Published: Wednesday, 13th July 2022
Plans for the new wildlife site adjacent to the Parkway development in King’s Lynn have been submitted, alongside a proposal to relocate some tree planting to make use of a nearby site.
A site strategy, drawn up in consultation with Norfolk Wildlife Trust, shows how the 5.33ha site will be laid out to maximise the benefits for wildlife and biodiversity.
It also proposes a nearby former landfill site as an alternative location for the tree planting scheme originally proposed for the wildlife site. This is in addition to the planting on the housing site.
Cllr Paul Kunes, the borough council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “These plans represent an excellent environmental result as our habitat management plan for the wildlife site aims to produce a quantifiable biodiversity gain.
“It will reverse the current declining diversity of the site by turning it into a managed nature reserve that will support a broader range of aquatic and terrestrial plants and has the potential to encourage protected species such as brown hares, water voles and a variety of bats and birds.
“We also promised that we would plant three trees for every one felled and that is exactly what we are doing.
“After consideration of the best design for the site and our discussions with Norfolk Wildlife Trust we are planning to plant native black poplar, which is in decline, on the main wildlife site.
“We are relocating the remainder of the planting to a nearby former landfill site at Fairstead – this is an exciting plan as that land cannot be used for other purposes but we are going to create an avenue of trees that will form an attractive feature for walkers.”
Cllr Richard Blunt, cabinet member for regeneration and development, added: “We take our responsibilities as a developer extremely seriously. We have an urgent need for new homes but we also take a broad view of the impact that development has and aim to deliver them in a socially and environmentally responsible way.
“The plans for this site have been developed extremely carefully to gain the maximum benefits for all from the site. It will be a fantastic habitat supporting a diverse range of plant and animal species and it will provide a wonderful local resource for local families to enjoy.
“Further, the design of the site will give people lots of opportunities to observe wildlife without disturbing it and includes areas suitable for educational interpretation and learning opportunities, including forest school activities.
“All this complements the work we have done on the housing scheme, which includes an investment of £1.7m in environmental measures to help us deliver some of the greenest homes ever built in the borough.”
The site at Fairstead, shown as Site 1 on the attached photo, was a landfill site that closed around 50 years ago. It cannot be used for development and is currently open land. Inspection and testing on the site showed that it is suitable for planting, so it was chosen as an alternative site for the replacement tree planting as it would make good use of the land and increase its attractiveness as a recreation area for nearby residents.
The borough has undertaken a significant tree planting programme in recent years, with around 6,500 trees planted just this year. A recent inspection of some of the areas where the council has planted trees (carried out 12 July) showed that the vast majority of the saplings are thriving and although many are not yet in leaf, bud growth showed that they are in good shape.
The full reports detailing the proposals are available to view on the council’s planning portal.