Open Spaces Strategy First Stage Issues Consultation

Ended on the 13th April 2015
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Chapter 12 Achieving the Vision

(3) 12.1 Intended Outcomes

  • To compliment the work that is being undertaken by Local Strategic Partnership and the Natural, Historic and Environment Board
  • To demonstrate how the Open Spaces Strategy supports the aims of these Boards
  • To demonstrate how the Open Spaces Strategy supports Harborough District Council’s corporate priorities
  • To demonstrate how the Open Spaces Strategy supports the objectives and policies of partnership organisations in Leicestershire such as Stepping Stones, Woodland Trust, Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust


12.2 The priorities of the Environment Board and HDC Corporate Priorities will be reflected in this section of the Open Spaces Strategy. It is proposed to demonstrate that the high level strategies and aspirations for the County can be achieved at a local level and supported by polices that deliver ‘on the ground’.

12.3 We will seek to include polices that support the following themes that are captured in the Local Nature Partnership priority outcomes.

(2) 12.4 Leicestershire Local Nature Partnership (LNP) outcomes supported by Open Spaces.

The overall purpose of the LNP is to:

  1. Drive positive change in the local natural environment, taking a strategic view of the challenges and opportunities involved and identifying ways to manage it as a system for the benefit of nature, people and the economy.
  2. Contribute to achieving the Government’s national environmental objectives locally, including the identification of local ecological networks, alongside addressing local priorities.
  3. Become local champions, influencing decision-making relating to the natural environment and its value to social and economic outcomes, in particular, through working closely with local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Health and Wellbeing Boards.
  4. At the heart of the ambition for LNPs is that each area finds its own way to make the LNP role real and meaningful locally. Within the framework of the overall LNP role, it is for each LNP to decide what their priorities are and how they work in the way that best suits the needs and challenges of their local area.

12.5 The 2011 Open Spaces Strategy proposed to split the District into 5 analysis areas, which reflected the work undertaken as part of the 2004 PPG17 audit. It was hoped this approach would give the following benefits:

  • Service providers engaging with communities at a local level
  • Making services more tailored to what people in communities want
  • Partners working together and agreeing local issues
  • Identifying and fixing 'the little things' in a specific area (e.g. vandalism, graffiti and eyesores)
  • Providing a voice for each locality
  • Strengthening communication/understanding and awareness

(1) 12.6 It is considered now that this approach was not effective and it is proposed that a different way of achieving the Open Spaces Strategy at a local level is adopted.

12.7 It is recognised within planning policy that the requirements for each settlement are different and can be affected by location, demographics, existing facilities, availability of land for development etc.

12.8 The Open Spaces Strategy should reflect this and it is proposed to develop policies that reflect the needs of communities. This may be as simple as splitting Rural and Urban areas, or could be as complex as developing polices that reflect the needs of each community down to Selected Rural Village level. This approach would compliment the settlement hierarchy of the Core Strategy and new Local Plan and views are sought on the preferred approach.

12.9 For example, there may be a requirement for the accessibility of open space to be different for settlements, depending on whether they are urban or rural settlements. There may also be a different requirement locally for typologies of open space to fill either a perceived shortfall or improve the quality of existing open space.

(3) Question: Do you consider that a differential approach should be taken to settlements?

(3) Question: Do you consider that a differing approach should be taken between urban and rural areas, or should a more tailored approach be taken to recognise the settlement hierarchy?

(1) Question: For what reasons have you given your above answers?

12.10 Communities may also consider that they would prefer to invest in an existing facility rather than new, disparate facilities being provided. This could be especially important for outdoor sports facilities and burial grounds, where it is often not possible to provide these typologies of open space on smaller sites.

(3) Question: How should the priorities of communities be recognised if they want to support an existing facility through contributions from development?

12.11 Through this consultation we are asking for views concerning how the different requirements for communities for open space can be met, and whether a standard provision and accessibility threshold should be used or a tailored approach developed for each community.

12.12 Through consultation we aim to develop a policy that is appropriate for the District, and reflects the aspirations and requirements of communities. If it is thought to be appropriate to adopt this approach to the settlement hierarchy then a series of place based policies will be developed and added to the policies and proposals section.

12.13 When new open space is delivered as part of a development the Council needs to determine the best way for this open space to be maintained in the future. Options include adoption of open space by the District Council, by Parish Councils or other community groups. There is also the option of a third party management company maintaining the open space.

12.14 We are seeking views from communities and stakeholders on who should routinely adopt these new open spaces and whether a commuted sum should be sought. The level of commuted sum will be consulted upon as part of the refresh of the Provision for Open Space, Sport and Recreation: Developer Guidance document 2009 in part 2 of this consultation.

(6) Question: Do you consider that the District Council should routinely adopt open spaces on new development?

(5) Question: What reasons do you have for your answer concerning adoption of open space above?

(2) Question: If the District Council does not routinely adopt open space, what other mechanisms should be used to ensure that open space is maintained satisfactorily in perpetuity?

12.15 The updated approach to the 2009 document Provision for Open Space, Sport and Recreation: Developer Guidance document in part 2 of the Open Spaces Strategy will reflect the need for new open spaces to be provided within developments or as off site contributions. The refreshed approach to this document will inform negotiations with developers of Section 106 agreements.

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