Areas of Newark and Sherwood

2.11     Due to the size of the District, the array of influences acting upon it and the diverse and dispersed nature of its settlements there are a great variety of issues facing its communities. In order to establish a policy approach appropriate to meeting these differing needs it is necessary to sub-divide the District. This sub-division is based upon the presence of common characteristics, including the prevailing economic, social and environmental conditions and the existence of connections to, and the influence of, surrounding areas and centres. As a result of this process 5 distinct and internally cohesive areas within the District have been identified as follows:

Newark and Sherwood Areas

Newark Area

The Newark Area covers much of the east of the District and is split into 3 sub-areas to reflect the diverse nature of this part of the District:

Newark and Rural South Sub-Area: The sub-area contains the District’s largest settlement, Newark-on-Trent, which is significant as a centre of commerce and trade with strong links to the surrounding villages, farms and countryside.

The area has excellent communication links with quick rail connections to London, Leeds and Edinburgh and Nottingham. Located adjacent to the A1(T) the area is also well connected to the trunk road network. These links will be have been further improved by the completion of the A46(T) dualling between Widmerpool and Newark in 2012.

Newark in particular has a rich and strong historical heritage centred on the Castle (partially destroyed in the English Civil War), the National Civil War Centre, a wealth of buildings of special architectural or historic interest and an extensive Conservation Area with a traditional Market Place at its heart.

Newark Urban Area defined as the main built up areas of Newark, Balderton and Fernwood is designated as a Sub-Regional Centre within the Regional Plan, and as a result is the focus for much of the growth within the District.

Rural North Sub-Area: The sub-area covers the north central area of the District and, whilst to some extent remote from Newark, the spine of villages up the A1 are well connected to the Sub-Regional Centre. Sutton-on-Trent provides a focus for local services.

Collingham Sub-Area: The sub-area lies in the north-east corner of the District. Due to the barrier formed by the River Trent, this area looks to both Newark and Lincoln for its services. Collingham provides a focus for local services. To the north of Collingham, people also look to Lincoln for such services.

Southwell Area

This area covers the southern central part of the district and is focused around the Minster Town of Southwell, which acts as a ‘service centre’ to a large rural area. Many residents look towards Newark and Nottingham for additional higher level services. The area has many attractive villages, often with their own Conservation Areas. Accessibility in the area is strongest in the Trent Valley villages with their railway stations.

Southwell is a town of outstanding architectural and historic interest, including Southwell Minster. Connected to this heritage are the many historic buildings, notably the large prebendal houses that form the heart of the town's Conservation Area, whilst on the town's outskirts is the Thurgarton Hundred Workhouse. Adding to the town's visitor appeal is the all-weather Southwell Racecourse.

Nottingham Fringe Area

This area is in the Nottingham-Derby Green Belt which is intended to protect the open character of land around the Nottingham conurbation and City of Derby. The designation extends into the south-western part of the District and acts as a constraint on new development. Within the area, Lowdham acts as a focus for day to day services and, with its own railway station, provides good access to Nottingham. Many residents in the area look towards Greater Nottingham for most of their services and employment.

Sherwood Area

The Sherwood Area covers much of the north-west of the District. The area is closely related to Mansfield and Worksop, however, Ollerton & Boughton is also a focus for services, jobs and education whilst Bilsthorpe and is a Edwinstowe are centres with their its own day to day facilities. Due to the level of development anticipated for the strategic allocation at the Former Thoresby Colliery, the strategy for Edwinstowe is one of regeneration and its status within the spatial hierarchy is identified as a Service Centre.

Much of the heart of Sherwood Forest, the legendary home of Robin Hood, is within the area and is a major international tourist attraction. Further strengthening the Forest's role are the plans for a new visitor centre that gained planning permission in 2017 and the proposal for Regional Park status for Sherwood Forest.

Mansfield Fringe Area

Rainworth, Blidworth and Clipstone, whilst self-sufficient for daily needs, are closely linked to Mansfield and look to it for all major services.

The main settlements of the Sherwood and Mansfield Fringe Areas grew as a result of the rapid exploitation of coal reserves. However since the 1970s the area has seen major industrial change and large scale job losses. Thus the need to combat unemployment, diversify the economic base and promote regeneration have been important priorities. The Sherwood Energy Village (SEV), established by an industrial provident society in 1994 is a good example of this. Whilst the Sherwood Growth Zone, which covers the area around the Mansfield Ashfield Regeneration Route- including Rainworth, is intended to be a major future regeneration catalyst.