Primary - Adding to quality of life - spiritual value: 2009 Cambridgeshire Strategic Green Infrastructure Plan

RWS theme(s)
Spatial Planning: “To promote sustainable developments set within well-designed green space of which trees and woodland play a functional part”. Action SP1b

Cambridgeshire Strategic Green Infrastructure plan has led a successful £455,000 multi-agency bid to the Department of Communities and Local Government to create the Forest of South Cambridgeshire. This will deliver 50 hectares of new accessible woodland greenspace and 3.5 kilometres of new paths, adjacent to ancient woodland sites. It will provide a new gateway for visitors to the forest incorporating enhanced interpretation facilities and opportunities for local people and school children to become actively involved in the creation of the forest.

The Government’s response to growth is evolving and it now appreciates that expanding an area’s housing stock requires a green infrastructure to be put in place in advance of such development. In fact the need to develop multi-functional accessible urban fringes is now a major policy nationally. Accordingly green infrastructure plans are being put in place across the East of England.

Initiative description
The Cambridgeshire Green Infrastructure Strategy provides a blueprint for connecting habitats and accessible green space in part of the Growth Area that stretches from London to Peterborough (set to receive 33,000 new homes).

The project has the following aims:

  • A 'green lung' for Cambridge.
  • A new leisure and recreation resource for residents of the Cambridge sub-region and beyond.
  • A dramatic landmark at the centre of the East of England.
  • Improved access to the countryside.
  • Health and well-being benefits for users.

Lesson(s) learned
A great example of how Local Authorities, public agencies and voluntary groups can work together to create an award-winning plan. The Strategy was Highly Commended under the Strategic Landscape Planning section at the prestigious Landscape Industry Awards.

Future developments
The Green Infrastructure plan will now be incorporated in Local Authority planning documents and will guide partners and landowners in deciding where new green space should be created.

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