Have your say on Cotswold District Council’s new green plans

RESIDENTS are invited to contribute and work with Cotswold District Council on its Green Infrastructure Strategy.

The proposals include more places to exercise, improving cycle routes and footpaths to support safe and sustainable travel, creating more ‘natural’ play areas for the young, building desirable places to live and work and incorporating green areas that support wildlife habitats and mitigate climate change.

Councillor Rachel Coxcoon, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Forward Planning at Cotswold District Council, said: “Tackling the climate emergency and improving our open spaces will have so many positive benefits for the Cotswolds and we would love to get residents’ input on our plans for achieving this.”

The new strategy outlines a number of key recommendations, as well as focusing on the 17 settlements where major development is most likely to happen.

Members of the public and key stakeholders are now invited to share their views on the strategy, which is open to public consultation until July 26.

Covering a wide variety of open spaces and green features, green infrastructure typically includes parks, playing fields, woodland, allotments and private gardens but can include sustainable drainage features – used to alleviate flooding and water pollution – urban planting, cycle tracks and Public Rights of Way as well as ‘blue’ features such as streams and other waterways.

Councillor Coxcoon continued: “Green spaces – even small ones – contribute massively to the environment, whether that be through supporting our wildlife or acting as a sink to take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and improve air quality. Well-managed green infrastructure also underpins a vibrant economy by keeping the Cotswolds as an attractive area where people want to work, live and visit.

“But the value of green infrastructure goes further. Over the past year, more and more of us have looked to the outdoors to support our mental health and physical well-being. Part of the strategy also addresses how green and open spaces can provide greater opportunities for healthier lifestyles and recreational activities, by making current places and amenities more accessible but also by considering how we relate to our outside spaces, how we use them and what people see as a priority going forward.”

Created using the Building with Nature national benchmark, which supports the delivery of high quality green infrastructure at all stages in the development process, the strategy will provide an evidence-base for future planning policy by the Council and used to support future inward investment and funding opportunities.

The final version of the strategy will be used to inform the district’s Local Plan, which sets a framework for future planning decisions.

The draft Green Infrastructure Strategy can be found on the Cotswold District Council website (www.cotswold.gov.uk/greeninfrastructure).

Copies of the document are available to view at all district libraries as well as the council offices at Trinity Road, Cirencester and the Moreton in Marsh office. For a hard copy call 01285 623000.

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