by Helen Lambert (Reading Neighbourhood Network)
Are there green spaces in your area which are really important to the local community? The new Reading Local Plan gives an opportunity for you to get involved in helping to protect them.
The Government has introduced a new type of designation, known as ‘local green space’ in the National Planning Policy Framework. Designating local green space would mean that these areas benefit from the national level policy protection in the NPPF. However, there are a number of criteria which must be fulfilled in order to justify the designation:
- The green space must be in reasonably close proximity to the community it serves;
- The green space must be demonstrably special to a local community and hold a particular local significance, for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value (including as a playing field), tranquillity or richness of its wildlife;
- The green space must be local in character and not an extensive tract of land.
To identify any green space for specific protection, it is necessary to show how it meets any of the above criteria.
Local people and local groups are best placed to set out how these spaces are used and what makes them special. You can send your comments through by Monday 7 March 2016.
Details of how to send comments and links to the documents are at http://www.reading.gov.uk/newlocalplan The ‘Downloads’ box gives a link to the Main Document (see para 5.5 page 27) and Appendix 5 with a list of sites under consideration and a map of their location. You may know of other sites you wish to put forward.