RE13 Criteria for Sports Facilities in the Green Belt Policy
Proposals for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation will be permitted in the Green Belt where:
(i) adequate provision has been made for highway access, and on-site car parking and servicing requirements;
(ii) the level of traffic generated can be accommodated without requiring major alterations to rural roads;
(iii) the visual impact of the proposals would not be intrusive within the local landscape and the openness of the Green Belt would be preserved; and
(iv) the proposals would not cause unacceptable noise or other disturbance to neighbouring land-uses, including wildlife.
With the exception of proposals involving the re-use of an existing building, associated buildings and structures will only be permitted where they are essential to the use proposed and where their siting, scale, design and external appearance are appropriate to the setting of the area.
When granting planning consent the Local Planning Authority will, where necessary, apply conditions on the time and duration of use of the playing area and associated club facilities and other measures required to minimise the impact of the proposals on the rural environment.
Reasoned justification :
9.43 Policy RE13 is based upon the principle stated within Policy REC1 that provision for sport requiring major development is inappropriate outside the urban area. It also reflects national Green Belt controls which restrict the use of land which it is necessary to keep permanently open. The use of land for outdoor sport is an appropriate use within the Green Belt. The objective of Policy RE13 is, therefore, to ensure that such uses are designed and located in order to preserve the predominantly rural character of Wirral's Green Belt areas.
9.44 Policy RE13 indicates that new buildings and associated structures will only be allowed where they provide essential facilities directly related to the outdoor sport in question. This is often a matter which must be determined on a case by case basis, but excludes proposals for over-extensive facilities which are beyond the scale required for normal club activities. Proposals are also required to be designed and located so as to respect the character of the surrounding area. Other controls contained within Policy RE13, therefore, relate to normal considerations of servicing and highway access, visual impact, and the protection of local amenity.
9.45 Policy RE13 in particular reserves the right of the Local Planning Authority to control the time and duration of use of the playing area as well as associated club facilities. Such controls will only be applied where appropriate but are often required in order to limit the potential for disturbance to local residents. This not only extends to the noise and traffic generated by periods of active competition but also to times when the use of club facilities may extend outside normal hours.