8.1 This Chapter sets out the general design framework for development in the District, and also the Plan’s aims for conservation of the built and archaeological heritage, and the policies and proposals to implement these aims. The Council’s powers and duties call for protection of formally designated areas and buildings and for the continuing assessment and review of the conservation, historic building and archaeological potential of the whole District.
8.2 A number of detailed policies are contained within the Housing Chapter of the Plan. The function of this Chapter on Design and Heritage is to coordinate those policies with the approach sought for non - residential developments, and to give a local policy context for existing Supplementary Planning Guidance and planned Supplementary Planning Documents in the design of development.
8.3 As Planning Authority, the District Council looks particularly to site owners to acknowledge their responsibilities where buildings and land are already included in the Statutory List of Historic Buildings, or lie within designated Conservation Areas, Registered Parks and Gardens, or Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Further areas are regarded as Areas of Archaeological Significance, which can raise the potential for preservation, or excavation, where development is proposed.
8.4 In reviewing the District’s heritage, the Council acknowledges the vital role of specialist staff of Essex County Council and English Heritage in providing advice, information and support to enable it to carry out its review, project and development control functions. A wide range of other national and local bodies and voluntary groups also regularly contribute to those functions. The District Museum service is responsible for taking finds and archives from sites within the District and manages these resultant collections under the policies for collections care.
8.5 The Local Plan design and heritage policies and proposals have been prepared in the light of government advice and the Structure Plan. The Local Plan is the main source of detailed heritage and conservation policies, to be read alongside the Structure Plan, which sets the overall policy framework.
8.6 Government advice on design is set out in PPS1: Delivering Sustainable Development, which makes it clear that Development Plans should contain design policies capable of giving sufficient guidance, without being too prescriptive or detailed. This approach is particularly appropriate for Braintree, being a larger, mainly rural, District with towns and settlements of a diverse character. The general framework policy in this Chapter is therefore supported by policies which set out the role of existing Supplementary Planning Guidance, including site development briefs and the Essex Design Guide for Residential and Mixed Use Areas. It also refers to a proposed Supplementary Planning Document on environmental sustainability.
8.7 For the historic environment, PPG’s 15 and 16 set out the general approach and criteria, which should be taken into account in the preparation of Development Plans and determination of applications affecting listed buildings, conservation areas, and areas of archaeological interest and importance. In addition, the Council has adopted the Essex Historic Towns document as Supplementary Planning Guidance, and the Plan takes account of the continuing duty to review all aspects of the District’s historic environment.
8.8 The aims and objectives of this Plan are derived from the national and county policy context, and the Braintree Quality of Life Plan, published in June 1999.
8.9 The Council’s overall aim in relation to the built environment is to create places to be proud of, including areas and sites containing heritage and conservation assets. A number of arts and heritage objectives also relate to promotion and preservation issues.
8.10 The following objectives serve as a guide for the formulation of policies in this chapter:
- To recognise the fact that local places are different and distinctive in their own ways, and to ensure that they are valued and protected
- To ensure that places and spaces not only meet people’s needs, but are also pleasing to the eye and encourage a sense of community
- To encourage people to take an interest in their surroundings
- To make sure that energy, water and natural resources are used efficiently, and assist in reducing the amount of refuse created, through design and provision of recycling and other facilities
- To ensure that the local cultural heritage is appropriately preserved for future generations
8.11 Braintree District covers a substantial area, with three main towns and a large number of villages. Each of these settlements, and their component neighbourhoods has a distinctive character, not just the designated Conservation Areas, historic buildings and areas of archaeological importance, but also the other built up areas throughout the District.
8.12 Built development should not only meet people’s needs, but also be pleasing to the eye and encourage a sense of community through public participation in design, and avoid undue use of environmental resources. This represents a holistic challenge for the design of any built development in the District, in both aesthetic and utility terms, as well as a reference to the need for new housing to relate well to a neighbourhood approach to location. The Essex Design Guide for Residential and Mixed Use Areas seeks to promote such qualities in new development, and is an important source of information and advice which informs the Council’s approach to this Chapter and individual schemes. Village design statements provide a further source of guidance on how new development can respect local character by encouraging positive community involvement in the planning process. Their preparation and subsequent approval as material planning considerations continues to be supported by the Council.
8.13 The general principles, which guide the Council’s design approach, can be summarised as:
i) Aiming for a high standard of design of buildings, their surrounding open areas, circulation spaces, and other townscape and landscape areas;
ii) Avoidance of undue or unacceptable impacts on the amenity of any nearby residential properties;
iii) Recognising and reflecting local distinctiveness;
iv) Seeking layouts, height, mass and overall elevational designs of buildings and developments, which are in harmony with the character and appearance of the surrounding area;
v) Securing the incorporation from the earliest ‘in principle’ stages of all practical means of optimising the environmental sustainability of the development. This would include energy and water efficiency, waste separation and other design and management regimes, which will assist in maintaining such sustainability throughout the construction, occupation and demolition of the development. Supplementary Planning Guidance will be prepared on these aspects;
vi) Promotion of sustainable practices in traffic generation and management, and avoidance of significant increases in traffic movements, particularly in residential areas;
vii) Taking account of crime reduction and prevention, and the other strategic objectives within this Plan.
8.14 The design principles applicable to all developments are set out in Policy RLP 90. The Housing Chapter of this Plan includes Policy RLP 9, on Design and Layout of Housing and Mixed Use Areas, indicating that a site appraisal will be required for all housing developments of 1 hectare or more, including a statement of the design principles adopted. The Council will seek a similar appraisal for all major non - residential developments (buildings over 1,000 square metres, or 1 hectare for other forms of development), in order to demonstrate that the general principles, set out in paragraph 8.13 and Policy RLP 90, have been considered.
The Council seeks a high standard of layout and design in all developments, large and small, in the District. Planning permission will only be granted where the following criteria are met:
(i) The scale, density, height and massing of buildings should reflect or enhance local distinctiveness;
(ii) Buildings, open areas, circulation spaces, and other townscape and landscape areas shall be of a high standard of design and materials;
(iii) There shall be no undue or unacceptable impact on the amenity of any nearby residential properties;
(iv) Designs shall recognise and reflect local distinctiveness, and be sensitive to the need to conserve local features of architectural, historic and landscape importance, particularly within Conservation Areas and in proximity to parks and gardens of historic interest, ancient monuments and sites of archaeological importance;
(v) The layout, height, mass and overall elevational design of buildings and developments shall be in harmony with the character and appearance of the surrounding area; including their form, scale and impact on the skyline in the locality;
(vi) Both the overall planning and detailed design shall incorporate measures to ensure the maximum practical environmental sustainability throughout the construction, occupation and demolition of the development, in relation to energy conservation, water efficiency, waste separation and the use of materials with low overall energy requirements. Supplementary planning guidance will be prepared on these aspects;
(vii) Use of the most sustainable modes of transport is promoted in the design and layout of new development, and the resultant traffic generation and its management shall seek to avoid significant increases in traffic movement, particularly in residential areas;
(viii) Designs and layouts shall promote a safe and secure environment, crime reduction and prevention and shall encourage the related objective of enhancing personal safety; with the maximum amount of natural surveillance of roads, paths and all other open areas and all open spaces incorporated into schemes;
(ix) Landscape design shall promote and enhance local biodiversity;
(x) The design and level of any lighting proposals will need to be in context with the local area.
A site appraisal shall be submitted, either preceding or accompanying the relevant planning application, for all non - residential buildings exceeding 1,000 square metres (gross), or other forms of developments with a site area of 1 hectare or more. This site appraisal shall address each of the principles set out in Policy RLP 90 Layout and Design of Development.
8.15 Ease of physical access into and around buildings, streets and other built features in town and country is a major element in the lives of people who have temporary or permanent mobility impairment. The importance of providing access to public buildings has been a statutory requirement on Local Planning Authorities since the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons’ Act, 1970, followed by the Town and Country Act 1990. This covers access arrangements to buildings used regularly by members of the public.
8.16 In 1999, further statutory controls were introduced in the Building Regulations (Part M), extending accessibility requirements to dwellings, so that street entrances into houses and their internal layouts are now covered by the Building Regulations. The external location, layout and arrangement of dwellings on a site is a proper matter for planning control. This Plan seeks to ensure that appropriate levels of accessibility are built into all forms of new development, changes of use and major commercial extensions. Traffic management and street furniture are a further source of potential hazards, especially for people with sight or sensory impairment. Although these matters are addressed by the Highways Act 1980, this Plan seeks to remind all public authorities and private organisations carrying out works in the ‘public realm’ of their responsibility to allow for full accessibility, in the interests of both people with disabilities and other users of all ages. A specific policy for dwellings, RLP 22 Accessible Housing and Lifetime Housing, is contained in the Housing Chapter of this Plan.
New buildings, changes of use and major extensions to buildings will only be permitted if the design and layout of their access for the public is fully accessible to people whose mobility is impaired. Provision for such full accessibility should be made in highway, parking, walking, cycling, traffic management and other public realm schemes, and in designing and locating street furniture.
8.17 New housing, retail, commercial and other developments usually have both vehicular and pedestrian access, and have a significant cumulative effect on the ‘public realm’. The public realm includes those areas within towns and villages, where people not only circulate and enter buildings, but also browse in shop windows, wait for buses and encounter friends and where some informal childrens’ play occurs. The openness, visibility and overall attractiveness of these public areas has an immediate effect on perceptions of public safety and security, particularly in towns. Built development bordering onto either circulation areas or open spaces should be designed to facilitate natural surveillance of such adjoining open areas. Where external lighting is proposed, for example, in communal parking areas, this will need to be at a level that is appropriate for its context. Different approaches may be required in urban and rural areas.
8.18 Circular 1/94 encourages this proactive approach in the design and layout of developments, and the Essex Police Architectural Liaison Officers are able to give specialist advice on both housing and other schemes.
8.19 In order to maintain open spaces and areas in new developments, not either enclosed as private curtilages, or already intended as highways (vehicular, pedestrian or other), the Council will seek legal or contractual agreements to secure their maintenance into the future.
In order to maintain the attractiveness and security of developments, the Council will seek to ensure that land remaining in the public realm and not to be contained within private curtilages or highways is maintained by the intended owners of the developments providing or abutting such land, through either contractual or legal agreements and any necessary funding to ensure the satisfactory maintenance of such areas in the future.
8.20 Public art makes a positive contribution to the environment and the community and can be used to enhance developments, or where appropriate the wider locality. The District Council will encourage developers and promoters to commission individual works of public art, whether free standing, or attached to buildings. ‘Public art’ includes sculpture, durable examples of local crafts, murals, mosaics and water areas and features. It should be positioned where it is easily visible and preferably in close proximity to open public areas, either within the development itself, or within the locality, or wider community, as agreed by the Council. Developers will be encouraged to use artists to work with architects to develop design briefs for both interior, or exterior, features. The extent and scope of such commissioning will be within the terms of Circular 1/97. Major development in this instance is defined as sites of, or over, 1 hectare, or 30 dwellings, or of 1000sq.m floorspace.
In the interests of enhancement of design in the public realm, the Council will seek the promotion of works, or building elements, in the form of public art, or local crafts. Major developments, or other schemes creating or modifying the layout of public places, will make provision for the commissioning of suitable and durable features, or works of public art, or craft. Public involvement will be facilitated.
8.21 There are 37 Conservation Areas within the District and they make an important contribution to the high quality of the built environment. The Council has a duty to preserve and enhance these areas, and to ensure that any new developments, or other works or changes of use, preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the present Conservation Areas, and any future designations. Where developments are cumulatively detracting from the special character or appearance of a Conservation Area, the Council may withdraw permitted development rights.
8.22 Demolition of buildings which by age, vernacular, or distinctive design, group value, or landmark prominence, contribute to the character or appearance of Conservation Areas should not be altered or demolished, unless all other alternative uses and forms of community or other ownership have been fully explored. Similarly, proposals for full or partial change of use of buildings should not conflict with the essential character of a Conservation Area, for instance where there are viable small shops or craft workshops, which impart a sense of community and the traditional local economy. In many cases, such issues will also be affected by the need to maintain the economic and social life of the extensive rural areas in the District. Pre - application advice can be obtained from the Council in conjunction with County Council specialist officers.
8.23 Most of the District’s Conservation Areas contain individual trees and even woodlands that are not the subject of formal Tree Preservation Orders (TPO). Such trees over 75mm in girth are afforded protection by the Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act, 1990, but it is still open to owners to make applications to fell, lop or otherwise carry out tree works. Where such works, especially but not only felling, would result in the reduction or loss of the amenity value in the tree or group, the Council will serve a TPO to act as an immediate protection, so that there is full control over the form of works proposed and a considered decision can be made in the interests of visual amenity. Where trees are lost, appropriate replacements will be required.
8.24 The Council will seek to carry out enhancement works from time to time in Conservation Areas, particularly where opportunities arise through development proposals. In such cases, public realm visual improvements will be sought through partnership approaches with utilities and developers, to secure suitable funding for the underground replacement of overhead wires and cables, where intrusive roof level ‘wirescapes’ detract from conservation areas and the settings of listed buildings.
The Council will preserve, and encourage the enhancement of, the character and appearance of designated Conservation Areas and their settings, including the buildings, open spaces and areas, landscape and historic features and views into and within the constituent parts of designated areas. Built or other development, within or adjacent to a Conservation Area and affecting its setting, will only be permitted provided that:
(a)The proposal does not detract from the character, appearance and essential features of the Conservation Area;
(b) Any new development is situated in harmony with the existing street scene and building line, and is sympathetic in size, scale and proportions with its surroundings;
(c) Architectural details on buildings of value are retained
(d) Building materials are authentic and complementary to the building’s character.
Demolition involving the destruction of (the whole or part of) an unlisted building in a Conservation Area will only be permitted if:
(a)The structure to be demolished makes no contribution to the character, or appearance, of the conservation area; or
(b) The building is demonstrably beyond reasonable repair due to its structural condition, and clear evidence of efforts to secure viable alternative uses is available and no other forms of community ownership or preservation is possible;
(c) Consent for demolition will only normally be granted in any case where a contract for the redevelopment of the site has been let;
(d) Redevelopment proposals preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the area.
The change of use of a building within a Conservation Area will only be permitted if the change of use, and any associated alteration to the appearance or setting of the building, preserves or enhances the character and appearance of the area.
In Conservation Areas, the Council will encourage and seek environmental improvements, including the provision of appropriate lighting, and particularly for the underground replacement of over head wires and apparatus affecting the setting of Conservation Areas and the setting of listed buildings. In considering development proposals, contributions for such improvements will be sought from developers.
8.25 Buildings listed as being of special architectural or historic interest are subject to additional legislative controls, due to their intrinsic importance and their contribution to the character and appearance of their setting. Listed buildings often comprise or dominate the character of Conservation Areas, lying at the historic core of towns and villages, although a number in the District are in rural locations, where issues affecting their settings can affect wider tracts of land The Department of Culture, Media and Sport publishes the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest and this is held and maintained as a reference document by the Council.
8.26 The need to preserve and, where possible, enhance the cultural heritage means that listed buildings need to be kept under review. The Council will liaise with specialist staff at English Heritage and Essex County Council on any recommendations for additional formal protection or designation, and will consult closely with those bodies on individual proposals. The need to preserve and enhance Locally Listed Buildings, i.e. buildings which are not statutorily listed but which are listed by the local planning authority as of local importance, is also recognised by the Council. The production and subsequent adoption of a list of such buildings as a Supplementary Planning Document will be supported, despite its non-statutory nature.
8.27 Proposals for the internal or external alteration, extension or change of use of a listed building will be assessed in the light of the impact on their historic character, layout, appearance and wider setting. Applications for total or partial demolition will not be permitted, unless there are very clear circumstances indicating that there are no practical alternatives to demolition, and that the intended development will produce demonstrable community benefits, including design and built environment issues. Historic buildings and structures can often be occupied by mammals or birds protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is therefore imperative for developers to take reasonable precautions to avoid harming them and in some cases, an assessment of potential impacts will need to be undertaken.
Consent for the partial or total demolition of a listed building will only be granted in the most exceptional circumstances, where:
(i) the demolition of the building is demonstrably unavoidable for structural safety reasons; and/or
(ii) all reasonable efforts have been made to sustain existing uses, find viable new uses, or secure preservation through a form of charitable or community ownership, and that these efforts have failed; and
(iii) redevelopment will produce substantial benefits for the community, which would decisively outweigh the loss resulting from demolition;
(iv) demolition works are made conditional upon planning permission being granted, and a contract agreed, for redevelopment; and
(v) at least one month is permitted to record the listed building before demolition.
Development involving internal or external alterations, extensions and partial demolitions to a listed building or structure (including any structures defined as having equivalent status due to being situated within its curtilage), and changes of use will only be permitted if the proposed works or uses;
(i) do not harm the setting, character, structural stability and fabric of the building (or structure); and
(ii) do not result in the loss of, or significant damage to the building or structure’s historic and architectural elements of special importance, and include the use of appropriate materials and finishes. The Council will seek to preserve and enhance the settings of listed buildings by appropriate control over the development, design and use of adjoining land.
8.28 For some years there has been concern that residential conversions of barns and other listed farm buildings has diminished their intrinsic historic importance. Internal sub - division to form bedrooms and living areas and new doors and windows and other features formed in prominent elevations are frequently out of scale and character with the original simple design and volume enclosure of a barn.
8.29 The policy adopted by the Council does not favour residential conversions. Alternative uses, such as industrial, office, storage, community or leisure/tourism are seen as less likely to result in sub - division, and also to have a greater potential to contribute to the local rural economy. The approach to diversification of rural activities is amplified further in PPS7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas.
8.30 Tourist accommodation can make a limited contribution to the rural economy, and such accommodation let for a maximum of 4 week periods may be acceptable, where commercial or community uses are not possible and the design and layout is acceptable in terms of its effects on the listed building.
8.31 Conversion to residential accommodation will only be considered as a last resort, as a subordinate part of a conversion to business or commercial use, or where there is no practical prospect of any other use. The Council will require evidence that all other options have been explored, including evidence of sustained and appropriate marketing of the property. Where schemes are acceptable, conditions will be imposed to limit ‘permitted development’ rights in relation to extensions, curtilage outbuildings, fences and means of enclosure, so as to enable prior consideration of their effect on the listed building and its setting.
8.32 All applications for change of use of listed barns and agricultural buildings will need to be made in detail, with a full survey of the existing structure, layout, elevations and sections, to demonstrate that the architectural and historic interest of the building is preserved. The Council and County Archaeological Section should be contacted at a preliminary stage, as an archaeological record may need to be made, particularly where the presence of original roof and other timbers means that some pre - 17th Century barns can constitute examples of ‘standing archaeology’. The relationship between new uses and any remaining farming activities, and availability of parking, servicing/ unloading and connections with utility services will also be relevant.
8.33 This policy only applies to listed barns and other listed agricultural buildings. There are many non-listed buildings in rural areas which have little or no merit. The conversion of these buildings would be considered in relation to policy RLP38.
Conversion of a listed barn, or other listed former agricultural or rural buildings, to employment or community use will be permitted provide that:
(a)The detailed scheme for conversion of the building to the new use would demonstrably secure the preservation of the building without harm to its historic fabric, character and appearance, and its contribution to the group value and/or to the landscape in general;
(b) The proposed use would not generate traffic of a magnitude or type that might be likely to cause additional traffic hazards and/or damage to minor roads;
(c) The criteria set out in policy RLP 38 are met.
Conversion to residential use will only be acceptable where:
(i) The applicant has made every reasonable attempt to secure suitable employment or community re-use, and the application is supported by a statement of the efforts which have been made; or
(ii) Residential conversion is a subordinate part of the scheme for business re-use of that building or group of buildings;
(iii) In either case, the design and traffic issues in criteria (a) and (b) above are fully satisfied.
8.34 English Heritage and Essex County Council have become concerned that an increasing number of housing, commercial and other developments are being proposed within listed buildings with extensive grounds (or occasionally scheduled monuments or other sites of archaeological importance), on the basis that restoration or improvement of the historic building or archaeological site can be assisted. Endowment for long term maintenance, removal of inappropriate alterations or enhanced public access are also advanced in support of such development, known as ‘enabling development’. There is concern that many such schemes are of a scale which harms, or completely destroys, the historic setting and value of the building or archaeological asset, and are therefore not justified in terms of the environmental costs and benefits involved. Enabling development may also be proposed in relation to nature conservation assets.
8.35 English Heritage has produced a policy statement: ‘Enabling Development and the Conservation of Heritage Assets’, that addresses this issue and advocates a criteria-based policy. The Council will adopt this more explicit assessment of the relationship between claimed benefits of enabling development for repair, restoration or improvement of listed buildings, and the impact on their inherent character, appearance and setting.
‘Enabling development’ (defined as development within the vicinity of a listed building, or site of archaeological importance) for the claimed purpose of assisting its repair, restoration or improvement will not be permitted, unless it satisfies all of the following criteria:
(a) The enabling development will not materially detract from the archaeological, architectural, historic or landscape interest of the asset, or materially harm its setting;
(b) The proposal avoids detrimental fragmentation of management of the heritage asset;
(c) The enabling development will secure the long term future of the heritage asset, and where applicable, its continued use for a sympathetic purpose;
(d) The problem arises from the inherent needs of the heritage asset, rather than the circumstances of the present owner, or the purchase price paid;
(e) Financial assistance is not available from any other source; (f) It is demonstrated that the amount of enabling development is the minimum necessary to secure the future of the heritage asset, and that its form minimises any harm to the asset; and
(g) The value, or benefit, of the survival or enhancement of the heritage asset outweighs the long-term cost to the community (i.e. any harm to the asset) of providing the enabling development.
8.36 A number of historic parks and gardens, many associated with surviving, or demolished, large manor houses, have been identified by English Heritage as worthy of protection and included in a Register. Although inclusion does not convey any additional powers over development, the protection of their special character is a material consideration, to be taken fully into account in any development proposals affecting Registered Parks or Gardens, or their settings.
8.37 The following sites are currently included in the Register for the Braintree District, and are shown on the Proposals Map: Belchamp Hall Faulkbourne Hall Glazenwood, Bradwell Gosfield Hall Hatfield Priory Saling Grove Saling Hall Terling Place
Development will not be permitted, which would materially detract from the historic character, or setting, of sites included in the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.
8.38 Braintree District has approximately 2700 sites of archaeological interest that are recorded on the Essex County Council’s Essex Heritage Conservation Record (EHCR), of which 42 sites are scheduled as Ancient Monuments (January 2002) under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The sites range from Palaeolithic flint axes through a variety of prehistoric, Roman, Saxon and medieval settlements to post medieval and modern industrial sites and World War 2 and Cold War structures. However the EHCR records represent only a fraction of the total. These sites constitute a finite, non-renewable resource vulnerable to damage. Braintree District Council will seek to protect, enhance and preserve both sites and their settings, and also calls on landowners and occupiers to recognise their stewardship role.
8.39 In order to ensure archaeological issues are properly considered in the planning process, early consultation by the applicant on the archaeological implications of their proposals is recommended. The planning authority will seek to ensure they are fully informed about the nature of the archaeological site and its setting. When investigating and preparing development proposals, the planning authority will expect applicants to adopt the procedures set out in central government planning policy guidance 16: Archaeology and Planning. Advice is available from the Council and specialist County Council staff and early consultation is recommended.
8.40 It may not always be feasible to retain all archaeological remains. Where nationally important structures, or remains, or their settings, are affected by proposed development, there will be a presumption in favour of their physical preservation in situ. In the case of archaeological sites of less than national significance, if preservation is not feasible, formal conditions or Legal Agreements will be imposed to ensure that there is observation, recording, excavation or other appropriate means of retaining knowledge of the archaeological interest of the site.
Where development would adversely affect the physical preservation of Scheduled Ancient Monuments and other nationally important archaeological remains, and their settings, whether scheduled or not, there will be a presumption in favour of their preservation in situ. Other areas of archaeological significance (i.e. those which, although important locally, are not of national significance) will be preserved. When development affecting such sites is acceptable in principle, mitigation of damage will be sought through the preservation of the remains in situ as a preferred solution. When in situ preservation is not justified, the developer will be required to make adequate provision for excavation and recording before or during development.
Where important archaeological deposits are thought to be at risk from a proposed development the developer will be required to arrange for an archaeological evaluation to be undertaken prior to the planning decision being made. The evaluation will assess the character, importance and extent of the archaeological deposits and will allow an informed and reasonable decision to be made on the planning application.
Where permission is granted for developments affecting archaeological deposits, conditions will be imposed to ensure that the archaeological remains are properly excavated and recorded prior to the development commencing.
8.41 A wide range of advertisements falls within a separate statutory control from other forms of development, known as the Advertisement Regulations. The determination of applications under these Regulations, and powers to discontinue the display of unauthorised signs are to be made in the interests of visual amenity and public (including traffic) safety. In order to carry out this duty, the Council seeks to ensure that the siting, design and effects of advertisements are acceptable for the building (if appropriate) and area in which they are sited. Particular attention will be paid to advertisement control in the countryside, where only necessary commercial displays will be approved; and in Conservation Areas, where details of the siting, design and means of any illumination can exert a considerable influence on their character and appearance.
The Council will carry out its duties in relation to the Control of Advertisements Regulations in the light of the following criteria, designed to ensure that all relevant issues affecting visual amenity and public safety are taken into account:
(a) Advertisement displays should be in close proximity to the activities they are advertising. Non - related or free - standing displays will not be approved;
(b) The area of display of an advertisement should be visually subordinate to the feature of the building (including fascia boards) on which it is located;
(c) The proliferation of advertisements on buildings or sites will be opposed, whether external signs or other displays including window posters, or hoardings;
(d) Issues of public safety, including traffic safety will be accorded a high priority in decision making;
(e) Particular importance must be paid to the luminance, design and siting of outdoor advertisements in sensitive locations such as urban fringes, countryside and residential areas.
8.42 Where the display of advertisements is within, or affects the character or appearance of, designated Conservation Areas, the Council will apply the following additional policies:
The Council will apply the following policies for the control of fascias and signs in Conservation Areas:
(a) Large, or unduly deep, fascias will be discouraged as they tend to assume bold proportions, which detract from the vertical emphasis of historic and other buildings, particularly if applied across more than one frontage without an interval.
(b) Lettering and symbols should be in scale with both the building and any board, or structure, on which they are located. They should avoid enlarged type faces and cramped spacing. Individual cast metal, or cut out, serif letters are considered appropriate, since they should not detract from the major focal interest of the facade and they have the added advantage of strong definition.
(c) Dominant, or overpowering, signs and those which appear unnecessary and repetitive will be resisted. In particular, many national identity signs are disruptive to domestic scale and inappropriate for conservation areas. Hanging signs may be acceptable, where fascia signs are inappropriate.
(d) Any undue proliferation of advertisement displays will be opposed and signs above ground floor level will normally be refused.
(e) All advertisements should be designed as an integral part of the host building, of a size and design harmonising with the character of the Conservation Area.
The Council will apply the following criteria for the control of illuminated fascia and projecting box signs in Conservation Areas:
(a) Wholly illuminated fascia signs, which are badly designed, using high glossed materials and large lettering, out of keeping with the character of the area, or the building on which they are to be displayed, will not be permitted. Well designed and proportioned fascia signs may be considered favourably, depending upon the building and the setting, provided the lettering only is illuminated.
(b) Illuminated projecting box signs, which by reason of their size, siting, design and choice of materials, are out of keeping with the building and character of the area, will not be permitted. Well- designed hanging signs using traditional materials and lettering will be considered on their merits, in relation to the buildings and the setting. Any illumination necessary shall take the form of discreet external lighting.