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Local Needs Assessment of Open Space, Sport and Recreation (PPG17)

Status: Under Preparation

Author: Torridge District Council

Date: Autumn 2009


The purpose of the local needs assessment is to ensure we understand the current issues surrounding Open Space, Sport and Recreation. The study follows the guidelines as set out in Planning Policy Guidance 17: Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation, and has 3 long term aims:

  1. to provide networks high quality open spaces, sport and recreation facilities in both rural and urban areas. The provision must meet the needs of residents and visitors and should be economically and environmentally sustainable.
  2. to provide an appropriate balance of new provision and the enhancement of existing provision.
  3. to provide guidance for developers and land owners in relation to the requirements and expectations of Torridge District Council with regards to Open Space, Sport and Recreation.

The project follows a five step methodology, as shown below:

Step 1: Identify Local Needs

  • Review the implications of existing policies
  • Consult local communities and prepare a vision
  • Assess the adequacy and amount of existing provision.

Step 2: Audit Local Provision

  • Decide the scope of the audit and identify existing information
  • Plan and undertake the audit
  • Analyse the audit

Step 3: Set Provision Standards

  • Determine the quality standards
  • Determine the quantity standards
  • Determine the accessibility standards
  • Determine the minimum acceptable size standards
  • Determine the site area multipliers
  • Determine the normalised costs
  • Determine the design standards

Step 4: Apply the Provision Standards

  • Identify deficiencies in accessibility
  • Identify the deficiencies in quality
  • Identify the surpluses and deficiencies in quantity

Step 5: Draft Policies

  • Identify and evaluate the strategic options
  • Draft Policies
  • Consult relevant stakeholders

Where are we now?

To date we are currently undertaking stage 1 and 2 of the methodology. Current Local, Regional and National Policies have been reviewed and consultation with the local community has taken place. Questionnaires were sent to a 20% sample of the population in Torridge, to Torridge Primary Schools, Parish Councils and Torridge Sports Clubs.

A total of 962 residents questionnaires have been returned, 2753 schools questionnaires, 41 Parish questionnaires and 25 club questionnaires. These are currently being processed so the results can be analysed.

An audit of sites and facilities has been planned and a list of current facilities available within Torridge has been drawn up. These facilities have been divided into categories as stated in the typology.

It has been decided that all categories of provision will be audited except footpaths. Due to the vast amount of amenity space it has been decided that only sites over 0.2ha in these categories will be audited. This audit is currently underway.


Once completed the results of the assessment will be made available for download on this page.

Further Information

If you would like further information on the Local Needs Assessment of Open Space, Sport and Recreation please feel free to  with the planning policy team.

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