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We are attempting to work with the developer of the proposed indoor football centre on Little London Road. A very short connection through the rear of the former Lavers yard, around 20m, would create a permissive route, marked as phase 1 extension on the following map. In the long term, we would seek to create a high quality continuous River Sheaf Walk to the upstream and downstream sections.

Our objection:

On behalf of the Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust, an official consultee, we support the application to bring this vacant site back into productive use and adding to a cluster of leisure and sports attractions along Little London and Broadfield Roads.

However as identified by several other comments the current proposal does not seize the obvious opportunity to extend access to the river from the current deadend at Broadfield Business Park thus connecting to the recently enhanced Sheaf Valley cycleway at Little London Road.

This is desirable as an incremental step in creating a continuous network of safe riverside access for active travel, river stewardship, access to nature and general health and wellbeing benefits, as highlighted in Local Plan and UDP saved policies. It also creates an off-road route for customers from Broadfield Park to the new leisure offer.

In our discussions with the applicant and agent they have been very positive about offering an initial permissive link from the deadend to Little London Road via the northern of the two access roads, which has sufficient width to accommodate segregation. (a plan showing this will be sent directly to the Planning Case Officer). In the short term we understand that further public access upstream would involve people exiting via the southern access road which is too narrow for safe shared use.

If and when the apparently disused premises next door are subject to redevelopment, as seems not unlikely, a continuous riverside route will become possible as far as the Laces Gym site where access is already being provided. However we understand that the owners (as distinct from the applicants) of the site are concerned that such a concession would establish a precedent which would prevent the site reverting to an industrial use.

We believe that reversion to industry on this site is a relatively unlikely option, given the restricted vehicle access and general trend towards higher value residential in this area. However we are only asking for a permissive public access at this stage which would be subject to closure and signposted as such. This by definition would not establish a public right of way.

We would however wish to see the permissive route shown on the approved plans designated as such, with a condition on opening hours to coincide with those of the attraction so long as it operates as a public leisure destination. We would also draw attention to the redundant wall which runs along the left bank of the river along the edge of the car park.

This appears to have no current function for either security or flood defence since it is open at both ends, but blocks visibility of the river and in the longer term represents a maintenance liabilty. We suggest the wall could be reduced in height to 1.2 m to create a more attractive and open green corridor.


Link for your objection:

Or emailing Case Officer Rebecca Stamp at

quoting 23/01868/FUL and provide your home address.

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