Planning & development

Shape the place where you live, protect valued open spaces and decide what type of development, if any, is needed.


Are you worried about a planning application or the potential for development on an open space local to you?

Did you know that you can shape the place where you live, protect valued open spaces using the Local Green Space Designation and decide what type of development, if any, is needed?

Neighbourhood planning gives communities in England the opportunity and power to set local planning policies. Once approved, a neighbourhood plan has real weight in the planning system, empowering the inhabitants.

Over one thousand communities are currently involved in neighbourhood planning and 50 plans have been made following referendums. For further details of case studies and neighbourhood plans click here

One of the best ways to protect your local open spaces is to join the Open Spaces Society. As a member, you can count on the support of our expert team based at our head office in Henley-on-Thames.

Depending on where you live, you may also have a local Open Spaces Society correspondent (our name for volunteer) who may be able to help you.


Protect your space from unwanted development, join us today.

News about Planning & development

Our case officer Nicola Hodgson celebrates 20 years with Open Spaces Society

In 1999, solicitor Nicola Hodgson was instructed by Sunningwell Parish Council, in Oxfordshire, to register a piece of land as a village green – thereby preventing two new houses being built on the site which had, for decades, been popular with families and dog walkers. The case went to the House of Lords, resulting in…
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Bullies beware!

Through our 154-year history, the Open Spaces Society has developed a proud record of legal action. We fought the enclosures, and defended commoners’ rights; we have tested the law in the courts many times. We have suffered losses, but we also have landmark victories to our name. One such victory was our challenge to Dorset…
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We fight development on Hampshire common

We have objected to an application from Mr Christopher Ball to build three houses and an access road on Odiham Common in Hampshire. The land, at Potbridge, is registered common land. Any development on common land requires the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in addition to any planning…
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Our dismay at Durham County Council’s proposed common-land swap

We have objected strongly to an application from Durham County Council to deregister part of The Sands common in the city centre in order to build a new council headquarters, and to offer in exchange land to the north of the common but quite separate from it. The application, under section 16 of the Commons…
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