Latest News

Statement on criminal trespass

January 19, 2021

We have joined with eight other organisations in a letter to the Home Secretary, condemning plans to make trespass a criminal offence.  Our letter comes ahead of the publication of the government’s Police Powers and Protections Bill which will enact the Conservative Party’s manifesto commitment to ‘make intentional trespass a criminal offence’. The society has expressed…

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We back Vision for Planning 2021 launch

January 14, 2021

Our case office, Nicola Hodgson, has helped to craft this Vision for Planning document which was launched at an event on 14 January attended by the housing minister, Chris Pincher. Eighteen organisations representing housing, planning, transport, the environment, heritage and public health, came together to promote an alternative vision to the government’s Planning for the…

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photo of Clyne Common showing the proposed release land to the left of the track © Copyright Bill Boaden and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Protecting Wales’s local spaces through good design and community involvement

November 11, 2020

We have signed the Placemaking Wales Charter, pledging to support its objectives. These include a commitment to support the creation of high-quality places across Wales for the benefit of communities. The charter has been developed by the Welsh government and the Design Commission for Wales in collaboration with the Placemaking Wales partnership. It has more…

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October update: Open Space Charters

October 22, 2020

This year people have enjoyed their local green spaces as never before. Now is the time to protect and expand them. In early August we wrote to every planning authority in England and Wales (nearly 400 of them), Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and Julie James, the Welsh…

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Clayton Fields, threatened space in Kirklees

Government’s demolition of the planning system

October 21, 2020

We have slated the government’s white paper, Planning for the Future.  In our response to the government consultation, we have argued that the proposed reforms will put precious open spaces and paths at risk. The government proposes to divide the country into three planning zones: ‘growth’ (suitable for substantial development), ‘renewal’ (suitable for development) and…

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Landscapes Review – what next?

October 8, 2020

Shoulder to shoulder with other influential NGO organisations including Campaign for National Parks, National Trust, Ramblers, RSPB, Youth Hostels Association, CPRE, The Wildlife Trusts and the British Mountaineering Council, and now a year since the publication of the Landscapes Review, we have written to Rt Hon George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for the Environment,…

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Expanding our freedoms

August 21, 2020

The Open Spaces Society has long campaigned for responsible freedom to roam away from public paths in England and Wales.  The Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 went some way towards achieving this, but the rights were only for walkers and were limited to registered commons, and mapped areas of mountain, moor, heath…

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Boost for Neighbourhood Planning Groups

August 13, 2020

Following the launch earlier this month of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s  Planning for the Future consultation, funding in the form of grants made to community groups involved with shaping their local planning policy  is set to almost double. Government grants to individual neighbourhood planning groups in both urban and deprived areas…

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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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