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Ribble Valley parks and play areas under the microscope
RIBBLE Valley council is to conduct a thorough review of its parks, play areas and other public open spaces to deal with the borough’s growing population.
Councillors on the authority’s community services committee approved the examination of the key facilities to make sure they were in the right place for the right people.
They were warned that the results of the review might need money spending on upgrading or altering their existing open spaces or establishing news ones but said where possible housing developers should bear the cost of the latter.
John Heap, Ribble Valley’s director of community services, told the councillors: “There needs to be a more strategic approach to future open space provision in order to ensure a better geographic spread of facilities.
“There may be a need to focus on fewer, better facilities, along with other facilities, rather than the system we currently have, which tends to react to individual opportunities, primarily through agreements on new housing developments.
“There should be adequate provision in larger scale developments, and any ongoing revenue liabilities should remain with the developer, rather than being passed to the council.
“Smaller scale developments should make a contribution to the nearest appropriate provision and not necessarily restricted to play areas but recreational provision in general.
“In order to better understand future facility needs and balance them with investment needs and opportunities, we need to carry out a detailed analysis of current provision and its ability to provide for the projected population growth.
“We may need to concentrate resources in fewer more strategic locations in the future. The outcome of the various audits will identify financial implications.”
The review will report back to the committee in November.