East Grinstead Society

Register of Green Spaces in East Grinstead

East Grinstead is an historic town with a variety of important green spaces, which enhance our living area and quality of life, and are highly valued by residents. They vary from formal areas, such as playgrounds, parks, allotments and playing fields, to tiny areas of grass and trees. These act as essential breathing spaces (green lungs) for our large housing estates. We are also fortunate in having green corridors along former railway lines, e.g. Worth Way, Forest Way and St Margaret’s Loop.

One of the aims of the East Grinstead Society is to protect and preserve the environment in which we live. To this end the East Grinstead Society has created this ‘REGISTER OF GREEN SPACES’ to inform future planning policy and guide decision-making.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), was published in March 2012, and sets out the government’s planning policies for England. Paragraphs 76 – 78 introduced a new ‘Local Green Space’ (LGS) designation which enables communities to identify and protect areas that are of value to them through local and neighbourhood plans.

LGSs can only be designated when the local development plan is being produced – in this instance the Mid Sussex draft District Plan (dDP) and the East Grinstead draft Neigbourhood Plan (dEGNP). The dDP has no specific policies relating to East Grinstead. The dEGNP is, at present, undergoing an 8-week public consultation (27/07/15 – 21/09/15). The Society is submitting this Register for inclusion in the dEGNP’s appendices to clarify policies EG14, EG15 and EG16.

The current plan, the Mid Sussex Local Plan 2004 (MSLP) identifies, in Chapter 12, environmental factors as one of two major constraints limiting further development in East Grinstead; a number of Green Spaces in the Town are designated under MSLP Policy EG18. This major environmental constraint at East Grinstead is ignored by the dDP. The East Grinstead town boundary abuts the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which includes the Ashdown Forest. The Ashdown Forest Special Protection Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) sites are protected under the European Habitats Directive, and since 2006 local planning authorities must ensure that development does not adversely affect these sites.

Should there prove to be a shortfall in deliverable land to meet housing need, required over the next 20 years or to meet the 5-year land supply, the EGNP will be critical in providing protection of these important Green Spaces.

The task of cataloguing East Grinstead Green Spaces has proved to be more substantial than originally anticipated. Phase 2 of the East Grinstead Society Register includes significant new information above that indentified in and up-dating the Kit Campbell Associates 2010 refresh of PPG17.

The Society is submitting the Register to inform, and for inclusion in, the draft East Grinstead Neighbourhood Plan and to clarify policies EG14, EG15 and EG16.

Att: Register of Green Spaces in East Grinstead