Draft Play Strategy Review

​This consultation is now closed.


A draft Cheshire West and Chester Play Strategy has been produced and is comprised of two "Tiers" of documents:

  • Tier one - A borough-wide strategy that provides guidance on policy and best practice in outdoor public play provision. The Tier one strategy makes the case for play and demonstrates the Play Strategy's alignment with corporate strategic policy such as the new Council Plan; and the Health and Wellbeing and Growth agendas. It also embeds the principle of inclusive play throughout.
  • Tier two - The production of four Locality Play Improvement Frameworks. (Chester, Ellesmere Port, Northwich/Winsford and Rural) These provide detailed analysis of play spaces and outdoor youth facilities at the Locality level.

The draft strategy has been developed in close collaboration with the Council and local partners such as Town and Parish Councils, voluntary sector organisations, community groups and housing associations.

Overview of Tier One Cheshire West and Chester Play Strategy

The Tier one Strategy broadly follows the format recommended in Planning for Play and has been adapted to suit local circumstances. Within this structure it:

  • Articulates and formulates policy statements covering all aspects of *Play and Youth facility provision; as well as making formal recognition of the contribution of Play to the wider social agendas and relevant national agendas. It highlights links with recent studies such as the Council’s Open Spaces Audit study and Playing Pitch Strategy.
  • Provides priority actions taking account the Council’s recently published Council Plan.
  • Provides guidance on good play space design practice, risk and challenge in play, and inclusive play.
  • Highlights options and opportunities for internal and external funding to support the delivery of the strategy.
  • Makes recommendations in relation to the roles of partners and stakeholders in relation to the development, management and sustainability of play and youth facilities.

*The strategy does not cover supervised and staffed play provision.

The strategy has been developed in a financial environment of reducing local authority budgets. It recognises that future planning for play improvements need to be realistic, achievable and sustainable. This means making the most of capital expenditure and minimising revenue and maintenance costs. In this respect a partnership approach is key to maximising the potential for securing a diverse range of funding and encouraging active community support.

Consultation that has already taken place

An extensive consultation and engagement programme has been undertaken as part of the Play Strategy production process as well as utilising the public consultation responses from the aligned Open Spaces Audit. This included:

  • Review of existing consultation data
  • Stakeholder Workshops (an initial borough-wide workshop and four Locality based sessions).
  • Surveys of children and young people
  • Surveys of Town and Parish councils
  • Surveys of local play and youth organisations
  • Interviews and engagement with key stakeholders (Borough Council and external partners)

The strategy process also involved:

  • Detailed analysis of the consultation findings
  • Review of the local standards for play spaces and youth facilities developed in the Open Spaces Study to ensure consistency between the two documents.
  • Agreeing prioritisation criteria to guide the development of the locality based Play Improvement Frameworks
  • Applying the standards and prioritisation criteria across the Borough to identify gaps and any surpluses of provision.

How to get involved

This consultation period runs for eight weeks from 6 June 2016 to 31 July 2016.

We want your views on the management and future provision of play facilities and locality specific Play Strategy Frameworks.  It will also provide an opportunity for those stakeholders consulted as part of the draft strategy production to review and comment on the findings.

Please look at the supporting documents before giving us your views.

Tier one: Draft Play Strategy and Appendices

Tier two: Draft Locality Frameworks

You can complete the survey online or by printing off the questionnaire and posting it back to us. If you would like a paper questionnaire sending to you, then please contact us.

Other ways to take part

How your feedback will be used

All of your feedback will be discussed by the Play Strategy Project Steering Group and incorporated into the final Strategy where appropriate, which will be taken to full Cabinet. Any policy recommendations will also be aligned to the Part Two Local Plan consultation process.

Once the Play Strategy is approved by the Council, site specific consultation will take place at sites which have been identified for significant improvement work before any final schemes are taken forward.

Further information

Council information is also available in audio, braille, large print or other formats. If you would like a copy in a different format, in another language or require a British sign language (BSL) interpreter:


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