Planning Portal

PPS 8: Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation
Policy Context: Regional Development Strategy

2.2 The importance of open space, sport and outdoor recreation to health and the environment is acknowledged in the Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland 2025 (RDS). The RDS seeks to create healthier living environments and to support healthier lifestyles by facilitating access to a range of opportunities for recreational and cultural activities and by promoting physical recreation as a basis for good health for all.
2.3 A number of specific measures are highlighted and these include: -
  • encouraging the protection and enhancement of open spaces and playing facilities for the long-term benefit of the whole community (ENV 6.4);
  • recognising the value of ‘greenery’ including community greenways, woodlands and landscape to health and well-being (ENV 6.4);
  • creating and managing green spaces in cities, towns and villages to serve multiple purposes and contribute to distinctive local character (ENV 3.3);
  • recognising the contribution which natural and semi-natural habitats can make to the character of urban spaces and promoting measures which will lead to the enhancement of biodiversity and the quality of our lives (ENV 3.3);
  • preventing town cramming and seeking the provision of adequate areas of open space, playing facilities, woodland and landscaping within easy walking reach of homes, for physical activity, rest and leisure use, especially in densely populated and disadvantaged communities, and in new developments (ENV 7.1);
  • providing opportunities for more active lifestyles by maintaining and enhancing sporting facilities in the Region, creating networks of community greenways in cities and towns, developing cycle and pedestrian networks, and facilitating access to the countryside (ENV 7.1);
  • enhancing the range of sports and leisure facilities enabling accessibility by all citizens (ENV 7.1);
  • promoting a sporting culture, with international sporting events at venues of international standards (ENV 7.1) ; and
  • promoting sustainable access to the countryside taking account of the Northern Ireland Countryside Recreation Strategy and continuing to develop the network of public open spaces including country parks, forest parks, forest recreation areas and nature reserves in association with public access routes (ENV 1.4).
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