Thursday, September 22, 2011

Joined up thinking?

At a meeting of the Environment Partnership tonight there was discussion of two things which linked up in my mind: possible housing sites and the green infrastructure of the borough.  Stockton's core strategy adopted last year was written during the height of the housing boom.  At that time there was great hope that contaminated land could be cleaned and good modern housing built on it.  Sadly, since then, the costs of such remediation have risen compared to the probable income from sale of the housing.  The brownfield sites are likely to stay undeveloped for years.  So new housing is likely to be built on green land.  At present there's a consultation on which green land it should be!
I suggested that if the brownfield land was to be left undeveloped it should at least be made to look a bit pleasanter as it's at the heart of our borough.  It seems that it just might happen, though not in the way I'd envisaged.  Willow coppicing might be an answer to giving the owners a little bit of income while they wait for the market recovery.   So we might find the "Green Blue Heart" of the borough becoming a bit greener in the next couple of years, rather than having brown scars across it.

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