Chapter 9 Community & Recreation
Strategic Policy for Community and Recreation
Policy C1: It is the policy of the Council to ensure that community infrastructure and a range of open space opportunities for passive and active recreation contribute to a vibrant, prosperous settlement. This is conducive to ethical principles of healthy communities, inclusivity and accessibility to facilities for all abilities, and sustainability to ensure that Croom is a greener, cleaner, more welcoming place to live, work and attract investment.
Policy C2: It is the policy of the Council to ensure that all developments in relation to community infrastructure, education, childcare, health facilities, open space, and recreational facilities comply with the policies, objectives and development management standards of the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016(as extended) and the objectives outlined below.
National policy recognises the importance of community infrastructure and recreation opportunities to a vibrant community. The collective well-being of a settlement is correlated with the quality of the environment. Open spaces can assist the Council and the community achieve the wider objectives for biodiversity, health and well-being, place-making and identity. Green spaces can contribute to the legibility of a settlement assisting one’s sense of location, direction and orientation. Open spaces can contribute to the intangible values of a community’s sense of pride, civic activities and engagement, and collective ownership. The following policy documents express this sentiment at the national level:
- Ready! Steady! Play! – National Play Policy, 2004;
- Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities, 2007;
- Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas, 2009;
- Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Local Area Plans, 2013 and the companion document Manual for Local Area Plans, 2013;
- Best Practice Guidelines Design Standards for New Apartments – Guidelines for Planning Authorities, 2018;
- Framework for Health and Well-being 2013 – 2025 under the Healthy Ireland programme;
- National Youth Strategy 2015-2020;
- Teenspace – National Recreation Policy for Young People 2007;
- Better Outcome Brighter Futures – the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014-2020;
At a local level policy documents include:
- Limerick and Clare Sports and Physical Recreation Strategy, June 2013;
- County Limerick Recreation Strategy and Action Plan 2010 – 2012;
- Healthy Limerick programme launched in 2017;
- The Limerick Cultural Strategy – A Framework 2016-2030;
National planning guidance requires consideration of community facilities and open space, when preparing development plans and planning applications. As a means to prompt these considerations Limerick City and County Council requires developers of housing estates to submit Sustainability Statement and Social Infrastructure Assessment(SSSIA), as part of their planning applications, since the adoption of the Limerick City and County Development Plans in 2010. At a policy level open space is considered an integral aspect of the Local Area Plan (LAP) process and the City and County Development Plan (CCDP) process.
In recent times the term ‘green infrastructure’ is considered more appropriate, when looking at open space provision. This concept is defined as looking at the totality of open space in an area and the opportunities to develop a connected system of the parks, green wedges, green corridors. The connectivity of open space is considered important to address wider sustainable transport/movement goals, and biodiversity principles of the movement of flora, fauna, pollinators and insects. Connected open spaces can also contribute to a more active and healthy lifestyle providing opportunities to cycle and walk/run at ease, and with safety from traffic.
9.2 Community and Recreation
There is a mix of sporting facilities in the Croom area, with both private clubs and a public park. A total of 6.92 hectares are zoned as Open Space and Recreation in the proposed LAP.
To align with the policy for open space as stated previously the following are the objectives of the proposed Croom Plan based on the themes of; value, quantity, quality, sustainability, conservation and protection.
Provision is also made for the development of playgrounds/playlots in tandem with new residential development. The identification of possible amenity walkways and cycle routes also forms an important part of the plan.
Objective C1: Protection of lands zoned for open space
It is the objective of the Council to:
- Protect existing open space, by not permitting development, which encroaches on open space by reducing the recreational value to the public.
- Protect semi-natural open space areas from inappropriate development in the interest of recreational enjoyment, community health and well-being, flood protection and biodiversity.
- Seek in partnership with other agencies to develop active and passive recreational opportunities, such as extending the recreational walkway/cycleway along the river bank.
Figure 22: Trees in Croom Public Park
Objective C2: Improve Open Space Provision and encourage active and passive open space use
It is the objective of the Council to:
- Co-operate with sports clubs, schools, cultural groups and community organisations to provide quality sports and recreational facilities to the community. The Council encourages a multi-use and co-use of facilities of a complementary nature to support more diverse range of sport and recreational opportunities. Proposed development shall demonstrate quality pedestrian and cyclist linkage.
- Ensure residential development incorporates appropriate provision of quality public open space and playlots, in accordance to national guidance and any subsequent guidance within the timeframe of the proposed Plan. Open space provision will be proportional to the scale of the number of residential units proposed. It shall consider access to existing open space and shall be cognisant of the principles of national guidance including accessibility, personal and child safety, linkage, place-making, and permeability and the hierarchy of open space.
Figure 23: Passive Recreation Space
Objective C3: Open space hierarchy and playground provision
It is the objective of the Council to:
- Require residential development to adhere to the requirements regarding open space within housing estates in accordance with Table 10 Open Space Hierarchy in Residential Estates.
- Require applications for residential developments to demonstrate clearly that sufficient consideration by the developer has been given to the provision of functional open space as per DEHLG 2009 guidelines on Design of Urban Residential Development.
- The Council will seek to ensure that every new residential unit in new housing developments is located within 100m walking distance of a pocket park / play lot, small park, or local park. Such facilities must be clearly delineated on planning application drawings and demarcated in advance of the sale of any of the units.
Table 10: Open Space Hierarchy within Residential Estates
Type of Public Open
Play lot/ pocket
park – primarily
catering for play for
400sqm – 0.2
Every home within
To be provided in all
cases in housing estates, overlooked
with passive surveillance by as many houses as is practicable. Not permitted to side or rear of dwellings.
Developers will be required to provide a minimum of two permanent play features on site.
0.2 ha – 2 ha
unit within 400m
To accommodate a small play ground with a minimum of 4 play features, kick around space, and passive recreation. Must be overlooked with passive surveillance by as many houses as is practicable. Not
permitted to side or rear of dwellings.