Environment News

Grand opening of the UKs first large scale Carbon Capture and Utilisation Project

AXIS is delighted to have been invited to join TCE to celebrate the official opening of their Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) Plant in Northwich. It is the first large-scale CCU project of its kind in the UK, and represents a world first in capturing and purifying carbon dioxide from power generation plant emissions for use as a key raw material in the manufacture of pharmaceutical grade sodium bicarbonate. The plant is capable of capturing 40,000t CO2e per year, and will reduce carbon emissions at the plant by 11 per cent.  TCE exports 60 per cent of its sodium bicarbonate production in the UK to over 60 countries across the globe, and the CCU project is intended as a springboard for TCE to unlock further expansion into its export markets. 

Said David Adams, Director at AXIS, “We’re proud to have been responsible for the coordination, drafting and submission of all the EIA and planning application documents in the process of securing planning permission for the plant. We worked closely with the technical staff and proactively engaged with Cheshire West and Chester Council, and other key stakeholders in order to secure planning permission inside the statutory 16-week determination period. Post grant of planning permission, we were commissioned to ensure all schemes required by condition were submitted and discharged in a timely and efficient manner so that implementation of the project could proceed to commissioning in accordance with the clients overall project programme.”

“This is an exciting time for TCE, and the official opening of the plant represents the culmination of much hard work and dedication by the whole development team. AXIS is honoured to be part of that team, and thrilled to mark this significant milestone with all involved.”

Axis energy team helps Peel NRE secure planning permission for their latest Plastics to Hydrogen facility in West Dunbartonshire

More hydrogen-related good news! In 2019 we gained planning permission for the UKs very first Plastics to Hydrogen facility at Protos in Cheshire. This time we’re delighted to have helped Peel NRE secure planning permission for their latest Plastics to Hydrogen facility in West Dunbartonshire, on the banks of the River Clyde.

Image credit: Peel NRE

The plans were approved by the West Dunbartonshire Planning Committee and include the provision of a hydrogen refuelling station.

Laura Mckey, Axis Project Lead, said:This project will deliver a sustainable solution for the management of non-recyclable plastic by converting it into hydrogen, which can then be used as a clean fuel for HGVs, buses and cars.

We’re proud of our energy team who continue to lead on a variety of national hydrogen-related projects, helping the UK to achieve the targets set out within the Energy Security Strategy and deliver on our Net Zero commitments.”

Richard Barker, Development Director at Peel NRE, said: This is a fantastic moment for West Dunbartonshire and the surrounding area. It shows how the UK is innovating when it comes to rolling out new net zero technologies. The facility will address the dual challenge of both tackling our problem plastic whilst creating hydrogen, a sustainable fuel for future generations.

“Whilst the focus must remain on removing plastic from society, there are still end of life plastics that need managing. The £20m plant will play a pivotal role in making the best use of non-recyclable material, with the resulting hydrogen able to help cut carbon emissions from vehicles.”

AXIS Secures Planning Consent for Zenobē’s World First 100MW Reactive Power Battery Project in Capenhurst

The project will be the world’s first battery to absorb reactive power directly from the grid, helping stabilise the system and enable further adoption of renewable power sources.

  • The 100MW battery will be the first contracted project in the world to absorb reactive power directly from a transmission network;
  • The largest battery in Europe when commissioned to connect on a transmission network at 275,000 volts;
  • The project is the first in England to receive planning permission under the revised planning regime allowing battery projects over 50MW to be approved locally;
  • Zenobē’s site will address power supply issues in the Mersey region with a reliable reactive power service, delivering clean and secure energy at a substantially lower cost to consumers;
  • Over the next 15 years, the project is forecast to remove 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 20,000 acres of mature forest (1,000,000 trees) or taking 216,044 diesel and petrol cars off the road;
  • The battery is due to be operational in April 2022 and accelerate the UK’s uptake of renewable energy.
Smaller Example of Battery Storage Site

Setting a precedent for future projects globally, this is a huge step for the UK as it focuses on building back greener and drives towards its net-zero by 2050 pledge. As the UK continues to adopt renewable power generation, managing voltage levels and ensuring reactive power management is vital. Over the next 15 years, the project is forecast to remove 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 20,000 acres of mature forest (1,000,000 trees) or taking 216,044 diesel and petrol cars off the road.

The Capenhurst project was commissioned as a direct response to the National Grid’s pathfinder programme, seeking to solve the challenge of reactive energy management through the use of innovative technology.

The project is also the first of its kind to be approved under the new revised planning regime. Designed to help bring sustainable solutions onto the grid, the change allows batteries larger than 50MW to be granted planning permission locally rather than by the national approval body.

Phillip Roden, Director at AXIS, said:

“This is a huge milestone not just for AXIS, but for the UK and its ambitions in the race to NetZero. Battery storage will play a major role in moving the UK from carbon intensive to emission free power. This is the reason why the UK government has identified energy  storage as one of the UK’s ‘Eight Great Technologies’.”

“AXIS specialists supplied a range of services to Zenobē from facilitating the planning application, to ensuring the design mitigates environmental effects, coordinating specialist environmental studies, and liaising with Zenobē and Cheshire West and Cheshire Council during determination. It’s fantastic this pioneering work has come to fruition and the North West is yet again leading the way to a more sustainable future.”

James Basden, Co-Founder and Director at Zenobē Energy, said:

“The Capenhurst project is a great example of the pioneering solutions businesses like ours can bring to the table when industry innovation is encouraged by up-to-date legislation.

“As we move to a cleaner energy system, batteries like this one will play a vital role in stabilising the grid and ultimately enabling a greener, more sustainable, Britain. We will look to replicate this solution nationwide, working with government and industry to stabilise the UK energy system, push energy prices down and ensure an emission-free future”.

Smaller Example of Battery Storage Site

Zenobē’s project will optimise the absorption of reactive power as well as operating the active power services concurrently. The design of the Capenhurst site has been specially crafted to ensure there is limited disruption to the local community. As part of the development, several habitat enhancement areas will also be built.

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AXIS Secures Consent for the Redevelopment of Perry Barr Household Waste Recycling Centre and Waste Transfer Station

Environmental planning consultancy AXIS has secured planning consent for the redevelopment of a major waste recycling facility in Birmingham. The site, which is located on Holford Drive, is operated by Veolia Environmental Services on behalf of Birmingham City Council.

The project will improve essential services for the public, improve the safety of the site, and significantly enhance the local community and environment in advance of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Existing Site

The site has been used for waste management purposes for more than 60 years and is one of five household waste recycling centres in Birmingham operated by Veolia on behalf of the Council.

The existing Waste Transfer Station is located within a former incinerator building which has been on site since 1970 and is approximately 30m in height. Following the closure of the incinerator, the building was retrofitted to operate as a Waste Transfer Station. Given the height of this structure, it is widely visible in the surrounding area.

The other buildings on site are in a state of disrepair and need replacing.

The Redevelopment

The redevelopment will vastly improve the appearance of the site which is currently dominated by the large concrete incinerator building. The new buildings will be modern and bespoke, designed to ensure they are fit-for-purpose and more in keeping with the surroundings.

The layout of the recycling centre has been designed to offer an enhanced recycling experience to Birmingham residents visiting the facility, with improved parking and a safer experience utilising the split level design. Improved operational efficiency offers residents more opportunity to recycle while reducing the time spent on site.

The creation of a split-level facility will remove the need for visitors to climb steps to off-load waste into containers, improving health and safety for the public. The revised layout also results in a greater capacity for vehicles queueing off the public highway. Another safety improvement is the new site entrance for the Household Waste Recycling Centre which will separate waste lorries from private vehicles.

New structures will include a new 99 metre-long waste transfer station, open-air skips for different types of waste, and a main office and welfare building with more facilities.

The development will introduce attractive planting at the site entrance and tree planting along the site boundary. The construction programme is scheduled to commence this summer and will last approximately 80 weeks.

David Adams, Director at AXIS, said, “The Perry Barr redevelopment is a great example of what we at AXIS do on a day-to-day basis. Bringing forward essential projects that improve the local environment, provide essential services to the public, and help generate inward investment for our clients and the wider community.

The improvements this development will deliver will be significant to the local community, and will enhance appearance of the area for locals and for those visiting Perry Barr for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

David Adams

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Perry Barr will be the home of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. As a result of this, the area has seen significant investment and redevelopment in recent years which the new development will serve once complete. The demolition of the former incinerator will also greatly improve the appearance of the local area in advance of the Commonwealth Games.

Environmental planning experts at AXIS acted as project managers and provided planning, landscape and transport support.

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Plans Announced for 702-Bed Student Accommodation at the Island Quarter

Plans submitted by AXIS for the latest stage of The Island Quarter development will feature accommodation for Nottingham’s growing student population, with the developer behind the scheme submitting plans to Nottingham City Council on 4 May.

The Island Quarter Student Accommodation

The designs show a 702-bed purpose-built student development, featuring a range of accommodation types including studios and cluster living.

Amenities for the students in this latest phase of The Island Quarter – which is set to be available from September 2023 – include high-level sky lounges that offer projected views across the city and a pavilion with views onto a private courtyard space that will provide the opportunity for working, socialising, dining and exercising.

The Island Quarter Student Accommodation

The student accommodation will support The Island Quarter’s plans for intergenerational living across the site, with rental apartments forming part of phase 1B – which is currently in for planning – and future plans for family housing.

AXIS has been heavily involved in the scheme from the beginning, responsible for all town planning, external works design and transportation planning services, and has developed placemaking and landscaping content for the wider development masterplan.

David Jones, AXIS

David Jones, Director at AXIS, said: “It’s great to see this significant development reach another milestone. This high-end student accommodation and supporting amenities will provide young people with a fantastic environment to support their education, health and their wellbeing.”

Jon Mason, AXIS

Jon Mason, Landscape Technical Director at AXIS said: “Placemaking has been central to AXIS’ work on this phase of the development. We’re extremely proud our work is supporting the local economy and universities by providing an exemplary standard of residential living to students.”

Christopher Ware, property director at Conygar, said: “The plans submitted today are an exciting step for The Island Quarter development. Nottingham has a fantastic reputation as a university city, and the growth of the student population over the last few years reflects that. Purpose built student accommodation means more choice for students and less on them to live in traditional houses in residential areas of the city.

Our aim for The Island Quarter is true intergenerational living, with housing and accommodation that works for all. One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic has been that people of all ages are reassessing their relationship with where they live, and we want to create places and spaces where people can live, work and thrive.”

The Island Quarter masterplan, which received outline planning approval in April 2019, has been designed with a full lifecycle of uses, including hotels and hospitality, office space and community living. It will introduce a network of public realm and access routes for pedestrians and cyclists, with green spaces at the heart of the plans.

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AXIS Leads Successful Planning Permission for First Enviroo Plant

Specialist PET (polyethylene terephthalate) recycler, Enviroo has had its planning application approved for its first plastic recycling facility in the UK. The facility will be able to re-use 100% of the PET it takes in and help recycle some of the 4.9 million tonnes of plastic waste created in the UK annually. 

Protos Enviroo Factory

The successful application, led and submitted by leading North West planning and environmental consultancy AXIS, means the plastic recycling facility will be operational in Summer 2022 at Peel NRE’s – part of Peel L&P – 54-hectare strategic energy and resource hub, Protos, near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

The facility will take PET – the main material used for food and drinks packaging such as plastic bottles and certain food packaging – and convert it into the raw material for new food-grade packaging. It will see an investment of around £20 million into the local economy and create 50 new, permanent jobs.

Enviroo will use proven technology to sort and wash the waste, before creating r-PET (recycled -PET) pellets that can be used by packaging manufacturers to create new packaging products. This technology is able to re-use 100% of the PET it takes in. 

This will become increasingly important from this time next year, when a new law will see any packaging that contains less than 30% recycled PET taxed. Some manufacturers have gone further, pledging to include up to 50% recycled material in their packaging under the UK Plastics Pact. The facility will therefore help to meet growing UK demand for recycled PET.

Andrew Russell, AXIS

Andrew Russell, Director at AXIS said: “We’re delighted to have secured the planning consent for this groundbreaking development, which will help reduce the levels of plastic waste generated in the UK each year. The North West is really leading the way in enabling the UK to meet our climate change obligations as part of achieving NetZero by 2050.”

Ahmed Detta, CEO & Founder of Enviroo, said: “We are delighted to have our planning application approved. After a positive consultation with the community, we now look forward to being able to get down to business and deal with plastic waste here on our shores and importantly help to create a greener North West. Our first facility will hopefully be one of many as Enviroo look to provide a solution for packaging manufacturers who are preparing for the upcoming plastic tax legislation. Our facilities will provide the recycled PET manufacturers need in their products, while reducing the amount of virgin plastic.”

Enviroo’s first facility is at the £165m Plastic Park at Protos, which will cluster together plastic recycling and recovery technologies to create value from plastic waste, helping to avoid it ending up in landfill, exported overseas or in our oceans.

Jayne Hennessy, Development Manager at Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P said: “Less than one third of all plastic waste in the UK is recycled. We are creating the UK’s first Plastic Park at Protos which will increase recycling rates, reducing landfill and the export of waste. This will be done by clustering together different technologies, including Enviroo’s PET recycling facility and the plastic to hydrogen facility also consented at Protos. We will be able to use technology and improved infrastructure to process many types of plastics collected by local authorities. Hopefully giving them the confidence to collect a wider range of plastic in the future”.

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AXIS Secure Planning Permission for 50MW Solar Farm in East Cambridgeshire

In August 2020, on behalf of AGR & Fenland Farming Ltd, AXIS secured planning permission for a large-scale solar farm adjacent to National Grid’s Burwell substation, East Cambridgeshire.

AXIS co-ordinated the Environmental Impact Assessment and planning submission for this sensitive site on the edge of Cambridgeshire’s Fenland landscape.  Landscape integration and screening will be provided through the construction of extensive reedbeds around the perimeter of the solar farm.  The proposed reedbeds combined with species rich grassland and removal of land from intensive agricultural use would result in substantial net biodiversity gains within the site.  In the long term the reedbeds will support National Trust’s Wicken Fen Vision, which seeks to re-wild large areas of the Fenland landscape between Wicken and Cambridge.

The application was approved unanimously by the East Cambridgeshire planning committee following officer recommendation for approval.   The sensitive landscape mitigation provided by the reedbeds and the acknowledged need for increased renewable energy to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions were key considerations in the planning balance.

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AXIS Places Development Consent Order (DCO) Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) for Extension to Allington IWMF on Public Deposit

AXIS has placed on public deposit a PEIR on behalf of FCC Environment (UK) Ltd in respect of an extension to the existing Allington Integrated Waste Management Facility located near Maidstone in Kent.  The proposed scheme would add a new waste treatment line to complement an existing three-line EfW facility.  This would enable FCC to generate up to an additional 32MW of energy through the treatment of approximately 350,000 tonnes of residual waste each year.  The result of the proposed extension is an extended station with a generating capacity of more than 50MW.  The scheme is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) under the Planning Act 2008, thereby requiring a DCO to operate.  The PEIR has been placed on public deposit for a period of 8 weeks up to the 14th September 2020. 

Following completion of the statutory consultation process, AXIS will consider all feedback received and continue to develop the DCO proposal in advance of completing the Environmental Statement.  The DCO application will then be submitted to PINS later this year, ahead of public examination and ultimately determination by the Secretary of State.

Integrated Waste Management Facility Aerial 3D Image

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AXIS Double Success at Salford Planning Committee!

AXIS helps secure two planning consents at the same planning committee session.  The two unrelated consents demonstrate the breadth of AXIS’ skills and the value of the company’s long experience in navigating potentially contentious major developments through the planning process.

Development at City Airport & Heliport (Barton Aerodrome)

AXIS has secured planning consent, on behalf of City Airport Ltd and Peel Land & Property Ltd, for an airfield safety scheme comprising import of inert materials to regrade land, divert a watercourse, partially infill a Site of Biological Importance and create compensatory habitat. AXIS assisted in the design of the scheme, including provision of detailed phasing proposals and specialist ‘instant’ landscape restoration, as a critical aspect of the proposal is to ensure that the Airport and Heliport remains operational while infilling progresses. Isopachyte information was produced, to control the height of moving plant in zones adjacent to the runways. As the Airport is a CAA-licensed facility, the AXIS team also had to ensure that proposals met their strict safety criteria.

AXIS also negotiated with Greater Manchester Ecology Unit to agree acceptable compensatory habitat for that lost to the scheme, prepared a whole-Airport Landscape & Ecological Management Plan for the long-term management of the site, assisted the Principal Designer in discharging his duties and contributed to the Site Works Information for tender.

AXIS continues to assist City Airport and Peel Land & Property in delivering the scheme, focussing on planning, landscape design and ecology.

Anchorage Quay, Salford Quays

AXIS assisted Cole Waterhouse to secure outline planning permission for a new residential apartment scheme of up to 290 units on the site of the former Barclays Bank office building at Anchorage Quay, Salford.

AXIS assisted with preparing the Transport Assessment / Travel Plan and in negotiating the scale and nature of highway-related S106 planning obligations.

AXIS’s Transport Planning team were able to demonstrate, through a combination of technical analysis and pro-active negotiations with Urban Vision that the 38 car parking spaces proposed (12.7%) would be acceptable to serve the scheme.

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AXIS Secures Planning Consent for another 49.5MWe Gas Peaking Plant

AXIS has secured planning consent, on behalf of Harbour Energy Ltd, for a 49.5MWe Gas Peaking Plant in the Green Belt to the west of National Grid’s Supergrid Substation, Capenhurst, Cheshire West and Chester.

Working closely with Harbour Energy, AXIS co-ordinated the planning application, green belt assessment, site search, noise, air quality, ecological and Landscape and Visual assessments. AXIS addressed consultation responses and managed the process during determination.

AXIS has secured planning consent for over 200MW of Gas Peaking Plants across the UK.

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