Renewable energy can be classified by many different processes, from wind turbines to waste processing, and recycling centres to anaerobic digestion plants. Renewable Energy Planning has become a major part of the Highway Engineers Role.
The recently published National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) contains advice on how Local Planning Authorities can assist in the development of renewable energy projects and states that such Authorities should “consider identifying suitable sites for renewable and low carbon energy sources, and supporting infrastructure, where this would help secure the development of such sources.”
Planning Authorities are encouraged to approve such applications, unless material considerations indicate otherwise, if its impacts are (or can be made) acceptable. One such material consideration would be the access and transportation issues associated with the development.
NPPF March 2012 contains specific advice on promoting sustainable transport and states that
“…..Development should only be prevented or refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts of development are severe.”
Sanderson Associates have extensive experience in the assessment of the highway issues related to renewable energy projects and have worked on schemes which fall under the following headings:-
Sanderson Associates provided highway consultancy services in support of a planning application for a Mechanical, Biological Treatment waste management facility in South Wales. We always work closely with the developers, the Local Highway Authority and on this occasion the Welsh Assembly Government to ensure that the highway input into the planning application assisted in planning consent being granted.
Waste Transfer Stations & Recycling Depots
Sanderson Associates have provided advice to Waste Agencies in the North-East in relation to proposals to provide an expansion of an existing operational Waste Transfer Station and also a new site which together will cover the Sunderland area. Both sites will incorporate extensive recycling facilities and have now been given planning permission. Other sites that have been considered include sites in North Wales and various sites in West Yorkshire.
Wind Farm installations
Sanderson Associates have previously provided advice to potential developers of various turbine sites in West Yorkshire and the rest of England. Advice has also been provided regarding the movement of the components to the site and swept path analysis of the access junction with the adopted highway and the strength and consideration of any weight restrictions of bridge structures as well as advice on Local Authority and Police abnormal routes in location and procedures.
Mining Quarrying and Landfill
Most recently, Sanderson Associates completed the highways section of an Environmental Impact Assessment for a major landfill site in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Our work involved the assessment of the additional traffic on the highway network and its impact on key receptors and locations. In the past, Sanderson’s have assisted and given evidence at Public Inquiries, EIA submissions and the impact for many sites in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Wales, Scotland, Cheshire and Stoke-on-Trent
Renewable energy developments are likely to encounter similar issues during the planning process as many other types of development and will be subject to the same considerations in highway terms.
However, by their very nature, they may also require specialist consideration with regards to the generation of HGV movements on the highway network and the physical transportation of large machinery, equipment and installations to the site from the point of manufacture.
Route choice, highway conditions, carriageway widths, gradients, junctions etc. will all require expert assessment and advice on any issues which may require mitigation and/or off-site works to overcome the problems identified.
The recommended process begins at site selection stage when access to the site itself from the nearest principal highway should be considered as part of a Feasibility Study.
Assessment of available Abnormal Load Routes within the immediate area of the site will also be required. At this stage the source of the actual installation and/or supporting equipment needs to be known to enable the full route to be assessed.
Many manufacturers of specialist equipment and haulage companies will, however, have designated routes from their base locations to the nearest principal roads and motorways which are likely to have been agreed with the appropriate authorities in their particular area.
Once it has been established that the site is accessible and that all other planning and development criteria can be met the planning process begins in earnest.
Whilst it may not be necessary to provide a traditional Transport Assessment for such a development, in that significant volumes of traffic are not generated, a detailed site specific Access Appraisal will be required which will provide all the information required by the Local Planning and Highway Authority to consider the submission and make their formal decision as the acceptability of the development proposals.
Due to the on-going vehicle trips associated with Waste Transfer Stations and other recycling facilities these types of development are likely to require a detailed Transport Assessment as well as the possible requirement for an Environmental Statement which will have a Chapter dedicated to transport and access issues. Further information on this specific element can be found at our web-site www.transport-assessment.com
What Our Clients Say:
Swept Path Analysis and Visibility Drawing incorporated into a Technical Note, Proposed Residential Dwelling, Colchester.
Mon 28 June 2021
Highway Statement, Proposed Residential Development, Stockport
Thu 11 June 2020
Transport Assessment, Proposed Residential Development (170 dwellings), Essex
Fri 24 April 2020
Speed Survey, Proposed Private Residential Development – Testimonial
Sat 14 December 2019
Access Feasibility Study, Proposed Private Residential Development – Testimonial
Mon 30 September 2019
Analysis of Speed Survey and Swept Path Analysis
Tue 3 September 2019
Stage 2 Road Safety Audit, Residential, Staffordshire
Tue 16 July 2019
Construction Traffic Management Plan
Mon 15 April 2019
Flood Risk Assessment, Testimonial, Industrial Development, Sheffield
Tue 19 March 2019
Wed 21 November 2018
Require Assistance with Renewable Energy Transport Planning?
Sanderson Associates have enjoyed over 34 years in business, our experienced engineers have extensive experience producing a wide variety of Feasibility Studies and Access Appraisals for developments associated with the renewable energy market for sites located throughout the whole of the UK, Isle of Man and Ireland.
We would be pleased to provide you with our competitive fee proposal to assist you with our Renewable Energy Transport Planning Services, please call us on 01924 844080 or click here to complete our secure online form.