Biodiversity / sustainability

A scheme overview

Nature and sustainability are at the forefront of this project which will deliver an inviting, calming atmosphere to users of the site, whilst the activities available will get the heart pumping. 

The development will give the chance to enhance poor habitats, such as arable land and improved grasslands and change them into habitats with a significant ecological value such as woodland and species rich grassland. We hope to retain the majority of the water areas on site and to take this opportunity to create more. A good number of ponds will be built to benefit great crested newts, grass snakes and insects such as dragonflies. We will create a wildlife friendly lighting plan to ensure that bats and other nocturnal creatures will continue to use the site.

We are also keen to ensure that some of these habitats remain secluded and great for wildlife but we are also looking to encourage  visitors to access some of the created habitats to enjoy butterflies, birdlife, wildflowers and other wildlife that we expect will find their way onto site.

Documents submitted with the application will include:

An Ecological Impact Assessment, which will form one chapter of the Environmental Impact Assessment. This will consider the impacts on habitats and species and will give details of appropriate mitigation and enhancement.

An Arboricultural Report which will ensure that important trees are identified and those that are retained will be protected during construction.

A Biodiversity Net Gain calculation. This applies values to different habitat types using metrics produced by Defra. We will undertake a calculation based on the current habitats on site and we will compare this to the value of the habitats based on the final landscaping for the development. 

Alongside the need to increase biodiversity we are aware of the need to ensure that we are a sustainable project. Here are the cornerstones of our work:

Climate change resilience: Future climate data is being considered in the development of water and energy strategies.

Carbon neutrality: Valley Ridge hopes to be a carbon neutral development; following the energy hierarchy and aiming for 10% of energy from renewables.

BREEAM: Aiming for ‘Excellent’ rating. You can read more about BREEAM here

Biodiversity: Work towards measurable net gain in biodiversity from identified baseline.  Avoid impacts, mitigate impacts, or last resort compensate for losses in biodiversity.

Low carbon mobility: Travel plan to be developed, electric vehicle charging to be provided and site to be accessed by a range of transport modes.

Water efficiency: Improve water efficiency by minimising demand, use of low flow fittings and water recycling. Minimise impact of flood risk and use of sustainable drainage systems.

Materials: Consider impact of embodied materials.

Pollution: Minimise air and noise pollution.

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