A homes firm believes its Aylesbury scheme sets a new benchmark for nature friendly development which could lead to industry-wide changes.
Around half of Barratt Developments’ Kingsbrook scheme of 2,450 homes to the east of Aylesbury will be green infrastructure, including 250 acres of wildlife-rich open space, the size of 100 football pitches.
The firm liased heavily with the district council’s biodiversity team when drawing up the development, while it has also joined forces with the RSPB to ensure it was as nature-friendly as possible.
The partnership sees Barratt working with the RSPB to share best practice, seconding a biodiversity expert from the charity to advise the company and encouraging its home buyers to play a conservation role.
Mark Clare, Barratt Developments group chief executive said: “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.”
Councillor Howard Mordue, cabinet member for leisure at Aylesbury Vale District Council, said: “I see this benchmark project as the first step in developers working with nature agencies to deliver housing and also to protect the environment.”
Mike Clarke, chief executive of the RSPB, added: “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.”