Please enable JavaScript in your browser to use this page.

Open Space Assessment

Published: 2020-01-27 Updated: 2023-02-03 Subject: Planning, Planning checklist

Planning application - local requirement

When the requirement applies

You need to submit an Open Space Assessment with your planning application when you are proposing a major development. Major development means ten or more new dwellings, over 1000sq m of new floor space or development carried out on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more. Open space for public use can be land in the form of playing fields, parks, communal green areas and natural green space, or areas of water, such as rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs which offer opportunities for sport and recreation and can also provide a place to walk and enjoy, with an open outlook for residents or visitors. The Open Space Assessment will inform the Green Infrastructure Proposal for the development.

Whilst not all developments will be of a size that will generate the requirement for on-site open space, there will be many that will. Bath and North East Somerset Green Space Strategy sets out the thresholds. Developments that trigger this requirement are expected to either provide for, or to contribute to the provision of accessible sport and recreational open space, or facilities to meet the need arising from the new development.

The Planning Obligations SPD covers Green Infrastructure, Green Space and Recreational Facilities and provides clear guidance in respect of our approach to Section 106 Planning Obligations.

Bath and North East Somerset Green Infrastructure Strategy 2013 and the Green Space Strategy 2015 set out the vision and requirements in respect of green infrastructure within the district. We have subsequently adopted the West of England Joint Green Infrastructure Strategy 2020 to 2030 (JGIS).

What the assessment should include

An Open Space Assessment is necessary to understand existing green infrastructure assets within and around the development site and how the development may have an impact upon these assets. Local policy requires that developments maximise opportunities for effective and functional green infrastructure and that appropriate green infrastructure proposals have been incorporated into the scheme. The assessment should be prepared with regard to the standards and typologies referenced within the Green Space Strategy.  

An Open Space Assessment should include the following:

  • A plan of the existing green infrastructure assets and open spaces within and around the development site
  • Information relating to their existing use and green infrastructure value
  • A plan of the proposed green infrastructure proposals within and around the development site
  • Information relating to how these proposals will improve connectivity to and support existing local and strategic green infrastructure networks
  • Information relating to the delivery of well connected places accessible by sustainable means of transport
  • Information relating to any loss of open space resulting from development
  • Evidence that the community has sufficient access to open space elsewhere, and that the development site is surplus to requirements (if applicable)
  • Information relating to how the development may affect adjacent open spaces in respect of use, management and maintenance
  • Information relating to open space requirements generated by the development
  • A plan of the open space proposals which clearly identify the green space typologies and quantities referenced in the Green Space Strategy or successor document (if applicable)
Warning Some file formats may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.