An area of land located on the south east edge of Cambridge has been allocated for the development of 230 new homes and associated landscaping to address the demand for housing. MKA Ecology was commissioned by the developer to undertake a cost-effective Biodiversity Net Gain assessment and provide ecological expertise including enhancement measures in order to help secure planning permission.
What did we do?
MKA Ecology undertook a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) to determine current habitats at the site. These included areas of arable and arable field margins, hedgerows, buildings, trees and hardstanding. In order to establish whether the proposed development would contribute positively to biodiversity MKA Ecology carried out a ‘net-gain’ calculation to compare the current habitats against the areas of proposed habitats (including meadow grassland, native shrubs, swales, ornamental planting, trees and private gardens), taken from the landscape masterplan. This provided planners and developers with a method of establishing how much and what type of habitats should be created, enhanced or restored to ensure that the impacts of the development do not result in a net loss of biodiversity.
What was the outcome for the client?
Numerous new habitats for wildlife will be created on the site post-development including new grassland, native scrub and trees. A sensitive and innovative approach to mitigation measures was especially important given the proximity of the proposed development to sites of significant nature conservation value. Ultimately, a combination of onsite enhancements will result in the target 10% biodiversity net gain.