Marsh saved from development

Essex site to become public open space

The importance of open space in a community has been acknowledged by English Partnerships, which chose not to sell off a 4.5ha area of marshland in Essex. The agency handed over Vange Marsh North in Basildon to the Land Restoration Trust (LRT), which will transform the land into a public green space. Instead of being built on, the site can now be transformed into a gateway leading to a larger network of open space. LRT chief executive Euan Hall said: “There’s been much talk and many policies that have recognised the value of open space. But often this doesn’t translate into reality. English Partnerships has made a landmark decision because it puts the value and benefits of open space above pounds and pence.” The site is to become part of a long-term project named GreenGrid South Essex, which is developing a series of green networks in the Thames Gateway. The LRT has appointed the RSPB to manage the site. RSPB South Essex Projects Manager Paul Fisher said: “We look forward to creating a place rich in wildlife and an amenity for local people and visitors.”

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