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Flintshire County Council Unitary Development Plan 2000-2015
Adopted 28th September 2011

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Chapter 17

Community Facilities

Relevant Strategic Aims

b. Social and welfare

Policy Objectives
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Policy List
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a. ACCESS TO FACILITIES - to ensure that all Flintshire residents have access to a high quality range of health, education, social and welfare facilities, close to where they live

b. MEETING NEED - to allocate appropriate sites for the development of community facilities where a need has been identified

c. SAFEGUARDING FACILITIES - to ensure that, wherever possible, existing community facilities are retained

d SERVICE INFRASTRUCTURE - to ensure that sufficient capacity exists to service all new development without detriment to the local environment or quality of life

CF1 Retention of Existing Facilities

CF2 Development of New Facilities

CF3 New Primary School

CF4 New Health Clinic

CF5 New Community Centres

CF6 Service Provision

CF7 Development by Utilities

Indicators of Policy Performance

Targets

  1. No. of leisure/community facilities lost to other uses

 

 

17 Community Facilities

Introduction

17.1 The adequate provision of schools, health clinics, libraries, village halls, community centres and other social and welfare facilities in accessible, walkable locations can ensure that people throughout the Plan area are able to participate fully in the life of their local communities, without the need to travel long distances at private expense.

 

National Planning Policy

17.2 The provision of suitable and accessible community facilities is a key element of the Welsh Government’s commitment to sustainable facilities. Para 4.4.2 of Planning Policy Wales clearly states that planning policies and proposals should “promote access to employment, shopping, education, health, community, leisure and sports facilities and open green space, maximising opportunities for community development and social welfare”

 

Flintshire Context

17.3 The policies in this chapter seek both to ensure that, where there is an identified local need, existing resources are not lost and that appropriate proposals for new community schemes are supported. Furthermore, where there is a shortfall in a particular type of facility, or where significant new housing or employment allocations have been made, specific sites have been safeguarded for future provision. Policies have also been included to ensure that any other substantial new development arising during the Plan period is adequately served.

17.4 However, the chapter does not only cover social, educational and health facilities. Pressure for further development inevitably leads to a demand for new and improved gas, water and electricity supplies. Policies are therefore included to give guidance on the Council's expectations in respect of the provision of physical infrastructure. In addition to ensuring that new development does not undermine the social and physical capacity of the Plan area, it is intended that these policies will help statutory undertakers, service providers and other bodies to co-ordinate their investment.

 

Policies

 

CF1 Retention of Existing Facilities

The demolition or change of use of community facilities for other purposes will be permitted only if:

  1. there is no longer a demand for the existing facility; and
  2. suitable alternative provision exists or can be provided as part of the proposed development.

17.5 It is important that viable community facilities particularly in rural areas are not lost as a result of commercial or other pressures. However, where the Council are satisfied that the facilities are no longer meeting a significant local need, or suitable alternative provision is available elsewhere in the locality, then appropriate re-use of the site or buildings will be permitted.

 

Other key policies:

 

CF2 Development of New Facilities

The development of new education, health and community facilities will be permitted on suitable sites within settlement boundaries. Outside settlement boundaries such developments will be permitted only:

  1. through the conversion of existing buildings; or
  2. by extension to an existing facility; or
  3. on land with a previous built use.

The following sites are specifically allocated under this policy:

  1. Land for a cemetery extension at Greenfield;
  2. Land for a cemetery extension at Treuddyn;
  3. Land for a village hall and all weather playing surface at Lixwm;
  4. Land for a medical centre at Jubilee Road, Buckley.

17.6 The Council wishes to encourage the development of new social and community facilities, but is anxious to ensure that any new development is located close to where people live and work, and does not place unnecessary demands on undeveloped land.

 

Other key policies:

 

CF3 New Primary School

A site for the development of a new primary school will be safeguarded at Croes Atti, Flint as part of a mixed use development site.

17.7 The development of 637 new houses at Croes Atti on the edge of Flint will generate new demand for school places. It is anticipated that there is sufficient capacity at local schools to meet this demand at senior level, but that there will be a need in the longer term to create additional facilities for primary school children.

17.8 The site which has been identified is located within safe walking distance of all the proposed new residential developments and lies adjacent to areas safeguarded for shopping, recreation and community facilities.

17.9 The precise layout and design of the new school, together with details regarding its programming and implementation, forms part of a comprehensive development brief for this mixed use development site carried forward from the North Flintshire Local Plan.

 

CF4 New Health Clinic

A site for a health clinic will be safeguarded at Croes Atti, Flint as part of a mixed use development site.

17.10 A site has been identified within the mixed use development at Croes Atti, Flint to be safeguarded for the future development of a health clinic. The site which has been identified is located within safe walking distance of all the proposed new residential developments, and lies adjacent to areas safeguarded for shopping, recreation and community facilities. Further details are contained within the comprehensive development brief/masterplan for the Croes Atti site.

 

CF5 New Community Centres

Sites for the development of new community centres will be safeguarded at:

  1. Croes Atti, Flint, as part of a mixed use development site;
  2. Strand Park, Holywell, as identified on the Holywell inset plan; and
  3. Wood Lane, Ewloe, as identified on the Ewloe inset plan.

17.11 The mixed use site at Croes Atti on the edge of Flint will lead to a significant population growth in this area. The integration of a new community centre at the heart of the development will provide residents with a highly accessible facility.

17.12 The allocation of a site in Holywell will involve the conversion of a disused school recreation area into a site for community facilities such as a community centre, car parking and children's play area.

17.13 A site has been identified at Wood Lane, Ewloe, as shown on the Ewloe inset plan for a community centre to serve both the Wood Lane and St David’s Park Area.

 

CF6 Service Provision

Development will be permitted only if the necessary utility services are available or can be provided without placing unacceptable pressure on existing capacity. Where new or improved facilities are necessary to enable development to take place, planning consents may incorporate phasing mechanisms to ensure that development only proceeds in line with infrastructure improvements.

17.14 It is essential that all new development is capable of being served with adequate water, gas, electricity and drainage without placing undue pressure on existing supplies. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate that they can meet all their service requirements without detriment to the natural and built environment, or the amenity of other land users.

17.15 There are known capacity problems in terms of sewerage and water treatment infrastructure in several towns in the County including Mold, Connah’s Quay and surrounding villages. There will need to be investment in new or improved infrastructure before development can proceed, beyond existing infrastructure capacity. In such cases, development may need to be phased in line with the investment programmes of the statutory undertakers.

 

CF7 Development by Utilities

Proposals by utility companies for the development of infrastructure will be permitted only where:

  1. it would not impose any significant development restrictions on surrounding land;
  2. in the open countryside, only if there are no suitable alternative sites either within a settlement boundary or on allocated land; and
  3. development is designed as far as possible to minimise adverse impacts on the local character of an area and the built and natural environment.

17.16 All new development creates additional demand for service infrastructure. It is therefore essential that the Plan does not prevent the appropriate development of new or extended capacity. However, some utilities require large scale structures and plant which can have a significant impact on the built and natural environment, and may place constraints on other current or future land use activities within its vicinity.

17.17 Therefore, when proposing either new or expanded provision, applicants will be expected to demonstrate that there is no possibility of utilising any spare capacity which may already exist, and that every step has been taken to minimise the immediate or long term impacts of their schemes. Wherever possible new development should be located in or on the edge of settlements. If, however, there is no option but to locate facilities in the open countryside then additional measures will be required to ensure that the rural character of the area is not detrimentally affected.

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