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11 RECREATION AND LEISURE

Introduction

11.1 More people than ever before are participating in both organised and informal recreation activities and there is an increasing awareness of the importance recreation facilities play in the life of the community. The demand for additional recreation facilities is likely to grow because of greater participation in leisure and increase in the overall population size. There is a general trend towards an ageing population in Melton Borough and this is likely to result in demands for facilities to cater for the elderly and retired for both indoor and outdoor pursuits.

11.2 The Borough is generally well provided with recreation facilities. Within Melton Mowbray there is a leisure centre, cinema, swimming leisure pool, a variety of sports and social clubs and extensive recreation areas including a country park. Most villages have a meeting hall and recreation areas sufficient for the needs of local communities. In drawing up a regional recreation strategy for the 1990’s, the Sports Council investigated recreation provision in the Borough and concluded that there is a modest deficiency in sports hall provision but that this could be resolved by securing public use of existing school facilities.

Policy Background

11.3 It is Government policy to promote the development of sport and recreation in the widest sense and encourage the availability of a wide range of opportunities. Government advice as set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note No 17" Sport and Recreation” acknowledges the major land use implications of recreation activities and emphasises the need to allocate and protect recreation land in the wider public interest.

11.4 The Guidance Note also recognises the role of planning obligations in the securing of sports and recreation facilities required as a consequence of new development, and DOE Circular 16/91 "Planning Obligations", sets out the circumstances in which benefits can be reasonably sought in connection with the granting of planning permission, including offsite provisions or payments to a local authority to provide a particular facility under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

11.5 Such planning obligations may be sought where the benefit is related to the development and necessary to the grant of planning permission.

11.6 In this context the Sports Council views the role of local authorities as negotiators on behalf of the local community in creating and maintaining good standards of sport and recreation provision and supports the concept of achieving any necessary provision through planning obligations.

11.7 The Local Plan envisages that the future formal recreational needs of the community will for the most part be provided on an incremental basis as a direct result of major new residential development.

11.8 The adopted Leicestershire Structure Plan (LSP) highlights the need for local plans to make adequate provision for community open space and recreation facilities for both indoor and outdoor activities. The County Council Recreation Strategy 1992 recognises that district authorities should act as facilitators, regulators and providers of opportunities to satisfy the recreational needs of the community.

Aims and Objectives

11.9 The Local Plan has the following aims and objectives :-

  1. to assess and highlight any deficiencies in the existing provision of recreation facilities;
  2. to provide for an adequate supply of recreation sites to cater for the future needs of the community;
  3. to safeguard existing and potential recreation facilities.
  4. Policy OS3 covers the general provision of infrastructure requirements in the Local Plan.

Formal Recreational Land

11.10 The National Playing Fields Association (NPFA) provides guidelines on standards of public open space for formal recreational use. The standards can be applied to identify both existing deficiencies in provision and future needs arising from new residential development. The Council has adopted the NPFA standard of 1.8 hectares (4.5 acres)/ 1000 persons for youth and adult recreation needs and will seek to ensure that adequate provision is made within the Plan period. Appendices 5 and 6 include details of the Council's adopted standards for formal recreational open space, amenity open space and children's play areas.

11.11 Policy H11 in the Housing Chapter establishes a requirement from developers of major new housing sites (15 or more dwellings) to provide new formal recreational land or an equivalent financial contribution to meet the specific needs generated by a housing development.

11.12 A number of sites are allocated in the Local Plan for formal recreation at Policy R1. Where developers are unable to provide suitable land within or adjacent to a housing site, opportunity is given to developers to bring forward the allocated sites or make a financial contribution to the Council equivalent to any land shortfall in accordance with the adopted standard. The Council intends to use the finances to acquire land and provide the necessary facilities on a comprehensive basis as funds allow.

Policies and Proposals

Melton Mowbray

11.13 According to the 1991 Census, there are 24,348 people in Melton Mowbray. Using the standard 1.8 hectares (4.5 acres)/1000 persons there is a notional need for some 43.7 hectares (108 acres) of playing fields in the town.

11.14 A Council survey of open space and recreation areas in Melton Mowbray (1992) estimates an existing provision of some 41.4 hectares (102 acres) of playing fields available for public use. The survey reveals a small deficit of 2.3 hectares (5.4 acres) against the overall existing notional need. When the standard is applied on a Ward area basis it also identifies a local deficiency of some 5 hectares (12 acres) in the south west sector of the town, due to the distance of existing playing fields from the main body of the sector, and about one hectare in the north, within the Sysonby Ward.

11.15 The housing allocations of the Local Plan within Melton Mowbray are expected to cater for a total population increase of about 2,650 persons by the end of the Local Plan period. Applying the Council's standard, some 4.7 hectares (11 acres) of additional recreational land will be required to serve this additional population. Taking the local deficiency of 5 hectares (12 acres) in the south west sector of the town and 1 hectare (2.5 acres) in the Sysonby Ward, together with 4.7 hectares (11 acres) of new playing field land required to serve the planned additional population, there is a need to identify about 11 hectares (27.2 acres) of new playing field land in Melton Mowbray.

11.16 An important factor in assessing local needs is ease of access to facilities. The Sysonby Ward is within 10 minutes walking distance of the major recreation area at Scalford Brook. Land is available for an additional football pitch, athletics track and all weather playing area at the recreation area within the Plan period. Implementation of these facilities would further enhance provisions in the locality and be sufficient for the playing field needs of this sector of the town to the end of the Plan period.

11.17 The existing playing fields serving the south west sector are located near the town centre and at a considerable walking distance from the main residential area which stretches to Kirby Lane at the south boundary of the town. Additional population in this part of the town resulting from new housing, particularly from the large allocated housing site at Edendale Road (See Policy H2), could be in the region of 1,500 persons. Applying the Council's standard to this local population increase there would be a need to locate some 2.7 hectares (6.6 acres) of any future provision in the near vicinity of the new housing area.

11.18 To make good the existing local deficiency of 5 hectares (12 acres) in the south west sector, and accommodate provision of 2.7 hectares (6.6 acres) for the future population of this area, the Local Plan allocates land for future recreation provision at New Guadaloupe of 4.0 hectares (9 acres), Leicester Road 1.9 hectares (5 acres) and Lake Terrace 5.1 hectares (12 acres). The Local Plan also allocates land for future recreation provision at Thorpe Road 1.8 hectares (4 acres) as an extension to existing facilities in the north of the town in Policy R1.

Asfordby

11.19 There are 3,086 persons in the Parish of Asfordby according to the 1991 Census. Applying the Council's standard of provision to this population, there is a need for 5.4 hectares (13.3 acres) of recreational land. The Council's survey identifies 5.5 hectares (13.5acres) of existing recreation land available for public use in the Parish.

11.20 The Borough Council wishes to encourage the development of additional sport, recreation and open space provision in Asfordby. Consequently, land to the east of the existing Parish Playing Field will be protected for recreational purposes.

Bottesford

11.21 With regard to Bottesford, the Council has concluded that there is a need for an additional sports pitch and therefore an extension to the village playing field is proposed. An allocation was made in the Melton (Rural Areas) Local Plan of 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres) and the allocation is re-affirmed in this Local Plan.

R1

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR ANY DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD PREJUDICE THE USE OF LAND ALLOCATED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP FOR RECREATION PURPOSES AT THE FOLLOWING SITES UNLESS THE COUNCIL IS SATISFIED THAT THERE IS NO DEMAND FOR ADDITIONAL FORMAL RECREATIONAL LAND IN ANY PART OF THE SETTLEMENT:-

 

1 MELTON MOWBRAY

THORPE ROAD

1.8 HA

 

 

LAKE TERRACE

5.1 HA

 

 

NEW GUADALOUPE

4.0 HA

 

 

LEICESTER ROAD

1.9 HA

 

2 ASFORDBY

EAST OF VILLAGE HALL

about 2.34 HA

 

3 BOTTESFORD

BELVOIR ROAD

1.5 HA


New Village at the Former Melton Mowbray Airfield

11.22 The overall strategy of the Local Plan allows for the development of a new village at the former Melton Mowbray Airfield to cater for the main growth in the population of Melton Mowbray over the Plan period. The new village will be largely self contained to include recreation facilities for a population which is expected, ultimately to reach 2,500-3,000. In accordance with the Council's standard, 4.5 - 5.4 hectares (11-13 acres) of land for formal recreational facilities will be required. Details of these recreation facilities are contained in Chapter 14 which deals with "The New Village" (See Policy NV14) and New Village Development Brief.

11.23 A substantial tract of land is to be provided at the southern edge of Melton Mowbray as an informal recreation and amenity area. This area of 53 hectares (131 acres) is shown on the Proposals Map and will be within reasonable walking distance of a large area of the southern part of the town as well as the new village.

Protection of Existing Recreation Areas

11.24 In addition to the role of recreation areas in providing important facilities for the recreation and leisure activities of local communities, many areas of open space both public and private, contribute to the texture of the urban fabric and advice in Planning Policy Guidance Note No17 "Sport and Recreation” suggests these spaces should be taken fully into account when considering the community’s needs for development and conservation of all kinds, especially the long term requirements for open space. Policy BE12 identifies those areas which are protected for their amenity value.

11.25 Structure Plan Leisure Policy 3 provides for the protection of existing recreation land and buildings. The Council will apply the Structure Plan policy reiterated below where appropriate.

LSP Policy LP3 "Planning permission will not normally be granted for the development of land or buildings in recreational use and serving a particular community, for other uses unless:-

  1. suitable alternative provision is made close enough to serve the same community; or
  2. the site does not provide open space which is essential for private or public use or to protect the quality of the urban environment.

11.26 When applying the LSP policy, the Council will consider whether any sports or recreation facilities can best be retained or enhanced through the redevelopment of a small part of the site, or if there is an excess of sports pitch provision and public open space in the area.

School Playing Fields and Joint Use of Facilities

11.27 School playing fields are often located in central positions in urban areas which offer ease of access and their loss to non educational development could lead to a deficiency in existing community land or potential public provision. In Melton Mowbray particularly the adequacy of existing recreation provision depends greatly on the availability of school recreation areas for public use out of school hours.

11.28 The Council considers that greater public use of school buildings, sports pitches and tennis courts should be encouraged where local facilities are inadequate. Village halls and other public buildings are often suitable for indoor sports and the Council will encourage such use when appropriate. Although having no direct control over the use of these facilities, the Council will encourage joint use in accordance with the policy of the Local Education Authority and pursue opportunities for joint provision whenever possible. Any development of school playing fields will be considered against Policy BE12 and the following:-

R2

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF RECREATIONAL OPEN SPACE OR SCHOOL PLAYING FIELDS UNLESS:

A) THE REDEVELOPMENT OF A SMALL PART OF THE SITE WOULD RETAIN AND ENHANCE THE EXISTING FACILITIES; OR

B) SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE PROVISION IS MADE CLOSE ENOUGH TO SERVE THE SAME COMMUNITY; OR

C) THERE IS AN EXCESS OF SPORTS PITCHES AND OTHER PLAYING FIELD LAND IN THE AREA AND ANY LOSS WOULD NOT CAUSE A DEFICIENCY IN RECREATIONAL PROVISION OR AMENITY VALUE.


Recreation Facilities in Open Countryside

11.29 Demands for recreation facilities vary from place to place. In some villages where demands increase, new playing fields or extensions to existing facilities may only be possible by encroaching into open countryside. The Council will normally consider proposals favourably if they are for general community use. The following policy will therefore apply:-

R3

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR VILLAGE PLAYING FIELDS AND OTHER RECREATION FACILITIES OUTSIDE THE TOWN AND VILLAGE ENVELOPES SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP PROVIDED :-

A) THERE WOULD BE NO ADVERSE EFFECTS ON THE APPEARANCE OR CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY;

B) THE SIZE, SCALE, DESIGN AND APPEARANCE OF ANY BUILDINGS ARE IN KEEPING WITH THE CHARACTER OF

THE LOCALITY;

C) THERE WOULD BE NO ADVERSE EFFECTS ON RESIDENTIAL AMENITIES;

D) SATISFACTORY ACCESS AND PARKING IS PROVIDED.


Floodlights

11.30 The fullest use of some recreation areas is made by the installation of synthetic sports pitches and floodlights. Floodlights can adversely affect local residential amenities and may be incompatible with local surroundings. When lit they can also affect traffic safety. Any planning permission granted may include a condition limiting the duration and intensity of illumination. The following policy will therefore apply :-

R4

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR THE ERECTION OF FLOODLIGHTS ON RECREATION GROUNDS PROVIDED THEY WOULD NOT:-

A) ADVERSELY AFFECT THE VISUAL AMENITIES OF THE AREA;

B) CAUSE UNACCEPTABLE LOSS OF RESIDENTIAL AMENITIES;

C) CAUSE TRAFFIC HAZARDS.


Golf and Other Sports Requiring Large Areas

11.31 There is a growing demand for leisure uses which require large areas of land and which are most appropriate in non urban locations. Equestrian pursuits and safari parks are typical examples. Demands for new golf courses however have proved to be of greatest significance in land use terms at the national and local level. In the Plan area there is one 18 hole course at Thorpe Arnold and a 13 hole course at Asfordby Road, Melton Mowbray. There is a 9 hole course at Six Hills where there is permission for a further 9 holes and planning permission has also been granted for a 27 hole course at Stapleford Hall. This provision is considered adequate for the Borough according to the Sports Council’s standards.

11.32 The scale of land take and intensity of use of golf courses makes provision in a rural area a matter for special consideration. The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food considers golf course development as potentially irreversible. Consequently, the most versatile agricultural land should not be developed if it cannot be returned to its original quality. Sufficient details of ‘reversibility’ should be submitted with planning applications. In accordance with Policy C1 the Council will therefore be concerned that the best agricultural quality land is not lost to such uses and will bear in mind the potential of returning the land to its original quality. The Council considers it essential that any additional golf course or other major recreation facility should have either direct or good access onto the specified road network to minimise the impact of visitor traffic on rural roads.

11.33 In view of the formal and artificial appearance of golf courses and the overall scale, massing and design of buildings on the appearance and character of the rural landscape it is generally inappropriate for a development to be located within particularly attractive areas of open countryside. Other important considerations include the need to avoid conflict between any SSSI and users of public rights of way; to ensure that developments should retain existing landscape features by way of trees, hedgerows and ponds; and also help minimise the impact of boundary fencing and any floodlighting.

11.34 The Council favours the development of any new golf facilities on the rural-urban fringe of Melton Mowbray and where new golf courses are permitted there will be strict control of ‘related’ activities such as hotels.

R5

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR RECREATION USES WHICH REQUIRE LARGE AREAS OF LAND PROVIDED:-

A) IN THE CASE OF A GOLF COURSE THE SITE IS IN PROXIMITY TO MELTON MOWBRAY;

B) THERE WOULD BE NO ADVERSE EFFECTS ON THE LANDSCAPE AND EXISTING NATURAL FEATURES WITHIN THE SITE WOULD BE RETAINED;

C) THE SIZE, SCALE DESIGN AND APPEARANCE OF ANY BUILDINGS ARE IN KEEPING WITH THE CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY;

D) THERE WOULD BE NO ADVERSE EFFECTS ON RESIDENTIAL AMENITIES;

E) THE SAFETY OF USERS OF PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY WOULD NOT BE IMPAIRED;

F) SATISFACTORY ACCESS AND PARKING IS PROVIDED;

G) SATISFACTORY ACCESS TO THE SPECIFIED ROAD NETWORK IS AVAILABLE;

H) PROPOSALS CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THAT WHERE THE BEST AND MOST VERSATILE AGRICULTURAL LAND IS AFFECTED IT CAN BE RETURNED TO ITS ORIGINAL QUALITY IN THE FUTURE.


Noisy Sports

11.35 Noisy sports have particular requirements that cannot be easily met in an urban or urban fringe location. Sites in proximity to existing noise generating uses could offer potential for noisy sports. There is however considerable interest in developing facilities for these activities in rural locations. These sports include motor cycling (all types), carting, and other motor sports, model flying and boating, jet and water skiing, power boating, microlight flying, clay pigeon shooting and war (including paintball) games. The Local Plan Policy OS2 provides for the control of recreation and leisure development in the countryside. When considering a planning application the Council will be concerned to ensure that any proposal complies fully with the criteria in the following policy:-

R6

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR SPORTS AND RECREATION ACTIVITIES OF A NOISY NATURE IN RURAL LOCATIONS PROVIDED:-

A)THE ACTIVITIES COULD NOT BE ADEQUATELY PROVIDED IN AN URBAN OR URBAN FRINGE LOCATION;

B) THERE WOULD BE NO ADVERSE EFFECTS ON RESIDENTIAL AMENITIES;

C) THE SIZE, SCALE, DESIGN AND APPEARANCE OF ANY BUILDINGS ARE IN KEEPING WITH THE CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY;

D) THERE WOULD BE NO LOSS OF AMENITIES THROUGH UNACCEPTABLE NOISE, SMELL, DUST OR OTHER FORMS OF POLLUTION;

E) LANDSCAPING AND OTHER DESIGN FEATURES ARE PROPOSED WHICH WOULD REDUCE NOISE EMISSION TO AN ACCEPTABLE LEVEL;

F) SATISFACTORY ACCESS AND PARKING IS PROVIDED;

F) SATISFACTORY ACCESS TO THE SPECIFIED ROAD NETWORK IS AVAILABLE.


Allotments

11.36 Allotments offer recreation opportunities for all adult age groups but generally it is the retired and elderly who participate in this unique source of recreation. Although the demand for allotments has declined over recent years, the pastime is still well supported in the Borough. The existing supply of allotments satisfies current demand and levels of use in Melton Mowbray have been consistently high over recent years. Allotments have a particular character and often constitute an important open space in built-up areas. In these circumstances Policy BE12 has been applied to protect particular sites. Elsewhere the following policy will apply:-

R7

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT ON ALLOTMENT LAND WITHIN THE TOWN AND VILLAGE ENVELOPES SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP PROVIDED:-

A) THE LAND IS LARGELY UNUSED AND THERE IS NO DEMAND FOR ITS USE OR;

B) AN ALTERNATIVE REPLACEMENT SITE OF A SIZE EQUAL

TO THAT CURRENTLY IN USE BY ALLOTMENT HOLDERS HAS BEEN PROVIDED IN THE LOCALITY.


Recreational Routes in the Countryside

11.37 Footpaths, cycleways and bridleways are important recreational resources which provide public access to the countryside. Adequate provision of these facilities helps to minimise conflict between agricultural and recreational use of the countryside. Although public footpaths and bridleways are the responsibility of the County Council as Highway Authority.

11.38 The Borough Council will support measures to improve the maintenance of existing paths and increase the provision of these facilities in the countryside.

Footpaths

11.39 Proposals for two new footpaths are contained in the Melton Mowbray and Asfordby Local Plan 1989 but have yet to be implemented. The Council will safeguard these footpath routes together with a further proposal for a link between Melton Mowbray and Brentingby along the River Eye.

R8

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD PREJUDICE THE PROVISION OF THE FOLLOWING FOOTPATH ROUTES SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP:-

A) THE ROUTE BETWEEN FOOTPATHS E13 AND H31 WEST OF EYE KETTLEBY MILL;

B) THE ROUTE ALONG THE RIVER WREAKE BETWEEN PLAY CLOSE AND ANKLE HILL;

C) THE ROUTE ALONG THE RIVER EYE BETWEEN MELTON MOWBRAY AND BRENTINGBY.

11.40 “The Viking Way” long distance regional footpath between Rutland Water and the Humber Bridge, which can be used by walkers, equestrians and cyclists, passes through the Parishes of Wymondham and Buckminster and along the border of the Parishes of Sproxton, Croxton Kerrial and Belvoir. In 1994 the Regional Sports Council launched a long distance route called “The Midshires Way” which is a north-south spine route through the centre of England from Derbyshire to Northamptonshire. This route includes part of the existing footpath called “The Leicestershire Round” which passes through the Parishes of Hoby with Rotherby, Gaddesby, Twyford and Thorpe and Somerby. The two routes are to be linked at Rutland Water.

11.41 The main long distance footpath in the Plan area is the “Jubilee Way” which extends north from Melton Mowbray via the Parishes of Scalford, Eaton and Belvoir to join the “Viking Way” in Lincolnshire. The Council supports the Countryside Commission suggestion that a new public right of way is created to link the “Jubilee Way” at Melton Mowbray to the “Leicestershire Round” in the vicinity of Burrough Hill. This would provide good pedestrian access from Melton Mowbray to the ancient Hill Fort and Country Park at Burrough Hill.

11.42 The Council will investigate the feasibility of creating a medium distance footpath route between Melton Mowbray and Burrough Hill in conjunction with the County Council.

Cycleways

11.43 Disused railways offer obvious potential for separate cycle way routes. There are remnants of the old Great Northern Line in the Plan area between Twyford and Bottesford. The length between Melton Mowbray and Scalford has been little affected by development or other operations. This part of the old line is predominantly straight and runs due north from Melton Country Park for a distance of approximately 3.8 kilometres to Scalford Station. The line runs through open countryside where it is embanked and forms a prominent feature of its valley setting. All the bridges along this section are intact except for the Scalford Road bridge at the northern end of the site. Ownership of the land is divided between British Rail, the Council and a number of private individuals.

11.44 In August,1992 the County Council published the Derelict Land Strategy and Action Programme within which it is stated that the County Council will negotiate with owners of the former railway line between Scalford Station and Melton Mowbray with a view to acquisition for use as a linear recreational route. The County Council considers that use of the route could be maximised as a shared cycle way and footpath thereby encouraging the use of adjoining footpaths and bridleways and provision of picnic/parking areas. As part of a scheme additional investment will be directed towards developing the natural history of the track side vegetation. The Council will investigate the possibility of linking the cycleway to an urban cycle route into the Melton Mowbray town centre and will encourage negotiations for the development of the facility and its extension northward into the Vale of Belvoir as opportunities arise.

11.45 In the County Council’s policy document “Countryside 2000-Planning for Change in the Leicestershire Countryside” it is stated that “Further medium distance recreation routes will be developed where appropriate together with local paths based on settlements” (Policy AC8). There may be scope for creating new footpaths and bridleways in the Plan area, for example along and in the vicinity of the Grantham Canal. The full length of the canal towpath has recently been formally opened as a medium distance footpath and a promotion leaflet produced jointly by British Waterways and the local planning authorities through which the canal passes.

11.46 The Council will investigate the provision of other facilities in consultation with other relevant agencies and seek to improve the provision of new footpaths, cycle routes and bridleways within the Plan area.

R9

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH COULD PREJUDICE THE PROPOSED RECREATIONAL CYCLEWAY BETWEEN MELTON MOWBRAY AND SCALFORD AS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP UNLESS PROVISION IS MADE FOR A SATISFACTORY ALTERNATIVE ROUTE.

11.47 The Council will have regard to the above policy when consulted by the County Council in connection with applications regarding mineral or waste disposal along the route.

11.48 There are several disused railway track-beds in Melton Borough. Railway track-beds can have an important part to play in offering recreational opportunities in the town, villages and the countryside, and they are also increasingly recognised for their nature conservation value. Former track-beds can be used for walking, cycling and horse riding, thereby providing safer alternatives to urban and rural roads and improving access to the countryside. Parts of the Jubilee Way, for example, use the former Nottingham to Melton line.

11.49 Proposals for redeveloping goods yards or station sites should also take account of the need to protect the recreation potential of disused railway tracks.

R10

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH COULD PREJUDICE THE FUTURE USE OF DISUSED RAILWAY TRACKS FOR WALKING, CYCLING OR HORSE RIDING UNLESS AN ALTERNATIVE ROUTE OF EQUAL OR GREATER CONVENIENCE COMPARED WITH THE ORIGINAL ROUTE IS TO BE PROVIDED.


Bridle-ways

11.50 Horse riding is a pastime which is increasing in popularity and the attractive countryside in the Melton area provides an ideal environment for this activity. As a consequence there has been a significant increase in the number of new riding stables and equestrian establishments over the past 20 years.

11.51 There are however, fewer bridle-ways in the Borough than footpaths. Because of the need for wider corridors than footpaths and the effect that horses can have on the ground’s surface, the provision of new bridle-ways is likely to be limited.

Grantham Canal

11.52 The Grantham Canal extends over a distance of some 53 kms. (33 miles) between Grantham and the River Trent at Nottingham and cuts through some of the most attractive countryside in the Borough. The canal towpath is used for walking and small stretches of water for canoeing. There is opportunity for more intensive use of the canal and its environs both for limited water sports and walking. The Council will therefore resist any development proposals which would prejudice the recreation potential of the canal and its eventual restoration to navigable use. Every precaution will be taken to ensure that any development does not conflict with the general amenity and particularly the nature conservation value of the canal.

R11

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR CANAL BASED AND ASSOCIATED RURAL RECREATION FACILITIES ALONG THE GRANTHAM CANAL PROVIDED A PROPOSAL DOES NOT PREJUDICE THE NATURE CONSERVATION VALUE OF THE CANAL OR ITS EVENTUAL RESTORATION AS A NAVIGABLE WATERWAY.


Tourist Caravan and Camping Sites

11.53 The LSP acknowledges pressures for tourist camping and caravan sites within the County. The Council recognises the possible conflict between the use of land for these purposes and agriculture. Particular consideration will therefore be given to the size and scale of any proposal and its effects on the locality, especially in particularly attractive areas of open countryside. The following Policy will be applied:-

R12

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR TOURIST CARAVAN AND CAMPING SITES OUTSIDE THE TOWN AND VILLAGE ENVELOPES SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP PROVIDED:-

A) THERE WOULD BE NO ADVERSE EFFECTS ON THE APPEARANCE OR CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY;

B) THERE WOULD BE NO LOSS OF AMENITIES THROUGH UNACCEPTABLE NOISE, SMELL, DUST OR OTHER FORMS OF POLLUTION;

C) THE SIZE, SCALE, DESIGN AND APPEARANCE OF ANY NEW BUILDINGS ARE IN KEEPING WITH THE CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY;

D) A SATISFACTORY LANDSCAPING SCHEME IS SUBMITTED;

D) SATISFACTORY ACCESS TO THE SITE AND THE SPECIFIED ROAD NETWORK IS AVAILABLE.


Tourism

11.54 The Borough has a wide variety of attractions to offer the visitor, not least its wide stretches of unspoilt countryside, quiet lanes and villages of character which contain historic churches and houses, public houses and local tourism ventures. Carefully controlled increases in tourism activity can provide substantial economic benefits to the Borough and improve local employment prospects. There is a need however to ensure that any adverse effects caused by large numbers of visitors on the fragile rural environment are minimised through a combination of thoughtful tourism promotion and planning policies. The Council has a positive role to play in the encouragement of tourist attractions which will benefit visitor and local resident alike. The following policy will therefore apply:-

TM1

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR THE EXTENSION, INTENSIFICATION OR REFURBISHMENT OF ESTABLISHED TOURIST ATTRACTIONS PROVIDED:-

A) THERE WOULD BE NO ADVERSE EFFECTS ON THE APPEARANCE OR CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY AND EXISTING NATURAL FEATURES WITHIN THE SITE WOULD BE RETAINED;

B) THE SIZE, SCALE, DESIGN AND APPEARANCE OF ANY BUILDINGS ARE IN KEEPING WITH THE CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY;

C) THERE WOULD BE NO ADVERSE EFFECTS ON RESIDENTIAL AMENITIES;

D) SATISFACTORY ACCESS AND PARKING IS PROVIDED;

E) SATISFACTORY ACCESS TO THE SPECIFIED ROAD NETWORK IS AVAILABLE.

11.55 The Council is concerned to ensure that tourism does not lead to new development which is inappropriate in the open countryside. Proposals should therefore be sited within existing settlements or, if in the open countryside, comprise the re-use of suitable rural buildings. Policy C6 covers the conversion of rural buildings for other uses.

TM2

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED TO REUSE AND ADAPT A RURAL BUILDING FOR APPROPRIATE TOURIST USES INCLUDING FARM PARKS, RIDING SCHOOLS, EQUESTRIAN PURSUITS, CONFERENCE CENTRES, GUEST HOUSES, RESTAURANTS, AND HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION PROVIDED THAT:

A) THE BUILDING IS OF SUBSTANTIAL, SOUND AND PERMANENT CONSTRUCTION AND IF IT IS IN THE OPEN COUNTRYSIDE, IS PROPOSED FOR REUSE AND ADAPTATION WITHOUT MAJOR OR COMPLETE RECONSTRUCTION;

B) THE FORM, BULK AND GENERAL DESIGN OF THE BUILDINGIS IN KEEPING WITH ITS SURROUNDINGS;

C) ANY CONVERSION WORK RESPECTS LOCAL BUILDING STYLES AND MATERIALS;

D) THE TRAFFIC TO BE GENERATED BY THE NEW USE CAN BE SAFELY ACCOMMODATED BY THE SITE ACCESS AND THE LOCAL ROAD SYSTEM;

E) THE PROPOSED USE WILL NOT HARM THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT THROUGH THE CREATION OF NOISE, DUST, SMOKE, FUMES, GRIT, VIBRATION OR ANY FORM OF WATER, SOIL OR AIR POLLUTION;

F) THERE IS SUFFICIENT ROOM IN THE CURTILAGE OF THE BUILDING TO PARK THE VEHICLES OF THOSE WHO WILL WORK OR VISIT THERE AND ALSO TO SERVICE ITS USE, ALL WITHOUT DETRIMENT TO THE VISUAL AMENITY OF THE COUNTRYSIDE;

G) NO COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL OR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY OR STORAGE OF RAW MATERIALS OR FINISHED GOODS IS TO TAKE PLACE OUTSIDE THE BUILDING;

H) NO NEW FENCES, WALLS OR OTHER STRUCTURES ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF THE BUILDING OR THE DEFINITION OF ITS CURTILAGE OR ANY SUB-DIVISION OF IT WILL BE ERECTED IF THEY WOULD HARM THE VISUAL AMENITY OF THE COUNTRYSIDE, AND IN THE CASE OF A CONVERSION TO HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION, A HOLIDAY OR SEASONAL OCCUPANCY CONDITION IS ATTACHED TO THE PLANNING PERMISSION.

11.56 There may be occasions when a legal agreement to restrict the use of the premises to holiday accommodation may also be appropriate. The Council will seek such an agreement if it is likely to serve a useful purpose in land use planning terms which cannot be controlled by appropriate planning conditions.

Hotels

11.57 The Borough is a pleasant rural area with a variety of local tourist attractions and is conveniently located in the region with good access to surrounding attractions. There are five hotels in Melton Mowbray and one in the nearby village of Stapleford. Throughout the Borough there are a number of guest houses and premises offering bed and breakfast accommodation.

11.58 The number of tourists visiting the Borough has increased steadily each year, according to evidence from the East Midlands Tourist Board. The Council anticipates a continuing flow of visitors throughout the Plan period and additional hotel accommodation could be required. Any application for a hotel will be considered in relation to its proximity to the Melton Mowbray town centre, ease of access to primary roads and in accordance with the following policy:-

TM3

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR HOTEL DEVELOPMENT WITHIN OR ON THE PERIPHERY OF MELTON MOWBRAY PROVIDED:-

A) THE SIZE, SCALE, DESIGN AND APPEARANCE OF ANY BUILDINGS ARE IN KEEPING WITH THE CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY;

B) THERE WOULD BE NO ADVERSE EFFECTS ON THE APPEARANCE OR CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY;

C) THERE WOULD BE NO ADVERSE EFFECTS ON RESIDENTIAL AMENITIES;

D) SATISFACTORY ACCESS AND PARKING IS PROVIDED;

E) SATISFACTORY ACCESS TO THE SPECIFIED ROAD NETWORK IS AVAILABLE;

F) A SATISFACTORY LANDSCAPING SCHEME IS SUBMITTED.

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