Open area in Ruchill Park, Glasgow, Strathclyde and Ayrshire Area. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Open space audit and strategy

Planning authorities should assess current and future open space needs, and plan how to protect open spaces to help meet those needs.

Scottish Planning Policy requirements

The policy states: “Authorities should undertake an audit of the open space resource in their area and how well it meets the needs of the community.”

“Using the information from the audit, authorities should prepare an open space strategy which sets out the vision for new and improved open space and addresses any deficiencies identified.”

Find open space audit and strategy guidance

Read our ‘Wayfinder Guide’ to the preparation of Open Space Audits and Strategies

Our guide will direct you to the most up-to-date and effective guidance and best practice, which is spread across numerous resources.

We created this guide in 2013 to reflect the results of a review we commissioned of the guidance and best practice available at that time.

Open space standards

Read Developing Open Space Standards: Guidance and framework

Planning authorities have long found developing locally appropriate open space standards a difficult part of the strategy process. We hope our guidance and framework will help you to set your own open space standards.

Find out more

Review and development of open space audit and strategy guidance and best practice: SNH Commissioned Report 625