Huge efforts have been made to strike an appropriate balance between the need for growth, setting aside sites for employment to create jobs and much-needed new homes, while making sure there is enough green space in and around all the neighbourhoods across the city.
Thousands of hectares of green space will enjoy protection from development through the Joint Local Plan in response to community voices which have strongly influenced what appears in the final version of the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan.
Some of the key changes that affect local green spaces are:
- Dropping planned housing on the edge of Central Park and a commercial garden nursery at the Council depot in favour of a £12 million investment in improvements in the park which could see a new cricket pitch.
- At Boringdon, a 49 acre site that a developer wanted to build on is being put forward for strategic green space to include plans for a cycling circuit
- The popular Staddiscombe playing fields are to be expanded.
- Land at Mowhay Road, which was earmarked as a possible gypsy and traveller site, is to be set aside as a community green space, alongside an area for housing and other uses.
- A number of separate sites put forward for housing developments in Tamerton Foliot are no longer in the Joint Local Plan to ensure a balanced approach to development in the local area.
Councillor Patrick Nicholson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Housing, Transport, and Planning said: “I’m really excited by what we’ve achieved here. There have been a lot of intense discussions about the need to look after our environment and we’ve listened to those who use our parks and our open spaces.
I believe this plan brings forward the strongest set of green spaces policies we have ever had – ensuring generations to come can benefit from these green spaces. “Green space is as important to a city’s growth and how its citizens feel as providing new homes and jobs. Places such as Central Park are hugely important in the daily lives of so many people. Not only are we dropping some development proposals, we are making active plans to improve the offer we have. This includes the Council bringing forward over £14 million investment in our green spaces in the next five years.” Six sites, covering 1,900 hectares of land, are to be allocated as strategic green space. Aimed at providing recreational and wildlife benefits, they will be proactively delivered and invested in as part of the growth agenda. As well as Central Park, the new designations are
- Saltram Countryside Park.
- Sherford Community Park – a new park to be delivered as part of the new community. Features to include a community farm, significant tree planting and an extensive network of recreational routes.
- Derriford Community Park – a new park with significant wildlife and heritage assets will be opened up to the public more and become a significant recreational resource in the north of the city.
- Plym Valley – extensive landscape, wildlife and recreational area with new recreational routes delivered and its important heritage and wildlife protected.
- Woolwell Community Park – a new park to be delivered as part of the new community to create a landscape buffer to the wider countryside.
The plan also outlines protection for over 700 hectares on the fringes of the city to protect sensitive landscape on the edge of Plymouth. A further 150 smaller sites will be protected as Local Green Spaces – many of these have been nominated by local communities and will enjoy the same protection as green belt.
More detailed work has been carried out on initial ideas for the Woolwell sustainable urban extension. Situated on the edge of the city, land is allocated for comprehensive residential led mixed use development to provide a sustainable urban extension. In response to comments from residents, proposals now include a new community park and a requirement for master-planning so that the development can be sensitively carried out.
A total of 1,880 new homes will be built within the plan period – although none occupied until the A386 Woolwell to the George Junction Transport Scheme has been implemented. Other considerations being taken into account include a detailed transport and access strategy, a landscape strategy that responds to the site’s s location on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. All three councils will be asked to agree that the Joint Local Plan is ready to submit to the independent Government Planning Inspector. If approved, a final consultation will get underway and will run from 15 March to 26 April 2017.
This will be the last chance for the public to comment on the Joint Local Plan before it is formally submitted for examination and has to follow a more regulated process. At this stage, the public and other interested organisations will be able to make comments but the comments need to relate to the soundness of the plan.
More details will be available when the consultation starts. For more information visit http://web.plymouth.gov.uk/plymouthplan