Our proposed development layout has been designed to respond to its immediate setting, the existing landscape structure and surrounding infrastructure network.
The development site covers an approximate area of 5.8 hectares and is situated to the west of the Gildenburgh Dive Centre. To the north is a new development due to deliver 460 new homes, currently being constructed by Larkfleet Homes. Our site will be accessed via a fourth arm off the new roundabout on Eastrea Road. To the south of the site there is an existing nature reserve and the design of our proposals ensures that there is a sufficient buffer between the new homes and this important feature. To the west of the site are existing properties including a number of bungalows. Our scheme has been designed to ensure this boundary has been considered sympathetically.
Before we start designing a new scheme, we complete an assessment of the site and the surrounding area. We record those features we will need to take into account in our design. All of the relevant considerations, whether they fix the way our scheme will have to be designed or give us a real opportunity to make the most of a particular feature, are shown here.
Flood risk and drainage
A Flood Risk Assessment and Drainage Strategy, dated September 2016 and prepared by WYG, supports this application. This report concludes that the site is appropriate for residential development in terms of flood risk and a practical means of foul and surface water management can be provided. Sustainable drainage techniques will be used to manage excess surface water run-off to ensure there will be no increase in the risk of flooding within the site or in the surrounding area.
The site lies within Flood Zone 1 and as such is at low risk of flooding from sources including tidal, fluvial, sewers, groundwater and artificial sources. The principle source of flood risk is considered to be an increase in surface water run-off due to the increase in impermeable surfaces on the site.
The foul water would discharge to an upgraded existing foul water sewer in Eastrea Road. Based on the proposed ground levels, the majority of the northern area of the site can discharge to this sewer via gravity. The remainder of the site will be pumped via the proposed pumping station.
Due to the high water table on the site, infiltration drainage is not a feasible solution for surface water drainage. Therefore, surface water attenuation storage is proposed to be provided within oversized pipes/underground storage tanks, swales and ponds. The new site drainage system will provide sufficient storage for up to the 1 in 100 year (plus climate) change storm event.
A Phase 1 habitat and protect species scoping survey was initially undertaken by The Ecology Consultancy which identified a series of Phase 2 surveys to be undertaken including Great Crested Newts, Water Voles, Reptiles and Invertebrates.
The Great Crested Newt surveys involved environmental DNA sampling of the on-site pond and five off-site waterbodies. The testing found no evidence of Great Crested Newts and it was concluded the site is not used as terrestrial or breeding habitat and as such Great Crested Newts are not a constraint to development.
The Water Vole survey considered the on-site storage pond and no evidence was found. The pond was considered to be of low suitability for Water Voles.
The Reptile surveys involved placing 83 artificial regugia on the site in April 2015, which were inspected on seven occasions in May and June 2015. No evidence of reptiles was found.
The Invertebrate Assessment was based on the visual inspection of habitats and three direct sampling sessions and no species of conservation concern were recorded.
Transport and access
Vehicular access to/from our proposed development will be via a fourth arm off the new roundabout recently constructed to serve the development to the north of the site. The proposed site access will have a 5.5m carriageway width. This is detailed in the Transport Assessment that supports the application, which has considered the traffic impact of the development at a 2020 assessment year, taking into account other committed developments within the vicinity of the site.
The level of pedestrian and cycle accessibility is considered to be good and will help encourage a proportion of shorter trips to be undertaken by these modes of travel. The report considers that walking and cycling should be the key modes of travel for trips within Whittlesey.
The level of public transport provision in the vicinity of the application site is good, offering regular services to/from Whittlesey town centre and to key destinations such as Peterborough and March. The services provide a genuine alternative to the private car. In terms of access to bus services, the site is considered to be in a sustainable location. Given the proximity of Whittlesey Train Station to the site, it is considered that rail could be an attractive alternative to the private car for medium and long distance trips.