«Lists of figures, plans, tables and appendices ii Glossary vii Executive Summary viii 1 Introduction 1 2 Undertaking the Study 9 3 Strategic Context ...»
7.93 The existing and proposed hub site locations are shown on plan 7.8. Collective provision of pitches and facilities at some sites is already well established, such as Roundhay and Temple Newsam. Creation of new sites, such as Church Lane in Methley are currently underway. Some sites, such as Stonegate Road in Moortown already exist and have previously provided formal sports provision, but due to drainage problems or lack of other facilities, their use was reduced or suspended pending substantial investment and improvement. Appendix E lists the facilities which will be available when the hub concept is fully implemented.
7.94 Application of the local standard of a 20 minute walk time as shown on plan 7.3, indicates there are some deficiencies. Geographic analysis reveals that 69% of Leeds households have access to their nearest tennis courts within a 20 minutes walk. When considering only public courts, this proportion reduces to 52% of households.
7.95 In terms of quantity, sites are unevenly distributed, with the majority of courts (58) located in the North East Inner area. The South Inner and West Inner have the lowest level of provision with 10 courts.
7.97 Consultation demonstrated that 33% of residents perceived there to be a shortfall of provision of tennis facilities.
7.98 The council is currently engaged in a capital works programme funded by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to improve the provision of tennis facilities in parks. The focus is improving the quality of existing facilities at Dartmouth Park, Springhead Park and John Charles Centre for Sport.
7.99 Provision and distribution of tennis courts was historically more widespread.
However, lack of use and requests for alternate facilities has led to the removal of a number of courts. In some circumstances, tennis courts have provided the base for alternate facilities such as Multi-Use Games Areas and skate parks. These changes to alternate facilities have been the result of local public consultation with park users.
7.100 The distribution of bowling greens is more even across the city than other facilities.
They range from 7 greens in North East Inner to 15 greens in South Inner. North East Outer is the only analysis area to have no public greens, but does have 10 private greens; more than any other area.
7.101 Application of the accessibility standard as shown on plan 7.4 demonstrates that there are some sparsely populated rural areas where residents are out of the proposed 10 minute drive time catchment to the nearest facility.
7.102 The majority of bowling greens in the city are publicly accessible (67%) and are mainly located within parks and gardens. Local consultation indicates that the provision of bowling greens is generally perceived to be sufficient with more than 30% of respondents stating that provision is about the right. More than 40% of respondents stated they had no opinion on the provision of bowling greens.
Synthetic Turf Pitch (STP)
7.103 Plan 7.5 indicates there is excellent distribution of synthetic turf pitches in the city.
Only the South Outer area lacks provision of an STP facility. All other areas have at least one STP facility with West Inner having the highest provision due to the location of the private Goals facility. North West Inner also has good provision due to the location of the universities’ STP facilities at Beckett Campus and Weetwood Athletics Ground.
7.104 The Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme will see an increase in the quantity of synthetic pitches provided with new school building. Facilities are proposed at several sites such as Ralph Thoresby and Carr Manor.
7.105 It can, therefore, be seen that the proposed provision of synthetic pitches through the BSF programme will increase the quantitative provision and further improve travel times in the future.
7.106 Sports clubs commented on the lack of floodlit pitch facilities for winter training. The advantage of STPs is their ability to be played in most weathers and high capacity for matches. The addition of floodlighting builds on these design advantages making them up to 13 times more playable than grass pitches.
7.107 Access to pitches at peak times was also highlighted as a key issue for clubs with demand believed to outstrip supply during the winter months in some locations.
7.108 The John Charles Centre for Sport and South Leeds Stadium are the principal facility in the city for athletics provision. The stadium provides 8 synthetic lanes which are floodlit. The John Charles centre provides a 60 metre indoor track and in field facilities. The indoor chapter contains more information on these facilities.
7.109 The facility is located to the South of the city. As shown on plan 7.6, the majority of residents in the main urban area of Leeds have access to this facility within the recommended 20 minute drive time. However, residents to the North of the city are outside of the proposed drive time catchment. Other tracks are provided at secondary schools and Temple Newsam Estate. However, the redgra (all weather surface) track at Temple Newsam is no longer maintained, but is still useable for light training and could be improved.
7.110 The provision of an athletics facility at The Grammar School at Leeds site in Alwoodley provides the only facility in the North of the city, however, public access is restricted to outside school hours. Both Otley to the North West and the Wetherby area to the North East do not have 20 minute drive time access to an athletics track.
7.111 Over 35% of respondents to the household survey and 28% to the on street survey felt there were not enough athletics tracks. Only 9% of the household survey and 28% of the on-street survey felt that provision was about right. However, almost 50% of household respondents and 42% of on street respondents stated they had no opinion on the provision of athletics tracks.
7.112 Consultation demonstrates that most residents are satisfied with the quantity of golf courses in the city. Almost 13% of respondents to the household survey stated there were more than enough golf courses. Most of these respondents are from North Leeds where the majority of private golf courses are located. The city has a higher provision per 1,000 population of golf courses than the regional or national average.
7.113 Over 30% of the respondents to the needs assessment indicate that they have no opinion regarding the provision of golf courses.
7.114 Outdoor sports facilities is a wide ranging category of open space, which includes both natural and artificial surfaces for sport and recreation. Facilities can be owned and managed by the council, sports associations, schools and individual sports
clubs, with the primary purpose of participation in outdoor sports. Examples include:
• playing pitches
• athletics tracks
• bowling greens
• tennis courts
7.115 PPG17 considers the provision of all the different types of outdoor sport facilities as one and does not break down the typology into more detailed assessments for each sport. However, for the purpose of this study, each set of facilities has been considered individually. The demand-led nature of sport specific facilities means that specialist studies (such as a playing pitch strategy) should be undertaken in order to accurately define shortfalls and surpluses. The local quantity standard should be used for broad planning purposes only. Future decision making should draw upon local sport specific, demand-led assessments.
7.116 Consultation highlights issues with both the quantity and quality of facilities.
However, the quality of facilities was the overriding issue taken from all the consultation material. General maintenance, drainage and poor quality changing facilities were highlighted as the areas for improvement.
7.117 There is a good distribution of outdoor sports facilities across the city with most residents able to reach a choice of facilities within the appropriate travel time. There are some deficiencies in access to athletics tracks and tennis courts and additional provision in areas devoid of existing facilities should be considered following further local consultation.
7.118 Enhancement of the quality of existing outdoor sports facilities should be prioritised to ensure that the adequacy of the quantity of facilities is maintained, it is important to ensure that community use of facilities is maximised. The BSF and extended schools programme will contribute to the achievement of this goal and the BSF programme will see the creation of significantly improved facilities.
7.119 It is, therefore, recommended that the key priorities for the future delivery of provision for outdoor sports facilities should be addressed through the Leeds Development Framework and other appropriate delivery mechanisms. The key priorities are as
• Protect all outdoor sports facilities from development unless it can be proven that the replacement of a facility will result in a higher quality facility in a nearby location;
• seek to improve the quality of outdoor sports facilities through the delivery of the community hub sites. Sites should meet National Governing Body criteria. This includes the provision of appropriate changing facilities; self contained units satisfying Sport England guidelines;
• focus on enhancing the quality of existing tennis courts in the city and provide additional facilities in areas devoid of provision if additional consultation indicates it is a local priority;
• prioritise improvements to the quality of synthetic pitches and ensure that the pricing structure for these sites is accessible to all sectors of the community;
• address issues surrounding the quality of grass pitches through a detailed programme of improvement focusing on ancillary accommodation and drainage;
• allocate new sites to meet identified deficiencies;
• facilitate the delivery of the proposals of the BSF programme through the planning system and maximise community use of the resulting facilities;
• review the implications of population growth and changes in the participation profile on the demand for facilities;
• encourage schools to make sports facilities available for community use, especially in areas of over playing. It is acknowledged that the increase in academy and trust schools will mean individual schools, rather than the education authority, are responsible for letting facilities.
Chapter 8 Allotments Introduction and definition
8.1 In recent years there has been a revival of national interest in ‘growing your own’, which has reflected in allotments having lower vacancy rates and longer waiting lists. Allotments are valuable green spaces and community assets that can help improve people’s quality of life by promoting healthy food, exercise and community interaction.
8.2 Allotments are public or private open spaces dedicated to growing produce and gardening. They should have a primary purpose of growing vegetables, fruit and flowers, however, some are used for grazing animals. This assessment has included all forms of allotments whether they are private or public. They include those in use or disused, but which were last used for allotment purposes.
8.3 The Department for Communities and Local Government aim ‘to ensure that all allotments are well managed, are considered as part of the overall green infrastructure, and only disposed of where there is no demand for them and established criteria have been met.’
8.4 A survey of allotment waiting lists from the English principal local authorities was carried out by The National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardens Limited (NAG) in January 2010. The survey found that waiting lists had increased nationally by 23% since 2009, an increase of almost 20,000 places.
They argue that allotments should receive more attention and investment in
the future because:
• “food grown on allotments means fewer food miles and could be an important part of the new greener low-carbon economy;
• allotment sites often provide a focus for a community, and improve community cohesion;
• growing one’s own food is an important part of a healthy-eating programme;
• allotment’s offer a productive activity for the unemployed
• local and national government reports have been promoting the benefits of allotments for some time;
• local authorities have a statutory duty to provide sufficient allotments.” Strategic Context
8.5 Local Policy Framework The Vision for Leeds 2011-2030 is the Sustainable Community Strategy for Leeds. The Vision for Leeds has three priorities which all seek to have a positive impact on the health and well being of
the community. They are:
• People live longer and healthier lives,
• People are supported by high quality services to live full, active and independent lives; and,
• Inequalities in health are reduced e.g. people will not have poorer health because of where they live, what group they belong to or how much money they have.
Underneath the Vision for Leeds is the City Priority Plan which sets out the council’s aims for the next 5 years to assist it in achieving the vision. This is split up into sections, the most important to this paper being Health and Wellbeing. The council is focusing on housing, education, transport, green space, work and poverty and what we can do to help everyone have the best chance to be healthy, to improve health and wellbeing across the city.
8.5 Leeds Unitary Development Plan (Review 2006) The Leeds Unitary Development Plan (UDP) provides the existing planning policy framework for development across Leeds. The key policy relevant to allotments is Policy N1A which protects allotments currently in use.