Open Space Provision

The Provision of New Areas of Public Open Space

The Planning Department monitors the laying out and maintenance of areas of public open space associated with new housing developments (including the provision of equipped play areas), prior to the transfer of the land to the City Council (Parks & Recreation Department) the Parish Council or a Residents Management Organisation.

The City Council considers that a minimum of 2.8Ha of recreational space should be provided for every 1000 residents, as set out below.

Category Space (Ha) Notes
Children's play 0.8 to include equipped playgrounds, other opportunities for outdoor play and casual play space
Sports grounds 1.6 of which at least .2ha should be pitch sports
General Use 0.4
Total 2.8

New housing development is expected to ensure that sufficient recreational space and facilities are available to meet the needs of the prospective residents of the development. Wherever possible, provision should be made on-site as an integral part of the development. It should be of an appropriate type to serve the needs of the development, and in a location well related to the proposed residential properties.

On sites accommodating less than 15 dwellings, it will generally not be feasible or appropriate to provide recreational space on-site. Where some of the provision needs to be made off-site, a financial contribution may be appropriate, to allow facilities to be provided or improved in a suitable location nearby. (See the Winchester District Open Space Fund below).

Maintenance Period

Developers are required to maintain the public open space for 12 months once it has been laid out to the satisfaction of Winchester City Council

Commuted Sum

Developers are currently required to pay a commuted sum of £9.79/m2 to the Council, to contribute to the cost of the future maintenance of the public open space (2011/12 financial year).


Developers are required to make provision for a bond to cover the completion of the works, should they be unable to. This is currently set at £24.43/m2.

Supervision Fee

Developers are required to pay a fee to cover the supervision and inspection of the transfer to Winchester City Council Planning Department. This is calculated at 5% of the total Commuted Sum.

The Winchester District Open Space Fund

The Planning Department is responsible for seeking financial contributions to the Winchester District Open Space Fund from the developers of new housing within the District. The contributions sought reflect the size of the houses and the need for play and sports facilities within the district. These are shown in the Open Space Contribution Scales'

Play and sports requirements are listed for each ward of Winchester City and each Parish, in the 'Open Space Strategy and monies from the Open Space Fund must only be released for projects that accord with these requirements.

Further details on the use of the Open Space Fund and how to apply, is given in the 'Guide to the System', the 'Technical Paper' and 'Guidelines for Parish Councils'