Greater Norwich Local Plan

NWT Harford Bridge, an area for which we will be commenting on appropriate safeguards
NWT will be recommending the GNLP includes strong policies on energy and urban greening in order to help fight the wildlife and climate emergencies, and we call on the public to help support these recommendations by also responding to the GNLP consultation before the 16 March deadline.

The Greater Norwich Local Plan sets out areas for development until 2036, steering where the Council best believes new housing and employment land should be sited. It does this through a combination of land allocations and policies setting out the standards development in those allocations will be held to. Some of the allocations are from existing plans, whilst others are new, but combined they are the Council’s preferred approach to meeting the community’s anticipated needs over the coming years. These plans normally go through several stages as they are refined in response to public comments, before a final plan is adopted. The Greater Norwich Local Plan, covering Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk, is currently going through a penultimate stage prior to the consultation on the final draft at some point in 2021.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust normally responds to local plan consultations, offering our comments where allocations appear to threaten important wildlife sites, but also commenting on related issues such as water quality and visitor pressure where these may also impact on wildlife and supporting strong wildlife safeguarding policies.

However, with the growing public awareness of the wildlife and climate emergencies, and the potential for nature-based solutions to deliver progress on both, we believe that there is a role for the Trust to advocate strong policies in local plans to ensure every opportunity is taken to address these issues. Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from new development will reduce the pressures our wildlife faces adapting to the changing climate now and for a considerable time into the future, whilst new development has the potential to incorporate nature-based design such as green roofs which can help reduce emissions, as well as urban heat spikes and tackling flooding and quality problems. Such measures may also contribute to the requirement for mandatory biodiversity net gain in all new development in the Environment Bill currently being debated in Parliament.

In our response to the local plan, we will be asking the GNLP team to follow the examples set by Reading, Southampton and London, and include exemplar policies on zero carbon housing and urban greening. Norwich City Council has clear aspirations to deliver a greener future and we believe following these examples will help deliver for the greater Norwich area and show clear leadership to other Councils who are considering how best to respond to the wildlife and climate emergencies.



  • Reading Borough Council has included a policy (Policy H5 : Standards for New Housing) in its recently adopted plan which requires all new major housing development to be delivered to zero carbon standards. 


  • Southampton City Centre Action Plan includes a policy (AP12 Green Infrastructure and Open Space) requiring all development to improve the amount of green infrastructure associated with it. Delivery is measured against an agreed set of optional enhancements, such as grassland, trees and green roofs 


  • The draft London plan includes Policy G5, Urban Greening, which requires the inclusion of urban greening measures to increase green cover, to address climate change, poor air quality and a deficiency in green space. It also refers to a recent study in support of the policy which highlights the successful adoption of similar approaches previously in a number of other cities around the world, including Berlin, Malmo, Seattle, Washington DC and Helsinki. 

Useful References (external links):
Reading Borough Council Local Plan policy H5 (PDF)
Southampton City Centre Action Plan
Draft London Plan, policy
Urban Greening paper produced in support of London plan urban greening policy
Town & Country Planning Association - Green Infrastructure and biodiversity fact sheet