«Lists of figures, plans, tables and appendices ii Glossary vii Executive Summary viii 1 Introduction 1 2 Undertaking the Study 9 3 Strategic Context ...»
13.2 Given the significance of green space provision to amenity, recreation, urban cooling and combating the effects of climate change, local distinctiveness, health and well being, a key priority for the council is to tackle both the qualitative and quantitative deficiencies in provision. The audit has identified accessibility issues faced by local residents when trying to use and access facilities. In addition, the study also provides a basis to consider the level of provision across the district by typology and local area.
13.3 This final chapter contains recommendations to assist in the preparation of planning policies to help address the findings of the audit. A number of recommended actions are then proposed relating to sports, recreation and open space provision in general.
The plan-led system
13.4 The overall conclusions of the study should be used to guide preparation of future planning policy and to inform development management decisions.
The study will form a key component of the LDF evidence base which will provide the long term development vision for the city and comprise a series of development plan documents and supplementary planning documents, including the Core Strategy.
13.5 Development Plan Documents (DPDs) will include general policies relating to open space, sport and recreation facilities that are supported by the findings of this study and other relevant documents.
13.6 Key issues emerging from this study which need addressing in general
planning policies include:
• Protection of open space from development - this should include all types of open space although some exception criteria will be necessary;
• the LDF should facilitate the proactive planning and delivery of new open space where it is required through appropriate allocations and policies;
• allocations of new allotment sites;
• maximising opportunities for green space provision arising from new developments reflecting appropriate policies and standards.
13.7 As well as contributing to the development of general policies, this document
will inform more specific documents within the LDF:
13.8 The remainder of this section provides guidance on the use of this PPG17 study, particularly in regard to determining developer contributions (for consideration within DPDs) and identification of issues within the analysis areas. The same principles can also be applied to Area Action Plans and large scale regeneration proposals.
Proposed Leeds Standards Summary
13.9 Chapters 4 to12 propose standards for different types of open space, sport and recreation facilities. These standards are summarised in Table 13.1
Table 13.1 Summary of Recommended Local Standards by Typology
13.10 Several of the more common typologies are found in the existing UDP policy N2 hierarchy. These are parks and gardens, amenity green space, children’s and young people’s provision and outdoor sports as titled in the typology of table 13.1. As part of the implementation of the standards, it is proposed to replace this hierarchy with one focused on the function and attraction of green space sites whilst providing a more useful definition of the space types. This revised definition takes account of higher level sites which can fulfil the roles of other spaces. There are no site size thresholds and the definitions proposed relate to the function of the space.
13.11 There are six city parks in Leeds which can fulfil many of the roles of spaces lower down the hierarchy. Amenity space cannot fulfil the role of other space types without direct intervention to widen the range of facilities available at the space. It should also be noted that not all amenity green space is capable of enhancement, possibly due to its size, location or gradient such that it may never be capable of the increased functionality required by other types of green space.
Figure 13.1 Green Space Hierarchy
13.12 Table 13.2 below provides a definition of the proposed green space hierarchy to assist with preparation of the implementation strategy.
Table 13.2 Definitions of Proposed Green Space Hierarchy
Summary of Key Issues by Typology
13.13 The primary issues emerging for each type of open space can be summarised
Parks and Gardens
• ensure that the LDF contains policies that protect parks from development;
• if the LDF proposes a strategy of accommodating significant levels of population growth, plan for provision of large new parks and gardens (as per the proposed standards) in association with urban extensions;
• in allocating new development sites in locations which fail to meet the proposed standards, consider how the development can improve access and increase provision to parks;
• prepare a strategic programme of qualitative improvements across the city, with specific regard to the need to mitigate and adapt to climate change;
• maximise the role of parks to increase participation in health and physical activity across the city;
• facilitate access to parks through the development of public transport links to parks and the creation of pedestrian and cycle links, from areas of lower provision;
• support the council’s Parks and Green Space Strategy which identifies a key priority as improving 100% of community parks to Green Flag standard by 2020.
Amenity Green Space
• East Inner and the North East Inner analysis areas have a surplus of amenity space. However, all other areas of Leeds have a shortfall with North West Inner and Outer areas having the most acute deficit of amenity green space.
• Any sites considered surplus within these areas require further assessment to investigate their appropriateness in meeting deficiencies in other green space typologies. If they cannot satisfactorily meet other green space needs then their development potential should be investigated.
• Amenity space serves a limited function but in areas deficient in other types there may be potential to diversify it for other green space purposes.
• Amenity green spaces are used by a large proportion of the population especially children, a third of whom recognise it as their favourite place to play, so these spaces, where required, will need to be protected through the LDF.
• Amenity green space produced a wide range of scores from the quality assessment, with 13% of all amenity sites assessed as at least 7 out of 10, further improvements are still required at valued amenity sites particularly within areas of deficiency.
Children’s and Young People’s Equipped Play
• the majority of survey respondents perceived that there were not enough facilities, in particular for teenagers / young people, across Leeds. The condition of existing facilities was generally considered to be poor.
• the application of the quantity, quality and accessibility standards highlighted a need to improve facilities across Leeds to meet the recommended standards.
• the distribution of facilities also requires greater consideration, there are urban areas of Leeds which have no access to facilities.
• the following key priorities for the future delivery of children and
teenage/young people facilities in Leeds are recommended:
• Increase the overall quality and improve the distribution of facilities.
This may involve the removal of low value, low quality facilities with catchments containing relatively few potential users.
• Consult the community on the type and location of facilities
• Seek to improve the quality and the variety of facilities available
• 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 and it does not result in a reduction in meeting the accessibility standard;
• 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 and provide additional facilities in areas devoid of provision if additional consultation indicates it is a local priority;
• prioritise improvements to the quality of existing poor quality synthetic pitches over the development of new pitches;
• ensure that the pricing structure for sites offering synthetic pitch provision 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;
• facilitate the delivery of the sport proposals in suitable locations 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.
• used by a small proportion of the population, however, the waiting list has increased by 25% between 2010 and 2011;
• protect existing sites, both those currently in use and those last used as allotments;
• increased provision of new sites and plots to meet the standards and satisfy waiting list demand;
• consider future provision using alterative plot size such as half plots and quarter plots;
• some allotment sites are currently used for extensive animal grazing and could be more intensively and efficiently used for growing food.
• ensure that the LDF contains policies that protect natural green space from development. Only in cases where there is an assessment that the site no longer contains sufficient nature conservation value should an alternative type of green space be considered. Application will have to carefully consider implications for wilful destruction of habitats by landowners seeking alternative uses;
• in allocating new development sites in locations which fail to meet the proposed standards, consider how the development can improve access and increase provision of natural green space and the potential join up areas of green infrastructure;
• prepare a strategic programme of qualitative improvements across the city;
• maximise the role of natural green space to increase participation in health and physical activity and to realise its educational benefits across the city;
• ensure the LDF open space requirement is sensitive to the reality of delivering large areas of natural green space within the inner areas;
• facilitate improved access to natural green space in the urban area through the development of footpath links.
Council Indoor Sports Provision
• take account of access for local residents on foot and by public transport, rather than by car when determining appropriate locations for new facilities, especially in areas of low car ownership
• ensure that the pricing structure is attractive to all sections of the community
• review programming at popular sites across the city to maximise access for a variety of sports during peak times.
• ensure that clubs are able to access facilities and that their requirements do not have a negative impact on casual use and access for other sports
• ensure that facilities are inviting to the general public through effective maintenance and management regimes.
• improvements to the quality of existing facilities should be prioritised.
Cemeteries, churchyards and green corridors
• no standard has been set regarding the quantity, quality or accessibility for churchyards, cemeteries and green corridors;
• the results from the needs assessment suggest a general satisfaction in the current provision, quality and accessibility, although none of the council’s churchyards or cemeteries pass the Green Flag standard;
• there is a shortage of burial space in the city with identified provision sufficient to accommodate burials up to 2022. New cemeteries are required to accommodate future needs and satisfy statutory requirements for burial space and the allocation of additional burial space should be considered as part of the site allocation DPD.
City Centre Public Space
• one of the three priorities to improve the city centre (from the city centre visioning conference 2009), was provision of a city centre park. This need is a key priority in the Parks and Green Space Strategy;
• the Leeds City Centre Audit (2007) noted that 51% of people it surveyed thought the city centre did not have enough public open spaces;
• sites will need to be identified to accommodate new park provision and new development will have to satisfy a proposed provision standard which combines parks and amenity space provision at 0.41 hectares per 1,000 population in the city centre;
• continue applying provision of civic space to development at a rate of 20% of the site area;
• ensure that the LDF contains policies that protect city centre spaces from development;
• if the LDF proposes a strategy of accommodating significant levels of population growth in the city centre, plan for provision of green space (as per the proposed standards) in association with new residential development;