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Policy & Strategy

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Policy Framework

The Ecological and Climate Crises, and the health and well-being of communities, are now at the heart of Scottish planning policy and strategy for biodivesity recovery. Both NPF4 and the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy emphasise the role of Nature Networks and urban greening in helping address these interlinked challenges.

The policy framework for the work of the GCV Green Network has therefore never been stronger. We are uniquely placed to take a regional lead on these national ambitions, and to support partners in meeting their new policy duties.  The challenge in the coming years is translating the ambition into on the ground delivery.

Partner Support

National Planning Framework 4

NPF4 sets out Scottish planning policy, regional priorities, and national developments. Green Networks are central to many of the forward-thinking policies, including nature networks, biodiversity enhancement, local living, active travel and blue & green infrastructure.

Working closely with partners, we will use our experience and technical expertise to translate these policies into a local context for Local Development and Place Plans, and ultimately into delivery through shaping new development and targeted project work. 

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The global climate emergency and the nature crisis have formed the foundations for the spatial strategy as a whole. The regional priorities share opportunities and challenges for reducing emissions and adapting to the long-term impacts of climate change, in a way which protects and enhances our natural environment

-Scottish Government

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Local Development Plans

New Local Development Plans (LDPs) will consider the ambitions and outcomes for an area, looking 20 years ahead. They will be place-based, people focused and deliverable, interpreting national policy to reflect local circumstances.

Drawing on our Blueprint the GCV Green Network will work closely with our local authority partners to ensure the core Green Network functions of habitat networks for wildlife, access networks for people and the provision of good quality greenspace are embedded in LDPs, highlighting opportunities for regional cross-boundary approaches.

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Scottish Biodiversity Strategy

The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy (SBS) sets out a clear ambition for Scotland to be Nature Positive by 2030, and to have restored and regenerated biodiversity across the country by 2045. The SBS contains 26 priority actions for 2030 including two focused on the delivery of Nature Networks, a core element of our Blueprint.

The GCV Green Network has worked extensively on identifying Nature Networks and is well-placed to lead on delivering the priority actions in a regional context ensuring:

  • every local authority area has a Nature Network, improving ecological connectivity across Scotland

  • that Nature Networks are integrated into the urban environment, wildlife friendly and are an important part of school, health, neighbourhood and community spaces. Development proposals will contribute to the enhancement of biodiversity including building and strengthening nature networks

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Towns and cities will include nature-rich environments close to all communities, contributing to Nature Networks and measurable increases in urban biodiversity

-Scottish Government

What is the GN?

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