West Mersea Neighbourhood Plan
6 Open Spaces, Sport and Recreation
3 - To preserve and promote open spaces and recreation
4 - To provide a balance between the different types of open space
5 - To make parks and open spaces accessible to a wider range of people
6 - To provide for more attractive communal areas for informal and formal recreation
Protection of Existing Open Space, Sport and Recreation Sites
6.1 Opportunities for participating in exercise are important to the health of residents and reducing pressures on the health service. The Neighbourhood Plan can play an important role in making sure that there are sufficient and adequate services in West Mersea to meet the needs of current and future residents. As the population of the town grows there is likely to be a demand for further facilities and Policy WM 3 makes provision for the extension of The Glebe to enable this. However, it should be noted that the 0 -19 demographic age group is falling. The Office for National Statistics figure for 2018 is 1,241 whereas the 2011 census it was 1329. Conversely, the 60 and over age group has gone up to 43% of the population from 39.9%. It is also important to safeguard what we already have, including formal sports facilities such as play pitches and indoor sports facilities.
6.2 As part of the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan, an Open Space, Sport and Recreation Study has been prepared and is available to view on the Neighbourhood Plan website. The Study identifies a range of open space types according to their function. The Neighbourhood Plan protects existing open space, sport and recreation sites, enabling them to be enhanced where there will be no significant detrimental impact on the locality, including the amenity of nearby residents. The Plan also protects facilities from being lost unless it can be adequately demonstrated that the facility is surplus to requirements or that new facilities of an equal or better size, quality and accessibility is being provided.
6.3 Appendix 1 provides a brief description of the Open Space, Sports and Recreation areas including projected additions from the recently commenced Brierley Paddocks housing development and Dawes Lane (Policy WM3) in the Plan Area, including location maps of the sites. The full report can be found on the Neighbourhood Plan website.
Policy WM 10 - Open Space, Sport and Recreation Sites
Proposals for the provision, enhancement and/or expansion of sport or recreation open space or facilities, including allotments, will be permitted subject to compliance with other Policies in the Development Plan.
Existing open space, sport and recreation sites are identified on the Policies Map, Appendix 2 and are detailed in the West Mersea Open Space, Sport and Recreation Study.
Development which will result in the loss of existing open space, sport or recreation sites or facilities, including allotments will not be allowed unless:
- it can be demonstrated that the space or facility is surplus to requirement against the local planning authority's standards for the particular location, and the proposed loss will not result in a likely shortfall during the plan period; or
- replacement for the space or facilities lost is made available, of at least equivalent quantity and quality, and in an equally accessible location to meet the needs of users of the existing space or facility.
Any replacement provision should take account of the needs of West Mersea and the current standards of open space and sports facility provision adopted by the local planning authority.
Clubhouses, pavilions, car parking and ancillary facilities must be of a high standard of design and
internal layout. The location of such facilities must be well related and sensitive to the topography, character and uses of the surrounding area, particularly when located in or close to residential areas. Proposals which give rise to intrusive floodlighting will not be permitted.
The Glebe Sports Grounds
6.4 The Glebe provides a comprehensive facility for formal sports and is home to rugby, football, cricket and tennis clubs. The proposed extension of The Glebe provides an opportunity to improve and expand facilities in order to address current and projected needs and to deliver improved facilities. Policy WM11 identifies the initiatives that will be supported.
Policy WM 11 - The Glebe Sports Grounds
In association with the addition of further open space provided by Policy WM3, opportunities will be taken at The Glebe for:
- the reorganisation of the formal sports facilities;
- the creation of additional parking;
- the provision of a MUGA with artificial surface, protective fencing and floodlighting;
- upgrades to the existing pavilion, or a new pavilion and sports & community room;
- an area for a Croquet pitch, either as joint area use on the grass tennis courts, or a new area elsewhere; and
- the provision of the West Mersea Town Council depot and the Horticultural Society Store.