Policy on Local Green Spaces: Has anything changed?
Friday 17th August 2018
Policy on Local Green Spaces (LGSs) is set out in paragraphs 76-78 of the 2012 NPPF and paragraphs 99-101 of the revised 2018 NPPF.
It is notable in the revised 2018 NPPF that the criteria for designating a LGS is no longer prefixed by the sentence, 'The Local Green Space designation will not be appropriate for most green areas or open space'. This is an interesting deletion as it has generally been considered as the starting point for assessing the suitability of LGS designation. However, it is important to note that paragraph 99 of the revised 2018 NPPF carries over the text from paragraph 76 of the 2012 NPPF, advising that designation as LGS should 'be consistent with the local planning of sustainable development and complement investment in sufficient homes, jobs and other essential services'.
A further change is apparent in that paragraph 76 of the 2012 NPPF provided, 'By designating land a Local Green Space local communities will be able to rule out new development other than in very special circumstances'. This sentence has been omitted from the equivalent paragraph 99 in the revised 2018 NPPF. However, the sentence was arguably superfluous, given that paragraph 78 of the 2012 NPPF advised that 'Polices for managing development within a Local Green Space should be consistent with those for Green Belts'. Paragraph 78 now forms paragraph 101 of the revised 2018 NPPF.
Advice on LGS designation in the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) has not yet been updated, so continues to refer to paragraphs 76-78 of the 2012 NPPF (see PPG Reference IDs: 37-005-20140306 to 37-022-20140306). The relevant gov.uk webpage advises that the PPG will 'be updated in due course to reflect changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (the new version of which was published in July 2018)'.