Newark's green space provision per person similar to London, according to Newark Sports Association
The provision of green space in Newark is as low as it is in London, according to the Newark Sports Association (NSA).
The charity, which aims to create sustainable sports facilities for the town, found that Newark had 19.04 square metre of provision per person compared to that of London, which stands at 18.96 sqm.
Paul Baggaley, secretary of the group, said: "We looked at the Field in Trust Greenspace Index, which calculates the provision of parks and greenspace. The index calculates provision right down below that of a Parish Council.
"When you add all of the areas together to calculate the provision for Newark it turns out that Newark has only 19.04 sqm of provision per person only just above that of London at 18.96 sqm.
"The average for the East Midlands is 32.80 sqm.
“The issue that’s hidden behind these figure is that Fields in Trust draw their data from Ordnance Survey.
"Ordnance Survey is nationally recognised. They classify all types of space and rely on local authorities to keep the information up to date.
"When you look at Newark there are areas that are classified as open greenspace and it is not.
"For example RHP playing fields are now sports facilities and all of Lincoln Road Playing Fields is still classified as playing fields.
"Only when you take these anomalies into account do you begin to realise how little greenspace provision there is in Newark.”
Francis Towndrow, chairman of the NSA, said: "Whether you look at local or national measures there is under provision of greenspace in Newark.
"I have to say we were shocked when we did the sums and we realised that provision is as low in Newark as it is in a densely populated city like London.”
“We cant ignore this. The people that are going to have to deal with the consequences of our decisions are young people and people not yet born.
"Life is going to be tougher for them than it has been for us, we shouldn’t be making it even harder.”
The NSA also addressed comments by David Lloyd, leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council (NSDC) who stated it was unclear as to how the NSA worked out that there was a green space deficit in Newark and Balderton equivalent to that of 102 football pitches.
Mr Towndrow said: “I am surprised at Mr Lloyd’s comments. It was simple arithmetic.
"We took the area of provision from NSDC’s own strategy documents, took away the space that has been lost or committed and allowed for the increased population figures that NSDC had provided.
"Not surprisingly, the shortfall that NSDC identified in 2010 has increased substantially and it will increase further.”
"The new information is that NSDC include some school playing fields in their calculations.
"Andy Hardy, community projects manager at NSDC, acknowledged recently on local radio that there is no longer public access to school playing fields.
"This needs to be taken into account.”
Mr Baggaley said: “We have taken onboard Mr Lloyd’s comments and applied a different measure."
Newark and Sherwood District Council are yet to provide a comment.
To use the green space index visit http://www.fieldsintrust.org/green-space-index