- Local green and open spaces should be protected.
- The creation of new areas of publicly-accessible green and open space should be supported, especially in areas of deficiency in access to public open space.
- Boroughs should undertake a needs assessment of local green and open space to inform policy. Assessments should identify areas of public green and open space deficiency, using the categorisation set out in Table 8.1 as a benchmark for all the different types required.
- The loss of green and open spaces should be resisted in areas of deficiency. If losses are proposed outside of areas of deficiency, equivalent or better quality provision should be made within the local catchment area unless an up-to-date needs assessment demonstrates this is unnecessary.
- Development Plans and Opportunity Area Frameworks should:
- include appropriate designations and policies for the protection of green and open space to address deficiencies
- ensure that future green and open space needs are planned for in areas with the potential for substantial change
- ensure that green and open space needs are planned in line with objectives in green infrastructure strategies in order to deliver multiple benefits and in recognition of the cross-borough nature of some forms of green infrastructure.
Green and open spaces – planned, designed and managed as green infrastructure – provide a wide range of social, health and environmental benefits, and are a vital component of London’s infrastructure. Although individual spaces may not provide the strategic functions of Green Belt or MOL, they are nonetheless important at the neighbourhood level, as they are the spaces which most Londoners use most often. Connectivity across the network of green and open spaces is particularly important as this provides opportunities for walking and cycling and for improving wildlife corridors.
The creation of new green or open space is essential in helping to meet the Mayor’s long-term target of making more than 50 per cent of London green by 2050. New provision or improved access should be particularly encouraged in areas of deficiency in access to public open space. It will also be important to secure appropriate management and maintenance of open spaces to ensure that a wide range of benefits can be secured and that any conflicts between uses are minimised.
|Open Space categorisation||Description||Size guideline||Distance from homes|
|Regional Parks||These are large areas, corridors or networks of open space, the majority of which will be publicly-accessible and provide a range of facilities and features offering recreational, ecological, landscape, cultural or green infrastructure benefits. They offer a combination of facilities and features that are unique within London, are readily accessible by public transport and are managed to meet best practice quality standards.||400 ha||3.2 to 8 km|
|Metropolitan Parks||These are large areas of open space that provide a similar range of benefits to Regional Parks and offer a combination of facilities at a sub-regional level. They are readily accessible by public transport and are managed to meet best practice quality standards.||60 ha||3.2 km|
|District Parks||These are large areas of open space that provide a landscape setting with a variety of natural features. They provide a wide range of activities, including outdoor sports facilities and playing fields, children’s play for different age groups and informal recreation pursuits.||20 ha||1.2 km|
|Local Parks and Open Spaces||These provide for court games, children’s play, sitting out areas and nature conservation areas.||2 ha||400 m|
|Small Open Spaces||These include gardens, sitting out areas, children’s play spaces or other areas of a specialist nature, including nature conservation areas.||under 2 ha||less than 400 m|
|Pocket Parks||These are small areas of open space that provide natural surfaces and shaded areas for informal play and passive recreation that sometimes have seating and play equipment.||under 0.4 ha||less than 400 m|
|Linear Open Spaces||These are open spaces and towpaths alongside the Thames, canals and other waterways, paths, disused railways, nature conservation areas and other routes that provide opportunities for informal recreation. They are often characterised by features or attractive areas which are not fully accessible to the public but contribute to the enjoyment of the space.|