The challenge

Development and construction activities offshore can often be subject to restrictions associated with the marine historic environment.

The range of general and project specific requirements and conditions that can be applied to address the marine historic environment can be complex and difficult to navigate. Negotiating and progressing effective and proportionate mitigation strategies requires an in-depth understanding of marine heritage, relevant legislative, planning and licensing considerations, and the potential impacts offshore and coastal activities can have on heritage assets.

Our approach

Marine heritage comprises a range of heritage assets associated with:

  • the prehistoric occupation of terrestrial and coastal landscapes when sea levels were lower
  • maritime activities and human exploitation of the marine environment, including the use of ships and boats and supporting infrastructure, such as port and harbour installations, coastal defences,
  • fish traps and intertidal trackways or military defences
  • the development of fixed-wing aviation in the first half of the 20th century.

With any offshore and coastal development or activity there is a risk of direct and indirect effects upon identified ‘known’ heritage assets and upon further ‘potential’ or undiscovered heritage assets. There is also the potential for impacts on the wider heritage resource, such as an important palaeolandscape or historic seascape.

Our experts support clients through the design, consenting and development process, offering independent and impartial advice from project conception to construction, and subsequently through operation. Working in partnership with our clients and wider project teams we offer a service that integrates onshore and offshore requirements to provide a seamless transition from terrestrial through to coastal and intertidal, and to the marine historic environment.

The Royal HaskoningDHV team:

  • identifies and understands archaeological risks early in the planning process and project life-cycle
  • assesses and finds the best solutions for suitable and proportionate evaluation and subsequent mitigation of potential impacts on heritage assets
  • helps reduce the possibility of adverse financial and commercial impacts on project programme, delivery and budget.

Our solutions and experience

Royal HaskoningDHV provides consultancy services for a wide range of public and private sector clients and is regularly appointed to independently audit and progress Environmental Statements for high profile projects.

Our comprehensive understanding of legislation and planning policy and extensive experience of regulatory compliance requirements, both nationally and internationally, underpins a wide range of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) technical services. We are responsible for the project management and associated technical delivery of numerous archaeological and cultural heritage projects, as well as historic environment chapters of EIAs, for development sectors including ports and harbours, offshore renewables (wind, wave and tidal), capital, maintenance and aggregate dredging and flood and coastal risk management.

We successfully deliver desk-based assessments and appraisals, impact assessment and mitigation strategies including written schemes of investigation, method statements and reporting protocols for archaeological discoveries.

Scope of services provided

Royal HaskoningDHV is rated in the global top ten of independently-owned, international engineering and environmental consultancies. We have over 6,000 staff who provide an extensive range of multi-disciplinary services in industry and buildings, energy, mining, water, maritime engineering, transport and aviation. Our company can trace its roots back over 130-years and this experience gives us an unrivalled understanding of the challenges facing industry today and in the future.

Our marine heritage specialists sit within a multi-disciplinary environment team. We have in-house experts in traffic and transport, ecology, landscape, noise and vibration, air quality, geology, land quality, contaminated land, hydrogeology, geomorphology, carbon and sustainability, EIA and consenting, and social and health impact assessment.

Royal HaskoningDHV supports the full range of marine heritage and archaeological services including:

  • Project appraisal, screening and scoping.
  • Statutory consultee and stakeholder engagement.
  • Navigation of historic environment legislation and policy within the UK and abroad.
  • Desk-based assessment and foreshore reconnaissance (walkover) surveys.
  • Impact assessment and Environmental Statement chapters.
  • Mitigation strategies and archaeological written schemes of investigation.
  • Consenting and examination support.
  • Retained Archaeologist, agreement and implementation of work package method statements and reporting protocols and the discharge of licensing conditions.
  • Facilitation of offshore survey and assessment (marine geophysical, geotechnical, diver and ROV survey).
  • Subcontractor procurement, coordination and management.
  • Integration of offshore with onshore heritage services to ensure effective consideration of the historic environment within and across terrestrial, intertidal and marine environments.