable Concentration 5 = Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989/1147) as amended 13.87 It is important to note that both the Drinking Water standards are conservative and generally applied in situations where the groundwater is abstracted for potable water supply, which is not appropriate to the site. 13.88 The pH values were found to be neutral to alkaline (in the range pH 7.3 – 11.7). However, only one sample recorded alkaline pH’s greater than 9.0, with the maximum pH value detected in the sample collected from BH1, which was installed within Glacial Till deposits. This high pH value is reflective of the strongly alkaline nature of Galligu and typical for groundwaters in contact with Leblanc waste. This would suggest that the groundwater found in BH1 is in connectivity with the groundwater located in the Made Ground. 13.89 Sulphate (as SO4) concentrations ranged from 200,000 µg/l (BH6) to 2,700,000 µg/l (BH1 and BH3. All six samples recorded sulphate concentrations in excess of the of the UK Drinking Water Quality (DWQ) Guideline of 250,000 µg/l. The significantly elevated concentrations of sulphate indicate that the groundwater bodies across the site have been in contact with Galligu contaminated Made Ground. 13.90 Total cyanide concentrations were not observed above the analytical detection limit (<30 µg/l) in three of the six samples analysed. However, just one sample (BH3) was found to above the UK DWQ standard of 50 µg/l at 160 µg/l. 13.91

Concentrations of monohydric phenol were not found above the analytical detection limit.

13.92

Elevated concentrations of arsenic were detected in all of the six groundwater samples analysed, all of which exceeded the UK DWQ standard (10 µg/l) and five exceeded the EQS guideline value (25 µg/l). Arsenic is a notable contaminant associated with Galligu.

13.93 All six samples were found to have significantly elevated concentrations, above the EQS value (1 µg/l), of copper. A maximum concentration of 5.8 µg/l was detected at BH6. 13.94 Three samples (BH2, BH4 and BH6) were found to be elevated above the relevant guideline value for iron.

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13.95 Nickel, chromium, zinc and boron were recorded in several locations; however, all concentrations were below the relevant guideline values. 13.96

Cadmium, lead, selenium or mercury concentrations were not detected above the analytical detection limit in any of the samples and therefore below all relevant guideline values.

13.97 All of the samples submitted for sulphide analysis returned concentrations above the analytical limit of detection. The sulphide concentrations were ranged between 5.1 µg/l (BH3) and 310,000 µg/l (BH4). Although there are no relevant guideline criteria, the sulphate levels recorded in BH1 (12,000 µg/l) and BH4 (310,000 µg/l) are considered to be significantly elevated. 13.98

All six samples were submitted for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons – Criteria Working Group (TPH CWG) analysis; all samples were found to contain aliphatic hydrocarbons with the carbon chain of between C10 – C35. None of the samples were found to contain any aromatic hydrocarbon carbon chains. The maximum total aliphatic hydrocarbons (C5 – C35) was found to be 630 µg/l (BH1). The TPH contamination is not considered to be widespread as elevated concentrations of TPH have not been found in the soil or groundwater at nearby locations. This is therefore, likely to be more indicative of localised hotspots associated with oil based activities in this area rather than widespread contamination of the site by hydrocarbons.

13.99 Speciated Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) were found in four of the six samples submitted for analysis which indicated trace concentrations of individual PAH compounds with a number of the individual compounds detected above relevant guidelines (where available). The highest concentration (1.8 µg/l) of total EPA-16 PAHs was found at BH1 and BH3. 13.100 No VOCs or VOC TICs were not observed above the laboratory analytical detection limit. 13.101 Twelve SVOCs and SVOC TICs were detected across the six samples submitted, the highest concentrations of which were mainly found in the sample obtained from BH1. Previous Groundwater Data 13.102 Environ were commissioned in 2004 to undertake an intrusive investigation of the site to support the design of the development proposals at that time. Sampling locations were positioned to provide a representative spatial assessment of the ground conditions, to target identified areas of potential contamination (e.g. current storage tanks) and to provide preliminary geotechnical information. The intrusive investigation was carried by Environ over a period of five weeks, from the 8th November 2004 to the 16th December 2004 with subsequent periods of sample analysis, monitoring and assessment of results. This study and its results are presented in the Environmental Statement Report (67C12665 – ES Volume 2) that was submitted as part of the planning submission (planning reference HBC Ref 07/00815/FULEIA) in November 2007 (approved on 10 March 2008). 13.103 Groundwater samples were obtained by Environ as part of the 2004 investigation. Analysis was undertaken on fifteen samples of groundwater, eleven of which were

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obtained from the installed boreholes, two of which were obtained from the installed window samples, with the remaining two obtained from the excavated trial pits. 13.104 The results of the groundwater analysis were assessed in relation to the prevailing contaminated land guidance; the UK Drinking Water Standards and the Dutch Intervention Values were used to screen the results and to provide a baseline assessment of groundwater conditions. 13.105 The pH values were found to be neutral to alkaline (in the range pH 7.4-13.0). Six samples recorded alkaline pH’s greater than 9.5, with the maximum pH value detected in the samples from groundwater contained within the made ground horizon. These high pH values are reflective of the strongly alkaline nature of Galligu and typical for groundwaters in contact with Leblanc waste. 13.106 Sulphate concentrations ranged from 68 mg/l to 6,380 mg/l, with eleven of the fifteen samples recording sulphate concentrations in excess of the DWQ Guideline of 250 mg/l. The maximum concentration of 6,380 mg/l was detected within perched water (i.e. in galligu), with the other significantly elevated concentrations of sulphate detected in samples, generally also being from waters contained within the galligu contaminated Made Ground. It is important to note that both the Dutch and Drinking Water standards are conservative and generally applied in situations where the groundwater is abstracted for potable water supply, which is not appropriate to the site. 13.107 Total cyanide concentrations were recorded below the analytical detection limit (<30µg/l) in thirteen of the fifteen samples analysed. The two concentrations detected above the analytical detection limit were recorded in BH14 at 32 µg/l and TP23 at 150 µg/l. Both concentrations were recorded below the Dutch Intervention guideline value of 1,500 µg/l, however, TP23 detected a concentration in excess of the UK DWQ standard of 50 µg/l. 13.108 Concentrations of monohydric phenol ranged between <20 µg/l (below the analytical detection limit) and 140 µg/l (BH31), however, the maximum concentration recorded in BH31 was significantly below the Dutch I guideline value of 2,000 µg/l. There is no Drinking Water standard for this parameter. 13.109 The majority of samples returned metal concentrations below the analytical limits of detection and subsequently below relevant guideline criteria. In particular, concentrations of chromium (total) were detected below the analytical detection limit in all of the fifteen samples analysed and therefore below all relevant guideline values. 13.110 Low concentrations of copper, nickel and zinc were recorded in several locations; however, all concentrations were subsequently below the relevant guideline values. 13.111 Elevated concentrations of arsenic were detected in all of the fifteen groundwater samples analysed, all of which exceeded the UK DWQ standard (10 µg/l) and six of which, recorded concentrations in excess of the Dutch I guideline value (60 µg/l). The most significantly elevated level of arsenic was recorded in WS6 at a maximum concentration of 2,700 µg/l, however, other significantly elevated concentrations were recorded in the locations of BH23 (830 µg/l) and BH34 (140 µg/l). The water samples from WS6 and BH34 were recovered within the made ground, however, the

319

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

sample from BH23 comprised water from the sands and gravels strata at the drift/solid geology transition zone. Arsenic is a notable contaminant associated with Galligu. 13.112 Lead concentrations were detected in two of the locations, one of which (200 µg/l), exceeded the Dutch I value of 75 µg/l and the Drinking Water standard of 50 µg/l. 13.113 Cadmium concentrations were also detected above the analytical detection limit and above the relevant guideline values in two of the fifteen samples analysed, with a maximum concentration of 34 µg/l. 13.114 Mercury was detected in BH43 at a concentration of 0.91 µg/l. This concentration exceeds the Dutch I value of 0.3 µg/l, but is below the UK DWQ guideline (1 µg/l). 13.115 The sample obtained from BH43 also contained selenium at a concentration of 100 µg/l. This concentration, together with the selenium concentration within TP23 (21 µg/l) exceed the UK DWQ standard (10 µg/l) but are both below the Dutch I guideline value (160 µg/l). 13.116 Eleven of the fifteen samples submitted for sulphide analysis returned concentrations below the analytical limit of detection. Of the four samples, where sulphide concentrations were recorded, levels ranged between 400 µg/l (TP16) and 200,000 µg/l (TP23). All of the detected concentrations were recorded in locations installed with the made ground horizon (comprising the galligu chemical waste) and from an excavated trial pit terminated in the galligu chemical waste. Although there are no relevant guideline criteria, the sulphate levels recorded in BH14 (140,000 µg/l) and TP23 (200,000 µg/l) are considered to be significantly elevated. 13.117 A hydrocarbon broad scan (C10 – C40) was conducted on all fifteen groundwater samples. The maximum concentration of TPH was recorded in WS6 at 6,900 µg/l, which is significantly above the guideline value (the Dutch I value for mineral oil (600 µg/l)). The sample was interpreted by the laboratory as being consistent with diesel and lubricating oil, which accords with the on-site field evidence of contamination at that location. TPH was also detected at concentrations above the relevant guideline criteria in BH12 (1,100 µg/l), which was interpreted as being consistent with gas oil and lubrication oil, BH43 (1,100 µg/l), which was interpreted as being consistent with lubrication oil and TP16 (900 µg/l), which was described as ranging between the C10 – C40 range. Three (WS6, BH43 and TP16) of the four detected concentrations were recorded in locations installed with the made ground horizon, however, the sample recovered from BH12 comprised groundwater from the silty/sandy clay deposits within the Glacial Till horizon. However TPH contamination was not considered to be widespread as elevated concentrations of TPH were not found in the soil or groundwater at nearby locations. This was considered more likely to be indicative of localised hotspots associated with oil based activities in this area rather than widespread contamination of the site by hydrocarbons. 13.118 Seven groundwater samples recovered from five boreholes and two excavated trial pits were submitted for the analysis of speciated PAHs. Two of the samples recorded concentrations below the analytical limits of detection, however, trace concentrations of individual PAH compounds were detected in the remaining locations with a number of the individual compounds detected above relevant Dutch I guidelines (fluoranthene, benzo (a) anthracene, chrysene, benzo (k) fluoranthene,

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benzo (a) pyrene, and benzo (g,h,i) perylene). It should be noted that the Dutch Intervention Value for several of the individual compounds (benzo (k) fluoranthene, benzo (a) pyrene, indeno (1,2,3-cd) pyrene and benzo (g,h,i) perylene) is 0.05 µg/l, which is below the analytical detection limits for each of the PAH compounds, therefore, concentrations above the screening value cannot be ruled out. 13.119 PCBs were not detected in any of the six samples submitted for analysis. However, it should be noted that the Dutch Intervention Value (0.01 µg/l) is below the analytical detection limits for each of the PCP congeners. While concentrations above the screening value cannot be ruled out, there is no evidence of significant PCB contamination, and none would be considered likely given the current and past uses. Furthermore, PCB contamination was not identified within the soils. 13.120 VOCs were detected in three of the thirteen samples analysed. The majority of measured concentrations are considered trace and are well below relevant guideline values (where available). However, in BH34 benzene was recorded at a concentration (2 µg/l) slightly in excess of the UK DWQ standard but significantly below the Dutch I value. 13.121 No SVOCs were detected above laboratory detection limits in any of the six samples analysed. 13.122 Five samples were analysed for a range of organochlorine and organophosphorus pesticides. None were detected above the analytical detection limit. 13.123 Ammonia concentrations were all recorded at concentrations in excess of the drinking water guideline value of 500 µg/l, with concentrations ranging from 860 µg/l to 9,900 µg/l. 13.124 The Environ 2007 EIA concluded that the chemical testing of the soil and groundwater has revealed that the site is contaminated to varying degrees and that this is impacting upon groundwater. Groundwater Level Monitoring 13.125 In order to assist in the characterisation of the hydrogeological regime; ascertain whether the site is tidally influenced; and to identify the efficiency of the sheet piled wall, a water level survey was undertaken involving the use of automated level loggers, which were installed in the monitoring boreholes, Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook for a period of two weeks to facilitate the logging and comparison of water level changes over several tidal cycles. 13.126 The boreholes were excavated to depths coinciding with the depths of the brooks. Four of the boreholes (BH1 - BH4) were excavated to depths coinciding with the depth to the base of Stewards Brook and two boreholes (BH5 - BH6) were excavated to depths coinciding with the depth to the base of Ditton Brook. 13.127 The level loggers were deployed on the 16th April and stopped logging on the 3rd May 2011. The level logging data is presented below. 13.128 The published tidal data for Widnes are presented below in Figure 13.4. An obvious pattern exists with much higher tide times at the first half of the monitoring period,

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peaking on the 19th April 2011 at 5.7m, and smaller high tides in the middle (the lowest high tide was noted on 26th April 2011 at 2.6m) with a return to larger high tides towards the end of the monitoring period.

Figure 13.3: Widnes published high and low tidal data during the monitoring period 13.129 The data from BH1 is depicted in Figure 13.4 below. BH1 is located on land to the north of the Reclamation Mound. The data from the level logger installed in this borehole indicates that the borehole is not tidally influenced as the groundwater level does not show the twice daily oscillation as it would if it was influenced by the estuarine River Mersey. In fact, the overall trend is of a downward nature; however, this is not wholly unexpected as the period of monitoring was during an unseasonably warm period when little or no rain fell.

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Figure 13.4: BH1 level logging data 13.130 The data provided by BH2 is far more complicated (Figure 13.5). It would appear that the BH2 is installed within a groundwater body which is affected by the tidal River Mersey; however, the pattern does not indicate a simple daily oscillation. Although, the data indicates the same pattern as the published Widnes tidal data (Figure 13.3), the oscillation pattern is much less pronounced. This may suggest that BH2 is at the extreme point of the tidal influence and is therefore only minimally affected by the tides. For example, the range between maximum high tide and minimum low tide is only 0.2m. Field observations indicate that the observed difference between high and low tide is not particularly large.

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Figure 13.5: BH2 level logging data 13.131 The data from BH3 indicates that this borehole is tidally influenced (Figure 13.6). The data indicates a twice-daily oscillation throughout the monitoring period. The data also shows that the water level increased high in the first half of the monitoring before waning in the middle and increasing during the second half of the monitoring period. This data coincides with published tidal data for Widnes (Figure 13.3), for example, indicates that first high tide on the 23rd April 2011 was at 04:00 and the level logging data indicates that the first high tide peak in BH3 was 06:00 (5.2412m), a time lag of 2 hours. This lag is perhaps not unexpected as BH3 is located on the northern elevation of the Reclamation Mound, one of the furthest boreholes from the brooks.

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Figure 13.6: BH3 level logging data 13.132 BH4 (Figure 13.7) has similar characteristics to BH3, in the fact that it is tidally influenced; however, the oscillations are much more pronounced. This is not unexpected as BH4 is located extremely close to the confluence of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook and as such, will experience the tidal influence of the River Mersey with very little lag time. For example, the published data for the second high tide on the 22nd April 2011 was at 15:41m whilst the second peak on that date at BH4 was at 16:00.

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Figure 13.7: BH4 level logging data 13.133 The data from BH5 (Figure 13.8) is very similar to BH4. However, the oscillations in the second half of the monitoring period for BH5 were much less pronounced than in BH4. These similarities between BH4 and BH5 are not wholly unexpected as BH5 is located on the western elevation (within the steel piles) of the Reclamation Mound adjacent to Ditton Brook.

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Figure 13.8: BH5 level logging data 13.134 The level logging data from BH6 (Figure 13.9) was very similar to BH4 and BH5. Again, this is not unexpected as BH6 is located within the steel piles on the western elevation of the site, adjacent to Ditton Brook. The tidal range of the oscillations was much higher in BH6 than BH4 or BH5, for example the highest tidal range recorded by BH5 was approximately 0.1m and the highest range recorded by BH6 was 0.2m.

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Figure 13.9: BH6 level logging data 13.135 Two level loggers were each placed in Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook in order to provide a comparison with the data gathered from the level loggers deployed in the boreholes. The logger placed in the upstream section of Ditton Brook was located under the Foundry Lane bridge and the downstream level logger was placed in close proximity to BH5. The upstream Steward’s Brook logger was placed in the section between the land to the north of the Reclamation Mound and Stobart Park / 3MG. Whilst the downstream logger was placed in the channel section flowing between the HEDCO landfill and the Reclamation Mound. These locations are depicted in Figure 13.3. 13.136 The data provided by the Ditton Brook level loggers (Figures 13.10 and 13.11) correlate with each other and the published tidal for Widnes (Figure 13.3). All three indicate a peak around the 23rd April 2011, followed by a distinctive drop and then an increase towards the end of the monitoring period. The downstream data indicates a much bigger tidal range, this is not unexpected as the river bed and banks are significantly deeper and more expansive than the upstream location.

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Photograph 13.3: Upstream level logger at Ditton Brook. Note the accumulated debris on the safety lines attached to the logger.

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Figure 13.10: Ditton Brook Upstream level logging data

Figure 13.11: Ditton Brook Downstream level logging data 330

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13.137 The first half of the level logging data from Steward’s Brook is similar to the published tidal data and the data accumulated from Ditton Brook, indicating that at least up to the point of the upstream level logger, it is tidally influenced. However, the second half is completely different. This may be related to the fact that the tidal range was much lowered in second half and thus did not affect the upstream level logger.

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Photograph 13.4: Upstream level logger at Steward’s Brook. Please note the colour of the river base.

Figure 13.12: Steward’s Brook Upstream level logging data

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Figure 13.13: Steward’s Brook Downstream level logging data Conclusions of Groundwater Monitoring and Level logging 13.138 Chemical testing of the soil and groundwater has revealed that the site is contaminated to varying degrees and that this is impacting upon groundwater. It should be noted that the above provides an indication of the presence and general magnitude of contamination at the site and has shown that there are areas where further work may be required to delineate these contaminants and ensure they are dealt with adequately where they may be affected by the development proposals. 13.139 Clearly there is a contamination source on the site that appears to be impacting upon groundwater quality to varying degrees and in turn may also be contributing to poor surface water quality. 13.140 The Environ 2007 EIA concluded that the chemical testing of the soil and groundwater has revealed that the site is contaminated to varying degrees and that this is impacting upon groundwater. 13.141 It is quite clear from the level logging data that the groundwater bodies across the site are tidally influenced, as the level logging data provided by Steward’s Brook, Ditton Brook and the boreholes correlate. Thus, it can be concluded that the steel sheet piling around the Reclamation Mound which is intended to provide an effective hydraulic barrier between the groundwater within the sheet piled area and the estuary and Ditton and Steward’s Brook, may not be working effectively. Consequently contaminant transfer is possible and may be occurring, although it is also possible that the synchronicity between tidal cycles and the groundwater level behind the sheet piling is due to changes in pore pressure associated with the rising

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and falling tide having a related effect on the groundwater regime in the area. In other words, whilst there may be a hydrostatic effect, it does not necessarily mean that the groundwater behind the sheet piling and the estuarine water are co-mixing.

Summary of Baseline Conditions 13.142 The site investigation and associated chemical analysis of soil, surface water and groundwater has shown that there are a number of elevated contaminants on the site both in terms of organic and inorganic chemical species. These contaminants are impacting upon water quality, as is shown by the analytical results which indicate a number of contaminants at concentrations greater than the initial screening levels, within the surface water and groundwater. 13.143 In addition, the Environ 2007 EIA concluded that the chemical testing of the soil and groundwater has revealed that the site is contaminated to varying degrees and that this is impacting upon groundwater. 13.144 The potential sources of soil contamination are extensive as the site has been under industrial usage from at least the 1890s and is made up in large parts from historic chemical waste deposits (galligu). 13.145 It is clear from the level logging data that the groundwater bodies across the site are tidally influenced, as the level logging data for Steward’s Brook, Ditton Brook and the boreholes correlate. It is thus possible that the steel sheet piling around the Reclamation Mound is not providing an effective hydraulic barrier between the groundwater within the sheet piled area and the estuary, Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook. Consequently contaminant transfer is possible and may be occurring. 13.146 The source of the elevated concentrations of metallic and inorganic contaminants with respect to the various guidelines is likely to be a combination of the potential Galligu composition of the stream bed of Steward’s Brook, the galligu composition of the surrounding land and the unlined HEDCO landfill site, which forms part of the eastern boundary of Steward’s Brook and was a chemical waste disposal site. The hydrocarbon components of the contaminants identified are less likely to be from the galligu which is a predominantly inorganic pollutant source and more likely to be from surface run-off and other sources of localised contamination and the possibly landfill leachate. 13.147 It is recognised that although the HEDCO site is likely to be the main contributor to contamination of Steward’s Brook given that it is an unlined chemical waste site, there may also be some infiltration and leaching of contaminants from the development site that is adding to the pollution loading overall. Notwithstanding these two sources, the area itself is made up of galligu contaminated soils and there will also be a widespread pollution burden from the general area. 13.148 Marsh Brook is not a significant surface water feature and is now a newly hydraulically lined drainage channel receiving surface water discharges from the Tesco Distribution Centre site (Tesco DC) and tidal inundations. Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook are more substantial water courses and are likely to be receiving groundwater base flow as well as surface water discharges, all of which have some potential to be contaminated at present.

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IMPACT ASSESSMENT 13.149 The regime for contaminated land was set out in Part 2A (ss.78A-78YC) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA), as inserted by S.57 of The Environment Act 1995 and came into effect in England on the 1st April 2000 as ‘The Contaminated Land (England) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/227)’. These regulations were subsequently revoked with the provision of ‘The Contaminated Land (England) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/1380)’, which came into force in England on 4th August 2006, and consolidated the previous regulations and amendments. Under Part 2A of the EPA Section 78A(2), “contaminated land” is defined as “land which appears… to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land, that – § §

significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or pollution of controlled waters (including streams, lakes and groundwater) is being, or is likely to be caused.

13.150 “Significant harm” is described in the statutory guidance2 and relies upon a “pollutant linkage” being present. A "pollutant linkage" requires the following: § § §

a source of contamination present at concentrations capable of causing significant harm to the health of humans or other environmental receptors; there must be a human or environmental receptor present; and there must be an exposure pathway by which the contamination can reach the receptor.

13.151 Based on the above factors, an initial qualitative assessment of the presence of potential pollutant linkages can be undertaken. 13.152 A conceptual model is an essential element of any site-specific environmental risk assessment. In this context, they are often simple representations of the hypothesised relationships between sources, pathways and receptors. For the purpose of this report, a basic conceptual model has been developed based on the principles of CLR11 and interpretation of information gathered during the Phase I review and Phase II intrusive investigation. Thus, this allows the identification of potential pollutant linkages and whether these linkages have the potential to comprise significant harm and/or pollution of controlled waters in relation to the site. Based on this interpretation, the implications for potential liability associated with soil or water contamination at the site can be evaluated. 13.153 All discussions in this section have been made in relation to the site’s proposed industrial/commercial setting. The following is based upon the generally accepted risk assessment principles set out above. These are discussed in more detail below in the context of this site. It should be stressed these are potential scenarios that could exist. It is not necessarily the case that they do. 2

The meaning of “significant harm” can be summarised as follows: § in relation to humans – death, disease or serious injury; § in relation to ecological systems and their living organisms – irreversible and/or substantial adverse change in the functioning of the ecological system within any substantial part of its location; and § in relation to property in the form of buildings – substantial failure, damage or interference with rights of occupation. 335

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Potential Sources of Contamination 13.154 It has already been established that elevated levels of both organic and inorganic contaminants exist on the site, in soils, groundwater and surface water and the longterm presence of these contaminants is assumed. There are mechanisms by which contaminants can transfer to the water bodies (leaching, run-off, etc) and if the site is not changed in anyway such mechanisms are likely to continue to prevail. 13.155 In addition to the potential pollution sources that already exist on and around the site, the following potential sources of pollution that may arise as a result of the construction and operational phases of the proposed development have been identified. Although the site will not contain any chemical bulk storage or be occupied by businesses undergoing chemically intensive activities, there is still the potential for the development to add to the pollution burden as illustrated in Table 13.13 below. Table 13.13: Potential future sources of Water Pollution at the site Construction Phase Operational Phase Sediment-rich and/or contaminated runIncreased surface water run-off (which off from land to water bodies during although should be clean rainwater, earthworks. could pick up contaminants if housekeeping on the site is poor or spillages have occurred, such as fuel and oil leaks from parked vehicles). Spillages of polluting materials during Increased wastewater from sanitary construction activities (e.g. fuel spills usage. In addition, there is the potential during plant refuelling). for vehicle washing to be undertaken on site. Dewatering of contaminated groundwater Storage of oils, fuels and maintenance from excavations and the associated chemicals by new site occupiers. generation of large volumes of potentially contaminated water. Receptors 13.156 Accepting that the potential pollution sources are well understood, the following receptors, with regards to water quality, have been identified: §

groundwater, encountered within the Made Ground, alluvial drift deposits, Glacial Till horizon and Fluvio-glacial Sand and Gravel drift deposits;

§

surface water, Steward’s Brook, which flows between the Reclamation site and the West Bank Dock site (in part) and the Ditton Brook, which flows adjacent to the south-west boundary of the Foundry Lane site and to the south of the Reclamation site);

§

ecological diversity in the receiving waters could also be impacted by certain contaminants that could render the water quality incapable of supporting pollution intolerant species (although Steward’s Brook has limited ecological value as detailed in Chapter 8 (Ecology and Nature Conservation);

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§

although limited, there may be recreational and commercial users of the River Mersey that could be impacted by contaminated waters;

§

third party land (i.e. the possibility of contamination migrating off-site onto third adjacent land via contaminated surface water and groundwater or run-off); and

§

Marsh Brook has not been identified as a potential receptor as it is hydraulically isolated from the site and other than during periods of tidal inundation, is not a actively flowing water body of any significance (operating mainly as a surface water drainage channel for the Tesco site).

Potential Pollutant Pathways 13.157 The following potential pollutant pathways, with regards to water quality, have been identified at the site: § § §

Migration of contaminants to shallow groundwater bodies and aquifer and to surface water via leaching and run-off, or transmission along conduits; Cross contamination of water bodies and soil contaminants through piling activities; and Leaching and capillary rise into landscaped areas.

13.158 A conceptual model for the site, presenting the identified sources of contamination, pathways and receptors is detailed in tabular form in Table 13.14 below and graphically in Figure 13.5.

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Table 13.14: Preliminary Conceptual Site Model Sources Pathways Receptors Chemical contamination, e.g. metals, PAHs, hydrocarbons, trace VOCs, sulphide, major ions and ammonia associated with galligu, former site activities and the landfills.

Direct leaching into groundwater from contaminated soils Cross contamination between groundwater bodies due to the piling exercise

Direct leaching into surface water from contaminated soils. Contaminated water run-off during construction and operational phases. Leaching and capillary rise of contaminated water into landscaped areas. Spillage of pollutants into the redundant surface water drainage system, which discharges to surface watercourses, during construction phase Spillages into new surface water drainage system, which discharges to Steward’s Brook, during operational phase from fuel stores, etc Leaching of contaminants from the site into the River Mersey.

On-site groundwater bodies

Off-site groundwater bodies

Surface Water Quality

Ecology of Steward’s Brook, Ditton Brook and River Mersey

Human Users (recreational & commercial) of River Mersey

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Pollutant Linkage Likelihood & Significance Likely & Moderate Significance. Due to known contamination already in the soil and groundwater. Likely & Moderate Significance. Likely interconnectivity of water bodies exists so contamination could be migrating away from the site. Likely & Moderate Significance. Due to contamination found in groundwater and proximity of Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook which may be contiguous with this. In addition, there is also the potential for contaminated run-off drainage to enter surface watercourses. Unlikely & Low Significance. Although contamination exists, it is generally at low concentrations and the tidal flushing and high water volumes in the receiving waters will lead to massive dilution factors. So the impact on ecological systems is likely to be insignificant. Steward’s Brook will be more susceptible to changes in water quality but due to decades of severe contamination, is of low ecological status. Unlikely & Low Significance. The dilution factor will significantly reduce the concentration of any site-derived contamination entering the River Mersey to sub human health impact levels and the opportunities for contact with these contaminants via recreational activities on river will be minimal.

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

13.159 Based upon this conceptual model, the following discussion addresses the impact assessment for the site, based on the current understanding and whether plausible pollutant linkages are present and likely to lead to significant impacts. Potential Risks to the Groundwater 13.160 The shallow groundwater encountered at the site, appears to be perched within the made ground. The made ground is underlain by alluvial drift deposits, which are further underlain by Glacial Till and then Fluvio-glacial Sands and Gravels. These are all water bearing and would be sensitive to mobile site derived contamination. Equally, the possibility exists that the underlying major sandstone aquifer is in hydraulic continuity with the shallow groundwater encountered within the alluvial deposits and may thus also be sensitive to site-derived contamination. 13.161 The site investigation has focused on assessing shallow soil and groundwater conditions and has not been designed to include the assessment of the groundwater within the underlying Sandstone Group. However, the glacial clay overlying the sandstone is likely to restrict the vertical migration of mobile contaminants into the sandstone to an extent, although the clay layer is not reported to be continuous across the site. Overall, the risk to groundwater quality from site derived contamination is considered to be moderate with respect to the existing ground conditions as there is the potential for contaminants to leach from the soils (especially galligu) into the groundwater bodies, which in turn may be interconnected. This latent pollution potential associated with the Made Ground and (principally galligu) related contaminants therein, will not be changed by the proposed development, but one of the key mechanisms by which contaminants can be transferred (leached ) from the contaminated soil via infiltrating surface water, will be minimised. 13.162 The current hardstanding cover on site is only limited in extent and where it exists is generally poor in places and does not form an effective barrier to infiltration of rainwater through the site. This infiltrating rainwater will leach contaminants out of the soil as it migrates towards the surface water systems or becomes assimilated in the groundwater bearing strata. The proposed development will have a much greater area of high quality hard cover and landscaped areas will also effectively limit infiltration, thus overall infiltration and contaminant will thus reduce the potential for percolating rainwater to leach contaminants from the unsaturated zone into the saturated zone and potentially into the nearby surface water bodies. 13.163 It is recognised, however, that during the construction phase more soils will be exposed and there may be a temporary increase in infiltration rates during this period depending upon weather conditions. Potential Risks to the Surface Waters 13.164 The closest watercourses to the site are Steward’s Brook, which flows between the Reclamation site and the West Bank Dock site (in part) and the Ditton Brook, which flows adjacent to the south-western boundary of the Foundry Lane site and to the southern boundary of the Reclamation site. There is potential for the migration of contaminants in perched and shallow groundwater into the brooks directly where they are contiguous and via the drainage system or surface run-off. Steward’s Brook

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flows through the golf course located to the north and adjacent to the HEDCO landfill in the south both of which leached contaminants into the Brook, although it is understood that there have been remediation projects to limit this pollution loading but it is not known whether this has completely eliminated these pollution inputs. The monitoring by EAME and the EA would suggest not. As a Controlled Water, this surface water represents a sensitive receptor to contaminants regardless of its prevailing quality and provides a pathway for off-site migration. 13.165 Given that much of the Galligu within the Reclamation Mound has been removed, the potential for leachate generation within the mound to emanate and impact Steward’s Brook has been reduced but will not be completely eliminated. 13.166 The level logging data indicates that it is unlikely that the steel piles that were designed to prevent the leaching of contaminants from the reclamation mound have provided an effective hydraulic and so on-going long-term leaching could be a feature of the site, however, again this will be greatly limited by stabilisation and surfacing of the site as part of the proposed development works, which will be an improvement over the present situation. 13.167 The development proposals will involve substantially increasing areas of hard surfacing on the site which will serve to both greatly reduce rainwater infiltration (and thus flushing and leaching of contaminants) and will also provide a “clean” barrier between incident rainfall and the contaminated soils, thus leading to uncontaminated surface run-off. In addition, the site drainage system will effectively be replaced with a new high integrity drainage system, removing another potential contaminant migration pathway. 13.168 The design of the new drainage system has yet to be confirmed and as such the discharge flows into Ditton and Steward’s Brook are yet to be determined. Potential Risks to Groundwater Associated with Piling and Ground Preparation 13.169 Due to the type and nature of the development it is envisaged that floor loads will be high, settlement criteria stringent and roof spans large such that foundation loads will be significant. In light of this and the weak and variable nature of the soils found across the site it is proposed that some of the built structures are founded upon piles. The contaminated nature of the near surface deposits and the potential for creating pathways to the underlying soils and aquifer as a consequence of the piling operation is recognised and understood and piling methods will be chosen on the basis of risk assessment as well as structural performance. 13.170 From the information available from the site investigation it is currently anticipated that various piling techniques may need to be employed across the site including both displacement and non-displacement types, in addition to surface based ground treatment (e.g. cement stabilisation). During the detailed design phase it is intended that final ground treatment and/or pile designs will be determined and agreed through discussion and liaison between the EA, the Structural Engineer and the specialist Piling and Groundworks Contractors taking due regard of structural performance and the avoidance of contamination migration. 13.171 Ideally, the piling technique will comprise friction piles, which are designed to bed into stiff boulder clay over a sufficient length (depth) to ensure that the frictional

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forces between the pile and the surrounding clay exceed the downward force of the buildings load, and thus provide a stable support for the building. Given the size of the buildings and loads that could be involved, the Structural Engineers may need to consider piles in excess of 15m deep which may encounter the sandstone rock head that underlies the made-ground and drift deposits. This may necessitate piles ranging from between 14m to >45m depth across the site due to the sandstone rock head dipping sharply from east to west. This would be clarified during the engineering design phase. Environmental Implications of Piling 13.172 In Environmental Impact terms, the principal concerns with piling are: § §

§

piling equipment can generate both noise and vibration that could be evident offsite; certain piling methods can bring spoil (some of which may be contaminated) to the surface and other methods may drive contaminated soil down into deeper horizons where it would not have previously existed; and any piling method that passes through contaminated ground or groundwater into underlying uncontaminated strata creates a potential pathway for downward migration of contaminants (i.e. can cross-contaminate previously uncontaminated ground or groundwater) by allowing contaminated water to drain along the sides of the pile into deeper strata.

13.173 The noise and vibration issues associated with piling are discussed in Chapter 16 (Noise and Vibration). With respect to ground contamination issues, it is recognised that in many locations on the site, the piling locations will coincide with varying degrees of contaminated ground and groundwater. What has not been determined at this stage is the specific piling technique that will be used and where these will be required. 13.174 This will be influenced by a number of factors including: § § § § § § § §

feasibility of surface cement stabilisation techniques; depth to rock head; required bearing strength; presence or absence of contaminated soil along the pile profile; presence or absence of contaminated groundwater along the pile profile; the specific nature of the contamination that may be present; proximity to retained structures (i.e. structures that could be damaged by vibration), and cost.

13.175 Once Planning Consent has been granted for this development then the Client will commission further investigation of the proposed pile locations, and commence technical discussions with piling contractors to define appropriate piling methodologies and an overall strategy. It is likely, however, that the piling techniques selected will be a combination of augered piling and displacement piling; each of which has potential impacts associated with it, and these are discussed below. These techniques will be used where surface based ground stabilisation is not feasible.

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Auger Piling 13.176 This involves using a rotary boring (auger) technique whereby a screw auger is slowly progressed through the ground whilst, at the same time, bringing the material it has bored through to the surface. Notwithstanding the obvious implication of the open borehole providing a direct pathway from contaminated horizons into uncontaminated horizons (which applies to any piling technique) there is also the issue of exposure to contaminated soils and vapours (e.g. VOC’s from hydrocarbon contamination or hydrogen sulphide from Galligu). The most sensitive receptor for this being the Piling Rig Operators. Furthermore, this technique creates a waste material requiring management and disposal (regardless of whether or not it is contaminated). If the material is contaminated then there is also the potential for contaminated run-off from this exposed material draining into on-site drainage systems or previously uncontaminated ground. The technique aim would be to screw an auger into the ground to the required depth and then to pump concrete down the hollow auger stem as the auger is slowly withdrawn. Reinforcement is then pushed into the wet concrete. Displacement Piles 13.177 This typically involves physically driving a preformed concrete pile into the ground to the required depth. Again, there is the potential for this to create a crosscontamination pathway from contaminated to uncontaminated horizons, but also this technique can physically drive contaminated soils down into deeper horizons, albeit in relatively small quantities dictated by the cross-sectional area of the pile. Significant advantages of this technique over augered piling, however, are that no contaminated material is brought to the surface, thus Worker exposure and waste disposal problems are avoided, and there is no need for the pouring and setting of concrete. 13.178 The relative merits of the piling techniques on their associated environmental implications are summarised in Table 13.15 below:

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Table 13.15: Piling techniques and their environmental implications Piling Technique Advantages Disadvantages Auger Piling Does not physically transfer The pile can provide a direct This involves material from contaminated migration pathway between open drilling of a horizons to uncontaminated contaminated and hole to the horizons, and instead brings all uncontaminated horizons. required depth, materials to the surface where which is then they can be managed/ This technique can generate filled with liquid disposed of. large volumes of waste concrete as the material, some of which may auger is be contaminated presenting withdrawn. Worker exposure and waste disposal issues. The open hole can provide a direct pathway for potentially hazardous gases (e.g. H2S and VOC) to migrate to the surface (Worker exposure issue). During periods of heavy rainfall, the open hole can provide a direct pathway for substantial volumes of water to flow into contaminated horizons and carry contamination down to previously uncontaminated horizons. Displacement Piling This involves driving a precast concrete pile directly into the ground.

There is no open hole and the pile can be installed directly without bringing any material to the surface.

The pile can provide a direct migration pathway between contaminated and uncontaminated horizons. This method can drive solid contaminants and contaminated soil directly into underlying uncontaminated strata and groundwater.

13.179 It should be noted that, in addition to the piles providing a pathway for contaminated water to seep downwards into underlying strata, there is also the potential to allow underlying uncontaminated groundwater that may be under confined conditions (i.e. sub-artesian) to rise-up into contaminated ground. Mitigation of Piling Impacts 13.180 As a precursor to the Construction project and in conjunction with the proposed further investigation that will take place once planning permission has been granted, the Client will undertake a Piling Risk Assessment in accordance with the EA

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Methodology for such set out in their publication - Piling and Penetrative Ground Improvement Methods on Land Affected by Contamination: Guidance of Pollution Prevention. Based upon the investigation of pile locations and the Piling Risk Assessment, the Client and its Contractors will confirm with the Environment Agency which of the proposed piling locations presents a potentially significant risk of crosscontamination between contaminated and uncontaminated horizons. A detailed Method Statement will be then agreed setting out the piling technique and protection methods that will be employed. It is likely that this will include: § §

§

augered piling to bring the contaminated material up to the surface where it can be managed and controlled; pre-emptive or simultaneous advancement of solid casing, which will isolate the material being excavated from the surrounding material and prevent groundwater seepages into the borehole, and in-situ casting of the piles with secondary sealing of the made-ground/natural ground interface so that groundwater can not be transmitted downwards along the outside edge of the formed pile.

13.181 Where the proposed piling location does not coincide with significantly contaminated ground and the Piling Risk Assessment demonstrates that there is negligible risk of cross-contamination then it is likely that preformed displacement piles will be used. 13.182 The rotary auger piling will bring materials to the surface from each horizon that it passes through. It is proposed that these pile horizons are monitored and periodically sampled to enable them to be characterised and, where possible, segregated. This will enable the contaminated material and uncontaminated material to be defined and segregated for management and handling in accordance with Site-wide Waste Management Strategy (see Chapter 14 - Waste Management). 13.183 The full details of the piling strategy and techniques will be determined in conjunction with suitably qualified Piling Contractors and confirmed with Halton Borough Council and the Environment Agency well in advance of piling works commencing on site. MITIGATION OF POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS Control of Surface Water Drainage during Construction 13.184 The Phase II Environmental Assessment concluded that the nature and level of contaminants identified across the site were substantial and that the soil contamination is likely to be providing an ongoing source of contamination to groundwater. The remediation strategy for the site is provided in more detail in Chapter 12 (Land Contamination) but is likely to include the stabilisation of the galligu and the provision of a clean ‘break-layer’ of 0.5m top soil areas for the areas of landscaping, which will protect vegetation from phytotoxic effects of contaminants such as copper and zinc. Any imported fill material used on site will be inert, uncontaminated material and will not lead to any impact or degradation of the soil and groundwater quality underlying the site. 13.185 The operation of construction vehicles and general construction activities give rise to the potential for surface runoff to become contaminated with hydrocarbons, silt or

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other construction materials. This may in turn lead to a contamination event should site drainage be allowed to enter surface watercourses or the ground untreated. 13.186 Depending on meteorological conditions, excavations may require dewatering (of accumulated rainfall or runoff) during construction. In such circumstances, care will be taken to ensure the quality of this water is sufficiently high to allow discharge onto the surrounding site. Ponded water from excavations will be pumped into settling tanks to remove suspended sediments. If oil is detected in the water from the excavation sites, it will be diverted through temporary oil interceptors prior to being discharged into the settling ponds. Water from the settling tanks will be discharged to Steward’s Brook, which will require a discharge consent from the EA. 13.187 Interceptors will be regularly inspected, cleaned and maintained. Full records will be kept of inspections, maintenance works and measures undertaken to sustain equipment performance. These provisions should ensure no significant impacts occur on water quality. The use of settlement facilities will aid the removal of any potentially contaminated material that might be derived from construction materials. 13.188 All site works will be undertaken in accordance with the EA’s Pollution Prevention Guidance Note 6 ‘Working at Construction and Demolition Sites’. Construction vehicles will be properly maintained to reduce the risk of hydrocarbon contamination and will only be active when required. Construction materials will be stored, handled and managed with due regard to the sensitivity of the local aquatic environment and thus the risk of accidental spillage or release will be minimised. Construction contractors will also take full account of the requirements of the EA’s General Guide to the Prevention of Pollution of Controlled Waters (PPG1) and guidance set out in PPG2 (Above Ground Oil Storage Tanks) and PPG3 (The Use and Design of Oil Separators). 13.189 In accordance with the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001, any tanks storing more than 200 litres of oil will have secondary bunding. Bunding will be specified having a minimum capacity of “not less than 110% of the container's storage capacity or, if there is more than one container within the system, of not less than 110% of the largest container's storage capacity or 25% of their aggregate storage capacity, whichever is the greater.” Above ground storage tanks will be located on a designated area of hardstanding. No underground storage tanks will be used during the construction period. Storage of liquids such as degreasers, solvents, lubricants and paints would be in segregated, bunded enclosures. 13.190 The construction drainage system will be designed and managed to comply with BS6031:198 “The British Standard Code of Practice for Earthworks”, which details methods that should be considered for the general control of drainage on construction sites. Further advice is also contained within the British Standard Code of Practice for Foundations (BS8004, 1986). 13.191 Furthermore, these mitigation measures will be incorporated into a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), which will set out measures for the control of site drainage, reducing the risk of accidental spillages and the storage and handling of materials. 13.192 The current moribund surface water drainage system will be replaced by an entirely new drainage system that will capture the run-off water from the site.

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RESIDUAL IMPACTS Residual impact after mitigation: Minor Positive 13.193 It is also necessary to consider the potential wastewater generation associated with the new development. The main wastewater stream generated once the site is operational will be sanitary waste water from the toilet blocks, washrooms and catering facilities associated with the site tenants. The Development site is not served by a municipal sewerage system and thus it is proposed that five individual sewage package treatment plants will be installed to serve the proposed storage and distribution units and the biomass facility. The indicative location and number of these treatment plants are discussed in Chapter 11 (Flood Risk) and shown on drawing No. 80962/0200. The treatment plants will discharge into adjacent watercourses. The detailed design of the sewage treatment plants cannot be determined at this stage, since the capacity of each plant will need to take into account the operational requirements of the tenants and their staffing levels. The treated effluent discharged from these plants would require a consent to discharge from the Environment Agency under The Water Resources Act 1991. 13.194 Similarly blow-down will be generated from the boilers associated with the biomass power plant. Particles entering the boiler through the make-up water will remain behind when steam is generated. During operation, the concentration of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) builds up and finally a concentration level is reached where operation of the boiler becomes impacted. If solids are not purged from the boiler they can lead to scale formation, carryover, corrosion and/or embrittlement. The blow-down from the boiler would be directed to the dedicated sewage treatment plant serving the biomass facility. 13.195 Once the site is operational, given the absence of access to a foul sewer, it will be necessary for each unit to discharge to a bespoke sewage treatment plant (package plant) that will treat the sanitary waste to a sufficient standard to allow discharge of the treated wastewater to a watercourse. The project is not yet at a stage where the detailed design or capacity of these plants can be established, but there will be full consultation in this with the EA to ensure that the plants can meet the discharge criteria required. It is envisaged that there will be at least one discharge permit applied for per outfall to allow the discharge to the surrounding water courses. Residual impact after mitigation: Minor Negative Potential Groundwater Interruption during Construction 13.196 The site investigation found four different groundwater bodies at the site within the depth range of the site investigation. These comprise: §

§

perched water located within the made ground horizon above the alluvial deposits. Perched water within the made ground is generally due to infiltration from un-surfaced ground and site drainage, which is known to be in a poor state of repair; water bearing silt/sand lenses within the Alluvium. This is believed to be tidally influenced and is possibly in continuity with the lower groundwater body;

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§ §

water bearing silt/sand lenses within the clay deposits encountered in the Glacial Till; and groundwater within the underlying Sherwood Sandstone strata.

13.197 Therefore, during construction, dewatering of excavations may be required where they encounter one of these groundwater bodies. Waters generated in this manner will be controlled, treated and discharged appropriately. 13.198 The proposed development will require piling to depths of 12 - 20m. A Piling Risk Assessment will be undertaken in accordance with the guidance will set out in the EA document “Piling and Penetrative Ground Improvement Methods on Land Affected by Contamination: Guidance on Pollution Prevention”. The risk assessment will identify the best environmental solution to the development, whilst minimising the risk of creating a pathway. A detailed Method Statement will be agreed with the EA and will set out the piling technique and protection methods that will be employed. Further details on piling are provided in Chapter 12 (Land Contamination). Residual impact after mitigation: Neutral Flood Risk 13.199 As discussed in Section 13.4, the FRA for the site suggests that a large part of the Foundry Lane Site, and a small part of the West Bank Site, may be affected by tidal flooding, whilst the Reclamation Site is above these flood levels. The standalone FRA has been completed in accordance with PPS 25, which formed the basis of the hydrological assessment within this chapter and is included as a separate document within the planning application package. The FRA is included as Appendix 11.1 of this ES report. 13.200 The site will be developed at a finished floor level that rests above the predicted worst case flood level and will be provided with an entirely new drainage system to conduct all surface waters to Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook (which will both benefit from the additional clean water inputs). The engineering details will be defined as the project design work progresses. Residual impact after mitigation: Minor Positive Control of Surface Water or Groundwater by Routine (Operational) Drainage 13.201 The majority of the developed site will be covered in hardstanding and managed landscape areas which will reduce infiltration rates on site and the resultant percolation of rainwater leaching contaminants from the saturated zone into the unsaturated zone. In addition, in the landscaped areas a clean break-layer of top soil will be placed to a depth of 0.5m, which will avoid cross contamination impacts on the planting. Any imported fill material used on site will be inert, uncontaminated material and will not lead to any impact or degradation of the soil and groundwater quality underlying the site. Consequently the new development proposals should effectively seal the site surface and prevent ongoing infiltration and leaching which should in the long-term lessen the pollutant loading on the groundwater and surface water systems.

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13.202 For a more detailed analysis of ground conditions please refer to Chapter 12 (Land Contamination). 13.203 Therefore, following the capping of the contaminated soil with treated galligu (as happened on the adjacent site), the principal source of contamination from routine operation of the site is hydrocarbon contamination from vehicles parked on site and fuels and small amounts of oil that may be stored. The proposed development will provide an internal road and a substantial area of car parking space with oil/water interceptor systems at strategic locations. There will also be management and housekeeping protocols to be adhered to by the tenants and which meet the EA pollution prevention guidelines. Therefore, routine site drainage will have a low risk of contamination, especially given the generally benign nature of the occupiers’ activities (storage and logistics). 13.204 The capture and discharge of large volumes of clean incident rainwater into Steward’s Brook that previously would have infiltrated into the contaminated soils is beneficial and will help to further improve the water quality in Steward’s Brook. Residual impact after mitigation: Moderate Positive Increased Water Consumption 13.205 Water efficiency measures can reduce consumption by 20-25% (EA). Therefore, water minimisation and conservation measures are important considerations for the proposed development, to minimise the increase in water demand. Water demand will be reduced as far as possible, by the incorporation of appropriate water saving devices, wherever practicable. The buildings are designed to maximise water efficiency through low water use sanitary appliances, optimising hot water use, dual flush toilets and low flow and aeration taps in appropriate locations. Given that the site is effectively being completely redeveloped, the entire water supply infrastructure and uses will be new and more efficient than the ad-hoc systems that currently exist. Residual impact after mitigation: Minor Negative OVERALL SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 13.206 A summary of the key impacts and mitigation measures is provided below: §

the development will have a minor positive impact on the surrounding area overall because it will assist in reducing the risk of contamination to the wider area through remediation of the site and the installation of capping and new surface water drainage systems. These in turn will limit infiltration and contaminant leaching and eliminate opportunities for contaminated run-off;

§

all construction activities will be carried out in accordance with the EA’s pollution prevention guidelines, notably PPG 6 ‘Working at Construction and Demolition Sites’. This will reduce the risk of surface water or groundwater contamination during construction;

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§

a Piling Risk Assessment will be undertaken in accordance with the guidance set out in the EA document “Piling and Penetrative Ground Improvement Methods on Land Affected by Contamination: Guidance on Pollution Prevention”. The risk assessment will identify the best environmental solution to the development, whilst minimising the risk of creating a pathway;

§

the surface runoff from the site will be released to Ditton Brook and Steward’s Brook. The run-off will be from a newly developed site with no pollution loading from site contaminants so although the volume will increase, so will the receiving water quality improve. This has additional benefits of diluting contaminants already in Steward’s Brook.

§

the redevelopment of the site will increase the number of site users which will cause an increase in water demand to meet the needs of the new occupants. These increases will be offset by the adoption of a variety of water-saving devices in the buildings and more efficient delivery and management of the supplied water;

§

similarly, the redevelopment will increase the site’s foul drainage requirements. However, a package treatment plant will be built on site to handle foul drainage prior to discharge into Steward’s Brook and Ditton Brook; and

§

areas of the site that are presently prone to flood risk will be developed to be outside of the flood risk based on future worst case scenarios and will maximise beneficial use of the land. The western part of the site (located within the Ditton Brook floodplain) will be developed so that the proposed levels will match the existing ground levels, however the finished floor level for the building will be elevated above the 1 in 200 year tidal flood level of 7.54m AOD.

13.207 In conclusion, given the location and nature of the nearest sensitive receptors, the overall environmental impact of the proposed development in relation to water quality and hydrology is considered to be Minor Positive.

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14.0

WASTE MANAGEMENT INTRODUCTION

14.1

Wastes are an inevitable aspect of any business activity. These are evident with the current site operations and also will be with the redeveloped site. There will be two aspects to waste management associated with the redevelopment. Firstly wastes will be generated during the construction phase (in particular the excavated soils and galligu associated with site preparation). Secondly, once the site is developed and operational there will be routine wastes associated with the business activities of the tenants (i.e. the 131,550sq m (1,416,150sq ft) of B8 storage and distribution and the 13.7 MWe biomass facility).

14.2

There is a great deal of regulatory and financial pressure to manage wastes effectively and to avoid landfill disposal where possible. This has been considered in the context of the proposed development to assess the waste characteristics of the current site use and the proposed development in order to try and evaluate potential impacts and identify options for sustainable waste management. ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

14.3

The waste management evaluation has considered the wastes that are likely to be generated as a result of the site usage for its normal business (current and planned) and the construction site preparation related wastes.

14.4

The methodology for looking at operational wastes has involved examining current waste management practices on the site and, as far as possible, predicting waste generation activities associated with the redeveloped site. The Development site will not have a centralised waste management contract as it is anticipated that the tenants will have national contracts and waste management packages with different waste management companies that would take precedence over any site based solution. Given this and the fact that the future tenants for the Development site are not known at this stage, only general discussion can be provided and general sustainable waste management principles be put forward as part of the tenants requirements.

14.5 For the construction related wastes, a detailed evaluation has been undertaken of the site conditions (chemical contamination status) via a comprehensive site investigation (see Chapter 12) and cross referenced with the planned engineering works in order to identify the likely provenance of waste materials that will be generated. These issues are discussed in more detail in the following sections. BASELINE CONDITIONS 14.6

The development site, which comprises a total area of approximately 34 hectares, consists of three distinct areas referred to as the West Bank Dock site, occupying the eastern portion of the site; the Reclamation site, in the central portion of the site; and the Foundry Lane site, which occupies the western portion of the site.

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14.7

The Reclamation site consists of an engineered mound comprised predominantly of galligu chemical waste. There are no activities undertaken on the mound and hence no generation of waste materials.

14.8

The West Bank Dock site is largely vacant, although an operational warehousing unit and several redundant small brick structures remain at the site. An area of open concrete hardstanding to the west of the warehousing unit is currently utilised by A.W Jenkinson Forest Products for the storage of bark and wood chips.

14.9

The central part of the Foundry Lane site is occupied by four large warehousing units. Unit 1 (known as the REHAU building) is operated by DHL and is REHAU’s storage and distribution facility for its UPVC window and door systems and pre-cast aluminium and steel frame products. The remaining three warehousing units (Units 2-4) are used by Stobart Fleet Division for trailer decommissioning activities. During a walkover inspection of the site, two waste skips were noted within Unit 2 (comprising the trailer decommissioning activities); one skip was utilised for general waste including the waste graphics removed from trailers and the other skip was utilised for scrap metal waste. Reportedly, no mechanical maintenance activities/repairs are undertaken on-site (all mechanical works on the decommissioned trucks are understood to be undertaken off-site).

14.10 In summary, non-hazardous wastes are routinely generated from the current on-site commercial activities. The storage and off-site disposal of these wastes is managed by the tenants. 14.11 A more notable waste feature of the site is the fact that much of the site is made up from chemical waste (galligu) associated with many decades of the chemical (and particularly alkali and soap industry) in the area. There are also waste products in the ground from other activities. These materials, however, are seldom disturbed by site activities and do not constitute a routine waste stream. A fuller description of these buried materials and their implications for the development are provided in Chapter 12 (Land Contamination).

IMPACT ASSESSMENT 14.12 For the proposed development site, the anticipated waste types that are predicted for both the construction and operational phases are presented in Table 14.1. Table 14.1 – Construction and Operational Phase Predicted Waste Types Construction Phase Wastes

Operational Phase Wastes

Building demolition rubble comprising brick, glass, timber and concrete.

Small quantities of waste oils and chemicals from site support activities (e.g. fork lift maintenance, boiler water treatment).

Asbestos containing materials (there is potential for cement sheet roofing and other materials to be present in the older warehouse buildings on-site).

Paper, cardboard and plastic packaging wastes from business activities.

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Excavated soil (ash, clay, topsoil, galligu and potentially contaminated sub-soil) associated with cut and fill, foundation excavations and trenching for services. Spoil from piling operations (especially augured piles).

Spoiled and damaged goods from storage warehouses.

Waste oils, chemicals and potentially hazardous materials from buildings clearance.

Scrap metal and redundant plant and equipment.

Scrap metal and redundant plant and equipment.

Waste vegetation from routine maintenance of landscaped areas.

Vegetation from site stripping.

Wood waste from unused/damaged pallets.

Japanese Knotweed contaminated soil.

Construction/demolition wastes from periodic contractor activities.

Waste paper, plastic, cardboard and wood from delivery of construction materials and site activities during the works.

Sanitary effluent from occupied premises.

Redundant unused construction materials.

Trade effluent e.g. from possible vehicle washing and other business related discharges.

Collected groundwater and rainwater.

Waste oil/water mixtures and sediment from interceptor systems.

Soils and possible contamination from minor earthworks (sewer repair, trenching, post boring, etc).

-

Biomass plant fly ash (to be collected via filter and stored in silo).

-

Biomass bottom ash (to be collected and stored in ash pit).

-

Biomass plant blow-down water.

14.13 The volume of the wastes that will be generated cannot be specified at this time. It is possible, however, to give a relative assessment of the potential waste quantities and their intended fate (Table 14.2).

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Table 14.2 - Fate of Generated Wastes Waste Type

Phase

Relative

Fate

Volume Building demolition rubble comprising, brick, glass, timber and concrete.

Construction Phase

Moderate

Asbestos containing materials (potential for cement sheet roofing and other materials to be present in the older warehouse buildings e.g. Unit 2 and 4).

Construction Phase

Small

Specialist removal by licensed contractor and taken to hazardous waste disposal site.

Excavated soil (ash, clay, topsoil, galligu and potentially contaminated sub-soil).

Construction Phase

Large

On site re-use and reprofiling, with treatment where appropriate. Offsite disposal for materials that cannot be managed on site effectively.

Waste oils, chemicals and potentially hazardous materials.

Construction Phase Operational Phase Construction Phase Operational Phase Construction Phase Operational Phase Construction Phase

Small

Off-site to licensed treatment & disposal facilities.

Small

Off site recycling.

Scrap metal and redundant plant and equipment. Vegetation from site stripping.

Soil and vegetation from Japanese Knotweed contaminated areas.

Waste paper, plastic, cardboard and wood.

Redundant construction materials.

Construction Phase Operational Phase Construction Phase

353

Mixture of on-site re-use of most materials and offsite recycling or disposal of unsuitable materials.

Moderate

Off site recycling or composting.

Moderate

Treated, excavated for off-site disposal or buried on-site (or a combination of these), in accordance with EA policy and guidance.

Moderate

Off site recycling and disposal via contracted waste management firm.

Small

Return to supplier, recycling, sale or disposal.

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Collected perched groundwater and rainwater.

Construction Phase

Moderate

Discharge to site surface or drainage system under controlled conditions if suitable or off-site treatment.

Trade effluent from vehicle wheel washing and other business related discharges.

Construction Phase

Small

Monitored discharge to drainage under Trade Effluent Discharge Consent(s), to sewer.

Waste oil/water mixtures and sediment from interceptor systems.

Operational Phase

Small

Routine removal by contractor to treatment facility.

Spoiled and damaged goods from storage warehouses.

Operational Phase

Small

Return to supplier or recycling/disposal where return not possible.

Sanitary waste water

Construction Phase Operational Phase

Small

Discharge to drainage system under controlled conditions via effluent treatment package plants serving individual site operators.

Biomass plant fly ash (collected from filters in silo) and bottom ash (collected in ash pit).

Operational Phase

Large

Recycled as far as possible, for use in the construction and fertiliser industries. Any ash for which a use is not available will be disposed of to landfill.

Biomass plant blowdown water

Operational Phase

Large

Discharged to sewer under the terms of a Trade Effluent Discharge Consent.

Key: Small = tens of tonnes Moderate = hundreds of tonnes Large = thousands of tonnes

Solid Waste Generation and Management Construction Phase 14.14 Demolition rubble and excavated soils associated with the site clearance and construction works will be the dominant and most environmentally significant waste stream associated with this project, but this will be temporary in nature and will be

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handled almost entirely on site (see Chapter 12 for full details). Insofar as a summary of the management of rubble and contaminated soils arising on the site is concerned the following aspects are pertinent: §

§ §

§

§

§

§

§ §

1

Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) will be removed from all buildings prior to demolition and disposed of off-site by an appropriately licensed1 asbestos contractor. A Type 3 (pre-demolition) asbestos survey will be undertaken on all buildings to determine the location and extent of any ACMs prior to demolition. All ACMs will be appropriately contained to either meet the relevant ADR requirements concerning the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road and/or duty of care requirements (depending on the nature of the material and associated UN classification). Tenants will be obliged to remove all redundant equipment and waste materials associated with their activities on vacating the current premises. Demolition rubble will be screened and crushed (where suitable) for re-use on the site as bulk fill. The mobile plant and equipment will permitted as required under Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (as amended). Techniques to minimise emissions are outlined within Process Guidance Note 3/16 (04) Secretary of State's Guidance for Mobile Crushing and Screening (DEFRA, 2004). Excavated galligu will be treated by blending with cement based additives to form a structurally stable non leachable material that can then be re-used on site as either general fill or sub-base and sub-grade where site levels need raising or ground conditions require improvement to enable the development to proceed. The CL:AIRE ‘Definition of Waste: Development Industry Code of Practice’ (CoP) Version 2’, as issued in March 2011 will be used to assess whether excavated materials are classified as waste or not. If excavated materials are dealt with in accordance with this CoP, the EA considers that they are unlikely to be waste if they are used for the purpose of land development. An integral part of the CoP is the production of a Materials Management Plan (MMP) which documents how all of the materials to be excavated are to be dealt with. The MMP would accompany the Remediation Strategy for the Development site. Japanese Knotweed contaminated soil that is disturbed as part of the development works will be carefully quarantined and will either be disposed of on site within one of the deeper excavations or removed to a suitably licensed landfill facility, in accordance with Environment Agency’s Knotweed Code of Practice. All excavations will be monitored and analysed by qualified and experienced field scientists to ensure the chemical characteristics of the materials are understood and that they are handled and segregated appropriately (e.g. contaminated soils will not be mixed with uncontaminated soils). Arisings from the piling operations will be treated similarly to other excavated materials and monitored, analysed and managed. Detailed records (and where appropriate a photolog) will be kept of all construction phase waste arisings and their management and fate. This will be reported to the Local Authority and EA in a remediation Validation Report on completion of the construction phase.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006

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14.15 As referred to in Chapter 12 (Land Contamination), once the proposals have received planning consent further risk assessments will be performed in order to define a detailed Remediation Strategy and Materials Management Plan. This will be communicated to and agreed with the regulatory authorities prior to such works commencing on site. Operational Phase 14.16 The wastes associated with the operational phase will be managed by the individual tenants. At this Outline stage of the development, the individual tenants are not known, however, an assessment of the anticipated waste streams from the operational development have been set out in Table 14.4(b). In relation to the storage and distribution units, the main waste streams generated are anticipated to be packaging wastes (paper, plastic, cardboard and wood). Given that the tenants are likely to be national retail, freight and logistic companies, it is highly likely that they will be obligated under the Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2009, requiring individual waste generators to recover and/or recycle packaging waste generated as a result of their activities. 14.17 The only industrial activity proposed as part of the Development is the biomass facility, which will burn clean/virgin wood. Fly ash and bottom ash are anticipated to be the main waste streams generated from the biomass facility. There is a market for waste ash, and this will be recycled as far as possible, for example for use in the construction and fertiliser industries. Any ash for which a use is not available will be disposed of to landfill. It should be noted that the proposed biomass facility is likely to exceed 50 megawatt thermal input and will therefore require a permit to operate as a Part A(1) process regulated by the Environment Agency under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007. As part of the permit application process the EA will require the operator to demonstrate that all wastes generated will be re-cycled, as far as is practicable, and that wastes are handled in accordance with best available techniques (BAT). In addition, it will be necessary for the Operator to satisfy the EA that their proposed techniques for collecting, handling and storing the ash meet with BAT and that the potential for fugitive dust emissions will be adequately controlled. 14.18 Legally, all tenants will be required to ensure that all wastes on-site are stored in a manner to ensure compliance with the Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003. 14.19 In addition to solid wastes, the construction and operational phases of the project also have the potential to generate liquid wastes. Wastewater Generation and Management 14.20 In addition to solid wastes, the development will also generate waste waters. As with most aspects of the Development, construction and operational phases need to be considered separately. These are discussed below. Construction Phase 14.21 Waste waters likely to be generated on-site during the construction phase include the following:

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§ § § §

temporary septic tanks and/or portable toilets to be utilised by the construction workers; temporary discharges associated with changeover from the old drainage system to the new drainage system and its management; waste waters from the dewatering of excavations (groundwater and surface water runoff); and dirty water from a temporary on-site wheel-wash, should one be required during the construction works.

14.22 During the construction phase, the principal waste waters generated will be sanitary waters from the Site Workers. Sanitary waste water will be contained and tankered off site to a municipal sewage treatment works. 14.23 The need for dewatering of excavations is anticipated to be low, since the earthworks will predominantly involve raising the site level. Any water arising from the dewatering of excavations will either be discharged back over the ground surface and allowed to infiltrate or discharged into a surface watercourse (Steward’s Brook or Ditton Brook). It is likely that a permit from the Environment Agency will be required for the temporary discharge of water from excavations. 14.24 Wastewater generated from the on-site wheel wash (if required) will either be collected in a sealed system for reuse, or collected in a sealed system for authorised disposal, following the guidance set out in Pollution Prevention Guideline PPG13: Vehicle Washing and Cleaning. Operational Phase 14.25 Wastewaters likely to be generated on-site during the operational phase include the following: § § §

sanitary waste water from toilet facilities and washrooms; blow-down from the boilers associated with the biomass facility; and small scale vehicle and floor washing.

14.26 The main wastewater stream generated once the site is operational will be sanitary waste water from the toilet blocks, washrooms and catering facilities associated with the site tenants. The Development site is not served by a municipal sewerage system and thus it is proposed that five individual sewage package treatment plants will be installed to serve the proposed storage and distribution units and the biomass facility. The location of these treatment plants is shown on Drawing 80962/0200 (Site Drainage Strategy), provided as Appendix G of the accompanying Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) (Ref: 80962/R1/1). The treatment plants will discharge treated wastewater into the surface water drainage system and outfall into adjacent watercourses. The detailed design of the sewage treatment plants cannot be determined at this stage, since the capacity of each plant will need to take into account the operational requirements of the tenants and their staffing levels. The treated effluent discharged from these plants would require consent to discharge from the Environment Agency under The Water Resources Act 1991. 14.27 Blow-down will be generated from the boilers associated with the biomass facility. Particles entering the boiler through the make-up water will remain behind when steam is generated. During operation, the concentration of Total Dissolved Solids

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(TDS) builds up and finally a concentration level is reached where operation of the boiler becomes impacted. If solids are not purged from the boiler they can lead to scale formation, carryover, corrosion and/or embrittlement. The blow-down from the boiler would be directed to the dedicated sewage treatment plant serving the biomass facility. 14.28 In a typical biomass power plant, the primary use of water is to support the cooling system used to condense spent steam for reuse. Once-through cooling systems require large quantities of water to be withdrawn from and returned to a surface water body. Wet recirculating cooling systems recycle cooling water through cooling towers where some portion of water is allowed to evaporate and must be continuously replenished. The systems also periodically discharge small volumes of water as blowdown and replace the discharged water with fresh water to control chemical and biological conditions. A third type of cooling system, the dry cooling system condenses and cools steam using only ambient air and requires no water to operate. The dry cooling system is the proposed method that will be used within the Stobart Park / 3MG Development. 14.29 It is also possible that there will be discharges from small scale vehicle and floor washing facilities. If this is the case then it is likely that they will be discharged to the on-site sewage treatment plants as there could be suspended solids and oil contamination in the wash waters and occasionally heavy metals. The frequency and volume of such discharges will be very low however. MITIGATION Construction Phase 14.30 During the construction phase, the existing sanitary facilities will be used, where possible, but these will need to be supplemented with temporary portable toilet units at strategic locations as the works progress. These units will be emptied frequently under a maintenance contract. The waste from the units will be taken off-site for treatment and disposal at a local public waste water treatment works. 14.31 The waters arising from excavations will in all cases be sampled and analysed to enable their contamination status to be assessed. Based upon the results of this a number of options are available for the management of this water. All arisings from the excavations and wheel-wash units will be handled in accordance with the EA’s Pollution Prevention Guidance document PPG06: Working at construction and demolition sites (EA, 2010). These include: § § §

direct discharge to Ditton Brook or Stewards Brook (under a temporary permit from the EA); spraying on to unsurfaced areas of the site to allow evaporation and reinfiltration of the waters (with appropriate EA approval); and temporary storage on-site prior to off-site removal in road tankers to a waste water treatment facility.

14.32 Where vehicle washing activities are undertaken, all discharges shall pass through an oil separator located within the surface water drainage system. The separator shall comply with the requirements outlined within PPG 3: Use and design of oil separators

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in surface water drainage systems (EA, April 2006). The waste water generated will either be collected in a sealed system for reuse or collected in a sealed system for authorised disposal. 14.33 All underground pipework will be laid in clean sealed backfill to prevent these runs becoming conduits for contaminated groundwater migration associated with the surrounding soils. 14.34 In-line with The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 the Development shall apply the waste hierarchy as outlined in Figure 14.1 where disposal is considered the as the last choice. Figure 14.1– Waste Hierarchy

14.35 In accordance with The Site Waste Management Plans Regulations 2008, a site waste management plan (SWMP) will be produced for the development. The main objectives of the SWMP will be; to ensure that building materials are managed efficiently, that waste is disposed of legally, and that material recycling, reuse and recovery is maximised. The completed SWMP will: § § § §

provide a description of the wastes removed from the site; identify the companies who removed the wastes and their waste carrier registration number; detail the disposal/ treatment sites that the wastes were taken to; and provide the environmental permits or exemptions held by the disposal/ treatment sites used.

14.36 All waste transfer documentation shall be maintained by the Principal Contractor for the required statutory period (i.e. 2 years for general waste and 3 years for hazardous waste). Operational Phase 14.37 Once the site is operational, given the absence of access to a foul sewer, it will be necessary for each unit to discharge to a bespoke sewage treatment plant (package plant) that will treat the sanitary waste to a sufficient standard to allow discharge of

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the treated wastewater to a watercourse. The project is not yet at a stage where the detailed design or capacity of these plants can be established, but there will be full consultation in this with the EA to ensure that the plants can meet the discharge criteria required. It is envisaged that there will be at least one discharge permit applied for per outfall to allow the discharge to the surrounding water courses. This is discussed in more detail in Chapter 13, Water Quality. 14.38 The biomass boiler will be operated in a manner that reduces the blow down volume whilst ensuring the optimal efficiency of the unit. The blow-down from the boiler will be directed to the dedicated sewage treatment plant serving the biomass facility. The discharge would require a consent from the EA, as referenced above. The Operator will need to satisfy the EA that the treatment plant can adequately treat the boiler blow down and that the required discharge standards will be met. 14.39 Legally, all tenants will be required to ensure that wastes on-site are stored in a manner to ensure compliance with the Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003.

RESIDUAL IMPACTS Demolition and Construction Phase 14.40 Sustainable solutions will be implemented to enable, as much as possible, the re-use of waste materials and avoidance of landfill disposal. 14.41 The impacts arising from the demolition and construction phase are transient in nature and as such there is considered to be No Residual Impact. Operational Phase 14.42 The operational site will result in an increase in the volume of solid waste and waste water generated, in excess of the current baseline conditions. However, it is considered that these waste streams can be adequately managed to ensure that there is no significant environmental impact arising from their storage or disposal and as such, there is considered to be No Residual Impact.

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15.0

TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION INTRODUCTION

15.1

This chapter of the ES assesses the likely significant transport effects of the proposed development. This chapter is supported by the Transport Assessment report which is included as part of the planning application documentation and has been prepared in line with Department for Transport (DfT) ‘Guidance on Transport Assessment’ (2007).

15.2

The chapter describes the assessment methodology, the baseline conditions currently existing at the Assessment Site and surroundings, the likely significant environmental effects; the mitigation measures required to prevent, reduce or offset any significant adverse effects and the likely residual effects after these measures have been employed.

15.3

It also considers the cumulative impact of an associated planning application for 25,885sq m (278,625sq ft) of B1 office development to house the Stobart Group of companies on land to the east of Stobart Park / 3MG and the implications of the Second Mersey Crossing and associated traffic modelling which supports the new bridge and other transport studies and assessments which have been undertaken on behalf of Halton Borough Council (HBC). Policy Context Planning Policy Guidance note PPG13: Transport (2001)

15.4

PPG13 explains the Government's principal policies relating to transport and planning. Much of it deals with providing local access to developments, for example for employees. Paragraph 4 states that the object is to integrate transport and land use planning to: § § §

promote sustainable choices for the movement of people and freight, promote accessibility to jobs, and facilities by walking, cycling and public transport, and reduce the need to travel, especially by car.

– while paragraph 6 states that employment related developments should offer a realistic choice of access by public transport, walking and cycling. 15.5

Paragraphs 52-54 set out the concept of applying maximum parking standards as part of a programme to tackle congestion and to promote sustainable modes. The guidance also emphasises the role of workplace travel plans (paragraph 90).

15.6

The Government wants to help raise awareness of the impacts of travel decisions and promote the widespread use of travel plans amongst businesses, schools, hospitals and other organisations. Local authorities are expected to consider setting local targets for the adoption of travel plans by local businesses and other organisations and to set an example by adopting their own plans. Their relevance to planning lies in the delivery of sustainable transport objectives:

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§ § §

15.7

Reductions in car usage (particularly single occupancy journeys) and increased use of public transport, walking and cycling; Reduced traffic speeds and improved road safety and personal security particularly for pedestrians and cyclists; and More environmentally friendly delivery and freight movements, including home delivery services.

The Government considers that travel plans should be submitted alongside planning applications, which are likely to have significant transport implications, including those which are likely to be significant generators of employment. In order to comply with this requirement a Framework Travel Plan has been included as part of the application. The Halton Unitary Development Plan (2005)

15.8

The Unitary Development Plan (UDP) is the current development plan for Halton Borough pending the adoption of the Local Development Framework (LDF). In March 2008 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government directed that all but six policies in the UDP would be saved until superseded by the LDF. However, the transport policies set out here will remain in force after the Core Strategy is adopted but will ultimately be superseded by emerging Local Development Documents (LDDs) such as the ”Transport and Accessibility” Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) that is in course of preparation.

15.9

Saved Policy E7 approves the development of a phased strategic inter-modal rail freight park on land at Ditton, provided that it complies with all of the following conditions, among others: § § § §

it is for use by businesses that will use, or support the use of, rail to transport freight; it will be suitable for occupation by regional or national distribution companies; it will not prejudice improvements to the passenger rail network; and it will not have a significant adverse impact on local transport networks and the trunk road network (also saved policy TP15).

15.10 Unlike the transport policies above, Policy E7 will be superseded when the Core Strategy is adopted. Saved Policy TP13 supports this policy and the supporting text adds that the proposed facility is considered to be of regional significance. 15.11 Saved Policy TP 1 requires development to have adequate access by public transport, with no buildings more than 400 metres walking distance from a bus stop or a railway station. The supporting text notes the low car ownership in Halton and the need to ensure that local people have good access to potential employment by public transport. 15.12 Saved Policy TP3 safeguards the use of Ditton station and the Shell Green rail route (running from Ditton via a possible station at Widnes South to join the trans-Pennine main line east of Widnes) with a view to their possible reopening. 15.13 Saved Policies TP6 and TP7 require development to provide safe and convenient access on foot and by cycle with links to existing and proposed routes, including the Greenways. Policy TP9 defines Greenways as proposed and potential off-road

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routes for walking, cycling and possibly horse riding and the Proposals Map shows a proposed route parallel with and north of Ditton Brook, northwest of the proposed development. 15.14 Developments are to provide safe, secure and covered cycle parking with a minimum of one space per 500 square metres while there must be one motor cycle space for every 25 car park spaces. Where it appears that a large number of people may cycle there, additional facilities such as showers and changing facilities should be provided. 15.15 The Trans-Pennine Trail and the Mersey Way run along the north bank of the Mersey, south of the site. Saved Policies TP9 and TP10 aim to protect access to and amenity on this route; development on or adjoining it should enhance its condition and appearance, provide appropriate segregation and access and ensure priority to its users at any junctions. 15.16 Saved Policy TP12 requires new developments to have appropriate levels of offstreet car parking with a maximum for storage and distribution development (B8 Use Class) of one space per 50 square metres of gross floor area. 10% of the spaces are to be of mobility standard (at least 3.66 metres wide) with at least half of these for the exclusive use of disabled people. 15.17 Saved Policy TP14 requires that the transport assessment for a B8 development of 10,000 square metres or more should: § § § §

illustrate accessibility to the site by all modes and the likely modal split; propose measures to improve access by public transport, walking and cycling; reduce the need for parking; and set out measures to mitigate the transport impacts.

15.18 Saved policies TP17 and TP19 require safe access to the transport network and safe on-site circulation to protect all road and transport users; also measures to avoid aggravating pollution in areas of poor air quality. 15.19 Saved Policy TP16 states that major employment related developments will require travel plans in order to reduce car use, increase use of sustainable modes, increase safety and make delivery and freight movements more environmentally friendly. The plan should also set out possible alternatives to making the trip in the first place. The Mersey Multi-Modal Gateway (3MG) Supplementary Planning Document 15.20 This document was adopted in August 2009. It is based upon the Ditton Strategic Rail Freight Park Master Plan that was adopted in December 2004 but it covers a wider area. 15.21 Paragraph 3.2 sets out the vision for the area as to create a national, regional and sub-regional rail freight facility. This will involve the enhancement of its road and rail infrastructure, giving connections to the strategic road network and mitigating the impacts on local communities (paragraphs 3.4-5). 15.22 Policy 8.16 requires development to adhere to sustainability principles throughout. Policy 8.12 states that pedestrian routes should be clearly defined, giving direct links

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within the development and to public transport stops. Cyclists should have safe and convenient routes and covered and secure cycle storage with showers and changing facilities. Car parking should be usable, safe and secure for both people and vehicles. 15.23 Policy 9.6 states that at Site C (the site of the proposed development, referred to as Site 255 in the 2004 Master Plan) the most appropriate land uses will be those that use, or support the use of rail for freight movement, including both storage and distribution (Use Class B8). There could also be retail or catering uses (A1 or A3) related to truckstop or drivers’ rest facilities in the “Green Wedge” area. Development principles include: § § §

access to and/or provision of public transport facilities; the creation of a new rail corridor, including a bridge across Steward’s Brook, to improve the reception sidings and the site’s links with the rail network; and pedestrian footpaths integrated into the whole scheme

The Third Local Transport Plan for Halton 2011-2026 (LTP3) 15.24 This document has been produced jointly with the LTP for Merseyside. Among its goals are to enhance cross Mersey links, including the Mersey Gateway project, and to promote a clean and low carbon transport system that allows people to connect easily with jobs and services and facilitates the movement of goods. It notes that congestion is a key issue, particularly on the Silver Jubilee Bridge. Chapter 9 sets out the primary transport strategies. 15.25 The LTP3 recognises the 3MG development as a key area for change. To improve access to this and similar developments, developer contributions will be used to promote sustainable modes, possibly including supporting bus services. However, infrastructure improvements to ensure access may not be a sustainable option and parking restraint and travel plans, possibly on an area-wide basis, will play an important role (pp 87, 89, 90). ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY 15.26 This chapter describes the findings of the Transport Assessment (TA) for the proposed development. The TA has examined the relationship between the proposed development and the local transport network, the proposed development’s effect on that network and whether there is a need to provide mitigation measures to the surrounding assessed junctions or improve accessibility and public transport links to the Assessment Site. 15.27 The significance criteria have been based on existing transport conditions within the area, areas of concern raised by HBC as Highway Authority through initial scoping discussions and those identified within the policy statements. 15.28 The assessment has been prepared in line with the DfT document Guidance on Transport Assessment published in March 2007. Following correspondence and meetings with representatives of the highway authority, the scope of the TA was agreed.

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15.29 Traffic counts were undertaken during morning (07:30-09:30) and afternoon peak (16:30-18:30) periods by an independent traffic survey company in March 2011 for a number of junctions within the vicinity of the site which were previously agreed with the highway authority. 24 hour traffic counts were also undertaken at the Desoto Road and Macdermott Road roundabout junction for the purposes of establishing the daily profile of traffic. 15.30 Growth factors were applied to the counted traffic using local growth factors for Widnes to reflect local traffic growth. The counted traffic was factored to provide background traffic flows for the year of 2015 and for 2030 following the implementation of the Mersey Crossing which is planned to be operational by 2015. It was agreed with the Highway Authority that National Traffic Model factors, derived from TEMPRO6 (Dataset 5.4 for Widnes, Urban, Principal Roads), were used. 15.31 The traffic forecasts were modified to take into account committed development. This was prepared in agreement with the Highway Authority and included the following development schemes: § § § §

HBC Fields Site Widnes Waterfront Economic Development Zone Windmill Shopping Centre Tesco Retail Store

15.32 Data on Personal Injury Accidents within the vicinity of the Assessment Site on local roads have been obtained from HBC. The data were obtained over a 5 year period from 1st January 2006 to 31st December 2010. A full accident analysis is set out within the TA. 15.32 The development traffic for lights and heavies has been assumed using observed traffic flows during peak periods at the existing Tesco Distribution Centre (Tesco DC) on the 3MG site. This was in full operation at the time of the traffic count. A technical note was also prepared and issued to the Highway Authority in advance of the planning application which set out the proposed trip rates used within the TA and the justification relating to their use. This is included as an Appendix to the TA. 15.33 The traffic associated with the office development has been assumed using similar sites contained within the TRICS 2011a database. The trip rates have been approved in advance with the Highway Authority. 15.34 The distribution of development trips on the local transport network has been assumed using the distribution used for the previous planning approval on the site (Planning Application Reference 07/00815/FULEIA). The light and heavy vehicle trips were distributed using the Great Britain National Freight Model, which has been approved by the Highway Authority. For the assessment in 2030, the Highway Authority requested that the distribution is modified to show all HGV traffic and 80% of light traffic using the new Mersey Crossing. 15.35 The following roundabout junctions were assessed for capacity using appropriate junction software during the peak periods during 2015 and 2030 with committed schemes and development traffic flows: §

A562 Ashley Way West/Lower House Lane/B5419 Moor Lane South;

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§ §

A533 Queensway/A562 Speke Road/Ditton Road; Desoto Road/Macdermott Road/Tesco access.

15.36 It is important to note that a comparison of traffic flows has been undertaken with the 2011 counted traffic used in this assessment and the 2007 counted traffic undertaken by Atkins. The counted traffic flows on the local network are significantly lower in 2011 than in 2007. The traffic flows set out within the Gifford Technical Note, prepared to assess the traffic associated with the Mersey Crossing, included base traffic in 2015 with committed development and proposed development traffic at the A562 Ashley Way West/Lower House Lane/B5419 Moor Lane South roundabout. 15.37 The traffic flows for the same scenario used within this assessment have been compared to the flows included within the Gifford report. The overall traffic flow through the roundabout junction is significantly lower in the AM (07:45-08:45) and PM (16:30-17:30) peak periods. Significance Criteria 15.38 The results of the junction assessments were analysed and the capacity at each junction was reviewed in line with current guidance on the thresholds for junction operation. BASELINE CONDITIONS Local Transport Network 15.39 The site occupies a total area of 34 hectares and is located at Stobart Park / 3MG Multi Modal Gateway (formerly known as the West Bank Industrial Estate) approximately 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) south west of Widnes Town Centre. The site is largely vacant and occupied by existing storage and distribution premises and is located adjacent to the existing Stobart Port TransModal Container Port and a recent chilled Regional Distribution Centre operated by Tesco. The site lies to the south of the West Cost mainline, which provides rail sidings into the Stobart Port TransModal Container Port. 15.40 The 3MG site is located in an area with excellent strategic road access with links directly to the A533 Queensway dual carriageway and A562 Speke Road. Access to the motorway network is provided via the A5300 Knowsley Expressway to Junction 6 of the M62 to the north. To the south access to the M56 is provided via the A533 Runcorn Bridge and the A557 Weston Point Expressway to the south at Junction 12. Planned Network Improvements 15.41 HBC have advised that the new crossing is scheduled to be opened by 2015 and the proposals have been supported by the Mersey Gateway Model which is a comprehensive strategic traffic model to forecast the associated changes in traffic flow on the highway network, including the agreed study area for this assessment. This model has been sensitivity tested to consider the impact of development traffic from various schemes within the locality including previous proposals for the 3MG which has been accepted by HBC as local highway authority. The variations in traffic

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flow associated with the second Mersey Crossing have therefore also been analysed as part of this assessment to a design year of 2030. Background Traffic Flows 15.42 The data collected indicate the total number of vehicle movements on A533 Queensway south of Desoto Road West is within the region of 2,700 southbound and 2,500 northbound during the morning peak hour (07:30-08:30). During the afternoon peak hour (16:30-17:30) vehicle movements were within the region of 2,200 southbound and 2,400 northbound. Traffic flows on the Desoto Road roundabout are relatively low within the peak periods with total flows through the junction of 113 and 137 in the morning and afternoon peak respectively. Sustainable Transport Modes 15.43 The proposed site is considered to have limited access to sustainable transport modes. The nearest train station is located 3.2 km from the site in Runcorn to the south. The nearest bus stops are situated on Waterloo Road approximately 1.2 km or a 15 minute walk from the point of entrance to the site on Desoto Road. One bus service (79C) operates every 15 minutes Monday-Saturday during the daytime and every half hour after 18:00 and on Sundays. This serves Murdishaw, Runcorn, Widnes and Liverpool. A similar service (82A) is available to Warrington which operates half hourly Monday-Saturday every 20 minutes and every 60 minutes after 18:00 and on Sundays until 16:00. Walking and Cycling 15.44 Halton has an extensive and growing network of routes dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists. National Cycle Route 62, the Trans Pennine Trail, follows the bank of the Mersey along the south edge of the application site and the adjacent Tesco Distribution Centre site, and links with the West Bank area of Widnes, Penketh and Warrington. To the west it links with Hale and with Speke, on the edge of Liverpool. There is a pedestrian route across the Silver Jubilee Bridge into Runcorn. Personal Injury Accidents 15.45 Over the 5 year period assessed, a total of 67 accidents were recorded, 62 of which were slight, 5 serious and none of which were fatal. Significant proportions of accidents were rear shunts and occurred on Ditton Road or at the Ditton Road/Queensway/Speke Road roundabout. A small proportion included HGVs (12%) and all of these accidents were slight. There is no evidence to suggest that any safety issues would be exacerbated by the proposed development. IMPACT ASSESSMENT Proposed Development 15.46 The proposed development will provide 131,550sq m of warehousing. The proposals also include a 13.7MWe biomass facility and an associated timber storage area. The development will operate over a 24 hour period 7 days a week with 3 operating shift periods. The shift changeover times will be outside of typical peak

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periods on the local network. A proportion of staff will also be employed for typical working hours. 15.47 The associated proposals by the Stobart Group for B1 (office) development include a Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 25,885sq m in total over 12 floors with an additional 7 decks of car parking. Staff in this building will be employed Monday-Friday for a typical working day. Access and Parking Arrangements 15.48 The proposed access for pedestrians and vehicles is from the Desoto Road arm of the Desoto Road/Macdermott Road/Tesco roundabout. An emergency access will also be provided from Foundry Road to the west of the site. A shared footway/cycleway will link through the site from Desoto Road through to Foundry Road. This will improve pedestrian and cycle access through the site and increase permeability of the site within the wider local network. Parking will be provided for 970 cars for the storage and distribution use, which is currently shown split across 3 units and 20 spaces will be provided for the biomass facility. The total number of parking spaces proposed is below the maximum parking standard for B8 use as set out within HBC Unitary Development Plan and reflects the size and the typical operation of this type of warehousing. 15.49 It is proposed to replace the existing highway network west of Desoto Road, creating an improved network to serve the proposed storage and distribution units, biomass facility, Vehicle Maintenance Unit (VMU) and the existing Stobart Ports TransModal Container Port. 15.50 The proposed access for the office development will be from MacDermott Road with parking provided for approximately 770 cars over 7 parking decks. This is slightly in excess of the HBC parking standards, however it should be noted that HBC adopted standards do not appear to take into account the accessibility of the site in question. The site has limited access to public transport and a higher proportion of parking is provided to reflect this. Proposed Traffic Generation 15.51 The proposed development will result in an increase in the number of vehicles on the local roads within the vicinity of the Assessment Site, which can be considered as a minor adverse effect. The storage and distribution development will generate twoway vehicle movements of 271 and 229 during the AM and PM peak periods respectively. The traffic generated by the biomass facility will have a total two-way movements of 12 in both the AM and PM peak periods in the form of: staff movements; incoming HGV deliveries of wood fuel; and outgoing HGV movements required for the removal of ash from the site (See Chapter 3 – Description of Development). 15.52 The total two-way traffic flows generated by the office development is estimated at 463 and 382 in the AM and PM peak periods respectively.

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Proposed Traffic Distribution 15.53 The distribution of the proposed development traffic on the local network has been assumed using the distribution adopted for the previous permitted development on the Stobart Park / 3MG site. The distribution has been taken from the MDS Trans modal National Freight Model, which has been approved by the Highway Authority. The distribution for 2030 has been modified to route all HGV traffic over the new Mersey Crossing. A request that all HGV traffic from the site will follow this route is likely to be secured via a planning condition by the local highway authority. The effects of traffic to and from the proposed development are therefore considered to be minor and adverse at a local level and are addressed by various mitigation measures, as set out below. 15.54 The effects on the local network are also significantly less than those assessed previously within the Gifford Technical Note for the Mersey Crossing. MITIGATION Accessibility 15.55 A shared footway/cycleway will be provided through the site which will increase permeability through the site and encourage employees to walk and cycle to the development site. 15.56 At a pre-application meeting with HBC it was highlighted that the existing bus connections within the vicinity of the site are relatively limited with the largest unit proposed situated the furthest from the nearest bus stops on Waterloo Road. It was discussed that a bus route could be extended to enter the site and that HBC Sustainable Transport Officers would consider approaching the operator to establish their interest with regards to providing such a facility within the proposed site. Travel Plan 15.57 A Travel Plan has been prepared for the proposed development to reduce reliance on the private car. The Travel Plan contains targets for reducing solo driving and promoting the use of sustainable modes. It will be a framework document, to be finalised in the light of a survey of staff travel when the site begins operations. 15.58 To ensure the Plan is effectively operated the Developer will appoint a Travel Plan Co-ordinator, who will provide travel information, be the point of contact for travel queries, co-ordinate the completion of travel surveys, and enable staff to put forward their views and ideas about travelling to the development. 15.59 The applicant is proposing to adopt a number of initiatives to achieve the targets, including: § § § §

Job vacancies to be advertised locally; Flexible working hours, where appropriate, to make it easier for staff to travel by public transport or coordinate car sharing trips; Shower and changing facilities to be available to staff who walk or cycle to work; The provision of secure covered cycle parking;

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§ § § § § § §

Display up to date information on local walking and cycling routes; A guaranteed lift home will be available in an emergency to staff that walk or cycle to work; Participation in wider measures organised by neighbouring larger employers; Setting up a cycle user group on site, allowing the group to hold meetings during work hours (twice yearly); Publicity of public transport routes, timetables, travel information lines for staff and visitors; Promote car sharing and providing car share bays; Provision of pool cars.

15.60 The Travel Plan includes methods for monitoring and review of the success of the Plan. Travel surveys will be undertaken within 3 months of occupation of the development to establish the initial mode share of travel by employees. The targets can be finalised following the results of the initial survey in agreement with the Local Authority. The travel survey will be repeated on a regular basis (2 years details survey with snapshot surveys in the intervening years). An annual monitoring report will be submitted to the Local Authority for review, if considered necessary. RESIDUAL IMPACTS 15.61 The traffic generation forecasts for the development proposals and current survey data indicate that the traffic generated by the proposed development can be accommodated on the local highway network without requiring mitigation or capacity improvements. The flows are well within those modelled and sensitivity tested by Gifford for the Second Mersey Crossing. In addition, the impact of traffic generated by the development will be minimised through the on-going development and implementation of the Travel Plan. 15.62 The proposed layout of the Ditton Interchange which effectively converts the existing roundabout configuration to a fully signalised junction, would allow HGV traffic to leave the site and travel southbound over the Runcorn Bridge. It is expected that the local highway authority will restrict all HGV movements to and from the site to use the new Mersey Crossing which would be likely to be secured by planning condition. 15.63 It may be concluded that the traffic impact of the proposed development is within levels previously consented and approved and will not significantly add to congestion or safety issues on the local road network. SUMMARY 15.64 This chapter summarises the traffic and transport effects of the proposed development. A Transport Assessment has been prepared to support the planning application. 15.65 The chapter has demonstrated that the proposed development and associated mitigation measures will result in no significant transport or highway effects. 15.66 The associated Travel Plan has been prepared to mitigate the effects of car movements on the local transport network.

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16.0

NOISE AND VIBRATION INTRODUCTION

16.1

A noise and vibration assessment has been undertaken for the proposed distribution centres and biomass facility to be located at Stobart Park/3MG, Mersey Multi-Modal Gateway, Widnes.

16.2

This chapter considers the noise and vibration effects of the proposed development; specifically the effects of existing conditions on the development and the effects of noise and vibration generated by the proposed development on surrounding properties, during construction and during the operation/occupation of the proposed development.

16.3

In the context of this study, noise is defined as unwanted or undesirable sound derived from sources such as road traffic, air traffic or construction works that interfere with normal activities, including conversation, sleep or recreation. Vibration is defined as the transmission of energy through the medium of ground or air resulting in small movements of the transmitting medium, such as a building, which can cause discomfort or even damage to structures if the movements are large enough.

16.4

In summary, this chapter addresses: § §

the impact of noise and vibration on existing sensitive receptors during the demolition and construction works; and the impact of noise on existing sensitive receptors during the operation of the proposed development.

16.5

The methodology adopted in the assessment is presented in the 'Assessment Methodology’ Section. The assessment is based on environmental noise surveys, the results of which are discussed in the following sections and assess the impact of noise and vibration associated with the construction and operation of the proposed development. Mitigation measures, where required, are also proposed.

16.6

A glossary of acoustic terminology is provided in Appendix 16.1.

ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY 16.7

The Environmental Health Department (EHD) of Halton Borough Council (HBC) was not available for comment during the preparation of this assessment; therefore, the prediction of future noise and vibration levels associated with the proposed development and the significance of their potential impacts have been assessed in accordance with national guidance and recognised codes of practice. These are discussed below.

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Construction Phase Noise 16.8

Noise levels generated by construction activities have the potential to impact upon nearby noise-sensitive receptors. However, the significance of the potential impact will depend upon a number of variables. PPG 24 references BS 52281 as presenting an appropriate methodology to predict and assess noise emission levels from a construction site.

16.9

BS 5228 sets out a methodology for predicting, assessing and controlling noise levels arising from a wide variety of construction and related activities. As such, it can be used to predict noise levels arising from the operations at proposed construction sites. BS 5228 also sets out tables of sound power levels generated by a wide variety of construction plant to facilitate such predictions.

16.10 Noise levels generated by the proposed site operations and experienced at local receptors will depend upon a number of variables, the most significant of which are: § § § § §

the amount of noise generated by plant and equipment being used at the development site, generally expressed as a sound power level; the periods of operation of the plant at the development site, known as the “ontime”; the distance between the noise source and the receptor, known as the “standoff”; the attenuation due to ground absorption or barrier screening effects; and the reflection of noise due to the presence of hard vertical faces such as walls.

16.11 BS 5228 gives several examples of acceptable limits for construction or demolition noise. The most simplistic being based upon the exceedance of fixed noise limits and states in paragraph E.2: “Noise from construction and demolition sites should not exceed the level at which conversation in the nearest building would be difficult with the windows shut.” 16.12 Paragraph E.2 goes on to state: “Noise levels, between say 07.00 and 19.00 hours, outside the nearest window of the occupied room closest to the site boundary should not exceed: 70 decibels (dBA) in rural, suburban areas away from main road traffic and industrial noise or 75 decibels (dBA) in urban areas near main roads in heavy industrial areas. These limits are for daytime working outside living rooms and offices.” 16.13 Given the urban setting of the site, close major transportation links 75 dB LAeq,T has been selected as the target criterion to control the impact of construction noise, with the criteria for assessing the magnitude of noise impacts according to the margin by which this target criteria is achieved or exceeded presented in Table 16.1 below.

1

British Standard 5228: 2009: Code of practice for noise and vibration control on construction and open sites.

372

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Table 16.1 – Construction Noise Significance Criteria Noise Level, LAeq,T dB

Impact

Significance

>75 dB

Major Adverse

Significant

70 - 75

Moderate Adverse

55 - 70

Minor Adverse

<55

Negligible

Insignificant

16.14 It is worth noting that the purpose of the target construction noise criteria is to control the impact of construction noise insofar as is reasonably practicable, whilst recognising that it is unrealistic for developments of this nature to be constructed without causing some degree of temporary disturbance in the locality. Hence, even if the criteria adopted for this assessment is achieved, noise from construction activities may at times be readily noticeable. Thus, although for the majority of time the impact is likely to be negligible, for short periods there could be an adverse impact level of moderate significance. 16.15 In order to determine the likely impact of noise during construction of the proposed development, noise predictions have been carried out in accordance with the procedures presented in BS 5228. The prediction method described in BS 5228 involves taking the source noise level of each item of plant and correcting it for (i) distance effects between source and receiver (ii) percentage operating time of the plant; (iii) barrier attenuation effects; (iv) ground absorption; and (v) facade corrections. Vibration 16.16 Vibration may be impulsive, such as that due to hammer-driven piling, transient, such as that due to vehicle movements along a railway, or continuous, such as that due to vibratory driven piling. The primary cause of community concern in relation to vibration generally relates to building damage from both construction and operational sources of vibration, although, the human body can perceive vibration at levels which are substantially lower than those required to cause building damage. 16.17 Damage to buildings associated solely with ground-borne vibration is not common and although vibration may be noticeable, there is little evidence to suggest that they produce cosmetic damage such as a crack in plaster unless the magnitude of the vibration is excessively high. The most likely impact, where elevated levels of vibration do occur during the demolition and construction phases, is associated with perceptibility. 16.18 BS 5228 indicates that the threshold of human perception to vibration is around 0.15mm/s, although it is generally accepted that for the majority of people vibration levels in excess of between 0.15 and 0.3 mm/s peak particle velocity (PPV) are just perceptible. 16.19 There are currently no British Standards that provide a methodology to predict levels of vibration from construction activities, other than that contained within BS 5228

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which relates to percussive or vibratory piling only. Therefore, it is not possible to accurately predict levels of vibration during the site preparation and construction phases of the development. As such, to control the impact of vibration during the site preparation and construction of the proposed development, limits relating to the perceptibility of vibration have been set. 16.20 Accordingly, 1 mm/s PPV has been selected as the target criterion to control the impact of construction vibration, with the criteria for assessing the magnitude of vibration impacts according to the margin by which this target criterion is achieved or exceeded presented in Table 16.2 below. This target criterion is based on the guidance contained within BS 5228, experience from previous sites and accepted vibration policy criteria across a range of enforcing authorities elsewhere in the UK. The limits are presented in terms of PPV as it is the simplest indicator for both perceptibility and building damage. Table 16.2 – Construction Vibration Significance Criteria Vibration Level, mm/s PPV

Impact

Significance

>1.0

Major Adverse

Significant

0.30 - 1.0

Moderate Adverse

0.15 - 0.30

Minor Adverse

<0.15

Negligible

Insignificant

Notes The above vibration limits relate to maximum PPV ground borne vibration occurring in any one of three mutually perpendicular axes (one of which may be vertical). Vibration is to be measured on the foundation or on an external façade no more than 1m from the ground, or failing this, solid ground as near to the building façade as possible.

16.21 It is worth noting that the purpose of the target construction vibration criteria is to control the impact of construction vibration insofar as is reasonably practicable and is entirely based on the likelihood of the vibration being perceptible, rather than causing damage to property. Hence, although vibration levels in excess of 1 mm/s PPV would be considered a major adverse impact in respect of the likelihood of perceptibility, they would not be considered significant in terms of the potential for building damage, which would require levels of at least 15 mm/s PPV to result in minor cosmetic damage in light / unreinforced buildings. Operational Phase Road Traffic Noise Assessment 16.22 In order to determine whether changes in traffic noise levels are likely to occur as a result of the proposed development, noise levels have been predicted in accordance

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with the methodology contained within the Calculation of Road Traffic Noise (CRTN)2 and assessed in accordance with the principles and guidance presented within the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB)3. 16.23 The DMRB states that “The impact of a project at any location can be reported in terms of changes in absolute noise level. In the UK the standard index used for traffic noise is the LA10,18hour level, which is quoted in decibels". 16.24 In order to determine whether changes in traffic noise levels are likely to occur as a result of the proposed development, noise levels have been predicted in accordance with the methodology contained within the CRTN, based on traffic flow data for the local road network with and without the development. 16.25 The CRTN calculation method uses a number of input variables to predict the LA10,18hour noise level for any receptor point at a given distance from the road. In this assessment however, the only factors that are likely to change are the traffic flows and the composition of the traffic (i.e. percentage HGVs). Therefore, the likely increase in road traffic noise levels as a direct result of the proposed development has been calculated in accordance with the Basic Noise Level (BNL) prediction method detailed in CRTN. This method considers the relative change in noise level for a notional road-side receptor at a distance of 10m from the kerb and at a height of 1.5m (free-field). 16.26 The DMRB also presents an impact significance matrix for assessing the magnitude of changes in noise level, which has been used as criteria for assessing the impact of any changes in road traffic noise levels and is summarised in Table 16.3 below. Table 16.3: Road Traffic Noise Criteria Change in Noise Level, dB(A)

Impact

Significance

> 5.0

Major Adverse

Significant

3.0 – 4.9

Moderate Adverse

1.0 – 2.9

Minor Adverse

0.0 – 0.9

Negligible

Insignificant

Operational Noise – Mobile Operations 16.27 The draft Guidelines for Noise Impact Assessment produced by the Institute of Acoustics/Institute of Environmental Assessment Working Party have been referenced in relation to the potential change in ambient noise level as a result of proposed delivery vehicle activity. The findings of the Working Party are still in draft although they are of some assistance in this exercise. The draft guidelines state that the assessor should set assessment criteria appropriate for the assessment being undertaken. 2

Department of Environment: 1988: Calculation of Road Traffic Noise, HMSO Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB): 2008: Volume 11 Environmental Assessment: Section 3 Environmental Assessment Techniques. 3

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16.28 The criteria below reflect key benchmarks that relate to human perception of sound. A change of 3 dB(A) is generally considered to be the smallest change in broadband noise that is readily perceptible. A 10 dB(A) change in noise represents a doubling or halving of the perceived noise level. The difference between the minimum perceptible change and the doubling or halving of the noise level is split to provide greater definition to the rating of noise changes. 16.29 The assessment criteria presented in Table 16.4 have been adopted to assess the impact of any changes in noise levels resulting from the manoeuvring and loading/unloading activities associated with delivery vehicles. Table 16.4 – Impact Scale for Comparison of Future Noise against Existing Noise Change in Noise Level dB(A)

Subjective Response

Significance

<1

No change

No Impact

1–3

Barely perceptible

Minor Impact

3–6

Noticeable

Moderate Impact

6 – 10

Up to a doubling or halving in loudness

Substantial Impact

>10

More than a doubling or halving in loudness

Major Impact

Operational Noise – Static Operations 16.30 BS 41424 sets out a method to assess whether noise from factories, industrial premises or fixed installations and sources of an industrial nature in commercial premises are likely to give rise to complaints from noise-sensitive receptors in the vicinity. The procedure contained in BS 4142 for assessing the likelihood of complaint is to compare the measured or predicted noise level from the source in question immediately outside the dwelling, the LAeq,T ‘specific’ noise level, with the LA90,T ‘background’ noise level. 16.31 Where the noise contains a ‘distinguishable discrete continuous note (whine, hiss, screech, hum etc.) or if there are distinct impulses in the noise (bangs, clicks, clatters or thumps), or if the noise is irregular enough to attract attention’ then a correction of +5 dB is added to the specific noise level to obtain the LAr,Tr ‘rating’ noise level. 16.32 The likelihood of the noise giving rise to complaints is assessed by subtracting the background noise level from the rating noise level. BS 4142 states ‘A difference of around 10 dB or higher indicates that complaints are likely. A difference of around 5

4

British Standard 4142: 1997: Method for rating industrial noise affecting mixed residential and industrial areas. HMSO

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dB is of marginal significance. A difference of –10 dB is a positive indication that complaints are unlikely.’ 16.33 The daytime assessment is carried out over a 1-hour period and the night-time assessment is carried out over a 5-minute period. The periods associated with day or night are not defined within BS 4142, but it states that night should cover the times when the general adult population are preparing for sleep or are actually sleeping. For the purpose of this study the periods presented in PPG 24 are considered to be the most appropriate and, as such, daytime is considered to be 0700-2300 and night-time 2300-0700. 16.34 Therefore, based on the guidance contained within BS 4142 the assessment criteria presented in Table 16.5 have been adopted in order to assess the impact of noise associated with the operation of the proposed development, such as loading and unloading activities, and noise from fixed external or building services plant. Table 16.5 - Industrial Noise Assessment Criteria Excess of Rating Noise Level above Background Noise Level, dB

Impact Significance

-10

No significance

+0

Minor significance

+5

Moderate significance

+10

Major significance

16.35 It is considered with new operations and items of new plant, that the opportunity exists to minimise noise impacts so far as reasonably practicable. As such, it is considered that noise from fixed plant associated with the proposed development should give rise to impacts of no more than minor significance, striving where possible to achieve impacts of no significance. BASELINE CONDITIONS 16.36 The existing noise conditions at the closest noise-sensitive receptors to the site have been determined by a series of environmental noise measurements. Baseline noise measurements were carried out within the three closest existing residential receptor areas to the site at various times of the day and the night, to identify the principal sources of noise affecting the area. Further measurements were undertaken at the location of a new residential development, to allow the potential impact of the future operation of the facility to also be considered at this location. 16.37 Specific noise measurements were also carried out to determine the noise emitting characteristics of the loading and unloading activities of the existing rail freight distribution operations as these are representative of current background conditions. 16.38 All noise measurements were undertaken by a consultant certified as competent in environmental noise monitoring, and, in accordance with the principles of BS 7445: 1991: Parts 1-3, Description and Measurement of Environmental Noise and following

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the guidance given in BS 4142. The noise parameters of LAeq,T, LA90,T LA10,T and LAFmax were recorded during the measurement period at each position. 16.39 All measurements were undertaken approximately 1.5 metres above local ground level and under free-field conditions. 16.40 All acoustic measurement equipment used during the noise surveys conformed to Type 1 specification of British Standard 61672: 2003: Electroacoustics. Sound level meters. Part 1 Specifications. A full inventory of this equipment is shown in Table 16.6 below. Table 16.6 - Inventory of Acoustic Measurement Equipment Item

Make & Model

Serial Number

Sound Level Meter

Rion NA-28

370297

Preamplifier

Rion NH-23

386

Microphone

Rion UC-59

60306

Sound Level Meter

Bruel & Kjaer 2250

2559293

Preamplifier

Bruel & Kjaer ZC0032

3560

Microphone

Bruel & Kjaer 4189

2556374

Calibrator

RION NC-74

34662223

16.41 The noise measurement equipment used during the survey was calibrated at the start and end of each measurement period. The calibrator used had itself been calibrated by a UKAS accredited calibration laboratory within the twelve months preceding the measurements. No significant drift in calibration was found to have occurred on the sound level meter. 16.42 The microphone was fitted with a protective windshield for the measurements, which are described in greater detail below. Baseline Noise Measurements 16.43 A series of part-attended baseline environmental noise measurements were carried out at receptors near the site on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 April 2011, to determine the prevailing noise levels during the day and the night. The weather during the surveys was conducive to noise measurement, it being dry with little or no wind. 16.44 Given that the emphasis of this assessment is to ensure that noise from the development is maintained within acceptable limits at off-site receptors, the emphasis of the noise survey was to derive a set of background noise statistics representative of the closest noise-sensitive receptors to the proposed development. The noise climate in the area was dominated by road traffic noise. Measurements were undertaken at three locations, which are described below and identified on Figure 16.1:

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§ § §

Position 1 Hale Bank; Position 2 Ditton; and Position 3 West Bank.

Figure 16.1 - Baseline Environmental Noise Measurement Positions

16.45 The results of the baseline environmental noise measurements at each of the positions described above are presented in Table 16.7 below and presented in full in Appendix 16.2. Table 16.7 – Summary of Noise Measurement Results Position

1– Hale Bank

Period

Noise Level, dB LAeq,T

LA90,T

LA10,T

LAFmax

Daytime Average

58.5

49.3

55.3

94.0

Daytime Quietest 1-hour

54.8

45.6

50.7

81.5

Night-time Average

51.0

42.4

45.6

97.5

37.7

39.5

49.6

Night-time

38.7

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Quietest 5-min 2– Ditton

3– West Bank

Daytime Average

64.8

58.8

64.1

100.1

Daytime Quietest 1-hour

58.8

53.8

60.6

78.2

Night-time Average

55.7

45.5

56.4

76.5

Night-time Quietest 5-min

46.6

38.9

50.5

63.6

Daytime Average

52.6

47.5

53.9

77.8

Daytime Quietest 1-hour

50.4

42.5

52.4

70.7

Night-time Average

49.8

40.9

47.3

68.5

Night-time Quietest 5-min

43.3

33.6

42.9

59.4

16.46 The noise-sensitive receptors were all considered to be well screened by other structures on the intervening land and well distanced from the proposed development. As such, given their setting and existing exposure to noise from a number of transportation and industrial sources, the subjective impression gained was that any activities at the proposed development site are unlikely to be particularly noticeable at any of the noise-sensitive receptors in the vicinity. IMPACT ASSESSMENT Demolition and Construction Impacts - Noise 16.47 It is inevitable with any major development that there will be some disturbance caused to those nearby, particularly during the site clearance and construction phase. However, disruption due to construction is a localised phenomenon and is temporary in nature. In general, only people living or working within 100 metres of the site boundary are likely to be seriously impacted by construction noise. 16.48 Receptors further than 100m away from construction works are generally subject to noise levels, associated with construction works lower than the assessment criterion adopted by most local authorities when considering construction noise. In the case of the proposed development, all of the noise-sensitive receptors will be more than 100m away from all phases of the construction works and are therefore unlikely to experience significant impacts as a result of the proposed works.

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16.49 Notwithstanding this, an assessment has been carried out to determine the likely construction noise levels at the receptors and to quantify the potential extent of any adverse impacts. 16.50 Although there are techniques available to predict the likely noise effects from construction works, such as those contained within BS 5228, they are necessarily based on detailed information on the type and number of plant being used, their location and the length of time they are in operation. Such details are not available at this stage. 16.51 However, an estimate of the likely effects of noise from the site clearance and construction phase has been made for the noise-sensitive receptors located closest to the site, based on experience of the techniques used to construct several other similar developments. The predictions are based on the methodology contained within BS 5228 and are in terms of the LAeq,T over the core working day. 16.52 For the purpose of predicting the likely noise impact, the construction works have been divided into the following phases. §

§

§

§

Site Preparation (demolition and enabling works). It is assumed that dozers, tracked excavators, pneumatic breakers and trucks will be used as part of this stage of the works. Foundation (establishing building foundations). It is considered likely that the foundations of the proposed buildings will utilise a bored piling method and will involve a number of piling rigs, support cranes, a bentonite pump, as well as muckaway lorries and backactors for the removal of spoil. There may also be a galligu cement blending plant. Erection (building erection). This phase of the works is assumed to involve the casting of concrete floor slabs ‘in-situ’, steelfixing, brickwork/blockwork, scaffold erection and roofing, etc. It is assumed that any concreting works will require the use of a concrete pump, concrete truck mixers, compressors and poker vibrators. It is also assumed that cranes will be used as support plant. Roads (minor road improvement works/ new spine road and paving). This element of the works may comprise of several operations that may include breaking of the existing road surface, removing the broken road surface, excavation for and laying of drainage, excavation and road surfacing.

16.53 The plant assessed for use in each phase is presented in Appendix 16.3. 16.54 Predictions have been carried out to determine the noise levels likely to be generated by each of the above phases. The predictions have been carried out as worst case and assume that the intervening ground between the construction noise sources will be acoustically hard such that there will be no attenuation of sound due to ground absorption (although in reality there will be some attenuation). Where construction works are likely to be completely screened at receptors by buildings or objects on the intervening land, due consideration of the likely attenuation has been included in the prediction of noise levels by the subtraction of 10 dB(A) from the predicted level. 16.55 The predictions have been undertaken for the closest existing noise-sensitive receptors to the site, which are described below and identified in Figure 16.2.

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§ § § § §

A - Hale Bank: Residential dwellings on Hale Road, approximately 320 metres from the closest proposed construction activities. B – Ditton: Elderly people home on Saint Michaels Road, approximately 600 metres from the closest proposed construction activities. C - West Bank: Residential dwelling off West Bank Street, approximately 660 metres from the closest proposed construction activities. D - Wellingford Avenue: Western area of residential estate off Foundry Lane, approximately 350 metres from the closest proposed construction activities. E - Wellingford Avenue: Eastern area of residential estate off Foundry Lane, approximately 190 metres from the closest proposed construction activities.

Figure 16.2 – Construction Noise Prediction and Assessment Locations 16.56 The noise levels predicted during each phase of the works are shown in Table 16.8 below. The noise levels presented are ‘worst case’ when construction activities are closest to each receptor. The predictions have been undertaken for the 10-hour core working day. Table 16.8 - Predicted Construction Noise Levels, LAeq,10hour, dB Receptor

Site Preparation

Foundation

Erection

Roads

A - Hale Bank

53

47

44

48

B - Ditton

51

47

44

44

C - West Bank

49

44

41

41

D – Wellingford W

54

48

45

46

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E – Wellingford E

60

54

51

52

16.57 Comparison of the predicted noise levels in Table 16.8 with the noise assessment criteria presented in Table 16.1 identifies that the 75 dB(A) criterion adopted for this assessment is not predicted to be exceeded during any of the phases of the construction works. Impacts are predicted to be of no greater than minor significance during all phases at all assessed receptors. 16.58 As described previously, the predicted noise levels presented above for the foundation phase of the construction works considers the use of bored piling techniques in the establishment of the foundations as these considered to be most likely. However, due to the ground conditions in certain areas of the site, there is a possibility that driven piling techniques may be required. As such, additional predictions have been undertaken to determine the likely impact of these techniques, should they be considered necessary. 16.59 The driven piling techniques that could potentially be employed are as follows: § § §

Sheet Steel Piling - diesel hammer driven; Tubular Steel Casing - drop hammer driven, cast in situ; and Pre-cast Concrete Piles - drop hammer driven.

16.60 The noise levels predicted for the foundation phase, utilising each of the above piling techniques are shown in Table 16.9 below. The noise levels presented are ‘worst case’ when construction activities are closest to each receptor. The predictions have been undertaken for the worst-case 1-hour during the core working day. Table 16.9 - Predicted Construction Noise Levels, LAeq,10-hour dB Receptor

Sheet Steel Piling

Tubular Steel Casing

Pre-cast Concrete Piles

A - Hale Bank

63

57

48

B - Ditton

63

57

47

C - West Bank

61

55

45

D – Wellingford W

64

58

49

E – Wellingford E

70

64

55

16.61 Comparison of the predicted noise levels in Table 16.9 with the noise assessment criteria presented in Table 16.1 identifies that the 75 dB(A) criterion adopted for this assessment is not predicted to be exceeded during the foundation phase of the construction works with any of the driven piling techniques. Impacts are predicted to be of moderate significance for sheet steel piling techniques at receptors at the eastern end of Wellingford Avenue, and of minor significance at all other receptors

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and for all other techniques, but such techniques are unlikely to be used at the site perimeter. Demolition and Construction Impacts - Vibration 16.62 Damage to buildings associated solely with ground-borne vibration is not common and although vibration may be noticeable, there is little evidence to suggest that they produce cosmetic damage such as a crack in plaster unless the magnitude of the vibration is excessively high. The most likely impact, where elevated levels of vibration do occur during the demolition and construction phases, associated with perceptibility. 16.63 As stated previously, there are currently no British Standards that provide a methodology to predict levels of vibration from construction activities, other than that contained within BS 5228: Part 2, which relates to percussive or vibratory piling only. 16.64 Therefore, Table 16.10 below details the distances at which certain activities could give rise to a just perceptible level of vibration. These figures are based on historical field measurements. Table 16.10 - Distances at which Vibration may just be Perceptible Construction activities

Distance from activity when vibration may just be perceptible, metres

Excavation

15

Heavy Vehicles (e.g. dump trucks)

10

Hydraulic Breaker

20

Auger Piling (e.g. CFA Piling)

20

Driven Piling (e.g. diesel hammer sheet steel piles)

50

16.65 On the basis of the above and given that the nearest sensitive receptors to the construction works are at least 180 metres away, it is considered highly unlikely that vibration from the construction works will be perceptible at any sensitive receptor offsite. Given that vibration levels are predicted to be imperceptible, it is considered that the impact of vibration during the construction of the proposed development will be of no significance at all receptors. Operational Impacts – Road Traffic 16.66 The traffic flow data presented in the Transport Assessment has been used as the basis for the road traffic noise assessment. 16.67 Traffic flows have been provided in 18-hour annual average weekday format (18hr AAWT) with percentage HGV format, for the scenarios detailed below. The associated traffic data is presented in Appendix 16.4 and described fully in the Transport Assessment Chapter of the ES.

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§ § §

2013 + Committed Development; 2013 + Committed Development + Storage and Distribution; and 2013 + Committed Development + Storage and Distribution + Office Development.

16.68 The committed developments include the traffic generated by the HBC Venture Fields site and the Widnes Waterfront Economic Development Zone (EDZ), as agreed with the highway authority. The Widnes Waterfront Site comprises 80 hectares of former industrial land which is earmarked for development including commercial and retail units. The Venture Fields site forms part of the EDZ and comprises a cinema, bowling alley and ice rink. 16.69 By comparing predicted noise levels for the above traffic scenarios, it is possible to determine the magnitude of any likely changes in traffic noise level. 16.70 The traffic noise predictions have been undertaken in accordance with the Basic Noise Level (BNL) principles detailed within CRTN. These predictions consider the relative changes in noise level that is likely as a result of the proposed development at a notional roadside receptor for each road link, as follows: § § § § § § § § §

Ditton Road (W) Ditton Road (E) Moor Lane McDermott Road Desoto Road (E) Desoto Road (W) A533 Queensway (N) A533 Queensway (S) Speke Road

16.71 The predicted changes in noise level are presented in Table 16.11 below. Table 16.11 - Predicted Changes in Road Traffic Noise Levels as a Result of Proposed Development in 2013, dB Road Link Predicted Change in Road Traffic Noise Level, LA10,18hour

2013 + Warehousing

2013 + Warehousing + Offices

Ditton Road (W)

+0.1

+0.1

Ditton Road (E)

0.0

0.0

Moor Lane

+0.3

+0.5

McDermott Road

0.0

+3.3

Desoto Road (E)

+5.1

+5.1

Desoto Road (W)

+3.7

+4.1

A533 Queensway (N)

+1.0

+1.2

A533 Queensway (N)

+0.3

+0.3

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Road Link

Predicted Change in Road Traffic Noise Level, LA10,18hour

Speke Rd

2013 + Warehousing

2013 + Warehousing + Offices

+0.2

+0.3

16.72 Table 16.11 identifies that the largest increases in traffic noise levels are predicted to occur on Desoto Road, which is a link road running through the eastern industrial area and does not run through or adjacent to noise-sensitive areas. Further to this, the other link showing a measurable noise increase is McDermott Road, which is also a similar industrial link road, but also runs adjacent to the A533, so any localised noise increases here will be heavily diluted as a result of the dominance of road traffic noise generated by the A533. All other assessed roads show between no increase, to an increase of up to 1.2 dB. 16.73 A change of 3 dB(A) is generally considered to be the smallest perceptible change in noise and, as discussed above the only roads that are predicted to experience a readily perceptible increase in noise levels are the site’s main access routes. All remaining roads (which includes any that run through noise-sensitive areas) will experience imperceptible increases in noise, which when compared with the criteria adopted for this assessment are considered to be impacts of no significance. 16.74 Given the above, the potential impact arising from road traffic generation associated with the development on noise-sensitive receptors is considered to be of no significance. Operational Impacts – Loading and Unloading Operations 16.75 It is understood that trains will be loaded and unloaded from the existing Stobart Port facility. Given the above measures and the separation distance between the proposed operational areas and noise-sensitive receptors, it is considered that noise from the above sources is unlikely to be perceptible at noise-sensitive receptors off site and will in any event be a prevailing noise source regardless of whether this development proceeds. 16.76 As such, the most significant sources of operational noise in respect of potential offsite impact are likely to be the external manoeuvring of HGV’s and the operation of forklift trucks. 16.77 In order to assess the impact of these sources of noise, predictions have been carried out based on library noise emission data for manoeuvring HGV’s and operating forklifts, to determine the likely specific noise level at the closest noisesensitive receptors to the proposed development. 16.78 Typical source noise levels for delivery vehicles have been taken from historical measurements, unrelated to this development. The sources measured include a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and a diesel powered forklift truck performing manoeuvres that are likely to be replicated at the Site. The source noise levels are presented as sound exposure levels, or SELs at 10 metres from source for the HGV and as a continuous LAeq at 1 metre for the forklift.

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§ § § §

HGV arriving HGV reversing HGV starting and departing Forklift reversing

77 dB(A) 82 dB(A) 76 dB(A) 81 dB(A)

16.79 The assessment considers 4 vehicle turnovers at each marked delivery bay during the daytime 1-hour assessment period, with a forklift operating adjacent to each bay for 50% of the assessment period. 16.80 The assessment considers one vehicle arrival at each marked delivery bay during the night-time 5-minute assessment period, with a forklift operating adjacent to each bay for 100% of the assessment period. 16.81 Operational noise levels have been predicted for the same receptors as the construction noise assessment and consider an anticipated worst-case 1-hour scenario for the daytime and an anticipated worst-case 5-minute scenario for the night-time. 16.82 The results of the predictions are presented in Table 16.12 below. Table 16.12 - Predicted Operational Noise at Receptors Receptor

Specific Noise Level Daytime, LAeq,1hour

Night-time LAeq,5min

A - Hale Bank

19.9

23.2

B - Ditton

16.5

19.8

C - West Bank

20.2

23.4

D - Wellingford W

24.0

27.3

E - Wellingford E

23.7

26.9

16.83 The likely worst-case increase in ambient noise levels during the quietest measured periods and assessment of impact, associated with the specific noise levels detailed above is presented in Table 16.13 below. Table 16.13 - Predicted Operational Noise Impact at Receptors Measurement period

Noise Level, dB Existing Ambient, LAeq,T - dB

Future Ambient, LAeq,T - dB

Change in Noise Level dB

54.8

54.8

0.0

A – Hale Bank Day – 1 hour

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Night – 5 minute

37.7

37.9

+0.2

Day – 1 hour

53.8

53.8

0.0

Night – 5 minute

38.9

39.0

0.1

Day – 1 hour

42.5

42.5

0.0

Night – 5 minute

33.6

34.0

+0.4

Day – 1 hour

54.8

54.8

0.0

Night – 5 minute

37.7

38.1

+0.4

Existing Ambient, LAeq,T - dB

Future Ambient, LAeq,T - dB

Change in Noise Level dB

Day – 1 hour

54.8

54.8

0.0

Night – 5 minute

37.7

38.0

+0.3

B – Ditton

C – West Bank

D – Wellingford Avenue - West

Measurement period

Noise Level, dB

E – Wellingford Avenue - East

16.84 The assessment identifies that noise from delivery vehicle manoeuvring, loading and unloading is likely to give rise to insignificant changes in ambient noise levels at offsite noise-sensitive receptors and, as such will result in No Impact and are subsequently of No Significance. Operational Impacts – Biomass Plant 16.85 The design of the biomass facility has not yet been prepared in detail and will be subject to agreement via the future reserved matter submissions. Therefore, this part of the assessment focuses on setting noise limits at off-site noise-sensitive receptors, with particular attention focussed on the air-cooled condenser unit; being the primary source of continuous external process noise, for which some preliminary noise data has been received. 16.86 The following preliminary noise data has been received in relation to the biomass proposals: §

Air-cooled condenser (ACC):

85 dB(A) @ 1 metre 388

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Enviromental Statement June 2011

§

Main Generator Plant (excluding ACC)

45 dB(A) @ 100 metres

16.87 Further to these plant items; it is typical for such operations to retain the use of a wood chipper on site for the purposes of producing fuel for the CHP process. The wood chipper would only operate during the daytime hours and based on accumulated experience of such plants, would be typically expected to have a noise generation statistic of up to Lw 115 dB(A) under load. 16.88 An indicative BS 4142 assessment has been carried out for the biomass facility to determine the potential noise impact on existing sensitive receivers. In undertaking this assessment, it is assumed that the plant itself will run at a constant load 24 hours per day and the chipper unit runs during the daytime period, only. 16.89 To represent worst case, a +5 dB acoustic correction has been applied to noise from the plant, as there is the potential for ancillary units to cycle on and off. The results of the BS 4142 assessment are shown in Table 16.14 below. Table 16.14 – Indicative Biomass Facility Noise Assessment Measurement period

Noise Level, dB Specific Noise Level, LAeq,T - dB

Rating Noise Level, LAr,Tr - dB

Background Noise Level LA90,T - dB

Excess of LAr,Tr above LA90,T - dB

Day

29.2

34.2

45.6

-11.4

Night

11.5

16.5

37.7

-21.2

Day

36.8

41.8

53.8

-12.0

Night

18.9

23.9

38.9

-15.0

Day

36.1

41.1

42.5

-1.4

Night

17.3

22.3

33.6

-11.3

A – Hale Bank

B – Ditton

C – West Bank

D – Wellingford Avenue – West Day

35.4

40.4

45.6

-5.2

Night

17.3

22.3

37.7

-15.4

34.2

45.6

-11.4

E – Wellingford Avenue – East Day

29.2

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Night

16.1

21.1

37.7

-16.6

16.90 Comparison of the results presented in Table 16.14 above, with the guidance presented in BS 4142, identifies that predicted noise levels at noise-sensitive receptors are within the range of “complaints unlikely” to “marginal significance”.

MITIGATION Mitigation during the Demolition and Construction Phase - Noise 16.91 Given that the impact of noise during construction of the proposed development is predicted to meet the 75 dB(A) criterion adopted for this assessment and be, at worst, of minor significance at the closest receptors in Hale Bank during the site preparation phase, and of no significance for all remaining phases and at all other receptors, it is considered that no additional mitigation measures are required to control noise from construction of the development. 16.92 Should driven piling techniques be required, then noise levels are predicted to meet the 75 dB(A) criterion adopted for this assessment, with impacts of minor significance predicted at all receptors for all driven piling techniques, with the exception of receptors in Hale Bank that would experience impacts of moderate significance should sheet steel piling be required. As such, it is considered that no additional mitigation measures are required to control noise from construction of the development. However, should driven piling be required, the avoidance of sheet steel piling techniques close to receptors would clearly be of benefit and result in impacts of no more than minor significance. Mitigation during the Demolition and Construction Phase - Vibration 16.93 Given that the impact of vibration during the construction of the proposed development is predicted to be of no significance at all receptors, it is considered that no mitigation measures are required to control vibration from construction of the development. Operational Mitigation – Road Traffic 16.94 Given that the impact of road traffic noise at receptors is predicted to be of no significance, it is considered that no mitigation measures are required to control road traffic noise during operation of the proposed development. Operational Mitigation – Loading and Unloading Operations 16.95 Given that the impact of operational noise at receptors is predicted to be of no significance, it is considered that no additional mitigation measures are required to control noise during the operation of the proposed development.

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Operational Impacts – Biomass Facility 16.96 Given that the operational noise of the proposed biomass facility at receptors is predicted to be of no greater than minor significance, it is considered that no additional mitigation measures are required to control noise during the operation of this element of the proposed development. In addition, it should be noted that the biomass facility is likely to exceed 50 megawatt thermal input and would thus require a permit to operate as a Part A(1) process regulated by the Environment Agency under the Environmental Permitting Regulations. As part of the permit application process it will be necessary to satisfy the EA that Best Available Techniques will be used to control environmental noise emissions from the plant. RESIDUAL IMPACTS Demolition and Construction Phase - Noise 16.97 As no mitigation measures are considered necessary, the impacts predicted above will remain, but are transient in nature being associated with the construction phase of the development. 16.98 Residual Impact: No Impact to Moderate Impact. Demolition and Construction Phase – Vibration 16.99 As no mitigation measures are considered necessary, the impacts predicted above will remain. 16.100 Residual Impact: No Impact. Operational Phase – Road Traffic 16.101 As no mitigation measures are considered necessary, the impacts predicted above will remain. 16.102 Residual Impact: No Impact. Operational Phase – Loading and Unloading Operations 16.103 As no mitigation measures are considered necessary, the impacts predicted above will remain. 16.104 Residual Impact: No Impact. Operational Phase – Biomass Facility 16.105 As no additional mitigation measures are considered necessary, the impacts predicted above will remain. 16.106 Residual Impact: No Impact to Minor Impact.

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17.0

AIR QUALITY AND DUST INTRODUCTION

17.1

An air quality assessment has been undertaken for the proposed distribution centres and biomass facility to be located at Stobart Park/3MG, Mersey Multi-Modal Gateway, Widnes. The development includes: § § §

17.2

The following have been considered in the assessment: §

§ 17.3

131,550sq m (1,416,150sq ft) (1,416,150sq ft) of B8 storage and distribution floorspace, including ancillary offices and vehicle parking; 13.7 MWe biomass facility; and All associated land remediation, engineering works and landscaping.

The potential impact of the proposed development on air quality during the construction and operation phases of the project. During the operation of the proposed development, emissions to atmosphere will occur from road traffic generated by the development and from the biomass facility; and Mitigation measures to reduce any residual impacts to acceptable levels.

The BREEZE ROADs dispersion model has been used to make predictions of ground level concentrations at four specific receptors in the region of the proposed development for the following pollutants: § §

the oxides of nitrogen (NOx); and fine particulate matter (PM10);

17.4

The oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM10) are the two principal pollutants released to atmosphere from road traffic; if an assessment of these two pollutants shows that their impacts are acceptable then this will also be the case for all other pollutants present in vehicle exhausts, and it is therefore not necessary to assess their impacts.

17.5

The proposed biomass facility will give a net exportable capacity of 13.7 MWe. The plant will use 92,000 tonnes per year of fuel at a designed 49% moisture content. The fuel will be wood sourced from commercial wood processing operations in the UK to run the plant. This includes round logs, brash, chips, slabwood, briquettes, clean recycled wood and any other forms of clean wood. ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY European Legislation

17.6

The air quality criteria used in this assessment have been taken from European and national legislation. The EU Framework Directive 96/62/EC on ambient air quality assessment and management came into force in November 1996 and had to be implemented by Member States by May 1998. The Directive aims to protect human health and the environment by avoiding, reducing or preventing harmful concentrations of air pollutants. As a Framework Directive it requires the Commission to propose ‘Daughter’ Directives setting air quality objectives, limit

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values, alert thresholds, guidance on monitoring, siting and measurement for individual pollutants. 17.7

The Air Quality Standards Regulations 2007 (SI No. 2007/64) implement Council Directive 96/62/EC on ambient air quality assessment and management and related Daughter Directives. These regulations supersede the Air Quality Limit Values Regulations 2003 (SI 2003 No. 2121) and the 2004 Amendment (SI 2004 No. 2888). The obligation for complying with these limit values rests with central Government.

17.8

The European Commission worked together with Clean Air For Europe (CAFE) to produce and publish a new European Directive in 2008 (Directive 2008/50/EC). Key changes include a new air quality objective for particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns (µm) in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5). The objective includes a limit value and exposure reduction target.

17.9

Local authorities currently have no statutory obligation to assess air quality against European limit values but are encouraged to do so. In order to assist with longerterm planning and the assessment of development proposals in their local areas, Defra’s Technical Guidance LAQM TG(09) for local authorities provides guidance on how to assess against the time-frame of the European limit values.

17.10 The Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000 No. 928) and Air Quality (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002 No. 3043) include national air quality objectives which, in most cases, are numerically synonymous with the European limit values although they may have different compliance target dates and can apply to different locations. The air quality objectives are for specific use by local authorities when undertaking their Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) duties in pursuit of Part IV of the Environment Act 1995. Of principal concern to this assessment are nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter smaller than 10 µm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10). National Legislation and Guidance 17.11 The Government's policy on air quality within the UK is set out in the Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland Strategy (AQS), published in July 2007 in accordance with the requirements of Part IV of the Environment Act 1995. The AQS (Defra, 2007) sets out a framework to reduce adverse health effects from air pollution and ensures that international commitments are met. The AQS sets standards and objectives for pollutants to protect human health, vegetation and ecosystems. 17.12 Where road traffic is the dominant source of air pollution, which is usually the case in urban environments, local authorities have found that the objectives for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10) are the most difficult to achieve. It is also generally the case that, where annual average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM10) meet their respective objectives and where there are no other local significant sources of air pollution, concentrations of all other pollutants in the air quality strategy will also be achieved. It is for this reason that this assessment considers only nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM10). 17.13 Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a reddish brown gas (at sufficiently high concentrations) and occurs as a result of the oxidation of nitric oxide (NO), which in turn originates

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from the combination of atmospheric nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2) during combustion processes. In terms of ground level concentrations in many parts of the United Kingdom, concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are dominated by emissions from road transport. This applies particularly in urban areas, where traffic densities are at their highest. 17.14 Particulate matter (PM) is a term used to describe all suspended matter, sometimes referred to as total suspended particulate matter. Sources of particles in the air include road transport, power stations and other industry, quarrying, mining and agriculture. Chemical processes in the air can also lead to the formation of particles. PM10 is the subject of health concerns because of the ability to penetrate and remain deep within the lungs. In recent years, epidemiological studies have shown increases in mortality correlated with concentrations of PM10 (COMEAP, 2009). There is increasing focus on PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 µm) which gives a stronger association with ill-heath than PM10. This assessment however uses PM10 because of the availability of measured and emissions data for this size fraction, which includes PM2.5. Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 17.15 The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (EPR), which came into force in April 2008, integrates the former Waste Management Licensing and Pollution Prevention Control (PPC) programmes to provide a single Environmental Permit System. 17.16 The PPC component of the EPR provides an integrated approach to controlling pollution from industrial sources. Its main aim is to achieve “a high level of protection of the environment taken as a whole…”, by measures designed to prevent or, where that is not practicable, reduce emission to air, water and land. An operator is required to seek an EPR permit from the regulatory authority. For Part A installations, the Environment Agency has responsibility for determining applications for permits and setting appropriate permit conditions. For Part B installations, the local authority is the regulator and issuer of permits. 17.17 Combustion activities fall under Section 1.1 of Part 2, Schedule 1 of the EPR Regulations. Activities burning fuel in an appliance with a net rated thermal input of 50 or more megawatts fall under Part A1. Appliances with a net rated thermal input of between 20 and 50 megawatts fall under Part B. There are no Part A2 activities listed under this Section. 17.18 It is likely that the proposed biomass facility will exceed the 50 megawatt thermal input threshold and will therefore require a permit to operate as a Part A(1) process regulated by the Environment Agency. 17.19 The EPR Regulations have a number of objectives which include the setting of emission limit values based on the assessment of Best Available Techniques (BAT) and the consideration of any relevant site-specific issues. BAT is defined as “the most effective and advanced stage in the development of activities and their methods of operation which indicates the practical suitability of particular techniques for providing in principle the basis for emission limit values designed to prevent and, where that is not practicable, generally to reduce emissions and the impact on the environment as a whole”.

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17.20 Activity-specific guidance for the sectors regulated under the EPR is available to assist with the preparation of an application and the operation of a facility. In addition, supplementary guidance is available that is relevant to all sectors and is referred to as horizontal guidance for example H1 Environmental Risk Assessment. 17.21 The EU Waste Incineration Directive (2000/76/EC) is implemented through the EPR Regulations in England and Wales. Given that the fuel to be used in the proposed facility will be clean/virgin wood, the proposed facility will not fall under the requirements of the Waste Incineration Directive (WID) which came into force in December 2000 for both hazardous and non-hazardous waste incineration plants and is therefore not relevant to this assessment. Human Heath 17.22 Air quality objectives and limit values which currently apply in the United Kingdom can be divided into four groups: § § § §

United Kingdom air quality objectives set down in regulations for the purpose of Local Air Quality Management (LAQM); United Kingdom air quality objectives not included in regulations; European Union (EU) Limit Values transcribed into United Kingdom legislation; and Guidelines: e.g. World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

17.23 Many of the objectives in the air quality strategy were made statutory in England with the Air Quality (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 for the purpose of Local Air Quality Management (LAQM). The objectives for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and PM10 detailed in the air quality strategy are included in the Air Quality (England) (Amendment) Regulations and are shown in Table 17.1. Table 17.1 Pollutant

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

Particulate matter (PM10) Particulate matter (PM2.5)

United Kingdom Air Quality Strategy (AQS) Objectives Concentration (µg m -3)

Averaging Period

Allowable Number of Exceedences per Year

Percentile Equivalent

200

1 hour

18

99.8

40

Annual

-

-

50

24 hour

35

90.4

40

Annual

-

-

25

Annual

-

-

17.24 The AQS 15% exposure reduction target for PM2.5 cannot be assessed when considering the incremental impacts of a single development. 17.25 It should be noted that the Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 do not supersede the 2002 regulations and are to ensure full compliance with the UK obligations under the various EU air quality directives. For the purpose of this assessment the 2002 regulations are the most relevant assessment criteria.

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17.26 The Local Air Quality Management Technical Guidance 2009 (Defra 2009) issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for Local Authorities provides advice as to where the Air Quality Strategy Objectives apply. The annual mean objective applies at all locations where members of the public might be regularly exposed, for example, façades of residential properties, schools, hospitals and libraries. The 1-hour mean objective (NO2) applies at gardens of residential properties (typically excludes front gardens) and to kerbside sites (e.g. the pavements of busy shopping centres), those parts of car parks and bus and railway stations which are not fully enclosed and any other places where the public might reasonably be expected to spend one hour or longer. 17.27 Where an objective is unlikely to be met, the local authority must designate an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and may need to draw up an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) setting out the measures it intends to introduce in pursuit of the objectives within its AQMA. 17.28 In the context of the proposed development, the main potential for nuisance will arise during the construction phase; potential sources being dust emissions occurring during demolition, site clearance, earthworks, construction and landscaping processes. Dust 17.29 Construction dust is not covered by any national Air Quality Regulations or European Legislation. Generally dust is only a cause of annoyance or a ‘nuisance’; it is unlikely to be prejudicial to health. Relevant legislation dealing with Statutory Nuisance is given in Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Under the provisions of the Act where a local authority is satisfied that a Statutory Nuisance exists, it is under a mandatory duty to serve an Abatement Notice requiring abatement or cessation of one or more activities deemed to be causing the nuisance. In the absence of any kind of standard, identification of a nuisance is dependent on the professional judgement of the local authority, who would also need to determine if Best Practical Means (BPM) are being employed to control emissions. Where BPM is evident or can be clearly demonstrated then a particular activity cannot be deemed to be causing a Statutory Nuisance. Vegetation and Eco Systems 17.30 Atmospheric pollutants and deposition of pollutants can directly or indirectly affect plants and ecosystems. Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) 17.31 The atmospheric pollutant of most concern for sensitive vegetation and best understood is the oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Both the EU and WHO have set limit and guidelines for the annual average concentration of NOx for the protection of vegetation. For the protection of vegetation and ecosystems there is an Air Quality Objective (AQS) and an EU target of 30 µg m-3. This objective does not apply to locations within 5 km of built up areas of more than 5,000 people, or industrial sources regulated under Part A of the 1990 Environment Act. However for the purpose of this assessment this objective is used.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

Nitrogen Deposition 17.32 The deposition of nitrogen (N) from the atmosphere acts as a fertiliser which affects the natural balance of vegetation. The critical load for the deposition of nitrogen, normally expressed as Kg N ha-1 year-1, is the exposure below which there should be no harmful effects on sensitive elements of the ecosystem. The critical loads vary for the type of ecosystem from as low as 5-10 Kg N ha-1 year-1 for sensitive lichen found on mountain tops to 20-30 Kg N ha-1 year-1 for some type of meadows. The critical load for salt marches such as those found in the Mersey Estuary is 30-40 Kg N ha-1 year-1. However, as a precautionary approach a critical load of 10-15 Kg N ha-1 year-1 has been assumed and the predicted increment to nitrogen deposition is compared against this critical load range. Review and Assessment 17.33 Under Part IV of the Environment Act, local planning authorities must review and assess the air quality within their area by way of staged appraisals; with the aim of meeting the objectives by target dates defined in the Air Quality (England) (Amendment) Regulations. Where the air quality objectives are unlikely to be or have not been achieved by the target date, a local planning authority is required to designate an AQMA and to draw up an air quality action plan (AQAP) towards achieving air quality objectives in the future. 17.34 The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published technical guidance for use by local planning authorities in their review and assessment work (Defra, 2009). 17.35 Halton Borough Council (HBC) has undertaken regular review and assessment of their area. The following statement is from the HBC website. 'This monitoring indicates that air quality in Halton has improved significantly over recent years and generally meets the Government standards. However, there are 2 small areas within Widnes Town Centre where monitoring indicates the standard for nitrogen dioxide is being breached. This is due to the levels of stationary traffic at certain times of the day. Therefore, on February 23rd 2011 Halton Council will declare 2 Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs)'. As a result of this Halton will have to prepare an AQAP. Development Control: Planning for Air Quality 17.36 In April 2010 Environmental Protection UK (EPUK, formally the National Society for Clean Air, NSCA) published an update to its guidance document that contains a framework for air quality consideration to be accounted for in local development control (EPUK, 2010). The Environmental Protection UK guidance has been taken into account when undertaking this assessment. 17.37 A key part of the guidance is advice on describing air quality impacts and assessing their significance which has been followed in this assessment. 17.38 In November 2009 the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) published an update to its significance criteria which was incorporated into an Environmental

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Protection UK’s development control, planning and air quality guidance (EPUK, 2010). Planning Policy Statements Planning Policy Statement 23: Planning and Pollution Control 17.39 Policy guidance for local authorities regarding local air quality and new development is provided in a Planning Policy Statement 23 (PPS 23). PPS 23 advises on the policies and practices that should be taken into account by those involved in the planning of any development that has the potential to cause pollution. With regard to emissions to air, PPS 23 states that, ‘any air quality consideration that relates to land use and development is capable of being a material planning consideration’. This is most likely to be the case in situations where the proposed development could produce an exceedence of an AQS objective and result in the designation of an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), or where development is proposed in an AQMA, or where a proposed development renders a local planning authority’s Air Quality Action Plan unworkable. PPS 23 also re-iterates that the presence of an AQMA should not result in the ‘sterilisation’ of a site from development. 17.40 Additional planning policies relevant to air quality management include: § §

Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport (PPG 13); and Local Air Quality Management Policy Guidance (PG09).

Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport 17.41 Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 (PPG 13) states: ‘Local air quality is a key consideration in the integration between planning and transport. Local Authorities are required under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 to review and assess air quality in their areas, and to designate AQMAs and draw up action plans where national policies and instruments alone appear unlikely to deliver the Government's health-based national air quality objectives. These action plans will need to be closely integrated with and reflected in local transport plans and other local and regional planning and transport strategies.’ ‘A number of clean road transport fuels and technologies are now available that can offer air quality and climate change benefits compared to conventional petrol and diesel. Examples include electricity, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG). A key factor in encouraging the wider take-up of these fuels and technologies is the development of the associated recharging or refuelling infrastructure. Subject to meeting relevant safety criteria, planning authorities, in liaison with environmental health officers, should look favourably at proposals to develop such infrastructure, in order to deliver wider environmental objectives. This will be particularly important in, or in the vicinity of, air quality management areas or other areas of poor air quality’. Local Air Quality Management Policy Guidance (PG09) 17.42 PG (03) presents policy guidance on all aspects of local air quality management.

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Significance Criteria 17.43 The impact refers to the change that is predicted to take place to the prevailing environment as a result of the proposed development. 17.44 The significance of an impact is generally determined as the combination of the “sensitivity and/or value” of the affected environmental receptor and the predicted “extent” and/or “magnitude” of the impact or change. The descriptors for the magnitude of change are the same as those suggested in EPUK Development Control: Planning for Air Quality (EPUK, 2010). The assessment of significance ultimately relies on professional judgement, although comparing the extent of the impact with criteria and standards specific to each environmental topic can guide this judgement. 17.45 Details of criteria specific to this assessment are defined in Table 17.2 and Table 17.3. It should be noted that the EPUK descriptors of significance refer to permanent changes in air quality brought about by a development and not short term or temporary changes and refer to locations where there is relevant exposure and not therefore necessarily the location of maximum impact. Table 17.2

EPUK Definition of Impact Magnitude for Changes in Pollutant Concentrations Increase In Annual Mean (%)

Increase in NO2/PM10 (µg m-3)

>10

>4

Medium

5 - 10

2-4

Small

1-5

0.4 - 2

<1

<0.4

Magnitude of Change Large

Imperceptable

Table 17.3

EPUK Air Quality Impact Descriptors for Increase due to a Development

Absolute Concentrations in Relations to Objective Value

Change in Concentration Small

Medium

Large

Above Objective with Development (>40 µg m -3)

Slight Adverse

Moderate Adverse

Substantial Adverse

Just Below Objective with -3 Development (36-40 µg m )

Slight Adverse

Moderate Adverse

Moderate Adverse

Below Objective with Development (30-36 µg m-3)

Negligible

Slight Adverse

Slight Adverse

Well Below Objective with Development (<36 µg m -3)

Negligible

Negligible

Slight Adverse

BASELINE CONDITIONS 17.46 This section presents a description of the ambient air quality in the region of the proposed development. Given the large degree of variation in pollutant

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concentrations, both with time and location, it is desirable to have measurements over a period of time that is long enough to ensure that a complete range of meteorological conditions and emissions have been experienced. 17.47 The assessment criteria used throughout this assessment are compared to the incremental increase occurring due to emissions to atmosphere from the proposed facility and therefore an accurate determination of the prevailing concentration is not necessary except in the case of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10) where prevailing concentrations may be close to or exceeding air quality objectives. Estimated Background Concentrations 17.48 On behalf of Defra, NETCEN estimate the background concentration for a number of pollutants for a number of years on a 1 km grid resolution for the whole of the UK. The closest grid point for which NETCEN estimates of background pollutant concentrations are available is 349500,384500 which is considered to be representative of the location. 17.49 Table 17.4 shows the NETCEN estimated background concentration. Estimates are presented for both 2010 and 2013. 2010 is selected as it is representative of current air quality and 2013 is selected as it is the year of opening. Table 17.4 Estimated Annual Average Background Concentration of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM10) in 2010 and 2013 (µg m-3) for Grid Reference 349500,384500 Year

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx)

Particulate Matter (PM 10)

2010

18.3

26.6

14.5

2013

16.3

23.2

14.0

40

-

40

Assessment Criteria

17.50 Table 17.4 shows that current NETCEN estimated background concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM10) are less than the air quality strategy objective of 40 µg m-3 and is expected to fall by 2013. It is considered that the background levels shown in Table 17.4 provide a reasonable estimate of current and expected background concentrations in the region of the proposed facility. Measured Background Concentrations 17.51 There are a number of air quality monitoring stations in Halton which provide further information on the prevailing air quality in the region of the proposed development. 17.52 However there are none in the immediate vicinity of the proposed development. For the purpose of this assessment the estimates made by NETCEN are adequate for the assessment of impacts on air quality. 17.53 The monitoring sites of relevance to this assessment are shown in Table 17.5.

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Table 17.5

Description of Monitoring Site of Relevance to this Assessment

Site ID

Site Name

Site Type

Pollutants

OS Grid Reference

1M

Lower House Lane

Urban Background, Automatic Station

NO2, SO2, PM10

350681

385245

4M

Hale Road

Roadside, Automatic Station

PM10

348820

384438

-

Hale Road 1 & 2

Diffusion Tube

NO2

348842

384427

-

Hale Road 3 & 4

Diffusion Tube

NO2

348827

384406

17.54 HBC's most recent review and assessment report (HBC, 2009) contains measured data from these monitoring sites to the end of 2008 which are presented in Table 17.6. Table 17.6 Measured Annual Average Concentration (µg m-3) Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

Particulate Matter (PM 10)

1M

Hale Road 1 & 2

Hale Road 3 & 4

4M

2006

27.9

33

39

-

2007

27.3

32

-

-

2008

34.8

36

38

19.9

Year/Station

Assessment Criteria

40

Estimated Nitrogen Deposition Rates 17.55 Figure 17.1 shows the critical loads and deposition rate as estimated by Air Pollution Information System (APIS) for salt marches. The estimates are made on a 5 km grid (APIS 2011). Figure 17.1: Critical Loads and Nitrogen Deposition for Location of Maximum Impact at Closest Ramsar or Natura 2000 Sites

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17.56 Figure 17.1 shows that the critical load range for salt marshes such as those found in the mud flats and sands of the Mersey estuary 30-40 kg N ha-1 year-1 and the prevailing depositing rate is 18.9 kg N ha-1 year-1. ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY 17.57 This section describes the methodology and assumptions made for the air quality assessment. Also described are the emissions data used. Emissions Data Biomass Facility Emissions Data 17.58 The proposal is to secure outline permission for a 13.7 MWe biomass facility. 17.59 Table 17.7 shows the parameters which describe the physical properties of emissions from the proposed biomass facility, as required for definition of the emissions in dispersion modelling terms. The design for the biomass facility is still at an early stage and therefore these emissions data are only indicative. Once detailed design is completed the actual emissions data will be compared with those used in this assessment to determine if the assessment requires updating. Emissions data are presented for the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM10) as these are the pollutants of most concern for local air quality and are the pollutants that will give rise to the most significant impacts on air quality. Table 17.7:

Biomass Emissions and Physical Properties

Parameter

Value

Number of stacks

1

Number of units

1

Stack OS Grid Reference (m)

349962.9,384493.1

Number of flues per stack

1

Release height above ground level (m)

55

Exhaust gas oxygen content (% v/v dry)

4.0

Exhaust gas water content (% v/v)

25.3

Exit diameter (m)

1.6

-1

Exit velocity (m s )

15.9

Flue gas emission temperature (deg C)

138

Actual volumetric flow rate (Am 3 s-1)

31.9

Normalised volumetric flow (Nm3 s-1) (a)

17.9

-3 (a)

Emission Concentration (mg Nm ) Oxides of nitrogen (NOx as NO2)

250

Particulate matter (PM10)

10 -1

Pollutant Emission Rate (g s ) Oxides of nitrogen (NOx as NO2)

4.48

Particulate matter (PM10) 0.18 (a) Corrected for: temperature; 273 k; pressure; 101.3kPa (1 atmosphere); dry; 6% v/v O2.

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Road Traffic Emissions Data 17.60 Traffic data required by the dispersion model BREEZE Roads to predict the contribution to air quality occurring due to emissions from road traffic are as follows: § § § §

traffic flow rates (either average or hourly); pollutant emission rate (g veh-km-1); distance of receptor from road centre, and geometry or road link (length/with).

17.61 Estimates of traffic data including traffic flows and percentage heavy good vehicles (HGVs) have been adopted from the Transport Assessment (see Chapter 15) 17.62 For each road link, the average speed, percentage HGV and year are used to estimate the pollutant emission rates for that road link. Emissions to the atmosphere from road traffic were estimated using the emissions factors spread sheet developed for Defra by AEA Technology and Casella Stanger (LAQM Support, 2011b). 17.63 Traffic data was provided for the eight road links that will be most affected by the scheme: § § § § § § § §

Link 1; Ditton Road (West) Link 2; A562 Speke Road Link 3; Moor Lane Link 4; Ditton Road (East) Link 5; A533 Queensway Link 6; Desoto Road Link 7; Macdermott Road Link 8; A533 Queensway

17.64 Figure 17.2 shows the location of the eight road links for which traffic data is available. 17.65 Table 17.8 shows the Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) flows for the following four scenarios considered in the assessment for each of the eight road links: § § § §

2010 baseline year 2013 baseline + committed developments 2013 baseline + committed developments + proposed development 2013 baseline + committed developments + proposed development + office development

17.66 The committed developments include the traffic generated by the HBC Venture Fields site and the Widnes Waterfront Economic Development Zone (EDZ), as agreed with the highway authority. The Widnes Waterfront Site comprises 80 hectares of former industrial land which is earmarked for development including commercial and retail units. The Venture Fields site forms part of the EDZ and comprises a cinema, bowling alley and ice rink. Modelling is also undertaken to assess the cumulative impacts of the proposed development and the proposed office development.

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17.67 As 2013 is the proposed year of opening it will be the year that air quality impacts will be at their greatest due to improving vehicle technology giving rise to reducing vehicle emissions and reducing background pollutant concentrations. Table 17.8:

Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) Data

Road Link No.

2010 Base

2013 Base + Committed Developments

2013 Base + Committed Developments + Proposed Development

1

15,526

15,562

15,765

2013 Base + Committed Developments + Proposed Development + Office Development 16,264

2

13,062

19,098

20,668

22,275

1,570

3

33,586

38,101

39,938

40,967

1,837

4

896

898

898

898

0

5

19,362

20,975

24,584

27,719

3,610

6

1,418

1,418

6,510

6,510

5,092

7

1,549

1,549

1,549

4,967

0

8

73,738

74,702

75,358

75,505

656

Increase Due to Proposed Development

203

17.68 Table 17.9 shows the percentage Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDVs) for each road link. For Links 3, 5 and 8 a speed of 60 mph is assumed and 30 mph on the remaining road links. Table 17.9:

(a)

Percentage HDVs (%) (a)

Road Link Number

2010 Base

2013 Base + Committed Developments

2013 Base + Committed Developments + Proposed Development

1

16

16

16

2013 Base + Committed Developments + Proposed Development + Office Development 15

2

9

29

28

26

3

8

16

16

17

4

25

25

25

25

5

11

15

18

16

6

67

67

51

51

7

16

16

16

6

8

8

9

10

10

Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV) vehicles greater than 3.5 tonnes.

17.69 Table 17.10 shows the pollutant emission rates used in this assessment for the four scenarios modelled in this assessment.

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Table 17.10: Pollutant Emission Rates (g Veh km-1)

Road Link No.

2010 Base

2013 Base + Committed Developments

2013 Base + Committed Developments + Proposed Development

2013 Base + Committed Developments + Proposed Development + Office Development NOx PM 10 0.63 0.047

1

NOx 0.92

PM 10 0.056

NOx 0.66

PM 10 0.049

NOx 0.66

PM 10 0.049

2

0.62

0.046

1.07

0.064

1.04

0.063

0.98

0.061

3

0.64

0.047

0.70

0.050

0.70

0.050

0.73

0.051

4

1.30

0.069

0.95

0.060

0.95

0.060

0.95

0.060

5

0.77

0.051

0.67

0.049

0.77

0.053

0.70

0.050

6

2.88

0.099

2.09

0.082

1.59

0.062

1.59

0.062

7

0.92

0.056

0.66

0.049

0.66

0.049

0.35

0.036

8

0.64

0.047

0.49

0.042

0.52

0.043

0.52

0.043

Receptors Human Heath 17.70 To determine the maximum ground level concentrations occurring due to emissions to atmosphere from the proposed biomass facility, predictions are made of ground level concentrations for a grid of receptors. To determine the maximum impacts for assessment against human health criteria a 2 km by 2 km gird with a spacing of 50 m is used. 17.71 For the purpose of Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) the Air Quality Strategy Objectives (AQS) only apply where there is relevant exposure. This is defined as being where members of the public are regularly present and are likely to be exposed for a period of time, appropriate to the averaging period of the objective. For the annual average objective, locations of relevant exposure include residential properties, schools and hospitals. Predictions are therefore made at the closest relevant receptors. 17.72 Table 17.11 presents details of the specific receptors included in the modelling for impacts on human health. Table 17.11: Receptor Locations Receptor Number 1

Description

Type

OS Grid Reference (m)

Nazareth House Lane

Residential

349498 385253

2

Moor Lane

Residential

350963 385256

3

Cholmondeley St

Residential

351070 383919

4

West Bank Primary School

School

351061 383830

17.73 Figure 17.2 shows the location of the proposed biomass facility and the specific receptors for Human Health Impacts.

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Figure 17.2

Location of Biomass Facility, Specific Receptors for Human Health Impacts and Road Links Modelled

Biomass Facility

Vegetation and Eco Systems 17.74 To determine the maximum ground level concentrations occurring due to emissions to atmosphere from the proposed biomass facility for impacts on vegetation, predictions are made of ground level concentrations for a grid of receptors. The receptor grid is 20 km by 20 km with a grid spacing of 500 m. 17.75 Figure 17.3 shows the location of Ramsar and Natura (SPA and SAC) sites within 10 km of the proposed biomass facility. Predictions of annual average concentrations and nitrogen deposition rates are made for locations within these designated areas which are confined to the Mersey estuary.

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Figure 17.3 Ramsar and Natura 2000 (SAC and SPA) Designated Areas with 10 km of Proposed Biomass Facility

Source: www.magic.defra.gov.uk 17.76 The rate of nitrogen deposition varies depending on the type of vegetation. For example, the Environment Agency suggests a deposition velocity for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) of 0.0015 m s-1 for grasslands and 0.003 m s-1 for a forest. Assuming the deposition rate for grassland of 0.0015 m s-1, an annual average concentration of the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) of 1 µg m-3 would give rise to a nitrogen deposition rate of 0.14 kg N ha-1 year-1 (EA, 2010). This is the relationship used in this assessment. Wet deposition is considered by the Environment Agency to be insignificant Factors Affecting Dispersion 17.77 There are a number of factors that will affect how emissions disperse once released to atmosphere. The four factors having the greatest effect on dispersion are: § § § §

physical characteristics of the emissions; climate; terrain; and building downwash.

Physical Characteristics of the Emissions 17.78 Provided that exhaust gases have sufficient velocity at stack exit to overcome the effects of stack tip downwash, which is almost certainly the case for velocities of 15 m s-1 or more, the physical characteristics of the flue gases will determine the amount of plume rise and hence the affect on ground level pollutant concentrations. The degree of plume rise usually depends on the greater of the thermal buoyancy or momentum effects.

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Climate 17.79 The most important meteorological parameters governing the atmospheric dispersion of pollutants are wind speed, wind direction and atmospheric stability. § § §

Wind direction determines the broad transport of the plume and the sector of the compass into which the plume is dispersed. Wind speed can affect plume dispersion by increasing the initial dilution of pollutants and inhibiting plume rise. Atmospheric stability is a measure of the turbulence of the air, particularly of the vertical motions present. For dispersion modelling purposes, one method of classifying stability is by the use of Pasquill Stability categories, A to F. Another is by reference to the surface heat flux present at the ground.

17.80 New generation dispersion models, such as ADMS and AERMOD, do not allocate the degree of atmospheric turbulence into six discrete categories. These models use a parameter known as the Monin-Obukhov length which, together with the wind speed, describes the stability of the atmosphere. Building Downwash 17.81 The presence of buildings can significantly affect the dispersion of the atmospheric emissions. Wind blowing around a building distorts the flow and creates zones of turbulence that are greater than if the building were absent. Increased turbulence causes greater plume mixing; the rise and trajectory of the plume may be depressed generally by the flow distortion. Downwash leads to higher ground level concentrations closer to the stack, than those present if a building was not there. 17.82 Only buildings with a height of more than 40% of the proposed stack height will effect dispersion i.e. for the proposed stack height of 55 m only buildings in excess of 22 m could effect dispersion. The only building that has the potential to be high enough to effect dispersion is the 33 m high boiler room, the effects of this building have therefore been included in the modelling. 17.83 Table 17.12 shows the anticipated dimensions of the boiler room that has been included in the modelling of emissions from the biomass facility. Table 17.12 Building Boiler Room

Building Dimension Included in the Modelling Height (m) 33

Length (m) 32

Width (m) 18

OS Grid Reference for Building Centre (m) 349987,384452

Building (a) Angle 180

(a) Angle of building length to north, clockwise from north (degrees)

Nature of the Surface Terrain 17.84 The effects of terrain elevation can effect dispersion but in this case the effects will be negligible and have not been included in the assessment. Roughness 17.85 The nature of the surface of the terrain can have a significant influence on dispersion by affecting the velocity profile with height and the amount of atmospheric

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turbulence. To account for the nature of ground surrounding the location of the proposed, a surface roughness length of 0.5 m has been assumed for the dispersion modelling. Selection of Suitable Dispersion Model 17.86 The dispersion models which are widely used to predict ground level pollutant concentrations are based on the concept of the time averaged lateral and vertical concentration of pollutants in a plume being characterised by a Gaussian distribution and the atmosphere is characterised by a number of discrete stability classes. So called ‘new generation’ dispersion models have been developed which replace the description of the atmospheric boundary layer as being composed of discrete stability classes with an infinitely variable measure of the surface heat flux, which in turn influences the turbulent structure of the atmosphere and hence the dispersion of a plume. 17.87 There are two commercially available dispersion models that are able to predict ground level concentrations arising from emissions to atmosphere from elevated point sources (ie stacks), and are described by the Environment Agency as being ‘new generation’. §

AERMOD: The US American Meteorological Society and Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model Improvement Committee have developed a ‘new generation’ dispersion MODdel called AERMOD which incorporates the latest understanding of the atmospheric boundary layer.

§

Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling System (ADMS): This is a new generation dispersion model developed by the UK consultancy CERC. The model allows for the skewed nature of turbulence within the atmospheric boundary layer.

17.88 In many respects the models are quite similar and in some situations generate similar predictions of ground level concentrations. Two intercomparison studies commissioned by the Environment Agency however found there to be significant differences in calculated concentrations between the models (EA, 2000). These reports highlight modelling uncertainties and do not suggest that any one of the models is considered to be the most accurate. 17.89 ADMS 4.2 was selected as the model for use in this assessment for modelling emissions to atmosphere from the proposed biomass facility because it has been widely used for assessment work of this nature. 17.90 For the road traffic modelling CAL3QHCR program in the BREEZE Roads (version 5.1.0) dispersion model was selected for use because it has been well validated and is widely used for this type of assessment work, and is described as an ‘advanced’ model in review and assessment guidance (DETR, 2000). Meteorological Data 17.91 An important input to the dispersion model is the meteorological data. These data are important in determining the location of the maximum concentrations and their magnitude.

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17.92 The closest observing station where complete data is available is Liverpool John Lennon Airport which is about 10 km from the location of the proposed development. This observing station has complete wind and temperature data but is missing about 15% cloud data. The missing cloud cover data is taken from Manchester Airport. Figure 17.4 shows the windrose for Liverpool John Lennon for 2008-2010 used in this assessment, which shows that the prevailing wind is from the west and south, which will transport emissions from the development to the north and east. Figure 17.4

Wind Rose Liverpool John Lennon (2008-2010)

Percentage Oxidation of Nitric Oxide (NO) to Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) 17.93 Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emitted to atmosphere as a result of gas combustion will consist largely of nitric oxide (NO), a relatively innocuous substance. Once released into the atmosphere, nitric oxide is oxidised to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is of concern with respect to health and other impacts. The proportion of nitric oxide oxidised to nitrogen dioxide depends on a number of factors and the oxidation is limited by the availability of oxidants, such as ozone (O3). 17.94 For emissions from the biomass facility an oxidation of 35% has been assumed for oxidation of nitric oxide (NO) to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) for short-term concentrations. For predictions of annual averages, it is assumed that 70% of the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) are in the form of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). These assumptions are recommended by the Environment Agency (EA, 2011). 17.95 For the estimates of total concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) occurring due to emissions from road traffic, Defra empirical factors for the conversion of NOx to NO2 are used (LAQM Support, 2011a).

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BREEZE ROADs Dispersion Model Calibration 17.96 Given that there is no road side air quality monitoring in the locality of the proposed development where monitoring data are available, the prevailing air quality at the specific receptors is estimated by modelling. Because of the lack of suitable monitoring it has not been possible to calibrate the model against measured data as suggested in Defra guidance (Defra, 2009). Given that is has been established that road traffic dispersion models of the type used in this assessment under predict, it is considered prudent to apply a generic calibration factor based on experience. The calibration factor used in this assessment is 5 which is close to the average found in 42 modelling studies (AQC, 2009). 17.97 The calibration factor is the factor by which the model predicted concentration of NOx (ie NOx from modelled road traffic) is multiplied by to give a resulting concentration of total (road plus background) predicted concentrations of NO2, which matches the measured concentration of NO2. This factor is also applied to the predicted concentrations of PM10 from road traffic before the background concentration is added. Assumptions and Limitations 17.98 There are many assumptions that are implicit in the assessment methodology; the following are the principal assumptions: § § § § § § § § §

BREEZE ROADs and ADMS dispersion models are reliable dispersion models; meteorological data from Liverpool John Lennon is representative of the location; Defra Technical Guidance on calibration and conversion of NOx to NO2 (Defra, 2009 and LAQM Support 2011a) are accurate; traffic flow, percentage HGVs and speeds are accurate; emission factors are accurate (LAQM Support 2011b); emissions data from the biomass facility are representative; it is realistic to use the same emission factor for the whole of the road link; NETCEN forecasts of current and future air quality are realistic; and the calibration factor used in this assessment for road traffic is appropriate for all locations and for the future year modelled.

IMPACT ASSESSMENT Construction 17.99 During the site preparation and construction phase of development, emissions to atmosphere will occur from construction vehicles and machinery. 17.100 The routing of construction traffic will be included as part of the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) which will be agreed with HBC prior to construction. 17.101 During the site preparation and construction phase of the scheme, there is the potential for emissions of dust to cause annoyance at residential properties within about 200 m of the source of dust. Even in the absence of any mitigation, it is unlikely dust would cause a nuisance at locations more than 300 m from the source.

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17.102 Consideration of the potential for dust to cause a nuisance during construction is therefore focused on residential receptors within approximately 300 m of the source of dust. Emissions of dust will be transported downwind with maximum deposition rates occurring closest to the site. The potential for nuisance to occur is therefore dependent on the location of receptors with regard to the prevailing wind direction and their distance from the source. Also of relevance are obstructions that will reduce the transportation of dust by the wind. 17.103 Figure 11.4 shows that the prevailing wind direction is from the west and south which will transport any emissions of dust to the north and east. 17.104 The closest residential receptors are more than 300 m from the edge of the construction site and therefore even without mitigation measures it is unlikely that emissions of dust would cause a nuisance. It should however be noted that mitigation measures will be included as part of the CEMP which will reduce the level of impact. Operation 17.105 Emissions to atmosphere during the operation of the proposed facility will occur from both road traffic and the biomass facility. Emissions from Road Traffic 17.106 The road traffic generated as a consequence of the proposed scheme has been assessed. 17.107 Predicted concentrations of NO2 and particulate matter (PM10) for each of the four scenarios are made at the four receptors selected to be representative of locations where the maximum relevant exposure will take place. The focus of this assessment is on the predicted incremental increase in pollutant concentrations rather than the total concentrations. This is because the accuracy of the total concentrations depends on the reliability of the calibration factor used, which is not considered to be high. 17.108 Table 17.13 shows the estimated annual average concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) due to emissions from road traffic following model calibration, in combination with the expected background concentrations (NETCEN data). Predictions are presented at the four receptors selected to determine the impact of the proposed scheme on air quality. Table 17.13

BREEZE ROADs Predicted Annual Average Concentration of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2, µg m-3) After Model Calibration and Addition of Background

Receptor Number Description Baseline (2010) 2013 Baseline + Committed Developments (CD) 2013 Baseline + CD + Proposed Development (PD)

1 Nazareth House Lane

2 Moor Lane

3 Cholmondeley St

4 West Bank School

19.9

38.9

41.6

45.7

19.9

43.2

36.8

40.5

20.0

44.3

37.9

41.9

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2013 Base + CD + PD + Office Development Increase Due to Proposed Development Increase as Percentage of Assessment Criteria (%) Magnitude of Change

20.1

45.8

38.0

41.9

0.2

1.1

1.2

1.4

0.4%

2.8%

3.0%

3.4%

Imperceptible

Small

Small

Small

Slight Adverse

Slight Adverse

(a)

Significance of Change

(a)

Negligible Slight Adverse (a) As defined by EPUK, see Table 17.2 and Table 17.3.

17.109 Table 17.13 shows that the magnitude of change as defined by EPUK is small at Receptors 2, 3 and 4, and imperceptible at Receptor 1. The significance of impacts on air quality, as defined by EPUK at the four receptors are in the range of negligible to slight adverse. 17.110 Overall, the significance of emissions to atmosphere from vehicles occurring due to the proposed scheme on annual average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) can be described as slight adverse. 17.111 Defra (2009) states that when annual average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are less than 60 µg m-3, exceedences of the one hour average objective are not likely to occur. Given that all the predicted annual average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are substantially less than 60 µg m-3, there is no need to consider compliance with the short term objective. 17.112 Table 17.14 shows the estimated annual average concentration of PM10 due to emissions from road traffic following model calibration, in combination with the expected background concentrations (NETCEN data) described in terms of the EPUK significance criteria shown. Table 17.14: BREEZE ROADs Predicted Annual Average Concentration of Particulate Matter (PM10, µg m-3) After Model Calibration and Addition of Background Receptor Number

1 Nazareth House Lane

Description Baseline (2010) 2013 Baseline + Committed Developments (CD) 2013 Baseline + CD + Proposed Development (PD) 2013 Base + CD + PD + Office Development Increase Due to Proposed Development Increase as Percentage of Assessment Criteria (%) Magnitude of Change

2 Moor Lane

3 Cholmondeley St

4 West Bank School

14.7

18.0

18.6

19.4

14.4

18.2

17.6

18.4

14.4

18.4

17.8

18.6

14.5

18.6

17.8

18.6

0.03

0.20

0.20

0.24

0.1%

0.5%

0.5%

0.6%

Imperceptible

Imperceptible

Imperceptible

Imperceptible

Negligible

Negligible

(a)

Significance of Change

(a)

Negligible Negligible (a) As defined by EPUK, see Table 17.2 and Table 17.3.

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17.113 Table 17.14 shows that the magnitude of change as defined by EPUK is negligible at the receptors and the significance of the impacts are negligible as defined by EPUK. 17.114 The cumulative impact of the proposed development and the proposed office development is negligible. Emissions from the Biomass Facility Assessment of the Impacts on Human Health 17.115 Table 17.15 shows the maximum ADMS predicted incremental increase in ground level concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) for each year of meteorological data. The predicted increment is sometime referred to as the process contribution (PC) and the predicted increment plus the prevailing background concentration as the process environmental concentration (PEC). Table 17.15: ADMS 4.2 Predicted Maximum Ground Level Concentrations of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2 µg m-3) (a) Meteorological Data Year

Annual Average

2008

1.09

99.8th Percentile of Hourly Averages 9.6

2009

1.44

10.0

2010

0.99

10.3

Background Concentration

18.3

Background + Maximum Impact

19.7

46.9 (b)

Assessment Criteria 40 200 (a) Assumes 70% oxidation for annual average and 35% for 99.8th percentile. (b) Defra guidance TG4 (00) and Environment Agency guidance; process 99.8th percentile NO2 + twice annual mean ambient NO2.

17.116 The table shows that 2009 meteorological data gives rise to the highest predicted increment to annual average ground level concentrations and 2010 the highest for the maximum 99.8th percentile. 17.117 For 2009 meteorological data, at the point of maximum predicted impact, the incremental increase in annual average ground level concentration is 1.4 µg m-3 which can be compared to the air quality strategy objective of 40 µg m-3. When added to the prevailing background concentration of 18.3 µg m-3, the resulting total concentration of 19.7 µg m-3 is substantially less than the objective and not of concern to human health. 17.118 The maximum predicted 99.8th percentile of 10.3 µg m-3 is substantially less than the air quality strategy objective of 200 µg m-3 and not of concern to human health. 17.119 Table 17.16 shows the predicted concentration at the specific receptors using 2009 meteorological data.

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Table 17.16:

ADMS 4.2 Predicted Concentrations of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) at Specific Receptors; 2009 Meteorological Data (µg m-3) (a)

1

Nazareth House Lane

0.55

99.8th Percentile of Hourly Averages 4.14

2

Moor Lane

0.21

2.05

3

Cholmondeley St

0.33

2.17

4

West Bank Primary School

0.28

2.05

Receptor

Description

Annual Average

Background Concentration

19

-

Assessment Criteria

40

200

(a) Assumes 70% oxidation for annual average and 35% for 99.8th percentile.

17.120 Table 17.16 shows that at the location of the closest residential properties, the predicted incremental increase in concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) occurring due to emissions from the proposed facility is small compared to the assessment criteria and not of concern to human health and is of negligible significance according to EPUK guidance. 17.121 The following figures are presented to illustrate the distribution of concentrations of the oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Predictions are presented for full load operation using 2009 meteorological data which gives rise to the highest predicted annual average concentrations. The best way to view the predicted increments to annual average ground level concentrations of the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) is by examination of the contour plots. Figures 17.5 and 17.6 show the predicted increment, also known as process contribution (PC) for emissions from the proposed biomass facility.

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Figure 17.5: ADMS 4.2 Predicted Annual Average Ground Concentrations of the Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx, µg m-3)

Level

17.122 Figure 17.5 shows that at the location of the nearest Ramsar and Natura (SPA and SAC) sites within 10 km of the proposed biomass facility, which is the Mersey estuary the maximum predicted increments (process contributions) to annual average concentration of the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) are in the range of is 0.4 µg m-3.

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Figure 17.6

ADMS 4.2 Predicted 99.8th Percentile of Annual Average Ground Level Concentrations of the Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx, µg m-3)

17.123 The maximum increment (process contribution) of 0.4 µg m-3 to annual average concentration of the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) is small compared to the Air Quality Strategy (AQS) QS objective of 30 µg m-3 and when added to the prevailing ambient concentration of 26.6 µg m-3 the resulting total of 27.0 µg m-3, known as the Predicted Environmental Concentration, (PEC) is less than the objective. Given this, it is considered that the effect on vegetation and eco systems of the predicted increment (PC) to annual average concentration of the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) is negligible. Figure 17.7 shows the predicted nitrogen deposition rate assuming a deposition velocity of 0.0015 m s-1.

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Figure 17.7

ADMS 4.2 Predicted Nitrogen Deposition for 2009 Met Data Assuming Deposition Velocity of 0.0015 m s-1 (kg N ha-1 year-1)

17.124 Figure 17.7 shows that the maximum nitrogen deposition rate at any Ramsar or Natura 2000 designated site is 0.05 kg N ha-1 year-1. This is less than 0.3% of the prevailing deposition rate of 18.9 kg N ha-1 year-1. Even assuming the most conservative critical load of 10-15 kg N ha-1 year-1, the maximum is less than 1% and therefore insignificant. MITIGATION Construction 17.125 It is considered that with an appropriate Construction and Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) which will be agreed with HBC prior to construction, the potential for dust during construction to give rise to a nuisance will be minimal. 17.126 Detailed specification of measures to minimise emissions during construction will be agreed by HBC prior to construction. Measures recommended in the Greater London Authority Best Practice Guidance (GLA, 2006) and BRE Control of Dust from Construction and Demolition Activities guidance (BRE, 2003) will be implemented where appropriate. When preparing the Environmental Management Plan consideration will be given to inclusion of the following measures for the control of dust and emissions from construction and demolition: §

§

all plant and equipment to be maintained in accordance with appropriate legislation or manufacturers recommendations to ensure emissions to atmosphere are minimised; engines of plant and machinery and lorries to be turned off at all times when not in use; 418

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

§ § § § § § § § § § § § §

no burning of material to take place on site; ensure adequate water supply on site; ensure run-off water from dust suppression activities is disposed of in accordance with appropriate legal requirement; wheel washing at the exits from construction areas where there is a potential for dust and mud to be carried on to the highway; regular visual monitoring of construction activities to identify any significant dust sources; location of potentially significant dust sources away from construction site boundaries wherever possible; water suppression in dry conditions to reduce dust emissions (use mobile bowsers or fixed sprayers as appropriate); appropriate speed limit applied to all construction vehicles working on the construction site; minimising heights for any stockpiles and tipping operations; avoid double handling of excavated material wherever practicable; seal or re-vegetate completed earthworks as soon as reasonably practicable after completion; sheeting of loads during transport of dusty/friable material; and ensure deliveries of bulk cement and other similar powder materials are in enclosed tankers and stored in suitable silos with emission control systems to prevent escape of material and overfilling during delivery.

17.127 It is considered that with appropriate mitigation the significance of impact during construction is slight. Operation 17.128 This assessment has demonstrated that mitigation measures are not required to reduce the impact of emissions from road traffic generated by the proposed scheme or emissions from the biomass facility. 17.129 In addition, it should be noted that the biomass facility is likely to exceed 50 megawatt thermal input and would thus require a permit to operate as a Part A(1) process regulated by the Environment Agency. As part of the permit application process it will be necessary to satisfy the EA that Best Available Techniques will be used to control point source and fugitive emissions from the plant. 17.130 Given that the fuel to be used in the proposed facility will be clean/virgin wood, the proposed facility will not fall under the requirements of the Waste Incineration Directive (WID) which came into force in December 2000 for both hazardous and non-hazardous waste incineration plants and is therefore not relevant to this assessment. RESIDUAL IMPACTS 17.131 With appropriate measures for the control of dust, it is expected that there will be no significant residual impacts on air quality during the construction of the proposed scheme.

419

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

17.132 The assessment has shown that impacts on air quality of emissions from road traffic using the scheme and impacts from the proposed biomass facility are negligible and no mitigation is required; these impacts are therefore the same as the residual impacts. 17.133 Table 17.17 summarises the potential residual impacts of the proposed scheme on air quality. Table 17.17: Summary of Residual Effects on Air Quality Impact Feature Dust emissions during demolition and construction activities

Description of Effect

Residual Effects Duration Significance

Potential for dust nuisance

Short-term

Slight adverse with mitigation

Emissions to atmosphere from road traffic using the proposed scheme

Potential to effect air quality

Long-term

Negligible

Emissions to atmosphere from proposed biomass facility

Potential to effect air quality

Long-term

Negligible

420

Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

REFERENCES 1. 2.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

APIS (2011): A www document accessed on 13 April 2011 at www.apic.ac.uk. AQC (2009): Importance of Model Verification and Adjustment, Duncan Laxen, Air Quality Consultants Ltd, presented to the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) on 23 April 2009. AQS (2007): The Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: (July 2007 BRE (2003): Control of Dust from Construction and Demolition Activities. February 2003. COMEAP (1998): Quantification of the Effects of Air Pollution on Health in the United Kingdom. COMEAP (2006): Cardiovascular Disease and Air Pollution. COMEAP (2007): Long Term Exposure to Air Pollution: Effects on Mortality (draft). Defra (2003) Policy Guidance LAQM PG(03): Local Air Quality Management. Defra (2005): Guidance on the Control of Odour and Noise from Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Systems. Defra (2007): The air quality strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. July 2007. Defra (2009): Local Air Quality Management, Technical Guidance LAQM TG(09). DETR (2000): Review and Assessment: Selection and us of Dispersion Models TG4(00). EA (2000): R&D Technical Report P353: A review of dispersion model intercomparison studies using ISC, R91, AERMOD and ADMS (ISBN 1 85705 276 5) and R&D Technical Report P362: An intercomparison of the AERMOD, ADMS and ISC dispersion models for regulatory applications (ISBN 1 85705 340 0). EA (2010): Environment Agency (20 April 2010): Technical Guidance on detailed modelling approach for an appropriate assessment for emissions to air. EA (2011): Environment Agency (AQMAU): Conversion Ratios for NOx and NO2 EPUK (2010): Development Control Planning for Air Quality (2010 Update), EPUK, formerly NSCA. April 2010. Fairhurst (2011): Emails of 11 April from Jacqueline Samuel of WA Fairhurst & Partners GLA (2006): Greater London Authority Best Practice Guidance: The control of dust emissions from construction and demolition. Halton BC (2009) 2009: Air Quality Updating and Screening Assessment for Halton Borough Council. LAQM (2011a): no2tonox8_ja_forweb_jan2010.xls, a www document accessed on 16 February 2011 on http://laqm1.defra.gov.uk/review/tools/monitoring/calculator.php LAQM (2011b): EFT_Version_4.2.xls, a www document accessed on 15 April 2011 at http://laqm1.defra.gov.uk/review/tools/emissions.php NETCEN (2011): A www publication accessed on 15 April 2011 at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/air/airquality/local/support/ Office of Deputy Prime Minister (2004): Planning Policy Statement 23: Annex 1 Pollution Control, Air and Water Quality. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2006): Planning Policy Guidance 13.

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Stobart Park / 3MG, Widnes Environmental Statement June 2011

ABBREVIATIONS AADT ADM AQS AQMA AQAP BRE CEMP CHP Defra EA EPAQS EPUK ES GLA HBC HGV IAQM LAQM LPA MW(e) MW(th) NAQIA NETCEN NO NO2 NOx PM2.5 PM10 PC PEC PPG PPS WHO

Annual Average Daily Traffic Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Ltd Air Quality Strategy Air Quality Management Area Air Quality Action Plan Building Research Establishment Construction Environmental Management Plan Combined Heat and Power Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Environment Agency Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards Environmental Protection UK Environmental Statement Greater London Authority Halton Borough Council Heavy Goods Vehicle (>3.5 tonnes) Institute of Air Quality Management Local Air Quality Management Local Planning Authority Mega (ie 106) watt electrical Mega (ie 106) watt thermal National Air Quality Information Archive National Environment Technology Centre Nitric Oxide Nitrogen Dioxide Oxides of nitrogen (NO and NO2) Particulate Matter (<2.5µm) Particulate Matter (<10 µm) Process Contribution Predicted Environmental Concentration Planning Policy Guidance Planning Policy Statement World Health Organization

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