Rural Accessibility

5.51     The East Midlands Regional Plan, building on National planning policy stresses the need to promote accessibility and overcome peripherality in rural areas. Particular guidance is given with regard to the Northern Sub-Region (within which the District sits), where objectives include overcoming rural isolation and improving linkages from traditional communities to jobs and services in adjacent centres. National Planning Policy recognises that transport policies have an important role to play in facilitating sustainable development, and the retention and development of local services and community facilities in villages should be promoted.

5.52     Access to key services is lowest within the smaller dispersed settlements and hamlets of the District's rural areas. Therefore, many of the residents access services, facilities and employment within larger centres, both within and outside of the District.

5.53     In particular the villages of the Collingham and Rural North Sub-Areas of Newark Area look towards Newark and their respective Principal Villages as well as Lincoln and Tuxford outside of the District for jobs and services. Those in the Sherwood Area find focus in the Ollerton & Boughton and Edwinstowe Service Centres and the Principal Villages of Edwinstowe and Bilsthorpe, with the adjacent Sub-Regional Centre of Mansfield also being influential. The large rural population in the Southwell Area find key services located in the Service Centre of Southwell with local service provision being supplemented in the Principal Village of Farnsfield, the areas proximity to both the Newark Sub-Regional Centre and Greater Nottingham is also important.

5.54     Crucial to providing for rural accessibility is the availability of good public transport links. However public transport linkages to the dispersed populations of the Rural North and Collingham Sub-Areas and the Sherwood and Southwell Areas are particularly poor in terms of regular bus services, therefore the population is heavily reliant on the use of the private motor vehicle. As a result there is the potential for the social exclusion of those who lack such access, and for those who do have access the reliance on unsustainable transport patterns has clear implications in terms of climate change. The District Council is therefore keen to ensure that it helps protect rural services, and encourages new service provision, whilst also improving public transport linkages to increase rural accessibility and in turn sustainability.

Core Policy 11

Rural Accessibility

The District Council will promote rural accessibility to services, facilities and employment. Through strong and effective partnerships with service providers and the County Council, the District Council will work to:

  • Secure improved public transport to villages, to provide for increased access to services, facilities and employment opportunities in relevant centres;
  • In the Newark Area the District Council will seek to secure improved public transport to villages, providing links to the Town Centre of the Sub-Regional Centre of Newark, the Principal Villages of Collingham and Sutton-on-Trent and applicable centres in neighbouring Districts;
  • In the Sherwood Area the District Council will seek to secure improved public transport to villages, to provide links to the Service Centres of Ollerton & Boughton, and the Principal Villages of Edwinstowe and the Principal Village of Bilsthorpe and with applicable centres in neighbouring Districts
  • In the Southwell Area the District Council will seek to secure improved public transport to villages, to provide links to the Service Centre of Southwell and the Principal Village of Farnsfield.
  • Encourage the retention of existing and the development of appropriate new facilities and services in villages to increase rural sustainability in line with Spatial Policy 3 Rural Areas and Spatial Policy 8 Protecting and Promoting Leisure and Community Facilities.