Open space assessment

An open space assessment is required for major developments that meet the following criteria:

  • all major development (10 or more dwellings or 1,000m2 or more) which involve a loss of open space, including playing fields
  • all development that includes the loss of all or any part of a playing field

Open space is defined as open space of public value. It is not restricted to land, but can include areas of water such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs which offer opportunities for sport and recreation or visual amenity.

Please note permission will not usually be given to develop an existing open space unless you can show that the space is no longer needed, or is in excess of current requirements. 


An open space assessment will typically address:

  • Relevant local and national planning policy around open spaces and how the current development addresses them
  • Open spaces in the area and the site's relationship to them
  • Supply and demand for the type of development being proposed, and how it fits into these statistics
  • Any remediation efforts to compensate for loss of the space to the local community.

More information

Open space assessments are based on the following policy guidelines: