This is a report of a sport and recreation facilities assessment produced by West Somerset Council for the West Somerset local planning authority area (i.e. the parts of the District outside of Exmoor National Park). It provides a review of facility based sport and recreation provision and is designed to provide a strategic framework for improving facilities. At the time of drafting, the final National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (Government planning guidance) had not been issued and so the assessment has been progressed based on the then current Planning Policy Guidance note 17: “Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation” (PPG17). It did also, however, take into account the draft NPPF. Both PPG17 and the draft NPPF emphasised the importance of having an understanding of existing provision and future needs.
The assessment provides an up-to-date evidence base on existing provision, needs and demand to inform both the emerging Local Plan and other locally driven planning strategies such as Neighbourhood Plans. In doing so, informed by the assessment, it sets local minimum provision standards which:
- provide a contemporary, informed view of sport and recreation facilities;
- can facilitate more speedy and successful negotiation of developer contributions; and,
- can enable the Council to resist unsuitable planning applications for development, avoid the loss of leisure facilities and ensure effective planning.
The full report with appendices, and also an executive summary are available to download at 'related documents' on the right hand side of the page.