Breathing life back into our canal network brings the opportunity for economic revival, new sustainable transport links and to re-establish important wildlife corridors. PBA assisted Torfaen County Borough Council (TCBC) by undertaking a Sustainability Impact Assessment of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal to support a cost benefit analysis of re-instating sections of the canal to allow full navigation.
A high level ecological constraints review of the canal corridor and associated habitats was undertaken to inform project design and feasibility. Advice was provided on the likely implications of these ecological constraints for the restoration proposals, in terms of mitigation measures and licensing, and the appropriate timings/ phasing of work to minimise potential effects. Significant enhancement opportunities were identified, which aim to provide greater connectivity for wildlife and to increase the value of ecological resources associated with the canal corridor, to contribute towards relevant local and national nature conservation policy and targets.
The identification of ecological receptors considered to be key in the decision making allowed TCBC to have a clear and early understanding of ecological issues to be addressed as design for the restoration of the canal develops. This will support more detailed studies to refine the design, mitigation and enhancement options, at the next stage in the project.