Guiding principle 1: Planning for green infrastructure from the outset

Ensure that the planning, delivery and management of green infrastructure in, around and between settlements in Devon is a primary consideration and taken into account at the earliest stage when making sustainable development and land management decisions. Specifically:

  • take opportunities to engage communities in the planning, creation, enhancement, delivery and maintenance of green infrastructure, and maximise the health and education benefits of green infrastructure assets
  • recognise the economic value, benefits and potential of green infrastructure assets and functions alongside other infrastructure, allowing consideration of natural as well as built solutions to infrastructure needs
  • recognise, protect and manage green infrastructure assets to help sustain environmental quality and support ecosystem services and take opportunities to maximise the connectivity and function of the green infrastructure network, providing new assets and enhancing or extending existing assets where appropriate
  • maximise the potential of green infrastructure in helping us adapt to climate change
  • ensure the need for future green infrastructure assets is based on up to date evidence and analysis, taking opportunities to share evidence bases and approaches across administrative boundaries, particularly in areas of active landscape change

Why this is important for Devon and beyond

Delivering green infrastructure begins with having plans and strategies that recognise its importance and promote its delivery. Taking into account the themes in the above guiding principle will help to maximise the opportunities and benefits that green infrastructure can provide.

In addition, an important element of green infrastructure planning is about crossing-boundaries (administrative and physical) and this relates to the ‘Duty to Co-operate’, which requires all planning authorities and public bodies to work actively and collaboratively when preparing plans for their area.

Strategic priorities and approaches for working together across Devon

1.1: Apply all of the guiding principles and related strategic priorities in this strategy as the basis for preparing policies, strategies and plans, specifically by local authorities and neighbourhood planning bodies. Working collaboratively with neighbours, through the duty to co-operate, to produce evidence and shared plans and priorities will improve co-ordination of green infrastructure delivery.

1.2: All plan makers and decision makers can use the Devon green infrastructure checklist to audit land which is proposed for change, and to justify protection and safeguarding of green infrastructure assets, including designation of Local Green Spaces.

1.3: Plan positively for the co-ordination and delivery of new green infrastructure with priority given to areas of active landscape change, including mineral and waste development areas, new settlements, urban extensions and coastal change management areas (see Map).

  • Find out how you can get involved in the delivery of this guiding principle, whether you are an interested local community group or individual, a landowner or a public authority.

    Local Authorities

    Policy planners: apply the guiding principles and priorities in this strategy as the basis for formulating planning policies, strategies and plans that are consistent across administrative boundaries, through the duty to co-operate.

    All planners: use the planning process (including section 106 agreements and CIL) to ensure green infrastructure forms part of development plans, and is delivered and appropriately managed to sustain functions and quality.

    ensure the existing or intended functions and linkages of green infrastructure assets are identified and recorded on land allocations, and require applicants to identify these on masterplans, development plans and management plans.

    Public sector landowners and land managers: get involved in the planning and design of green infrastructure, as your buy-in and expertise is vital to its long-term success.

    Landowners, developers and design professionals

    Developers and designers: Ensure new developments make a contribution to green infrastructure.

    When formulating masterplans and development plans, carry out environmental appraisals early in the design process to identify existing and potential green infrastructure that links into wider networks and makes the best use of land for multiple benefits.

    Ensure the existing or intended functions and linkages of green infrastructure assets are identified and recorded on masterplans, development plans and management plans.

    Communities and individuals

    Neighbourhood planning bodies: when preparing their neighbourhood plans or community right to build orders, should take into account the guiding principles and priorities in this strategy as the basis for formulating planning policies.

    Individuals: Get involved in the planning and design of green infrastructure, as your buy-in is vital to its long-term success.

Tools and case studies to help you

The following tools and case studies will aid the delivery of this guiding principle:

Mapping and analysis of green infrastructure in Devon

We have undertaken analysis of the green infrastructure in Devon.

Green Infrastructure Checklist

We have prepared a checklist for those wishing to develop land or change the way land is managed.

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