The design of the landscape within Gateway 14 has been carefully considered to maximise opportunities for improving the biodiversity of the site.
There will be a mix of native tree and shrub planting along with areas of wildflower meadow. Green corridors along site boundaries will help the site to integrate into the wider landscape.
An amenity and biodiversity zone with grassland, scrub and riverside trees to provide a wildlife corridor and buffer to the River Gipping (as well as mown paths, park benches and litter bins, for residents to also enjoy this area).
New planting along the river corridor will reinforce the existing vegetation and enhance biodiversity value. A range of biodiversity enhancements will provide valuable additional biodiversity opportunities, helping to achieve a 10% Net Biodiversity Gain across the site (read more about this below). These include bat and bird boxes on buildings; provision of ‘bug hotels’; planting of nectar-rich flowers; wood and brash piles to support invertebrates; and using fencing designed to allow mammal access to the wider site.
Biodiversity net gain
In accordance with the requirements within the Environment Bill, a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) will be achieved at Gateway 14. BNG is achieved if the post-development scheme provides a net improvement to the biodiversity of a site. The development has been designed to achieve this through sensitive landscaping and habitat creation, as well as some off-site work to the wetland area to the south east of the site. The BNG assessment for Gateway 14 showed there will be a 13.59% gain for habitats and a 148.65% gain for linear features (such as hedgerows).
In 2020, Mid Suffolk District Council and the Greater South East Energy Hub (GSEEH) announced up to £40,000 match funding for a study into low carbon opportunities for Gateway 14. A low carbon heat and power specialist was appointed to investigate low carbon opportunities for the site to ensure that environmental sustainability was considered from the start of the development.
As standard, all units at Gateway 14 will be delivered with a variety of sustainability features including:
- 20% active EV and 20% passive EV charging spaces
- Solar PV / PV-ready roofs
- Minimum Target BREEAM rating of Very Good
- Smart energy systems installed as standard to monitor energy use
- Rainwater harvesting will be installed to all units
- LED lighting