i) Recreational function
The southern part of the site was previously used as a school and playing fields which provided a recreational function for the school pupils but was not a park or playing field available to the public. The single siting of the school on the Holt Wing (Queens Drive) involved the construction of a new indoor sports centre and upgrading of the existing outdoor pitches. Sport England is satisfied that the proposal meets its playing fields policy in that:
"the playing fields which would be lost as a result of the proposed development would be replaced by a playing field or playing fields of an equivalent or better quality and of equivalent or greater quantity, in a suitable location and subject to equivalent or better management arrangements, prior to the commencement of development"
The Leisure Services Division have undertaken a survey or playing field provision in Wavertree which concludes that:
There are currently twelve playing field sites in Wavertree, totalling 43 grass pitches, 3 full-size synthetic pitches, cricket wickets, bowling greens and tennis courts covering 79 hectares
The National Playing Field Association standard would require 72.6 hectares to provide for the population of Wavertree
There is a surfeit of unused and partially used sites that could be utilised to create additional pitch space if required
There are 11 hectares of Council owned playing fields in the area which are not used regularly by sports teams
Most of the site lies within a Park Deficiency Area (more than a quarter of a mile walk from a park of 1-5 hectares). The new dwellings proposed will be in the Park Deficiency Area and no new Neighbourhood Park (defined as more than 1.0 hectare in size) will be created. However, three smaller areas of public open space will be provided totalling 0.91 hectares.
It is considered that the upgraded facilities at the Holt Wing, in addition to the three areas of open space to be provided on the site (which will be available to the general public and total 0.91 hectares in area) will improve the recreational facilities available to school pupils and the general public and provide a suitable replacement facility which will outweigh the loss of recreational function caused by the removal of the Olive Mount Wing school playing fields.
continued . . .