Agenda item

Green Essex Strategy Consultation

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance, seeking Members’ consideration of submitting a response to the Essex County Council consultation on the Green Essex Strategy (GES).

 

It was noted that the purpose of the GES was to take a positive approve to enhance, protect and create an inclusive and integrated network of high-quality green infrastructure in Greater Essex, to create a county-wide understanding of green infrastructure and to identify opportunities for implementing green infrastructure.

 

RESOLVED that the draft consultation responses to the Green Essex Strategy, as set out in section 3.9 of the report, be approved and submitted to Essex County Council.

 

Section

Draft consultation response

Economy objective - Secure funding for new and existing green infrastructure to ensure their sustainability

The objective should be re-named ‘Funding’, as the aim to secure funding for Green Infrastructure (GI) is not related to 'economy' as a topic. 

 

An additional objective related to the title 'Economy' should be considered, to recognise the importance of GI to the wider economy (e.g. tourism).

3.1 Green Infrastructure Assets of Greater Essex, page 11

It is understandable that agricultural land has been illustrated on a separate map to the Green Assets map, as it would mask the distribution of GI across the county, if the two were included on the same map.  However, the map of agricultural land should not be relegated to an appendix.  Agricultural land forms 68% of the county and the importance of farming to GI, in terms of food production, landscape and biodiversity should be given a higher profile in this strategy.  The agricultural land map should be provided on the page after the GI map on page 12.

Page 23 Local and regional policy

Links to the Local Plans, local authority Design Guides and Green Infrastructure Strategies should be provided.  This would reflect the approach taken in the Essex Design Guide, which includes a specific section linking to the other Essex local authorities’ design guides.

Table 2 Project delivery of the objectives, page 39/102- Objective: Increase use and inclusivity of green infrastructure across all social groups and abilities

The two proposals listed are both aimed at young people.  These do not cover all social groups and abilities (e.g. older people, people with disabilities, BAME) as the objective states and therefore the proposals do not meet the stated aim of this objective.

Page 46 – Essex Design Guide section

Links to the local authority Design Guides and Green Infrastructure Strategies should be provided here.  This would reflect the approach taken in the Essex Design Guide, which includes a specific section linking to the other Essex local authorities’ design guides.

Page 52 – create green infrastructure as part of new developments

3rd paragraph – technical correction required: ‘All the Local Plans are being reviewed regarding their policies on green infrastructure in line with the NPPF.’

 

Under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) an adopted Local Plan must be reviewed every five years - but not just for GI policies - which this sentence suggests.  Only a few Local Plans in Essex have been recently adopted, several are in the final stages of preparation.

 

Revise to:

 

Local Plan preparation or review should include policies to support green infrastructure, in line with the NPPF.  These policies can provide for biodiversity net gains and off setting, as well as expanding this approach to ....

Section 9.8 Agriculture page 86

The text on environmental and countryside stewardship schemes could be expanded and strengthened to include a map showing the areas of the county being farmed under these schemes (available form Magic Map) and the land area/% of Essex covered by these initiatives.

Throughout – references to the Recreational disturbance Avoidance Mitigation Strategy (RAMS) e.g. pg. 92

References to RAMS need to be reviewed and, where necessary, updated by the Place Services team drafting the RAMS SPD.

Page 100 Action Plan proposal – Develop the Coast Path in Essex

This need to recognise that the recreational impact of the Coast Path on the coastal habitat sites need to be mitigated.

GES Appendices

 

Appendix 2 - Map of Productive Spaces and the Agricultural Land Classification page 12

The text downgrades the contribution that agricultural land managed under the environmental and countryside stewardship schemes contribute to Green Infrastructure in the County.  Include an additional map showing the areas of land managed under these initiatives (data available from Magic Maps).

 

Supporting documents: