Barratt Developments has joined forces with the RSPB to set a new benchmark for nature-friendly housing developments.
Subject to detailed planning, Kingsbrook to the east of Aylesbury, will be the first development to pioneer this new approach – beginning in late 2015. The partnership comes at a time when much of the UK’s urban wildlife is in trouble – with around 60% of bees, birds, bugs and mammals in decline.
The innovative concepts to be introduced at Kingsbrook, stem from the vision and aims of Aylesbury Vale District Council biodiversity officers’ ideas that the new housing development could help improve wildlife and create an improved living environment for new residents.
2,540 new homes, as well as new schools and community facilities will be designed with nature at the heart of the proposals. Around 50% of the Kingsbrook development will be green infrastructure, including 250 acres of wildlife-rich open space, the size of 100 football pitches, accessible to all residents of the Aylesbury Vale.
Councillor Howard Mordue, Cabinet Member for Leisure at AVDC, said, “The council has a major role to play in ensuring that the district’s web of biodiversity is maintained and enhanced. The Kingsbrook project will continue the good work we have already put in place, and will help us to protect the delicate and complex ecosystems on which all life depends. I see this benchmark project as the first step in developers working with nature agencies to deliver housing and also to protect the environment.''
Welcoming the partnership, Mike Clarke Chief Executive of the RSPB, said: “With hundreds of thousands of homes needed in the next few years, now is the time for conservationists and homebuilders to pull together to ensure the wildlife is boosted rather than ousted in the process. We are confident that many positive steps can be taken to build wildlife into new housing developments, giving nature and people a home and increasing quality of life, and all relatively simply and cheaply.”
Mark Clare, Barratt Developments Group Chief Executive added: “Working with the RSPB we can make the built environment and shared areas of our developments as nature friendly as possible and at the same time, the developments will become more attractive places to live.
"The centrepiece of the partnership will begin at Aylesbury, where we will work together with the RSPB to combine knowledge and advice, from the planning process, through the supply chain, to customer occupation and sustainable living.
“For too long, nature conservation has often been seen to be in conflict with economic development and job creation. Our partnership with the RSPB will demonstrate how we protect and enhance the biodiversity of the local area, benefitting the economy, creating employment and improving health and wellbeing for our customers and the communities we create.”
Additional features of the partnership include:
• Working with the RSPB to share best practice on supply chain management
• Engaging with employees and raising awareness of wildlife-friendly best practice
• Seconding a biodiversity expert from the RSPB to advise the company
• Using RSPB advice and expertise on biodiversity to inspire Barratt homebuyers to 'give nature a home.'