Public infrastructure projects such as the delivery of road, rail, port and flood defense infrastructure have never been more necessary, but have never been scrutinised as closely or opposed as vigorously. Projects that are often accepted as being in the common good, will inevitably give rise to objections from some quarters for some reason. Therefore, these projects must be progressed methodically and following the highest standards to ensure the final design is fully considered, and stands the best possible chance of securing consent while being accepted as being in the common good.
Particularly in the realm of public infrastructure projects, the planning process, environmental impact assessment process and the requirements of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and appropriate assessment (AA) process have become inextricably linked. Any significant public infrastructure project will have to be acutely aware of the inter-relationships between these three processes, and more often than not will have to address the requirements of all three processes.
Given the propensity for legal challenges to such infrastructure projects, and the long timeframes associated with project design and planning processes, the intricacies and requirements of these three separate processes must be individually and collectively addressed for a project to secure consent and withstand challenge.
With planning, environmental impact assessment and ecology are core company specialisms, MKO are extremely well-positioned to help deliver public infrastructure projects that take account of current and emerging requirements and improve industry best-practice.