Planning for a healthy environment: good practice for green infrastructure and biodiversity by The Wildlife Trusts and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) (2012)
Green infrastructure (GI) is defined in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as ‘a network of multi-functional green space, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities’.
This guidance document is used primarily to inform local plans and policy and to facilitate the delivery of several of the NPPF’s environmental objectives; namely promoting sustainable development and protecting and enhancing biodiversity.
One of the key principles described within the guidance is that GI ‘needs to be central to the development’s design and must reflect and enhance the area’s locally distinctive character’.
To safeguard local biodiversity and to incorporate environmental assets into the built environment, it is therefore recommended to consider designs for GI as early in the planning process as possible. The guidance explains how to achieve this through the competent introduction and management of GI, and provides in-depth advice on the particulars of GI design standards and masterplanning. Several design options for implementing effective GI within development proposals to achieve net biodiversity gains are also included.