Green Infrastructure (GI) is, in essence, a strategic network of green spaces which connects urban and rural areas, delivering multifunctional benefits which support ecological services and increase quality of life. As such, GI provides a way to deliver sustainable development. However, its application by Local Planning Authorities across England remains inconsistent.
This study provides an analysis of GI to inform its application in South Worcestershire, an area encompassing three Local Planning Authorities and the Worcester Growth Point. South Worcestershires GI planning process has been hindered by financial and temporal constraints, lack of in-house expertise and false starts. This study provides a structured consideration of the history of GI and emergence of the concept, the legislative and planning case for GI, the incentive and need provided by the Governments growth agenda and best practice examples in the Northwest of England and Northamptonshire. Throughout this study the lessons learnt have been collated and used to develop of a Checklist for Successful GI. Although developed primarily to inform South Worcestershires GI process, the Checklist is a roadmap which could be applied to any Local Planning Authority in England. The need for clear leadership, nationally and locally, and clarification around mechanisms for the delivery and ongoing management of GI continue to be barriers to its uptake. Decisive action is needed if the opportunities provided by GI are to be realised.