Creating a fairer Salford by:
24.1 The provision of a broad range of high quality, accessible recreation facilities is a major contributor to quality of life, and will help to ensure that Salford is an attractive place to live, work and visit. Such provision includes parks and country parks, children’s play areas, sports pitches and facilities, allotments, natural greenspaces, nature reserves, and public amenity spaces. These are supported by other initiatives that will deliver major recreation benefits such as Irwell River Park.
24.2 Recreation is vital to supporting the physical and mental health of residents, enabling people to lead more active lives. It also makes an important wider contribution to the social health of the city, for example providing positive leisure and learning opportunities for young people. Other parts of the plan will also help to improve recreation provision across Salford, including by protecting and enhancing strategic green infrastructure at Chat Moss, the Irwell Valley and the West Salford Greenway (policies GI2-4), supporting the completion of Irwell River Park (chapter 8), supporting the recreational use of the basins at Salford Quays (policy AP2), improving waterside walkways and cycleways (policy D9), and protecting the city’s canals (policy HE6).
24.3 Local recreation standards have been developed to help ensure that all residents have good access to a range of recreation opportunities which are able to meet a variety of different needs and demands. Many of the standards have been used in Salford for several years or more, and are derived from national standards produced by organisations such as the National Playing Fields Association and Natural England. The standard relating to woodland is based on the Woodland Trust’s Woodland Access Standard. It is recognised that land availability will act as a constraint on the achievement of some of these standards in parts of the city, but it will be important to work towards them as far as practicable, particularly given the importance of local recreation facilities in helping to address the poor average health levels in Salford.
24.4 The demand for sports pitches is influenced significantly by population levels, the number of teams and leagues, changes in the popularity of different sports, and the availability of facilities elsewhere. The local recreation standard for sports pitches will therefore be kept under review, with reference to the recommendations of the latest playing pitch assessment and is likely to evolve over the course of the plan period.
24.5 It will be important that all new residential developments support the achievement of the recreation standards wherever possible, given the additional demand that they will create. Their contribution will be calculated based on the proposed number of dwellings (which equates to the number of households that could be accommodated) and the number of bed spaces (which equates to the population that could be accommodated) that the development would create, as well as the type of dwellings where appropriate. On-site provision will often be the most suitable form for such contributions, so as to maximise accessibility to occupants of the new housing, although this may not be practicable or deliver the most effective outcomes in some cases. In particular, it will be appropriate within areas of greenspace deficiency for larger developments to incorporate substantial public open space that can act as a focal point for the development as well as improving access to recreation opportunities. In parts of the city where it will not be feasible to achieve specific recreation standards, developments will be required to make enhanced contributions to other types of recreation.
New residential development shall contribute to the achievement of all of the following recreation standards, and the management and maintenance of any facilities provided or improved for at least a 20 year period, proportionate to the additional demand that they would be expected to generate:
Facilities will only be counted as helping to meet these standards where they are of sufficient quality to properly fulfil their intended function and meet the level of demand placed on them.
The contribution made by new residential developments to the achievement of these standards shall be in accordance with the following order of preference, and may include both new facilities and the improvement or refurbishment of existing facilities:
Where on-site provision is being made to meet standard 5 and 6 above, this shall achieve a minimum of 0.25 hectares of equipped children’s playspace per 1,000 bed spaces (where the number of bed spaces in each dwelling is equal to the number of bedrooms plus one).
All facilities shall be designed to serve other green infrastructure functions (see Policy GI1) wherever possible, linking into the wider green infrastructure network.
It is recognised that there may be situations where it is unrealistic or disproportionate for a development to contribute to the full achievement of all of the standards in this policy, particularly where most of the standards are not currently met and there is limited scope for on-site recreation provision. In these circumstances, it will be considered that this policy has been met where the combined financial value of recreation improvements that will be funded by the development (including financial contributions and the capital cost of on-site provision and off-site provision in the local area, but excluding compensation for any loss of recreation function resulting from the development) meet or exceed the following levels:
The levels in point (a) will increase annually in line with the Retail Prices Index (all items). When there is evidence which indicates that open space provision costs have changed, the contributions per bed space above will be adjusted accordingly. The most up-to-date published cost at the point of an application’s determination will be used.
‘House’ is defined in policy H1.
‘Bed space’ is defined as the number of bedrooms within a dwelling plus one.
24.6 Recreation facilities are an important component of a sustainable neighbourhood, but the noise and activity that some schemes generate can adversely affect the amenity of surrounding residents. In some cases this has led to new facilities being installed but later having to be removed due to amenity impacts, resulting in wasted investment and a lost opportunity to improve recreation provision in the long-term. The provision of a suitable buffer zone around recreation uses can help to minimise the potential for such conflicts.
A distance of at least 30 metres shall be maintained between the curtilage of residential properties and recreation facilities that are likely to generate a significant level of noise and activity such as Local Equipped Areas for Play, Neighbourhood Equipped Areas for Play, and Multi-Use Games Areas.
24.7 If the quantity, quality and accessibility of recreation provision in Salford are to be maintained and enhanced, then it will be necessary to strictly control developments that would affect existing recreation land and facilities. The incremental loss of existing recreation sites to other uses has the potential to compromise the overall Local Plan approach to improving recreation provision in support of social, economic and environmental objectives. The presumption will therefore be that an existing recreation site should be retained in recreation use unless there is clear evidence that its loss would not harm access to high quality recreation facilities. Where the loss of a recreation use is considered acceptable, it will be important that appropriate compensation is provided so as to ensure there is no overall reduction in recreation opportunities in the local area.
The development of existing recreation land or facilities for non-recreation purposes will only be permitted where:
Wherever practicable, replacement provision shall be made directly by the developer and shall be available for use before the existing recreation facility is lost. The payment of a financial contribution to the city council for replacement provision may be acceptable in other circumstances.
This policy applies to all existing sites and facilities that have a recreation use or value, irrespective of whether they are owned or managed by the public, private or voluntary sectors.
24.8 The network of strategic recreation routes extends through the city and beyond, and is an important component of a sustainable Salford, helping to provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, linking recreation sites, and connecting the urban area to the countryside. It can therefore make a major contribution to public health and quality of life, enhancing public access to the green infrastructure network. It is complemented by a wider network of public rights of way.
24.9 Many of the existing strategic recreation routes follow looplines (disused railways), public rights of way and waterside routes, and are generally separate from highways. These routes will continue to be protected and enhanced. Opportunities to expand the network will be taken where possible in locations where improved public access is important but specific priority routes have yet to be identified. New development should make an appropriate contribution to the protection and enhancement of the network, including by ensuring that it promotes the safe use of strategic recreation routes and connections to the network in accordance with the design policies of this plan.
A network of high quality strategic recreation routes extending through the city and into surrounding districts will be protected and enhanced. Opportunities will be sought to join up existing routes by filling in gaps in the network and to expand routes into other parts of the city. The routes will play an important role in connecting neighbourhoods with places of work, shops and between strategic open spaces, contributing towards public health and quality of life. Where practicable, new developments shall connect to the network of strategic recreation routes, particularly in terms of enhancing pedestrian and cycling accessibility from the development.
Existing strategic recreation routes are shown on the Policies Map:
The provision of further strategic recreation routes will be sought, particularly where they would improve links to and through Chat Moss, Port Salford, RHS Bridgewater, the West Salford Greenway and the Irwell Valley, and alongside the city’s waterways.
Planning permission will not be granted for development that would result in the permanent obstruction or closure of any strategic recreation route, unless an alternative route is provided that is equally attractive and convenient.
New development that is proposed on a site which could help to fill a gap in the network will be required to incorporate a strategic recreation route as part of the development. Where the use of a site has previously prevented the provision of a continuous or direct strategic recreation route, such as along the Manchester Ship Canal, then any redevelopment proposals shall deliver a new route connecting to the wider network.
Download a full size version of figure 20 - Strategic recreation routes (Adobe PDF format, 911kb)
24.10 The provision of a broad range of high quality, accessible outdoor and indoor sports facilities will complement other recreation facilities available in the city. These facilities will support the needs of each sport and club in Salford, ensuring that provision is sufficient and flexible to deal with current and projected increases in demand. These sports facilities will encourage active lifestyles to provide significant benefits for the health and wellbeing of people visiting, working and living in the city.
24.11 Demand for sports facilities is expected to rise as the population of the city increases, therefore it will be important that all new residential developments support the achievement of the recreation standards for outdoor sports (Policy R1) and enhancements to indoor facilities wherever possible, given the additional demand that these developments will create. Five key hubs are essential to outdoor sports provision, and further enhancements to them will be necessary to ensure that they meet Salford’s needs.
24.12 Independent assessments are updated regularly on behalf of the city council for all sports facilities. The Salford playing pitch assessment reviews the supply and quality of sports pitches against the needs of each sport and club. This links to a strategy and action plan that makes key recommendations and prioritises specific changes and enhancements to individual sports pitch sites. A separate indoor sport and leisure needs assessment and strategy focuses on a wide range of indoor facilities.
A comprehensive range of outdoor and indoor sports facilities will be protected and enhanced across Salford, in accordance with policies R1 and R3, including:
The following sites are designated as strategic hubs of city-wide importance for outdoor sports, as shown on the Policies Map, and their enhancement will be supported:
In the case of Duncan Matheson Playing Fields, a small amount of enabling development to cross-fund the improvement of the site for recreation purposes will be considered consistent with its designation as a strategic hub for outdoor sports if adequate alternative funding cannot be secured.
24.13 The main indicators that will be used to monitor this chapter are:
|Indicator||Baseline position ||Target|
|Area of publicly accessible amenity space per 1,000 residents||1.01 hectares (224.8%)||Increase (2019-2037)|
|Area of other outdoor sports facilities per 1,000 residents||0.09 hectares (22.5%)||Increase (2019-2037)|
|Area of Local Nature Reserve per 1,000 residents||145.4 hectares (62.1%)||Increase (2019-2037)|
|Number of allotments per 1,000 households||5.4 (27%)||Increase (2019-2037)|
|Proportion of households within 500 metres walking distance of a Local Equipped Area for Play||44.8%||Increase (2019-2037)|
|Proportion of households within 1,000 metres walking distance of a Neighbourhood Equipped Area for Play||89.9%||Increase (2019-2037)|
|Proportion of households within 1,200 metres walking distance of a Neighbourhood Park||76.2%||Increase (2019-2037)|
|Proportion of households within 3,200 metres walking distance of a District Park||96.1%||Increase (2019-2037)|
|Proportion of households within 500 metres walking distance of a publicly accessible Local Natural Greenspace of at least 1 hectare in size||53.0%||Increase (2019-2037)|
|Proportion of households within 2,000 metres walking distance of a publicly accessible Strategic Natural Greenspace of at least 20 hectares in size||48.0%||Increase (2019-2037)|
|Proportion of households within 4,000 metres walking distance of a publicly accessible woodland of at least 20 hectares in size||61.4%||Increase (2019-2037)|
 Salford City Council (January 2019) Open Space chapter of Salford Infrastructure Delivery Plan (2017/18)