National Policy Guidance
9.1 Government guidance on the policy issues pertinent to conservation and protection of the environment are set out in a number of Planning Policy Guidance Notes. PPG9 “Nature Conservation” advises on conservation of the natural heritage and of the diversity of wildlife. PPG15 “Planning and the Historic Environment” sets out government policy guidance on the identification and protection of historic buildings, conservation areas, and other elements of the historic environment. PPG16 “Archaeology and Planning” advises on policies for archaeological remains on land, and how they should be preserved or recorded both in the urban setting and in the countryside. Finally PPG19 “Outdoor Advertisement Control” provides guidance on the how the display of outdoor advertisements can contribute positively to the appearance of the environment.
9.2 All of these guidance notes embody the government’s commitment to sustainable development.
Replacement Structure Plan
9.3 Core Strategy Policy CS2 of the RSP encompasses the generality of government guidance in seeking to protect the natural and built environment. This policy is supported by a range of more specific policies set out in the “Natural Resources”, and “Heritage Conservation” sections of the RSP.
Brentwood Community Plan
9.4 The Community Plan’s strategic objectives that are relevant to the Replacement Local Plan’s Conservation and Protection of the Natural and Built Environment Policies are set out under the headings “Sustainable Development and the Local Environment” and “Community Safety”, which include:
“ To seek to make provision for appropriate housing, employment and other development to meet the needs of the Borough, whilst conserving and maximising resources and enhancing the character and environmental quality of the Borough for the benefit of current and future generations, by:
- Promoting the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources both inside and outside the Council’s sphere of operation
- Promoting the conservation and enhancement of the natural and built environment
“ To keep Brentwood safe and make it an even safer place in which to live, work and relax by reducing priority crime and disorder problems, by:
- Working in partnership with all organisations that have a role in reducing crime and disorder and their causes
- Continuing to involve the community and consult with it on Crime and Disorder issues”
THE AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PLAN’S CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT POLICIES
To maintain the quality of the Borough’s natural and built environment
- To maintain and enhance the character, appearance and ecological value of the Borough’s urban and rural areas
- To maintain the historical, architectural and archaeological heritage of the Borough
- To seek a high quality of design and materials in new development
- To promote the improvement of both the natural and built environment in the Borough
- To resist and, where possible, reduce the unnecessary proliferation of advertisements and to improve the quality of advertisements and shop fronts
9.5 The quality and character of the environment, and its conservation and enhancement are important factors to be considered in the long-term land use planning of the Borough as they contribute to the amenity, attractiveness and safety of the places in which people live, work and enjoy their leisure time.
THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
9.6 Local Authorities have statutory powers as well as obligations to ensure effective conservation of the landscape, its wildlife and natural resources while making adequate provision for necessary development. The Conservation (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1994 (The Habitats Regulations) requires Planning Authorities to have regard to nature conservation when determining planning applications.
9.7 Due to various, often conflicting demands in terms of housing, industry, commerce, transport, farming etc., many natural features and wildlife habitats have already been lost or have deteriorated due to neglect or misuse. Control is in many cases beyond the scope of Local Planning Authorities. Nevertheless it is essential to preserve what remains and indeed improve the countryside where damage has occurred and restore natural features wherever possible.
9.8 For this reason many areas of nature conservation or landscape value have been designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, County Wildlife Sites, Special Landscape Areas (to be replaced in time with Landscape Character Assessment Areas) and Local Nature Reserves, or identified in Biodiversity Action Plans, where the Council will endeavour to ensure their protection and enhancement. In addition to the designated areas, it is also important to safeguard features such as trees, hedges, ponds, watercourses, lanes and verges etc., within the wider countryside, as these provide the necessary links between them. English Nature has published guidelines on the availability of natural green space to centres of population. This Council will seek to ensure that it meets these targets.
9.9 Conservation of the natural environment cannot be achieved solely by site protection. It also depends on wise management of such features and land and water resources as a whole. To achieve this requires communication and co-operation between those whose activities change the character of the environment and those who seek to conserve its most valuable elements. Brentwood Countryside Management Service was set up in 1988 to achieve this aim by managing existing features, carrying out new habitat creation schemes and working with local landowners and voluntary organisations to provide them with the necessary advice and support.
9.10 With continuing pressure for expansion of urban areas, changes in the agricultural economy and the encouragement of diversification, along with greater demands for access to the countryside for recreation, it is also necessary to have a better understanding of its natural character. A Habitat Survey was completed in 1993, which recorded those features considered to be of key importance locally. This has been an important aid to objective and informed decision-making as well as to the appropriate management of the environment.
Sites of Special Scientific Interest
9.11 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are designated by English Nature where an area is considered to be of special importance because of its flora, fauna, geological or physiographical interest; its unique characteristics being irreplaceable. In most cases these key sites are relatively small and sensitive to changes in their surroundings.
9.12 Proposals for development in or likely to affect a SSSI will be subject to special scrutiny. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 strengthens the protection of these sites in the planning process. Where development may have a significant adverse effect, directly or indirectly on the SSSI, it will not be permitted unless the reasons for the development clearly outweigh the value of the site itself and the national policy to safeguard the intrinsic nature conservation value of the national network of sites. Land adjoining a SSSI can provide an important buffer and, therefore, should be managed appropriately. Any proposals affecting such areas should reflect this role.
9.13 Where development is permitted, the authority will consider the use of conditions or planning obligations to ensure the protection and enhancement of the site's nature conservation interest.
9.14 The Council is required to consult English Nature on planning applications affecting SSSIs. The SSSIs within the Borough are Curtis Mill Green, Thorndon Park and The Coppice, Kelvedon Hatch, as identified on the Proposals Map.
DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD HAVE AN UNACCEPTABLE DETRIMENTAL IMPACT, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, ON A SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THE REASONS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT CLEARLY OUTWEIGH THE VALUE OF THE SITE ITSELF AND THE NATIONAL POLICY TO SAFEGUARD THE INTRINSIC NATURE CONSERVATION VALUE OF THE NATIONAL NETWORK OF SUCH SITES, AND THERE ARE NO REASONABLE ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF MEETING THE DEVELOPMENT NEED.
IN ALL CASES WHERE DEVELOPMENT IS PERMITTED, SUCH DAMAGE WILL BE KEPT TO A MINIMUM. WHERE APPROPRIATE, THE AUTHORITY WILL REQUIRE APPROPRIATE MITIGATION AND COMPENSATORY MEASURES TO BE PROVIDED.
A Target and Indicator for monitoring this policy is set out in Chapter 13.
Local Nature Reserves
9.15 The Borough Council in consultation with English Nature can declare a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) under the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act. In contrast to SSSI status, which is a protective designation, the purpose of a LNR is to promote positive management of the site, public use and education. Such management could include managing grassland as a hay meadow, recoppicing woodland or creating a pond.
9.16 In 2001 the Borough’s first LNR was designated at Hutton Country Park, off Wash Road. Totalling 34 hectares this site comprises mainly unimproved grassland that is being managed with the support of the local community. The Essex Wildlife Trust manages a site at Warley Place as a nature reserve, but this is not a statutory designation. Investigations are continuing with a view to identifying other suitable sites that could be designated as a LNR (for example, the former B.T. site in Hatch Road).
WHERE APPROPRIATE, AREAS OF LOCAL CONSERVATION VALUE, WHICH WOULD BENEFIT FROM POSITIVE MANAGEMENT, WILL BE DESIGNATED AS LOCAL NATURE RESERVES.
County Wildlife Sites, Other Habitats and Natural Features of Local Value
9.17 Following completion of the habitat survey referred to in paragraph 9.10, County Wildlife Sites (formerly Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation) were identified. County Wildlife Sites are those sites that are regarded as being the best example of semi-natural habitats in the Borough and form an essential part of the area's natural heritage. Some of these may be suitable for designation as LNRs. However, the Borough is endowed with many other natural features of conservation interest, including commons, public and private woodlands, tree belts, ponds and rivers, hedgerows, and a number of protected lanes, all of which should be appropriately managed and, wherever possible, enhanced.
9.18 Successful conservation of biodiversity relies on retention of natural and semi-natural vegetation and the limitation of activities on land and water that are harmful to wildlife and its habitats. However, where possible, the Borough’s natural features should be used as recreational resources for informal countryside activities where compatible with the retention of their landscape value and biodiversity. Certain "recreational" activities such as combat games are considered unsuitable in the more sensitive, natural and quieter rural areas, and, where necessary and appropriate, the Council will seek approval for Article 4 Directions to prevent such uses. The Council will have regard to the detailed information available in the Habitat Survey and the County Wildlife Sites that were identified in order to ensure their protection. When the Habitat Survey is reviewed any amendments will be incorporated into the Local Plan.
9.19 Development (including changes of use) likely to have an adverse effect on a Local Nature Reserve, County Wildlife Site, or other natural feature of major importance for wild fauna or flora will not be permitted unless it can be shown that the reasons for the development outweigh the need to retain the features.
9.20 Where appropriate the authority will consider the use of conditions and/or planning obligations to provide appropriate compensatory measures.
9.21 Many species of plants and animals are protected by law and it is an offence to kill or otherwise harm them. For some species, for example bats, badgers and water voles, it is also an offence to damage their habitat. There is a duty on any developer to survey the application site to ensure that the development proposals do not detrimentally affect such species. In some cases it may be necessary to request an ecological survey to be provided by the developer. The Borough Council will consult with English Nature on issues relating to protected species. In 1999 the Essex Biodiversity Action Plan was produced. This set out a range of species and habitats that were felt to be of special significance in the County. For each species and habitat a number of actions are detailed that need to be achieved to ensure its long-term survival.
9.22 In order to provide a more detailed plan at a local level, a Brentwood Biodiversity Action Plan is currently being developed. This will identity those habitats and species considered to be of primary importance within the Borough. This draws on the Essex Biodiversity Action Plan and is being developed in co-operation with those organisations with a role to play in enhancing biodiversity in the area.
DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING CHANGES OF USE, THAT WOULD HAVE AN UNACCEPTABLE DETRIMENTAL IMPACT, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, UPON A COUNTY WILDLIFE SITE, LOCAL NATURE RESERVE OR ANY OTHER SITE OR NATURAL FEATURE OF CONSERVATION INTEREST (AND THEIR INTER-RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH OTHER) WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS IT CAN BE CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED THAT THERE ARE REASONS FOR THE PROPOSAL WHICH OUTWEIGH THE NEED TO SAFEGUARD THE SUBSTANTIVE NATURE CONSERVATION VALUE OF THE SITE OR FEATURE. IN ALL CASES WHERE DEVELOPMENT IS PERMITTED, SUCH DAMAGE WILL BE KEPT TO A MINIMUM. WHERE APPROPRIATE, THE AUTHORITY WILL REQUIRE APPROPRIATE MITIGATION AND COMPENSATORY MEASURES TO BE PROVIDED. THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE THE ENHANCEMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF SUCH SITES AND NATURAL FEATURES, AND, WHERE DESIRABLE, THEIR USE FOR INFORMAL RECREATION.
DEVELOPMENT THAT WOULD AFFECT A HABITAT OR SPECIES IDENTIFIED IN THE ESSEX BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN AND/OR BRENTWOOD BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED WHERE THE COUNCIL IS SATISFIED THAT IT WOULD HAVE NO UNACCEPTABLE IMPACT ON THAT HABITAT OR SPECIES.
A Target and Indicator for monitoring this policy is set out in Chapter 13.
Management of Woodlands
9.23 The Borough contains a large number of woodlands of various types, sizes and functions. Most are important for their ecological value, some for their recreational uses, timber production, historical significance or visual impact, or a combination of these. It is essential to preserve woodlands for the benefit of present and future generations, but to retain, and where possible enhance, their value they need to be properly managed. The Borough Council will maintain a general presumption against the conversion of woodland and trees to other uses and to protect ancient and semi-natural woodlands.
9.24 Advice is available to woodland owners from the Essex Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, Essex County Council, Thames Chase Project Team or the Forestry Commission as to the most appropriate management of their sites. Woodland management must comply with the UK Forestry Standard and follow the practices laid down in the Forestry Commission’s Environmental Guidelines. In any new woodland planting scheme, the Council will seek the planting of tree and shrub species that are suited to the sites and aims of the scheme. Where conservation is the primary objective, there will be a presumption in favour of native species. The Forestry Commission is the Statutory Authority with powers to provide grant aid and issue Felling Licences. The Forestry Commission is also charged with the administration of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) Regulations (1999).
9.25 Activities within woodlands that are likely to have a damaging effect on the flora and fauna of such areas will be discouraged.
EXISTING WOODLANDS SHOULD BE RETAINED WITH MANAGEMENT APPROPRIATE TO AGE, USE, LOCATION AND SCIENTIFIC INTEREST. IN ANY MANAGEMENT SCHEME IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE VISUAL AMENITY, HISTORICAL AND ECOLOGICAL VALUES OF THE WOODLAND ARE SAFEGUARDED, AND, WHERE POSSIBLE, ENHANCED.
Retention and Provision of Landscaping and Natural Features in Development
9.26 The Council recognises that the retention of existing trees, woodlands and other natural features may prevent the achievement of the maximum development value of a site. However, appropriate site design can in many cases incorporate such features without causing nuisance to future occupiers from loss of light or the spread of roots. Indeed their retention helps to soften the built form and convey a more mature appearance to a new development as well as sustaining wildlife. The Environment Agency is in general opposed to the culverting of watercourses because of the adverse ecological, flood defence and other effects likely to arise. In addition, wherever practical, the Environment Agency will seek to have culverted watercourses restored to open channels.
9.27 Planning applications, therefore, should include a site survey, identifying the exact position and size of existing trees, levels, other natural features etc. This information should also show which of these features are to be retained. Appropriate steps must be taken to protect these during construction works to prevent "accidental" damage. Regard should be had to BS 5837:1991 “Guide for – Trees in relation to construction”.
9.28 Particular attention will need to be given to any trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order (see Policies C6 and C7). Hedgerows may be covered by the Hedgerow Regulations 1997, and a developer should ensure that their proposals comply with the requirements.
9.29 In new development, the Council regards landscaping as an essential element of scheme design. It should form an integrated part of the overall development proposal to ensure that its future impact is maximised. All development applications must therefore, where appropriate and practicable, be accompanied by a planting scheme. Any such planting scheme should include the use of native plants rather than non-indigenous species, where appropriate.
IN PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT, EXISTING TREES, HEDGES, WOODS, PONDS, WATERCOURSES AND OTHER NATURAL FEATURES SHOULD BE RETAINED, WITH NEW LANDSCAPE WORKS REQUIRED TO ENHANCE ANY NEW DEVELOPMENT.
SATISFACTORY MEASURES MUST BE TAKEN PRIOR TO THE START OF ANY DEVELOPMENT TO PROTECT LANDSCAPE FEATURES DURING DEVELOPMENT.
ALL DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY:
(i) A SITE SURVEY SHOWING EXISTING LANDSCAPE AND NATURAL FEATURES AND EXISTING GROUND LEVELS
(ii) A PLAN SHOWING ALL THE EXISTING TREES AND LANDSCAPE AND NATURAL FEATURES TO BE RETAINED AND ANY TREES OR FEATURES PROPOSED TO BE FELLED OR OTHERWISE AFFECTED BY THE DEVELOPMENT
(iii) A PLAN SHOWING PROPOSALS FOR ALL NEW TREE PLANTING OR OTHER LANDSCAPING WORK, INCLUDING PROPOSED FINISHED GROUND LEVELS
(iv) A METHOD STATEMENT FOR ARBORICULTURAL WORK ON SITE
DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADDITIONAL HABITAT CREATION IN ANY PROPOSALS.
Policy GB28 also applies.
Tree Preservation Orders and Works to Preserved Trees
9.30 Individual trees, groups of trees or woodlands, which are of amenity value, will be protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) to ensure their retention. Trees that are within or affected by a development site will, as part of the consideration of the development proposals, be considered for preservation. Where it is considered that the tree or trees are healthy and of amenity value a TPO will be served. Similarly, where the Council is made aware that a tree or trees are at risk of felling or damage, consideration will be given to serving a TPO.
9.31 Permission is required to carry out works to a preserved tree unless it is dying, dead or dangerous. Works to uproot, fell, lop or top a preserved tree will only be granted consent where there is a specific arboricultural justification or other very special circumstances. Applications for works to a preserved tree or trees that are based on concern over the impact of the tree or trees on buildings or property will need to be accompanied by detailed information to substantiate the extent to which damage has been or will be caused by the tree(s), including the submission of a surveyors report.
THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO PROTECT TREES AND WOODLANDS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE AMENITY OF AN AREA BY SERVING TREE PRESERVATION ORDERS, IN PARTICULAR WHERE IT IS CONSIDERED THAT SUCH TREE(S) OR WOODLAND MAY BE AT RISK OF FELLING OR DAMAGE. APPLICATIONS FOR WORKS TO, OR FOR THE REMOVAL OF, PRESERVED TREES WILL ONLY BE GRANTED CONSENT WHERE THERE IS A SPECIFIC ARBORICULTURAL JUSTIFICATION OR OTHER VERY SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES.
Development Affecting Preserved Trees, Ancient Woodlands and Trees in Conservation Areas
9.32 As with works to preserved trees, any development proposals that would require the removal of a preserved tree will only be permitted where good arboricultural practice or the development itself clearly outweighs the amenity value of the tree.
9.33 In addition to the visual and amenity value of urban and rural trees, consideration also needs to be given to their historic value. Trees in conservation areas may be the subject of tree preservation orders, but in view of the contribution that trees can make to the character and appearance of conservation areas, the planning legislation provides protection to non-preserved trees in conservation areas. Subject to certain exceptions, 6 weeks notice is required to be given to the Council for works to any tree within a conservation area. The Council is then able to assess whether the tree should be made the subject of a TPO.
9.34 Ancient woodlands are a finite resource, the loss of which clearly cannot be replaced. As such, the areas of ancient woodland within the Borough, which are relatively scarce, have been identified as County Wildlife Sites, which, although having no statutory protection, highlight the sites’ value to biodiversity. Any development proposals that would necessitate the removal of a tree or trees within an ancient woodland will only be permitted in the interests of good silvicultural practice, or where the development clearly outweighs the nature conservation value of the tree(s).
DEVELOPMENT THAT WOULD DAMAGE, DESTROY OR THREATEN THE FUTURE SURVIVAL OF TREES PROTECTED BY A TREE PRESERVATION ORDER, OR TREES WITHIN AN AREA IDENTIFIED AS ANCIENT WOODLAND OR IN A CONSERVATION AREA WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THE REMOVAL OF THE TREE WOULD BE IN THE INTERESTS OF GOOD ARBORICULTURAL/SILVICULTURAL PRACTICE OR THE DEVELOPMENT CLEARLY OUTWEIGHS THE AMENITY AND/OR NATURE CONSERVATION VALUE OF THE TREE.
A Target and Indicator for monitoring this policy is set out in Chapter 13.
Special Landscape Areas
9.35 The Countryside Conservation Plan (1986), published by Essex County Council, described and identified “Special Landscape Areas” as valuable high quality landscapes which are the result of a combination of natural features such as vegetation cover, relief and presence of water. Substantial parts of the Borough are designated as Special Landscape Areas, as shown on the Proposals Map:
Area South of Brentwood to the A127 including Thornday Park and an area East of the A128
Weald Park area.
Highwood & Hanningfield:
Area from Mountnessing eastwards.
Area North and West of Kelvedon Hatch towards Stondon Massey, Ongar and Stapleford Abbotts.
9.36 The conservation and/or restoration of these areas is important both to the particular locality and to the County's natural heritage in terms of their special character and visual quality. These areas, therefore, shall be protected from development that detracts from their character. However, more recently, the Countryside Agency and English Heritage, with the help of English Nature, have published “The Character of England - Landscape, Wildlife and Natural features”. This has established a nationally consistent framework for more detailed local analysis of landscape character, and PPS7 encourages LPAs to carry out landscape character assessments for their areas. Brentwood Council, together with other Essex Authorities, are committed to undertaking such an assessment, which once completed will supersede the Special Landscape Area designations.
9.37 Until such a local landscape assessment for Brentwood has been completed, the Special Landscape Areas, as defined in this Local Plan, will be taken to identify areas where the conservation or restoration of existing landscape character will be given high priority.
A LANDSCAPE CHARACTER ASSESSMENT SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR THE BRENTWOOD BOROUGH COUNCIL ADMINISTRATIVE AREA, IDENTIFYING THE PARTICULAR CHARACTER OF DIFFERENT LOCALITIES WITHIN THE COUNTRYSIDE. UNTIL SUCH AN ASSESSMENT HAS BEEN COMPLETED, SPECIAL LANDSCAPE AREAS, WHERE THEY ARE DEFINED IN THIS LOCAL PLAN, WILL BE TAKEN TO IDENTIFY AREAS WHERE, IN THE INTERIM, CONSERVATION OR RESTORATION OF EXISTING CHARACTER SHOULD BE GIVEN HIGH PRIORITY.
Ancient Landscapes and Historic Parks and Gardens
9.38 Ancient landscapes are tracts of land containing a significant assemblage of visible features. These can be man-made e.g., archaeological features or ornamental gardens etc., or semi-natural e.g., woodland, but in either case these features should be of pre-1600 origin. Essex is rich in such ancient landscapes and Essex County Council has been undertaking their identification and designation. Any ancient landscapes that are designated in the Brentwood Borough will need to be protected from development that would adversely affect the nature or physical appearance of the landscape feature. Currently the only designated ancient landscape within the Borough is a small part of the Forest of Writtle in the Mill Green area to the north of Ingatestone and Fryerning.
9.39 A Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England was compiled by English Heritage and published in the mid-1980s. The entries are graded in the same way as Listed Buildings but do not as yet carry any statutory protection.
9.40 Brentwood Borough has three registered parks and gardens, Warley Place and Weald Park (both Grade II) and Thorndon Park which is Grade II*. In order to reflect their importance and to conserve their character and appearance these sites have been designated as Conservation Areas. Since 1991, the Woodland Trust, Essex County Council and Thames Chase have been carrying out work at Thorndon Park (The Olde Park and Old Thorndon Pastures) to begin restoring the landscape based on historic designs for the area.
THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO CONSERVE, ENHANCE AND MANAGE ANCIENT LANDSCAPES AND DESIGNATED PARKS AND GARDENS OF SPECIAL HISTORIC INTEREST. DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD DAMAGE THE CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF AN ANCIENT LANDSCAPE, OR OF A PARK OR GARDEN OF SPECIAL HISTORIC INTEREST OR ITS SETTING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
9.41 Certain lanes have historic and landscape value and they are important to the character of the county. It is the policy of Essex County Council to preserve their traditional character by avoiding disturbance to the banks, ditches and verges wherever possible. Some verges contain unusual plant species, which should be safeguarded and encouraged through appropriate management. The protection of lanes and verges, including trees and hedges alongside them, will be pursued in co-operation with adjoining landowners and the Highways Authority, using traffic management measures where this is appropriate.
DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS THAT WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THE PHYSICAL APPEARANCE OF THE PROTECTED LANES OF HISTORIC OR LANDSCAPE VALUE OR GIVE RISE TO A MATERIAL INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC USING THESE LANES AND ROADS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
Thames Chase Community Forest
9.42 The Council, in partnership with the Countryside Agency, the Forestry Commission, Essex County Council, and neighbouring Local Councils, and together with the Environment Agency, English Nature, the Sports Council, Interest Groups, the voluntary sector and the private sector, has been developing the Thames Chase Community Forest, which extends over the southern part of the Borough, since 1991. The area of the Forest within the Borough was extended in 1999 to include Shenfield Common and the previously excluded parts of Warley up to Brook Street and London Road. These areas contain sites that are important for their amenity, wildlife and recreation value, especially with regard to the public open space on the former Warley Hospital site.
9.43 The Community Forest concept involves enhancing the landscape and improving recreational opportunities within its area through creating new woods and other habitats and developing new recreational sites linked by improved Greenways. It involves extensive tree planting and other improvement works on both publicly and privately owned land, and provides opportunities for sport and recreation, wildlife conservation and timber production, as well as agriculture.
9.44 Development proposals within the Community Forest area will be assessed against their impact and contribution towards the successful implementation of the Thames Chase Plan. Inclusion of works such as landscaping, provision/upgrading of footpaths or bridleways, conservation works, etc., would, for example, be viewed as a positive contribution towards achieving the objectives of Thames Chase. However, any such benefits would not be considered as a justification for allowing development in the green belt that would otherwise not be acceptable.
THE COUNCIL SUPPORTS THE DEVELOPMENT OF THAMES CHASE WITHIN THAT PART OF THE BOROUGH AS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP. WITHIN THE AREA OF THE FOREST THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE GREATER PUBLIC ACCESS AND RECREATION, LANDSCAPE ENHANCEMENT, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND TIMBER PRODUCTION AS APPROPRIATE.
IMPLEMENTATION WILL BE EFFECTED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BRENTWOOD COUNTRYSIDE MANAGEMENT SERVICE AND THROUGH THE CO-OPERATION OF LOCAL LANDOWNERS. ANY DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY FOREST AREA WILL BE EXPECTED TO MAKE A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS ITS IMPLEMENTATION AND COMPLY WITH THE POLICIES CONTAINED IN THIS PLAN. WITHIN THE GREEN BELT PROPOSALS WILL ALSO NEED TO COMPLY WITH THE CRITERIA SET OUT IN POLICY GB2.
9.45 Despite the general attractiveness of the rural parts of the Borough there are also some areas of poor landscape quality. Reasons for this are varied, and include industrial activities, farming practices, loss of trees through development, Dutch Elm disease and other natural events, or simply neglect, in some cases because owners hope that unsightly parts of the Green Belt may then be released for development.
9.46 In particular, the area of the Borough south of the A127, as shown on the Proposals Map, has been identified as a Landscape Improvement Area, primarily because of the impact of urban intrusion into the countryside, coupled with the considerable loss of trees as a result of Dutch Elm disease. For this reason this area has also been included within Thames Chase. Woodland planting has made a positive enhancement to the landscape within this area.
9.47 The Council through its Countryside Management Service is seeking, in co-operation with landowners and voluntary organisations, to improve such rural as well as urban areas by providing advice on developing landscape improvement schemes.
THE COUNCIL WILL, IN CONJUNCTION WITH ITS COUNTRYSIDE MANAGEMENT SERVICE, SEEK TO ENCOURAGE LOCAL LAND OWNERS TO IMPLEMENT SCHEMES TO IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH PLANTING, HABITAT CREATION, IMPROVED PUBLIC ACCESS, MANAGEMENT AGREEMENTS AND OTHER MEASURES, WHILST ALSO IMPLEMENTING ITS OWN PROGRAMME OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES THROUGHOUT BOTH THE URBAN AND RURAL AREAS OF THE BOROUGH.
WITHIN THE LANDSCAPE IMPROVEMENT AREA, AS DEFINED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, ANY DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WILL BE EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE POSITIVELY TOWARDS THE RESTORATION OF ITS ORIGINAL CHARACTER.
Redhouse Lake, Ingatestone
9.48 Redhouse Lake is an area of woodland and open water within the Ingatestone Station/Lakeside Conservation Area. It has potential as a resource for informal recreation and/or nature conservation. Any development adjacent to the lakeside area, which would adversely affect its nature conservation value and character, will not be permitted. The Council adopted a set of objectives in respect of the lakeside area in 1979 and these objectives as detailed below remain relevant:
a) Retain the character, wildlife, flora and fauna of the lakeside area as a nature reserve
b) Endeavour to secure that access to this area remains restricted to limited groups of people
c) Resist all planning proposals which conflict with (a) and (b)
d) Consider all planning proposals for the remaining area in accordance with a policy which retains the character of the area especially the building and mature landscaping along Station Road and Roman Road
C13 New Development in the Lakeside Area, Ingatestone
PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT ADJACENT TO THE LAKESIDE AREA, WHICH WOULD BE UNACCEPTABLY DETRIMENTAL TO THE BIODIVERSITY OF THE AREA OR TO ITS LANDSCAPE CHARACTER, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
9.49 Sustainable development requires a commitment to the conservation and protection of the historic environment, in order that future generations can benefit from the maintenance of these elements from our past. They are fundamental to our sense of place, the development of economic and social forms, and local identity. Many features are of aesthetic and amenity importance, and provide opportunities for leisure, tourism and education and should form part of the Borough’s economic prosperity.
9.50 However, such sites and buildings that make up the area’s historic heritage may be fragile and sensitive to change and will require careful management to ensure that they are not damaged or destroyed. New development and transport proposals can have a significant impact on the historic environment and need to be to be controlled to avoid or minimise any detrimental impacts.
Development Affecting Conservation Areas
9.51 Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, imposes a duty on local planning authorities to designate as Conservation Areas any “Areas of Special Architectural or Historic Interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance”. Local planning authorities should also “review their areas from time to time to consider whether further designation is called for”. Such reviews should also consider cancellation of a designation where an area is no longer considered to possess the special interest that led to its original designation.
9.52 Some parts of the Borough are of significant townscape value worthy of special protection. These areas are usually characterised by groups of buildings of particular architectural or historic interest (many of which have been listed), the spaces between them and their general setting and character. Designation of such areas as Conservation Areas provides additional statutory powers to control the demolition of buildings and prevent the loss of trees. The design of new development will be carefully controlled to protect and preserve the character of these areas.
9.53 A total of 13 Conservation Areas have been designated so far within the Borough: Blackmore, Brentwood Town Centre, Fryerning, Great Warley, Herongate, Highwood Hospital, Hutton Village, Ingatestone Village Centre, Ingatestone Station Area, South Weald, South Weald Historic Park, Thorndon Historic Park and Warley Place.
9.54 The Council not only has greater power to control development within Conservation Areas but also has a duty to devise schemes to preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the area. The Council will, therefore, seek to carry out Conservation Area character appraisals, in accordance with PPG15, in order to clearly assess and define their character, allowing informed planning decisions and identification of what should be preserved and enhanced.
9.55 Within Conservation Areas it is necessary to carefully assess the design and materials of any new development proposals. This assessment plays an essential part in determining whether or not a scheme is acceptable in principle. Therefore, in order to ensure a high standard of design and materials, detailed schemes rather than outline applications will normally be required.
WHEN CONSIDERING APPLICATIONS FOR DEVELOPMENT WITHIN AND IN THE VICINITY OF CONSERVATION AREAS, SPECIAL ATTENTION WILL BE GIVEN TO THE NEED TO PRESERVE OR ENHANCE THEIR CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE. DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WILL BE PERMITTED ONLY WHERE THE COUNCIL IS SATISFIED THAT:
(i) THE PROPOSALS PRESERVE OR ENHANCE THE TOWNSCAPE CHARACTER OF THE AREA
(ii) THE MATERIALS TO BE USED ARE SYMPATHETIC TO THE SURROUNDING BUILDINGS AND APPROPRIATE TO THE AREA
(iii) THE MASS OF THE BUILDING IS IN SCALE AND HARMONY WITH THE ADJOINING BUILDINGS AND THE AREA AS A WHOLE
(iv) THE DESIGN OF THE BUILDING IS SUCH THAT THE PROPORTIONS OF THE PARTS RELATE SATISFACTORILY TO EACH OTHER AND TO ADJOINING BUILDINGS
(v) THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT AFFECT ANY BUILDINGS, OPEN SPACES, TREES, VIEWS OR OTHER ASPECTS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE SPECIAL CHARACTER OF THE AREA
(vi) WHERE DEMOLITION IS PROPOSED, THE STRUCTURE TO BE DEMOLISHED MAKES NO MATERIAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF THE AREA, AND THERE ARE SATISFACTORY PROPOSALS FOR THE RE-USE OF THE SITE INCLUDING ANY REPLACEMENT BUILDING OR OTHER STRUCTURE
(vii) WHERE A CHANGE OF USE IS PROPOSED, THE NEW USE WILL NOT REQUIRE ANY CHANGES IN THE APPEARANCE OR SETTING OF THE BUILDING OTHER THAN THOSE WHICH WILL PRESERVE OR ENHANCE ITS CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS THE CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF THE AREA
(viii) WHERE AN ALTERATION IS PROPOSED, IT IS APPROPRIATE AND SYMPATHETIC IN DESIGN, SCALE, MATERIALS AND COLOUR TO THE REST OF THE BUILDING.
OUTLINE PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GIVEN FOR NEW BUILDINGS IN A CONSERVATION AREA.
9.56 Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (Listed Buildings) are included in a list compiled by the Secretary of State. Following a comprehensive re-survey, a new list (the fourteenth list of Buildings of Special Architectural and Historic Interest) was published for the Borough in December 1994. The information contained within it greatly aids the Council's ability to conserve the Borough's built heritage.
9.57 There are other buildings within the Borough, which whilst not of sufficient national value to warrant listing, are considered to be of local importance. The Council will seek to compile a list of buildings of local or historic interest. Such buildings will be assessed using defined criteria and are likely to be good examples of a particular design, type of construction, the work of a noted local architect or a building associated with an important local figure. The list will form the basis of a material consideration in determining planning applications, in an effort to retain important original features and fabric, and controlling alteration or extension to maintain the character of the building.
Demolition, Alterations or Extensions
9.58 It is essential that buildings that have been listed are preserved and safeguarded from physical damage and unsympathetic change. Works such as demolition, alterations (both internal and external) or extensions that would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest will require Listed Building Consent.
9.59 Proposals to alter, extend or convert a listed building must meet a high standard of design, use appropriate materials and be in keeping with the character of the existing building. Special care is also required in considering proposals affecting the setting of a listed building, including development within its curtilage.
9.60 Owners have a legal responsibility to look after listed buildings properly. However, in order to prevent deterioration and damage and maintain the stock of listed buildings in good repair, the Council can and will, where appropriate, intervene using the powers conferred to it in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, including the issuing of an “Urgent Works Notice” or a “Repairs Notice”.
THE DEMOLITION OR PARTIAL DEMOLITION OF A LISTED BUILDING WILL ONLY BE ALLOWED IN THE MOST EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. ALTERATIONS OR EXTENSIONS WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
(i) THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT DETRACT FROM THE CHARACTER OR SETTING OF THE LISTED BUILDING
(ii) THE PROPOSAL IS APPROPRIATE AND SYMPATHETIC IN TERMS OF DESIGN, SCALE AND MATERIALS
(iii) THE PLANS SUBMITTED TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE FIRE OFFICER, BUILDING CONTROL, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND OTHER LEGISLATION, IN ORDER THAT THE FULL IMPACT OF THE PROPOSAL MAY BE CONSIDERED
A Target and Indicator for monitoring this policy is set out in Chapter 13.
PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE VICINITY OF A LISTED BUILDING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE THE PROPOSALS WOULD BE LIKELY TO DETRACT FROM ITS CHARACTER OR SETTING.
Change of Use of a Listed Building
9.61 Generally the best way of securing the upkeep of historic buildings is to retain them in active use. Many listed buildings, however, are no longer required or suitable for the purpose for which they were built. Alternative uses can in many cases secure the continued maintenance of such buildings. It is essential, however, to ensure the conversion or change of use does not detract from the architectural or historic interest of the building.
CHANGES OF USE OF A PART, OR THE WHOLE OF A LISTED BUILDING WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED IF IT RESULTS IN THE CHARACTER AND FEATURES OF SPECIAL ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORICAL INTEREST BEING PRESERVED OR ENHANCED. PROPOSALS SHOULD INCORPORATE DETAILS OF ALL THE INTENDED ALTERATIONS TO THE BUILDING AND ITS CURTILAGE INCLUDING DETAILED PLANS TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE FIRE OFFICER, BUILDING CONTROL, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND OTHER RELEVANT LEGISLATION.
For listed buildings in the Green Belt Policy GB17 also applies.
ANCIENT MONUMENTS AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES
9.62 Archaeology is a finite and non-renewable resource. In many cases it is highly fragile and vulnerable to damage or destruction. Archaeological evidence provides information about our past. It is part of our sense of place and can play a valuable role in education, leisure and tourism. As a result it is important to ensure that it is not needlessly or thoughtlessly destroyed by future development.
9.63 The Essex Heritage Conservation Record (EHCR) maintained by Essex County Council shows that there are 456 sites of known archaeological interest in the Borough (December 2001). This includes isolated discoveries like Stone Age flint axes, below ground evidence of prehistoric, Roman, Saxon and medieval occupation and upstanding post medieval and modern structures like industrial buildings, landscaped parks, cinemas and Cold War monuments. Of these, 12 are protected as Scheduled Ancient Monuments under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 including St. Thomas-a-Becket Chapel, Mill Green Roman Villa and the medieval moat at Brizes. It is important to remember that the archaeology recorded on the EHCR represents only a small fraction of that which may survive but is still undiscovered and unrecorded. For example, a recent assessment of historic settlements in Brentwood (by Essex County Council on behalf of the Borough Council) has revealed a wealth of new information through historic map research.
9.64 In order to ensure that archaeology is properly considered in the planning process, it is recommended that applicants consult the local planning authority and, as appropriate, Essex County Council’s Heritage Conservation Group at an early stage. When a proposed development is likely to disturb known archaeological remains, the Council will seek to ensure that it is fully informed about the nature of the archaeology and its setting. Strategies for protecting and investigating the archaeology will be devised using the procedures set out in PPG 16 “Archaeology and Planning” and as outlined in the following policy.
WHERE IMPORTANT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS, WHETHER SCHEDULED OR NOT, AND THEIR SETTINGS ARE AFFECTED BY A PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT, THERE WILL BE A PRESUMPTION IN FAVOUR OF THEIR PRESERVATION IN SITU. IN SITUATIONS WHERE THERE ARE GROUNDS FOR BELIEVING THAT THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT WOULD AFFECT IMPORTANT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS, DEVELOPERS WILL BE REQUIRED TO ARRANGE FOR AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD ASSESSMENT TO BE CARRIED OUT BEFORE THE APPLICATION CAN BE DETERMINED THUS ENABLING AN INFORMED AND REASONABLE PLANNING DECISION TO BE MADE. IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE PRESERVATION IS NOT POSSIBLE OR FEASIBLE, THEN DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNTIL SATISFACTORY PROVISION HAS BEEN MADE FOR A PROGRAMME OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION AND RECORDING PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE DEVELOPMENT.
9.65 Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 places a duty on a local authority “…to exercise its various functions with due regard to the likely effect of the exercise of those functions on, and the need to do all it reasonably can to prevent, crime and disorder in its area”. The need to take account of community safety is, therefore, a material consideration for the local planning authority in adopting policies for the use of land and determining proposals for development.
9.66 The design and layout of proposed development can help to create a safer environment and increase the quality of life for individuals and the community at large. This is considered further in Policy C19 below. However, other policies in this plan will also contribute to a safer environment. Policies aimed at retaining and providing residential accommodation within central areas through, for example, mixed use development or by encouraging the use of empty floor space above commercial properties for residential use (Policies TC1-TC4), will increase activity in commercial areas, particularly outside business hours, and provide better surveillance of public areas, which can reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. Better lighting and design of foot and cycle ways (Policies T14 and T15), pedestrian areas (Policy TC13) and car parks (Policy T7), can also reduce people’s fear of crime and increase the feeling of security.
Secured by Design
9.67 Good design and layout should take account of public health, crime prevention and community safety considerations and contribute to the achievement of an environment that imparts a feeling of public safety and security. The Council will have regard, therefore, to the advice and principles set out in the Association of Chief Police Officers document “The Secured by Design Award Scheme”, and will consult with the Police Architectural Liaison Officer on all appropriate applications for development. Whilst the emphasis of the advice on “secured by design” is focused on residential development, it is relevant, together with other aspects of community safety, to all proposals for development
ALL NEW DEVELOPMENT WILL BE EXPECTED TO ASSIST IN ACHIEVING GREATER COMMUNITY SAFETY THROUGH THE CREATION OF A MORE SAFE AND SECURE ENVIRONMENT. THE LAYOUT AND DESIGN OF NEW DEVELOPMENTS SHOULD, INTER ALIA, INCORPORATE:
i) A MIX OF DWELLINGS
ii) CLEAR, DIRECT AND ATTRACTIVE ROUTES FOR ALL FORMS OF MOVEMENT WHICH BALANCE THE DESIRE FOR PERMEABILITY WITH THE NEED FOR APPROPRIATE DEFENSIBILITY.
iii) SECURE VEHICLE PARKING
iv) ADEQUATE AND WELL DESIGNED LIGHTING OF COMMON AREAS
v) UNOBSTRUCTED VIEWS OF BOTH COMMUNAL AREAS AND NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES WHILST RETAINING THE NEED FOR INDIVIDUAL PRIVACY
vi) APPROPRIATELY DESIGNED WALLS, FENCES AND HEDGES BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE AREAS
vii) LANDSCAPING THAT ALLOWS FOR NATURAL SURVEILLANCE AND SAFETY
Further guidance is set out in the Association of Chief Police Officers’ document “The Secured by Design Award Scheme”.
ADVERTISEMENTS AND SHOP FRONTS
9.68 Advertisements, shop fascias and shop front designs make a collective impact on the visual quality of a shopping area, and are, therefore, an important part of the appearance and character of commercial areas, contributing either positively or negatively to a centre’s attraction. The main purpose of the shop front was to display the goods for sale but has increasingly become a means by which a view of the interior of the shop can be achieved. Large fascia boards and modern display windows are often out of keeping with the architectural integrity of the building of which they form part, as well as the scale and character of the surrounding area. This is particularly the case in Conservation Areas that frequently contain a number of listed buildings, often small in scale.
9.69 A good quality existing shop front that contributes positively to the character of the building and its setting should be retained wherever possible rather than be replaced. Often the cheapest solution is to retain and refurbish what already exists. However, in some cases, the existing shop front may not be capable of retention or it might be positively desirable to encourage the replacement of the existing shop front.
9.70 Sometimes original features survive under later work and can be revealed, greatly enhancing the appearance of the shop front. However, the fact that a shop front is not contemporary with the building is not of itself a necessity for its removal. Buildings evolve over time and successive additions can add character to a building
9.71 As a basic principle, the design of a shop front must relate to the architectural design and proportions of the building into which it is to fit. It must be designed to achieve uniformity between the ground and upper floors and should take account of the scale, form, colour etc. of adjacent buildings. A number of existing shop fronts exhibit fascias of excessive depth and are unrelated to adjacent properties; lack proportion and balance and are out of scale with the building in which they are set or with adjacent shop fronts; and exhibit inappropriate materials, colours etc.
9.72 Eighteenth and nineteenth century shop fronts were based, albeit sometimes loosely, on classical principles that were successful in achieving satisfactory relationships between shop fronts and the buildings. These principles still hold good. Within Conservation Areas or on listed buildings it will generally be more appropriate to seek a more traditional style of shop front.
9.73 In order to promote and encourage good shop front design, additional advice is set out at Appendix 3. Whilst the design principles have been written to reflect the classical design principles of historic shop fronts relevant to Conservation Areas and listed buildings, regard should be had to the principles throughout the Borough.
THE DESIGN OF NEW SHOP FRONTS, INCLUDING THE NEED FOR SECURITY MEASURES, WILL BE EXPECTED TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF THE GUIDANCE SET OUT IN APPENDIX 3.
9.74 Control over advertisements is set out in the Town & Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992.
9.75 By virtue of the Regulations, certain advertisements and signs can be displayed with deemed consent and thus do not require the consent of the Council. Where consent is required, the Council will consider carefully the number, size, location and illumination of such advertisements.
9.76 The degree of advertisement display granted deemed consent should satisfy the majority of needs. However, some additional flexibility over and above the specific material allowed by Regulation 4B (i.e. the business carried on or the name/qualifications of the person carrying out the business and the goods sold or services provided on the premises) is accepted. Thus, where an applicant wishes to display alternative or additional material on a fascia or box sign, the Council will normally grant consent where it would not be detrimental to the amenities of the area or the character or appearance of the building on which it is to be displayed.
OTHER THAN THOSE ADVERTISEMENTS WITH DEEMED CONSENT, ILLUMINATED ADVERTISEMENTS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. THE DISPLAY OF ADDITIONAL ADVERTISEMENT MATERIAL ON A FASCIA OR BOX SIGN ALLOWED BY THE REGULATIONS WILL BE PERMITTED, PROVIDED THAT IT WOULD NOT BE UNACCEPTABLY DETRIMENTAL TO PUBLIC SAFETY, THE AMENITIES OF THE AREA OR THE CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF THE BUILDING ON WHICH IT IS TO BE DISPLAYED.
ALL PROPOSALS WILL BE EXPECTED TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF THE RELEVANT SECTIONS OF THE ADVERTISEMENT AND SHOP FRONT DESIGN GUIDANCE SET OUT IN APPENDIX 3.
Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings
9.77 Particular control is to be exercised in Conservation Areas and on listed buildings, such that internally illuminated advertisements will normally be resisted (exceptions to this will be considered in the Brentwood Town Centre Conservation Area as set out in Policy TC14). Traditional materials should be used for shop fronts and advertisements within Conservation Areas or on listed buildings, and further detailed guidance is given in Appendix 3.
WITHIN CONSERVATION AREAS (EXCEPT FOR BRENTWOOD TOWN CENTRE) AND ON LISTED BUILDINGS, INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED SIGNS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.
SIGNS SHOULD BE PAINTED TIMBER AND OF A SIZE TO PRESERVE OR ENHANCE THE CHARACTER OF THAT BUILDING AND THAT OF THE CONSERVATION AREA AS A WHOLE.
ALL PROPOSALS WILL BE EXPECTED TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF THE RELEVANT SECTIONS OF THE ADVERTISEMENT AND SHOP FRONT DESIGN GUIDANCE SET OUT IN APPENDIX 3.
WHERE EXPRESSED CONSENT IS REQUIRED, PROJECTING BOX SIGNS, WHETHER ILLUMINATED OR NOT, WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE WITHIN A CONSERVATION AREA.
Externally Illuminated Hanging Signs
9.78 Advertisements above fascia level would not normally be acceptable but in some instances exceptions may be made, for example hanging signs such as those on public houses.
EXTERNALLY ILLUMINATED HANGING SIGNS MAY BE ALLOWED IN PLACE OF FASCIA SIGNS OR PROJECTING BOX SIGNS ABOVE FASCIA LEVEL PROVIDED THEY ARE OF A SIZE, DESIGN AND MATERIALS TO COMPLEMENT THE CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING.
9.79 Given the predominantly residential or rural character of the Borough, the Council's policies and practice have generally sought to restrict the proliferation of advertisement material. The Council is concerned to avoid a proliferation of advertising hoardings and free-standing advertisements. As well as being detrimental to the appearance of an area, they can distract motorists, thereby creating a highway hazard. The Council recognises the particular needs of certain commercial premises, such as petrol filling stations. There is no deemed consent for illuminated free-standing signs, such as pole signs/gantries and other advertisements on such premises. Applications for such advertisements will be considered having regard to the general provisions of the policies in this Plan and their effect on amenity and public safety.
OTHER THAN THOSE ADVERTISEMENTS WITH DEEMED CONSENT, NON-ILLUMINATED ADVERTISEMENTS, INCLUDING FREE STANDING ADVERTISEMENTS AND ADVERTISEMENT HOARDINGS, WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.
Floodlighting and Other Forms of Illumination
9.80 In addition to advertisements there will be various other proposals that involve floodlighting or other forms of illumination that require planning permission. Floodlighting of sports facilities such as golf driving ranges, tennis courts, sports pitches, etc., enables their use to continue for longer periods of the day, or when daylight is poor. Illumination of car parks or commercial premises, for example, may require external lights for security purposes or for the convenience of people using them. However, such lighting close to roads can dazzle and distract drivers and therefore be a highway hazard. Within the built-up area floodlights can be an intrusion upon surrounding properties, whilst in the countryside such illumination can, in addition, be an alien and inappropriate feature. In many instances, such lights are required to be mounted high above the ground, and this can lead to the structures themselves giving rise to visual or other amenity problems.
9.81 The Council is, therefore, concerned to control carefully the location, form and level of such illumination. Light sources should be screened and angled to avoid light spillage in order to minimise amenity problems, and this should apply to both replacement lighting as well as new proposals. In order to enable an informed assessment on the appropriateness of any floodlighting or other illumination, planning applications will need to include a full lighting scheme, giving details of the proposal.
DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS INVOLVING FLOODLIGHTING OR ANY OTHER MEANS OF ILLUMINATION (OTHER THAN ADVERTISEMENTS) WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:
THE PROPOSAL WILL NOT APPEAR UNACCEPTABLY INTRUSIVE WITHIN THE LOCALITY IN TERMS OF THE LIGHT SOURCE, THE DISTRIBUTION OF LIGHT, THE AURA CREATED BY THE OVERALL ILLUMINATION AND BY THE APPEARANCE OF ANY STRUCTURES UPON WHICH THE LIGHTS ARE MOUNTED
APPLICANTS WILL NEED TO SUBMIT A FULL LIGHTING SCHEME INCLUDING DETAILS OF THE LIGHTS, THEIR POWER AND TYPE, THE OVERALL LEVEL AND DISTRIBUTION OF ILLUMINATION AND TIMES OF OPERATION