Open Spaces Strategy

Ended on the 2nd October 2015
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(1) Chapter 4 Policy Context

4.1. There have been some important National Policy changes that should now be reflected in the new Open Spaces Strategy. These include:

The Localism Act Communities able to nominate open space as Assets of Community Value

National Planning Policy Framework

Open Space Sport and Recreation sites to be protected against development unless alternative provision made

Local Green Space can be designated (A list of Local Green Space can be found at Appendix B)

4.2. The Open Spaces Strategy should also compliment and support work that other organisations undertake in Harborough District, these include amongst others:

  • Woodland Trust (Space For People 2015)

  • Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust (Space For Wildlife 2010-2015)

  • Welland Valley Partnership and Welland Rivers Trust (Enhancing the River Welland 2013)

  • Canal and Rivers Trust (CRT 10 year strategy 2015)

  • Environment Agency

  • Stepping Stones

4.3. Local Policy changes must also be taken account of and these include:

  • Commencing development of a new Local Plan for Harborough District

  • Asset Management Plan

  • Requirement for a Playing Pitch Strategy

4.4. Other Local Policy changes include the need to update the Provision for Open Space, Sport and Recreation: Developer Guidance document 2009. This document is separate from the Open Spaces Strategy although closely compliments this document.

4.5. The National Planning Policy Framework 2012 (NPPF) extended previous planning guidance relating to open space, sport and recreation sites by stating that planning policies should be based on robust and up-to-date assessments of the needs for open space, sports and recreation facilities and opportunities for new provision.

4.6. The NPPF 2012 also states that Local planning authorities should:

set out a strategic approach in their Local Plans, planning positively for the creation, protection, enhancement and management of networks of biodiversity and green infrastructure;


Planning policies should protect and enhance public rights of way and access, authorities should seek opportunities to provide better facilities forusers, for example by adding links to existing rights of way networks including National Trails.

4.7. The National Planning Practice Guidance (issued in 2014) gives further clarification by stating:

Open space, which includes all open space of public value, can take many forms, from formal sports pitches to open areas within a development, linear corridors and country parks. It can provide health and recreation benefits to people living and working nearby; have an ecological value and contribute to green infrastructure, as well as being an important part of the landscape and setting of built development, and an important component in the achievement of sustainable development.

4.8. A summary of the National Planning Policy Framework and how it relates to Harborough's vision for Open Space can be found at Appendix C.

4.9. The context for the Open Spaces Strategy 2016 to 2021 and the Provision for Open Space Sport and Recreation 2015 and their relationship to other strategies can be found at Appendix D.

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