This section sets out how consultation has influenced the development of mitigation measures, as embedded mitigation through design (e.g. the location of particular elements) as well as specific measures and methods which would be enforced through management plans.

How has the Proposed Development changed since it was presented at Consultation Phase Two in Summer 2021?

Following stakeholder feedback from Consultation Phase Two, further workshops were held with both technical stakeholders and community stakeholders in order to discuss consultation responses and identify opportunities for improving the design. One of the workshops focused on design and landscape and the other on design and connectivity.  Additionally, there has been ongoing conversations with both technical stakeholders and community stakeholders since Consultation Phase Two to discuss the traffic and access option and potential mitigations, including two Community Working Groups in December and January. Since receiving stakeholder feedback in the second round of consultation, the following changes have been incorporated into the project:

  • Screening – stakeholders wanted to see natural screening around the bund instead of hard engineering options, this has been included in the design.
  • Architectural finishes – stakeholders wanted to see more natural finishes to the architectural design, this has been included in the design.
  • Landscape design – stakeholders wanted to see tree planting, rewilding, species rich grasslands, hedgerows, alignment with local proposals and an increase in Biodiversity Net Gain. The updated design has incorporated these features. Technical stakeholders also identified opportunities for species, such as Turtle Doves, this has been included, together with water-dependant habitats to encourage biodiversity
  • Discovery Centre – local communities did not want to see an open visitor centre that would encourage large numbers of visitors to the local road network. The scope of the Discovery Centre has now changed and will include an education programme with visits attracting schools, colleges and interested groups, as a pre-arranged programme. This will mean that there will not be a significant number of visitors to the site on a daily basis.
  • Traffic and Access – some community stakeholders preferred traffic access option 3, some technical stakeholders preferred option 1. Therefore since consultation phase 2 an extensive analysis of traffic options has been carried out. Using an evidence based approach option 1 was identified as the best option assessed against a wide range of criteria, with stakeholder feedback being considered in the design of mitigation measures.

How has consultation with technical stakeholders driven the development of mitigation?

Anglian Water has established several Technical Working Groups (TWG) with key stakeholders as part of the project’s pre-application consultation process. The TWGs have acted as the forum to develop an understanding of the project’s plans, proposals and timescale, contribute to the shaping of the project and ensure a compliant consultation programme.

In regular meetings held throughout each consultation phase, the consultation has sought to identify any opposition or risks to proposals, discuss solutions and ensure an understanding and resolution of technical issues.

The TWGs have identified mitigation to include the following:The need for an opportunity to include innovative storm management proposals. In developing this with the Environment Agency it was identified that storm treatment options would not be possible or advisable but utilising the transfer tunnel for underground storage could mitigate carbon impacts and reduce the frequency of storm spills to the River Cam.

Mitigation options set out in our outline Landscape, Ecological and Recreational Masterplan (LERMP) to ensure appropriate measures in place for protection of ecology and development and suitability of water features as options and protection of endangered species.

Mitigation to ensure the design enhances and blends with the landscape and utilises suitable additional woodland and hedgerow species to specifically include additional complimentary habitats and connections to supplement the existing network. Habitat buffer around the County Wildlife site, rough grassland creation and open mosaic habitat to benefit terrestrial invertebrates and early planting and off site screening.

Mitigation for key visual receptors and viewpoints with specific inclusion of recreational viewpoints and viewpoints from Anglesey Abbey and Ely Cathedral.

Mitigation of odour and location and position to minimise any odour impacts.

Identifying safety suggestions for crossing Horningsea Road and measures required to reduce impact to pedestrian and non- motorised users.

Connectivity and public footpath development and enhancement to mitigate impact of development within the local area and add to community enjoyment and recreational enjoyment.

How has consultation with land owners driven the development of mitigation?

Liaison with landowners and occupiers has allowed the team to build up a good knowledge of the landowners’ and occupiers’ use of the land.  By doing this, various mitigations have been incorporated including:

  • Changing construction access points.
  • Suggesting the segregation of construction traffic from farm traffic where possible.
  • Providing indicative construction restrictions to landowners for the areas around the tunnel structure.

 In addition, discussions with the landowners about the acquisition of their land for the project has identified the following mitigations.

  • Carrying out a thorough security review of the site layout.
  • Ensuring landscape designs mitigate impacts on land with development potential.
  • Discussing the potential for landowners to retain the ownership of landscaped mitigation areas.