Thetford sustainable urban extension

Thetford sustainable urban extension

5,000 new homes, three new primary schools, improved GP and dental services, a new bus system, cycle and pedestrian links and new community, leisure and retail facilities. That was the ambitious proposal for a new mixed use development north of Thetford in Norfolk. But there were key environmental considerations to resolve – not least the potential effect of road junction improvements within the Breckland SPA on internationally important populations of stone curlew, woodlark and nightjar.

We were commissioned to carry out an EIA to inform the development master plan, including a full landscape appraisal. We looked at the importance of the relationship of the site to green infrastructure and the potential for settling issues with the surrounding estate and listed buildings. We carried out assessments of noise, air quality, landscape and visual, ecology and nature conservation, archaeology and cultural heritage, hydrology and drainage, contaminated land assessment and cumulative impact. We provided input into the site design and devised mitigation measures to reduce environmental impacts to the lowest practicable level. A substantial part of the site has been designated as open space and will form an important contribution to the green infrastructure.