The City Council's landscape architects are responsible for protecting and improving the quality of Gloucester's urban landscape, as well as assessing the effect and impact that new developments may have on the city. This work is carried out in several ways:
The planning process is an important means by which the City Council can have an impact on the quality of the public realm. Planning consents, which can range from a single house to a large business park, will have conditions attached, so that the applicant has to submit a landscape scheme for approval before starting the development. In addition to showing planting proposals for new housing, other factors such as paving, fencing, furniture and equipment will be approved where appropriate.
The council’s landscape architects will approve each proposal, usually after having negotiated improved submissions. On larger schemes we will be involved from the early pre-planning stages, to ensure that developers take landscape issues into account from the outset. Currently a good deal of work is being done with the developers of the RAF Quedgeley site where 2,650 homes are being built, along with the creation of new open spaces, play and sports facilities.
City Council Promoted Capital Works
As landowner or statutory authority, Gloucester City Council is directly responsible for the management of large parts of the city, ranging from the main pedestrianised Gate streets to smaller lanes, city centre open spaces and suburban parks.
When these areas need to be updated and improved the landscape team will be responsible for the new design, consulting with the public and other stakeholders and making sure the projects are delivered. Although the City Council is often the lead body, projects are also undertaken in partnership with a wide variety of agencies and organisations.
The landscape team has designed all of the recently improved city centre streets and spaces, including the pedestrianised areas, St John's Lane, Worcester Street and St Lucy's Garden. Projects currently under construction include the refurbishment of Gloucester Park and improvements to the pedestrian route from St Oswald's Park (Cattle Market) to the city centre. This will also incorporate the redesign of Priory Gardens and part of St Mary de Lode churchyard. A new park has also been designed at Brionne Way in Longlevens.
Small-scale environmental improvement projects are also part of the landscape team's work. Working with schools, residents groups or local business, the team will draw up detailed schemes, or if appropriate just give broad guidance. There is a degree of funding expertise within the team, without which a number of recent proposals would not have progressed. Current schemes include improvements to St James Park and refurbishing the open space to the front of St Aldates Church, which was done in partnership with the local residents group.
Open Space Strategy
The Open Space Strategy for Gloucester (2014-2019) was approved in April 2014. The document sets out information on the city’s parks and open spaces and includes an action plan identifying priorities for shaping and managing the spaces in the future.