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Green infrastructure? Be clear what it is and then get involved in your local consultation


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What is the future for green infrastructure in Maldon? (pic Maldon District Council)

Do you know what green infrastructure is?
The likelihood is that you know about much of what it comprises even if you’re not familiar with the term itself.
And if you live in or around Maldon, you now have the chance to contribute to how green infrastructure evolves in your district as the local authority develops its Local Plan.
Maldon District Council uses the National Planning Practice Guidance definition of green infrastructure: “A network of multifunctional green space, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities.
“Green infrastructure is not simply an alternative description for conventional open space. As a network it includes parks, open spaces, playing fields, woodlands, but also street trees, allotments and private gardens. It can also include streams, canals and other water bodies and features such as green roofs and walls.”
The local authority goes on to say in its consultation report for A Green Infrastructure Strategy for Maldon District:
“Green infrastructure delivers multifunctional benefits to local communities, for example enhancing physical and mental wellbeing through access to greenspace; supporting biodiversity and local landscape character; and delivering climate change adaptation and mitigation, such as reducing urban temperatures and reducing flood risk.
“The benefits of green infrastructure can be felt at a local, regional and national scale.
“As well as offering environmental benefits, green infrastructure affords economic benefits through:
• reducing healthcare costs by improving physical and mental wellbeing
• increasing the attractiveness of a local area
• supporting the tourism sector by providing visitor attractions
• supporting agriculture and food production.”
Clarifying its approach, the council report continues:
“The aim of the Maldon [Green Infrastructure] Strategy is to assess the existing evidence base and identify opportunities to conserve, enhance and promote the Maldon’s Green Infrastructure network by developing a vision, opportunities map and action plan to guide future investment in green
infrastructure.
“Maldon district is set to deliver high levels of development in the coming years, when compared to recent times. It is important that new and existing communities have access to high quality greenspace and the landscapes and wildlife which are such a valued feature of the district.
“The Local Development Plan 2014-2029, which was approved in July 2017, sets out that a minimum of 4,650 homes are to be delivered mainly through sustainable extensions to Maldon, Heybridge and Burnham-on-Crouch in the form of garden suburbs and strategic allocations during the Plan period.”
The Draft Maldon District Green Infrastructure Strategy (Supplementary Planning Document) will contribute to the wider Local Plan (2014-2029) and the council is appealing to residents to take part in a consultation on its development.
This is an important matter. As the council says: “Once adopted, this strategy will be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.”
Consultation began at the start of this month (December) and closes on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, at 4.30pm.
You can inspect the documents relating to the consultation here and at the following locations:
• Maldon District Council Offices, Princes Road, Maldon CM9 5DL (Monday-Thursday 8.30am-5pm and Friday 8.30am-4.30pm)
• Local libraries across the district (see here for opening hours).
Comments can be submitted:
• By email to policy@maldon.gov.uk
• In writing to Planning Policy, Maldon District Council, Princes Road, Maldon CM9 5DL