Surrey Heath Draft Local Plan Issues Options/Preferred Options, 2018

Recreational Facilities - Playing Pitches and Play Areas

6.101 Recreational facilities, both formal and informal, have an important role in maintaining people's health and providing opportunities to participate in sport and exercise. Recreational facilities include outdoor and indoor sports facilities and play spaces.

6.102 In meeting future requirements brought about by new development regard will need to be given to providing more multi use facilities and play equipment which meets the needs of all residents, from young children through to the elderly. Facilities should be accessible to all residents. Re-use and improvements of existing facilities may help meet future requirements. Strategic developments will be required to provide on-site facilities.

6.103 Opportunities to improve access to and use of the Basingstoke Canal should be considered, particularly having regard to the improvements that will come about through the approved strategic development at Deepcut.

National Policy Context

6.104 In the preparation of this section regard has been had to paragraphs 69-78 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), 2012 which sets out the Government's approach to the role that recreational facilities can play in promoting healthy communities.

6.105 The Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) advises that recreational facilities can provide health and recreation to benefits to people living and working in an area.

View the national policies relating to recreational facilities in more detail, located within the online version of the Government's NPPF.

Local Strategies and Evidence

6.106 The preferred policy approach would support the objectives set out in Surrey Heath's Five Year Strategy 2016-2021. One of the Council's principal objectives is to use green space to deliver a programme of sport and leisure activities.

View the full version of Surrey Heath's Five Year Strategy, located on the Council's website.

6.107 The Council commissioned an Open Space, Playing Pitch and Indoor Sports Facilities Strategy in 2016. The report looked at playing pitches, indoor sports facilities and play provision. One of the conclusions of the Study was the need to provide improved provision for young people and older people. The report provides mechanisms that can be applied to any updated population projections to ensure needs are met. With regard to playing pitches there should be flexibility in their use to reflect how these pitches are used.

The Open Space, Playing Pitch and Indoor Sports Facilities Strategy 2016 Report, 2016 can be viewed at the council's website.

6.108 The following policies will be replaced by the new Local Plan (2016-2032).

Relevant Policies in the adopted Core Strategy & Development Management Policies DPD 2012

Policy CP2 Sustainable Development and Design

Policy CP12 Infrastructure Delivery and Implementation

Policy CP13 Green Infrastructure

Policy DM9 Design Principles

Policy DM15 Protection of Green Space and Recreational Facilities

Policy DM16 Provision of Open Space and Recreational Facilities


Draft Objective for Recreational Policies

6.109 The following table sets out the draft objective for recreational use in the Issues and Options/ Preferred Options Consultation Draft.

Objective D

To ensure that development within the Borough is supported by the necessary physical, social and green infrastructure to meet the needs of future Surrey Heath residents.


Approaches to Recreational Facilities

6.110 The preferred policy approach and an alternative approach are set out below.

Preferred Policy Approach to Recreational Use

The aim of this policy approach is to ensure that any new development provides or contributes to the provision or enhancement of recreational facilities by having a policy that:

  • Sets out updated standards for open space and equipped play areas based on a per person requirement.
  • Provides for a flexible approach to the use of playing pitches for sports by the provision of multi-use pitches and games areas.
  • Sets standards for the size of Local Areas of Play (LAPs), Locally Equipped Area of Play (LEAPs) and Neighbourhood Equipped Area of Play (NEAPs) to be provided.

Where development proposals result in the loss of a recreational use then there should be the appropriate provision of equivalent or better recreational use.

Alternative Approach to Recreational Use

To carry forward the standards set out in Core Strategy Policy DM16.