Local parks in poorer neighbourhoods are less likely to be protected from development than those in more affluent areas, new research has revealed.
Analysis by the countryside charity CPRE has mapped the number of parks given Local Green Space designation. This allows local people to apply for national park-style protection from development.
It shows that while over 6,500 Local Green Spaces have been created since 2012, those in inner cities and densely populated urban areas are the least likely to have benefited.
The charity is calling for local authorities to promote this unique clause in planning rules as widely as possible.
Crispin Truman, chief executive of CPRE, said: ‘This is a solution to levelling up that has been hiding in plain sight; a planning superpower in the hands of ordinary people. All that people have to prove is they use and value the land for it to be eligible to be protected like it’s a national park.
'Unfortunately, there is a sliding scale of injustice when it comes to who is benefitting. Put simply, the poorer you are and the more nature-deprived your neighbourhood already is, the less likely you are to have any protected Local Green Space. It’s time to address this imbalance and level up everyone’s access to nature.
'That is why we’re calling on the Government to promise the equivalent of a national park for every neighbourhood.'