Mountain biking in London

Play and Informal recreation

We are working to ensure that all children in London have safe and attractive play spaces within walking distance of their homes.

The Mayor’s ambition for London’s play spaces

The Mayor wants London to be a child-friendly city, where children can properly enjoy play and recreation. Providing inclusive, accessible, and safe play spaces is central to achieving this aim.

How we’ll achieve the Mayor’s ambition

To achieve this aim, we will:

  • Work with boroughs and other partners to ensure that all children have safe access to good quality, well-designed, secure and stimulating play and informal recreation provision
  • Ensure housing developments make adequate provision for play and informal recreation, based on the development’s expected child population and an assessment of future needs

For their part, London boroughs should audit their existing provision of play and informal recreation. They should also produce strategies on play and informal recreation, so as to improve access and opportunities for all children and young people in their area.

Overcoming obstacles to improving play spaces

Safe and stimulating play facilities are essential for a child's welfare and future development. However, in such a densely developed and populated city it's a challenge to provide these spaces. Many of London's children still do not have adequate access to such facilities.

To overcome this issue, we’ve produced Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) for London boroughs. The SPG can be used by those involved in planning local neighbourhoods to engage with young Londoners and deliver real improvements in the quality of play spaces. 

Which London Plan policies does the document provide guidance on?

The guidance supports the implementation of the London Plan Policy 3.6 on ‘Children and Young People’s Play and Informal Recreation Facilities,’ and other policies on shaping neighbourhoods (Chapter 7 of the London Plan), in particular Policy 7.1 on Lifetime Neighbourhoods.

Although these policies relate to the London Plan 2011, they are still relevant to the London Plan 2015

The document

The Shaping Neighbourhoods: Play and Informal Recreation SPG can be found below.

Play and Informal Recreation SPG

To help borough planning officers and developers estimate the potential child yield from a development, and the resulting requirements for play space provision, we provide a play space calculator which can be downloaded using the link below.

Download the spreadsheet for calculating play space requirements


A statement of consultation can be found below.

Play and Informal Recreation SPG statement of consultation

Share this page