Green Spaces Working Group
Local Green Space (LGS) designation must be carried out in accordance with criteria set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The Green Spaces group’s main task has been to identify potential LGS designations by applying the NPPF criteria to the green spaces within the parish of Tenterden – ie Tenterden, St Michaels and Smallhythe.
NPPF LGS criteria
The Local Green Space designation should only be used where the green space is:
- in reasonably close proximity to the community it serves;
- demonstrably special to a local community and holds 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; and
- local in character and is not an extensive tract of land.
- Draw up a ‘long-list’ all the green spaces within close roximity to the built-up areas of the parish. This involved a lot of walking, notetaking and photographing.
- Assess each space against the NPPF criteria to establish whether
suitable for potential designation. In order to help us interpret and apply the criteria we consulted the government’s National Planning Policy Guidance and guidance produced by Locality, the national membership network for community organisations and the font of all
knowledge for Neighbourhood Planning.
- Draw up a shortlist of potential Local Green Spaces.
- Check and validate each potential space against the evidence gathered by the other NP working groups.
Government guidance has to be adhered to, therefore:
- Local Green Space designation will rarely be appropriate where the land has planning permission for development;
- the space should not be allocated or proposed for development in the Local Plan;
- the area should not be an extensive tract of land, which means that blanket designation of open countryside adjacent to settlements will not be appropriate. The area would normally be fairly selfcontained with clearly defined edges or historic field boundaries, and comprising not more than 20ha (50 acres);
- the land must not be isolated from the community and would normally be within easy walking distance of the community served. The Green Spaces group has adopted the ‘5 minutes walk from the nearest part of the conurbation’ rule as their boundary for site consideration.
As per the NPPF, Local Green Spaces may be designated where those spaces are ‘demonstrably special’ to the local community. Accordingly, the Green Spaces group’s initial assessment of the town’s green spaces were measured against the five sub-criteria listed below, with each space needing to meet at least one of these criteria in order to qualify for further investigation:
- The proposed space has particular local significance because of its beauty. This relates to the visual attractiveness of the site, or its contribution to landscape, character and/or setting of the settlement. It may link up with other open spaces and allow views through or beyond the settlement which are valued locally
- The proposed space has particular local historic significance. The land may provide a setting for, and allow views of, heritage assets or other locally-valued landmarks. These may include listed buildings, scheduled ancient monuments and ancient routeways, as well as important historic landscape features such as old hedgerows and historic ponds. The site may also have significance because of its role in the historic development of the town, or because it was the setting for important historic events
- The proposed space has particular local significance because of its recreational value.
It will have local significance for recreation, perhaps through the variety of activities it supports, either formal or informal, and be accessible to the community
- The proposed space has particular local significance because of its tranquillity. This could be an area that provide an oasis of calm and a space for quiet reflection, away from busy areas or roads
- The proposed space has particular local significance because of its richness of wildlife.
This could include the value of its habitat and may contain notable biodiversity interest. It may be an important wildlife corridor or provide a buffer to other higher value areas. It may already be a formally designated priority area, such as a wildlife site or Local Nature Reserve.
Display boards presented at the consultation event
The chair of the Green Spaces Working Group is Sue Quinton. See more about Sue and the other steering committee members.