Green space protection to be enshrined in law in Telford and Wrekin

Telford and Wrekin Council is set to protect around 400ha of green spaces through its new Green Guarantee, citing health and wellbeing benefits as key reasons for the move.

Green Guarantee to protect open space. Image: Pixabay
Green Guarantee to protect open space. Image: Pixabay

The Green Guarantee has identified 104 areas of council-owned land in the West Midlands district that it wants to protect from any future development, following a consultation with parish and town councils and local organisations.

They range from sports pitches and bowling greens to playgrounds and wooded areas. If approved, the green spaces will be formally recognised as areas of open space for leisure, recreation and biodiversity (PDF), and protected from any development.

They do not include areas of land which are already protected such as Local Nature Reserves, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Fields in Trust sites and Village Greens.

When the Green Guarantee was first mooted, Councillor Richard Overton, cabinet member for Housing, Public Health and Protection, explained: "We want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from the green spaces we have in the borough and that these will be protected for future generations to enjoy.

"Living close to accessible and open green spaces is good for people’s health and helps tackle issues such as stress, obesity, heart disease and mental health as well as ensure that our borough continues to have the facilities of a modern progressive town with many accessible green spaces."

The guarantee forms part of the Telford & Wrekin Local Plan, which proposes to reduce the number of new homes to be built in the borough by 41 per cent to 15,500. In 2010, the council had envisaged 26,500 new homes in the borough by 2031.

So far 104 spaces have been identified, from an initial list of 116. Another 50 community green spaces will be consulted on from December this year.

The report is to be considered by cabinet on 24 March.

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