Aylesbury, a market town going back to Anglo-Saxon times, has long been a commercial centre in the area. Situated strategically on the road, rail and canal network, the industry thrived and provided employment for those who lived in this bustling town some 40 miles NW of London.
This position made Aylesbury ideal for accommodation for London overspill, its population tripled in the last 60 years. Much of the old town centre was remodelled in the 1950s-60s to construct new retail outlets servicing the newcomers, leaving a limited number of heritage buildings, and offering a nucleus for a larger population. The Aylesbury travel interchange has been spoken of as one of the greenest bus stations in the country, with mature trees now well established in GreenBlue Urban ArborSystem tree pit systems, helping to get travellers to use more environmentally sound methods of transport rather than the private car.
In 2017, Aylesbury was granted Garden Town status, opening up new sustainable development potential around the periphery of the existing dwellings. These conditions meant that the town had become a hot spot for developers, and a testing ground for new ideas and solutions.
One of these developments, now known as Kingsbrook, is a new village consisting of three neighbourhoods: Oakfield Village, Orchard Green and Canal Quarter. Designed to be complementary to Aylesbury, but also to reduce the traffic pressure on the town, the development included an eastern by-pass, and this will help draw traffic away from the challenging conditions on the existing road network.
Southern Ecological Solutions worked closely with the land owners and Barratt David Wilson to design an environment which does not only preserve habitat but actively restores and enhances biodiversity. Creating a village environment where 50% of the site is green infrastructure, including fully integrated green and blue features adds up to a real gain, with multifunctional areas for all ages to enjoy. We applaud the efforts of all stakeholders.
These neighbourhoods have been built out by various housing developers; Canal Quarter, the most eastern of the communities has been predominately built by Barratt/David Wilson homes. This neighbourhood was designed to pioneer the concept of nature-friendly developments, BDW works closely with the RSPB to design and construct properties that support bio-diversity and minimise the impact on the environment. Discover more on a recent collaborative webinar - Biodiversity in Developments - Watch here
GreenBlue Urban worked with the client, the landscape architect the contractor (ECL Civils) and the local authority, to support the green infrastructure across the whole site, which was installed in accordance with best practice. In consideration of the low-lying nature of the site, much of the scheme was designed with SuDS solutions provided at a local street level, (linear SuDS swales) using GreenBlue Urban Root Barrier systems to prevent any long-term rooting issues, and where trees are planted in hard surfacing, full ArborSystem Tree Pits have been installed.
Carrying the same consideration of green infrastructure, the Kingsbrook Secondary School was designed around environmentally friendly principles. The whole design, done by AHR landscape architects, supports low whole-life carbon footprint principles, and tree planting is central to this. Whilst most of the trees on the site are in soft landscaped areas, a couple of the trees in the front of the newly opened buildings are in full GreenBlue Urban ArborSystems with Castle inlaid tree grilles, protecting the tree rooting systems from compaction in heavily trafficked areas.
As always, early design intervention is critical if the implementation is to be successful. Barratt/David Wilson can be congratulated for embedding green and blue principles into the design process, which has led to a great outcome for all who work, live, learn and play in Canal Quarter. Speak to GreenBlue Urban about your project, and how we can help you get these principles beyond the discussion stage, and get them completed, helping to create healthy urban spaces in harmony with nature.