Skip to main content

Welcome to Optimis. If you already have a account then please login, if not then why not register.

Pocket parks: support for communities to manage small green spaces

Normally the size of a tennis court, Pocket Parks have been springing up across the country on underused urban spaces to create small green retreats for the local community to enjoy.

On 15th February 2016 the Department for Communities and Local Government announced that 87 community groups, from Newcastle to Penryn in Cornwell, were successful in their bids for a part of the £1.5million DCLG pocket park fund.  The objective of the programme is to deliver up to 100 pocket parks across deprived urban areas in England in 2015-2016.

Pocket parks are defined for the DCLG programme as a piece of land of up to 0.4 hectares (although many are around 0.02 hectares, the size of a tennis court) which may already be under grass but which is unused, undeveloped or derelict.  Ownership of the site may rest with the community, local authority or other public body, or a private sector body or trust including a housing association; all applications will need to provide evidence of agreement from the landowner.  DCLG states that Communities will be expected to secure the pocket park for the future by registering it as an Asset of Community Value and under Local Green Space Designation.

Pocket park programmes, separate to the DCLG project, have already been running across the UK including the Mayor of London’s Pocket Park Programme in 2013 and also the Pocket Park Scheme in Northamptonshire, which was created in the early 1980s.  In Northamptonshire, the pocket parks (located in urban and rural areas) are run by volunteers; they must provide access every day, all day, and the maintenance costs are the responsibility of the local community.

As well as providing outdoor space for the community and bringing underused and derelict land back into use, Pocket Parks can also accommodate sustainable urban drainage systems with features such as rain gardens, permeable paving, small scale green roofs and swales.

Anna Holloway, Senior Planning and Development Consultant

Reader Comments (0)

There are currently no comments on this article. Why not be the first and leave your thoughts below.

Leave Your Comment

Please keep your comment on topic, any inappropriate comments may be removed.

Return to index