17 Oct 2019

WBD's energy team has advised long term client The Crown Estate on the UK's first ever sandscaping project, the Bacton to Walcott Coastal Management Scheme. The scheme has taken a pioneering approach designed to counter coastal erosion and protect the local communities of Bacton and Walcott and critical infrastructure at the Bacton Gas Terminal site, which handles a third of the country's gas supply.

WBD advised The Crown Estate on the leasing arrangements with North Norfolk District Council which were crucial for this multi-partner coastal defence project. The Crown Estate worked collaboratively with the project group to provide knowledge and expertise in finding this innovative ‘green infrastructure’ solution to restore and protect the coastline.

Jo Beattie-Edwards, Legal Director at WBD who led on the project commented:

"This was an exciting UK-first project to work on with The Crown Estate and we're delighted with the successful outcome."   

The scheme saw approximately 1.8million cubic metres of sand, dredged from marine sand sources, placed on Bacton and Walcott beaches and engineered to create significantly wider beaches and much-improved access. This new approach to sandscaping is expected to offer 15-20 years of protection from coastal erosion and the effects of climate change to this stretch of North Norfolk’s coastline. 

Dr David Tudor, Head of Minerals and Coastal, at The Crown Estate said:

“This is the first sandscaping scheme anywhere outside the Netherlands and I’m delighted that we’ve helped to bring this exciting new approach to the UK for the first-time. We were very pleased with WBD's legal support on this project which enabled us to forge ahead with the works and contributed to the successful completion of the scheme.” 

WBD's energy team has been immersed in the energy industry sector for decades, giving it great depth of experience across the various different forms of energy and power. This experience allows WBD's energy lawyers to identify the best routes through the complex issues that affect companies operating in this sector. The team also has extensive experience in maritime estate management; carrying out onshore, foreshore and offshore property work.

Sandscaping complete
Photo courtesy of Chris Taylor