Planning & Consultation
Onshore Studies and Assessments
Surveys are currently being carried out and the data assessed to ensure that the final onshore elements of Greenlink are designed sympathetically to the local environment and wildlife. Where possible, enhancement measures will be employed.
Surveys cover the landfall sites, the cable routes under consideration and the possible converter station locations.
As well as birds, wildlife being considered includes badgers, bats, otters, water voles, reptiles, great crested newts and dormice. Consideration is also being given to local vegetation, including hedgerows, trees and important habitats.
Our surveys and assessments will be verified and consulted on by Natural Resources Wales and the National Parks and Wildlife Service in Ireland.
The potential effects of Greenlink on local archaeology and cultural heritage are being assessed by identifying, predicting and evaluating the significance of potential effects on designated and non-designated heritage assets.
To mitigate any potential impacts we will consider the predicted impacts of the proposed scheme and will aim to avoid adverse effects. Wherever possible, mitigation will be designed to deliver benefits, such as maintaining the visual setting of historic assets. We will aim to avoid undisturbed archaeological remains and preserve them in situ. Where this is not possible, preservation by record will be proposed as mitigation.
Landscape & visual impact
This assessment relates to changes in the physical landscape, brought about by the proposed development, which may alter its character and how this is experienced.
We will produce visualisations of the converter stations from viewpoints that will be selected to represent the character of the area and particularly important landscape and heritage sites. Suitable mitigation, such as landscaping, building finishes and design layout, will be proposed.
Flooding and hydrology
This assessment considers the existing surface and ground water resources in proximity to Greenlink. It will assess potential impacts to water bodies, surface water drainage and flood risk due to the proposed scheme during the construction and operational phases. The results of this assessment will be incorporated into the final design.
ILLUSTRATION : WSP
Geology & hydrogeology
This assessment considers the existing ground conditions present in the vicinity of the various scheme components and addresses the potential effects that the construction and operation of the project may have on the geological and hydrogeological characteristics of the study area.
The assessment will include consideration of possible effects on the superficial geology (soils), solid geology and geomorphology, including mineral resources beneath the proposed route of the scheme. The groundwater beneath the site and surrounding area will be considered. The results of this assessment will be incorporated into the final design and delivery of the proposal to mitigate any potential impact.
Noise and Vibration
This assessment will address potential noise and vibration impacts from the construction and operational phases of the project, and specifically construction noise, construction vibration and operational noise from the converter station.
The baseline conditions (i.e. existing background noise levels) at noise-sensitive receptors will be determined via noise surveys.
Noise sensitive receptors include residential properties, sensitive commercial and community uses (including educational premises, medical facilities, places of worship, etc) and open public spaces (including public footpaths).
The results of this assessment will be incorporated into the final design.
Traffic and Transport
The traffic impact assessment will address the traffic impacts on the local road network from the construction and operation of Greenlink.
The assessment will include the supply of materials, plant and equipment, the cable laying operations and the various components of the converter station. Traffic arising from the construction and operations workforce will also be addressed.
A transport assessment will be carried out in accordance with best practice.
An outline Traffic Management Plan (TMP) will be put together that will detail measures for managing and mitigating the construction traffic caused by Greenlink. We will consult the local community on the outline TMP to ensure that all considerations of local amenity have been incorporated and that members of the local communities are satisfied with the mitigation measures being proposed.
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
The Greenlink electrical infrastructure (converter stations and underground
cables) will be designed to comply with the EC Directive relating to Occupational Exposure to Public Health and the EU 1999 recommendation on Public Exposure.
Use of agricultural land
Construction of the converter stations will result in the permanent loss of land from agricultural use. Land disturbed during the construction of the landfall and cable will be reinstated and therefore there will be no permanent loss of agricultural land associated with the landfall or cable route.
Socio-economics & human health
This study will provide an overview of the socio-economic conditions in the area of the proposed development and an assessment of potential effects on the population and human health derived from the implementation of the project. This will encompass consideration of population and demographic data, employment data and the volume and value of tourism to the local economy. The results of this assessment will be incorporated into the final design and delivery of the proposal to mitigate any potential impact and maximise benefits.
This assessment considers the potential impacts on air quality during construction, including dust emissions, on- site machinery and construction traffic travelling to and from the site. The potential impacts on air quality during the operational phase will also be considered.
Following the assessment of air quality effects during the construction phase, mitigation measures will be recommended to minimise the impact from dust. These measures, including dust suppressant measures, will be considered for both human and ecological receptors.