The removal of the play area equipment and the reinstatement of the land to grass will allow for the use of the land by children for recreational purposes.
The area designated for the multi-purposesports area is currently grassed and well used by local children for recreational purposes. The non-provision of the sports area would allow the continued use of the area for such recreational purposes.
Should planning permission be granted there would be financial implications on the applicant in respect of the removal of the play equipment and reinstatement of the affected land. This equipment can however be utilised at other development sites and the cost implications on associated ground works (grass) is likely to be minimal. However, taken that the applicant would financially benefit from the non-provision of the multi-purpose sports area it is considered appropriate that a financial contribution, based on a similar sum, be given over to the Council to improve existing play facilities within the general area. The applicant has confirmed that he is agreeable to this.
Having regard to the foregoing I consider this proposal to be acceptable as the benefits to the surrounding community realised through the removal of this magnet for anti-social behaviour (play area) would, in my view outway any possible disadvantaged through the loss of this facility. The non-provision of the multi-purpose sports area does not appear to be an issue with residents as the affected land is currently well used by local children for informal play. I therefore recommend that planning permission be granted subject to the conclusion of a Section 69 Agreement with the applicant in respect of a financial contribution.