Fit for Purpose | Assessing Open Space and Recreational Needs


Fit for Purpose

Assessing the Need for Sport and Recreation Facilities

Leisure expenditure per person in the UK is projected to grow significantly over the next decade, based on Experian forecasts.
Can existing facilities cater for this additional demand? What role should local planning authorities and the development industry play in meeting future growth?
Development plan policy and site allocations have tended to focus on meeting housing, employment and retail needs. The National Planning Policy Framework indicates a local authority's planning strategy must be based on robust and up-to-date assessments of the need for sports and recreation facilities and opportunities for new provision.
These assessments should identify specific needs and quantitative or qualitative deficits or surpluses of open space, sports and recreational facilities in the local area. Information gained from the assessments should be used to determine what provision is required now and in the future.
How can Fit for Purpose help?
Local authorities need to play an important role in facilitating social interaction and creating healthy, inclusive communities. Access to open spaces and opportunities for sport and recreation make an important contribution to the health and well-being of communities.
To deliver social and recreational facilities, the local community, planning policies should plan positively for new provision and guard against the loss of valued facilities. A shared vision is needed with local communities, which identifies what facilities residents would like to see in their area.
Fit for Purpose is an innovative cost efficient and robust methodology for quantifying existing and future needs for sport and recreational facilities with any defined area.
Example 'Fit for Purpose' dashboard:

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