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Newark & Sherwood Plan Review - Publication Amended Core Strategy

Leisure and Community Facilities

4.52     The Council, its leisure company (Active 4 Today) and Parish & Town Councils runs a wide range of leisure and cultural facilities across the District, including leisure and community centres, all of which are used for a range of activities. In addition, there are a range of commercially provided facilities such as health and fitness centres, bowling, bingo, snooker, cinema, and sports provision. Sherwood Forest, the Center Parcs Holiday Village and Southwell Racecourse are also major attractions. The District Council’s Sport and Recreation Facilities Improvement Plan sets out the vision for Newark and Sherwood from 2010 2014 to 2021 along with the Playing Pitch Strategy 2014; both of which include it includes an assessments of current provision, areas of need and priorities for addressing this need.

4.53     National policy aims to ensure that there are sufficient high quality open spaces and sport and recreation facilities, which are located in the most sustainable locations, are attractive to users and are well managed and maintained. It requires local planning authorities to consider the importance of facilities to the local community if there is a proposal that would result in its loss or change of use, and refuse permission for applications which fail to protect existing facilities that provide for day to day needs.

x.xx      The East Midlands Regional Plan requires Local Authorities to work with County-based Sport Partnerships, Sport England and other relevant bodies to ensure that there is adequate provision of sports and recreational facilities, consistent with the priorities for urban and rural areas which are outlined elsewhere within the plan. Where appropriate, there should be joint working across administrative borders to ensure that identified need is met in the most effective manner.

4.54     At a local level, the Community Plan contains 6 shared priorities to help improve the quality of life for residents of the District. The protection and provision of leisure and community facilities will help meet all of these objectives. the District Council recognises the important role that new and existing leisure and community facilities play in meeting the community's needs and contributing to improved health and wellbeing. The Core Strategy seeks to ensure that where required, new and improved facilities are provided as part of development and suitable protection is given to existing facilities. Such an approach will help meet the aims of national and regional policy and also help contribute to the delivery of schemes identified within the various local strategies.

4.55     Detailed criteria for the provision of leisure, community facilities and open space standards along with will be set out in the Allocations & Development Management DPD whilst guidance on the level of contributions for commuted sums and the methodology for their calculation will be set out contained in a Developer Contributions & Planning Obligations SPD as discussed set out in Spatial Policy 6 and Policy DM3. The SPD will also set out the arrangements for securing commuted payments and ongoing maintenance through planning obligations.

Spatial Policy 8

Protecting and Promoting Leisure and Community Facilities

The provision of new and enhanced community and leisure facilities will be encouraged, particularly where they address a deficiency in current provision, and where they meet the identified needs of communities, both within the District and beyond.

The loss of existing community and leisure facilities through new development requiring planning permission will not be permitted, particularly where it would reduce the community's ability to meet its day-to-day needs, unless it can be clearly demonstrated that:

  • It’s cContinued use as a community facility or service is no longer feasible, having had regard to appropriate marketing (over an appropriate period of time and at a price which reflects its use, condition and local market values), the demand for the use of the site or premises, its usability and the identification of a potential future occupier; or and
  • There is sufficient provision of such facilities in the area; or
  • That sufficient alternative provision has been, or will be, made elsewhere which is equally accessible and of the same quality or better as the facility being lost; and.
  • There is sufficient provision of such facilities in the area.

In the case of existing open space, sports and recreational buildings and land, including playing fields, where development is proposed for alternative sports and recreational provision, then demonstration will be required that the need for development clearly outweighs the impact of the loss.

Small-scale development that is ancillary to existing open space and recreational land and which would result in a small loss of space will be supported, providing that it contributes toward the improvement and better use of the remainder.

4.57     This policy applies to community facilities (Community Halls, Village Halls, Halls related to places of worship, village shops, post offices and public houses), built sports and cultural facilities (including libraries), sports fields, education facilities, school playing fields, public open space, amenity open space, children’s play area and allotments.