The Fletton area of Peterborough was highlighted by the city's council as having great potential for redevelopment as a high-quality mixed-use site. With views across the River Nene to The Embankment open space, and being only a short walk across the Town Bridge to the city centre and less than a mile from the mainline railway station, the site offered excellent potential, combining the restoration old listed buildings and construction of new ones.
With much of the city low lying, stormwater management can be a challenge. Peterborough City Council encourages innovative thinking in the using of sustainable drainage systems, and the adjacent river available for water discharge made the new development an obvious good fit. Although the original plans were to use a conventional piped stormwater system, alternative methods were sought.
The GreenBlue Urban ArborFlow tree pit system was chosen for the project. Harrison Stevens, the landscape architects, worked closely with Peterborough Investment Partnership and their engineers and planning consultants to design a scheme that worked hydraulically as well as visually, and the whole development has won several awards for the quality of the project, which was constructed by Bowmer and Kirkland during the period spanning 2016–2020.
Sustainable drainage features were implemented across the whole development, using both rain gardens and tree pits between and around the buildings to attenuate and clean the rainwater from the hard surfaces and roofs. The GreenBlue Urban ArborFlow 100 panel system allows for a fast inrush of stormwater preventing localised flooding, and directing the water down into the bio-remediation soil, allowing slow percolation giving optimum water treatment and pollutant removal. The trees are protected by the GreenBlue Urban Precast tree grille, allowing gaseous exchange for the soil, and giving additional drainage for times of exceedance flow.
The success of the project is obvious. Peterborough City Council has moved into the restored engine sheds, and the public realm has matured successfully, offering green spaces for the enjoyment of all those who live, work and play here. As the trees grow, increasing in canopy size and density, they become more and more efficient in dealing with stormwater and in providing shade and heat mitigation. It represents a truly resilient development, designed to cope with whatever climate change throws at it.