«Lists of figures, plans, tables and appendices ii Glossary vii Executive Summary viii 1 Introduction 1 2 Undertaking the Study 9 3 Strategic Context ...»
9.34 The main problems reported back through the consultation process were litter problems, dog fouling, vandalism and graffiti and the misuse of sites. An important factor to bear in mind is that the audit for each site is a snapshot in time. Some sites may have performed better than others, in terms of scores, if maintenance, such as a litter pick, had been carried out more recently than at other sites.
9.35 Access is the main issue that residents would like addressing through providing more formal pathways.
Setting a Quality Standard
9.36 The Green Flag award is assessed in two key ways, firstly by reviewing a site management plan, and secondly a field assessment based primarily on observation during a site visit. Each category is given a score out of 10, with a maximum of 30 points for the desk assessment and 70 points for the field assessment. To achieve the standard a minimum of 15 on the desk assessment and 42 on the field assessment is needed, however, an award can only be given if the overall score is greater than 65%. The desk assessment is not carried out as most sites do not have a management plan.
Thus, only the field based assessment is conducted, and as alluded to above, the score required to reach the standard is in effect 48 (or 65%). On average, each category must therefore achieve 7 out of 10 to reach the standard, although there is no minimum score for each category.
9.37 The overall perception of the quality of sites is mixed. Table 9.3 shows that there are large differences in the quality of existing sites. It is, therefore, recommended that a quality standard is set using the Green Flag award scoring, adapted to take into consideration the local characteristics of Leeds.
A minimum score of 7 is recommended for a site to be classed as ‘good’ in line with the Green Flag award assessment.
9.38 The following essential aspects were identified through the needs assessment
9.39 These qualities were included in the quality assessment criteria during the audit of sites and as such they are already considered within the existing assessment and scoring.
Existing Quality average is 4.49 Proposed Quality Standard is 7 Current Provision - Accessibility
9.40 The accessibility of sites is key to making the site widely available to the maximum number of potential users. The recommended local standard is set in the form of a distance threshold and is derived from the findings of local consultations.
9.41 Site specific accessibility issues were also analysed as part of the site visits, where information and signage and general access issues were assessed.
9.42 The majority of the survey respondents (56% of household and 48% of on street) expect to walk to their nearest natural green space, this was followed by car, with 33% of household and 41% of on street respondents preferring this mode of transport.
9.44 The survey results reflect slightly different responses for expected journey times for the on street survey and the household survey with a 75th percentile of 15 minutes from the household survey respondents and 20 minutes from the on street survey respondents. The most common response for both surveys was 10 minutes.
9.47 Natural England’s Accessible Natural Green Space Standard (ANGSt) is the national benchmark for creating access standards for natural green space. It recommends at least 2 hectares of accessible natural green space per 1,000
people based on no-one living more than:
9.49 Table 9.4 shows that the average distance to a site of natural green space of
0.2 hectares and above is 770 metres from households, with variations across Leeds of between 410 metres and 1.2 kilometres. ANGSt recommends a distance of 300 metres to the nearest piece of natural green space, however, the above calculations only consider natural green space where natural is the primary typology and sites of 0.2 hectares and above. There are many other sites across Leeds that are less than 0.2 hectares and there are cases where natural is a secondary typology. In addition to this, consideration should be given to the accessibility of green corridors and the rural areas of Leeds where people are able to enjoy the natural environment using PRoWs.
9.50 All analysis areas, with the exception of North West Outer, have access in excess of the 2 and 5 kilometres for sites of 20 and 100 hectares as detailed in the ANGSt standard. The opportunity to deliver more natural green space sites of 100 hectares or more is severely limited. However, people living in North East Outer do have access to natural areas contained within the two large city parks of Roundhay and Temple Newsam.
9.51 With regards to sites of 500 hectares. Leeds does not have sites this large and it is very unlikely that an opportunity to create such a site exists. St Aidans, in Allerton Bywater is an open cast mine which is currently being restored and will, in due course, be handed over to the RSPB for management. In total, the site covers an area of 400 hectares (1.5 square miles). However, due to its location in East Leeds it does not increase accessibility to North East households and households on the West side of Leeds.
Setting an Accessibility Standard
9.52 The recommended local accessibility standard for natural green space is summarised below. The standard reflects local aspirations, with regard to ‘expected’ travel mode, as well as the focus on improving the physical access to natural green space across the city.
Recommended Accessibility Standard
9.53 There is a clear expectation from respondents that they would prefer to walk to natural green space. Therefore, a walk time standard is recommended.
The standard has been set at a 15 minute (720 metres) walk time to natural green space. Whilst the most common response was a 10 minute walk, the 75th percentile was between 15-20 minutes. Setting the standard at 15 minutes provides a more realistic target for new natural sites as it takes into account the existing provision along the green corridors, the rural countryside surrounding the urban area, sites of less than 0.2ha and those where natural green space acts as a secondary function.
9.54 The recommendation focuses on a standard based on the provision of natural green space within the urban area, this includes sites that are just outside the urban area, but are within 720 metres of the urban boundary. Plan 9.2 indicates which areas of Leeds have 15 minute walking access to natural green space.
9.55 Plan 9.2 shows that the majority of the inner analysis areas have difficulties accessing natural green space within a 15 minute walk time. However, this map does not reflect the population of an area. The table below sets out the average distance from households to an area of natural green space and what percentage of households are within 720 metres of their nearest natural green space.
Table 9.5 Average Distance to Natural Green Space
9.56 The above table shows that on average households are within 618 metres of their nearest natural green space (0.2 hectares and above). However, households in South Inner and North East Outer have the poorest access to natural green space. Households in South Inner, on average, have to travel
1.2 kilometres and households in North East Outer on average, have to travel
0.9 kilometres to their nearest natural green space of 0.2 hectares and above.
Applying the standards of quantity, quality and accessibility
9.57 The quantity standard enables the identification of areas that do not meet the minimum provision standards, whilst the accessibility standard determines those deficiencies of highest priorities. The quality standard outlines the key aspirations of local residents and provide an indication as to where sites may currently fall below expectations.
9.58 Table 9.6 summarises the application of the quantity standard for natural
Table 9.6 Application of Quantity Standard for Natural Green Spaces to show Deficits and Surplus by Analysis Area
9.59 The figures in the above table show the application of the proposed standard of 2 hectares per 1,000 population against the 2008 population figures based on Council Tax and ONS household size and each of the potential growth scenarios. The figures in green show the number of hectares which exceed the applied standard and the figures in red show the deficiency against the proposed standard for that area.
9.60 As the above table shows, three of the ten analysis areas do not satisfy the recommended standard currently or scenario A, four fail to meet scenario B and 6 fail when compared against scenario C. Consequently, new natural sites will need to be created in areas where provision is lowest with optimum accessibility. The deficiency in provision can be mitigated by improving footpaths and linkages from inner areas to the new natural green space sites.
9.61 Natural green space is highly valued by local residents. This is reflected in the fact that it is the second most visited type of green space on a monthly basis. It is also an important land use in terms of maintaining and improving biodiversity, nature conservation and as an education tool for the local population.
9.62 The consultation process identified the inner areas as having insufficient natural green space and the outer areas as being ‘about right’. Setting the quality standard at 2 hectares per 1,000 population will improve the provision of natural green space within the areas that are deficient, whilst maintaining a suitable level of provision in the outer analysis areas where there is generally considered to be enough.
9.63 Whilst the overall strategy should focus on improving the quality of sites, if the overall aim of ensuring that the majority of residents are within 15 minutes of natural green space is to be achieved, new provision will be required in locations in areas of deficit which are spread across the city.
Chapter 10 Indoor Sports Facilities Introduction and Definition
10.1 Almost two thirds of Leeds residents use indoor sports facilities at least once a year (Leeds PPG17 Needs Assessment). Additionally, 22.4% of the Leeds population (16+) participate in at least 3 sessions of sport and active recreation each week (Active People 2008 – 2010 rolling average). Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) 17 states that it is essential to consider the role of indoor sports facilities in meeting the recreation and sporting needs of local residents. The provision of swimming pools, indoor sports halls, gyms, indoor bowls and indoor tennis should be considered as part of the local supply and demand assessment. In Leeds it is recognised that sport and active recreation plays a key role in terms of cultural, health, economic, cohesion, crime reduction and regeneration outcomes.
10.2 The methodology for the assessment of indoor facilities is slightly different to other PPG17 typologies in that specific demand modelling can be undertaken using Sport England models and local user data.
10.3 Outdoor and indoor sports have been separated into two distinct typologies within this document. This section considers the provision of indoor sports facilities across Leeds.
10.4 It is important to note that PPG17 relates to an aspiration for all sport provision in the area. Leeds City Council, although a significant provider, is one of many delivery partners. However, when setting the standards, trying to create clear and accurate baselines for all facilities can be challenging. This is mainly due to information not being available in terms of the type, quality and accessibility of some private facilities. It is, however, generally, possible to plot location.
10.5 In terms of its own leisure facilities, Leeds City Council has set the following vision:
‘To secure a city-wide network of quality, affordable, accessible and sustainable leisure centres for the benefit of all the people of Leeds.’
10.6 This policy recognises the difficult balance between serving more deprived communities, the general mass participation agenda across the city and sustainability. It noted three geographic factors that maximise the success of leisure centres in terms of both financial performance and community outcomes.
These factors are:
• town and district centres;
• main arterial roads;
• adjacent to complementary facilities, such as high schools.
10.7 It also noted that more deprived communities tend be less socially mobile and car ownership is considered a determining factor in terms of travelling to leisure centres (through the Sport England Facilities Planning Model). The Active People Survey highlights lower levels of participation amongst more deprived communities.
10.11 In general, the long-term outcomes of PPG17 should increase participation in sport and active recreation, leading to healthier, more cohesive, regenerated and more economically active communities (measured through ‘Taking the lead’ and other Partnership Priority Plans). In terms of direct outcomes, the clear priority is ensuring that a process exists to ensure that community need is reflected in the PPG17 standards so that as demography changes in the city, the infrastructure of sport facilities also develops. The Office for National Statistics, in their 2008 baseline forecast, predicts substantial population growth with 949,500 residents forecast by 2026; placing increasing demand on the indoor sports infrastructure.
As table 10.1 below shows, the growing population will also see an increase in younger age groups, especially the 20 to 30 year olds. This will place further pressure on sport facilities, as this age group tends be one of the more active.
Figure 10.2 & Table 10.
1 Comparison Age Profiles Consultation