Part 1 ______________________________________________________________ REPORT OF THE STRATEGIC DIRECTOR OF HOUSING AND PLANNING ______________________________________________________________ TO THE LEAD MEMBER FOR HOUSING ON 1st FEBRUARY 2007 ______________________________________________________________ TITLE: Dedication Of Land For Recreational Use At Clifton Green. ______________________________________________________________ RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. That Lead Member for Housing approves, in principle, that land currently under the management of Housing Services at Clifton Green shown on the attached plan (to follow) is secured for recreational use for a period of 10 years 2. That appropriate officers be asked to develop, including consultation, a revised landscaping and recreational scheme for the site; and 3. That, at this stage, following the outcome of the 1st February that the report be sent to the Lead Member for Planning and the Lead Member for Environment for information only. ______________________________________________________________ EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: An opportunity has arisen through a number of funding programmes to develop proposals for a landscaping and recreational scheme on part of the land at Clifton Green. Consultation and engagement with the local community, largely through the Coalfield Communities Programme has led to these proposals. The proposals, which relate to the western half of the site, include play facilities to replace the vandalised play area on the Green and a range of landscaping and tree planting works. Some of the funding streams available depend on a commitment that the land for the scheme is secured for recreational use for a period of 10 years. To enable the proposals to be finalised some of the land is managed by of Housing Services and we are seeking an approval, in principle, to secure this land for future recreational use. The proposals will then be finalised and the full scope of the improvements, costings and future maintenance agreements will be reported back to Lead Members for Housing, Environment and Planning for final approval. ______________________________________________________________ BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS: Available on request. Swinton Community Action plan (CAP) 06/07 A Safe City (Theme), Create a Safe Environment (Priority) A City where young people are valued (Theme), Improve play facilities for young people (priority) Swinton CAP 07/08 (Draft) Achieving decency, making communities sustainable – Our Proposals for a new Local Housing Company in West Salford (2006) Unitary Development Plan Greenspace Strategy SPD Coalfield Community Programme papers. LIVIA Phase I spending proposals. ______________________________________________________________ ASSESSMENT OF RISK: Low ______________________________________________________________ SOURCE OF FUNDING: No funding required at this stage. ______________________________________________________________ LEGAL IMPLICATIONS: Pauline Lewis - a covenant may be required to be negotiated in relation to the proposed stock transfer in this area. ______________________________________________________________ FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS; A number of funding sources have already been identified that could be used to implement the proposals if security of land use can be agreed. Revenue implications would also be built into the scheme when proposed. COMMUNICATION IMPLICATIONS: N/a CLIENT IMPLICATIONS: N/A PROPERTY: The council currently owns the land, which is under the management of Housing Services. ______________________________________________________________ HUMAN RESOURCES: n/a ______________________________________________________________ CONTACT OFFICERS: Paul Longshaw, Senior Manager, Strategy and Partnerships; Tel 793 8715. Tim Jones, Principal Planner: Tel 793 3655. ______________________________________________________________ WARD(S) TO WHICH REPORT RELATE(S): Pendlebury. ______________________________________________________________ KEY COUNCIL POLICIES: Decent Homes Investment Strategy 2005 Unitary Development Plan - Under Policy R1 ‘Protection of Recreation Land and Facilities’ the council should seek to protect the site for future recreational use; Under Policy R2, ‘Provision of Recreation Land and Facilities’ the council should seek to ensure that the standards set out in the Policy are met. Greenspace Strategy: - the area is identified in the Greenspace Strategy Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) as an existing LEAP (Local Equipped Area for Play), a NEAP (Neighbourhood Equipped Area for Play) and a proposed Neighbourhood Park, in line with local standards set out in the Draft Replacement UDP. In considering these proposals a number of Draft Replacement UDP policies become applicable as follows. Pledges - This proposal also contributes to the following Pledges: Pledge 1 – Improving Health in Salford; Pledge 2 – Reducing Crime in Salford; Pledge 4 - Investing in Young People in Salford; Pledge 7 – Enhancing Life in Salford; and other policies such as: Delivery of the Newlands Programme in Salford: - securing a gateway asset to the wider Irwell Valley proposals under the Newlands scheme at LIVIA. DETAILS: 1.0 Background 1.1 Site Description – “The Green” at Clifton Green is an area of open space in the middle of Clifton Green Housing Estate, bordered by Rake Lane, the back of houses on Whitehead Road and the road known as The Green (see plan attached). The site is owned and maintained by Housing Services. 1.2 The site is effectively composed of two halves. The western half is an area of amenity grassland with a number of trees and contains a formal play area that has suffered badly from vandalism resulting in its closure. This part of the site is referred to as the ‘existing recreational land’ below. The eastern half of the site previously contained housing and is referred to below as ‘former housing land’. A nearby skateboard park has also been closed and removed due to vandalism. 1.3 In total, the Green is 1.5 hectares in size. It is not well used, the main reason being anti-social behaviour. Gangs of youths often gather on and around the area and other residents feel intimidated, particularly in the evenings, though these problems have been reduced with the introduction of a closed circuit television system recently. 1.4 Former Housing Land - The Green contained three low-rise blocks of flats, cleared some years ago, due to no demand and high maintenance costs. There is visible evidence of this in the remains of the housing infrastructure including roads, footpaths, drains etc. United Utilities have recently installed some underground storm overflow chambers on part of the site, but this is not considered to prejudice the use of the brownfield land for any built development in the future. 1.5 This land was allocated in the Draft UDP as housing land. Following the recent UDP Inquiry, the Inspector recommended the deletion of this site as a housing allocation, given that there is a sizeable excess of housing provision in the city over the identified requirement. The site is not therefore allocated in the Adopted version of the UDP. Any future housing proposal related to the former housing area would now be treated as a windfall development. 1.6 However, under the proposed Stock Option Transfer this part of the Green is considered a potential land asset. A recent study concluded by Urban Vision highlighted that this land had “,,,a low probability of achieving any real development value” at this stage and until the proposed Local Housing Company is established, it is therefore excluded from these detailed recreational proposals for the time being. Though minimal landscaping works could be considered as long as it did not prejudice any future development potential of the land. Notwithstanding this fact, any future application for built development on this site would still be subject to securing planning permission through the normal process. 1.7 Existing Recreational Land - In relation to the existing recreational area on the Green, built development proposals would be very difficult to support from a planning perspective. The following Planning Policies are particularly relevant: o o o o ST11 – ‘Location of New Development’ - sets out a sequential test for land being brought forward for development. Undeveloped land used for recreational purposes would be very low in the sequential test. R1 – ‘Protection of Recreation Land and Facilities’; which sets out strict criteria that must be met before such land could be released; R2 – ‘Provision of Recreation Land and Facilities’ sets out that planning permission for improving recreational land and facilities will normally be permitted unless it would have unacceptable impacts. Greenspace Strategy SPD – details above in Key Council Policies. 2.0 Securing Use of the Green for Recreation 2.1 Salford Greenspace Strategy SPD - Clifton is identified in the Salford Greenspace Strategy Supplementary Planning Document (adopted July 2006) as deficient in formal park and play facilities. In recognition of this ‘The Green’ is identified as a LEAP (Local Equipped Area for Play), a NEAP (Neighbourhood Equipped Area for Play) and a potential Neighbourhood Park. Although the site is identified as a LEAP and NEAP it would not currently meet these criteria due to vandalism of the equipment. Investment is therefore required to bring it back up to the standard required to meet these definitions. 2.2 Newlands / LIVIA - Clifton Green is regarded as an important gateway site to the LIVIA project area (subject to recently agreed Newlands funding). However, despite this it falls outside the Newlands boundary and as such it is uncertain whether there will be funding available from the Forestry Commission to manage Clifton Green in the future. 2.3 Coalfield Community Programme - Work by Groundwork within the local community has also identified the Green as a priority for recreational use with strong local community support for this. This work has involved Groundwork due to their lead role on delivering the Coalfield Community Programme for the council and in terms of delivering community consultation and engagement for the Forestry Commission on the Newlands Programme. 2.4 As part of this work, a number of funding sources have been identified to improve the area but some are subject to various criteria. 2.5 Viridor funding for Greenstreets Programme – up to £35,000 could be allocated to the landscaping works on the Green but this funding requires 10 year security on the site and must be utilised before September 2007. 2.6 Coalfield Communities Campaign Programme – £10,000 has been provisionally allocated to this site but must be utilised by March 2007. Time is running out for this element of the funding, given variables outlined below in relation to the final scheme being developed. It may be more appropriate to re-allocate this to another use within the coalfield programme to ensure spend. 2.7 Section 106 funding – Mere Drive / Willowbank - £172,897 has been secured but decisions still need to be made through the appropriate channels in relation to the allocation of this funding. This funding is also secured under 3 Phases, the first amount of £57,632 having been paid to the council. However as the rest of the funding is not due for some time it cannot be allocated until received. 2.8 Other funding – Officers from both Groundwork and Red Rose Forest’s Green Streets programmes are also confident that additional funding could be found to enhance the overall scheme given security of tenure and initial spend for the proposed uses. 3.0 Factors Affecting Progress on Developing the Proposals 3.1 A large number of variables are affecting the preparation of a scheme on the site. These include the following factors: o o o o o Only a third of the S106 funding is currently available and political decisions on allocation of this are still to be made; There are time constraints on the coalfield funding; The Viridor funding relies on security of tenure as an Entrust requirement; There is a need for additional community consultation work to ensure connectivity with the Newlands proposals for informal play provision on a site adjacent to Clifton Green; Decisions are required in relation to contract management and letting etc. 3.2 Given these variables, it is proposed that the first step is to secure commitment to recreational use of the western half of the site. This will also help to secure additional funding to develop a sustainable scheme for the site. The next stage will be consultation and completion of detailed design. It is therefore unlikely that the scheme could progress before the next financial year, 2007/08. 3.3 Refurbishing the existing play area on the Green will be considered as a priority element of any scheme proposed. 4.0 Recommendations 1. That Lead Member for Housing approves, in principle, that land currently under the ownership of Housing at Clifton Green shown on the attached plan is secured for recreational use for a period of 10 years (subject to any significant redevelop opportunities arising); 2. That appropriate officers be asked to develop, including consultation, a revised landscaping and recreational scheme for the site; 4. That, at this stage, following the outcome of the 1st February that the report be sent to the Lead Member for Planning and the Lead Member for Environment for information only.