Blueprint sets out greener future for Gloucester

A new blueprint for Gloucester’s future that requires developers to support the council’s pledge to tackle climate change has been agreed.

The Gloucester City Plan, the blueprint for shaping how the city will develop, was passed unanimously by full council. (PDF, 5.5 MB)

It sets out where land will be used for business development to promote economic growth, and where the city will provide for new homes for communities.

The plan runs until 2031 and its key aims are that new developments should be high quality, include community infrastructure and enhance the city’s historic qualities and its natural environment,

The city plan also encourages the regeneration of current brownfield sites, such as land behind the St Oswalds retail park, which has been set aside for new housing.  

Other green measures include requiring developments to achieve ‘biodiversity net gain’, earlier than changes being introduced nationally, which means they must improve the natural environment and increase biodiversity.

Existing trees, woodland and hedgerows must be protected and sufficient outdoor spaces provided for households that promote healthy lifestyles.

Proposals should also take into account the increased rainfall set to result from climate change and developments should be protected from flooding.

Landscaping should be adaptable to increasing temperatures, allotments are to be preserved and greenery used to reduce air pollution and noise, particularly around schools or the hospital.

The plan also sets out a commitment for 25 percent of new homes to be accessible for those disabilities or be able to be adapted to support home adaptations.

Councillor Stephanie Chambers, cabinet member for planning and housing strategy, said: “This plan sets out our vision for the city and how we can both support growth and protect our natural environment. While there is a strong demand for land to develop housing and places of employment it is extremely important that developers are acting responsibly. This plan will help us ensure that developments are both high quality and meet people’s needs but also take into account our responsibility to current and future generations to address climate change and reduce its impacts.”

Councillor Jeremy Hilton, Liberal Democrat Leader at the city council, said: “The new city plan has been through a rigorous process of consultation and inspection, which followed on from intensive cross party collaboration to get to this stage. The last adopted city plan dates back to 1983. Our new city plan should strengthen the city council’s powers to oversee good quality development that protects and enhances our built and natural environment. I was pleased that the plan was approved unanimously.”

Councillor Terry Pullen, Labour Leader at the city council, said: “I welcome the new City Plan which is a result of a very long, thorough and complex process which has taken several years to complete.  I’m happy that it includes the regeneration and development of brownfield sites balanced with taking the green agenda and biodiversity into account.  There are many new and innovative aspects that are really important, for example the inclusion of accessible and adaptable homes. This will go some way to meeting the needs of people with complex needs enabling them to live independently.”

View the Gloucester City Plan