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An holistic approach to environmental planning to deliver a new garden community.
Arcadis were commissioned to provide environmental services for the development of a new garden town, Otterpool Park, helping developers bring to the outline planning stages proposals for 8,500 new homes in Kent.
As well as the Environmental Statement which accompanied the outline application made in 2019, they provided a range of disciplines including masterplan design, project management and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) provision, including associated specialist surveys and assessments.
As part of the design, planning and assessment of the project, Arcadis prepared a natural capital strategy and undertook an ecosystem service impact assessment to accompany the ecology chapters of the Statement.
The purpose was two-fold, firstly to influence the design, and secondly to assess and demonstrate net environmental gain. The natural capital strategy included green infrastructure design principles for habitats to be retained, enhanced and created, designed to maximise their ecosystem service value and assist in achieving biodiversity net gain.
Working with multiple specialists, the outlining of design principles with a natural capital strategy in mind ensured that the project team were able to maximise the environmental, social and functional ecosystem service benefits of the land.
Otterpool Park is a long-term project, spanning at least 30 years. With a collaborative approach and careful masterplanning from the outset, Otterpool Park will bring value, sustainability and a high quality of life for local residents.
An indicated 20% biodiversity net gain was achieved within the design while the bespoke assessment and the natural capital planning tool demonstrated increases in biodiversity, aesthetic values and recreation.