Planning for Green Infrastructure
Green Infrastructure or GI is the network of green spaces that intersperse and connect our cities, towns and villages, providing multiple benefits for our environment, economy and communities.
GI is a holistic approach to viewing and managing the natural environment; acknowledging the multiple benefits and vital services it provides and making tangible links to economic, health and social welfare agendas and aspirations. The components of GI include biodiversity, landscape, historic environment, access and recreation and water.
Worcestershire Green Infrastructure Strategy 2023-2028
The Worcestershire Green Infrastructure Partnership has published a new Worcestershire Green Infrastructure Strategy to drive forward the delivery of green infrastructure in the county. It sets out county-scale principles to inform plans and strategies being developed by partner organisations and to enable a coherent approach to delivery across a range of initiatives.
Worcestershire Green Infrastructure Priority Areas
The Worcestershire Green Infrastructure Strategy identified a number of Green Infrastructure Priority Areas.
Green Infrastructure Evidence Base
The Strategic Planning and Environmental Policy Team at Worcestershire County Council is a lead member of the Worcestershire Green Infrastructure (GI Partnership) and provides its secretariat. The GI Partnership includes the statutory agencies such as the Environment Agency, Natural England, Forestry Commission and English Heritage, local authorities, and voluntary sector organisations such as Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.
A focus for the GI Partnership has been development of the Worcestershire Green Infrastructure Strategy and supporting evidence to guide the delivery of green infrastructure in the county through development, regeneration and environmental projects. The Strategy is now complete and can be accessed in the section below.
The GI Partnership is currently developing an Implementation Plan which will identify a number of projects to deliver the priorities outlined in the GI Strategy and will establish a spatial focus for collective action on green infrastructure in Worcestershire.
The GI Partnership also works at the site level to influence development and ensure the successful delivery of ecosystem services. It prepares GI Plans and Statements for strategic development sites which identify the GI principles to be followed in the sites' master planning. The GI Partnership collaborates with developers to ensure that site design incorporates sufficient good quality, accessible green infrastructure to protect and enhance the natural environment, as well as to support the health and well-being of future residents.
Green Infrastructure Evidence Base
Green Infrastructure Framework documents provide the evidence base to inform and support production of the Worcestershire Green Infrastructure Strategy and future delivery of green infrastructure in Worcestershire.
The GI Framework papers published to date include:
- Green Infrastructure Framework document 1
This paper introduces the concept of GI and the policy context for delivering GI in Worcestershire. It also signposts stakeholders to baseline information available for each GI theme.
- Green Infrastructure Framework document 2
This paper includes a review of the baseline data for biodiversity, landscape and the historic environment and develops a combined approach to existing green infrastructure within the county, through the GI Environmental Character Areas. The GI Environmental Character Areas are classified according to the strategic intervention required, based on the existing GI assets and strategic analysis. A series of high-level objectives are set out for each of the character areas, based on the key green infrastructure themes.
- Green Infrastructure Framework document 3
This paper assesses informal recreation provision in the county and its contribution to green infrastructure. It identifies the location, extent, and functionality of strategic recreational assets in Worcestershire. It also explores the potential need for new recreational assets and identifies areas of search and potential funding mechanisms for new facilities.
- Green Infrastructure Framework document 4
This paper explores how multifunctional green infrastructure solutions can provide economic and health benefits, as well as contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Download the Green Infrastructure Framework documents
- Worcestershire Green Infrastructure Framework 1 (PDF)
- Worcestershire Green Infrastructure Framework 2 (PDF)
- Worcestershire Green Infrastructure Framework 3 (PDF)
- Worcestershire Green Infrastructure Framework 4 (PDF)
Valuing, costing and viability of green infrastructure
The GI Partnership has prepared guidance on the financial considerations of green infrastructure including the value, viability, funding and costing of green infrastructure assets and their future management. This guidance comprises:
- Valuing and funding green infrastructure: non-planning related projects
This document provides guidance on valuing and costing of green infrastructure to support implementation and delivery of non-planning GI projects, such as the creation of parks, flood management, sustainable transport, etc.
- Viability, valuation and funding of green infrastructure on new development sites
This document provides guidance on the viability, valuing and costing of green infrastructure to support its implementation and delivery on new development sites delivered through the planning process.
- Indicative costs of Green Infrastructure
This spreadsheet includes the costs of various green infrastructure solutions collated through a literature review and from real-world information provided by stakeholders. These costs are only indicative and the actual green infrastructure costs of various developments should be considered and valued on a site-by-site basis.