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NORTOFT:

PLANNING FOR SPORT AND OPEN SPACE

2000-2020: We are celebrating from this January the 20 years of successful planning advice we have given to our clients old and new.

We support the Sport, Open Space and Recreation facilities changes you need to achieve; whether this is for commercial and housing land development, new community or club facilities, or public planning strategy work. 

We are deeply experienced, imaginative, determined, and great partners to have on your side. 

Welcome to Nortoft - we are a nationally recognised as a one of the leading specialist sports and open space planning consultancy firms. We have expert and deeply experienced MRTPI professionals that will partner with you to deliver tailor-made practical solutions. From planning applications to Appeals, we work with housing developers on major application, local authorities, parish councils and sports organisations.

See our 'Clients' page 

See our 'Projects' page

See 'About us' page

If you like what you see - then please 'get in touch' 

 

ABOUT NORTOFT

Need to masterplan a major housing development site? Need to protect or develop a playing field? Need a new community hall or clubhouse? Need to secure s106 payments? We can help.


Nortoft was founded in 2000 by Sue O'Neil MRTPI and David O'Neil MRTPI with the key aim of approaching each of our clients with fresh eyes to develop customised and unique strategies.


We specialise in planning for all sport, open space and leisure. We have  significant experience of:

development in the Green Belt; working with large housing developments (e.g. on the provision, protection, relocation or development of sports, open space and community facilities);

local authorities (e.g. SPDs) and; providing expert witness support at EIPs & Planning Appeals.

Our clients include private sector developers and landowners, community sports organisations, local authorities and national agencies (see our 'Clients' page).


Our work ranges from national sporting stadia, to village halls and sports club pavilions. 

If you would like us to support your needs, then do give us a call today and see what we can do for you. 

Registered Address: Nortoft Partnerships Ltd, Nortoft Cottage, Guilsborough, NN6 8QB.

                         01604 586 526           Company Registered in England: 3903741

 

THE TEAM

Credible experts supporting your needs

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SUE O'NEIL BSC(HONS), MRTPI

Sue is a highly experienced sports planner, and MRTPI with extensive track record in sports strategy development  – many successfully tested at EIPs, Appeal and s106 negotiations. 

Sue has strong active contacts across the sports sector at national and local levels, and liaises regularly with Sport England at national and regional level on many technical sports planning matters.

When not working, Sue will be off-road cycling, running, swimming or horse riding.

DAVID O'NEIL BSC(HONS), MRTPI, 

David has over 30 years of experience with a good success rate in planning and development including: major sports schemes; large scale housing developments; and other commercial land, working for the private and public sectors.

He has won national recognition for his sports planning and Appeal work.

When not working, David will be mountaineering, cycling, parish councilling, painting, or on stage being dramatic.

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PROJECT EXAMPLES

Look through some of our recent projects to see how best we can meet your needs ....

ROBUST PLANNING IN THE GREEN BELT

National Equestrian Training Centre at Caldecote Farm, Hertfordshire (2019) and St Alban's School (2020)

The successful consent was for a major equestrian training centre in the Hertfordshire Green Belt. Nortoft was able to prove 'Very Special Circumstances' despite strong officer opposition. The call-in to the Secretary of State maintained the Committee decision. There was a robust sports justification for the facilities which would be open to community use. We secured very strong backing from all the National Governing Bodies of Sport. 

On a separate project we are currently supporting St Albans School and Hallam Land deliver St Albans North (Local Plan Strategic Housing Site for c 1,100 dwellings). Our role is to move and extend sports fields into the Green Belt, to allow for housing development. 

DEVELOPING NEW SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY SPORTS FACILITIES ON A PLAYING FIELD

Epsom & Ewell High School, Bellway (2019)


The development involved the housing  development of a former playing pitch in a dense urban area, with significant objection from some local residents. However, we secured very strong support from the National Governing Bodies of Sport, and this helped Sport England accept the loss of the disused playing field. Nortoft helped masterplan the site and provide the sports planing case.


The development will result in a about £1m of re-investment back into new school and community sports facilities. A successful consent achieved.   

COMMUNITY CENTRE/SPORTS PAVILION IN THE GREEN BELT

Oxford, North Hinksey Parish Council (2019)

North Hinksey Parish Council now have planning permission for their new facilities including: large community and youth halls, changing rooms, 'Changing Places' facility, improved access and parking, and extensive outdoor adventure youth play facilities including a skate park. This required considerable local consultation and engagement with the community and the users groups. Nortoft led the planning including business plan. The Vale of White Horse District Council passed the application.

MAIN ACCESS TO DEVELOPMENT REQUIRES PLAYING PITCHES MOVED

Sandleford Park, Newbury, 2000 homes

Leading the sports facility planning for Bloor Homes on this up to 1,500 house planning application, Nortoft was brought in following a Sport England statutory objection to loss of playing pitches and limited provision of other sports facilities.


Work involved master planning, s106 negotiation, Sport England and NGBs negotiations, and working closely with the wider development team.

NATIONAL POLICY ADVISORS

Sport England's National Planning Policy Documents (2019)

Nortoft was invited to advise Sport England on the update of its national planning policies documents, alongside consultants DLA.

The new guidance covers 12 principles supporting planning for sport and active recreation for applicants, masterplanners, development managers and plan makers. 

David has previously advised Sport England's national team on best practice in securing CIL/s106 policies and planning appeals.

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORTS MAJOR RETAIL DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT

Rushden Lakes Retail Destination (2014-2018)

680,000 sqft of retail and leisure development, now largely constructed and open but with new extensions in planning. Sitting in 200 acres of internationally important wildlife reserve, Nortoft planned the green infrastructure including the visitor centre, boathouse and wildlife reserve, and the related site management and funding, so helping secure planning. We also produced the wider economic value appraisals, hotel need analyses, and supported the recent 2019 extension.

PROTECTING OPEN SPACE FROM HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

Rugby Town Successful Appeal (2019)


Nortoft has provided Expert Witness services for many Appeals and EIPs.

As a result of the expiry of a very long lease to Rugby Borough Council (RBC) on land used as a public park, an application for housing development, on the now fenced-off site led to an application which was refused. An Appeal by the developer was lost with the Appellant withdrawing during the Appeal. Open Space matters were the dominant issue, and were defended on behalf of Rugby Borough Council for the Council. Nortoft also very successfully supported the Council against a related JR of the Local Plan on Open Space matters. 


SPORTS NEEDS FOR 8,000 HOUSES

Cranbrook, East Devon, 8,180 houses (2016-2017)


Leading the sports and open space planning work for 'New Communities East Devon' (Taylor Wimpey, Bovis, Persimmon, Charles Church).


Critical to the provision was the design and layout in relation to housing of two major sports hubs (cricket, football, rugby, tennis) and working with the wider master planning team to ensure a viable plan. 

Nortoft have also been leading the extensive and complex s106 negotiations in relation to sport and open space.

£££ FOR SPORT AND OPEN SPACE FROM S106 DEVELOPERS' CONTRIBUTIONS

We write SPDs to increase Local Authorities' income from s106 and CIL for sport and recreation

We have worked with Local Authorities (including East Hertfordshire, Nuneaton & Bedworth, and others) to create new SPDs to secure developers' contributions from housing developments for sport and recreation facilities and open space. This includes capital and maintenance monies, and typically might bring in about £2,000+ per house for open space and a similar amount again for sport and recreation. Our work has secured several million pounds for the public good and to deliver more attractive developments. 


We support Councils on major housing developments at PreApp and Application stages to help secure funds based on their planning policies including SPDs.


All contributions requests need to be CIL compliant. Our approach and advice has been tested successfully though Appeal (and indeed the High Court on one occasion) .  

A satisfied Head of Leisure from Nuneaton & Bedworth Council wrote in Nov 2019:

"I just wanted to drop you a line ... thank you for the work initially undertaken in the S.106 as this really drove this work through for me ... Without that we would certainly not be here now, I have appreciated for your patience and input".  

Can we help your authority secure ££s from developments for community facilities?

 

©2019 by Nortoft Partnerships Ltd

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