Site Specific Allocations

Adopted January 2011

LOW11 - Part of Oakes Farm, off Beccles Road, Carlton Colville

Allocation: Sports and Leisure


2.125 Oakes Farm is a large area of arable farmland stretching from the western boundary of Carlton Colville along the southern edge of the A146. Mature hedges and trees cut across this site dividing it into large fields. A public footpath runs from Hedley Lane to Wood Lane through the site and there is an area of protected ancient woodland on the site. The main part of the site is relatively flat, although the land begins to undulate very gently towards the western edge. There are a few residential properties located on Hedley Lane and Beccles Road that directly abut the boundaries of the site. The main settlement of Carlton Colville is situated to the east.

2.126 Access to the site could be gained from the roundabout at the western end of Castleton Avenue. It is possible to walk or cycle to the site along existing pavements and cycle paths along Castleton Avenue. Bus stops are located nearby on Beccles Road. Although the route along Chapel Road has no continuous footpath.

Proposed Development
LOW11 Image 1.jpg2.127 The Core Strategy, (Policy CS14) identifies the main sports facility deficiencies in the Lowestoft area. These include, football, cricket, athletics, tennis and rugby. Part of Oakes Farm, in Carlton Colville (LOW11) has been allocated to meet these needs on one site and provide a community sporting centre of excellence. The deficiency in Rugby facilities relates to the needs identified by the Lowestoft and Yarmouth Rugby Club and this site may provide an opportunity for the Club to relocate through enabling housing development on part of their existing site (LOW7).

2.128 LOW11 is a greenfield site on the edge of the town with good access from Carlton Colville and reasonable access from other residential areas of Lowestoft. The site is accessible by a range of modes of transport. The nature and scale of this proposal requires development of a greenfield site on the edge of the town as opportunities within the built up area do not exist. Although there would be some new buildings, the proposed development would mainly consist of sports pitches, and this use would maintain the open nature of the countryside, keeping the impact on the landscape to a minimum.

2.129 The protected route of the Carlton Colville/Barnby Bypass runs through the site. It is currently uncertain whether the new road will be constructed due to a lack of funding for transport schemes. However, it will be important to ensure that the Bypass corridor is protected for the longer term preventing new buildings along its route.

2.130 Development of this site provides the opportunity to create better linkages between existing cycle routes and extend the National Cycle Route west from Castleton Avenue through the site to Wood Lane. This route should follow a direct line across the site, alongside the route of the bypass should this be built. A public right of way runs through the site from Hedley Lane and must be retained.

2.131 The Landscape Character Assessment (2008) recommended that development associated with the growth of settlements such as Lowestoft should be sensitive to the wider rural character of the area, conserve views and avoid over exposed or lit settlement edges by using existing landform and field boundary vegetation to integrate development.

2.132 The relatively flat nature of most of the site would seem to be well suited to sports pitches. The boundary planting of trees and hedgerows will need to be retained and reinforced to prevent the development being exposed in the landscape. Buildings and lighting should therefore be designed to minimise this impact, with additional landscaping introduced where necessary.

2.133 The area is intensively farmed but there is a small area of Ancient Woodland (Carlton Grove) located on the site, which is a County Wildlife Site designated for its floristic value. Although the habitat is highly fragmented a bat survey at an appropriate time of year will be required if flood lighting is proposed. Field boundaries, ditches and vegetation should be retained to protect wildlife corridors and hedgerow links improved with additional planting where appropriate. A badger sett has been recorded on the site, and a badger survey will therefore need to be undertaken.

2.134 Given the size of the site, but subject to the extent of buildings and hardstanding, a Flood Risk Assessment will be required to provide details of how surface water will be managed.

2.135 The County Archaeologist considers that the site lies in an area of high archaeological potential and advises that an archaeological investigation should be carried out prior to the submission of a planning application to ensure that important remains can be preserved. Pre-application discussions with the Local Planning Authority will determine the scope of the investigation.

2.136 Site LOW11 falls within a Minerals Consultation Area as defined in the Suffolk Minerals Core Strategy. Accordingly, to prevent the potential sterilisation of sand and gravel resources it must be demonstrated that the sand and gravel present is not of economic value, or that the mineral will be worked before development takes place.

Policy LOW11

Part of Oakes Farm, Off Beccles Road, Carlton Colville, (32.3ha), is allocated for sports and leisure use. The site will be developed in accordance with the following site specific criteria:
• Existing rights of way should be retained.
• A cycle route should be provided from Chapel Road directly through the site to link with Wood Lane.
• The route of the Carlton Colville/Barnby Bypass should be protected.
• The hedgerows, ditches and trees in and around the site should be retained to maintain wildlife habitat and conserve landscape structure. Hedgerow links should be improved through additional planting where appropriate.
• Any floodlighting should be low impact.
• The main buildings and car parking should be located to the east of the site, with access from Chapel Road/Castleton Avenue roundabout.
• Buildings should be sympathetically designed to fit in with the landscape, with additional landscaping and planting if necessary to minimise intrusion in the landscape.
• A Flood Risk Assessment will be required, subject to the detailed nature of the development.
• An archaeological investigation shall be carried out prior to the submission of a planning application.
• Pitches should be located to minimise impact on neighbouring residential properties. Adequate landscaping should be provided along these boundaries.
• A buffer zone should be provided around the County Wildlife Site to prevent public access.
• If floodlighting is proposed a bat survey should be undertaken at an appropriate time of year prior to a planning application being submitted.
• A badger survey will be required prior to submission of a planning application.

2.137 This is a major sporting proposal for the town and delivery will require the preparation of a masterplan and partnership working between, Waveney District Council, the landowner, Suffolk Sport, the Waveney Active Sports Partnership and interested clubs and organisations.