Almost all planning permissions for new residential or business/industrial estates contain conditions which require the provision of green open spaces within the developments.
These conditions, imposed by the planning authority, are a mechanism to ensure the creation of pleasant green settings, predominantly for public recreational use and enable the sensitive integration of new developments into their surrounding landscapes.
The maintenance of these areas, often referred to as ‘residual non-developable land’, has long been a problem. Planning authorities often attach additional planning conditions to these areas which require the developers to demonstrate that the maintenance and short term management of these areas will be put in hand.
On completion of this short term management regime it has traditionally been the role of the public sector, under the Section 106 agreement for the development, to ‘adopt’ the long term responsibility of this land and incorporate it into their estate.
However, the maintenance of this estate has proved to become a significant burden in terms of allocating sufficient, or suitable, resources often resulting in a delayed transfer of land to the local authority.