[holding answer 26 October 2006]: The Government have already put in place policy for the provision and protection of open spaces and play areas. Planning Policy Guidance Note 17: “Open Space, Sport and Recreation” requires local planning authorities to make rigorous assessments of the existing and future needs of their communities for open space, including play areas. They should set standards in their plans which ensure adequate provision for open space as part of new housing developments.
Planning Policy Statement 3: “Housing”, when it is published later this year, will further emphasise the need for local planning authorities to assess the extent to which new housing development provides, or enables access to, community green space and open space, as well as private outdoor areas such as gardens. It will also emphasise that local planning authorities should take account of the need to provide play space for family housing in determining the size and type of affordable housing needed for their areas.