Guidance has been produced regarding kids play with two main sources of information: Fields in Trust (FIT), formally NPFA, and Play England. Play England provides advice on the quality of the play space and the philosophy of children’s play, whilst FIT continues to provide quantitative advice on the type and number of provision. New FIT guidelines were introduced in August 2008 to update ‘The Six Acre Standard’. These new guidelines are entitled Planning and Design for Outdoor Sport and Play’ (PAD). The following points are of particular relevance for residential developments:

  • Playground areas no longer have to provide a set number of pieces of play equipment, but rather play experiences, for example, a LEAP has to provide a minimum of six experiences and a NEAP has to provide a minimum of nine play experiences. Therefore a scheme could theoretically be achieved without equipment.
  • For higher density developments, particularly ‘brownfield’ sites, the play area buffer zone may be reduced around LEAPs which could result in a reduction from 3600m2 to 1600m2 and a consequently larger developable area.
  • You no longer need to enclose a play area within a fence, only if the play area abuts a road, water course or other hazard.
  • Local Landscaped Area for Play is a new designation that sits between a LEAP and a NEAP. Fundamentally this is an unequipped space that is specifically laid out to encourage imaginative play for all ages.
  • The methodology of assessing existing play spaces has changed and is now based on a points system which will conclude if the local provision is of a high quality and experience.

Local Playground Designs

Recently, research has been undertaken into how kids use play spaces and how we can improve their play areas by providing stimulating and challenging experiences. Historically, the National Playing Fields Association (NPFA) provided this advice, and was established to set benchmark standards to outline and protect the amount of designated open space, play and outdoor sports facilities close to where people live. More recently, Play England, part of the National Children’s Bureau, has become the forerunner in the philosophy of children’s play.

LEAP NEAP Play Areas

The NPFA produced ‘The Six Acre Standard’ originally in the 1930s to ensure that everyone had access to play and sports facilities close to where they live. These standards were then adopted by Local Planning Authorities and incorporated into their planning policies and planning conditions for development sites. The NPFA then re-branded themselves as the Fields in Trust (FIT) and produced the updated version of their guidelines, entitled: ‘Planning and Design for Outdoor Sport and Play’ (PAD). These new guidelines advise on the latest legislation and public policy and also provide advice on climate change, SUDS and sustainable communities.

PAD has similar principles to The Six Acre Standards, with a few main changes:

  • Play criteria of Local Equipped Area for Play (LEAP) and Neighbourhood Equipped Area for Play (NEAP)
  • Means of enclosing a playground area
  • Introduction of the newly created ‘Local Landscaped Area for Play’
  • Methodology of auditing existing play spaces

Specifications of LEAP and NEAP

LEAPs are to be designed and laid out specifically for children who are beginning to go out and play independently and has a minimum activity zone of 400m². The main change to the play criteria is that the area is to provide play experiences (rather than a set number of pieces of equipment). The space is therefore to be designed to provide a stimulating and challenging play experience and PAD recommends that a minimum of six play experiences (from their list) are to be provided. The outdoor play area should also have a buffer zone of at least 20m in depth which contains varied planting, giving an overall area of 3600m². It is worthy of note that, for higher density developments, particularly Brownfield Sites, the play area buffer zone may be reduced under the new guidelines.

NEAPs are to be designed and laid out specifically for older children and have a minimum activity area of 1000m², with 465m² of the area laid out for a kick-about area. Like the LEAP, the main change to the play criteria is that the area is to provide play experiences (rather than a set number of pieces of equipment). The space is therefore to be designed to provide stimulating and challenging play experiences and PAD recommends that a minimum of nine play experiences (from their list) are to be provided, as well as bicycle parking. The play area should also have a buffer zone of at least 30m in depth, containing varied planting.

The guidelines relating to enclosure of the play area has also changed. PAD outlines that the site should be enclosed, but this is dependent upon location. If the play area is beside a road, then fencing and gates is the ideal solution. If the site is within a larger area of open space then fencing is not required and delineation of the play space can be achieved with planting or earth mounds.

Encouraging Children’s Play

A newly created designation of a Local Landscaped Area for Play is intended to be used as an alternative to a LEAP and is intended for use by children and young people alike. There are many benefits of activity for children which can be seen with these local playground facilities. It is to be imaginatively landscaped to encourage play, although no play equipment has to be provided. The Local Landscaped Area for Play should have a minimum activity area of 900m² and is to provide a mix of areas for both physical activity and relative calm.

Neighbourhood Area for Play

When considering a new development and the amount of provision that is required, the new PAD guidelines are not as clearly defined as those within the old Six Acre Standard. However, Play England (in association with the London Plan) has produced guidelines for new developments. This recommends that an audit of existing provision is to be undertaken and then using their formulae, will conclude the type of facilities and off-site contribution required.

PAD also advises that an audit of the existing provision is of benefit and the methodology of this audit has changed within the new guidelines. The assessment is now based on a points system, where points are awarded for certain features of the existing play spaces. This will not only identify the amount of existing provision but also the quality.

Types of Local Playground

The fields in Trust/National Playing Fields Association Standards have 3 categories of equipped play areas. These are local areas for play (LAP), local equipped area for play (LEAP) and neighbourhood equipped area for play (NEAP). The main characteristics of each category are:

LAP – Local Area for Play

The LAP is a small area of open space specifically designated and primarily laid our for very young children to play close to where they live.

LEAP – Local Equipped Area for Play

The LEAP is an area of open space specifically designated and laid out with features including equipment for children who are beginning to go out and play independently close to where they live.

NEAP – Neighbourhood Equipped area for play

The NEAP is an area of open space specifically designated, laid out and equipped mainly for older children but with the play opportunities for younger children as well.

Get in Touch

If you would like some more information about installing these play facilities please contact us. We can provide details on pricing for LEAP and NEAP surfaces along with a variety of equipment. Just fill in our enquiry form with the details of your project and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

  • Good blogging!

  • This can be a thing I need to find more information about, i appreciate you for the article.

  • Awesome contribution, trendy blog layout, carry on the great work

  • My spouse and i have been really cheerful Michael managed to finish off his inquiry because of the ideas he discovered when using the web page. It is now and again perplexing to simply always be making a gift of information and facts which people have been selling. And now we keep in mind we have got the blog owner to appreciate for this. The entire explanations you’ve made, the simple site navigation, the friendships your site assist to promote – it is mostly wonderful, and it’s really assisting our son and the family imagine that this theme is entertaining, and that’s particularly essential. Many thanks for the whole thing!

  • how’s life ? owner discovered your website via Google but it was hard to find and I see you could have more visitors because there are not so many comments yet. I have discovered website which offer to dramatically increase traffic to your website they claim they managed to get close to 1000 visitors/day using their services you could also get lot more targeted traffic from search engines as you have now. I used their services and got significantly more visitors to my website. Hope this helps 🙂 They offer most cost effective backlink service Take care. Jason

  • Excellent information and facts! I have been browsing for some thing such as this for a while these days. Many thanks!

  • Have you ever wondered who posts some of this stuff that you come across? Recently it seems to have become an epidemic, except that recently it seems to have become better. What do you think?

  • Most powerful&cost effective SEO and website traffic service in world get up to 100’000 forum backlinks now! Get incredible online web traffic using amazing backlink blast available. We are able post your custom post up to 100’000 forums around the web, get thousands of backlinks and incredible targeted web traffic in shortest time. Most affordable and most powerful service for web traffic and backlinks in the world!!!! Your post will be published up to 100000 forums worldwide your website or blog will get instant traffic and massive increase in seo rankings just after few days or weeks so your site will get targeted long term traffic from search engines. Order now: backlink service

  • I truly knew about nearly all of this, but in spite of this, I still believed it had been useful. Nice post!

  • Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for information about this topic for a long time and yours is the best I have came upon so far. However, what about the conclusion? Are you positive concerning the supply?|What i don’t realize is if truth be told how you’re no longer really a lot more well-liked than you might be right now. You are very intelligent.

  • Hello very nice blog!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also?I’m happy to seek out numerous useful info here in the post, we’d like develop extra strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  • I just like the valuable information you provide on your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at again here regularly. I’m reasonably certain I’ll learn lots of new stuff proper right here! Best of luck for the following!|

  • this page will be useful for my sister. i shall send this to her immediately. Thank you very much.

  • Awesome issues here. I am very happy to peer your post. Thank you so much and I am having a look ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  • Hello men In my opinion this can be a great publish I’ll definetely continue reading your own works, well done. It is very important to have quality material on the web, we are able to rely on them as a reliable source for the tasks.Ive read it along with enjoyment and Im sure I’m going to read the rest of the things you will create, good job man!.

  • Hey very nice site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find a lot of useful information here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  • Thanks for every other informative site. The place else could I get that type of info written in such a perfect manner? I have a project that I’m simply now working on, and I have been at the glance out for such info.

  • An exceptionally great publish. This short article covers for me personally what this particular topic is determined by plus some of the essential benefits that can be resulting from knowing about it as should you. A buddy once remarked that you’ve got a completely different way of thinking whenever you do something for several as opposed to when youre just toying with it. When it comes to this kind of subject, I believe you’re taking, or even begin to think of, a far more professional as well as thorough approach to each what and how you write, which allows you to carry on and obtain better as well as manual other people who have no idea anything by what you’ve discussed right here. Thank you.

  • Pingback: how to get a free ipad 2()

  • WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..extra wait .. …

  • This is the smart website. I am talking about the software. You have a good deal knowledge about this, and so a good deal passion. Additionally, you will understand how to get people to move associated with this, certainly from the negative effects. You have grew to become a style here you go not really as well flashy, however can be a statement how big what you happen to be saying. Best wishes, indeed.

  • Hello! I simply desire to create a huge thumbs upward for that terrific guidance you have here about this article. I will be going back to your website for more soon.

  • I just required some information as well as was searching upon search engines like google for it. I frequented each web site which came upon very first site and didnt obtained any kind of related end result i quickly thought to take a look at the second 1 and got your blog. that is what I wanted!

  • This is exactly an excellent study in my view, Should acknowledge that you are one of the ideal writers We ever noticed.Many thanks for posting this particular useful article.

  • Not like I need anymore ideas for posts (still have too many drafts that are not yet completed), but this is nonetheless and awesome post and a great resource for any blogger.I wish I would have thought of this idea….Great job.Phil

Have a project you would like to discuss?

Give one of our experts a call on 01625 445 760 or

Contact us

Contact us

Call: 01625 445 760 or email below.