A conservation group is calling on London boroughs to protect their green spaces by awarding them special status.

The Open Spaces Society says councils have the opportunity to protect green areas from development in the Mayor’s draft new London Plan.

The society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, has proposed the plan include a policy whereby boroughs dedicate any existing green spaces as town greens.

By doing so, the areas would be protected from development under the Commons Act 2006, if it has been used by the public for recreational purposes for at least 20 years.

Kate Ashbrook, the society’s general secretary, said: “We want to see much more land dedicated as town green, because it secures it for ever.

“The London Plan provides a timely opportunity to create these new policies.

“We are not aware that dedication has yet occurred in London and it is time the boroughs began to do this as an example to other landowners—and to require it of developers.”

The society’s proposal comes hot on the heels of controversy surrounding the redevelopment of Walthamstow town square.

The redevelopment, which includes 500 homes across several tower blocks standing as high as 29 storeys, will see the loss of around a third of open and green space around The Mall shopping centre.

Plans were approved by Waltham Forest Council, despite hundreds of written objections to the scheme and a petition signed by more than 2,000 people calling for its rejection.

The council argues the development will boost the local economy and help towards solving housing shortages in the borough.