Nottingham City Council is due to take an important step towards increasing and improving the open spaces linked to new developments today (Tuesday 19 November 2019).
The city’s Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for Open Space in New Residential and Commercial Developments will go to the council’s Executive Board for adoption.
The SPD, which went to consultation in June, sets out the amount and type of new publicly accessible open space, or improvements to nearby spaces, is required from all future residential and commercial developments. Where open space cannot be provided on the site itself, the SPD outlines how the council will calculate and allocate requirements for developer contributions towards green space improvements nearby instead.
Nottingham is currently undergoing a period of unprecedented redevelopment. Once adopted, the SPD will provide developers with additional planning guidance and add further detail to the policies in the council’s Local Plan, which support and are considered as part of the planning process.
Currently over 25% of the city’s total land area is made up of green spaces. The majority of these are public parks, natural spaces, green corridors, allotments, cemeteries and sports grounds. There are also a number of large parks such as Wollaton Park, Colwick Country Park and Bulwell Hall Park.
Councillor Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage at Nottingham City Council, said: “Nottingham has a historic network of open and green spaces, which date back to the 18th century and beyond.
“Open and green spaces and experiencing nature and wildlife contribute significantly to the health and wellbeing of those who live, work and visit the city. They can promote mental and physical health by providing places for relaxation and stress alleviation, social interaction, support physical activity, and reduce exposure to air pollutants, as well as contributing to the quality and visual look of the area.
“The SPD will help to maintain these vital spaces and provide new spaces and green habitats for future generations to come.”
The SPD helps to support a number of City Council ambitions, and includes ensuring Nottingham becomes a ‘bee friendly’ city with suitable habitats in every neighbourhood, and planting at least 10,000 trees. Well designed and high quality open spaces also contribute to reducing and offsetting carbon emissions, helping Nottingham meet its pledge to become the first carbon neutral city in the country by 2028.
If approved, the SPD, along with an SPD for the management of Caves and a Statement of Community involvement, will be adopted to form part of the Council’s planning policy framework from the 20 November. All three documents will help ensure that development in Nottingham meets the Council’s aspirations in terms of open space provision and contributions, the protection of the City’s caves, whilst the new Statement of Community involvement will ensure the community are appropriately involved in the planning processes.