Ravensden GI Plan
Green Infrastructure (GI) is the network of accessible greenspaces and access routes, landscapes, biodiversity and heritage assets which serve a locality.
Ideally, this network is strategically planned and managed to ensure it meets the needs of existing and new communities.
Parish-level GI Plans are a statement of community intent – giving local residents the opportunity to identify their aspirations for improving their local GI provision.
These aspirations are mapped and entered into an action plan. The Plan can be used by Town/ Parish Councils, community groups, local environmental organisations and Local Authorities to bring forward improvements and inform planning decisions.
Please see further information towards the bottom of this page on what Green Infrastructure does and its benefits.
Why is Ravensden creating a GI plan; and why now?
Ravensden is currently developing a Neighbourhood Plan. Neighbourhood planning is a way local people can shape development of the communities in which they live.
When finalised, the Ravensden Neighbourhood Plan will be a legal document and will be used alongside Bedford Borough Council’s own Local Plan to determine planning applications, decide the locations for any new developments, and promote measures to protect and enhance key environmental and heritage features.
The Green Infrastructure Plan will be used as evidence of community engagement and the priorities identified within it will be used to inform environmental policies within the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Neighbourhood Plan also gives the opportunity for green spaces identified as important in the GI plan and which meet certain criteria to be designated as ‘Local Green Spaces’ and protected against future development.
How to help us create the Ravensden GI Plan
Normally, to start the GI planning process, we would be inviting you to a workshop where we would present a series of maps detailing the current GI assets of your parish and ask you to discuss ‘GI’ issues with fellow Ravensden residents and put your thoughts and ideas onto maps.
The current Covid-19 restrictions mean that this approach is not currently possible; and to avoid delaying the production of the plan we are tweaking our methodology.
Ravensden GI Planning Map Pack
The following maps provide some context to the parish and identify many of the features that make up its green infrastructure.
These maps should help to inform your thoughts and ideas. Please look at the ‘Ravensden GI Map Pack Contents’ document which explains what you will see on each map.
Please note, these maps form part of the evolving GI Plan and as such are not yet ‘final’. There may be some errors/ omissions on them – if you spot any, please do let us know in the general comments section of the questionnaire.
Further information on Green Infrastructure
Green Infrastructure should
- Contribute to the management, conservation and improvement of the local landscape
- Contribute to the protection, conservation and management of historic landscape, archaeological and built heritage assets
- Maintain and enhance biodiversity to ensure that development and implementation results in a net gain of biodiversity
- Be delivered through the enhancement of existing woodlands and also by the creation of new woodlands and forest areas
- Create new recreational facilities, particularly those that present opportunities to link urban and countryside areas
- Take account of and integrate with natural processes and systems
- Be managed and funded in urban areas to accommodate nature, wildlife and historic and cultural assets, and provide for sport and recreation
- Be designed to high standards of quality and sustainability to deliver social and economic, as well as environmental benefits
- Provide focus for social inclusion, community development and lifelong learning
Benefits of Green Infrastructure
Well-designed and integrated GI can deliver a range of benefits, often in combination:
- Improve health and mental well-being
- Promote a sense of community
- Help reduce crime, fear of crime and antisocial behavior
- Provide opportunity for exercise, sport, active recreation, spiritual well-being and quiet contemplation
- Improve health as a result of increased physical activity, such as walking
- Provide community resources for learning and training
- Provide opportunities for community involvement
- Provide a leisure focus and attraction for people of all ages from the existing and the growth communities
- Help establish local identity or sense of place
- Improve environmental quality, e.g. better air and water quality, local climate control and noise attenuation
- Contribute to sustainable drainage and flood mitigation
- Provide the opportunity to protect, recreate and rehabilitate landscapes and habitats damaged or lost by previous development or agricultural change
- Help maintain and enhance biodiversity
- Contribute to the protection, management and enhancement of historic and natural sites and areas
- Improve and sustain land values
- Reduce land management costs
- Provide an enhanced environmental backdrop that will assist in attracting business and inward investment.