Land of confusion


- Credit: Archant

Your readers will have looked at the picture at the foot of page 4 of last week’s edition, seen the caption which reads ‘Peter Whitfield said the Byes should not be classed as a park’ and wondered, what on earth is the idiot on about? It looks like a park to me.

What I actually said, of course, was that the Byes do not fit EDDC’s Open Space Study’s definition of ‘Parks and Recreation Grounds’ (P&RG) – one of the fourteen types of open space identified in that study. This reads: ‘Parks and recreation grounds refer to defined areas of green open space that have been formally laid out for public enjoyment. Typically, they will include lawns, flower beds, paths, and occasionally facilities such as toilets or a food stand. This includes public parks and gardens such as Connaught Gardens or The Knowle in Sidmouth, as well as privately owned formal gardens that are open to the public such as Killerton Gardens in Broadclyst.’

Now the photograph makes more sense! No evidence of formal layout, lawns or flower beds there.

In fact the revised edition of the OSS will still classify the southern section as P&RG, but the 7.41ha of land owned by the SVA in the northern section have been correctly reclassified as ‘Natural & semi-natural open space’.

It is this correction that eliminates the claim that Sidmouth has an excess of P&RG according to the EDDC’s standard.

When discussing this issue we have to stick to the definitions used for the various types of public open space and not use words like ‘park’ in their generally accepted sense. It is the council’s own document that is used in deciding planning issues and is what needs to be challenged when it is clearly in the wrong.

Peter Whitfield

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