Gloucestershire 2050 Vision - the GLNP Response
In response to the county's Gloucestershire 2050 Vision consultation, the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership (GLNP) hosted a partnership workshop to collated many opinions and ideas to create a new vision - a Green Gloucestershire fit for the future. Below, you can see the final document where we set out our response to the proposed ideas and ambitions in the consultation and suggest some new ones.
It is important that in the 2050 Vision we don’t lose touch with the basic components of life for the people of Gloucestershire – Food, Water, Shelter, and Energy. Some of our residents today are not able to meet those basic needs. The aim of our 2050 economic activity should be meeting the needs of all, within the capacity of the our environment, not necessarily seeking the need for continuous economic growth that could risk further segregation, but promoting an economy that allows people and business to thrive, regardless of whether they ‘grow’ or not.
As the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership, we seek to create a ‘Green Gloucestershire’ that acknowledges nature as one of its biggest assets; has strong connections between town, city and the countryside; where nature-rich green space penetrates the towns, and accessibility to the landscape is easy no matter where you live. We should make every effort to protect our biodiversity and promote the beauty and significant value our environment brings to our people. Where transportation is not driven by fossil fuels but by green energy; where walking and cycling are the primary transport options; where natural growth is the driver to prosperity; where green-tech and ethical business practices underpin our society, and; where green infrastructure and environmental net-gain is part of everyday development. This approach will attract and retain young people, address the issues surrounding our ageing population, boost the local economy and create a healthier, happier community.
On the 22 October, Leadership Gloucestershire delivered their response to the consultation creating a Concordat, of which they set out its purpose as:
"This Concordat is intended to capture some two years of thinking and contributions from the Gloucestershire community in a single place; to set out a mandate that we believe exists for taking forward a Gloucestershire Vision 2050; and the way in which we might take this work forward."
The Rural Ambition Board [point 12] raise that 'if necessary' consideration should be given to address the need to mitigate for overall development impacts as well possible contributions rural areas can make to development. Which state the latter could include "ecosystem services such as upper catchment flood management, high quality accessible green space, provision of key corridors allowing climate change adaptation for biodiversity, and additional land for new 'garden' communities." With a further ambition to invest in agri-tech.
Reference has been made to "sustainability", yet does not have a definition attached to it, of which we would call for greater clarity. Whilst the Rural Ambition Board may have an element of focus on the natural environment in the context of rural development, there is concern among members on the poor translation of our Green Vision within the adopted 'Vision for Gloucestershire 2050' itself, referring only to sustainability and our efficient "use" of resources, not to protect, enhance or invest in our natural environment.