A consultation exercise which engaged approximately 900 residents across South Ribble was recently undertaken to understand what local residents and stakeholders thought about the council’s ‘Green Links’ proposals.
The Green Links programme is a unique and innovative new approach designed to help improve the overall health and wellbeing of residents in South Ribble. It will improve existing and create new green features across the borough such as parks and local green spaces and will provide improved links between them, such as signposted cycle and walking paths. The programme will also provide potential for multi-purpose health, wellbeing and leisure campuses.
The consultation on the programme ran from 18 February to 30 April and included public workshops and meetings, planning for real sessions and an online and paper survey. It was the largest consultation ever undertaken by the authority.
Residents told us:
Green Spaces should be
- Protected and enhanced (supporting wildlife and natural habitats);
- Accessible (this includes for cyclists, walkers, horses and those living with disabilities);
- Safe (well-lit spaces);
- Spaces for communities to come together and or spend time relaxing.
A Health, Wellbeing and Leisure Campus should
- Provide a diverse offer – not just a gym or pool;
- Be local;
- Provide access to information, advice and support.
- Have a huge role to play in being spaces for encouraging wildlife and natural habitats;
- Spaces where families and people come to relax and play;
- Be accessible to all users, with better paths.
Following the results of the consultation, a series of projects have been proposed which will:
- Create new Green Links in the borough in the shape of new cycle or pedestrian routes which will connect existing parks and open spaces together;
- Commission three new play areas and provide improvements to existing parks and;
- Introduce a series leisure projects which will see new playing fields created across the borough.
Councillor Mick Titherington, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Wellbeing said, “Health and Wellbeing and promoting the environment are key priorities for us.
“We know that South Ribble falls just below the national average regarding people meeting the recommended 150 minutes of activity per week and we’re dedicated to helping improve this. The Green Links programme will transform the way people can get around the borough in a healthy way – without the use of cars – and will provide improved green spaces and facilities for residents to enjoy.
“A key contribution we can make to improve the health of our residents is to increase opportunities available for people to embark on active lifestyles. From developing new play areas, pedestrian and cycle routes, to improving our parks and connecting our open spaces with each other, we want our green infrastructure to be a unique selling point for the Borough.
“It’s fantastic that so many of our residents have come together to provide us with their views on how they want their green spaces and leisure areas to evolve. We’ve listened to our residents at every stage and are dedicated to make sure that the future of the community is one we all have a say in.”
One key area of concern for our residents which came out strongly in the consultation was the future of treasured green spaces at Balcarres Green and Bent Lane in Leyland.
Councillor Paul Foster, Leader of the Council said, “68% of South Ribble is green space which is fantastic, but this means that consideration to building on green space represents a significant challenge for us. While it’s recognised that there are housebuilding targets set by Central Government outside of the council’s control, there was a clear determination from respondents to ensure that the council does what it can to protect local and small green spaces within existing communities.
“Our residents have spoken and we have listened. No house building will take place on the green spaces in Balcarres Green and Bent Lane and we are looking forward to undertaking further consultation with those residents to co-design local priorities for their area.”
The programme of works is set to be discussed and approved at the up-coming Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 19 June.
Further consultation with residents Bent Lane, Balcarres Green and other key areas as highlighted in the Cabinet report will take place with findings shared with Cabinet at a later meeting for further consideration.
The full Cabinet report and results of the consultation can be found at:
Consultation result document: