Thursday 26 May 2022
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Changes planned for multi-million pound Nottinghamshire activity village

A multi-million pound Nottinghamshire activity village is due to introduce more cycling facilities and close its tennis courts.

Newark and Sherwood District Council is expected to approve an application relating to the YMCA Community And Activity Village, which covers almost 10 hectares of land in Newark.

The village, based on Lord Hawke Way off Bowbridge Road in Newark,  includes 3G football pitches, an athletics track and multi-use courts which have been open for around a year.

Later in 2022, the YMCA says there will be wellbeing, education, training, hospitality and childcare facilities on the site.

The latest plans, submitted in April 2022, are an amendment to an approved application for the site in 2017.

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The amendments include removing the tennis courts, reducing the number of car parking spaces from 157 to 155, and changing the cycling facility at the site.

This will be altered from a training circuit to a “mixed programme offering a community trail, learn to ride and a pump track facility” – for BMX and balance bikes.

The rationale behind the loss of the tennis courts is down to it being the “least popular of the activities” at the site accounting for just seven per cent of the bookings compared to other courts.

Newark and Sherwood District Council papers said the loss of tennis facilities is “regrettable but not fatal to the scheme moving forwards”.

Council documents state: “It is noted that it would not be
sensible to include tennis courts on this site given that they would compete with existing facilities.

“It is also acknowledged that the currently proposed cycle facilities are a more informal and community-focused approach which would support the development of cycling skills.”

Council officers say the amendments are “marginal” in the grand scheme of the site and the cycle facilities would also have a “discrete positioning” and “would not have notable character or landscape impacts”.

A total of 57 properties were consulted on the plans and some residents sent in feedback, raising concerns over wildlife, light pollution and noise.

Some residents said that local wildlife has “already been displaced by the current build” of the site and said that any further construction will increase light pollution.

Others said they would prefer that the tennis courts were retained.

Councillors are recommended to approve the application during a planning meeting on May 10.

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