Building with Nature
The development of our plans has been guided by the framework of the Building With Nature standard, supported by an independent Building With Nature Assessment and Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment, all of which have been included as part of our planning application.
The Building with Nature benchmark has been set up as the UK's first green infrastructure standard and demonstrates what good green infrastructure looks like.
It provides an independent assessment of a development's delivery of good green infrastructure using an evidence-based approach.
Through the Building with Nature approach, we have tested our design proposals and development masterplan against the requirement of the Building with Nature Standards.
This will achieve a higher quality development which not only benefits the environment and wildlife on site, but which also makes a positive contribution to the community.
This, in the long term, delivers a better development and one that will enhance the local community and the environment.
Green and Blue Infrastructure has been at the heart of the design process and has guided the mitigation focus for the technical assessments both on and off site. The Building with Nature approach has been used to test and steer the emerging design.
As part of the landscape and ecological approach a mosaic of different habitat types are proposed throughout the development area, which include:
- Areas of woodland planting/buffers
- Native shrub and scrub areas
- Hedgerows, wildflower meadow and grassland areas
- Wetland and marginal habitats close to drainage pools and swales
- Orchard spaces and amenity landscape areas
These will provide a variety of habitat types which will constitute a marked improvement upon the existing arable landscape and field margin habitats that presently exists. Landscape and ecology remain at the heart of our design approach and are considered integral to the achievement of a successful development.
Our proposal for enhancing the off-site land is to convert areas of intensely farmed arable land into species-rich grasslands, to enhance biodiversity, which would enable the project to deliver a net gain in biodiversity in excess of 30 per cent.
Our aspirations are to go further and design a truly multifunctional scheme that will not only deliver a biodiversity increase, but also deliver other environmental benefits for the local landscape and community, for example: carbon storage, improved air and water quality, public access and informal recreation and health and well-being.
Further improvements we are proposing for the offsite land include:
- Creation of permitted access pathways
- New hedgerows and woodland
- A community orchard
- Parkland and wetland corridor
These proposals would be carefully designed to facilitate a variety of flora and fauna. The use of the offsite land also provides additional scope to mitigate against the loss of open space within the site, by providing improved habitat within the immediate site context.