Published Friday, 20th October 2017

How to enhance valued landscapes, townscapes and habitats and create new green space over the coming years is the focus of a new Green Infrastructure Strategy published by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council.

Five priorities

Riverside Garden Park HorleyThe Green Infrastructure Strategy sets out five priorities and a plan to achieve them, which aim to:

  • protect and enhance the Mole Gap to Reigate Escarpment Special Area of Conservation
  • enhance important biodiverse habitats and unique landscapes
  • improve existing parks and open spaces and provide new ones 
  • incorporate green space in new developments
  • link communities and promote sustainable travel through green walking and cycling routes.

The strategy will inform the Council’s plan making work (including its emerging Development Management Plan), the determination of planning applications and the
activities of the Greenspaces team.

Green Infrastructure can include parks, commons, nature reserves, areas used for sport and recreation, allotments, public rights of way, gardens, green corridors
such as road verges and river banks, and even green roofs. It also covers rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and other water features, known as blue infrastructure.

Improving quality

Cllr Keith Foreman, Executive Member for Planning Policy, said: “Quality green spaces are consistently one of residents’ favourite things about the borough,
according to our residents’ survey. They deliver many positive benefits to our communities and for nature. We committed to developing a Green Infrastructure Strategy
in our Core Strategy to help to enhance the borough’s green spaces and provide more where possible. It is not just about quantity of green space but quality –
including how we can make improvements to what we have. This strategy sets out an action plan to achieve that, working with our partners.”

The strategy identifies key projects, timescales and who will be responsible for delivering them. It is not a formal part of the Local Plan but is one of the ways it
will be delivered.

The Council is due to consult on the next stage of its Local Plan, the Development Management Plan, in the New Year.