Local Plan to 2030 - Main Modifications September 2018

Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan

Policy COM2 – Recreation, Sport, Play and Open Spaces (MM96)

Amend title and supporting text as follows:    

Sport, Recreation and Play Recreation, Sport, Play and Open Spaces

5.431 Recreation, sport, open space and play areas can enrich the quality of our lives and contribute towards healthy living. The Borough currently enjoys a wide range of such space and this provision will be added to when current planning applications are implemented, most notably Chilmington Green which will deliver significant recreational and leisure areas.

For the avoidance of doubt this policy covers the following:

        - indoor sports/community facilities,

        - outdoor sports pitches,

        - children’s play areas,

        - public open space/ green space areas,

        - informal open space,

        - natural open space,

         - strategic parks.

Policy COM2 also relates to allotments and cemetery provision although the specific policy framework for these are set out in policy COM3 and COM4 respectively (see below).

5.432 The following total quanta of recreational, play, sport and open space are required to meet the needs of the new development proposed in this Local Plan that do not already have planning permission (circa 7,000 new dwellings). These figures are derived from evidence including the Council’s recently approved Indoor Sports Facilities and Playing Pitch Strategy emerging Ashford Borough Playing Pitch Strategy, alongside the standards set out in the current Public Green Spaces and Water Environment SPD. The figures do not take into account the role which could be played by provision at schools. This provision should be treated as supplementary as in most cases it tends to have limited public access at key times.

Delete table 4 and replace with:

Table 4: Total targets for recreation, sport, play and open space

Informal Space*

33.6 ha

Children’s Play*

8.4 ha

Strategic Parks*

5.0 ha

Allotments*

3.4 ha

Sports Halls (1 badminton hall or equivalent)**

4

3G Artificial Pitch**

1

Football Pitches**

7 adult, 3 junior

Hockey 2G pitch**

1 adult

Rugby**

2 senior pitches

Cricket square and outfield**

1

*figures derived from Public Green Spaces and Water Environment SPD

**figures derived from Indoor Sports Facilities and Playing Pitch Strategy

 

5.433 These figures are established as a ‘target’ as only major development (as defined in the NPPF) not all residential development coming forward will be required to deliver a proportion of these provisions. For example, some development will be excluded on viability grounds such as most some proposals coming forward in the town centre, and a number of developments will fall below the threshold that trigger a requirement for provision. However, in due course, smaller developments may also contribute via this is somewhat countered as CIL receipts can be used to deliver recreation, sport, play and open space, where it is strategic in nature. This type of provision effectively meets a need for all new developments in the Borough. In addition, alternative funding to that supplied from development will also be sought by the Council as a means of achieving the targets set out in table 4 above, such as funding grants from Sports England. Therefore the identification of a target figure is considered to be a robust starting point for the policy below.

5.434 In order to determine the quantum and type of provision required for each qualifying proposal, applicants will be expected to have regard to the following:

For the provision of public open space, natural greenspace, informal greenspace, children’s play, strategic parks, allotments and cemeteries, proposals shall be consistent with the standards set out in the Public Green Spaces and Water Environment SPD. In due course, the Council will update these standards as part of a development contributions SPD that will have its viability implications assessed.

For the provision of indoor sports facilities and outdoor sports pitches, proposals shall utilise the Sports England Calculator to ascertain the level and type of facilities and pitches needed as a starting point.

This initial assessment shall then be supplemented by a more detailed assessment that applies the outcomes of the Council’s Indoor Sports Facilities and Playing Pitch Strategy. This may necessitate that the base requirements, identified through the Calculator, need to be refined and/or altered to reflect local circumstances and complement the Council’s preferred delivery strategy, as expressed below. Where refinements are required, any alternative provision should be of an equivalent scale or value to that identified by the initial assessment.

A number of specific projects have already been identified as a means of achieving the Council’s preferred delivery strategy to meet the targets in Table 4. These projects are expressed in the Infrastructure Delivery Schedule that supports the Local Plan and will be updated annually. In addition, a working group will be established shortly with the remit to assist in the delivery of these projects. The working group will include the Council, the National Governing Bodies for a variety of sports and Sports England.

The Council’s expectation is that all qualifying proposals will meet the needs generated by the development and will be delivered through a combination of on-site measures and/or off-site financial contributions secured via Section 106 Agreements.

In many cases the application of this policy will result in the delivery of new facilities. However, where appropriate, developer contributions may also be used to enhance existing facilities in order to improve their qualitative characteristics so as to encourage more use and generate greater capacity.

5.434 In order to determine the quantum and type of provision required for each qualifying proposal, applicants will be expected to use the Sports England Calculator and the relevant standards in the Green Spaces and Water Environment SPD. Aside from informal space – which will normally be delivered on site and form part of the wider landscaping/ SUDs strategy, with incidental space around buildings - discussions with the Council shall take place as to what exact provision will be sought from any S106 monies to be collected, using the projects identified within the supporting Infrastructure Delivery Plan schedule as the starting point. The Sports England Calculator may also identify additional off-site requirements that need to be considered as well. Where appropriate, these will be added to the Infrastructure Delivery Plan as they are identified.

Paras 5.435 – 5.447 remain unchanged

Policy COM2 - Recreation, Sport, Play and Open Spaces deleted and replaced with:

As a borough-wide target, the Council shall seek to deliver the overall quantum of new recreation, sport, play and open space provision, as set out in table 4 of this Local Plan, by 2030.

To assist in achieving these targets, qualifying development proposals shall meet the need it generates, through the delivery of either new facilities or through the enhancement of existing facilities that improves their quality, availability and/or accessibility. New provision will be delivered via a combination of on-site measures and/or through off-site financial contributions, secured via Section 106 Agreements.

Proposals on qualifying sites will be expected to have regard to the following:

For the provision of public open space, natural greenspace, informal greenspace, children’s play, strategic parks, allotments and cemeteries, proposals shall be consistent with the standards established in the Public Green Spaces and Water Environment SPD.

For the provision of indoor sports facilities and outdoor playing pitches, proposals will be expected to use the Sports England Calculator to ascertain the level and type of provision needed. A more detailed assessment will then be required in order to take account of the outcomes of the Council’s Indoor Sports Facilities and Playing Pitch Strategy so that provision can be appropriately altered or refined to take account of local circumstances and the need to complement the Council’s preferred delivery strategy.

In Ashford, the provision of children’s play, strategic parks and sports facilities will normally be targeted towards the sports and recreation hubs identified in this Local Plan and as shown on the Ashford Urban Area diagram. Proposals which undermine the ability of a hub to play a role in delivering this provision shall not be supported.

In the rural area, provision should normally be delivered in a way that helps maintain, enhance and potentially expand existing facilities at the settlement where the development is proposed, or at the nearest settlement that has existing similar facilities.

Unless otherwise stated in site-specific policies, on-site provision shall normally be limited to informal/natural green space, and space or facilities which have been identified to meet a local need generated by the development itself. This provision shall be phased in a way that supports the local community as it grows.

Exceptions to the approach outlined above could be justified, should the following circumstances arise in that:

a) there is suitable public open/ green space provision nearby and this provision can be accessed by green routes,

b) there is a suitable sports facility nearby which has the capacity to be used by the public at key times and this access can be secured over the long term at determination of the application,

c) delivering such facilities would render a scheme unviable,

d) not delivering the required provision is supported by the Council or in agreement with, where relevant, the Parish Council.

 

Existing open space, sports and recreational buildings and land should not redeveloped or used for other purposes, unless:

- An assessment has been undertaken which clearly shows the provision is surplus to requirements, or

- Any loss would be replaced by equivalent or better provision in terms of quantity and quality in a suitable location,

- The development is for an alternative sport and recreational provision, the needs for which clearly outweigh the loss.