Newark lacks green space the size of 75 football pitches, says Newark Sports Association
Newark lacks green space equivalent to the size of 75 football pitches, according to Newark Sports Association (NSA).
Newark, which includes Sconce and Devon Park and Newark Castle, has a deficit of 49.11 hectares (ha) according to the organisation’s research.
Tony Colton, chairman of the Newark Sports Association, said: “This analysis shows a significant shortfall of green space provision across our growing town.
“These areas are vitally important to those living and working locally, not just for sport but for those simply wishing to spend time outdoors.
“Improvements to the physical and mental well-being that greenspaces can bring are well documented.
“We need the existing green spaces in our town to be protected and enhanced for the people of Newark and for future generations to enjoy’’
The deficit calculations were based on Newark and Sherwood District Council’s 2010 Green Space Improvement Plans.
The plans reported deficiencies in green space to serve the local population.
It looked into different areas of green space — allotments, amenity green space, provision for children and young people, outdoor sports facilities and parks and gardens.
Newark had a deficit in four out of the five areas.
The only surplus of green space was found among parks and gardens.
The deficit was calculated by comparing the total hectares of land available in five wards — Bridge, Castle, Devon, Beacon and the former Magnus ward — to its population.
However, a NSA Freedom of Information request found the population of Newark had risen by 17.4% from 25,678 in 2007 to 30,147 in 2017.
Consequently, it estimates the deficit of open space has increased from 33.37ha in 2010 to 49.11ha in 2017.
But, if planning applications for developments on Lincoln Road playing fields and Chestnut Avenue are approved and the developments go ahead, then Newark could lack green space equivalent to the size of 79 football pitches.
The NSA is a charitable body that aims to provide independent assistance and support to sports clubs, associations, local authorities and businesses, who want to build develop and manage sports facilities that benefit the local community.
Newark and Sherwood District Council did not comment before the Advertiser went to press.