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Snetterton biomass plant, UK

Iceni Energy wished to develop a 40MW power generation plant at Snetterton in Norfolk, to burn biomass, instead of traditional fossil fuels, as a renewable source of electrical energy.

Native tree and shrub planting helped blend new vegetation into the local planting character, increased biodiversity and improved local habitats for wildlife.

We were appointed to provide environmental and planning services including planning support, landscape and visual impact assessment, photomontages, landscape design, site waste management and transport assessment.

The landscape and visual impact assessment was carried out in accordance with 'Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Assessment' produced by the Landscape Institute and IEMA. An appraisal of the landscape character and visual amenity was undertaken initially through desk study and fieldwork to provide sufficient information against which levels of potential impacts were predicted, together with the assessment of the significance of such impacts.

Zones of visual influence mapping were modelled using specialist software and a set of photomontages were produced to inform the assessment and demonstrate the potential effects of the operational stage of the scheme on the key views of the site.

Challenges

Potential visual impact of the site on the surrounding landscape was a concern both of local communities and the planning authority.

Solutions

Extensive mitigation measures were proposed and developed not only to provide new screen planting to the boundaries of the site, but also to reinforce the existing planting with supplementary native buffer planting to screen the structures from northern views. The appropriate native tree and shrub planting also helped blend new vegetation into the local planting character, increased biodiversity and improved local habitats for wildlife.

Value and benefits

Our team was involved in the feasibility study which identified alternative sites for the biomass plant. Using our expertise and experience we advised on the most appropriate site, helping the client to reduce the overall time and cost of the development.

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