East of Basingstoke green spaces master plan
In support of a number of the council’s priorities including Horizon 2050, the Climate Emergency declaration and the Green Infrastructure Strategy, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is exploring opportunities to create a linked network of parks and green spaces incorporating Eastrop Park, War Memorial Park, Black Dam Ponds, Crabtree and the Lime Pits. It will look at improving green links with Basingstoke Common and Millfield along the River Loddon valley and to connect Festival Place along the historic route of the Basingstoke Canal.
The work could involve updating existing facilities in the parks and green spaces and the creation of a greater range of outdoor opportunities, possibly including play areas, cafes and visitor centres for people of all ages to enjoy.
The council has now appointed The Environmental Partnership to start work on developing an outline masterplan for the area. This will consider opportunities including:
• creating better links between the parks and open spaces to the west of the ring road with the open spaces to the east of the ring road
• protecting and enhancing the many habitats that exist within the area, such as the grassland and woodland at Crabtree along with the ponds at Black Dam to allow plants and wildlife to thrive and flourish
• developing new links across the entire area that allow for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders to exercise including a potential safe cycle route from Old Basing to Basingstoke
• exploring the potential for where leisure activities such as play areas, visitor centres and cafés could be best located to promote and support resident and visitor use and resolve any public safety concerns
• developing proposals that enhance historic assets such as the route of the former Basingstoke Canal
• exploring funding opportunities for the protection, restoration and enhancement of the open spaces, habitats and historic assets.
Cabinet Member for Planning, Infrastructure and Natural Environment Cllr Mark Ruffell said: “The borough’s excellent framework of parks and green spaces are key to the quality of life for residents and wildlife in the borough, both now and in the future.
“They form part of our vision to create a masterplan for the natural environment covering the whole area between Old Basing and Basingstoke and I am delighted we are moving this exciting project forward.”