Client: Viridor Site: Beddingham Landfill
Rationalisation of Restoration Planning
Lockhart Garratt was appointed to survey the site 18 months ahead of closure to make recommendations for cost-effective restoration to chalk downland including review of extant planning conditions, to inform a Restoration & Aftercare Management Plan (RAMP).
A number of planning anomalies and outstanding requirements were found. Lockhart Garratt recommended a single document covering the full ownership with detailed chapters for the current restoration, but also outlined information on all areas (most of which were well managed and could contribute positively to the plan). This gave transparency to the submission and avoided lengthy exchanges of correspondence, saving the client’s time and resources.
We identified 10ha of calcareous SSSI grassland which Natural England had indicated was in ‘unfavourable’ condition through lack of management. We incorporated re-activation of grazing and weed control to the aftercare plan, to ensure the rarer species were not outcompeted. We identified that this work could be undertaken through hand back to long term tenants, thus reducing the fencing and management costs.
The former industrial site had stone haul roads on the perimeter. The conditions required their removal on restoration, which clashed with the need for agricultural access post-restoration. We directed planning negotiations so that principal routes were retained and narrowed to reduce landscape impact, avoiding extensive removal and reinstatement and thus cost-engineering the design.
Our involvement saved the client money and gave the Waste Planning Authority comfort that the restoration would be delivered and managed effectively. We also sourced £500 per hectare in Forestry Commission funding for 12ha of woodland improvement work. Our ecologists are now involved with two – yearly monitoring of grassland condition to assist Viridor with cost effective sign off.
“Lockhart Garratt’s breadth of land management knowledge at several of our sites in the closure phase has been valuable with careful identification of constraints and cost saving opportunities for the restoration process.”
Andrew Whitehorn, Viridor