Work on a unique industrial and wildlife project in North East Lincolnshire has been shortlisted for another national award in the local government “Oscars”.
The South Humber Gateway Mitigation Strategy, part of the council’s £42m SHIIP project, has been shortlisted in the prestigious Municipal Journal Awards this year. Which recognise the work of local government and their delivery partners.
This spring its developers were delighted to win the Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment category at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2020 – a major accolade for the work that has gone into its creation – and this further highlights the importance of the project to the area.
For the partnership team at ENGIE and North East Lincolnshire Council, the shortlisting further recognises how significant challenges were overcome and specialist bodies engaged to create a unique platform to protect wildlife.
Described as a ‘ground-breaking’ project, the team worked with Natural England, the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, the RSPB, the Humber Nature Partnership, the Environment Agency to create areas of wet and grass lands along the South Humber bank, which is a Humber Special Protection Area (SPA), SSSI and a Ramsar site (Natura 2000).
The approach enabled land at Cress Marsh to be developed for mitigation and it now contains a bird hide next to a large central lagoon, which feeds seven more water-filled ‘cells’ via pipework infrastructure.
This ‘offset’ land is available to businesses up front, allowing them to adhere to planning requirements with no delays. Such incentives, offered by the overall SHIIP project, were a factor in the decision of Velocys, supported by British Airways and Shell, to submit its application to site a waste-to-jet fuel refinery on the South Humber Bank.
As reported, Cress Marsh and the overall SHIIP programme is set to transform North East Lincolnshire’s industrial fortunes. Taking shape along the South Humber bank the project is being supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, (HLEP), the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLLEP) and North East Lincolnshire Council, under the management of ENGIE.
Council regeneration head Cllr John Fenty said of the shortlisting: “This is proof indeed of the innovative approach the team is taking to support businesses to develop or expand here whilst protecting the natural environment. We are delighted that this work has been recognised nationally once again.”