At present, there is no formal definition of green space used by Communities and Local Government for either mapping or planning purposes. Although open space is defined in the Town and Country Planning Act as land laid out as a public garden, or used for the purposes of public recreation, or land which is a disused burial ground, this narrow definition is not considered appropriate for dealing with the complete range of open spaces, including green spaces, that exist and the variety of functions they can fulfil.
The Government’s planning policies on open space are set out in planning policy guidance note 17 (PPG17) “Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation” (2002). PPG17 makes clear that these policies should be applied to all types of open space that have public value. An illustrative typology of open spaces which may be of public value, which includes a variety of different types of green space, is included in the annexe to PPG17. The Department will shortly be developing a green space database web resource that will provide information on green space as maps.