28 Nov 2019
Our Archaeology and Heritage team helped Port of Tilbury London secure the Best Project award at this year’s National Infrastructure Planning Awards.
Located on the north bank of the River Thames, Tilbury2 will be the UK’s largest unaccompanied ferry port. This Nationally Significant Infrastructure project includes a RoRo terminal, a construction materials and aggregates terminal and associated infrastructure including rail and road facilities and revisions to the existing marine infrastructure.
The site presented several built heritage and archaeology challenges for the team. Lying in an extremely sensitive historic environment within the vicinity of a Scheduled Monument and grade I listed building and conservation area, the impact on the settings of these designated heritage assets needed to be treated cautiously.
The site was also considered archaeologically sensitive with the potential for geoarchaeological remains of national importance to be impacted by the proposed development. In addition, with the proposed marine works to the existing river jetty including creation of a new RoRo berth and associated dredging of berth pockets, the possible impact on marine archaeology of potential local or national importance also needed to be fully considered.
The main statutory consultees were Historic England, Thurrock Council and Gravesham Borough Council and most of the issues raised were resolved through robust baseline reports and investigations and regular consultation both pre submission and throughout the examination process.
During the examination process our team responded to specialist questions asked by PINS in relation to both heritage and terrestrial and marine archaeology and we presented evidence relating to these issues at two Issue Specific Hearings.
The potential impact on the archaeology (both terrestrial and marine) was addressed through a programme of agreed mitigation measures set out in two Written Schemes of Investigation (WSI) which were certified at the grant of the Development Consent Order (DCO). Following the granting of the DCO in 2019, we have been project managing both the terrestrial and marine archaeological mitigation measures required in accordance with the DCO and the approved WSIs.
The scale of the new port had the potential to impact on a substantial number of heritage assets so our propositions had to be robust with clear public benefits. One of the main benefits was an Active Travel Plan which better links the town of Tilbury to the river front where the heritage assets such as Tilbury Fort and Coalhouse Fort can be accessed and appreciated.
“This project has been hugely rewarding due to the fantastic attitude of our client and the impressive professionalism of the specialist multi-disciplinary team they assembled” adds Veronica Cassin - Deputy Operational Director.
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