Policy RUR 6: Outdoor sport, leisure and recreation outside of settlement boundaries

  1. Under LPS Policy PG 6 'Open countryside', development that is essential for the purposes of outdoor recreation will be permitted in the open countryside. Proposals for outdoor sport, leisure and recreation in the open countryside will be permitted provided they accord with other policies in the development plan and:
    1. it can be demonstrated that a countryside location is necessary for the proposal;
    2. the proposals make the best use of existing infrastructure such as existing buildings, utilities, parking and vehicular access;
    3. additional buildings, structures and ancillary development are restricted to the minimum level reasonably required for the operation of the site footnote 14); are well-related to each other and existing buildings and do not form scattered development or development isolated from the main sports, leisure or recreation use of the site;
    4. the proposal does not unacceptably affect the amenity and character of the surrounding area or landscape either on its own or cumulatively with other developments; and
    5. appropriate landscaping and screening is provided.
  2. Wherever possible, proposals should be integrated with existing facilities, areas of open space and the public rights of way network.
  3. Artificial lighting will be permitted in line with Policy ENV 14 'Light pollution' only where it is visually acceptable and strictly necessary. Its design and operation may be limited by condition in order to minimise light pollution in the open countryside.
  4. In the Green Belt, LPS Policy PG 3 ‘Green Belt’ will also apply and the relevant paragraphs of the NPPF will be a material consideration.

Supporting information

6.22 The open countryside is the area outside of any settlement with a defined settlement boundary. Outdoor sport, leisure and recreation uses are most sustainably located in existing settlements. However, it is recognised that there may be occasions where a countryside location is required, particularly for uses needing extensive areas of land such as golf courses and driving ranges, watersports facilities, fishing and war games.

6.23 LPS Policy PG 6 ‘Open countryside’ allows for development essential for the purpose of outdoor recreation in the open countryside, but the impacts on the open countryside should be minimised. LPS Policy EG 2 ‘Rural economy’ supports developments that create or extend rural based tourist attractions, visitor facilities and recreational uses.

6.24 In the Green Belt, the construction of new buildings for the provision of appropriate facilities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation is not inappropriate development, provided it preserves the openness of the Green Belt and does not conflict with the purposes of including land within it.

6.25 Other policies in the development plan may also have particular relevance to outdoor sport, leisure and recreation in the open countryside; particularly those related to access, car parking, design, landscape, nature conservation, heritage, and best and most versatile agricultural land.

(Footnote 14) Development reasonably required for the operation of the site may include space and facilities that can be demonstrated to be required to support the viability and sustainability of sports clubs.

Policy information


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