OSL5 Sport and Outdoor Recreation Facilities

Closeddate_range16 Oct, 2019, 9:30am - 11 Dec, 2019, 5:00pm

Policy OSL5 Sport and Outdoor Recreation Facilities

Sport and Outdoor Recreation in Settlements

The development of sport and outdoor recreation facilities inside settlement limits will be permitted where they meet the General Policy and accord with other provisions of the LDP, including the policy text below relating to noise, floodlighting and water sports.

Sport and Outdoor Recreation in the Countryside

The development of appropriate sport and outdoor recreational facilities in the countryside will be permitted where they meet the General Policy and accord with other provisions of the LDP, including the policy text below relating to noise, floodlighting and water sports. In addition such proposals must have no unacceptable impact on nearby agricultural activities or other established rural enterprises.

Intensive Sports Facilities

Proposals for new intensive sports facilities or large extensions to existing facilities will only be permitted where these are located at appropriate and accessible locations within settlements. An exception may be permitted in the case of the development of sports stadium where all the following criteria are met:

  1. there is no alternative site within the settlement which can accommodate the development;
  2. the proposed development is sited at an accessible location close to the edge of the settlement and can be clearly identified as being visually associated with the settlement;
  3. there is no adverse impact on the setting of the settlement; and
  4. the scale of the development is in keeping with the size of the settlement.

In all cases the development of intensive sports facilities will be required to meet the General Policy and accord with other provisions of the LDP.

Noise Generating Sports and Outdoor Recreational Activities

Development of sport or outdoor recreational activities that generate high levels of noise will only be permitted where they meet the General Policy, accord with other provisions of the LDP and where all the following additional criteria are met:

  1. there is no unacceptable level of disturbance to people living nearby or conflict with other noise sensitive receptors;
  2. there is no unacceptable level of disturbance to farm livestock and wildlife; and
  3. there is no conflict with the enjoyment of environmentally sensitive features and locations or areas valued for their silence and solitude.
Development of Facilities ancillary to Water Sports

The development of facilities ancillary to water sports associated with inland lakes, reservoirs and waterways will be permitted where they meet the General Policy, accord with other provisions of the LDP and where all the following criteria are met:

  1. it is compatible with any authorised existing use of the water body, including, for recreation and non-recreational purposes;
  2. it will not result in water pollution or compromise the aims or objectives of any river basin management plan published under the Water Framework Directive; and
  3. there is no conflict with the provisions of any local management plan which has been formulated or endorsed by a competent authority.
The Floodlighting of Sports and Outdoor Recreational Facilities

Floodlighting associated with all sports and outdoor recreational facilities will only be permitted where the General Policy is met.

Justification and Amplification

Sport and Outdoor Recreation in Settlements

This policy seeks to support sport and recreation facilities that are of high quality sustainable design, and respect the visual and residential amenity of the local area, local character and distinctiveness, and respect the historic environment and natural heritage. Proposals should also provide satisfactory arrangements for access for all, car parking, drainage and waste disposal.

This policy will apply to the development and extension of sport and recreation facilities not specifically covered by other open space policies in this document.

Sport and Outdoor Recreation in the Countryside

Our countryside provides for a wide range of recreation activity opportunities for both the local population and for an increasing number of tourists. Hill walking, rambling, cycling and angling are among the most popular countryside recreational pursuits. There is also a growing number of people now taking part in activities such as horse riding, golf, orienteering, mountain biking, rowing, sailing and canoeing. Such activities often generate a demand for ancillary facilities.

In line with the SPPS, the LDP seeks to encourage farm diversification to strengthen the rural economy. While this can offer opportunities for outdoor recreation purposes, it this must be balanced against the environmental impact of certain countryside pursuits and their related developments. Council will therefore seek to ensure that new recreational development in the countryside is sustainable and does not conflict with the need to preserve, and wherever possible, enhance our rural environment for future generations.

In locations designated for their landscape, nature conservation or historic importance, it may be possible to meet the demand for outdoor recreation use so far as this is consistent with the conservation or enhancement of the interest for which the site or area is designated (also see policies in Chapter 5.0 Countryside Strategy, Chapter 10.0 Stewardship of our Built Environment and Creating Places and Chapter 11.0 Safeguarding our Natural Environment).

In assessing proposals, Council will take account of the nature of the sporting or outdoor recreational activity and the ability of the land, natural heritage, ecosystem or the landscape to sustain that activity in the long term, including the cumulative impact of proposals. The inherent character of certain areas, perhaps relating to their silence, solitude or remoteness, also needs to be considered. One location may be suitable for some pursuits but not others, while others may be suitable for a cluster of activities.

The impact of development can usually be reduced by careful attention to scale, siting, layout, design and landscaping details. Any proposed activity or development should not, however, become a dominant feature in the landscape. In some cases, therefore, the provision of ancillary facilities may need to be restricted and the re-use of existing buildings encouraged as the preferable solution.

Certain sports or outdoor recreation activities may on occasion create a demand for additional development, such as holiday chalets or a hotel. While it is acknowledged that such facilities can boost local tourism they must be considered on their own planning merits. The existence of an outdoor recreational use, such as a golf course, will not therefore in itself provide the justification for approving an associated development if this would not be acceptable in its own right under other policies in the LDP.

Intensive Sports Facilities

An ‘intensive sport facility’, for the purpose of the policy, is defined as a purpose built indoor or outdoor resource which facilitates one or more activity fundamental to maintaining individual health and fitness. This may include stadia, sports halls, leisure centres, swimming pools and other indoor (and outdoor) sports facilities. They often serve as a focus for the community and can attract large numbers of users and/or spectators, particularly when competitive events are being hosted. It is therefore important that they are located where access is convenient by a range of modes of transport, including walking, cycling and public transport. In this regard, accessible sites within settlements are normally the most appropriate locations. Exceptionally, development of a sports stadium may be accepted at the edge of a settlement, outside the development limits. The policy sets out criteria for assessing such exceptional cases.

The potential impact of any intensive sports use will be carefully considered in relation to local amenity, particularly the scale, frequency or timing of the sporting activities proposed, traffic, noise and light disturbance. Developments should also be of high quality sustainable design sympathetic to the local area and respect the historic environment and natural heritage. Proposals should also provide satisfactory arrangements for access for all, car parking, drainage and waste disposal.

Noise Generating Sports and Outdoor Recreational Activities

Some outdoor recreational activities such as motorsports, shooting, water-skiing and paintball adventure games have the potential to generate high levels of noise and it is therefore necessary to carefully consider the siting and location of such activities. When assessing such proposals important factors will include the type of activity, the tone, level, frequency and duration of the noise generated, the design of facilities, the nature of the local topography and the nature of proposed screening. Suitable sites for noisy sports may include former mineral workings or locations where the ambient noise level is already high and the noise generated by the proposal will not appear dominant. Planning conditions may be used to limit the hours/or the frequency of the use (also see policies in Chapter 11.0 Safeguarding our Natural Environment).

Development of Facilities ancillary to Water Sports

Water sports range from tranquil uses such as angling, sailing, canoeing, rowing and sail-boarding, to powered activities such as water-skiing, jet-skiing and other power boat uses. Management plans drawn up for particular water areas seek to address the compatibility of such varying demands. The development of ancillary facilities to support water sport uses, such as slipways, jetties, boat houses, toilet and changing facilities, parking areas and access, generally require planning permission. Ancillary space requirements for launching, mooring and car parking can vary from modest dimensions to large compounds.

The impact on visual amenity and the character of the area will be important considerations in the assessment of proposals. Particular account will be taken of over-intensive use especially in or adjacent to sites of nature conservation importance, or areas designated for their landscape quality or historic significance (also see policies in Chapter 5.0 Countryside Strategy, Chapter 10.0 Stewardship of our Built Environment and Creating Places and Chapter 11.0 Safeguarding our Natural Environment). The need for access across land to inland bodies of water and the impact of this will be addressed when considering proposals for water sports. Proposals must also demonstrate that they will not damage the wider environment. Noise, erosion of shorelines or river banks and the potential loss of amenity for other users will be considered.

Proposals for recreational development affecting the coastline of the Borough will be determined in line with the policies contained in Chapter 5.0 Countryside Strategy.

The Floodlighting of Sports and Outdoor Recreational Facilities

The provision of floodlighting at sports and outdoor recreational facilities can extend the hours of operation of such facilities, thereby creating greater flexibility and potential for enhanced use by more people, both as participants or spectators. Where floodlighting is proposed as part of a new sports or recreational development or in association with an existing facility, a number of issues need to be considered. These include the potential for increased use of the facility, light pollution and increased traffic and noise generation. These impacts are particularly relevant where the proposed floodlighting is close to residential properties. The impact of floodlighting on visual amenity and on the character of the wider area are also important considerations. Particular care needs to be exercised in the countryside and those areas identified for their landscape, townscape or heritage value. Bats are particularly sensitive to floodlighting (please refer to NI Biodiversity Checklist (Version 2 DAERA 2017) for other susceptible species) and proposals should ensure no significant impact on them (see Policy NAT2 Species Protected by Law). Floodlighting must be positioned and designed to avoid prejudice to public safety, for example by way of glare likely to affect drivers of vehicles. Applicants are advised to take account of The Institute of Lighting Profession thresholds. Planning conditions may be used to limit the hours/or the frequency of their use, restrict the luminance or brightness of the lights or requiring the installation of appropriate shielding.

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