Consultation Draft (February 2017)

Ended on the 7th April 2017
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8. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNITIES

Introduction

8.1 National planning policy makes it clear that local plans should reflect the presumption in favour of sustainable development and Policy SS1 in Chapter 4 responds to this requirement.

8.2 This chapter supplements this policy by setting out the Council's planning approach on a range of issues underpinned by the principles of sustainable development. This includes a number of policies in relation to protecting and enhancing the environment, addressing climate change, and delivering successful development to achieve sustainable patterns and forms of development at the local level.

(1) Protecting & Enhancing the Environment

Re-Use of Buildings in the Green Belt and Countryside

8.3 The re-use of existing buildings can help to provide new job opportunities and homes in rural areas. It also re-uses existing resources and reduces the pressure for new buildings in the countryside. Consequently, as an exception to the restrictions on development in the Green Belt and the Count9ryside the re-use or adaptation of agricultural and other rural buildings for new uses will be acceptable in principle provided that the criteria in Policy SDC1 are met.

(2) Policy SDC1: Re-use of Buildings in the Green Belt and Countryside

Proposals for the re-use of buildings in the Green Belt and Countryside will be permitted provided:

a) they are of permanent and substantial construction;

b) they are structurally sound, and capable of re-use without major alterations, adaptations or re-construction;

c) their form, bulk and design is, or can be made to be, in keeping with their surroundings;

d) conversion or adaptation will not be detrimental to the character of the building itself or its setting;

e) there is no materially greater impact than the present use on the openness and character of the Green Belt and Countryside;

f) the new use would not result in a proliferation of replacement farm buildings or inappropriate outside storage of any materials, machinery and / or vehicles;

g) provision is made for nesting boxes and roosts for protected species such as barn owls and bats, where necessary.

Key Evidence Base:

  • National Planning Policy Framework

You told us that...

Although this is a new detailed policy the principle of the re-use of rural buildings in the Green Belt and countryside was supported through the previous consultation on the draft Plan. 

Alternative options considered but not selected...

None

The NPPF tells us that:

Planning policies should support business development in rural areas through the conversion of existing buildings[21], and promote sustainable development in rural areas by locating housing where it enhances or maintains the vitality of rural communities. Isolated new homes in the countryside should be avoided unless there are special circumstances.[22]

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D1, D3, D5, W1 & W3

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Number of planning applications approved within Green Belt and Countryside contrary to policy exceptions.

Target:

  • No applications approved contrary to policy exceptions.

Trigger for Review:

  • More than 10% of applications approved contrary to policy exceptions.


Trees, Woodland and Hedgerows

8.4 Trees, woodland and hedgerows are key features which can define landscape   character and contribute to the quality and enjoyment of the environment. They can have great nature conservation, amenity and recreational value, as well as help to reduce noise and atmospheric pollution.

8.5 The district contains large areas of woodland including ancient woodland (semi- natural and replanted) dating from the Middle Ages or earlier, and a substantial number of scattered trees in rural and urban areas. Trees and woodlands take many years to mature and so ancient woodlands, aged and veteran trees in particular are an irreplaceable resource. Development proposals that would result in the loss, or damage, to aged or veteran trees, or areas of mature or ancient woodland will not normally be permitted.

8.6 Other individual trees, tree groups and woodland can also be, and often are, protected by Tree Preservation Orders. Protection is also given if they are located in a Conservation Area. When necessary, the Council will use Tree Preservation Orders as a means of protection if their loss would be significant in landscape, visual amenity or nature conservation terms. In addition, the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 affords special protection to substantial hedgerows which are considered to be 'irreplaceable' due to their age, and their archaeological, historical, landscape or wildlife significance.  

8.7 Other trees, woodlands and hedgerows worthy of protection are similarly sensitive to the impacts of development, either directly through their removal or indirectly through the impacts of construction. Due to the contribution they can make to the quality of development, they should always be considered at the outset of the design process, and retained and protected, wherever possible.

8.8 Where their loss is unavoidable they should be replaced with suitable new planting either within the site or in the locality if this is more appropriate. Development can make a positive contribution to the local tree and hedgerow resource through new planting or the restoration and improved management of existing features. Planting schemes which use species and varieties native to the area, are locally sourced, and maximise the benefits to the local landscape and wildlife, will be preferred.

8.9 In order to properly assess impacts, where there are trees that could affect, or be affected by a planning application, the Council will require a tree survey and assessment to be carried out to recognised standards and submitted in support of the application. Such assessment which should be carried out early in the design process should make clear which trees are to be retained and how these will be protected during the construction phase. Conditions will be imposed to secure the implementation of any necessary protective measures to secure their retention.

(6) Policy SDC2: Trees, Woodland and Hedgerows

Proposals for development should provide for the protection and integration of existing trees, woodland and hedgerows for their wildlife, landscape, and/or amenity value.

Development that would result in the unacceptable loss of, or damage to, or threaten the continued well-being of protected trees, hedgerows, orchards, veteran trees or woodland (including those not protected but considered worthy of protection), will not be permitted.

Where trees, woodland or hedgerows will be lost to development and this is considered to be acceptable, suitable replacement planting on site where it is practicable to do so, or off-site if not, will be required.

Key Evidence Base:

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • A Greenprint for Biodiversity in North East Derbyshire

You told us that...

Although this is a new policy the Plan should seek to protect landscape features such as trees and hedgerows as integral part of the network of green infrastructure.

Alternative options considered but not selected...

None

The NPPF tells us that:

Planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the loss of or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and the loss of aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland, unless the need for, and benefits of, the development clearly outweigh the loss[23].

Under primary legislation the Council has a wider statutory duty when determining planning applications to include appropriate and adequate provision for the preservation and planting of trees[24].

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D11 & W2


How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Number of planning applications approved contrary to policy.

Target:

  • No applications approved contrary to policy.

Trigger for Review:

  • More than 10% of applications approved contrary to policy.

(5) Landscape Character

8.10 The character of the District's landscape is one of contrast and diversity. The western part of the District extends up to and into 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. In contrast 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 its own distinctive local character.

8.11 The beauty and diversity are important both to the quality of life of local communities and the economic prosperity of the District as a whole often being a central factor in attracting business and tourism. National policy states that valued landscapes should be protected and enhanced[25], and requires Local Plans to include criteria based policies against which proposals for any development on or affecting local landscape areas will be judged[26].

8.12 The characteristics of the District's landscape are assessed in detail in 'The Landscape Character of Derbyshire' which is supported by the 'Derbyshire Historic Landscape Characterisation Study'. The assessment systematically classifies the landscape into distinctive areas based on the interaction between a range of factors including topography, geology, ecology, soils, land use and tree cover. The Derbyshire Landscape Character Area Assessment subdivides the district into 12 Landscape Character Types (LCT's) over 4 National Character Areas (NCA's).


Table 8.1: 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

Wooded Hills & Valleys

Coalfield

Estate Farmlands


Wooded Farmlands


Coalfield Village Farmlands


Coalfield Estatelands


Riverside Meadows



Southern Magnesian Limestone

Limestone Farmlands

8.13 A part of the far west of the District lies within the Peak District National Park which has its own separate landscape character assessment. If the special qualities of the National Park are to be protected, careful control needs to be exercised over development outside, but which may have a harmful impact upon it. Proposals should therefore take account of the adopted Peak District National Park Authority Landscape Strategy and Action Plan, and will not be permitted when it is considered to be harmful to the valued characteristics of the National Park.

8.14 Using the approach of Landscape Character Assessment the Derbyshire County Council has identified 'Areas of Multiple Environmental Sensitivity' (AMES) based upon three key indicators - ecology, historical landscape and visual unity.

8.15 The Study identifies Areas of 'Primary Sensitivity'[27], 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). In North East Derbyshire, the AMES study identifies the key areas of primary sensitivity in the Peak Fringe[28].

Figure 8.1 Landscape Character Map of Derbyshire

Landscape Character Map.png

(7) Policy SDC3: 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 be informed by, and be sympathetic to, the distinctive landscape areas identified in the Derbyshire Landscape Character Assessment and the Areas of Multiple Environmental Sensitivity (AMES), or any successor document(s), and contribute, where appropriate, to the conservation and enhancement, or restoration and re-creation of the local landscape taking into account its wider landscape character type.

Planning permission will not be granted for development outside the Peak District National Park which would damage or significantly affect the national park purposes or its valued characteristics.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Derbyshire Landscape Character Assessment
  • Areas of Multiple Sensitivity

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: D11 & W2

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

8.16 Biodiversity is defined as the variety and diversity of life-forms and the role that they play in the natural world. Biodiversity includes all species of plants and animals and the natural systems that support them.

8.17 The NPPF states that the planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by:

  • recognising the wider benefits of ecosystems services (i.e. in terms of food, water, and recreation, for example);
  • minimising the impact of development on biodiversity, and
  • providing net gains in biodiversity, where possible, so as to contribute to halting the overall decline in biodiversity.[29]

8.18 The Plan area has a rich biodiversity which comprises a network of nationally, regionally, and locally designated sites important for their nature conservation and geodiversity value. It contains:-

  • 7 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) - which are nationally recognised for their wildlife and geological interest;
  • just over 200 Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) – which are the most important non-statutory wildlife sites in Derbyshire and cover a wide variety of habitats such as ancient woodland, grassland and wetlands - the value of which is recognised in the Lowland Derbyshire Biodiversity Action Plan. The Action Plan identifies the most important species and habitats in Derbyshire outside the Peak Park and is a key document to underpin the application of Policy SDC4.
  • 2 Local Nature Reserves (LNR's) – the Williamthorpe Ponds on the edge of Holmewood, and The Green at Wessington – which have been declared for the benefit of both people and wildlife, and offer convenient access for people to enjoy and learn about nature. Both are also LWS's; and
  • a number of Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS) identified by Derbyshire County Council as the most important places for geology and geomorphology outside statutorily protected sites such as SSSI's. Like wildlife sites they are important as an educational, historical and recreational resource.

8.19 In addition, outside the Plan area there also are parts of designated sites of international importance for nature conservation in the form of Peak District Moors Special Protection Area (SPA), the South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation, the Peak District Dales SAC, and the Gang Mine (SAC). These SPA's and SAC's are afforded the highest level of protection in order to conserve the priority habitats and species that exist within them.

8.20 Certain species of flora and fauna (plants and animals) are also present across the district that is specifically protected by European or national legislation. The level of protection will vary according to the species and the particular legislation. In addition, the England Biodiversity List[30] records species of flora and fauna and habitats considered to be of principal importance for the purposes of conserving biodiversity. These are known as Priority Habitats and Species and some of these may be protected under other designations e.g. SSSI's, or protected species legislation.

8.21 Where appropriate and in particular where there is likely to be an adverse effect on sites identified in the district as being of local or regional importance for biodiversity, or Protected Species and/or Priority Habitats or Species are known or likely to be present, planning applications should be accompanied by ecological assessment from suitably qualified and experienced persons. Scoping surveys (often called phase 1 surveys) can be useful for assessing whether a specific survey is needed. Ecological surveys and assessments should be proportionate to the nature and scale of the development proposed and the likely impact upon biodiversity. All surveys should be carried out at the right time of the year, using methods that are right for the species and the area.

8.22 Policy SDC4 seeks to protect the biodiversity and geodiversity resources of the Plan area. All statutory and non-statutory sites will be shown on the policies map to accompany the Publication Draft Plan at the next stage of the plan process.

(5) Policy SDC4: Biodiversity and Geodiversity

Development proposals should seek to conserve biodiversity and geodiversity, and actively enhance biodiversity in order to provide net gains wherever possible.

The Council will seek to ensure new development maintains, enhances, and extends networks of natural habitats. Proposals for improved access, recreation and tourism within such networks will be encouraged where they are compatible with biodiversity aims.

Development proposals will not be permitted where they would result in significant harm to biodiversity or geodiversity, including protected species and sites of international, national and local significance, ancient woodland, and species and habitats of importance identified in the United Kingdom and Derbyshire Biodiversity Action Plan.

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 is likely to have significant effects upon internationally designated sites (SPAs, SACs and Ramsar sites inside and outside the district) 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 Local Nature Reserve, a Derbyshire Local Wildlife Site, a Regionally Important Geological Site, or Priority Habitats will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that the benefits of the development in the proposed location would:

a) significantly and demonstrably outweigh the adverse impact; and

b) 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)
  • Lowland Derbyshire Biodiversity Action Plan (2011)

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...

The planning system should contribute to and where possible enhance the natural and local environment; andminimise impacts on biodiversity and providing net gains in biodiversity where possible, contributing to the Government's commitment to halt the overall decline in biodiversity.

Local Authorities should set out set out a strategic approach in their Local Plans, to plan positively for the creation, protection, enhancement and management of networks of biodiversity and green infrastructure; and that they should set criteria based policies against which proposals for any development on or affecting protected wildlife or geodiversity sites or landscape areas will be judged. 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.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D11

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

(3) The Historic Environment

8.23 National planning guidance advises that local planning authorities should set out a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats.

8.24 North East Derbyshire is fortunate to have a wealth of heritage assets which are a unique and irreplaceable resource and valued by local communities throughout the District.  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.

8.25 The Derbyshire County Council maintained Historic Environment Record also contains a large number of known non-designated assets that contribute to the local distinctiveness of the district. It is important to recognise that these heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource which should be conserved in a manner appropriate to their significance. The Council believes that a positive and proactive strategy should be established for the conservation, enjoyment and if possible enhancement 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.

8.26 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. Much of these findings are still relevant however in light of recent changes to the policy context this study has been reviewed and an addendum published. The Study found the towns in 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 as such retain distinct vernacular architecture.  It noted that 'gap' sites exist within these towns that diminish the legibility of the historic street network which represents both a weakness as well as an opportunity. 

8.27 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 and the beginning of the 21st 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.

8.28 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. Beyond the east of the district in Bolsover both Bolsover Castle and Hardwick Hall are acknowledged to be heritage assets of national significance, and the Council will help to protect them by making efforts to protect their settings from inappropriate development.

8.29 Development proposals affecting heritage assets will be permitted if they do not detract from the significance, character and setting of an asset, and will be particularly supported where they better reveal the significance of the asset. All proposals will be expected to explain the significance of the asset; and, provide a clear justification for the work, including (where relevant) identification of public benefits.

8.30 Where permission is granted, appropriate conditions and/or planning obligations may be secured to ensure that heritage assets are appropriately conserved and/or enhanced. This may include provision for the recording of assets prior to commencement of any works.

Conservation Areas

8.31 Conservation areas are those parts of the district which have been recognised as having special architectural or historic interest which is worthy of preservation and enhancement. When considering planning applications for developments within them, a duty is placed on the local planning authority to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the conservation area.

8.32 Designation of an area as a conservation area does not mean that no change or development will be allowed, but rather that new buildings and uses should respect the established character of the area. Policy SDC5 aims to ensure that conservation areas do not stifle development, but that new development complements the existing character of these special townscapes.

(4) Policy SDC5: Development within Conservation Areas

Development proposals within or impacting upon Conservation Areas will be permitted where they conserve and enhance the character or appearance of the area and its setting.

Applications will be considered in relation to how well the design and location of the proposal has taken account of:

a) the development characteristics and context of the area, in terms of important buildings, spaces, landscapes, walls, trees, and views into or out of the area;

b) the form, scale, size and massing of nearby buildings, together with materials of construction.

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: D10

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • No. of planning applications approved contrary to policy.

Target:

  • No applications approved contrary to policy.
  • No appeals upheld against policy.

Trigger for Review:

  • Increasing trend of appeals being upheld against this policy.

Listed Buildings

8.33 Listed Buildings are those that appear on the Secretary of State's 'List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest', prepared by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. In England the statutory body responsible for maintaining 'the list' is Historic England. The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) is the only official and up to date database of all listed and designated heritage sites.

8.34 Listed buildings are grouped into three grades, indicating their relative importance. These are Grade I, II* (two-star) and II, with Grade I the most important. The majority of listed buildings in the District are Grade II. All three grades are subject to the same legislation.

8.35 The listing of a building confers on it a significant degree of protection and special attention must be paid to maintain the character of listed buildings. Permission, in the form of Listed Building Consent, is also required for any works of demolition, extension, or alteration which affect the character of the building as one of special architectural or historic interest. This Consent is entirely separate from any need to obtain planning permission.

(2) Policy SDC6: Development affecting Listed Buildings

Proposals for alterations to or changes of use of listed buildings (including its setting) will be supported where they protect the significance of the heritage asset including impacts on the character, architectural merit or historic interest of the building.

Proposals should consider factors such as materials, layout, architectural features, scale and design.

Proposals which allow for viable uses that are compatible with the conservation of the fabric of the building and its setting will generally be supported.

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). It notes that significance can be harmed or lost through alteration or destruction of the heritage asset or development within its setting. As heritage assets are irreplaceable, any harm or loss should require clear and convincing justification including the contribution of their setting.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D10

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • No. of planning applications approved contrary to policy .

Target:

  • No applications approved contrary to Policy.  No appeals upheld against policy.

Trigger for Review:

  • Increasing trend of appeals being upheld against this policy.


(1) Scheduled Ancient Monuments and Archaeology

8.36 The District contains a wealth of archaeological remains which constitute an irreplaceable resource for, and record of, the District's evolution. If properly protected and managed they will contribute greatly to understanding the past, and contribute to the district's tourism and recreational potential. To protect the integrity of archaeological remains, preservation should take place in situ wherever possible.

8.37 The Derbyshire Historic Environment Records (HER) is maintained and updated by Derbyshire County Council and contains details of all known sites, structures, landscapes or other areas of archaeological interest in North East Derbyshire. The HER should be consulted on all planning applications within or near to areas of known archaeological interest.

8.38 The District also includes a number of Scheduled Ancient Monuments. These are remains, buildings or structures of national importance protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act, 1979. Any work affecting a monument will require Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent from Historic England, in addition to any permissions or consents required from the Council under the Planning Acts.

8.39 Policy SDC7 below, provides policy at the local level which aims to ensure that these important sites are preserved and where possible enhanced.

(3) Policy SDC7: Scheduled Ancient Monuments and Archaeology

Proposals that preserve or enhance the significance of scheduled monuments or archaeological sites, including their setting, will be supported.

Where development proposals are likely to affect non-designated archaeological sites, appropriate measures should be taken to ensure their protection in-situ, based upon their significance.

Where development would involve demolition or removal of archaeological features, this must be fully justified and provision made for excavation, recording and archiving prior to work commencing.

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. It notes that significance can be harmed or lost through alteration or destruction of the heritage asset or development within its setting. As heritage assets are irreplaceable, any harm or loss should require clear and convincing justification including the contribution of their setting.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D10

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • No. of planning applications approved contrary to policy 

Target:

  • No applications approved contrary to policy. No appeals upheld against policy.

Trigger for Review:

  • Increasing trend of appeals being upheld against this policy.

Registered Parks and Gardens

8.40 In addition to buildings and archaeological sites, parks and gardens make a contribution to the historic environment. One such area included on Historic England's Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest is the park and gardens associated with Renishaw Hall.

8.41 Policy SDC8 below aims to ensure that this asset is preserved, whilst development proposals which conserve and opportunities to enhance the character, appearance and significance of such assets are treated positively.


(1) Policy SDC8: Registered Parks and Gardens

Planning permission for development that preserves or enhances the special historic landscape character and interest of a registered park and garden including its setting will be granted.

Applications must seek to protect original or significant designed landscapes, their built features, and setting.

Proposals which seek to restore or reinstate historic landscape features to original designs, using appropriate evidence, or better reveal their setting will be encouraged.

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. It notes that significance can be harmed or lost through alteration or destruction of the heritage asset or development within its setting. As heritage assets are irreplaceable, any harm or loss should require clear and convincing justification including the contribution of their setting.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D10

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • No appeals upheld against policy.

Target:

  • No applications approved contrary to policy.

Trigger for Review:

  • Increasing trend of appeals being upheld against this policy.

(1) Non Designated Local Heritage Assets

8.42 In addition to the above designated historic assets the district contains a number of buildings, structures and facades that, whilst not nationally considered suitable for statutory listing or having the protection conferred by being situated with a conservation area, nonetheless have local historic or architectural importance to warrant retention and protection.

8.43 The Government recognises such heritage assets as noted in its guidance (NPPF), and the Council will aim to identify and establish a list of locally important buildings and structures.

8.44 Policy SDC9 below aims to ensure that these assets are preserved, whilst development proposals which conserve and take the opportunity to enhance the character, appearance and significance of such assets are treated positively.

(1) Policy SDC9: Non-designated Local Heritage Assets

Development proposals which positively sustain or enhance the significance of any local heritage asset and its setting will be permitted.

Alterations, additions and changes of use should respect the character, appearance and setting of the local heritage asset in terms of the design, materials, form, scale, size, height and massing of the proposal.

Proposals involving full or partial demolition of, or significant harm to a local heritage asset will be resisted unless sufficient justification is provided on the proposed scheme and its public benefits to outweigh the harm caused by the loss of the asset.

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. It notes that significance can be harmed or lost through alteration or destruction of the heritage asset or development within its setting. As heritage assets are irreplaceable, any harm or loss should require clear and convincing justification including the contribution of their setting.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D10

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • No appeals upheld against policy.

Target:

  • No applications approved contrary to policy.

Trigger for Review:

  • Increasing trend of appeals being upheld against this policy.

(1) Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change

Decentralised, Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Generation

8.45 Climate change is now a widely accepted scientific fact, and everyone has a part to play in reducing the possible impacts associated with Climate Change. The Government has reviewed the delivery of national energy policies and has recognised that there are two major long term challenges to tackling climate change and delivering secure, clean energy at an affordable price. Renewable energy sources are key to a sustainable, economic and environmental future. The development of clean sources of electricity is essential to cutting down carbon dioxide emissions which is a major contributor to climate change and global warming.

8.46 The 2008 Climate Change Act was published with the aim of encouraging Britain's transition to a low carbon economy, with this to be done through unilateral legally binding emissions reduction targets. 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 8.2: The Energy Hierarchy

output

8.47 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.

8.48 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.

8.49 National guidance 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.

8.50 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.  In terms of wind energy the Study found that the practical potential for wind energy is limited principally by the commercial value of a very small number of available sites in the district. More recently Government policy has been less favourable towards wind turbine development where communities oppose schemes on valid planning grounds. The plan does not therefore identify suitable areas for large scale commercial wind energy and such proposals will be considered against the Government's latest policy guidance. However, there may be instances where the development of small scale wind turbines which generate power principally for the operation of a farmstead, other rural business, or local settlement may be acceptable subject to the planning impacts having been properly addressed. For the purposes of Policy SDC1 small scale turbines are defined as those measuring up to 35 metres in total height.

8.51 The Study also identifies areas of potential for district heating, based on the towns and in close proximity to new major development sites. The Council recognises that there are variety of other 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 better CO2 savings are achieved at less cost by reducing the overall energy use of development through its design and layout rather than by generating energy use from renewable energy technologies this could also lead to the savings being more cost effective.  This issue is addressed in Policy SDC11 (Low and Zero Carbon Development).

(6) Policy SDC10: Decentralised, Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Generation

Proposals for the generation of renewable energy including biomass power generation, combined heat and power, small scale wind turbines, and other micro generation systems will be  permitted where either individually or cumulatively with other renewable energy development, there would be no significant adverse effects on:

  1. the visual amenity and character of the area;
  2. the amenity of local residents,  in terms of noise, dust, odour, reflected light, traffic or visual intrusion;
  3. the ecology of the area, in particular in relation to protected species and to any sites of biodiversity value, ancient woodland, and veteran trees
  4. the historic environment, including the effect on the significance of heritage assets and their setting and important views associated with valued landscapes and townscapes
  5. airport radar and telecommunications systems.

In the case of proposals for small-scale wind turbines they must be directly related to, and generate power principally for, the operation of a farmstead, other rural business, or local settlement.

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 connect in the future 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 taking into account flood risk.

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: D8

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

Zero and Low Carbon Development

8.52 The Climate Change Act 2008 has put in place legally binding targets for the UK to achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 with reductions of 34% by 2020, against a 1990 baseline.  Whilst emissions from the residential and industrial sectors reduced during 2013-14 they still account for about one third of all emissions nationally.

8.53 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 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 committed to ensuring that all new developments are as low carbon as possible.

8.54 The Council acknowledges that the Building Regulations through its control over the construction of new buildings will be the primary means of ensuring energy efficiency in builidngs, but believes that the planning system has a role to play in promoting zero and low carbon development through good design practices. The Council will therefore support proposals for development which through their design and layout make a positive contribution towards helping to reduce energy consumption, utilise solar gain and provide for development that is most resilient to climate change.

8.55 In order to help move towards a low carbon future as advocated in national policy the Council will expect proposals to fully utilise the assets of a site including its landform, orientation and landscape features and be designed in such a way as to maximise building orientation, massing and landscaping to help reduce overall energy consumption. In designing schemes the Council encourages applicants to consider how the development makes effective use of sustainably sourced resources, materials and minimises waste and CO2 emissions, and how the building form and construction might allow for retrofitting renewable and decentralised energy technologies during its lifetime.

8.56 Proposals that seek to achieve highly efficient zero or low carbon development to recognised standards beyond current Building Regulations such as PassivHaus, and BREEAM Excellent or Outstanding for non-residential development, will be acknowledged by the Council as achieving sustainable design excellence and afforded strong support with a presumption in favour of development.

(2) Policy SDC11: Zero and Low Carbon Development

The Council will fully support proposals for development which through their design and layout promote the efficient use of energy, make effective use of sustainably sourced resources and materials, minimises waste and CO2 emissions, and include measures to allow further viable subsequent reduction in a development's carbon footprint.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

You told us that…

The intent of a policy to promote sustainable design and construction is welcomed, but that it was excessive in its detail and sought to cover matters more appropriately addressed through other legislation.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

None, given the emphasis in the NPPF on sustainable development.

The NPPF tells us that…

Local planning authorities should adopt proactive strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change...and plan for new development in locations and ways which reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Policy Implements Local Plan Objectives: D8

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • The number of developments constructed in compliance with this policy.

Target:

  • All to comply.

Trigger for Review:

  • More than 40% appeal losses against the application of this policy.

Flood Risk

8.57 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.

8.58 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.

8.59 The Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) carried out in 2009 classified all land within the District into one of four Flood Zones. This classification has been undertaken at the strategic level and is intended primarily for guidance purposes in the overall planning process.  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). The Environment Agency has flood risk management responsibilities over sections of main river such as the River Rother, River Drone, River Doe Lea, River Amber, Alfreton Brook, River Erewash and River Meden.

8.60 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 be reviewed in collaboration with water infrastructure providers as part of the work on the forthcoming Infrastructure Study and Delivery Plan to support the next stage of the plan process.

8.61 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. As of April 2015, the surface water elements of the Flood Risk policy became the responsibility Derbyshire County Council as the LLFA.

(6) Policy SDC12:  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 FRA[31] 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. 
  1. 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
  1. 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 ID8 (Infrastructure Delivery and 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: D8

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:

  • Where applications are granted contrary to EA advice.

Contributing to Successful Development

(1) High Quality Design and Place-Making

8.62 Successful places tend to be those that have a distinct identity or sense of place. Good design and the creation of attractive places are not just about how buildings look. It is also about taking the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of the area as well as the way it functions as a place. Respect needs to be given to local character and context, the quality of the buildings and the spaces around them, both public and private.

8.63 Good design can help to improve quality of life, equality of opportunity and economic growth. All development should therefore contribute positively to the creation of well designed buildings and spaces as well as aiding resilience to the impacts of climate change.

8.64 Policy SDC13 sets out the criteria to be taken into account to ensure quality, distinctive, and functional design and to ensure developments are satisfactorily assimilated within the existing local context reinforcing local character and a sense of local identity. It also aims to ensure that development through its design meets the challenges of climate change. This set of criteria is not intended to stifle originality but rather forms a broad framework within which sustainable design concepts can be developed.

8.65 The policy should also be read in conjunction with the Council's adopted Interim Supplementary Planning Document Successful Places: A Guide to Sustainable Housing Layout and Design.   This document primarily supports the creation of locally distinctive, well designed places to live.  In particular it sets out the design process which is expected to be followed in order to demonstrate development proposed is based upon a clear appreciation of the site and its wider context.

8.66 On major schemes and/or those located within particularly sensitive locations the Council may seek input from specialist urban designers at an early stage in the design process. It may also seek to refer scheme designs for independent assessment through a Design Review Panel(s). Where relevant the Council will expect the recommendations made by the Council's appointed urban designer and/or a Design Review Panel to have been taken into consideration in the final scheme design.

8.67 Applications for new major development must be accompanied by a full Sustainability Statement[32], demonstrating how proposals will make a positive contribution to the character and sustainability of North East Derbyshire.

(6) Policy SDC13:  High Quality Design and Place-Making

The design of new development should contribute to the creation of high quality, distinctive, functional and sustainable places.

In determining whether the design is acceptable account will be taken of whether the development:  

BUILDINGS

  1. Respects and reinforces an area's character and identity in order to  maintain locally distinctive communities;
  1. Creates a coherently structured, integrated and sustainable built form that clearly defines public and private space;
  1. Responds 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  any new buildings into  their local setting;
  1. Contributes to the resilience of buildings and communities in the face of climate change impacts;
  1. Safeguards the amenity of existing  occupiers and creates a high quality environment for future occupiers in terms of privacy, overlooking, overshadowing and/or any overbearing impacts;
  1. Makes use of locally sourced, sustainable high quality materials, appropriate for the development and its surroundings, including recycled materials wherever possible;

PLACES AND SPACES

  1. Creates safe, attractive, usable, vibrant, durable, and adaptable places containing high quality, energy efficient, inclusive buildings and spaces that integrate green infrastructure;
  1. Creates connected places that are accessible and easy to move around, and which prioritise access to pedestrians and cyclists and provide safe, convenient and an attractive environment for walking and cycling;
  1. Promotes legibility through the provision of recognisable and understandable routes, intersections and  landmark features;
  1. Makes 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, as well as  providing adequate green infrastructure.
  1. Conserves heritage assets including historic buildings and their settings, and historic landscapes;
  1. Addresses opportunities for biodiversity, conservation, and enhancement ensuring that local semi-natural features are created and enhanced as integral elements of the design;
  1. Includes sensitively designed adverts and signage which are appropriate and sympathetic to their local setting in terms of scale, design, lighting and materials;
  1. Ensures space is multifunctional and where, appropriate, includes provision for SuDS and shading, and the use of green and brown roofs;
  1. Makes provision for the storage of waste and recycling materials in locations that would not harm local amenity and that enable collection from the public highway;
  1. Incorporate measures to reduce any actual or perceived opportunities for crime or anti-social behaviour and promote safe living environments;

In addition, where relevant the Council will expect a scheme's design to have fully taken into account the recommendations of a Design Review Panel

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Successful Places design guidance (2014)

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:  D9

How will the Policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • The number of developments constructed in compliance with this policy.

Target:

  • All to comply

Trigger for Review:

  • More than 40% appeal losses against the application of this policy.

(1) Environmental Quality

8.68 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.

8.69 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 therefore 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.

(1) Air Quality

8.70 Clean air is an essential element of a good quality life. The existing, and likely future, air quality in an area should be considered through Local Plans. It may also be material in considering individual planning applications where air pollution considerations arise.

8.71 The National Air Quality Strategy aims to ensure a level of air quality which poses no significant risk to health or quality of life. Where there is a likelihood of a national air quality objective being exceeded the Council has to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and prepare an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) setting out the measures we intend to put in place in pursuit of  air quality objectives.  Whilst there are currently no AQMA's in the district, 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.

8.72 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 impacts on the sites and habitats in question.

(1) Noise and tranquillity

8.73 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 Policy[33] 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.

Light Pollution

8.74 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 in order to cut down on light pollution and the impacts that it causes.

8.75 The Council will seek to where possible reduce light pollution by encouraging the installation of appropriate lighting and only permitting lighting proposals which would not adversely affect amenity or public safety. Lights should be appropriately shielded, directed to the ground and sited to minimise any impact on adjoining areas, and of a height and illumination level of the minimum required to serve their purpose.

Water Quality

8.76 The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is the primary European legislation for matters relating to the water environment and sets out how water bodies will be managed within the context of River Basin Districts.  A high proportion of the rivers in the North East Derbyshire District are headwaters or tributaries of larger rivers and are highly sensitive to water quality impacts. As they are headwaters that ultimately flow into other catchments, water quality in this area has the potential to affect water bodies over a much larger area.

8.77 A joint Water Cycle Study Scoping Study was carried out in 2010 for North East Derbyshire alongside Bolsover and Chesterfield Borough. The study found that development in the district may generate a need to upgrade wastewater treatment works in order to increase capacity whilst at the same time ensuring that discharges meet water quality objectives.

8.78 It is important to consider the protection of water resources from pollution, which can affect the District's watercourse network consisting of rivers, streams, ditches, drains and canals. However it can also affect groundwater for many decades and may be impossible to remove completely, even after the source of the pollution has been cleared up. Policy SDC14 aims to ensure water quality issues are addressed and that development helps to assist improvements in the ecological status of the district's watercourse network.

(6) Policy SDC14:Environmental Quality

All development proposals will be expected to prevent unacceptable levels of air and water quality, as well as noise and light pollution from being created particularly in rural areas.

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, light, air or water 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. You also told us that water quality and light pollution should be included within the policy.

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. (paragraph's 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:  D13 & E3

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.
(2) Contaminated and Unstable Land

8.79 Sustainable development includes the recycling of previously developed land (brownfield sites) for new uses. This includes sites affected by contamination.

8.80 New development can provide the opportunity to address the risks to health, and the environment associated with contaminated and unstable land by bringing about its improvement through remediation. National guidance 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 contaminated[34] 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.

8.81 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 level.[35]

8.82 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 being within 'Development High 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 development.[36]  It is therefore necessary to demonstrate how new development proposals will be safe and stable.

8.83 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 SDC15: 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.

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 (NPPF)
  • Groundwater protection: Principles and practice (GP3)

You told us that...

The Plan should give particular attention to dealing with the historical legacy of land contamination particularly on sites proposed for new development in the Plan.

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:  D9 & E2

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

Number of schemes determined in accordance with Environment Agency and Coal Authority advice. 

Target:

  • 100%

Trigger for Review:

  • Permissions granted contrary to Environment Agency or Coal Authority advice.

Hazardous Installations

8.84 The NPPF states that planning policies should be based on up to date information on the location of major hazards and on the mitigation of the consequences of major accidents. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provide planning advice to local authorities on developments which fall within the consultation zones of hazardous installations.

8.85 There are three hazardous consultation zones which affect the District, one of which relates to an operation just outside of the District. These installations are regulated by the Health and Safety Executive in accordance with Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) regulations:

  • Veolia Environmental Services, Norwood Industrial Estate, Killamarsh
  • Caldic UK Ltd, Holmewood Industrial Estate, Holmewood
  • EPC UK Ltd, Rough Close Works, South Normanton

8.86 Each installation has consultation zones around it which are determined by the HSE depending upon the materials stored and the technology operated at the site; these are periodically updated by the HSE. When considering applications for development in or near a hazardous installation or pipeline regard has to be given to the most up to date consultation zones.

8.87 Where proposals fall within the HSE consultation zones then the local planning authority will consult the HSE and apply its methodology and advice. This will normally result in either a "Do not Advise Against" or "Advise Against" determination based on the level of risk proposed to prospective occupants of the development.

8.88 Should the HSE revise its methodology on which it bases its advice with regard to developments within the proximity of Hazardous Installations then the Council will accept the advice emerging from this revised methodology.

(1) Policy SDC16: Development near Hazardous Uses

Development proposals will be assessed in accordance with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance where they fall within a consultation zone for one or more hazardous installations. Where the HSE advises against the development proposed then permission will be refused.

Key Evidence Base:

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Planning Practice Guidance

You told us that...

The Plan should recognise the issues associated with hazardous sites and include relevant policies dealing with the compatibility of development within the associated safeguarding zones.

Alternative options considered but not selected...

None

The NPPF tells us that:

Planning policies should be based on up to date information on the location of major hazards and on the mitigation of the consequences of major accidents.

The NPPG then goes on to say that in view of its acknowledged expertise in assessing the off-site risks presented by hazardous substances, any advice from the Health and Safety Executive that planning permission should be refused for, at or near to, a hazardous installation or pipeline should not be overridden without the most careful consideration.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D13

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Number of planning applications approved contrary to advice from the Health and Safety Executive.

Target:

  • No applications approved contrary to Health and Safety Executive advice.

Trigger for Review:

  • Application approved contrary to Health and Safety Executive advice.

(3) Safeguarding Mineral Resources

8.89 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.

8.90 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.

8.91 The new Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan will review the Mineral Safeguarding Areas (MSAs) and Mineral Consultation Areas (MCAs) shortly to prevent the unnecessary sterilisation of surface mineral resources. 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.

8.92 Within the MSAs and MCAs, defined by the Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan, the presence of the mineral resource will be considered by the Council as part of the determination of planning applications. 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.

8.93 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 working with Derbyshire County Council to develop a joint approach to identify and safeguard such sites


[21] NPPF(2012), paragraph 28, 1st bullet

[22] NPPF(2012), paragraph 55

[23] NPPF (2012) paragraph 118, 5th bullet point

[24] Section 197 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990

[25] NPPF(2012), paragraph 109, 1st bullet

[26] NPPF(2012), paragraph 113

[27] 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.

[28] The GI Study includes a map showing the Derbyshire-wide results of the Areas of Multiple Environmental Sensitivity. (page 21)

http://www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/environment-planning/planning/planning-policy/local-plan-2011-2031/evidence-base/green-infrastructure-study/

[29] NPPF(2012), paragraph 109, 2nd & 3rd bullet points

[30] List published by the Secretary of State under Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006

[31] In Flood Zone 1, and FRA will only be required for sites over 1ha

[32] A template of a Sustainability Statement can be found in the Sustainable Design Supplementary Planning Document

[33] The Noise Policy Statement for England provides clarity on current policy and practice for the management of noise. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69533/pb13750-noise-policy.pdf

[34] 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.

[35] Xx reference to other regimes (Guidance para 

[36] Further information about the Coal Authority's Risk Based Approach can be found on the Coal Authority's website: http://coal.decc.gov.uk/en/coal/cms/services/planning/strategy/strategy.aspx.


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