8. Community Facilities
“Social progress which recognises the needs of everyone” is one of the Government’s four broad objectives in pursuit of sustainable development. Traditionally planning, which is fundamentally concerned about issues affecting land use, has been seen as having a limited role in influencing issues such as low pay, crime and poor educational attainment.
More recently, there has been an increasing recognition that Planning can have an important role in reducing social inequality. The allocation of land for retail, education and health facilities, particularly in locations where they are accessible by a variety of modes of transport, can help reduce social exclusion. Protection of existing community facilities, such as playing pitches, can ensure that opportunities for recreation are accessible to all.
Distribution of community facilities within Burnley, both with respect to location and quality, does not occur on an equitable basis. In areas such as Daneshouse, Burnley Wood and South West Burnley there is a shortage of services such as doctors and dentists. Existing facilities such as schools are outdated and suffering from declining rolls. Many newer housing developments have no local shop, school or community facility, contributing to a car dependent culture. The ethnic community in the Borough has specific needs, such as provision for home-working, sport, speciality shops, places of worship and teaching and Muslim burials.
The Burnley Local Plan Strategy contains the following key aim: “To help promote community cohesion”. Such an approach is essential to ensure that all members of the community have access to the jobs, shops, schools and other facilities that they require.
The Burnley Local Plan seeks to achieve this key aim by a number of means. The focus is on locating new development in places where it is easily accessible to all members of the community including pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users. A hierarchy of District and local Centres is identified where new development for retail and community purposes will be encouraged. The protection of community facilities, including playing pitches and allotments, seeks to ensure a good geographic distribution and meet future demand. Multi-use of facilities for different purposes is encouraged wherever possible, and changing patterns of school provision are recognised.
Achievement of many of the policies in this chapter will require effective corporate working within the Council and close liaison with external service providers.
OBJECTIVES and TARGETS
The community facility policies of the Local Plan have been developed to meet the objectives identified under Key Aim 5 – “To help promote community cohesion” These are set out in the following section, along with targets designed to measure progress towards their achievement.
The Monitoring and Review section of the plan outlines in more detail how the Council will measure performance against the Plan’s objectives and targets.
COMMUNITY FACILITIES – OBJECTIVES AND TARGETS
OBJECTIVE CF1 – To maintain and improve local shops and services
- Target CF1a – 90% of new retail development outside town centres to be located in District or Local Centres.
- Target CF1b – 2 new enhanced health facilities developed on Briercliffe Road and the St Peters Centre by 2006.
OBJECTIVE CF2 – To promote comprehensive regeneration in communities suffering from social exclusion
- Target CF2b – Replacement playing fields developed in conjunction with development of employment land off Princess Way.
OBJECTIVE CF3 – To improve access to facilities for all
- Target CF3a – To complete on going improvements to Towneley, Fennyfold and Queens Park playing fields by 2008.
- Target CF3b – At least 95% of all new health and other community facilities in the Borough to be in or within 100 metres of District or Local Centres.
OBJECTIVE CF4 – To satisfy different cultural needs
- Target CF4a – To ensure that provision is made for Muslim burials in the Borough up to 2011.
OBJECTIVE CF5 – To promote community involvement in the Local Plan process
- Target CF5a – To offer assistance in interpreting and translating the Local Plan.
POLICIES AND PROPOSALS
This section includes the Council’s land use policies and proposals for community facilities outside Burnley and Padiham Town Centres. Each policy is numbered (CF1, CF2, CF3, etc.), and is followed by any land use specific proposals (numbered CF1/1, CF1/2, etc), which are also shown on the Proposals Map, and a reasoned justification. The reasoned justification explains why the Council have included a particular policy in the Local Plan.
POLICY CF1 - PROTECTION, ENHANCEMENT AND REPLACEMENT OF PLAYING PITCHES
The loss of public and private playing pitches, listed in Appendix F, and shown on the Proposals Map, will not be permitted. Proposals to redevelop sports pitches and ancillary facilities for non-sporting or non-recreational purposes will only be permitted where:
- it can be demonstrated that there is an excess of recreation provision in the catchment, and the site has no special significance to the interests of sport;
- the proposed development is ancillary to the principal use of the site as a playing field or playing fields, and does not affect the quantity or quality of pitches or adversely affect their use;
- the sports facility can best be retained and enhanced through redevelopment of a small part of the site and the proposed development only affects land incapable of forming, or forming part of a playing pitch and does not result in the loss of or inability to make use of any playing pitch (including the maintenance of adequate safety margins), a reduction in the size of the playing area of any playing pitch or the loss of any other sporting/ancillary facilities on the site.
- the proposal is part of a scheme to develop new and improved pitches and ancillary facilities of at least equivalent community value within the immediate area. A planning agreement will be required to ensure that the new pitches and ancillary facilities will be provided and ready for use before any redevelopment of the existing pitches takes place;
- the proposed development is for an indoor or outdoor sports facility, the provision of which would be of sufficient benefit to the development of sport in the area as to outweigh thedetriment caused by the loss of the playing field or playing fields.
The last ten years have seen increasing national concern about the loss of playing pitches and changing rooms to non-sporting uses, particularly housing. In 1996, Sport England was made a statutory consultee on applications involving the loss of land currently, or last used, as playing fields. The loss of pitches in educational use requires the approval of the Secretary of State for Education.
As part of the process of preparing the Local Plan, a “Playing Pitch Assessment and Strategy” was prepared by consultants, Strategic Leisure, and published in January 2001. Burnley Borough Council, jointly with Sport England and Pendle Borough Council, commissioned this Study. The main purposes of the study were to ascertain the condition, usage and future trends affecting playing pitches in the Borough.
The study demonstrates that retention of all existing pitches will be required to meet existing and projected future demand for football, cricket and rugby. The current condition of pitches and poor quality of ancillary provision mean that a small working surplus is required to enable fixtures to be played. There is a particular deficiency in provision for junior soccer. Conversion of existing senior pitches to such use will be encouraged in locations such as Briercliffe, Disraeli Street and Worsthorne.
Any proposals to develop an existing pitch for non-sporting use would need to be accompanied by a scheme to provide replacement provision of at least equivalent value. Such provision should be located in the existing locality (within 1.2km of all dwellings) and accessible by public transport, walking and cycling. New pitches should include changing provision in accordance with English Sports Council Guidelines (1998). In order to avoid a deficiency of pitches in the intervening period the Council will require the alternative provision to be available for use before the existing pitch is de-commissioned.
Targets: CF2b, and CF4b.
POLICY CF2 - INTENSIFICATION OF USE OF EXISTING SPORTS AND RECREATION PROVISION
Proposals to increase the use and availability of existing outdoor
sports and recreation provision by the introduction of ancillary
facilities such as changing rooms, artificial surfaces and
floodlighting will be permitted when:
- there is no unacceptable impact on residential amenity;
- there is not an unacceptable increase in traffic to the site;
- the design of any floodlighting minimises light spillage from the site;
- the proposal includes measures to reduce noise nuisance;
- it does not have a detrimental effect on the borough’s built and natural environment; and
- the design of the proposal complies with Local Plan General Policy GP5 - “Access for All”.
The use of existing playing pitches is restricted by the quality of the playing surface, inadequate changing provision, restricted parking and limited hours of use. In winter, problems become exacerbated with waterlogged pitches causing match postponements. Initiatives such as the introduction of floodlighting and all-weather surfaces can greatly increase the extent to which facilities can be utilised and also reduce overall running costs.
Such proposals have significant sporting benefits. However, if not carefully designed, they can have detrimental impacts on local residents due to noise from longer opening hours; light spillage from floodlights, and traffic from users visiting and leaving the site. The Council will therefore expect all proposals to demonstrate that impact on residential amenity has been kept to a minimum.
It is recognised that for maximum sporting value to be gained from facilities such as all-weather pitches and floodlights, intensive use, including evenings, will be necessary. It is important, however, to balance this against the impact on local residents. Conditions restricting opening hours will therefore be imposed where the Council, after consulting relevant sports bodies, consider this is necessary.
POLICY CF3 - PROTECTION OF EXISTING PUBLIC PARKS, INFORMAL RECREATION AREAS, MAJOR OPEN AREAS, PLAY AREAS AND OTHER AREAS OF OPEN SPACE
Public Parks, Major Open Areas, Informal Recreation Areas, Play Areas and other areas of open space identified in Appendix G, and shown on the Proposals Map, will be retained, and where possible enhanced, for their recreation and/or amenity value. Development will only be permitted in the following circumstances:
- where appropriate, the site can be incorporated into the East Lancashire Regional Park;
- it is in connection with, and will enhance, the recreational and amenity value of the open space;
- it is not of a size or scale that detracts from the character of the area;
- it will not have a detrimental effect on residential amenity, nature conservation or features of historic value; and
- it addresses any identified problems with access or safety.
The Council will work together with public, private and voluntary agencies, and local communities to encourage the effective improvement and management of these areas.
The following site has been identified as a proposed Recreation Open Space and is shown on the Proposals Map:
CF3/1 Land at Oswald Street, Burnley
Development of the existing Stoneyholme Recreation Ground for industrial purposes will only be permitted if the developer secures replacement playing field provision of at least equivalent value (see Economy and Work Proposal EW1/5). Land at Oswald Street, identified as a proposed area of recreation open space, could accommodate such replacement provision.
One of Burnley’s prime assets is the network of public parks and open spaces that effectively bring the countryside into the urban area. The most significant example of this is Towneley Park (see Environment Policy E17 - “Historic Parks and Gardens”), which extends from within a kilometre of the town centre into the open countryside.
Open space may consist of formal Victorian parks such as Thompson and Scott Parks, or more informal spaces, such as Lowerhouse Lodges and Rowley Lake. Significant areas of informal open space, such as Healey Heights, play an important recreational and visual role. Each of these spaces also has considerable biodiversity value. Equally, children’s play areas, which are located throughout the Borough, perform an important role in providing facilities within the local neighbourhood. The Council will seek to ensure that each of these spaces is protected and, wherever possible, enhanced. Developer contributions from new housing development will be used for this purpose (see Local Plan Policy H7: “Open Space in New housing Development”). Provision of new play areas will be encouraged in areas where such provision is currently low.
The Council will work with interested parties to promote the effective management of these areas to enhance their recreational and functional value. This includes the establishment of “Greenspaces”, as developed by the Countryside Agency, in locations such as Towneley Park, Ightenhill Park and Healey Heights.
POLICY CF4 - ALLOTMENTS AND COMMUNITY GARDENS
The Council will not permit development on allotments, land last used as allotments, or community gardens unless the following criteria are satisfied:
- replacement provision of equivalent, or greater, value in terms of quality, quantity and accessibility to existing allotment holders is made. This site should also be accessible by a choice of means of transport; or
- the applicant can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Council, that there is no local demand for the allotments or community gardens.
Existing allotments and community gardens are listed in Appendix H.
Community gardens and allotments play an important dual role, both in retaining valuable open space in the urban area and providing opportunities to cultivate for residents who may lack their own garden. This is especially important in an area such as Burnley with its large proportion of terraced housing without gardens. Allotments do not always have a “neat and tidy” appearance, due to the variety of materials used for garden sheds, other buildings and fences and the presence of untended plots. Some allotments are in high demand, such as those off Windermere Avenue, and have a waiting list for vacant plots whilst in other parts of the Borough demand is low, partly due to the lack of positive publicity and management and due to vandalism.
The Council considers that allotments and community gardens play an increasingly important role in improving the quality of life of Burnley residents. Allotments provide healthy activities, healthy food and sustainable use of land. They also provide much needed “green breaks” in the built environment. They are excellent examples of sustainable projects linking different issues together and contributing to the local regeneration of communities. The Council will resist proposals to redevelop them for other purposes. An exception to this may be made if it can be shown there is no longer any demand for a particular allotment or community garden, or redevelopment proposals are accompanied by alternative provision of at least equivalent economic, social and environmental standard elsewhere in the locality. In establishing a lack of demand, it will be necessary to provide evidence that the allotments have been positively promoted and managed.
POLICY CF5 - MAJOR SPORTS FACILITIES
Development, redevelopment or expansion of major sports facilities will be permitted when the proposal:
- contributes to urban regeneration in accordance with General Policy GP1 – “Development within the Urban Boundary”;
- links to proposals in the Regional Park;
- is of suitable scale, character, appearance and landscaping in relation to its surroundings;
- has no adverse impact on the amenity of local residents including from non- sporting activities;
- is accessible by a choice of means of transport which may include a requirement to produce a Travel Plan in accordance with Policy TM3 – “Travel Plans”; and
- has the potential to encourage wider involvement in sport, and address issues of social exclusion.
Non-sport related uses will only be permitted where they are ancillary to the main sporting use.
The following sites, shown on the Proposals Map, will be protected for sport and sport related uses:
CF5/1 - Burnley Football Club
Burnley Football Club is recognised as one of the town’s greatest assets and further development and improvement of the Club’s facilities will enhance this role. The Council will assess any proposals to expand the current ground and associated facilities against the above criteria.
CF5/2 - Burnley Cricket Club
Burnley FC plans to construct an enlarged stand which could require displacement of the existing Cricket Club. There would be no requirement for the remainder of the site to be retained in sports or sports-related uses. Any development proposals would need to accord with other policies of the Plan. Any redevelopment proposals for this site will have to identify a suitable re-location site for the cricket club.
CF5/3 - Lowerhouse Cricket Club
The Council will seek to retain Lowerhouse Cricket Club on its present site. The present location benefits from good access and provides valuable green space in this area.
CF5/4 – The Arbories Memorial Sports Ground
Significant investment has recently been made at this location which should be safeguarded for sports purposes.
CF5/5 – Padiham Weir
A new canoe and slalom facility is being developed at Padiham Weir.
Both the Regional Strategy (Objective P2 “Deliver Urban Renaissance”) and Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) for the North West Policy EC10 “Sport” recognise the importance of sport to urban regeneration. The success of Burnley athletes and clubs can, and does, have a significant beneficial impact on local pride and external image.
There are already a number of major sports facilities in the Borough. These include Turf Moor football ground; St Peter’s Centre and Burnley, Padiham and Lowerhouse cricket clubs. The football club has ambitious expansion plans which would increase overall capacity to 30,000. This will affect Burnley Cricket Club, which would require relocation. Likewise Lowerhouse Cricket Club may be forced to move from its present site. This policy establishes criteria against which any new development will be assessed.
The sports leisure industry is in a time of considerable change and growth. Commercial considerations are becoming more important with operators seeking to develop “packages” which incorporate uses such as sport; beauty treatments; food and drink and entertainment. The extent that these uses are an integral part of the operation depends on the scale of the uses in each case. Where the ancillary uses (including health and fitness; food and drink; use for public events) consist of greater than 1,000m² gross floor area, a Leisure Impact Assessment will be required. This will enable potential impacts on the town centre to be fully examined.
Major sports facilities such as Burnley Football Club, are significant generators of traffic, particularly on match days. This can create parking problems such as those that are currently experienced around Turf Moor. All proposals which involve creation of more than 1500 additional seats will be required to produce a Travel Plan, see Transport and Movement Policy TM3 – “Travel Plans”.
For the purpose of this policy, sports-related development is defined as use for sport, or activities directly related to sport and recreation, such as changing facilities. Retail and commercial leisure development will not be assessed against this policy.
POLICY CF6 - PROVISION OF SMALL INDOOR SPORTS FACILITIES
Indoor sports facilities, of 750m² or less, including specialist provision, will be encouraged in areas which currently suffer from an identified deficiency of provision. Proposals will be permitted when:
- they are accessible by a choice of modes of transport;
- there is no adverse impact on residential amenity ;
- they are acceptable in terms of layout, landscaping and design;
- wherever possible, they use previously developed land or buildings;
- the potential for the dual use of existing educational facilities has been investigated; and
- any ancillary facilities proposed are directly related to the main use.
Development proposals larger than 750m2 will be considered under Local Plan Economy and Work Policy EW3 - “New Leisure, Tourist, Arts and Cultural Development Outside Town Centres” and Community Facilities Policy CF5 - “Major Sports Facilities”.
Indoor facilities are necessary for many sports such as badminton, squash and gymnastics. They are also vital to complement outdoor provision in other sports such as tennis. High quality facilities can help develop “centres of excellence” for sport and reduce the need to travel to other facilities outside the Borough.
Indoor sports facilities in the Borough include the St Peter’s Centre, Padiham Pool, and Gannow Pool. Other facilities available to the community include the sports halls at Barden School. There are a number of smaller facilities in the Borough, notably health and fitness clubs located in the town centre.
The “Sport and Recreation Strategy” for the Borough identifies a particular shortage of indoor sports facilities in the Padiham area. Development of improved provision at Gawthorpe and Ivy Bank schools is identified as one way of remedying this. A shortage of indoor provision also exists in the Daneshouse/Stoneyholme area. The Council will support proposals that seek to enhance provision in areas that currently lack indoor facilities subject to the criteria above.
POLICY CF7 - OUTDOOR RECREATION AND RURAL AREAS
The Council will co-operate with other public agencies, and appropriate private organisations in the improvement, creation or management of outdoor recreational facilities in rural areas.
Proposals for outdoor recreational facilities will be permitted when:
- the development would not have an adverse impact on the wildlife and nature conservation value of the area, and wherever possible, enhance it;
- the design and landscaping of the proposal reflects the landscape character of the area;
- where relevant, there is suitable road access;
- the proposal relates well to the existing Rights of Way network and, wherever possible, enhances it; and
- the proposal utilises currently underused land or buildings.
The Council will particularly encourage proposals adjacent to “Greenways”, see Transport and Movement Policy TM6 - “Walking and Horse Riding in the Countryside”, within “Greenspaces” and those that contribute towards the creation of the East Lancashire Regional Park.
PPG 17 “Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation” identifies the importance of rural areas for recreation, in particular the urban fringe because of its accessibility from urban areas. The countryside around Burnley is greatly valued for the opportunities it provides for walking, cycling and horse riding as well as activities such as fishing, abseiling (at Widdop) and sail-boarding (on Clowbridge Reservoir).
The Countryside Agency has introduced the concept of “Greenspaces” linked by “Greenways” (see Transport and Movement Policy TM6 - “Walking and Horse Riding in the Countryside”). “Greenspaces” are open areas both in towns and in rural areas, which will be managed for recreational purposes as well as for their wildlife and landscape value. The “East Lancashire Countryside Research Project” 1999 identified possible rural “Greenspace” sites at Hagg Wood, Grove Lane Plantation near Padiham, Mill Hill Lane picnic site and a picnic area at Netherwood Bridge.
The North West Development Agency’s Regional Strategy, published in 1999, promotes the concept of Regional Parks as a means of regenerating urban fringe areas by improving transport links, enhancing recreation facilities and exploiting the potential of the natural environment.
The Lancashire Economic Partnership won funding under SRB6 to develop a Regional Park for the sub-region. The precise definition of the Park and what will be included within it is currently being developed. The Council will support, and participate in, this initiative to improve the management, environmental quality and access to the countryside.
POLICY CF8 - EQUESTRIAN DEVELOPMENT
The development of commercial stables and equestrian centres in Rural Areas and the Green Belt will be permitted when:
- there is no adverse impact on the openness of land and landscape character;
- adequate provision can be made for the safe movement of horses and riders, including horse-boxes, to and from the site;
- the amount and design of stabling is appropriate to the location and would not have a detrimental impact on the openness of the land;
- the Council is satisfied there is access to suitable riding routes;
- the development includes a landscaping scheme, including for any external riding areas;
- the development would not have an adverse impact on the wildlife and nature conservation value of the area; and
- a Management Plan covering issues such as removal of jumps and waste management is agreed to the satisfaction of the Council.
Horse riding is a popular activity in the Borough and can be an important means of diversifying the rural economy. It is estimated that approximately 700 horses are currently kept in the area. The Pennine Bridleway passes through the Borough and other initiatives such as the Limersgate Trail are proposed which will lead to demand for overnight stabling.
There is an identified shortfall in livery stables and high quality schooling facilities in the area. The development at Crow Wood House Farm will help address this. There is still, however, likely to be demand for additional facilities.
Equestrian use is defined as outdoor sport and recreation which, in principle, is an appropriate use for the Green Belt and Rural Areas. However, particular care must be taken to minimise the effect of proposals on the character of the countryside. Buildings should be sited and designed to blend in with their surroundings, and appropriate screening should be used, where necessary, to reduce the visual impact of jumps and equipment. The Council will expect applications to include details of landscaping and site management, including jumps.
Of particular concern are proposals for indoor arenas and large equestrian centres in isolated locations and in the Green Belt. Particular consideration will be given to accessibility and the effects of the proposal on openness and the landscape.
POLICY CF9 - GOLF RELATED DEVELOPMENT
Proposals for the provision of, and extension to, golf courses, golf driving ranges and ancillary facilities will be permitted provided that the development will have no adverse effect on:
- the openness of land and the character of the landscape;
- areas of nature conservation value;
- sites of historic, or archaeological interest;
- residential and visual amenity;
- the amenity and safety of other users of the countryside, particularly those using the public rights of way network; and
- highway safety.
The site should be easily accessible by a choice of means of transport other than the private car.
Any ancillary facilities, such as clubhouses, changing rooms, stores or club shops should be limited in scale, unless re-using existing buildings.
Golf is one of the most popular recreational activities in the country, and also one of the fastest growing. As a result, the provision of golf facilities can be an important factor in attracting inward investment.
Golf courses, and other similar outdoor recreational facilities, are generally accepted as legitimate uses in the countryside, including the Green Belt, as they require extensive areas of open land which are not available within urban areas. However, their development can have a significant impact on the character of the surrounding landscape, and on biodiversity. The Council will, therefore, expect applications for new golf courses to be accompanied by an Environmental Assessment (EA). Extensive measures to mitigate negative impacts should form part of the EA. The location of ancillary facilities such as clubhouses, parking, etc requires careful design to minimise any negative impacts and should be kept to the minimum size possible.
Golf driving ranges, are generally more intensive than golf courses and usually have a larger impact. This is because of the requirement for buildings and floodlighting to maximise opening hours. Such uses should be carefully designed to minimise visual and environmental impacts.
Urban fringe sites, accessible by different modes of transport and utilising previously developed land are the preferred sites for golf development. Any proposals in the Green Belt will be expected to conform with Local Plan Environment Policies E26: “Development in the Green Belt” and E27: “Landscape Character and Local Distinctiveness in Rural Areas and Green Belt”.
POLICY CF10 - SPECIALIST PURSUITS AND NOISE GENERATING SPORTS
Proposals for the development of land for specialist sports activities, including motorised sports, clay pigeon shooting and paint-balling, will not be permitted when:
- they adversely affect residential amenity, or other uses of adjacent land;
- they have an adverse impact on land of landscape or geological interest, or features of ecological value;
- they have an adverse impact on traffic flows or road safety; and
- any proposal that is acceptable in principle, provides a clear framework for the management of the activity, including any offsite impacts.
Specialist and noise - generating sports are a legitimate recreational pastime enjoyed by many people. Providing well-managed and located sites for uses such as motorbike scrambling and shooting can help to reduce the incidence of informal, often illegal, activity. Properly managed sites in the urban fringe can, in some circumstances, enhance land that currently lies derelict or underused.
The nature of these activities means that, unless carefully controlled, they can become a nuisance to other users of the countryside. Noise nuisance and erosion are, for example, issues related to motor sports. Good site selection, screening and management are therefore essential if negative impacts are to be avoided. The Council will seek to work closely with operators and relevant governing bodies to minimise the impacts of these sports and will, where appropriate, use planning conditions to control impact.
POLICY CF11 - DISTRICT AND LOCAL CENTRES
The Council will, together with partners, seek to improve the vitality and viability, environmental quality and accessibility of the District and Local Centres shown on the Proposals Map and listed in Appendix I.
The Council will permit:
- new retail development of a scale and character consistent with the size and function of the centre
- the bringing back in to use of vacant units;
- local service uses;
- the re-use of upper floors;
- improvements to shop frontages;
- hot food takeaways where they do not conflict with Community Facilities Policy CF13 - “Restaurants, Cafes, Public Houses and Hot Food Takeaways”;
- environmental improvements such as landscaping, open space, signage, and street furniture; and
- measures to reduce traffic impacts and improvements to short stay car parking.
Proposals for retail development with a gross floorspace of over 2500m² will be considered against Local Plan Economy and Work Policy EW2 - “Major Retail Development outside Burnley and Padiham Town Centres Insets”.
Priority will be given to enhancing:
- CF11/1 - Colne Road/Duke Bar District Centre.
- CF11/2 – Accrington Road District Centre.
- CF11/3 – Abel Street, Burnley
PPS 6 “Planning for Town Centres” establishes a hierarchy for retail development. District centres are defined as usually containing at least one food supermarket and non-retail uses such as banks and restaurants. Local centres are described as small groups of shops usually comprising a newsagent, grocery store, sub-post office and other local shops. The list of centres in Appendix I reflects these criteria. Accrington Road and Briercliffe Road are listed as district centres because of the presence of Kwik Save supermarkets; Colne Road because of the number and range of retail outlets.
District and local centres perform an important role in providing a range of facilities within walking and cycling distance of where people live and work. In this way they support the Plan’s sustainability and regeneration objectives. It is recognised, however, that traditional centres will continue to face considerable competition as people choose to do more of their shopping in large superstores and retail warehouses, or experiment with e-tailing (ordering goods and services online through the internet). It will be important for district and local centres to provide a range of shops and a quality of environment that will enable them to compete more effectively.
The Council will support the development of new shops and other uses that will enhance the attractiveness of district and local centres. This may include supermarkets under 2500m² provided that these can be absorbed into the centre without threatening the viability of existing shops or exacerbating traffic problems. Environmental enhancement programmes will be developed and supported.
The Colne Road/Duke Bar area is recognised as containing a declining range and quality of shops. This is impacting on a major throughroute in the Borough. The Council will prepare a Development Strategy for this area in order to address retail, environmental and traffic issues in an integrated manner. Accrington Road also suffers from a number of shops in poor condition but the proposal to invest SRB6 funding into the area affords considerable potential to bring about improvements.
POLICY CF12 - LOCAL AND VILLAGE SHOPS
Small local and village shops, including changes of use, outside designated district or local centres will be permitted subject to the following:
- the proposal meets purely local needs:
- the gross floorspace does not exceed 150m²;
- the proposal does not adversely affect the amenity of adjoining property;
- the development is accessible by public transport, walking and cycling; and
- detrimental impacts on traffic flow and road safety can be satisfactorily mitigated in the interests of both road users and users of the proposed development.
Where appropriate, planning conditions will be used to restrict opening hours.
Planning applications for development (including change of use), which involve the loss of a local or village shop will be expected to demonstrate that:
- there is no need for the facility in the local area; and
- that it is no longer a viable business and there is no reasonable prospect of the business becoming viable in the future.
Individual or small groups of shops play an important role in meeting local needs and reducing the need to travel. Provision of local shops is particularly important in villages such as Hapton and Walk Mill where long journeys would be required if the existing stores were closed.
Equally, many residential areas within Burnley and Padiham currently lack local shops. One example is the Whittlefield/Ightenhill area. This can increase accessibility problems for those without a car.
Locating local shops in residential areas can, however, create problems for residential amenity. This is especially the case where extended opening hours are proposed and the shop becomes a meeting place for young people. Significant amounts of passing trade can create parking problems. The Council will assess the impact on residential amenity and road safety and will, where appropriate, seek mitigation measures e.g. traffic calming, restricted opening hours.
POLICY CF13 - RESTAURANTS, CAFES, PUBLIC HOUSES AND HOT FOOD TAKEAWAYS
Proposals for restaurants, cafes, hot food shops (Use Class A3) and public houses will be permitted when the proposal:
- is, wherever possible, located in, or adjacent to, a defined town, district or local centre, or within one of the named settlements listed in General Policy GP2: “Development in Rural Areas”;
- is accessible by walking, cycling and public transport:
- includes an adequate and effective fume and odour control system;
- can be accommodated without detriment to the free flow of traffic or residential amenity;
- includes measures to reduce the impact of noise and litter ;
- will not create an unacceptable concentration of non-retail uses in Burnley and Padiham Town Centres in accordance with policies BTC1, BTC2, PTC1 or PTC3, or more than 30% in any other centre or frontage; and
- complies with Local Plan Environment Policy E25 - “Shop Fronts”.
Where appropriate, restrictions will be placed on opening hours through the use of planning conditions.
Use Class A3 covers a spectrum of different uses from pubs and restaurants to hot food takeaways. The degree of impact depends on a number of factors including the size of the proposed unit, its target market and the opening hours.
Hot food take-aways create a number of problems. These include noise, litter, and smell. Trade is often concentrated in the evening when background noise is less, potentially increasing the impact on local residents. Long periods of closure during daylight hours can create a “dead” shopping frontage, which is aggravated where a concentration of uses occurs. Poorly designed shutters add to this impact.
This policy seeks to reduce the impact of hot food take-aways by locating them within defined town, district and local centres. The Council will seek to ensure that the concentration of A3 uses in any one centre does not exceed 30% of the total number of units (occupied and vacant) in order to protect the vitality and viability of the centre. Where necessary, opening hours will be restricted to protect the amenity of nearby residents.
POLICY CF14 - PROVISION, RETENTION AND ENHANCEMENT OF COMMUNITY FACILITIES
The Council will permit proposals for new, and improvements to, existing community centres, village halls, youth centres, libraries, nurseries, old people’s homes, community health facilities religious buildings and other community facilities provided that:
- the site is, wherever possible, located in, or adjacent to a town, district or local centre, or in one of the named settlements listed in Policy GP2: “Development in Rural Areas”;
- the site is accessible by walking, cycling and public transport;
- there are opportunities to integrate services with health, education and other providers;
- detrimental impacts on road safety or traffic flow can be satisfactorily mitigated in the interests of both road users and users of the proposed development; and
- the proposal would not have an adverse effect on residential amenity.
CF14/1 – Burns Street – this site is allocated for a mosque.
Community facilities play an important role in people’s quality of life. For example, community centres perform a number of different roles and are a central feature of community life. For the Muslim community in Burnley, the mosque performs a key religious, social and educational role. The new mosque on Burns Street will become a major community focus.
Some community facilities are situated in old buildings that are in need of refurbishment to bring them up to modern standards. The Council will support such proposals provided that there is not a significant detrimental impact on local residents.
New community facilities should, wherever possible, be located in, or adjacent to town, district and local centres or within one of the rural settlements. These locations are accessible to local communities and also allow users to visit different facilities in one visit.
Some areas of the Borough, such as South West Burnley and Burnley Wood, are poorly served by community facilities. The SRB6 programme offers an opportunity to examine new approaches involving different service providers and the local community. There is increasingly a move to deliver services in a holistic way.
Examples of this approach include the “Sure Start” initiative and “Healthy Living” centres. The provision of integrated service delivery will be encouraged in other parts of the Borough, on the understanding that this is undertaken in a manner which improves access to facilities, notdiminishes it.
POLICY CF15 - BURNLEY GENERAL HOSPITAL
The Council will permit proposals to improve existing health care facilities at Burnley General Hospital provided that:
- traffic can be accommodated without detriment to the free flow of traffic or residential amenity;
- where necessary, it is accompanied by a Travel Plan or additions/modifications to any existing Travel Plan, see Transport and Movement Policy TM3;
- there is no detrimental effect on residential amenity; and
- the protection, enhancement or replacement of any affected open space is included in a strategy for the whole site.
Any proposals for non-health related uses will be assessed against other relevant proposals and policies in the Local Plan.
Burnley General Hospital is the principal hospital not only for the Borough but also for the adjacent areas of Pendle and Rossendale. Located on a constricted site, within a residential area, about two kilometres north of the town centre, it is the biggest employer in the town and a major traffic generator.
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has an ongoing programme for the redevelopment of the Hospital. The present complex has grown incrementally, is difficult to manage efficiently, and, in many instances, is not suited to the needs of the 21st century. A number of the existing buildings date from the nineteenth century and were originally constructed as part of a workhouse.
A major Private Finance Initiative (PFI) programme is proposed for Phase V of the redevelopment process. This will entail substantial demolition and rebuilding of the western end of the site and provides the opportunity to redevelop the hospital in a comprehensive way. In order to achieve this, existing parking and open space areas will require rationalisation.
Visitor and staff travel and parking is a particular issue which the Council wish to see addressed. A Travel Plan to consider these issues and identify means of reducing car travel to the site .is being developed as part of the Phase V programme.
Redevelopment proposals for the Hospital will be expected to be prepared in the context of an overall framework for this site. This should be integrated into the Travel Plan and also indicate how open space within the site is to be managed.
POLICY CF16 - LOSS OF COMMUNITY HEALTH FACILITIES
The Council will not permit the change of use of existing clinics, community health facilities, doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries unless the following can be demonstrated:
- the proposal includes alternative provision, on a site within the locality, of equivalent or enhanced facilities. Such sites should be accessible by public transport, walking and cycling and have adequate car parking; or
- there is no longer a need for the facility, and this can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Council.
Access to health facilities is important to users of the services they offer. Many patients have attended the same doctors’ or dentists’ surgery for a number of years. Closure, or relocation, can have a significant impact on the ability of people to reach these facilities. This is particularly so when there are already significant waiting lists to join other surgeries as in the case of NHS dentists.
The Council will, therefore, seek to resist the loss of existing facilities unless equivalent, or enhanced provision, is provided in the locality. This is taken to mean a one kilometre radius. Such sites should be accessible by public transport. Close liaison will be maintained with Burnley Pendle Rossendale Primary Care Trust with respect to continued need for facilities and the suitability of alternative provision.
Targets: CF1b, and CF3b.
POLICY CF17 - PROVISION OF EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES
The Council will permit proposals for the enhancement, consolidation and improvement of existing schools when:
- new or enhanced nursery and primary schools are located within safe and easy walking distance of the neighbourhoods that they are intended to serve;
- wherever possible, new or enhanced facilities are located in, or adjacent to, district or local centres;
- the new or enhanced facilities do not create local traffic or parking problems;
- there will not be a detrimental effect on residential amenity;
- the new or enhanced school includes opportunities to develop linkages with other service providers; and
- there is a clear strategy for the re-use or re-development of redundant school buildings agreed with the Council before final closure.
Dual use sports and other community facilities will also be permitted provided that there is no adverse impact on residential amenity or traffic safety.
The County Council is the main provider of education facilities in the Borough. Private sector provision is greatest in the nursery sector. Demographic changes mean that the demand for school places is diminishing, particularly in South-West Burnley and Burnley Wood where this has been accompanied by significant out-migration from the area. Some school premises date from Victorian times and are costly to maintain as well as difficult to adapt to current educational practice.
Lancashire County Council has secured funding from Building Schools for the Future to re-organise the provision of secondary education in Burnley and Pendle. Lancashire County Council’s ambitious plans will see the discontinuation of the 11 existing schools in the area and the establishment of 8 new schools including a new further education centre for 16-19 year-olds. The new schools will be developed in three phases which are anticipated to start on site in Autumn 2006. The Phase 1 schools should be open in 2008, with Phase 3 expected to be completed in 2010.
The Council will work closely with Lancashire County Council on educational provision. Where closure of school buildings is proposed the Council will expect the Education Authority to provide a clear indication of what will happen to the buildings after closure. Re-use for community purposes will be preferred. The Council is keen to avoid closed schools remaining boarded-up for long periods and becoming targets for vandalism.
School facilities have considerable potential for dual-use with the community. This ranges from sport and recreational purposes to venues for public events.
POLICY CF18 - YOUTH SHELTERS
Proposals for new Youth Shelters will be permitted when the proposal:
- does not have a detrimental effect on the amenity of local residents;
- is designed to be in keeping with its surroundings; and
- includes measures to reduce nuisance, anti-social behaviour and opportunities for crime.
The consultation process undertaken in the early stages of this review identified a lack of facilities for young people within the Borough. This can mean that young people are left to roam the streets. This obviously raises safety concerns, as well as issues related to the disturbance that can be caused by groups of young people with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Youth Shelters can provide an opportunity for young people to meet and, through consultation with local young people, provide them with the facilities that they would like. A successful example of this approach has been operational at Briercliffe since the late 1990s. Youth shelters have also been developed in Burnley Wood, South West Burnley and Padiham.
It is important that the location of these shelters is chosen carefully to minimise the impact on the surrounding area. They should, for example, be situated away from nearby houses. The involvement of the police in the process of selection and working with young people when the shelter is established are also important to the success of such initiatives.
POLICY CF19 - GRAVEYARDS AND BURIAL PLACES
The Council will monitor the need for additional cemetery space for different faith communities.
Wherever possible, existing and proposed cemeteries and burial grounds should be designed and managed to protect public health, and to maximise their nature conservation and historical interest.
National figures show that approximately 25% of people still choose to be buried and that this figure is unlikely to decline. There will therefore be a continuing requirement to provide land for burials, including an increasing demand for woodland burials. The Council will support the identification of a suitable site for woodland burials.
Burial traditions are of great cultural significance and different cultural groups have different requirements. In order to accommodate the specific needs of the Muslim community, an area has been defined at Burnley Cemetery. The demand for burial spaces is likely to increase as more people are buried in Burnley rather than being returned to the Indian sub-continent. The Council will work with the Muslim community to identify additional burial sites, including in the Daneshouse area.
Existing and former graveyards, including churchyards, frequently have considerable biodiversity and historical value. The management of such sites should therefore be undertaken in a way that conserves and maximises this value.
POLICY CF20 - CARAVAN AND CAMPING SITES
Proposals for touring caravan and camping sites will be permitted where the proposal meets the following:
- it relates sensitively to its surroundings in terms of scale, siting and appearance;
- it would not unacceptably harm the amenities of local residents;
- it has adequate access and the traffic generated can be safely accommodated on the local highway network;
- it is located close to public transport routes;
- it is unobtrusive in the landscape and will not adversely affect the landscape character identified in Environment Policy E29 of the Local Plan;
- it does not detrimentally affect views;
- the needs of the development can be adequately met by local services and facilities;
- it would not result in problems with surface water drainage or pollution from sewerage;
- it should not be located within an area with a high risk of flooding (see Policy E10 : “Development and Flood Risk”); and
- it does not harm areas of importance for wildlife and nature conservation, special scientific interest or archaeological significance.
In the case of proposals for campsites, provision should be made on site for such facilities as showers/toilets etc. and adequate security measures. Wherever possible existing buildings should be re-used.
A Transport Assessment (TA), see Transport and Movement Policy TM2, will be required for sites involving more than twenty-five pitches and may be required below this threshold where the Council considers particular traffic generation issues apply.
The North West Tourist Board has identified considerable demand for touring caravan sites and camping pitches within the Borough which is not currently being met. There are currently difficulties in providing this sort of accommodation for events such as the Burnley Blues Festival. The provision of such facilities within the rural area, including adjacent to existing farms, can also help diversify the local economy and increase farm incomes.
Touring caravans require good road access, both from the site itself and on to the trunk road network. “Quiet Roads” should be avoided. The advice of the Highways Authority will be sought on the suitability of the proposed access. Campers may bring their tent by car or by other modes of transport. Accessibility by walking, cycling and public transport is therefore important. A Transport Assessment (TA) will normally be sought for developments of 25 pitches or more.
Caravans, which are often light in colour, and large tents, can have a significant impact on the landscape. The Council will expect sites to be well screened and avoid prominent locations in the landscape. Sites should not be located within floodplains – see Environment Policy E8 – “Development and Flood Risk”. Ancillary facilities, such as shops, toilets and showers should, wherever possible, be located in existing buildings. The presence of existing services will be a material consideration when assessing applications.
POLICY CF21 - TRAVELLING SHOWPEOPLE
- there is adequate access to primary and other main routes, and to public transport;
- the development would not result in unsatisfactory traffic or parking conditions;
- the proposal includes foul and surface water drainage disposal arrangements and other essential services;
- there is no adverse impact on the amenities of nearby residents;
- there is no adverse impact on landscape and views;
- there is provision of adequate on-site parking, vehicle standing, equipment storage and manoeuvring areas;
- the site is well located in relation to schools and other social and community facilities; and
- there is provision, of landscaping and the screening of site boundaries.
Circular 22/91 “Travelling Showpeople” requires local authorities to consider the needs of travelling show-people when preparing development plans.
Travelling show-people travel around the country holding fairs, primarily during the summer months. This is undertaken under permitted development rights. However, travelling show-people also require permanent residential bases. Although these are most intensively occupied during winter months there is an increasing trend for some family members to live on the site permanently, e.g. to ensure continuity of children’s education.
The land-use requirements of travelling show-people do not fall neatly into any particular use class. As well as residential facilities, space is required for the storage of fairground equipment during the winter months, including provision for testing and maintenance.
Burnley hosts a number of annual fairs. Planning permission exists for the storage of fairground equipment at a site on Oswald Street but this does not include residential provision. Sites incorporating residential provision and equipment storage/testing will only be approved where the location is close to relevant amenities, has adequate road access and where the testing of equipment would not be detrimental to residential amenity.