Part 1 - Initial Draft (February 2015)

Ended on the 26th March 2015
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(1) 9. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNITIES

9.1 Achievement of sustainable development is a fundamental aim of the planning system. The principles of sustainable development and what this means in North East Derbyshire, are set out in Policy LP1 (Sustainable Development). Sustainable development is the principle which forms the basis of each policy in the Local Plan, including those that seek to ensure the protection and enhancement of the District’s environment.

Protecting & Enhancing the Environment

(2) Sustainable Design

9.2 The Local Plan can make a major contribution to mitigating and adapting to climate change by shaping new and existing development across North East Derbyshire’s in ways that reduce carbon emissions and build community resilience to problems such as flooding or extreme heat events. To support the District’s resilience to a changing climate and to tackle climate change locally the Council is seeking to adopt a strategic policy that relates to sustainable design and construction.

9.3 The Council has produced a Successful Places design guidance document, in partnership with Bolsover District Council, Chesterfield Borough Council and Bassetlaw District Council. This document primarily supports the creation of locally distinctive, well designed places to live. One of the key considerations to creating ‘successful places’ is addressing sustainability.

9.4 The 2008 Climate Change Act sets out the Governments legally binding, long-term framework for cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Changes to the Building Regulations are bringing higher standards for CO2 emissions, meaning that increasingly, there will be less need for planning policies to set local targets and standards for carbon reduction in new development. The Government requires all new homes (from 2016) and all new non-domestic buildings (from 2019) to abate 100% of their net regulated carbon emissions. This can be achieved through a combination of fabric efficiency and on and off site renewable or low carbon technologies. The Government’s definition of ‘zero carbon’ covers only those emissions which are within the scope of the Building Regulations, such as those from heating, ventilation, hot water, fixed lighting and building services. In some cases, it can be difficult to achieve zero carbon on site and that remaining emissions, once energy efficiency and low carbon generation have been accounted for, should be mitigated in other ways. This is known as ‘Allowable Solutions’. When and if the Government makes a formal decision on Allowable Solutions, this may trigger a review of this policy to enable the Council to become eligible as an Allowable Solutions Provider, managing a carbon offset fund that could support low carbon infrastructure or improvements to existing buildings and the alleviation of fuel poverty.

9.5 To achieve sustainable development, the development industry needs to implement sustainable design and construction practices. This is the careful consideration of how the design, building services and project management from inception can influence the amount of resources used during a development’s construction, occupation and management.

9.6 It is generally acknowledged that designing-in sustainability measures at the outset of a development’s design can minimise any additional perceived costs. The Council will require all development to achieve a high quality of design, in relation to places, spaces, and buildings, including extensions, alterations and changes of use of existing buildings. Development proposals should create a strong sense of place, drawing on the local context and being complimentary to the locality. Development is expected to aim for zero carbon emission standards. Water efficiency is required through the Water Framework Directive and water efficiency measures should be incorporated into all new development, acknowledging that more efficient use of water also leads to energy efficiency.

9.7 Applications for new major development must be accompanied by a full Sustainability Statement14, demonstrating how proposals will make a positive contribution to the character and sustainability of North East Derbyshire. Applications will be expected to refer to any new national standards arising from the Government’s Housing Standards Review in respect of accessibility, space, security, water efficiency, energy, indoor environmental standards and materials. Where development is expected to go beyond these standards, to address local conditions, then policies to address these will be set out in the Local Plan Part 2.

9.8 Density is interlinked with design and it is essential that imaginative design solutions are encouraged to achieve appropriate density levels. Developments should make efficient use of land and resources by considering densities of 30 dwellings per hectare and above in locations with good access to public transport and facilities. Lower densities are more likely to be appropriate for smaller settlements and to provide a range and choice of housing. The density of development should be a product of a robust site assessment, included in the Sustainability Statement, which responds positively to the quality of North East Derbyshire’s environment.

9.9 Light pollution is artificial light that is allowed to illuminate on areas that are not intended to be lit. The intrusion of overly bright or poorly directed lights can cause glare, wasted energy, have impacts on nature conservation, and affect people's right to enjoy their property. It can also severely affect views of the night sky. The NPPF is clear that planning policies should limit the impact from light pollution on local amenity, intrinsically dark landscapes, and nature conservation, primarily through promoting and requiring good quality design.

(9) Policy LP25: Sustainable Design and Construction

The Council will permit proposals without delay where they:

BUILDINGS

  1. Maximise opportunities for sustainable construction techniques and minimise emissions in construction and use by minimising energy (through orientation and solar optimisation) using energy efficiently and using renewable and low carbon and renewable energy, including district heating, in accordance with the energy hierarchy15, and ensuring that water is used efficiently;
  2. Contribute positively to an area’s character and identity, creating and reinforcing local distinctive sustainable communities;
  3. Create a coherently structured, integrated and sustainable built form that clearly defines public and private space;
  4. Respond positively to the existing townscape and landscape features in terms of building layouts, built form, height, mass, scale, building line, plot size, elevational treatment, materials, streetscape, and rooflines to effectively integrate the building into its setting;
  5. Contribute to the resilience of buildings and communities in the face of climate change impacts;
  6. Safeguard the amenity of existing developments and create a high quality environment for future occupiers;
  7. Create buildings and spaces that are adaptable to changing social, technological, economic and environmental conditions, and which are accessible to all;
  8. Make use of locally sourced, sustainable high quality materials, appropriate for the development and its surroundings, including recycled materials wherever possible, and the provision of street furniture and public art where appropriate;
  9. Make efficient use of land and conserve resources, particularly in and around town centres and other locations where there is good access to frequent public transport services. The density of new development should be informed by the character of the local area, contributing to sustainable design and the need to improve the mix of house types, and providing adequate green infrastructure.
  10. Consider practical servicing requirements
  11. Incorporate measures that promote fire safety

PLACES AND SPCACES

  1. Create safe, attractive, usable, vibrant, durable, and adaptable places containing high quality, energy efficient, inclusive buildings and spaces that integrate green infrastructure;
  2. Create connected places that are accessible and easy to move around, and which prioritise access to pedestrians and cyclists and provide safe, convenient and attractive environment for walking and cycling;
  3. Promote legibility through the provision of recognisable and understandable routes, intersections and points of reference;
  4. Are sympathetic to, and conserve, historic buildings and historic landscapes;
  5. Include sensitively designed adverts and signage which are appropriate and sympathetic to their local setting in terms of scale, design, lighting and materials;
  6. Ensure space is multifunctional and where, appropriate, includes provision for SUDS and shading, and the use of green and brown roofs;
  7. Incorporate measures to reduce any actual or perceived opportunities for crime or anti-social behaviour and promote safe living environments;
  8. Minimise the impact of light pollution to an acceptable level

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Successful Places design guidance (2014)
  • Housing Standards Review (DCLG) (ongoing)

You told us that...

The Plan should consider climate change and adaptation. Sustainable building design and techniques are supported. Buildings and places should be safe and attractive and design in sustainability measures from the outset.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

None; NPPF clearly states that good design is a key part of sustainable development.

The NPPF tells us that...

Planning should always seek to secure high quality design and a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupants of land and buildings, take account of all the different roles and character of different areas, and support the transition to a low carbon future. Good design is a key part of sustainable development and the Government attaches great importance to it.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D7

How will the Policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • % of major commercial development achieving BREEAM ‘Very Good’ standard to 2016
  • % of major commercial development achieving BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard after 2016

Target: 100%

Trigger for Review: Less than 100%

(4) Landscape Character

9.10 The District’s landscape is one of contrast and diversity. The western part of the District extends up to the edge of the Peak District National Park, and comprises a highly scenic landscape with rolling hills, river valleys, extensive woodland and small attractive villages, including some of the finest Derbyshire landscape outside the National Park. The eastern part of the District contains larger settlements and alongside evidence of their industrial past are large areas of attractive countryside where the landscape has a distinctive local character.

9.11 Its beauty and diversity are important both to the quality of life of local communities and the economic prosperity of the District as a whole. Previously, there was an emphasis on identifying and protecting high quality landscapes (resulting in the designation of Special Landscape Areas in the previous Local Plan.). In recent years, there has been an increasing recognition that all landscapes matter and that their sensitivity to development depends on their character. This character-led approach to all landscapes of whatever quality, ether urban or rural, built or natural, is fundamental to the European Landscape Convention, of which the UK is a signatory.

9.12 The character of England’s landscapes is mapped at a strategic level by Natural England which identifies 159 National Character Areas (NCA). For each of these areas, they produce NCA Profiles which provide descriptive material on the character of the landscape and guidance on management. The Landscape Character of Derbyshire16 works within this framework, identifying and describing the key features and characteristics of the landscape of Derbyshire outside the Peak District National Park. The document supports and complements planning policies to ensure that new development respects, and enhances the local character and identify of each particular landscape.

9.13 The Derbyshire Landscape Character Assessment classifies the landscape of the District into a range of character areas (NCA’s) and landscape character types (LCT’s) from the strategic to the local level, and provides detailed information on their character. There are four NCAs identified within the District which have been subdivided into 12 LCTs by the Derbyshire study each with common characteristics:

Table 8: Landscape Character Types

National Character Area Landscape Character Type
Dark Peak Open Moors
Enclosed Moorland
Derbyshire Peak Fringe & Lower Derwent Enclosed Moors & Heaths
Wooded Slopes & Valleys
Wooded Farmlands
Riverside Meadows
Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire & Yorkshire Coalfield Wooded Hills & Valleys
Estate Farmlands
Wooded Farmlands
Coalfield Village Farmlands
Coalfield Estatelands
Riverside Meadows
Southern Magnesian Limestone Limestone Farmlands

9.14 The far west of the District is in the Peak District National Park and has been assessed separately

9.15 The NPPF requires that the planning system should contribute to, and enhance, the natural and local environment by protecting and enhancing valued landscapes and that local planning authorities should set criteria based policies against which proposals for any development on or affecting local landscape areas will be judged.

9.16 Derbyshire County Council has built on the landscape character assessment to identify ‘Areas of Multiple Environmental Sensitivity’ (AMES) which are areas of landscape identified as being sensitive with respect to a range of environmental datasets, relating to ecology, the historic landscape environment and visual unity.

9.17 The Study identifies Areas of ‘Primary Sensitivity’17, considered to be the most sensitive areas of landscape, and which are most likely to be negatively affected by change or development. In these areas, there will be a strong focus on the protection and conservation of their environmental assets. Areas of ‘Secondary Sensitivity’ are still considered to have environmental sensitivities but are potentially weaker in one area. In these areas, the focus will be on management (conservation and enhancement), maintaining those features of existing value but also addressing those in decline (e.g. through landscape restoration and habitat creation). Areas of landscape that are not identified as being strategically sensitive through the assessment process will be the areas that might be less sensitive to change, or conversely those which would benefit from a strong forward looking strategy based on restoration/creation. In North East Derbyshire, the AMES study identifies the key areas of primary sensitivity in the Peak Fringe18.

(9) Policy LP26: Landscape Character

Proposals for new development will only be permitted where they would not cause significant harm to the character, quality, distinctiveness or sensitivity of the landscape, or to important features or views, or other perceptual qualities such as tranquillity unless the benefits of the development clearly outweigh the impacts.

Development proposals should have regard to the Derbyshire Landscape Character Assessment and the Areas of Multiple Environmental Sensitivity’ and contribute, where appropriate, to the conservation and enhancement, or restoration and re-creation of the local landscape.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Derbyshire Landscape Character Assessment

You told us that...

The Plan should recognise the character and distinctiveness of the District’s landscape. Landscape quality is considered as one of the key assets of living in the District.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

Identifying and designating areas based on their special landscape value. This option was not selected since it would not accord with national policy which now adopts an approach based on the character of all landscapes.

The NPPF tells us that...

The NPPF requires that the planning system should contribute to, and enhance, the natural and local environment by protecting and enhancing valued landscapes and that local planning authorities should set criteria based policies against which proposals for any development on or affecting local landscape areas will be judged.

Planning should recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside. Local Plans should include strategic policies for the conservation and enhancement of the natural environment, including landscape. Where appropriate, landscape character assessments should be prepared.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D9

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator: Appeals upheld contrary to policy

Target: None upheld at appeal

Trigger for Review: increasing trend of appeals upheld contrary to policy

Biodiversity and Geodiversity

9.18 Biodiversity is at the heart of a sustainable future for North East Derbyshire. The quality of the District’s countryside is clear from the substantial number of designations, including two sites of international significance to the west of the District, both within the Peak District National Park; the Peak District Moors Special Protection Area and the South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation.

9.19 The landscape of the District is greatly enhanced by the Peak Fringe and the close proximity of the Peak District National Park that combine to create a large and important strategic Green Infrastructure asset. The District currently contains 7 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (which cover 208 ha or 0.75% of the District) and 207 Local Wildlife Sites (which cover 1917ha or 6.98 % of the total area.)

9.20 The NPPF confirms the government’s commitment to the conservation and enhancement of the natural environment, including the protection and enhancement of the biodiversity and the benefits of ecosystems. The NPPF is clear that pursuing sustainable development includes moving from a net loss of biodiversity to achieving net gains for nature, and that a core principle for planning is that it should contribute to conserving and enhancing the natural environment

9.21 Priority measures to protect and enhance the District’s natural environment are:

  • To increase wildlife habitats and species in accordance with the District’s Biodiversity Action Plan.
  • In partnership with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and other stakeholders, regularly/continually review and update the District’s biodiversity designations and evidence base and aim to make enhancements to create biodiversity corridors wherever possible

9.22 Retention of ecosystems and ecological networks, as well as their enhancement, is essential for the maintenance and recovery of priority species and habitats (Species of Principal Importance, Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2006 & Circular 06/2005) and their natural migration and spread in response to climate change. It also provides opportunities for green infrastructure works and landscape enhancement, and an attractive environment in North East Derbyshire to live, work and visit. Proposals for new development will be expected, as a minimum, to ensure that no net loss of biodiversity and geodiversity in the District. Proposals will be expected to actively enhance biodiversity in order to provide net gains.

(5) Policy LP27: Biodiversity and Geodiversity

Development proposals will be expected to conserve biodiversity and geodiversity, and actively enhance biodiversity in order to provide net gains where possible.

Development proposals will not be permitted if significant harm to biodiversity and geodiversity, resulting from development, cannot be avoided, or adequately mitigated, or as a last resort, compensated for.

Development proposals will be expected to incorporate measures to enhance biodiversity within or around the development site, and to contribute to the consolidation and development of local ecological networks, , including beyond the District’s boundary. Measures should be appropriate and compatible with existing biodiversity, ecosystems and designated wildlife sites.

Protected sites

Development that it likely to have significant effects upon internationally designated sites (SPAs, SACs and Ramsar sites) will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that there would be no adverse impacts on the integrity of the site, or the proposal is able to pass the further statutory tests of ‘no alternatives’ and ‘imperative reasons of overriding public interest’.

Development proposals which are likely to adversely impact upon a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a National Nature Reserve, a Derbyshire Local Wildlife Site, a Regionally Important Geological Site, or priority habitats of Principal Importance will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that the benefits of the development in the proposed location would:

  1. significantly and demonstrably outweigh the adverse impact; and
  2. make a significant contribution to the management of the site, the creation of new habitats or new ecological networks

Protected Species

Development proposals which would have a demonstrable adverse impact on protected species or their habitats including sheltering or resting places, will not be permitted unless there are demonstrable reasons of overriding public importance for European Protected Species or, in the case of other protected species, the benefits of development significantly and demonstrably outweigh the adverse impacts; and adequate mitigation or compensation measures can be provided.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006
  • Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010
  • A Greenprint for Biodiversity in North East Derbyshire (2010)

You told us that...

The Plan should protect and enhance biodiversity and wildlife, and should consider the impact of any development upon the biodiversity and geodiversity of the area. There is a need for a quality environmental network, including a high level of biodiversity.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

None

The NPPF tells us that...

Sustainable Development involves positive improvements to the natural environment moving from a net loss in biodiversity to net gains for nature. Planning should contribute to conserving and enhancing the natural environment and reducing pollution. Allocations of land for development should prefer land of lesser environmental value where consistent with other policies in the NPPF. The NPPF’s objectives include minimising impacts on biodiversity and contributing to landscape scale plans for biodiversity enhancements. It also states that ‘distinctions should be made between the hierarchy of international, national and locally designated sites, so that protection is commensurate with their status and gives appropriate weight to their importance and the contribution that they make to wider ecological networks.

The presumption in favour of sustainable development does not apply where development requiring appropriate assessment under the Birds or Habitats Directive is being considered, planned or determined. Wildlife sites which should be given the same protection as European sites are:

  • Potential Special Protection Areas and possible Special Areas of Conservation
  • Listed or proposed Ramsar sites
  • Sites identified, or required, as compensatory measures for adverse effects on European sites, potential SPAs, possible SCs, and listed or proposed Ramsar sites

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D8

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator: Appeals upheld contrary to policy

Target: None upheld at appeal

Trigger for Review: increasing trend of appeals upheld contrary to policy

Historic Environment

9.23 North East Derbyshire’s heritage assets are a unique and irreplaceable resource, valued by communities. Statutory designation requires the assessment of the importance of specific heritage values such as those relating to architectural or historical interest; but decisions about day to day management need to take account of all the values that contribute to significance. Moreover, all aspects of significance, including aesthetic and communal values should influence decisions about the historic environment. The Council believes that a positive strategy should be established for the conservation of the historic environment which includes both designated and non-designated heritage assets, and industrial heritage, including those considered most at risk of neglect, decay and other threats.

9.24 During 2011 and 2012 the Council pulled together all relevant information in relation to the historic environment. The key findings of the 2012 Historic Environment Study identified that within the defined ‘sub areas’ there were distinct differences in character. The towns of the north of the district hold a much finer grain of development spanning back over a much longer continued occupation of the landscape. Towns such as Dronfield and Eckington retain, at their heart, a network of medieval streets and a wealth of pre-19th century development. These places developed as a result of local industry, early on in the industrial revolution, and are characterised by local stone and retain distinct vernacular architecture. The study noted that ‘gap’ sites existed within these towns that diminish the legibility of the historic street network which represents both a weakness as well as an opportunity. Around Eckington it was identified that Renishaw Hall and the nationally recognised designations that cover it represent a significantly sensitive part of the District that could be harmed through large scale development particularly to the south of Eckington.

9.25 In contrast to the north, the south of the district witnessed widespread expansion only after the 19th century, during the latter part of the industrial revolution, with the development of the railways and coal mining. With the railways came the ability to transport building materials around the country. As a result Clay Cross is characterised by structures of brick rather than local stone and has less vernacular and much more of a homogenised Victorian appearance. Although towns and villages in the north ,south and east of the District have seen large scale residential expansion throughout the 20th century (which has done little to reflect the original vernacular), the historic core of many of the settlements remains discernible, although decline is more apparent in some areas more than others.

9.26 The western sub area is distinctly unique in that it has not witnessed any of the industrial expansions seen in both the northern and the southern sub areas during the 19th and 20th centuries. Small scale rural industries, such as quarrying and lead mining dominated the landscape which together with continued agricultural practices has left this area far wilder and less developed. Similar to the north, the west retains vernacular buildings of local materials and traditions. However these remain as isolated pockets of development that have seen little growth. The small scale nature of industry in the west is evidenced by both the lack of significant impact upon the landscape, little or no expansion of the settlements and almost little or no obvious impact upon the population as a result of decline.

(5) Policy LP28: The Protection of the Historic Environment

The Council will seek protection of the historic environment. Where heritage assets are affected by proposed development it will seek to preserve and enhance them wherever possible. All new development must preserve or enhance the local character and distinctiveness of the local area. The Council will do this through:

  1. Encouraging the use of local materials
  2. Encouraging appropriate development of ‘gap’ sites within Conservation Areas where these have been identified in Conservation Character Appraisals.
  3. The use of Conservation Area Character Appraisals and associated Management Plans to ensure the preservation or enhancement of the individual character of each Conservation Area.
  4. The protection of designated heritage assets and their settings including listed buildings, conservation areas, scheduled monuments and historic parks and gardens.
  5. Consulting the Historic Environment Record to identify and, where appropriate, seek protection and preservation in situ or recording of non-designated heritage assets in terms of previously unknown important archaeological remains, if they are likely to be adversely affected by development. All recording shall be undertaken by a suitably qualified professional prior to the development commencing and the records made publicly available.
  6. Undertaking regular reviews, where possible, of Designated Heritage Assets.
  7. Enhancing and preserving traditional characteristics and original, traditional or vernacular architectural features of developments and buildings throughout the district. Where substantially complete structures and original architectural features remain intact the Council will consider the use of powers under Article 4(2) Directions to ensure they remain protected in the future.
  8. Identifying and establishing a list of locally important buildings and structures to be known as ‘The Local List’ which will be a material consideration as a non-designated heritage asset.

The Council has a presumption in favour of retaining non-designated heritage assets including locally listed buildings and important archaeology. Development that involves substantial harm or loss of a non-designated heritage asset will not be acceptable unless it can be demonstrated that:

  1. The asset is structurally unsound and poses a safety risk (demonstrated through the submission of a Structural Report produced by a qualified Structural Engineer)
  2. It is unviable to repair or maintain the asset
  3. Alternative uses have been fully explored and discounted
  4. It would have wider social, economic or environmental benefits as part of a masterplanned regeneration scheme.

Where a proposal involves unavoidable harm or loss of a non-designated heritage asset the LPA will seek a replacement development of similar quality and where possible retaining important features of the heritage asset.

In relation to heritage assets known to be ‘at risk’ the Council will consider positively development proposals that seek to conserve the heritage asset in the most appropriate manner.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework

You told us that...

The Plan should protect and enhance the historic environment, and should consider the impact of any development upon heritage assets. Local residents place great importance on the historic landscape and assets.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

None

The NPPF tells us that...

LPAs should set out a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment recognising assets’ irreplaceable nature. They should take into account the desirability of putting heritage assets to a viable use consistent with their conservation, the contribution conservation makes to wider sustainability aims, and the desirability of new development contributing to local character. Applicants should describe the significance of any assets affected, including the contribution of their setting (paragraph 126)

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D8

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Number of heritage assets lost
  • Number of heritage assets removed from At Risk Registers as a result of implementation of a permitted scheme
  • No. of planning applications approved contrary to Policy LP28
  • No. of planning applications refused in accordance with Policy LP28

Target:

  • No heritage assets lost
  • Reduction in number of heritage assets on At Risk Registers
  • No appeals upheld against policy

Trigger for Review:

  • No of heritage assets lost >0
  • Increasing trend of appeals being upheld against policy

Renewable and Low Carbon Energy

9.27 The Climate Change Act 2008 aims to encourage the transition of the UK to a low carbon economy through unilateral legally binding emissions reduction targets. This means a reduction (from 1990 levels) of at least 34% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and at least 80% by 2050. A key component of achieving these targets is the Energy Hierarchy, which primarily aims to reduce the need for energy in new development, followed by being more energy efficient, and then using renewable and low carbon energy. The Energy Hierarchy is shown in figure 1.

Figure 1: The Energy Hierarchy

Figure 1

9.28 The development of renewable sources of energy can make a valuable contribution to tackling the rate of climate change and enable us to live in a more sustainable manner. North East Derbyshire has opportunities for renewable energy, but the exploitation of these must be carefully weighed against the need to protect our unique natural environment and heritage and the amenity of all our residents and businesses.

9.29 The UK Renewable Energy Road map 2011 (‘The Roadmap’) outlines the UK Government’s commitment to increasing the use of renewable energy, The document identifies that the UK has the potential to meet its 2020 target of 15% of the UK energy consumption from renewable energy resources, and deliver an operational capacity of 29 GigaWatts (GW) of renewable energy by this same year.

9.30 The NPPF sets out the Government’s commitment to facilitating the development of renewable energy sources, but recognises that this must be consistent with protecting the local as well as global environment. In particular, care should be taken in assessing proposals for renewable energy projects in sensitive, designated areas.

9.31 The North East Derbyshire Low Carbon & Renewable Energy Study (2011) assessed the potential for renewable energy technologies, and identified where there are significant constraints to particular types of renewable energy. The Council recognises that there are variety of ways to reduce carbon emissions and that different renewable and low carbon energy technologies will suit different parts of the District and different types of development. In some cases, improving the fabric of a building rather than generating on site renewable energy will produce greater CO2 savings and be more cost effective. This issue is addressed in Policy LP25 (Sustainable Design & Construction). The Study identifies areas of potential for district heating, based on the towns and in close proximity to new major development sites.

(7) Policy LP29: Renewable and Low Carbon Energy

Development proposals for the generation of renewable energy will be granted unless either individually or cumulatively with other renewable energy development, there would be:

  1. significant harm to the visual appearance and character of the area; or
  2. significant harm to the amenity of local residents, either individually or cumulatively with other renewable energy development particularly from noise, dust, odour, traffic or visual intrusion ; or
  3. significant harm to the ecology of the area, , or
  4. significant adverse impacts on airport radar and telecommunications systems.

In determining planning applications for renewable energy generation, significant weight will be given to the achievement of wider environmental and economic benefits.

Proposals should include details of associated developments including access roads and ancillary buildings; and transmission lines which should be located below ground wherever possible in order to reduce the impact on the open countryside. Planning applications will also need to include a satisfactory restoration scheme which will be implemented following decommissioning.

Major new developments will be expected to connect to or be designed to future connection to district or community heating networks where appropriate. Where no district heating scheme exists or is proposed in the proximity of major development the potential for developing a new scheme on site should be explored and pursued where feasible.

Developments along water courses will be expected to investigate the feasibility of using small scale hydro power.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Low and Zero Carbon Energy Study, for North East Derbyshire, 2011

You told us that...

The Plan should encourage the provision of renewable energy and acknowledge the benefits it can bring to climate change mitigation, as well as wider environmental and economic benefits.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

  1. Not including a policy. This option was rejected because a policy is required by the NPPF.
  2. Including a policy which is narrower in scope. This option was rejected because it is considered that a comprehensive policy is the most effective way of providing the clarity to encourage and guide renewable energy development across the District.

The NPPF tells us that...

One of the core planning principles is to support the transition to a low carbon future in a changing climate, and encourage the use of renewable resources, such are renewable energy development. The planning system has an environmental role in helping to mitigate and adapt to climate change including moving to a low carbon economy. It plays a key role in delivering renewable and low carbon energy and its infrastructure, Local Planning Authorities should have a positive strategy to promote energy from renewable and low carbon sources.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D5

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator: Renewable energy capacity of approved and completed schemes

Target: Increasing trend above baseline figure (if data available)

Trigger for Review: Declining trend

Flood Risk

9.32 The Water environment is vital for its contribution to the District’s biodiversity and is important to the economy and to the quality of life of people both within and outside the District. Development must take place within environmental limits and carefully consider how the water environment will be affected. How much waste water can be safely disposed of, the protection of vulnerable aquifers and the prevention of increased flooding are key considerations in developing sustainable communities.

9.33 Flooding is a natural hazard which can have very serious consequences. The potential impacts of climate change, and successive national flooding events, have heightened the importance of flooding and land drainage as a fundamental planning issue. Over time, pressures for development have resulted in the widespread development on floodplains. This has increased the risk of flooding and caused problems both to the area developed and also to areas further downstream. National policy is clear that planning policy should minimise vulnerability and provide resilience to impacts arising from climate change, and avoid inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding. As a principle therefore, inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding should be avoided by directing development away from areas at highest risk. Where there is the possibility of any flood risk to a proposed development site, or the potential for flood risk impact on other sites, a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment will be required.

9.34 The Strategic Flood Risk Assessment carried out in 2009 classified all land within the District into one of four Flood Zones. It provides an overview of the areas susceptible to flooding and the risk posed by flooding from rivers, groundwater and surface water runoff. It assesses the risk as it stands today, as well as the increased risk from a changing climate. The SFRA allows us to make more informed decisions about potential development sites in the Local Plan. Strategic decisions can therefore be made on where development is most appropriate in relation to flood risk. Significant flood risk exists to the north and west of Killamarsh and to the east of Eckington. A smaller area of flood risk exists in Dronfield and to the west and east of Clay Cross. Constraints also exist to the west of North Wingfield and Grassmoor and to the south of Wingerworth. Derbyshire County Council is responsible for coordinating the management of flood risk across Derbyshire and is a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA).

9.35 The Environment Agency is responsible for licensing abstractions, pollution control, and the quality of the water environment, whilst Yorkshire Water and Seven Trent are responsible for water services and sewage treatment across the District. Water Cycle Studies aim to identify tensions between growth proposals and environmental requirements in relation to water and identify potential solutions to addressing them, examining water supply, sewage disposal and water abstraction. A Water Cycle Study Scoping and Initial Study Report was carried out in 2010 for the District alongside Bolsover and Chesterfield Borough, to ensure that the growth envisaged for the District can be supported and is not hindered by water infrastructure and resources. This will inform the Infrastructure Delivery Plan as well as the strategy of the Plan and will be a key part of the evidence base in making future site allocations.

9.36 The Council’s approach to water management complements The Humber River Basin Management Plan. In particular the Local Plan has an important role in the key actions of promoting water efficiency, SuDS, re-use of water and the value of green infrastructure. The Council will require developers to demonstrate that their surface water drainage proposals, particularly for large sites, are appropriate and adequate for the development and will not increase the flood risk to land and property either upstream or downstream of the development site. Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are a desirable means of achieving this. Hard surfacing resulting from development (including roofs) reduces the ability of the land to absorb and/or store water, it is important that SuDS and other methods are utilised for water management. This will include grey water recycling, rainwater harvesting, green roofs, permeable paving, infiltration areas and soakaways. New development must address the issue by managing runoff from new developments to hold back rainfall from reaching the drainage and river systems too quickly.

(4) Policy LP30: Flood Risk

All development proposals will be required to consider the affect of the proposed development on flood risk, both on-site and off-site, commensurate with the scale and impact of the development. This should be demonstrated through a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA), where appropriate. Development will not be permitted unless:

  1. In the functional floodplain (flood zone 3b), it is water compatible or essential infrastructure;
  2. In flood zones 2 and 3a, it passes the Sequential Test, and if necessary the Exceptions Test, as required by national policy;
  3. It can be demonstrated through an FRA19 that the development , including access, will be safe, without increasing flood risk elsewhere and where possible will reduce flood risk overall.

Surface Water Flood Risk

  1. There is no net increase in surface water runoff for the lifetime of the development on all new development. Run off rates for development on greenfield sites should not be exceeded, and where possible should be reduced from existing. Run off rates for development on previously developed land should be reduced from the current rate of surface water runoff where feasible. Surface water runoff should be managed at source wherever possible, avoiding disposal to combined sewers.
  2. Part of the development site is set aside for surface water management, and uses measures to contribute to flood risk management in the wider area. Such measures should supplement green infrastructure networks, contributing to mitigation of climate change and flooding, as an alternative or complementary to hard engineering; and
  3. The development incorporates a Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) to mange surface water drainage, in accordance with national SuDS standards, unless it is proven that SuDS are not appropriate in a specific location. Where SuDS are provided, arrangements must be put in place for their whole life management and maintenance.

The Council will seek opportunities to remove problems from the drainage network and increase the capacity of the floodplain, wherever this can be achieved safely, in connection with new development.

Where improvement works are required to ensure that the drainage infrastructure can cope with the capacity required to support proposed new development, developer contributions will be required in accordance with Policy LP37 (Developer Contributions).

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • EU Water Framework Directive (2000)
  • The Humber River Basin Management Plan
  • Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (2009)
  • Water Cycle Study (scoping) (2010)

You told us that...

The Plan should aim to reduce the risk of flooding and resist development in flood zones. Drainage problems should also be addressed.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

None

The NPPF tells us that...

The planning system should minimise vulnerability and provide resilience to impacts arising from climate change, and avoid inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding by directing development away from areas at highest risk, or where development is necessary, to make it safe without increasing flood risk elsewhere (para 100).

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D6

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator: No of planning permissions granted contrary to Lead Local Flood Authority, or EA advice on flood risk grounds

Target: No applications granted contrary to advice

Trigger for Review: Greater than 0

(1) Environmental Quality

9.37 Planning has an important role to play in making sure that new development does not have, and is not at risk from, adverse environmental effects. Pollution can occur in terms of water, air, noise, light and land. Ensuring a safe environment is a prerequisite for safe and healthy communities and quality of life. The history of North East Derbyshire as a location for minerals extraction and heavy engineering has sometimes left a legacy of land that has been affected by contamination from its former use. It is important that the quality of both groundwater and surface water supplies are protected from contamination. It is also important to locate, design and manage new development so as not to give rise to unacceptable impacts on sensitive land uses or features. New sensitive land uses should not be located where they may be affected by the otherwise acceptable effects of established ones.

Air Quality

9.38 The existing, and likely future, air quality in an area should be considered through Local Plans and may also be material in considering individual planning applications where air pollution considerations arise.

9.39 The National Air Quality Strategy introduced a system of local air quality management. Local Authorities are required to carry out periodic reviews of air quality to assess current and likely future air quality against the air quality standards. These responsibilities for air quality are set out in the Environment Act of 1995, and include a requirement to declare Air Quality Management Areas and draw up Air Quality Action Plans where it is considered that air quality objectives are unlikely to be met. The Action Plan should set out the measures that the Local Authority intends to put in place in pursuit of the objectives. Parts of the East Sub-area have greater levels of nitrogen dioxide and PM10 than other areas of the District, due to exhaust emissions from traffic on the M1.

9.40 In addition to reducing impacts on human health, development should not result in the deterioration of protected habitats and species. These include Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) which are jointly included in an EU wide network of sites called Natura 2000 sites. Major development proposals that are likely to increase air pollution in the vicinity of a Natura 2000 site will need to undergo an assessment under the Habitats Regulations 2010 in order to determine its likely impact s on the sites and habitats in question.

Noise and tranquillity

9.41 Noise pollution is noise created by man-made sources which is excessive, causes disturbance or annoyance, and can affect wildlife and sensitive areas, including areas known for their tranquillity. It often occurs as a result of industrial operations, transportation, or roads. National Policy20 and the NPPF acknowledges that good planning should aim to prevent the adverse effects of noise from being unacceptable, both in identifying locations for new noise sensitive and noise generating development.

Groundwater

9.42 It is important to consider the protection of water resources from pollution, which can affect groundwater for many decades and may be impossible to remove completely, even after the source of the pollution has been cleared up.

(4) Policy LP31: Environmental Quality

All development proposals will be expected to prevent unacceptable levels of air and groundwater quality, and noise pollution from being created.

Planning applications for development with the potential to result in significant levels of pollution should be accompanied by an assessment of the likely impact of the development on environmental quality.

Assessments of noise air or groundwater quality impacts should relate to all stages of development. Where adverse effects are identified, development will only be approved where suitable mitigation can be achieved which would bring emissions or impacts within acceptable levels.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • National Air Quality Strategy

You told us that...

The Plan should prevent high levels of pollution arising from new development.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

Omitting a policy on the potential impacts of pollution. It was considered that the Plan needs to address the impacts of pollution on both people and the environment

The NPPF tells us that...

The Plan needs to ensure a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupants of land and buildings as a core planning principle. It also requires that the planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural environment by preventing new and existing development from being put at an unacceptable risk from, or contributing to, or being adversely affected by unacceptable levels of soil, air water or noise pollution. (paragraphs 110, 124, &125). It outlines the considerations to be taken into account in determining planning applications for both noise sensitive developments (such as housing and schools) and for those activities that generate noise from different sources.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D8

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator: Appeals upheld contrary to Policy LP31

Target: None upheld at appeal

(1) Contaminated and Unstable Land

9.43 Sustainable development means that, where practicable, previously developed sites including those affected by contamination, should be recycled for new uses. New development provides the opportunity to address the risks to health, and the environment associated with contaminated and unstable land by bringing about its improvement through remediation. The NPPF also advises on the need to identify, at the earliest possible stage of the planning process, whether or not a site is contaminated. Land can become contaminated21 from a variety of sources, but is typically associated with some particular types of industrial and manufacturing processes, such as gas, chemical and steel works. National guidance states that if there is a reason to believe contamination could be an issue, developers should provide proportionate but sufficient site investigation information (a risk assessment) to determine the existence or otherwise of contamination, its nature and extent, the risks it may pose and to whom/what (the ‘receptors’) so that these risks can be assessed and satisfactorily reduced to an acceptable level22.

9.44 The principle issues relating to ground instability across North East Derbyshire related to past coal mining activity. Large parts of the District, particularly in the south and east, have been identified by the Coal Authority as ‘Development High Risk Areas’ and ‘Development Low Risk Areas’ due to the known occurrence of coal mining legacy issues and related hazards. In these areas, coal mining legacy issues have the potential to create unstable land and risks to surface development23. It is therefore necessary to demonstrate how new development proposals will be safe and stable.

9.45 Failure to deal adequately with contamination or instability can cause harm to human health, property and the wider environment. Planning applications for new development on sites which are contaminated or are underlain by potentially unstable land must be accompanied by information which shows that investigations have been carried out to determine the nature and extent of any hazard as well as the possible impact it is likely to have on future users and the natural and built environment. Any assessment should set out the detailed measures needed to allow the development to proceed safely including, as appropriate those needed to improve and treat the land, address land stability, and any other public safety issues. The aim is to ensure that new development is appropriate for its location and that the physical constraints on the land are taken into account at the planning application stage Contaminated land often contains valuable areas of biodiversity, and historical interest. In some cases, a careful balance will need to be struck between the benefits of remediation and the harm to other interests, based on the collection and submission of sufficient information by developers at the planning application stage.

(2) Policy LP32: Contaminated and Unstable Land

Development proposals will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that any contaminated or unstable land issues will be addressed by appropriate mitigation measures to ensure that the site is suitable for the proposed use, and does not result in unacceptable risks which would adversely impact upon human health, and the built and natural environment.

Development proposals should also demonstrate that they will not cause the site, or the surrounding environment, to become contaminated and/or unstable.

Proposals for the remediation of contaminated or unstable land will only be permitted where the benefits of remediation outweigh any harm to the natural and built environment.

Where necessary, the developer will be required to carry out further investigations and undertake any necessary remedial measures to ensure that contaminated or unstable land issues are addressed prior to the commencement of the development.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework

You told us that...

The Plan should give particular attention to dealing with the historical legacy of land contamination.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

None: NPPF indicates that local planning authorities should focus on the acceptable use of land and the impact of the use, rather than matters subject to other pollution control regimes.

The NPPF tells us that...

The planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural environment by remediating and mitigating despoiled, degraded derelict, contaminated and unstable land, where appropriate (para 109)

Planning policies should ensure that new development is appropriate for its location, taking into account the potential sensitivity of development (para 120

Planning policies should ensure that a site is suitable for its new use, taking account of ground conditions and land instability (Para 121)

Local Plans may require a variety of environmental assessments, including assessments if the physical constraints on land use (Para 166)

Policy implements Local Plan Objectives: D7, D8

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator: No of eligible schemes in High Risk Areas that are supported by a Coal Mining Risk Assessment Report

Target: 100%

Trigger for Review: Failure by the Council to report a Coal Mining Risk Assessment Report on applicable schemes

(2) Safeguarding Mineral Resources

9.46 Mineral resources are essential to support economic growth and are a natural finite resource. It is therefore important to make the best use of them to ensure their long term conservation. National Planning Policy requires Authorities to ensure that minerals of local and national importance are not needlessly sterilised by non-mineral development. It also requires the prior extraction of minerals to be considered in these areas where practicable and feasible, if it is necessary for non-mineral development to take place.

9.47 Derbyshire County Council is responsible for waste and minerals plan preparation and for determining planning applications for minerals and waste development in North East Derbyshire. As such, within the North East Derbyshire Local Plan area, minerals and waste issues are covered by the Derby and Derbyshire Minerals Plan (amended November 2002), and the Derby and Derbyshire Waste Plan (adopted March 2005). The 'saved policies' in those two plans also form part of the development plan for North East Derbyshire. They include saved policies relating to Minerals Consultation Areas (MCA’s) and procedures to ensure that the County Council is consulted on non-minerals development in those areas. These policies should be taken into account during the consideration of development proposals. In addition, there are policies in the adopted Minerals Local Plan covering minerals safeguarding and prior extraction which may also be applicable to non-minerals applications in North East Derbyshire.

9.48 In due course the new Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan will review the Mineral Safeguarding Areas (MSAs) and Mineral Consultation Areas (MCAs) to prevent the unnecessary sterilisation of surface mineral resources in the Plan area. This is likely to include mineral resources within North East Derbyshire. These predominantly relate to surface coal reserves, but also to a small area of carboniferous limestone.

9.49 Within the MSAs and MCAs, defined by the Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan, the presence of the mineral resource will be considered by North East Derbyshire District Council in development management processes. The revised MSAs and MCAs once adopted by the Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan will be illustrated on the Policies Map accompanying the North East Derbyshire Local Plan.

9.50 In addition, consideration will be given to the policy and advice set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and the National Planning Practice Guide. This includes the need to safeguard existing, planned and potential minerals storage, handling and transport sites to ensure that sites for these purposes are available should they be needed and prevent sensitive or inappropriate development that would conflict with the use of sites identified for these purposes. The District Council is workingwith Derbyshire County Council to develop a joint approach to identify and safeguard such sites.


14 A template of a Sustainability Statement can be found in the Sustainable Design Supplementary Planning Document 15 Energy Hierarchy: Considering firstly energy saving (switching off and saving energy), energy efficiency (better appliances with low energy usage), renewables (sustainable energy production), low carbon generation and finally considering carbon capture and to offset and compensate the impact of the development. 16 Landscape Character 17 Where a Landscape Description Unit is recorded as significant for all three of the data sets (ecology, historic landscape environment and visual unity) then it is considered to be of Primary Sensitivity . If a Landscape Description Unit is recorded as being significant in 2 data sets than it is considered to be of Secondary Sensitivity. 18 The GI Study includes a map showing the Derbyshire-wide results of the Areas of Multiple Environmental Sensitivity. (page 21): Green Infrastructure Study 19 In Flood Zone 1, and FRA will only be required for sites over 1ha 20 The Noise Policy Statement for England provides clarity on current policy and practice for the management of noise. Noise Policy 21 Contaminated land can be regarded as any land which is in such a condition by reason of substances in, on, or under the land, that can cause a risk to human health, property, or the wider environment. 22 Xx reference to other regimes (Guidance para 23 Further information about the Coal Authority's Risk Based Approach can be found on the Coal Authority's website: coal.decc.gov.uk/en/coal/cms/services/planning/strategy/strategy.aspx.
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