Policy REC 3: Open space implementation
- All major employment and other non-residential developments should provide open space as a matter of good design and to support health and well-being. The provision of open space will be sought on a site-by-site basis, taking account of the location, type and scale of the development.
- The presumption will be that open space provision associated with residential and non-residential development schemes will be provided on site. Off-site provision may be acceptable in limited instances, where this meets the needs of the development and achieves a better outcome in terms of open space delivery. This would involve the payment of a commuted sum to the council.
- Applicants will need to demonstrate how the management and maintenance of additional open space provision will be provided for in perpetuity. All areas of open space that are of strategic significance, for example because they will form part of a wider, connected network of open space, should be conveyed to the council along with a commuted sum for a minimum period of 20 years maintenance.
- The provision of, or contribution to, outdoor playing pitch sports facilities will be informed by the Playing Pitch Strategy and Sport England Sport Pitch Calculator. Other outdoor sports provision not covered by the Playing Pitch Strategy will be sought on a site by site basis using 10 sq.m per family home as a benchmark figure.
11.9 Housing development proposals should provide for open space in accordance with LPS Policy SE 6 'Green infrastructure' and associated Table 13.1.
11.10 As well as housing developments, all major employment and non-residential development should include open space facilities as a matter of good design and to support the health and wellbeing of the people who occupy the buildings by enabling outdoor exercise and lunchtime breaks.
11.11 The policy builds upon LPS Policy SE 6. Table 13.1 associated with that policy sets out specific open space standards that development proposals should provide, with the exception of outdoor sports facilities against which it says that a developer contribution will be sought. Through the SADPD, this requirement is now clarified. The council’s Green Space Strategy sets a benchmark figure for outdoor sport of 1.6 hectares per 1,000 population or 40 sq.m per family dwelling. This figure is also in line with 'Guidance for outdoor sport and play' (2015, Fields in Trust) and their benchmark standards for outdoor sport: 1.6 ha per 1,000 population for all outdoor sports and 1.2 ha per 1,000 population for playing pitch sports. The outdoor sports provision needs to be split into two parts. The playing pitch sports provision is informed by the needs and issues set out in the Playing Pitch Strategy and through the use of the Sport England Sport Pitch Calculator. The balance of 0.4 ha per 1,000 population, which relates to other outdoor sports, such as bowls, tennis, athletics and other outdoor sports areas such as trim trails and jogging tracks, can be quantified with a benchmark figure of 10 sq.m per family home. The council may seek provision on-site in the case of larger schemes, or through developer contributions where this will achieve a better outcome in terms of outdoor sports provision, whilst still meeting the needs of the development. In the case of smaller schemes, the council will normally seek a developer contribution towards off-site provision.
11.12 The future maintenance of open space is very important, to make sure that it is able to fulfil its function and continue to have a positive impact on the locality. Consideration of the most appropriate option for longer-term maintenance will be made on a site-by-site basis. Control and management arrangements will need to be established to safeguard the open space for the community and its users. Areas of open space that are of strategic significance, for example new open space that will form part of a strategic open space network, open space with important nature conservation value or the provision of playing fields, will normally be expected to be transferred to the council with a minimum of a 20-year commuted sum. In deciding which areas are strategic for the purposes of clause 3 of the policy, the council will have regard to the Cheshire East Green Infrastructure Plan. The council will generally seek 20 years maintenance; however there will be some instances where a maintenance period in excess of 20 years may be sought specifically for securing the creation of new habitats, which may take longer to achieve their target condition.
- Green Space Strategy (2013, Cheshire East Council)
- Green Space Strategy Update (PDF, 15.4MB) (2020, Cheshire East Council) [ED 18]
- Cheshire East Playing Pitch Strategy and Action Plan (PDF, 2.7MB) (2019, Knight, Kavanagh & Page) [ED 19]
- Playing Pitch Strategy Assessment Report Update (PDF, 3.1MB) (2019, Knight, Kavanagh & Page) [ED 19a]
- Cheshire East Indoor Built Facilities Strategy (PDF, 842KB) (2017, Knight, Kavanagh & Page) [ED 20]
- Indoor Built Facilities Strategy Progress and Evidence Review (PDF, 424KB) (2019, Cheshire East Council) [ED 20a]
- Cheshire East Green Infrastructure Plan (PDF, 3.7MB) (2019, The Environment Partnership) [ED 47]
- Green Infrastructure Assessment of Cheshire East (PDF, 4.7MB) (2018, The Mersey Forest) [ED 55]
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