6. Community, Recreation and Leisure


To increase participation and improve access to leisure and recreation, education and health care. Seek to provide a good quality of life, making Pendle an attractive place in which to live and work.


32.1 Planning permission for new and improved community facilities46 will be supported. Proposals for new facilities must:

  • Follow the Sequential Approach outlined in Policy 2547.
  • Be located within a defined settlement boundary, unless there are exceptional circumstances to permit development beyond a boundary or the proposal is for a village (Policy 28) or tourist facility (Policy 40).
  • Be accessible by a variety of travel modes (Policy 30).
  • Not compromise residential amenity.
  • Be of high quality design and adhere to Policy 13.

32.2 New community facilities are proposed at the following sites:

  • Health Care Facilities: Yarnspinner's Wharf, Carr Road, Nelson.
  • Education Facilities: Bracewell Street, Nelson.
  • Leisure Facilities: Chapel Street/Oakland Street, Nelson.
  • Community Centre: Nelson Community Centre.

No other permanent development will be permitted on those sites.

32.3 Proposals for change of use or redevelopment that would result in the loss of an existing community facility will be resisted, unless:

  1. It can be proven that the premises have been vacant and actively marketed for community use for over 1 year.


  1. Improved community facilities of a similar nature, serving the same population will be provided elsewhere in the local area, or are already in place.

32.4 In addition the Borough Council will support new community, leisure, recreation, health and education proposals within the Housing Market Renewal Intervention Areas where they are supported by an ADF for the area and, in particular, any Area Action Plan or SPD (Policy 18). 

46 Community facilities are defined as Use Classes C2, D1, D2 & Sui Generis by the Town & Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, as amended.
47 This applies to Use Classes D1, D2 and those Sui Generis uses specified in Policy 25.

32.5 The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the future needs of the community are catered for. Protection and enhancement of existing, and the provision of new community facilities including health, community and leisure centres, schools, police and fire are integral to the improvement of service provision and the success of both rural and urban communities in Pendle. This policy supports objectives in the Community Strategy, which sees the strengthening of local communities across the Borough leading to direct benefits for all of Pendle’s residents and the neighbourhoods in which they live.

32.6 New community facilities are proposed at the above sites. These sites have been allocated to safeguard them from inappropriate development, in a bid to improve service provision within the Borough. No permanent development will be permitted on the allocated sites other than for the purpose identified. Prospective developers of Yarnspinner’s Wharf should refer to the Development Brief48 for the site.

48 Borough of Pendle (2002) Yarnspinner’s Wharf, Carr Road, Nelson - Planning Brief. BoP 

32.7 Aside from the allocated sites, new facilities should be provided in line with Policy 25 for urban areas and Policy 28 for villages. The sequential approach (Policy 25) does not apply to Use Class C2. In exceptional circumstances new community facilities may be permitted outside a settlement boundary. Only where it can be shown that no alternative site exists in the town of the proposal, will new facilities for community benefit be considered on sites beyond a settlement boundary. In villages there must be a proven ‘need’ (Policy 28) for development beyond the settlement boundary. In cases where development is permitted beyond a settlement boundary, only the community facility will be permitted on the site, unless ancillary uses in accordance with Policy 25. New development should be designed so as to be inclusive of all those in the community, with good accessibility and sufficient parking for all modes of transport, without compromising road safety.

32.8 The loss of community facilities can affect quality of life. This policy seeks to prevent the change of use or redevelopment of community facilities. Non community use will be regarded as A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B1 (a), (b), (c), B2, B8, C1 or C3 and non-specified Sui Generis (Policy 25). However, community facilities will be permitted to change to Use Class C1 under Policy 40. Change of use or redevelopment will be permitted where premises have lain vacant for over 1 year and where it can be shown that the premises have been adequately marketed for a community use or where new facilities are, or will be, provided in the local area. For villages see Policy 28.


33.1 The Council will seek to protect those areas of open space as allocated on the proposals map, and defined in the Council’s Open Space Audit49. The loss of open space will only be permitted where:

  1. The loss involves poor quality Amenity Open Space (see Open Space Audit) in areas where there is a surplus of provision.


  1. The proposal provides for the replacement of open space provision as compensation and will result in no net loss to the community it serves. The replacement scheme must be accessible to current users and provide facilities of equal or improved community value. A Planning Agreement will be sought to secure the exchange of land, and ensure that the necessary works are undertaken.

49 Borough of Pendle (2004) Open Space Audit – BoP. See Appendix 3 for details of how to obtain a copy of this document.

33.2 Open space is beneficial toward the quality of life of Pendle’s residents. It can provide a venue for informal and formal outdoor sporting and recreational activities. The Council’s Outdoor Recreation Strategy suggests that open space, sport and recreation facilities can make a major contribution to ensuring that villages and towns are places in which people will choose to live. Consequently, this policy recognises the importance of existing open space by advocating protection in the first instance and a general presumption against net loss.

33.3 To inform the Local Plan review, an audit of all existing open space in Pendle was undertaken. The assessment highlighted surpluses and deficiencies on a Ward basis for the different typologies50 of open space as defined in PPG17. Proposals involving the loss of open space will only be acceptable on Amenity Open Space Sites, on sites of the poorest quality as identified in the Open Space Audit and in Wards with an identified surplus. The development of any other open space typology will not be acceptable, unless replacement provision is provided which is of equal or improved community value, and has a similar population catchment.

50 Typologies of open space include: parks and gardens, natural and semi natural greenspaces, green corridors, outdoor sport facilities, amenity green space, provision for children and young people, allotments, cemeteries and civic spaces.

33.4 The proposals map identifies all parks, outdoor sport facilities, school playing fields, children’s play areas, allotments, cemeteries and civic spaces. Amenity open space is identified on the proposals map for sites over 0.2 ha in size and within a settlement boundary. Any woodland site within a settlement boundary is shown on the proposals map. Other green spaces such as BHS, GHS, LNI, LNR or ancient woodland (all designated BHS in Pendle) are identified on the proposals map and included in Policy 4C. The Open Space Audit contains a full list of all the different typologies of open space in the Borough, both within and outside settlement boundaries.


34.1 The Council will support proposals for new open space51 or improved open space, especially in those areas that have a deficiency of provision. The Council will seek to raise the standards of provision over the Plan period, to that of the standard identified in the most well provided Wards.

34.2 Proposals for new residential development may be required to provide open space provision in line with Policy 21.

51 For the purpose of this policy this will include outdoor sports facilities, park land, amenity land and children’s equipped play areas.

34.3 This policy seeks to encourage new open space provision and improve existing provision, especially in those areas which are deficient of open space, as highlighted in the Council’s Open Space Audit52. The policy supports Objective 2 of the Council’s Recreation Strategy53, which sees the poor provision of sports facilities affecting the ability of clubs to develop, and that low levels of playing space can have a detrimental effect on the promotion of healthy lifestyles for the residents of Pendle.

52 See Appendix 3 for details of how to obtain a copy of this document.
53Outdoor Recreation Strategy (2003-2008) (BoP) available from the Parks, Cemeteries and Outdoor Recreation Department, Pendle Borough Council.


35.1 The Council will support the retention, improvement and increased provision of existing definitive public rights of way as proposed within:

  • The Rights of Way Improvement Plan54.

35.2 Where development proposals affect the route of an existing public right of way, developers must provide an acceptable alternative route or routes.

54 Lancashire County Council (2005) Rights of Way Improvement Plan. 

35.3 Maintenance, improvement and additional provision of public rights of way are integral to the management of the countryside, and are seen as forming vital links between rural communities, our urbanised areas and the wider countryside. They also help support the Borough’s tourism base and make the countryside accessible for informal recreation.

35.4 The Council will support the proposed Rights of Way Improvement Plan, produced by Lancashire County Council. This document will guide the improvement of existing provision and additional new provision of rights of way in Pendle. In addition the improvement of public rights of way to bridleways will be encouraged where appropriate.

35.5 New development proposals will be encouraged to support increased provision on site, especially where there is opportunity for improved access into the countryside. Acceptable alternative routes, on site or off, must be provided where new development conflicts with the interests of established public rights of way.

35.6 With the commencement of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, and specifically since August 2004, wider parts of Pendle have been open to legal right of access.


36.1 The Council will support improvements to the canal corridor through initiatives proposed within:

  • The Leeds - Liverpool Canal Corridor Study55.
  • The Canal Corridor Development Strategy56.

36.2 Development proposals, regardless of use, should improve the canal corridor as a place for amenity, recreation and leisure. Proposals that are inconsistent with the Canal Corridor Study or Development Strategy will not be granted planning permission.

55 British Waterways (2003) The Leeds and Liverpool Canal Corridor Study – East Lancashire - Draft. BW
56 Borough of Pendle (2003) Pendle’s Canal Corridor Development Strategy. BoP

36.3 The inland waterways of Pendle are a unique asset. They form part of the environmental and cultural inheritance of past decades and contribute to the local distinctiveness of the areas through which they pass. Many areas of the canal corridor are now suffering from dereliction and decay, as the traditional industries have declined and any freight previously transported on the canal is now moved by road. 

36.4 The corridor study proposes a new vision and strategy which will drive the regeneration of the canal and redefine it as a key destination, important leisure attraction and as a focus for reinvestment, employment and recreation. In partnership with the planning process, the Canal Corridor Study seeks to exploit conservation and redevelopment opportunities at the following locations:

  • Lob Lane Mill, Brierfield
  • Whitefield Area, Nelson
  • Yarnspinners Wharf, Nelson
  • Foulridge Wharf, Foulridge

36.5 The Council’s Canal Corridor Development Strategy is an SRB6 project and is based on a community-led set of initiatives to improve the canal corridor for people living, working and visiting the area. The East Lancashire Spatial Strategy proposes a Regional Park for East Lancashire. The Regional Park philosophy is founded upon the sustainability concept that landscape development and countryside character are linked to rural and urban regeneration. The Council recognises that enhancement of the Leeds – Liverpool canal will contribute towards this concept.


37.1 The Council support the East Lancashire Regional Park and will support any proposal for the development of a country park / tourist centre of sub regional importance (see proposals map).

37.2 Proposals to enhance the canal corridor as a place for amenity, recreation and leisure, and increased access to the countryside will be supported. Any such proposal must be in compliance with Policies 30, 35 and 36.

37.3 The RSS supports the development of new Regional Park areas. The RSS states that a Regional Park should focus on the provision of informal outdoor recreation and should support urban renaissance activities. A strategy for East Lancashire57 introduced the concept of a Regional Park for East Lancashire. Parts of Pendle are identified for intensive park land. The intensive park land will ‘provide a high quality environmental framework for urban regeneration and a radically improved recreation and leisure resource for local people’. Within the intensive park land woodland planting will be encouraged (Policy 14) and the Council will seek to exploit the natural environment for its recreation and tourist potential. In particular, the Council are seeking to introduce a Country Park or tourist centre within the intensive park area, carefully linked to existing reservoirs and within close proximity to the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Proposals which seek to enhance the canal corridor are supported through Policy 36. Proposals which seek to improve access to the open countryside for walking and cycling will be supported and are dealt with under Policies 35 and 30 respectively.

57 East Lancashire Partnership (2003) A Spatial Strategy – 4th Draft.


38.1 Proposals for new telecommunications development should, in the first instance, seek to share an existing mast or site.

38.2 All proposals for new telecommunications development should adhere to the following criteria:

  1. Siting – development should minimise impact on the natural and built environment, environmental designations, buildings of acknowledged importance, education establishments, and residential amenity.
  2. Design – all proposals should make effective use of sympathetic design in respect of height, materials and colours.

38.3 Applicants will be required to submit a statement with their proposal which self-certifies that ICNIRP58 guidelines will be met; this must cover the whole installation.

58 ICNIRP – International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. Guidance on this can be found in Planning Policy Guidance Note 8 (PPG8): Telecommunications.

38.4 Any proposal must be in line with the Council’s Supplementary Planning Guidance59 and should have regard to the guidance contained in the Government’s Code of Best Practice on Mobile Phone Network Development. Telecommunications are an essential and beneficial element of life and the economy. Fast, reliable and cost effective, communications can improve the business environment and help firms stay competitive. Telecommunications can also reduce the need to travel and promote sustainable communities.

59 Borough of Pendle (2002) Guidelines for the Control of Telecommunications Equipment. BoP. 

38.5 The purpose of this policy is to achieve a balance between facilitating development of the communications sector and protecting the environment, by encouraging the use of mast and site sharing. Any proposal must demonstrate that the applicant has explored the possibility of erecting antennas on an existing mast, or sharing an existing site. This is in line with the Council’s SPG.

38.6 It is essential for any application to minimise the impact of development on the environment, and for developers to consider the use of sympathetic design in their proposals. Size, materials and colour should respect the local environment, and new development should incorporate landscaping and screening where possible. The Council’s SPG details a number of different design solutions.

38.7 Proposals for development in the open countryside should also take account of the SPG on Development in the Open Countryside and policies on environmental designations contained in this Plan.


39.1 Proposals for the development of stables and equestrian activities should adhere to the following criteria:

  • Location, size, and design of a proposal must preserve the landscape character and openness of an area.
  • Suitable access to the site is available.
  • Proposals must be accompanied by a landscaping scheme for the whole site.
  • A Pasture Management Plan must be submitted with any proposal.

39.2 In Green Belt, small stable60 development will be acceptable provided the application is in close proximity61 to an occupied building, and meets the above criteria. Small scale extensions62 of existing equestrian businesses in Green Belt will be permitted.

60 Small stable development constitutes a maximum of four horses on any one site.
61 Close proximity for this purpose is defined as being 15m from the occupied building or residential grounds.
62 No more than 25% increase in stable size, including any previous extensions (floorspace).

39.3 Horse keeping can create a number of benefits for rural areas. Through offering leisure opportunities to both residents and visitors, it is also a way by which people can learn about the countryside. It has been reported63 that the keeping and riding of horses is gradually increasing, and that there is growing concern about the impact this is having on the countryside. The aim of thispolicy is to ensure that the impact of equestrian development on the appearance of the countryside is kept to a minimum and to ensure that proposals are in line with the Council’s SPG on Development in the Open Countryside. Buildings should be sited and designed to blend with their surroundings, and appropriate landscaping measures should be taken so as to limit the unsightly nature of jumps and equipment.

63 The Countryside Agency (2001) Horse Pasture Management. CA 

39.4 Applicants will be expected to remove jumps and other associated equipment when not in frequent use, and provide landscaping schemes where necessary. Any proposal must also be accompanied by a Pasture Management Plan to ensure that the appearance of the countryside is maintained after completion of the development. The plan should include an assessment of possible erosion on the land, boundary and building maintenance, on site storage of manure and machinery, tree/ hedge damage and the measures which will be used to combat these impacts. PPG2 (Green Belts) requires the construction of new buildings to be limited to small stables. Consequently no larger equestrian development will be permitted in the Green Belt.


40.1 Proposals to improve existing tourist facilities will be encouraged. New tourist facilities will be supported and planning permission will be granted for those to be located:

  1. Within town centres or local shopping centres in line with Policy 25,


  2. In villages or rural areas (with the exception of major hotels) provided that proposals:

    1. Are of an appropriate scale, AND
    2. Re-use an existing building of traditional construction, OR
    3. Will redevelop within the footprint of an existing building in the open countryside without the need for large scale extension64. AND
    4. Assist rural regeneration in a location where the environment and the transport and utility infrastructure can accommodate the visitor impact.

40.2 New build will be acceptable only where it is in line with Policies 24, 28 and 32.

40.3 Proposals for major hotels65 will be supported and planning permissions will be granted in locations in order of the following priority:

  1. Within a town centre,
  2. On the edge of centre,
  3. Elsewhere within a settlement boundary only where there is an identified need which cannot be met through development in a) or b) and the site is readily accessible by public transport.

40.4 Exception to all of the above would be where proposals are for development within the designated Country Park (see proposals map).

40.5 Planning permission for the diversification of agricultural enterprises to tourism facilities (including hotel, B&B, self catering accommodation, touring caravan or tent sites) will be granted for those that are in line with Policy 1 and comply with point 2 above and/or Policy 24.

64 Any proposed extension in the Open Countryside should not increase the size of the original building (as at 1st July 1948 or as originally constructed if it was after this date) by more than 25%. Proposed extensions in the AONB or Green Belt must also comply with the criteria set out in Policies 2 and 3 respectively.
65 Major hotel development is defined as at least 40 bedrooms.

40.6 In Pendle, tourism is seen as particularly valuable in assisting the diversification of the economy and in providing a variety of employment opportunities. Balanced with this is the need to ensure that tourism is used as a positive force to help conserve and enhance the environment, whilst providing an improved quality of life through new and improved attractions and easy access to the countryside for both visitors and local residents. This applies to local tourism but also tourism located outside of the Borough boundary that may bring benefits to Pendle. For example, the Council support initiatives such as the Lancashire Hill Country and the Lancashire Witches Trail.

40.7 The Council will encourage the improvement of tourist facilities by supporting the extension of existing facilities in towns or small scale extension in villages or rural areas, subject to policies on the open countryside (Policy 1), AONB (Policy 2), Green Belt (Policy 3) and SAC, SPA, SSSI, BHS, GHS, LNR or LNI sites (Policies 4A-C).

40.8 The Council’s Tourism Strategy66 sets out a number of actions for Pendle, including the encouragement of a family hotel, barn/camping provision and farm building conversions. This Policy encourages tourist facilities within town centres (in line with retail policies and the sequential approach). The Policy also allows for tourist facilities within villages or the open countryside, so long as such development respects the special environmental designations of the AONB, Green Belt, SAC, SPA, SSSI, BHS, GHS, LNR or LNI sites. New accommodation for tourists is supported in principle but will be restricted to appropriate locations. Appropriate locations for touring caravans/tent sites are dealt with in Policy 1 and Policy 24. Static caravan parks are not permitted. Hotel, B&B or self catering accommodation should be located within a town centre or local shopping centre, unless within a village or rural area where the proposal meets point 2 of this policy or complies with Policy 24, or part of a development scheme within the Regional Park area – proposed country park/centre (Policy 37). Major hotels will be encouraged to be located within town centres, in preference to elsewhere within the settlement boundary, and within the designated Country Park. Appropriate conditions will be placed on accommodation to restrict occupancy to short term tourist lets only.

Figure 7 – Community, Recreation and Leisure Sustainability Balance


66 Borough of Pendle (1999) A Sustainable Tourism Strategy for Pendle. BoP 

« Back to contents page | Back to top

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the electronic version of the Replacement Pendle Local Plan 2001-2016 is as accurate as possible. However, in some instances, the appearance of the Proposals Map online may differ slightly from the paper version due to issues with electronic displays. If users are in any doubt about the content of the Proposals Map please verify the information by referring to the published paper edition as this represents the definitive version of the Local Plan.