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Guide for Developers and Planners

Young street trees in Swadlincote

Development in The National Forest

Development and planning continue to play a vital part in the realisation of The National Forest. Settlements are continuing to grow and the improved environment is attracting new business activity and increasing the number of people wanting to live in the area. New leisure and tourism facilities are continuing to be developed, bringing substantial benefits in the form of new jobs, a more diverse economy, increased visitor spending and better facilities for local people.

Over the next 20 years, the rate of development is set to increase through the growth of the major urban areas of Burton upon Trent, Coalville, Swadlincote and Ashby de la Zouch which could see an additional 30,000 homes by 2031. Alongside housing growth there will be a need for associated infrastructure such as new roads, employment sites, schools and community facilities.

Developments that contribute to The National Forest will enhance the value of their schemes by creating a more desirable location in which to live and do business. By adding to the Forest's creation they help create a more attractive environment for future development.

The National Forest is well-established in planning policy with the need to have regard to The National Forest specified in paragraph 33 of PPS7. Planning policies for The National Forest, including guidelines for creating attractive, wooded settings for new development, have been adopted into Structure Plans and Local Plans and are now being incorporated into Core Strategies. These policies and planting guidelines reflect the planning objectives for The National Forest as set out in the National Forest Strategy 2004-14.

The planning system is subject to fundamental changes through the Localism Act 2011 and the emerging National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The latter reaffirms the need to consider green infrastructure (GI) in development proposals and seeks to secure a greater coherence of strategic GI networks by planning positively for their creation, protection, enhancement and management.

Since 1995, around 1,400 hectares of new green infrastructure have been secured through the planning system by way of on-site tree planting, mineral site restoration and derelict land reclamation schemes or through financial contributions. This represents around 22% of the 6,425 hectares so far planted in the Forest (as at March 2012).

This Guide is a 'hands on' tool to assist planners and developers to incorporate National Forest planting in new development to meet these policy requirements and contribute to the creation of a more attractive environment. The document is set out as follows:

The Guide has been produced in association with the National Forest Company's Planning Technical Working Group which includes planning officers from Leicestershire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire County Councils, East Staffordshire, Hinckley and Bosworth and Charnwood Borough Councils and Lichfield, South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire District Councils.

The National Forest Company (NFC) is keen to work with developers and Local Authorities to promote high quality new development. The special setting of The National Forest offers particular opportunities for more innovative development. While this guide provides guidance and advice the NFC would welcome the opportunity to discuss schemes at the earliest opportunity.


Contact us


Philip Metcalfe, Green Infrastructure and Planning Officer

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National Forest Company
Enterprise Glade
Bath Yard
DE12 6BA
United Kingdom

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+44 (0)1283 551211

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