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You are here: Penwith on the Web/Living in Penwith/Sustainable Development and Improvement (Planning and Building Control)/Local Plan
Penwith District Local Plan
Adopted 2004
11 RECREATION
This Chapter in PDF format (125Kbs)
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INTRODUCTION
POLICY BACKGROUND
POLICIES AND PROPOSALS
Sports and Recreational Facilities
POLICY R-1
PROPOSAL R-A
PROPOSAL R-B
POLICY R-2
PROPOSAL R-C
POLICY R-3
POLICY R-4
Developments in the Countryside
POLICY R-5
Informal Recreation in the Countryside
POLICY R-6
POLICY R-7
Water Related Recreation
POLICY R-8
Potentially Disruptive Activities
POLICY R-9
Summary of POLICIES and PROPOSALS
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Local Plan Menu
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1 Introduction
2 The Local Plan Area
3 Plan Strategy
4 Objectives
5 General Development Guidance
6 Coast and Countryside
7 Towns and Villages
8 Housing
9 Employment
10 Tourism
11 Recreation
12 Transportation
13 Community Services
14 Environmental Appraisal
15 Monitoring and Review
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Proposals Map
Inset Map
Glossary
Plan Help
Terms and Conditions
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11. RECREATION
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11.1 INTRODUCTION

11.1.1 Recreation covers a whole range of sports, activities and interests. Participation may be active or passive, formally organised or undertaken independently but whatever form it takes recreation makes an important contribution to the quality of life.

11.1.2 Penwith has been identified as being deficient in basic sports and recreational facilities but this is perhaps balanced to some extent by the benefits and opportunities provided by the area's diverse physical and cultural resources. Inevitably in an area so popular with tourists there is also a significant overlap in the provision and use of facilities and other recreational resources between residents and visitors to Penwith.

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11.2 POLICY BACKGROUND

11.2.1 Government policy encourages the provision and promotion of a wide range of opportunities for participation in both organised sport and informal recreation. In recognising both the importance of recreation for the community and the need for adequate provision, Planning Policy Guidance Note 17: Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation (PPG 17) acknowledges the need to have regard for current levels of provision and deficiencies and to resist pressures for the development of open space, particularly within an urban context, which conflicts with the wider community interest. The Regional Planning Guidance (RPG 10) also acknowledges the importance of recreation, stressing the special natural assets which provide opportunities and potential for residents and visitors.

11.2.2 The Structure Plan recognises countywide deficiencies in provision, particularly in respect of specialist facilities. Emphasis is placed on the importance of towns for major developments where accessibility by a choice of transport is of particular relevance. Additional emphasis is placed on appropriate facilities serving local communities. The Plan also seeks to protect the coast and countryside from development which could prejudice the enjoyment of their unspoilt character or other recreational value. The emerging Structure Plan (2004) due for publication later this year suggests that the quality of, and opportunity for recreation should be enhanced by improvements to existing resources and through appropriate new provision. Development should be located in sustainable locations, and any major development should be in, or well related to, towns.

11.2.3 Various other bodies also have responsibilities and interests in recreational provision. Sport England advises on community sporting and recreational needs at the Regional, County and District level. In 2000 Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly was designated as one of the first Sport Action Zones (SAZ) in recognition of the area's social and economic disadvantages and its weak sports development infrastructure. The aims of the Sport Action Zone are: to help develop communities through sport and active recreation; to assist with the strategic development of sport and recreation; and to help develop the local economy through support for sports tourism. The Countryside Agency and English Nature share a particular interest in recreation and aim to encourage greater access and use of the coast and countryside, provided that environmental interests are safeguarded.

11.2.4 The Council's Sport and Recreation Strategy aims to identify existing sports and recreation facilities, together with any deficiencies in provision, and provide a framework for future provision, co-ordination and funding of schemes. The document sets out priorities for strategic facilities, closely reflecting those identified by the Sport England, in relation to community sports halls and indoor swimming pools. Other recommendations relate to outdoor sports provision, children's play space and a wide range of individual activities. A Skateboarding Strategy has also been adopted by the Council in response to growing demand across the District.

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11.3 POLICIES AND PROPOSALS

11.3.1 The policies and proposals in this section reflect the objectives of the Plan in helping to meet the recreational and sporting needs of the District's residents and visitors. There is a strong emphasis on provision in the main centres of population in order to maximise accessibility and help reduce the need to travel, particularly by private car, thereby contributing to their vitality. In the villages there is an emphasis on their role as local centres of community activity. In view of acknowledged deficiencies in provision it also becomes increasingly important to safeguard and make effective use of existing resources. This approach integrates the social and economic needs of the Plan with the obligation to retain the character, value and qualities of the District, particularly the coast and countryside.

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Sports and Recreational Facilities

Location and Distribution of Facilities

11.3.2 The distribution pattern of population together with public transport and road networks are important considerations in providing new and improved facilities in terms of ease of access for potential users. The majority of the population lives in the main towns of Penzance, St. Ives and Hayle with the remainder dispersed widely in smaller towns and villages throughout the District. In seeking to reduce the need to travel, especially by private car, it is considered appropriate that larger scale facilities are located in the main towns where they would be more readily accessible to a greater proportion of the population. This reflects the Structure Plan's locational strategy for major leisure and recreation facilities as expressed in Policy SR 1 (Policy 13, 2004) and complements POLICY TV-16 (para. 7.3.47) which seeks to locate major commercial developments in those towns. In emerging PPS6: Planning for Town Centres a clear emphasis is placed on adopting a sequential approach when selecting appropriate sites for allocation. One third of the District's population lives in Penzance Parish and the town itself is the most accessible centre from all parts of Penwith, particularly in terms of the public transport network.

11.3.3 The need for additional and improved facilities is not, however, solely confined to the main towns. There is need for smaller scale provision in other settlements and proposals will be acceptable where they relate to the needs of the community and are in keeping with the character and amenity of their surroundings. Although the proximity of the countryside presents other recreational opportunities it cannot replace the need for community buildings, safe play areas, sports pitches and other facilities.

11.3.4 POLICY R-1:

THE PROVISION OF NEW OR IMPROVED RECREATIONAL AND SPORTS FACILITIES WILL BE PERMITTED IN OR ON THE EDGE OF TOWNS AND THE VILLAGES LISTED IN POLICIES H-5, H-6 AND H-7 PROVIDED THAT:-

(i) THE PROPOSAL IS IN KEEPING WITH THE CHARACTER AND AMENITY OF ITS SURROUNDINGS AND

(ii) IN VILLAGES THE SCALE OF THE FACILITY IS RELATED TO THE NEEDS OF THE LOCALITY.

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS TO SERVE THE WHOLE DISTRICT MUST BE LOCATED IN PENZANCE, FOLLOWING THE SEQUENTIAL APPROACH TO SITE SELECTION AS SET OUT IN POLICY TV-16.

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Deficiencies in Provision

11.3.5 Some deficiencies in provision had already been documented prior to the Sport and Recreation Strategy. The SWCSR in its 1994 report "Community Sports Facilities" identified the need for improved provision for swimming and a multipurpose sports hall in Penzance to serve the District. A multi-purpose sports hall has been built in Penzance and a new leisure centre is under construction, due for completion in August 2005. The Sport and Recreation Strategy has identified further deficiencies in provision including smaller community sports halls and open space provision, including children's play areas. The Community Plan, Penwith 'A Vision for the Future' (2003) also supports the need to address the deficiencies in provision in the Leisure and Natural Environment section.

11.3.6 The identification of deficiencies in provision strongly serves to reinforce the need not only to safeguard existing sports and recreational facilities but to maximise their levels of use. In accordance with PPG17 Local Authorities are required to undertake an audit of sport, leisure and recreational facilities to assess levels of need and deficiencies within the area. In making the best use of limited resources the concept of dual use assumes particular significance, an approach supported not only by the District Council but also by the County Council, Local Education Authority, and Sport England. Dual use of existing facilities in schools and colleges already takes place but it is important that where improved or additional facilities are proposed provision for dual use is fully taken into account at an early stage. In this respect the Council has directly contributed financially to schemes in order to provide a higher standard of facility and achieve wider community use.

Swimming Pools

11.3.7 Public provision in Penwith has been very limited and, until recently, the District's provision consisted of an indoor heated pool at St. Clare and the open air Jubilee Pool in Penzance and another smaller open air pool at Hayle. Limited private facilities exist, mainly associated with hotel and other holiday accommodation. The Sport and Recreation Strategy identified the need for a new community pool at St. Ives and upgraded facilities in Penzance. On the 21st October 2001 the St Ives Leisure Centre opened at Trenwith; the project was jointly funded by Sport England Lottery Fund, the District Council, St Ives Town Council and many other local contributors.

Sports Halls

11.3.8 Schools and colleges provide an important range of facilities especially where dual use with the community is exercised, whilst many towns and villages have community halls and club premises catering for such activities as badminton, indoor bowls and squash. Other facilities are accommodated in church and chapel halls and village institutes, although many are limited in space and restricted in their use. Such local facilities nevertheless have an important community role to play in that they are easily accessible to local residents without undue reliance on private or public transport.

11.3.9 There was an identified shortfall of provision within Penwith and it was recommended that further provision should include a multi-purpose sports hall at Penzance and additional Small Community Recreation Centres at St. Ives, Hayle, St. Just and Goldsithney, which together would make up a minimum provision for Penwith.

11.3.10 A site has been developed containing a multi-purpose sports hall at St. Clare, Penzance as part of the Penwith College complex, accommodating a range of activities including climbing. In addition, a sports hall and indoor tennis centre have been built at Mount's Bay School and a community sports hall at Cape Cornwall School, St. Just. Elsewhere consents have also been granted for community sports halls at Hayle Community School and St. Ives School. These much needed facilities have emerged more recently, outside the plan process, and will serve both school and the wider local community. The following proposal relates to a site identified in Penzance for a new leisure centre, which will provide a new pool, sports hall and associated facilities as part of a major PFI project planed for completion in August 2005.

11.3.11 PROPOSAL R-A:

LAND AT ST. CLARE, PENZANCE (Link to Map 1) (1.55 HECTARES) IS RESERVED FOR A SPORTS HALL AND SWIMMING POOL.

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Outdoor Sports Provision

11.3.12 The National Playing Fields Association (NPFA) recommends a minimum standard of 1.6 hectares per 1,000 population for outdoor sports provision, which includes such facilities as pitches, courts, greens and training areas. Facilities within the educational sector available for public use count towards this total. The Council has identified that the greatest shortfall is in the St. Ives area and a site has been allocated adjacent to the Rugby Club for sports pitches. Elsewhere there is no serious under-provision and a programme of modest improvements undertaken within the context of the Sport and Recreation Strategy should help to achieve an acceptable level of provision throughout the District.

11.3.13 PROPOSAL R-B:

LAND ADJACENT TO THE R.F.C. GROUND AT ST. IVES (Link to Map 15) (2.4 HECTARES) IS RESERVED FOR OUTDOOR SPORTS PROVISION.

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Children's Play Space

11.3.14 The NPFA recommends a minimum standard of 0.8 hectare per 1,000 population for children's play space, which includes such facilities as equipped playgrounds and informal space within residential areas. In relation to new housing POLICY H-18 (para. 8.3.106) makes provision for suitable play space in assessing proposals for family dwellings. It is also important that where play space has been included in existing or proposed housing development these sites even if not implemented should not be permitted to be lost to other uses.

11.3.15 When considering provision for children it should be recognised that their needs vary. Younger children generally require equipped playgrounds that are well integrated with housing whereas older children are more likely to use informal areas suitable, for example, for ball games. There is also a greater need for emphasis on aspects of safety and supervision for younger age groups.

11.3.16 POLICY R-2:

THE PROVISION OF CHILDREN'S PLAY SPACE TO SERVE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED IN LOCATIONS WHICH ARE APPROPRIATE IN TERMS OF SAFE ACCESS AND VISIBILITY. WHERE SUCH PROVISION HAS BEEN INCLUDED WITHIN EXISTING OR PROPOSED HOUSING AREAS THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUCH SITES FOR OTHER USES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

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11.3.17 Throughout the District there is currently a shortfall in provision of children's play space and in order to address these existing deficiencies effort will be directed where suitable opportunities for provision have already been identified. Sites have therefore been allocated at Newlyn Coombe, Love Lane (Penzance) and Heamoor. Elsewhere, where deficiencies have also been identified, opportunities will continue to be sought to help achieve an acceptable level of provision throughout the District.

11.3.18 PROPOSAL R-C:

THE FOLLOWING AREAS ARE RESERVED FOR CHILDREN'S PLAY SPACE:

LAND AT THE COOMBE, NEWLYN (Link to Map 8) (0.7 HECTARE).

LAND AT LOVE LANE, PENZANCE (Link to Map 1) (1.4 HECTARES).

FORMER J & I SCHOOL PLAYING FIELD, HEAMOOR, (Link to Map 9) (0.2 HECTARE).

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Safeguarding Recreation and Amenity Areas

11.3.19 Outdoor recreational areas, whether they are playing fields, specialist facilities or parks and gardens, not only provide for a wide range of formal and informal activities, but can also be as important for their amenity value as open space within towns and villages and are recognised as such in the Structure Plan (Policy SR 4) and by POLICY TV-3 (para. 7.3.12). The need to safeguard such a resource assumes even greater importance where deficiencies in existing provision are identified. There will be a presumption, therefore, against the loss of such areas unless a suitable alternative can be found or enhanced facilities would result from developing a small part of the site.

11.3.20 POLICY R-3:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD RESULT IN THE LOSS OF EXISTING OR PROPOSED OPEN AREAS IN FORMAL OR INFORMAL RECREATIONAL USE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS:-

(i) ENHANCED SPORTS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES WOULD RESULT FROM THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SMALL PART OF THE SITE; OR

(ii) EQUIVALENT ALTERNATIVE PROVISION WHICH WOULD BE ACCESSIBLE, CONVENIENT AND ATTRACTIVE CAN BE SECURED THROUGH THE USE OF A PLANNING OBLIGATION.

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Areas of Recreational Importance

11.3.21 Within the urban areas of Penzance, St. Ives, Hayle and St. Just there are significant tracts of open areas which have a major emphasis on recreational use as well as making an important contribution within the built environment in terms of visual amenity. These areas are not necessarily exclusively related to recreational use and not solely confined to the public sector but they represent an important focus of recreational provision. A wide range of sporting and recreational activities are catered for, both formal and informal, including golf, cricket, football, rugby and water sports and there are opportunities to provide additional and improve existing facilities for recreational use. Indeed, specific provision for additional recreational facilities is made in PROPOSALS R-B and R-C (paras. 11.3.13 and 11.3.18) within these areas of recreational importance.

11.3.22 POLICY R-4:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE IT WOULD HARM THE RECREATIONAL VALUE OF THE FOLLOWING AREAS:-

ST. CLARE - PRINCESS MAY RECREATION GROUND, PENZANCE (Link to Map 1 and Link to Map 10).

LOVE LANE - MENNAYE FIELDS, PENZANCE (Link to Map 1).

THE COOMBE, NEWLYN (Link to Map 8).

TREGENNA - STEEPLE WOODS - KNILL'S MONUMENT, ST. IVES (Link to Map 16).

COPPERHOUSE POOL - RECREATION GROUND, HAYLE (Link to Map 17).

CAPE CORNWALL SCHOOL - BOSWEDDEN PLACE, ST. JUST (Link to Map 4).

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Developments in the Countryside

11.3.23 Demand for commercial recreational development in the countryside has increased in recent years, a trend reflecting changes in European agricultural policy, which has led to pressures from farmers and landowners seeking to broaden their interests by finding alternative uses for their land. Development catering for activities such as golf, riding and motor sports can have a significant impact on the countryside in terms of landscape character, amenity and other environmental interests. The countryside is an important resource in itself, enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, and its character, qualities and features must be safeguarded. This will be particularly important within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Heritage Coast where the conservation of natural beauty is a primary objective.

11.3.24 Although the provision of golf facilities in Cornwall is generally good it has been identified that there are limited opportunities for 'pay as you play' to cater for beginners and casual players. This, however, could be achieved by increased access to existing facilities rather than the provision of additional sites. Policy SR 2 of the Structure Plan contains a presumption against the development of golf courses or centres in the AONB and where there is a significant adverse impact on environmental interests. If any significant associated development, such as housing or holiday accommodation, is put forward as part of the package, such proposals are unlikely to be acceptable in the countryside and will be considered on their own merits against other plan policies.

11.3.25 Although the creation of a golf course may appear to have limited effects on agricultural land, such operations as earthmoving, contouring and the removal of top soil can have a significant adverse impact on any subsequent return to agriculture. For this reason POLICY E-5 (para. 9.3.29) precludes the development of golf facilities on the best and most versatile agricultural land. In the case of driving ranges it is considered more suitable for their location to be within or on the urban fringe where they will be most accessible to centres of population. Moreover, in such locations floodlighting is more likely to be assimilated within the urban context.

11.3.26 Increased popularity of equestrian activities has led to the growth of commercial facilities such as riding schools, hire facilities and trekking centres. Such facilities can also have a significant visual impact on the countryside through site levelling, use of alien materials such as ranch-like fencing and the construction of large covered areas. Rights of way are particularly important in facilitating access to the countryside (para. 11.3.36) and often provide essential links between towns and villages and the open areas around them. It is essential that, when applications for development are received that might affect them, including equestrian related applications, the enjoyment, practicality and convenience of their continued use, or of any diversion should be carefully considered.

11.3.27 Since some recreational activities will, by their very nature, require a rural location it is important to provide sufficient safeguards to protect the character and amenity of the countryside and rights of way network. Development should be located and designed so that environmental impact is minimised. Screening and planting are likely to be important factors with existing landscape features retained (POLICY GD-3, para. 5.3.9). Where planting is required native species should be used. Any ancillary facilities, such as a clubhouse, should generally utilise existing buildings, but where a new building is considered necessary it must be located in or adjacent to a settlement or an existing complex to minimise environmental impact. Favourable consideration will be given to proposals for farm diversification involving the use of existing buildings for ancillary facilities for sport and recreational activities. It is also considered important to consider the effects of illuminating outdoor facilities in the open countryside. Whilst such lighting is not precluded altogether, it would be restricted where it would actually result in light pollution or adversely affect the character of the countryside.

11.3.28 Where the scale of development is such to attract a significant number of users, its location should be accessible, in terms of the public transport network, to the main centres of population and not reliant on the use of the private car.

11.3.29 POLICY R-5:

PROPOSALS FOR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES WHICH INVOLVE THE USE OF LAND IN THE COUNTRYSIDE WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:-

(i) THERE WOULD BE NO SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE IMPACT ON THE CHARACTER OF THE LANDSCAPE;

(ii) THERE IS NO CONFLICT WITH POLICY E-5 EITHER IN TERMS OF THE CHANGE OF USE OF LAND OR THE EFFECT OF ANY ENGINEERING OPERATIONS;

(iii) THE SITE IS CAPABLE OF BEING EFFECTIVELY SCREENED BY LANDFORM, TREES OR PLANTING AND

(iv) THERE WOULD BE NO ADVERSE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT IN TERMS OF THE NUMBER OF TRIPS GENERATED OR RELIANCE ON USE OF THE PRIVATE CAR.

IN ADDITION, WHERE PRACTICABLE, ANCILLARY FACILITIES MUST BE ACCOMMODATED IN EXISTING BUILDINGS WHICH ARE OF A FORM, BULK AND GENERAL DESIGN IN KEEPING WITH THEIR SURROUNDINGS AND PLANTING SCHEMES MUST UTILISE NATIVE SPECIES.

WHERE A NEW BUILDING IS A FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENT OF THE PROPOSAL IT MUST BE IN OR ADJACENT TO A SETTLEMENT OR AN EXISTING COMPLEX.

THE LIGHTING OF OUTDOOR FACILITIES IN OPEN COUNTRYSIDE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE IT WOULD RESULT IN LIGHT POLLUTION OR ADVERSELY AFFECT THE CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRYSIDE.

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Informal Recreation in the Countryside

11.3.30 Penwith's coast and countryside is a recreational resource in its own right, providing a wealth of opportunities for leisure pursuits. Informal activities such as walking, cycling, country drives, riding, swimming and sunbathing as well as interests related to the area's landscape, archaeology, flora, fauna, culture and heritage are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Enjoyment of the coast and countryside in this way makes an important contribution to the general quality of life.

11.3.31 Encouraging greater access and use of the coast and countryside for recreation is supported by such national bodies as the Countryside Agency, Sport England, English Nature, the Environment Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This approach is also endorsed by the Structure Plan which in Policy SR 3 seeks to safeguard the amenity of areas important for the public enjoyment of the coast and countryside. The common purpose is to improve and extend opportunities for enjoyment and understanding of the coast and countryside. Participation and enjoyment of recreational activities must not, however, be at the expense of diminishing the qualities and character of the countryside.

The need for Managing the Recreational Resource

11.3.32 Whilst it is essential to recognise the importance of a sense of freedom and the satisfaction of discovery as part of people's experience and enjoyment, pressures and conflicts do arise and some form of action or management may be required to achieve a suitable balance between protecting the countryside and the pursuit of recreational activities.

11.3.33 Conflict can lead to damage and erosion to vegetation and paths through intensity of use, pressure from congestion, disturbance to wildlife, damage and vandalism to archaeological sites, artefacts and other physical and natural features, noise, pollution, accidental fires and litter. In such a popular tourism area as Penwith such problems can become acute. The sheer scale of visitors using parts of the coast, for example, can threaten the intrinsic character of an area. This can be of particular concern in safeguarding the mainly unspoilt nature of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Heritage Coast. A high quality environment is necessary to sustain the future of Penwith's tourism as well as an obligation to present and future generations.

11.3.34 The Council has undertaken various initiatives to increase recreational opportunities in the countryside. The "Stepping Stones" scheme promotes a series of countryside walks associated with local bus routes and, as part of the European Community's LEADER project, the Council has produced leaflets for selected areas for distribution through village post offices and shops which include maps of circular walks and information on features of interest. A reclamation scheme at Giew Mine, Cripplesease, now provides facilities for parking, picnics and interpretation and the Council has designated a Local Nature Reserve at Steeple Woods, St. Ives which will include interpretation of features of both ecological and archaeological interest (para. 6.3.42). Gwithian Green has now also been designated as a Local Nature Reserve.

11.3.35 The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, administers the Countryside Stewardship and the Environmentally Sensitive Area initiatives (more detail can be found in Section 6 Coast and Countryside). Within these initiatives access management and promotion can not only be undertaken but
can be closely matched to the specific environmental problems and requirements of each particular scheme.

Rights of Way Network

11.3.36 The Public Rights of Way network in Penwith is extensive and includes the South West Coastal Path, as well as the Tinners' Way, Cornish Way and St. Michael's Way. The network is the responsibility of the County Council and provides the most important means of exploring the heart of the countryside. It was the aim of the County Council to have all public rights of way open and properly sign posted by the year 2005. The Countryside Commission's Parish Paths Partnership is one of a number of measures originally set-up to achieve this target. Since this date there have been continuous reviews taking place in the form of 'The Parish Path Review'. In practice this involves a periodic update of the Definitive Map and a statement reflecting changes that have taken place since the last review. In addition the County Council is preparing Parish Maps, indicating the public path network for display on local noticeboards, and is developing, with the assistance of riding groups, a selection of circular horse rides on bridleways, byways and quiet roads to help riders stay off busy and dangerous roads. POLICY TP-6 (para. 12.3.35) requires that proposals for development should not adversely affect existing rights of way and allows for improvements to the system.

Footpath at Chy an Dour

11.3.37 An access route linking the path has recently been provided on the seaward side of Penzance Railway Station with the South West Coast Path National Trail at Eastern Green, permitting walkers to avoid the busy A30 at Chy an Dour, was identified in earlier versions of the Plan and has now been provided.

Provision of Countryside Facilities

11.3.38 The Council will continue to make provision for and encourage small scale facilities and services which add to the understanding and enjoyment of the countryside (POLICY CC-2, para. 6.3.5). An important factor is the need to coordinate facilities, services and interpretation, particularly in relation to public rights of way and the public transport networks as well as parking facilities and the availability of accommodation. Some additional parking provision may be acceptable to alleviate uncontrolled parking in the countryside under POLICY TP-13 (para. 12.3.62). Emphasis will remain, however, on the quiet informal enjoyment of rural areas since it is acknowledged that comparative tranquillity is, and should remain, one of the main attractions of the countryside. Any improvements to access and the provision of facilities should not, however, have an adverse impact on the countryside in terms of landscape, amenity or other environmental interests.

11.3.39 The role of information is a key element, providing facts about places and points of interest as well as the care and understanding of the countryside. It is also important as a reminder that much of the countryside is a working environment and that the countryside should be respected as well as enjoyed.

11.3.40 POLICY R-6:

PROPOSALS WHICH WOULD FACILITATE AND ENHANCE INFORMAL RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES AND ACCESS RELATED TO THE ENJOYMENT AND INTERPRETATION OF THE COUNTRYSIDE WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY WOULD:-

(i) BE INTEGRATED WITH THE PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY SYSTEM OR PUBLIC TRANSPORT NETWORK;

(ii) NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT THE CHARACTER OF THE AREA AND

(iii) NOT BE LIKELY TO HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON OTHER LAND USES IN THE VICINITY.

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Stables

11.3.41 The popularity of horse riding on an informal basis has led to increased demand for grazing land and stable accommodation. It is important that stables are sited in suitable locations and are of a satisfactory standard of design and materials. This will be of particular importance in the sensitive landscapes of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coast. Where proposals are for new buildings they should be located in or adjacent to a settlement or, in the countryside, an existing complex. Conversions of existing buildings will be acceptable in the countryside where they are of a form, bulk and general design in keeping with their surroundings. Planting may be required to limit the visual impact in the landscape and provide shelter for the animals.

11.3.42 POLICY R-7:

PROPOSALS FOR STABLE ACCOMMODATION WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:-

(i) THEY ARE LOCATED IN OR ADJACENT TO A SETTLEMENT OR EXISTING COMPLEX; OR

(ii) THEY UTILISE EXISTING BUILDINGS WHICH ARE OF A FORM, BULK AND GENERAL DESIGN IN KEEPING WITH THEIR SURROUNDINGS. WHERE PLANTING IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE SCREENING AND SHELTER NATIVE SPECIES MUST BE USED.

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Water Related Recreation

11.3.43 Penwith's extensive and varied coastline offers many opportunities for water related recreation, with major levels of activity focused on Mount's Bay and St. Ives Bay. Inland opportunities are generally limited to the main reservoir at Drift, the small reservoirs at Boscathnoe and Bussow and the Hayle Estuary.

11.3.44 The Council recognises that there are opportunities for making further provision without detracting from the character and amenity of the area, but that some safeguards are needed. Increased levels of activity may bring greater risks of conflict with environmental and other interests, although management measures can be successful in containing impact and reducing incompatibility between competing interests.

11.3.45 In recognising the potential for further provision and seeking to facilitate further opportunities a prime concern of the Council will be to ensure that the character and quality of the environment is safeguarded. Whilst the Plan contains policies to safeguard particular environmental interests throughout the District as a whole, POLICY CC-14 (para.6.3.68) specifically seeks to safeguard the shoreline and adjacent coastal waters from development which would adversely affect its landscape character, amenity, nature conservation, archaeological, historic and geological values. Such safeguards will be of particular concern within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coast, designations which largely coincide with the undeveloped coast. Moreover, any provision would also need to take account of other agencies' responsibilities in relation to flood protection, water supply, the safety and efficiency of working harbours and possible effects of erosion. Account should also be taken of river corridors which should be protected from inappropriate development that could have an adverse impact on nature conservation, fisheries, landscape, public access or water-related recreation.

11.3.46 In general terms the provision of facilities will be acceptable in those towns and villages listed in POLICIES H-5 and H-6 (paras. 8.3.52 and 8.3.53) which have a safe and convenient access to the coast. Outside the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coast proposals will also be acceptable where there is an existing focus of water related activities. Public access to the water will be an important consideration in assessing proposals for further facilities in terms of both safeguarding existing and providing new points of access, although any increased access should not cause adverse impact in terms of the erosion of vulnerable habitats. This broad approach is supported by the Structure Plan which encourages improved access to the coast and provision for water based activities whilst providing safeguards for environmental interests (Policies MAR 7 and 8, 1997 & Policies 4 & 13, 2004).

11.3.47 The general locations likely to provide the greatest opportunity for further provision are Mount's Bay and St. Ives Bay, including Hayle Estuary. Mount's Bay benefits greatly from its sheltered aspect and existing recreation facilities are focused on Penzance harbour and the Marazion - Long Rock area. The completion of the Regional Sewerage Scheme resulted in a significant improvement in water quality and is likely to increase demand for further facilities. The provision of a marina/yacht haven within Penzance harbour, remains a possibility, and there is further potential for recreation activities between Newlyn and Marazion although care will be needed to safeguard the character and amenity of the bay.

11.3.48 In St. Ives Bay much activity centres on St. Ives itself which has relatively good access for water activities, with car parking provision adjacent or close to the major beaches. Hayle Estuary contains Copperhouse and Carnsew Pools which both have the facility for water to be retained on a more permanent basis. Although opportunities for recreation in the estuary have long been recognised only limited activity has taken place. Almost the whole of Hayle Estuary is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (POLICY CC-7, para. 6.3.35) and Copperhouse Pool also provides an important function in terms of flood control. Any increase in activities within the estuary would need to be compatible with such interests.

11.3.49 Inland there may be opportunities for increased activity at Drift Reservoir. Although there is a car park and picnic area overlooking the water public access is severely limited. Any increase in provision, however, will need to be consistent with the obligations and priorities of the water authority and the Environment Agency.

11.3.50 POLICY R-8:

PROPOSALS TO FACILITATE WATER RELATED RECREATION WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE DEVELOPMENT OR ASSOCIATED ACTIVITIES WOULD NOT:-

(i) HAVE AN ADVERSE IMPACT ON THE CHARACTER OR AMENITY OF THE LOCALITY;

(ii) BE LIKELY TO CAUSE PROBLEMS OF EROSION OR

(iii) HAVE AN ADVERSE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT IN TERMS OF THE NUMBER OF TRIPS GENERATED OR RELIANCE ON USE OF THE PRIVATE CAR.

SUCH DEVELOPMENTS MUST BE LOCATED IN OR ON THE EDGE OF TOWNS AND THE VILLAGES LISTED IN POLICIES H-5 AND H-6 WHICH HAVE SAFE AND CONVENIENT ACCESS TO THE COAST.

IN THE VILLAGES LISTED IN POLICY H-7 SUCH DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS IT CAN BE ACCOMMODATED BY THE CONVERSION OF SUITABLE EXISTING BUILDINGS.

OUTSIDE THE AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY AND HERITAGE COAST PROPOSALS WILL ALSO BE ACCEPTABLE WHERE THERE IS AN EXISTING FOCUS OF WATER RELATED RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY.

IN ALL CASES THE EXISTING LEVEL OF PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE WATER MUST BE RETAINED OR IMPROVED.

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Potentially Disruptive Activities

11.3.51 Some recreational activities can create problems of disturbance and nuisance or can have an adverse impact on the character and amenity of their surroundings. Such effects may be felt in both an urban or rural setting depending on the type of activity involved. An amusement centre, for example, is likely to be most appropriate in the main towns although there may be opportunities to provide more limited facilities in the other towns and main villages, subject to the scale and character of the settlement. It is unlikely to be acceptable close to housing or near schools, churches, hospitals and hotels and may detract from the character or appearance of a Conservation Area. It may also be appropriate to attach conditions limiting opening and decreasing noise emission to acceptable levels.

11.3.52 In rural areas certain activities can distract from and be incompatible with the quiet enjoyment of the countryside in terms of noise, dust or light pollution, as well as being potentially disruptive to nature conservation interests. The suitability of recreational activities in relation to surrounding areas will be given careful consideration.

11.3.53 POLICY R-9:

PROPOSALS FOR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES WHICH ARE LIKELY TO GENERATE DISTURBANCE BY NOISE, LIGHT, FUMES OR DUST WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THEY ARE COMPATIBLE WITH SURROUNDING USES.

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Summary of POLICIES and PROPOSALS

TOPIC LOCAL PLAN POLICIES/PROPOSALS STRUCTURE PLAN POLICIES 1997 (2004)
Sport and Recreational Facilities    
Location of facilities R-1 (TV-16) SR 1 (Policy 13)
Swimming pools R-A, R-1  
Sports hall R-A, R-1  
Outdoor sports provision R-B, R-1  
Children's play space R-2, R-C, (H-18)  
Safeguarding recreation/amenity areas R-3 SR 4 (Policy 13)
Areas of recreational importance R-4 (R-A, R-C)  
Developments in the countryside R-5, (GD-3, E-5) SR 2, ENV 1 (Policies 1, 13 & 26)
Informal recreation in the countryside   SR 3 (Policy 13)
Managing the recreational resource (CC-2)  
Provision of countryside facilities R-6 (TP-13, CC-2)  
Stables R-7  
Water related recreation R-8 (CC-14) (Policies 4 & 13) MAR 7, MAR 8
Potentially disruptive activities R-9  
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