3.5 Protect Open Space

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Open Spaces Strategy

Representation ID: 1194

Received: 21/10/2015

Respondent: Thurnby And Bushby Society

Representation Summary:

All designated Open Space of whatever type and whether publically or privately owned should be protected by HDC Policies.

Full text:

Re Chapters 3 and 6

There is an implication in the way that the Document is worded that HDC will work towards public access for all Open Spaces. There cannot be public access to all Open Spaces.

Even where access is necessary for informal or formal recreation, restrictions may be necessary for security, environment and safety reasons e.g. on school playing fields, golf courses and nature reserves.

For areas in public ownership, e.g. amenity areas and village greens, some may be too small for anything other than the siting of a seat.

For areas in private ownership, e.g. woodlands and disused railway lines, if public access is being negotiated the problems for the landowners will have to be addressed, even for a leasing arrangement. They are:
- Insurance for personal liability
- Maintenance
- Vandalism/noise/litter
- Security
Landowners will not want the extra responsibility and an increased burden of financial liabilities.

All designated Open Space of whatever type and whether publically or privately owned should be protected by HDC Policies.

Re Chapter 8

Access is not essential for enjoying and benefiting from Open Space e.g. a view is uplifting even if you don't, or can't go into that space.

We suggest there should be an additional Open Space category that should be designated in order to preserve it:
"Visual Amenity Open Space"

This would include publically owned land that is too small for even limited informal recreation. Also it would include privately owned land where there is limited or no public access at all.

See the following table:-

Site description Ownership Limitations

Village Greens

Small open spaces within built-up areas Public
(a) Small size
(b) Possible danger from surrounding roads
(c) Restrictions on ball games
School playing fields. Private Security
Sports grounds e.g. Golf courses, Bowling greens ditto Playing surface areas cannot be walked on by public. Possible danger from balls
Domestic cutilages strategic to street scene ditto
Re sections 3.6.3 and 8.4
Disused railway lines and
other sensitive ecological areas ditto Owners would not want public access to what is often part of their curtilage
Disturbance by people not always in the best interest of the wildlife

Re Chapter 9 or 11

Open Spaces on New Developments

Getting developers to comply with conditions on Open Spaces is important and the Council needs to have the means to do this.

Maintenance of the open spaces is often contracted to a private Company and the costs charged as a levy on the residents. Many residents resent this for many reasons including:
* anyone from outside the development can use the Open Spaces which the residents are paying for
* the Company's performance can leave a lot to be desired - infrequent visits and jobs neglected.
The Council needs to be aware of this and devise a better arrangement. If the maintenance is contracted out then the Company must be chosen carefully and closely monitored.

Re section 13.5.6

A possible typo: in the previous consultation, provision for children was 0.3ha/1000 people. Here it is 0.03ha/1000 people in the on-line document and 0.3ha/1000 in the pdf. Is the on-line figure a typo?

Re section 13.6.4

Another possible typo: for natural and semi-natural areas the on-line consultation has a time/distance of 20 mins walk/13.6 km. These are not compatible or equivalent! The pdf has 20 mins walk/1.6km which looks ok.