SLR Consulting’s position as specialists in carrying out Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) is underlined by its recent appointment by National Grid for the North West Coast Connections project under the expert auspices of SLR's Penny Williams.
The project team, will be led by SLR Technical Director Mark Brown, will coordinate all aspects of the EIA for the connection project, which is National Grid’s largest for the development of new infrastructure since the inception of the national grid in the 1950s. SLR has already worked on the project for five years, supporting studies on strategic options and leading route corridor and infrastructure siting studies.
SLR’s EIA remit now includes coordinating a team of internal and external consultants, developing the landscape and visual impact assessments, socio-economic assessments and the creation of a virtual reality model of the proposed alignment.
The North West Coast Connections project is required to connect important new sources of low carbon energy currently in development in the region, including the proposed new nuclear power station at Moorside near Sellafield, to the National Electricity Transmission System.
Mark Brown said: “EIAs for major infrastructure projects, such as the North West Coast Connections project, require a proportionate approach focusing on significant effects. At SLR we develop a clear execution plan that sets out project goals and expectations as well as defining robust and thorough EIA approaches that can be agreed with consultees.
“It is also essential that the EIA team becomes an integrated part of the client’s project team and we worked hard to achieve this on this project, with SLR staff working in National Grid’s Kendal office.”
The Development Consent Order for the proposed North West Coast Connections project is expected to be submitted in Spring 2017.