Planning Obligations SPD

Ended on the 30th September 2015
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Chapter 8: Open Space Sport and Recreation Provision

8.1. Justification

8.1.1. Harborough District Council currently seeks contributions for the following typologies of Open Space.

Table 3

Typology Definition Principle Uses
Parks and gardens

Includes urban parks, formal
gardens and country parks.

Accessible, high quality opportunities for informal
recreation and community events.

Natural and semi-natural Greenspaces, including urban and rural Woodland and Country Parks

includes publicly accessible
woodlands, urban forestry, scrub,
grasslands (e.g. downlands,
commons, meadows), wetlands,
open and running water and wastelands.

Wildlife conservation, biodiversity and environmental
education and awareness.

Amenity Greenspace

Most commonly but not exclusively found in housing areas. Includes informal recreation green spaces and village greens.

Informal activities close to
home or work and enhancement of the appearance of residential
or other areas

Outdoor sports facilities

Natural or artificial surfaces either
publicly or privately owned used for sport and recreation. Includes school playing fields.

Participation in outdoor sports, such as pitch sports,
tennis, bowls, athletics or countryside and water sports.

Provision for children and Young people

Areas designed primarily for play and social interaction involving children and young people.

Areas designed primarily for play and social interaction
involving children and young people, such as equipped
play areas, ball courts, skateboard areas and teenage

Allotments, community gardens

Areas for those people who wish to grow their own produce.
May also include urban farms.

Opportunities for those people who wish to do so
to grow their own produce as part of the long term
promotion of sustainability, health and social inclusion.

Cemeteries, disused Churchyards and other burial Grounds

Cemeteries and other burial grounds.

Quiet contemplation and burial of the dead, often linked
to the promotion of wildlife conservation and biodiversity.

8.1.2. Harborough District Council expects that in most cases open space will be provided on site by developers. However, we acknowledge that some typologies of open space may be unsuitable for on-site provision in which case an off-site contribution can be accepted. There is an expectation that developers of residential schemes will mitigate the impact of development via the provision and enhancement of public open space in the District irrespective of whether this is done on or off site.

8.1.3. Proposed development will be assessed against the existing levels of provision within the accessibility thresholds contained in the document 'Provision for Open Space Sport and Recreation 2009' to determine the need for additional provision.

8.1.4. The document "Provision for Open Space Sport and Recreation 2009" provides information on local standards for open space provision following an assessment of recreational provision to comply with PPG17 in 2004, and is to be updated in 2015 in accordance with the provisions of the NPPF and NPPG that superseded the previous policy of PPG17 in March 2012. It contains an approach to determining the level of contributions towards open space, sport and recreation facilities that will be sought from developers applying for new residential development. The level of contributions will be periodically reviewed to ensure that they are accurate and will be calculated for each development from a detailed assessment of the range of existing open space in the area. This will give confidence to developers that they are not being asked to contribute towards open space typologies where there is an existing oversupply.

8.1.5. A commuted sum will normally also be requested to ensure proper maintenance of the facilities over the initial 15 year life of the facility.

8.1.6. The District Council's standards for the provision of outdoor open space, sport and recreation facilities shall be applied to all applications for new homes where there is a net increase of ten residential units or more with the exception of Cemeteries and Burial Grounds where a charge will be applied for all residential sites where there is a net increase in residential units.

8.1.7. Where provision for local open space is made on the site and is agreed to transfer to the Council's ownership, a commuted sum for maintenance over the first 15 years will be payable.

8.1.8. Where provision is not appropriate on site, a contribution based on the cost of provision will be made.

8.2. Level of contribution

8.2.1. Since the proposed method of calculation needs to take into account existing provision and is based on a number of types of open space required to service the needs/requirements of the development in question, a specific contribution figure for the amount of on and off-site provision is calculated at the time of the application. The commuted sum for maintenance will be similarly calculated on the basis of the open space type expected.

8.2.2. A worked example is included in the Provision for Open Space Sport and Recreation 2009 study.

8.3. Implementation

8.3.1. Where contributions towards specific types of open space or recreational provision have been agreed, the Council will ensure that funding is held and pooled in accordance with CIL guidelines in order that a specific scheme can be implemented in its entirety. In other cases it may be that such provision needs to be secured solely through partnerships with the voluntary sector. In both cases, funding will be disbursed either to District Council projects or to Voluntary Sector agencies through an application process by the Grants Panel referred to in paragraph B10 of Section B.

8.3.2. There is a need for additional burial space in the District particularly within the Market Harborough area. Further research is being carried out with regard to establishing this need and the likely impact of new development on cemetery provision in the future. This work will inform the case for requesting planning obligations towards burial provision.

Question 31:

(13) Do you have any comments to make about Open Space Sport and Recreation Contributions?

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