Natural green space underpins urban plan

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council in Leicestershire has unveiled proposals to create two sustainable urban living areas and upgrade local green space as part of a regeneration masterplan for the Earl Shilton and Barwell districts.

Under the proposals, drawn up by consultancy Capita Symonds, 4,100 new homes will be created in the area by 2026 with 10ha of space for further development and employment opportunities.

The council has also secured £274,000 through the local green infrastructure strategy to carry out a two-year programme of work to upgrade access and biodiversity in Burbage Common and Woods.

Work began last December to improve cycle and pedestrian routes. New cycle racks, signs, toilet blocks and a visitor centre will also be installed under the plans.

The local authority's public space manager Caroline Roffey explained that it was vital to provide the local community with easy access to nature and prepare the area for the impact of increasing numbers of local residents.

"We don't just want to provide the community with parks and formal open spaces, we want to ensure that they have access to natural and semi natural green space as well," she said.

"Places such as Burbage Common are really important to people's physical and mental wellbeing - it's part of our natural health service," she added.

The full proposals for the urban development will go before a planning committee after the public consultation period concludes on 17 February.

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