Open Spaces are covered in Section 5 of the issues and options paper for the new local plan for Reading, published for consultation by Reading Borough Council. The consultation was agreed at the strategic environment, planning and transport Committee meeting on 24 November 2015.
The Government has introduced a new type of protection for open space, ‘local green space‘ within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
To be designated local green space the area must fulfil the following criteria:
- The green space must be in reasonably close proximity to the community it serves;
- The green space must be demonstrably special to a local community and hold a particular local significance, for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value (including as a playing field), tranquillity or richness of its wildlife;
- The green space must be local in character and not an extensive tract of land.
Question 24 for consultees on open space is:
Which areas should be identified as local green space and why?
For each area that you would like to see identified as Local Green Space (see map of potential sites in Appendix 5, but also include any other areas if they are not shown), please describe the particular local significance of the area to the community.
Areas which are currently protected as public and strategic open space and which could be designated local green space, include the following sites in and around Katesgrove:
- Waterloo Meadows and Allotments
- Kennet Meadows and Southcote Linear Park
- Cintra Park and Newcastle Road Allotments
- Long Barn Lane Recreation Ground
No new sites within the wider Katesgrove area have been proposed in the document.
Those concerned about green space generally, might also want to consider section 4 of the document where the impact of building on residential gardens and greenfield sites is discussed.
Question 15 asks for a ranking of sources of sites for housing development in order of preference.
1: Town centre development
2: Increasing densities;
3: Vacant brownfield sites and infill development;
4: Conversion of houses to flats;
5: Conversion of offices to residential;
6: Renewal of suburban areas;
7: Redevelopment of employment land;
8: Residential gardens;
9: Development on greenfield sites.
Three consultation workshops are being held around Reading in February. If you would like to attend you should contact the planning team.
- Tilehurst Village Hall, Victoria Road, RG31 5AB – Thursday 4th February 7.30pm to 9.30pm
- Church House, 59 Church Street, Caversham, RG4 8AX – Tuesday 16th February 7pm to 9pm
- Civic Offices, Bridge Street, RG1 2LU (Committee Room 4a/4b) – Wednesday 24th February, 7pm to 9pm
There are also two drop-in events in February. These are more informal and you do not need to contact the planning team in advance.
The contact number for queries about the plan is: 0118 9373337
Deadline for responses is Monday 7 March 2016.