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TL11  Development at Countryside Recreation Sites  Policy

The re-use of existing buildings and the construction of small scale visitor facilities for countryside recreation will be permitted within the following areas, shown on the Proposals Map, subject to: the need to preserve the openness of the Green Belt; protect and enhance natural beauty, landscape character and features of importance for nature conservation; and the need to prevent over-intensive use and disturbance to neighbouring land-uses:

1. Arrowe Park
2. Royden Park
3. North Wirral Coastal Park
4. Eastham Country Park
5. Wirral Country Park and The Wirral Way

Reasoned justification :

10.39 The sites listed under Policy TL11 are identified within the Wirral Countryside Recreation Strategy, which was prepared by the Council's Leisure Services and Tourism Department and approved in 1990. They are already established locations for countryside recreation and cater for an increasing number of visitors and range of pursuits. All require visitor facilities to be expanded, upgraded or enhanced and are also the subject of detailed management plans prepared and implemented by the Leisure Services and Tourism Department. None is considered suitable for major tourist development.

10.40 Some areas, such as Eastham Country Park and the facilities within Wirral Country Park at Thurstaston, are already close to their capacity in terms of their ability to cater for increased levels of use. New attractions likely to lead to a further increase in the number of visitors should, therefore, be restricted in these locations. Others, however, such as at Arrowe Park, Royden Park and at the North Wirral Coastal Park, retain scope for an expansion of activity. Consistent with the Wirral Countryside Recreation Strategy, new facilities at these locations may be able to redirect visitor pressure away from areas where visitor pressure is beginning to cause problems as well as broaden and enhance local recreational opportunities.

10.41 Policy TL11 is intended to ensure that an incremental improvement to visitor facilities is continued throughout the UDP period, but without harming the special features and distinctive characteristics of each site. New development is, therefore, primarily restricted to the re-use of existing buildings and, where necessary, to the provision of other small scale facilities. It also includes criteria to ensure that new development is sensitively located, not only in terms of protecting the intrinsic value of the Parks themselves but also in terms of the impact on adjacent land and property.