Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy REC 1 Recreational Open Space and Amenity Land

Policy REC 1 Recreational Open Space and Amenity Land
This policy has been superseded by: PPS 8-Open Space,Sport and Outdoor Recreation
To safeguard existing recreational open spaces and amenity land within settlements and make provision within development plans for new facilities.
Indications are that leisure time and the demand for recreation facilities are likely to increase. Recreational open space and amenity land can come in any variety of size, shape or form and be either in public or private ownership. It is part of the function of the planning system to ensure, through the preparation of development plans, that adequate land is allocated both for organised sport and for informal recreation. The District Councils, voluntary sport, education and commercial providers all generate programmes for recreation/sport development and their needs will be taken into account in the preparation of development plans.
The National Playing Fields Association (NP'FA) recommends a minimum standard for outdoor playing space, commonly referred to as the "NPFA 6 Acre Standard". This standard, is the basis for the allocation of land for recreation use, taking into account mobility, accessibility and local participation rates, both current and latent.
Informal open space or "greenspace" is a key element of urban structure in that it helps to maintain and improve the environmental quality of urban areas providing space for recreation for residents and assists nature conservation, and the preservation of archaeological sites and monuments. Consideration of proposals for the development of open space for other purposes will take into account the long term impact of the loss of such space.
It is important that people, particularly children and elderly people should have access to open space close to where they live and it is considered that all residential areas should, where possible, have adequate provision of open space. The Department will liaise with District Councils and seek to ensure appropriate provision as an integral part of the design process.
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