Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play: Beyond the Six Acre Standard provides a tool for planning authorities, developers, planners, urban designers and landscape architects in the design of outdoor sport, play and informal open space and is available as a free interactive PDF on the Fields in Trust website in both English and Welsh.
Alongside the updated guidance for Wales – editions for England and Scotland are also available as online tools.
Fields in trust produced the guidance following changes to the National Planning Policy Framework in 2012, the introduction of The Localism Act in 2011, the phased introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy and changes in legislation such as the Well-being of Future generations Act 2015.
Cabinet secretary for environment and rural affairs said: "It is vital we secure sufficient land for outdoor recreation, so I welcome this updated guidance on open space provision from Fields in Trust. The document is referenced as a useful tool by the Welsh Government’s Technical Advice Note (TAN)16 Sport, Recreation and Open Space and is widely adopted by the Local Planning Authorities."
Fields in Trust has supported practitioners since the 1930s on open space provision and design originally identified as The "Six Acre Standard". This new guidance adds in new recommendations for accessibility, for flexible application of standards and the minimum dimensions of formal outdoor space.
This revision of the guidelines introduces benchmarking for informal open space - places for recreation, not involving organised sport and play - and includes parks and gardens, and natural and semi-natural habitats. The guidance also no longer differentiates between urban and rural areas.
Changing planning arrangements and national sports governance across the UK require specific policy responses in versions for England, Scotland and Wales. Alongside the updated guidance for Wales – editions for England and Scotland are also available as online tools
Fields in Trust chief executive Helen Griffiths said: "Adopting this guidance will help planners and designers ensure that the provision of outdoor sport, play and informal open space is of sufficient size to enable effective public use, in an accessible location close to local communities. It is important that outdoor space has a design quality which will maintain its longevity and to encourage continued use."