Public Open Spaces
Site Requirements & Standards
Design Guidance (Appendix 2) is included to detail the minimum requirements than need to be met for POS. This Guidance will inform developer decisions on various matters such as site location, access, biodiversity and so forth. As part of the application submission it will be expected that the applicant submit a compliant public open spaces Design which details and demonstrates compliance with the Guidance and shows spatially the location and appropriate provision of the various open space typologies.
It is expected that POS will be offered to the Local Authority for adoption. In the event that the LA does not adopt the open space then the developer will be required to deliver a maintenance programme to an agreed Management Plan, which will replicate the quality of maintenance prevalent throughout the LA-managed POS. Where one is required, the satisfactory completion of a Management Plan will be a requirement prior to commencement.
Public open spaces requires unfettered access for members of the public throughout the year. In order to ensure safety and other considerations elements of gating and fencing may need to be included within the design. These matters should be discussed at the earliest available opportunity to ensure appropriateness and to also ensure that the Local Authorities maintenance vehicles can access the site post adoption. A post-installation independent safety audit of the POS will be required.
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)
The Local Plan contains a number of policies on flooding and water management. All new developments must incorporate sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) that provide biodiversity, water quality and amenity benefits and be in accordance with the Warwickshire Surface Water Management Plan. It is preferable for SuDS to be located and designed within the public open spaces. Details will need to be submitted and approved that cover the technical design, performance specification and maintenance (short and long-term) of the SuDS and how these integrate with the design of the public open spaces. This will be secured by way of a Planning Obligation under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. A template Section 106 agreement is included in Appendix 8.
The expectation is that SuDS will likely form part of the public open spaces and therefore be offered to the Council for adoption and long-term maintenance. It is crucial that developers consider SuDS, landscaping and public open space in the design concept for the site from the outset.
SuDS form part of the surface water drainage system and must therefore be designed to perform a technical drainage function. Developers will be required to submit a SuDS Specification that sets out the detail for how the SuDS will be designed, constructed and maintained (see below). The SuDS Specification should be prepared by a suitably qualified and professionally approved person carrying appropriate Professional Indemnity insurance.
The SuDS Specification, in the form of a report or suite of reports, should include the following plans and technical detail:
- Hydraulic calculations;
- Control devices and flow control measures;
- Geotechnical design criteria;
- Permeability assessment;
- Proposed design specification;
- Proposed landscaping and boundary treatments;
- A short and long term management plan for the SuDS:
- Life-saving equipment (e.g. lifebelts) where required;
- Warning and information signage where required;
- Proposals that seek to maximise ecological benefit;
- The exact location and dimensions of the SuDS;
- A construction programme for the SuDS identifying timings for commencement through to completion of the SuDS;
- A Management and Maintenance Plan for the SuDS that identifies the required management and maintenance of the SuDS in the short, medium and long-term;
- A ROSPA assessment/certificate;
- A CDM designer's Risk Assessment evidencing that the SuDS can be operated safely; and
- Public Liability Insurance.
The SuDS Specification will be considered and determined by the Council as part of the Detailed or Reserved Matters application process for a development or an area of development. Development shall not commence for an area until the Council has approved the SuDS Specification.
The SuDS for a development or an area of development should be installed and completed in accordance with the SuDS Specification prior to the occupation of any dwelling or use of any buildings.
The developer will need to confirm/demonstrate that the SuDS for any phase or area of development has been constructed and completed in accordance with the SuDS Specification. This will be done by submitting to the Council a report, together with a complete set of 'As Built' drawings, prepared by a suitably qualified and professionally approved person(s) carrying appropriate professional indemnity Insurance. Following inspection by the Council a Completion Certificate will be issued upon satisfactory completion of the SuDS. This process will be set out in detail in the S106 Agreement.
The developer will maintain the SuDS in line with the SuDS Specification for a minimum period of 12 months following completion and until the public open spaces is transferred to the Council for adoption. A Commuted Sum for the maintenance of the SuDS, based on details set out in the approved SuDS Specification, will be agreed between the developer and the Council and paid upon transfer of the public open spaces.
The recommendations of 'Growing in the Community' (second edition) published by the LGA, will be implemented. This addresses requirements including minimum depth of topsoil; metered water supply to site, appropriate number of water points (one per every 5 plots), notice board, paths fit for purpose off an adopted highway, and secure fencing. Allotment provision will be required on all sites for 100 or more dwellings. More detail on allotment specification can be found in Appendix 2.