Green Infrastructure Theme
Darlington already has a Green Infrastructure Strategy which facilitates the planning, design and management of the network to meet the environmental, social and economic needs of the community; by supporting recreation, sport and play, walking and cycling, food production, flood storage and sustainable drainage benefits as well as the biodiversity and geological features that are found within it. It can also contribute to achieving the appropriate sustainable building standards required in new developments and enhance amenity for residents.
As the Borough is relatively rich in the amount of open space it contains, new space will only be sought as part of major new development where the amount and mix of development proposed requires substantial green infrastructure to deliver a sustainable new neighbourhood, or to create an appropriate business or leisure environment.
A series of workshops on green infrastructure have been held with local and national stakeholders, including representatives from CPRE, Friends of the Earth, Local Nature Partnership and River Tees Trust. Workshops were held on 23 February, 20 March and 23 May 2017.
At the sessions general principles of green infrastructure and best practice approaches were discussed. Stakeholders also commented on the general quantity and quality of provision across the borough and raised issues of maintenance and value. It was agreed by the group that evidence base data should be as up to date as possible including an open space audit, phase 1 habitats survey and playing pitch / sport facility assessment. Through the Local Plan a hierarchy of sites should be identified, such as protection areas, biodiversity offsetting sites and areas of new green infrastructure provision. Issues which were also considered included quality of place, pressure on land, design standards, secure by design, sustainable long term maintenance and multi functional outcomes. The workshops have helped to inform the preparation of green infrastructure policy.
Updated information will be posted on this page in relation to Green Infrastructure, including details of further engagement and consultation, in due course.