The Mayor of London and CABE Space yesterday published new planning guidance that encourages local authorities to make best use of parks and public open spaces.

The Open Space Strategies guidance, which will be subject to consultation, provides advice on assessing the quantity and quality of open spaces and on identifying the needs of local communities and other users of open spaces, including wildlife.

It is an updated amalgamation of two separate guides that were produced by CABE Space and the GLA in 2004.

Mayor Boris Johnson said: ‘In the face of new environmental, social and economic challenges, preserving our open spaces has never been more important for a good quality of life and a more sustainable future.

‘The new guidance will be an invaluable tool to help local authorities plan, design, manage and maintain their open spaces.

'The preparation and publication by the London boroughs of an up to date Open Space Strategy will be one of the matters I will consider when assessing their Development Plan Documents for general conformity with the London Plan.’