CHAPTER 8 - EDUCATION, COMMUNITY & HEALTH
8.1.1 The provision of education, community and health facilities, conveniently located throughout the District, is essential to serve the needs of the population. It is the purpose of the Plan to attempt to ensure that land and/or buildings are available to accommodate new or replacement facilities.
8.2.1 The responsibility for the provision of education facilities currently lies with the County Council. At the present time, it is difficult for the Local Education Authority to identify and plan provision over the life span of the Local Plan. This can be explained by the following reasons:-- Capital guidelines set by Central Government, to Local Education Authorities, are allocated on an annual basis. This makes budgeting over the Plan period for facilities whose requirement is still not known, very difficult.- It is impossible to predict the pattern of actual Local Authority provision over the next ten year period.
8.2.2 In light of the above, it is very difficult for the Local Plan to give a definitive structure for education provision over its life span.
8.2.3 Provision within Mansfield is currently on a twin-track basis: A two tier system; this is in operation in schools throughout Mansfield Woodhouse, Forest Town, Warsop and the Catholic Schools, with children from 5 years to 11 years attending infant, junior and primary schools and those from 11 years to 18 years attending secondary schools. The remainder of the District, namely the old Borough of Mansfield, is organised on a three tier basis:- 5 years to 9 years attend First schools; 9 years to 13 years, attend Middle Schools; 13 years to 18 years, attend Upper Schools.
8.2.4 It is likely that during the plan period, the County Council and other educational establishments, may identify buildings and/or land which are no longer needed for educational purposes. The District Council may need to make its views known to the County Council on suitable alternative uses for redundant buildings and land. Surplus playing fields should be utilised as public open space where existing provision is poor. This issue is further discussed in the Leisure and Tourism Chapter.
8.3 Community Facilities
8.3.1 Community centres can fulfil a vital role in every day life, providing a meeting point for all sections of the community. They can help foster community spirit in allowing residents to take a democratic part in their own social development. They also allow the establishment of pre-school play groups, youth groups, local organisations etc. Church Halls play a similar role. However, Community Centres must not be confused with Tenants Meeting Rooms, which play an entirely separate role.
8.3.2 There are 16 Community Centres in Mansfield District. These can be broken down into three distinct categories:- Centres which are currently operated by Community Associations; Centres directly managed by the District Council and rooms available for hire for community association use.
8.3.3 Some criticism can be levelled at Community Centres for not achieving maximum use levels, as is often the case. However, it is not the primary purpose of community centres to achieve maximum use levels. Their purpose is to provide a place where a cross section of the community can meet and play a positive role in the activities of the neighbourhood. They also provide a facility for less mobile and isolated people to meet and socialise. It is therefore preferable that all residents have access to such a facility.
8.3.4 The Local Plan can assist with the provision of future Community Centres. However, whilst clear deficiencies can be identified, in many instances, new centres are unlikely to be constructed during the plan period. In these cases, the Local Plan will have supportive policies towards potential provision.
8.3.5 No new library facilities are planned in the Plan period. All existing facilities will be maintained and, where possible, improved.
8.3.6 Colliery Welfare Institutes play a similar role to community centres. However, with the contraction of the mining industry, the future of the institutes is likely to become uncertain. They provide an important community facility in terms of recreation, entertainment etc. The District Council may take appropriate action to ensure the continued operation of these welfare institutes.
8.3.7 Nottinghamshire Constabulary are currently looking to build a new Divisional Headquarters within Mansfield.
8.4.1 Mansfield Community Hospital and part of the Kings Mill Hospital site are located within the plan area.
8.4.2 Following reorganisation, the District is now covered by the North Nottinghamshire Health Authority, with services provided by the Central Nottinghamshire Healthcare (NHS) Trust and the Kings Mill Centre for Healthcare Services (NHS) Trust.
8.4.3 Mansfield Community Hospital Site (previously Victoria Hospital) will concentrate on providing active rehabilitation and day care for the Mansfield area.
8.4.4 Land at the Kings Mill Hospital site within Mansfield District has been declared surplus to the Health Authority's requirements and has previously been identified for residential development. This is no longer considered necessary and residential development per se is not considered to be an appropriate use. However, any proposals ancillary to the operation of the hospital may be considered favourably e.g. residential development specifically for occupation by hospital staff.
8.4.5 Health care, within the District, is going through a period of change with recent reorganisation. Proposals for further provision of health centres/doctor's surgeries, would be considered favourably, subject to consideration on highway and environmental grounds and their integration with surrounding land uses.
8.4.6 Applications for the construction of new nursing homes or homes for the elderly, change of use of existing premises to those uses or to extend existing nursing homes or homes for the elderly should meet policy criteria contained in the Housing Chapter, as should proposals for day nurseries.
8.5 Objectives of the Local Plan
8.5.1 Ensure that land is available to accommodate new education facilities which are already known to be required.
8.5.2 Give favourable consideration to any future proposals for education facilities not currently identified.
8.5.3 Be supportive to the provision of additional community facilities within the District where a specific need can be identified.
POLICIES AND PROPOSALS
8.6.1 The Queen Elizabeth's Grammar Schools Trustees will merge the Boys and Girls Schools together and locate all facilities at the Boys School, off Chesterfield Road. This will vacate a large site within the Plan area, that was previously used as a school with extensive playing fields. This creates the opportunity of providing an important resource for the community as an open break or green space. As a consequence, the playing fields will be protected in the Local Plan from other development. Details of the future use of the buildings and grounds can be found elsewhere in the Plan.
8.7 Further Education
8.7.1 Within the District, West Nottinghamshire College of Further Education is the predominant body providing further education. It is currently decentralised with sites at Chesterfield Road, Derby Road, Old Mill Lane and Rosemary Street. This Authority will encourage expansion of educational establishments for youth/adult education and training, subject to consideration on highway and environmental grounds and that they are well served by public transport. Future use of buildings, which become vacant, will be considered as and when the use for educational purposes ceases.
8.8. Community Facilities
8.8.1 Generally speaking the District is adequately served in terms of community facilities. However where a deficiency can be identified the District Council will be supportive of proposals to rectify that deficiency.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNITY FACILITIES PROVIDED THAT THEY WOULD MEET ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:-
1) BE LOCATED WITHIN THE URBAN BOUNDARY, AS DEFINED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, OR CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THAT THERE ARE NO SUCH SITES AVAILABLE FOR THE INTENDED USE;
2) INTEGRATE WITH THE EXISTING PATTERN OF SETTLEMENT AND SURROUNDING LAND USES;
3) NOT HAVE A DETRIMENTAL EFFECT ON THE CHARACTER, QUALITY AND AMENITY OF THE SURROUNDING AREA;
4) BE LOCATED WHERE THERE IS EASY ACCESS TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT;
5) HAVE REGARD TO PERSONAL SAFETY/SECURITY AND CRIME PREVENTION.
8.8.2 Where deficiencies are clearly demonstrated, future Community Centres should be based on the Sports Council's approved design (Small Community Recreation Centres), this will allow a wide range of age groups and activities to take place, ranging from the relatively sedate through to the more physically active. Areas within the District where a deficiency in community centre provision has been identified are:- Pleasley Hill - this area has a sparsity of easily accessible facilities to local residents. There is very limited provision of community facilities within the locality and the area rates highly on the County Deprivation Rating as prepared by the County Council. Forest Town - this expanding area is currently served by the Newlands Community Centre, the Colliery Welfare Institute (Mansfield) and various Church Halls. However, the new housing areas off Old and New Mill Lane are lacking in community facilities.
8.8.3 The Queen Elizabeth Girls School has recently re-located. The site comprises the oldest part of the former school and includes a listed building which should be retained in any proposals for the site. The building has an extremely attractive setting and offers the potential for re-use for a number of uses, such as offices, hotel or restaurant/public house.
8.9 Colliery Welfare Institutes
8.9.1 The role of the Colliery Welfare Institutes in the community is facing radical change in the light of the rapid contraction of the coal mining industry. The retention and continued operation of these facilities is still of considerable importance, however, to the communities they serve.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF EXISTING COAL INDUSTRY SOCIAL AND WELFARE ORGANISATION FACILITIES UNLESS THEY WOULD MEET ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:-
1) BE ANCILLARY TO THE RECREATIONAL AND/OR COMMUNITY USE;
2) ASSIST IN THE RETENTION AND ENHANCEMENT OF THE SITE FOR ITS EXISTING USE;
3) PROVIDE AN ACCEPTABLE REPLACEMENT FACILITY IN THE IMMEDIATE LOCALITY;
4) CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THAT THERE IS AN EXCESS OF FACILITIES IN THE IMMEDIATE LOCALITY.
8.9.2 Colliery Welfare Institutes are provided in Warsop, Clipstone, Church Warsop, Meden Vale, Forest Town and Sherwood. With the contraction of the mining industry, the viability of these facilities is likely to come under threat. The role of these facilities is likely to become increasingly important in providing a community facility. The District Council may take appropriate action to ensure the continued operation of these welfare institutes.
8.10 Cemeteries and Crematorium
8.10.1 There are currently four cemeteries within the District at Nottingham Road, Leeming Lane South (Woodhouse), Pleasley Hill and Cuckney Hill (Church Warsop). There is sufficient capacity for burial places within the Plan period at Nottingham Road cemetery. There is also a crematorium facility for the District at Nottingham Road.
8.10.2 The advantage of expanding the existing cemetery at Leeming Lane South revolves around the question of utilising existing facilities. A new site elsewhere would require expenditure on a Chapel of Rest and other facilities. This expenditure could not be justified where there is scope to extend the current cemetery.
ECH4(B) 0.7 HECTARES OF LAND OFF CHESTERFIELD ROAD NORTH, PLEASLEY HILL.
8.10.3 The existing cemetery is nearing full capacity. This proposal would utilise land between the existing cemetery and the proposed Pleasley Bypass extension.
ECH4(C) 2.0 HECTARES OF LAND OFF CUCKNEY HILL, CHURCH WARSOP.
8.10.4 This cemetery will be extended using land north of the existing cemetery.