Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Green Infrastructure

12.41 Green Infrastructure is the mosaic of natural landscape features, spaces and corridors that lie within and between developed areas. They are essential elements of the character and appearance of an area and contribute positively to cultural heritage, the health and well being of the local community and the general quality of life. In addition to enriching visual amenity they offer opportunities for informal recreation and provide wildlife habitats. They can also contribute to natural drainage and reduce surface water run off, helping mitigate for the consequences of climate change.

12.42 The provision of properly integrated Green Infrastructure can enhance the amenity of an area and promote a sense of place and community identity. Greater access to open space, parks, playing fields and provision for children and young people are clearly beneficial to health and the sense of well-being of the local community. Networks of green spaces and corridors provide opportunities for recreation, walking and cycling and also benefit wildlife by conserving and enhancing habitats, and providing buffers from development to important wildlife sites and watercourses.

12.43 Trees are essential to the value of Green Infrastructure. The retention of trees and woodland; their appropriate management; and provision of new tree planting, can help to combat climate change and flooding. Trees help to alleviate pollution and modify microclimate. They filter air-trapping pollutants as well as absorb Carbon Dioxide and release Oxygen during photosynthesis. They filter rainwater and slow down surface run off, which helps to reduce soil erosion as well as reduce costs to the drainage infrastructure. Trees also help to reduce wind speeds and provide shade from ultra violet rays as well as reduce noise levels from adjacent developments.

12.44 Attenuation ponds and other sustainable drainage systems, together with larger water bodies, can also provide valuable aspects of Green Infrastructure, with a potential for enhancing ecological and landscape value.

12.45 Clear priorities are being established through the overarching Green Infrastructure Strategy, which incorporates local open space standards (Policy HW1) and requirements for developments to contribute towards the delivery of a comprehensive network of Green Infrastructure. In particular, the strategy recognises the need to integrate Green Infrastructure within the urban extension and to ensure that all communities have access to quality green areas.

Policy EQ4 Green Infrastructure

The Council will promote the provision of Green Infrastructure throughout the District, based upon the enhancement of existing areas including public open space, accessible woodland, and river corridors, and by ensuring that development provides open spaces and green corridor links between new and existing green spaces.

The overall aim will be to provide a network of connected and multi-functional open spaces that:

  • Create new habitats and connects existing wildlife areas to enrich biodiversity
  • Improve access and recreational opportunities
  • Ensure that all children and young people have reasonable access to a range of play and leisure opportunities
  • Link urban areas to the countryside
  • Enhance the character and local distinctiveness of the landscape
  • Contribute to local identity and sense of place
  • Increase the District's tree cover
  • Help mitigate the consequences of climate change.

Existing Green Infrastructure will be protected against development proposals, which would cause an adverse impact.