Mid Suffolk District Councillors and representatives from Gateway 14 Ltd and development partner Jaynic, have planted the first tree to mark the start of the landscaping regeneration at the Gateway 14 development, Stowmarket.
Gateway 14, which is wholly owned by Mid Suffolk District Council, will benefit from a range of high-quality landscaping features such as native trees and hedgerows and sub canopy plants that will not only support wildlife but will also provide a natural visual screening from the surrounding areas and establish this as a high quality business park.
The £700,000 contract is being undertaken by Bury St Edmunds based Pro-Scape Ltd, provides landscaping, alongside all the principle infrastructure work on Gateway 14, including highways and green areas totalling some 70,000 sq metres of planting.
There will be over 15,500 trees, 2,200m of native hedgerow, 30,000m2 of native buffer planting, and 62,000m2 of wildflower meadow. In addition to these works the local tree warden group, The Suffolk Tree Warden Network, has grown various trees and plant species from local seed which will be planted alongside landscaping work.
Cllr Suzie Morley, leader, Mid Suffolk District Council commented:
“It was always our ambition that landscaping at Gateway 14 would be a priority. The trees, shrubs and other planting will not only have time to establish before the first tenants move in but also, by introducing a range of planting we will be able to support natural wildlife habitats and meet our commitment to supporting biodiversity.”
Sir Christopher Haworth, chair of Gateway 14 Ltd, said:
“The Board has been determined to enhance the bio-diversity of the site and to create a high-quality environment that the town can be proud of and that will be enjoyed by all those who come to the park.”
The landscaping, designed by James Blake Associates, is designed to provide softening and screening, together with a highly biodiverse landscape infrastructure to the development. It is designed to be low in maintenance intervention, with largely native planting that can adapt to environmental and climate changes.
Joe Clarke, Senior Commercial Manager for Jaynic, the development partner for Gateway 14 said: “This is an important milestone in the development of Gateway 14. Biodiversity on the site is a priority, with high-quality landscaping, green corridors and nesting boxes all being introduced to support not only the wildlife and ecology but also to create a vibrant, attractive, and healthy working environment for employees.”
Proposed areas of open space include hard landscape and mown grass footpaths through orchards and wildflower meadows for access and widening out into breakout spaces too at intervals. There are also links to the wider footpath network and public open spaces, through to eventual countryside footpaths and bridleways.
The Gateway 14 Business, Innovation and Logistics Park will retain 21,640sqm of existing habitat and enhance a further 25,432sqm, meeting the Government’s draft Environment Bill which requires developments to deliver 10% Biodiversity New Gain. The proposals exceed this requirement, providing 13.59% net gain for habitats and 148.65% for linear features (hedgerows).
In October, detailed planning consent was given for the first unit at Gateway 14, a warehouse approaching 1.2m sq ft to be occupied by home, garden and leisure products retailer The Range – creating an estimated 1,650 jobs.