The Partnership has completed several influential studies for the CSGN Trust which have helped to shape strategic thinking about how the CSGN can be delivered by 2050.
A series of studies has provided a quantification of what should be delivered to form the CSGN, an estimate of the capital costs for its delivery, and identified where current resources may be found to provide for its delivery.
The most recent study has reviewed green infrastructure policies in CSGN local authorities and provides the potential for a suite of ‘model’ GI policies to inform future planning policy development.
Costing the CSGN
Completed in 2014, this study provides an estimate of the total capital cost for the delivery of the CSGN as expressed in the CSGN Vision. The approach taken to deliver this estimate was to breakdown the task of delivering the CSGN into smaller component tasks. Seventeen components were identified and grouped into six themes:
- Green infrastructure
- Vacant and derelict land
- Community growing
- Active Travel
For each of the 17 components the extent of the intervention required to meet the CSGN vision was estimated, along with an estimate of the average unit cost for typical intervention projects. When multiplied together these estimates provide a capital cost estimate for each component. This allows a comparison of relative costs for component parts of the CSGN delivery programme.
The study estimated the capital cost to deliver the CSGN vision is in the order of £2.8 billion. With an ambition to deliver the vision by 2050, this means that on average around £80 million per year of resources will need to be focussed on the CSGN capital programme.
The study did not attempted to consider other costs associated with the delivery of the CSGN, i.e. revenue costs to sustain the assets (existing or new), the cost of the delivery organisations required to plan and manage the delivery programme, or opportunity costs.
As well as the capital cost estimate the study also provides:
- A tangible expression of what needs to be done to deliver the CSGN vision;
- An opportunity to consider the ambitions of the CSGN; and,
- A starting point to consider where the resources may be found to deliver a capital programme.
Resourcing the CSGN
Completed in 2016, this study provided an estimate of the amount of readily available funding that might be currently available to those who are tasked with the delivery of the 17 capital costs components of theCSGN, and to compare this to an estimated annual budget derived from the capital cost estimates as described in the ‘Costing the CSGN’ study.
The study identified 21 individual readily available funding sources which in total have the potential to currently provide approximately £50.2m per year toward an annual target budget of £80.8m per year for the delivery of all CSGN capital cost components. There is therefore an annual shortfall of £30.7m per year which is approximately 38% of the required annual target budget.
The study categorises the identified funding sources into the following funding sectors:
- Public (SG): Largely mainstream funding from Scottish Government programmes, but might include some local government funding
- Public (EU): Funding from the European Union (EU) either through support of Scottish Government programmes, or directly from an EU programme
- Private: Funding from private organisations, which includes funding programmes derived from tax initiatives such as landfill tax and the plastic bag tax.
- Other: Funding from other sources, such as the National Lottery.
Costing the CSGN Regions
Completed in 2017, this study provides an estimate of the total capital cost for the delivery of the CSGN as expressed in the CSGN Vision, within each of the four CSGN regions. The approach taken to deliver this estimate was to breakdown the task of delivering the CSGN into smaller component tasks, then calculate a cost estimate for each components before aggregating the component costs into the final total capital cost estimate for each region. Seventeen components identified in the earlier ‘Costing the CSGN’ study , and an estimate of the extent of the intervention required for each component to meet the CSGN vision, along with an estimate of the average unit cost for typical intervention projects from that original study were used to calculate the regional cost estimates. The regional cost estimates allow a comparison of relative costs for component parts within and between each region of the CSGN.
This study estimates that the total capital cost and the average annual cost (over 35 years) to deliver the CSGN vision in each CSGN regions is:
This study has provided an estimate of the scale of the task that will be necessary for the delivery of the CSGN within the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Region.
Green Infrastructure Policies in the CSGN
Completed in 2017, this study establishes the quality of Green Infrastructure (GI) relevant policies in local authorities’ Local Development Plans and Supplementary Guidance within the CSGN area.
The quality of GI relevant policies in current (or proposed) Local Development Plans and in supporting Supplementary Guidance in the 19 local authorities within the CSGN area were assessed against a suite of 23 GI policy assessment criteria based on a GI Benchmark, developed by the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments at the University of the West of England in Bristol and the Integrated Green Infrastructure Approach developed by the GCV Green Network Partnership. Each policy was assessed in terms of full coverage of the GI subject matter and the strength of the phraseology used.
This study reveals that there is a lot of missing, incomplete and weak GI policy across the CSGN local authorities. When all the CSGN 19 local authority’s assessment scores were taken into account the total assessment score for the CSGN was:
- 42% of full policy coverage
- 29% of entirely strong phraseology.
However, the study also found that when the best individual GI policies from the 19 CSGN local authorities are collated there is almost perfect coverage and very good strength of GI policy Assessment Criteria proving that it is possible to have strong comprehensive GI policies in statutory planning documents. This provides the prospect of collating the best policies as a suite of ‘model’ GI policies.
The study’s results provide a useful starting point for constructive discussion about how comprehensive and robust GI policy can be achieved with those who have an interest in seeing good, well maintained multi-functional Green Infrastructure integrated into new housing developments as significant contribution to the delivery of the CSGN.
- Costing the CSGN
- Resourcing the CSGN
- Costing the CSGN Regions
- Green Infrastructure Policies in the CSGN (individual local authority information available on request)
These studies are:
- Influencing strategic planning for delivery of the CSGN
- Influencing discussions about funding mechanisms for Green network delivery
- Influencing strategic planning for delivery of GCV Green Network
- Influencing improvements in GI policies and guidance in support of planning applications;
- Raising awareness of what GI is required within the built environment for strategic planners, development management planners, planning consultants, and the development industry.