Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Nature preserved at local reserve after pathway plan ruled out

A much-loved nature reserve in Cambridge is set to retain its tranquil character after a proposal to build a new footpath and cycle way through it was turned down by Cambridge City Council.

Following a public consultation, city councillors decided to reject Cambridgeshire County Council’s proposed footpath and cycle link through the city council-owned Bramblefields Local Nature Reserve (LNR) to the proposed new station in Chesterton.

Cambridgeshire County Council proposed the path as a local route to the new station, and the proposed scheme sought to minimise disturbance to the reserve.

Local residents and visitors who responded to the consultation expressed concern over the impact on the site’s wildlife and tranquillity if the route was allowed.

However, respondents to the consultation felt that since two other routes to the station are to be positioned nearby, the impact on accessibility to the new station caused by refusing this additional new route would be minimal.

Plans to enhance habitats at Bramblefields LNR for wildlife such as amphibians, dragonflies and kingfisher are already under way. These projects are being funded by the county council as part of the planning process, before the regeneration project on and around the site of the new station begins.

Cllr Carina O’Reilly, Executive Councillor for City Centre and Public Places, said: “Our local nature reserves are designated to protect wildlife and provide spaces where people can relax and enjoy nature.

“The proposed route would have significantly increased commuter traffic through this small green space, something which residents clearly opposed. Although we recognise the need for good links to the new station, it was felt this proposal was not necessary to help provide that, and could have threatened the character of Bramblefields.

“So although major building and regeneration work will be taking place close to Bramblefields, and may still cause some disruption, we’re pleased that the county are working with us to further improve habitats on the reserve while work goes on.”