Planning permission will be granted for sustainable development where the proposal accords with the LDP and there is no demonstrable harm to interests of acknowledged importance. Where this is not the case there will be a presumption to refuse planning permission.
All development proposals requiring planning permission with the exception of minor proposals18, will be assessed against the following general policy criteria a) - e) and will, where relevant, be required to demonstrate compliance with them. In addition, all development proposals outside settlement limits and within the open countryside will also be required to demonstrate compliance with general policy criterion f).
Criteria relating to Design Quality and Respecting Local Character and Distinctiveness
- The development is compatible with surrounding land uses and neither the use or the built form19 and associated infrastructure (including hard/soft landscaping) will detract from the visual amenity, landscape quality, local distinctiveness and inherent character of the locality;
- The development, including associated infrastructure and landscaping is of high quality and, where appropriate, complements or enhances local built form;
- Appropriate landscaping and means of enclosure are provided so as to facilitate satisfactory integration of the development into the local townscape or rural landscape; and
- The development does not adversely affect features associated with the historic environment/setting, natural heritage or areas recognised for their exceptional landscape quality and should seek to retain or integrate such features wherever possible.
Criteria relating to Safeguarding Residential Amenity
- Neither the use or the built form shall have an unacceptable adverse impact upon the amenity20 of existing residents living within, adjacent to or in reasonable proximity to the development site;
- Appropriate boundary treatment and means of enclosure are provided so as to effectively mitigate against significant adverse impacts on visual amenity and, where relevant, other amenity impacts; and
- New residential development shall be sited so as to maintain sufficient separation distance from existing or approved infrastructure likely to prejudice residential amenity or safety21.
Criteria relating to Access/Movement /Car Parking
- Access arrangements shall be in accordance with the latest guidance published by the Department for Infrastructure22;
- A movement pattern is provided that, insofar as possible, supports active travel (walking and cycling), meets the needs of people with disabilities or whose mobility is impaired, respects public rights of way and provides adequate and convenient access to public transport and local community facilities;
- The existing road network has sufficient capacity or can be adequately upgraded to safely manage any extra vehicular traffic that the proposed development will generate; and
- Adequate and appropriate provision is made for car parking in accordance with the latest supplementary planning guidance23.
Criteria relating to Safety and the Safeguarding of Human Health/Wellbeing
- The development will not prejudice safety nor cause demonstrable harm to human health and wellbeing;
- Where appropriate, the development should be designed so as to facilitate opportunities for active and passive recreation for everyone, both within and wherever possible, beyond the site;
- The development is designed to deter crime and promote personal safety;
- Any emission or discharge of effluent (including sewage) arising from the development is in accordance with legislative requirements pertaining to air and water quality;
- The development site is not at risk from flooding and the development will not cause or exacerbate flooding elsewhere, taking account of present day flood risk and the potential future risk associated with climate change; and
- The development site is not located in an area known to be at significant risk from coastal erosion or land instability, or will not exacerbate such risks elsewhere.
Criteria relating to Sustainable Development
- Development proposals, particularly major applications, will be expected to generally align with the LDP Spatial Growth Strategy;
- Essential infrastructure to facilitate the development must be available or, if lacking, there must be a firm commitment in regard to its timely provision;
- The development shall utilise sustainable drainage systems, as the preferred drainage solution, where feasible and practicable to ensure that surface water runoff is managed in a sustainable way;
- The development does not have an unacceptable adverse impact on the quality and integrity of the environment and particularly upon local biodiversity and the delivery of ecosystem services beneficial to the community;
- The development takes account of the efficient use of energy, water and other resources, where feasible and practicable integrates micro-generation and passive solar design, in order to mitigate against the adverse impacts of climate change; and
- All development will be required to have adequate provision for the storage and management of waste.
Criteria relating to Development in the Countryside
Development proposals in the countryside should not have a significant adverse impact on landscape character, the rural character of the locality or environmental quality. The siting and design of proposals should overall be appropriate for the site, respect rural character, distinctiveness and the pattern of settlement in that area. Accordingly, a proposal for a building(s) and/or ancillary works should:
- be integrated into the surrounding landscape through the use of established boundaries such as trees and hedges, without the need to primarily rely on new landscaping or significant earthworks;
- not result in a prominent or obtrusive feature in the landscape, for example through siting on the top of ridges or slopes, particularly when seen from critical views from roads, shared lanes, public paths, or other public vantage points;
- be of an appropriate design, scale, height and massing for the site and the locality;
- respect any locally distinctive traditions in the siting and design of buildings;
- respect any traditional pattern of settlement exhibited in the locality;
- not result in a suburban style build-up of development in the area;
- not create or add to a ribbon of development; and
- not mar the distinction between a settlement and the surrounding countryside or result in urban sprawl.