Magoosh GRE

A scoping report on the Beighton Extreme Sport Park proposal

| December 11, 2012

Introduction

1. Spatial Scope

The proposed site for the Beighton extreme sport park is located on the A57 which is the road connecting Sheffield city centre to junction 31 on the M1. Some of the local residential areas that surround the site include: Woodhouse, Hackenthorpe and Crystal Peaks, all of which could make up some for some of the workforce. Other local places of interest which could have an impact on the site include: the Shirebrook Nature Reserve, Westfield Sports Centre and Crystal Peaks shopping centre to the south. This can be seen more clearly in figure 1 and 2 below. The plot of land is currently owned by the Sheffield City Council and the developers are LBX Holdings Ltd who is based in Newcastle. 

1.1 Transport Links

As I mentioned before the site is located near the M1, which is the main motorway linking the south of Britain to the north. There is a tramline that runs from Sheffield city centre to Crystal Peaks one of the neighbouring residential areas and a bit further afield on the other side of the A57 there is Woodhouse railway station which again runs into the Sheffield city centre. The site would also be easily accessible for people living in the local areas that surround the proposed site. This can be viewed better in figure 1 and 2 below.

1.2 Employment

The project information (2011) states that 140 full time jobs will be necessary during a 25 year operation period. More on employment will be discussed in section 3.

 

This image is courtesy of www.MapQuest.com (2003) site accessed on (2011) from google images

Figure 1. This map shows the proposed site for the sports park which is highlighted in blue. As you can see it is located directly on the A57 and is very close to residential areas. The M1 is located just off to the right of the picture.

(Law) Motivation and managing diversity – Second Draft

 Photo courtesy of Stephen Jay (2011)

Figure 2. This is an aerial photograph of the site which is circled in orange, again showing the A57 on the left and some of the residential areas surrounding the site.

2. Life-cycle of activities and Physical Presence

2.1 Materials

Where possible materials will be used from local areas for the six major constructions in the proposed area. The access for the lorries bringing the materials should be fairly easy due to the M1 and A57 being so close. Particularly for the snowdome, skate park and canoe area, specialised materials will needed to be brought in to make them successful. Basic construction materials will be needed for the administration building and hotel such as; steel, timber and glass and tarmac would also be needed for the car park.  The project information hand out (2011) also states that 10,000 tonnes of topsoil will also be needed for landscaping.

2.2 Temporal Scope

According to the project information hand out (2011) the site will give 100 jobs for a 16 month construction phase with over 200,000 tonnes of materials being needed to complete the park. The hand out also states that these materials will be transported in 10,000 trips over a six month period assuming it is done in a six day week.

2.3 Dimensions

The dimensions, materials and layout in section 2.3 of each building are given in the Beighton Extreme Sports Park project information handbook (2011)

  • Snowdome – This building would be the largest, www.SkyscraperPage.com  (2011) state that the square footage of the Xscape in Milton Keynes is 55,000m2 with a 44m roof. Beighton snowdome will be a lot smaller compared to this with only a small selection of restaurants so the dimensions will total 5,000m2 with a height of just 30m.
  • Skate Park – This is an outdoor activity and will be 450m2; the height will be around 8m. A few bars will surround the skate park too adding to the area slightly.
  • Canoe Park – www.london2012.com (2011) states that their canoe run in Lee Valley is 300m long, again Beighton has a smaller area so the canoe run will only be 200m in length, with picnic areas surrounding the run and some restaurants.
  • Coach and Car Parking – Because this is a unique project and its easy accessibility the car park will be around 18,720m2 and floodlight. This includes all the circulation, floodlighting and bay parking areas. In total there will be enough bays for 590 cars 45 of which are for disabled drivers and in addition to this 120 spaces for overspill, plus 10 spaces for coaches.
  • Hotel – The hotel will be two floors and have a square footage of 3700m2, it will include the usual hotel amenities such as bar and two restaurants, there will also be 20 rooms on the ground floor and a further 80 on the second floor.
  • Administration Building – This will be 180m2 and will be built out of the same materials as the hotel which is timer steel and reinforced concrete.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Jay (2011)

Figure 3. This is another aerial photograph giving more detail into where the proposed buildings will be constructed.

3. Assessment of Environmental and Socio – Economic Effects/ Reasons for Scoping Report

3.1 Flora and Fauna

Currently the site is attempting to replant some trees and other smaller plants as shown in figure 4 below, this would ultimately be disrupted by the project. However new shrubs and trees would be planted if the site were constructed and many of the areas round the hotel, admin building and canoe run could retain the local flora and fauna.

Figure 4 shows some areas of Beighton Tip that has tried to be rehabilitated with trees and plants, some of this may be lost due to the construction plans.

3.2 Air and Noise Quality

The Park will undoubtedly increase traffic in the local area which in turn will increase noise and air pollution, this will partly be due to the proximity of the M1. In popular seasons such as the summer months And weekends the car park may reach its maximum capacity leading to some overspill into the local residential areas, which again would increase noise and air pollution. Because canoeing and skiing are very specialist sports and the site is not a natural habitat for either of these sports, a lot of energy will be used to pump water into the canoe run and ski slope for freezing, this process will lead to a decrease in air quality and may add to problems on a global scale.

3.3 Groundwater Problems

The project handbook (2011) states that 1 tonne of snow per day will be used and that inside the snow dome the temperature will be kept at around -2 C .In order for the snow to be produced 1500litres of water will be used per day with an underground tank storing 20,000litres. This could lead to some groundwater problems on the site if the tank were to break and lose water.

3.4 Light Pollution

Because the park will be open well into the night, it may cause problems for the local residential areas in terms of constant light during late hours. With the lights from the M25 so close by, the park may add significant light pollution to the local area. A strategic environmental assessment of Devon transport links (pp37:2006) identified some of the main problems linked with light pollution:

  • Light trespass: the intrusion of light into homes
  • Glare: unshielded bright lighting may be hazardous in a relatively small area
  • Sky Glow: the broad orange glow that prevents appreciation of the night sky

They discovered that these types of light pollution led to a loss of insects such as moths, disrupted bird migration patterns and even stunted tree and shrub growth.

3.5 Sewage, Waste and Litter

Currently there is a river running through the site which for the most part is underground. This is already has been polluted which is clear from the reddish  colour which is most probably iron oxides and large amount of litter, figure 5a and b highlights this ; the construction of the site will only increase the amount of sewage in the area which could cause some problems. There is water quality testing points all over the site which are clearly visible in figure 6. Before any work can take place a lot of the rubbish and graffiti will need to be cleaned not just in the site but on some of the walkways leading to the proposed area, this is shown in figures 7 and 8. Recycling points and rubbish bins will be put in place all over the proposed site so as to limit the amount of litter when the project has been constructed. Hopefully the extreme sports park will deter vandalism and litter in the local residential areas.

Figure 5a & b indicates the iron oxides (on the left) and possible other pollutants that inhibit the local stream that runs through the site

Figure 6 shows the water quality stations over the site

Figure 7 & 8 highlights the litter and graffiti problems that the sites has and will need to be addressed.

3.6 Socio-Economic

The site will increase traffic in the local residential areas as I have mentioned before and may cause problems in parking if the sports park is full. It could encourage people to use the local shopping centre at Crystal Peaks which in turn would improve cash flows for other local businesses and as I mentioned earlier it would also provide jobs for the local area.

Hopefully with more money being pumped into the park and its local businesses improvements could be made by the council on local problems such as: litter and graffiti in other areas outside the park, better transport links, better residential facilities or improvements on current roadways.

There is some competition in Xscape Castleford outside Leeds and Milton Keynes which are similar projects; however the main competitor is Sheffield Ski Village which has a dry ski slope. The proposed ski slope at Beighton uses real snow from frozen water which I believe would make it a lot more popular and with the other attractions more successful.

4. Mitigating Measures

4.1 Table of Mitigation Measures and Alternatives

Problem

Mitigation

Alternative

Car Park Overspill Reduce the size of some of the other proposed constructions and increase the size of the car park Using another site close by as extra car parking space
Increased Traffic Improve local road networks such as expanding either the M1 or A57 allowing more cars on the road at one time. Encourage more bus routes or easier access to tram lines meaning people from Sheffield would use public transport over cars which would reduce traffic Relocate proposed site to somewhere less residential, which would affect less residential areas and at a site that has even better transport links which could manage the amount of traffic generated by the sports park.
Flora and Fauna Loss Leave areas of current restoration as much as possible Introduce a new programme allowing restoration in other parts of the local area
Sewage and Waste Build more recycling and rubbish points on the site Recycle rubbish at legally and dump other waste and legal landfill sites
Air/Noise Quality Closing the park earlier and opening later, would reduce the amount of emissions and energy used, it would also decrease the noise created by the park at the later hours Using the site for other sports which require less energy and generate less noise such as indoor football, tennis etc.

4.2 Potential Dangers or Hazards

  • With such extreme sports there are always going to be risks and possible dangers. At each of the main constructions there will be first aid equipment and in each area there will always be a certified first aider. With the local transport links to medical centres in some of the local residential areas and the A57 leading to central Sheffield there is easy access to medical attention when needed.
  • In terms of the sports themselves, maintenance teams will need to be on site at all times ready to fix any dangerous problems, such as any malfunctions to the machines converting the water to snow or problems with the waterworks in the canoe run.

5. Legislative and Policy Context

5.1  Introduction to EIA Policy  and Context

Carroll and Turpin (2009) state that the need for legislation when it comes to Town and Country planning which was introduced in 1990 is because it allows developers to apply to local authorities for guidance on whether an EIA is necessary to build on a certain plot of land. They go on to explain that the projects are split into schedule 1 to 3. Schedule 1 projects always require an EIA as they are potentially polluting projects, schedule 2 only need an EIA to establish whether it meets certain criteria or exceeds any thresholds established by the government. Schedule 3 is classed as the criteria needed for screening schedule 2.  Due to Beighton extreme sports park not being primarily build for any natural resource extraction or used for any waste disposal it cannot be classed as schedule 1, therefore it must be classed as schedule 2 and 3,  therefore screening is needed in order to establish whether the project proposal will meet the necessary thresholds and criteria

5.2 Need for EIA (Schedule 2)

All policies and legislation mentioned in section 5.2 and 5.3 was used from www.legislative.go.uk

  • from looking at the www.legislative.gov.uk (1999) the town and country planning regulations it clearly states in schedule 2, section 10 infrastructure projects part b that, ‘Urban development projects, including the construction of shopping centres and car parks, sports stadiums, leisure centres and multiplex cinemas;’. It also mentions that all areas of development that exceed 0.5 hectares will require and EIA. The size of the proposed car park is 18,720m­2 which exceeds the criteria in this section of the schedule.
  • Still referring to schedule 2 of the town and country planning 1999 in section 12 Tourism and Leisure it states that in order for, ‘Ski-runs, ski-lifts and cable-cars and associated developments;’ to be constructed the threshold is, ‘the area of the works exceeds 1 hectare; or the height of any building or other structure exceeds 15 metres’. The proposed area of the snowdome is 5,000m2 and the height is 30m which exceeds both thresholds. Later on in section 12 it also says that, ‘Holiday villages and hotel complexes outside urban areas and associated developments;’ are also included, the proposal also shows that it exceeds these thresholds with the hotel being 3,700m2.

5.3 Need for EIA (Schedule 3)

  • According to the Town and Country Planning 1999 the criteria for screening include, ‘characteristics of development, location of development and characteristics of potential impacts’. Included in some of these characteristics are criteria such as, ‘size of development, pollution and nuisance, the risk of accidents, having regard in particular to substances or technologies used, proximity to nature reserves and parks and the extent of the impact (geographical area and size of the affected population)’. Also these factors may be affected by the proposed project and will need to be taken into consideration for example as I mentioned earlier some of the sports are considered extreme and accidents could occur, a scoping report would be beneficial in understanding more about the possible dangerous and what can be done to prevent them. The site is also located in very close proximity to the Beighton Marsh Nature Park

 

Bibliography

Wood, C. (2003) Environmental Impact Assessment – A Comparative Review 2nd Edition, London: Pearson Press

DTLR Transport Local Government Regions (2000) Environmental Impact Assessment – A Guide to Procedures, London: Telford Press

Carroll, B. Turpin, T. (2009) Environmental Impact Assessment Handbook 2nd Edition, London: Thomas Telford Ltd

(2011) Details on large buildings on a global scale for skyscraper enthusiasts (Online) Available: www.skyscraperpage.com (9th March 2011)

Jay, S. (2011) Photos of Beighton Tip (Online) Available: www.shuspace.ac.uk  (9th March 2011)

Devon County Council (2004) Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Devon Local Transport Plan 2006-11 Scoping Report (Online) Available: www.devon.gov.uk (15th March 2011)

Coughtrie, N. (2011) Photos of Beighton Tip (9th March 2011)

(2011) The Home of UK Legislation (Online) Available: www.legislation.gov.uk  (9th March 2011)

Jay, S. (2011) Beighton Extreme Sports Park Project Information (9th March 2011)

(2003) Map of Beighton tip and surrounding area (Online) Available: www.mapquest.com (9th March 2011)

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