Bid to increase open spaces in Waveney

A blueprint to improve and increase the amount of open spaces across Waveney is being drawn up.

A blueprint to improve and increase the amount of open spaces across Waveney is being drawn up.

District council bosses have produced a draft strategy to oversee the management and development of community sites through to 2020.

It comes after a wide-ranging survey revealed a shortage of open space in several areas and has identified the need to build a new network of partnerships to develop projects and seek funding.

Asa Morrison, the council's principal service manager for culture, tourism and sport, said: “We are creating a vision to take us through to 2020 and improve our open spaces for the benefit of the community.”

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The draft report reveals that all areas in Waveney, except north Lowestoft, have a deficiency of parks and highlights the need to develop new areas as well as improving existing sites.

It points to concerns about a lack of park facilities in Beccles and Southwold, with particular levels of dissatisfaction in the Bungay area.

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The report claims that overall there are sufficient amounts of natural green space, except in south Lowestoft, but reveals that people in Beccles and Bungay also feel there is a lack of provision.

Meanwhile, district-wide shortages of amenity green spaces (such as those that appear in housing estates) have been identified, except in Southwold.

Wendy Mawer, the council's portfolio holder for economic regeneration, said: “We are committed to working with partners, including other public agencies, developers and the community, to improve open space in the district.”

While the council's open space strategy is still in draft form, a bid to improve play areas across the district has cleared a major hurdle, with a bid for lottery cash set to be made.

In all, £270,000 has been earmarked for the proposed projects, which include a new skatepark in Lowestoft and a play village for a rural part of Waveney.

The admission of an open space shortage has prompted opposition Labour group leader Sally Spore to question why the council is proceeding with its plans to sell-off the former North Denes caravan park site in north Lowestoft.

The controversial proposals are set to be the subject of a public inquiry after the Protect our North Denes Association applied for the council-owned site to be declared public open space on the basis it had been used by the people of Lowestoft for many years.

A council spokesman said: “It should be noted that the area in question is not currently designated as public open space, but under the new plans there will actually be a net gain of 33.03 acres of open space to Lowestoft.”

Waveney's consultation on its open spaces strategy ends today and the document can be viewed by logging onto

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