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Newark Sports Association claims a green space deficit equivalent of 102 football pitches in Newark and Sherwood

It is claimed a green space deficit in Newark and surrounding areas is bigger than 100 football pitches.

In February 2019, the Advertiser reported Newark lacked green space equivalent to that of 75 pitches.

New data, sourced by the pressure group, Newark Sports Association (NSA) from Newark and Sherwood District Council’s green space improvement plans, considered areas including allotments, amenity green space, provision for children and young people, outdoor sports facilities and parks and gardens.

Campaign to protect green space in Newark. (45237065)
Campaign to protect green space in Newark. (45237065)

Using these green space plans, the NSA also calculated the green space provision for Balderton.

The association said if the green space provision for Balderton and Newark was considered, the total deficit of green space shows an area equivalent to that of 102 football pitches.

However, it alleges that in calculating green space the council included areas that are not accessible to the local community, such as Chuter Ede, John Hunt and the Newark Academy, which further reduced green space provision in Balderton.

The Stadium on Elm Avenue is out of use. (45039634)
The Stadium on Elm Avenue is out of use. (45039634)

Francis Towndrow, association chairman, said: “The National Planning Policy Framework speaks of the importance of having access to a network of high-quality open spaces for local communities and that up-to-date plans should be used to determine where open space, sports recreation provision is needed.

“Importantly, existing open space, sports and recreational buildings and land, including playing fields, should not be built on, unless an assessment has been undertaken which has clearly shown that these are surplus to requirements.

“We need to respect and cherish the traditions of inherited green spaces and the legacy of those who created them. Green spaces need protecting for people to enjoy in perpetuity, if lost they are lost forever.

Former fields off Bowbridge Road are now being used for housing. (45039660)
Former fields off Bowbridge Road are now being used for housing. (45039660)

“Those in authority have the responsibility to ensure that the green space provision meets both the quantitative and qualitive needs for the current and future generations.’’

District council leader David Lloyd said: “It is unclear how the NSA has calculated the open space deficit figure, especially as we are informed that this is based on using 2010 data only for three wards out of seven for the Newark and Balderton area.

“Almost uncannily, we are currently finalising a draft Open Space Assessment and Strategy which, subject to the approval of economic development committee, will go out for public consultation in the spring.

“This will set out the quality, value and amount of open space (separate from sports and playing pitches) both at present and once planned open space is provided in Newark and the rest of the district.

“The strategy will make recommendations for improving open space, improvements to enhance our environment and help tackle climate change, including through the planting of trees.”

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