Open Spaces Strategy

Ended on the 2 October 2015
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Chapter 26 Introduction to Provision for Open Space Sport and Recreation

26.1. The document, Provision for Open Space Sport and Recreation 2015, is the companion to the Open Spaces Strategy 2016 - 2021. The two documents support and inform each other. This is the draft Provision for Open Spaces Sport and Recreation and we are seeking your views and comments concerning the proposals and policies within this document. This document also forms an appendix (Appendix I) for the Open Spaces Strategy.

26.2. The Provision for Open Space Sport and Recreation forms part of the developer guidance notes produced by Harborough District Council and as been updated in 2015 to reflect changes to Local and National Policy. It also takes account of the results of consultation throughout 2015 concerning the local need for open space and commuted sums required when Harborough District Council adopts open space on new development.

26.3.The National Planning Policy Framework 2012 (NPPF) states that access to high quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and recreation can make an important contribution to the health and well-being of communities. 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. The assessments should identify specific needs and quantitative or qualitative deficits or surpluses of open space, sports and recreational facilities in the local area. Information gained from the assessments should be used to determine what open space, sport and recreational provision is required.

26.4.Planning Policy Guidance Note 17 (PPG17): Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation aimed to achieve three long term outcomes:

  • Networks of accessible, high quality open space, sport and recreation facilities in both urban and rural areas, which meet the needs of residents and visitors, are fit for purpose and economically and environmentally sustainable;

  • An appropriate balance between new provision and the enhancement of existing provision; and

  • Clarity and reasonable certainty for developers and landowners in relation to the requirements and expectations of local planning authorities, in respect of open space, sport and recreation provision.

NPPF replaces PPG17, but aims to build on it in the following ways:

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

  • Local communities through local and neighbourhood plans should be able to identify for special protection green areas of particular importance to them.

26.5.NPPF advises that achieving these aims depends on local authorities undertaking up to date assessments of open space and advises that determining current deficit or oversupply of open space should be determined and used for calculating the provision of open space from a potential development. Harborough District Council has determined during consultation in 2015 that local provision standards that were set through the needs assessment for open space in 2004 are still appropriate for determining whether there is an existing shortfall or oversupply of open space and whether contributions should be sought through Section 106 agreements for provision directly related to the proposed development. By setting local standards a basis for developer contributions for open space can be achieved and tackling the shortfall of the amount of open space provided and its quality through planning policy.

26.6. Local assessments through PPG17 were undertaken in 2004 and local standards developed for HDC. These standards have been reviewed and updated where required in 2015; the open spaces database is a 'live' database which is continually updated to give an accurate figure for existing provision. The commuted sums for maintenance and off site contributions have ben updated using the costs contained in the integrated contract which runs from 2009 to 2016. Price increases per annum for calculating contributions reflect the price index methodology contained within the integrated contract.

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