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Unidentified Archaeological Sites

4.216 Because of scant knowledge of the archaeology of large areas of Mole Valley, it follows that even on sites that are not identified as being of potential interest, there may well be archaeological remains of importance. The larger the site the greater the likelihood of unpredictable discoveries. The Council will require that development proposals involving a site of 0.4 hectares or more are accompanied by the results of a desk-top archaeological assessment. Where this is inconclusive, it may well be appropriate to carry out a practical field evaluation. The Council considers that proposals of this size require such an assessment or evaluation if they are to be properly considered. Developers are advised to discuss with the Council the likely extent of their requirements in this respect at the earliest opportunity.

Outside Areas of High Archaeological Potential the Council will require that the results of desk-based archaeological assessment are submitted with any development proposals for a site larger than 0.4ha. If the results of any desk-based assessment are inconclusive, or if they produce evidence of significant archaeological remains, then the numbered paragraphs in Policy ENV49 will be applicable.

4.217 For the purposes of this Policy, the Council will require that the results of a desk-top archaeological assessment are submitted with development proposals for a site of 0.4ha or more. If it is not clear from this exercise whether the site has any archaeological importance, evaluation, in the form of practical field testing, may be required before the determination of any planning application.

Archaeological Discoveries During Development

Where archaeological remains are discovered on unidentified archaeological sites and development has already commenced, the co-operation of the developer will be sought to permit access to an investigation of the area.

4.218 In a District such as Mole Valley with a history of extensive human occupation, unexpected archaeological remains are quite likely to be discovered during site development in spite of pre-planning application research. The importance of such finds may require archaeological investigation and the co-operation of developers will be necessary for this to take place. Developers may wish to build into their contracts a means by which delays and costs resulting from possible archaeological finds can be dealt with.


4.219 The abundance of trees and hedgerows in Mole Valley is a great asset both in the rural and built-up areas of the District. Apart from their amenity value, they also provide valuable wildlife habitats. Some woodlands contain a rich diversity of trees, shrubs, ground flora, birds and insects which is an indication of the continuity of tree cover over many centuries.

4.220 Although many smaller woodlands are undermanaged and no longer feature in the rural economy, others are commercially important. The Forestry Authority's Woodland Grant Scheme and the activities of the Countryside Management Projects are encouraging more active management of existing woods and new planting. This is to be welcomed. The requirements of commercial forestry will need to be balanced against the impact that their activities have on landscape and nature conservation interests.

4.221 Policies in the Plan seek to encourage silvicultural practice that is sensitive to the character of the local landscape and nature conservation interests, and to promote sustainable and active management of trees, woodlands and hedgerows. (See also the sections on Nature Conservation and Landscape Character in this Chapter). This approach is particularly important in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Area of Great Landscape Value. In addition, planting or felling in the Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Sites of Nature Conservation Importance, potential Sites of Nature Conservation Importance and sites of archaeological importance, will be required to have regard to the special interests of these areas.

4.222 Forestry proposals will be expected to demonstrate care in the choice of tree species and management of trees, particularly in ancient semi-natural woodlands. 'The Future of Surrey's Landscape and Woodlands: Part 3 - Woodland Strategy' which has been produced by the County Council will be used as a measure of the appropriateness of forestry proposals. It contains advice on the tree species, which in the case of new planting should in most circumstances be indigenous broadleaves. Where commercial plantations of non-native trees are being introduced, their landscape impact may need to be softened by the planting of native broadleaved trees.

Felling Licences and Woodland Grant Schemes

4.223 Applications for felling licences and grants for woodland planting and management are administered by the Forestry Authority. The Forestry Authority consults the Council on the more significant grant and felling applications with particular reference to the effects of proposals on amenity and landscape factors.

When considering forestry consultations by the Forestry Authority in respect of felling licences and woodland grant scheme applications, the Council will oppose proposals which would detract from local landscape character, harm sites which are important for nature conservation and identified in Policies ENV9-ENV13, adversely affect sites of archaeological interest, or which do not include acceptable proposals for replanting, management or the future of the land.

4.224 Where the Forestry Authority consults the Council on forestry proposals, the Council will normally object to proposals or seek amendments where nature conservation interests are adversely affected. Usually tree planting with locally native species will be encouraged.

Trees in the Built-up Areas

4.225 The presence of trees in the built-up areas of Mole Valley makes a substantial contribution to their amenities. Many of these trees have been planted since development of the area has taken place. It is therefore regarded as important to continue a policy of good management so that this valuable resource can be maintained and, where possible, supplemented.

The Council will continue to preserve and enhance existing tree cover in the built-up areas through the use of development control powers and the making of Tree Preservation Orders particularly where important trees are under threat.

4.226 The Council wishes to ensure that trees in the highway verges and public open spaces in the built-up areas are maintained. Where such trees are removed because, for example, they are dying or dangerous, the Council will encourage the provision of replacement trees. Tree Preservation Orders and Trees in Conservation Areas

4.227 The Council can place Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) on individual trees and groups of trees, or occasionally on woodlands, where they are under threat and their removal would have a significant and adverse impact on the environment and its enjoyment by the public.

The Council will use its powers where appropriate to protect trees and woodlands which have an important public amenity value. In considering applications to fell or lop trees the subject of a Tree Preservation Order, the Council will have regard to the health and stability of the tree(s), to the public amenity value of the tree(s) and the existence of any overriding practical problems which may be caused by the tree(s). Where felling is unavoidable, replacement planting with suitable species will normally be required.

4.228 Before making a TPO the Council will wish to be satisfied that the trees are:

  1. clearly visible from a public place such as a road or footpath and are of more than private amenity value;

  2. of important public amenity value for their intrinsic beauty, either individually or collectively, in their contribution to the landscape (the value of trees may be enhanced by their scarcity);

  3. healthy and safe or can reasonably be made so;

  4. not so close to buildings that it would be unreasonable to refuse their felling if requested and

  5. it is expedient to make an Order, particularly if the tree is under some sort of threat.

4.229 Within Conservation Areas, landowners are required to give six weeks notice of proposals to fell or to carry out tree surgery. During this time the Council will consider whether a TPO is warranted in the light of the criteria listed above.

4.230 The Council will wish to ensure that adequate protective measures are made for the preservation of trees of amenity value during construction on development sites by attaching conditions to planning permissions. The need for a TPO will be considered at the planning application stage or pre-application consultation stage.

4.231 Purchasers of recently built houses should recognise that there will be a general presumption against the removal of trees which are the subject of a TPO at the time of purchase unless there is a clear justification when judged against the above policy.


4.232 The control of pollution in its many varied forms is of fundamental importance to local people in an increasingly congested area where expectations for the quality of life together with awareness of the issue of pollution are rising. Besides noise, environmental pollution includes exhaust emissions, smells, smoke, dust, vibration, contamination of land and unacceptable discharges to watercourses and groundwater.

4.233 Planning Policy Guidance Note 23 on Planning and Pollution Control gives advice on the relationship between controls over development under planning law and under separate pollution control legislation. It makes it clear that the planning system should not be operated so as to duplicate controls which are the statutory responsibility of other bodies. Responsibility for the control and prevention of pollution rests with a number of statutory bodies namely the District Council (as Environmental Health Authority) and the Environment Agency (comprising the former National Rivers Authority, H.M. Inspectorate of Pollution and Waste Regulation Authorities).

4.234 The Environment Agency has various powers to reduce the effects of pollution, but through determining planning applications the Council can reduce the potential for such problems to arise. It can refuse to permit buildings or uses which have the potential to cause pollution that significantly and adversely affects the adjoining environment and its occupiers. Certain forms of pollution such as noise arising from proposed development can be controlled by the imposition of conditions.

4.235 The environmental pollution effects of new development on its surroundings is covered by Policy ENV22 - General Development Control Criteria, together with its amplifying text. It is also important to restrict development in areas near sources of pollution in the interest of future occupiers.

Proposed Development Affected By Existing Environmental Pollution

Permission will not normally be granted for a sensitive development to be sited where the occupiers would suffer significantly from noise, fumes, vibration or other forms of environmental pollution unless practical measures can be taken and maintained to reduce the environmental pollution effects to an acceptable level where they would not be significant or intrusive to those occupiers.

4.236 The term "sensitive development" in Policy ENV55 includes residential development, schools and hospitals.

Housing Development Affected by Noise

4.237 PPG24 on Planning and Noise indicates that development plans should give developers and local communities a degree of certainty about the areas in which particular types of development will be acceptable and those in which special measures may be required in order to mitigate the impact of noise. The PPG outlines the considerations to be taken into account in determining planning applications for noise sensitive development and introduces the concept of noise exposure categories (NEC) for residential development. Category A represents the circumstances in which noise is unlikely to be a determining factor while Category D relates to the situation in which development should normally be refused. Categories B and C deal with situations where noise measures may make development acceptable.

In considering proposals for housing development near a source of noise, the Council will consider into which of the four noise exposure categories the proposed site falls taking into account both day and night time noise levels.
Noise considerations will be taken into account when determining planning applications for housing development in sites in Noise Exposure Category B and, where appropriate, conditions will be imposed to ensure an adequate level of protection against noise.
Planning permission will not normally be granted for development of sites in Noise Category C unless exceptionally there are very special circumstances to justify development.
Planning permission will normally be refused for development on sites in Noise Exposure Category D.

4.238 Appendix 14 reproduces the Government's advice in PPG24 on the recommended range of noise levels for each of the Noise Exposure Categories for dwellings exposed to noise from road, rail, air and mixed sources.

4.239 The southern part of the District is affected by the noise of aircraft flying into and out of Gatwick Airport. Established planning policies have sought to restrict the amount of new housing in these areas to avoid adding to the number of people affected by aircraft noise. Strict control over new housing in areas affected by aircraft noise still needs to be maintained.

4.240 Noise contours showing those areas around Gatwick Airport which experience varying levels of aircraft noise are produced for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

4.241 The area to which the contours relate may be altered from time to time to take account of variations in the noise exposure experienced or forecast around the airport. For this reason the contours or zones are not shown on the Proposals Map of this Plan. Plans showing the noise contours currently adopted by the Council and used in the application of Policy ENV56 are available for inspection at the Council Offices, Pippbrook, Dorking during normal office hours.

4.242 Any proposal for change of use or redevelopment of properties subject to aircraft noise disturbance in the vicinity of Gatwick Airport will not normally be granted where to do so would be contrary to other policies in the Plan particularly Policy HSG1 relating to the loss of residential accommodation.

4.243 Aircraft noise is one of the most disturbing sources of noise experienced in Mole Valley. While the Council has no direct control over aircraft noise it will continue to press for noise abatement procedures, quieter aircraft, a reduction in night flying and to extend the defined night period.

Lighting Proposals

4.244 Lighting proposals, unless controlled, can have a significant adverse effect on residential amenities or the character of the countryside. Excessive light, such as from highly illuminated car parks and floodlighting for outdoor sporting activities can be intrusive, and produce light spillage and sky glow, which is a form of light pollution.

Proposals for the illumination of buildings, golf driving ranges, sports pitches, swimming pools, tennis courts, sand schools, car parks and other facilities will not be permitted where they would significantly and adversely affect the amenities of residential properties, Conservation Areas or Listed Buildings, or the character and appearance of the countryside. Where permission is granted, consideration will be given to imposing conditions to limit the impact of the illumination.

4.245 Where lighting proposals are approved, lights should be appropriately shielded, directed to the ground and sited to minimise the impact on adjoining areas, and be of a height and illumination level reasonably required to serve their purpose. Conditions may be imposed to control the hours of illumination.

Unneighbourly Industrial Premises

4.246 In some circumstances industrial uses (Class B2 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987) are carried out in premises in residential areas and can have an adverse impact on the amenity of the locality through the effect of noise and traffic for example.

Where the Council is satisfied an existing industrial use is inappropriate to its location and causing significant harm to the amenities of the area and suitable alternative accommodation could be made available for any displaced firms, it will encourage the redevelopment of such sites. In particular the Council will ensure the new use of the site is appropriate to the location.

4.247 In some circumstances it may be possible to mitigate the adverse impact of unneighbourly uses through planning conditions or practical measures. The Council would normally only wish to discontinue a use with the owner's agreement and if it did not incur the Council in significant cost. Therefore the discontinuance and relocation of uses will be pursued where the circumstances are appropriate and practicable. The Council has industrial premises in Dorking, which may be available for the relocation of the businesses if necessary. Furthermore, one of the specific reasons for allocating land at the end of Curtis Road, Dorking for industrial development (see Policy E3) is to accommodate the relocation of industrial businesses that are currently causing environmental problems in their present locations in Mole Valley.

Energy Conservation

4.248 The conservation of energy is strongly encouraged by Central Government and is becoming increasingly important especially in the international context as it contributes to a range of essential environmental objectives, such as reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and controlling the use of scarce natural resources. In an area of restraint such as Mole Valley there is little scope for changes in the location of development which would have a significant bearing on energy conservation. Nevertheless, the basic principles of the Plan can make a significant contribution by making full and effective use of land within existing urban areas without amounting to "town cramming", and concentrating public functions and services together in town centres to reduce car journeys and encourage public transport use. The need for energy conservation to be taken into account in transport planning and land use matters that have transport implications, is dealt with in Chapter 11 - Movement.

In the location, layout and design of development proposals, practicable measures to conserve energy will be encouraged and taken into account where they are also in accordance with other policies in the Plan.

4.249 Buildings and their associated services consume around 40% of all energy in the UK. The construction of energy efficient buildings in Mole Valley would help reduce the consumption of energy in the District. While the energy conservation of individual buildings is more the concern of the Building Regulations, planning can take account of energy conservation and seek to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by guiding new development to locations which reduce the need for car journeys or which permit the choice of more energy efficient public transport. Also, in planning the layout of development account should be taken of energy efficiency. For example, buildings facing within 45 degrees of due south and with principal habitable rooms and windows concentrated on this southerly aspect can achieve the maximum benefit from winter solar radiation, and heat loss can be reduced by locating entrances away from prevailing winds and protecting where appropriate with a lobby.

4.250 The Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 provides that local housing authorities are to be energy conservation authorities. In this role, the Council has prepared, published and obtained the approval of the Secretary of State for a report identifying practicable and cost-effective energy conservation measures which are considered likely to result in a significant improvement in the energy efficiency of residential accommodation in the District. Further progress reports are to be prepared as part of the Housing Investment Programme process.

Renewable Energy Projects

4.251 Renewable energy is the term used to cover those energy flows that occur naturally and repeatedly in the environment. They include energy from the wind, sun and the movement of water. The term also refers to the energy available from waste, such as landfill gas, waste combustion and biogas, and from within the earth itself. The practice of energy generation from fossil fuels is not sustainable. The use of renewable energy sources can contribute potentially to energy needs in a sustainable way. While many renewable energy technologies, unlike fossil fuel, produce no harmful gaseous emissions or are carbon neutral, they can have an effect on the environment as a result of their size, visual impact and traffic generation. The Surrey Renewable Energy Resource Report (funded by the Department of Trade and Industry and the EC ALTERNER) published in January 1996 provides an assessment of renewable energy resources in the County and sets out the planning and environmental implications of renewable energy development.

4.252 Due to their intrinsic characteristics, many renewable energy sources are located in rural areas. The Council considers the protection of the open character and visual amenities of the Green Belt and high quality landscape of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is paramount. Very special circumstances will be necessary to justify such development in these areas.

4.253 Proposals for waste to energy plants will be determined by Surrey County Council as the waste planning authority in the light of the Surrey Waste Local Plan and any other material considerations.

In considering proposals for renewable energy installations in the built-up areas, the villages identified in Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3, and the countryside beyond the Green Belt, the Council will have regard to:
  1. the visual impact of the development on the character and appearance of the surrounding area;
  2. the effect of the proposal on the amenities of any existing nearby properties;
  3. the volume and nature of traffic generated by the development and its effect on highway safety and environmental character of the local road network;
  4. whether the resource can only be harnessed where it occurs;
  5. the contribution to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.
Proposals in the Green Belt will be considered in the light of the presumption against inappropriate development in these areas.
Particular care will be taken in assessing proposals in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where the conservation of the natural beauty of the landscape will be the primary consideration, and other environmentally sensitive areas.

4.254 In considering proposals for renewable energy installations, the Council will weigh carefully the benefits of the proposals with the need to protect the local environment. The Council acknowledges the advice in PPG22 - Renewable Energy, that proposals to harness renewable energy can display a variety of factors peculiar to the technology involved. Moreover, such schemes can have particular locational constraints since, in many cases, the resource can only be harnessed where it occurs. The Council will consider both the immediate impact of renewable energy projects on the local environment and their wider contribution to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

4.255 For the purposes of this policy other environmentally sensitive areas include the Area of Great Landscape Value, areas of archaeological or historic importance, Conservation Areas, Sites of Nature Conservation Importance, potential Sites of Nature Conservation Importance and open space in the built-up areas.

4.256 In considering proposals for renewable energy installations, the Council will have regard to the advice set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 22.

Hazardous Substances Development

4.257 Some industries and processes involve the manufacture and use or storage of dangerous substances. In addition to any planning permissions that may be required, applications for a separate Hazardous Substances Consent may need to be made. This is required wherever toxic, hazardous or flammable substances are to be kept on properties in excess of specified controlled quantities. Such proposals are likely to be very rare in Mole Valley.

4.258 New developments near known sites containing such substances should not be allowed if large numbers of people would be exposed to a hazard risk.

Development will not be permitted where it would involve the storage and use of hazardous products to a degree which the Council is advised by the Health and Safety Executive could be hazardous to nearby residents or other concentrations of people. Proposals for further dwellings or other developments involving concentrations of people in potentially dangerous proximity to existing hazardous substances sites will also not normally be permitted.

Telecommunication Masts

4.259 The Government's general policy on telecommunications is to facilitate the growth of new and existing systems while still being fully committed to environmental objectives, including well-established national policies for the protection of the countryside and urban areas, and in particular, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Green Belt, Conservation Areas, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Listed Buildings.

4.260 In accordance with this national policy the Council will give favourable consideration to telecommunication development where the details of the development and its environmental impact are acceptable.

4.261 The siting of one particular mast within part of a network may have an important effect on the positioning of others because each will usually need to be located centrally within its cell. Personal Communication Network (PCN) operators will be encouraged to submit a comprehensive plan showing the location and type of facilities which will be required within each cell. This approach allows the Council to make a comprehensive assessment of the environmental effect of the proposed network and avoids having to deal with each mast proposal in an ad hoc way. This approach has advantages to both the PCN operator and the Council.

4.262 PCN operators are not the only organisations who wish to erect telecommunication equipment. Proposals may also come forward from, for instance, the Civil Aviation Authority, public service broadcasters and private individuals. Each proposal will be judged against the following policy. In addition a careful balance will be made in all cases between the private, local, regional, national or international benefits which may accrue and any environmental and other objections which may be raised from the erection of any telecommunication equipment.

Development for telecommunications will be permitted provided that:
  1. a comprehensive plan for new networks has been developed with the location and type of facilities determined having regard to the need to minimise the adverse impact on the environment;
  2. there is an established need for the development in the location proposed;
  3. there are no alternative sites available for the facilities that would have significantly less environmental impact;
  4. any mast, and associated equipment or buildings, are of appropriate materials, colour and design to minimise obtrusiveness, and appropriate landscaping and screening are used where possible;
  5. there is no reasonable possibility of sharing existing facilities;
  6. in the case of radio antennae and masts there is no reasonable possibility of erecting antennae on an existing building or other structure; and
  7. the development would not adversely affect the amenities of any nearby properties.
Stringent attention will be paid to the proposed siting of all telecommunication development within Conservation Areas, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Area of Great Landscape Value, Listed Buildings and important archaeological sites, sites which are important for nature conservation and identified in Policies ENV9, ENV10, ENV11, ENV12 and ENV13. Additionally the Council may require safeguards that in the event of the mast becoming redundant it is dismantled at the operator's cost.

4.263 The Council may use independent consultants to provide advice on the technical feasibility of alternative sites.

4.264 When granting planning permission for a mast the Council is likely to attach a condition requiring the applicant to share the mast on reasonable terms with other operators if sharing is technically possible. The Telecommunications Act 1984 states that once apparatus is not or no longer used for the purpose of the operator's system, the operator is not entitled to keep it. The Council considers that it is important to ensure that telecommunication apparatus is removed when it becomes redundant. While not wishing to duplicate the provisions of the Telecommunications Act, the Council considers it is appropriate and complementary to the Act to impose a planning condition on new masts requiring their removal. This is of sufficient importance to the visual amenities of the District to justify such a condition and may prove to be the most effective means in practice of securing their removal.

4.265 The Council will not normally permit a mast on a new site if sharing with another operator is technically feasible.

4.266 Generally it will be preferable to erect masts and other apparatus on existing buildings rather than on open sites because they will usually have a less intrusive impact. Where masts are on open sites new tree planting may be required so that in time it will reduce the visual impact of at least parts of the mast.

4.267 For the installation of an antenna on a building it is a condition of the permitted development rights that it be sited so as to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building on which it is installed. If in the view of the Council, the antenna has not been so sited, and causes detriment to the visual amenities of the area, providing it is technically feasible to position the antenna less conspicuously, those responsible will be asked to resite the antenna, at their own expense, to a more suitable location. The Council may serve a breach of condition notice to ensure compliance with the relevant parts of the General Development Order.

Overhead Power Lines

4.268 Overhead lines carrying electricity and telecommunications can, either individually or cumulatively, detract significantly from the visual appearance of attractive landscapes. However this is often reduced by taking advantage of changes in topography and natural features such as hedges and tree belts. The statutory authorities are required to consult the Council on most proposed new lines. Such proposals will be considered in relation to their landscape implications, and while "undergrounding" can reduce the effect on the landscape, the high cost of such works will continue to preclude this in many cases. However special consideration will be given to proposals in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Area of Great Landscape Value and Conservation Area. Where overhead lines would be unduly prominent, the Council will press for new power lines to be placed underground.

The Council will encourage statutory undertakers to align overhead lines to minimise their effect on the landscape and the appearance of villages and to have regard to the topography of the landscape and natural features such as hedgerows, tree belts and woods.
Where new overhead lines would be unduly prominent and significantly detract from the character and appearance of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Area of Great Landscape Value or a Conservation Area, the Council will encourage the statutory undertaker to place them underground.

Flood Protection

4.269 Historically, a considerable amount of development has taken place in river flood plains and, as a consequence, people and property in these areas are already at risk from flooding.

4.270 The Environment Agency (EA) have indicated the extent of the most serious flooding which occurred in Mole Valley in 1968 and 1971 and this is indicated on the Proposals Map. The Environment Agency will be consulted on whether development proposed in this area is likely to be at risk from flooding or would exacerbate the possibility of flooding.

For information on current consultaions with the Environment Agenct on planning applications in areas liable to flooding, please see letter at front of this Plan.

Development within the areas defined on the Proposals Map as being liable to flood will not be granted planning permission where it would exacerbate or increase any risk of flooding. Any proposed flood protection measures should not damage the environmental characteristics of the area.

4.271 Flood compensation schemes may be acceptable but must be carried out on a level for level basis which fully accommodates flood flows and storage. Any scheme should be fully discussed with the Environment Agency and the Council before a planning application is made.

4.272 The use of pier foundations for development in areas liable to flooding will not be acceptable where voids beneath buildings are likely to become obstructed by domestic effects or flood debris.

4.273 In addition, the Council does not wish to encourage the use of piers where this would increase the height of buildings and their visual impact on the area.

4.274 At sites suspected of being at risk from flooding but for which adequate flood risk information is unavailable, developers will be required to carry out detailed technical investigations to evaluate the extent of the risk and to implement any necessary agreed measures.

4.275 As part of appropriate redevelopment proposals, opportunities to restore the natural flood plain will be expected to be examined by applicants.


4.276 Modern standards of amenity demand that wherever possible development is connected to the foul sewerage system and that surface water can be disposed of efficiently.

Development will normally be permitted where foul sewers and sewage treatment works of adequate capacity and design are available or will be provided in time to serve the development.

4.277 Owing to the differing ages of existing main sewers, some areas of the District have limited capacity with which to serve new development. In some cases, unless additional infrastructure is provided, further demands placed on existing parts of the system may result in the pollution of watercourses. The Environment Agency, the relevant water companies and the District Council's Environmental Services Department all have responsibilities in the disposal and treatment of foul sewage and will be consulted on relevant applications. This policy is not intended to duplicate these organisations' statutory functions but to give full and early consideration within the planning process of the drainage and sewerage matters which may have a significant environmental impact.

4.278 Before granting planning permission for development requiring connection to a public sewer, the Council will wish to be satisfied that the necessary agreements between sewerage undertakers and the developers have been completed. Wherever possible, new public sewers should be located within areas of adoptable public highways. Phasing restrictions may be required to allow for the upgrading of sewerage and water infrastructure if the developer has not obtained agreements with the statutory undertaker.

4.279 In the case of replacement dwellings in isolated rural locations it may not be practically possible to connect the waste flow to the foul sewerage system. In these rare cases the Council may, providing the applicant has evaluated all other possibilities, allow sewage disposal via a suitable cesspool, septic tank or sewage treatment plant or other suitable alternative sewage disposal facility.

Sewage Treatment Works

4.280 Within the District's Green Belt, Thames Water operate sewage treatment works at Leatherhead and Dorking. The works contain a range of buildings, structures and plant which are required for the treatment of waste water. While the Council does not consider the sites qualify for Major Developed Site status, it is accepted that the scale and nature of the treatment facilities is such that their relocation and redevelopment is unlikely and new requirements must generally be met at the existing works through infilling and alteration. Such development is inappropriate on these Green Belt sites and will not be approved except in very special circumstances which will not exist unless the harm to the Green Belt and any other harm is clearly outweighed by other considerations. The Council acknowledges the importance and fixed nature of Thames Water's facilities at Dorking and Leatherhead Sewage Treatment Works, and appreciates that in order to comply with strict environmental standards as set out in the European Union's Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, it may be necessary to install new plant and buildings at sewage treatment works. In considering development proposals at the works, the Council will have regard to the need to protect the openness of the Green Belt, the provisions of Circular 17/91 - Water Industry Investment : Planning Considerations and the need for the proposed development.

Surface Water Run-Off From New Development

4.281 Unless carefully sited and designed, development can increase run-off by the addition of impermeable surfaces such as car parks and roofs. This can result in increased risk of flooding in areas downstream from the development, damage to the river environment through, for example, silt deposition and pollution as well as infiltration to groundwater. In this regard the Environment Agency has prepared a Local Environment Agency Plan (LEAP) for the River Mole and its tributaries.

Development that would result in an increased risk of flooding or have an adverse impact on the water environment as a result of additional surface water run-off will only be permitted where appropriate attenuation or mitigation measures are proposed.

4.282 In considering proposals that would result in additional surface water run-off, the Council will have regard to the views of the Environment Agency, whom developers should consult before submitting a planning application. Developers will be expected to cover the costs of assessing surface water drainage impacts and any appropriate mitigation works.

Groundwater Quality

4.283 Groundwater resources are an invaluable source of water for public supply, industry and agriculture, as well as sustaining base flows of rivers. The Council do not wish to duplicate the controls of other bodies but to give full and early consideration within the planning process of development proposals which may have a significant and detrimental effect on groundwater quality.

Development will not be permitted which in the opinion of the Council, after consultation with the Environment Agency, may have an adverse impact on the quality of groundwater.

4.284 The northern part of the District is underlain by the chalk and lower greensand aquifers which support at least two major groundwater abstractions at Leatherhead and Dorking, both of which are used for the purposes of public supply. Some activities such as the disposal to soakaways, inappropriate storage of oils and chemicals, disturbance of contaminated sites and insecure landfill can result in the pollution of groundwater resources and supplies. The Council will seek to prevent or reduce the risk of groundwater pollution by refusing permission for development which may have an adverse impact on the quality of groundwater.

4.285 As necessary, applicants will be required to submit details of measures designed to ensure that proposed development would not have a detrimental effect on surface and groundwater. The Council will liaise with the Environment Agency in respect of such measures. Developers should also give due regard to the Environment Agency's Policy and Practice for the Protection of Groundwater.

Adequate Water Resources

4.286 The provision and development of water resources to ensure the supply of water to new development is becoming increasingly difficult in the Thames Region. The scale of development envisaged in the District should not pose a problem but there are some developments such as golf courses that can make substantial demands on water.

Development will only be permitted where the Council, after consultation with the Environment Agency and the relevant water supply companies, considers that adequate water resources are available, or where their provision is not considered detrimental to existing abstractions, river flows, water quality, fisheries, amenity or nature conservation.

Contaminated Land

4.287 Advice on development proposals involving land that is or may be contaminated is contained in Planning Policy Guidance Note 23 - Planning and Pollution Control. The PPG indicates that although contamination is subject to control under pollution control legislation, it or the potential for it can be a material planning consideration and should be taken into account in the determination of planning applications.

4.288 Contamination may give rise to hazards which put at risk people working on a site, the occupiers and users of the buildings and land and the buildings and services per se. Contaminants may also escape from the site to cause air and water pollution and pollution on nearby land.

4.289 Mole Valley has only a limited history of contaminated land use and only a few sites may be contaminated. The Environment Act 1995 places a duty on local authorities to assess contaminated land on the basis of "suitability for use". Redevelopment of a site from industrial to residential use may result in the land being technically classified as "Contaminated" for the class of development. The responsibility for demonstrating suitability lies primarily with the developer. There will need to be a prior site investigation to determine the nature and extent of contamination, to be agreed with the Council and the Environment Agency.

Where the Council as local planning authority is aware that land is or may be contaminated, permission will only be granted where the Council, after consultation with relevant experts and the pollution control authorities, is satisfied that there would be no risk to health or the environment or remedial measures are proposed which would satisfactorily mitigate the effects of any contamination and ensure the site is suitable for use.

4.290 In implementing the above policy, the Council will obtain advice from the Head of Environmental Services or outside consultants and consult with the Environment Agency. Should the degree of contamination be such that remedial action is required to safeguard future users or occupiers of the site or neighbouring land or protect any buildings or services from the hazards, then planning permission may be granted subject to conditions specifying the measures to be carried out. Conditions will also be imposed that require the developer to draw to the attention of the Council the presence of suspected contamination encountered during redevelopment. Where it is proposed to build on a contaminated site, particular attention should be paid to the requirements of the Building Regulations 2000 where they apply.

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