Green Infrastructure and the Natural Environment

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Comment

Local Development Plan Pre-Submission Publication

Representation ID: 6664

Received: 17/08/2018

Respondent: Hertfordshire County Council

Representation:

The reference to Green Infrastructure (GI) is fully supported. However, there is no mention of the River Stort as a key strategic GI asset.
There is also no mention of local distinctiveness or wording to promote the conservation and enhancement of landscape character and visual amenity. These demonstrate an ambition to create places that are not only high quality, but attractive too, and provide vital hooks to local landscape/townscape character assessment that are an important tool to help guide positive change (see comment under local distinctiveness).

The reference to GI and a strong network of green wedges and fingers is well embedded throughout the plan. There is concern however that it should be clearer that the definition of GI includes both green and blue assets, in particular the Stort River Valley that is an important regional asset that runs along the boundary between Hertfordshire and Essex.
It is the view of HCC that the Stort River Valley could be brought into public use, as a way of integrating the new communities in the Gilston Area with the expansion of Harlow to the south. This area is identified as a rural green link in the Hertfordshire Green Infrastructure Plan, where the connectivity of the GI network could be strengthened, in order to encourage public access within this area.
There is no reference to the Hertfordshire Strategic Green Infrastructure Plan (Incorporating the Green Arc area) which also covers Harlow and the wider area. This document should be a key aspect of the evidence base, and recognises key GI proposals/projects for the river valley of the Stort, the woodland arc and strategic connections.

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