Soil, Air & Water

Our proposals aim to protect our precious waterways, coastlines, eco-systems and human health. Utilising smart energy systems, renewable technologies and a water recycling centre to promote sustainable living. A series of interlinked greenspaces will create new habitats, from wildflower meadows to orchards, and private gardens to open amenity space and woodlands, to improve air quality, soil nutrients and carbon absorption.

Family sat on grass at Holmead Walk, Poundbury

Soil, Air & Water

The new neighbourhood will start from the earth up. It has been designed around soil, water and the centuries-old, local pattern of human relationship with the land. Avenues, orchards, allotments, meadows and wooded rides will link the houses together in a shaded, green framework. Tree roots will be free to connect through a continuous microbially rich soil and surface water will be returned to the chalk aquifer. The air will be filtered by the canopies of leaves and the microclimate will be sheltered by interweaving earthworks and vegetation.

We will pioneer a water recycling centre that aspires to deliver water neutrality for the new homes and businesses, where wastewater will be treated on site and recycled for use within the development or reintroduced to the groundwater without entering the existing water ways or sewage system. Storm water will also be collected and filtered through chalk bed rock to the aquifer replenishing this subterranean reservoir.

This will be a neighbourhood that is based on healthy soils, clean water, resilient vegetation, thriving local wildlife and a naturally cohesive community. It will show how to live on the land beyond net zero while preserving the historic and current landscape character and biodiversity of the area.

Tree Lined Streets

17% carbon stored in leaves and branches. 6% carbon stored in dead wood and fallen leaves. 72% carbon stored in soil. 6% carbon stored in roots.

  • A shaded, green framework of trees cool the streets
  • Free roots help keep the soil healthy and microbially rich
  • Soils and trees help keep carbon locked in the ground
  • Tree corridors provide shelter and routes for wildlife

Acoustic Quality

A detailed noise assessment is being undertaken of the site and Proposed Development. The proposals will incorporate good acoustic design to ensure a high level of amenity within the site and include the landscape bund to reduce effects resulting from noise from the M2, and more localized treatments throughout the site.

Consideration will also be given to potential new noise sources that the Proposed Development will introduce. This will include a detailed assessment of noise generated by any additional traffic movements on the surrounding road network.

Green trees line the pavements and roads next to rows of town houses
Peverell Avenue East

Air Quality

The developing masterplan is mindful of the potential impact of the M2 and A2 Canterbury Road on the health and wellbeing of future residents of the site. It is being designed such that new exposure to elevated levels of air pollution is not introduced.

In addition, street trees are being selected based on their Urban Tree Air Quality Score (UTAQS) to ensure the air quality benefits of green infrastructure are realised across the site.

A detailed air quality assessment is being undertaken of the site and Proposed Development with a particular focus on the nearby Ospringe Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) to ensure any potential adverse impacts will be appropriately mitigated and to protect the health of nearby residents and neighbours of the site.

Water Cycle

The strategy towards both surface water and foul water is to work with natural systems and move towards water neutrality. We want to avoid water being lost to the sea when it can be retained and reused or filtered back into the aquifer below the site to maintain the natural storage of fresh water within the local geology. We aim to develop homes with rainwater and greywater harvesting. Surface water will be directed to sustainable drainage systems (SuDs), and an onsite Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) will process all waste water and sewerage from homes and businesses. It is intended that once treated the out flow from the WWTW would be utilised on a development wide secondary water system that supplies domestic white goods and WC’s and so supplements and reduces the drinking water drawn from local supplies. If this waste water is not utilised by the development it can be returned to the groundwater via soakaways.

This system will require approval from The Environment Agency. With Kent recognised as an area of water shortage this approach to water preservation would present a step change to address a serious environmental concern.

Dew pond within the grass meadow at Franklin Farm – The farm of our Landscape Architect

Wildlife pond creation

Ponds are a haven for a range of wildlife, and those that fill from rainfall will have naturally clean water. The banks of swales also make excellent wetland habitats for wildlife. We will combine dew ponds with the swales and other features that will accommodate storm events, and so provide permanent bodies of water within the development.

Water Neutrality – Drainage

Surface water will be returned to the chalk aquifer that lies under the site via a sustainable urban drainage system that utilises the green verges planted with trees, swales and soakaways that follow the contours of the existing land form, storing water in depressions with an overflow leading to a deep bore soakaway. 

This provides capacity to address extreme weather events and reduces risks of flooding with no surface water leaving the site and any excess topping up the aquifer below.