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1.0 INTRODUCTION

The Borough Local Plan

1.1 This Local Plan is a statement of the intentions for the future use of land in the former East Yorkshire Borough of Beverley up to the year 2002. The Plan includes proposals which provide for necessary development and guides it to locations within the Borough that will protect environmentally and economically important areas. It also sets out policies to ensure that due attention is paid to the Borough's residential and business communities when changes in land use are proposed.

Purpose

1.2 The Borough Local Plan has the following four functions;

To develop the strategic planning policies and proposals of the County Council as set out in the Humberside Structure Plan. It will relate these to precise areas of land within the Borough.

To set out the policies and standards that will be applied by the Borough Council in consideration individual applications for planning permission. This will provide a sound basis for development control and clear guidance to those wishing to carry out development.

To make proposals for the development and use of land for specific purposes, identifying the locations where growth is proposed and the limits to growth where restraints are necessary. This will give developers and the public a clear indication of where development will and will not be acceptable and enable people to find out what is happening in their neighbourhoods over the next decade or so. It will also serve as a basis for co-ordinating programmes to serve the needs of development including infrastructure as well as the improvement and protection of the environment.

To provide a mechanism for detailed local planning issues to be brought before the public. The plan-making process gives an opportunity for local communities and other interested parties to express their views on the balance between continuity and change in the physical environment and how necessary growth and development can best be accommodated in ways that respect the local environment.

Plan Period

1.3 The Borough Local Plan is expected to guide and control the pattern of future development and land use in the Borough up to the year 2002. This will ensure that the Plan will be relevant for at least 10 years from its base date.

1.4 Most of the development proposed in the Plan will start within the plan period. However, some proposals to safeguard land for firm development intentions or reasons of conservation may extend over a longer period up to or beyond 2002.

1.5 In order to ensure that the Plan's policies and proposals remain appropriate it is proposed that an annual monitoring and evaluation report be prepared to enable policies to be evaluated as to their effectiveness and a full review of the Plan undertaken every five years.

BACKGROUND

Work so far

1.6 In drawing up this Plan work has been carried out to investigate the present situation in the Borough, to forecast future changes and to find a set of appropriate solutions to problems and issues.

1.7 In particular, the Borough Council has taken account of:

Local circumstances and the factors that bear on the development and use of land;

Relevant national policies and Government advice;

The policies and proposals of the County Council (see para 1.25) and other authorities and bodies such as Government departments and health authorities;

Possible future levels of population and employment;

Social needs and problems; and

The likely availability of resources for implementation.

1.8 This work has been published at key stages and public reaction was sought through the production of the 'Issues and Options Discussions Report' of September 1990, the 'Consultation Draft' Plan of March 1992 and the 'Deposit Draft' Plan of September 1993. The 'Issues and Options' report explored issues, problems and possible solutions and was used to seek comment from local communities and other interested parties on alternative policies and proposals at the outset of the Plan's preparation. The subsequent 'Consultation Draft' contained the Borough Council's preliminary ideas about what should be included in the Borough Local Plan and provided the first opportunity for comment on them. The 'Deposit Draft' was the Borough Council's recommended version of the final Plan and was made available for formal representations of support or objection.

1.9 A Public Local Inquiry was held to examine the representations made to the 'Deposit Draft' between October 1994 and February 1995. the report by an Independent Inspector appointed to examine those representations was considered by the Borough Council in December 1995. Copies of the Inspector's Report and the Council's subsequent statement of its decisions on the recommendations contained in the Inspector's Report are available separately.

1.10 Representations on the modifications to the Plan proposed in the light of the Inspector's recommendations were invited by February 1996. Those representations were considered by the Borough Council in March 1996, following which they gave their 'Notice of Intention to Adopt' the Plan.

Local Government Reorganisation

1.11 In April 1996, Local Government arrangements for the Plan Area were changed. The East Yorkshire Borough of Beverley Borough became part of an area administered by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, a Unitary Authority with former County and District planning powers which is responsible for local and structure plan coverage of its area.

1.12 Department of the Environment Circular 4/6 'Local Government Change and the Planning System' made provision for Local Plan proposals that were in preparation for an area immediately before Local Government change to be completed without the need to repeat previous steps.

1.13 The East Riding of Yorkshire Council accordingly resolved to adopt the Plan on 12th June 1996.

Plan Strategy

1.14 The broad concerns expressed by the public and interested parties to the 'Issues and Options' report and to the earlier versions of this Plan, together with the guidelines of the Regional Planning Guidance and the Humberside Structure Plan have provided the basis for this Plan's strategy.

1.15 Whilst the need to make provision for necessary development over the plan period is accepted, concern has been expressed strongly that the Borough has experienced a considerable amount, and disproportionate share, of development in recent decades. As a result, the environmental quality of its open countryside, its general amenity and character and the identity of some settlements is seriously threatened. In order to tackle this threat and assist urban regeneration on initiatives in the City of Hull which might otherwise be undermined a degree of development restraint is necessary in the Plan Area.

1.16 The Plan has considered environmental issues first to reflect the importance of this issue to the Borough. The policies and proposals in the Environmental Chapter then provide a 'sieve' through which all other policies and proposals in the Plan have been passed.

1.17 The Plan's aims are:

To protect and enhance the high quality of the Borough's environment and amenity

To continue to encourage economic activity, including the creation of new jobs within the Borough and in tourism

To meet the Borough's future housing needs, giving people a choice of where to live within the existing settlement pattern

To preserve and strengthen the Borough's character and identity in town and country

To maintain and improve the level of accessibility to everyone in the Borough to an adequate range of services including shopping, leisure and other community facilities

To encourage the provision of transport infrastructure to support existing patterns of land use and to serve future development

To make best use of past investment and resources in the Borough.

1.18 The objectives which have guided the preparation of the various proposals and policies in this Plan and which give effect to the above aims are set out below. The objectives will also act as criteria against which subsequent monitoring and evaluation of the Plan's effectiveness will be measured. The objectives are grouped around three themes:

a) protecting environment and amenity

b) the conservation of environmental resources

c) meeting economic, development and social needs.

Neither the themes or the objectives are grouped in order of importance.

1.19 The objectives are:

a) protecting environment and amenity

01 to protect the character and amenity of established residential areas and settlements

02 to conserve and enhance the Borough's Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and other areas of townscape value

03 to protect the Borough's open countryside for its beauty, diversity of landscape and its ecological and recreational value

04 to maintain the separate identity and individuality of the Borough's settlements

05 to preserve, protect and enhance Beverley as an historic town of national importance

06 to protect the setting of the Humber Bridge

07 to protect and enhance the natural character and landscape of the Borough's undeveloped coastline

08 to minimise environmental pollution

b) the conservation of environmental resources:

09 to protect all spaces of nature conservation and wildlife value

010 to support urban regeneration initiatives in the City of Hull

011 to promote the use of neglected, unused or derelict land in urban areas

012 to prevent unplanned, sporadic development, which places undue or disproportionate demands on public services

013 to minimise the impact of development on the best and most versatile agricultural land

014 to assist the protection of water resources

015 to protect, enhance and conserve the Borough's archaeological heritage

016 to protect the Borough's mineral resources

c) meeting economic, development and social needs:

017 to meet identified housing provision needs and maintain a five-year supply of available housing land

018 to secure the provision of wide range of dwellings to meet the needs of all sectors of the community

019 to make provision for industrial and commercial development to meet future employment needs

020 to safeguard existing employment areas

021 to protect existing open spaces and provide new open spaces to meet the Borough's recreational needs

022 to improve public access to the Countryside

023 to promote tourism facilities which will meet the needs of visitors to the area and be acceptable in environmental and amenity terms

024 to promote the efficient and safe movement of traffic, goods and people

025 to achieve safe conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and the disabled

026 to facilitate the improvement of public transport service

027 to provide adequate car parking facilities

028 to protect the vitality and viability of the Borough's existing major shopping areas

029 to preserve and enhance local shopping facilities

030 to promote the full use of upper floors in shopping areas

031 to retain and encourage the provision of a suitable range of community facilities

Form

1.20 This Local Plan consists of a Written Statement illustrated by a Proposals Map. The Statement sets out the planning policies for the Borough and proposals for change up to 2002, together with a reasoned justification. The location and extent of proposals are illustrated on the Proposals Map, which shows individual properties and specific sites.

1.21 The Written Statement consists of nine chapters, eight of which deal with a particular type of land use activity: environment; housing; employment; recreation; leisure and tourism; transportation; shopping; community facilities; and intensive livestock units. One chapter deals with the standards that the Council will expect to be achieved in new development. Each chapter contains policies and proposals on specific topics and matters of particular concern. Policies are not listed in priority order.

1.22 For ease of reference, each policy has been given a specific letter and reference number. The individual policies and proposal are set out in bold type to distinguish them from the supporting text. It is important to appreciate that it is likely policies from different topic chapters and the Environment and Development Standards chapters will be relevant to most development proposals (see Chapters 2 & 3). Reference should be made to the Proposals Map for definitive guidance as to the areas of land to which policies and proposals apply.

1.23 The Proposals Map consists of a Borough Wide sheet together with inset sheets for individual settlements. The policies and proposals in the Written Statement are where possible cross-referenced to particular areas of land on the Proposals Map by the use of their reference numbers and by means of a key notation.

Relationship to Other Plans

1.24 The Humberside Structure Plan (1987, as altered in 1993) sets out general planning policies and proposals for the whole of the County, which the Borough Local Plan will develop. It is a requirement that the Borough Local Plan is in general conformity with the Structure Plan. A full list of the Structure Plan Policies (as altered) is included at Appendix 1.

1.25 A number of other planning policy documents previously applied to parts of the Local Plan Area. These have all been superseded by this Local Plan and their provisions as they affect this Plan Area have been formally rescinded. These documents include:

The Beverley and District Local Plan (adopted 1990)

The County of York, East Riding Development Plan, including part of the Town Map for Halternprice and areas adjacent to the City of Kingston Upon Hull (approved in 1960).

The Intensive Livestock Units Local Plan (adopted in 1960).

Elloughton/Welton Local Plan Deposit Draft (September 1990)

Draft Leven Local Plan (September 1989)

Various non-statutory village, town centre, area and local development plans/maps/policies.

1.26 Regard has been taken of the Council's Housing Investment Strategy and Programme to ensure that the assumptions in this Plan are consistent with those used in that document.

1.27 This Plan does not contain comprehensive policies and proposals on mineral or waste disposal matters. These issues are dealt with more fully be separate local plans for minerals and waste. The minerals local plan will provide for the supply of minerals and ensure appropriate levels of associated environmental protection, including safeguarding future mineral resources, criteria for dealing with applications for mineral workings and requirements for restoration and aftercare. The waste local plan will set out detailed land-use policies for the treatment and disposal of refuse or waste materials, including the need for sites and facilities in the Borough. Consultation Drafts of both the Minerals Local Plan and Waste Local Plan have been adopted by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council for development control purposes.

1.28 The Borough Local Plan also carries forward the major road proposals contained in the Highway Improvement Programme (see Chapter 7).

Resources

1.29 The Plan includes proposals for different kinds of development. For these proposals to be carried out resources of land, labour and finance will be required. The responsibility for implementation lies with many sections of the community, local authority expenditure and Central Government who control certain key projects such as Trunk Road schemes. Whilst the Council has only limited responsibility for initiating development it can ensure, through the use of its development control powers under the Town and Country Planning Acts, that development takes place in accord with the policies and proposals of the Plan.

1.30 The Planning and Compensation Act 1991 substantially increases the weight attached to the Local Plan in the determination of planning applications, which could be of particular importance following an appeal against the Council's refusal of planning permission. This Plan intends to give clear guidance on how the Council will reach decisions on applications for development of different types in particular locations. These decisions, and the support that the Council receives on appeal, will play a major part in achieving the Council's objectives.

1.31 Local Authorities, with their responsibility for highways, education, social services and certain other activities including waste disposal and minerals, can and do initiate development. Other bodies providing infrastructure and services also carry out development, eg rail operators and health authorities. In most cases, however, development is carried out by private developers.

1.32 The proposals made in this Plan are realistic in terms of the resources that are likely to be needed and available for implementation. As part of its strategy the plan concentrates on making the most effective use of the Borough's existing under-utilised resources such as redundant and derelict buildings and land, as well as conserving resources such as the best and most versatile farmland, important mineral deposits and landscape features. The Council has taken note of the contents of the register of unused and underused public body land in the Borough and the potential for some sites to be brought back into productive use. Reliance is placed on utilising existing infrastructure in the Plan and wherever possible on avoiding directing development to areas where substantial capital expenditure would be required.

1.33 The Plan ensures that adequate land will be made available for future development. The most difficult question to answer is whether sufficient financial resources will be available for investment. The financial resources available to implement the Plan's proposals will largely be decided by the national economic situation and Central Government policy. Only broad assumptions therefore can be made about the probable level of available financial investment in future years. The present restraint on public expenditure seems likely to continue, especially in the short term. Hence, there are only limited proposals in the Plan involving spending by the Council and recognition that most of the investment proposed over the next decade or so will be by the private sector or through partnership between public and private developers. In the longer term, the financial climate may change and the Council itself may be able to take a more active role, though resources may be scarce for transportation and community facility developments.

1.34 The Plan thus aims for maximum flexibility in implementation. Its policies and proposals should remain valid and feasible even if the level of resources available for investment should fluctuate. Obviously, however, the rate of investment will affect the speed at which development takes place and the overall implementation of the Plan's strategy. Changes in resources will be monitored so that their impact on the assumptions within and between policy areas can be assessed during the periodic reviews of the Plan.

Monitoring and Review

1.35 It is intended that the Borough Local Plan will provide local planning guidance for the Borough of Beverley up to 2002. the Plan’s policies have been drawn up to be robust enough to cope with most changes in circumstances. However, despite such flexibility the Plan can not accurately anticipate all eventualities and there will undoubtedly be unforeseen circumstances in coming years brought about through technological change, new methods of construction, new forms of transport, new development in retailing, manufacturing, communications and in the use of leisure. All these may give rise to new patterns of activity which could affect the Plan's aims, policies and proposals.

1.36 The Plan will need to be continuously monitored and evaluated to ensure that it remains effective. The Council will provide an annual monitoring and evaluation report which will gather information and evaluate the continued relevance of the Plan's aims and objectives and the effectiveness and appropriateness of its policies and proposals. Appendix 2 sets out the principal criteria which will be used to monitor and evaluate the Plan.

1.37 It is proposed that a full review of the Plan will be undertaken every five years to reassess the Plan's policies and allocations on a rolling basis and ensure they remain valid.

BOROUGH PROFILE

1.38 The Borough of Beverley extends to 40,000 hectares (156 square miles) and in 1991 had a population of 111,7000. The Borough's population has risen steadily, and between 1981 and 1991 it increased by 4,500 (4.3%), principally through migration. Population growth is forecast to continue through continued inward migration, although in order to limit the impact of new development on the Borough's environment controls are to be introduced to limit the number of new houses that will be built in the plan period (see paragraph 4.7) which will reduce this element of population growth.

1.39 Almost half of the District's population resides in the communities of Cottingham, Anlaby/Willerby/Kirk Ella and Hessle to the west of Kingston Upon Hull. The ancient town of Beverley itself has grown from its medieval nucleus and now contains almost one quarter of the Borough's population. Pressure for development has been great in the Borough during the 1980's.

1.40 Beverley Borough's different settlements provide a popular mix of residential areas, which is reflected in the fact that the Borough remains the most expensive place in Humberside to buy a house, and this is the case for all house types from flats to large detached houses. The number of dwellings in the Borough rose from 40,200 to 46,100 (15%) between 1981 and 1989, largely the result of new houses rather than conversions or sub-divisions. In 1981 72% of households in the Borough were owner occupiers, well above the Great Britain average of 58%, and the proportion will have increased since with the limitation on public sector house building and the sale of council houses.

1.41 The Borough forms part of the Hull Travel to Work Area* and in 1987 was the place of employment for 35,820 persons. The Borough has a diverse industrial structure which has helped cushion it from fluctuations in the economy. Most of the main industrial employment areas are found within or adjacent to the Borough's larger population centres in Beverley, Cottingham, Willerby, Antaby, Hessle and Brough Melton.

1.42 Important components of the local economy include agriculture, where intensive livestock farming and horticulture are prominent, metal goods/engineering and vehicle component manufacturing industries.

1.43 However, the service sector is the largest source of employment, with public administration, education, health and recreation accounting for almost 40% of total employment in the District. 10% of those employed in the Borough in 1981 were self employed.

1.44 Despite the varied employment opportunities within the Borough, many residents work in Hull, North Humberside's commercial centre, to which commuting is facilitated by good road and rail communications.

1.45 The Borough's built environment includes a surviving stock of old buildings in a variety of urban and rural settings. There is no dominant local building type of material that produces a single tradition except perhaps for bricks and pantiles. The character is thus the product of many architectural styles and materials creating a lively architectural tradition.

1.46 Many of the architecturally and historically important areas within settlements are protected by Conservation Areas. These range from the West Ella Conservation Area, covering a homogenous, quiet rustic character or cottages, hedges and gardens, through to the Beverley Conservation Area covering an extremely diverse and complex area of a nationally important historic town. Beverley is noted for its historic town plan, major ecclesiastical site and its medieval and Georgian buildings.

1.47 There is a wide cross-section of archaeological sites within the Borough, some are standing remains, for example, the Market Cross in Beverley, whilst others are buried remains. 42 key sites have been scheduled as Ancient Monuments of national importance by the Secretary of State for the Environment whilst the County Council's Sites and Monuments Record registers 3,500 sites of archaeological interest in the Borough (at the last count). The Wolds chalk lands in the western part of the District are particularly rich in pre-historic and Romano-British remains, with a wealth of Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age funary and ceremonial monuments.

1.48 The Borough's landscape contains different types – urban, urban-fringe and rural. Undoubtedly, the most impressive landscape within the Borough is formed by the Yorkshire Wolds. These chalk hills form a crescent-shaped area of higher land running from the impressive estuary of the River Humbar to Flamborough Head approximately 300 square miles in extent. To the east they descend gradually to the polain of Holderness, while on the west they are much steeper and broken by valleys. The Wolds contain few streams but may attractive dry valleys some of which are well wooded, for example, Elloughton, Welton and Brantingham Dales.

1.49 To the east of the Wolds lies the 'valley' of the River Hull and beyond that the low-lying plain of Holderness (beyond Tickton). Between 1660 and 1810 drainage works began on the marsh lands of the River Hull flood plain, bringing them into agricultural use. The third physical landscape type is the Vale of York, lying to the west and south of the Woldsk, covering only a small part of the Borough around Ellerker.

1.50 The fabric of the Borough's landscape consists of a range of wildlife habitats. These include floristically-rich chalk grasslands which occupy some of the dry valleys of the Wolds, to the small wetlands of the Holderness Plain which reflect a habitat that was once more widespread, to the vast expanse of the Humber Flats and Marshes which are particularly important for the variety of birds, some of which flock in large numbers to feed and roost on the Estuary. Some of these important areas are specially designated as SSSIs by English Nature to conserve their nature conservation interest. At present these sites form a mere 0.44% of the total area of Beverley Borough, excluding the large area of the Humber Estuary and 4.89% including this site. However, there are a number of important nature conservation sites outside these designated areas which support a wide range of wildlife including chalk grasslands, hay meadows, pastures, woodlands, springs and wetlands, disused railways and quarries. Not to mention the wealth of plants and animals such as bats, barn owls and amphibians which are found in a variety of places throughout the area. The Borough also has a number of natural features which have recognised geological and geomorphological interests. This mosaic of plants and animals, geological exposures and land forms within the landscape is part of our natural heritage.

1.51 The car is the dominant means of travel to work for people within the Borough (62%) and car ownership amongst the Borough's households was far higher than for Humberside in general and England and Wales as a whole. Indeed, 22% of the Borough's households owned two or more cars at the time of the 1981 census, significantly above the national figure. Other modes of transport are important, with rail travel at 3.5% a more popular mode of travel than for other Humberside Districts, reflecting the value of the Hull-Scarbrough and the Hull to Goole/Selby railway lines as commuter routes. The use of motor and pedal cycles (at 13%) is approaching twice the national average. Whilst the numbers travelling by bus and foot are lower than for Humberside in general, they still account for 9% and 10% of journeys to work respectively. The high level of car ownership reflects the geographical make-up of the Borough, as in the absence of other means of transport to some villages, car ownership is essential.

1.52 The Borough has a considerable number of heritage and leisure attractions, whilst the Wolds landscape and scenery is another valuable tourism asset. The Humber Bridge provides a major national and international attraction, and with Beverley Minster and the Museum of Army Transport, for example, the District has a good base for tourism.

1.53 Cultural activities play an important part in the District and in recent years the Beverley Early Music and Beverley Folk Festivals have become events of national importance.

1.54 The shopping needs of the Borough's residents are met by a range of town-centre shops, local shopping centres and individual shops, both large and small. Some new retail floorspace has been built in the District in recent years, most taking the form of large new out-of-town stores, whilst Beverley town has a number of small specialised shops, popular with local shoppers and tourists alike. However, the Borough depends heavily for 'comparison' (See Paragraph 8.1 for the definition of 'comparison' shopping goods) shopping needs on the nearby regional centre of Hull.

PRINCIPLES

1.55 Government Planning Advice ( Department of Environmental Planning Policy Guidance Note 1: 'General Policy and Principles', 1992) states that the planning system "should operate on the basis that planning applications for development should be allowed, having regard to the develoment plan and all materials considerations, unless the proposed development would cause demonstrable harm to interests of acknowledged importance".

1.56 The 'development plan' for Beverley Borough comprises the Humberside Structure Plan, this Local Plan and any Waste and Minerals Local Plans.

1.57 'Material considerations' are the genuine planning considerations which relate to control of the development or use of the land concerned in the public interest. This involves all fundamental planning factors, including for example: the number, size, layout, siting, design and external appearance of buildings and the proposed means of access; landscaping; impact on the neighbourhood; the availability of infrastructure; outdoor playing space and open space; parking. In principle, any consideration which relates to the use and development of land is capable of being a planning consideration. Whether a particular consideration falling within that broad class is material in any given case will depend on the circumstances.

1.58 'Interests of acknowledged importance' are those wider concerns of accepted value which the planning system is designed to protect and which need to be related to the importance of specific development proposals. They include such factors as for example: protecting and enhancing the environment in town and country; conserving the rural landscape; preserving the build and natural heritage; encouraging economic development; providing an adequate and continuous supply of land for housing; protecting the best and most versatile agricultural land; ensuring that development and growth are sustainable ( Sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs); promoting the development of sport and recreation.

1.59 In determining applications for any development proposal, the Council will establish whether the development plan contains any relevant policies or proposals and whether there are any other relevant material considerations.

1.60 Where:

i) the development plan does contain relevant policies or proposals and there are no other material considerations, or interests of acknowledged importance, the proposal will be determined accordance with the development plan.

ii) there are no material considerations or interests of acknowledged importance, the development plan should be taken as the starting point and the other material considerations and interests of acknowledged importance will be weighed in reaching a decision

iii) there is no relevant policy in the development plan or where relevant policies conflict so as not to provide clear guidance, then the development proposal will be determined on its merits in the light of all the material considerations and interests of acknowledged importance.

1.61 Development proposals will have to be evaluated against all relevant policies and material considerations before they are acceptable. Policies from different chapters, and not just one chapter, will normally be relevant. It will be unlikely that only one policy will apply to a proposal.

1.62 Development proposals which are in accord with the development plan will be approved. It will only be in circumstances where other material considerations or interests of acknowledged importance will be demonstrably harmed that development proposals in accord with the development plan will not be allowed, and it will be for the Borough Council to clearly explain what those considerations or interests are in justifying their decision.. Development proposals which are in conflict with the development plan however will not be approved unless the applicant is able to produce clear and convincing reasons to demonstrate why the policies or proposals of the development plan should not prevail.

Development proposals which are in accord with all relevant policies of the development plan will be approved unless the proposal will cause demonstrable harm to any other material considerations or interests of acknowledged importance.

Development proposals which are not in accord with all the relevant policies of the development plan will not be approved unless

(a) there are clear and convincing reasons to demonstrate why the development plan should not prevail having regard to all other material considerations and

(b) the interests of acknowledged importance will not be materially prejudiced.

1.63 In the Plan Area as a whole there are areas of land and properties where no notation is indicated on the Proposal Map. This is because this Plan concentrates on areas of change, or areas where specific policies are to apply. Areas shown without notation are thus expected to remain broadly in their present use. There are however a number of policies which apply to the whole of the Plan area and these will need to be taken account of in places with no specific notation when any change is proposed. Any proposals for development in areas without specific notation will be treated on their merits at the time of application bearing in mind the provisions of the development plan and any other relevant material considerations and interests of acknowledged importance.

Policy P1

In areas shown without specific notation on the Proposals Map, the existing uses of land are intended to remain largely undisturbed. Where there are proposals for change, development proposals will be assessed against the development plan having regard to any other material considerations and interests of acknowledged importance.

1.64 The Council strongly endorses Government advice which makes it clear that growth and development should be sustainable. It is important therefore that the policies and proposals in this Plan and any other development proposals that arise can contribute to this objective.

1.65 In order to meet this obligation to the environment the various policies in this Plan reflect its commitment to sustainable development. All development proposals will be judged against these policies where relevant, to ensure that recognised environmental concerns are given due consideration.

THE PLAN'S COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

All development proposals will be expected to take full account of the need to protect and improve the environment so that present day needs do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Development proposals must reflect the need to conserve significant environmental assets and energy resources such as:the quality and quantity of water suppliesagricultural land and in particular that which is the best and most versatile (grades 1,2 and 3a)sites of special scientific interest and other statutorily designated nature conservation siteslisted buildingsscheduled ancient monumentsthe existing average of outdoor playing spaceexisting areas of amenity, character or nature conservation importanceconservation areasacceptable levels of air quality

1.66 Unless indicated otherwise, all policies of this Plan must be considered against these concerns.

Policy P2

All development proposals will be expected to take full account of the need to protect the environment so that present day needs do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

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2.0 Environment>