Press release: Cambridge Green Party urges City Council to deliver more green spaces for residents

23 February 2022

The Green Party is urging Cambridge City Council to give more residents access to public green spaces near their homes.

A shocking 68 per cent of people living in the city cannot easily reach the amount of green space that is medically recommended – despite the wealth of gardens and meadows in Cambridge.

At a full meeting of the City Council on Thursday (Feb 24), Cllr Hannah Copley will ask what Cambridge is doing to tackle the issue and urge the authority to consider buying up brownfield sites that could be turned in public open spaces.

Cllr Copley, a doctor at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Green representative for Abbey ward, said: “The World Health Organisation recommends that every home is within 300m of a green space of at least half a hectare in size.

We now know that such ‘environmental deprivation’ has a measurable impact on life expectancy.

In Cambridge, some wards score particularly badly on this index, with children in the poorer parts of the city suffering an acute lack of access to green space.

The northern half of St Matthew’s Piece and some of the land south of Coldham’s Lane that is subject to a planning application are among the areas that the Green Party believes could be transformed into high quality, green public spaces.

The Greens are also urging local communities to engage on this issue.

Cllr Naomi Bennett, who also represents Abbey ward, said: “Green spaces are being lost to development, while much of what remains is privately owned with no effective access for residents.

Local communities can apply to designate valued green spaces as ‘Local Green Space’. “The Council needs to raise awareness of this designation and support communities to apply.”

At present, there are no designated Local Green Spaces in Cambridge.

The Green Party is also asking the Council whether any of its own parcels of land within the city, designated as “public open space”, have been disposed of or have current “provisional sales” arranged for them in the last five years.


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