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Policy G3 Metropolitan Open Land


  1. Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) should be protected from inappropriate development:
    1. development proposals that would harm MOL should be refused
    2. boroughs should work with partners to enhance the quality and range of uses of MOL.
  2. The extension of MOL designations should be supported where appropriate.
  3. Any alterations to the boundary of MOL should be undertaken through the Local Plan process, in consultation with the Mayor and adjoining boroughs.
  4. Boroughs should designate MOL by establishing that the land meets at least one of the following criteria:
    1. it contributes to the physical structure of London by being clearly distinguishable from the built-up area
    2. it includes open air facilities, especially for leisure, recreation, sport, the arts and cultural activities, which serve either the whole or significant parts of London
    3. it contains features or landscapes (historic, recreational, biodiverse) of either national or metropolitan value
    4. it forms part of a strategic corridor, node or a link in the network of green infrastructure and meets one of the above criteria.

Metropolitan Open Land is strategic open land within the urban area. It plays an important role in London’s green infrastructure – the network of green spaces, features and places around and within urban areas. MOL protects and enhances the open environment and improves Londoners’ quality of life by providing localities which offer sporting and leisure use, heritage value, biodiversity, and health benefits through encouraging walking, running and other physical activity.

The principles of national Green Belt policy[104] also apply to MOL. Any proposed changes to MOL boundaries which result in loss must be accompanied by thorough evidence which demonstrates that there are exceptional circumstances, as set out in the NPPF. The principle of land swaps could be applied to MOL where the resulting MOL meets at least one of the criteria set out in part D of this policy.

[104] NPPF paras 79-92

Proposals to enhance access to MOL and to improve poorer quality areas such that they provide a wider range of benefits for Londoners that are appropriate within MOL will be encouraged. Examples include improved public access for all, inclusive design, recreation facilities, habitat creation, landscaping improvement and flood storage.