Council Natural Environment Plan gets awards recognition

Our Green & Blue Infrastructure Strategy for Wiltshire - Wiltshire's Natural Environment Plan, is a finalist in the RTPI South West Awards for Planning Excellence 2022

Published 11 May 2022

A key Wiltshire Council natural environment strategy is a finalist for a prestigious regional award.

The council's Green & Blue Infrastructure Strategy for Wiltshire - Wiltshire's Natural Environment Plan, is a finalist in the category of 'Excellence in Plan Making Practice' in the RTPI South West Awards for Planning Excellence 2022. It sets out the future for supporting and enhancing Wiltshire's natural environmental assets for the benefit of people and nature as well as helping to address climate change through nature based solutions.

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence recognise and reward the brightest talent in the profession; the most outstanding projects, teams and people helping to transform economies, environments, and communities.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Wiltshire Council Leader, said:

" As a rural authority it's vital that we enhance our natural environment for the long term benefits of both people and nature. This will ensure the county is more resilient to climate change, provides more opportunities to achieve net gain through biodiversity which in turn supports sustainable development, and ensures access to green space for all which brings with it many health benefits.

"Among tough competition we are absolutely delighted with this recognition. We of course are not doing this key work for awards, but being shortlisted demonstrates that we are among the leading authorities for our overall green and blue infrastructure strategy and vision.

"It's a challenging piece of work with huge scale and scope to it, but it's incredibly exciting and will make many positive differences for the county and its many communities."

Wiltshire Council worked with CBA, award-winning landscape, environmental planning and heritage consultants, to develop the strategy.

Dominic Watkins, CBA Director, added:

"Over the last 20 years or so, CBA has helped develop a number of influential strategies, plans and projects for the stewardship of Wiltshire's outstanding landscapes, heritage and wildlife.  We welcomed the opportunity to work with the Council in developing the first Green & Blue Infrastructure Strategy for Wiltshire.  This work establishes a bold new direction and approach for valuing, protecting and enhancing Wiltshire's natural environment, and provides a shared framework for partnership working across the nature, health and business sectors.  We are pleased that this joined-up approach has been recognised as a good practice exemplar for other rural areas by the Royal Town Planning Institute."

The strategy was formally adopted by Wiltshire Council in February this year following public consultation last autumn. Healthy living and economic recovery are key delivery themes of the strategy, which promotes the economic and social well-being benefits of strengthening green and blue infrastructure, which can help the county's local businesses build a strong, competitive and prosperous economy.

The strategy has provided the foundation and framework to develop positive projects and initiatives, including the Community Environmental Toolkit. Working in partnership with Natural England, the council created the toolkit for supporting and inspiring local people and communities to take the lead in helping to reverse biodiversity loss and address climate change in their community. It forms part of a suite of documents that the council is producing to implement the strategy and deliver the Government's 25-Year Environment Plan.

The council's Green & Blue Infrastructure Strategy for Wiltshire - Wiltshire's Natural Environment Plan, has a significant role to play in delivering nature-based solutions for mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts to support the council's Climate Strategy. It will also inform the Local Plan by identifying needs, opportunities and guiding principles for provision of green and blue infrastructure.

The three main goals of the strategy are:

  • Mitigation, adaptation and resilience to climate change
  • Halting loss of & improving biodiversity
  • Contributing to health and wellbeing

The council will find out if it has been successful in winning the award on 6 July.  

More information about the awards can be found at RTPI awards 2022 finalists.

 

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Published 11 May 2022