Helping our Hedgehogs Get Around

It’s always interesting being on the Cambridge City Council planning committee. Every application is interesting and generally the discussions help to understand the pressure and opportunities that are being considered on a daily basis in this lovely city.

The National Planning Policy Framework (2018) does seek measurable net gains in biodiversity and this is expected in larger applications but I believe, it is something that we must endeavour to consider on every application.

Today we took a step in the right direction. An application was approved for three new council houses, which is something worth celebration on its own, but it was agreed that as the application involved new fencing an information item could be added as part of the approval. And this is what will be added:

Informative on wildlife access gaps within garden boundary treatments

The applicant is reminded that the National Planning Policy Framework (2018) seeks all developments to ‘minimise impacts on and provide net gains for biodiversity, including establishing coherent ecological networks that are more resilient to current and future pressures’. Residential gardens are increasingly important refuges for declining species such as hedgehogs and local enhancement can be achieved through provision of access gaps (minimum 130mm x 130mm) within boundary features to connect these habitats.

It’s a small thing, but it will matter to the local hedgehogs!

The image shows a hedgehog highway sign, available to buy from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species website.

Let’s make the Guided Busway safer

As I write this on Saturday afternoon the petition calling on the bus companies that run on the busway to reduce speed in the section between Long Road and Cambridge rail station has nearly 2000 signatures. It’s a clear sign that the residents of Trumpington are concerned about the danger posed by buses going at speed just next to the path where they walk and cycle.

I hope that we get more signatures, and that on Monday morning we get a response from the bus companies – a positive one, that reassures us all. When we receive the report from the Health and Safety Executive then we can decide what long term measures are needed to ensure that all users of the busway are safe, but until then, I believe that a voluntary speed reduction is a sensible and proportional response.

And if you agree… sign the petition!

Improved Recycling Facilities in Trumpington

The fourteeen mixed recycling bins at Waitrose are being removed because of consistent contamination, however the underground bins at Fawcett Road in Abode and Windmill Drive in Aura have now been commissioned, which is great news as it’s an issue that was raised many times when we were campaigning.

Recycling facilitiesThe new ones provide more space – and I’m still pressing for the Novo underground bins to be used as soon as possible.