A culvert planned to run beneath the new Forder Valley Link Road could be changed to make it better for otters – and other wildlife – to travel through it.
A design has been submitted to the city’s planners with changes including an extra ledge for otters and other animals to use it as a route to and from the Forder Valley Nature Reserve.
The original design was for two separate culvert sections for the new junction planned for the Forder Valley Road and Novorossiysk Road intersection. Now the plan is for a single culvert, leading to an ecology pond.
Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Scene said: “People may not know we have otters in this valley – but we do and we are, as promised, doing all we can to work with nature to ensure any loss to the natural environment is more than compensated for.
“This redesign is not only better for otters and other wildlife travelling along the valley, it’s going to create more landscaping.”
The culvert will look more like a more natural water channel which is better for fish and other species in the water. Fewer river diversions will be needed during the build – again better for the stream’s inhabitants
The Forder Valley Link Road is one of the biggest transport schemes Plymouth has embarked on. Once complete, the link road will help alleviate traffic on the A386 Tavistock Road and Manadon Roundabout, providing an alternative route to the north of the city and Derriford, home to key destinations such as Derriford Hospital, the University of St Mark and St John and the Plymouth Science Park.
A new road bridge across Bircham Valley will be built to connect William Prance Road in Derriford to the junction of Forder Valley Road and Novorossiysk Road.
A larger, relocated signalised junction will be built at the Forder Valley Road and Novorossiysk Road intersection as well as new walking and cycling facilities
The landscape around the valley will change dramatically but the Council and its contractors have been working to make sure that any loss to the natural environment is more than compensated for. The council has already begun planting 14,500 trees. Environmental specialists are working on site and on ensuring the designs improve the quality of wildlife habitats in the valley.
The main construction works are expected to start this Autumn. Ahead of this, a number of utilities – such as broadband, electricity and water – are being relocated.