We have specialist knowledge of Welsh planning laws and regularly support our members in Wales to protect the open spaces they care about.
We are consulted by the Welsh Government on all applications for works on common land, and by highway authorities on all changes to the public-path network.
Open spaces and paths are crucial to the economy, health and well-being of Wales, its history, culture and present-day living.
If these places are in good health, people will visit them for recreation and enjoyment, and the local economy will benefit.
Local councils have a vital role to play in creating sustainable communities—and an important means of achieving this is through the creation and care of open space.
Securing green infrastructure in and around communities and neighbourhoods is vital because it can provide a network of paths and spaces, places for recreation, habitats for wildlife and natural corridors and flood mitigation.
OSS can offer guidance on voluntary registration as a town/village green under section 15(8) of the Commons Act 2006.
Open space protection in Wales is set out in the Technical Advice Note (TAN) 16; Sport, Recreation and Open Space 2009.
Members should check policies in their local development plan and any local supplementary planning guidance notes on open space protection.
OSS also provides professional training to local councils, national park authorities, access users, commons managers and anyone with an interest in our commons, greens and open spaces, including whole-day courses tailored to your requirements.
Natural Resources Wales has a greenspace toolkit which helps local authorities plan and improve green space for local people and some councils have supplementary planning guidance:
Caerphilly CBC sets out the council’s approach to the protection of open space. It supplements Policy CW7 Protection of Open space in the Local Development plan.
Carmarthenshire CC have supplementary planning guidance ( Leisure and Open Space) in respect of requirements for new developments in the local development plan.
Swansea is developing an open space strategy up to 2025.
Did you know?
Eight per cent of Wales is common land, immensely important for its natural beauty, wildlife habitats, archaeology and opportunities for informal recreation.
No other type of land offers such a range of public benefits.
Commons are also crucial to the Welsh economy and sustainability because they provide grazing land (especially for hill farmers), and are significant tourist attractions.