Whitehill & Bordon’s Green Loop has been honoured with a prestigious planning award for the benefits it will bring to the local community.
The Green Loop is a 7km network of walking and cycling paths that encircle and criss-cross the town and is often used by walkers, runners and cyclists.
Last week, (Thursday 9 June) the project won the Planning Award in the best use of arts culture or sport in placemaking category.
The award recognised the inspirational design of the waymarkers installed alongside the path, including totems, benches and blocks.
Judges were impressed with the project’s approach to green infrastructure, factoring in health, history and the environment.
The project was managed in partnership by East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire County Council, Whitehill Town Council, Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company and used local company Urban Place Lab. It was funded from the EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and developers’ contributions.
Cllr Phillip Davies, Assistant Portfolio Holder for Whitehill & Bordon, said:
“The Green Loop is an outstanding achievement and allows residents to leave their car at home and travel around the town in a healthy and sustainable way.
“The waymarkers are a key part of encouraging residents and visitors to choose active travel, such as walking and cycling, in and around the town.
“Active travel not only helps to reduce pollution and traffic congestion, it improves the physical and mental health of the town’s residents.”
Designed as a series of totems, benches and blocks, the waymarkers make it easy to navigate through the town. They are bespoke to Whitehill & Bordon, using locally significant materials and motifs that reflect the history of the area.
James Child, Project Director at Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, said:
“We’re thrilled to have won this award. Sustainability and public health are a vital part of this regeneration project and we are determined for Whitehill & Bordon to be a place that people can explore and enjoy without needing to rely on cars.
“The natural beauty that surrounds the town is one of its greatest assets, so we want everyone to be able experience this while travelling between the existing and new parts of the town. For this reason we’re hugely proud of the green loop and for it to be recognised in this manner is a very nice cherry on top.
“It has been a huge team effort between ourselves, the town council, EHDC, the Land Trust, and countless individuals who share in this success with us. We hope it is something the community will be proud of for generations to come.”
Cllr Andy Tree, Leader of Whitehill Town Council, said:
“I congratulate the work of all those involved and fully support the deserved Planning Award win, meaning we can be proud of Whitehill & Bordon and showcase what we have achieved for our community.”
Councillor Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Transport and Environment Strategy, said:
“It is brilliant that this thoughtfully-designed local network, which encourages active travel, has been recognised at national level. We have been delighted to work with our partners to make the vision a reality. We are pleased to have played our part, in the creation of a new and thriving town, built on sustainable principles and for greener, healthier living. I extend my congratulations for this award to them all.
“Since the beginning of the town’s transformation, with redevelopment of the former army barracks at its centre, we have worked in close partnership with East Hampshire District Council, Whitehill and Bordon Regeneration Company and Whitehill Town Council to deliver key infrastructure to support the growing local community.”
James Gross, Founder/Director of Urban Place Lab, said:
“As a local SME design consultancy, Urban Place Lab was delighted to be chosen to support EHDC and partners on the enhancement of the Green Loop and wayfinding additions.
“Working alongside our design colleagues at Feria Urbanism and Wolfstrome Design, we engaged with the community to design and develop a wayfinding ‘family’ of signs, benches, blocks and seats, that were then fabricated and installed by local tradespeople with local materials, ensuring funding for the project remained within the local economy.”