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GR1  The Protection of Urban Greenspace  Policy

On land designated as Urban Greenspace, facilities for visitors, sport or play will be permitted where it can be demonstrated that the proposals would not:

(i) prejudice the continued use of the site for open air recreation; or

(ii) prejudice the visual amenity, landscape character or nature conservation value of the site.

Development for other purposes on land designated as Urban Greenspace, other than for the re-use of existing buildings, will not be permitted unless alternative provision of equivalent community benefit is made available.

Reasoned justification :

8.12 Policy GRE1 states that the Local Planning Authority will protect accessible public open space from inappropriate development. Policy GR1, therefore, sets out the criteria that will be applied to control development within sites designated for protection. The objective of Policy GR1 is to ensure that land required to maintain the network of accessible public open space is protected from development which may harm or diminish the continued value of the site for open air recreation.

8.13 Policy GR1 does not rule out limited, unobtrusive or small scale developments which are intended to expand, enhance or compliment the recreational use of the site. This would include new facilities for sport and recreation such as sports pavilions and changing rooms, areas for games requiring courts or greens, small car parks, play areas, amenity blocks and other visitor facilities, subject to the intrinsic values of the site as open space being retained. Amongst the intrinsic values to be specifically protected are importance for wildlife, visual amenity and landscape character.

8.14 Other development will normally be excluded. The only exceptions are where adequate compensatory or replacement provision is to be made and where new uses are to be sought for an existing building which is itself worthy of preservation. Such uses should, however, remain compatible with the overall objectives of Urban Greenspace designation.