Cotswold District Council offers advice to support development of green infrastructure

A view overlooking the village of Painswick and the Cotswold escarpment towards Sheepscombe, in Gloucestershire,

Cotswold District Council is encouraging developers to incorporate high quality green infrastructure into new developments. Green infrastructure (GI) is the network of natural and semi-natural features within and between villages, towns and cities. These features range from street trees, green roofs and private gardens to parks, rivers and woodlands. Not only does GI provide benefits such as recreational space and places to grow food, it has other benefits such as flood alleviation and creating habitats for wildlife, which in turn, also help with the challenges of climate change.

“By thinking about GI right from the start of the design process,” says a press release, “even at the land purchase stage, we can make sure that we make the most of the benefits of green infrastructure. This could include installing a new cycle/foot path or enhancing existing wildlife habitats or creating wildflower areas in our parks and gardens.”

To promote GI, the Council has produced an advice leaflet for developers, which is available to download on the Council’s website. The leaflet has been prepared as part of a partnership project between Cotswold District Council and other neighbouring councils. The project has been led by Building with Nature, a new ground-breaking benchmark for green infrastructure in new developments.

Cllr Clive Webster, Cabinet Member for Landscape and Heritage said: “We are keen to encourage everyone to do their bit to improve the green infrastructure and natural environment of the District and that includes those who wish to create new developments here. By designing new developments with high quality GI as a priority, we will get better and healthier places to live and work which will benefit current and future residents. I would like to challenge developers to see just how far they can go in creating a new development that delivers the best GI in the District. By continuing to work with developers, local communities and other partners to help create and enhance GI, Cotswold District Council will provide a better place to for us to live, work and visit.”

Work is currently underway on a new GI Strategy for the District. A number of parish and town councils have already contributed to the draft strategy, which looks at where key GI is located and sets out priorities for how the GI network could be enhanced and its benefits more fully realised.