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Case studies

Wind farms in Scotland, UK

Major awards for ScottishPower Renewables

RSK produced a communications strategy for ScottishPower Renewables followed by a wide range of materials that included stakeholder engagement communications. Within 18 months, ScottishPower won consent to develop Europe’s largest onshore wind farm, Black Law. Six months later it received permission for an even larger project, Whitelee. ScottishPower Renewables has since been recognised for its work, winning an industry award for outstanding communication and the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.

Transport noise mapping, Brent, UK

Supplementing the London Noise Map

RSK used both short- and long-term noise monitoring data and generation analysis taken from all main road and railway corridors through the London Borough of Brent to supplement the published London Noise Map. The study included the computer modelling of transport noise and derivation of noise zones under Noise Exposure Categories A to D given in Planning Policy Guidance Note 24, Noise and Planning. Advice on designing and deploying acoustic barriers to attenuate road traffic noise at key locations was also provided.

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA), Scotland, UK

Research and appraisal

RSK prepared the SEA environmental report for the Scottish Government’s Lowlands and Uplands Scotland European Regional Development Fund Operational Programme 2007–2013. This study included research and appraisal of land-use planning, flood risk assessment, biodiversity and habitats, contaminated land use, plus sustainable transport and energy opportunities. Consultations were carried out to inform the development of the final operational programme

Tidal power, Mersey Estuary, UK

Marine-power generation and technology

The Mersey Estuary has one of the UK’s largest tidal ranges and is considered one of the best locations in the country for tidal power, potentially supplying a substantial portion of Liverpool and the wider Merseyside region’s energy needs. However, it is also an ecologically diverse and internationally important area. RSK was responsible for various environmental assessments within the Buro Happold consortium that were included in the 2007 feasibility study prepared by leading experts in marine-power generation and technology. RSK was also responsible for the engineering, regeneration and environmental assessment.

Sheffield City Airport and Heliport, UK

Regional airport development

RSK provided an EIA for the Blue Skies business park at Sheffield City Airport. This 23‑ha development is adjacent to the airport and Sheffield Business Park. The £100-million project required the runway length to be reduced and the associated air traffic capability restricted to light aircraft and helicopters.


Thameslink Programme, London, UK

Ecological studies for strategic rail link

RSK was lead ecological adviser for the original Thameslink Programme capacity enhancement project and subsequent developments on this highly-strategic £5.5-billion project. Our involvement covered all assessment process stages, including an ecological background data search and extended Phase 1 habitat, National Vegetation Classification and protected species surveys. RSK was able to survey the off-rail and rail-side area because our staff met personal track safety training criteria. We compiled the ecology chapter for the environmental statement and worked closely with Network Rail’s team to ensure ecological issues were dealt with at appropriate stages to prevent delays.

Salisbury Plain environmental assessment and land management, UK

Reducing the impact of heavy-tracked vehicles

RSK’s EIA and mitigation strategy for the impacts of increased heavy-tracked vehicles use on the Salisbury Plain military training area included specific measures to preserve the area’s major archaeological and natural ecological resources. We produced a summary document on Army training and the natural and human environment on and around Salisbury Plain training area that the Defence Estates now uses as the template for all its environmental assessments.


Sustainable town extensions, East Anglia, UK

Working within the local development framework

RSK has helped to promote sustainable town extensions comprising 1,500 homes, mixed commercial and community developments and associated transport infrastructure to three historic East Anglian market towns through the Local Development Framework process. This involved an independent scrutiny of shortlisted Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment sites to judge site suitability and residential development deliverability. Flood risk appraisal and sustainable drainage issues were critical in a region known to be facing serious climate change impacts.

River Don third crossing, Aberdeen, UK

Multi-disciplinary approach

RSK prepared the EIA and the environmental statement for Aberdeen’s ‘Access From the North Proposals’ - the third River Don highway crossing scheme - designed to relieve congestion on two existing bridges. Later, we added a stage 2 EIA and associated project, programme and cost management. Public consultations, baseline surveys, an impact assessment, mitigation measures involving all environmental disciplines and the preparation of a construction environmental management plan were also provided.

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