Open Spaces Society criticises Housing White Paper lack of focus on green space

The Open Spaces Society has criticised the Government's Housing White Paper, saying it has failed to make the concept of Local Green Space a clear part of the planning process.

Barnoldswick Green, Lancashire. Image: Open Spaces Society
Barnoldswick Green, Lancashire. Image: Open Spaces Society

The Local Green Space concept was introduced in the National Planning Policy Framework in 2012, but was never clearly defined, something the society hoped the Housing White Paper, currently out for consultation, would do.

Case officer Nicola Hodgson said: "While Local Green Space is an excellent concept, there has never been a clear process for its designation, nor is there guidance on how it should be managed, enforced and protected. 

"The NPPF only affords Local Green Space the same protection as green belt, which is itself threatened, and Local Green Space confers no rights of access for the public.

"We hoped that the Housing White Paper would take the opportunity to set these things out, so that Local Green Space could be a clear part of the planning process. Instead, we fear that it will be undermined.  Every planning authority seems to have a different interpretation of the meaning of Local Green Space and of designating it, and even when local people have applied for land to be designated as Local Green Space there is nothing to stop a planning application from being considered and determined.

"We also believe that where land has been designated as Local Green Space, its protection will be weakened by the proposals in the White Paper to allocate sites for development in the green belt through neighbourhood plans. We have argued that, if green belt is to be developed, additional green accessible space should be made available."

She said the society had reminded the Department of Communities and Local Government that Natural England has previously said there should be accessible natural green space within 300 metres of where people live. 

The Open Spaces Society was founded in 1865 and is Britain’s oldest national conservation body

The DCLG is consulting on The Housing White Paper until May 2.  


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What's new in sprayers

What's new in sprayers

Manufacturers have wasted no time bringing out updated equipment to comply with latest legislation, Sally Drury finds.

Reviewed: ride-on mowers

Reviewed: ride-on mowers

With mowing one of the key tasks at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, the team are ideally placed to try out the latest machines. Sally Drury reports.

Battery tools on the up

Battery tools on the up

The revolution in battery powered equipment continues apace with more manufacturers offering ever-improving machines, Sally Drury reports.