Green planning award received by Essex County Council

Wed, 30/08/2023 - 16:40

Building with Nature has recognised the Essex Green Infrastructure Standards with award.

Building with Nature has awarded Essex County Council with a Building with Nature Policy Award for the Essex Green Infrastructure Standards.

The set of local standards tailored to Essex were created by the council, working alongside a wide range of stakeholders and partners as part of Natural England’s trials of the ‘Green Infrastructure Framework – Principles and Standards for England’. The Essex Green Infrastructure Standards outline nine principles and standards for the protection, enhancement, creation, and management of Green Infrastructure in Essex.

Green infrastructure is the carefully planned network of high quality natural and semi-natural assets and habitats. It is made up of green and blue spaces as well as other strategically planned environmental features that maintain and create ecosystems.

These standards and principles have been designed to ensure that green areas in Essex are developed and maintained to a high standard, benefiting Essex’s residents and environment.

The Building with Nature Policy Award officially recognises the Essex Green Infrastructure Standards as meeting the high standards set in the Building with Nature principles.

The design and development of high-quality green infrastructure is a vital tool in tackling climate change and reaching net zero targets. This highlights the council’s commitment to a high-quality environment, one the four strategic aims of the council’s organisational strategy, Everyone’s Essex.

To aid with the design and development of green infrastructure in Essex, the council has commissioned a training video covering the Essex Green Infrastructure Standards:

The training video provides a full breakdown of the standards as well as how to implement them in new and existing developments across Essex.

Officers from the council also welcomed over 60 planning professionals from across Essex to an online presentation. They were made aware of the training video as well as the benefits and importance of the Green Infrastructure Standards.

Local case studies demonstrating best practice are also included in the video.

Tim Bevan, Assistant Director at Building with Nature, said: “The Building with Nature Policy Award for the Essex Green Infrastructure Standards reflects the holistic approach to the implementation of green infrastructure taken by the framework and Essex County Council.

“Once fully implemented, the Essex Green Infrastructure Standards will influence the creation and maintenance of better places and in turn positive outcomes for people and wildlife in Essex.

“We at Building with Nature look forward to supporting this endeavour as developments procured in accordance with the council’s Standards are brought forward.”

Essex County Council Climate Czar, and Cabinet Member for Climate, Environment, Waste Reduction and Recycling, Councillor Peter Schwier said: “It is vital that we continue to care for and develop green spaces in Essex.

“The Building with Nature award shows that the County Council has not only identified the importance of our green spaces, but also that we are working hard to ensure they are created and maintained to high standards.”

In July, Essex County Council revised its Climate Action Plan, committing an extra £50million to reach net zero targets.

More information on the County Council’s progress towards net zero can be found in the Essex Climate Action Annual Report.Watch the video below: