Adams Hendry were part of the consultant team promoting an expansion of the Port of Southampton through a new deep sea terminal that would provide additional land for the demands of the deep-sea container, ro-ro and aggregates trades.
We were responsible for the Environmental Statements, which covered the main port proposals and associated road and rail connections. In addition to carrying out parts of the assessment we were also responsible, along with the client, for the day-to-day management of a consultant team of 20 plus specialists and the production of 56 supporting background technical statements.
The proposals were applied for through a Harbour Revision Order under the Harbour Act 1964, an order under Part 1 of the Transport and Works Act 1992 and various planning applications under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. To authorise the placement of structures on the sea bed and the deposit of material below mean high water four applications were also made under the, then Food and Environment Protection Act (1985) – FEPA, now replaced by the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (in the form of marine licenses). The scheme was also the subject of an appropriate assessment under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 1994 due to potential effects on a European nature conservation sites.
In order to meet the requirements of the EIA Regulations the ES pioneered the assessment by parameters technique. This approach, and the content of the ES were tested at the subsequent 13 month Inquiry into the proposals and (although consent for the proposals was ultimately refused) both the Inspector and Secretary of State gave the ES, and in particular the parameters technique a clean bill of health. Adams Hendry provided the principle witness for the promoter of this scheme at the 13 month long inquiry, giving evidence on the topics of policy, alternative solutions, environmental assessment, countryside issues, recreation, tourism and rights of way.