We would like to thank everyone who took part in our most recent design refinements consultation, and to those who participated in our first two consultations in spring and autumn 2018. Having listened to feedback and considered technical information we are confident that we have, on balance, selected the most appropriate route for the replacement pipeline in accordance with the project’s guiding principles.

In the below table, we outline the key themes of your feedback from the consultations, and our responses to them. Within the responses we refer to our Environmental Statement.

Our Environmental Statement provides the findings of the environmental impact assessment including our proposed mitigation measures. We provided this to the Planning Inspectorate as part of our application for development consent. Our application has now been accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate. Other organisations such as local authorities, the Environment Agency and Natural England will provide their expert opinion on the Environmental Statement to the Planning Inspectorate.

You can view the Environmental Statement, along with our other application documents, on the Planning Inspectorate website. Please note some minor updates to the Consultation Report, Book of reference, Land Plans and Statement of Reasons were uploaded to the Planning Inspectorate website prior to commencement of the relevant representation period on 26 June.

Your feedback Our response

Concerns raised around traffic management

Traffic management requirements during pipeline installation have been considered and discussed with local highway authorities and will be outlined in the Environmental Statement. We have been liaising with the relevant highway authorities to review traffic diversion plans, and as the project progresses a construction traffic management plan will be produced. We have also listened to the highways authorities when considering which roads we need to cross with trenchless techniques, in order to reduce traffic impacts on those roads.

Concerns raised regarding potential impact on property access

The proposed route was developed to avoid or reduce impacts to local communities and residents, which included considering how residents can access properties, places of work and other local facilities.

There will be temporary lane closures or diversions in some areas, but pedestrian access to properties and access for emergency services will always be maintained and any closures or diversions will be communicated to residents and businesses in advance.

Where we would be crossing property access points, we would work with local residents and businesses to maintain pedestrian and emergency vehicle access during installation, providing safe crossing points as necessary. We intend to use a rolling form of street works where we work our way along in small sections (roughly 25m at a time), reinstating the road surface behind us so the trench will not be open along the entire length of the route. This means we would only cross an access for a short space of time.

Concerns raised regarding Public Rights of Way (PRoW) being affected

During installation of the replacement pipeline, we will endeavour to keep PRoW open and give people using them priority to safely cross the pipeline installation site. However, in some instances crossing the installation site will not always be safe or practicable. In these cases, we will look at temporary diversions for the PRoW and aim to reduce the amount of time that the diversions need to be in place. Any diversions will be agreed with the local authority and communicated and signposted locally.

Concerns raised regarding local businesses

The project’s guiding principles include selecting a route which avoids, where practicable, built-up areas and provides social and economic outcomes of greater benefit versus the other routes considered. These led us to develop a route to avoid or reduce impacts on local businesses.

Where our proposals do impact businesses, the project team has liaised closely with owners and occupiers to mitigate these impacts. This engagement will continue during the installation phase. In addition to engagement with businesses, residents, property owners and occupiers, we will work to ensure pedestrian and emergency vehicle access is maintained and will continue to look at ways to reduce temporary impacts of the installation.

Where we would be crossing business access points, we would work with those businesses to maintain pedestrian and emergency vehicle access during installation, providing safe crossing points as necessary.

Concerns raised about impacts on trees

The route was developed to avoid recognised areas of Ancient Woodland. In addition, the project identified local areas of ecological importance that could be affected by the project and carried out ecological and arboricultural surveys of those areas. This included identifying any notable mature trees along the route, whether protected under Tree Preservation Orders or otherwise. Feedback from consultation with the public and other stakeholders has also allowed us to understand and identify other trees of local importance.

The Environmental Statement will detail how the project has considered technical information and feedback and used this to develop a final route, as well as outlining the ecological and landscape impacts of the project and measures proposed to mitigate these.

Some trees within the order limits will need to be removed. However, we intend to use narrow working techniques in a number of places to limit the number of trees directly impacted.

You can find out more about our three public consultations by following the links below.

Preferred corridor consultation
Preferred route consultation
Design refinements consultation

You can see the final route for the replacement pipeline on our interactive map. Please visit how we developed our route for more details about how we reached this point in the project.