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GR6  Greenspace Within New Family Housing Development  Policy

Proposals for new family housing development, defined as houses with two or more bedrooms, will be required to provide greenspace at an overall level of 60 square metres for every new dwelling constructed and will be required within this overall requirement, to make specific provision for safe children's play.

Greenspace provided under Policy GR6 should be accessible public open space, clearly set out for the purpose of visual amenity and local recreation and should:

(i) relate well to the existing network of accessible public open space within the locality;

(ii) provide for the retention or creation of linear links throughout the area;

(iii) make provision for the planting of trees, and for the retention and enhancement of existing landscape features such as ponds, trees, and woodlands;

(iv) incorporate a larger area of open space suitable for active recreational use; and

(v) be designed and located in order to minimise the potential disturbance to neighbouring property.

The requirements of Policy GR6 will not be held to apply to proposals:

(a) comprising 35 dwellings or less, unless the proposal forms part of a wider residential development area which would in total exceed 35 new dwellings; or

(b) where the dwellings constructed would fall within 400 metres of an existing accessible public open space of 1.5 hectares or above.

Reasoned justification :

8.28 National policy guidance requires the provision of open space to be properly co-ordinated with new development and that additional provision required to serve the needs of new residents is reasonably related in scale and location to the development proposed. National guidance also requires the UDP to indicate the level of open space provision that will be expected within new housing areas. Policy GR6, therefore, sets out the standards that the Local Planning Authority will normally apply in order to regulate and standardise the provision of open space within new housing development.

8.30 Policy GR6 requires new accessible public open space to be provided at a rate of 60 square metres for every new dwelling constructed. This is directly derived from the Council's standard for the local provision of accessible public open space set out below Policy GRE1, and assumes an average household size of 2.5 people within each dwelling. Exceptional circumstances must be demonstrated in order to depart from this standard.

8.31 The space required by Policy GR6 should normally be provided within the layout of the development proposed and in accordance with Government guidance, new family housing developments must also provide suitable areas for children’s play. Policy GR6 accepts this provision to be made as part of the overall provision of new open space. Considerations specifically related to the provision of children’s play are contained within Policy RE11, which can be found in Section 9 of the UDP.

8.32 The Local Planning Authority recognises that it may not be appropriate or desirable to apply this standard to schemes below thirty-five units, in terms of obtaining a meaningful provision of useable open space. Policy GR6 will, therefore, only normally apply to development areas where more than thirty-five dwellings are to be constructed. The Policy GR6 standard will, however, be taken to apply cumulatively.

8.33 Where a number of smaller individual proposals would total more than thirty-five units, the Local Planning Authority will apply the Policy GR6 standard to each proposal on a pro-rata basis, as if the area to be developed were to be considered as a whole. Where appropriate, a similar procedure will also be encouraged where larger projects combine to form a single development area, especially where space of greater recreational potential or an enhanced network of linked spaces can be secured. Schemes below the thirty-five unit threshold will, however, continue to be subject to Policy GR5 with regard to the provision of landscaping within new developments.

8.34 The justification for requiring new greenspace to be provided only applies where the existing distribution of accessible public open space is inadequate to provide for the legitimate recreational needs of new residents. The local standard for the provision of such space is set out below Policy GRE1. Policy GR6 will only, therefore, be applied where the new dwellings proposed would clearly not be capable of being adequately served by an existing local open space.