Site Allocations Plan March 2016

Community Use Allocations

Background

Provision for culture and community leisure is increasingly recognised as a significant factor in enhancing quality of life. An important function of the Site Allocations Plan is therefore to make adequate provision for both organised sport and more informal recreation whether provided by the local authority, voluntary agencies or the private sector. Similarly, cultural and community leisure facilities contribute to the economic and social vitality of towns and villages. They help to promote better opportunities in education, health and employment and generate an improved sense of place and community.

The aim of the Council is to meet the needs of North Somerset existing and future residents and visitors, specifically up to 2026, in terms of cultural and community leisure facilities, in a manner consistent with the concept of sustainable development.

It is important that the necessary land is reserved where service providers have identified a future need and suitable sites exist. The Site Allocation Plan is concerned with identifying and reserving sites. The timing of actual provision depends on the availability of resources. Particularly where restricted public resources are required, there may be a delay in provision, unless developer contributions can be negotiated to bring forward investment.

The Site Allocations Plan seeks to ensure that there is adequate access to open space and recreational facilities and that other community needs are met. The provision of these facilities in areas of new development contributes significantly to the quality of life of residents and users. Justifiable criticism is received from the public if adequate community facilities are not secured and made available as development proceeds.

Many existing facilities are at or near capacity and in some cases the need for new or improved facilities is triggered by new development. It is considered reasonable for developers to contribute towards appropriate improvements to infrastructure, e.g. schools, leisure centres, community halls and outdoor playing space, in order to cater for the additional demand created by new development and its occupants.

Where facilities or infrastructure works are directly related to an allocated housing site they may be included in Schedule 1, which lists the detailed requirements of a particular site, e.g. open space or school sites.

Sites that the Council has identified for community development, or that are included within other agencies’ plans, are to be protected and not developed for other purposes (see Policy DM68 Sites and Policies Part 1: Development Management Policies).  Otherwise, less suitable, alternative sites may have to be identified to the disadvantage of some sections of the local population, or facilities not provided at all.

POLICY SA 10: Community Uses

Land is allocated or safeguarded for the relevant community use listed in Schedule 5.

Alternative use of these sites will only be permitted if in accordance with Policy DM68 of the Sites and Policies Part 1: Development Management Policies.