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National Forest Development Planting Guidelines

Housing development in Woodville

The National Forest Strategy (2004-14) promotes planting guidelines relating to all forms of development in The National Forest. In 2009, these guidelines were revised to reflect the proposed major new development expected over the next 20 years. As larger scale developments are anticipated in the future, a higher green infrastructure threshold was introduced for sites over 10 hectares. This will help to match the scale of green infrastructure need to the size of the development.

Local authorities have included these planting guidelines within Local Plans, Core Strategies and Supplementary Planning Guidance.

The planting guidelines advocate woodland planting and landscaping either on-site or near to new developments. Further information on how to achieve these requirements is provided in the next section, Planting Options. In exceptional circumstances if the guidelines cannot be met on-site, a commuted sum should be paid towards an off-site Forest-related scheme.

The NFC is keen to encourage a consistent approach amongst local authorities and developers towards implementing the guidelines across the Forest area. The guidelines should be read in conjunction with the National Forest Strategy and the relevant National Forest policies set out in Local Plans and Core Strategies.

Development category National Forest planting guidelines
Housing developments
Sites under 0.5 ha Normal landscaping appropriate to the site's setting.
Sites between 0.5 ha and 10 ha 20% of the development area to be woodland planting and landscaping.
Sites over 10 ha 30% of the development area to be woodland planting and landscaping.
Industrial commercial and leisure developments
Sites under 1 ha Normal landscaping appropriate to the site's setting.
Sites between 1 ha and 10 ha 20% of the development area to be woodland planting and landscaping.
Sites over 10 ha 30% of the development area to be woodland planting and landscaping.
Road schemes
New routes/road improvements:
New road schemes should achieve well wooded settings with planting adjoining the road and off-site. Appropriate landscaping should also accompany road improvements. In each case levels of planting will depend upon the scale and impact of the development.
All development schemes:

In exceptional circumstances where the planting guidelines cannot be met, a commuted sum should be paid instead. This will be at a guideline rate of 35,000 per hectare of the required planting not provided on site.

A commuted sum will go towards meeting the aims of the National Forest Strategy. Contributions are typically used to plant and maintain woodland, purchase land for woodland creation and provide or improve public access.

Periodically these guidelines will be reviewed in the light of current practice and the costs of creating woodland and landscaping schemes.

Mineral and Landfill Sites Development

The National Forest Strategy also advocates the restoration of mineral workings and landfill sites to Forest-related uses. Such sites should be restored to public access woodland and/or nature conservation, sport, recreation or tourism uses.

Most sites are likely to include some woodland planting. Peripheral planting, advance planting and planting to compensate for the environmental impacts of the operations should also be considered before mineral or landfill operations start.

Where sites are already planned to be restored to agriculture, planning conditions should be reconsidered by agreement with mineral/landfill companies to achieve new Forest-related schemes instead. However, where a mineral/landfill company is not the site owner, the landowner's wishes must be respected, particularly if a Forest-related restoration scheme is not wanted.

Case Studies

Section 5 highlights a variety of case studies which show how the planting guidelines have been applied to development schemes and how commuted sums have been used to successfully support off-site Forest-related projects.

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Contact us

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Philip Metcalfe, Green Infrastructure and Planning Officer


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


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+44 (0)1283 551211


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