North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

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Object

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

Question 2: Is the proposed boundary the most appropriate one for the AAP?

Representation ID: 32739

Received: 22/03/2019

Respondent: The Wildlife Trust

Representation Summary:

River Corridor must be included to provide greater scope for local provision of sufficient strategic green infrastructure and biodiversity offsetting.

Full text:

The proposed boundary is not appropriate as it does not fully reflect the surrounding landscape context, thereby limiting future design options. It is essential to incorporate the river corridor for the following reasons:
1. Elsewhere in the consultation the movement, green space and open space sections refer to creating and enhancing linkages from the site to Milton Country Park and the river.
2. The green space, open space and biodiversity sections all refer to solutions and interventions involving the river corridor.
3. With respect to achieving biodiversity net gain, it is highly questionable whether this could be achieved within the current proposed boundary, particularly with the development of Chesterton Sidings, which was until very recently a high quality brownfield site supporting priority habitats, the loss of which must be compensated. Other design considerations may legitimately dictate a high density approach to development with a relatively limited area of green spaces and a greater use of multifunctional green spaces, all of which significantly reduce the potential to achieve a net biodiversity gain on-site. The off-site biodiversity compensation / offsetting that will almost inevitably be required must be planned strategically in advance. Whether these go to support strategic habitat creation at places such as Wicken Fen, are developed adjacent to the site along the river Cam corridor, or a mixture of these approaches will need to be decided now. Provision of strategic green infrastructure in additional to Milton Country Park, and biodiversity enhancement and offsetting, both along the River Cam corridor should form part of the NE Cambridge AAP. This approach would significantly benefit the overall quality of place at NE Cambridge, and the quality of life of those who live and work there.

Object

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

Question 6: Do you agree with the overarching Objectives? If not, what might you change?

Representation ID: 32740

Received: 22/03/2019

Respondent: The Wildlife Trust

Representation Summary:

Objective 7 is fine as far as it goes but will not be able to be met in the current concept plan, particularly with respect to achieving a measurable net gain in biodiversity, without inclusion of the river corridor.

Full text:

Objective 7 is fine as far as it goes but will not be able to be met in the current concept plan, particularly with respect to achieving a measurable net gain in biodiversity, without inclusion of the river corridor.

Object

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

Question 7: Do you support the overall approach shown in the Indicative Concept Plan? Do you have any comments or suggestions to make?

Representation ID: 32741

Received: 22/03/2019

Respondent: The Wildlife Trust

Representation Summary:

The concept plan is severely lacking in green infrastructure provision and ability to deliver a measurable net gain in biodiversity on site. If the river corridor is added to the AAP this would increase the scope of provide better strategic green infrastructure solutions as well as deliver more by way of biodiversity enhancement associated with the site, rather than having to provide biodiversity offsetting elsewhere in the county.

Full text:

The concept plan is severely lacking in green infrastructure provision and ability to deliver a measurable net gain in biodiversity on site. If the river corridor is added to the AAP this would increase the scope of provide better strategic green infrastructure solutions as well as deliver more by way of biodiversity enhancement associated with the site, rather than having to provide biodiversity offsetting elsewhere in the county.

Comment

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

Question 16: Should the AAP include any or a combination of the options below to improve pedestrian and cycling connectivity through the site and to the surrounding area?

Representation ID: 32742

Received: 22/03/2019

Respondent: The Wildlife Trust

Representation Summary:

Option C provides a sensible approach, but also justifies the extension of the AAP boundary to include the river corridor, as set out in our other representations to this consultation.

Full text:

Option C provides a sensible approach, but also justifies the extension of the AAP boundary to include the river corridor, as set out in our other representations to this consultation.

Support

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

Question 17: Should we explore delivery of a cycling and pedestrian bridge over the railway line to link into the River Cam towpath?

Representation ID: 32743

Received: 22/03/2019

Respondent: The Wildlife Trust

Representation Summary:

Yes, for the reasons set out in our responses to other questions about the need to include the river corridor within the AAP

Full text:

Yes, for the reasons set out in our responses to other questions about the need to include the river corridor within the AAP

Comment

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

Question 24: Within the North East Cambridge area green space can be provided in a number of forms including the following options. Which of the following would you support?

Representation ID: 32744

Received: 22/03/2019

Respondent: The Wildlife Trust

Representation Summary:

Options C & F are essential to deliver a high quality strategic green infrastructure solution.

We do not have a preference with respect to option A or B.

Full text:

Options C & F are essential to deliver a high quality strategic green infrastructure solution.

We do not have a preference with respect to option A or B.

Comment

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

Question 59: Should open space provision within the North East Cambridge area prioritise quality and functionality over quantity?

Representation ID: 32745

Received: 22/03/2019

Respondent: The Wildlife Trust

Representation Summary:

Yes, so long as it is matched by off-site provision. alternatively, inclusion of the river corridor within the AAP, would mean that quantity would not have to be compromised.

Full text:

Yes, so long as it is matched by off-site provision. alternatively, inclusion of the river corridor within the AAP, would mean that quantity would not have to be compromised.

Comment

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

Question 58: It is recognised that maximising the development potential of the North East Cambridge area may require a different approach to meeting the sport and open space needs of the new community

Representation ID: 32746

Received: 22/03/2019

Respondent: The Wildlife Trust

Representation Summary:

Options include the provision of green roofs to provide open space and green walls to soften a dense built environment. Provision of urban habitat features to attract wildlife could also help to green a dense urban quarter, with features such as swift and swallow nesting sites, nectar rich planting beds to attract pollinators, bat bricks, a variety of bird boxes and green walls to attract nesting species.

Full text:

Options include the provision of green roofs to provide open space and green walls to soften a dense built environment. Provision of urban habitat features to attract wildlife could also help to green a dense urban quarter, with features such as swift and swallow nesting sites, nectar rich planting beds to attract pollinators, bat bricks, a variety of bird boxes and green walls to attract nesting species.

Comment

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

Question 61: Where specific uses are required to provide of open space as part of the development, should the AAP allow for these to be met through multiple shared use (for example school playing fiel

Representation ID: 32747

Received: 22/03/2019

Respondent: The Wildlife Trust

Representation Summary:

Multifunctional green spaces and buildings with green features (roofs and walls) can help to integrate biodiversity into a dense urban quarter. However, there will be a need for strategic green infrastructure provision and biodiversity offsetting off site, hence our suggestion of including the river corridor within the AAP, which would then bring it "on-site" and increase options for providing a larger range of experiences and meeting the needs of more residents on-site.

Full text:

Multifunctional green spaces and buildings with green features (roofs and walls) can help to integrate biodiversity into a dense urban quarter. However, there will be a need for strategic green infrastructure provision and biodiversity offsetting off site, hence our suggestion of including the river corridor within the AAP, which would then bring it "on-site" and increase options for providing a larger range of experiences and meeting the needs of more residents on-site.

Comment

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

Question 67: What approach should the AAP take to ensure delivery of a net gain in biodiversity?

Representation ID: 32748

Received: 22/03/2019

Respondent: The Wildlife Trust

Representation Summary:

20% net gain in biodiversity using a recognised biodiversity accounting tool should be required.

For the purposes of the biodiversity calculation, the biodiversity value of Chesterton Sidings should be calculated as though it is still priority wildlife-rich brownfield habitat, as it was prior to Cambridge North station.

Inclusion of the river corridor would increase scope to provide more of the biodiversity offsetting requirement local to the new residents, as well as support strategic green infrastructure provision.

Urban wildlife features such as green roofs and walls, planting schemes, and building nest sites should be provided.

Full text:

The AAP must explicitly specify that a measurable net gain in biodiversity will be achieved, and we suggest that a minimum percentage of 20% is included (using a recognised biodiversity accounting methodology).

The AAP will result in the final loss and destruction of the Chesterton sidings site, which was until very recently a high quality brownfield site supporting priority habitats and many priority species. In calculating the measurable net gain to be achieved, the precautionary principle should be used, with Chesterton Sidings scored as priority habitat, in calculating the net gain and offsetting requirements.

In order to achieve a net gain in biodiversity, significant off-site compensation is likely to be required. A decision needs to be taken now as to whether this will all be off-site at strategic locations such as Wicken Fen, or whether part of all will be achieved closer to the site, for example along the river corrdior. If the river corridor was included in the AAP boundary, then this would become on-site. Use of the river corridor would also increase the options to meet green space requirements for the new residents.

The use of urban wildlife features such as green roofs, green walls, planting schemes and building design that makes spaces for wildlife should form part of the solution to achieving a net gain in biodiversity, but will be additional to the habitat offsetting requirement.

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