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6C - Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Communities in the East Midlands

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Press Release 3rd September 2008

A partnership of local authorities and environmental organisations has commissioned Chris Blandford Associates to develop a Green Infrastructure Strategy for the 6Cs Growth Point in the East Midlands.

The Strategy's long term vision is to protect, enhance and extend networks of green spaces and natural elements in and around the three cities of Leicester, Nottingham and Derby, connecting with their surrounding towns and villages. 

The Chair of the 6Cs Strategic Green Infrastructure Project Board, Alison Hepworth, said: "The Strategy will assist in achieving sustainable development and multi-purpose public benefits through the improved long term planning, conservation and enhancement of existing green infrastructure assets."  "It will also identify needs for new green infrastructure provision, where necessary, to meet the requirements of a rapidly expanding population" she added.

Dominic Watkins, Director with Chris Blandford Associates, said: "CBA welcome the challenge of helping develop a bold strategic vision and influential action plan for delivery of green infrastructure across the sub-region.  We look forward to working closely in partnership with the Project Board and other stakeholders over the next 12 months to develop the 6Cs Green Infrastructure Strategy." 

The Strategy is due to be completed in summer 2009.


Editor's notes

The 6Cs Growth Point Area

The Three Cities/Three Counties (6Cs) Growth Point is one of 29 areas nationally proposed under the Sustainable Communities Plan for significant growth, where the Government has invited local authorities and other partner organisations to bid for funding to help meet the aims of the Plan locally.

The 6Cs sub-region as defined in the emerging East Midlands Regional Plan has an existing population of 1.9m people and includes the cities of Leicester, Derby and Nottingham.  Significant future growth under the Sustainable Communities Plan and the emerging RSS is proposed to be focused on the three cities plus the towns of Loughborough, Hinckley, Coalville, Blaby and Melton Mowbray.  Over the period 2001-2026 the area is planned to take around 177,550 new homes.

The three cities represent around half the economy of the region and their labour and housing markets, shopping catchments and travel patterns overlap to varying degrees.  They are also home to some of the most deprived communities in the country and have areas that need urgent regeneration, both within the inner cities and in outlying housing estates.  Other parts of the sub-region have distinctive and important green infrastructure features of sub-regional importance with areas such as Charnwood Forest, Sherwood Forest and The National Forest being of significant biodiversity, cultural, recreational and landscape value.  These resources are in close proximity to high levels of population and. as with other green infrastructure features. cross administrative boundaries.

Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure is defined in the draft East Midlands Regional Plan as:

"Networks of multi-functional green space which sit within and contribute to the type of high quality natural and built environment required to delivery sustainable communities.  Delivering, protecting and enhancing these networks require the creation of new assets to link with river corridors, woodlands, nature reserves, urban green spaces, historic sites and other existing assets".

Green infrastructure should, wherever possible, provide multi-functional uses including for: wildlife, sport and recreation, cultural experiences, health enhancement, food production, education; contribute to wider environmental services, such as sustainable drainage and flood protection; and contribute to solutions to issues such as air pollution and climate change mitigation.  In achieving this, green infrastructure should operate at all spatial scales from individual sites within urban centres, through to the landscape scale.

The Strategy aims to facilitate a major step-change in the scale, quality and connectivity of green infrastructure assets across the 6Cs area, to match the scale of new growth proposed and provide a focus for attracting and retaining sustainable development and investment.  This will be achieved by protecting and enhancing existing assets and creating extensive new green infrastructure, and finding suitably resourced mechanisms for the long term management of both.

The 6Cs Strategic Green Infrastructure Project Board

The 6Cs Strategic Green Infrastructure Project Board has been established to oversee the planning and implementation of strategic green infrastructure needs across the 6Cs area.  This complements the three 6Cs Housing Market Area Programme Boards set up to plan the three main centres of growth within the sub-region focused on Leicester, Derby and Nottingham.

The Project Board comprises:

  • Derby City Council
  • Derbyshire County Council
  • Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
  • EMRA (Chair)
  • English Heritage
  • Environment Agency
  • Forestry Commission
  • Government Office for the East Midlands
  • Groundwork Trusts
  • Leicester City Council
  • Leicestershire County Council
  • Leicestershire Wildlife Trust
  • Natural England
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Nottinghamshire County Council
  • Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
  • The National Forest

Contact for further details:

Sharon Jefferies
6Cs Growth Point Green Infrastructure Development Co-ordinator 

Chris Blandford Associates (

Chris Blandford Associates (CBA) is one of the leading multi-disciplinary environmental planning and landscape design consultancies in the country.  The quality of the firm's work has been recognised in awards for excellence given by the Landscape Institute, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Civic Trust.  Over recent years, CBA has been at the forefront of advising public sector partnerships on strategic green infrastructure planning and development issues within growth areas, for example:

 Buckinghamshire Strategic Green Infrastructure Framework
 Greater Norwich Growth Point Green Infrastructure Strategy
 Harlow Area Green Infrastructure Network Plan/Developer Guidelines
 Bedfordshire and Luton Strategic Green Infrastructure Network Plan

Contacts for further details: 

Dominic Watkins
Project Director

Ollie Kelly
Project Manager


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