Open Space SPD

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Introduction

1.1 It is now increasingly recognised, that green space or open space has environmental, social and economic benefits and is therefore an essential component of sustainable development. Green space is aesthetically attractive and can provide valuable semi - natural habitats of wildlife interest within the urban context. It also provides ecological systems that absorb pollutants and rain water, mitigate flooding and provide shade and cooling.

1.2 Green space can provide neutral territory where different groups of people can meet and play, so contributing to social inclusion. Through the opportunities it provides for peace, reflection and leisure activity, green space can also enhance physical and mental health. The proximity of green space also raises property values and can therefore provide a spur to regeneration.

1.3 It therefore has a central role to play in addressing many of our current concerns: climate change, social cohesion, healthy lifestyles and regeneration.

1.4National policy for green space reflects its importance and there is a strong presumption in favour of retaining and improving open space provision. It recommends that local authorities should conduct a detailed audit of their open space and prepare an open space strategy to assist with planning decisions relating to open space.

1.5 Warwick District Council has completed such an audit and the purpose of this Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is to give further guidance to developers on the requirements for public open space. It therefore expands on existing policy SC13 contained in the adopted Warwick District Local Plan (September, 2007).

1.6 This version is a 'draft' SPD and has been prepared for the purposes of public consultation in accordance with the Council's Statement of Community Involvement.

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