How we will work with you during installation

Our commitments

We are in the process of developing project commitments, many of which address concerns raised by landowners, communities, local authorities and organisations, as well as environmental bodies. These commitments build on those already published in our consultation materials and were reflected in our application for development consent.

Examples of commitments under consideration are:

  • Imposing speed limits on vehicles on site, keeping public roads clean around logistics hubs and larger compounds with wheel washing facilities at the exit points, and covering up vehicle loads with potential for dust
  • Not removing vegetation in certain locations during bird breeding season
  • Having a qualified and experienced “environmental clerk of works” to supervise, for instance, clearance of habitats that have been identified within the Environmental Statement as having high potential to support breeding or hibernating mammals

We have already committed to the following:

Protect habitats by using a 10m working width when crossing boundaries between fields where there are hedgerows, trees or watercourses.

Avoid all areas of existing classified Ancient Woodland.

Reduce disruption to travel by using trenchless installation techniques for crossing trunk roads, motorways and railways.

Include remotely operated valves to enable sections of the pipeline to be isolated, if necessary.

Ensure that the principles of safe design have been incorporated into the design of the pipeline, as per Esso’s design standards for fuel pipelines, relevant industry codes of practice, and the requirements of the Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996.

Reduce impacts on habitats and soil quality by typically using a standard working width of 30m for open cut trench installation in rural areas.

Protect waterways that are over 30m wide by using trenchless crossings.

Install ‘water stops’ to reduce the risk of underground water impacting on the materials that support the pipe.

Avoid installation in existing Source Protection Zone 1 (SPZ 1) areas to reduce impacts on sources of drinking water.

Monitor the operation of the pipeline 24 hours a day to detect any changes and remotely shut down the pipeline if needed.

Crossing major roads and railway lines

We will use trenchless crossings under motorways, A-roads and railway lines to reduce impacts on people’s journeys.

Traffic management plans

We will work with the county highway authorities in Hampshire and Surrey to review traffic diversion plans, and as the project progresses a construction traffic management plan will be produced. We will work with county highway authorities and local councils to communicate our plans ahead of installation to local communities. We have also listened to the highway authorities when considering which roads we need to cross with trenchless techniques, in order to reduce traffic impacts on those roads.

On a temporary basis, we may need to use diversions and access roads, move pedestrian walkways and bus stops and, in some cases, close sections of road. Where we do need to close a road, this will be done for as short a time as possible to reduce impacts on local communities.

Installation techniques

Open-cut trench technique

The most common technique for installation of the pipeline would be open-cut trenches, which are less than one metre wide. Although the pipeline is relatively small, with an internal diameter of about 30cm, the working width needed for safe installation using this technique is usually between 20 and 30 metres. The working width allows sufficient space for digging the trench, laying a pipe alongside the trench before installation, storing topsoil and sub-soil separately during installation and enabling access for construction vehicles. At times, we will need to use narrower working widths for short distances, for example in urban areas or where space is constrained.

Not to scale

Trenchless techniques

At times, we will need to use trenchless techniques to install the pipeline, for example under railway lines, major roads and river beds. In these cases, we will use methods such as directional drilling or auger boring, which use a machine to drill or ‘bore’ a hole through the ground from one side of an obstruction, such as a railway line, to the other. Typically, a pit is dug at either end of the trenchless section from where the machinery can be located. Throughout the work, care is taken to prevent any movement of land. The replacement pipeline will not go under any existing homes, even where trenchless installation is used.

While trenchless techniques cause less disturbance at ground level, allowing roads and railways to remain open and rivers to continue flowing, more land may be temporarily required for pits for the drilling machinery relative to open-cut trench techniques. Depending on the length of the trenchless section, it may take longer to complete trenchless installation relative to an area where open-cut trench techniques are used. Furthermore, sections of the pipeline that are installed using trenchless crossings can largely be installed in a straight line. This means that only certain types of trenchless techniques can be used.

Not to scale

Installing in rural areas

In rural areas, it is likely that we will use open-cut trench installation. During installation, we will maintain access to public rights of way, protect livestock, and work with landowners to reduce or mitigate the impacts of installation on how they use the land, where possible. Roads in rural areas can be narrow and winding. We will carefully plan our vehicle movements and the transportation of materials to reduce the impact on local road users. Temporary road signs will also be installed to alert people to any road closures and other changes in the area.

Click here to view an interactive graphic (263MB)

Installing in urban areas

In urban areas, we will use methods such as traffic management and trenchless installation to enable us to work within more constrained areas. We will work with local communities and authorities to agree how we can minimise the impacts on public access such as footpaths and public areas. Once installed, the replacement pipeline will be a quiet neighbour.

Click here to view an interactive graphic (263MB)