Sub-regional Green Infrastructure Strategy

Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Association of Planning Officers would like your comments and opinions on the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Green Infrastructure Strategy (Consultation). The strategy covers the sub-region and identifies Green Infrastructure (GI) assets for:

  • Accessibility
  • Biodiversity; and
  • Landscape

The strategy has been prepared as an evidence base or as supplementary planning guidance for Spatial Planning and Development Control functions, but has wider spatial implications including land management.  It is, therefore, a strategy that any organisation can adopt. It is for this purpose that the strategy will seek support from the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Local Nature Partnership (LNP).

This consultation will start on 18th February 2013 for 9 weeks, ending on Monday 22nd April 2013 please use this Consultation response form for your consultation feedback as it will help us relate your comments to specific areas.

There is also an opportunity to attend two conferences  on the 27th February 2013 and 13th March 2013 where the strategy will be presented. These events will also include workshops to explore and shape some of the topics raised in the strategy.

The Annexes and supporting information to the strategy can be  found here alternatively please contact David Lowe (Principal Ecologist) at planningecology@warwickshire.gov.uk.

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About Warwickshire Observatory
Warwickshire County Council's home for information and intelligence about Warwickshire and its people.

4 Responses to Sub-regional Green Infrastructure Strategy

  1. Judy Vero says:

    CPRE supports the Sub-regional Green Infrastructure Strategy, which, if implemented would help to reverse some of the harm done to the landscape and natural environment in recent years. However, there are a number of challenges to be overcome in persuading landowners of the benefits of biodiversity offsetting, as it may be seen as an extra tax on development. We also fear than a new level of bureaucracy could be created and that the costs of survey and administration could dilute the benefits of the scheme. Having said this, there is an urgent need to repair our countryside, which has been damaged, not only by intensive farming, but by inappropriate development such as tipping, tree and hedgerow removal, habitat loss and ploughing of old pasture. If biodiversity offsetting can begin to redress any of these wrongs it will be worthwhile, but there is a long way to go to win hearts and minds.

    • Judy – Thank you for your support and CPRE’s views on offsetting and how it could redress the balance. Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull are one of 6 national pilots investigating offsetting, so there are lessons and minds still to be won on the subject. More information on this is on Defra’s and Warwickshire County Council’s website.

      • Judy Vero says:

        David – I am very sorry to have to do this, but having read today’s ‘Sunday Times’, I feel that I must withdraw CPRE’s support for bio-diversity offsetting, as expressed in my comment of 18 April. Whilst the Green Infrastructure Strategy itself is welcome, I had not appreciated that biodiversity offsetting would be seen by developers as a way of getting planning permission on sites, such as local nature reserves, where development would not normally be allowed. The list of big businesses supporting the intitiative should have set the alarm bells ringing. But the concept is very attractive, especially when there are so many areas of despoiled countryside which need restoring. I feel that to some extent we have been misled, as at the conference on 13 March there was not a hint of the possibility of sites rich in bio-diversity, such as local nature reserves, being, in effect, ‘traded in’ for ecologically ‘poor’ sites. I may be naive, but I did not think that bio-diversity off-setting would allow planners to give permission for development on sites which would not normally be considered for building. I apologise for not having done more research before responding as I now see that George Monbiot raised this concern in “The Guardian” back in February. CPRE would never support any initiative which involved the destruction of wildlife habitats, so until we can be assured that this will not happen, I regret that our support has to be withheld.

        • David Lowe (Principal Ecologist) says:

          Judy

          I have not had the opportunity to read the Sunday Times paper, but I have read the Guardian. The latter’s comments discuss the issues and correctly state that the Local Authority’s policies regarding spatial planning and the protection of GI assets is the critical issue – not Biodiversity Offsetting. Bio_Offsetting comes after policy. Bio_Offsetting is a tool to be used within the planning system.

          However, I appreciate your concerns and would like to reserve judgement regarding offsetting. This is after all why the pilots have been set up to ‘audit’ their use and put in any safeguards should it be taken forward.

          I will have to read the article.

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