COMMUNITY FACILITIES, RECREATION, LEISURE AND TOURISM
6.1 Whilst there is often a choice of places to build a new house, sites for new community facilities, such as schools, sports centres and village halls, need to be conveniently located for the people they will serve, and often need larger areas of land. Sites have to be reserved for this purpose wherever local requirements are known.
6.2 Recreation and leisure activities have been a major growth area over the past two decades. This trend is expected to continue with the increased demand resulting from a greater amount of leisure time, greater mobility and a higher real income for spending on recreation. For this reason PPG17 - 'Sport and Recreation' (1991) encourages local plans to protect existing open spaces from development and wherever possible allocate adequate land and water resources for organised sport and informal recreation. Within the plan area the demise of the coal industry continues to threaten those leisure and social facilities traditionally enjoyed by mining communities. The council will take a proactive role in protecting and securing the future of this much needed sporting and social provision and will actively encourage proposals that protect, develop and enhance these facilities.
6.3 Over the recent past it has been widely recognised and accepted that outreach sport development work forms an essential part of a local authority's sport and recreation service. This is important in rural areas like Bolsover District where provision of built facilities is particularly difficult due to the excessive liability of operating these types of facilities. The council has been proactive and innovative in its approach to sports development work within the district and has provided sporting opportunities using schools, community centres, church halls and miners' welfares as bases.
6.4 It is open to residents and visitors alike to use the sport, recreation and leisure facilities of the district. The general protection and enhancement of the natural environment, and the improvement of access to it, will benefit everyone, as will measures to protect and enhance the built environment of the settlements and to conserve the heritage features of the district.
6.5 The local plan seeks to secure the provision of children's play areas, sports pitches and public open space on new residential developments in line with the National Playing Fields Association's minimum standards. The local authority has limited resources for this work but opportunities for using Heritage Lottery Fund and Millennium Commission funding could result in projects being implemented.
6.6 Tourism has significant potential for augmenting the local economy through visitors' spending and the creation of some extra jobs in the service industries. Aspects of planning policies can be used to encourage these developments. Arts enhance the quality of people's life, help develop a sense of community, can attract visitors and can contribute much needed inward investment to the local economy when used to promote artistic excellence and innovation. Indeed arts venues and events are often seen as central to the development of 'civic pride'. The council recognises the importance of this and seeks to actively encourage an environment in which the arts can flourish. In particular major developments should be encouraged to incorporate public art at a percentage of the total development costs (see paragraph 2.71-2.73 and policy GEN 17).
6.7 The aims of the local plan with regard to community facilities, recreation, leisure and tourism are:
6.8 Community facilities can fulfil a vital role in everyday life, providing a service or a meeting place for all sections of the local community. They also provide a facility for less mobile and isolated people to meet and socialise. Sustaining local community facilities and services reduces the need for increased car commuting to urban areas, by promoting self-contained communities.
6.9 Policy CLT 1 covers proposals for the change of use or redevelopment of commercial facilities such as pubs, miners' welfares and surgeries, and non-commercial services like village halls and places of worship which serve the community. The council acknowledges the important role of these kinds of provision, and will encourage the retention of premises which serve the community. When considering change of use proposals the council will take into account their continued viability and their contribution to the local community, as well as the suitability of the proposed use, in deciding whether to grant planning permission. In the case of businesses such as pubs and surgeries, the applicant will be required to demonstrate that all reasonable efforts have been made to sell or let the premises at a realistic price.
6.10 Policy CLT 2 covers applications for the development of community centres, health centres and places of worship, which should normally be located within the settlement frameworks. Even if they are exceptional cases, such developments will not be granted planning permission where they may be a prominent intrusion into the countryside.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL ONLY BE GRANTED FOR THE CHANGE OF USE OR REDEVELOPMENT OF BUILDINGS WHICH HAVE FUNCTIONS SERVING THE COMMUNITY, IF:
6.12 CLT 2
NEW COMMUNITY FACILITIES
WHERE THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY ACCEPTS THAT THERE IS A NEED FOR SUCH FACILITIES BUT NO SITE IS AVAILABLE WITHIN THE SETTLEMENT FRAMEWORK, OR THE FACILITY WOULD SERVE A COMMUNITY LOCATED OUTSIDE A SETTLEMENT FRAMEWORK, PLANNING PERMISSION WILL ONLY BE GRANTED FOR PROPOSALS PROVIDED THAT THE SITE:
*As defined in the Town and Country Planning
(Use Classes) Order 1987, as amended. (See Appendix 7).
6.13 Derbyshire County Council has notified Bolsover District Council of the need to protect a number of sites for future projects that will improve education provision. The programming of works is not known but even if construction takes place after 2005 it is appropriate to safeguard the land during the plan period. In addition to the sites notified by the county council, a site also needs to be safeguarded for a new school to serve the South Shirebrook development as specified in the planning brief for that development.
6.14 Land at Storth Lane, South Normanton, had been reserved for community facilities (including social, welfare or health uses) since the beginning of the Broadmeadows scheme. It is now proposed to let this site be developed for housing and to safeguard the nearby site west of Chestnut Drive for community facilities instead.
6.15 Land has been reserved since 1976 at Oxcroft Lane, Bolsover for relocation of Bolsover Church of England Junior School. This site is on the fringe of the built-up area and is used as allotments. The future use of school sites throughout the town is under review, and in the long term a new pattern may result. If the county council decides that it does not need the replacement school site it will be appropriate to alter the settlement framework when the local plan is reviewed, including the site in the countryside and protecting it for allotment use under policy CLT 9 below.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH PREJUDICES THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FOLLOWING SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY PROJECTS AS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP:
INDOOR RECREATION FACILITIES
6.17 Due to its rural character and the close proximity of provision in neighbouring large towns, the plan area is not well provided with indoor sports and recreation facilities, although there is a swimming pool and squash courts at Creswell and a sports centre with squash courts at Shirebrook. There is a need for a swimming pool in Bolsover. Secondary schools at South Normanton, Tibshelf, Shirebrook, Bolsover and Clowne have indoor sports facilities which can be used by members of the public, but these facilities are not formally 'dual use'. The council recognises that community access to school sporting facilities can be a cost-effective way of meeting shortfalls in provision and will actively encourage such dual-use agreements where possible.
6.18 The East Midlands Council for Sport and Recreation has looked at provision of sports facilities in its successive "Regional Recreation Strategies". The most recent strategy "Beyond the Barriers", picked out the impact of colliery closures on sport and recreation opportunities as a major concern in the Derbyshire coalfield. Using recommended guidelines for the minimum standard of provision it highlighted a shortage of sports halls of 3.5 units (equivalent to 14 badminton courts) and a shortage of squash courts and one full sized floodlit synthetic pitch. The strategy suggests that Bolsover and Creswell should be locations for sports halls. (A further 4 badminton court facility suggested for Clowne have since been provided at Clowne Heritage School). Four squash courts in total have since been provided at Creswell and Shirebrook.
6.19 A new sports facility to serve school and community is being constructed at Moorfield School, Bolsover. Should funds become available to construct a new swimming pool in Bolsover then careful consideration will need to be given to its siting. Provided archaeological and design constraints can be met, a location on the Hornscroft recreation ground or the former Model Village Hall site might be appropriate.
6.20 In the absence of firm intentions it is not appropriate for the local plan to make any specific proposals for any of the indoor sports facilities mentioned above. Should other developers come forward with proposals for new facilities, or should the resources become available, the local planning authority will adopt a favourable attitude to them in principle, provided that they are within the settlement framework and provided that they fit in with other policies of the local plan.
WITHIN THE SETTLEMENT FRAMEWORK PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR INDOOR SPORT AND RECREATION FACILITIES PROVIDED THERE IS NO SIGNIFICANT DETRIMENT TO RESIDENTIAL AMENITIES.
LARGE SCALE INDOOR SPORT AND RECREATION FACILITIES
6.22 Some indoor sport and recreation facilities, because of their size, will be unable to be accommodated within the settlement framework and will require an edge of settlement location. Such large scale developments could potentially have an adverse impact on the environment whilst providing significant recreation or tourist benefits. Applications for large scale indoor sport and recreation facilities which cannot be accommodated within the settlement framework will be considered in relation to criteria set out in CLT 5.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR LARGE INDOOR SPORTS AND RECREATION FACILITIES LOCATED ON THE EDGE OF THE SETTLEMENT FRAMEWORK PROVIDED THAT IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED THAT THERE ARE NO SUITABLE SITES AVAILABLE WITHIN THE SETTLEMENT FRAMEWORK. IN SUCH CASES PERMISSION WILL ONLY BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH:
EXISTING OUTDOOR PLAYING SPACE AND AMENITY OPEN SPACE
6.24 The minimum standards for outdoor playing space recommended by the National Playing Fields Association (NPFA) are recognised and accepted as a benchmark by the council. These state that there should be a minimum of 2.4 hectares (6 acres) of outdoor playing space per 1,000 population. Depending on the population profile of the locality the total area appropriate for that number of people should be provided through a combination of these kinds of outdoor playing space. The standard suggests how much of each is appropriate:
6.25 These standards provide a useful yardstick against which to measure existing provision but some flexibility is required when applying them. Some areas of land do not neatly fit into designated categories yet they can still provide a useful facility for children and adults alike. Over time the availability of a site to the general public may change, for example school governors may restrict the use of a school playing field to education use only, or alternatively more school sites may be opened to the public. Many sites provide multiple opportunities for both sport and children's play yet may still be undersized when compared to the standard.
6.26 The NPFA recommendations are minima and the council takes the view that it is desirable to have higher levels of provision. Even where existing outdoor playing space amounts to more than the NPFA minimum standard, no community in the plan area has playing space to spare. It is therefore proposed to protect all the existing outdoor playing spaces identified on the proposals map from development that would spoil their open character or reduce their value for recreation use. A few sites, however, have potential for indoor recreation or tourism development (see 6.19) so that their protection under this policy may lead to replacement facilities.
6.27 Another category of open space is that of formal public gardens and parks, landscaped areas, woodlands and commons. None of these is called 'outdoor playing space' under the terms of the NPFA minimum standards, but all contribute to amenity as far as the wider community is concerned. It is also proposed to protect open spaces of this kind, as identified on the proposals map, from built development. The three registered village greens in the district are Rylah Hill, (Palterton), Fox Green (Creswell) and the Green (Elmton). All three qualify for extra protection under the law and more stringent protection in this local plan. A separate policy is included in the local plan to protect allotments against proposals for built development (CLT 9).
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT ON PLAYING FIELDS, RECREATION GROUNDS, PARKS AND INFORMAL OPEN SPACES (AS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP) WHERE THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD BE DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE RECREATIONAL USE OF THE LAND OR WOULD ALLOW THE RECREATIONAL USE TO BE ENHANCED AND WHICH WOULD NOT BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE OPEN CHARACTER OF THE AREA
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR OTHER FORMS OF DEVELOPMENT ON REGISTERED VILLAGE GREENS
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR OTHER FORMS OF DEVELOPMENT ON PLAYING FIELDS, RECREATION GROUNDS, PARKS AND INFORMAL OPEN SPACES AS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP (EXCLUDING REGISTERED VILLAGE GREENS) UNLESS IT :
NEW OUTDOOR PLAYING SPACE AND AMENITY OPEN SPACE
6.29 Even if the open space and outdoor facilities referred to in 6.26 and 6.27 above are protected as the council intends, additional provision would be necessary in some parts of the district to bring facilities up to NPFA minimum standards. The council has carried out a survey of existing open space facilities in the plan area. This survey was updated in 1998 and reveals that some settlements are better provided for, in terms of open space facilities, than others. The survey includes the gross area of recreational facilities rather than the net useable area; this will have a bearing on actual recreational open space provision. The assessment shows that all settlements, except South Normanton and Newton, meet the overall open space requirement, but that many settlements have a shortage of either equipped play areas and childrens' or informal open space, whilst all but a few have an adequate provision of pitches and outdoor facilities. Deficiencies in existing provision in the three categories have been identified in the following areas:
Pitches And Outdoor Sports Facilities at
Equipped Play Areas at
Informal Open Space at
6.30 The deficiencies identified above may be more apparent than real for reasons already mentioned (paragraph 6.25). Added to this, the countryside itself, and the network of rights of way, give people in the smaller settlements many of the things provided by informal open space in the large settlements. In other cases countryside recreation facilities are proposed which will provide facilities adjoining some settlements, and several major built developments which are proposed will be required to provide facilities.
6.31 The district council is only one of the agencies which provide open
space for play, sport and informal recreation; developers, independent
sports clubs, parish and town councils, the county council and in some
cases charitable bodies also provide facilities. Although the district
council does not currently have funds budgeted to make good the deficiencies
referred to in paragraph 6.29 above, it can use its powers as a local
planning authority to guide other agencies. The Millennium Commission
for instance has created a source of funds to provide 'Millennium Greens'
which are intended to be permanent local open spaces. The money from the
Millennium Commission will allow the Countryside Commission to create
and maintain these greens. The green will be held in trust, either through
a local council or a
6.32 In five settlements, opportunities have been identified to improve facilities which warrant specific mention. The Council is committed to the development of these sites as open space and as such the sites will be safeguarded from other forms of development. In Pinxton there are some disused gardens and a disused covered reservoir to the north of the junction of Church Street West Park Lane. This site is in an untidy state but is used for recreation as an informal extension of the 'Hill Top' recreation area. It is proposed that this derelict land should be reclaimed as public open space and added to the Hill Top recreation ground. In South Normanton some derelict land south of Water Lane allocated for recreation use in the 1969 Alfreton and South Normanton Town Map could be made into predominantly open space using derelict land reclamation grant.
6.33 At Bolsover, there is an existing allocation in the adopted Old Bolsover-Hillstown Local Plan for industrial development on the large field opposite the New Bolsover Model Village. Following a review of the land suitable for employment opportunities in the Bolsover area, it has been concluded that there are other more favourably located sites for industrial use closer to the former colliery site, utilising existing infrastructure and more closely related to the transport corridor of the A632. This site also has a potentially damaging effect on the Bolsover Conservation Area and the listed buildings at New Bolsover. It is therefore proposed that, should the existing planning permission lapse, the future industrial use of this site will not be permitted. This site would be suitable for a new outdoor events field in line with the adjoining regeneration schemes of the 'Changing Places' programme funded through the Millennium Commission. Also in Bolsover, the Back Hills area which has been affected by a landslip is to be stabilised and returned to use as public open space. It is proposed (in line with the action plan for the town's Conservation Area Partnership Scheme) that an additional area south east of Surprise View should become amenity open space accessible to the public.
6.34 The Northern Parishes Local Plan (1990) proposed land east of Skinner Street, Creswell for housing development, this proposal also required recreation facilities to be provided. Although the housing proposal was not included in the consultation draft, it is now allocated for housing purposes in this local plan (paragraph 3.18 and policy HOU 3). Outdoor recreation and play facilities should be provided to serve this development in accordance with HOU 5. Also in the Northern Parishes Local Plan it was proposed to develop a football pitch, playground and informal open space on two fields south of Rood Lane, Clowne. The land had been earmarked for the facilities many years before and they are needed more than ever now that new housing has been built nearby.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD PREJUDICE THE PROVISION OF NEW OUTDOOR PLAYING SPACE AND AMENITY OPEN SPACE ON THE SITES LISTED BELOW AND SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP:
IN ADDITION TO THE SITES MENTIONED ABOVE PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR AN OUTDOOR EVENTS FIELD ON 3.64 HECTARES OF LAND AT VILLAS ROAD, BOLSOVER.
6.36 There are only two golf facilities in the plan area: at Bondhay Farm near Whitwell and at Barlborough Links, Barlborough. There are several golf courses in neighbouring districts particularly at Alfreton, Mansfield, Chesterfield and Worksop. The number of people playing golf is increasing, and there is a general shortfall in provision of golf courses within the district particularly in the central and southern areas (defined as the areas on the central and southern parts of the proposals map) which results in residents having to travel further to play the sport. It is important that new golf courses are accessible by means other than the private car, therefore the location of a golf course proposal should have regard to public transport routes and the proximity of centres of population. An opportunity for new provision is mentioned in paragraph 6.48 and policy CLT 11.
6.37 The character of the countryside is increasingly under pressure for change. New golf developments can be damaging to the rural landscape particularly where there are associated facilities such as driving ranges and accommodation. The development of new golf courses should not be irreversible, therefore changes to the landscape should not be made through the use of inappropriate materials (such as builders' rubble or general waste materials) brought onto the site, and efforts should be made to improve or complement the environment by the design and location of the proposal. In order to ensure that the environmental impact of a golf course proposal can be properly assessed, including impact relating to agricultural land quality, clear and adequate details will be required at the planning application stage. Details required may include course layout, existing and proposed contours, landscaping, infrastructure, drainage and associated facilities. Applications for golf facilities other than new courses will be dealt with under policy ENV 3 Development in the Countryside.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR NEW GOLF COURSES PROVIDED THAT THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT:
OUTDOOR RECREATION AND PLAY SPACE PROVISION FOR NEW HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS
6.39 The local planning authority recognises that the provision of adequate public open space is an essential requisite of an acceptable urban environment, and that every new dwelling increases the demand for local public open space from children and adults for play, sporting and general recreation and leisure use. The local planning authority takes the view that developers should help to provide those facilities. A policy for this purpose is set out in Chapter Three in paragraphs 3.37 to 3.45 and policy HOU 5.
6.40 Allotments are an important amenity in most settlements in the plan area. As well as giving people the chance to grow their own food, allotments contribute a sense of green open spaces in built-up areas and are valuable 'islands' for nature conservation.
6.41 Allotments are often the focus of attention from developers owing to their open nature. The local planning authority wishes to make it clear that it considers the allotments shown on the proposals map to be important amenities and that it will not grant planning permission for development on this land.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT ON ALLOTMENT LAND AS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP EXCEPT WHERE:
6.44 The district's countryside is one of its greatest assets for recreation and tourism, with visitors and residents benefiting from views, walks and rides. Most of it is privately owned, so that the network of rights of way and the properties to which the public are given access take on an importance far greater than their distribution might suggest.
COUNTRYSIDE RECREATION; PROVISION FOR HORSE RIDERS
6.45 Horse riding is a popular activity in the district which offers healthy exercise and which contributes to the local economy, requiring the services of veterinary surgeons, blacksmiths, feed merchants, fencing contractors and local farmers. The network of bridleways and other off-road routes available to horse riders in the district is fragmented, however, with riders often being forced onto busy roads, putting the health and safety of both horse and rider at risk. Having to be constantly aware of the surrounding traffic also limits the enjoyment of the activity.
6.46 The council recognises the need to encourage the development of
a good quality network of routes and acknowledges the advantages it will
bring to tourism in the area. For these reasons the council will investigate
ways of extending and improving the network of bridleways and other horse
riding routes in consultation with adjoining local authorities and local
horse riding groups. Development that will be safe and convenient (and,
therefore, more attractive) to riders, will be encouraged. The local plan
also proposes the creation of trails along several former railway lines
and will encourage wherever possible the development of trails which are
suitable for horse riding. The importance of safeguarding other disused
railway lines from the adverse effects of development proposals has also
been recognised within the plan (policy CLT 11).
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD HAVE A MATERIALLY HARMFUL IMPACT ON THE CHARACTER, OR PREJUDICE THE USE FOR COUNTRYSIDE RECREATION OF THE FOLLOWING SITES AS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSAL MAP:
IN ADDITION PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD PREJUDICE THE USE OF THE FOLLOWING COUNTRYSIDE RECREATION SITES AS TRAILS, AS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP:
6.48 South of the A38, in the open country between Birchwood Lane and the west side of Pinxton, there is potential for a new golf course or other countryside recreation facilities which are open in character. Although no such proposals are being put forward by the local authorities at present, if a developer brings forward a scheme of this kind it will be favourably considered.
6.49 Planning permission has been granted by the county council for a country park at Doe Hill Lane, west of Tibshelf - as part of the aftercare scheme for the existing opencast mine. The scheme is one promoted by the opencast company and in principle it is an acceptable development under the countryside policies of this local plan. However, its inclusion on this basis conveys no intention on the part of either Bolsover District Council or Derbyshire County Council to develop, run or maintain the facility. The same is true of two further schemes for countryside recreation facilities on tips at the former colliery sites at Pleasley and Shirebrook (East and South).
6.50 Proposals have been put forward by Creswell Heritage Trust and supported by Groundwork Creswell to attract Heritage Lottery Funding for a series of studies looking at the setting of Creswell Crags and potential related projects. Whilst the proposals are unlikely to proceed without substantial funding, they are likely to be appropriate in the countryside.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR NEW COUNTRYSIDE RECREATION FACILITIES AND OTHER COUNTRYSIDE USES AT THE FOLLOWING SITES AS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP:
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD PREJUDICE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FOLLOWING COUNTRYSIDE RECREATION SITES AS TRAILS, AS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP:
6.53 Lakes, ponds, rivers and streams are valuable amenities and can often be a focus for leisure activities. At the same time these features (together with wetlands) make an important contribution to the range of wildlife habitats in the district. The local planning authority will encourage appropriate developments which give people more opportunity for water-based recreation and increase public access to the natural watercourse system and wetland areas. The welcome for these initiatives will, however, be qualified by the need to protect the ecological value of such areas.
6.54 In considering proposals for water-based recreation and public access to the natural watercourse system and wetland areas the local planning authority will consult with the Environment Agency. Under the Water Resources Act 1991 Section 16, the Environment Agency has a duty to promote recreation, but also to further and enhance the conservation of flora, fauna, landscape and geological features.
6.55 Whilst encouraging the development of water-based recreation and leisure amenities, the local planning authority will require such projects to accord with other local plan proposals in the normal way (for example policies GEN 1, GEN 2 and ENV 5). Particular attention will be paid to the need to ensure that the land drainage capacity of the natural watercourse system is maintained and that natural history interests are protected.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR APPROPRIATE WATER-BASED RECREATION AND LEISURE DEVELOPMENTS, INCLUDING INCREASED PUBLIC ACCESS TO LAKES, PONDS, RIVERS AND STREAMS PROVIDED THAT IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED THAT THEY:
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD HAVE A MATERIALLY HARMFUL EFFECT ON EXISTING OR NEW AMENITIES OF THIS TYPE.
NOISE-GENERATING LEISURE ACTIVITIES
6.57 There are certain activities such as clay pigeon shooting, motor
sports, model aircraft flying, jet skiing, and war games which can be
potentially intrusive and create noise problems, affecting users of adjacent
land. It is anticipated that the growing demand for these uses, allied
with the continuing pressure for rural diversification, will increase
proposals for such development, particularly in the countryside. The Council
is preparing a comprehensive Local Cultural Strategy to cover the period
1999 to 2004. This document will identify particular sites in the district
where noise- generating activities may be one of a number of suitable
uses. Proposals for noise- generating activities will be subject to the
policies of this plan, but will normally be permitted, provided that the
use does not have a detrimental impact on the character and openness of
the countryside. Wherever possible these uses should be located in areas
where their impact can be absorbed into the existing noise environment
by utilising existing noisy sites (for instance within the motorway corridor
or adjoining industrial areas), or sites where physical barriers provide
natural noise attenuation (such as locations screened by banks of trees).
Sites with degraded land, former mineral sites or set-aside farming land
and those which lack any ecological or wildlife value would also be suitable.
Where there are likely to be intrusive effects on noise- sensitive development
or land uses, planning conditions may be used to restrict the hours/days
of operation of the activity and to require measures to reduce the effect
of noise to an acceptable level. Individual proposals for such developments
will be assessed on their merits with consideration being given to all
relevant policies of the plan and specifically to policies GEN 2 and ENV
3 of the Local Plan.
6.58 Tourism is still in its infancy within the district, which lies at the heart of the former rural coalfield and has a distinctive cultural heritage in addition to its characteristic geology and ecology. The plan area lies within the southern magnesian limestone belt which is one of English Nature's 'Natural Areas' and one of the Countryside Agency's 'Countryside Character Areas'. The district has a wealth of historic houses and of natural and industrial heritage, the more significant being Hardwick Hall, Bolsover Castle and the internationally known Creswell Crags. Having M1 junctions 28, 29 and 30 so close, and being situated between the major tourist destinations of the Peak District and Sherwood Forest, the plan area is well placed to attract more of the trade which up to now has passed it by. A recent local economic impact assessment for Bolsover district revealed that during 1997 tourism contributed £19 million to the local economy and supported 660 local jobs. Further tourism-related initiatives and developments undertaken since the study are likely to have made that figure higher still. The success 'brown' directional signs have in directing tourists and visitors to areas and locations of interest is recognised. Developing a comprehensive network of brown signs and district boundary welcome signs throughout the plan area is supported and encouraged.
6.59 Tourism has significant potential for augmenting the local economy through visitor spending and has the potential to extend the range of employment opportunities available in the district. In addition to the aspects set out above, tourism can benefit an area by helping to support provision of recreation and leisure facilities which can be enjoyed by visitors and residents alike.
6.60 A tourism study was prepared by consultants in 1991 as part of the North Derbyshire Coalfield Partnership Project. The study identified considerable potential for development of tourism and also identified a number of gaps in provision. The study calculated that the North Derbyshire coalfield has a catchment population in excess of 30 million within a three hour drive (the short break market) and a population of just over 20 million within one and a half hours' drive - the catchment area for 90% of all day trips to tourist attractions. "These indices place the coalfield area in one of the most favoured locations in the country for tourism development ..... The major constraint on tourism is the perception of an unattractive environment; this is not a fair reflection as there are tracts of pleasant countryside, badly marred in a few locations, and some attractive villages".
6.61 The strategy put forward by the consultants has never been formally adopted by the North Derbyshire Coalfield Partnership, but events have confirmed its appropriateness. The main components relevant to this local plan are:
6.62 Under the first heading, significant steps have been taken towards developing the town of Bolsover as a tourist destination. Floodlighting has been installed at the castle and a programme of events is being used to promote the castle to visitors. The Conservation Area Partnership Scheme (CAPS) for the town and Single Regeneration Budget "Gateway to Bolsover" project make tourism an integral part of the whole scheme. The council supports the increased emphasis on the tourism potential of the town and the development of the castle as a major tourist attraction by English Heritage. The council also recognises the importance that museum provision can have to an area. It not only preserves and reinforces an area's cultural heritage but allows all sections of the community access to this history. Long term plans include a small museum located within Bolsover town centre.
6.63 As mentioned in paragraph 6.50, Creswell Crags and the wider Creswell Heritage Area have been the subject of imaginative bids for funding, endorsed by the district council. The council supports the increased emphasis on the tourism potential of Creswell Crags, including the development of an interpretation centre and improved links to the crags from Creswell. The search for an appropriate site is still under way, with attention being focused on the area between the crags and Creswell village and alongside the A616. In principle such development would be acceptable in the countryside, but in considering any proposals for such development in the vicinity of Creswell and the crags, the council will pay particular attention to the need to protect areas of attractive landscape and preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, encourage visitors to use public transport, make safe provision for traffic, and protect or enhance the environment and amenities of Creswell village. As mentioned in the consultation draft of the local plan, a site at Fox Green has been considered, but in view of concerns about its status as a village green the Council has concluded that this important site should be protected as a village green and that it is, therefore, unsuitable for this proposal.
6.65 Several sites which are suitable for non-industrial employment generating uses (EMP 6) could accommodate development for tourism purposes. Those suitable for hotels are mentioned in policy CLT 14, but other tourism developments could be acceptable on those sites provided that they generate employment. The Pleasley Colliery site is probably the most significant in this category. Pleasley Vale Mills (EMP 4) might also be able to accommodate tourism development, as might some other sites in the countryside.
TOURISM AND LEISURE DEVELOPMENTS
6.66 It is intended that the provision of tourism and leisure developments in the district will bring additional employment opportunities and bring more income into the area. It is important, however, to ensure that such facilities are accessible by means of public transport, cycling or walking and are compatible with the character, amenity and general appearance of the area. Policies set out elsewhere in the plan cover these points. Chapter 7 Transport intends to promote the use of public transport, cycling and walking. This also applies to tourism and leisure developments and should ensure that they are accessible by all modes of transport. Policy GEN 8 Settlement Frameworks provides for new development within settlement frameworks. This could include tourism and leisure developments, providing they satisfy other general policies in the plan. Areas outside the settlement framework are considered to be countryside and are covered by policies ENV 3 and ENV 4. Tourism and leisure developments may be acceptable provided that they are not a prominent intrusion into the countryside. As described in paragraph 9.4, a balance has also to be struck between the need to enhance the rural economy and the need to stop the countryside being ruined by indiscriminate development. Any overnight accommodation, for example, needs to be restricted to use by visitors in cases where residential development would not normally be granted planning permission.
6.67 Key town centre leisure and tourism developments which attract a lot of people must be assessed in relation to the same sequential appraisal used for retail developments and other large traffic-generating uses, in accordance with the advice of PPG 6 'Town Centres and Retail Developments' (1996) and PPG 13 - 'Transport' (1994). Such an appraisal is based on the feasibility of locating such developments within existing town centres so that advantage can be taken of existing infrastructure and services. If a town centre location cannot be achieved consideration should then be given to an edge-of-centre location. In the event that there is no suitable location within or on the edge of the town centre an out-of-centre location can be assessed. In such cases, however it must be demonstrated that the out-of-centre location is highly accessible by means of transport other than the private car.
LEISURE AND ENTERTAINMENT DEVELOPMENT
6.68 Major traffic-generating leisure developments such as cinemas, casinos, bingo halls and swimming pools should ideally be located within existing centres where they can take advantage of existing infrastructure and public transport facilities. However it is recognised that some major leisure and entertainment uses require large sites, and that such sites are not always available within existing centres. If leisure developments cannot be physically accommodated in existing centres, edge-of-centre locations represent the most acceptable alternative, provided that the need for the development can be proven, and that this need cannot be met on sites within the centre.
6.69 Developments should also ensure that satisfactory pedestrian access and frequent and convenient public transport access can be achieved, and that the development is of an appropriate scale, nature and design for the surroundings and the existing centre. Proposals which consolidate existing out-of-centre developments will be preferred to those which establish new locations. Proposals for leisure developments in existing centre locations will be considered with regard to policies SAC 3 and SAC 7 of the Shopping and Town Centres Chapter.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR MAJOR LEISURE AND ENTERTAINMENT DEVELOPMENTS OUTSIDE TOWN AND LOCAL CENTRES DEFINED ON THE PROPOSAL MAP, ONLY WHERE IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED THAT:
6.70 Tourism and other leisure uses provide additional employment opportunities and may bring more income into the district, particularly if visitors are able to stay overnight in hotels or other accommodation. It is recognised that the need to travel may be reduced if hotels are located close to their primary customer source, for example at motorway service areas or adjacent to major leisure sites. The district already has several established hotels, namely The Swallow and the Castlewood (both at South Normanton), The Shoulder at Hardstoft, and The Van Dyk at Whitwell Common. A new Holiday Inn opened at South Barlborough in November 1998 and a Travel Lodge associated with the motorway service area at Tibshelf opened in April 1999. The local planning authority has previously agreed to the development of new hotels at the Pinxton Castle site, East Street / North Street, Doe Lea and the disused Hilltop Farm between Glapwell and New Houghton. Subject to other planning considerations, future extensions to existing hotels may be permitted. As described in its Local Cultural Strategy the council is keen to see new hotel developments at the locations identified below.
6.72 Pinxton Castle
This site is adjacent to Pinxton Castle and forms part of a large mixed use development proposal, in an area of commercial and leisure developments off junction 28 of the M1. Following "call in " of the planning application, permission was granted by the Secretary of State in December 1998. The site is well-located in terms of surrounding land uses, the national highway network and existing public transport routes, including access to the national rail network at Alfreton station. Such a development would be of benefit to travellers, business people using nearby industrial and commercial concerns, tourists visiting the Derbyshire Peak area, Sherwood Forest, and the adjoining Designer Village. A sequential appraisal of the larger leisure development package (including the hotel proposal) has been carried out which reveals that this is the most appropriate location for such a facility in the South Normanton area.
6.73 East Street / North Street, Doe Lea
Planning permission was granted in 1990 for the redevelopment of land at East Street for a hotel. Although this permission has now lapsed the site together with the adjacent land at North Street is still considered to be appropriate for a hotel, being located adjoining a major public and general transport route with access to the M1, a brownfield site and within the built framework of the settlement. The site is also considered suitable for housing or office development in a mixed-use development providing a minimum of 75 dwellings. A slope stability report will be required with applications for planning permission on this site in accordance with policy GEN 7.
6.74 Bolsover Town Centre
The development of a hotel or conversion of an existing building to
hotel use within central Bolsover would be extremely beneficial to the
area and would complement measures to promote tourism within the town
in line with the objectives of the Conservation Area Partnership Scheme
(see paragraph 6.62 above) and the council's Tourism Strategy. Whilst
a specific site has not been identified for a hotel there may be an opportunity
over the local plan period to develop a site or redevelop or convert an
existing building. In view of the presence of the designated conservation
area in central Bolsover it should be stressed that good design will be
of the utmost importance.
The local planning authority has previously agreed to the development at Elmton Park Farm, just outside the town of Bolsover, for a conference centre and for bed and breakfast use. Hotel use would also be acceptable in principle, provided that the development would secure the preservation and enhancement of this Grade II listed building, its outbuildings and its setting.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR HOTEL DEVELOPMENT ON SITES LOCATED IN TOWN OR LOCAL CENTRES WHERE ADVANTAGE CAN BE TAKEN OF EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES, PROVIDED THAT THE PROPOSAL MEETS CRITERIA 1) - 3) BELOW.
OUTSIDE TOWN OR LOCAL CENTRES PLANNING PERMISSION WILL ONLY BE GRANTED FOR HOTEL PROPOSALS WHERE IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED BY THE DEVELOPER THAT:
IN PARTICULAR, PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:
*Also suitable for Housing or Non-Industrial Employment.