9. Sport & Recreation

9.1.

Introduction

The important contribution that sport and recreation, as well as community facilities, can make in improving people’s quality of life is now widely accepted. Participation in sport and recreation can improve the health and well-being of an individual, whilst sports clubs and community facilities can improve social interaction and provide a sense of community pride.

9.2.

The provision of a wide choice of good facilities is also important for the economy. An attractive area with a choice of recreational facilities is appealing for prospective employers and their employees.

9.3.

It is the Council’s vision that, by 2020, Thanet will have a wide selection of facilities for sport and recreation. This would be achieved by working together in partnership with the private sector together with funding from the Lottery Commission.

9.4.

The Council’s commitment to improving facilities in the area has already started with the identification of current deficiencies in sport facilities through the Sports Strategy. This strategy will be assisted by the private sector. With the increase in employment (with more disposable income in the District) the private sector would have the confidence to invest in additional facilities.

9.5.

The provision of new facilities may also bring a diverse range of sports and recreation into the area, making Thanet even more attractive as a location to live for new residents. This diversity would be complemented by the Coastal Park concept that which would manage the use of Thanet’s coast and
successfully accommodate the many opportunities for ‘watersports’ in this District.

9.6.

Other forms of recreation, such as restaurants and cafes, would also become important with the change of emphasis in the use of the town centres.

9.7.

To achieve this vision it is important to provide and safeguard good facilities for a wide range of activities that will provide opportunity and choice. Some sports and recreational activities require extensive areas of land to meet their needs. Such land, especially in urban areas, is particularly at risk from development pressures. The land-use based planning system therefore has a crucial role to play in securing the following objectives.

OBJECTIVES

  1. TO ENCOURAGE THE PROVISION OF A RANGE OF ACCESSIBLE, QUALITY FACILITIES FOR SPORT AND RECREATION TO SERVE THE NEEDS OF RESIDENTS AND VISITORS
  2. TO SAFEGUARD PUBLIC AND PRIVATE OPEN SPACE AND OTHER LAND OF RECREATIONAL, CONSERVATION, WILDLIFE, AMENITY OR HISTORIC VALUE
  3. TO SECURE THE PROPER AND TIMELY PROVISION OF OPEN SPACE TO SERVE THE NEEDS GENERATED BY NEW DEVELOPMENT SUCH THAT THERE IS NO PUBLIC EXPENSE
  4. TO IDENTIFY EXISTING DEFICIENCIES IN PROVISION AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEW OPEN SPACE AND TO ESTABLISH A POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR RESOLVING CONFLICT BETWEEN RECREATIONAL USES
9.8.

Policy Background

Government advice in Planning Policy Note 17 (PPG17) encourages theprovision of a wider range of opportunities for such activities for both spectators and participants over the entire age spectrum. It also suggests that such opportunities should, wherever possible, be available for everyone, including the elderly and those with disabilities.

9.9.

Government advice in PPG17 encourages social inclusion and community cohesion with access to open space, sport and recreation being a major theme throughout.

9.10.

Sport England also produced ‘Planning policies for sport, a land use planning policy statement on behalf of sport’ in 1999, which echoes the objectives in PPG17.

9.11.

Thanet District Council produced a Sports Strategy for Thanet, 1999-2002, which has the overall objective “…to meet the sporting and recreational needs of the people of Thanet”. The Strategy is in line with National Government commitment to fighting social exclusion and encouraging a healthier lifestyle. This document also identifies the changing role of the local authority, from a primary provider, to a role that acts as a facilitator and co-ordinator.

9.12.

General Policies

Car ownership is comparatively low in Thanet but is growing in real terms in line with national trends. Although this increasing mobility produced by widespread car ownership permits and encourages people to travel much further afield for their recreation, demand for facilities should as far as possible be met within Thanet, particularly in its urban areas which contain approximately 95% of the District population.

9.13.

Adequacy of Existing Provision

The amount of land thought to be necessary for open-space purposes is six acres per thousand population, a standard first proposed by the National Playing Fields Association in 1925. The population profile of an area is clearly a vital component of any calculation of demand for open space.

9.14.

In addition, there have been changes in the type and popularity of sporting activities since the standards were devised. A number of factors have changed the needs of the community of Thanet in sporting terms. These have included an increased emphasis placed on a healthy lifestyle, on provision by the private sector and on the expectation for the quality of provision provided.

9.15.

Nevertheless, some general comments can be made about sports facilities in Thanet. The economic and social conditions of the past have been reflected in the standard of sports facilities in Thanet. The Sports Strategy for Thanet indicates that the Thanet community has been left with an outdated range of sporting and recreational facilities. Although some facilities date back to the 1970s, some were updated through the 1980s.

9.16.

In July 2000 a new sports centre in Ramsgate opened and this centre will provide core community facilities for Ramsgate. It comprises a sports hall (equivalent in size to six badminton courts), a health suite, aerobic and dance studio, conditioning suite and social facilities. It was jointly funded by Thanet District Council, Kent County Council, SRB and Sports Lottery Fund and is an indication of how the Council will expect schemes to be implemented in the future.

9.17.

Sports provision in Thanet's schools does not generally compare well with other areas. Most primary schools have a small gymnasium/hall with limited equipment. Most of the state secondary schools have indoor facilities in the form of old-fashioned gymnasiums and school halls. Outdoor facilities are better, but some schools, for example, Clarendon House Grammar School, have little on-site provision, and pupils are forced to travel. Currently more sports halls are now being provided at Thanet secondary schools through basic needs projects being undertaken by Kent County Council.

9.18.

Outdoor pitches for public use are in great demand. The loss of formal active open space is to be resisted through Policy SR 10.

9.19.

Mixed usage of grass pitches is not possible in some cases, for example, cricket and football. The condition of such pitches declines with overuse, particularly in bad weather. Standards in most sports would increase with better provision. The Regional Sports Council has highlighted the need for a multi-use pitch in Thanet.

9.20.

The Sports Strategy for Thanet identifies key locations for its facilities strategy: the new Ramsgate Sports Centre & old swimming pool, Hartsdown Park Leisure complex in Margate, the Jackey Baker’s/EuroKent (Rose Farm) proposals and Minster Sports Hall.

9.21.

A high proportion of Thanet's residents are elderly and/or suffer illness-limiting mobility. The District Council is keen to ensure that recreational facilities are accessible and suitable for use by as wide a section of the population as possible.

Provision of New Facilities

POLICY SR1 - NEW FACILITIES

PROPOSALS FOR THE PROVISION OF NEW RECREATION AND SPORTS FACILITIES INCLUDING THOSE PROVIDED BY CLUBS OR SCHOOLS, PARTICULARLY WHERE THESE PROPOSALS ARE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC (INCLUDING PEOPLE WITH LIMITED ENERGY/MOVEMENT), AND WHICH REMEDY IDENTIFIED DEFICIENCIES IN EXISTING FACILITIES WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED:

  1. THE LOCATION OF THE PROPOSAL IS WITHIN OR ADJOINING THE URBAN AREAS;
  2. THE INTENDED USE IS COMPATIBLE WITH SURROUNDING LAND USES AND WITH CURRENT PLANNING POLICY;
  3. THE FACILITIES ARE WELL RELATED TO THE MAJOR TRANSPORTATION NETWORK, AND THAT THE USE IS IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT;
  4. ANY BUILT DEVELOPMENT IS ANCILLARY TO THE OUTDOOR USE, AND THE SCALE, DESIGN, SITING AND MATERIALS ARE SYMPATHETIC TO THE CHARACTER OF THE AREA;

AND

  1. SATISFACTORY ARRANGEMENTS ARE MADE FOR VEHICULAR ACCESS AND PARKING, AND ACCESS BY PEDESTRIANS AND THE DISABLED.
9.22.

Jackey Baker’s Sports Ground

The District Council considers that it is in the interests of sport in the District to promote a central site for sport and recreation purposes, which would permit the concentration of resources on one site, and the development of a sporting "centre of excellence". Sports development may in some cases mean built sports facilities (gymnasium, stadia etc). It is acknowledged that such adevelopment could result in the loss of open playing space. The Council considers that such a loss should be balanced against the benefits such a new facility would bring to the District. Outline planning permission has been granted for a sports facility as part of the EuroKent Business Park proposal.

9.23.

Any new sports development may be supported by a limited development of D2 (leisure facilities) or A3 (restaurants) uses to subsidise the sporting use and ensure it is viable. Any such proposal will need to be subject to a full justification being made when any application is submitted and will be judged against the amount of land retained for open sporting purposes.

9.24.

The Jackey Baker’s Sports Ground provides the best opportunity to both enhance existing facilities, and in the longer term, to increase the level of facilities for which there is adjoining undeveloped land as identified on the proposals map. As part of the existing sports land has been allocated for business uses in connection with the EuroKent Business Park, this identified undeveloped land is especially important to compensate for this loss. The following Policy will therefore apply.

POLICY SR2 - JACKEY BAKER’S

  1. JACKEY BAKERS SPORTS GROUND WILL BE PROMOTED AS THE LONG-TERM PRIMARY SPORTS VENUE FOR THANET. WHERE FULLY JUSTIFIED, THE COUNCIL WILL PERMIT ANCILLARY DEVELOPMENT TO SUBSIDISE THE SPORTS USE.
  2. LAND HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED TO THE NORTH OF THE EXISTING SITE FOR SPORT AND RECREATION PURPOSES.
9.25.

Maximising Use of Facilities

Few sports or recreational activities are subjected to maximum use compatible with their nature. The underuse of facilities wastes resources whereas fuller use can reduce the amount of land and buildings required to meet needs. The District Council wishes to encourage the joint use of facilities. The following policy addresses all sports facilities, including private clubs and schools, for use by the community.

POLICY SR3 - MAXIMISING USE OF FACILITIES

PROPOSALS FOR THE MULTIPLE USE OF EXISTING FACILITIES AND NEW DEVELOPMENT WHICH WILL CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR RECREATIONAL USE BY THE PUBLIC ADDITIONAL TO THE EXISTING USE OF THE FACILITIES WILL BE PERMITTED.

9.26.

Recreation Provision in New Housing Development

New housing developments give rise to new recreation and leisure needs. Without new provision, extra pressures will be put upon existing facilities and this will have a negative impact on the quality of life in the area. The Council believes that it is right and proper that, as a general rule, such needs are met by the development with no cost to the public purse. Government guidance also recognises that it is legitimate to use planning obligations to secure the provision of public open space and sporting facilities. 

9.27.

The Council will consider three areas in which the developer will have to consider provision of recreation: outdoor sports facilities, play and amenity areas. The following policies aim to ensure that safe and conveniently located provision will be made to accommodate demand generated by proposals for housing development.

9.28.

Outdoor Sports Facilities

Outdoor sports facilities, include pitches, greens, courts, athletics tracks and miscellaneous sites such as croquet lawns and training areas. This includes facilities owned by the local authority, education authorities or facilities within the voluntary, private or commercial sectors that serve the outdoor leisure needs for their members or the public.

9.29.

Such outdoor facilities for both youth and adult use are at a premium in the District. However, with the exception of the proposed housing at Westwood, there are limited opportunities in this District for large-scale housing developments that could provide open sports facilities within the actual site.

9.30.

It is envisaged, therefore, that for most developments, it will not be practical to provide land for outdoor sports facilities on the site. In such cases the Council will seek commuted payments from developers for the provision of new facilities or the upgrade or renewal of existing facilities. The amount expected will be based on the current costs of provision and maintenance at the time of the application and will follow the guidance set out in the Government’s document, Assessing the Needs and Opportunities: A Companion Guide to PPG17. The Council produced the Thanet Sports Strategy 1999 – 2000 (which is currently being reviewed) that identifies deficiencies in sports facilities in the District. The Council will be guided by this publication as to where to direct funds.

9.31.

However, the exact type and amount of provision will depend upon the size of the development and facilities provided in the vicinity. Contributions to school facilities, which allow their use outside school times, will also be considered.

POLICY SR4 - PROVISION OF NEW SPORTS FACILITIES

FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT WHICH IN ITS COMPLETED FORM WOULD AMOUNT TO MORE THAN TEN RESIDENTIAL UNITS OR IS CONSIDERED LIKELY TO FORM PART OF A FUTURE DEVELOPMENT CUMULATIVELY TOTALLING MORE THAN TEN RESIDENTIAL UNITS, THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL SEEK A FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION FOR THE PROVISION OF SPORTS LAND AND FACILITIES TOGETHER WITH A COMMUTED PAYMENT FOR CONTINUOUS MAINTENANCE. WHERE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT TAKES PLACE WITHIN THE VICINITY OF EXISTING SPORTS FACILITIES, A FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION FOR THEIR UPGRADE OR RENEWAL AND CONTINUED MAINTENANCE WILL BE SOUGHT.

9.32.

Play Areas

The District Council intends to ensure that adequately equipped and casual children's playspace is safely and conveniently available to all new residential developments of a size and type likely to generate demand for it. The location of facilities should, however, take into account the potential impact of noise and other disturbance on neighbouring properties. In conjunction with play space for younger children, facilities for teenagers should also be considered. These facilities are more informal in design and are considered to be a good crime prevention measure. Good facilities will contribute to the quality of life in the District and help social interaction.

9.33.

Because the District Council's resources are fully utilised in maintaining existing play areas, the Council will expect the developer to provide, or contribute to, play areas to meet the needs likely to be generated by the development.

9.34.

The Council is of the view that the cumulative impact of smaller housing developments can also put pressure upon existing play facilities. With the drive to provide more housing units on brownfield land in urban areas, whether it is new build or conversion, ‘smaller’ sites are more likely to be developed. This situation will ultimately lead to higher local population and put pressure on existing play facilities. To keep a good quality of life, it is therefore proposed that for residential developments of ten to forty-nine units, a financial contribution for the provision, maintenance and upgrade of existing facilities will be required. The exact contribution will be negotiated, as part of a legal agreement, and will be dependent on the level and standard of provision of play facilities within the immediate locality.

9.35.

Where a commuted sum is considered necessary for the provision, upgrade and maintenance of play facilities’ it will be determined on the current costs to do this per new family home. On sites of between ten to forty-nine units the Council will require a commuted payment to accommodate the additional costs generated for play area maintenance and upgrading in perpetuity. In considering an appropriate sum, the Council will assume a rate of one child per family home (see note below) and will require a sum to generate a return sufficient to cover the annual cost per child for each family unit, taking into account inflation and increased costs at the appropriate time.

9.36.

On sites of more than 50 residential units, it is for the developer to consider how play area provision will be accommodated, but the District Council will have regard to the safety, convenience and security of arrangements proposed, in particular:

  1. accessibility in terms of highway safety and proximity to dwellings served
  2. security of children using play areas (including whether the site and access to it is overlooked by dwellings) 

and

  1. convenience of siting in relation to noise sensitive development (e.g. dwelling units designed for, or particularly suited to, occupation by the elderly).
9.37.

Provision therefore needs to be carefully considered at the design stage, and indicated clearly on submitted drawings. For clarity it should be noted that it is not the District Council's intention to seek playspace in relation to specialised accommodation for the elderly, particularly sheltered housing, or any element of a development that is related to such specialised accommodation. However, where applicable (Policy SR6), private amenity area provision will still be expected in such developments.

9.38.

The District Council considers that adequate "doorstep" playspace should be available for young children. Additionally the Council considers that it is practical and desirable that in developments of fifty or more residential units provision should be made for play areas. Requirements for payment and contributions to play spaces, sports facilities and amenity areas will be negotiated on the basis of local standards based on an audit of need, provision and deficiency.

POLICY SR5 - PLAYSPACE

  1. DOORSTEP PLAYSPACE

    NEW FAMILY DWELLINGS WILL BE EXPECTED TO INCORPORATE GARDEN SPACE IN ORDER TO PROVIDE A SAFE "DOORSTEP"* PLAY AREA FOR YOUNG CHILDREN.

  2. LOCAL PLAY SPACE

    WHERE A DEVELOPMENT IS PROPOSED, WHICH IN ITS COMPLETED FORM WOULD AMOUNT TO TEN TO FORTY-NINE RESIDENTIAL UNITS OR IS CONSIDERED LIKELY TO FORM PART OF A FUTURE DEVELOPMENT CUMULATIVELY TOTALLING TEN TO FORTY-NINERESIDENTIAL UNITS, THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL EXPECT A COMMUTED PAYMENT TO BE MADE FOR THE PROVISION, MAINTENANCE AND UPGRADE OF PLAY FACILITIES AS SPECIFIED ABOVE.

    WHERE DEVELOPMENT IS PROPOSED, WHICH IN ITS COMPLETED FORM WOULD AMOUNT TO FIFTY OR MORE RESIDENTIAL UNITS, OR IS CONSIDERED LIKELY TO FORM PART OF A FUTURE DEVELOPMENT CUMULATIVELY TOTALLING FIFTY OR MORE RESIDENTIAL UNITS, THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL REQUIRE THE DEVELOPMENT TO INCORPORATE LOCAL PLAY AREA PROVISION ON THE BASIS OF 0.7 HECTARES PER 1000 POPULATION**. SUCH PROVISION WILL BE EXPECTED TO COMPRISE APPROXIMATELY 36% EQUIPPED PLAY AREA AND APPROXIMATELY 64% CASUAL/INFORMAL PLAYSPACE.

    IN CONSIDERING THE SUITABILITY OF PROVISION, THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL REQUIRE THAT LOCAL PLAY AREA PROVISION IS AVAILABLE WITHIN A MAXIMUM SAFE WALKING DISTANCE OF 200 METRES FROM ANY DWELLING INCORPORATING ONE OR MORE CHILD BEDSPACE WITHIN THE DEVELOPMENT.

    THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL REQUIRE LOCAL PLAYSPACE PROVISION TO BE AVAILABLE FOR USE AS SUCH PRIOR TO OCCUPATION OF THE FIRST DWELLING.

    RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAINTENANCE AND MANAGEMENT OF LOCAL PLAY AREAS SHALL BE VESTED IN A SPECIFIED INDIVIDUAL OR, SUBJECT TO A COMMUTED PAYMENT TO MEET SUCH COSTS, IN THE DISTRICT COUNCIL. THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL USUALLY SEEK TO SECURE SUCH ARRANGEMENTS BY MEANS OF A PLANNING AGREEMENT.

    IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE THE DISTRICT COUNCIL AGREES THAT IT WOULD BE IMPRACTICAL TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE AND SUITABLY LOCATED PLAYSPACE AS PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT, THEN COMMUTED PAYMENT MAY INSTEAD BE ACCEPTABLE TO OFFSET THE COSTS RESULTING FROM THE ADDITIONAL USE AND NEED FOR INCREASED MAINTENANCE AND PLAY EQUIPMENT AT SUITABLY LOCATED EXISTING PLAYSPACES.

Operational Notes:

9.39.

Doorstep Play Areas:
* Doorstep playspace is defined as playspace for young children which is immediately adjacent to, closely visible and safely accessible from the dwellings served.

9.40.

Local Play Areas:
** For the purposes of applying the area standards for local play space provision, the District Council will assume an occupancy rate of 2.5 persons per dwelling, except where the individual circumstances of the application clearly indicate that such assumption would be inappropriate.

9.41.

For the purposes of the policy, dwellings having two or more bedrooms will be assumed capable of accommodating at least one adult and one child and will be regarded as family dwellings unless particular circumstances indicate otherwise.

9.42.

Amenity Areas

Amenity areas comprise open space within residential areas, which can provide an attractive landscaped feature, act as a resting/sitting area and informal meeting place, as well as a visual amenity and break in the built environment. If well designed and well managed, these can add to the attractiveness of new housing development (which may be reflected in sale price). Amenity areas may also have value in providing/perpetuating a local wildlife habitat, particularly where existing trees and semi-natural habitats can be retained and incorporated as part of the amenity feature. Accordingly, amenity area provision should be considered at the earliest stage of the design process.

9.43.

The District Council considers that in larger residential developments, amenity areas should be provided, and considers it reasonable to expect such provision in developments comprising twenty-five or more units. In smaller developments, the District Council may also expect separate amenity area provision where, for example, garden area layout offers insufficient open space and landscaping to relieve the continuity of built development. Amenity areas should be convenient, well designed and usable, including sitting areas, to meet the needs generated by the development. The size of the development will influence the amount of open space that should be provided, and this should be discussed with the District Council prior to submission of a planning application

(POLICY NOT SAVED) SR6 - AMENITY AREAS

THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL REQUIRE TO BE SATISFIED THAT A SUITABLY AND CONVENIENTLY LOCATED AREA OF USABLE AMENITY SPACE, ADEQUATE TO ACCOMMODATE THE DEMANDS FOR PASSIVE RECREATION GENERATED BY THE DEVELOPMENT, IS PROVIDED IN RESPECT OF ANY RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT:

  1. COMPRISING TWENTY-FIVE OR MORE RESIDENTIAL UNITS;

OR

  1. THE LAYOUT OF WHICH, INCLUDING GARDEN SPACE, DOES NOT OFFER SUFFICIENT SPACE TO RELIEVE THE CONTINUITY OF BUILT DEVELOPMENT. THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL EXPECT PROPER ARRANGEMENTS FOR MAINTENANCE AND MANAGEMENT, RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHICH SHALL BE VESTED IN A PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL OR, SUBJECT TO COMMUTED PAYMENT TO MEET SUCH COSTS, IN THE DISTRICT, TOWN OR PARISH COUNCIL. THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO SECURE SUCH ARRANGEMENTS BY ENTERING INTO A PLANNING AGREEMENT.

IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE THE DISTRICT COUNCIL AGREES THAT IT IS IMPRACTICAL OR UNREASONABLE TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE AND SUITABLY LOCATED AMENITY SPACE AS PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT, THEN COMMUTED PAYMENT MAY INSTEAD BE ACCEPTABLE TO OFFSET THE COSTS RESULTING FROM ADDITIONAL USE AND MAINTENANCE NEEDS AT EXISTING USABLE AMENITY SPACE SUITABLY LOCATED WITHIN THE VICINITY OF THE SITE. THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WOULD REQUIRE SUCH PAYMENTS TO BE SECURED BY ENTERING INTO A PLANNING AGREEMENT. 

Operational Note: 

9.44.

Amenity areas are expected to comprise usable amenity space and therefore non-usable features such as highway land and verges, and unusable landscape strips/areas of planting to screen development together with any playspace provision will not be considered for the purposes of this policy as contributing to amenity area provision. In designing amenity area provision, the needs of physically challenged persons should be taken into account.

9.45.

The Urban Fringe (including green wedges)

Local Planning Authorities are urged to consider the scope for encouraging recreational facilities and increased public access to open land at the urban fringe. Thanet's open agricultural landscape directly abuts dense housing areas.

9.46.

The Kent Countryside Strategy (KCC, 1990) indicates that priority should be given to tree planting on the urban fringes of Thanet, inter alia, to provide for informal recreation.

9.47.

Care will need to be exercised in identifying suitable areas for recreational uses to avoid locations where retention of the open landscape is important and agricultural considerations less strong.

POLICY SR7 - URBAN FRINGE

ON SITES ABUTTING THE EDGE OF THE BUILT-UP AREAS OF THE THANET TOWNS, APPROVAL WILL BE GIVEN TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF OPEN RECREATIONAL USES WHICH IMPROVE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC LEISURE AND ACCESS TO THE COUNTRYSIDE, PROVIDED THAT THE USE AND SITE PROPOSED ARE ACCEPTABLE IN TERMS OF THE FOLLOWING CONSIDERATIONS:

  1. IMPACT ON THE CHARACTER OF THE LANDSCAPE;
  2. THE AGRICULTURAL QUALITY OF THE LAND AND WHETHER THERE IS A SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE SITE ON LOWER QUALITY LAND;
  3. THE FUTURE OPERATIONS AND VIABILITY OF FARMING OPERATIONS;
  4. THE EFFECT ON NEIGHBOURING USES;
  5. ARCHAEOLOGICAL, NATURE CONSERVATION AND ECOLOGICAL INTERESTS;
  6. TRAFFIC GENERATION AND THE CAPACITY OF THE LOCAL ROAD NETWORK; AND
  7. THE SCALE, SITING, DESIGN AND LOCATION OF ANY BUILT DEVELOPMENT, WHICH MUST BE ANCILLARY TO THE DOMINANT OPEN USE AND ACCEPTABLE IN RESPECT OF (1) ABOVE.
9.48.

Countryside

The countryside is a popular destination for a large proportion of the population and is capable of meeting a variety of outdoor sporting and recreational needs. Some activities involve very little, if any, change in the character of the countryside, e.g. fishing, bird watching, walking.

9.49.

However, when uses become more intensive and highly organised there is often a demand for ancillary buildings, improvements to access arrangements for vehicles, car parking, fencing and advertisements. The ability of a particular area to respond to such demands without damage depends largely on its character. Some activities, such as war games, motor sports and clay pigeon shooting, can create noise and disturbance and these will normally be resisted unless the Council is satisfied that the issues raised above have been carefully considered within the immediate locality.

9.50.

Formal Countryside Recreation

The District Council has already focused attention on the urban fringe as the most suitable location for some recreational activities, including golf, which are likely to involve the greatest land take. In the countryside, some organised recreational uses require careful siting as they have the potential to result in significant impacts.

9.51.

Such uses include clay pigeon shooting, motorised sports and "executive games". The following Policy applies to formal recreation proposals in the countryside.

POLICY SR8 - FORMAL COUNTRYSIDE RECREATION

PROPOSALS FOR FORMAL RECREATION USES IN THE COUNTRYSIDE WILL BE DETERMINED HAVING REGARD TO:

  1. THE NATURE OF THE ACTIVITY AND ITS LIKELY IMPACT ON RURAL AMENITY THROUGH GENERAL DISTURBANCE, INCLUDING NOISE AND TRAFFIC GENERATION;
  2. THE EFFECT OF THE PROPOSAL ON THE CHARACTER, ENJOYMENT AND APPEARANCE OF THE COUNTRYSIDE AND ITS IMPACT ON LANDSCAPE, AGRICULTURE, NATURE CONSERVATION, NATURAL HISTORY AND OTHER INTERESTS; AND
  3. THE CAPACITY OF THE ROAD NETWORK TO SAFELY ACCOMMODATE THE TRAFFIC GENERATED AND THE ABILITY TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE FACILITY BY MEANS OTHER THAN THE CAR.

BUILT OR PRIMARILY INDOOR RECREATION FACILITIES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED IN THE COUNTRYSIDE UNLESS IT IS ANCILLARY TO AN ACCEPTABLE OUTDOOR RECREATION USE AND IS WELL DESIGNED, SMALL IN SCALE, AND UNOBTRUSIVELY SITED. 

9.52.

Informal Countryside Recreation

Informal countryside recreation is the most popular activity in Britain. Thanet is particularly poorly provided with rural open spaces accessible to the public. In the absence of local provision, pressures for informal recreation can lead to conflict with rural conservation and agriculture. This pressure can be reduced by the provision of areas for recreational uses. Farm diversification (see Chapter 11, Policy CC10) has a role to play in securing new provision. New provision of recreational facilities will first be discussed with DEFRA in respect of agricultural quality and with relevant nature conservation bodies to ensure that detrimental effects to the natural environment are minimised.

POLICY SR9 - INFORMAL COUNTRYSIDE RECREATION

IN RURAL AREAS AND AT THE COAST, FACILITIES FOR INFORMAL RECREATION, INCLUDING THE PROVISION, ENHANCEMENT AND PROMOTION OF COUNTRY PARKS, PICNIC SITES, FARM TRAILS, NATURE TRAILS, BIRDWATCHING FACILITIES AND SMALL PARKING AREAS GIVING ACCESS TO THE RIGHTS OF WAY NETWORK, WILL BE ENCOURAGED IN APPROPRIATE AREAS.

SUCH FACILITIES WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THERE IS NO OVERRIDING CONFLICT WITH ENVIRONMENTAL, AGRICULTURAL LAND QUALITY (GRADES 1, 2 AND 3A) OR TRANSPORTATION CONSIDERATIONS. THE RIGHT OF WAY AND BRIDLE PATH NETWORKS WILL BE PROTECTED AND ENHANCED, FOR RECREATIONAL AS WELL AS OTHER PURPOSES.

9.53.

Open Space Policies

Safeguarding Existing Public Open Space

Open space is a scarce commodity within the urban areas of the District. Once such areas are lost to development, it is very difficult to provide satisfactory replacements within the immediate vicinity. With higher densities expected for new developments in urban areas, open space or amenity areas will be vital for the quality of life. The importance of open space is highlighted in the document ‘Towards an Urban Renaissance’ that suggests that urban neighbourhoods need “…breathing space…”.

9.54.

Drawing on the latest Government Guidance, the Council will be carrying out an audit of open space in the District. This would identify both quantity and quality of open space as well as access details. The objective is to provide and maintain a network of open space and compare provision to national and local standards. Such a network of open space would be beneficial to the demands of wildlife as well as humans.

9.55.

Open land comprises public and private open space and other open land (not now used for recreation but which has amenity value). Such open spaces provide for a wide variety of activities from organised sport to simple relaxation and opportunities for walking.

9.56.

Sport England has indicated that participation in sport is at an all-time high across a diverse range of activities, generating demand for more and better places for sport. The demand for open space is likely to increase further if population forecasts are correct. Expectations for the provision of new facilities have also been raised by the availability of Lottery funding.

9.57.

The District Council recognises that development pressures may arise in respect of open spaces within its urban areas, the green wedges that relieve the monotony of an otherwise continuously built-up area, and Thanet's high quality farmland. The Council's policy is to resist such pressure.

POLICY SR10 - PUBLIC OPEN SPACE

DEVELOPMENT WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED ON PUBLIC OPEN SPACE IN VERY EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND ONLY IF:

  1. THE PROPOSED USE IS OF A TEMPORARY OR SEASONAL NATURE AND CANNOT BE ACCOMMODATED ELSEWHERE WITHOUT CONFLICT WITH CONSERVATION OR OTHER DEVELOPMENT PLAN POLICIES; AND THE PROPOSED USE IS ACCEPTABLE IN TERMS OF ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH NEIGHBOURING LAND USES AND BUILDINGS; AND HIGHWAY ARRANGEMENTS ARE SATISFACTORY; AND THE LAND IS SUBSEQUENTLY REINSTATED AS PUBLIC OPEN SPACE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TEMPORARY OR SEASONAL USE HAS CEASED; OR 
  2. THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIAL IN CONNECTION WITH OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL OR SPORTING ACTIVITIES WHICH REQUIRE CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE SEA OR BEACH AND ARE THEMSELVES ACCEPTABLE IN TERMS OF PLANNING POLICY FOR THE COAST AND ARE SMALL IN SCALE, SITED AND DESIGNED TO MINIMISE LOCAL IMPACT; OR
  3. THE PROPOSAL REQUIRES ONLY THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SMALL PART OF AN AREA OF PUBLIC OPEN SPACE FOR THE PURPOSE OF IMPROVING PUBLIC SPORTS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES AND THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT DOES NOT CONFLICT WITH OTHER DEVELOPMENT PLAN POLICIES; OR
  4. PROVISION IS MADE, BEFORE PERMISSION IS GRANTED FOR ANY DEVELOPMENT ON ANY PUBLIC OPEN SPACE, FOR ITS REPLACEMENT IN A SUITABLE LOCATION BY AN ALTERNATIVE PUBLIC OPEN SPACE, OF AT LEAST EQUAL RECREATIONAL, COMMUNITY AND AMENITY VALUE.
9.58.

Private Open Space

It is important that private open space is not lost to built uses without good cause. This is particularly true where such green space serves a strategic role as part of the area's Green Wedges and Green Grid, provides active recreational space or makes a significant contribution to the amenity or character of the area because it is undeveloped.

POLICY SR11 - PRIVATE OPEN SPACE

DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED ON UNDEVELOPED PRIVATE OPEN SPACE OR A GAP IN THE SETTLEMENT PATTERN, IF THE SITE:

  1. PROVIDES ACTIVE RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES, THE LOSS OF WHICH WOULD PUT ADDITIONAL PRESSURE ON REMAINING RECREATIONAL AREAS; OR
  2. MEETS A DEFICIENCY IN RECREATIONAL FACILITIES; OR
  3. HAS INTRINSICALLY BENEFICIAL QUALITIES AND MAKES A CONTRIBUTION TO THE CHARACTER OF THE AREA EITHER IN ITSELF OR BY VIRTUE OF THE LONGER DISTANCE VIEWS IT AFFORDS;

UNLESS ADEQUATE PROVISION HAS PREVIOUSLY BEEN MADE IN A SUITABLE LOCATION FOR REPLACEMENT OPEN SPACE, OF AT LEAST EQUAL RECREATIONAL, COMMUNITY AND AMENITY VALUE.

9.59.

Playing Fields

The Governments concern about the continued loss of playing fields to development has culminated in the publication of ‘The Town and Country (Playing Fields) Direction 1998. The Direction applies to any proposal for development of any playing field owned by a local authority or used by an educational institution, as specified in the Direction. The definition of a ‘playing field’ used by the Direction means “…the whole of a site which encompasses at least one playing pitch…”. As a result Sport England is now consulted on all applications for development which involve playing fields that are, or were in the last five years, in use.

9.60.

Sport England have set out Planning Policies for Sport in their November 1999 land use planning policy statement, on behalf of sport, (Para 65 of Sport England’s document) on this subject.

9.61.

The following Policy addresses planning proposals for the development of playing fields.

POLICY SR12 - PLAYING FIELDS

BUILT DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED ON PLAYING FIELDS IF IT WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHARACTER OF THE AREA.

MOREOVER, NO DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED ON LAND LAST USED AS A PLAYING FIELD - SUBJECT ONLY TO THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTIONS:

  1. IF IT IS DEMONSTRATED THAT THERE IS AN EXCESS OF PLAYING FIELD PROVISON IN THE AREA, FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE USES OF BOTH THE SCHOOL AND THE COMMUNITY;
  2. IF THE PROPOSED USE IS ANCILLARY TO THE PRIMARY USE AS A PLAYING FIELD AND DOES NOT AFFECT THE QUANTITY OR QUALITY OF PITCHES OR ADVERSELY AFFECT THEIR USE;
  3. IF THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IS ON LAND INCAPABLE OFFORMING A PITCH OR PART OF A PITCH AND DOES NOT RESULT IN THE LOSS OF, OR INABILITY TO MAKE USE OF, A PITCH;
  4. IF THE PLAYING FIELD OR FIELDS THAT WOULD BE LOST AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT WOULD BE REPLACED, PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE DEVELOPMENT, BY A PLAYING FIELD OR FIELDS OF A SIMILAR OR BETTER QUALITY IN A SUITABLE LOCATION AND SUBJECT TO EQUIVALENT OR BETTER MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS;
  5. IF THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IS FOR AN INDOOR OR OUTDOOR SPORTS FACILITY, THE PROVISION OF WHICH WOULD BE OF SUFFICIENT BENEFIT TO SPORT AND RECREATION AS TO OUTWEIGH THE DETRIMENT CAUSED BY THE LOSS OF THE
    PLAYING FIELD OF PLAYING FIELDS. 
9.62.

Allotment Gardens

Allotment gardening provides both leisure and social activities, a source of fresh food production and contributes to the Green Grid. The District Council is responsible for the management of the majority of allotments. Demand for allotments rises and falls, and is monitored by the District Council but in recent years, this has been low. Sites have also been criticised for poor security and facilities. Whilst measures have been made to curtail vandalism and improve services, these have had only limited effect.

9.63.

Some allowance for fluctuations in demand needs to be made. Clearly, once a site is developed, it is extremely difficult to find a replacement site to Serve local needs. However, the Council has agreed to develop part of the Manston Road site and the proceeds from the sale of the land will then be reinvested in upgrading facilities at the remaining sites. However, for the remaining sites, only in cases of a substantial and persistent decline in demand for plots would the Council investigate alternative uses for surplus allotments. The Council will review any need for more allotments.

POLICY SR13 - ALLOTMENTS

THE DEVELOPMENT OF ALLOTMENTS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED. IN CONSIDERING DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS, THE FOLLOWING CONSIDERATIONS WILL BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT:

  1. THE NATURE OF THE PROPOSED USE, ITS LIKELY IMPACT ON THE AREA, AND THE AVAILABILITY OF ALTERNATIVE SITES;
  2. THE DEMAND FOR ALLOTMENTS ON THE PARTICULAR SITE OVER THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS; AND
  3. WHETHER THE ALLOTMENT GARDENS AS OPEN LAND SERVE OTHER PLANNING PURPOSES IN THE AREA.
9.64.

New Community Woodlands

There is a major deficiency of woodlands that permit informal recreation in the District. With the exception of Quex Park, which is privately owned but partially open to the public at certain times of the year, and Mocketts Wood, no publicly accessible woodlands exist in the district. In response to this deficiency and the priorities expressed in the Kent Countryside Strategy, the District Council is involved in the establishment of two new community woodlands.

9.65.

These will assist in the enhancement of the urban fringe landscape, provide informal recreation facilities for the public, and help create new wildlife habitats to replace those lost to agriculture and other development over the years. These community woodlands could also be used for woodland burial schemes.

9.66.

The first, and larger, community woodland, is proposed to be located on Council-owned land at Twenties, fronted by Hartsdown Road and Shottendane Road on the southern edge of Margate and Garlinge. The second site, again in Council ownership, is in Dane Valley. It abuts the railway line and has a frontage to Dane Valley Road.

9.67.

The long-term management of the woodlands will also need to be secured in order to meet the objectives set out in Paragraph 9.65 above.

POLICY SR14 - COMMUNITY WOODLANDS

SUPPORT WILL BE GIVEN TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE WOODLANDS OF AN APPROPRIATE SCALE IN SUITABLE LOCATIONS IN THE DISTRICT, NOTABLY AT THE URBAN FRINGE, FOR RECREATION, LANDSCAPE AND NATURE CONSERVATION PURPOSES.

THE FOLLOWING SITES ARE CURRENTLY PROPOSED FOR COMMUNITY WOODLANDS:

  1. HARTSDOWN-TWENTIES, MARGATE; AND
  2. DANE VALLEY ROAD, MARGATE.
9.68.

Golf Courses

The main formal recreation activity requiring an urban fringe location in Thanet is golf. Demand for the sport has risen sharply in recent years due to media coverage, its social status and a greater concern with personal relaxation and health. Standards of provision have risen in consequence.

9.69.

There are currently four 18-hole golf courses in Thanet. The Council has allocated a site in the Margate/Broadstairs Green Wedge for use as a country park and golf course. It is therefore considered that there should be no further golf courses.

9.70.

The District Council considers that the Green Wedge areas (see Policy CC5, Countryside Coast Chapter), and in particular, the largest of the Wedges which separates Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate, provide long-term potential as a recreational resource for the Thanet towns. The District Council therefore wishes to promote recreational uses in the area, which do not conflict with Policy CC5 (Countryside & Coast Chapter).

9.71.

The District Council believes that a combined publicly accessible golf course and country park in the Green Wedge would:

  1. provide a much needed recreational resource close to centres of population
  2. assist in the enhancement of the landscape qualities of the Green Wedge; and
  3. maintain the overall objectives of Policy CC5
9.72.

The Council believe that built elements could be located at Westwood Lodge without putting Green Wedge Policy objectives at risk, because of its location within the Green Wedge, and the extensive existing tree cover. In this particular situation within the Green Wedge, it is considered that only essential golf-related built development of a modest scale would be appropriate. Additional development (eg, housing or hotel development) would not be acceptable. The suitability of a particular site will depend upon its location and the impact of the proposed development on the following issues.

9.73.

Golf differs from other recreational activity not only in scale (40 – 60 hectares), but also in the extent to which it usually requires physical changes to the land involved, and because it completely displaces agriculture. The use of land for golf courses is not fully reversible. Where substantial earth moving is proposed, the land could probably never be returned to its original grade.

9.74.

On the other hand, golf courses have the potential to improve areas of poor or mediocre environment. This may have particular force in Thanet at the urban fringe, where farmland meets the largely unscreened urban edge. However, by their sheer size and nature, golf courses can appear alien in the Thanet landscape, unless well sited and designed with respect for the area's traditional landscape character.

9.75.

Countryside

The landscape impact of a proposed golf course is a primary consideration in Thanet, where the traditional landscape is one of large arable fields without demarcation and with little tree or hedgerow cover in gently undulating topography. By their size and character, golf courses are likely to be inappropriate in this landscape. On the urban fringe where there is generally a harsh edge to the built environment, golf courses have the potential to improve the landscape.

9.76.

Existing landscape character and features should be protected, and where possible, enhanced. Conservation of landscape will be given particular emphasis in designated areas of landscape importance and regard should be had to the policies of such areas in this Plan. Proposals should also respect and where possible conserve historic landscape features.

9.77.

Ecology

Much of Thanet's countryside is, relatively speaking, ecologically poor. Golf courses should therefore safeguard, and where appropriate, enhance sites and areas possessing a nature conservation interest. New habitats can be created in the course of development. Planning applications should include an ecological statement.

9.78.

Water is an essential resource and therefore any golf course should be designed in a sustainable manner and this should include securing the best use of and conserving water resources.

9.79.

Archaeology

Thanet is rich in archaeology, particularly in below ground remains. Designers of courses aim to provide topographical features to increase the challenge for players. Major ground modelling in gently undulating landscapes like Thanet's can cause the physical destruction of ancient features including below-ground archaeology. If ground disturbance is not specified over the whole application site, it is difficult to assess the effect of course development on archaeology. It is therefore essential that course layout should not be finalised until these issues have been thoroughly investigated.

9.80.

Agricultural Land

The majority of farmland is either Grade 1, 2 or 3a. Substantial earth modelling may result in farmland being incapable of returning to its original grade (irreversible development). Proposals, which involve the irreversible loss of such land, will not be permitted.

9.81.

DEFRA will be consulted where best and most versatile land (Grade 1, 2 and 3a) is involved and where it is considered that proposed engineering works may affect reversibility. An approved scheme of operation may be required, together with a detailed record of works undertaken.

9.82.

Traffic Circulation

Golf courses tend to generate a steady flow of road traffic through the day. Proposals should ensure that safe and convenient access can be made to the road network without the need to use unsuitable roads. Particular attention needs to be given to the visual impact of parking areas and parked vehicles. 

9.83.

Applicants may be asked to provide appropriate traffic studies before applications are decided. Proposals should safeguard, and where possible, enhance the amenity, safety and functions of the right of way network. Rerouting rights of way will not normally be allowed, and details of measures to integrate them may be required.

9.84.

Built Development

Built development forming part of golf course applications falls into three categories, essential, desirable and beneficial. A clubhouse, maintenance store, car-parking areas and a professional's shop are usually regarded as essential elements. A bar & restaurant, driving range, floodlighting and manager’s accommodation may be considered as desirable. The inclusion of a hotel, other sport and leisure facilities or housing may be considered as beneficial, but not necessary. (Please note that floodlighting will be subject to Policy EP9 in the Environmental Protection Chapter). The Council believes that the latter category (considered as beneficial), for ancillary development not directly related to the playing of golf, will not normally be permitted.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) SR15 - GOLF COURSES & COUNTRY PARK

FAVOURABLE CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMBINED GOLF COURSE AND COUNTRY PARK WITHIN THE MARGATE-BROADSTAIRS GREEN WEDGE, SOUTHWEST OF THE RAILWAY LINE.

THE GOLF COURSE AND COUNTRY PARK WILL NEED TO COMPLY WITH THE CRITERIA SET DOWN IN POLICY CC5 AND WILL BE SUBJECT TO;

  1. DETAILS OF THE LAYOUT OF THE COURSE, THE SITING AND SIZE OF ITS BUILDINGS, CAR PARKING AND A LANDSCAPING SCHEME FORMING PART OF THE APPLICATION (NOT AS A RESERVED MATTER);
  2. THE SUBMISSION, AS PART OF THE APPLICATION, OF:

    1. A FIELD SURVEY TO IDENTIFY THE EXISTING SITE FEATURES, CHARACTER AND CONDITION;
    2. A DESCRIPTION OF THE SITE'S INTEREST FROM THE HISTORICAL RECORD, NATURE CONSERVATION, ECOLOGY, AND ARCHAEOLOGY ASPECTS;
    3. AN ASSESSMENT OF THE PROPOSAL'S IMPACT ON HISTORICAL AND NATURAL FEATURES AND CHARACTER;
    4. AN ASSESSMENT OF THE OPPORTUNITIES PRESENTED BY THE DEVELOPMENT TO SAFEGUARD OR IMPROVE EXISTING FEATURES OR CREATE NEW FEATURES;

    WHERE THERE IS AN ADVERSE IMPACT ON LANDSCAPE, NATURE CONSERVATION, BEST OR MOST VERSATILE AGRICULTURAL LAND, HISTORICAL FEATURES OR ARCHAEOLOGY, DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

  3. IN THE EVENT OF PERMISSION BEING GRANTED, PLANNING CONDITIONS, OBLIGATIONS OR AGREEMENTS MAY NEED TO BE IMPOSED, OFFERED OR AGREED TO COVER THE PROTECTION OF CERTAIN FEATURES DURING EARTHMOVING AND USE OF HEAVY MACHINERY, LANDSCAPING, HABITAT CREATION AND IMPROVEMENT AND TO GIVE ACCESS BY ARCHAEOLOGISTS.

    THE PROVISION OF FURTHER GOLF COURSES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS LOCAL DEMAND CAN BE DEMONSTRATED AND COMPLIANCE WITH PARTS 1,2 AND 3 OF THIS POLICY.

9.85.

Equestrian Uses and Buildings

The District Council accepts that equestrian activities are most appropriately located in a rural area, in so far as such uses are related to a generally open use of land. However, the uncontrolled proliferation of stables and other associated development has the potential to bring about cumulatively significant changes in the character of the open countryside which is typical in Thanet.

9.86.

Moreover, the fragmentation of landholdings may accelerate other changes which would be detrimental to the countryside. For the avoidance of doubt, the Council cannot directly control the fragmentation of farmland provided the subsequent use remains agricultural. However, the change of use of farmland to land for the keeping of horses for non-agricultural purposes normally amounts to development for which planning permission is required. Such proposals will therefore be considered in relation to the following policy.

POLICY SR16 - EQUESTRIAN USES AND BUILDINGS

PROPOSALS FOR THE CHANGE OF USE OF FARMLAND TO LAND FOR THE BREEDING AND/OR KEEPING OF HORSES AND/OR FOR THE ERECTION OF STABLES WILL BE CONSIDERED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING FACTORS:

  1. THE NATURE AND SCALE OF THE EQUESTRIAN USE AND THE IMPACT OF THE BUILT DEVELOPMENT ON THE CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRYSIDE, INCLUDING THE CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF SIMILAR USES IN THE VICINITY;
  2. WHETHER THE SIZE OF THE STABLES ACCORDS WITH THE NUMBER OF HORSES INTENDED TO BE ACCOMMODATED;
  3. THE IMPACT OF ANY BUILT DEVELOPMENT ON THE AMENITY OF NEIGHBOURING RESIDENTIAL USES;
  4. WHETHER SUITABLE ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THE DISPOSAL OR STORAGE OF SOILED BEDDING MATERIAL AND FOUL DRAINAGE PROVISION MEETS ANY REQUIREMENTS OF THE COUNCIL AND THE WATER AUTHORITIES;
  5. WHETHER A SUITABLE VEHICULAR ACCESS CAN BE PROVIDED IN CONNECTION WITH THE STABLES SUCH AS TO ALLOW THE FREE AND SAFE FLOW OF TRAFFIC ON THE ADJOINING HIGHWAY AND THE IMPACT ON THE CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRYSIDE OF PROVIDING SUCH AN ACCESS;
  6. THE LEVEL OF TRAFFIC LIKELY TO BE GENERATED BY THE PROPOSED USE, AND THE PHYSICAL SUITABILITY OF, THE ROAD LEADING TO THE SITE TO CATER FOR SUCH MOVEMENTS;
  7. THE IMPACT OF TRAFFIC LEVELS ON THE AMENITIES OF THE AREA; AND
  8. APPLICATIONS FOR STABLES OR LOOSE BOXES WILL BE EXPECTED TO:
    1. HAVE SUFFICIENT* LAND AVAILABLE FOR THE EXERCISE OF THE HORSE(S) TO BE KEPT; AND
    2. BE WELL RELATED TO A BRIDLEWAY/PERMISSIVE HORSE ROUTE NETWORK.

*Operational Note:

9.87.

In consideration of any application for stables or loose boxes, the factors to be taken into consideration in determining whether or not sufficient land is available will include

  1. The area of the land;
  2. The suitability of the land (e.g. topography, the surface material or adjacent land uses); and
  3. The proximity/accessibility of the land to the stable/loose box.
9.88.

Statutory Rights of Way.

The Plan area contains a reasonable network of statutory footpaths, bridleways or other rights of way. Protection will be achieved by presuming against development which would damage the network.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) SR17 - STATUTORY RIGHTS OF WAY

THE COUNCIL WILL SAFEGUARD STATUTORY RIGHTS OF WAY OR SUPPORT THEIR RATIONALISATION TO FORM AN INTEGRATED NETWORK, SUBJECT TO THERE BEING NO NET LOSS, AND PROMOTE THEIR USAGE. DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WHICH WOULD PREVENT THE PROPER USE OF A STATUTORY FOOTPATH/BRIDLEWAY OR OTHER RIGHTS OF WAY WILL NOT BE PERMITTED. WHERE DEVELOPMENT IS ACCEPTABLE IN OTHER RESPECTS THE COUNCIL WILL REQUIRE A DIVERSION.

9.89.

The Coast

Thanet has over 23 miles of coastline, of which nearly two-thirds is currently built-up. (38% of the total coastline is free from development. This reduces to 18% in the "urban" areas between Minnis and Pegwell Bays.)

9.90.

It is a major resource not only for tourism and recreation, but also for its conservation, ecological and landscape value. Most of the Thanet coastline falls under SSSI, SPA and Ramsar designations and so there are obligations to protect these areas (see the Nature Conservation Chapter). Owing to the overall lack of public open space in Thanet's countryside, there is additional pressure on its coastline, which is already important for wildlife because of the impact of agricultural practices in the rest of the district.

9.91.

A ‘Coastal Park’ concept has been developed to promote the use of the coast for tourism, leisure, and conservation as well as for regeneration projects. This concept is discussed further in the Coastal Policy chapter of this Plan, but the use of the coast for recreational uses is a vital part of this scheme.

9.92.

Traditionally, most recreation associated with the coast was informal - sea bathing, beach games and "strolling the prom". Moreover, recreational activity was once concentrated in relatively small areas, usually near railway stations. However, greater mobility, increased leisure time and longer weekends have produced a very different situation.

9.93.

Demand has now spread over the whole coast to wherever access and facilities are available. The variety of recreational activity has become more diverse and demand has increased across a range of activities, both formal and informal, each with differing requirements.

9.94.

Because of the diversity of recreational activities on the coast, such as boating, windsurfing or jet-skiing, there are a number of possible conflicts which can arise. These can vary between different activities, but also between activities and nature conservation, ecological or landscape interests. For safety reasons, there are already restrictions on the mix of water uses allowed on particular beach areas.

9.95.

Boating activities are important to Thanet. Many boats on passage towards the Thames "put in", traditionally at Ramsgate, to work the tides. The District Council supports and encourages such activity and this is reflected in policies set out in the Tourism Chapter.

9.96.

There will be a continuing need to evolve a Beach Strategy which aims to meet recreational demands, while at the same time minimising conflicts and damage to interests of acknowledged importance. Accordingly, the District Council intends to produce, and regularly review, a Strategy for Thanet's beaches which will aim to reconcile conflicts between recreational activities and respect conservation, ecology and landscape constraints.

9.97.

Beaches - Maintaining Choice

Thanet possesses a large number of sandy beaches, whose characters range from intensively holiday-oriented beaches (eg: Marine Sands, Margate) to undeveloped beaches with a natural character and appearance (eg: Grenham Bay, Birchington). The different types of beach offer opportunities for different types of recreational activity. In the interests of choice, the Council believes that it is desirable to ensure that the differences of character are maintained, and where appropriate, enhanced. Most beaches along the Thanet coast are internationally important for their wintering bird populations.

9.98.

The beaches have been divided into three broad categories. It should be noted that the intermediate category includes beaches which have scope for some further development, as well as those which are fully developed within the terms of the Policy.

9.99.

To provide for a variety of tastes and choice in the type of recreational activities, associated service facilities and degree of solitude on Thanet's coastline, the following Policies will apply to beach development.

POLICY SR18 - MAJOR HOLIDAY BEACHES

ON THOSE BEACHES IDENTIFIED AS MAJOR HOLIDAY BEACHES BELOW, THE COUNCIL WILL SUPPORT PROPOSALS FOR THE PROVISION AND UPGRADING OF A WIDE RANGE OF RECREATIONAL FACILITIES AND SERVICES:

  1. MARINE SANDS, MARGATE
  2. RAMSGATE MAIN SANDS
  3. VIKING BAY, BROADSTAIRS

PROPOSALS FOR VIKING BAY COMPATIBLE WITH THIS POLICY MUST ALSO COMPLY WITH THE CONSERVATION AREA POLICIES OF THIS PLAN. 

AT MARGATE MARINE SANDS RECREATIONAL FACILITIES WILL BE CONCENTRATED ON THAT PART OF THE BEACH AT THE JUNCTION OF MARINE TERRACE AND MARINE DRIVE AND THE BUILT FORM SHALL NOT PROJECT ABOVE THE LEVEL OF THE SEAFRONT PROMENADE.

REGARD SHOULD BE HAD TO NATURE CONSERVATION POLICIES WHICH MAY AFFECT THESE BEACHES.

POLICY SR19 - INTERMEDIATE BEACHES

ON THOSE BEACHES IDENTIFIED AS INTERMEDIATE BEACHES BELOW, AND WHERE SCOPE EXISTS FOR SUCH DEVELOPMENT, THE COUNCIL WILL SUPPORT PROPOSALS FOR A LIMITED RANGE OF BASIC FACILITIES (EG: KIOSKS SUPPLYING FOOD AND REFRESHMENTS, BEACH HUTS AND BEACH FURNITURE), SUBJECT TO THE SCALE OF PROVISION BEING CONSISTENT WITH THE INTERMEDIATE STATUS OF THE BEACH AND SATISFACTORY DESIGN AND SITING OF DEVELOPMENT:

  1. DUMPTON GAP (PART)
  2. EPPLE BAY
  3. JOSS BAY
  4. LOUISA BAY
  5. MINNIS BAY (PART)
  6. ST MILDRED’S BAY
  7. STONE BAY
  8. WALPOLE BAY
  9. WESTBROOK BAY
  10. WESTERN UNDERCLIFF, RAMSGATE
  11. WESTGATE BAY

REGARD SHOULD BE HAD TO NATURE CONSERVATION POLICIES WHICH AFFECT THESE BEACHES.

POLICY SR20 - UNDEVELOPED BEACHES

ON, OR ADJACENT TO, THOSE BEACHES IDENTIFIED AS UNDEVELOPED BEACHES, PRIORITY WILL BE GIVEN TO THE MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF THEIR NATURAL AND UNDEVELOPED CHARACTER. NEW DEVELOPMENT INCLUDING NEW BUILT FACILITIES, THE PROVISION OF PUBLIC CAR PARKING FACILITIES AND NEW OR IMPROVED VEHICULAR ACCESS TO SERVE SUCH BEACHES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

9.100.

Seafront Esplanades

In addition to policies which refer to beaches, it is important to note that many of the seafront esplanades flanking the beaches have fine open aspects, and this allows unrestricted views over the beaches to the sea.

9.101.

The contribution which this open aspect makes to the character of any particular seafront area will be an important consideration in deciding whether to allow the introduction or spread of holiday/tourist-related uses, such as kiosks, etc.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) SR21 - DEVELOPMENT ON SEAFRONT ESPLANADES

NEW KIOSKS, SMALL BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED IN SEAFRONT AREAS IF THEY HAVE ANY ADVERSE IMPACT ON THE OPENNESS AND CHARACTER OF THE AREA.

TARGETS
LP Implementation Target
Policy Area
Amenity & Play Areas
Relevant Policies
SR5 & SR6
Indicator
Amenity/Play Space provided or commuted payments received
Target
100%
Monitoring
Monitoring of planning applications.
LP Implementation Target
Policy Area
Safeguarding Open Space
Relevant Policies
SR10, SR12
Indicator
Hectarage of Public Open Space and playing fields irreversibly lost
Target
Nil
Monitoring
Monitoring of Planning Applications

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