In 2012 SLC was appointed by the Generator Group working on behalf of the Mansfield Bowling Club in relation to the redevelopment of a large, run down site in Dartmouth Park. The site featured a two court tennis facility and large 2 storey 6 rink indoor bowling club and outdoor bowling green set within private open space in a residential area. The Bowling Club was no longer sustainable and demand for indoor and outdoor bowls was insufficient to secure a sustainable future for the club in its current form.
Planning application support
SLC’s role was to support a planning application which originally sought to provide alongside a residential development, a community leisure facility which incorporated some element of indoor bowls but also provided a community health and fitness facility which would have been financed and operated by a local leisure trust.
This planning application was rejected by the planning authority.
Supporting a second planning application in 2016, SLC supported the applicant, Generator Group in developing a proposal for enhancing a community tennis facility. Crucially SLC provided robust evidence to demonstrate that there was no longer any demand for indoor bowls and outdoor bowls at the site to comply with Policy DP15 f) of the Local Development Framework and paragraph 74 of the National Planning Policy Framework. SLC prepared a detailed needs analysis complying with Sport England’s ANOG guidance to make the case for not replacing the bowling facility but for enhancing the tennis facilities on the proposed mixed use site.
The planning application was rejected by the planning committee despite an officer recommendation.
The case went to appeal.
Successful planning appeal
The main issues of the appeal that SLC subsequently supported with evidence were;
a) Whether adequate alternative facilities are available in the area, such that no shortfall in provision would be created by the loss and;
b) Whether it has been demonstrated that there is no demand for an alternative leisure use of the site that would be suitable.
The Planning Inspector found that the leisure facility is no longer required and that there is no demand for an alternative leisure use of the site which would be suitable.
SLC’s evidence and input at the appeal played a significant role in securing planning approval.
It was deemed that the proposal would not be contrary to Policy DP15 f) of the Local Development Framework Development Policies or Policies CS10 and CS19 of the Core Strategy.
The development proposed is the creation of a new publicly accessible open space; enhanced tennis facilities including the reconfiguration and extension of the courts to provide an additional court and increased playing area to accord with LTA requirements.
It also included the provision of a new ancillary pavilion to replace existing ancillary buildings and structures providing community and leisure space; a new community garden; and the demolition and replacement of the existing bowling club building with a new part three storey, part 2 storey building providing 21 residential dwellings with associated access, parking and landscaping.
This support demonstrates that SLC has the technical expertise to support highly complex and challenging planning applications.
We found SLC to be extremely professional, proactive and tenacious in their support and advice over 5 years on this complex planning project. Their robust and detailed evidence was pivotal in supporting the successful planning appeal for our application to redevelop the Mansfield Bowling Club site. Their evidence was proved to be considered, well researched and expertly communicated – everything we need from a specialist adviser. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
James Barnes, Development Director
Generator Group (May 2018)
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