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«Over one third of the area of the London Borough of Richmond is open space. Some of these areas are world renowned, for example Richmond Park ...»

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3. Improve and maintain infrastructure Management and Use 4. Plan to provide for the needs of the community and visitors 5. Make the best use of public and private resources and maximise external funding 6. Work in partnership with the community and other local landscape agencies 7. Promote the use of open land for all 8. Reduce the fear of crime by providing healthy, safe environments and promoting activity Environmental Protection 9. Maintain and enhance the Borough’s biodiversity 10. Providing high quality, sustainably-managed open spaces Draft Open Spaces Consultation Summaryfinal.doc What Should Be Provided and Where?

Following analysis, the Strategy proposes the following standards of provision.

These standards have been used in the auditing process to identify areas of deficiency/targets for action.

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Draft Open Spaces Consultation Summaryfinal.doc 1. Areas with limited access to open space 2. Resources are heavily constrained for repair and maintenance of infrastructure (e.g paths, pavilions, sports pitches and historic features) 3. Ensuring that the special character and value of the Borough’s open spaces is maintained and enhanced 4. Providing safe welcoming open spaces and designing out crime and fear of crime.

5. The need to improve the accessibility of open spaces 6. The need to provide safe children’s playgrounds.

7. The need to provide adequate sports facilities 8. The need to support and develop community interest and involvement in open spaces 9. Event management

10. Concern about dog behaviour and dog fouling

11. Long term provision of burial capacity

12. Provision of allotment capacity to meet local needs

Issue One – Areas with limited access to open space

• In order to address deficiency in District Park provision, adopt smaller multi-use local parks as Key Parks with staff and additional play equipment and other facilities.

• In terms of analysis treat the larger Royal Parks, Bushy and Richmond as Key Parks.

• Improve linking routes and signage to and from open spaces and e.g. town centres or railway stations • Work in partnership with other open space providers including private owners and schools to provide an adequate Borough wide coverage • Negotiate access to additional areas.

• Work towards increasing views into open areas to which physical access is limited.

• Negotiate provision of open space as part of redevelopment schemes and seek to provide amenity, informal open areas if the opportunity arises.

Issue Two - Ensuring that the special character and biodiversity value of the Borough’s open spaces is maintained and enhanced.

• Celebrate and increase awareness of the natural, historic and landscape heritage of the Borough.

• Support the community to develop positive local partnerships to draw on additional resources to enhance their own areas.

• Value the economic benefits of these special areas to attract businesses and tourists to the Borough.

• Invest in areas in order to maintain their unique character.

• Maintain sites to protect, manage and enhance their biodiversity and develop Local Biodiversity Action Plans in consultation with the community.

• Maintain the potential of these areas as an invaluable local educational resource.

Draft Open Spaces Consultation Summaryfinal.doc Issue Three – Resources are heavily constrained for repair and maintenance of infrastructure (e.g paths, pavilions, sports pitches and historic features) • Maximise effective use of resources by planned rather than reactive approach • Explore flexible alternatives for developing additional resource streams including working in partnership with the community to seek external funding using the Council’s assets.

• Identify match funding allocation to enable external grant aid to be sought • Develop a Parks Endowment Fund as a way of funding these initiatives.

Issue Four – Providing safe welcoming open spaces and designing out crime and fear of crime.

• Maximise the number of sites with a visible staff presence – called Key sites – shown with a ‘Person’ symbol on the Borough plan.

• Improve the first impression of sites by improving entrances, signage, graffiti etc.

• Develop a positive approach to provision and management of activities for young people by promoting greater appropriate use of open spaces through events and activities throughout the opening hours.

• Developing sporting opportunities • ‘Design out’ the potential for crime, to reduce fear of crime.

Issue Five – the need to improve the accessibility of open spaces

• Consider accessibility in its widest sense – for disabled visitors, the elderly, carers with children, people without cars, people with low disposable income etc.

• Develop a fully costed action plan from the completed accessibility audits • Implement the improvement programme using recent £100K allocation • Take advantage of partnerships with clubs and societies to ensure that all alterations to sites or building include accessibility improvements to BS 8300 and add e.g. baby changing facilities.

• Ensure new designs/improvements are assessed to ensure that specifications are appropriate by a trained/expert advisor • Ensure that off and on site information includes advice about levels of accessibility, toilets, nearest public transport connections etc.

• Review the provision of signage and information to ensure that it is at a suitable height, designed to be easily legible etc according to advice from the Sign Design Guide - a guide to inclusive signing published by RNIB.

Issue Six – The need to provide safe children’s playgrounds.

• Work with other open space managers to provide playgrounds which meet local needs and address gaps identified by the audit, particularly by negotiation and S.106 agreements.

• Improve access to existing play facilities including ‘safer routes’ • Inspect and maintain playgrounds regularly to ensure that they meet current safety standards.

• Develop a prioritised rolling programme of reinvestment into playgrounds.

• Work with community groups to seek external funding for additional play equipment.

Draft Open Spaces Consultation Summaryfinal.doc Issue Seven – The need to provide adequate sports facilities • Develop the objectives of the Strategy for Sport at all levels of sports participation.

• Work in partnership with the community to enhance sporting opportunities though external funding applications • Support local clubs and sports organisations to develop youth provision and access for all sectors of the community.

Issue Eight - The need to support and develop community interest and involvement in open spaces • Provide a formal network to develop, support and sustain ‘Friends’ Groups, volunteer groups and other networks to encourage practical interest in open spaces, cemeteries and allotments • Provide Council officers with expertise in organisational development of community organisations, who can support, train, motivate and develop local people to get involved.

• Work with community groups and organisation to make the best use of external grant and other resources for the good of their local open spaces.

Issue Nine – Event Management

• Work with other open space providers to agree a Borough wide Events Liaison Group and adopt a Borough Events Code.

• Work together with other providers to promote events and activities.

• Ensure that events are appropriate and minimise disruption to local residents.

• Reinvest income from events into the service.

Issue Ten – Concern about dog behaviour and dog fouling

• Work with other open space providers to reinforce a standard open space policy on dog management • Promote responsible dog ownership through literature, positive events to reinforce responsible behaviour backed up by enforcement for persistent offenders.

• Provide dog free and/or dog exercise areas in suitable open spaces.

Issue Eleven – Long term provision of burial capacity

• Short term – reclaim allotment land at Twickenham Cemetery and reclaim unused burial capacity • Medium term - explore long term initiatives to provide extra burial space and consider any legislative change and develop a burial strategy.

• Long term – Implement burial strategy.

Draft Open Spaces Consultation Summaryfinal.doc Issue Twelve – provision of allotment capacity to meet local needs • Promote full occupancy on all sites.

• Work in partnership with each allotment holder through encouraging Site Associations and providing support for the User Group Committee.

• Encourage environmentally friendly methods of cultivation.

The Strategy includes a series of key principles and outlines broad approaches to key issues. The Borough Plan (Plan 1 attached) shows the current network of open space across the Borough. The Borough has been split into nine areas for analysis of current provision, needs and opportunities. The detailed descriptions and maps show how the principles will be applied, in practice across the Borough.

For detailed analysis maps please visit your local library.

This Open Spaces Strategy will be subject to consultation, following which the priorities for the Strategy will be refined.

We would appreciate your feedback on the strategic principles set out in this Consultation Summary of the Open Spaces Strategy. Details of other local areas and the full text of the Audit Report are available on the Richmond Council Website and in local libraries. www.richmond.gov.uk/parks/openspacestrategy.

Please contact us at London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Open Spaces Strategy Parks and Open Spaces Section Room 213 The Civic Centre 44 York Street Twickenham TW1 3EX Area based workshops will be held to develop the detailed Implementation Plans for each area. If you are interested in receiving more information about these workshops please note this in your feedback.

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