St Austell Bay Resilient Regeneration (StARR) Project

CEEQUAL Excellent Sustainability rating (81.8%) – Interim Client & Outline Design Award
Version 5, September 2020 | Cornwall, UK

Assessors: Philip Charles, AECOM
Verifier:  Catherine Pinney, CERES Associates
Designer: Cormac Solutions Ltd (AECOM)
Client: Cornwall Council

Project Summary

The St Austell Bay Resilient Regeneration (StARR) project is a combination of urban and upstream interventions, which aims to reduce flood risk to communities living and working in the St Austell Bay area. The focus of the Interim Award assessment was on the Urban Infrastructure elements.

The project-wide aims are:

  • Naturalised design – Natural flood management is the process where natural processes are used to store water in areas that poses less risk to flooding properties and infrastructure. Using a catchment-based approach there are generally three mechanisms that are commonly used for natural flood management. These are 1) increasing infiltration 2) storing water 3) slowing the flow of water. The StARR project is adopting all three of these measures in order to reduce flood risk within Par and St Blazey.
  • To address the immediate flood risk management issues in Par and St Blazey – such as dealing with the issues that led to the 2010 flooding.
  • To ensure that current flood risk management system is in good condition for the next 25 years.
  • To recognise that the Project is the first part in a longer-term aspiration to address flood risk management in Par and St Blazey.
  • To prepare the community of Par and St Blazey to adapt for climate change.
  • To ensure this project contributes to the economic and social regeneration of the area.
  • To achieve community and political support for the project.
  • Work in partnership with the community to co-design a flood risk management system that both protects and enhances the community and natural environment.

The project is receiving up to £7.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Additional funding is being provided by a variety of sources including DEFRA Growth funds, Flood Defence Grant in Aid, South West Water and Cornwall Council.

Achievements

Project Management

The aims of the interventions designed by AECOM take into account the principles of sustainable development. Such principles for the project include, but are not limited to a naturalised design for natural flood management, making sure the current flood risk management system is in good condition for the next 25 years and to work in partnership with the community to co-design a flood risk management system that both protects and enhances the community and natural environment.

People and Communities

There have been a number of consultations held by Cornwall Council, the client with stakeholders and with the community via workshops.
For one of the major schemes, Lavrean, consultation has included an Ecology Workshop, which has included the client’s Managing Agent MWJV, CORMAC, Natural England, University of Exeter, West Country Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency.

Land Use and Landscape

Site selection has undergone vigorous assessment with preferred scheme selection taking into consideration economic impacts, provisioning services, regulatory services, cultural services; and supporting services.

The Historic Environment

A Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) has been carried out for St Blazey by suitably qualified historical environment professionals. As part of this HIA there has been consultation with the Development Management Group Leader (Planning and Historic Environment) for Cornwall Council.

Ecology and Biodiversity

Appropriate surveys were carried out in 2019 by AECOM on behalf of CORMAC at Lavrean, White House Farm, Cornhill St. Blazey and Par Lane (within the urban infrastructure packages). Updated surveys will be undertaken closer to the planning application submission stage.

The Water Environment

Due to the project being intrinsically related to water issues, a number of key stakeholders including the Environment Agency, South West Water and the West Country Rivers Trust have been involved throughout the design stage. As a result of Ground Investigation, the Bull Engine Park detention basin will be lined to reduce risks associated with both infiltration of water into made ground and potential leaching of contaminants into shallow groundwater and direct entry of contaminated surface water run-off into shallow groundwater via an unlined basin.

Physical Resources – Use and Management (Energy, Water, Materials, Waste)

 

Policies & Targets

In addition to formal corporate level policies and targets for the Client and Designer making sure physical resources are used in the most efficient way in the design and construction process, project specific quantitative sustainability targets relating to resource efficiency were established during a workshop with the client team and CORMAC. Processes are in place to measure, monitor and report progress against these targets during construction of the urban infrastructure, White House Farm and Lavrean.

Long-term planned maintenance

  • The design of the slope angles at the ponds at Bull Engine Park have been changed from 1:3 to 1:4 to improve safe access for future maintenance, due to the limited space on site and restricted access.
  • All other ponds have a 1:3 slope allowing safe access and maintenance.
  • Untreated hardwoods will be specified to reduce maintenance and avoid chemical treatments.

Retention of existing structures and materials

  • Granite setts to be removed from the White House Farm intervention on the Par Riverbank for installation of culverts is anticipated to be re-used as part of the rock boulder trails within the urban infrastructure interventions at Aberdeen Close, Bull Engine Park, St Blazey Ponds and St Austell Road
  • Granite kerbing from Par Lane to facilitate the installation of the rain gardens is be re-used somewhere on wider StARR project or strategy for alternative re-use will be developed.

Transport

 

Site Compound & Betterment Post Construction

Consultation with St Blazey Cricket Club has been undertaken with regards to establishment of a temporary car park and pedestrian link for use by Doubletrees School during the construction of the tank solution. The car park is intended to remain in place following construction and completion of the Doubletrees school tank to provide legacy benefit for the Cricket Club and the wider community.

StARR Travel Plan

The Travel Plan mainly aimed at the Construction stage, whereby travel to intervention construction sites will be required. A centralised site office is currently being confirmed by CSL and this plan will be updated when this is confirmed.
The purpose of the StARR Travel Access Plan is to encourage new and existing staff to make informed decisions and consider all available travel options whilst travelling to intervention sites.
The StARR Project team is committed to the following objectives;

  • Encouraging sustainable travel;
  • Lessening traffic generation and its detrimental impacts;
  • Reducing carbon emissions and climate impacts;
  • Creating accessible workplaces;
  • Improving health outcomes and quality of life; and
  • Improving road safety.

What elements of this project highlight best practice and innovation?

There have been clear environmental and social targets set out since the start of the project making sure considerations are made early on during the design stage and can be carried through to the construction phase. Such targets give benchmarks for monitoring and reporting as the project progresses.

What were the drivers and perceived benefits for undertaking a CEEQUAL assessment on this project?

Funding condition from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).