Dragon Cottage Playground             

Parks matter – they make our lives greener and happier and contribute in no small part to our wellbeing and community spirit. In Leamington, we are privileged to have a wealth of stunning formal parks, glorious natural green spaces, imaginative play areas and wildlife-rich nature reserves to enjoy, exercise and relax in. Preserving these amazing places is high on the list of priorities as Leamington Spa Town Council and volunteer residents work to produce an effective, targeted Neighbourhood Plan for our town. One of the best ways to protect our parks is to nominate green spaces across the town as ‘Local Green Spaces’.

Such spaces must contribute to the quality and distinctiveness of the local environment, be demonstrably special and well used by the communities they serve and hold particular local significance. Once officially designated, Local Green Spaces are subject to the same strong development restrictions as Green Belt land and any new development is ruled out except in very special circumstances.

Local Green Space is designated by the local planning authority and we had to provide robust, detailed evidence to support our nominations. A shortlist of green spaces was created via drop-in sessions, summer events, theme group sessions and focus groups:

1. Jephson Gardens
2. Mill Gardens
3. Pump Room Gardens
4. Victoria Park
5. Holly Walk
6. Christchurch Gardens
7. The Dell
8. Foundry Wood
9. New Street Cemetery
10. Clarendon Square
11. Strathearn Gardens
12. The Holt
13. Masons Avenue Park
14. Cubbington Waterworks
15. Midland Oak
16. The Old Brickyard play area
17. Eagle Recreation Ground
18. Redlands Recreation Ground
19. Welches Meadow
20. Crabtree Meadow
21. Edmondscote Field
22. Fords Field
23. Radford Brook (aka Whitnash North Brook)
24. Calder Walk play area
25. Elizabeth Rd play area
26. Wych Elm Drive
27. Dragon Cottage play area
28. Clapham Terrace open space

All 28 nominations were accepted by the planning inspector after he had visited them all.

Our Local Green Spaces Designation working group consisted of hard working local volunteers with strong links to our green spaces and parks. They contacted local interest groups, organisations, councillors, residents, schools, GP surgeries, nurseries, sports groups and national bodies for their written support for these designation nominations from August to December 2018. They collected and collated evidence bases to demonstrate that these spaces are demonstrably special to the community and that the spaces meet the government criteria:

  1. Beauty
  2. Historical significance
  3. Recreational value
  4. Tranquility
  5. Wildlife

This evidence accompanied the Regulation 16 draft of the Plan when it went to the inspector in mid-Feb 2020. The inspector agreed that all 28 proposed Local Green Space Designations should be included in the final Neighbourhood Plan.