SCOTLAND's OPEN SPACE: AN INVALUABLE ASSET
1. Open spaces are important for our quality of life. They provide the setting for a wide range of social interactions and pursuits that support personal and community well-being. They allow individuals to interact with the natural environment and provide habitats for wildlife. They can also be important in defining the character and identity of settlements. Connecting them in a green network can provide enhanced benefits for people, the environment and biodiversity. New areas of open space of enduring quality and value have, however, been the exception rather than the rule and existing spaces are under pressure not just from physical development but also from poor management and maintenance.
2. This Planning Advice Note ( PAN) gives advice on the role of the planning system in protecting and enhancing existing open spaces and providing high quality new spaces. It supports Scottish Planning Policy ( SPP) 11: Open Space and Physical Activity. The PAN also sets out how local authorities can prepare open space strategies and gives examples of good practice in providing, managing and maintaining open spaces. The advice relates to open space in settlements: villages, towns and major urban areas.
3. The planning system performs two key functions in relation to open space:
- protecting areas that are valuable and valued; and
- ensuring provision of appropriate quality in, or within easy reach of, new development.