As a part of the Cambridgeshire Guided Bus project there are a raft of planning conditions to which the contractor, BAM Nuttall, must adhere. One of those conditions relates to landscaping and David recently joined representatives of Histon parish council (its chair) and South Cambs District Council (an officer) in a walk along the busway in Histon. South Cambs is the planning authority and as such is responsible for ensuring that planning conditions are observed.
BAMN has planted lots of trees and shrubs and in number terms it’s probably done all that would be expected of it. Unfortunately it seems that much of the planting has been done just before recent dry spells or using plants which were already in advanced stages of dehydration. This means that lots of the plants are dead and will have to be replaced before the landscape planning condition can be considered discharged.
There is also evidence of trees being planted too closely together and of plants either not planted where they should have been or panted unnecessarily.
David says: ‘This is rather sad. I know that in the context of the quoted £160million cost of the busway the waste resulting from this mis-planting is not mega but it will probably still run to tens of thousands of pounds. That could have been prevented but I rather suspect that BAMN sub-contracts this activity and its sub-contractors do not take sufficient care..
‘However I should also note that I cycled along the Histon to Oakington stretch the day after the above walk and most of the plants there seem to be in good shape.’