Leeds City Council – Protection of Green Spaces – response to Liverpool City Council partnership with Fields in Trust

Parks and green space in general are protected by planning policy as set out in the core strategy and in particular policies g3 to g6.  These policies not only seek to protect and improve existing green space but also provide for new parks and green space in areas where it is deficient or where there is significant growth.  Many parks in the outer areas of the city are further protected as they form part of the greenbelt.

The Council has already participated in undertaking Fields in Trust ‘Deeds of Dedication’ for a number of parks and green spaces in Leeds, usually to coincide with national celebrative or commemorative events.  Most notably this involved the designation of 8 sites (approved by Executive Board in 2012) as part of the ‘Queen Elizabeth II Fields’ scheme which celebrated the Diamond Jubilee, London Olympic and Paralympic Games and 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Whilst the fee for registration of the deed with the Land Registry may be small, there are legal costs and considerable officer time associated with establishing ownership, determining the land boundary, researching existing restrictions or covenants and then dealing with potential issues that may arise.  Any decision to undertake a Fields in Trust Deed of Dedication must therefore take account of the cost involved weighed against the benefit that such additional protection could provide.  In most cases if funds are made available then the preference is to allocate them to physical site improvements rather than incur legal costs associated with further protection.