Environmental screening

We investigate any potential impacts on the environment, wildlife and archaeology before a building project begins.

What does it involve?

We assess hundreds of schemes each year, ranging from replacing small pumping station to rebuilding treatment works.

The screening process is based on an extensive range of information brought together on our environmental geographical information system (GIS) as well as the environmental information we have on each of our operational sites.

We also check records of protected species sourced from the environmental record centres within our region and our own survey programme. We share any information about species diversity on our landholding with record centres.

Where our environmental screening indicates our work could potentially impact wildlife or sensitive habitats, our ecological team may carry out specialist surveys on the ground before construction begins.

Where we are unable to avoid impact, we may undertake specialist mitigation or reinstatement and seek consent from the appropriate regulators.

What do we look for?

The environmental screening process investigates the impact our work could have on:

  • landscapes
  • designated sites of conservation interest
  • wildlife
  • hedgerows and trees
  • archaeology and built heritage, including conservation areas and listed buildings
  • social issues, such as noise, odour and traffic
  • air emissions
  • watercourses and flooding.

If our work is likely to affect any of these areas, we mitigate our impact and gain consent where necessary.

Consulting national regulators

When screening a proposed development, we often need to consult with national regulators including:

  • English Heritage
  • Natural England
  • Environment Agency
  • local authorities
  • local groups, such as Wildlife Trusts.

In addition, we consult with ecological specialists about any potential environmental impact arising from our developments.

Doremouse curled up in the palm of a hand