SIX MARINE AGGREGATE OPERATORS recognised that, in seeking permission to dredge sand and gravel from a large, previously unworked section of the eastern English Channel, they needed to consider impacts on a much wider basis.
While pursuing individual licenses, they cooperated to commission an environmental assessment covering the whole of the region.
This in turn generated a regional-scale approach to managing and monitoring marine aggregate operations.
The monitoring programme that has been initiated by the industry in partnership with The Crown Estate covers some 58 square miles.
While the regional approach falls outside the formal decision-making regime, it has been welcomed by the Government and other key stakeholders as a valuable means of ensuring consistency and creating confidence that any impacts are being properly understood and mitigated.