Latest News

Last chance for Forty Acres

August 11, 2020

Trudy Dean, chair of West Malling Parish Council, a member of the society, writes of the threat to a magnificent local open space. Forty Acres is a beautiful open area of gently rising farmland to the south of the A20 London Road in the Parish of East Malling and Larkfield in Kent. Confusingly running to…

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Taking people out of planning

August 10, 2020

With many other environmental charities, we have condemned the government’s proposals to speed up the planning process and reduce democratic involvement. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published a consultation, Planning for the Future, with closing date of 29 October 2020. This proposes a total rewrite of the rules first set out…

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New charter for Wales’s open spaces

August 3, 2020

Today we call for a better deal for open spaces in Wales.  We have published a charter and have written to Julie James, the Minister for Housing and Local Government, and all of Wales’s planning authorities. We want the government to introduce a national plan and standards for open spaces and to revise and update…

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New charter for open spaces

August 3, 2020

Today we call for a better deal for open spaces.  We have published a charter and have written to Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and to all of England’s planning authorities. We call on government to introduce a national plan and standards for open spaces, and to place…

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Vocal for local

June 17, 2020

Our general secretary Kate Ashbrook considers life for the Open Spaces Society during lockdown. As lockdown began, I foolishly thought we would have time to catch up with all those long-deferred jobs.  I was wrong: we have been busier than ever. Developers are not deterred by a pandemic: open spaces remain at risk, perhaps more…

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How do we protect open spaces closer to home?

April 28, 2020

The think tank, ‘Centre for Cities’, which focuses on improving the economies of the UK’s largest cities and towns, published an article at the start of our lock down period, ‘How easy is it for people to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic?‘  It concluded that the provision of public open space, such as…

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Blackburn group win support of borough council for new Asset of Community Value

April 1, 2020

A much loved open space at Whitehall Road in Blackburn, has been awarded Asset of Community Value (ACV) status by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council following a campaign by the Whitehall Road Neighbourhood Group.  The benefit of achieving ACV listing is that this becomes a material planning consideration, a matter that should be taken into…

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Welsh government allows closure of some paths and access land

March 26, 2020

The Welsh government has introduced emergency legislation which enabled certain bodies to close identified public paths and access land because they create a risk of spreading coronavirus. The bodies had to close the paths by noon on 25 March 2020. The bodies (known as ‘relevant bodies’) entitled to do this are: county or county borough…

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Commons victory at historic Berkhamsted

March 12, 2020

We are delighted that Hertfordshire County Council has added a piece of Berkhamsted Common to the common-land register.  This will protect a further part of this historic common from development. The land is 0.17 hectares to the north of Britwell Drive, near Berkhamsted Golf Club (about one kilometre north-west of Berkhamsted). The land was subject…

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The rise and fall of village greens

March 5, 2020

The Supreme Court has dealt a bitter blow to communities wanting to protect their open spaces. As a result of a judgment last December concerning two green spaces, in Lancashire and Surrey, it has become much more difficult to protect land and assert rights of recreation on it. Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, follows the…

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