Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Currently campaigning with our group, the Lewes Coalition, to try and stop a Planning Application to build an industrial estate on an untouched (neglected) part of our local flood plain. Our town Lewes was heavily damaged in the floods of 2000 (the memories still linger) and we consider building on what's left of the floodplain does not make common sense to say the least.
In fact common sense has, we have found, generally being excluded from the planning system.
To find out more about our campaign see our brand new website: www.lewescoalition.org.uk

Have been interested for some years now in natural approaches to flood control, which we are arguing this site should be used for.

The planning situation in Britain is changing. Previously planning was simply to do with buildings with the environment being a marginal issue. Now, in our era of climate change and
sustainable development, such issues are now coming to the forefront.

Recommended is this important document: The Green Infrastructure Planning Guide from which these extract are taken.

‘Green infrastructure is the physical environment within and between our cities, towns and villages. It is a network of multi-functional open spaces, including formal parks, gardens, woodlands, green corridors, waterways, street trees and open countryside. It comprises all environmental resources, and thus a green infrastructure approach also contributes towards sustainable resource management.’

‘In general level five broad sets of interests in GI can be identified:

1. Sustainable resource management – particularly relating to the role of GI in the sustainable management of land and water resources, including production (e.g. energy and food crops), pollution control, climatic amelioration and increased porosity of land cover.

2. Biodiversity – particularly relating to the importance of connectivity of habitats at a variety of landscape scales;

3. Recreation – particularly relating to greenways and the use of non-car routes to address public health and quality of life issues;

4. Landscape – examining resources such as green spaces and corridors from aesthetic, experiential and functional points of view;

5. Regional development and promotion – particularly relating to sustainable communities issues relating to overall environmental quality and quality of life.

Figure 1 : The Green/Grey Continuum

'One of the problems encountered in considering green infrastructure planning is that it is often hard to visualise and therefore may not be accounted for properly. The green-grey continuum concept may help to overcome the lack of obviousness of green infrastructure compared to grey infrastructure, which is well understood in the planning process.'

We believe that Malling Brooks is a perfect example of an area of land that should be developed to serve these ends and that this offers best value use of this land.


Green Infrastructure is big thing in the US. See this interesting blog Landscape+Urbanism
Check out also this EU project, the Adaptive Land Use for Flood Alleviation [ALFA]

No comments: