Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation

Since 2005, South Somerset District Council has been producing and updating robust assessments of existing and future needs of its communities, in order to ensure effective planning for open space, sport and recreation, in accordance with Planning Policy Guidance 17 (PPG17). 

Open Space, Sport and Recreation

Girls football
Background

Since 2005, South Somerset District Council has been producing and updating robust assessments of existing and future needs of its communities, in order to ensure effective planning for open space, sport and recreation, in accordance with Planning Policy Guidance 17 (PPG17). 

These assessments followed the PPG17 guidance by:

  • identifying local needs;
  • auditing existing provision;
  • the setting of local standards;
  • applying the standards to identify local deficiencies; and
  • producing strategies to meet deficiencies. 

In accordance with PPG17 which stated that "local authorities will be justified in seeking planning obligations where the quantity or quality of provision is inadequate or under threat, or where new development increases local needs", the Council has used the information from these assessments in order to justify planning obligations via Section 106 agreements.

The introduction of the draft National Planning Policy Framework, will mean the end of PPG17. However, the draft Framework indicates that it will retain the key requirements of PPG17, and the need for planning policies to:

"identify specific needs and quantitative or qualitative deficits of surpluses of open space, sports and recreational facilities in the local area.  The information gained from this assessment of needs and opportunities should be used to set locally derived standards for the provision of open space, sports and recreational facilities". (Para. 128 - this is a draft and may be subject to change).

 

Local Standards of Provision

In accordance with the original PPG17 guidance, the Community, Health and Leisure service has developed, and been using, standards of provision since 2006/7. The quantitative standards have been previously listed and approved as Policies HW1 and HW2 of the draft Core Strategy. However, due to the fact that the standards of provision will be reviewed during the life of the Core Strategy, Planning Policy have recommended that the specific standards are omitted from the final version of the Core Strategy.

 

The Council's standards and supporting needs assessments will continue to be published on the Council's website. The needs assessments also outline the qualitative, accessibility and catchment standards, and minimum size requirements for each facility type. The application of the standards and production of facility specific strategies are currently being updated for some of the facility types, and the completed strategies will be published on the website shortly, although the current versions are available on request.

 

The quantitative standards listed in the table below are the current standards developed by the Community, Health and Leisure service, as part of their needs assessments for a range of open space and recreational facilities. These are also used by the service as part of their procedure to seek developer contributions. A single page summary for each quantitative standard is also included.

 

 

Typology

Standard (sq m per 1,000 population)

Evidence / justification

Local Facilities

 

 

 

Equipped play space

2,000

Youth Facilities

500

Playing Pitches

14,000

  • Saved Local Plan policy CR2
  • Fields in Trust standard
  • Playing Pitch Strategy 2002
  • Updated Playing Pitch Data 2009
  • Playing Pitch Assessment (to be updated in 2012)

Changing Rooms

Original 347.2

 

Updated from draft Core Strategy to 115.7

  • Linked directly to playing pitch provision
  • Saved Local Plan policy CR2
  • Playing Pitch Strategy 2002
  • Updated Playing Pitch Data 2009
  • Changing Room Assessment (to be updated in 2012)

Community Halls

Rural parishes 353

Yeovil, market towns and rural centres 119

Strategic Facilities 

 

 

Theatres and Arts Centres

45

  • Arts Council Standard 

Artificial Grass Pitches

 

255.5

Swimming Pools

 

10.86

Indoor Tennis Centres

 

23.72

Sports Halls

 

46.88