REGULATION 6 NOTIFICATION OF DETERMINATION THAT IMPROVEMENT WORKS ARE LIKELY TO HAVE SIGNIFICANT EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT – THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (LAND DRAINAGE IMPROVEMENT WORKS) REGULATIONS 1999 (AS AMENDED)

This notice has been prepared by the Parrett Internal Drainage Board (‘PIDB’) in accordance with the requirements of The Environmental Impact Assessment (Land Drainage Improvement Works) Regulations 1999 (As Amended), referred to as ‘the Regulations’ in this notice.

The PIDB is proposing to carry out dredging and associated activities along 2.2km of the River Parrett between Stathe bridge and Burrowbridge, and have made a determination as required by Regulation 4, taking into account the criteria set out in Schedules 2 and 2A of the Regulations, that the proposed improvement works are likely to have significant effects on the environment due to their location (Schedule 2, 2. (c) (i) and (v)) and potential impact (Schedule 2, 3. (a), (f), (g), and (h)) in the absence of changes to the design and/or mitigation. This is summarised in Section 4 of the Screening and Scoping report.

The PIDB must make a determination of whether the proposed improvement works should proceed, and the PIDB intends to prepare an Environmental Statement to assess the significance of the likely effects on a series of environmental factors outlined in Section 5 of the Screening and Scoping report.

The Screening and Scoping report can be downloaded from the Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium Projects web page:

Projects

and is available for viewing at the Langport Library, Whatley, Langport, TA10 9RA between 29 May and 7 June 2019 during its normal opening times:

Monday, Tuesday, Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm
Thursday 9.30am to 5pm
Saturday 9.30am to 12.30pm

Comments or questions can be submitted to the Parrett Internal Drainage Board by post or email up until the 7 June 2019:

Post: Bradbury House, 33-34 Market Street, Highbridge, Somerset, TA9 3BW
Email: admin@somersetdbs.co.uk

Once the Environmental Statement has been prepared it will undergo a statutory consultation of 30 days in accordance with Regulation 10.

Public consultation begins on River Parrett dredging proposal

A public consultation about proposals to dredge the River Parrett between Stathe and Burrowbridge begins on Wednesday, 1 May and continues until Saturday, 1 June.

The scheme is being led for Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) by the Parrett Internal Drainage Board (IDB), working closely with the Environment Agency and Natural England. The SRA is using Growth Deal funding from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.

The aim of the proposed works is to help the SRA reduce flood risks across a large part of the Somerset Levels and Moors that were badly affected in winter 2013-14 and summer 2012.

This dredge is particularly important because it would supplement other dredges of the Parrett and Tone since 2014. It would also tie in with other projects, such as enhancing the River Sowy (also known as the Parrett Flood Relief Channel) and King’s Sedgemoor Drain.

If it’s approved, set-up works could start on-site in August, with dredging expected to begin in September. Further necessary works such as monitoring and ecological improvements would continue into 2020. (The photo at the top of this page shows part of the River Parrett – not far from Stathe Road – that’s being considered in these proposed works.)

David Mitchell, SRA Senior Manager, said: “Around 16 months’ hard work has gone into drawing up these plans for dredging between Stathe and Burrowbridge. We believe that the scheme we’re now proposing is a good scheme that will help us to protect people and properties, and enhance the environment.

“This will be the biggest new dredge that we’ve done on the Parrett since the summer of 2016. To find out more please go to one of the consultation sessions we’re running this May, or look at the information that’s available online, and let us know your views.”

Public drop-in sessions in Langport and Burrowbridge

Two drop-in consultation events are being held, to give people chance to look at display boards and other materials, ask questions and fill in feedback forms:

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 at Burrowbridge Coronation Hall, West Yeo Road, Burrowbridge, TA7 0RH between 12 noon and 7pm
Wednesday, 15 May 2019 at Great Bow Wharf, Bow Street, Langport, TA10 9PN between 12 noon and 7pm

Consultation materials

Copies of materials prepared for these consultation events are available online, and feedback forms can also be downloaded, here as PDFs:

River Parrett dredging proposal public consultation display boards May 2019

River Parrett dredging proposal Environmental Impact Assessment Screening and Scoping Report May 2019

River Parrett dredging proposal feedback form May 2019

Documents can also be found on the Somerset Rivers Authorty website: https://www.somersetriversauthority.org.uk/public-consultation-river-parrett-begins-dredging-proposal/

Completed feedback forms can be emailed to admin@somersetdbs.co.uk or posted to Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium, 33-34 Market Street, Highbridge, Somerset, TA9 3BW.

Alternatively, feedback forms can be filled in and submitted online at https://arcg.is/1PjGbT.

Consultation process summary

The process of statutory consultation required for improvement works such as dredging is set out in the Environmental Impact Assessment (Land Drainage Improvement Works) Regulations 1999 (as amended). This summer will see an Environmental Statement produced with an opportunity for formal consultation on the document and final scheme. Following this formal consultation period, a view will be taken with regard to the commencement of works.

Legal background

The proposed dredging of the watercourse between Stathe and Burrowbridge is considered to be an instance of ‘improvement works’ as defined under Regulation 2 (1) of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Land Drainage Improvement Works) Regulations. These improvement works are in their turn considered to be a development activity that falls within the Environment Agency’s permitted development rights under Class D of Part 13 (water and sewerage) of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

The proposed works would be carried out for Somerset Rivers Authority by the Parrett Internal Drainage Board (IDB) under powers delegated by the Environment Agency through a Public Sector Cooperation Agreement (PSCA). Although the works are considered to be permitted development, the Parrett IDB also has to satisfy the formal process of examining the project in detail in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment (Land Drainage Improvement Works) Regulations 1999 (as amended).

Hence this summer’s consultation process.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an impartial and systematic process that ensures that the environmental effects of a proposed development are fully considered and taken into account before it proceeds. It draws upon a detailed understanding of current environmental effects (known as the baseline), information gathered during consultation, and from a detailed understanding of potential effects from the development itself. The findings of an EIA are reported in a document called an Environmental Statement (ES) which has to meet certain legal standards, broadly incorporating main headings, topics to be considered, organisations that need to be consulted, stages of the project, timescales, and types of effects and mitigation that need to be taken into account.

The final design of the project, and the conclusions of the ES, will also be informed by a separate Water Framework Directive Compliance Assessment, an Appropriate Assessment (Stage 2 Habitats Regulations Assessment) as required by the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, and governed by the requirements of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010.

Pawlett Hams Pipeline project August 2017