Northstowe: Eco-town or Eco-Disaster?

The latest edition of the Longstanton Life poses this question as we look at photographs of the kingfisher pond that is located out on Northstowe phase 1 on what was the old golf course. The photographs below speak for themselves when you realise that the developers started their groundwork out on phase 1 in 2015.

Above photo: taken on 26 December, 2017

Above: The same pond taken from the same bank in 2012

Below: Again the same pond taken from the same bank in 2014 before the developers started work out on site in 2015

It isn’t just the kingfisher pond in Longstanton which appears to have been damaged by whatever has been happening out on site – all the village ponds and wells which are located on a gravel seam which runs the length of the village have lost most, if not all, of their water resulting in the loss of many fish since we first reported the problem in autumn of 2015.

The developer commissioned a report in 2017 ( 18 months after we raised the alarm) and the conclusion of that report has blamed ‘lack of rainfall’ for the sorry state of our ponds and well. Many villagers do not accept that explanation. Not only has there not been a drought since 2015 but some of our older residents and their families have been in this village 60 years and this situation has never happened before. Recent rainfall has been significant but it is too early to say whether that will result in normalised and PERMANENT water levels in all our ponds and well. We will be monitoring the situation throughout this year and will be ensuring that action is taken if the ponds are not in a pre 2015 state by the end of April. We have spent the last 2 years asking SCambs District Council to take enforcement action as many of us feel that the groundworks and de-watering on phase 1 have lowered the ground water table in the Longstanton gravels which was contrary to the requirements of the Northstowe Area Action Plan (NAAP) and the WSP Report on which the Northstowe drainage scheme was based. For more information and updates on this situation please visit the heritage society Facebook page.

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