Policy REC 1: Open space protection

  1. Development proposals that involve the loss of open space, as defined in Criterion 2 below, will not be permitted unless:
    1. an assessment has been undertaken that has clearly shown the open space is surplus to requirements; or
    2. it would be replaced by equivalent or better open space in terms of quantity and quality and it is in a suitable location; or
    3. the development is for alternative sports and recreational provision, the benefits of which clearly outweigh the loss.
  2. The types of open space to which this policy applies includes: existing areas of open space shown on the adopted policies map, such as formal town parks, playing fields, pitches and courts, play areas, allotments and amenity open space; other incidental open spaces, which are too small to be shown on the adopted policies map, but which are of public value for informal recreation or visual amenity; and open spaces provided through new development yet to be shown on the adopted policies map.

Supporting information

11.2  The adopted policies map identifies the majority of areas of open space that should be protected from other forms of development. The council maintains a GIS layer of open space and a database, which covers a number of categories ranging from formal town parks and playing fields to play areas, allotments and amenity open space. As development takes place across the borough, further open spaces will be created and added to this GIS layer and the database. Local green spaces can also be designated in neighbourhood plans.

11.3  Made neighbourhood plans are part of the development plan and can show areas of valuable open space plus local green spaces. There is no need for the council to repeat this information in the local plan but, to ensure consistency across the rural areas, strategic areas of open space such as playing fields and play areas, and large amenity areas such as village greens, will be shown on the adopted policies map. Strategic/important areas of open space will therefore be reflected for all parishes, regardless of whether they have a neighbourhood plan in place.

11.4  The policy reflects paragraph 99 of the NPPF (2021), which sets out the criteria to be satisfied should development of an open space be considered.

11.5  The policy links with LPS Policy SE 6 'Green infrastructure', which deals with the protection and enhancement of green infrastructure assets. Criterion 4(i) of that policy states: “Protect and enhance existing open spaces and sport and recreation facilities”.

Related documents

Policy information


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