The Planning Policy Team at Craven District Council are currently consulting with key statutory consultees on a draft Local Green Space Designation methodology in response to paragraphs 76-78 of the NPPF which allows communities through Local and Neighbourhood Plans to identify for special protection green areas of particular importance to them. This piece of work is being done to inform the preparation of the Craven Local Plan.
In preparing the draft methodology I have a query relating to para 76 of the NPPF and the advice contained within NPPG relating to Local Green Space Designation and its management beyond the end of the plan period. Para 76 states that “ LGS should only be designated when a plan is prepared or reviewed, and be capable of enduring beyond the end of the plan period”. The NPPG states that “Management of land designated as Local Green Space will remain the responsibility of its owner. If the features that make a green area special and locally significant are to be conserved, how it will be managed in the future is likely to be an important consideration”. Local communities can consider how, with the landowner’s agreement, they might be able to get involved, perhaps in partnership with interested organisations that can provide advice or resources.” Para 77 of the NPPF then goes on to state the specific circumstances when the designation should be used.
My question is whether the tests set out at para 77 should only be used to assess applications for LGS designations or should the tests include an assessment of how the site will be managed in the future? What level of importance should be given to whether or not there are plans for future management? Presumably if a landowner does not agree that a community group can manage a site that is being considered for LGS designation and the landowner is objecting to the designation, then protection of the site’s important characteristics cannot be safeguarded into the future?
Any comments/guidance would be much appreciated.