Public open greenspaces and facilities for sport and recreation are essential to landscaping, biodiversity, health and wellbeing, and to the promotion of sustainable communities. This review of Open Space, Sport, Recreation Facilities and Green Infrastructure provides details of the current provision with all classifications in the County. The review considers the quantity, quality, accessibility and adaptability of provision, but most importantly, it considers the local needs of the population and the potential demands that may be placed on provision as the population grows.
The preferred methodology contained within PPG17 and its Companion Guide formed the basis of our approach as well a broader consideration of the Green Infrastructure as a whole. Due to previous experience within smaller Districts and Counties, particularly with dispersed rural communities, the approach was adapted in order to produce useful and meaningful planning standards and information relating specifically to Rutland. Our approach incorporated an Audit, Local Needs Assessment and Mapping.
We undertook the Audit, Local Needs Assessment and Mapping at the same time to ensure that an appreciation of the issues facing Rutland was determined prior to the consultation and, so that the audit process could assist in promoting awareness of the Local Needs Assessment. Consultation was undertaken through:
- Meetings/surveys with key informants/stakeholders (Local Authority Officers, Leisure, Sport, Education, Planning etc)
- Meetings/surveys with Parish Councils
- Meetings/surveys with Education leads (Schools, Colleges, School Sport Partnerships, Youth Council)
- Meetings/surveys with Voluntary Sector organisations (Voluntary sports clubs,
- Community Sports Network, Local Sports Alliance)
- Public survey/drop-in events (Oakham and Uppingham)
The final report was produced in a full and executive format and will be used by the Council to feed into the Local Development Framework Core Strategy and Site Allocation & Development Control Policies DPD, potential SPD & revised Sports Strategy. Senior Planning Officer Sharon Baker endorsed the work undertaken by the team in the delivery of the Open Space, Sport and Recreation Facilities and Green Infrastructure Study ‘Good professional approach, very accessible. Succinct and timely in terms of delivery.’ The Council were ‘Overall, extremely satisfied’ with the work undertaken.