Planning Advice Note 65 advocates a standards-based approach to the assessment and future planning of open space. The standards should cover quality, quantity and accessibility.

greenspace scotland’s review of work on audits and strategies found that local authorities were finding the process of developing appropriate standards very challenging. Over the last two years, with funding support from SNH, greenspace scotland has worked with five local authorities (Fife, North Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire in year 1 and Dumfries and Galloway and Glasgow City in year 2) to develop a framework for producing local standards.

This project has developed from our national mapping work  and our earlier research into the experiences of authorities developing Open Space Strategies (OSS).The report “Open Space Audits and Strategies –review of practice in Scotland” is available for download here

The framework, which is based on initial work from Fife Council’s Open Space Strategy and Local Development Plan Supplementary Guidance

  • covers open space quantity, quality and accessibility
  • applies to new developments and existing areas
  • links directly to local (settlement or neighbourhood) assessments of open space provision and need
  • takes account of the nature and condition of the area around proposed developments

This framework was explored with our colleagues in the other four councils and each is now moving forward with their own versions of the framework model. The draft standards from each council area are being incorporated into relevant Local Development Plans and Open Space Strategies.

If you are interested in developing standards for your area, contact Deryck Irving

download the report

The framework report (June 2013) can be downloaded here

A supplementary report giving more detail of the development of the framework can be downloaded here (4367KB)

audit and strategies

You can download our review of practice in Scotland (September 2010) on open space audits and strategies here

Scottish Planning Policy

Scottish Planning Policy requires all local authorities to develop a strategic approach to the planning and management of open space through the development of open space audits and strategies.

Planning Advice Note (PAN) 65 provides national planning guidance on open space strategies. It advocates a standards-based approach as part of the assessment and future planning of greenspace and states that “standards should be carefully tailored to the circumstances of the area and a single standard will not be suitable for all parts of the country, even for all communities within the same local authority. Very different standards are also likely to be required for different functions such as play areas for children and teenagers and informal recreation areas”.

The PAN identifies that standards should contain three elements: quality, quantity and accessibility.