LUC was commissioned by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council to undertake this borough-wide green infrastructure (GI) plan. The Borough is set to accommodate in excess of 10,000 homes in the years to 2026, so there is a real need to consider quality of life needs and to respect environmental assets.
We were keen to create an appropriate response to the place, taking into account local distinctiveness and the rich post-industrial legacy of the area, and focusing future significant growth in a positive and sustainable way.
The plan will guide an environment-led approach to planning for future growth in the Borough, so that GI and all its related themes (place-making and character, biodiversity, sustainable communities and climate change adaptation) are considered from the outset to inform future masterplanning. The project is supported by a delivery plan to justify and prioritise Green Infrastructure.
LUC’s plan sets out a framework for a suite of projects that will provide community benefit in the widest possible sense, for existing and future communities within the Borough. It achieves this through affording varied possibilities for recreation (formal and quiet) and opportunities to address social deprivation, providing for sustainable, healthy communities in the broadest sense (e.g. contribution to the health agenda through facilitating and ‘incentivising’ walking and cycling), suggesting innovative opportunities for local food production, and including new formal and informal greenspace as common ground and a community asset for young and old alike and for a range of social and interest groups. Community benefits will also be realised in an enhanced sense of place and identity, and through improved and expanded access to nature (quality of life) across the green space network.
We take a landscape architecture-led approach to GI planning, analysing not only layers of information about the physical, environmental and social aspects of the place, but also trying to get ‘under the skin’ of the metaphysical — understanding the intrinsic quality and potential of the place, and the ways in which spaces are used or misused. We explored a series of environmental design themes as the basis for planning a multifunctional GI network. These confirmed not only more ‘intangible aspects’ concerned with place and quality but also addressed needs and demands for GI, revealed through map analysis and stakeholder consultation.
This was a valuable and worthwhile project, interesting for its multi layered creative possibilities. The outcome is an innovative, landscape-led consideration of green infrastructure for Nuneaton and Bedworth — a ‘greenprint’ to positively shape the long-term spatial direction of the Borough.