The route has a total landtake of close to 5 hectares and will cut through some of the most sensitive areas within the city, including 5 Local Wildlife Sites, completely destroying one of them, Barnwell Junction Disused Railway. The route runs through the floodplain of Coldhams Brook, which includes important populations of water voles and otters and dark commuting corridors for bats. Secondary development of a cafe and retail units on Barnwell Lakes LWS is also proposed. The locations for haul roads and compounds are not yet detailed and may involve additional impacts.
The ecological report is accompanied by no survey information other than walkovers. To quote a typo in the ecology report “Ecological features of nature conservation value in the context of the Application Site have been scoped out of the EcIA”.
The cycle route will also have very significant landscape effects on two Conservation Areas and on the setting of Listed Buildings, including the Grade 1 Leper Chapel.
This route choice appears especially gratuitous when it is realised that there is an existing cycle route along the entire length, and that sections of the path are designed to routinely flood and will be impassable. The £2m underpass proposed on Newmarket Road is directly next to a functioning crossing point.
We would ask for assistance in scrutinising this application and raising holding objections on the lack of information supplied, in particular :
Lack of consideration of in-combination and cumulative effects, in particular with the bridge scheme;
Lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment;
Lack of survey data for water voles, otters, birds, bats and rare species
Finally many thanks to people for their support in commenting on the consultation on the Abbey-Chesterton Bridge. Partly as a result of this, the council have also reopened consultation on the Abbey-Chesterton Bridge : http://planning.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/swift/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=C/5005/16/CC