Housing Development, Newton Abbot, Devon
The project. A 35 ha residential-led, mixed use scheme on the outskirts of Newton Abbot, Devon. The development is part of an emerging strategic growth area for Teignbridge District Council that aims to transform the western edges of the town.
Our involvementThe scheme benefitted from early involvement to identify potential ecological constraints and required 12 months of protected species survey for the Environmental Statement. The development was a particularly complex scheme and key issues relating to protected species included bat roosts and commuting routes, dormice in hedgerows, cirl bunting farmland birds and amphibians. The site supports strategic bat flightlines for lesser and greater horseshoe bats and these were integrated within the green infrastructure. The flightlines are important dispersal routes associated with the South Hams Special Area of Conservation (SAC), which is a site of European importance for greater horseshoe bats.
We worked with other environmental disciplines, including landscape architects and water engineers to retain key wildlife features and create new habitats. A major challenge for the green infrastructure was ecological functionality to maintain a permeable landscape for wildlife and integrate important features such as veteran trees, hedgerows and wetland habitats. This culminated in a Landscape Ecology Management Plan strategy at the outline planning stage.