Development proposals to enhance the provision of community services and facilities will be supported subject to the following criteria:
- The proposal will not generate unacceptable noise, fumes, smell or other disturbance to adjoining properties;
- The proposal will not have an adverse impact on highway safety; and
- Access arrangements and sufficient off-street parking can be satisfactorily provided where practical without negatively impacting on adjoining uses.
Proposals that result in the loss of buildings or land for public or community use will need to demonstrate that:
- The facility is no longer needed in its current form;
- A replacement facility of sufficient size, layout and quality is to be provided on an alternative suitable location; or
- It would not be economically viable or feasible to retain the facility and there is no reasonable prospect of securing an alternative community use of the land or building.
The NPPF identifies that the planning system has an important role to play in creating healthy, inclusive communities. NPPG defines a healthy community as a good place to grow up and grow old in, a community which supports healthy behaviours and supports reductions in health inequalities. It should enhance the physical and mental health of the community and where appropriate encourage active healthy lifestyles and healthy living environments for all.
The sense of community, the range of services and facilities as well as access to green and open spaces in East Boldon are very highly valued by the local community. Plan objective 6 seeks to contribute to community wellbeing by ensuring that the community, especially its older and younger people, have access to the services and facilities it needs. It also seeks to support social interaction across the whole village population and helps to enhance further that ‘village
feel’ that is so valued.
Further information supporting the policies within this section is available within the community wellbeing background paper and the local green space and protected open space background paper.
Community services and facilities
Community facilities are identified in the NPPF as: local shops, meeting places, sports venues, open space, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship. These facilities enhance the sustainability of local communities and residential environments.
There are a variety of community facilities across the plan area, including: infant and junior schools; nursery provision; sheltered accommodation; dentist; pharmacy; religious facilities; pubs; and the greyhound stadium. Services include: hairdressers/ barbers; vehicle repair; sports services; property construction/ maintenance; cafes; restaurants; and pet services. In addition, there are a large number of community groups, clubs and societies that operate across the plan
area, including: tennis; golf; squash; cricket; archery; scouts and guides. The local community groups and local business provide a variety of activities and events, including: family fun events; summer camps and coaching; functions and private parties; sporting
competitions; live music; as well as social eating and drinking.
The availability of the current level of facilities within the plan area are essential to support the strong sense of community that exists. Policy EB16 therefore supports the provision of new and enhancement of existing community facilities, as well seeking to resist the loss of existing facilities, this will assist with the delivery of plan objective 6.