World Water Day 2020

World Water Day 2020 | Water and Climate Change

It’s World Water Day on Sunday, and for this year’s theme the United Nations have selected Water and Climate Change – and how the two are inextricably linked.

At Wardell Armstrong we have found that this topic encompasses many of our service areas in addition to the work our water and flood risk assessment teams do.  Each day this week, we will ask key personnel from various sectors – what does water and climate change mean to them?

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Inveresk

Major Planning Application and EIA Submitted for a Proposed Care Village in East Lothian

Wardell Armstrong has recently submitted a major planning application and environmental impact assessment (EIA), on behalf of Cinnamon Retirement Living (Inveresk) Limited, for a proposed care village on land at Inveresk, East Lothian, Scotland.

The project required input from our multi-disciplinary team including Planning, Environment (Heritage, Landscape Assessment, Landscape Design, Noise and Air Quality), Archaeology and Civil Engineering. Wardell Armstrong worked alongside PRC Architects, Meedhurst Project Management and Transport Planning Ltd.

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SECR

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) | What Is It and Does Your Company Need It?

The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) policy is enforced through the Companies (Director’s Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018 and came in to force on the 1st April 2019.

The SECR will apply to all companies listed on the Stock Exchange (Quoted Companies) and UK companies with over 250 employees or an annual turnover of more than £36m or an annual balance sheet of over £18m.

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Wallyford Primary School

Wallyford Primary School Wins at The Scottish Property Awards 2020!

Wardell Armstrong is proud to have been part of the team that delivered Wallyford Primary School, which recently won The Scottish Property Award 2020 for Development of the Year (Public Buildings). The winners of the 2020 Scottish Property Awards were revealed at the annual celebration and awards ceremony on 20th February 2020 at the EICC in Edinburgh. 

Hub-SE/Morrison Construction commissioned Wardell Armstrong to carry out civil, structural and landscaping consultancy services for the largest primary school in Scotland located at Wallyford, East Lothian.

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IEMA QM

The Value of Screening in Scoping

The issue of proportionate Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been a hot topic for several years now – how do we break the trend of lengthy Environmental Statements (ES) which are difficult to digest?

The purpose of an EIA is to identify the likely significant effects of a project and present these within an ES. However, the key effects are frequently lost in ESs which are hundreds of pages in length and appear to consider every conceivable effect that may occur. These disproportionate ESs are often the result of a risk averse approach taken by those involved in EIA, including co-ordinators, developers and planning authorities. The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) have been leading the research on proportionate EIA, publishing the first Proportionate EIA Strategy in 2017. One of the actions identified by IEMA is to improve scoping, encouraging it to be thought of as a core component included within the iterative process of EIA, rather than a single stage undertaken early on in the project and rarely revisited.

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The Environment Bill and Biodiversity Net Gain

Big Changes for Consideration of Biodiversity in the Planning System

The Environment Bill and Biodiversity Net Gain – Big Changes for consideration of Biodiversity in the Planning System

Currently the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF 2019) requires that all developments provide ‘net gains for biodiversity’ – defined as leaving biodiversity in a better state than before. The way this has been interpreted to date by Local Authorities is that a requirement for biodiversity enhancements is provided in most T+C Planning Act decisions based around recommendations provided in ecology reports and secured by Landscape Plans. The Environment Bill which was included in the Queen’s Speech at recall of parliament and is anticipated to be enshrined in law in early to mid-2020 will go much further than the existing provisions. 

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The Big Garden Bird Watch 2020

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2020

The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is the world’s largest garden wildlife survey. This year, the survey took place over a long weekend from Saturday 26th to Monday 28th January.

Teams from our Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester, Stoke and Head Office took part in the survey yesterday by taking their lunch break in the fresh air at a local park or green space and recording the birds that they saw. Our ecology teams provided binoculars and shared their more in-depth knowledge of birds with the rest of our service areas.

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Structural Engineer Filip Kirazov Assists in the Albania Earthquake Recovery with SARAID

Two weeks after the late November, 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Albania, ‘Search and Rescue Assistance in Disasters’ (SARAID) deployed 4 structural engineers to the country to support the disaster response of the Albanian Government.

In-country SARAID joined an international effort led by a joint European Civil Protection/United Nations team. Filip Kirazov, a Senior Structural Engineer from our London office and Urban Search and Rescue Engineer with SARAID, was sent to Durres to assist Albanian engineers in carrying out structural damage inspections and assessments.

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Hot Topics for Air Quality

Three Hot Topics for Air Quality in 2020

Our air quality team recently presented to the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) North East. Three hot topics in the air quality field were discussed, all of which are likely to come under increased scrutiny in 2020 – Clean Air Zones, Ecological Impact Assessment and Damage Cost.

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Keele Energy Park

Planning Permission Secured for Renewable Energy Park at Keele University

Wardell Armstrong has obtained a land mark planning permission for a renewable energy park to be located at Keele University. The consent includes provision for 2x1MW wind turbines, 7.7MWp of solar PV and up to 10MWh of battery storage. The energy park will form a key component of the University’s Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) project that will see the campus transformed into Europe’s only at scale low carbon energy technology test bed.

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