In March 2012 the Government, through the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), introduced a new Local Green Space designation. This designation allows local communities, through the Local Plan process, to identify areas of local green space which are important to them and which should be provided special protection.
Whilst the council has already undertaken a substantial audit of existing areas of green and open space provision across the district, it is recognised that Local Green Spaces are something different. They are designed to identify those areas of the district which are demonstrably special to the community and which if designated in the Local Plan, would be provided an additional level of protection. The Government has made it clear that the designation will not be appropriate to most green areas or areas of open space.
The council undertook a call for sites exercise in April 2015 inviting the community to submit sites which they would like to be considered as a Local Green Space in the Local Plan. In total, 56 applications were received as part of the first round of submissions.
In line with the NPPF, planning officers established a methodology (pdf, 824kb) for undertaking the assessment based on four tests. Only if a site passes the first three tests does it progress to test four. Under test four it must be demonstrated why a site is considered to be demonstrably special having regard to its beauty, historic significance, recreational value, tranquillity, richness of wildlife or another specified reason.
The first three tests of the assessment were undertaken by planning officers with the final more subjective test being undertaken by the Local Green Space working group. This included representatives from the Lancaster Greenspaces group and other officers within the council. The group met on several occasions, and in October 2016 a meeting was held to decide which of the sites passed all four tests and were considered demonstrably special to the local community. These sites were then put forward for allocation as a Local Green Space in the Local Plan.
The Local Green Spaces Assessment Summary Report (Phase One) (pdf, 761kb) represents the Working Groups assessment of each of the sites. A Map Book (pdf, 36.4mb) has also been produced to identify the location and boundaries proposed for each of the sites.
Due to the constraints on staff resources, it has not been possible to sense-check and redact personal information from each of the original application forms submitted. However, should you wish to view an application, please contact us on 01524 582383 and we can arrange for the application you wish to view to be made available as a hard copy to view at Morecambe Town Hall.
Please note, in a number of instances, to support site submissions, additional information has been submitted since the original application was received, and this includes a number of boundary changes. This information will be kept under review and will be reported to the Local Green Spaces Working Group along with comments received through the recent Local Plan consultation. Some of the conclusions within the report may need to be reviewed in light of this information.
A second opportunity for the submission of applications was opened in June 2016 and the closing date for these applications was 31 August 2016. A decision is still to be made with regards to these sites by the Local Green Spaces Working Group. A subsequent report, detailing these assessments in the same format, will be produced in the Autumn.
Additional sites (including amended site boundaries), and also evidence, were submitted as part of the draft Local Plan Consultation which took place from 27th January until 24th March 2017. These sites and the additional evidence are currently being assessed, and so a decision is still to be made with regards to these sites by the Local Green Spaces Working Group. A subsequent report, detailing these assessments in the same format, will be produced in the Autumn.
Further updates will be provided following the next Local Green Spaces Working Group meeting.
More details on Lancaster Green Space Group (external webpage)
Last updated: 06 September 2017