Publication Draft

Ended on the 27th June 2014
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5 Sustainable Communities


Overarching Policy

(16) SC0: Sustainable Communities

New development should be high quality and should ensure that it is brought forward in a way which enables strong communities to be formed and sustained. It is also important that new development protects and enhances the historic, built and natural features that make Warwick District a great place. To achieve this the development should:

  1. deliver high quality layout and design to integrate with existing communities;

  2. be brought forward in a comprehensive way and where development sites are adjacent, layout, design and infrastructure provision should be carefully coordinated;

  3. ensure good quality infrastructure and services are provided and where this cannot be provided on site, provision should be made through contributions to off-site provision;

  4. ensure access and circulation are inclusive and provide for a choice of transport modes including public transport, cycling and walking;

  5. take account of community safety including measures to prevent crime and road accidents;

  6. provide good access to community facilities including meeting places, local shops, transport services, health facilities, and open space;

  7. minimise energy and water consumption and take account of opportunities to promote renewable energies where appropriate;

  8. ensure proposals are adaptable to climate change;

  9. have a focus on healthy lifestyles, including measures to encourage walking and cycling, to provide access to open space, play areas, playing fields and sports facilities and to encourage healthy diets;

  10. protect, and where possible enhance, the natural environment including important landscapes, natural features and areas of biodiversity;

  11. protect, and where possible enhance, the historic environment and particularly designated heritage assets such as Listed Buildings, Registered Parks and Gardens and Conservation Areas, and;

  12. manage flood risk to ensure that proposals do not unduly increase the risk of flooding

Explanation

5.1 New development should enable sustainable and cohesive communities to form by ensuring a high quality environment, good infrastructure and facilities, a layout which encourage safe, healthy and sustainable lifestyles and which minimises the use of scarce natural resources. New development should also protect and enhance the features that make Warwick District a great place to live work and visit, whether it be important landscapes, areas of ecological importance or highly value built and historic environments.

5.2 Proposals should therefore comply with the principles set out in this overarching policy and in the more detailed policies that follow in this part of the Local Plan. In this way we are aiming to meet the development needs of the District at the same time as ensuring we have environment and community facilities that people are proud of and which enable new development to deliver sustainable communities.

(2) Built Environment

5.3 New development should provide homes, employment and other activities for the long term. As such design is vital in providing and protecting an enduring built environment which people are proud of. High quality design and attractive environments can encourage investment and economic development in an area, support social inclusion and help to create civic pride and community cohesion. Good design is therefore a key element in achieving sustainable development and in achieving the objectives of this Plan.

5.4 In general terms, the quality of the built environment in Warwick District is high. This area is a very popular place to live and attracts people from other areas and regions as evidenced by higher than average house prices. It is the objective of this Plan to ensure that new development is designed to maintain and improve the District’s many qualities and that it respects the integrity of existing settlements, including seeking to improve those parts of the District in need of economic, social and environmental regeneration.

5.5 The Council wishes, by 2029, that the district will be known as a place for its ‘Sustainable Garden Towns, Suburbs and Villages’, with the appropriate infrastructure and design guidance in place to support this principle. The Garden Suburbs and Villages study/prospectus shows how these principles could apply to the existing towns, parts of which already demonstrate the advantages of tree lined streets, appropriate housing density, suitable vehicle parking facilities and plot sizes. The objective of this is to ensure good quality design to provide inclusive, lively and attractive place where people feel safe and want to live, work and visit.

(8) BE1 Layout and design

New development will be permitted where it positively contributes to the character and quality of its environment through good layout and design. Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that they:

  1. harmonise with, or enhance, the existing settlement in terms of physical form, patterns of movement and land use;

  2. relate well to local topography and landscape features; (see policy NE4);

  3. reinforce or enhance the established urban character of streets, squares and other spaces;

  4. reflect, respect and reinforce local architectural and historical distinctiveness;

  5. enhance and incorporate important existing features into the development;

  6. respect surrounding buildings in terms of scale, height, form and massing;

  7. adopt appropriate materials and details;

  8. integrate with existing paths, streets, circulation networks and patterns of activity;

  9. incorporate building and street design and layout to reduce crime and fear of crime; (see policy HS7);

  10. provide for convenient, safe and integrated cycling and walking routes within the site and linking to related routes and for public transport; (see policy TR1);

  11. provide adequate public and private open space for the development in terms of both quantity and quality; (see policy HS4);

  12. incorporate necessary services and drainage infrastructure without causing unacceptable harm to retained features;

  13. ensure all components, e.g. buildings, landscaping, access routes, parking and open spaces are well related to each other and provide a safe and attractive environment;

  14. make sufficient provision for sustainable waste management (including facilities for kerbside collection, waste separation and minimisation where appropriate) without adverse impact on the street scene, the local landscape or the amenities of neighbours;

  15. meet the highest standards of accessibility and inclusion for potential users regardless of disability, age or gender, and;

  16. ensures that layout and design addresses the need for development to be resilient to climate change; (see policy CC1).

Development proposals which have a significant impact on the character and appearance of an area will be required to demonstrate how they comply with this policy by way of a Layout and Design Statement.

Explanation

5.6 The appearance of development and its relationship with its surrounding built and natural environment can have a significant effect on the character of an area. This is as relevant in more modern development as it is in historic conservation areas. Securing new development that can positively contribute to the character of the environment of the District is therefore of primary importance. This can be achieved through careful consideration of design and layout with regard to the context of the site and the townscape and landscape of the surrounding area.

5.7 The National Planning Policy Framework has continued to give great importance to design policies in local plans (paragraphs 56 to 61) and to the consideration of design matters in determining planning applications. It “attaches great importance to the design of the built environment” and states that “good design is a key aspect of sustainable development” in that it contributes positively to making places better for people. If developments do not deliver good design, they therefore cannot be considered as sustainable development.

5.8 The objective of this policy therefore is to achieve good layout and design for all new development and this should be the aim of everyone involved in the development process.

5.9 The Council is keen to encourage development solutions that will embrace sustainable planning objectives in order to bring forward positive impacts on the environment. When addressing layout and design matters, it is therefore important for applicants to pay particular attention to the requirements of other policies, notably those relating to :

  • Protection and enhancement of the historic environment

  • Promotion and delivery of inclusive communities

  • Protection and enhancement of the natural environment and biodiversity

  • Provision of secure, safe and accessible places (including for instance Secure by Design)

  • Adaptation for climate change

  • Reduction in carbon emissions

  • Encouragement of sustainable waste management

  • Provision of parking

  • Mix of housing

5.10 Applicants will be expected to demonstrate that their development achieves good layout and design and complies with this policy and any relevant supplementary planning guidance. As a minimum, this should consist of a short written statement setting out the design principles alongside illustrative material. The Council will review its Residential Design Guide to provide updated guidance consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework, this policy and Garden Towns, Suburbs and Villages Prospectus. In the meantime, the short written statement will be expected to demonstrate how proposals address the principles set out in the Garden Towns, Suburbs and Villages Prospectus and the advice provided in Building for Life 12.

5.11 When considering proposals which have a significant impact upon the character and appearance of an area and where relevant supplementary planning documents are absent, the Council will expect applicants to produce a Layout and Design Statement in support of the application. The Layout and Design Statement should include a full survey and design analysis of the site, its context and surrounding features. It will be expected to:

  • identify key features of local distinctiveness and contextual features;

  • demonstrate how the proposal responds positively to these features;

  • identify design principles for the development proposed taking account of the Garden Towns, Suburbs and Villages Prospectus; and

  • demonstrate that all of the design criteria in the policy have been considered and addressed where appropriate.

5.12 The Council supports the use of imaginative new designs in the right location, however, it is important that such proposals clearly demonstrate how they respect and reflect the character of the local area. Where appropriate (see Policy BE2 below), this should be explained within the Design Statement. Poor layout and design which does not comply with this policy or any supplementary planning guidance adopted by the Council will be refused.

(9) BE2 Developing Strategic Housing Sites

Development sites of over 200 dwellings, or sites which (in combination with other sites) form part of a wider development area which exceeds 200 dwellings or other developments which have a significant impact on the character and appearance of an area, will be expected to comply with a development brief. Development briefs will be prepared for all these sites setting out requirements for:

  1. infrastructure (ensuring alignment with the Infrastructure Delivery Plan);

  2. layout proposals, including where appropriate linkages and alignment with adjoining sites;

  3. densities (which should not be lower than 30 dwellings per hectare on average);

  4. design principles, taking account of the Garden Towns, Villages and Suburbs Prospectus and Buildings for Life 12;

  5. design for healthy lifestyles including provision for cycling, walking, playing pitches, parks and open spaces and other green infrastructure;

  6. landscaping;

  7. site access and circulation;

  8. managing and mitigating traffic generation (see policy TR2);

  9. the requirements set out in Policy BE1; and

  10. community facilities, in accordance with policies HS1, HS6 and the Infrastructure Delivery Plan, including how they will be viably managed and maintained in the long term

Development briefs will be adopted as supplementary planning guidance.

Where a development brief is absent for a strategic site, planning applications should comply with Policy BE1 and should be accompanied by a Layout and Design Statement providing detailed information to address the information in relation to the matters listed above.

Explanation

5.13 The Council is committed to preparing specific guidance in the form of Development Briefs to inform the development of strategic residential development sites. It is important that a fully integrated approach is taken to the development of significant sites, and that this should be informed by a thorough analysis of the site and its surroundings. When considering proposals which have a significant impact upon the character and appearance of an area and where relevant supplementary planning documents are absent, the Council will expect applicants to produce a Layout and Design Statement in support of the application, covering all the points that would otherwise be included within a Development Brief. The Layout and Design Statement should include a full survey and design analysis of the site, its context and surrounding features. It will be expected to:

  • identify key features of local distinctiveness and contextual features;

  • demonstrate how the proposal responds positively to these features;

  • identify design principles for the development proposed taking account of the Garden Towns, Suburbs and Villages Prospectus, and;

  • demonstrate that all of the design criteria in the policy have been considered and addressed where appropriate.

5.14 This policy applies to both outline and detailed applications, although for outline applications, applicants may identify aspects of the policy that will be dealt with at detailed stage. Applicants unsure of whether they may or may not need to prepare a Layout and Design Statement are advised to contact the Council at an early stage in the development process.

5.15 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) encourages the use of design codes to deliver high quality outcomes, but acknowledges that these should avoid being over prescriptive. It goes on to say that good design should encompass connections and the “integration of new development into the natural, built and historic environment”.

5.16 National policy suggests that extensions to existing villages and towns could follow the principles of Garden Cities. This is consistent with the Council’s ambitions of delivering high quality design and being known as a place of “Sustainable Garden Towns, Villages and Suburbs”. The Council has therefore produced a prospectus for Garden Towns, Villages and Suburbs (May 2012). This is non-prescriptive, but sets out some principles for the layout and design of new developments. The Council will review its Residential Design Guide to reflect this Prospectus. Once this review is complete, Development Briefs and Layout and Design Statements will be expected to conform to this. In the meantime development briefs for strategic sites will be prepared to take account of and amplify the Garden Towns, Village and Suburbs Prospectus and Buildings for Life 12. Layout and Design Statements produced in support of planning applications will also be expected to take account and amplify the Garden Towns, Village and Suburbs Prospectus and Buildings for Life 12.

5.17 Layout and Design Statements should also conform to all other policies in the Local Plan.

5.18 Bringing forward new development at the right density is important. This is about striking a balance between delivering high quality design within the Garden Towns, Villages and Suburbs principles at the same time reducing the amount of greenfield land required for development. This policy therefore requires that new development on greenfield sites should be provided at a density of at least 30 dwellings per hectare. No upper limit has been set, although new development will be expected to harmonise with, or enhance the surrounding area in line with Policy BE1 and where development sites are located in or close to Town Centres or public transport interchanges, densities are expected to be significantly higher than the minimum.

(2) BE3 Amenity

Development will not be permitted which has an unacceptable adverse impact on the amenity of nearby uses and residents and/or does not provide acceptable standards of amenity for future users and occupiers of the development.

Explanation

5.19 The phrase ‘amenity’ is defined as the extent to which people are able to enjoy public places and their own dwellings without undue disturbance or intrusion from nearby uses. Examples of disturbance and intrusion include: loss of privacy; loss of sun/daylight; visual intrusion; noise disturbance; and light pollution. This policy is applicable to all development proposals, including extensions and changes of use.

5.20 The relationship of proposed development to surrounding uses and buildings is an important consideration in determining planning applications, particularly within residential areas. It is important that appropriate levels of amenity are provided and maintained for people and this is accepted as a fundamental principle of good planning.

5.21 The securing of new development which has no impact on residential amenity may compromise other policies, such as achieving good design or making the best use of land. It will be important therefore to assess and weigh impacts on amenity against other objectives within this Plan. In considering development proposals, any appropriate mitigation measures that can be put in place will be taken into account in assessing the overall impact of the development on amenity.

(1) BE4 Converting Rural Buildings

Proposals to re-use and adapt existing rural buildings will be permitted subject to the following criteria:

  1. the building is of permanent and substantial construction;

  2. the condition of the building, its nature and location, makes it suitable for re-use or adaptation;

  3. the proposed use or adaptation can be accommodated without extensive rebuilding or alteration to the external appearance of the building;

  4. the proposal retains and respects the special qualities and features of listed and other traditional rural buildings, and;

  5. the appearance and setting of the building following conversion protects, and where possible enhances, the character and appearance of the countryside.

Explanation

5.22 The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework to ensure that conversions of rural buildings are carried out in an appropriate manner.

5.23 Rural buildings are an important element of the local character of the rural area in Warwick District. The Council is keen to support measures that bring vacant or redundant rural buildings back into productive use subject to the nature, scale, form and location of the building and the proposed use. The policy sees to ensure that the conversion retains the original qualities and features of the building without extensive rebuilding and alteration.

5.24 Where proposals include extending rural buildings as part of their conversion, these will not be approved unless it can be demonstrated that the extension is essential for the retention of the building. Other policies in this Plan deal with the appropriateness of different uses to which the building may be put.

5.25 A significant number of rural buildings are listed as being of special architectural or historical interest. Any works required to these buildings must preserve the original structure, features, character and special qualities of the building both internally and externally and retain the setting of the building in the landscape.

BE5 Broadband Infrastructure

Residential developments of over 5 dwellings or employment development of over 500sq. m are required to provide on-site infrastructure, including open access ducting to industry standards, to enable all premises and homes to be directly served by fibre optic broadband technology. Exceptions will only be considered where it can be demonstrated that making such provision would render the development unviable.

Explanation

5.26 Advanced, high quality communications infrastructure is a prerequisite for sustainable economic growth. The development of high speed broadband technology and other communications networks also plays a vital role in enhancing the provision of local community facilities and services. Delivery of broadband can affect business competitiveness and economic productivity and can lead to rural areas being disadvantaged in terms of community integration, economic vibrancy, farm diversification and home working.

5.27 The purpose of this policy is to ensure that new sustainable developments provide for the installation of fibre optic cabling to allow the implementation of superfast broadband. The policy ensures new dwellings and employment uses will be able to connect to fibre optic broadband infrastructure. It is recognised that the availability of such infrastructure will vary considerably across the District. The expectation is that even where such infrastructure is not readily available that provision is made for local infrastructure of ducting and cabinets to enable connection when the strategic connections are put in place.

References

  • National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

  • Warwick District Council Residential Design Guide 2008

  • Garden Towns, Village and Suburbs Prospectus 2012

  • The Sign of a Good Place: Building for Life 12 (Design Council, CABE; HBF and design for Homes)

(37) Transport

5.28 Transport is an essential part of our everyday lives. An effective transport network enables people to access work, services, leisure and other facilities in an efficient and safe way. The transport network should be inclusive by providing choice. Transport is an important element in the local economy enabling people to access jobs and services and enabling businesses move goods efficiently.

5.29 However, there are significant issues associated with transport that this Plan needs to address. These include safety, air quality, impact on climate change, congestion and the impact that transport infrastructure can have on the historic environment and community cohesion. These impacts need to be managed carefully through this Plan so that the achievement of an efficient and effective transport network is not achieved at the expense of health, the environment and community well-being. This will inevitably be a balancing act which the policies of this plan seek to achieve.

5.30 Locating development to minimise the need to travel (see objective 4) and sustainable modes of transport, such as walking, cycling and public transport, (see objective 13) will need to play an important role in striking a balance, although of cars will also continue to be of great importance.

5.31 The transport objectives and policies of this Plan need to be consistent with the Local Transport Plan. This focuses on a number of high priority preferred options including:

  • Improvements to buses and rail developments

  • Improvements to major congestion hotspots

  • Cycle parking and cycle and pedestrian routes to key destinations

  • Better integration of transport and land use planning to reduce the need to travel

  • Improved public transport information

  • Improved pedestrian crossing facilities

  • School travel plans

(11) TR1 Access and Choice

Development will only be permitted which provides safe, suitable and attractive access routes for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users, delivery vehicles and other users of motor vehicles, as appropriate. Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that they:

  1. are not detrimental to highway safety;

  2. are designed to provide suitable access and circulation for a range of transport modes including pedestrians, cyclists and public transport services;

  3. create safe and secure layouts for motorised vehicles, cyclists , pedestrians and public transport and integrate the access routes into the overall development;

  4. incorporate facilities for charging plug-in and other ultra-low emission vehicles where the development proposals include provision for off street parking and is for one or more dwelling, and;

  5. have taken account of the needs of people with disabilities by all modes of transport.

Explanation

5.32 Safe and suitable access is vital to delivering high quality development. All development proposals will need to show that safe and convenient access can be achieved for all modes of transport as appropriate.

5.33 Planning and design of new developments needs to provide for attractive, convenient and safe access routes including footpaths, cycleways and roads. Included in this is the need to integrate in to new development convenient access to public transport services, as well as suitable infrastructure at interchange points to allow all users to access public transport vehicles.

5.34 In line with the National Planning Policy Framework, developments should plan to protect and exploit opportunities for sustainable modes of transport. This includes the need for careful design and layout to provide for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users. It is important that design and layout carefully addresses potential conflicts between different modes of transport at the same time as seeking to integrate transport modes to provide convenient, land efficient and attractive access routes. This will involve careful layout and design to balance safety, convenience and attractiveness whilst addressing potential conflict.

5.35 The attractiveness of the access, both within and into the site for public transport users, pedestrians and cyclists, is also an important factor in influencing the mode of travel people will use. By giving priority to these forms of transport, new developments will discourage unnecessary car use.

5.36 For cyclists, layouts should ensure low speeds of traffic and on carriageway cycle provision, where the balance of factors identified in 1.7 above suggests this is desirable. Otherwise convenient, well designed cycle paths should be provided.

5.37 The provision of access for pedestrians will be required on all development that generates traffic. The provision of access for public transport and delivery vehicles will only apply to developments where the scale, nature and location warrant such provision and applicants unsure of whether they need to make such provision are advised to contact the Council at an early stage in the development process. Applicants should also demonstrate how pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users access the site taking into account safety, convenience and attractiveness.

5.38 An important objective of this policy is to ensure that the design and layout of development helps to promote social inclusion and caters for all people, including those who do not have access to a car. In particular it is important that the needs of people with disabilities are considered in designing for all modes of transport. People with disabilities often have specific requirements in terms design and layout which are relatively simple to deliver but which can make a significant difference to people’s lives. The Manual for Streets (and subsequent updated national guidance) provides guidance on how to address the needs of people with disabilities.

5.39 Increasingly home delivery vehicles are used to support online shopping. It is important that development is designed with the needs of home delivery vehicles in mind to ensure that such vehicles can access the development and can deliver goods and supplies without compromising the safety and access of pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.

5.40 The National Planning Policy Framework requires that development should be designed to incorporate facilities for charging plug-in and other ultra-low emission vehicles. This is consistent with the aim of reducing the impacts of development on air quality. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (a cross government body) has prepared a Strategy for Low Emission Vehicles in the UK. This emphasises the Government’s commitment to emerging low-emission technologies, particularly recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells. Part of this strategy seeks to ensure investment in refuelling infrastructure is made so that this is not a barrier to the development of these technologies. The Policy seeks to support this by requiring all development proposals for one or more dwellings and where off street parking provision is made (for instance in parking courts, on driveways or in garages), to provide recharging points. Unless it can be demonstrated that it would undermine the viability of developments, a recharging point should be provided for each off street parking space

5.41 All highway infrastructure will be required to comply with national guidance and standards set out in Manual for Streets, Manual for Streets 2 - wider application of the principles, the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges and any subsequent updates to these documents. These provide guidance to applicants on assessing the overall transport requirements for new developments, the types of transport improvements likely to be justified, the layout and design of new accesses and the procedures and agreements which will be used.

5.42 It is acknowledged that in some locations the most appropriate highway access may not accord with other policy objectives, such as achieving good layout and design. The Council will expect applicants to demonstrate how they have sought to balance these competing objectives and where they have made clear choices between policies.

(24) TR2 Traffic Generation

All large scale developments which result in the generation of significant traffic movements, should be supported by a Transport Assessment and where necessary a Travel Plan, to demonstrate practical and effective measures to be taken to avoid the adverse impacts of traffic.

Any development that results in significant negative impacts on health and wellbeing of people in the area as a result of pollution, noise or vibration caused by traffic generation will not be permitted unless effective mitigation can be achieved.

Any development that results in significant negative impacts on air quality within identified Air Quality Management Areas or on the health and wellbeing of people in the area as a result of pollution should be supported an air quality assessment and, where necessary, a mitigation plan to demonstrate practical and effective measures to be taken to avoid the adverse impacts.

A Transport Statement will be required for development that has relatively small transport implications in line with the Guidance on Transport Assessments.

All measures required in the Policy should take full account of the cumulative impact of all development proposed in this Plan (and any other known developments) on traffic generation and air quality.

Explanation

5.43 Road traffic can have a significant negative impact on the environment in particular through the effect on air quality, noise, vibration and climate change. It is also linked to associated health problems. Unchecked growth of road traffic can lead to congestion and impinge on the achievement of the economic, social and environmental objectives within this Plan. It is important therefore that major development proposals provide measures to reduce the impact of vehicular movements, including realistic, safe and easy alternatives to the private car.

5.44 Transport Assessments, prepared in line with the Department for Transport’s Guidance on Transport Assessment, are required alongside planning applications for major development to demonstrate that they positively contribute to the objectives of this Plan. Transport Assessments will be required for all large developments in line with Appendix B of the Guidance on Transport Assessment (or any subsequent updates) produced jointly by the Departments for Transport and Communities & Local Government.

5.45 Transport Assessments will also be required for development that forms part of a larger development area that requires access to a common transport corridor and for development that is likely to have a cumulative impact in conjunction with other development proposals included within this Plan. Transport Assessments will also be required where, due to its location, the development could have a significant impact in transport terms.

5.46 A Transport Statement may be required for developments that have relatively small transport implications in line with the principles set out in the Guidance on Transport Assessment. Where proposals are likely to have an impact on the trunk road network, the Highways Agency should be consulted and reference should be made to the Highways Agency’s Circular 02/2013 - The Strategic Road Network and the Delivery of Sustainable Development (or any subsequent updates) to establish what level of transport appraisal is appropriate.

5.47 Air quality is a particular issue in a number of locations within the District’s Towns. These areas have been declared Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). Transport is the primary cause of air quality issues in these areas. Significant development proposals have the potential to add significant quantities of additional road vehicles on to the transport network which, unless addressed, is likely to have a negative impact on air quality in general and specifically within the AQMAs, either through additional traffic volumes or reduced traffic speeds. Development proposals should be assessed against the Warwick District Council’s Low Emission Strategy Guidance Planning (April 2014). Development proposals which generate traffic should demonstrate how they have complied with the three stage process set out in Low Emission Strategy Guidance, including where necessary undertaking an Air Quality Assessment and appropriate mitigation. Appropriate mitigation measures and a programme of implementation will need to be demonstrated, for example highway infrastructure improvements or support for public transport services.

5.48 Mitigation measures may also be linked with the contents of a Travel Plan. The Travel Plan is a strategy for reducing travel demand in order to minimise the number of motor vehicles visiting a development. It should consider the traffic implications of journeys to and from the development and set targets for travel by means other than the private car.

5.49 Travel Plans will be required for all non-residential developments in line with the Department for Transport’s “Good Practice Guidelines: Delivering Travel Plan through the Planning Process” or any subsequent revisions or replacement guidance. They should ideally form part of the Transport Assessment and be submitted alongside the planning application. Development proposals in areas where public transport is limited, e.g. where services operate with frequency levels of less than one an hour, may also be required to submit Travel Plans. Furthermore, the significant development of education facilities will be expected to produce a Travel Plan.

5.50 The County Council have produced a Practice Note on Travel Plans for Developers (May, 2009), which provides further guidance on their content and how they will be enforced and monitored. The guidance advises developers to consult with the County Council at an early stage to assess whether a Transport Assessment and/or Travel Plan are required and what their nature and scope should be. In addition, whilst considering proposals the Council will give regard to other policies in the plan in particular TP1 (access) and DP9 (pollution).

(11) TR3 Transport Improvements

Contributions towards transport improvements will be sought from all development that will lead to an increase in traffic on the road network. The level of contributions will be calculated in accordance with the Infrastructure Delivery Plan or any subsequent revision. Contributions should include provision for public transport, footpaths, cycleways and towpaths both internal and external to development sites.

Explanation

5.51 Developments of one or more dwellings or other developments that will lead to an increase in traffic on the road network will be expected to contribute towards measures to mitigate the impacts, including provision for sustainable forms of transport. These contributions should take account of the direct impacts of development on the surrounding transport network as well as the cumulative impact of all development proposed in this Plan and other known developments. This will ensure that all development brought forward within the Plan Period contributes to the necessary and identified costs of providing transport infrastructure across the whole of the District’s network (see the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP)). The strategic transport infrastructure requirements and the justification for these are set out in the IDP. In addition to the requirements set out in the IDP, it is likely that contributions to mitigate against specific localised impacts will also be required.

5.52 Transport Infrastructure needs to provide for all forms of transport, including sustainable forms of transport such as public transport, cycling and walking. Encouraging sustainable forms of transport is consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework and with other policies in this Plan. It is therefore vital that development makes contributions to sustainable forms of transport in line with the Infrastructure Delivery Plan. This includes contributions that may be required as a result of the cumulative impact of all the development proposed in this Plan.

(2) TR4 Parking

Development will only be permitted that makes provision for parking which:-

  1. does not encourage unnecessary car use;

  2. has regard to the location and accessibility of the site by means other than the private car;

  3. does not result in on-street car parking detrimental to highway safety;

  4. takes account of the parking needs of disabled car users, motorcyclists and cyclists; and

  5. takes account of the requirements of commercial vehicles.

Development will be expected to comply with the parking standards set out in the most recent Parking Supplementary Planning Document.

Explanation

5.53 Provision of parking is an essential part of both new commercial and residential developments. However, in providing parking, it is important to strike the right balance between, on the one hand providing too much parking which can discourage greater use of more sustainable forms of transport and can compromise densities and efficient use of land and, on the other hand, providing insufficient parking which can lead to inappropriate parking (potentially resulting in environmental and safety impacts) and can restrict the accessibility and mobility needs of people and businesses.

5.54 The availability of car parking can influence the means of transport people choose for their journeys. In order therefore to encourage greater use of public transport, walking and cycling as a means of transport, excessive levels of car parking will be resisted on new developments. Such an approach will support initiatives aimed at reducing congestion and promoting sustainable transport within the National Planning Policy Framework and the Local Transport Plan.

5.55 Parking levels on new development need to recognise the accessibility and mobility needs of people and businesses and that these may be different in town centre, edge of urban and rural areas. The objective of this policy will be to seek to balance these competing aims.

5.56 The Council has an adopted Parking Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to inform this policy which will provide guidance on levels of parking considered necessary to serve development, having regard to its nature and location. Applicants will be expected to provide car parking on new developments in accordance with these standards. Proposals which meet maximum levels of parking will be appropriate in most circumstances. However, the Council will allow standards of parking below maximum levels where it can be demonstrated that this is appropriate as a result of effective alternative travel proposals. For travel destinations for which the submission of an effective Travel Plan is required in line with Policy TP2, it will be necessary to ensure that the Travel Plan integrates proposals for parking with proposals to encourage use of sustainable modes of transport. This may mean limiting provision of on-site parking and investing in alternative modes of transport instead.

5.57 The Parking SPD will be reviewed to ensure it is consistent with National planning policy and the most recent census data regarding local car ownership and car usage.

5.58 Applicants will also be expected to provide parking for disabled car users, motorcyclists and cyclists in accordance with standards set out in the Supplementary Planning Document. The provision of such dedicated parking space on new developments will help to promote social inclusion and cater for all people, particularly those who do not have regular use of a car. The Council will expect the design and location of these spaces to be integrated with the design of the development and take account of the respective needs of the various end users.

(26) TR5 Safeguarding for Transport Infrastructure

Development within the areas safeguarded for the following transport infrastructure, as shown on the Policy Map, will not be permitted where it could inhibit the effective delivery of the infrastructure:

  1. High Speed Rail 2

  2. Kenilworth Station

  3. Areas of search for park and ride

Explanation

5.59 Transport Infrastructure requires land to be made available to support its delivery. The Policies Map shows safeguarded areas for the following major transport infrastructure:

5.59.1 High Speed Rail 2 (HS2):Approximately 10 miles of the proposed HS2 route crosses Warwick District. In accordance with the HS2 Safeguarding Directions (July 2013), this Plan is required to safeguard land for the HS2 route and associated land on either side of the route.

5.59.2 Kenilworth Station: A new Station is proposed at Kenilworth as part of the Warwickshire Local Transport Plan and as part of the NUCKLE rail improvements running from Royal Leamington Spa to Nuneaton. Warwickshire County Council has identified and secured funding to deliver this. The land for the new Station is therefore safeguarded.

5.59.3 Areas of search for park and ride. The Strategic Transport Assessment Phase 3 (May 2013) identified the potential for a park and ride facility to the south of Warwick and Leamington. The park and ride proposal relies (at least in part) on existing bus services (rather than bespoke services). As such the location of the park and ride needs to be close to existing or proposed bus services. The areas of search identified in the Policies Map indicate the preferred broad locations until such time that

  • a park and ride facility has been granted planning permission or

  • clear evidence has been established which shows that a park and ride facility is not viable or desirable.

Permission will not be granted for developments within the areas of search which could inhibit the provision of an effective park and ride facility. The Phase 3 Strategic Transport Assessment highlighted the need to undertake further study work to establish the viability, policy context and potential management arrangements. This work is being carried out as part of the Alternative Traffic Management Study being undertaken by Warwickshire County Council, to be published in the Spring of 2014. Should this study demonstrate that a park and ride is both viable and desirable, work will begin to identify the preferred sites from within the areas of search.

TR6 Safe Operation of Aerodromes

Development within the safeguarded areas, as defined on the Policies Map, will not be permitted which inhibits the safe operation of an officially safeguarded civil aerodrome

Explanation

5.60 Aerodromes: Coventry Airport is located within the District and Birmingham Airport lies approximately 6 miles beyond the District’s boundary. Both these airports are officially safeguarded civil aerodromes as defined by DfT Circular 1/2003. The technical nature and importance of safe operations mean that development proposals as set out below, will be unacceptable unless airport operators have been consulted and have confirmed that the proposals will not inhibit the safety of their operations in respect of:

  • the height or detailed design of buildings within the safeguarding zones

  • proposed development in the vicinity of the aerodrome which has the potential to interfere with the operation of navigational aids, radio aids or telecommunications systems

  • proposed development which has lighting proposals which have the potential to distract or confuse pilots

  • proposed development likely to increase the number of birds or the risk of bird strike

  • other proposed aviation uses within the safeguarding zone.

References

  • National Planning Policy Framework 2012

  • Manual for Streets (Department for Communities and Local Government and Department for Transport, 2007))

  • Manual for streets 2 - wider application of the principles’ (Chartered Institution of Highways and Transport, September 2010)

  • Design Manual for Roads and Bridges produced by the Highways Agency

  • Driving the Future Today: A Strategy for ultra low emission vehicles in the UK (Office for Low Emission Vehicles, 2013)

  • Practice Note on Travel Plans for Developers (Warwickshire County Council May, 2009)

  • Guidance on Transport Assessment (Department for Transport and Department for Communities & Local Government)

  • “Good Practice Guidelines: Delivering Travel Plan through the Planning Process” (Department for Transport 2009)

  • Guidance on Planning Consultation Requirements – Civil Aviation Authority 2012

  • Low Emission Strategy Guidance for Developers (Warwick District Council, 2014)

  • Infrastructure Delivery Plan

  • Warwick District Strategic Transport Assessment 2014

  • Warwick District Council Parking Supplementary Planning Document

  • Circular 02/2013 - The Strategic Road Network and the Delivery of Sustainable Development (Highways Agency)

  • Circular 1/2003 (ODPM and Department for Transport)

(1) Healthy, Safe and Inclusive Communities

5.61 The Council recognises the important role that spatial planning has in the creation of healthy, safe and inclusive communities. Many of the policies of this Plan will have an impact on these matters and it is important that community needs are supported through appropriate physical and social infrastructure, as well as other facilities and services that contribute to improving peoples overall quality of life, physical and mental health, and well-being.

5.62 Compared with other areas in Warwickshire, Warwick District (as a whole) has a healthy population with higher than average life expectancy and lower levels of health deprivation and obesity. However, this hides the fact that the gap in life expectancy between the least and most deprived areas of the District is over 11 years. The rate of long term illness or disability in Warwick District is 14.8% of the population which is below the national average; however this still presents significant challenges to local health providers and budgets. Measures to encourage healthier lifestyles by changing future attitudes to health and exercise will be important for the future of Warwick District and its population over the current Plan period and beyond.

5.63 Another important factor that can support healthy lifestyles is ensuring that sufficient land is made available to all for play, sport and recreation. Good access to open space can also facilitate social inclusion bringing groups together.

5.64 Levels of recorded crime across Warwick District are low in comparison to other areas, although the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour is an issue in some communities. Levels of crime and disorder are important factors in determining where people want to live. Everyone should be able to feel safe in their surroundings as this is a key contributor to people’s quality of life and a fundamental element of community cohesion.

(13) HS1 Healthy, Safe and Inclusive Communities

The potential for creating healthy, safe and inclusive communities will be taken into account when considering all development proposals. Support will be given to proposals which:

  1. provide homes and developments which are designed to meet the needs of older people and those with disabilities;

  2. provide energy efficient housing to help reduce fuel poverty;

  3. design and layout development to minimise the potential for crime and anti-social behaviour and improve community safety;

  4. contribute to the development of a high quality, safe and convenient walking and cycling network;

  5. contribute to a high quality, attractive and safe public realm to encourage social interaction and facilitate movement on foot and by bicycle;

  6. seek to encourage healthy lifestyles by providing opportunities for formal and informal physical activity, exercise, recreation and play and, where possible, healthy diets;

  7. improve the quality and quantity of green infrastructure networks and protect and enhance physical access, including public rights of way to open space and green infrastructure;

  8. deliver, or contribute to, new and improved health services and facilities in locations where they can be accessed by sustainable transport modes;

  9. provide good access to local shops, employment opportunities, services, schools and community facilities, and;

  10. do not involve the loss of essential community buildings and social infrastructure.

Explanation

5.65 The Marmot Review report ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’ published in 2010 highlighted that socio-economic inequalities, including the built environment, have a clear effect on the health outcomes of the population. One of the key policy objectives aimed at reducing the gap in life expectancy between people of lower and higher socio-economic backgrounds, is to “create and develop healthy and sustainable places and communities”.

5.66 The Council recognises the important role that planning has in the creation of healthy, safe and inclusive communities and the positive benefits that providing good quality development can deliver. Increasing access to opportunities to partake in physical activity, exercise, and opportunities for recreation and play have marked benefits on both physical and mental health, as well as child development. The policy therefore seeks to deliver good, well considered developments that are safe and have appropriate facilities accessible to all sectors of society.

5.67 In delivering healthier communities the Council is committed to working in partnership with local health providers to ensure successful development outcomes and the appropriate delivery of measures to reduce identified health and wellbeing issues/inequalities. Studies such as the Warwickshire Joint Strategic Needs Assessment will continue to provide a view of the current and future health and wellbeing needs and inequalities of the local population.

5.68 The Council is also keen to continue working with Public Health Warwickshire to monitor the changing health profiles of the District’s population and develop recommendations for the continued integration of health and wellbeing into planning decisions and associated outcomes in the local environment.

(4) HS2 Protecting Open Space, Sport and Recreation Facilities

Development on, or change of use of open spaces and sport and recreation facilities will not be permitted unless:

  1. an alternative can be provided which is at least equivalent in terms of size, quality, accessibility, usefulness and attractiveness, and a management plan is submitted to ensure the future viability of the provision, or

  2. there is a robust assessment demonstrating a lack of need for the asset currently or in the future.

Development on open spaces for sport and recreation purposes will be permitted subject to the proposal being of sufficient benefit to clearly outweigh the loss.

Explanation

5.69 There are multifunctional benefits of existing open spaces and sport and recreation facilities. They have a positive impact on people’s quality of life, particularly in terms of their health and wellbeing. The aim of this policy is to provide strong protection for valuable open space, sport and recreation facilities and where proposed development would result in the loss, the policy will require appropriate compensation measures. The Council’s Green Space Strategy, Indoor Sports and Built Facilities and Playing Pitch Assessments (and any future updates to these studies) will provide the basis for assessing proposals. The Council’s Green Space and Leisure Officers, and/or Sport England will be consulted on proposals affecting open space or sporting uses.

(3) HS3 Local Green Space

The Council supports the principle of designating land as Local Green Space. Local communities, through Neighbourhood Plans, may designate Local Green Spaces which are demonstrably special to their local community and of particular local significance in accordance with national planning policy.

Explanation

5.70 Local and Neighbourhood Plans have the opportunity to designate areas of particular local importance as Local Green Space, which affords similar protection to that of Green Belt. The Council considers that it is appropriate for local people to determine what areas of open space are valuable to them through Neighbourhood Plans in accordance with national planning policy.

(5) HS4 Improvements to Open Space, Sport and Recreation Facilities

Contributions from developments will be sought to provide, improve and maintain appropriate open space, sport and recreational facilities to meet local and District wide needs. The exact level and form of contributions required will have regard to the location, nature and size of development. Where appropriate, applicants will be required to ensure that provision is made for:

  1. well designed open space in accordance with the requirements of the Open Space Supplementary Planning Document (or any subsequent document);

  2. appropriate children’s play facilities which are visible from nearby houses but not so close they would cause disturbance, and;

  3. outdoor and/or indoor sport accessible by walking, cycling and public transport.

Applicants will be expected to include a proportion of the site to meet its requirements for open space, sport and recreation requirements, except where it would be more appropriate to provide, improve or enhance recreation facilities off-site provided that this is within its catchment area. Wherever possible, good connectivity to the existing public rights of way network will be required.

Explanation

5.71 New developments can have a significant impact upon existing open space, recreation and leisure provision. This can put pressure on existing resources and creating new demand for such assets from all section of the community, including young people. It is entirely appropriate that new developments help to meet the costs of addressing these needs. The Council has prepared evidence to support this approach. The Green Space Strategy and Open Space Audit identify deficiencies in quality and quantity and how development can help rectify this. For sport, the Council is currently finalising its suite of evidence relating to both built and indoor facilities and playing fields. This evidence includes modelling undertaken, in accordance with approved Sport England guidance, which understands the existing situation in relation to provision in terms of quality, quantity and accessibility and sets out what provision will be required in the future when population growth is taken into account. Periodically, the Council will update its evidence relating to sport, open space and recreation in accordance with national recommendations in order to ensure it continues to provide the basis for sound planning and provision.

5.72 The public rights of way network within the District provides a valuable asset for local people to assist in healthy lifestyles and reduce reliability on private motor vehicles. Development proposals, whether in urban or rural settings, should seek to enhance connectivity to these networks, in particular where there is already limited access. Warwickshire’s Rights of Way and Recreational Highway Strategy (2011 -2026) can provide direction on this basis.

(4) HS5 Directing Open Space, Sport and Recreation Facilities

The Council will support proposals for new and improved open space, sport and recreation facilities in accordance with relevant priorities. Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that they:

  1. address any shortfall in provision identified in the Built and Indoor Sports Facilities Strategy, Playing Pitch Strategy, Green Infrastructure Study and/or Green Space Strategy, and;

  2. for sport and recreation facilities, accord with the town centres first principle outlined in national planning policy and elsewhere in this Plan, unless:

    1. the proposal is accessible to the community it proposes to serve by means other than the private car; and

    2. there is a need to enhance an existing facility or provide a new facility that has specific locational requirements.

Subject to the above criteria, the Council will support proposals for shared sports facilities with other community uses, including at educational centres, where the sports facility also serves the local area and there are clear benefits of combining with other community uses.

The Council considers the Green Belt an appropriate location for the provision of outdoor sport and outdoor recreation as long as it preserves the openness of the Green Belt and does not conflict with the purposes of including land within it.

Explanation

5.73 Development proposals for open space, sport and recreation uses should address identified needs and be accessible to the communities they propose to serve. The Green Space Strategy sets out the requirements for open space within the District. For sport and recreation uses developers should be guided by the emerging Sport and Leisure Facilities studies within the District.

5.74 In the first instance, sport and recreational uses should be directed to town centres in accordance with national policy. There may be circumstances where open space, sport and recreational uses are more suited to areas outside of town centres. For open space this may be because it is required as part of a new development. For example with regard to sport it may be more appropriate to enhance an existing facility, co-locate or combine with other community uses, at other sustainable locations, to ensure long term viability.

5.75 In accordance with national planning policy the Council considers the provision of outdoor sport and recreation as a beneficial use of the Green Belt. Therefore development proposals to use land in the Green Belt for sporting or recreational purposes will be supported.

(5) HS6 Creating Healthy Communities

Development Proposals will be permitted provided that they address the following key requirements associated with delivering health benefits to the community:

  1. good access to healthcare facilities;

  2. opportunities for incidental healthy exercise including safe and convenient walking and cycling networks;

  3. opportunities for community cohesion by the provision of accessible services and community facilities and places and opportunities for people to interact regardless of;

  4. high quality housing outcomes to meet the needs of all age groups in society (including the right mix by size and tenure);

  5. Access to high quality and safe green or open spaces, and;

  6. Access to opportunities to partake in indoor and outdoor sport and recreation.

Explanation

5.76 It is important that new developments are designed to a high standard to ensure that they have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of both existing and future communities in Warwick District. The design and layout of new housing developments in particular can do much to influence the health of its residents by changing people’s behaviour towards embracing a healthy lifestyle.

5.77 The Council is committed to working with Public Health Warwickshire and the Warwickshire Health and Well Being Board to ensure developers and their consultants give full consideration to health and wellbeing outcomes in the design and delivery of development proposals. This will be particularly important in relation to the master planning and formulation of planning applications for strategic housing and employment allocations in this Plan.

5.78 Public Health Warwickshire is to produce health guidance that will assist in the assessment of planning applications to ensure good development outcomes. The Council is also developing a Health and Wellbeing strategy that will also inform and influence decisions that it makes with regard to developing healthy communities across Warwick District, reflecting its commitment to the goal of setting health issues high on its agenda. The Council will also, through its infrastructure planning, liaise with the relevant agencies including Public Health Warwickshire, NHS England, NHS Property Services, South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the South Warwickshire Foundation Trust to ensure that new development contributes to the delivery of additional healthcare provision and infrastructure as required throughout the plan period.

5.79 Good access to healthcare facilities is essential and is particularly relevant in relation to housing developments for the elderly and less physically able people in society. Access to well designed, energy efficient housing stock to cater for all sectors of society will be also be beneficial in reducing health inequalities and there should be an appropriate mix by type (size) and tenure to reduce housing waiting lists and create neighbourhoods that are welcoming, accessible and inviting for all regardless of age, health or disability.

5.80 Opportunities to partake in exercise can be provided in many ways. Good footpath and cycling networks are fundamental in creating environments where people can move safely and benefit from opportunities to access local services and facilities. Similarly, access to high quality public open space and recreational facilities for sport and leisure can help motivate people to partake in healthy activities/lifestyles.

5.81 The protection of existing, and future provision of local shops and services and community facilities is also central in delivering sustainable developments that reduce dependency on the use of private motor vehicles. This brings two-fold benefits of increasing the opportunity to walk and cycle as well as ensuring that there are appropriate places for people to meet and interact.

5.82 There are a wide range of other policies contained in this this Plan that will assist in the aim of ensuring good development and are integral in the delivery of positive health benefits.

5.83 It is important that new developments meet the requirements of these policies and that collectively they deliver good development conducive to encouraging people to partake in healthier lifestyles.

5.84 It will be important to monitor the on-going impacts of policy requirements on the delivery of healthier communities. The Director of Public Health’s annual report will be a vehicle for providing information about the health of local communities and identifying health gaps and priorities that need to be addressed.

(3) HS7 Crime Prevention

The layout and design of development will be encouraged to minimise the potential for crime and anti-social behaviour and improve community safety. Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that they:

  1. orientate and design buildings to enable natural surveillance of public spaces and parking areas;

  2. define private, public and communal spaces;

  3. create a sense of ownership of the local environment; and

  4. make provision for appropriate security measures, including lighting, landscaping and fencing, as an integral part of the development.

Explanation

5.85 The appearance of development and its relationship with its surrounding environment can have a significant effect on the perceived and experienced safety of an area. The securing of new development that can discourage anti-social behaviour is therefore important. This can be achieved through careful consideration of design and layout with regard to security. Reducing crime and the fear of crime is recognised as an important priority by the Council and it is also required under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to take account of crime and disorder in all of its work.

5.86 The objective of this policy is to design developments, including conversion schemes, which minimise crime and anti-social behaviour. Consideration should be given to enabling natural surveillance and incorporating safety measures in the layout and design of new development. The ability to incorporate security features should also be considered as an integral part of the development.

5.87 It is acknowledged that the most appropriate layout and design for promoting crime prevention may not accord with other policy objectives, such as achieving good design or securing accessible layouts. The Council will expect applicants to demonstrate how they have sought to balance these competing objectives and where they have made clear choices between policies.

(2) HS8 Protecting Community Facilities

Redevelopment or change of use of community facilities that serve local needs will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that:

  1. There are similar facilities accessible to the local community by means other than the car, and either;

  2. The facility is redundant and no other user is willing to acquire and manage it, or;

  3. There is an assessment demonstrating a lack of need for the facility within the local community.

Explanation

5.88 It is important that existing community facilities serving local needs are protected and that additional new facilities should be properly located. This can, however, raise problems with adjacent uses, particularly where the community facilities are located within predominantly residential areas. The historic fabric of the District's towns also can cause problems where the use may not be compatible with the character of the building or area. The council will support proposals to enhance the quality of existing facilities which meet a local need.

5.89 The National Planning Policy Framework supports the principle of locating day to day facilities which need to be near their clients in local and rural service centres and in locations likely to be accessible without the use of a car.

5.90 For the purposes of these policies, the reference to community facilities includes a wide range of uses within Use Class D1 such as places of worship, dental and medical surgeries, community halls, local education facilities, creches and nurseries for the care of children. In exceptional circumstances, the Council may apply this policy to other facilities that meet a community need where the grant of permission would result in a demonstrable shortfall in the locality.

5.91 In recent years, the Council has received many applications for the conversion of individual properties to uses such as dentists and nurseries. In such cases the Council will require the applicant to demonstrate that the proposed use will not detract from the character of the area or affect the amenity of local residents in accordance with other policies of this Plan.

5.92 For the redevelopment or change of use of community facilities when demonstrating need the applicant will be required to provide evidence to prove that the facility has been actively marketed for a community use for at least a period of twelve months.

5.93 In cases proposing the development of greenfield land the council will expect the applicant to demonstrate that all viable previously developed land options have been investigated.

References

  • Green Space Strategy (2012)

  • Parks and Open Spaces Audit 2008

  • Green Infrastructure Study (2010)

  • Indoor Sport and Built Facilities Study (2013)

  • Playing Pitch Study (2014)

  • Sport and Leisure Strategy

(1) Climate Change

5.94 It is widely accepted that the climate is warming and that the impacts will be felt into the future even if CO2 emissions are reduced significantly. Climate change will therefore present major challenges affecting people's lives, homes and businesses which need to be taken into account in the delivery of new development through this Plan.

5.95 The Council is committed to addressing the causes of climate change by reducing carbon emissions and increasing the generation of energy from low carbon and renewable sources. Nationally a target has been set to reduce carbon dioxide from 1990 levels by 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 and to source 15% of UK energy from renewable sources by 2020. It is anticipated that there is the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions in Warwick District by 12% (128,000 tCO2 per year) over the next 15 years.

(4) CC1 Planning for Climate Change Adaptation

All development is required to be designed to be resilient to, and adapt to the future impacts of, climate change through the inclusion of the following adaptation measures where appropriate:

  1. using layout, building orientation, construction techniques and materials and natural ventilation methods to mitigate against rising temperatures;

  2. optimising the use of multi-functional green infrastructure (including water features, green roofs and planting) for urban cooling, local flood risk management and to provide access to outdoor space for shading, in accordance with Policy NE1;

  3. incorporating water efficiency measures, encouraging the use of grey water and rainwater recycling, in accordance with Policy FW3;

  4. minimising vulnerability to flood risk by locating development in areas of low flood risk and including mitigation measures including SUDS in accordance with Policy FW2;

Applicants will be required to set out how the requirements of the policy have been complied with including justification for why the above measures have not been incorporated.

Explanation

5.96 It is anticipated that the future climate in Warwick District will be characterised by:

  • warmer, wetter winters with average temperatures 1.3 C higher by the 2020s and 2.1 C higher by 2050s with 5% more rain;

  • hotter, drier summers with average temperatures 1.5 C higher by the 2020s and 2.6 C higher by the 2050s with 7% less rain, and;

  • more frequent extreme weather events

5.97 The effect of these changes on the built environment will include:

  • heat stress - buildings will be more likely to overheat due to higher summer temperatures requiring the need for cooling;

  • water stress - decreased water availability and water quality due to less rainfall;

  • increased risk of subsidence and heave due to hotter summers with less rainfall, affecting buildings and underground infrastructure;

  • risk to buildings from wind and extreme weather events, and;

  • more intense rainfall events compromising existing drainage systems resulting in an increased likelihood of flooding.

5.98 The Council recognises the importance of ensuring these impacts are taken into account in the way new buildings are designed and the way we use the built environment. National planning policy acknowledges that planning has a key role to play in minimising vulnerability and providing resilience to the impacts of climate change and that local authorities should adopt proactive strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

5.99 It is important that buildings are designed to ensure resilience not just in the short term but throughout the anticipated lifetime of the building. This should include designing buildings to keep cool without using power through the use of appropriate construction materials, layout and building orientation and the use of green infrastructure for urban cooling and shading. Consideration should also be given to the need for water conservation through a range of water efficiency measures such as the use of water butts through to grey water recycling systems.

5.100 Some of the measures identified in this policy also fulfil other functions. For example, the appropriate provision of green infrastructure also has an important recreational and ecological role. Adapting to the future climate should therefore be seen as important in the delivery of well-designed sustainable communities.

5.101 It is also important to ensure that new development avoids areas of high flood risk and is designed to minimise surface water flooding through the use of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDs).

5.102 It is recognised that the scale and nature of certain developments may mean some of the adaptation measures listed would not be appropriate. For example, extensions or change of use proposals may not present the opportunity to incorporate green infrastructure. Where this is the case, applicants should demonstrate that they have sought to maximise resilience to the impacts of climate change in other ways.

5.103 The Council will expect the applicant to demonstrate how the objectives of this policy have been met in the Sustainable Buildings Statement.

(4) CC2 Planning for Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Generation

Proposals for new low carbon and renewable energy technologies (including associated infrastructure) will be supported in principle subject to all of the following criteria being demonstrated:

  1. the proposal has been designed, in terms of its location and scale, to minimise any adverse impacts on adjacent land uses and local residential amenity;

  2. the proposal has been designed to minimise the impact (including any cumulative impacts) on the natural environment in terms of landscape, and ecology and visual impact;

  3. the design would not result in substantial harm to any adjacent heritage assets and local areas of historical and architectural distinctiveness;

  4. where appropriate, the scheme can link in with proposals being brought forward through the Council's Low Carbon Action Plan and any other future Climate Change strategies;

  5. the scheme maximises appropriate opportunities to address the energy needs of neighbouring uses (for example linking to existing or emerging District Heating Systems);

  6. for biomass, it should be demonstrated that fuel can be obtained from a sustainable source and the need for transportation will be minimised, and;

  7. for proposals for hydropower the application should normally be accompanied by a flood risk assessment.

Explanation

5.104 The importance of increasing the amount of energy from low carbon and renewable technologies in reducing carbon emissions, helping to ensure fuel security and stimulating investment is recognised at all levels. The Council is committed to addressing energy usage in its own building stock through the delivery of projects in the Low Carbon Action Plan including opportunities for small scale District Heating Systems.

5.105 National planning policy is clear that planning has an important role to play in supporting the delivery of new renewable and low carbon energy infrastructure. National Planning Policy is clear that local authorities should take a positive approach and applicants should not be required to justify the overall need for renewable or low carbon energy proposals. It is recognised that even small scale projects contribute towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions. However it is acknowledged that this does not mean that the need for green energy overrides environmental protections and the planning concerns of local communities.

5.106 The delivery of such proposals therefore needs to be carefully managed in the context of the natural and historic environment and in relation to the impact on local amenity. In balancing these objectives it is important to acknowledge that the impact of specific technologies will differ and vary by location. The technical considerations affecting the siting of certain technologies should also be taken into account. For example for biomass, access to sustainable sources of fuel and, where necessary, appropriate transport links. For wind turbines, predicted wind resource and information on air safeguarding are important, and, for hydro power, access to adequate water sources is essential.

5.107 The District has a rich historic character with a considerable number of Listed Buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments some of which are of national significance. Care will be taken in assessing proposals for renewable and low carbon technologies to protect the setting of any heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance.

5.108 Careful consideration will be given to the visual, landscape and ecological impacts of proposals particularly in the case of large scale technologies. It is recognised that depending on their scale and design wind turbines and solar technologies, particularly large scale solar farms, can have a negative impact on the rural landscape. Any proposals in the Green Belt will need to demonstrate the very special circumstances to justify development.

Solar Power

5.109 Large scale solar farms should be focused on previously developed and non-agricultural land. Where green field sites are proposed it should be demonstrated that the use of any agricultural land is necessary and where applicable the proposal allows for continued agricultural use. Where possible best and most versatile agricultural land should be protected. Given that solar farms are temporary structures the Council may apply planning conditions to ensure that the land is restored to its previous green field use it the event that the operation ceases. Specific consideration will be given to the effect of glint and glare on neighbouring uses and aircraft safety including additional impacts if the array follows the movement of the sun. Applicants should demonstrate that opportunities to mitigate landscape and visual impacts through for example, screening with native hedges have been maximised.

Wind Power

5.110 For proposals for wind technology, consideration should in particular be given to safety in relation to the distance to power lines and buildings, the impact on air traffic, Ministry of Defence operations, weather radar and the strategic road network. The Council will also expect the applicant to demonstrate that any cumulative visual and landscape impacts have been considered. For example, the degree to which the development would become a significant or defining characteristic of the landscape and a feature in particular views and the impact on people experiencing those views. In assessing this consideration will be given to the sensitivity of the landscape.

Hydropower

5.111 In the case of hydro power, the applicant should undertake early engagement with the Council and the Environment Agency to identify any potential planning issues and any proposal should normally be accompanied by a flood risk assessment.

Protecting local amenity is an important consideration which will be given proper weight in considering proposals. Applicants should demonstrate how the design, siting and location of any proposal has sought to minimise the impact.

(11) CC3 Buildings Standards Requirements

Residential buildings

All new dwellings are required to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 from the date of adoption of the Local Plan and level 5 from 2016 (or any future national equivalent) unless it can be demonstrated that it is financially unviable.

Non-residential buildings

All non-residential development over 500 sq. m is required to achieve as a minimum BREEAM standard 'very good' (or any future national equivalent) unless it can be demonstrated that it is financially unviable.

In meeting the carbon reduction targets set out in the Building Regulations and in the above Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM standards, the Council will expect development to be designed in accordance with the following energy hierarchy:

  1. Reduce energy demand through energy efficiency measures

  2. Supply energy through efficient means (i.e. low carbon technologies)

  3. Utilise renewable energy generation

The Council will expect applicants to consider the potential to incorporate large scale decentralised district heating networks such as Combined Heat and Power (CHP) on the Strategic Sites identified in this Plan.

Applicants will be required to submit a Sustainable Buildings Statement to demonstrate how the requirements of Climate Change policies in this Plan and any other relevant local climate change strategies have been met.

Explanation

5.113 National targets for achieving zero carbon for residential development by 2016 and for non-residential development by 2019 will be taken forward through the progressive tightening of the Building Regulations. The Council will not require development to exceed national requirements in terms of carbon reduction but is committed to ensuring that other elements of sustainable construction which will not be delivered through building regulations keep pace (for example pollution, ecology, sustainable use of materials in building design).

5.114 The Council will apply this policy to all new dwellings on developments of one dwelling or more and non-residential development of 500sqm or over (changes of use are exempt from the policy). The threshold set for non-residential development seeks to ensure that the requirements of the policy are not imposed on modest structures and therefore avoids unnecessary burdens being placed on development. Buildings without heating and water will not be required to comply with the policy.

5.115 The Council will require new development to meet the Code for Sustainable Homes level in line with mandatory building regulations for carbon reduction unless it is abolished or replaced with an alternative equivalent national standard. In March 2014 following the Housing Standards Review the government announced its intention to consolidate many requirements of the Code into the Building Regulations. This will require considerable changes to the Code and a reconsideration of its role.

5.116 Until these changes are finalised the Council will expect applicants to comply with the requirements of this policy. In the event that no equivalent standard is adopted development will still be required to comply with the energy hierarchy in meeting the Building Regulations.

5.117 In meeting this policy the Council will encourage new residential development to meet a standard of 90 litres/person/day (lpd) in terms of water efficiency (see Policy FW3). Where possible applicants should consider meeting the minimum water requirements for the code levels specified in the policy.

5.118 For non-residential development the Council will expect buildings to be designed in line with BREEAM standards which represent best practice in sustainable design for non-residential buildings.

5.119 Developments exempt from this policy will still be required to meet standards for sustainable construction set out in building regulations and are encouraged where possible to incorporate measures required through this policy.

5.120 It is accepted that there may be instances where achieving the requirements of this policy will not be financially viable. Where this is the case the Council will expect applicants to set out in the Sustainable Buildings Statement, by way of a financial appraisal, why the requirements of this policy cannot be met.

5.121 It is important that overall energy demand is reduced before looking to alternative methods of energy generation. Therefore in meeting mandatory carbon reduction targets the Council will expect developments to be designed in line with the energy hierarchy which seeks to minimise energy use first.

5.122 The Council's Low Carbon Action Plan identifies a series of schemes and initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in the District. These include energy efficiency projects in buildings, the use of low and zero carbon technologies for generating energy locally and ways to address the impact from transport. It is important that any opportunities to support or facilitate the delivery of these projects are taken into account in development proposals and the Council will expect evidence of this as part of any planning application.

5.123 The scale and mix of uses proposed on the large strategic allocations identified in this plan present an opportunity for the use of decentralised district heating networks including tri-generation (combined cooling, heat and power). The use of these types of technology will become more important during the plan period in order to achieve zero carbon emissions from new dwellings. There is also potential in using such technologies to meet the energy demands of neighbouring uses.

5.124 The revised definition of zero carbon relates to net regulated emissions within the scope of building regulations (excluding emissions from appliances, lighting etc.). It is accepted that it may be difficult to meet zero carbon emissions on certain sites and therefore once fabric efficiency and low carbon generation have been taken into account the remainder will be made up by what will be known as allowable solutions. The exact nature of what this will involve is still uncertain however one method may be through a carbon offsetting fund collected through building regulations. In such an instance it is anticipated that any payments locally would contribute towards the delivery of the Low Carbon Action Plan.

5.125 In demonstrating how the requirements of the policy have been met the applicant should demonstrate that any relevant proposals being brought forward through the Council's Low Carbon Action Plan and the Council's mechanism for delivering allowable solutions have been taken into account.

5.126 The Council already has supplementary guidance on achieving Sustainable Buildings including advice on what should be included in the Sustainable Buildings Statement. This will be revised to set out further guidance on how to demonstrate compliance with the Climate Change policies in this Plan.

References

  • National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report Summary (September 2013)

  • Warwick District Climate Change Adaptation Study (2011)

  • Planning practice guidance for renewable and low carbon energy (July 2013)

  • National Planning Practice Guidance March 2014

  • Warwick District Low Carbon Action Plan (2012)

  • Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Feasibility Study (2010)

  • Building a Greener Future: towards zero carbon development / Building a Greener Future policy statement (issued December 2006)

  • Climate Change Act 2008

  • UK Low Carbon Transition Plan (2009)

  • Renewable Energy Directive 2009

  • Building a Greener Future: towards zero carbon development / Building a Greener Future policy statement (issued December 2006)

  • The Carbon Plan: Delivering our low carbon future (2011)

  • Housing standards review

  • Code for sustainable homes: Technical Guidance - November 2010

  • Costs of building to the Code for Sustainable Homes updated cost review (August 2011

  • House of Commons environmental Audit Committee - Code for Sustainable Homes and the Housing Standards Review (Eighth report of session 2013 - 2014) briefing

  • BREEAM 2011 New Construction standard

(3) Flooding and Water

5.127 National planning policy is clear about the approach to be taken by local authorities towards dealing with flooding issues at all stages of the planning process.

5.128 Warwick District has a history of flooding due to the many rivers and watercourses traversing the area, including the rivers Avon, Sowe, Leam, Itchen and Canley Brook and Finham Brook. In the last thirty years there has been flooding on many occasions due to heavy rainfall increasing watercourse and river levels and, more recently in 2007, being largely attributable to drainage problems and water draining off agricultural land. The anticipated implications of climate change will only increase the District's vulnerability to such events and it is important therefore to appraise, manage and reduce the risk of flooding, directing development away from areas at risk of flooding wherever possible.

(3) FW1 Development in Areas at Risk of Flooding

Development will be directed away from areas of flood risk. However if development in areas at risk of flooding is the only option following the application of the sequential test, it will only be permitted where the following criteria are met:

  1. the type of development is appropriate to the level of flood risk associated with its location with reference to Warwick District Council's Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) flood zone maps and advice on appropriate uses within these zones from the Environment Agency;

  2. it can be demonstrated that no suitable alternative sites are available in an area of lower risk;

  3. it is provided with the appropriate minimum standard of flood defence (including suitable warning and evacuation procedures) which can be maintained for the lifetime of the development;

  4. it does not impede flood flows, does not increase the flood risk on site or elsewhere or result in a loss of floodplain storage capacity;

  5. it would not be subject to regular flooding;

  6. the site is not required for washland creation as part of the overall flood defence strategy for the river catchments;

  7. in the case of dwellings, it is evident that as a minimum, safe, dry pedestrian access would be available to land not at high risk, and;

  8. in the case of essential civil infrastructure, access must be guaranteed and must be capable of remaining operational during all flooding events.

A sequential, risk-based approach to the location of suitable development will be undertaken by the Council based on the Environment Agency's latest flood maps, SFRA flood zones and Vulnerability Classification to steer new development to areas with the lowest probability of flooding avoiding, where possible, flood risk to people and property and managing any residual risk.

The Exception Test (for use when there are large areas in Flood Zones 2 and 3, where the Sequential Test alone cannot deliver acceptable sites, but where some continuing development is necessary) will apply where development will provide wider sustainability benefits that outweigh flood risk, fully informed by a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) which indicates that development will be safe for its lifetime taking account of the vulnerability of its users, without increasing flood risk elsewhere, and, where possible reducing flood risk overall.

Land that is required for current and future flood management will be safeguarded from development.

Where development is supported as an exception to this policy within high risk areas, applicants will need to demonstrate that they strictly comply with criteria b), c), d), and g) above.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate how they comply with this policy by way of a Flood Risk Assessment, appropriate to the scale and nature of the development proposed, where the development is:

  1. within a river floodplain, as defined by the Warwick District SFRA indicative flood zone maps;

  2. within or adjacent to any watercourse;

  3. adjacent to, or including, any flood bank or other flood control structure;

  4. within an area where there may be drainage problems;

  5. likely to involve the culverting or diverting of any watercourse, or;

  6. of such size and nature relative to the receiving watercourse/drainage system that there could be a significant increase in surface water run-off from the area.

Explanation

5.129 At a national level the aim is to direct development away from areas of high flood risk and avoid inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding.

5.130 Where development cannot take place in areas of low flood risk, a sequential test should be applied in which it is acknowledged that extensive areas of built development fall into the high risk areas and that the re-use of previously developed land may be needed to avoid economic stagnation. Where in the wider overall interest, development is supported as an exception to this policy with high risk areas, applicants will need to demonstrate that they strictly comply with criteria b, c and d of the policy.

5.131 The Environment Agency has produced indicative flood zone maps for local and other watercourses. The maps are based upon the approximate extent of flooding and is indicative only, being based on the best information available at the time. These maps should be used as a basis for consultation and not for decision making. Applicants are advised to contact the Environment Agency for the most up to date indicative flood zone maps to identify any changes. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Council's drainage engineers.

5.132 SFRA maps show flood zones in the District. The flood zones show the level of risk and appropriate uses within them. The flood zones are, Zone 1, being the low probability zone where all land uses are considered acceptable; Zone 2 which carries medium risk and essential infrastructure and where water compatible uses which are less vulnerable are appropriate; Zone 3 which is the flood plain and only suitable for water compatible and less vulnerable uses.

5.133 The Council has undertaken a Stage One Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (April 2013) which informed its Revised Development Strategy for the allocation of land for housing and employment. This has also provided a basis for a strategic policy to set a framework for more site-specific Flood Risk Assessments (FRA's) by:

  1. choosing sites outside flood risk zones as far as practicable;

  2. controlling development within flood risk areas and the types of development which may be considered;

  3. assessing opportunities to facilitate the relocation of development, and;

  4. incorporation of measures to address flood risk from all new developments, such as sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDs).

5.134 The purpose of this policy is to direct new development to areas at the lowest risk of flooding first. It will then be necessary to carry out a sequential test to find the most appropriate site which carries the lowest level of risk possible according to the type of development proposed.

(2) FW2 Sustainable Urban Drainage

Appropriate Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) are required in all developments. Such facilities should preferably be provided on-site or, where this is not possible, close to the site, and:

  1. be designed and located sensitively to integrate with Green Infrastructure functions;

  2. promote enhanced biodiversity;

  3. increase landscape value, and;

  4. provide good quality open spaces.

Infiltration SUDs is the preferred way of managing surface water. The developer will carry out infiltration tests possible and a ground water risk assessment to ensure that this is possible and that ground water would not be polluted. Where it is proven that infiltration is not possible, surface water should be discharged into a watercourse (in agreement with the EA) at a rate no greater than greenfield development.

In exceptional circumstances, where a sustainable drainage system cannot be provided, it must be demonstrated that:

  1. it is not possible to incorporate sustainable drainage systems;

  2. an acceptable means of surface water disposal is provided which does not increase the risk of flooding or give rise to environmental problems and improves on the current situation, and;

  3. contributions will be made to off-site SUDS schemes

The re-use and recycling of surface water and domestic waste water within new development will be encouraged

Explanation

5.135 SUDS involve a range of techniques that mimic the way that rainfall drains in natural systems and avoids any increase in flood risk or adverse effect on water quality. Many existing drainage systems can cause problems of flooding, pollution or damage to the environment and are not proving to be sustainable in the long term. The key objectives in the use of SUDS are:

  1. reducing flood risk;

  2. maintaining and restoring natural flow rate and volume of surface runoff to reduce the risk of flooding;

  3. improving water resources;

  4. enhancing amenity and minimising diffuse pollution;

  5. reducing pressure on the sewerage network, and;

  6. improving biodiversity and local amenity.

5.137 Warwickshire County Council is the 'lead local flood authority' with responsibility for developing, maintaining and monitoring a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy in partnership with other relevant bodies in the area. Warwickshire County Council is required, as the Sustainable Urban Drainage Approving Body (SAB), to be responsible for the approval of drainage systems within planning applications, within Warwick District, and also for adopting and maintaining SUDS serving more than one property through the application of national standards under Schedule 3 to the Flood Water and Management Act 2010. Warwickshire County Council may also introduce its own local standards in addition to national standards. The County Council also has a duty as the lead flood authority to prepare preliminary flood risk assessment maps in accordance with the EU Flood Directive.

(2) FW3 Water Conservation

The Council will encourage new residential development of one dwelling or more to meet a standard of 90 litres/person/day (lpd) in terms of water efficiency.

Explanation

5.137 The Council is committed to ensuring the creation of well-designed sustainable buildings and considers that water conservation is a key part of this. It is considered that the application of appropriate methods for water conservation in new homes will ensure long term resilience to the future impacts of climate change. A current level of 125 litres/person/day (lpd) is set in the Building Regulations and the Government is proposing to allow local authorities to introduce a tighter level of 110 lpd in areas of high water stress. The Water Cycle Study (2010) identified that the Council should seek that all new development is built at Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) level 3/4 for water efficiency as a minimum. The Council will therefore encourage applicants to meet the minimum requirement for Code Level 4 of 90 litres/person/day (lpd). This also aligns with Policy CC3, which seeks all new residential development to meet CSH level 4 from the adoption of the Local Plan.

FW4 Water Supply

Developers will be expected to ensure that there is adequate water supply to serve existing and proposed developments by:

  1. minimising the need for new infrastructure by directing development to areas where there is a guaranteed and adequate supply of water having regard to Severn Trent's Water Resource Management Plan and Strategic Business Plan as well as the findings of the Water Cycle Study;

  2. ensuring that any new infrastructure required to serve a new development does not have a detrimental and harmful impact on existing systems, the amenity of local residents and/or the environment, and;

  3. ensuring that any new infrastructure provision is provided alongside new development.

Development proposals will not be permitted where additional abstraction will result in a reduction in water quality which will have an adverse effect on existing supplies, fisheries, recreation or nature conservation.

Explanation

5.138 Severn Trent Water is the appointed water company for the district with the responsibility of providing sufficient quantity and quality of water to meet demand whilst minimising the impact on the environment.

5.139 Severn Trent's Water Resources Management Plan outlines the ways in which continuous supplies can be maintained and expanded to meet the additional demands made by new developments in the area.

The Environment Agency has recently reformed its water abstraction management in England to take account of growing demand and the subsequent threat to the natural environment.

References

  • National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

  • National Planning Policy Guidance

  • Warwick District Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (2013)

  • Sustainable Drainage Systems (Anglian Water) (2014)

  • Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) (British Geological Survey) (2014)

  • National Standards for sustainable drainage systems. Designing, constructing, operating and maintaining drainage for surface runoff (DEFRA) (December 2011)

  • Warwick District Council 'Stage One' Strategic Flood Risk Assessment, Mouchel (April 2013)

  • River Basin Management Plan for the River Severn Basin District (December 2009)

  • Draft Water Resources Management Plan, Severn Trent Water (2013)

  • Severn Trent AMP5 Delivery programme 2010-2015 (Longbridge)

  • River Severn Catchment Flood Management Plan, Environment Agency (2009)

  • Warwickshire sub-regional Water Cycle Study, Warwick District Council March (2010)

  • Future Water, the Government's Water Strategy for England, DEFRA, (February 2008)

  • HM Government Water for Life, DEFRA, (December 2011)

  • The Water Bill, (June 2013)

  • Conserving Water in Buildings, a practical guide (Environment Agency) (2007)

  • BREEAM 2011 New Construction standard

  • Code for sustainable homes: Technical Guidance - November 2010

(36) Historic Environment

5.139 Warwick District has a reputation as a desirable place to live, work and visit. Fundamental to this reputation is the rich history of the area that has left a legacy of fine historic buildings and areas. Warwick has a mediaeval town centre and has become a popular national tourist destination focussing on its famous castle. Royal Leamington Spa grew in size and prominence during the 18th and 19th centuries and this has left a fine legacy of Regency and Georgian buildings. Kenilworth's history focuses on its castle, the largest ruined castle in England.

5.140 The District also contains many other important historic buildings, areas and parklands, ranging from formal Victorian gardens to historic Deer Parks. The district also contains a range of fine historic houses including Stoneleigh Abbey (which underwent a major restoration a few years ago) and Packwood House and Baddesley Clinton, now both owned by the National Trust.

5.141 This historic legacy has been carefully guarded and today Warwick District has 26 Conservation Areas and over 1,500 Listed Buildings, 12 Parks and Gardens that are recognised nationally as being of special historic interest and a large number of Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

5.142 Much work has been done to protect and enhance this historic environment by the Council together with local groups and national bodies such as English Heritage. In carrying out this work, and in seeking provide appropriate planning policies through this Plan, there is recognition locally that the historic environment is important for its own sake as well as for the role it has in creating an attractive environment to live and work.

(5) HE1 Protection of Statutory Heritage Assets

Permission will not be granted to alter or extend a Listed Building where those works will adversely affect its special architectural or historic interest, integrity or setting.

Development will not be permitted where it will adversely affect the setting of a Listed Building.

Changes of use of Listed Buildings from their original use will only be permitted where:

  1. the original use has been demonstrated to be no longer appropriate or viable, and;

  2. the proposed use is sympathetic to the special architectural or historic interest and setting of the Listed Building and enhances the significance of the heritage assets.

Restoration of, and alteration to, Listed Buildings will only be permitted using traditional, natural materials and appropriate colours and finishes.

Explanation

5.143 Warwick District has a rich heritage of over 1500 Listed Buildings, which are of national importance. Their maintenance and protection is important in helping to define and protect the historic character of the District. The Council is committed to ensuring that Listed Buildings are given a high level of protection and enforcement action will be taken against unauthorised and unacceptable works to Listed Buildings. The Council maintains a public register of all Listed Buildings which is available to view at the Council Offices.

5.144 The NPPF recognises that heritage assets are irreplaceable resources and requires local authorities to maintain and strengthen their commitment to stewardship of the historic environment, and to adopt suitable policies to protect it.

5.145 There is a statutory requirement that authorities should have special regard to the desirability of preserving any Listed Building, its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest that it possesses. In considering applications relating to Listed Buildings, the Council will require that proposals do not have a detrimental effect upon the integrity and character of the building or its setting. Applicants will therefore be required to submit detailed plans with accurate survey drawings, a Design and Access Statement and, where appropriate, historical analyses Heritage Statement to support their application.

5.146 It is acknowledged that the protection of Listed Buildings may not be consistent with the need to promote accessibility and inclusion in accordance with Policy HS1. The Council will expect applicants to demonstrate how they have sought to reasonably balance these competing objectives and where they have made clear choices between policies.

5.147 The design of new buildings and alteration to existing buildings affecting the setting of Listed Buildings needs careful consideration. New buildings and alterations to buildings should be designed to respect the setting of Listed Buildings, following the principles of scale, height, massing, alignment and the use of appropriate materials. Proposals that do not accord with the above requirements will not be permitted.

5.148 Listed Buildings vary in the extent to which they can accommodate changes of use without harm to their special architectural or historic interest. The best use of a Listed Building is usually the use for which the building was originally designed. The Council considers the continuation or the reinstatement of that use as the preferred option unless that use conflicts with other policies of this Plan or the original use is no longer viable.

5.149 Applicants seeking to demonstrate that the original use is no longer viable must prove that all efforts have been made to retain the building in its original use but that this is no longer feasible. Where a change of use is acceptable in principle, the applicant will also be required to demonstrate that the proposed use does not harm the appearance and setting of the building.

5.150 Each historic building has its own characteristics related to its original design and its original or subsequent uses. The use of appropriate materials in any restoration or alteration works will be important to maintain the character and appearance. The objective of this policy is to ensure that any works or alterations to Listed Buildings are carried out using appropriate materials to preserve the integrity of the building. The use of UPVC windows, artificial or imported roofing material, plastic rainwater goods and the use of inappropriate colours are all examples that will not be permitted.

5.151 The Council has a long tradition of working with owners of listed properties to ensure that buildings are restored or altered sympathetically and a range of guidance is available from the Council to assist applicants. The Council will also exercise its powers under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 to take action to ensure that Listed Buildings in private ownership are properly maintained and not allowed to fall into disrepair.

5.152 The National Planning Policy framework supports the transition to a low carbon future in a changing climate including the use of renewable energy. In the context of the historic environment, measures to support a low carbon future will be supported where they do not conflict with policies relating to the historic environment.

5.153 Where Listed Buildings are considered to be at risk the Council will seek to pursue their restoration and where appropriate bring them back into viable use.

(7) HE2 Protection of Conservation Areas

Development will be expected to respect the setting of Conservation Areas and important views both in and out of them.

Applications for changes of use which cannot be achieved without unsympathetic alterations will not be permitted.

Alterations or extensions to unlisted buildings which will adversely affect the character, appearance or setting of a Conservation Area will not be permitted.

There will be a presumption in favour of the retention of unlisted buildings that make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of a Conservation Area.

Consent for total demolition of unlisted buildings will only be granted where the detailed design of the replacement can demonstrate that it will preserve and enhance the Conservation Area.

New development within Conservation Areas should make a positive contribution to the local character and distinctiveness of the Conservation Area.

Measures will be taken to restore or bring back into use areas that presently make a negative contribution to Conservation Areas.

Explanation

5.154 Conservation Areas are a designated historic asset and have an important role to play in maintaining the quality of the environment in Warwick District. The Council has a duty imposed on it under Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 to designate as Conservation Areas any "areas of special architectural or historic interest the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance". It is important that development both within and outside of Conservation Areas should not adversely affect the setting of a Conservation Area by impacting on important views and groups of buildings from inside and outside the boundary.

5.155 Gardens and open spaces that add to the historic appearance and interest of Conservation Areas should be protected from development.

5.156 In appropriate cases, the Council may require change of use applications to be accompanied by other relevant applications, e.g. for Conservation Area or Listed Building consent, to ensure that all relevant issues pertaining to the proposed change of use can be considered together.

5.157 The Council will also continue to seek directions under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1995, to restrict permitted development rights in order to maintain the areas of high quality townscape.

5.158 The Council will also consider, when appropriate, the designation of new Conservation Areas and the review of existing areas listed below.

5.159 Unlisted buildings can often contribute significantly to the special architectural or historic importance of Conservation Areas. Buildings which do not merit statutory listing often contribute as much to the overall character of Conservation Areas as those that are Listed Buildings. This policy therefore seeks to retain the integrity and form of unlisted buildings in the Conservation Area and resists alterations and demolitions to these buildings where this would have an adverse effect upon the overall character of the Conservation Area. Furthermore, the demolition of unlisted buildings will only be supported where details of an appropriate replacement building are provided. In such cases a condition will be imposed to ensure that demolition does not take place until a contract for redevelopment has been entered into and planning permission for those works has been granted. This will prevent unsightly gaps appearing as a result of demolition far in advance of redevelopment.

Conservation Areas in Warwick District
Ashow Leek Wootton
Baddesley Clinton Lowsonford
Baginton Norton Lindsey
Barford Offchurch
Bishops Tachbrook Rowington
Bubbenhall Sherbourne
Cubbington Stoneleigh
Eathorpe Wappenbury
Kenilworth Warwick
Kenilworth (Clarendon Road) Warwick (Victoria Street)
Kenilworth (St Johns) Wasperton
Kenilworth (Waverley Road) Whitnash (Church Green)
Lapworth Whitnash (Chapel Green)
Leamington Spa Wroxall
Leamington Spa (Lillington Road North) Warwick Common
Leamington Spa (Lillington Village)

HE3 Control of Advertisements in Conservation Areas

Erection of advertisement hoardings will not be permitted within Conservation Areas.

Consent will not be granted for advertisements on Listed Buildings and within Conservation Areas that would have a detrimental impact and do not follow the Council's guidance.

New and replacement advertisements on Listed Buildings and within Conservation Areas shall make a positive contribution to the local character of an area and shall be in accordance with local design guide documents.

Explanation

5.160 Advertisement hoardings can be detrimental to the character and appearance of buildings and Conservation Areas. The Council will not permit the erection of new hoardings and will encourage the removal of unsightly hoardings. Discontinuance action will be taken where existing advertisements and hoardings have a detrimental impact upon an area.

5.161 The Council will seek to establish areas of special advertisement control within Conservation Areas to control advertisements on unlisted buildings as appropriate.

5.162 Advertisements will be expected to conform with guidance given in local shopfront design guides.

(6) HE4 Protecting Historic Parks and Gardens

Development will not be permitted if it would result in substantial harm to the historic structure, character, principal components and setting of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest included in the English Heritage Register, as defined on the Policies Map. Development that would cause less than substantial harm to the character, principal components and settings of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest included in the English Heritage register as defined on the Policies Map, should be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal, including securing optimum viable use.

Development will be strongly resisted if it would cause substantial harm to the historic structure, character, principal components and setting of locally important historic parks or gardens included in the Warwick District Local List. Development that would cause less than substantial harm to the character, principal components and settings of locally important Historic Parks or Gardens included in the Warwick District Local List should be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal , including securing optimum viable use

Explanation

5.163 Historic Parks and Gardens are an important cultural, historical and environmental asset within the District and the Council wishes to ensure they are protected, maintained and restored. The objective of this policy is to protect them from development that would harm their character.

5.164 There are two registers of historic parks and gardens; those designated by English Heritage and those designated by Warwick District Council.

5.165 English Heritage has compiled a register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special interest in England. This list is constantly under review and may be added to where new parks are considered worthy of inclusion. The purpose of the register is to draw attention to such landscapes, their layout, features and architectural ornamentation. Landscapes are allocated grades; grade 1 are of international importance, grade II* are of exceptional historic interest and grade II are of special historic interest. The Planning Authority will consult English Heritage on planning applications affecting grade I and grade II* registered sites and their settings, and The Garden History Society on applications affecting registered sites of all grades. A list of the Gardens is set out below.

  • Baddesley Clinton Hall Baddesley Clinton Grade II

  • Mallory Court Bishops Tachbrook Grade II

  • Kenilworth Castle Kenilworth Grade II*

  • Packwood House Lapworth Grade II*

  • Spa Gardens Leamington Spa Grade II

  • Stoneleigh Abbey and Deer Park Stoneleigh Grade II*

  • Guy's Cliffe Warwick Grade II

  • Hill Close Gardens, Linen Street Warwick Grade II*

  • Lord Leycester Hospital Warwick Grade II

  • Warwick Castle and Castle Park Warwick Grade I

  • Wroxall Abbey Warwick Grade II

5.166 Where proposals are made for restoration, it will be necessary for the applicant to show that the work proposed would not detract from the character and significance of the landscape as set out in an agreed conservation statement or conservation plan. The Council also wishes to protect the views out across the parks and gardens from associated Listed Buildings. This applies to both the English Heritage registered parks and gardens and those on the local register.

5.167 The Council maintains its own list of Parks and Gardens which are of historical interest but which do not at present meet the criteria for inclusion on the national register. These are important in landscape terms, and often form the setting of Listed Buildings. Whilst it is recognised that they are of less significance nationally, they are important within a local or regional context. The purpose of the list is to ensure that the case for protecting such parks and gardens is fully taken into account when considering development proposals and to act as a spur to the formulation of positive restoration proposals. A list of these locally important parks and gardens is set out below (this list is not exhaustive and is based upon research evidence available at the time of plan preparation). The boundaries of these parks and gardens will be defined in due course.

5.168 Additions can be made if new parks and gardens are found to be worthy of inclusion. Conversely, existing areas on the list can be removed if, through further research, they are found to be unsuitable for inclusion. The Planning Authority will consult Warwickshire Gardens Trust on planning applications affecting sites included on the Local Register.

Locally Important Parks and Gardens
Barford House, Barford The Dell, Leamington Spa
Old Manor House, Bishops Tachbrook Woodcote, Leek Wootton
Bushwood Hall, Bushwood Wootton Court and Arboretum, Leek Wootton
Eathorpe Hall, Eathorpe Offchurch Bury, Offchurch
Haseley Manor, Haseley Sherbourne Park, Sherbourne
Hatton House, Hatton Friends Meeting House Garden, Warwick
Honiley House/Hall, Honiley Longbridge Manor, Warwick
Abbey Fields, Kenilworth Mill Garden, Warwick
North Chase (Rudfyn Manor), Kenilworth Pageant House Gardens, Warwick
Parliament Piece, Kenilworth Priory Park, Warwick
Christchurch Gardens, Leamington Spa St John's House Garden and Allotments, Warwick
Clarendon Square Gardens, Leamington St Nicholas Park, Warwick
Former Arboretum, Wych Elm Drive, Leamington Spa Wappenbury Hall, Wappenbury
Lansdowne Crescent and Circus, Leamington Spa Greys Mallory, Bishops Tachbrook
The Wantage, Kenilworth

(2) HE5 Locally Listed Historic Assets

Development will be strongly resisted that would lead to the demolition or loss of significance of a locally listed historic asset.

Change to locally listed historic assets should be carried out using traditional detailing and using traditional materials.

Explanation

5.169 The Council will maintain a list of locally important historic assets that do not meet the statutory criteria for listing.

5.170 Within Conservation Areas permitted development rights may be removed by the service of an Article 4 Direction on locally listed assets.

5.171 Where locally listed historic assets are not within a Conservation Area the Council may seek to give protection by an Article 4 Direction to control aspects of development and demolition. Locally listed historic assets will be designated within both Conservation Areas and areas without Conservation Area designation.

(2) HE6 Archaeology

Development will not be permitted which results in substantial harm to Scheduled Ancient Monuments (as shown on the Policies Map) or other archaeological remains of national importance, and their settings unless in wholly exceptionalcircumstances

There will be a presumption in favour of the preservation of locally and regionally important sites, except where the applicant can demonstrate that the benefits of development will outweigh the harm to archaeological remains.

The Council will require that any remains of archaeological value are properly evaluated prior to the determination of the planning application.

Where planning permission is granted for development which will have an adverse effect on archaeological remains, the Council will require that an agreed programme of archaeological investigation and recording precedes development.

Explanation

5.172 Archaeological remains are a finite resource. They are often fragile and therefore vulnerable to damage and destruction. They contain information that is invaluable, both for its own sake and for its role within education, leisure and tourism. Warwick District is rich in archaeological remains and information on them is held in the County Sites and Monuments Record, maintained by Warwickshire Museum.

5.173 In accordance with Government advice set out in the NPPF, there will be a presumption in favour of the physical preservation in situ of nationally important archaeological remains and their settings, whether scheduled or not. Other important archaeological remains can be of either local or regional importance. They may also become scheduled in the future and therefore it is important to protect them from the adverse effects of development.

5.174 The Council recognises that there will be cases where the benefits of the development outweigh the harm to the archaeological remains taking into account their significance. In such circumstances, provision of archaeological investigation and recording will be required as part of a Section 106 agreement or planning condition.

5.175 It is not always sufficient to rely on existing information to allow an informed decision to be made about the archaeological consequences of a proposal. In such circumstances, the applicant will be required to arrange for a field evaluation to be undertaken before the planning application is determined. Regardless of circumstances, the decision-making process is always easier if any archaeological aspects of a development site can be considered early in the planning process.

5.176 The Council will, in conjunction with English Heritage, the National Trust and other interested parties, seek to secure the management and maintenance of archaeological sites, encouraging the provision of interpretative facilities for education and recreational purposes. In cases where incorrect information has been supplied, the Council may reconsider local list designations.

References

  • Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990

  • Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979

  • Warwick District Council Local Shop Front Design Guide

(32) Natural Environment

5.177 A healthy natural environment is of vital importance to people, places, the economy and nature itself. Therefore it is appropriate that the Council seeks to protect the natural environment and strives for net gains in biodiversity. The natural environment provides a wide range of important benefits, including areas for recreation and education, healthy food, and clean water and air. However, the fragile state of our natural environment means that it is important that we protect and enhance it to ensure that future generations can also benefit from these areas. Furthermore, we should seek to create new green infrastructure assets and restore degraded ones.

5.178 The District possesses a natural environment that is regarded as being of a particularly high quality. Broadly speaking there are two types of natural asset that combine to give the District its distinct natural environment. Firstly, these are particular landscape characteristics familiar to the locality, based upon its topography, farming, history and settlement patterns. Secondly, these are specific environmental assets including nature conservation and biodiversity interests, and features of historic value (including geologically and geomorphologically important features).

5.179 The majority of the natural landscape falls within either the Historic Arden or Dunsmore landscape character areas. The district also contains a large number of environmental assets, including features of historic interest, geological/geomorphological significance and particular habitats of nature conservation interest. These range from Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI's), Local Nature Reserves and significant tracts of woodland deemed to be of ancient origin. There are also many other sites and features that are subject to non-statutory designations, such as Local Wildlife Sites identified through the Habitat Biodiversity Audit, that reflect their particular contribution to biodiversity.

5.180 Through the policies set out below and elsewhere in this Plan, the Council will aim to assist in maintaining the current high quality of the natural environment, particularly sensitive habitats and areas of landscape value. It will also aim to improve the quality of the natural environment, particularly in areas where there are opportunities to improve public access and enjoyment of such assets and deliver opportunities to improve habitat connectivity both within the district and the wider sub-region.

(2) NE1 Green Infrastructure

The Council will protect, enhance and restore the District's green infrastructure assets and strive for a healthy integrated network for the benefit of nature, people and the economy.

The natural environment will be planned for at a variety of spatial scales:

  1. sub regional level, crossing administrative boundaries;

  2. district-wide scale;

  3. town-wide scale, and at;

  4. local and neighbourhood scales.

The Council recognises the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Sub Regional Green Infrastructure Strategy and will support the periodic updating of this important strategic document. The Council will continue to work with partners, including neighbouring authorities and the Local Nature Partnership to plan for green infrastructure at a landscape scale: protecting and enhancing existing habitats and restoring fragmented areas ensuring access natural green space and improvements to landscape character.

Explanation

5.181 National policy places great importance on the natural environment and the planning system's environmental role in delivering and securing sustainable development. This includes protecting the natural environment, improving biodiversity, using natural resources prudently and mitigating the effects of adapting to climate change. Through the policies in this local plan and partnership working the Council will help to enhance the natural environment, through the protection of specific sites of nature conservation or scientific interest, networks of green infrastructure and biodiversity and natural resources. Green infrastructure is capable of delivering a wide range of 'ecosystem services' - essentially benefits for people, nature and the economy such as improvements to health and wellbeing, protection of species and flood and disease control.

5.182 It is widely acknowledged that the natural environment continues to be under threat from a variety of forces. The Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Green Infrastructure Strategy recognises this and one of its aims is to connect identified ecological networks, so that they are more resilient to current and future pressures and where possible introducing net gains for biodiversity. The Local Nature Partnership for Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull draws together a range of partners, including Warwick District Council, and will help oversee the delivery of the aims of the sub regional strategy.

5.183 At the district and town scales the Council will address deficiencies and improvements, including in accessible natural green space, as identified in the Green Space Strategy and the Green Infrastructure Study and any subsequent updates to these documents. At the local and neighbourhood scales the Council will expect individual development proposals to take a positive, integrated approach to designing green infrastructure as set out in other policies in this Plan. The Council will support Neighbourhood Plans that recognise the importance of green infrastructure and the natural environment and promote policies for its protection

5.184 The Green Infrastructure Study 2010, and evidence supporting the Green Space Strategy 2012, identified gaps in Accessible Natural Green Space utilising the methodology developed by Natural England. Therefore the Council will aim to address these deficiencies, in particular, at the strategic town and district-wide scales. The Council has identified a number of opportunities to address this including a Country Park to the south of Warwick and a network of existing assets to the north of Kenilworth that, if enhanced and connected, could function as a Country Park. Other projects currently identified include greening of the urban environment through tree planting, enhancements to the historic Arden landscape and wetland habitat creation to alleviate flooding.

5.185 The Council recognises the multifunctional nature of green infrastructure, consequently it is promoted in a number of other policies in this plan including climate change, design, provision of open space and flooding and water.

5.186 Green and open spaces are an important element of green infrastructure provision. The Council's Green Space Strategy sets out how it will provide, manage and develop green space in the future. Further information, and policies relating to the open spaces, are addressed in the Inclusive, Safe and Healthy Communities section of this Plan.

(4) NE2 Protecting Designated Biodiversity and Geodiversity Assets

The Council will protect designated areas and species of national and local importance for biodiversity and geodiversity as set out below.

Sites of National Importance

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are of national importance, therefore development will not be permitted which will destroy or adversely affect these unless, in exceptional circumstances, it can be demonstrated that the benefits of the development clearly outweigh the nature conservation value or scientific interest of the site and its contribution to wider biodiversity objectives and connectivity.

Where development is permitted that has an adverse impact on a SSSI, whether direct or indirect, measures to enhance the condition of the site will be required.

Sites of Local Importance

Development will not be permitted that will destroy or adversely affect the following locally important sites and assets unless, it can be demonstrated that the benefits of development clearly outweigh the nature conservation value or scientific interest of the site and its contribution to wider biodiversity objectives and connectivity.

  1. Ancient Woodland, aged and veteran trees;

  2. Local Nature Reserves;

  3. Local Wildlife Sites;

  4. Local Geological Sites;

  5. Protected, rare, endangered or priority species or other sites of geological or geomorphological importance.

For all assets, development will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that any mitigation or compensatory measures proposed have been subject to an Ecological Assessment. The Ecological Assessment should include due consideration of the importance of the natural asset, the nature of the measures proposed (including plans for long term management) and the extent to which they reduce the impact of the development.

Explanation

5.187 The District's existing biodiversity and geodiversity assets provide the building blocks for the natural environment. National planning policy gives great importance to the protection and enhancement of these features. One of its objectives is to strive for net gains in biodiversity and increasing connectivity of green infrastructure networks. Biodiversity and geodiversity assets are divided into statutory and non-statutory sites. Statutory sites are designated by Natural England and include, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Ancient Woodland and Local Nature Reserves. Non-statutory sites include Local Wildlife Sites and Local Geological Sites.

5.188 Developers should check for the presence of European protected species on development sites and seek professional advice to ensure that their proposals safeguard any protected species identified. Other protected, rare or endangered species should be taken into consideration with any development proposals. These include those species identified through national and local biodiversity action plans. Aged and veteran trees not only play an important role in landscape and amenity value but also in provision of wildlife habitat and assisting in regulating climate change. Alongside Local Geological Sites, other areas of importance for geology and geomorphology are identified in the Warwickshire Geodiversity Action Plan.

5.189 This policy will identify and protect the most valuable designated features that contribute to geodiversity and the abundance and diversity of wildlife and its habitats. The policy will also seek to minimise the adverse effects on these assets where conflicts are unavoidable. In doing so the Council will apply the approach that the outcome of development should result in no net loss of biodiversity and geodiversity.

(5) >NE3 Biodiversity

New development will be permitted provided that it protects, enhances and/or restores habitat biodiversity. Development proposals will be expected to ensure that they:

  1. lead to no net loss of biodiversity, where appropriate, by means of an approved ecological assessment of existing site features and development impacts;

  2. protect or enhance biodiversity assets and secure their long term management and maintenance, and;

  3. avoid negative impacts on existing biodiversity.

Where this is not possible, mitigation measures must be identified. If mitigation measures are not possible on site, then compensatory measures involving biodiversity offsetting will be required.

Explanation

5.190 Helping to secure improvements to biodiversity is one of the key roles in achieving sustainable development. Government policy is aimed at halting the net loss of biodiversity and striving for gains. The Government recognises that the loss of habitats and species, whether designated sites or not, is a key issue to be addressed. Wildlife habitats have a wide variety of functions and contribute to a range of ecosystem services, including the provision of food and assisting in regulating climate.

5.191 All development proposals will be expected to avoid negative impacts on existing biodiversity. Where this is not possible, mitigation measures should be identified, if these are not possible on site, then these should be offset elsewhere as a compensatory measure. In this instance development proposals should be guided by the Council's approach to biodiversity offsetting as set out in the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Green Infrastructure Strategy, or any subsequent update to this document and national policy. In all instances, the long term management and maintenance of ecological features must be demonstrated. In order to assist in ecological assessments the Warwickshire Biological Records Centre should be consulted.

(6) NE4 Landscape

New development will be permitted which positively contributes to landscape character. Development proposals will be required to demonstrate that they:

  1. integrate landscape planning into the design of development at an early stage;

  2. consider its landscape context, including the local distinctiveness of the different natural and historic landscapes and character, including tranquillity;

  3. relate well to local topography and built form and enhance key landscape features, ensuring their long term management and maintenance;

  4. identify likely visual impacts on the local landscape and townscape and its immediate setting and undertakes appropriate landscaping to reduce these impacts;

  5. aim to either conserve, enhance or restore important landscape features in accordance with the latest local and national guidance;

  6. avoid detrimental effects on features which make a significant contribution to the character, history and setting of an asset, settlement, or area;

  7. address the importance of habitat biodiversity features, including aged and veteran trees, woodland and hedges and their contribution to landscape character, where possible enhancing these features through means such as buffering and reconnecting fragmented areas;

  8. maintain the existence of viable agricultural units, and;

  9. are sensitive to an area's capacity to change, acknowledge cumulative effects and guard against the potential for coalescence between existing settlements.

Explanation

5.192 The purpose of this policy is to ensure that significant landscape features are protected from harm and that landscape design is a key component in the design of new development. Planning applications will be required to submit a landscape analysis and management plan in appropriate cases. This should take into account evidence on landscape including the Warwickshire Landscape Guidelines, Warwickshire Historic Landscape Characterisation Study, the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Green Infrastructure Strategy and data obtained from the Warwickshire Historic Environment Record. In accordance with national guidance, the Council will support the identification of local areas of tranquillity, including through neighbourhood plans, which remain relatively undisturbed by noise and are valued for this reason.

5.193 The Council has undertaken local landscape analysis with regard to its development strategy options. These have taken account of the cumulative effects of development and potential concerns regarding coalescence, amongst other things. Where relevant, development proposals should be guided by the recommendations in this local evidence.

(5) NE5 Protection of Natural Resources

Development proposals will be permitted provided that they ensure that the District's natural resources remain safe, protected, and prudently used. Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that they:

  1. do not give rise to soil contamination or air, noise, radiation, light or water pollution where the level of discharge, emissions or contamination could cause harm to sensitive receptors;

  2. ensure that, where evidence of contamination exists, the land is made fit for its intended purpose and does not pose an unacceptable risk to sensitive receptors;

  3. do not result in a reduction in the quality or quantity of groundwater resources;

  4. avoid the best and most versatile agricultural land unless the benefits of the proposal outweigh the need to protect the land for agricultural purposes;

  5. do not sterilise mineral resources identified as of particular importance unless it can be demonstrated that it would not be practicable and environmentally feasible to extract the identified mineral resource prior to development taking place.

Explanation

Contamination and pollution

5.194 Preventing and alleviating pollution and minimising the risk to human health and the environment are key objectives of sustainable development. Pollution can arise from a variety of operations and development types as well as the construction of development itself. It is important therefore that the issue of pollution control is addressed at the development stage. National planning policy attaches great importance to controlling and minimising pollution. It states that pollution effects (including cumulative effects) are considerations for Local Plans in relation to the potential impact on land use. The environmental effects of development shall be assessed and, where necessary, measures for mitigation adopted.

5.195 One of the objectives of this policy is to protect the environmental quality of the District by ensuring that, firstly, where there is evidence of contamination, land is made "fit for purpose" and secondly, pollution arising from new development does not harm sensitive receptors. Sensitive receptors are defined as features prone to damage from pollution, e.g. land, the use of other land, public health, controlled waters, general amenity and the natural environment.

5.196 It is recognised that the control of pollution is a complex process involving a wide range of agencies and this policy is not intended to duplicate controls which are the statutory responsibilities of other bodies, for example the Environment Agency. Particular consideration therefore will be given to the appropriateness of the location of development in relation to other land uses, particularly housing, and other natural resources such as biodiversity assets.

5.197 The Council will liaise with the relevant statutory bodies to determine the potential impacts of development and the extent to which such effects can be mitigated through appropriate design, construction or regulation. The effectiveness of mitigation will be taken into account when considering proposals. Where an Environmental Statement is required, the Council will expect any issues referred to in this policy to be addressed. In the case of an outline application, the Environmental Statement should be submitted at the outline stage.

Agricultural Land

5.198 The majority of the District is in use for agriculture and the quality of the land varies across the District, with the majority being classified as being the best and most versatile. This is defined as land in grades 1, 2 and 3a of the Agricultural Land Classification. This land is most responsive to a variety of agricultural inputs and crops and should therefore be protected in recognition of the increasing need to produce food locally due to climate change. This need is increasing due to the anticipated reduction in the ability of countries continuing to export food to the UK due to increased flooding, erosion or drought. Development affecting the best and most versatile agricultural land will be permitted providing that there is an overriding demonstrable need for the development and it can be shown that development of lower grade land would have adverse sustainability impacts, such as on biodiversity, natural resources, landscape character, conservation of heritage assets and sustainable patterns of development.

Minerals

5.199 Warwickshire County Council, as the local Minerals Planning Authority, is currently preparing a Minerals Plan to replace the Minerals Local Plan 1995. This new plan will identify new minerals sites within Warwickshire and provide the framework for assessing planning applications for mineral development proposals. Warwickshire County Council has defined Minerals Safeguarding Areas (MSAs) to ensure that known locations of important minerals are not needlessly sterilised by non-mineral development, although MSA designation carries no presumption that resources will be worked. The defined MSAs are shown on the Policies Map. Applicants should consult Warwickshire County Council where a proposal lies within a MSA to establish the existence and extent of the resource, the potential need for a minerals assessment and the possibility for prior extraction where appropriate. When the Minerals Plan is adopted the Policies Map will be updated to reflect any changes to the approach to minerals safeguarding and any potential allocations.

(5) NE6: High Speed Rail 2 (HS2)

The Council will seek to minimise the impact of HS2 on the natural environment, businesses and residents of the District.

Explanation

5.200 The safeguarded route in relation to the proposed High Speed 2 rail link ("HS2") is shown on the Policies Map.

5.201 Should HS2 go ahead, it is important that applications submitted in relation to the detailed construction programme (including any associated temporary use of land in the district for associated measures such as construction sites etc) are carefully assessed in accordance with the enabling legislation, in order to mitigate any adverse impacts of the development on the communities and environment within Warwick District.

5.202 The Council considers that it is important that applications relating to High Speed 2 provide sufficient detail with regard to the mitigation measures required to make HS2 acceptable in planning terms.

(2) NE7: Use of Waterways

The waterways can be used as tools in place making and place shaping, and contribute to the creation of sustainable communities. Therefore, any development should not:

  1. adversely affect the integrity of the waterway structure;

  2. adversely affect the quality of the water;

  3. result in pollution due to unauthorised discharges and run off or encroachment;

  4. adversely affect the landscape, heritage, ecological quality and character of the waterways;

  5. adversely affect the waterways potential for being fully unlocked or discourage the use of the waterway network.

Explanation

5.203 Water quality must be preserved and improved wherever possible, therefore foul, polluted or contaminated water, discharges of trade or sewage effluent are not normally accepted on water quality grounds due to the relatively static nature of canal water. Detailed information will need to be submitted to the Canal and River Trust including calculations showing the relevant catchment areas, run off quantities, outfall size(s) and location(s) and the sizing of oil and silt traps that will be required for their assessment. This must be done when a planning application is submitted for development. Advice of the Environment Agency may also be required.

5.204 Whilst regeneration and reuse is to be supported, there are clear reasons for restricting the nature of development in order to protect the historic environment, including the many listed buildings and their settings and also the natural environment, some of which has evolved as a direct result of the former neglect of the waterways. The historic element also includes the historic environment pertaining to the previous uses of the canal network as carriers of goods and includes wharfs, towpaths, bridges and buildings which may be listed nationally, on local lists or of interest because of their historic industrial importance to the local area.

References

  • Natural Environment White Paper

  • Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Sub Regional Green Infrastructure Strategy (2013)

  • Warwick District Strategic Green Infrastructure Delivery Assessment

  • Warwick District Green Infrastructure Study

  • Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Local Biodiversity Action Plan and Strategy

  • Warwickshire Historic Environment Record

  • Warwickshire Landscape Guidelines

  • Warwickshire Historic Landscape Characterisation

  • Considerations for Sustainable Landscape Planning (2012 and 2014)

  • Landscape Sensitivity and Ecological & Geological Study for Preferred Village Allocations (2013)

  • (1) Neighbourhood Planning

    5.205 The Localism Act provides the legislative framework for local communities to develop Neighbourhood Plans. There are plans which have a formal status within the planning process and which must be taken in to account in making planning decisions. However, there are also a number of other options for local communities to develop and express their plans for their local areas, such as village design statement or parish plans.

    5.206 Local communities taking an active role in determining the future for their neighbourhoods is a key part of achieving sustainable communities and these are processes which make a difference in bringing forward development in a way that is consistent with local needs and aspirations.

    (3) NP1 Neighbourhood Plans

    Planning applications that accord with the policies set out in this Plan, other Development Plan Documents, and where relevant, with policies in neighbourhood plans, will be approved without delay, unless other material considerations indicate otherwise.

    Explanation

    5.207 The Localism Act 2011 and NPPF provide the framework for town or parish councils within the District to engage in community and neighbourhood planning. The Council will help support neighbourhood planning in the District and work with communities to achieve their planning aims, where these are in conformity with EU obligations and human rights, the NPPF and the strategic policies of this Plan. Neighbourhood development plans will form part of the statutory development plan (but not the Local Plan) and be referred to within the Council's Local Development Scheme.

    (1) NP2 Community-led Planning

    The Council will support communities which are engaged in various community-led planning activities including:

    1. Parish Plans;

    2. Village and Parish Design Statements, and;

    3. Neighbourhood Plans.

    Explanation

    5.208 The District is fortunate in having a vibrant range of communities which are engaged in various community-led planning activities. These include:

    • Parish Plans - which are locally researched and often provide an action plan for how local residents wish to see their parish develop - they often cover a wide range of topics and issues.

    • Village and Parish Design Statements - covering local architectural styles, key design features and other design considerations.

    • Neighbourhood Plans - establishing local neighbourhood planning policies and the use of land.

    5.209 The Localism Act also provides communities with the right to bid for assets of community value and also the community right to build, which allows certain community organisations to bring forward smaller-scale development on a specific site, without the need for planning permission.

    (1) Waste

    5.210 Warwickshire County Council is the waste authority with responsibility for waste disposal on a county wide basis. Warwickshire has a long history of infilling largely due to the mineral extraction industry. The introduction of the Landfill Directive and diversion targets however has significantly reduced this as a method of waste disposal resulting in a county-wide reduction of 50% of the residual waste being landfilled. With enhanced recycling levels this is likely to reduce further over the coming years.

    W1 Waste Core Strategy

    Development should be in accordance with the Waste Core Strategy unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

    The Council will require a Waste Management Plan to accompany any proposal for developments of one residential unit or more or one commercial unit or more; This should include provision of space for storage of recycling facilities for each new unit whether it is residential or commercial in nature.

    Explanation

    5.211 The County Council has produced a Waste Core Strategy, adopted in July 2013, to set out the spatial vision, objectives and policies for managing waste up to 2028. The framework also sets out the strategy for waste development management, including implementation and monitoring. Planning applications have to be determined in line with the Strategy unless material considerations indicate otherwise, at both a county and district level. The provision of recycling facilities with all new developments will encourage the recycling of waste materials and help to meet the Council's recycling targets.

    (1) W2 New Waste Disposal Facilities

    If required, as part of a review of the Waste Core Strategy the Council will work with Warwickshire County Council to identify a suitable site for either

    1. Extended facilities on an existing site, or

    2. A new facility on previously developed/industrial site within or close to the edge of the towns of Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick and Kenilworth

    Explanation

    5.212 Whilst existing waste facilities are envisaged to be sufficient to deal with waste requirements for future population growth and built development during the plan period, the spatial strategy is based on sustainable locations for any future new facility requirements. This will mean locating new facilities close to the highest concentration of population. In the case of Warwick District, this will mean close to the primary settlements of Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick and Kenilworth. These facilities will be located on previously developed land and industrial estates as well as on existing waste sites. As small scale waste sites (managing less than 50,000 tonnes of waste per annum) are to be directed to settlements within 5km of Coventry, it is not envisaged that any new facilities will be located within the plan period, in Warwick District.

    References

    • National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

    • Warwickshire Waste Core Strategy, 2013 - 2028 (July 2013)

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