National Policy Guidance
11.1 PPS23 “Planning and Pollution Control” (2004) gives advice on the relationship between controls over development under planning law, on the one hand, and under pollution control legislation on the other. Separate annexes deal, inter alia, with air quality, water quality, waste management and contaminated land. More recent advice on some of these aspects has been set out in Circular advice.
11.2 PPG24 “Planning and Noise” (September 1994) provides guidance to local planning authorities on the use of planning powers to minimise the adverse impact of noise
Replacement Structure Plan
11.3 The RSP includes policies aimed at controlling polluting, hazardous and noisy developments (Policy BE6) and minimising the impact of pollution (BE7).
The Brentwood Community Plan
11.4 The Community Plan’s strategic objectives that are relevant to the Replacement Local Plan’s Pollution Control Policies are set out under the heading “Health and Welfare” and includes:
“To ensure that the people of the Borough have a healthy life and general environment by:
- Removing or controlling those adverse factors affecting the health and welfare of local people in both the living and working environments, by educating, advising and enforcing statutory duties and discretionary powers”
THE AIM AND OBJECTIVES FOR THE PLAN’S POLLUTION CONTROL POLICIES:
The Overall Aim
To minimise environmental pollution
- To control development that involves potentially hazardous or polluting activities
- To ensure that sensitive uses are not subject to unacceptable levels of noise, air or other forms of pollution
- To ensure adequate controls are exercised in the use of land known or suspected of being contaminated by previous uses
11.5 Many aspects of pollution control in relation to air, water and land resources are outside the formal control of the planning system and are the responsibilities of other agencies, such as the Environment Agency. However, whilst separate, the planning and pollution control systems are complementary. The planning system needs to consider whether a proposed development is an acceptable use of land, and the potential for pollution is a material consideration.
11.6 The most effective way of achieving conservation and enhancement of the environment is to prevent the creation of pollution or nuisances at source, rather than subsequently trying to counteract their effects. It is essential, therefore, to take account of the effects of development on the environment at the earliest possible stage.
11.7 The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 sets out advice on the assessment of the effects of certain development projects on the environment, in respect of projects which require planning permission. The Regulations make the distinction between Schedule 1 projects which require environmental assessment in every case and Schedule 2 projects which require environmental assessment if they are "likely to have significant effects on the environment by virtue of factors such as their nature, size or location."
11.8 The type of projects included within Schedule 1 cover major developments of national importance such as crude-oil refineries; thermal power stations; the storage or disposal of radioactive waste; integrated chemical installations; waste-disposal installations, motorway construction; airports and long-distance railway lines; trading ports and inland water ways and asbestos related processes.
11.9 Schedule 2 covers a much more extensive list of development as defined in the legislation and Circular 2/99 (source: Circular 2/99 – Environmental Impact Assessment). Upon the submission of an application that falls within Schedule 2, the Council will give a “screening opinion” as to whether or not it considers an environmental assessment is required.
Land Contaminated by Hazardous Substances
11.10 If it is known or strongly suspected that a development site is contaminated to an extent which would adversely affect the proposed development or infringe statutory requirements, an investigation of the hazards by the developer and proposals for any necessary remedial measures required to deal with the hazards together with a validation scheme normally will be required before the application can be determined. If a developer believes that the land is contaminated then they are strongly advised to consult the Council as early as possible before an application is submitted.
11.11 Suspicion of contamination will generally arise from information on previous land uses provided as part of the application for development, or from the Council's own records. Contaminated land also poses a significant threat to, inter alia, aquifers, ground water and surface water. For the reasons set out above, before implementation of any planning permission, the Council, in consultation with the Environment Agency will need to be satisfied that appropriate measures have been or will be taken to deal with any contamination.
WHERE DEVELOPMENT IS PROPOSED ON LAND WHICH IS SUSPECTED OF BEING CONTAMINATED BY HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES ARISING OUT OF PREVIOUS LAND USES SUCH AS INDUSTRY, GAS WORKS, WASTE TIPS OR LANDFILL SITES, AN ENVIRONMENTAL SURVEY ASSESSING THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF THE CONTAMINATION WILL BE REQUIRED TO ACCOMPANY THE APPLICATION. WHERE APPROPRIATE, DEVELOPMENT WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED WHERE THE APPLICANT CAN ENSURE, TO THE COUNCIL’S SATISFACTION, THAT THE LAND IS CAPABLE OF BEING DECONTAMINATED AND RECLAIMED FOR BENEFICIAL USE IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN AGREED REMEDIATION AND VALIDATION SCHEME PRIOR TO THE GRANT OF PLANNING PERMISSION; AND APPROPRIATE MEASURES TO DEAL WITH CONTAMINATION OF THE DEVELOPMENT SITE ARE UNDERTAKEN BEFORE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ANY PLANNING PERMISSION.
Hazardous Substances and Notifiable Installations
11.12 Certain sites and pipelines are designated as notifiable installations by virtue of the quantities of hazardous substance stored or used. The siting of such installations will be subject to planning controls aimed at keeping these separated from housing and other land uses with which such installations might be incompatible from the safety viewpoint. To this end, the Planning Authority will seek the advice of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on the suitability of that development in relation to the risks that the notifiable installation might pose to the surrounding population.
11.13 The Borough already contains a number of installations handling notifiable substances, including high-pressure natural gas transmission pipelines. Whilst they are subject to stringent controls under existing health and safety legislation, it is considered prudent to control the types of development permitted in the vicinity of these installations. For this reason the Planning Authority have been advised by the HSE of consultation distances for each of these installations. In determining whether or not to grant consent for a proposed development or modifications to existing establishments that could have significant repercussions on major accident hazards within these consultation distances, the Planning Authority will take account of the advice it receives from HSE and the Environment Agency, as appropriate, about the risks to the proposed development or people in the surrounding area from the notifiable installation.
DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS INVOLVING THE USE, MOVEMENT OR STORAGE OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED WITHIN EMPLOYMENT AREAS AND THEN ONLY WHERE IT WOULD NOT GIVE RISE TO AN UNACCEPTABLE RISK TO THE HEALTH OR SAFETY OF USERS OF THE SITE, NEIGHBOURING LAND OR THE ENVIRONMENT.
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR ANY DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS IN THE VICINITY OF A SITE INVOLVED IN THE USE, MOVEMENT OR STORAGE OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES WHERE THERE WOULD BE AN UNACCEPTABLE RISK TO THE HEALTH OR SAFETY OF THE USERS/OCCUPIERS OF THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT
11.14 The impact of noise can be a material consideration in the determination of a planning application. Noise sensitive developments such as housing, hospitals and schools should be located away from existing sources of significant noise such as heavily trafficked roads and railways. Conversely, potentially noisy developments should be located away from existing or proposed noise-sensitive developments. When assessing a proposal for residential development near a source of noise, the noise exposure category (NEC), as defined by PPG24, will be determined and the appropriate guidance for a particular NEC shall normally be followed
11.15 For development falling within NEC “A”, noise is unlikely to be a determining factor. On sites likely to be in NEC “B” or “C”, applicants will need to ascertain which NEC the site falls into and thus have regard to this when considering the layout and design of the development. Regard should be had to BS 8233:1999 “Sound Insulation and Noise Reduction for Buildings – Code of Practice”.
11.16 Residential development should be designed so as to achieve a good standard of indoor ambient noise levels in bedrooms and living rooms i.e. 30dBAeq,T. Anything above this level should be justified within the planning application. Noise sensitive developments within the NEC “D” will not be permitted.
11.17 Applications for developments that have the potential to have a detrimental impact on noise levels experienced by existing or proposed occupiers will need to detail noise attenuation methods to be employed and demonstrate that the resultant noise levels will not have a detrimental impact on nearby occupiers. Normally the applicant will need to demonstrate that noise levels resulting from the proposed development will be at least 5dB below the existing background noise level at the facade of the nearest noise sensitive building.
RESIDENTIAL AND OTHER NOISE-SENSITIVE DEVELOPMENT, SUCH AS SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE THE OCCUPANTS WOULD EXPERIENCE EITHER SIGNIFICANT INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL NOISE DISTURBANCE. EQUALLY, NOISE- GENERATING DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED IF IT WOULD HAVE A SIGNIFICANT UNACCEPTABLE DETRIMENTAL IMPACT ON THE NOISE LEVELS EXPERIENCED BY THE OCCUPIERS OF EXISTING OR PROPOSED RESIDENTIAL OR OTHER NOISE-SENSITIVE DEVELOPMENT. IN ASSESSING THE ACCEPTABILITY OR OTHERWISE OF ANY PROPOSALS, REGARD WILL BE HAD TO THE STANDARDS SET OUT IN PLANNING POLICY GUIDANCE NOTE 24.
See also BS 8233:1999 “Sound Insulation and Noise Reduction for Buildings – Code of Practice”
11.18 Traffic is a major source of noise pollution. An overall increase in the level of traffic within the Borough generally will give rise to increased noise levels. Any noise disturbance experienced is likely to be as much a problem at night as during the day since monitoring evidence suggests that night time levels do not fall away as much as might be expected. Disturbance from heavy lorries is a particular problem early in the morning.
11.19 The problem of noise is particularly acute adjacent to the A12, which if it were a new or altered road, the noise levels being experienced by sufficiently affected premises would entitle them to noise protection facilities under the Noise Insulation Regulations. On existing roads, however, the only form of noise protection available is that which the Department of Transport may provide to reduce adverse effects due to the existence of a highway.
11.20 Sound barriers have, in recent years, been provided by the Department of Transport on certain sections of the A12. However, in order to protect residential amenity, the Council will continue to make representations to the Department of Transport and implement its own schemes where possible to ensure that additional adequate noise protection is introduced along the A12 corridor and elsewhere within the Borough where traffic noise is a problem (including planting belts and tree screens).
THE COUNCIL WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE REPRESENTATIONS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT AND IMPLEMENT ITS OWN SCHEMES WHERE POSSIBLE TO ENSURE THAT ADEQUATE NOISE PROTECTION (INCLUDING PLANTING BELTS AND TREE SCREENS) IS INTRODUCED ALONG THE A12 CORRIDOR AND ELSEWHERE WITHIN THE BOROUGH WHERE TRAFFIC NOISE IS A PROBLEM.
11.21 In addition to the disturbance from noise, traffic gives rise to air borne pollutants. The Council’s Air Quality Review and Assessment has identified that there are no significant non-traffic sources of specified pollutants within the Borough. The main sources of relevant air pollutants are from heavily trafficked roads, in particular the M25, A12, A127, A128 and the A1023 (See paras.11.23 to 11.26).
11.22 Lighting associated with the main road network can also give rise to visual pollution as a result of light spillage, direct points of light and general glare. Such lighting should be so designed as to minimise the detrimental impacts and incorporate appropriate mitigation measures, including, for example, on-site and off-site planting and screening.
ALL NEW TRANSPORT PROPOSALS AND IMPROVEMENTS TO EXISTING TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THEIR IMPACT ON AIR QUALITY, NOISE LEVELS AND VISUAL AMENITY, AND WILL NEED TO BE DESIGNED SO AS TO MINIMISE ANY NEGATIVE IMPACTS AND, WHERE NECESSARY, INCORPORATE REASONABLE AND APPROPRIATE MITIGATION MEASURES
Areas of Poor Air Quality
11.23 Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 requires each local authority to periodically review air quality. The Air Quality Regulations 2000 prescribe air quality objectives and the dates for meeting them. The Government periodically reviews the air quality objectives and they are therefore subject to change.
11.24 For each objective the local authority has to consider present and likely future air quality and assess whether the objectives are likely to be achieved by the relevant deadline. Where these objectives are not likely to be achieved, the authority must designate those areas as Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA).
11.25 At present seven areas of the Borough have been designated as AQMAs. Further detailed work is being undertaken and in due course it is intended that an action plan will be produced with a strategy to improve air quality in these areas.
11.26 The areas affected are in close proximity to the M25 or the A12 and one area is in the town centre around Wilson’s Corner (the junction of the A128 and A1023). The appropriate maps can be viewed at the Town Hall (Environmental Health Services).
11.27 It is not intended that these areas will remain sterile in development terms but developers would be expected to minimise the effects of poor air quality as far as possible and have regard to PPS23 “Planning and Pollution Control” and “Local Air Quality Management Policy Guidance LAQM.PG(03) (defra). Large developments within an AQMA or in such close proximity as to affect the air quality within an AQMA would be expected to carry out an environmental assessment of the likely air quality effects of the development.
11.28 It is highly recommended that developers arrange pre-application discussions with Council Planning and Environmental Health Officers so that the implications of air quality can be dealt with.
IN IDENTIFIED AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT AREAS DEVELOPMENT FOR RESIDENTIAL OR OTHER SENSITIVE USES SHOULD HAVE REGARD TO PPS23 ‘PLANNING AND POLLUTION CONTROL’ AND ‘LOCAL AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT POLICY GUIDANCE LAQM.PG(03)’. COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENTS LIKELY TO HAVE SIGNIFICANT DETRIMENTAL IMPACTS ON AIR QUALITY IN THESE AREAS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.