RE6 Sports Grounds for Protection from Development Proposal
The following sports grounds and playing fields fall within the urban area and will be protected from development subject to Policy RE5:
1. New Brighton RUFC, Leasowe
2. New Brighton CC, Rake Lane, Wallasey
3. The Delph Recreation Ground, Liscard
4. Wallasey CC, Rosclare Drive, Wallasey
5. Poulton Victoria AFC, Limekiln Lane, Seacombe
6. Moreton Sports Ground, Moreton
7. Premier Brands, Pasture Road, Moreton
8. Upton CC, Upton
9. Millcroft Sports Ground, Greasby
10. Birkenhead Park RUFC, Birkenhead
11. McAllester Memorial Playing Fields, Oxton
12. Oxton Cricket Club, Oxton
13. Old Parkonians Association, Oxton
14. Birkenhead School Playing Fields, Noctorum
15. Glenavon Road playing fields, Prenton
16. Tranmere Rovers FC, Prenton Park, Egerton
17. Borough Road playing fields, Egerton
18. Shaftsbury Boys Club, Egerton
19. Tranmere Rovers FC, Ingleborough Road, Egerton
20. St Peter's Sports Ground, Tranmere
21. Prices Sports Ground, Bromborough Pool
22. Bromborough Pool CC, Bromborough Pool
23. Octel Sports Club, Bridle Road, Eastham
Reasoned justification :
9.22 National planning policy guidance indicates that open spaces with recreational value should be protected from development, especially within the urban area where demand is concentrated, having regard to current levels of provision and local deficiencies. Policy RE5 sets out general criteria for the protection of playing fields but Proposal RE6 identifies sites within the urban area that should be protected from development in order to ensure that adequate land is reserved for organised sport. The aim of Proposal RE6 is to prevent the continued loss of playing fields from within the urban area in particular.
9.23 In Wirral, 38% of the total supply of playing pitches is located within the Green Belt. This largely reflects the location and availability of suitable open land. While not diminishing their importance for sport, such sites are often not easily accessible to a large part of the urban population. Indeed, the most serious deficiencies in playing space are concentrated within built-up areas remote from open land at the urban edge. In many such areas there is little scope for additional provision and all those sites which are suitable to accommodate pitch sports are usually already in active use.
9.24 Some urban open spaces containing playing fields are specifically protected under policies for Urban Greenspace. However, none of the sites included under Proposal RE6 are identified as Urban Greenspaces under Proposal GR2. While some are comparatively large spaces, they have restricted access, are exclusively used for sport and often have limited visual or amenity value. The principal value of these sites is, therefore, considered to be for formal recreation, and it is this value that is specifically protected under Proposal RE6.
9.25 The list of Proposal RE6 sites includes a number of sports grounds which are able to satisfy the standards required for higher level competition. Such facilities have a far wider significance than sports pitches in general. They are fewer in number, often serve teams from both within and outside the Borough, and once lost are not easily replaced. Proposal RE6, therefore, also reflects the priority, expressed within Policy REC1, to protect sports grounds and facilities of this nature throughout the Borough.