Open Space, Sports and Recreational Facilities Strategy
South Bucks District Council has produced an Open Space, Sports and Recreational Facility Strategy, to comply with government guidance which requires all local authorities to carry out assessments of these facilities and their use by the public.
All the sports facilities and open spaces, from small children's play areas and community playing fields, to larger sites such as Burnham Beeches and Black Park, have been assessed. The work showed that there are 291 open space, sports and recreational sites covering an area of 3,636 hectares.
The Strategy puts forward a series of long term action plans to be carried out as and when resources become available. It is important to note that not all of the actions will fall to the District Council to fund or undertake. Other organisations would need to be involved.
The Strategy Vision can be summarised as: "South Bucks District Council will protect and enhance the existing open space, sports and recreational facilities resource across the District and extend provision where there are deficiencies. The Council will facilitate the provision of safe, welcoming and engaging spaces and places for the enjoyment of the whole community and ensure that the special nature conservation and heritage qualities present throughout the District are conserved and enhanced. The Council will promote the creation of a contiguous network of open spaces, encouraging and enabling access to open space, play, and sports facilities to improve the health of residents, workforce and visitors alike."
Consultation was carried out to ascertain public views about existing facilities and the potential for improvement. Focus Group meetings, responses to almost 600 self completion questionnaires and meetings with Parish Councils provided much of the information.
The findings of the Strategy will be used to inform planning policy in the Local Development Framework, in particular the Core Strategy. The Core Strategy will include a policy on open space, sports and recreation, and it is intended that local open space standards will be developed in due course to help guide the provision of facilities. For example, where there are local deficiencies, new open space / recreational facilities could be secured as part of new residential development.
"Please note that only the action plan in section 9 of the Strategy has currently been adopted as District Council policy, pending further discussions with District Councillors and Parish and Town Councils."
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Tel: 01895 837200