The Executive Director for Neighbourhoods and Communities submitted a report on the findings of the review of the Open Spaces Needs Assessment 2012 (OSNA), which sought endorsement for a period of public consultation.
It was a requirement of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Local Development Framework (LDF), that the Council had an accurate assessment of the towns current and future requirements for open space, failure to update the OSNA could compromise the justification as to what the Planning Authority would wish to levy or required from developers via development briefs or financial contributions.
The report outlined the background to the OSNA study carried out in 2005, which was used as the baseline for the 2012 assessment. The OSNA 2012 was undertaken across the town during August 2012 and the findings were presented to elected Members, Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Community Councils at sessions held on the 12th and 26th February 2013. A summary of the main comments from those sessions were outlined in the report as follows:
a) There was a lack of sports pitches in the town.
b) The quality of play areas was more important than the overall size.
c) It was important that public access to open spaces was explored during the planning application process.
d) Open spaces not originally included in the assessment were highlighted.
e) Concerns were raised that new development proposals would lead to a shortfall of open space.
The report recommended that the OSNA 2012 be published on Middlesbrough Council's website and the public were invited to comment; and, the open space issues identified during assessment be addressed in a revised Green Spaces Public Places action plan.
It was noted at the meeting that representations made by members of Nunthorpe Parish Council and Nunthorpe Ward Councillors, in respect of the designations covering the Grey Towers site and Nunthorpe Sports Club, would be considered as part of the wider public consultation. It was also noted that the appropriate section of the report published on the council's website would be amended to reflect this.
That the findings of the OSNA 2012 to allow public consultation to take place be endorsed; and
That the Executive Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities be given delegated authority, following consultation with the Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, to make amendments to the OSNA 2012 following public consultation.
The decision was supported by the following reason:
To comply with current government guidelines covering planning and open space provision, including the LDF and the NPPF, the council must have an up to date OSNA.