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Brilliant minds finding solutions to complex problems, made easy to understand. Making complex easy.

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Landscape of Valleys in wales and the transport network

Sustainability

Urbanisation

A465 Heads of the Valleys Section 2

ON THIS PAGE

The dualling of the A465 is a key component of the Welsh Government’s transport plans to improve access, safety and the economy in the valleys and South Wales. We have been appointed by Costain as the environmental consultants for Section 2 of the Heads of the Valleys scheme; connecting the M4 and Swansea to the A40/M50 route to the Midlands and providing an alternative route to the M4 between Newport and Swansea.

Project name

A465 Heads of the Valleys Section 2

Client

Costain on behalf of The Welsh Government

Location

Gilwern to Brynmawr, South Wales

Awards

- National Green Apple Award for Wales

- Gold Award for Environmental Best Practice at the International Green World Environment Awards (2018)

Services provided

- Environmental Impact Assessment

- Environmental coordination: design, heritage, landscape, ecology, site surveys

- Air quality

- Noise

- Public and key stakeholder consultation

- Monitoring and licencing species management

- Town Planning

- Arboriculture

- Expert witnesses for public inquiry

Landscape of Valleys in wales and the transport network

Solution

To address these unique and sensitive environmental challenges, we delivered a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment, working in close consultation with Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Natural Resources Wales and Cadw (Welsh Government advisors on heritage).

We also undertook an Assessment of Implications on European Sites (AIES) as required as part of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. Leading this assessment, we reviewed the effects of the scheme, including the additional land taken, construction and operation of the dual carriageway on the qualifying features of the SAC.

In order to protect the Lesser Horseshoe Bats, the scheme incorporated provisions including:

  • An extension of existing underground bat crossings
  • Acquisition of additional land in the Gorge to plant 148,000m² of woodland to mitigate bat foraging areas lost to the scheme
  • The construction of a significant new maternity roost building, already showing evidence of bats using this new roost
  • Erection of bat boxes and temporary screens to protect existing flight lines and connectivity to under road crossing during construction works.

 

Successful public local inquiry

As part of a Public Local Inquiry, we provided input and expert witnesses from five of our offices to advise on cultural heritage, air quality and climate impacts, noise, biodiversity, landscape and visual effects, land use, community and health impacts and habitats regulations.

At the Inquiry, the Inspector noted the proposals as acceptable and that there was an abundance of evidence to show that the scheme was compliant with local, regional and National Policy for Transport and the Economy. The strategies were noted as essential in order to minimise the adverse impact on the Brecon Beacons National Park that would otherwise occur.

 

2011

Tender support: design and pricing

2012-2013

Outline design, Environmental Impact Assessment and draft orders

2014

Public inquiry, inspector’s recommendations, secretary of state’s decision and confirmation of orders

2015-2021

Detailed design, construction and environmental monitoring

2022-2026

Monitoring the environmental aftercare period

£   336 m

Construction value

14

Major structures developed

8 km

In length

12.5 km

Retaining structures

1.2 million m³

Earthworks

148000 m2

Woodland planted in the Gorge to mitigate bat foraging areas lost to the scheme