Open Spaces Strategy

Ended on the 2 October 2015
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(3) Chapter 15 Aim 1.The provision and maintenance of appropriate and good quality open space that is open to all and protected for future generations


15.1. Open Spaces play a vital role in shaping our environment. Well designed and accessible open spaces can help preserve the cultural heritage of an area. They also create a sense of place that the local population can feel proud of and identify with, giving a sense of community and quality of life.

15.2. Green infrastructure can also serve as a green lung, a wildlife corridor to allow access to nature. It can provide a safe route to work and landscape buffers create attractive, vibrant and liveable communities.

15.3. Good design of public space means creating spaces which people want to use, can easily access, spend time in and enjoy. Good design takes advantage of the opportunity to create environments that are truly inspirational for existing and future generations of all abilities.

15.4. A clean, safe, attractive and well maintained environment attracts visitors to our District, which in turn boosts our economy. Well designed urban and rural landscapes, including tree, shrub and ornamental planting within the street environment can have a significant effect by 'softening' the built environment and creating places that are desirable to live work and visit.

15.5. Well connected open spaces have been shown to attract a skilled and mobile workforce which will benefit the local economy. A substantial provision of green infrastructure will also support jobs in tourism, the green economy (e.g. land management) and agriculture.

15.6. Access to quality open spaces can help people of all ages stay both physically and mentally healthy. With a higher aging population in Harborough District It is important to ensure the needs of older people are also considered.

15.7. Children and young people need space where they can socialise and spend time with their peers away from their homes. The time spent in open space playing and interacting can teach children and young people many important life skills. Parks, recreation grounds, amenity green space provide a place for children and young people to independently explore their environment.

15.8. Open Spaces also fulfil the ongoing need for the provision of land for future burial requirements in Harborough District. This provision of burial space is made through Parish Councils, PCCs, Harborough District Council and some private provision.

15.9. Green space standards are measured in a number of different ways including qualitative, quantitative and accessibility. A matrix for measuring the quality of open space will be developed.

15.10. What has been achieved:

Green Flag Award for Welland Park in 2009/10/11/12

Green Pendant Award for Community Garden at Little Bowden 2009

East Midlands In Bloom Winners for Market Harborough 2010,2012, 2013, 2015

Britain in Bloom Heritage Award winner 2004 and finalist 2013

River Welland Renovation for People and Wildlife 2014/15

Others to be added

15.11. Related Policy

NPPF Chapter 8 paras 73 to 76

CS 8: Protecting and Enhancing Green Infrastructure


(1) 15.12 Objective 1: To ensure creatively designed and appropriate open spaces are provided on new developments that are accessible and support communityrequirements. Ensure that schemes are well designed, multifunctional , well connected and cost effective to maintain.

Actions to achieve this objective:

  • Continue to work with developers, landscapers and other partners to deliver open space on new development

  • Seek to address shortfalls in open space and playing pitch provision, and any restrictions to its accessibility

  • Continue to review the need for open space; formulate and apply locally based standards appropriate to Harborough District using the policies in Open Space Sport and Recreation 2015

  • Seek to provide an area of safe, attractive and useable open space, accessible to all sectors of the community within reasonable distance of dwellings according to its typology

  • Ensure that open space provision is considered early in the development process and in development briefs

  • Seek work with partners and landowners to provide links between open spaces that form a network of 'Greenways' for walking and cycling either for leisure or commuting

  • Ensure landscape management plans are provided by developers to give certainty that open space will be appropriately managed in the future

  • To provide a Developer Guidance note regarding the planting and landscaping of SUDS for promotion of biodiversity

  • Comments to be provided at an early stage for landscaping and SUDS schemes on new development

15.13 Objective 2: To carefully manage the acquisition and disposal of open space by the District Council to ensure that the open space portfolio remains appropriate and is maintained by the most appropriate organisation and provides services the community wants.

Actions to achieve this objective:

  • HDC will follow the policies of the Corporate Property Strategy in acquiring or disposing of open spaces

  • HDC will pay due regard to the social, community and environmental benefits or drawbacks when assessing the future management of open space

  • HDC will work with community groups, Parish Councils and Partners to deliver open space provision by the most suitable organisation

  • HDC will seek opportunities to work in partnership with and build capacity in Parish Councils and others to achieve local management of open space

  • Dispose of open space only in exceptional circumstances in the context of comprehensive regeneration and to significantly improve the quality of open space provision

  • Continue to maintain the Asset Database and Open Space mapping to provide information on all public and publicly accessible open space

  • Use the District Council website as a means to share information and promote services and events

(1) 15.14 Objective 3: To develop a prioritised and strategic approach to open space improvements and that this remains an inclusive process.

Actions to achieve this objective:

  • Rank project as a list of priorities to take account of those that are required because of legislation to those that would be good to do but are not a legislative requirement

  • Consult the local community, Ward members, open space users and other stakeholders using all appropriate methods when delivering improvement projects

  • Work in association with other Council departments and external agencies and partners to be fully inclusive in future consultations

15.15 Objective 4: To ensure that open space retains a detailed and well documented specification and schedule of maintenance which is appropriate to the open space level of use and location and is providing services the community wants.

Actions to achieve this objective:

  • Ensure that all parks and open spaces meet Harborough District Council's maintenance standards

  • Work closely with community groups, partners and private landowners to ensure existing areas of open space are available for public use and are maintained in an appropriate condition

15.16 Objective 5: To ensure that open space is providing services the community wants, open to all and is protected for future generations.

Actions to achieve this objective:

  • To implement the policies relating to open space sport and recreation sites in the national Planning Policy Framework 2012 and the Core Strategy 2009 or subsequent adopted policies

  • Use the annual resident satisfaction survey, and other feedback to sample public opinion concerning open space use and use this information to prioritise improvements

  • Review the provision of accessible woodlands and seek to address any shortfalls

  • Ensure that open spaces are considered in other relevant social, economic and environmental strategies

  • Local Green Space will be identified, designated and protected in the New Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plans ( A list of Local Green Space can be found at Appendix B)

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