Planning Obligations SPD 2020

Ended on the 5th February 2021
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7.1 Harborough District Council seeks contributions for the following typologies of Open Space set out in Table 3 below.

Table 3 Typologies of Open Space



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 shelters.

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.

Green Corridors

Includes towpaths along canals and riverbanks, cycle ways, rights of way and disused railway lines.

Sites that are accessible and free to use for walking, cycling or horse riding, whether for leisure purposes or travel, and opportunities for wildlife migration.

Civic Spaces

Civic and market squares and other hard surfaced community areas designed for pedestrians.

High quality spaces that provide access to shops and can facilitate community events. Also provide a setting for civic buildings.

Source: HDC Provision for Open Space Sport and Recreation 2015

7.2 In most cases open space will be provided on-site by developers. However, 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.

7.3 Proposed development will be assessed against the existing levels of provision within the accessibility thresholds specified in the current ['Provision for Open Space Strategy 2015 which will determine the need for additional provision.

7.4 The Provision for Open Space Sport and Recreation 2015 provides information on local standards for open space provision following an assessment of recreational provision in accordance with the provisions of the NPPF paragraph 92. 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 where needed to make development acceptable.

7.5 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. Generally contributions towards open space typologies would be required where there would be a capacity issue or an under-supply. A Playing Pitch Strategy was prepared in 2016 to inform future requirements.

7.6 A commuted sum will normally also be requested to ensure arrangements for the maintenance of the facilities over the initial 30 year life of the facility are in place should the Council decide to take ownership of a site. Paragraph 4.10 indicates that it should not be assumed that open space will be inherited by the local authority. Each case will be considered individually.

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

7.8 Provision of outdoor open space, sport and recreation facilities shall be considered in all applications for new homes where there is a net increase of 11 residential units or more. At this level of development associated open space provision is considered necessary to make development acceptable.

Level of contribution

7.9 Since the proposed method of calculation related to contributions towards the provision of open space needs to take into account existing provision and is based on a number of types of open space required to make the development in planning terms acceptable, a specific contribution figure for the amount of on and off-site provision is calculated at the determination of the relevant application. The commuted sum for maintenance will be similarly calculated to reflect the type of open space expected to be provided.

7.10 Tables showing how this calculation is made are included as Appendix A and B to the document 'Provision for Open Space Sport and Recreation Strategy'.

7.11 Additional burial space is needed in the District particularly within the Market Harborough area. The Cemetery and Burial Strategy 2018 informs the Local Plan with regard to the likely impact of new development on cemetery and burial provision in the future. The study supports the case for requesting planning obligations towards burial provision.

Spending of funding held by the District Council for Recreation development

7.12 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 the relevant legislative or regulatory guidance. In other cases it may be such provision would need 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.

For further information on planning obligations for open space and recreation, please contact:

Neighbourhood Planning and Greenspace Officer, Harborough District Council Tel: 01858 828282 

Question 7

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