Frodsham Wind Farm

Frodsham Wind Farm

Frodsham Wind Farm, one of England’s largest onshore wind farms, has achieved a BREEAM Infrastructure rating of Excellent.


Construction on the windfarm began in March 2015 and it came online in February 2017. A number of ecological constraints such as breeding pairs of marsh harriers were effectively managed during construction. The construction work was carried out carefully to minimise disturbance to the community and local wildlife, all of which contributed to its rating of Excellent.


Frodsham Wind Farm is one of England’s largest onshore generating stations, and the largest in the Cheshire region, with an installed capacity of more than 50 MW.


Construction on Frodsham Wind Farm began in March 2015 and became fully operational in February 2017.

Cheetham Hill Construction Ltd was the principal contractor. It carried out the design and construction of all works required, except supplying the wind turbines.

The scope of works included:

  • Design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the site civil infrastructure, site access roads, on-site roads, crane hard-standings, drainage as required, substation buildings (two substations; one on the east of the site and one to the west of the site) and foundations.
  • Design, supply, installation and testing of the turbine foundations.
  • Design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the site electrical and instrumentation infrastructure.
  • Design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the site SCADA and communications systems.
  • Design, supply and installation of the site temporary construction compound.
  • Reinstatement of the site compound and laydown areas after construction completion.
  • Compliance with all planning restrictions, site lease requirements and general legislation applicable to the project.
  • Act in the role of Principal Contractor for the duration of the works and turbine installation, including foundation construction, and commissioning period.



A number of ecological constraints on the site were identified during the planning process and then effectively managed during construction.

Surveys identified that cell 4 had previously supported a breeding marsh harrier population, which is a schedule 1 listed bird. This protection means it's an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb at, on or near an ‘active’ nest. 

During the construction phase, two cycles of breeding passed with the 2015 season leading to two nesting pairs and five juveniles fledging the nests. In 2016 only one pair mated at the site but this led to the production of two offspring.


The construction work at Frodsham Wind Farm was carried out carefully to minimise disturbance to the local community and neighbouring wildlife populations.

Wildlife protection
Due to the breeding marsh harrier population, there were constraints during track laying and turbine erection. These were challenging to the whole construction team. Solutions were put in place to protect the birds including exclusion zones and speed limits.

Regular visits from both the Client Ecological Clerk of Works and the Construction Ecological Clerk of Works also helped to monitor and manage the impact of the works on badgers and water voles.

As part of planning requirements a habitat creation area was developed in cell 3, in part to improve the existing environment and in part to mitigate the habitat lost in other areas of the site. The construction works required for the habitat creation area have been undertaken and this area will be monitored and managed by a party set up for this purpose with representatives from interested parties in the area. This was a requirement of planning condition 32.

Community engagement
Planning condition 56 required the setting up of a local liaison committee. This committee met regularly during the construction phase and continued to meet after the wind farm became operational.

At the start of construction a number of local liaison events took place at village halls around the construction site. They were open to all of the local community to notify them about the start of construction. These meetings also captured ideas for how the community benefit fund could be spent.

The site construction team undertook a food bank collection for the Runcorn Food Bank in the run up to Christmas. A massive 372 kg of food was donated by the site and head office staff with donations going to the local YMCA as well as the food bank. Head office also made a £250 donation.

Pedestrian and cyclist access
The site is close to a number of public rights of way. During construction permission was applied for to close these paths, however, instead of closing them completely, a traffic management was put in place to give access to pedestrians and cyclists during working hours.

Local procurement
Planning condition 55 required the implementation of a local employment and procurement scheme. This included keeping detail information of local suppliers, subcontractors and staff and their proximity to the scheme throughout the construction phase. A map showing the location of these to the site was also regularly updated and fed back to the council.

Physical resource use and management
The design of the roads ensured that the impact on the land was kept to a minimum. No spoil was generated through the construction of the roads as they were constructed from layers of geotextiles and stone.

Over 90% of the materials by volume used on the project was recycled. This includes stone, roads, concrete and steel for the turbines. A greywater recycling system captured rainwater to be used in the substation toilets.

The site waste management plan set a target of diverting 95% of waste from landfill and ensuring effective recycling. At the time of the BREEAM Infrastructure assessment, the recycling rate was 97%.


Environmental issues, especially ecological issues, were integral to the development of the project from the onset. The BREEAM Infrastructure certification helped to prioritise these issues during the construction phase.

There was a clear alignment between the BREEAM Infrastructure sections, and issues that were identified and implemented as planning conditions for the scheme. As with all BREEAM assessments, there were areas where the scheme did not score particularly well, and this learning will be transferred to other future schemes.

Summary for Case Studies


Gemma Fenn (Cheetham Hill Construction)
5, July 2016 | Cheshire, England
BREEAM Infrastructure rating:
Excellent (77.4%) – Whole Team Award

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