The minister was invited to tour the Kingsbrook village in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire today where developer Barratt and David Wilson Homes have partnered with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to incorporate nature friendly features in the site design, including hedgehog highways and bat and swift boxes.
With developers across the country drawing up plans for thousands of new homes to ease the housing shortage, the RSPB, Aylesbury Vale District Council and Barratt and David Wilson Homes have partnered to show that residential development can be of benefit to nature and to residents.
The Kingsbrook village development, located just outside Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, is an excellent example of what can be achieved when a commercial business engages with conservation and wildlife bodies.
Not only does the site boast native planting, which encourages British wildlife to make a home in the village, it also has several nature-friendly features such as bat and swift boxes and bricks located on selected houses, and also sustainable water areas where already egrets are settling in.
RSPB deputy director of global conservation, Jo Gilbert, said: “It’s testament to the importance of this partnership between the RSPB, Barratt and Aylesbury Vale District Council that the minister has chosen to visit Kingsbrook.
“It’s just over a year since the wildlife friendly features were introduced, and we are starting to see nature really take to the areas and make them their own. Hopefully, the success of Kingsbrook will encourage other developers to look at wildlife options when drawing up designs for future housing.”
Following his tour of the site, Alok Sharma MP said: “To build more homes in this country, we need to encourage innovative approaches to house building so that new developments complement and enhance, rather than threaten, the local and natural environment.
“The success of this partnership between RSPB, Barratt and David Wilson Homes and Aylesbury Vale District Council is proof that action to increase housing supply can work in harmony with conservation efforts to protect natural habitats.
“As set out in our Housing White Paper, we are committed to a planning system that protects designated land, like the Green Belt and Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and promotes sustainable development.”
Regional Managing Director for Barratt and David Wilson Homes, Gary Ennis, said “Kingsbrook is a flagship, award-winning development showcasing our partnership with the RSPB. In addition to the 500 new homes we are building in the first phase, we are also pioneering a nature-friendly approach to building new communities. We are creating a 250-acre nature reserve and installing swift bricks, wildlife homes, and hedgehog highways, all to support nature and this has proven popular with our new residents. It’s an example of the benefits of working so closely with the RSPB and we’re proud of the progress we are making together.”