Environmental consultancy to provide guidance on £25 million expansion project
Shepway District Council has appointed environmental consultancy Ecus to provide ecological advice on the proposed expansion of Lydd Airport (London Ashford).
Ecus is providing expert and impartial guidance to the council on the airport’s £25 million development, of which key elements are a new terminal building and an extension to the runway.
Lydd Airport is within an internationally important site for nature and the environment, which includes Dungeness Special Area of Conservation and Romney Marsh.
A variety of reports and studies have been undertaken by the airport’s developers to monitor, record and evaluate the effects of the development. These include a survey of water voles, surface-water drainage studies, an examination of aquatic and amphibious invertebrates, and an updated ‘bat foraging and commuting behavioural study’.
Other studies deal with grass snakes, the common lizard, medicinal leeches and great crested newts. Once completed, the airport will submit a protection, construction and mitigation plan for these species to Shepway District Council’s planning department.
‘Our remit is to provide an independent and impartial assessment of the airport’s proposals to enable the council to make an informed decision on the airport’s extensive mitigation proposals for safeguarding the national and internationally important ecology of the site,’ explains Chris John, technical director for ecology at Ecus.
Ecus has worked successfully on many similar projects across the UK, he adds, ‘and we are aware that this is a key local issue, so it is important that all of the information submitted is subject to a detailed technical review and that appropriate solutions are found to enable the sustainable development of the airport’.