Open Space Strategy
West Lothian Council's Open Space Strategy provides an overall vision for the provision, development, regeneration and management of open spaces throughout West Lothian.
Why Open Space is important
It addresses the following challenges:
- Environmental sustainability
- Health and healthier lifestyles
- Inclusion & social equity
- Sustainable economic growth
- Quality of place and place competitiveness
Open Space Strategy
Open Space has a key role in delivering outputs across a breadth of environmental, social and economic goals linking to cross-cutting themes in both the Community Plan and Development Plan. Equally important, is the need to deliver real and meaningful benefits to communities that address local needs in a manner that offers best value.
This Open Space Strategy, supported by a detailed Open Space Audit and GIS / Access Database,offers an innovative and powerful tool kit to improve Open Space planning.
It is an instrument for bringing together the aims of different council services with responsibilities for open space and liaising with users, community groups, other organisations and the private sector. It helps us to identify areas where open spaces are in good supply, where they are needed and where the quality of the open spaces offered could be better. West Lothian Council commissioned an Open Space Audit and Open Space Strategy in 2004. This report summarises the Open Space Strategy. The Strategy provides a strategic vision for the provision, development, regeneration and management of Open Space within West Lothian.
For the purposes of this Strategy, we have focused on public parks, amenity open spaces and sports pitches.
Strategic Environmental Assessment
- West Lothian Council has determined under Section 8(1) of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 that the Refresh of West Lothian Council's Open Space Strategy does not require Strategic Environmental Assessment.
Scotland's GreenSpace map - a world first!
Scotland's GreenSpace Map is a world first - no other country has mapped its greenspace in this way. It is an innovative Geographical Information System (GIS) based map which provides comprehensive information on the location, extent and type of greenspace across all of Scotland's urban settlements (i.e. towns and cities with a population of 3,000 or more).
The Map was compiled in 2011 from greenspace data provided by all 32 Scottish Councils. The local datasets were produced using greenspace mapping characterisation. This involved using GIS maps and aerial photography to categorise greenspaces into 23 different open space types (based on the typology set out in Planning Advice Note 65 Planning and Open Space); these include public parks, play areas, allotments, amenity greenspace, private gardens. Primary and secondary codes are used to capture multi-functional greenspaces, for example, play areas or woodland within larger public parks.
Scotland's Greenspace Map can be viewed as an interactive map and the GIS data can be provided to users with appropriate Ordnance Survey licence arrangements.
Developing Scotland's GreenSpace Map
The project to develop the Scotland's GreenSpace Map was led by greenspace Scotland with support from Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland; all 32 Scottish Councils actively supported the project and provided information.