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Important Notice for Existing and Potential Clients:

As from 4th March 2013, Phil Lomax, Director and Principal Consultant of Green Dimensions is moving to take up a position as Principal Ecologist at Thomson Ecology.

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News and Information

New Green Infrastructure Planning Guidance from Natural England

Earlier this year, Natural England published ‘Green Infrastructure Guidance’ to assist all those involved in planning, design and development to understand the important roles and functions of green infrastructure, and demonstrate good practice in planning and providing green infrastructure.

In the introduction, Natural England explains the background to the new guidance:

“The provision of green infrastructure in and around urban areas is now widely recognised as contributing towards creating places where people want to live and work. The concept of green infrastructure is embodied in the Government’s Planning Policy Statements (PPS) 1 and 12. It is an essential component of good planning for urban and rural areas, particularly in the face of climate change.

However, increased awareness of the importance of green infrastructure does not always go hand in hand with a full understanding of what it is, the range of benefits it can deliver and how it can be promoted and delivered through existing policies and process”.

Natural England uses the same definition of green infrastructure as PPS 12:

“Green infrastructure is a network of multi-functional green space, both new and existing, both rural and urban, which supports the natural and ecological processes and is integral to the health and quality of life of sustainable communities”.

The important role of Green Infrastructure Strategies
Natural England recommends that:

“.... all local authorities prepare a Green Infrastructure Strategy. Strategies can be produced at the sub-regional scale (by a number of local authorities) or at the local authority level. Green infrastructure strategies should be prepared early in the evidence gathering process when making spatial plans

Such strategies often form the evidence base for Local Development Documents. While Green Infrastructure Strategies can be adopted as Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD), this must not detract from the need to embed the green infrastructure approach and relevant policies and proposals in the Core Strategy”.

Green infrastructure has an important role to play in supporting the delivery of key national and international objectives including:

  • Economic growth and employment
  • Protect and enhance cultural heritage
  • Protect and enhance the landscape, geodiversity and natural environment
  • Biodiversity conservation and enhancement
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Promoting sustainable transport and reducing the need to travel by car
  • Community cohesion and lifelong learning; volunteering
  • Healthy communities; health and well being.

The guidance describes how to go about delivering green infrastructure benefits, starting with the production of a green infrastructure strategy.

Click here to access the full guidance.

Natural England’s “Housing Growth and Green Infrastructure Policy” is available at the same address.

Folded Corner:  can assist and support you with green space and green infrastructure planning for your plan or project. Please contact us to discuss how we can help you.

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