The provision of public open space, both for passive and active recreation, as part of development proposals will be strongly supported.
Throughout the Neighbourhood Plan engagement process, the community was in agreement that there should be further provision of public open space – for informal recreation including walking such as parkland; for the benefit of wildlife such as woodland and meadow habitats; and for more formal activities such as sports pitches. There was also a call for more open spaces suitable for dog walking and also new play/recreational areas for children and teenagers. The development of the strategic sites in the parish creates the opportunity to provide publicly accessible, green open space. This is in conformity with Policy DM5 of the Core Strategy (2000) and Policies 39 and 40 of the emerging draft Core Strategy which seeks to retain and improve Open Spaces of Public Value, which can either be ‘active’ or ‘passive’ in terms of the activities they support.
The Arlesey Cross Masterplan sets out the following:
- Formal open space – this will comprise circa 5.5ha. of sports provision within a 1km walking distance of all parts of the site;
- Informal open space and green infrastructure (circa 25ha.) – this will comprise accessible natural and semi-natural green space within 300m of all parts of the site, amenity green space within 100m of all parts of the site and informal recreation within a 5-minute walk of all parts of the site; and
- Equipped children’s play space (circa 0.5ha.) – this will comprise a range of play facilities for children of all ages which will be integrated into the development. These will include Local Equipped Play Areas (LEAPS) within 400m and Neighbourhood Equipped Play Areas (NEAPS) within 1000m of all parts of the development. Provision should also be made for teenage facilities within a 15-minute walking distance of all parts of the site.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to comprehensively engage with the community in order to ascertain what types of public open space are required, where they can be best located and how they can be laid out to ensure ease of access by non-car modes of transport.