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2 OVERALL STRATEGY

Introduction

2.1 This Chapter sets out the overall strategy of the Local Plan.

2.2 In order to explain how it has been drawn up, the following information is set out:-

  1. policy background: which refers to national, regional and county based strategic planning policies for the area;
  2. economic development: which outlines the Council's objectives;
  3. the local context: focusing particularly on the nature of pressures for development;
  4. development constraints: which covers road infrastructure and environmental considerations.

2.3 In the light of the above an evaluation of alternative development strategies for the Borough was carried out and a preferred overall strategy decided upon. This process is explained at paragraph 2.56 where a summary of the advantages of the preferred overall strategy can be found.

2.4 Implementation of the overall strategy relies on the Council being able to control or stimulate development in accordance with overall strategy policies OS1, OS2 and OS3 which are set out at the end of this Chapter.

2.5 During the process of drawing up the Local Plan, the Council commissioned consultants to carry out an independent environmental appraisal of the Plan.

Policy Background

Sustainable Development

2.6 Since the publication of the Government’s Environment White Paper-‘This Common Inheritance’, in September 1990, environmental issues have become firmly established on the agenda for national debate and policy making. The increasing concern for the environment expressed by the UK Government - and other countries -led to the UN Conference on Environment and Development (the ‘Earth Summit’) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

2.7 At Rio, leaders and representatives from over 150 states (including the UK Prime Minister) adopted a declaration committing themselves to the goal of achieving ‘sustainable development’. A widely quoted definition of this concept is ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. In essence, the concept of sustainable development builds upon the traditional concerns for our built heritage and areas of landscape and nature conservation importance to embrace the overall issue of global environmental change, and to address the threats posed to mankind by global warming, pollution and the depletion of natural resources. Consequently, sustainable development can be helpfully thought of at three levels-global sustainability, the husbanding of natural resources and the conservation of local environmental quality.

2.8 It should be noted that a good local environment is not just a contribution to national and, indeed, international goals. Good environmental quality is an important element in creating the right circumstances for local economies to restructure and expand. In itself it cannot make things happen, but it can give the comparative advantages which will make one location preferable to another.

2.9 In support of its declaration on sustainable development, the Earth Summit adopted ‘Agenda 21’, a comprehensive action plan for the pursuit of sustainable development into the next century. Agenda 21 recommended the establishment of a new Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) under the aegis of the UN to monitor progress. It also called on governments to prepare national strategies for sustainable development, and to submit reports to the CSD on action to implement Agenda 21, on the problems faced and on any relevant environment and development issues.

2.10 Local government is now developing its own policies and programme responses to many of the issues raised in Agenda 21 and the EC ‘Fifth Environmental Action Programme’ through its ‘Local Agenda 21 Initiative’. As part of this Initiative, local government produced its own ‘Declaration on Sustainable Development’ in 1993.

2.11 In response to Agenda 21’s call to national governments, the UK Government published ‘Sustainable Development - The UK Strategy’ in January 1994. The Strategy set out in that document is the Government’s strategy, but it identifies the part that will need to be played by other bodies - local government, business, the voluntary sector, individual citizens - and it seeks their active participation. The Strategy emphasises that a key objective of environmental and sustainable development policy is to prevent the environment being treated as a ‘free good’, which can be damaged with impunity and whose enhancement secures no economic return. It can do this by ensuring that environmental costs and benefits are properly and fully taken into account in public and private sector decisions.

2.12 Land is a finite resource. Changes in its use, and new buildings, must respect environmental priorities. Development provides for people’s needs, whether for food production or minerals extraction, for homes or workplaces, for transport or recreation. It is mainly initiated by the private sector to meet market demands. But it must respect the interests of the community as a whole in making the best use of the land resource. Government, at national and local level, seeks, therefore, to influence the way in which development takes place, and the way in which land is used. It can do this in different ways. The protection of the most sensitive areas demands the use of regulatory instruments, in particular the land use planning system.

2.13 Furthermore, the Government acknowledges that the planning system is a key instrument in delivering land use and development compatible with the aims of sustainable development. Paragraph 35.4 states:

‘The preparation of development plans and the exercise of development control, enable decision makers to weight and reconcile priorities in the public interest. They can ensure that the development needed to help the economy grow, and to provide people with jobs and homes, takes place in a way that respects environmental capacity constraints and other conservation interests’.

Sustainability and Development Plans

2.14 The strengthening of the plan-led system together with the requirement that local planning authorities should take account of the environment in its widest sense when preparing their development plans, has potentially enormous benefits for the environment. It means, for example, that the quantity of development should be only that envisaged in the Local Plan and takes place in the intended locations, and that critical aspects of the environment can be protected from adverse development.

2.15 Since 1990 the Government has reviewed all planning guidance to reflect environmental priorities. Accordingly, the Government has made clear in PPG12, and other PPGs, its intention to work towards ensuring that development and growth are sustainable, and that development plans have a key role to play in achieving this goal by ensuring that future generations are not denied the best of today’s environment.

2.16 A set of six environmental sustainability aims have been drawn up to guide the overall planning strategy set out in this chapter. They are as follows:-

  1. to encourage energy efficiency;

  2. to minimise pollution;

  3. to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources;

  4. to conserve/enhance bio-diversity;

  5. to encourage the development and use of renewable resources and;

  6. to restore, conserve or enhance local environmental quality.

2.17 To conclude, the principal aim of the Local Plan is as follows:-

To ensure that all development proposals take full account of the need to protect the environment so that present day demands do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and enjoy a high quality environment.

2.18 This Local Plan seeks to reflect the Council’s commitment to sustainable development. The implementation of a successful planning strategy, however, will need to be guided by regular appraisal of rapidly developing policy guidance on the principles of sustainable development. This Local Plan will, therefore, be reviewed every five years or earlier if the results of regular monitoring identify the need.

Regional Planning Guidance for the East Midlands

2.19 In March 1994 the Department of the Environment (East Midlands Regional Office) published Regional Planning Guidance for the East Midlands (RPG8). The RPG will provide a framework for the updating of structure plans within the Region up to the year 2011.

2.20 The RPG requires that development plans (i.e. including the Council’s Melton Local Plan) should provide land use policies aimed at achieving the following three broad objectives:-

  1. to conserve and, where possible, enhance the Region’s environment;
  2. to secure and stimulate economic prosperity in all parts of the Region;
  3. to establish patterns of development which are sustainable.

2.21 The RPG advises local authorities to continue to review their development plans and sets out the specific aims which monitoring should pay attention to.

2.22 The Council has considered the RPG and is of the view that the Melton Local Plan is in conformity with its broad aims and objectives.

The Leicestershire Structure Plan

2.23 The County Council adopted the replacement Structure Plan for Leicestershire in January 1994 (LSP). Its predecessor, the 1987 Structure Plan is extinguished. The main objectives of the LSP are to:-

  1. strengthen and diversify the local economy;
  2. protect and enhance the local environment;
  3. provide for the planned housing requirement of the County;
  4. provide a viable choice of transportation.

2.24 The LSP contains the following details of particular significance to the Melton area.

  1. Development is to be concentrated within and adjoining the main urban area of Melton Mowbray. Any other major new development is to be allocated in locations which offer a realistic choice of transport along corridors between urban areas. A “Transport Choice Corridor” is defined within the Melton area along the Coventry to Peterborough railway line between Leicester and Melton Mowbray.
  2. The LSP requires that land for 3,250 new dwellings and 80 hectares (198 acres) of employment land is allocated in the Melton Local Plan for development over the period 1991-2006.
  3. An A606 Melton Mowbray southern and western by-pass is included as a major County road scheme which is programmed to be undertaken during the Plan period. The County Council makes it clear, however, that inclusion in the LSP does not indicate a County Council financial commitment to the provision of the whole scheme and that it may support the provision of other schemes through developer funding.
  4. There is a policy regarding new settlements. The LSP states that new settlements may be appropriate to meet the housing and employment needs proposed for major growth areas but that they should come forward through the statutory local plan process and satisfy a range of criteria.
  5. The LSP maintains appropriate policies of restraint regarding development in the countryside in accordance with national planning policies.
  6. The LSP requires that land for a new railway station is identified in the Melton Local Plan in the vicinity of Asfordby as part of a series of measures countywide to improve transport choice within the defined “Transport Choice Corridor”.

2.25 The Council has given its support to the general strategy of the LSP although there are several areas of concern regarding matters of detail and implementation of the strategy within the Melton area.

Economic Development

2.26 Each year the Council publishes its Economic Development Plan. This sets out proposed expenditure on economic development activities for the year, set in the context of the Council’s broad aims and objectives for economic development.

2.27 The Council wishes to maximise opportunities for economic growth within a sustainable development framework by supporting the continued existence and growth of local business and by supporting the development of new enterprises.

The Council will therefore seek to:-

  1. promote the attractions of the area for inward investment;
  2. provide advice and / or direct people to other sources of advice, grants and various forms of assistance;
  3. monitor and respond wherever possible to the needs of local business;
  4. ensure the provision of a range of sites for employment development at suitable locations having regard to the employment characteristics of the area and its infrastructure;
  5. provide information on available land and property along with detailed guidance on planning and related requirements on a site specific basis.

2.28 The Council’s economic development activities are consistent with the overall strategy of this Local Plan. The relationship between the two will be closely monitored throughout the Local Plan period.

Aims and Objectives

2.29 The Local Plan has the following overall strategic aims and objectives:-

  1. to provide for the development needs of the community without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs;
  2. to conserve and enhance the natural and built environment;
  3. to assist and encourage economic growth;
  4. to provide for safe and convenient transport and movement.

The Local Context

2.30 Melton Borough is essentially a rural area. The historic market town of Melton Mowbray, situated centrally within the Borough, is the dominant settlement, serving an extensive rural hinterland comprising small villages and hamlets set in a gently rolling agricultural landscape. The character of the town and the main rural settlements is described in detailed Settlement Appraisals contained in the "Proposals Map and Appraisals" section of this Plan.

2.31 The area has experienced considerable development pressures over the past decade. In view of the area’s proximity to major population, employment and service centres, these pressures are likely to continue.

Melton Mowbray Area

2.32 In the Melton Mowbray area an application for outline planning permission has yet to be decided upon for a new village with associated highway improvement works at the former Melton Mowbray Airfield to the south of the town.

2.33 Over the past 10 years the main area of development has been on the north side of Melton Mowbray where several new housing estates have been built alongside the flood alleviation scheme at Scalford Brook where an extensive Country Park is now developing.

2.34 The closure of Asfordby Coal Mine was announced on 18 August 1997. The mine was only in production for a short period and was closed after encountering unusual geological conditions resulting in a difficult and dangerous mining environment. The restoration of the land surrounding the main colliery plant has commenced. The re-use of the main complex of buildings including administration buildings, workshops, sheds, car parking and hardstanding will be an important issue when the Melton Local Plan is reviewed.

2.35 In the 1980’s significant changes occurred in the pattern of retail activity in the town. Three large food stores were developed; two on the edge of the town centre and one on land previously allocated for industrial development at Thorpe Road. A large DIY store has also opened on the edge of the town, at Leicester Road. The Council has responded to these developments by investing in a range of environmental improvements in the town centre; a major initiative being the pedestrianisation of Nottingham Street and High Street. Development briefs have also been published to promote retail development at two major opportunity sites in the central area; at Town Station and Thorpe End, opposite Safeway. A major area of derelict land is available for industrial development at the former Holwell Works site, Asfordby Hill, which has been promoted by the Council in the form of a comprehensive development brief.

2.36 In the northern part of the Plan area, commuters look towards Nottingham and Grantham for the provision of major services and employment. Bottesford is the main rural centre in this part of the Borough, located on the A52(T), the main trunk road linking Nottingham to Grantham and the A1(T). Improved access to Bottesford and the surrounding area has been achieved over recent years by improvements to the A52(T), which includes the Bottesford by-pass. This has contributed to pressures for residential development at Bottesford.

2.37 Employment provision in the northern parishes has been adversely affected by the closure of Hose Steelworks in 1992 with the loss of 98 jobs (60 local). In 1996 the Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO) sub-depot at Old Dalby was closed involving the loss of a further 573 jobs in this area (290 local to the Melton area). The workshop buildings have been occupied by a variety of private businesses and the site is now known as the Crown Business Park. The remainder of the former Old Dalby Station continued as the Army Base Storage and Distribution Agency (ABSDA). However in April 1998 the closure of the ABSDA sub-depot was announced, resulting in the loss of approximately 130 jobs. Consequently the Council has prepared a Development Brief for the site which provides a framework within which alternative uses for the ABSDA sub-depot site can be considered. The Council’s response to the land use planning implications of the decision to close the base is incorporated in Chapter 4 "Industry and Employment".

2.38 In the southern and western parts of the Plan area, Leicester is the main provider of major services and employment. Improvements to the A607 between Melton Mowbray and Leicester are proposed during the Plan period along with the possibility of improved rail services. It is, therefore, likely that development pressures for the release of residential land for commuters in villages well served by the A607 will continue.

2.39 The southern and eastern parts of the Plan area, although more remote, lie close to Rutland Water which is a regional focus for recreation and tourism.

2.40 In 1993 a bid was submitted to the European Regional Development Fund for finance under Objective 5b of the E.E.C.’s Structural Fund for much of eastern Leicestershire due to the anticipated decline in the rural economy arising as a result of reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy. Although the bid failed due to the current levels of employment in the area, the Council is mindful of the need to monitor developments in the rural economy of the Borough.

Development Constraints

2.41 The LSP requires that a significant amount of new housing and employment land is developed in and around Melton Mowbray.

2.42 The Council has carried out a detailed appraisal of the Melton Mowbray area and investigated the potential environmental impact of various alternative sites for development. The major constraints to large scale development relate to the local transport infrastructure, particularly the road network, and the topography of the area.

Road Infrastructure

2.43 It is evident that the level of new development proposed in the LSP will pose considerable strain on the local highway network. There are no trunk roads through the town so that direct Department of Transport funding for a town by-pass is not available as elsewhere in the County. Road improvements can only be secured through the scarce resources available under the Highway Authority’s Transport Capital Programme or through private sector contributions.

2.44 In 1992 the Council decided to look at the relationship between the additional housing and employment land requirements and the scope for securing private sector contributions towards the provision of sections of a by-pass around the town. It was considered that a 50% “ring road” would be a minimum requirement. It was also acknowledged that a full outer ring road could not be secured through private sector contributions over the Plan period without releasing excessive amounts of land for development, all of which would need to be acquired and developed within the Plan period. It was considered that a 50% ring road would be most effective in relieving traffic congestion in the town centre if a by-pass was built to connect at least three of the five principal roads into the town (the A606 Nottingham Road, A607 Grantham Road, the A606 Burton Road, the A607 Leicester Road and the A6006 Asfordby Road).

2.45 In February 1992 the Council appointed DHV Burrow-Crocker Consulting Ltd, Traffic Engineers (Burrow-Crocker) to undertake a transport study as an input into the Local Plan. The task brief required that an assessment be undertaken of existing highway constraints and four alternative potential development and by-pass options considered within the Melton Mowbray area. Further details of the traffic study are set out in Chapter 5 “Transport”.

Environmental and Other Constraints

2.46 One of the most significant constraints to releasing large areas of development land in and around Melton Mowbray relates to the topography of the area. Development in much of the river valley corridor to the west and east of the town is constrained by the extent of “Essential Washlands” as defined by the Environment Agency and to the north of the town there are prominent ridge lines which would be breached such that development in this area would be particularly intrusive visually. Much of the open countryside to the south of Kirby Lane rises gently southwards or is otherwise visually prominent, forming an attractive rural edge to the built up area.

2.47 A further constraint is the need to avoid the loss of good quality agricultural land through development. The quality of agricultural land around Melton Mowbray is generally high (Grade 2 or 3a) and it is particularly concentrated on the valley sides, above the essential washlands of the River Wreake and Eye and the Scalford Brook, in areas where there might otherwise be some development potential.

2.48 From the results of the Burrow-Crocker study the traffic impact of the alternative development options were assessed alongside their environmental impact and potential for implementation. From this exercise a preferred overall strategy emerged. Since this assessment was carried out the Government has published Planning Policy Guidance Note No 13 "Transport" (PPG13). The Council has reconsidered the original option study in the light of this guidance and has concluded that the preferred option selected following the December 1992 study provides for realistic transport choice in no less an effective manner than the other options for development.

The Overall Strategy

Development in and around Melton Mowbray

2.49 The strategy concentrates new housing development in and around Melton Mowbray with a major proposal in the form of a new village at the former Melton Mowbray Airfield. This proposal includes a southern and western by-pass to the town. It is anticipated that the new village will comprise about 1,200 dwellings on a site of approximately 62 hectares (153 acres) including land for up to 200 “social” housing units and additional land for supporting community infrastructure.

2.50 New employment land allocations are concentrated at the Holwell Works site, Asfordby Hill; off Leicester Road, south of Kirby Lane, and within the new village.

Development in the Rural Area

2.51 Major land allocations for new development beyond the Melton Mowbray area are limited to the two villages of Asfordby and Bottesford.

2.52 Asfordby is located adjacent the A6006 and lies to the north of the Coventry to Peterborough railway line. The railway line is one of the ‘Transport Choice Corridors’ identified in the Leicestershire Structure Plan.’

2.53 Bottesford is located adjacent the A52(T) Nottingham M1 to Grantham A1(T) road and is served by a passenger rail station with connections to both towns.

2.54 The Local Plan allocates land for development in these settlements having assessed the potential for new development with regard to environmental and infrastructural constraints. Elsewhere, a policy of restraint is maintained.

2.55 The Council is aware that the living environment offered by the attractive villages and countryside of the Melton area, combined with easy access to large nearby centres of employment, attracts considerable pressure for the release of housing land, particularly for people who currently reside outside the Plan area and intend to commute outside the Plan area for work. The Council is concerned to ensure that further residential development does not increase commuting by private car or adversely affect the character and amenities of the rural area.

Advantages of the Preferred Overall Strategy

2.56 The Council believes that the above strategy offers the best distribution of housing and employment land for the following reasons.

  1. It enables a range of industrial sites and an adequate supply of residential land to be land for development in locations well served by road with existing, or the potential developed over the Plan period in accordance with Government advice by offering for, adequate road or rail-based public transport. The distribution of land is in accordance with the Regional Planning Guidance for the East Midlands and strategic policies set out in the LSP which seek to concentrate development in and adjoining the urban area of Melton Mowbray in the “Transport Choice Corridor”. These strategic policies encourage greater use of public transport, particularly rail and are therefore supported by the Council.
  2. The new village will have least impact on existing residential areas. The adverse environmental impact of the incremental growth of existing residential areas within Melton Mowbray is avoided. There is a known level of public support for this proposal.
  3. The strategy concentrates development in locations served by existing radial routes into Melton Mowbray which Burrow-Crocker identified as being adequate in width to serve as main distributor roads. Conversely, the strategy minimises increases in traffic on the radial routes identified as being of inadequate width such as Scalford Road, Saxby Road and Dalby Road.
  4. It offers the best relationship between new employment and housing land allocations thereby minimising cross town traffic movements between these sites (for example, the new village site, adjacent employment land and additional employment land allocations at Kirby Lane, Leicester Road and Holwell Works are all linked by the proposed by-pass) and will afford cycle routes between these sites.
  5. It provides vehicular access from Melton Mowbray to land north of Leicester Road at the proposed western by-pass to Melton Mowbray where a site for a new railway station is identified which will encourage use of any proposed passenger rail facility.
  6. 6 It minimises the take up of high grade agricultural land for development. The new village offers a solution to the reclamation of substantial areas of derelict former airfield runways and provides for generous structural landscaping along the edge of this barren, elevated site thereby conserving areas of good quality agricultural land.
  7. The cost benefit assessment carried out by Burrow-Crocker shows that the provision of a southern and western by pass has a strong overall cost benefit. Considerable progress with implementation can be achieved without releasing an excessive amount of residential land in relation to assessments of need over the Plan period to 2006.
  8. As part of the new village development scheme the Council will require the dedication of a substantial area of open countryside between the former Melton Mowbray Airfield and the town thus ensuring the protection of this land as a strategic open space between the two built up areas. It is proposed that this land will enjoy the benefits of public access and the Council will seek to promote its phased development as an informal recreation area.
  9. As part of the new village development scheme the Council will require the phased provision of a southern and western by-pass to Melton Mowbray. The Highway Authority has undertaken to pursue any necessary compulsory purchase order to ensure land acquisition does not delay implementation.
  10. 10 The Council will require the provision of community facilities as part of the development scheme for the new village. The developer will be required to provide a village hall, a primary school and a library; and make land available for low cost residential and employment development to achieve a range of affordable residential and industrial opportunities.
  11. There is every indication that the strategy can be successfully implemented given that there is an outstanding outline planning application for a new village at the former Melton Mowbray Airfield, which meets in principle, the main requirements of the Council (including the provision of a southern and western by-pass to the town) and firm developer interest in several of the remaining major land allocations around Melton Mowbray.
  12. The strategy enables a policy of restraint to be maintained in the rural areas. The countryside and rural settlements are adequately protected and large scale development which might destroy the natural open countryside amenities of the area will be discouraged.

2.57 Further details regarding the proposed new village are set out at Chapter 14 and the New Village Development Brief.

Beyond The Plan Period

2.58 The Council will seek a phased development at the new village in order that an over provision of housing in relation to the requirements of the LSP is avoided. On the basis of current residential land availability, including allocations other than the new village, there would be an over provision if the new village is developed in its entirety. The Council will therefore permit no more than 700 dwellings at the new village within the Plan period. Nevertheless, the Council is committed to the full development of the village, the benefits of which are set out at paragraph 2.56 above.

2.59 The Council will therefore set out detailed requirements for the development of the new village in a revised New Village Development Brief which will be approved by the Council as supplementary planning guidance and form the basis of a Master Plan to be prepared by the developer. The Master Plan will be incorporated into a legal Agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 between the Council and the developer and other parties with an interest.

Policies and Proposals

Development Within the Town and Village Envelopes

2.60 The Council has carried out an appraisal of each settlement within the Plan area and identified a series of "Settlement Envelopes”, following from an assessment of :-

  1. site, situation and access;
  2. built environment and conservation, including such matters as the number and distribution of listed buildings, conservation area designation and the architectural style, dominant features and materials in evidence;
  3. natural environment, including such matters as the location and distribution of open land of particular significance to the settlement form and character, important views in or out of the settlement, tree cover and other natural features of significance;
  4. the recent development history and number of outstanding planning permissions for further development;
  5. community facilities;
  6. utilities;
  7. existing planning policies including the requirements of the LSP.

2.61 The Melton Mowbray Town Envelope and the Village Envelopes are identified on the Proposal Map and Inset Maps. The Town and Village Envelopes have been defined to identify the area within which a general presumption in favour of most forms of development will be applied subject to certain criteria and to identify the remaining area within which generally protective policies will apply as appropriate to the countryside.

2.62 The Envelopes do not necessarily seek to define the settlement since there are sometimes facilities serving the community (such as the local primary school, church or cemetery) which may be within open countryside where protective policies will apply. They do not necessarily seek to define the edge of the built up area either (although many often do) since there are sometimes buildings and other structures located on the periphery of the built up area, the redevelopment of which is considered to be inappropriate at that specific site.

Melton Mowbray

2.63 The Council expects considerable pressures for new development within the existing main built up area and development appropriate to the locality will be encouraged. There is scope for residential development on infill sites and for redevelopment to create employment opportunities. The Town Envelope includes sites on the edge of the town allocated for development in accordance with the overall strategy.

The Villages

2.64 The unique and attractive character of villages in the Borough has resulted largely from the use of local building materials and traditional building styles. In the past many villages were spoilt because of the use of suburban house styles and ubiquitous building materials. The Council will require that new development harmonises with the traditional character of villages in choice of building design, construction materials and disposition of buildings. The Council will also encourage the re-use and conversion of existing traditional buildings which make a significant contribution to the street scene.

2.65 In order to guide new development within the Town and Village Envelopes the following policy will apply:-

OS1

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL ONLY BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE TOWN AND VILLAGE ENVELOPES SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP WHERE:-

A) THE FORM, CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THE SETTLEMENT IS NOT ADVERSELY AFFECTED;

B) THE FORM, SIZE, SCALE, MASS, MATERIALS AND ARCHITECTURAL DETAILING OF THE DEVELOPMENT IS IN KEEPING WITH THE CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY;

C) THE PROPOSED USE WOULD NOT CAUSE LOSS OF AMENITY BY VIRTUE OF NOISE, SMELL, DUST OR OTHER POLLUTION;

D) THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD NOT HAVE A SIGNIFICANTLY ADVERSE EFFECT ON ANY AREA DEFINED IN POLICY BE12 OR OTHER OPEN AREAS, THE HISTORIC BUILT ENVIRONMENT OR BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES OF LOCAL IMPORTANCE OR IMPORTANT LANDSCAPE OR NATURE CONSERVATION FEATURES INCLUDING TREES;

E) THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD NOT CAUSE UNDUE LOSS OF RESIDENTIAL PRIVACY, OUTLOOK AND AMENITIES AS ENJOYED BY OCCUPANTS OF EXISTING DWELLINGS IN THE VICINITY;

F) REQUISITE INFRASTRUCTURE, INCLUDING SUCH FACILITIES AS PUBLIC SERVICES, IS AVAILABLE OR CAN BE PROVIDED;

G) SATISFACTORY ACCESS AND PARKING PROVISION CAN BE MADE AVAILABLE;

H) THE DESIGN, LAYOUT AND LIGHTING OF THE DEVELOPMENT MINIMISES THE RISK OF CRIME.

2.66 The above Policy applies to all development proposed on land lying within Settlement Envelopes, including sites allocated for specific uses in other policies or proposals of the Plan. If a proposal for development within the countryside is acceptable in principle it will also be considered against more detailed criteria in other policies of the Plan which relate specifically to development within the settlement envelopes.

2.67 Criteria D) of the above policy makes reference to Policy BE12 which deals with open spaces which the Council wishes to protect from development, often to avoid creating a ‘crammed’ built environment to the detriment of the loose knit building layout. Further guidance on these areas is set out at Chapter 7 "Built Environment and Conservation" and in the Settlement Appraisals.

2.68 Criteria F) of the above Policy refers to the need for requisite infrastructure. This term is explained in more detail at paragraph 2.76 below.

2.69 Criteria G) of the above policy refers to the need for satisfactory access and parking provision. The adequacy of the proposed development with regard to access provision will be a matter largely determined by the requirements laid down by the Highway Authority. It is beyond the scope of this Local Plan to set down precise design criteria. Policy T2 (Parking of Vehicles) and Appendix 4 to the Plan provide further guidance on the Council’s parking requirements.

2.70 Criteria H) of the above policy refers to the need to take account of crime in the design, layout and lighting of new development. This reflects guidance laid down by the Government in Circular 5/94 on Planning and Crime Prevention.

2.71 Where a settlement has no defined Village Envelope the Council will apply Policy OS2 as set out below.

Development within the Countryside

2.72 The open countryside contains individual dwellings, small clusters of buildings, hamlets, farmsteads and isolated pockets of development dispersed within landscape of open fields, hedgerows and woodlands. There are a wealth of attractive rural lanes, little changed for many years and often well defined by trees and hedgerows which traverse the open countryside and contribute greatly to the character of the rural area.

2.73 The Council is concerned to protect the amenity and appearance of the countryside, maximise its contribution to nature conservation, protect the supply of good quality land for agriculture and minimise the cost of servicing new development. The following Policy OS2 clarifies which types of development will or will not be permitted in the open countryside. The Policy makes provision for some limited forms of development, subject to consideration of impact on the appearance or character of the landscape. Planning permission will not normally be granted for any other forms of development which fall outside these limited ‘exceptions’.

2.74 If a proposal for development within the countryside is acceptable in principle it will also be considered against more detailed criteria contained in other policies of the Plan which relate specifically to the activity. Policy H7 deals with affordable housing and Policy C8 deals with agricultural dwellings. Policies C11 and C12 cover residential extensions and replacement dwellings in the countryside whilst Policies EM9 and EM10 deal with rural industry. Policy C3 deals with agricultural buildings and Policy C4 deals with stables, riding schools and kennels. Policies C6 and C7 deal with the conversion of rural buildings. Policy R3 deals with recreation facilities in the open countryside along with Policies R5 and R6 which deal with particular types of recreational development which might be permitted in the countryside. Policy R11 deals with the Grantham Canal and Policies TM1 and TM2 deal with tourism based developments generally. Finally, Policy UT6 deals with utility services.

2.75 Whilst Policy OS2 provides for a wide range of uses in the countryside, the Council will be concerned to ensure that any development does not prejudice the separate identity of villages by reducing areas of countryside between settlements which could lead to coalescence.

OS2

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT OUTSIDE THE TOWN AND VILLAGE ENVELOPES SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP EXCEPT FOR:-

A) DEVELOPMENT ESSENTIAL TO THE OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY;

B) LIMITED SMALL SCALE DEVELOPMENT FOR EMPLOYMENT, RECREATION AND TOURISM WHICH IS NOT SIGNIFICANTLY DETRIMENTAL TO THE APPEARANCE AND RURAL CHARACTER OF THE OPEN COUNTRYSIDE;

C) DEVELOPMENT ESSENTIAL TO THE OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF A PUBLIC SERVICE AUTHORITY, STATUTORY UNDERTAKER OR A LICENSED TELECOMMUNICATIONS CODE SYSTEM OPERATOR;

D) CHANGE OF USE OF RURAL BUILDINGS;

E) AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN ACCORDANCE WITH POLICY H8

WHERE SUCH DEVELOPMENT WOULD LEAD TO THE COALESCENCE OF EXISTING SETTLEMENTS, PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED.

Infrastructure

2.76 The term ‘infrastructure’ embraces all relevant services or facilities required to support development such as public highways, public transport, recreation, health, education and other public services, water supply, sewers and other utilities, off-site landscaping and community facilities.

2.77 The provision of infrastructure is important in all major new developments and its adequacy can be a material planning consideration in deciding whether planning permission should be granted. The capacity of existing infrastructure and the need for additional facilities has been fully taken account of in the preparation of this Plan.

2.78 Although the Plan seeks to provide a clear picture of the future shape of the community to enable effective provision to be planned for by those bodies responsible for infrastructure provision, there is also the need for guidance to developers as to how the Council intends to respond to development proposals requiring infrastructure provision not already firmly programmed. Policy OS3 seeks to provide overall policy guidance on this matter but further, more detailed policy guidance on the Council’s requirements regarding particular kinds of infrastructure are set out in other policies of the Plan, for example, Policies H10 and H11 deal with public open space standards in new development. Policy T1 deals with highway proposals and Policy CF1 deals with the provision of education facilities.

2.79 As a general principle the Council will seek contributions from developers towards infrastructure works and through provision of facilities that are relevant and reasonably related to a development and required to enable a development to proceed. It will normally seek to impose conditions on a planning permission, or achieve the requisite contributions or work by entering into a legal agreement with a developer in association with the grant of planning permission. The following policy will apply:-

OS3

THE COUNCIL WILL IMPOSE CONDITIONS ON PLANNING PERMISSIONS OR SEEK TO ENTER INTO A LEGAL AGREEMENT WITH AN APPLICANT UNDER SECTION 106 OF THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990 FOR THE PROVISION OF INFRASTRUCTURE WHICH IS NECESSARY TO SERVE THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT.

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