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Newark & Sherwood Plan Review - Publication Amended Core Strategy

Sherwood Forest Regional Park

6.86     The Regional Plan Sherwood Forest Trust proposes that a Regional Park is developed in the Sherwood Forest area. The potential area for the Regional Park covers much of the west of the District and extends into neighbouring Ashfield, Mansfield, Gedling and Bassetlaw Districts. It has long been the vision of both Nottinghamshire County Council and the District Councils to designate a Regional Park in order to define the distinctive and extensive areas where management and spatial planning can bring about regionally significant economic, environmental and social regeneration benefits. The vision for the Regional Park is that "The natural and cultural heritage of Sherwood Forest will be managed, enhanced and promoted through the Sherwood Forest Regional Park. The Regional Park will be an essential part of the existing communities within and around the Forest and the growing communities around Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield, now and in the future." by 2025, the Sherwood Forest area will   be locally, nationally and internationally recognised as an area of outstanding natural significance and cultural heritage – where vibrant communities, economic regeneration and environmental enhancement thrive together in this inspiring natural setting.’  This vision has been developed by the Regional Park Board, which includes representatives from the District Council and whose role is the development and implementation of the Regional Park, its boundary and the objectives for its management In 2009, the Sherwood Forest Regional Park Board was set up, bringing together key organisations from across the region, including the District Council who were committed to seeing the development of the Park. In 2014, The Sherwood Forest Trust was given an agreed brief to work on behalf of the Board to turn the concept of the Sherwood Forest Regional Park into a reality.

6.87     Given that much of the heart of Sherwood Forest is within the District, a Regional Park could have a significant effect on the future of the area and could provide a number of opportunities. Such impacts and opportunities were identified in a 2007 study which was commissioned to look at the feasibility of establishing a Regional Park for Sherwood Forest and include:

  • Creating opportunities to enhance the local environment and improve recreation on the back of regeneration and other forms of economic development;
  • Providing a framework for rural businesses to thrive;
  • Improving the appeal of the area to visitors and investors, helping to attract and retain talented people, leading to improved economic performance and stability in the areas; and
  • Improving the health and well being of local people.

6.88     It is recognised that the Regional Park will also put pressure on the built and natural environmental assets and that due to its location many visitors may be reliant on the private car to access the area which would impact on congestion and air quality. It will therefore be important for the body tasked with implementing the Regional Park to ensure that such impacts are mitigated against.

ShAP 1

Sherwood Area and Sherwood Forest Regional Park

The District Council will work with its partners to maintain and enhance the ecological, heritage and landscape value of the Sherwood Area whilst promoting sustainable and appropriate leisure, tourism and economic regeneration. This will be achieved by:

  • Ensuring the continued delivery of the conservation aims and objectives of the Birklands & Bilhaugh Special Area of Conservation and preventing development which would have an adverse impact on this area;
  • Ensuring that development does not have a detrimental impact on national, regional, county and locally designated sites;
  • Supporting the development of a Sherwood Forest Regional Park and working with the body responsible for its delivery;
  • Improving recreation and tourism facilities within Sherwood Forest. Proposals for such development will be required to comply with Core Policy 7 Tourism, Core Policy 12 Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure, Policy DM7 Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure, Policy DM8 Development in the Open Countryside and:
    • Clearly demonstrate that that there will be no harm to the Special Area of Conservation;
    • Implement mitigation measures to reduce the impact on the natural environment;
    • Promote access by a range of transport modes including public transport and, where appropriate, ensure integration between car parking and cycling facilities.

6.89     Whilst Policy ShAP 1 applies to the Sherwood Area of the District as identified in the Core Strategy, as noted above, the Regional Park will cover a wider area; therefore this policy will apply to the whole area which is designated as the Sherwood Forest Regional Park within Newark and Sherwood District.