William Eichler 08 August 2019

Government welcomes plans to create West Midlands national park

Government welcomes plans to create West Midlands national park image

Whitehall has welcomed proposals to create a new West Midlands urban national park that would span more than seven cities and open up hundreds of miles of green space.

The interim findings of the Government’s Landscapes Review said officials would like to see ‘the encouragement of a wider range of non-designated systems of landscape protection,’ such as the plan to build a national park in the West Midlands Combined Authority region.

The plan, which has been drawn up by Kathryn Moore, professor of landscape architecture at Birmingham City University, would see more conservation areas and new cycle routes in the West Midlands.

It would also provide more jobs and a boost to the economy.

‘The interim findings of this report demonstrate a welcome appetite to take a different look at how we view our cities and reimagine what these spaces are, and what they could become,’ said Professor Moore.

‘A West Midlands National Park would be a vehicle to help drive social, economic and environmental change in the region, profoundly changing its identity.

‘It is a vision of what the West Midlands can become when the significance of its landscape is properly realised and celebrated. Above all, this proposal’s central purpose is real transformation.’

Landscape Architects working on the scheme suggest once detailed case studies have been carried out, a West Midland National Park could see the area categorised as ‘a region of a thousand cycle and footpaths, a thousand parks and a thousand lakes’.

Responding to the Government’s interim report, the mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street commented: ‘The report is very positive towards the concept of a West Midlands National Park, which is a good step forward.

‘Protecting and enhancing our green spaces is important for so many reasons, not least for people’s quality of life, health and well-being.

‘But it can also help make the West Midlands an even more attractive place for people to visit and for businesses to invest in, helping to grow a clean economy.’

Cllr Ian Courts, the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) portfolio lead for the environment and leader of Solihull Council, added: ‘We have just set new carbon reduction targets for the West Midlands to reach net-zero emissions no later than 2041. More cycle routes, forests and woodland can help us achieve that.

‘This is an encouraging report and dovetails with the steps we are already taking as a region to safeguard our green spaces and tackle climate change.’

Sutton Councils IoT pilot project image

Sutton Council's IoT pilot project

David Grasty, head of digital strategy & portfolio for Kingston and Sutton Councils, outlines how in-home sensors have improved the safety of vulnerable residents living in social housing.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Children's Safeguarding and Care 

Gloucestershire County Council
Up to £116,391, plus relocation support
We are looking to fill this vital role at a very important time for us.  Our children’s services team is on an important journey of... Gloucestershire
Recuriter: Gloucestershire County Council

Director of Adult Social Care (DASS)

Hull City Council
£98,166 - £98,166
We are now seeking to recruit an exceptional transformational leader to build on our existing success. Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: Hull City Council

Senior Building Surveyor

Bedford Borough Council
£34,728 - £36,880 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen following a comprehensive restructure of Economic Growth and Property. Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Planning Officer

Three Rivers District Council
£30,451 to £33,782 (exc. LW)
We are looking to appoint a Senior Planning Officer. Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
Recuriter: Three Rivers District Council

Insurance Manager

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£43,833 to £53,115 per annum
An opportunity has arisen for a skilled and experienced insurance professional to lead a busy and friendly Insurance Team providing a... Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue