H M Project Developments administrators launch climate restoration project

19 April 2021 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read

Administrators from Duff & Phelps have commenced a land restoration project in Northumberland, after determining that a mining operation there would not recommence. The land will now be restored to grazing terrain.

In April 2020, Benjamin Wiles and Steven Muncaster of Duff & Phelps were named joint administrators for H M Project Developments (HMPD). The organisation had ceased mining operations in late 2019, and after analysing the company’s assets, it was determined that HMPD would not recommence mining. Instead, a decision was reached by the administrators in mid-2020 that the land would be restored to suit the natural environment of the area.

Over the last six months, the Duff & Phelps professionals and Northumberland County Council (NCC) subsequently worked closely to agree the process for the restoration works, including additional planning requirements.

H M Project Developments administrators launch climate restoration project

The resulting project will see efforts to significantly enhance the biodiversity of the land and take advantage of the close proximity to the RSPB reserve at Geltsdale to create sustainable habitats for breeding birds in the region. Meanwhile, footpaths will also be restored, so the local community can take advantage of the public footpaths once the land is restored.

Following a tender process, the restoration contract was awarded to Rob Foy Engineering Limited (RFE). RFE was chosen due to its knowledge of the site, experience in dealing with prior restorations and the competitiveness of its quote for the works. RFE has also retained HMPD’s staff, and will continue to use consultants used by HMPD, preserving these jobs in the local community and also utilising those with extensive knowledge of the site who are best place to ensure an efficient and thorough restoration.

While work could not commence in the latter part of 2020 – as the weather over the winter period meant interruptions would have been likely – the process started in February 2021, with ecological surveys being conducted, and the RSPB inspecting the site.

It is expected the restoration will be complete by October 2021, at which point the joint administrators will seek to sell the land for the benefit of HMPD’s creditors. In the meantime, the administrators remain in correspondence with NCC in respect of other benefits to the local community.