Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

11 Health and Well Being

11.1 Open space, outdoor playing space and sports, cultural and community facilities can make a major contribution to ensuring that villages and towns are places in which people will choose to live. They play a key role in enhancing the health and sense of well-being of the local community.

11.2 A main role of the planning system in association with development is to ensure there are sufficient open space and outdoor play space, formal sports, cultural and community facilities and that they are in the right places. But there is also a need to ensure they are of a quality to meet local standards, attractive to users, meet expectations, and are well managed and maintained. By undertaking local assessments of need and audits of provision, it is intended that the following objectives are set for the District:

  • Networks of accessible, quality open spaces, sport and recreation facilities, in both urban and rural areas, which meet the needs of residents and visitors, are fit for purpose and are economically and environmentally sustainable;
  • An appropriate balance between new provision and the enhancement of existing provision;
  • Clarity and reasonable certainty for developers and land owners in relation to the requirements and expectations of local planning authorities in respect of open space and sport and recreation provision

11.3 Design of the built environment should encourage physical activity and enable the development of on site facilities/opportunities for exercise/relaxation/play.

11.4 A definition of Open Space includes informal recreation open space, formal parks and gardens, country parks, natural open space, woodlands and allotments. Outdoor Playing Space is defined as pitches, equipped play areas and youth facilities. Greater access to open space, parks, allotments, playing fields and provision for children and young people is clearly beneficial to the health and well being of a local community. Networks of green spaces and corridors provide opportunities for recreation, walking and cycling.

11.5 In addition to the more obvious formal sports and cultural facilities, community halls also provide opportunities for social and recreation provision. Community halls are multipurpose buildings provided by the community for the community. They provide space and facilities for a range of local activities and increasingly for community services. It is therefore important that community halls are maintained and enhanced and where new communities are being formed or expanded through new development, there is an intention to ensure adequate provision of community hall space.