The NCPT was applied and tested by a range of case study partners which also informed the development of the NCPT.
Please find below our first three case study reports from Birmingham, the Black Country Garden City and Central Bedfordshire:
Birmingham Langley Sustainable Urban Extension
Birmingham City Council tested the NCPT on a Masterplan for a new housing development for 5,000-6,000 new homes in the north-east of Birmingham. The aim was to assess the impact of the design against the ambition to achieve overall Natural Capital net-gain over a 25 year timeline. The NCPT assessments led to the revision of the initial Masterplan. This is very significant because undoubtedly this scheme design would have passed previous benchmark assessments for green infrastructure. The mere process of assessing this scheme with the NCPT totally shifted both, the local planners and the applicants view of the GI potential for the site. An updated plan is pending and will be re-assessed. Based on the learning from this project the Council planners are looking to use the NCPT to assess future major development projects in Birmingham; as the NCPT process provides an additional interpretation of the evidence and therefore a fresh perspective.
Nick Grayson, Climate Change and Sustainability Manager at Birmingham City Council, says: “With the advent of the 25 Year Environment Plan, its commitment to net gain and the NPPF review (2018) – there is the real possibility of the NCPT providing that all important bridging device between national planning policy and the Government’s environmental restoration ambitions – at the site scale.”
Download: Birmingham Langley SUE Case Study Report (PDF, 370 kb)
Black Country Garden City
As part of Natural England’s Black Country Garden City project, the NCPT was applied at two case study sites alongside green infrastructure mapping evidence. In Sandwell, the NCPT was used on an initial plan for a new housing development (>100 dwellings) on a greenfield site. In Wolverhampton, the NCPT was applied to a plan for a housing development (>250 units) on a brownfield site. Both Councils aim to improve the Natural Capital performance of the designs and will explore future NCPT opportunities to enhance sustainable designs more generally.
Download: Black Country Garden City Case Study Report (PDF, 870 kb)
Central Bedfordshire Land Allocation (8 Sites)
Central Bedfordshire Council used the NCPT to assess eight potential growth locations – predominantly housing developments of between 500 and 7,000 units on greenfield sites. The aim was to test both, the acceptability of the sites and the acceptability of the proposed design. The outcome was that all sites were in principle capable of providing natural capital net gains but the performance of the site designs varied. The Council is determined to implement the NCPT into local planning practice.
Andrew Marsh, Principal Planning Officer at Central Bedfordshire Council, says: “The toolkit has provided us with an objective and simple means of assessing both, the location and design of development proposals put forward for consideration through the emerging Local Plan for Central Bedfordshire. We have found it especially useful in working collaboratively with site promotors – negotiating enhancements to masterplans, and giving us a tangible way to measure whether proposals are capable of achieving a net gain in natural capital. This will ensure that we get the very best out of our sites.”
Download: Central Bedfordshire Land Allocation Case Study Report (PDF, 870 kb)
Have you used the NCPT and would like to share your experiences – maybe with a case study report on this website? Please get in touch.