Perenco (UK) Ltd has received planning consent for its proposed Power Generation Project at the Wytch Farm Gathering Station, Dorset. We assisted through preparation of the planning application and Environmental Statement. The ES incorporated an Ecological Impact Assessment and information to inform an Appropriate Assessment under the Habitats Regulations. We also prepared the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment.
Perenco (UK) Ltd propose to decommission the existing Gas Turbines and Waste Heat Recovery Unit. These will be replaced with a new more efficient 24-megawatt Gas Engine Power Generation Plant. Associated infrastructure includes:
- a new grid gas connection;
- an extension to an existing pipe-rack carrying pipes and cabling; and
- high-voltage cabling buried within the ground to connect to the existing high-voltage sub-station.
We have worked at Wytch Farm since the 1980s. The project team was, therefore, able to draw on over 30 years’ experience of the issues that would need to be addressed from the outset in order to progress a project of this kind in such a sensitive context. The Gathering Station is located within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Purbeck Heritage Coast. There are also a number of European and nationally designated nature conservation sites in the area around the Gathering Station, including Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas, Ramsar sites and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Before identifying the preferred solution, we carried out a detailed review of alternatives. Design parameters were then established to ensure that noise impacts and landscape and visual impacts were minimised. These were based on existing operational experience and allowed these issues to be scoped out of the ES.
Understanding the interaction between air quality and ecological impacts required detailed, iterative assessment and design. This focussed on emissions of nitrogen oxides and ammonia; nutrient nitrogen deposition; and acid deposition. Measures to limit the emission of nitrogen oxides and ammonia are integral to the design of the development. This will minimise the potential impacts on the European and nationally designated sites.