Nature conservation interest and local business adequately protected from pontoon construction

A firm of ship repairers and ship builders on Merseyside secured permission to construct a new pontoon in the river Mersey together with an on-shore office and warehouse, the impact on important wildlife sites and a local business being found acceptable.

The appellant had undertaken a habitat regulations assessment which examined the potential impact on the Mersey estuary special protection area and Ramsar site. The area was particularly important for the feeding and roosting of wintering and wading birds, an inspector noted, and in his opinion the assessment was thorough and reliable. Subject to conditions the proposed development would not give rise to a significant adverse effect.

The impact on a business adjacent to the site which was involved in code analysis and software testing for the government and multi-national corporations was also explored. The company referred to the sensitivity of computer disks to dust, noise and vibration. These potential impacts could also be adequately mitigated through the use of conditions, the inspector determined. Moreover, there would be a moderate impact on the outlook of some local residents overlooking the site but no adverse impact on the setting of Liverpool’s world heritage site. The benefits of contribution to the delivery of offshore renewable energy projects was a significant benefit and the appeal was allowed.

Inspector: Richard Clegg; Hearing

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