Morgan Sindall leaves Great Crested Newt population undisturbed

Taking place in North Yorkshire, the joint venture project is aiming to upgrade the 38 kilometre A1 road between Leeming and Barton to a three-lane motorway. Due to a pond site containing an extensive Great Newt population existing on site, the original project design included the construction of two new aquatic habitats and the subsequent translocation of the newt population. However, the project team, in collaboration with design partner Aecom, investigated and implemented a redesign, allowing the existing pond habitat to remain undisturbed.

The initial design required the construction of a balancing pond, a temporary water storage facility, as well as a new, and permanent, pond environment for the newt population. Consequently, this proposed design would involve the creation of two new aquatic habitats, as well as the removal of the existing pond. Due to the high level of environmental disturbance and construction work associated with this, the Morgan Sindall and Carillion joint venture investigated different design and sequencing solutions. The resultant redesign involved the relocation of a proposed maintenance track, allowing the newt population to remain undisturbed whilst delivering an array of benefits to the overall scheme.

From an environmental perspective, such benefits include a minimised disturbance of the newt population, as well as the retention of an aquatic habitat that serves multiple functions for local biodiversity. From an economic perspective, benefits include the saving of circa £10,000 (as the requirement to construct additional aquatic habitats was removed), a significantly reduced post construction monitoring time and cost, and a reduced chance that delays will occur to the construction programme.