POLICY H13 Local Green Spaces (Within the Settlement Boundary)

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Context and reasoned justification

The Haslemere Design Statement and community consultations identified several locally valued landscapes, open spaces and other visually significant areas within the settlement boundaries which are an integral part of the character and intrinsic value of the town and villages and should be protected.

These areas create green screens between residential developments and link town and country. They improve quality of life by providing visually attractive green spaces close to where people live and promote health and well-being by providing recreation and leisure opportunities for all ages. They can be an important community resource for public events, religious festivals, fêtes and fairs. Furthermore, these spaces can provide safe havens for wildlife and may act as vital corridors or stepping stones that connect one habitat to another.

The National Planning Policy Framework enables local communities, through local and neighbourhood plans, to identify for special protection those green areas of particular importance by designating land as ‘Local Green Space’ and sets out criteria for when this designation could be used. This designation protects the land from development as the NPPF states that “Policies for managing development within a Local Green Space should be consistent with those for Green Belts.”


The existing protection afforded to the natural environment within Waverley is likely to help preserve the character and integrity of important green areas within and around the town. However, there is also likely to be potential for the erosion of valued character qualities due to development pressure. This policy seeks to give added protection against development to locally valued green areas or open spaces within and around the town.


H13.1 In order to protect and enhance existing green spaces the sites identified in Table 5 (and in the maps in Figures 5a and 5b overleaf) are designated as Local Green Space where development will only be permitted in very special circumstances. Proposals that protect, enhance and sustain these Local Green Spaces in a way which is consistent with its significance to the local community will be supported.


Green space

Reason for protection


Town Meadow

Attractive and valued recreational area with a children’s playground

  • Owned by Waverley Borough Council (WBC)
  • No known planning applications

One of few open green spaces for recreation available in the town centre.


Haslemere War Memorial Recreation Ground

Owned by WBC and protected with Fields in Trust (FIT) Deed of Dedication. Valued recreation site incorporating facilities for football, tennis, bowls and cricket plus a children’s playground.


High Lane Recreation Ground

Enclosed play area with 2 football pitches. Managed by WBC.


Beacon Hill Recreation Ground

Enclosed play area, basketball hoop and junior football goals. Owned by WBC.


Grovers Gardens, Wood Road, Beacon Hill

Given to Haslemere Urban District Council in 1934 for ‘rest and enjoyment of inhabitants in perpetuity’. Place of tranquillity and reflection. Now owned by WBC.


Woodcock Green, Beacon Hill

A small area to pause and sit in contemplation.

Table 5: Local Green Spaces

Figures 5a and 5b: Designated Local Green Spaces.

H13.2 The green spaces identified in Table 6 (below) and the Map in Figure 6 (overleaf) while not designated as Local Green Space, are important areas for recreation for residents and provide valuable habitats for wildlife. They are part of the distinctive ‘green fingers’ that reach into the built-up area of the town and they benefit from protection designations as detailed in Table 6. Permission should not be granted for development on these sites unless the developer demonstrates that there are very special circumstances. Proposals that protect, enhance and sustain these green spaces in a way which is consistent with its significance to the local community will be supported.


Green space

Reason for protection


Lion Green 

Important recreation and leisure site with a children’s playground and youth meeting point. Popular venue for community events. Important wildlife habitat for certain species and one of Haslemere’s ‘green lungs’. The site is used for informal recreation over many years. It is the heart of the Wey Hill area and freely accessible by everyone. It is a registered Village Green under the trusteeship of Village Green at Shottermill, managed by Haslemere Town Council (“HTC”).


St Christopher’s Green 

This is a popular green space used for leisure and recreation. It is Registered Common Land under the management of WBC. It is central to the visual attractiveness and character of this part of Wey Hill.


Woolmer Hill Recreation Ground 

Adjoining the Woolmer Hill school and the Edge Leisure Centre, this is an important community asset with facilities for rugby, hockey, football, cricket and athletics. The majority of the 7.24 hectare site is open space useable for formal sporting activities, informal activities, boot camps and dog walking. It is protected with Fields in Trust through a Deed of Dedication. The site lies within the AONB and countryside beyond the Green Belt.


Hindhead Playing Field , Cricket Close, Hindhead

Owned by Fields in Trust and permanently leased to Hindhead Playing Field Association supporting cricket and football. The 7-acre site is also used by PGL providing adventure holidays and summer camps for their residents. The site lies within the Green Belt and is partly within the AONB.


Area at junction of Shepherd’s Hill and Lower Street

The site constitutes a small open space at the junction of Shepherd’s Hill and Lower Street, close to the centre of Haslemere. It has recently been replanted and provides an attractive pocket of greenery within the town centre. The site also has some historic value as it sits above a wartime air raid shelter. Ownership is divided between SCC and WBC.


Woodland between Buffbeards Lane and Vicarage Lane, south of Holy Cross Hospital

The site is designated as countryside beyond the Green Belt as well as an Area of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI). Haslemere Town Council and the Haslemere Design Statement recognise this area as an important green lung which contributes to the character of the landscape and townscape.


Woodland between Weydown Road and Bunch Lane 

This site is identified in the Haslemere Design Statement as an important green screen and a vital green lung. It lies within an Area of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI) and is designated as countryside beyond the Green Belt. Approximately half of the site is Ancient Woodland.


Allotments at Clammer Hill, Sickle Mill and Collards Lane

The Clammer Hill allotments lie close to the village of Grayswood and within the Green Belt and the AONB. The Sickle Mill allotments lie within a Conservation Area and the site is designated as countryside beyond the Green Belt. The Collards Lane allotments lie within the Green Belt and an Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV). All are valued sites yielding recreational and health benefits and contribute to local food production. Owned and managed by HTC.


Haste Hill Common 

The site lies within the Green Belt, the AONB and is Registered Common Land. It is owned by WBC. It is valued as an important wildlife habitat and corridor. Unsympathetic tree felling and scrub clearance to the lower slope since 2015 may have adversely affected important dormouse and bat species.


Swan Barn Valley, Polecat Valley, Grayswood Common 

Swan Barn Valley, Polecat Valley, Grayswood Common and other areas in and around the town, owned/managed by the National Trust are important wildlife habitats. All sites constitute vital green lungs for the town.

Table 6: Green Fingers

Figure 6: Designated Green Fingers

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