LAND OFF UPWELL ROAD, MARCH

Public Consultation

Technical Evidence

The application will be accompanied by a comprehensive suite of environmental and technical studies.

Highways

A Transport Assessment and Travel Plan will be produced to support the development proposals and will be submitted as part of the planning application pack.

The proposed site access has been discussed with Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) where it was confirmed that the layout is in accordance with the adopted design standards. The access arrangement proposed on Upwell Road includes the formalisation of the existing driveway which provides vehicular access to the rear of properties immediately to the north of the development site. In providing the formalised arrangement the existing speed humps which are currently at the proposed access point on Upwell Road would need locating to the west.

A summary of the personal injury accident (PIA) data obtained from CCC showed that there were no distinctive patterns in the PIA type and the causes could not be attributed to the existing road layout, but were rather likely due to driver error.

As part of this Transport Assessment, junction assessments will be undertaken to determine the impact of additional vehicles on the existing road network. In addition, the Travel Plan will propose a number of sustainable travel measures which should support a reduction in some traffic movements.

The Transport Assessment alongside the Travel Plan will assess if the infrastructure surrounding the development site is adequate to accommodate the proposed person trips associated with the development including, pedestrians, cycles and public transport users. Initial work has identified that, under the guidelines set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the proposals would represent sustainable development and should be acceptable in highways terms.

Flood Risk and Drainage

An assessment of flood risk and proposals for surface water drainage will be set out in a Flood Risk and Drainage Assessment to be submitted in support of development.

The site is located within flood zone 1 of the Cambridgeshire Strategic Flood Risk Assessment. Under the NPPF it is a requirement to locate development proposals in an area of lowest risk. Initial assessment work identifies that the proposed development can be accommodated in areas of the site with the lowest risk of flooding. Additionally, there will be no increase in risk of flooding to adjacent properties, whilst maintaining the existing Greenfield flow rates from the proposed site to the downstream network. This will result in significant reductions in flow for all events.

Sustainable Urban Drainage features will be provided as the most suitable method of providing drainage at the site. A pumping station will also likely be provided in order to make a connection to the existing public sewers.

It is anticipated that the proposals would ensure that the site itself will not flood and there will be no increase in flood risk in the surrounding area. Cambridgeshire County Council as the Lead Local Flood Authority and the Environment Agency will be consulted on the proposals in terms of whether the scheme is acceptable from a flood risk and drainage perspective.

Ecology and Trees

A Tree Survey and an Ecological Appraisal have been undertaken at the site. The proposals will result in the replacement of predominantly cultivated arable land and poor semi improved grassland, with a housing development of approximately 109 units and associated residential gardens, hardstanding and communal green infrastructure (GI). The majority of native species hedgerows, trees and woodland edge along the site peripheries will be retained and enhanced wherever possible.

No non-statutory sites were found within 1km of the site and there are no statutory sites of international or national nature conservation importance present within the proposed development site, however The Ouse Washes SSSI/SPA/Ramsar site and the Nene Washes SSSI/SPA/Ramsar site are located within 10km of the application site, however the site does not lie within the Impact Risk Zone (IRZ) for any designated sites.

Heritage

A Heritage Statement has been undertaken in support of the proposals.

Data available from Historic England and the Local Planning Authority shows that there are no Scheduled Monuments within the proposed development site. There are no Scheduled Monuments assessed as sensitive to development outside of the site.

Geophysical survey of the site was undertaken in support of the planning application in April 2021. This recorded no anomalies indicative of significant archaeological activity on the site.

There are no non-designated heritage assets recorded within the study site. Based on the geophysical survey data, and the archaeological data for the site and the surrounding area, the site is considered to have a moderate potential for Bronze Age or Iron Age occupation remains, but a low/negligible potential for significant (i.e. non-agricultural) remains of all other periods.

On the basis of the limited archaeological potential identified, there are no fundamental archaeological constraints to development on the site. It is anticipated that further archaeological work may be required by the Planning Archaeologist to confirm the veracity of the geophysics. However, it is suggested that the heritage interest in the site can be safeguarded by an archaeological condition.

Landscape

A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment has been carried out to support the planning application.

The development proposals comply with policy LP12 Rural development Policy, which allows flexibility for development on the settlement edge. The Proposed Development also contributes to policies LP16 of the FLP and DM3 of the Delivering and Protecting High Quality Environments in Fenland SPD. The Proposed Development has the potential to contribute towards national and local planning objectives in terms of ecological enhancements and achieving a net gain in biodiversity, in mitigation for the Proposed Development.

The small scale of the changes is expected to have a low impact on the Site and the local landscape respectively, as higher value landscape features are unaffected by the Proposals and the Site will benefit from some ecological enhancements. Generally, views are restricted in the local landscape due to the relatively flat valley landscape, built form and vegetation at the Site boundaries, and any views to local assets are uninterrupted.

The Proposals are seen in the context of a farmed landscape with some detractors affecting the quality of these views.  The Proposals will bring only limited changes to these views and become relatively indiscernible further away to the south east at distant locations.

To conclude there will be no significant harm to the potentially sensitive visual amenity of receptors in the surrounding landscape, on completion of the Proposed Development.