Open Spaces

Open Spaces

The Localism Act 2011 incentivises house building via (e.g.) the Community Right to Build and the New Homes Bonus making a clear, up to date, understanding of open space, sport and recreation provision essential: local authorities need to be strongly positioned to influence developer contributions. KKP is expert in delivering National Playing Policy Framework (NPPF), PAN65 (Scotland) and TAN16 (Wales) open spaces studies for individual/groups of local authorities, national parks plus private property developers. Our portfolio spans densely populated, highly deprived urban through to ‘deep rural’ areas, in all cases engaging with key local and interest-based communities

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Open space assessments and strategies

This is an area in which KKP has wide ranging expertise and an extensive UK client base. To ensure robustness we assess quality and value evaluating sites and consulting key agencies, communities and individuals. Findings are used to establish the extent and quality of supply, levels of local demand and to inform assessment of both existing and future community need. All work is undertaken in accordance with:

  • National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
  • Assessing Needs and Opportunities: A Companion Guide to PPG 17
  • Shaping Neighbourhoods: Play & Informal Recreation SPG
  • Open Space Strategies: Best Practice guidance (Mayor of London/CABE)
  • Objectives of the Green Flag Award scheme.

Play, outdoor gyms and adventure sports

Our core philosophy is that children and young people should have access to creative, stimulating and, as they get older, adventurous play. Key to this is genuine understanding of local needs and ensuring that planned provision is affordable, of the right quality and reflects the needs of communities as they change and mature.

We work with local authorities and/or developers to evaluate provision and create strategies for play provision, adventurous activities wheeled and extreme sports. This is underpinned by in-depth community consultation and proven methods of securing the views of young people. This ensures that play facilities and opportunity (formal and informal) are relevant, future-proofed, visible, inclusive, stimulating and valued by all.

Standards and developer contributions

As land pressure for new housing development mounts our development of local provision standards helps to ensure that appropriate funds are secured through this and, for example, land sale to assist in achieving improvements. Done well it strengthens council investment in provision for residents whilst also benefiting housing and other development partners.

We also assist local authorities to develop scale-based Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) based formulae. Inclusion of open space/sports facilities within a CIL is a challenge in itself and, without clear, explicit support for leisure it is at risk of receiving less via this route than where developer contributions are calculated based on need and minimum provision standards. A robust evidence base to support and increase the value of open space and playing pitch provision in areas where CILs are being progressed is, thus, even more vital.

Supplementary planning guidance

On the basis of our expertise in this field, clients also ask KKP to prepare or support the preparation of supplementary planning documents in line with the National Planning Policy Framework. These build upon and add more detailed advice on Local Plan policies in all the areas outlined above as well as those related to playing pitch strategies, non-pitch assessments and indoor and built sports/leisure facilities.