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Use of Local Green Space designation in London lags far behind other areas

Tim Fountaine
By Tim Fountaine
2nd February 2022

New research reveals that the use of a designation introduced a decade ago to protect local green spaces valued by communities is relatively low in London compared with other parts of the country.


The Local Green Space designation was introduced through the National Planning Policy Framework issued by the Government in 2012.  Since then across England over 6,500 green spaces have been protected from damage in this way.  But our research shows that inner cities and densely populated urban areas which are more likely to be home to poorer communities and lack accessible green space are the least likely to have benefitted from this designation.

The research shows that just over 100 spaces have been formally identified as Local Green Space within London, a lower number than any other region except the North East.  In part this is due to the relatively low uptake of neighbourhood planning in the capital – except in a few relatively wealthy areas – but it is still possible for the designation to be applied through local plans as has been the case in Bromley for example.

Neil Sinden, Director of CPRE London said:

‘There is huge untapped potential to level up access to nature for people living in towns and cities, especially London, by giving local parks and green spaces the same sort of protection from development as National Parks and Green Belt.  That is what the Local Green Space designation can provide.

This little known yet powerful tool allows local communities to protect their recreation grounds, pocket parks, community gardens, allotments, estate or neighbourhood greens, and other local valued green spaces from development.   Despite their growing importance to our health and wellbeing, as demonstrated during the pandemic, our precious green spaces are under intense pressure for development.

We are calling on the Mayor of London and all Borough Councils in London to promote and adopt this vital tool so that more green spaces, however small or neglected, which are valued by local communities can be protected from damage or loss forever.’

A copy of the full national report and press release can be downloaded below.

CPRE_Local Green Space report_FINAL 21012022