Open Spaces Strategy First Stage Issues Consultation

Ended on the 13th April 2015
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Chapter 23 Securing Open Space Contributions

23.1 Intended Outcomes

  • To determine whether the Council should adopt all publicly accessible open space and the mechanism for doing so.
  • To determine the triggers for open space provision on site, and for off site contributions.
  • To determine the length of time that should be allowed for the Authority to spend contributions

Approach

23.2 In providing open space by way of a developer contribution and/or commuted maintenance payments, applicants must enter into a planning obligation in the form of a Section 106 Agreement with the Council. This will control the development, maintenance and transfer of ownership of the land to the Council or other management organisation.

23.3 Harborough District Council currently adopts much publicly accessible open space, but views are sought whether communities could or should take a greater role in adopting and maintaining open space on new developments. The mechanism for transferring commuted sums for maintenance to a Parish Council or Community Group should also be considered. Should this be as a lump sum on transfer of the open space or in equal instalments?

(3) Question: Should communities take a greater role in managing and maintaining new open space in the future?

(2) Question: Should commuted sums for maintenance be transferred directly to communities or by instalments annually?

23.4 Consideration should also be given to the obligations on a developer if they elect to maintain the open space themselves or employ a management company to do so.

(3) Question: Should the developer be obliged to provide a landscape maintenance plan for the on site open space?

(4) Question: Is this sufficient assurance that the on site open space will be adequately maintained?

(3) Question: How will developer or management company maintained open space be monitored in the future?

(2) Question: How will none compliance with a landscape management plan be rectified and enforced?

23.5 If adopted by HDC, the current mechanism for adoption requires approval by Executive. Views are to be sought whether this process needs to be delegated to officers for determination especially if it is intended to pass on maintenance responsibilities to a Parish Council or community organisation

(3) Question: In your opinion who is best placed to make the decision about future management and adoption of new open space?

(1) 23.6 Triggers for delivery of open space are written into the Section 106 agreements, and views are sought when an appropriate trigger for delivery of open space by a developer should be.

23.7 Consideration should be given to not only the financial constraints in which the development industry works, but also the physical constraints on site. It may not be possible for a developer to complete open space on site until the end of the construction period.

23.8 It is usual for a S106 agreement to contain a time limit on any contributions received by the District Council or other bodies. This is reasonable and ensures that communities receive benefits of developer contributions in a timely way. Any unspent monies when the spending time limit has passed are returned to the developer.

23.9 Views are sought about what a reasonable length of time should be for spending of S106 contributions. If contributions are sought for large and complex projects it may be appropriate to seek a longer period for the spending to take place. Commuted sums for maintenance would not be spent prior to the maintenance period expiring, this currently being 15 years.

(2) Question: What do you consider would be a reasonable length of time for off site contributions for open space to be spent by communities?

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