What to do with a large and contaminated landfill site that can’t be built on? I sat down in 2019 with the recycling centre site owners, Enovert, and the City Council to discuss a sustainable future as a Green Energy and Eco Park.

Our plans include a 100,000-tree woodland and a solar energy farm which will produce energy for local use.

To date we have planted over 7,250 trees with school children, alongside our additional partner the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s 60-mile Severn Corridor Treescape.

In May 2023, the first 90 acres of solar panels were approved with installation later this year.

As an addition to the original plans, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust are now working with Enovert on creating a nature corridor through the site, creating new habitats and introducing new species to the area.

This pledge will continue for years to come and by working and getting agreement to the National Planning Policy Framework on onshore wind, I hope there is potential for onshore wind at our recycling centre as well.

This would also open the possibility of hydrogen in the future.

The project has been visited by Environment Minister Rebecca Pow and COP26 President Sir Alok Sharma, who both praised the idea as part of our plan for a Greener Gloucester. This is alongside the new Sudbrook Community Garden, tree planting and wildflower meadows in different wards and road projects that reduce traffic jams and air pollution.