Draft Local Plan October 2012

Sport, Recreation and Children's Play

7.23 Play parks, playing fields, country parks, sailing lakes, golf courses, allotments and the like, while primarily designed for formal and/or informal recreation purposes, all contribute to the District's open space provision and fulfil the multi-functionality of green infrastructure. Recreational open space and built facilities, such as the Carterton Leisure Centre, are also fundamental to the quality of life and wellbeing of West Oxfordshire's residents, contributing to community-life and bringing health and social benefits.

7.24 Local assessments of recreation provision show some inconsistency in the quantity and quality of facilities within West Oxfordshire. Given the aim of raising recreation participation levels, especially amongst young people, combined with a growing population, there is likely to be greater demand and pressure on existing facilities, giving added emphasis to the need for their retention. The general principle of protecting existing facilities is especially relevant for open spaces with recreational value in built-up areas, where demand is greatest and replacement space can be difficult to provide (see Core Policy 19 - Public Realm and Green Infrastructure and Core Policy 5 - Supporting Infrastructure).

7.25 Additional provision will need to be made, both through new facilities and maximising the use of existing facilities such as in schools and village halls. We will work in partnership with schools and other organisations to make facilities available to the wider community by maximising the range, quality and effectiveness of joint use provision. The draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) identifies a number of necessary improvements to sport, recreation and play facilities across the District. New development will be expected to provide or contribute towards the provision of enhancements where appropriate.