RSK Landscape (now part of Stephenson Halliday) provided the landscape and visual impact assessment, landscape masterplanning and expert witness support at the public inquiry for the redevelopment of a 54-ha site on reclaimed marshland next to the Manchester Ship Canal near Chester, UK.
Integration of the built structures into the wider landscape and the mitigation of visual intrusion were achieved by careful selection of substantial mitigation planting, tree-lined roadside verges and ecological areas. Climate resilience has been factored in, including tree planting to withstand drought conditions and provide shade and clean air, together with sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). SuDS have been combined with a network of wetland habitats to support local vole populations and attract further native fauna. Species-rich hedgerows, native woodland and wild flower and grass meadows have been introduced. The RSK habitat creation and management plan, designed to provide the guiding principles for the detailed design of each of the ecological mitigation areas, has been implemented through consultation with the RSPB, Natural England, the Environment Agency, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire Wildlife Trust.