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Project background

BAM Nuttall commissioned ADAS to undertake ecological surveys at Shoreham Viaduct in West Sussex, due to planned maintenance works. In order to facilitate the maintenance works, a redundant gas main, running along the length of the viaduct, required removal.

Following an EcoCheck™ survey, ADAS recommended full visual inspections of the viaduct brick abutments for bats, as well as consideration of timing of works for wintering birds on the estuary and breeding birds within the scrub, scattered trees and viaduct structure (including provision of Ecological Clerk of Works duties). Other considerations included reptiles due to the well-known large population of Common Lizards on the estuary embankment.

Actions taken

The viaduct crosses the Adur Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), meaning several consents and licences were
needed to allow the gas main removal works to go ahead; ADAS therefore applied for and was granted: Flood Defence Consent (Environment Agency), Marine Consent (Marine Management Organisation) and SSSI Assent (Natural England).

The consent applications were supported by an Environmental Impact Statement, summarising the working methods and the mitigation required to enable the works to go ahead with minimal impact upon the estuary.

ADAS maintained an open communication with the relevant statutory bodies and the client throughout the application process to enable adoption of suitable working methods which did not result in an impact to the estuary and its ecological features. This included timing works to avoid excessive disturbance during the main over-wintering bird season.


Works were completed in time and photographs of the mudflats provided to the relevant statutory bodies to demonstrate that no significant impact occurred to the estuary. ADAS was then commissioned to apply for consent for the main works.

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