Harborough District Council has appointed The Environment Partnership (TEP) to produce an Open Space Strategy and will be working with key stakeholders to establish the quality and demand of open spaces across the District.
Harborough District spans 238 square miles across south and east Leicestershire and features some 1,500ha of open space sites of varying size and typology. These open spaces form a valuable network of green space providing recreational opportunities for the community, as well as essential habitats for a range of species.
TEP has been commissioned by Harborough District Council to prepare an Open Spaces Strategy, to update the existing strategy adopted in 2016. The Council own and manage 300ha of open space across the District, with the remaining sites in private ownership. The Strategy will provide a robust and up-to-date evidence base to support the Local Plan up to 2031. The information will be easily accessible and cover open space throughout the Harborough District irrespective of ownership.
The Strategy will enable the Council to understand and protect the existing provision of open space, understand its demand, the accessibility requirements, as well as provide recommendations for management and maintenance.
The updated strategy will allow the Council to prioritise the development of open space, ensure that poor quality open spaces receive priority for investment and improvement, and that open space receives sufficient developer contributions to provide for new communities. In addition, an open space calculator for developers will be created to assess new development against the recommended standards for the District.
To prepare the new Open Space Strategy, TEP will undertake quantity, quality and accessibility audits of open space sites in the District. These audits will take place in August 2020, and will adhere to the up-to-date Government guidance on Covid-19.