Local Plan Review: Preferred Approach 2016-2035
Part Two - Development Management
7.1 In seeking to achieve more sustainable forms of development, the Government has provided clear policy on the provision of new housing. Local authorities should:
- plan to meet the housing needs of the whole community as a minimum, taking account of any unmet needs in neighbouring areas unless there are specific circumstances to justify a different approach,
- provide wider housing opportunity and choice and a better mix in the size, type and location of housing,
- place housing in locations which are accessible by public transport to jobs, shopping, leisure, education and health facilities,
- give priority to using previously-developed land within urban areas,
- make more efficient use of land, and
- promote good design in new housing development, placing the needs of people before the ease of traffic movement.
7.3 The following paragraphs identify the types of households, based on existing evidence, which should be considered when planning new housing development in order to meet needs relevant to specific local circumstances. This list is not exclusive as there may also be other types of households that should be considered to be in need of housing in certain areas. In all instances an appropriate mix of housing types, sizes, prices and tenures should form the basis of any new development proposal, and it is anticipated that no one housing type will dominate a scheme unless there is a specific requirement to do so, e.g. a scheme specifically intended to deliver student accommodation.
7.4 Specialist accommodation: Some of our community need accommodation that caters for their specific needs. This may be the more vulnerable members of our society, such as the frail, elderly or those needing specialist social support, who would benefit from on-site support. To create inclusive communities, this type of accommodation should be located in accessible areas with links to public transport and local facilities.
7.5 Specialist accommodation includes hostels, homes for those in later life such as extra care housing, homes for those with disabilities and support needs, and residential institutions. Specialist accommodation should be well designed to ensure it is adaptable and wheelchair friendly. The Council will work with our partners, to identify and secure provision of suitable sites for specialist housing.
7.6 Larger schemes will be expected to include a proportion of accessible homes as part of the overall housing mix, and should also consider the provision of specialist housing for older people.
7.7 Housing for older people: the growing older population is likely to lead to a significant increase in the requirements for specialist accommodation. Different types of homes are required to offer a real choice, be it smaller well-located market housing, step-free housing or more specialised homes offering improved safety and support suited to the various needs of people. The need for residential care or nursing homes is also recognised. West Sussex County Council supports the provision of extra-care housing rather than traditional care homes. The provision of extra-care accommodation on a mixed tenure basis will be encouraged.
7.8 Housing stock should be flexible to meet the needs of an ageing population and enable people to remain in their own homes for longer should they wish. Smaller homes, including bungalows, in suitable locations should also be provided to enable people to downsize and remain within their local community or move to an alternative area with improved access to local facilities. Good design such as level access and flush thresholds to properties, a WC at entry level, door openings of a suitable width and care with the design and internal layout and circulation space can help ensure accommodation is adaptable and wheelchair friendly. Considering factors including a building's layout, materials and lighting can also help people with dementia or sight loss to continue to live as independently as possible.
7.9 Students: The student population of Chichester University was recorded at 5,503 students in 2017 (Source: Chichester HEDNA). Students live at home, in purpose built accommodation on campus, rent rooms in private shared houses or have alternative accommodation arrangements. Whilst students should have a choice of accommodation, this should be balanced with the housing needs of the general population.
7.10 The growth of student living in the private rented sector in Chichester has influenced the dynamics of the housing market in the City and the supply of entry-level market housing, increasing pressure on the private rented sector. To minimise the pressure on the existing housing stock it is desirable that any significant increase in full time student numbers is matched by the provision of purpose built student accommodation, in appropriate and sustainable locations.
7.11 Houses in multiple occupation: Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are dwellings lived in by more than one family or groups of individuals who share facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom. They provide a valuable source of accommodation to meet the needs of some of our local population. They can offer a more affordable way to live, particularly for students, low paid workers and key workers who cannot afford to access housing on the open market.
7.12 Retention of specialist residential accommodation: It is evident that, alongside the need for additional specialist residential accommodation to be provided, the plan area experiences significant demands on its existing stock of specialist residential accommodation for example the change of use of care homes to open market residential development. This can be attributed to a number of different factors including changes in the demographic profile of the plan area and increasing demands being placed on operators of specialised accommodation.
7.13 Taking account of the need to create and retain a mix of residential accommodation to provide for the different needs of communities within the plan area, the Local Plan Review sets out a presumption in favour of retaining this residential accommodation. However, there may be circumstances where an alternative use is acceptable further guidance is set out in Appendix C.
Policy DM1: Specialist Housing
Proposals for specialist needs housing such as homes for older people, people with disabilities, student accommodation or homes for other specific groups who may require properties that are specifically designed and / or allocated will be supported where:
- There is a clear identified need;
- The development is located in an area that is sustainable to meet the social as well as the housing needs of the intended residents;
- It will not lead to a concentration of similar uses in an area that would be detrimental to the character or function of an area and / or residential amenity;
- It is in close proximity to everyday services, preferably connecting by safe and suitable walking / cycling routes or public transport for the intended occupier;
- It can be demonstrated that the development is designed and managed to provide the most appropriate types of support for the target resident;
- It can be demonstrated that revenue funding can be secured to maintain the long term viability of the scheme; and
- The scheme is supported by the relevant statutory agencies.
Proposals which may result in the loss of specialist needs accommodation will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that there is no longer a need for such accommodation in the Plan area, or alternative provision is being made available locally through replacement or new facilities.
7.14 Housing Mix
7.15 The Council will seek to ensure that new housing reﬂects the need and demand of the plan area's existing and future communities, and provides an improvement to the quality and mix of new market and affordable housing in the Plan area.
7.16 An appropriate mix of housing in new developments will help to enable a better ﬂow of the existing housing stock, for example allowing residents to downsize, which will free up larger houses. Therefore the Council will require new development to incorporate a range of different housing types which contribute towards meeting the identified housing needs for different demographic groups in the Plan area.
7.17 The mix of dwellings set out in Policy DM2 is in line with the recommendations of the HEDNA (2018), for affordable rented and low cost ownership housing. In line with the NPPF 2018 (paragraph 64) at least 10% of homes should be available for affordable home ownership, which is reflected in the Policy S6. Further advice can be sought from the Council's Housing Delivery Team.
7.18 The HEDNA recommends that market housing, in particular, should focus on 3 and 4 bed dwellings. However it is acknowledged that in applying the recommended housing mix to individual development sites, regard should be had to the nature of thedevelopment site and character of the area, and to up-to-date evidence of need as well as theexisting mix and turnover of properties at the local level. The figures in the HEDNA should therefore be used as a monitoring tool to ensure that future delivery is not unbalanced. Policy DM2 contains a mix for Market Housing which reflects the demand for smaller housing sizes rather the 4 bed homes in the Plan area. This is informed by the HEDNA which acknowledges the need to provide a greater number of smaller units, which may be regarded to more affordable.
7.19 It is recognised that future housing development will need to respond to local needs when applying a housing mix to individual sites. There will be a regard to bespoke local housing evidence relating to the parish, which could be in the form of a housing needs survey. Such evidence should be robustly and independently prepared, and agreed in writing with the housing authority as an appropriate evidence base for informing new residential development. Where a made neighbourhood plan proposes an alternative housing mix based on robust local evidence, this should be used in place of the mix proposed in Policy DM2.
7.20 Affordable Housing Mix: The Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA) includes an analysis of household incomes, which has been used to consider levels of need for different types of affordable housing. Any tenure split will need to take account of the local housing market and the context of the site. This may be updated in line with any future updates to the HEDNA (or successor documents) or in line with guidance from Homes England or the government. The NPPF 2018 (paragraph 64) requires 10% of all dwellings to be low cost home ownership.
7.21 The HEDNA recommends an appropriate mix, size and type of affordable rented housing required as part of new development. This will be used as the basis for affordable housing requirements over the Local Plan Review period. At the individual scheme level however, the HEDNA's recommendation will be considered together with information on local housing need and stock turnover to identify the appropriate mix of affordable rented housing required.
7.22 The NPPF 2018 (footnote 46) states that policies may make use of the nationally described space standards where the need for an internal space standard can be justified. The Council will provide evidence as part of the revision of the Planning Obligations and Affordable Housing SPD.
7.23 The Council will also encourage development proposals which seek to meet the housing need of older people and the need for Self-Build housing across all tenures.
7.24 Sub-division of existing properties: The sub-division of larger properties will be considered acceptable where there is local demand for smaller properties and there is sufficient car parking, amenity and infrastructure provision.
Policy DM2: Housing Mix
- All new residential development must provide homes of an appropriate type, size and tenure to address the identified needs and market demand and to support mixed and balanced communities. Proposals should provide a mix of dwelling sizes and tenures broadly in accordance with the table below.
Affordable rented housing delivered as part of a market housing scheme
(20% of total requirements)
Low cost homeownership as part of a market housing scheme
(10% of total requirements)
(70% of total requirements)
At least 5%
At least 30%
Up to 45%
Up to 20%
- Planning permission will be granted for an alternative
mix provided that:
- robust evidence of local housing need demonstrates that a different mix of dwellings is required to meet local needs and demand for specific types, tenures and sizes of housing to contribute to the diversity of housing in the local area and help to redress any housing imbalance that exists; or
- it addresses need and demand for aﬀordable, market housing including self-build and custom-build housing, older person and specialised housing.
- Development proposals for residential development will be permitted where it is clearly demonstrated that the proposal responds to the requirements of a changing population and of particular groups in the community, by increasing the supply of accessible and specialist housing (including ground ﬂoor ﬂats, ﬂats with lifts and bungalow accommodation) which is able to meet people's needs throughout their lifetimes based on locally derived evidence of need and demand.
- On strategic development locations (or sites of 200 dwellings or more), additional specialised housing (including extra care housing) should be considered where demand exists, to meet defined specialist needs.
- Up to 3% of dwellings should be designed to the standards of Building Regulations Part M (4) Category 3: Wheel chair accessible dwellings (or any replacement standards). This will be considered on a site by site basis.
- All housing should be designed to meet the Nationally Described Space Standards (or any replacement standards).
Density of New Homes and Neighbourhoods
7.25 Achieving appropriate housing density is important in securing an efficient use of land. However, it is important that this is considered within the context of the need to create high quality development that has appropriate landscape buffers, access to public open space, adequate parking and provision for other amenities to enhance the sustainability of the community.
7.26 The Council will maintain a flexible approach towards housing density as it is important to balance the need to make efficient use of land with the characteristics of the surrounding built up area. This can also be affected by innovative and imaginative design of new homes that respond to site constraints and make the best use of the land available.
7.27 Densities of 35 dwellings per hectare are generally considered appropriate by the Council on most greenfield and brownfield development across the plan area. However, higher densities will be sought in urban areas where sites are better served by public transport and have access to a range of services and facilities.
Policy DM3: Housing Density
All new housing will be developed at a density that is consistent with making the best use of land whilst achieving high quality, sustainable design that does not compromise the distinctive character of the area in which it is located.
Development proposals at a minimum average net density of 35 dwellings per hectare will be supported, except at:
- accessible urban locations with transport links and good access to services, where higher densities will be encouraged;
- locations adjacent to sensitive locations (i.e. nationally designated areas of landscape, historic environment or nature conservation protection ) where a lower density may be appropriate.
Proposals should take into account the existing density of the site and its surroundings. The density of large sites should be varied within the site to provide a high quality, mixed use development with a unique sense of place.
Affordable Housing on Exception Sites
7.28 Proposals for exception sites (which are defined in the glossary) must meet an identified local housing need in the Parish in which they are proposed. Applications must be accompanied by satisfactory evidence, which demonstrates that the scale and mix of housing proposed will meet a local need. This should be based on information from the Council's housing register or up-to-date parish housing needs survey (that has been approved by the Council as Housing Authority).
7.29 To ensure deliverability, applicants must also demonstrate that the proposal is economically viable. Due to their location, exception sites must be owned and managed by an approved Registered Provider or incorporated Community Land Trust. Exception sites must provide affordable housing for local households in perpetuity; consequently, the units must be secured through a Section 106 with an accompanying Nomination Agreement with the Registered Provider that provides the nomination criteria for the homes.
7.30 In assessing the suitability of proposed affordable housing exception sites, consideration will be given to the existing and potential supply of affordable housing from other sites within the settlement. Where the area has a defined Settlement Boundary proposals must demonstrate that there is a lack of sites available within the settlement. They should also be located adjacent to the Settlement Boundary and in all circumstances be well related to the settlement, local services and facilities. Where suitable sites are unavailable, the local housing need may be met in another settlement within 5 miles or their local sub-area.
7.31 Outside Settlement Boundaries, schemes will only be permitted if the Council is satisfied that the existing affordable housing stock will not meet the current local housing need, and where the scheme can be considered to be well-integrated within the settlement.
7.32 Proposals for affordable housing exception sites will not be permitted in scattered or isolated locations, or for large scale development of over 30 units.
7.33 The scale of the development should be appropriate to the settlement. In assessing this, account will also be taken of extant unimplemented permissions in the settlement. Proposals should be of a high standard of design and environmental sustainability, and respect the form, scale and character of the surrounding settlements and countryside.
7.34 Market homes will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances and where supported by viability evidence and where public subsidy is not available to deliver a policy compliant affordable scheme. The Council's Planning Obligations and Affordable Housing SPD provides further information on the provision of exception site housing.
7.35 For the purposes of this policy a 'local connection' is set out in the rural allocations policy contained in the Councils' Allocations Scheme. This can be found at www.chichester.gov.uk/affordablehousingtorent
Policy DM4: Affordable Housing Exception Sites
Where there are no available and deliverable sites within a settlement affordable housing may be permitted on exception sites outside of Settlement Boundaries to meet a specific local need where one of the two following criteria is met:
- In settlements that have a defined Boundary, proposals should be located adjacent to the Boundary and in all circumstances be less than 30 dwellings and well related to the settlement, local services and facilities; or
- In the rest of the plan area, schemes will only be permitted where it is considered that the proposal is modest in scale and can be integrated to an existing settlement without damage to its character or setting and is well related to local services and facilities.
And all the following criteria are met:
- The scheme provides 100% affordable housing (unless a robust justification is provided in line with paragraph 7.34);
- The proposed development would help meet an identified local need of households with a 'local connection' to the parish, and the mix of dwelling sizes, types and tenures is supported by a local housing need assessment;
- There are insufficient sites available and deliverable within the Settlement Boundary (where applicable) to meet the local need for affordable housing;
- The proposed scheme is economically viable and deliverable, and is able to be properly managed by a partner Registered Provider, Community Land Trust or other Approved Body in perpetuity; and
- The site is subject to an appropriate planning obligation to ensure that theaffordable housing will be retained in perpetuity as affordable housing for households with a local connection.
Accommodation For Gypsies, Travellers And Travelling Showpeople
7.36 Proposals for sites for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople within the plan area will be considered where consistent with the Council's strategic requirements in Policy S7.
7.37 This policy sets out a criteria based approach to identifying sites and assessing development proposals for the provision of accommodation. To meet an increased need for pitches and plots in the plan area, the sub-division of existing lawful sites will be permitted where proposals meet the relevant criteria.
7.38 Safeguarding existing sites: To maintain a supply of land and associated accommodation, the Council considers it important to ensure that, within the plan area, existing permanent authorised sites for Gypsies and Travellers are retained. Permitted accommodation for sites within the rural area will not set a precedent for permanent built dwellings. In order to protect existing permitted sites from other forms of development, sites will be safeguarded.
Policy DM5: Accommodation for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople
- In assessing the suitability of new sites for
allocation in a development plan document and for the
purposes of determining planning applications, proposals
will be supported where it can be demonstrated that all of
the following criteria have been met:
- It is well related to existing settlements and appropriate in scale to not dominate the nearest settlement, having regard to factors such as the scale and form of existing Travellers' pitches and Travelling Showpeople's plots in the area, and the availability of safe and convenient vehicular access, local infrastructure, services and facilities.
- Be suitable in terms of topography and able to achieve a reasonable level of visual and acoustic privacy for both people living on the site and for those living nearby. The site will provide an acceptable level of amenity for the proposed residents and will not have an unacceptable level of impact on the residential amenity of the neighbouring dwellings;
- Be located, designed and landscaped to avoid unacceptable harm to the character of the local area and not compromise the essential features of nationally designated areas of landscape, historic environment or nature conservation protection;
- Avoid locations where there is a risk of flooding, or which are adjacent to incompatible uses such as a refuse tip, sewage treatment works or significantly contaminated land; and
- For Travelling Showpeople, a site suitability assessment should be submitted with proposals which takes account of the nature and scale of the Showpeople's business in terms of the land required for storage and/or the exercising of animals.
Existing traveller sites will be safeguarded for traveller use. These sites will continue to be safeguarded for as long as the need exists for traveller accommodation in the plan area.
- The following criteria will be applied in assessing
proposals for the sub-division of pitches or plots at
existing authorised Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling
- Sites are of a suitable size to enable the creation of additional pitches or plots;
- There is no loss of amenity provision for residents within the existing site;
- There is no adverse impact in terms of highways access and vehicle movement on site;
- There is no significant loss of soft and hard landscaping within the existing site; and
- The sub-division of a site does not result in unacceptable harm to the character of the local area and does not compromise the essential features of nationally designated areas of landscape, historic environment or nature conservation protection.
Accommodation for Agricultural and Other Rural Workers
7.39 As a largely rural area there is often a need for accommodation for full time workers related to agriculture, horticulture, forestry, equestrian activities or other rural based enterprise. This accommodation may require a countryside location where new residential development would not otherwise be permitted. In such cases, applications for new residential development, 'replacement dwellings' or the conversion of an existing building will be required to demonstrate an essential need for the accommodation. Whether this is essential in any particular case will depend on the needs of the enterprise concerned and not on the personal preferences or circumstances of any of the individuals involved. It must be proven that there is a clear need for the rural worker to live near or at their place of work in the countryside in order to perform their employment role.
7.40 Planning permission for new occupational dwellings in the countryside will be assessed thoroughly with the aim of detecting attempts to abuse (e.g. through speculative proposals) the concession that the planning system makes for such dwellings. In particular, it is important to establish whether the stated intentions to engage in farming, forestry or any other rural based enterprise are genuine, are reasonably likely to materialise and are capable of being sustained for a reasonable period of time. The evidence required to be included is outlined in Appendix C.
7.41 The Council will investigate the history of the holding to establish the recent pattern of land use and whether any dwellings or buildings suitable for conversion or occupation have recently been sold separately from the farmland. In order to retain the property for its intended use, a restrictive condition will be included on any such planning approval limiting its occupation to a person solely or mainly, or last working in agriculture, forestry or a rural enterprise.
7.42 There may be circumstances where housing currently restricted to occupation by agricultural or related workers is no longer required for its original purpose. In such circumstances, any application to remove a restrictive occupancy condition for any dwelling in the countryside will need to demonstrate that the need for which the dwelling was approved originally no longer exists. Evidence as specified in Appendix C demonstrating how this requirement has been investigated will be needed to support any application to vary or remove a restrictive occupancy condition.
7.43 The needs of the temporary and permanent workforce in the horticultural industry should be met in the general housing stock as there is no specific need for residential accommodation in the countryside.
Policy DM6: Accommodation for Agricultural and other Rural Workers
Development proposals which are necessary to meet the accommodation needs of full-time workers in agriculture, forestry or other businesses requiring a countryside location will be granted where all the following criteria have been addressed:
- Provision on-site or in the immediate vicinity of the agricultural operation, is essential for the operation of the business;
- No suitable accommodation exists or could be made available in established buildings on the site or in the immediate vicinity;
- Clear evidence is provided of the economic viability of the business enterprise that the accommodation is intended to support;
- The dwelling is of a size commensurate with the operational requirements of the business;
- The siting and landscaping of any new dwelling is well-related to the existing business building/s or other on-site dwellings and minimises the impact to the character and appearance of the countryside, ensuring no adverse impact on designated sites; and
- The supporting information as set out at paragraph E9 of Appendix C has been provided.
Where a new dwelling is granted, this will be the subject of a condition ensuring that the occupation is restricted to a person solely or mainly working, or last working in the locality in agriculture, forestry or other rural business and required to live locally in order to perform their role.
Planning permission for the removal of a restrictive occupancy condition for agricultural or related workers on a dwelling will only be granted where it can be demonstrated that:
- That there is no longer a continued need for the property on the holding or for the business;
- There is no long term need for a dwelling with restricted occupancy to serve local need in the locality; and
- The property has been marketed locally for an appropriate period (minimum 18 months) at an appropriate price and for its use as an agricultural tied dwelling and evidence of marketing can be produced in accordance with Appendix C.
Local and Community Facilities
7.44 Local services and community facilities include local shops, meeting places, sports venues, cultural buildings (including theatres), public houses and places of worship although this list is not exhaustive. It is important that local services and community facilities aimed at meeting daily needs are available where people live, including in smaller towns and villages in order to minimise the need to travel.
7.45 The Council will seek the retention and protection of local and community facilities that serve the local residents within the Plan area and encourage the provision of new facilities either in isolation or by merging with existing facilities.
7.46 Support will also be given to the provision of new facilities where local communities identify a need, particularly in parish/neighbourhood plans.
7.47 As local facilities also include businesses such as village shops, local convenience stores, pubs and farm shops, the Council's Economic Development service can offer advice and support. However, the planning system itself will not be able to protect local facilities where these are no longer commercially viable. In such cases, there is a requirement that the premises have been marketed before any alternative use can be considered and further advice is contained in Appendix C). Meeting the need for alternative local facilities and services should be thoroughly examined and assessed and in the last instance conversion to residential may be acceptable.
Policy DM7: Local and Community Facilities
Development proposals leading to the loss of premises and existing community facilities or land currently or last used for community facilities, public services, leisure and cultural uses will be permitted, where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been addressed:
- There is no longer a demand for the facility within the area and that the premises or land have been marketed as set out in AppendixC for a reasonable period of time; or
- There is provision for new or replacement facilities to meet an identified need in locations which are well related and easily accessible to the settlement or local community.
Proposals for new and improved community facilities, public services, leisure and cultural uses that result in improvements to meeting the needs of communities will be supported. Such facilities will be required to be easily accessible to all sectors of the community and, in rural areas where public transport may be poor, support will be given to innovative schemes that seek to improve local delivery of services. The provision or improvement of facilities and services, required as a result of new development will be secured through developer contributions either through S106 or the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) mechanisms.
Transport, Accessibility and Parking
7.48 Whilst new development may provide opportunities to deliver improvements to transport and, accessibility it is necessary to consider the impact of any new development upon: the existing transport network; highway safety; and current provision for movement for all modes of transport.
7.49 A Transport Assessment and Travel Plan will be required where a development proposal will have a significant transport implication. It will need to be demonstrated in the Transport Assessment that the impact can be satisfactorily mitigated, and Travel Plans should identify reasonable opportunities for sustainable transport modes to reduce the need for major transport infrastructure. Where transport implications are not significant, relevant information on access and movement should be included in the Design and Access Statement, where required.
7.50 The provision of adequate parking for cars and cycles in new development is important. The availability of car parking has a role in improving accessibility to necessary local services and facilities, particularly in rural areas, and for certain groups of society such as the disabled.
7.51 For residential development a local car parking assessment, which is location specific, should be undertaken using the West Sussex Guidance on Car Parking in Residential Developments. For other use classes, the West Sussex Revised County Parking Standards and Transport Contributions Methodology should be used. The level of car parking and cycle provision will be assessed on a flexible site by site basis depending on the provision of public transport and access to local facilities.
7.52 Access to new development should reflect the guidance provided by West Sussex County Council in relation to gateway provision, visibility splays, access to adopted highways and any appropriate signage.
Policy DM8: Transport, Accessibility and Parking
Development proposals will be granted where it can be demonstrated that the following criteria have been addressed:
- All development provides for the access and transport demands they create, through provision of necessary improvements to transport networks, services and facilities, either directly by the developer or indirectly in the form of financial contributions;
- Development is located and designed to minimise additional traffic generation and movement, and should not create or add to problems of highway safety, congestion, air pollution, or other damage to the environment. Development must not create residual severe cumulative impacts on surrounding areas;
- The proposal has safe and adequate means of access and internal circulation/turning arrangements for all modes of transport relevant to the proposal; and particularly, emergency, service and delivery vehicles;
- Development can be accessed by and prioritises sustainable modes of transport, in part, through the creation of links between new development and existing pedestrian, cycle and public transport networks. Development should incorporate the requisite infrastructure necessary for charging plug-in and other ultra-low emission vehicles;
- The proposal provides for safe, easy and direct movement by all users including for those with disabilities or mobility problems difficulties;
- The proposal provides for adequate parking provision as well as suitable facilities for safe and secure cycle parking; and
- Where development is likely to have a significant impact on an Air Quality Management Area, an air quality assessment will be required.
Existing employment sites
7.53 To support a thriving and adaptable local economy, there is a need to maintain a flexible supply of employment land and premises. However, opportunities for new employment sites are limited; therefore it is important to make best use of the existing stock of employment land and floorspace. This means retaining suitable employment sites and encouraging their refurbishment, upgrading and intensification to meet modern business needs.
7.54 The Council has regularly reviewed the suitability of existing employment sites to contribute towards meeting the economic needs of the area. Where justified, a small number of sites have previously been released for other uses. The evidence of need prepared for this Local Plan Review in the form of the Chichester Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment indicates that there is a significant need for net additional employment floorspace across the plan area. The broad strategy to meet the employment floorspace needs is set out in Policy S8.
7.55 As well as proposing new strategic allocations for new employment floorspace, the strategy is also reliant on protecting existing employment sites from losses to other uses where these continue to remain suitable for business and related employment uses. The Council will particularly encourage the refurbishment, upgrading and intensification of these sites to make them more commercially attractive.
7.56 The main focus of employment floorspace provision within the plan area is for those uses within the B Use Class. Employment uses other than for that falling within the B Use Class may be permitted on existing employment sites where they are of a similar character to the B Use Classes in terms of providing jobs, the skills they required and their contribution to the GVA of the plan area.
7.57 On exception, it may be appropriate to allow for alternative non-employment uses on existing employment sites. For instance, the commercial attractiveness of some employment areas could be enhanced by allowing for some small-scale complementary uses (e.g. gym or children's nursery) to be provided for workers on the site. There may be other occasions where part of an employment area is located in an area which could accommodate leisure or community uses in a way which is compatible with national policy, subject to the other policies of this Plan.
7.58 Where development is proposed which would represent the loss of B classes uses, clear evidence should be submitted to demonstrate that the site is no longer required for B class uses or that the alternative use represents an appropriate leisure or community reuse of the site. To demonstrate that an employment site is no longer required, applicants will be required to provide supporting evidence on the viability of the site for continued employment use (guidance is set out in Appendix C) including the availability of employment land/floorspace in the local area and demonstrating that genuine attempts have been made over an extended period to market the site for business or similar uses.
7.59 Given the limited opportunities for employment uses with direct access to the coast, and reflecting the Chichester Harbour Conservancy Management Plan's planning principles, particular scrutiny will be given to the marketing evidence for marine related employment sites with the aim of preserving these uses.
7.60 Where leisure or community uses are proposed on existing employment sites, it should be clearly demonstrated that there is a compelling need for the development in the location proposed and how the proposal would enhance the attractiveness of the site as an employment area. Development proposals for main town centre uses (including offices) would be expected to comply with the other policies of this Plan, including the direction of such uses to retail centres and edge of centres in the first instance (see policies DM11 and DM12).
Policy DM9: Existing Employment Sites
At existing employment sites, planning permission will be granted for development within Use Class B1, B2 and B8 of new floorspace, refurbishment, upgrading or modernisation of existing premises where it can be demonstrated that:
- There is no material increase in noise levels resulting from machinery usage, vehicle movement, or other activity on the site, which would be likely to unacceptably disturb occupants of nearby residential properties or be of a scale that is likely to cause unacceptable harm to the enjoyment of the countryside; and
- The proposal does not generate unacceptable levels of traffic movement, soil, water, odour or air pollution and there is no adverse impact resulting from artificial lighting on the occupants of nearby residential properties or on the appearance of the site in the landscape; and
- Where development would result in an expansion of the existing employment site into countryside, that the development is required to meet local needs, proportionate to its location and would not harm the character of the rural area
Employment uses other than those in use classes B1, B2 or B8 will be permitted on these sites provided they are of a similar character to use classes B1, B2 and B8 in terms of providing jobs, the skills they require and their contribution to long term economic growth. They may include sui generis uses.
Existing employment sites will be retained to safeguard their contribution to the local economy. Planning permission will be granted for alternative uses on land or floorspace currently or previously in employment generating uses where the following criteria are met:
- It has been demonstrated (in terms of the evidence requirements accompanying this policy) that the site is no longer required and is unlikely to be re-used or redeveloped for employment uses to meet future demand; or
- There is an overriding community or leisure benefit from the proposed alternative use which cannot be met elsewhere and that the use does not prejudice the operation of and market attractiveness of the wider employment area; or
- For B1(a) uses that the sequential test set out in national policy has been met.
New Employment Sites
7.61 New strategic employment-led sites are allocated through Policies AL5 at Southern Gateway, AL6 at Land South-West of Chichester and AL15 at Chichester Business Park, Tangmere. These policies set out the detailed site-specific requirements for development at these sites. Other strategic site allocations also make provision for new employment land to come forward as part of a wider allocation. It is recognised that there may be proposals in the future for additional employment provision outside of the strategic site allocations and existing employment sites. Significant new office developments will be encouraged to locate within Chichester City and the settlement hubs of the plan area. Other B Class employment uses, and similar uses, will be encouraged within the settlement boundaries of other defined settlements within the plan area. Policy DM21 provides for the conversion of existing buildings in the countryside to employment uses.
Policy DM10: New Employment Sites
Development proposals for employment uses within Use Classes B1 (b) B1 (c), B2 and B8 will be permitted within the settlement boundaries, as defined on the policies map. Proposals for new office development will be permitted where they are focussed in Chichester city centre and the settlement hubs in accordance with the sequential test set out in national policy. Small scale office uses will be permitted in other service villages to meet local needs and as part of the residential-led allocations provided for in Policies AL1-AL14.
The Council will require new employment development, where feasible, to provide for a mixture of unit types and sizes to accommodate the needs of start-up and move-on businesses within the plan area.
Development proposals will also need to be compatible with other policies in the Plan to ensure that the development is otherwise acceptable.
Chichester Centre Retail
7.62 Chichester City centre (town centre as defined in the NPPF paragraph 85) is lively and economically resilient. It has proved to be one of the more resilient centres in the country in times of economic downturn, primarily due to its largely affluent catchment population and attractive environment.
7.63 The vitality of the city centre depends strongly on its attraction as a high quality shopping destination. Its traditional role as the main focus for retail activity has been challenged by 'out-of-town' retail outlets and internet shopping. In addition, increased mobility means that people are prepared to travel further afield to shop in larger centres. In this very competitive environment, it is important that the city continues to develop and enhance its retail offer in order to retain existing market share and attract new trade. However, the historic character of the city centre could mean that potential future retail development may be constrained.
7.64 Nevertheless, in order to maintain and enhance Chichester City's retail position, in addition to providing additional floor space, the overall experience for people visiting the City Centre must improve. The Chichester Vision outlines various ways to enhance the City experience including the early evening and night time economy, the built and natural environment and reducing the dominance of traffic congestion and surface car parks.
7.65 For Chichester City Centre, its ground floor primary and secondary shopping frontages are shown on the policies map, and are listed in Appendix D. These have been reviewed as part of the Local Plan Review as shown on the proposed changes to policies map.
7.66 Primary Shopping Frontage - the most important retail frontages of Chichester town centre have been defined as Primary Shopping Frontages, because it is important that the retail frontages in those streets are retained and enhanced. This prime area has the highest proportion of A1 (shop) uses, the highest Zone A rental values, and the highest pedestrian flow levels in the whole town centre. In order to protect its liveliness and economic resilience, changes of use from shops (Use Class A1) to other uses will be carefully controlled.
7.67 It is recognised that some non-retail uses provide essential services and need to be located in town centres; but such uses, particularly if grouped together, may undermine the vitality of the city centre by failing to attract visitors or by forming blank and inactive frontages. Policy DM11 encourages town centre uses that are complementary to retail, to the surrounding secondary shopping frontages. Where a non-retail use is introduced in the primary shopping frontage, an active and visually appealing shop frontage should be maintained.
7.68 Secondary Shopping Frontages - a number of outer shopping streets have been defined as Secondary Shopping Frontages. Within these secondary frontages, non-retail uses such as offices, hotels and medical practitioners, may be permitted, providing that they do not result in the loss of amenity in terms of noise, disturbance, smell, litter, traffic generation and opening hours.
7.69 For applications for new shop fronts and shop signs within the Chichester City Conservation Area consideration should be given to the 'Shopfront and Advertisement Design Guidance Note' (2010) which sets out design criteria against which the Council assesses applications for new shopfronts and shop signs within the Chichester Conservation Area.
Policy DM11: Town Centre Development
- Primary shopping frontages
Within the primary shopping frontages in the Chichester City Centre additional non-shopping (A1) uses will be granted at ground floor level where all the following criteria are met:
- Additional uses (Class A2 - A5) results in no more than 25% of the sum total of the street frontages in non-shopping (A1) uses;
- Additional use results in no more than two non-shopping (A1) uses adjacent to each other or a total of 15 metre continuous non-retail frontage (whichever is the greater);
- The proposal does not prejudice the effective use of the upper floors; and
- Shop windows and entrances are provided or retained which relate well to the design of the building and to the street-scene and its setting.
- Secondary shopping frontages
Proposals for town centres uses at ground level within use classes A, B1 (a), C1, D1 and D2 of the Use Class Order will be granted within the secondary shopping frontages where the proposal, either cumulatively or individually is considered tohave no adverse impact on the vitality or viability of the area. The change of use of ground floor premises to other uses, including residential, will be granted where all the following criteria are met:
- No more than 75% of the whole of the shopping frontage is in non-shopping (A1) use;
- The proposal does not result in the loss of existing residential accommodation;
- The proposal does not prejudice the effective use of the upper floors;
- A shop window and entrance is provided or retained which relates well to the design of the building and to the street-scene and its setting.
- Additional retail development will be granted provided
that all the following criteria are met:
- The floorspace size reflects the character and scale of the development in the existing shopping centre;
- Development respects the character of the existing shopping centre in terms of design, scale and materials; and
- The proposal relates appropriately to the existing shopping frontage
Proposals for residential, leisure and office use above premises in the City Centre will be supported to help increase its vitality.
- Reuse of redundant floorspace
Within City Centres, Local Centres and Village Centres, proposals for the re-use of vacant floorspace on the upper levels for residential, leisure, commercial and community purposes will be permitted provides that:
- It is demonstrated that non retail use of the upper floor will not inhibit business workplace, storage or retail expansion;
- The development has no significant adverse effects for the occupiers of neighbouring properties; and
- The proposal reflects the need to minimise noise intrusion. Applications must be accompanied by details of noise insulation measures if required.
Edge and Out of Centre Sites – Chichester
7.70 Following the conclusions of the Retail Study, it may be appropriate for larger scale retail and leisure development to be accommodated on edge or out-of-centre locations, provided that such development does not harm the vitality and viability of the City Centre. All out of town retail and leisure development, with the exception of sites allocated in the Southern Gateway, will be required to consider the sequential approach as set out in national policy (NPPF paragraph 86). The size threshold for the sequential approach is set out in Policy S9.
7.71 Where the type of goods sold or leisure service provided and the particular retail or leisure format cannot reasonably be accommodated within the existing shopping centre, the first choice for alternative development sites should be 'edge of centre' i.e. sites which directly adjoin or can be reasonably related to the defined City Centre boundary.
7.72 If such sites cannot meet the demand for additional floorspace, then 'out-of-centre' developments can be considered for appropriate types of retailing e.g. superstores, retail warehouses or leisure uses which require space not typically found within traditional retail centres. This type of development may be acceptable on peripheral sites away from the defined City Centre area within the Chichester City Settlement Boundary, providing that such development does not adversely affect the vitality and viability of the existing retail centre as a whole, taking into account the cumulative effects of the existing and proposed development.
7.73 It is essential that retail and leisure facilities on such sites complement, rather than compete with, those provided within the City Centre. Such retail units will be restricted to a minimum size of 1000m2 and to the type of goods sold, i.e. bulky goods which require large units. These units are restricted to limit their potential impact on the smaller retail units which are predominant within the City Centre. Proposals for units over 2,500m2 of retail floorspace, should be supported by a retail study demonstrating that there will not be an adverse impact on the City Centre.
7.74 Sites should be accessible to the community by foot, car, public transport and cycling. In addition, sufficient car parking should be provided on site and the development should not add to traffic generation on the surrounding roads and in the town centre. Sites proposed for such development should not be required for other uses such as employment uses or housing.
7.75 Only when it has been demonstrated that there are no suitable alternatives sites within City centres or edge of centre would development proposals be considered sympathetically and by exception for leisure (and community) uses to come forward on existing employment sites in accordance with Policy DM9.
Policy DM12: Edge and Out of Centre Retail Sites
Development proposals outside the defined Chichester City centre and where allocated in the Southern Gateway, for retail and leisure uses, including extensions, will be granted where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been addressed:
- The proposal does not have a significant adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the central shopping area, either as an individual development or cumulatively with similar existing or proposed developments;
- The proposed retail or leisure development on out of centre sites will need to demonstrate that no suitable site can be found, firstly within the existing town centre or, secondly, on the edge of the centre;
- Proposals for retail floorspace over 2,500m2 are accompanied by a full assessment of the potential impact on town centres and nearby centres;
- The type of goods sold or leisure service provided and the form of shopping or leisure unit proposed could not be conveniently accommodated within the existing shopping centre or where suitable sites and premises are not available within the centre or edge of centre sites;
- The retail units (including any created by the subdivision of existing units) are of a minimum size of 1,000m2 gross floorspace;
- The types of goods sold and the facilities provided complement those provided in the existing retail centre;
- Servicing and customer traffic can be safely and conveniently accommodated by the surrounding road network and does not add to traffic generation in the town centre;
- The proposal is easily accessible by the highway network and public transport and includes provision for access by cycle and on foot; and
- The design of the buildings will not detract from the character or appearance of the site or the surrounding area.
Built Tourist and Leisure Development
7.76 Tourism is an important economic sector and is dependent on the quality of the cultural heritage, natural and historic environment and facilities on offer. It is necessary to balance the provision of visitor facilities against the need to safeguard the landscape, character and environment.
7.77 Visitors support a range of facilities and services which are important to the local economy and enhance its attractiveness as a location for businesses and residents. However, due to a lack of suitable accommodation, an insufficient number of tourists are able to stay overnight. To support the visitor economy, new tourist accommodation and attractions will be encouraged in areas that can accommodate additional visitor numbers without detriment to the environment. This will enable development and provide facilities that could extend the tourist season and also benefit the local community.
7.78 Chichester city and the Settlement Hubs, in particular East Wittering and Selsey, are the preferred locations for new tourism and leisure development, so that new facilities are accessible to existing visitors and that new accommodation is provided where visitors can access a range of services.
7.79 Within smaller villages and the countryside, proposals should fully assess the potential to re-use existing buildings and extend current businesses, in preference to new build. If there are no other alternative sites or buildings, new sensitively designed tourism buildings and serviced accommodation may be permitted in these locations. A more restrictive approach will be taken where development would be more intrusive and environmentally damaging. Occasionally larger scale facilities may be appropriate where they are associated with enhancing visitor use or appreciation of a specific feature or location. Proposals will need to demonstrate the requirement for and compatibility with a countryside location.
7.80 It is recognised that the natural environments of Pagham Harbour and Chichester Harbour are attractive tourism and leisure destinations albeit that these areas are also particularly environmentally sensitive to increased recreational disturbance. The Council will carefully consider any proposals with the potential to lead to an identifiable increased impact on these areas to ensure that their impact is minimised.
7.81 Any proposed leisure development for schemes of 2,500 sq. m and above will be required to be accompanied by an impact assessment that considers the impact of the proposal on existing, committed and planned public and private investment in a centre or centres in the catchment area of the proposal; and the impact of the proposal on town centre vitality and viability, including local consumer choice and trade in the town centre and the wider retail catchment (as applicable to the scale and nature of the scheme).
7.82 To demonstrate that a tourist or leisure development is no longer required, planning applicants will be required to provide supporting evidence (guidance is set out in Appendix C) demonstrating that genuine attempts have been made over an extended period to market the site for similar uses.
Policy DM13: Built Tourist and Leisure Development
Development proposals for tourism and leisure development, including tourist accommodation, will be granted within or immediately adjoining the defined settlement boundaries of Chichester city or the settlement hubs where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been addressed:
- It is sensitively designed to maintain the character of the area and amenities of existing occupiers;
- Is located so as to minimise impact on the natural and historic environment, including that of visitors or users of the facility, particularly in relation to the potential for increased recreational pressures on Chichester Harbour and Pagham Harbour and other designated sites;
- It provides a high quality attraction or accommodation; and
- Encourages an extended tourist season.
Elsewhere in the plan area, small scale development for tourism and leisure development will be granted where the above and following criteria have been met:
- It can be demonstrated that the scale and use is appropriate to the location; and
- Where proposals seek permission for new buildings, that the development cannot be accommodated elsewhere, including through the re-use, and expansion, of existing buildings in the locality and developing within the defined settlement boundaries.
Exceptionally, large scale tourism or leisure development facilities will be permitted elsewhere in the plan area where it can be demonstrated that there is an overriding and compelling justification in terms of enhancing visitor use and/or appreciation of a specific feature or location of significant recreation or leisure interest. Proposals will need to demonstrate the requirement for and compatibility with a countryside location.
Proposals involving the loss of tourist or leisure development, including holiday accommodation, will only be granted where there is no proven demand for the facility and it can no longer make a positive contribution to the economy. In such instances, the focus of consideration of alternative uses should be on employment-led development in the first instance, followed by provision of community uses and then affordable housing led development.
Caravan and Camping Sites for Tourism
7.83 Camping and caravanning provides accommodation for a significant number of tourists to the plan area each year. The Council supports the retention of such sites, and in principle, is supportive of the development of new facilities to enable the tourism industry to continue to grow.
7.84 Where possible, development of new facilities should be directed towards sustainable locations which are not covered by an Article 4 Direction. It is essential that any proposals do not have a significant adverse impact on the special qualities and tranquillity of the landscape. In particular, the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the setting of the National Park, Pagham Harbour, or the undeveloped coast; all of which attract tourism in the first place.
7.85 For the purpose of this Local Plan Review, caravan and camping sites are those which primarily provide accommodation in temporary and mobile units such as static caravans, pitches for touring caravans, tents or yurts.
7.86 The Council will use seasonal occupancy conditions and/or holiday occupancy conditions to prevent the permanent occupation of the site. The holiday season will not be unnecessarily restricted, but closure periods may be necessary to prevent tourist accommodation becoming places of permanent residence.
7.87 Applications for new caravan or camping sites will be required to provide evidence of need and justification for location. Applications for the intensification/alteration of existing caravan or camping sites should provide evidence of high demand (guidance is set out in Appendix C).
Policy DM14: Caravan and Camping Sites
Development proposals for new caravan and camping sites with associated facilities and intensification/alterations to existing sites will be granted, where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been addressed:
- They meet a demonstrable need and the location identified is justified in terms of sustainability objectives and contribution towards tourism;
- They are of an appropriate scale in relation to their setting and would not diminish local amenity;
- They are sensitively sited and designed to maintain the tranquillity and character of the area;
- They are sited to be visually unobtrusive and can be assimilated so as to conserve and enhance the surrounding landscape; and
- The road network and the site's access can safely accommodate any additional traffic generated.
Where planning permission for caravan sites is granted a condition restricting the type of occupation to holiday use will be used in order to retain the tourist accommodation and ensure it is not used for permanent residential use. The period of occupation will be dependent on:
- Whether the accommodation is within an area at risk of flooding, as defined by the Environment Agency;
- The degree of protection considered desirable in order to avoid disturbance to sensitive sites of ecological value (including ensure no adverse effects on integrity of sensitive European designated wildlife sites occurs) or to protect the tranquillity and character of the countryside, Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the setting of the National Park, Pagham Harbour and the undeveloped coast; and
- The importance of securing the removal of touring units during the winter period where their permanent presence would be harmful to the landscape.
In the interests of maintaining an adequate supply of touring caravan pitches, proposals for a change of use to static caravan pitches should be accompanied by an assessment of supply and demand to demonstrate that sufficient touring caravan pitches will remain.
Proposals for the use of parts of existing caravan sites for winter storage of touring caravans and other forms of touring units will be granted provided that the proposal does not have an adverse increase on the landscape or character of the surrounding area.
The loss of caravan and camping sites to other uses will only be granted where there is no proven demand for the facility and it can no longer make a positive contribution to the economy. In such instances, the focus of consideration of alternative uses should be on employment-led development in the first instance, followed by the scope for community uses and the provision of affordable housing led development.
7.88 To ensure that the plan area's horticultural industry remains nationally and internationally competitive, it is important that sufficient suitable sites are available. To support this activity, the Council has designated Horticultural Development Areas (HDAs) in the countryside, where glasshouses and related facilities, including packhouses, may be allowed and the impact of their large size and bulk is minimised.
7.89 There are four designated HDAs as shown on the Policies Map:
- Sidlesham and Highleigh; and
7.90 Large-scale horticultural glasshouses
at Tangmere and Runcton are characterised by major expanses
of large buildings, which have good access to the main road
network. Their businesses supply large supermarkets, garden
centres and food chains, and are required to adapt and
improve constantly to maintain this market. Consequently,
operators seek to increase production volume, with larger
premises to achieve the economies of scale required to remain
viable. The Council considers that the HDAs should remain
available for growing and packing horticultural products and
other process directly related to the preparation of
vegetable and salad products, such as washing and shredding.
Other related processes, including cooking, which do not
require a countryside setting, should be located on
7.91 Smaller scale horticultural glasshouses will be focused within the existing HDAs at Sidlesham and Almodington. This is due to the nature of the land as former Land Settlement Areas formed in the 1930s, which were later designated as Horticultural Development Areas in 1992. Many of the horticultural businesses located in these areas are smaller scale. However the patchwork nature of the landholdings makes land assembly, and therefore expansion, difficult. These areas are further from the A27 than the Tangmere and Runcton HDAs and are less well served by the road network.
7.92 As set out in the spatial strategy, it
is not expected that large scale glasshouse development will
occur in the Sidlesham and Almodington HDAs to the same
extent as at Tangmere or Runcton. The principle to be
followed in the Local Plan Review is therefore to reinforce
the use of the Sidlesham and Almodington areas for smaller
scale horticultural / market garden operations rather than
larger scale glasshouse development.
7.93 It is acknowledged that additional land
may be required by the horticultural industry to expand
further through the plan period. The preferred approach for
horticultural development is for land within existing HDAs to
be used first and if not possible, land adjacent to an HDA.
When it can be demonstrated that no suitable land within HDAs
is available land outside HDAs may be considered, with
development adjacent to Runcton HDA likely to be considered
7.94 Policy DM15 is divided into two parts;
the first part applies to horticultural development within a
designated HDA where in principle horticultural development
is acceptable. The second part of the policy is a criterion
based policy which applies to new horticultural development
outside designated HDAs, including extensions. The criteria
in both parts of the policy are applicable to applications
located outside a designated HDA.
7.95 The policy for development outside HDAs
requires applicants to demonstrate why the development cannot
be located within an HDA. It is important therefore for the
applicant to provide reasons why the new development cannot
be located within an HDA. For example, why the land within
HDAs is not available for development. This may need to be
substantiated with evidence such as an enquiry log including
how it was followed up and why it was unsuccessful i.e.
whether the marketing price was realistic.
7.96 Where it can be demonstrated that
development within HDAs is significantly hindered,
particularly at Runcton and Tangmere, the Council will, where
appropriate, investigate the use of its compulsory purchase
powers, when all other avenues have been exhausted, to enable
the expansion of the horticultural industry.
7.97 When considering the proposals for new
development outside HDAs including; packhouses and
polytunnels, attention will be given to transport and
accessibility, visual impact on the landscape and the amenity
of local residents. In addition that soil, water, air noise
and light pollution levels are minimised and mitigated.
7.98 Water resources are managed by the
Environment Agency through a Catchment Abstraction Management
Strategy (CAMS) approach. This assesses how much water is
available in each catchment, how much is allocated to people
and how much is needed to sustain the environment. The Arun
and Western Streams Abstraction Licensing Strategy (March
2013) sets out the current situation within the Chichester
7.99 Any future applications for abstraction
licences will be considered in accordance with this Strategy,
taking into account the needs of the environment and existing
abstractors are met. Any proposals for horticultural
development should consider any potential impact on water
resources and consider mitigation measures to reduce its
impact and maintain security of supply.
Policy DM15: Horticultural Development
Large scale horticultural glasshouses will continue to be focused within the existing Horticultural Development Areas at Tangmere and Runcton. The Sidlesham and Almodington Horticultural Development Areas will continue to be the focus for smaller scale horticultural glasshouses.
Within designated Horticultural Development Areas, as shown on the Policies Map, planning permission will be granted for new glasshouse, polytunnel and ancillary development where it can be demonstrated that the following criteria (1-7) have been addressed:
- There is no significant adverse increase in noise levels resulting from machinery usage, vehicle movement, or other activity on the site, which would be likely to unacceptably disturb occupants of nearby noise sensitive properties or be likely to cause unacceptable harm to the enjoyment of the countryside;
- The proposal does not generate unacceptable levels of soil, water, odour or air pollution and there is no significant adverse impact resulting from artificial lighting on the occupants of nearby sensitive properties or on the appearance of the site in the landscape;
- New planting is sufficient to benefit an improvement to the landscape and increases the potential for screening;
- Adequate vehicular access arrangements exist or will be provided from the site to the road network to safely accommodate vehicle movements without detriment to highway safety or result in unacceptable harm to residential amenity;
- The height and bulk of development and associated ancillary development, either individually or cumulatively, does not damage the character or appearance of the surrounding countryside, and mitigation measures are included to address any detrimental effects e.g. in order to mitigate the height and bulk of new horticultural structures;
- It can be demonstrated that adequate water resources are available or can be provided and appropriate water efficiency measures are included; and
- Acceptable surface water drainage capacity exists or can be provided as part of the development including sustainable drainage systems or water retention areas.
Planning permission will be granted for glasshouse, polytunnel and ancillary development including the extension to existing Horticultural Development Areas where the above (1-7) and following criteria (8-11) have been addressed:
- There is a horticultural justification for the development and it can be demonstrated that the proposal cannot be accommodated within existing HDAs;
- The land is sufficiently well drained, level and of a quality to be suitable for horticultural development;
- Necessary infrastructure and services are available or will be provided; and
- The proposal is not located within open countryside and ensures that long views across substantially open land are retained.
Sustainable Design and Construction
7.100 A key issue for the plan area is accommodating the development needs within environmental and landscape limitations, whilst promoting more sustainable patterns of development through enabling improved accessibility to key services and facilities, public transport nodes and employment opportunities.
7.101 All development should achieve high environmental standards, be appropriately designed for the site and its setting, and adaptable for long-term use. Developers will be encouraged to implement appropriate mitigation and adaptation initiatives to address the potential impact of climate change. Development should utilise sustainable design and construction techniques, for example, energy conservation and efficiency, water efficiency, reducing waste, re-using materials and recycling materials. All relate to the need to make the most efficient use of limited resources. It is recognised, however, that planning alone cannot ensure that development is sustainable or that energy is conserved. The Council will seek to ensure that the principles of reducing our impact on the environment and climate change are followed in other Council strategies.
7.102 The energy efficiency of new development is influenced by factors such as housing design and orientation. The layout and orientation of developments are important in determining how much daylight and sunlight is received within buildings, in gardens and in the open space between buildings. Sunlight is a good source of energy, which building design should seek to use effectively in order to reduce consumption of conventional fuels.
7.103 Building related energy consumption is also a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The need to achieve higher levels of energy efficiency and locally produced clean, low carbon and renewable energy related to new development is an important aspect of sustainable construction. However, sustainable construction for new and refurbished buildings incorporates more than just aspects of energy use. It also relates to other environmental impacts that buildings and inhabitants cause, for example, on water drainage and usage, waste generation and the use of unsustainable materials (in construction). Improved design of buildings can also lead to benefits in terms of ecology and quality of life for residents.
7.104 BRE operates a voluntary new homes certification scheme called the Home Bench Mark. It recognises where performance meets best practice standards in the housing sector, drawing together a range of complementary quality and performance standards and combining this with the latest scientific research. The scheme standards with the Bench Mark are evidence based and are represented by a simple 5 star rating supported by a number of performance indicators to ensure a healthy home with low running costs and a reduced environmental footprint.
Policy DM16: Sustainable Design and Construction
For all new dwellings, evidence will be required by the developer to demonstrate that the following criteria have been achieved:
- The higher building regulations water consumption standard of maximum of 110 litres per person per day including external water use;
- Energy consumption will be minimised to achieve at least a 19% improvement on the energy standard within the 2013 building regulations for new dwellings (unless superseded by national policy or legislation).
For all major development, evidence will be required by the developer todemonstrate that along with the above, all of the following criteria have been achieved:
- New commercial buildings will be expected to meet the energy requirements to achieve BREEAM Excellent standard;
- The energy supplied from renewable resources will be maximised to ensure that at least 10% of the predicted residual energy requirements of the development, after the standards in point 2 and point 3 are achieved, is met through the incorporation of renewable energy.
And to demonstrate how the following have been considered:
- How the proposal aims to protect and enhance the environment, both built and natural. Where this is not possible, how any harm will be mitigated;
- New development complies with Building for Life Standards or equivalent replacement national minimum standards, whichever are higher by ensuring it is accessible to all, flexible towards future adaptation in response to changing life needs, easily accessible to facilities and services; and takes into account the need for on-site waste reduction and recycling;
- The proposals apply sound sustainable design, good environmental practices, sustainable building techniques and technology, including the use of materials that reduce the embodied carbon of construction and the use of re-used or recycled materials;
- The proposals include measures to adapt to climate change, such as the provision of green infrastructure, sustainable urban drainage systems, suitable shading of pedestrian routes and open spaces, a mixture of drought and rain tolerant native planting and the incorporation of green roofs;
- The natural environment and biodiversity will be protected and/or where appropriate provision will be made for improvements to biodiversity areas and green infrastructure;
- The reduction of the impacts associated with traffic or pollution (including air, water, noise and light pollution) will be achieved, including but not limited to the promotion of car clubs and facilities for charging electric vehicles.
Developments that meet 4 stars under BRE's Home Quality Mark will be sufficient evidence to demonstrate compliance with the policy above.
Stand-alone Renewable Energy
7.105 National policy promotes increasing energy efficiency, the minimisation of energy consumption and the development of renewable energy sources. This Plan supports development that promotes these objectives. An important element in this is to ensure that the Council embraces effective energy efficiency and the use of off-site renewable energy in all new development, helping to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and therefore climate change.
7.106 Parts of the plan area's landscape features and resources mean that they may be suitable for the development of renewable and low carbon energy schemes. These schemes must however, be appropriately sited and not conflict with existing landscape character or uses. Proposals should therefore be accompanied by a landscape assessment appropriate to the nature and scale of the proposal and its setting, especially near the South Downs National Park and designated areas, such as the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
7.107 Further guidance is available in the NPPF and the Department for Communities and Local Government's "Planning practice guidance for renewable and low carbon energy".
Policy DM17: Stand-alone Renewable Energy
Development proposals will be granted for stand-alone renewable energy (e.g. solar, biomass and energy crops, anaerobic digestion, wind and landfill gas) where it has been demonstrated that there is no significant adverse impact upon:
- Landscape or townscape character, ecology and wildlife, heritage assets whether designated or not, or uponareas or features of historical significance or amenity value;
- There is no significant adverse impact on local amenity, outlook through unacceptable visual intrusion or upon generalhealth and quality of life as a result of noise, emissions to atmosphere, electronic interference, or traffic generation; and
- Highway safety.
All development proposals must be accompanied by a landscape assessment as well as mitigation measures, as appropriate to minimise any environmental impacts associated with the scheme.
All development proposals for a renewable energy generation scheme should, as far as is practicable, provide for the site to be reinstated to its former condition should the development cease to be operational.
When considering the social and economic benefits, account will be taken of the degree of community participation/ownership of a schemeas well as the potential benefits of the proposed development to host communities generally.
Flood and Water Management
7.108 The Council recognises there are various locations in the plan area that are subject to flood and erosion risk and where location specific measures, such as additional flood alleviation, will be required to protect people, properties and vulnerable habitats from flooding.
7.109 Any development should seek to achieve an 8m setback on fluvial watercourses and a 16m setback on tidal watercourses between proposed built development and nearby watercourses, flood defences and culverts. Where it is not possible for development to be set back or sited outside flood risk zones, schemes should be designed to be resilient to future flood events. In locations prone to flooding, flood resistant and flood resilient measures should be incorporated as an intrinsic part of the development scheme.
7.110 Flood resistance measures involve designing and constructing a building to prevent floodwater entering the building. Mitigation methods used may involve:
- Installing flood barriers across doorways and airbricks;
- Raised finished floor/threshold levels above predicted flood levels.
- The provision of safe access and egress routes in the event of a flood;
- Using treated timber and water resistant materials and wall finishes to resist water logging and ensuring minimal drying times;
- Locating power sockets, electric, gas and phone circuits all above predicted flood levels;
- Installing one-way auto seal valves on toilets;
- Fitting tiled floors instead of carpets on ground floors.
7.113 Built development can lead to increased surface water run-off and therefore new development is encouraged to incorporate mitigation techniques in its design and apply National Standards for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in accordance with Policy DM18.
7.114 Potential techniques that may reduce surface water run-off could include:
- Green roofs to reduce peak flow and discharge rates or rainwater harvesting;
- Permeable pavements using materials such as permeable concrete or crushed stone or porous asphalt;
- Swales and basins as temporary storage for storm water reducing peak flows to receiving waters and facilitating water infiltration directly into the ground;
- Infiltration trenches and filter drains in the form of stone-filled reservoirs facilitating gradual ground infiltration with a filter strip, gully or sump pit to remove any solids at inflow point;
- Ponds and wetlands to accommodate variations in water levels during storms.
7.116 Foul Drainage SPD available on the Council's website.
7.117 By their very nature, basement and below ground level developments are more susceptible to flooding. As a result, these proposals must demonstrate that all flood risk has been considered and risks minimised by way of an impact assessment and/or site-specific flood risk assessment in order that they are sufficiently resistant and resilient to all forms of flooding.
Impact assessments (if required) should account for:
- How the proposal affects surface water and groundwater flows and levels;
- Proposed construction and mitigation measures relevant to the development's sited flood zone;
- Any potential cumulative impacts the development has upon flooding to surrounding properties/areas;
- Proposed sustainable drainage measures. Drainage connections to sewers should be fitted with one-way valves to prevent drains flooding basements or below ground level buildings in the event that they surcharge.
Policy DM18: Flood Risk and Water Management
Flood and erosion risk will be taken into account at all stages in the planning process to avoid inappropriate development in areas at current or future risk, and to direct development away from areas of highest risk.
Development in areas at risk of flooding will be granted where all the following criteria are met:
- The proposal incorporates specific requirements of the site, adaptation and mitigation procedures to include flood resilience and resistance measures appropriate to the character and biodiversity of the area and informed by the site-specific flood risk assessment;
- Development would not result/exacerbate coastal squeeze of any European sites or prevent managed realignment that may be required to ensure no adverse effect on European sites as a result of coastal squeeze;
- New site drainage systems are designed taking account of events which exceed the normal design standard i.e. consideration of flood flow routing and utilising temporary storage areas;
- There is no net increase in surface water run-off. Priority should be given to incorporating Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) to manage surface water drainage, unless it is proven that SuDS are not appropriate. Where SuDS are provided, arrangements must be put in place for their whole life management and maintenance.
Appropriate flood warning and evacuation plans may be required to ensure that any additional risks relevant to development have been considered.
All development proposals must take account of relevant Surface Water Management Plans, South East River Basin Management Plan, Catchment Flood Management Plans, Shoreline Management Plans, Coastal Defence Strategies and any other related flood defence plans and strategies as well as national guidance.
Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
7.118 Chichester Harbour AONB is a unique landscape comprising sheltered open water areas with contrasting narrow channels. The movement of the tide exposes bare mudflat and saltmarsh creating a wide, open and remote wilderness. The undeveloped character of the harbour is unique on the south coast and its status as a Ramsar wetland, a Special Protection Area, a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest reflects its importance to nature conservation. The largely flat hinterland includes highly productive farmland, as well as woodlands and hedgerows that contribute to the rural character of the area. The flatness of the landscape makes the AONB particularly vulnerable to visual intrusion from inappropriate development, both within or adjacent to the boundary, which can often be seen from significant distances across inlets, the main harbour channels, or open countryside. The District Council will have particular regard to these characteristics in determining development proposals affecting the AONB.
7.119 Chichester Harbour Conservancy has produced an AONB Management Plan on behalf of the constituent Authorities (Havant Borough Council, Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council and Hampshire County Council). The Conservancy has also produced an AONB Landscape Character Assessment and Design Guidelines for New Dwellings and Extensions, both of which have been endorsed by the District Council. The AONB Management Plan and its supporting documents identify the distinctive features and characteristics of the landscape and provide the framework for the management and ongoing spatial planning of Chichester Harbour AONB. In 2017 the Council adopted the Joint Chichester Harbour AONB Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The SPD provides guidance for development proposals and expands on the vision, objectives and policies of the adopted Development Plan Documents for Chichester District Council and Havant Borough Council.
7.120 Applicants are encouraged to seek pre-application advice from Chichester Harbour Conservancy for proposed development including intertidal structures, reclamation and dredging, increases in the resident fleet or moorings and dry berth transfers.
7.121 Communities within the AONB have development needs which should be met. These include the need for affordable homes, employment, a choice of transport modes, community facilities, and a population sufficient to enable rural facilities and services to remain viable. Where development is likely to have an adverse impact, there may be a requirement to demonstrate which alternatives have been considered and that developing the proposed site outweighs the landscape value of the area.
Policy DM19: Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
The impact of individual proposals and their cumulative effect on Chichester Harbour AONB and its setting will be carefully assessed. Planning permission will be granted where it can be demonstrated that:
- The natural beauty and locally distinctive features of the AONB are conserved and enhanced;
- Proposals reinforce and respond to, rather than detract from, the distinctive character and special qualities of the AONB as defined in the Chichester Harbour AONB Management Plan;
- Either individually or cumulatively, development does not lead to actual or perceived coalescence of settlements or undermine the integrity or predominantly open and undeveloped, rural character of the AONB and its setting;
- The development is appropriate to the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area or is desirable for the understanding and enjoyment of the area and
- The development is consistent with the policy aims of the Chichester Harbour AONB Management Plan and Joint Chichester Harbour AONB SPD.
Opportunities for remediation and landscape improvements to address existing harm will be taken as they arise.
Development Around The Coast
7.122 Outside the defined settlement boundaries, the character of the plan area's coast, small coastal villages and hamlets should be protected and enhanced.
7.123 Development in close proximity to the sea suffers physical damage caused by wave and wind borne sand, grit and shingle and chemical degradation of materials from saltwater and spray. The Council will generally recommend a minimum of 25 metres setback in particularly exposed coastal locations to safeguard dwellings and residents.
7.124 Easy access for plant and vehicles from the highway to the sea wall/beach is essential to the efficient and effective maintenance and repair of storm damage to coast protection and sea defence works.. The Environment Agency's Land Drainage and Sea Defence Bye-laws require the consent of the Environment Agency to be obtained for any works between low water mark and a line 15 metres from the landward side of the defences it maintains. This 15 metre strip of land is required for access for maintenance and/or future improvement and the Council will ensure the land is safeguarded from obstruction. This may be done by a condition on an approval removing permitted development rights, such as where the land is part of an existing garden or if necessary, by refusal of an application for safety and access relating to coastal defence.
7.125 Reference must be made to the relevant Shoreline Management Plans and Coastal Defence Strategy to ensure that any proposed development is not affected by a coastal management policy or "managed realignment" or "no active intervention". Even in areas where the policy is "hold the line" there is no guarantee of future funding and it is anticipated that all coast protection schemes will require a degree of contribution in order to secure government grant.
7.126 The coast also accommodates a vibrant and active marine economy, including boatyards and marina sites. These make an important contribution to the economy of the wider area and are important for tourism and recreation. It is considered important these are retained in this use, whilst being able to evolve and change to accommodate and develop new technology, provided they do not have an adverse impact on the sensitive environment of the coast.
7.127 Exceptionally it may be necessary for a small part of a marine or boatyard to be used for alternative uses in order to ensure the viability of the remainder to the site.
Policy DM20: Development around the Coast
Planning permission will be granted for development in the coastal area, outside of Settlement Boundaries, where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been addressed:
- There are no harmful effects on or net loss of nature conservation or areas of geological importance within the Chichester and Pagham Harbours and Medmerry Realignment (including no adverse effects on the associated European designatedsites);
- The development provides recreational opportunities that do not adversely affect the character, environment and appearance of the coast and Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or result in adverse effects of integrity to European designated wildlife sites;
- A high quality and inclusive design of new buildings in coastal locations has been achieved in accordance with other relevant design and historic environment policies;
- There are measures for mitigation of any detrimental effects including where appropriate the improvement of existing landscapes relating to the proposal;
- Where appropriate, opportunities have been taken to upgrade existing footpaths and cyclepaths, enhance and protect the National Coastal Footpath and ensure that public access is retained and provided to connect existing paths along the waterfront; and
- Where relevant, the development would result in improvements to or redistribution of moorings, marine berths or launch on demand facilities (dry berths) in the harbours; and
- The development would not be detrimental to infrastructure for, and quality of, water-based recreation, or be detrimental to the safety of navigation.
The Council will seek to safeguard a minimum of a 15 metre strip of land immediately behind the landward edge of the existing or proposed sea defence or coast protection works to facilitate access for plant and materials used in connection with their maintenance or repair.
The Council will seek to safeguard a minimum of a 25 metre strip of land, measured from the landward edge of the existing or proposed sea defence or coast protection works in harsh marine environment areas in order to prevent storm damage to buildings. Planning permission will be granted for a replacement dwelling unless there is past evidence that the existing or demolished property has been damaged as a result of the harsh marine environment. Repeat applications for replacement dwellings will be refused unless the applicant can demonstrate no future harm.
At boatyard and marina sites within the coastal area the Council will permit development associated with boat building, and the fitting out, maintenance and repair of boats and ancillary uses, provided that it does not:
- jeopardise the safety and ease of navigation on the water or have a detrimental impact on the regime of the river;
- adversely affect nature conservation, landscape or heritage interests; or
- cause a reduction of water quality.
Exceptionally, development or redevelopment may be permitted incorporating a modest amount of ﬂoorspace not restricted to boat-related uses, where the Council is convinced that such a use is needed to secure the future of a boatyard or marina and it is demonstrated that the development will complement the use of the site and/or the enjoyment of the water.
Alterations, Change of Use and/or Re-use of Existing Buildings in the Countryside
7.128 There has traditionally been a considerable stock of rural buildings converted for other uses. The conversion of rural buildings can help sustain the rural communities and aid economic diversification of rural areas by helping to meet the demand for workspace for rural business or by providing holiday accommodation.
7.129 Many buildings in the countryside are listed or are of listable quality or contribute to local distinctiveness as non-designated heritage assets; many may form part of important farmstead groups or contribute to landscape and/or settlement character. The fact a building is not listed does not mean it is not of historic significance. Where the significance of a building is revealed as part of the planning process it may be treated as a non-designated heritage asset and proposals to alter or replace these buildings will be assessed on this basis.
7.130 Residential conversions often have a more significant impact on the building and its setting through, for example, the proliferation of domestic accessories within the newly created residential curtilage. Therefore, the conversion of rural buildings in the countryside for economic or community uses will be preferred before residential uses are considered (guidance is set out in Appendix C). Where residential use is not permitted development, it will be necessary to demonstrate in detail what has been done to address the impacts associated with permanent residential occupation and to secure economic reuse before residential.
7.131 Where appropriate, permitted development rights will be withdrawn to protect the visual amenities of the area, the size, rural character and appearance of the building or structure, and affordability of the development. It may also be necessary to impose conditions to ensure retention of the proposed use through restricted occupancy for that purpose.
7.132 Development will need to ensure it is sensitive to its surroundings and does not have an unacceptable impact upon local roads. Development proposals should exploit any opportunities to make the location more sustainable (for example, by improving the scope for access on foot, by cycling or public transport). It is unlikely applications seeking approval for the conversion of remote or isolated rural buildings to residential use will be acceptable due to the potential visual intrusion associated with re-use, access requirements and services links.
7.133 Additionally, the buildings must be capable of conversion and/or re-use without significant alteration or rebuilding or an increase in the use of surrounding land for ancillary purposes. In considering what is 'significant', the overall aim will be to conserve and enhance the character of the landscape, whilst retaining as far as possible the rural character and appearance of the building itself and the setting within which it is located. Good practice advice on taking a sensitive approach to alterations and conversions in the countryside is available on Historic England's website.
Policy DM21: Alterations, Change of Use and/or Re-use of Existing Buildings in the Countryside
Proposals for alterations, change of use and/or re-use of existing buildings in the countryside will be permitted where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been addressed:
- The building is structurally sound and is capable of conversion without the need for significant extension, alteration or rebuilding;
- It has been demonstrated that economic and community uses, have been considered before residential with residential uses only permitted if economic and community uses are shown to be inappropriate and unviable;
- The proposal is complementary to and does not prejudice any viable agricultural operations on a farm;
- Opportunities have been taken to enhance the accessibility of the site by means other than private motor vehicle; and
- The form, bulk and general design of the building is in keeping with its surroundings and the proposal and any associated development will not harm its landscape character and setting;
Development/conversions that would create new isolated homes in the countryside will be avoided unless there are special circumstances as outlined in Government policy.
Where appropriate, a condition restricting further alterations or rebuilding including extensions may be applied.
Development in the Countryside
7.134 Areas outside settlement boundaries, defined as 'countryside', include villages, hamlets, farms and other buildings as well as undeveloped open land. In order to protect the landscape, character, quality and tranquillity of the countryside it is essential to prevent inappropriate development. However, it is important to recognise the social and economic needs of small rural communities and to provide support to enable those who manage, live and work in the countryside to continue to do so.
7.135 Some limited and carefully planned development may be acceptable to enable the countryside and local rural communities to evolve and thrive. Support will be given to the local delivery of services and community facilities such as the retention of local shops, meeting places, sports venues, open space, cultural buildings, places of worship and pubs. Where such development is adjacent to or beyond existing settlements or in a location that is not well served by public transport, it will be essential for development to be sensitive to its surroundings, not have an unacceptable impact on local roads and exploit opportunities to make the location more sustainable (for example by improving access by foot, cycle or public transport).
7.136 In parts of the countryside there is a shortage of sites suitable to meet such needs. The Council will therefore support the conversion of existing buildings and the re-use of previously developed sites for rural affordable housing, local community facilities and/or small scale employment generating uses which are accessible, well designed and well related to existing development.
7.137 Where essential development in the countryside is proposed to meet a demonstrable need, the following preferences for development should be applied:
- Conversion of existing buildings worthy of retention; or
- Redevelopment of sustainably located previously developed sites; or
- If no appropriately located and deliverable previously developed sites exist in the local area, greenfield sites within or immediately adjacent to existing settlements may be considered.
7.139 As part of rural diversification, farm shops can play a key role. However, in allowing for such developments, it is important they have a limited impact on their surroundings or on existing shopping facilities. As such, they should be small scale and sell predominantly farm produce. Where necessary, the Council will restrict the range of goods sold.
7.140 Applications for retail extensions on existing sites in the countryside will be considered where it has been demonstrated that the applicant has undertaken appropriate sequential and impact assessments and given consideration of the development's impact upon the rural character of the area.
Policy DM22: Development in the Countryside
Within the countryside, outside Settlement Boundaries, development will be permitted where it requires a countryside location and meets the essential, small scale, and local need which cannot be met within or immediately adjacent to existing settlements or, for employment uses within the B Use Class, within or immediately adjacent to existing employment sites.
Planning permission will be granted for sustainable development in the countryside where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been addressed:
- The proposal is well related to an existing farmstead or group of buildings, or located close to an established settlement or, for employment uses within the B Use Class, an existing employment site;
- The proposal is complementary to and does not prejudice any viable agricultural operations on a farm and other existing viable uses; and
- That the scale, siting, design and materials of the development would have minimal impact on the landscape and rural character of the area.
Applications for retail development in the countryside will be considered where it has been demonstrated that the appropriate sequential and/or impact assessments have been undertaken. Local/small scale farm shops will be permitted provided they sell goods that have predominantly been produced on the farm.
Development/conversions that would create new isolated homes in the countryside will be avoided unless there are special circumstances as outlined inGovernment guidance.
Pollution and Contamination
7.141 Policies in this section contain detail on the Council's strategy for reducing pollution from new development and reducing the impact of pollution on new development. These policies should be used alongside the criteria and/or standards detailed in the forthcoming Pollution SPD.
7.142 Light pollution caused by excessive brightness over inhabited areas can lead to annoyance, disturbance and impact wildlife, notably nocturnal animals. The design of lighting schemes should be carefully considered in development proposals to prevent light spillage and glare.
7.143 Dark skies are important for the conservation of natural habitats, cultural heritage and astronomy. The plan area includes three 'Dark Sky Discovery Site' designations, all located within the Chichester Harbour AONB; Eames Farm on Thorney Island, Maybush Copse in Chidham and north of John Q Davis footpath in West Itchenor. Development within or directly impacting these areas will be subject to particular scrutiny in terms of their impact on dark skies. The entire SDNPA area is also declared as an International Dark Sky Reserve. Development directly impacting this area will be subject to similar scrutiny.
Policy DM23: Lighting
Where development involves an outdoor lighting scheme and where relevant an indoor lighting scheme (supermarkets, glasshouses etc), proposals will be permitted where it can be demonstrated that the following criteria have been addressed:
- The detailed lighting scheme has been prepared in line with relevant British Standards and the latest national design guidance;
- The design minimises unnecessary glare and spillage;
- There is no significant adverse impact on neighbouring development or the wider landscape; and
- Light levels are the minimum required for safety and security purposes, taking account of the existing location and character of the area.
Proposals in or adjacent to areas with Dark Skies Discovery Sites designation or adjacent to the SDNPA's International Dark Skies Reserve must also demonstrate that there will be no significant adverse effects on the visibility of the night sky. Where appropriate, the Council will seek to control the times and intensity of illumination.
7.144 The Council has a duty to review and assess air quality within the district, including both the plan area and that part of the South Downs National Park within its administrative boundary. As highlighted by the West Sussex Transport Plan 2011-2026, traffic congestion is a particularly significant contributor to air pollution in the area and states that around Chichester city, conflict between high levels of A27 traffic and high levels of north-south traffic wishing to cross or join the A27 has led to extensive congestion at peak times, made worse in the summer by tourist traffic.
7.145 Traffic congestion has led to the designation of three Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) in the plan area, located at St Pancras and Orchard Street in Chichester and Stockbridge Roundabout on the A27. AQMAs are designated where air quality exceeds, or is likely to exceed, national air quality standards and objectives. Development within or impacting these areas or that are likely to cause the declaration of further AQMAs will be subject to an air quality assessment. Similarly where proposals have potential to cause impact through dust, particulates, polluting gases or odour or introduce sensitive uses adjacent to existing sources of such pollution, then an air quality assessment will be required.
7.146 Along with all local authorities in West Sussex, the Council is a member of the Sussex Air Quality Partnership and the WSCC Inter Authority Air Quality Group, seeking to ensure that a consistent approach is taken towards dealing with air pollution. Air quality guidance for Sussex (2013) sets out further guidance as to when an Air Quality Assessment is likely to be required. Applicants for development which may require an air quality assessment are advised to contact the council for further advice.
7.147 There are a number of measures mentioned elsewhere in Policies S23 and S32 which seek to encourage a reduction in car use and low emission transport these include; cycling and walking infrastructure, electric vehicle charge points, car clubs and behavioural change initiatives.
Policy DM24: Air Quality
Development proposals will be permitted where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been addressed:
- Development is located and designed to minimise traffic generation and congestion through access to sustainable transport modes, including maximising provision of pedestrian and cycle networks;
- Development that creates or results in pollution including particulates, dust, smoke, pollutant gases or odour is designed to mitigate the impact on the amenities of users of the site and surrounding land to an appropriate level; and
- Where development is close to an existing use that has potential to impact on the amenity of the proposed development through dust, particulates, pollutant gases and/or odour then an air quality assessment will be required to identify the potential impact on the area and detail the mitigation measures required; and
For major development proposals the following additional criteria must also be addressed:
- Where development is likely to have a significant negative impact on an Air Quality Management Area, or other areas of poor air quality then an air quality assessment will be required to identify the potential impact on the area and detail the mitigation measures required;
- Air quality assessments for transport must include costed measures to off-set emissions associated with the development in its operational phase.
7.148 It is recognised that noise exposure can cause annoyance and disturbance, impacting on quality of life. The Noise Policy and Statement for England and Planning Noise Advice Document for Sussex provide guidance on addressing noise issues in planning applications and where possible improving health and quality of life through the pro-active management of noise.
7.149 Residential and other noise sensitive development proposals located in close proximity to noise sources, including transport, commercial and industrial operations, should be accompanied by a noise impact assessment to determine the suitability of the site for the development proposed. Development proposals, where acceptable in principle, should demonstrate good acoustic design incorporated within the scheme informed by relevant guidance.
7.150 For new noise generating development proposals such as industrial and commercial use, sites should be located an appropriate distance away from noise sensitive receptors. When acceptable in principle, then distance and appropriate design will be important considerations in achieving an acceptable noise environment.
Policy DM25: Noise
Planning permission will be granted where it can be demonstrated that the following criteria have been addressed:
- Where noise sensitive development is proposed, a high quality living environment is provided with acceptable levels of amenity for future occupiers by reason of absence of significant noise disturbance or annoyance and no significant adverse impact on the operation of nearby noise generating uses.
- Where noise generating development is proposed, that any potential significant impact on amenity by reason of noise disturbance and annoyance on the surrounding area will be adequately mitigated or minimised to an acceptable level.
For development proposed in the vicinity of Goodwood Airfield and Goodwood Motor Circuit, refer to Policy S16 for additional guidance.
7.151 Re-use of land affected by contamination can reduce pressure on greenfield sites and make efficient use of previously developed land. Contaminated land may occur through previous use as a landfill site or due to industrial, commercial and residential use. Sites on or adjacent to land previously used for industrial or similar activities will be assumed to be potentially contaminated.
7.152 All potentially contaminated land should be investigated and remediated prior to development and/or during construction to a standard suitable to the proposed use. A risk assessment of the site will be required to ascertain whether there is potentially unacceptable risk to human health and the environment and to identify if proposed remedial measures to mitigate and monitor the risk are necessary. Investigations should be carried out in accordance with relevant guidance and standards.
7.153 Developers are encouraged to enter pre-application discussions with the Council to establish the level of information required for sites before submission of a formal planning application. For some sites the council will not determine an application until the relevant site investigation and risk assessment documentation has been considered by the council.
Policy DM26: Contaminated Land
Development proposals requiring the remediation of contaminated land will be supported where it is demonstrated that the following criteria have been addressed:
- An appropriate site investigation has been completed to identify and quantify potential sources of contamination within the site; and
- A risk assessment of the site investigation data has been undertaken and used to inform any necessary remediation measures so as to achieve an acceptable level of risk of contamination to future users of the site, the surrounding area and the environment.
7.154 There are a large number of "Heritage Assets", both designated and non-designated, including Scheduled Monuments, archaeological sites, Historic Parks and Gardens, Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas in the plan area. There are also a number of other buildings, which have been identified as important, such as those on the Local Buildings List for Chichester City and 'positive' buildings within Conservation Areas. Further information on listed buildings and the register of Parks and Gardens can be found on Historic England's website. Further details can also be found, including on heritage at risk, on the Council's website http://www.chichester.gov.uk/conservation Outside statutorily designated areas there is a diversity of townscapes and landscapes, containing buildings of historic and architectural value. In rural areas, there are a number of estates, villages, farmsteads and historic houses of heritage significance and some highly valued landscapes. These different character areas warrant protection in their own right.
7.155 The Council's Historic Environment Strategy (adopted February 2017) is available on the website http://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/24666/Historic-environment-strategy-and-guidance It includes an Action Plan setting out the approach to inform a positive strategy for the historic environment.
7.156 Buildings and areas of architectural and historic interest make a valuable contribution to the character of the area; and the historic environment, as a whole, is important for its potential to increase knowledge; its value for leisure, education and tourism; and as a key economic driver. The historic environment is an irreplaceable resource; therefore every effort should be made to ensure appropriate protection and enhancement.
7.157 Wherever possible, the Council will seek to encourage awareness of the heritage assets and promote investigation of archaeological records. This may include joint action with organisations such as Historic England.
7.158 The form and appearance of the built environment combine with elements of the natural environment to give the area its unique character. Whilst buildings of particular merit may be listed, other buildings of architectural or historic interest, or which contribute to the quality of the landscape as non-designated heritage assets, may also be worthy of protection. It is imperative that key buildings which contribute most to the character of the area should be protected.
7.159 Historic Parks and Gardens are an important part of the heritage and environment. They are comprised of a variety of features: the open space itself; views in and out; the planting; water features; built features; and archaeological remains. There is a need to protect such sites and their settings from new development which may have a detrimental impact on the historic interest.
7.160 Local distinctiveness in the built environment is founded on the understanding of the characteristics and influences of the locality particularly its landscape quality and corresponding use of materials. Development will be expected to be designed to a high standard to complement and enhance the varied built environment, creating interesting and attractive buildings and places.
7.161 Where development proposals relating to the historic environment include a Design and Access Statement this should include a Heritage Assessment detailing any impact on heritage assets, whether designated or not. This should include a description of the asset's historic, architectural and archaeological significance with an appropriate level of detail relating to the likely impact of the proposal on that interest. A site analysis identifying the qualities which contribute to local character, including development patterns, history, geology, transportation links, its natural landscape and views, and how these can contribute to the quality and sustainability of the proposed development should also be provided. Where alterations are permitted, there should be appropriate recording of those parts of the heritage asset or its setting affected by the works and conditions may be imposed to secure this. Historical information discovered during the application process shall be submitted to the Chichester Historic Environment Record by the applicant.
7.162 Chichester District itself can be divided into four locally distinctive character areas:
- The Low Weald to the north of the district. Characterised by predominantly agricultural and woodland areas, small and medium sized villages, hamlets and farmsteads linked by a network of narrow roads and lanes.
- The Wealden Greensand (mainly within the South Downs National Park). Characterised by distinctive steep woodland slopes, open heathland, irregular fields defined by hedgerows, low ridges and narrow vales drained by streams and rivers.
- The South Downs (also mainly within the National Park) rising from the Coastal Plain to the south then falling away to the Wealden Greensand to the north. Characterised by a combination of open and wooded landscapes.
- The Coastal Plain framed with the backdrop of the South
Downs to the north. Characterised by a flat, open more
exposed landscape with remnants of woodland and small
villages connected by a network of narrow winding lanes and
- Across the Rother Valley
- Across the Low Weald from the Upper Greensand Escarpment
- Towards Chichester Cathedral
- Towards the South Downs from the Coastal Plain
7.164 In addition, Chichester city has a
long history as a settlement; reflecting its many layers of
history. The combination of its street pattern,
Roman/Medieval Walls has led to a compactness, which has been
a unique influence on how the City has and will evolve.
7.165 Policies in this plan will be
supplemented by conservation area character appraisals,
management proposals and the local heritage at risk register.
The Council will implement Article 4 Directions where the
special character of conservation areas is threatened and
buildings or other heritage assets at risk through neglect,
decay or other threats will also be monitored.
7.166 A study, "The Future Growth of Chichester: landscape and visual amenity considerations" (2005) assesses how major development around Chichester city might be accommodated without an unacceptable impact on landscape character, or the setting of the city. An urban fringe landscape character assessment and the identification of priority views into and out of Chichester forms the basis of the study. Further work undertaken as part of the landscape study in 2018 supports this work. The Council will continue to work closely with the City, Town and Parish Councils to assess the heritage impact of development; this work will help inform any Development Plan Document(s), Supplementary Planning Document(s), development briefs, masterplans and Neighbourhood Plans which may be prepared.
Policy DM27: Historic Environment
The historic environment will be conserved and enhanced through the preparation of conservation area character appraisals and management plans and other strategies. New development which recognises, respects and enhances the local distinctiveness and character of the area, landscape and heritage assets will be supported.
Planning permission will be granted where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been met:
- The proposal conserves and enhances the special
interest and settings of designated and non-designated
heritage assets including:
- Monuments, sites and areas of archaeological potential or importance;
- Listed buildings including buildings or structures forming part of the curtilage of the listed building;
- Buildings of local importance, including locally listed and positive buildings;
- Historic buildings or structures/features of local distinctiveness and character;
- Conservation Areas; and
- Historic Parks or Gardens, both registered or of local importance and historic landscapes.
- Development respects distinctive local character and sensitively contributes to creating places of a high architectural and built quality;
- Development respects existing designed or natural landscapes; and
- The individual identity of settlements is maintained, and the integrity of predominantly open and undeveloped character of the area, including the openness of the views in and around Chichester and Pagham Harbours, towards the city, the Cathedral, local landmarks and the South Downs National Park, is not undermined.
Proposals affecting designated and undesignated heritage assets and their settings should demonstrate that they address the following criteria:
- The use of traditional, local materials and adherence to local building techniques and details, where appropriate;
- The conservation of features and elements that contribute to the special interest of a heritage asset, including structures forming part of the curtilage, in particular the structural integrity and historic plan-form of listed buildings and historic building groups;
- Appropriate use of the heritage asset that is compatible with the conservation of its significance;
- The location, form, scale, massing, density, height, layout, roofscape, landscaping, use and external appearance of developments within conservation areas should conserve and enhance the special historic and architectural interest of the conservation area;
- Development involving substantial harm to or loss of designated heritage assets will only be granted in exceptional circumstances (wholly exceptional circumstances for designated assets of the highest significance);
- Proposals for development involving ground disturbance in areas of known archaeological potential will need a desk based archaeological assessment and may also require field evaluation. The recording and publication of results will be required and in appropriate cases, the Council may also require preservation in situ, or excavation;
- Proposals affecting a non-designated heritage asset (including where identified through the planning process) should not harm its special interest and development involving substantial harm will be resisted unless significant public benefit has been clearly and convincingly demonstrated in accordance with the requirements of the NPPF; and
- The condition of an historic building resulting from deliberate damage and neglect will not be taken into account in any decision.
7.167 There will be development in the plan area, some of which will be on the edge of towns and villages. In planning for this development the Local Plan Review takes account of and seeks to reduce the impact of development on the natural environment.
7.168 Protecting and enhancing the natural environment of the district includes providing adequate open space, sport and recreation facilities and maintaining the biodiversity. Designated open space and areas of biodiversity form key components of a green infrastructure network. Due to the coastal nature of the district the protection of the coast and views are of importance.
7.169 Development proposals must take account of international, national and local designations as part of their application. Exceptions will only be made where no reasonable alternatives are available and the benefits of development clearly outweigh the negative impacts. Where a development proposal would result in any significant harm that cannot be prevented or mitigated, appropriate compensation will be sought.
7.170 The Plan area includes parts of four national landscape areas: Low Weald, Wealden Greensand, South Downs and South Coast Plain. A Strategy for the West Sussex Landscape has been developed by West Sussex County Council, which sets a vision for each of the character areas, and landscape guidelines relating to development. Further evidence is also contained within background studies commissioned as part of developing the Local Plan Review.
Policy DM28: Natural Environment
The impact of proposals will be carefully assessed to ensure the protection, conservation and enhancement of the landscape of the Plan area. Planning permission will be granted where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been addressed:
- There is no adverse impact on:
- The openness of the views in and around the coast, designated environmental areas and the setting of the South Downs National Park; and
- The tranquil and rural character of the area.
- Development recognises distinctive local landscape character and sensitively contributes to its setting and quality;
- Proposals respect and enhance the landscape character of the surrounding area and site, and public amenity through detailed design;
- Development of poorer quality agricultural land has been fully considered in preference to best and most versatile land; and
- The individual identity of settlements, actual or perceived, is maintained and the integrity of predominantly open and undeveloped land between settlements is not undermined.
7.171 The Council is currently identifying and mapping components of the local ecological networks, including the sites designated for wildlife, priority habitats and the wildlife corridors and stepping stones that connect them. The findings of this study along with advice from partners will inform decision making in relation to identifying and protecting local wildlife corridors, incorporating beneficial features into development and deciding on mitigation measures. Opportunities should be taken to link habitats as part of a 'green network' to reconnect isolated sites and facilitate species movement (see Policy DM32).
7.172 All new developments are encouraged to take account of and incorporate biodiversity into their features at the design stage, including integral bat and bird boxes and hedgehog accessible fencing and gravel boards. The Policy below protects sites of biodiversity importance, which contain wildlife or geological features that are of special interest. Exceptions will only be made where no reasonable alternatives are available and the benefits of development clearly outweigh the negative impacts. Where a development proposal would result in any significant harm to biodiversity and geological interests that cannot be prevented or mitigated, appropriate compensation will be sought. Conserving biodiversity is not just about protecting rare species and designated nature conservation sites. It also encompasses the more common and widespread species and habitats, all of which make an important contribution to quality of life. The Council will seek to preserve and enhance the biodiversity and geological diversity of the plan area by working with partners to implement the aims and proposals of the Chichester Local Biodiversity Action Plan and the Nature Conservation Strategy.
Policy DM29: Biodiversity
Planning permission will be granted for development where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been addressed:
- The biodiversity value of the site is safeguarded;
- Demonstrable harm to habitats or species which are protected or which are of importance to biodiversity is avoided or mitigated;
- The proposal has incorporated features that enhance biodiversity as part of good design and sustainable development, and identifies and pursues opportunities for achieving a net gain in biodiversity;
- The proposal protects, manages and enhances the plan area network of ecology, biodiversity and geological sites, including the international, national and local designated sites (statutory and non-statutory), priority habitats, wildlife corridors and stepping stones that connect them;
- Any individual or cumulative adverse impacts on sites are avoided;
- The benefits of development outweigh any adverse impact on the biodiversity on the site. Exceptions will only be made where no reasonable alternatives are available; and planning conditions and/or planning obligations may be imposed to mitigate or compensate for the harmful effects of the development.
Development and Disturbance of Birds in Special Protection Areas
7.173 Chichester and Langstone Harbours and Pagham Harbour are both designated as internationally important wildlife sites (Special Protection Areas and Ramsar sites) and the Council is under a legal duty to protect their designated bird populations and supporting habitats. Under the Habitats Regulations 2017 we must consider whether development may have a "likely significant effect" on the Harbours.
7.174 If the impact of development is likely to adversely affect the integrity of a Special Protection Area (SPA) - either by itself or in combination with other developments - and this cannot be avoided or mitigated effectively, then the Council is likely to refuse planning permission. Evidence collected during the Solent Disturbance and Mitigation Project indicates that bird species in Chichester and Langstone Harbours SPA are being adversely affected by disturbance from human recreational activities.
7.175 For Chichester and Langstone Harbours SPA, Natural England advise that considered in-combination with other housing around the Solent, any increase in the number of dwellings would be likely to have a significant effect within 5.6km of the SPA boundary Therefore new housing developments within this zone of influence will need to provide for a package of avoidance and mitigation measures. The planning authorities across the Solent have drawn up a strategic package of mitigations measures, the Bird Aware Solent strategy [link http://www.birdaware.org/strategy]. This provides avoidance and mitigation measures sufficient to avoid an Adverse Effect on the Integrity of the European sites from new residential development and is funded in perpetuity. Developments that result in a net increase in dwellings, including holiday and student accommodation can opt to contribute to the scheme through s106 Agreements (including Unilateral Undertakings). There is currently a scale of contributions, calculated according to the number of bedrooms in each dwelling.
7.176 Applicants for development leading to a net increase in dwellings can also opt to provide their own mitigation schemes as an alternative to a payment to Bird Aware Solent. Such schemes will be subject to assessment under the Habitats Regulations as to their suitability and effectiveness and will need to provide mitigation that is funded in-perpetuity. Such stand-alone schemes should not rely solely on measures put in place within the development, but are very likely to have to provide measures to address disturbance on the coast.
7.177 For Pagham Harbour SPA, an impact from recreational disturbance is also considered to be likely under the precautionary principle, given the similarity of the habitat to the Solent SPAs. At Pagham there is also the issue of potential disturbance in summer to ground nesting birds. Evidence from visitor surveys suggests that the majority of visitors to Pagham Harbour who are resident within Chichester District come from within 3.5km of the site. Within this 'zone of influence' net increase in residential development should provide for mitigation measures to avoid any impact or be subject to an 'appropriate assessment' under the Habitats Regulations to show that any impact (either alone or in-combination with other developments including developments within Arun District) is not significant.
7.178 For Pagham Harbour SPA, Chichester and Arun District Councils have put in place a Strategic Scheme of Access Management and Mitigation or SAMM (delivered through the RSPB as site managers). This is similar in principle to the Bird Aware scheme in that it is funded in-perpetuity through s106 contributions and is delivered through wardening within the SPA and a wider programme of education and awareness-raising.
7.179 For both Chichester and Pagham Harbours some of the bird species for which they are designed, Brent Geese in particular, use functionally linked supporting habitats around the SPA for feeding and roosting. Developments on or adjacent to these areas can have an impact on the SPAs separate to and additional to the impact of recreational disturbance. For Chichester and Langstone Harbours SPA the Solent Waders and Brent Geese Strategy [add link] identifies the areas of supporting habitat and grades them into four categories: core areas, primary support areas, secondary support areas and low use areas. Interim guidance on offsetting and mitigation requirements has been produced. For Pagham Harbour SPA a case by case approach will be adopted and applicants may be asked to provide bird survey data sufficient for an Appropriate Assessment to be carried out.
Policy DM30: Development and Disturbance of Birds in Chichester, Langstone and Pagham Harbours Special Protection Areas
It is Natural England's advice that all net increases in residential development within the 5.6km 'Zone of Influence' are likely to have a significant effect on the Chichester and Langstone Harbours SPA either alone or in-combination with other developments and will need to be subject to the provisions of Regulation 63 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. In the absence of appropriate avoidance and/or mitigation measures that will enable the planning authority to ascertain that the development would not adversely affect the integrity of the SPA, planning permission will not be granted because the tests for derogations in Regulation 64 are unlikely to be met. Furthermore, such development would not have the benefit of the presumption in favour of sustainable development in the National Planning Policy Framework.
Appropriate avoidance/mitigation measures that are likely to allow the planning authority to ascertain that there will be no adverse effect on the integrity of the SPA will comprise:
- A contribution in accordance with the joint mitigation strategy outlined in the Bird Aware Solent Strategy; or
- A developer provided package of measures associated with the proposed development designed to avoid any significant effect on the SPA, provided and funded in-perpetuity; or
- A combination of measures in (a) and (b) above.
Avoidance/mitigation measures will need to be phased with development and shall be maintained in perpetuity. All mitigation measures in (b) and (c) above must be agreed to be appropriate by Natural England through the Habitats Regulations Assessment process. They should also have regard to the Chichester Harbour AONB Management Plan.
The provisions of this policy do not exclude the possibility that some residential schemes either within or outside the Zone of Influence might require further assessment under the Habitats Regulations. For example, large schemes, schemes proposing bespoke or alternative avoidance/mitigation measures, or schemes that impinge on the supporting habitats identified by the Solent Waders and Brent Goose Strategy. Such schemes will be assessed on their own merits under Regulation 63 (appropriate assessment), and, subject to advice from Natural England. Where mitigation for any impact upon supporting habitat is required this should follow the guidance given in the Solent Waders and Brent Goose Strategy.
Development and Disturbance of Birds in Pagham Harbour Special Protection Area
Net increases in residential development within the 3.5km 'Zone of Influence' are likely to have a significant effect on the Pagham Harbour SPA either alone or in-combination with other developments and will need to be subject to the provisions of Regulation 63 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. In the absence of appropriate avoidance and/or mitigation measures that will enable the planning authority to ascertain that the development would not adversely affect the integrity of the SPA, planning permission will not be granted because the tests for derogations in Regulation 64 are unlikely to be met. Furthermore, such development would not have the benefit of the presumption in favour of sustainable development in the National Planning Policy Framework.
Net increases in residential development, which incorporates appropriate avoidance/mitigation measures, which would avoid any likelihood of a significant effect on the SPA, will not require 'appropriate assessment'. Appropriate avoidance/mitigation measures that are likely to allow the planning authority to ascertain that there will be no adverse effect on the integrity of the SPA will comprise:
- A contribution towards the appropriate management of the Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve through the joint Chichester and Arun Scheme of Mitigation in accordance with the LNR Management Plan; or
- A developer provided package of measures associated with the proposed development designed to avoid any significant effect on the SPA; or
- A combination of measures in (a) and (b) above.
Avoidance/mitigation measures will need to be phased with development and shall be maintained in perpetuity. All mitigation measures in (a), (b) and (c) above must be agreed to be appropriate by Natural England in consultation with owners and managers of the land within the SPA.
The provisions of this policy do not exclude the possibility that some residential schemes either within or outside the Zone of Influence might require further assessment under the Habitats Regulations. For example, large schemes, schemes proposing bespoke or alternative avoidance/mitigation measures, or schemes proposing an alternative approach to the protection of the SPAs where there is survey or other evidence that the site is used as supporting habitats by SPA species, including Brent Geese. Such schemes will be assessed on their own merits, under Regulation 63 (appropriate assessment), and subject to advice from Natural England.
Trees, Woodlands and Hedgerows
7.180 Trees, woodlands and hedgerows are essential features of the plan area's landscape; enhancing its visual amenity, the quality of the environment and providing habitats for a range of wildlife. They can also provide important corridors or stepping stones between habitats and are essential components of the local ecological network. The Council will seek to ensure the management, including conservation and enhancement, of existing valued trees, woodlands and hedgerows, and to ensure that opportunities for restoration and new planting is realised.
7.181 Hedgerows are identified as a priority habitat requiring conservation action under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Ancient Woodland is also recognised as an irreplaceable habitat. Where new development is proposed the preference will always be to incorporate natural features into the development and development should be designed from this first principle. Where the loss of trees or hedgerow is unavoidable adequate replacement provision should be secured. All development must be undertaken in accordance with the British Standard 5837 and all tree works must be carried out in accordance with British Standard 3998.
Policy DM31: Trees, Hedgerows and Woodlands
Development proposals will be granted where it can be demonstrated that all of the following criteria have been addressed;
- Proposals conserve and, where appropriate, enhance existing valued trees, hedgerows and woodlands;
- The felling of protected trees, groups of trees or woodland will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances and in accordance with the relevant legislation, policy and good practice recommendations. Where protected trees are subject to felling, a replacement of an appropriate number, species and size in an appropriate location will be required;
- A proposed loss or damage of non-protected but valued trees, woodland or hedgerows should be avoided, and if demonstrated as being unavoidable, appropriate mitigation measures are provided;
- A minimum buffer of 15 metres will be required between the development and ancient woodland or veteran trees; and
- Development proposals must demonstrate that appropriate protection measures are in place prior to any work on site throughout the development process as part of a comprehensive landscaping plan, and that suitable opportunities for the restoration, enhancement or planting of trees, woodland, and hedgerows are identified and incorporated.
7.182 Green Infrastructure (GI) is the term used to refer to the living network of multifunctional green spaces, water and other environmental features in both urban and rural areas, which are capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities, including health and wellbeing. The term covers those benefits provided by trees, parks, gardens, road verges, allotments, cemeteries, woodlands, rivers and wetlands, and also refers to the use of farmland, woodland, wetlands or other natural features to provide services such as flood protection, carbon storage or water purification.
7.183 Green Infrastructure maintains critical ecological links between town and country, and has an important role to play in mitigating the effects of climate change and provides important cooling, shading and filtering effects that will become more significant if temperatures rise as predicted. Trees and woodland, for example, are essential to the value of Green Infrastructure; their appropriate management, retention and provision of new tree planting can help to combat climate change and flooding, alleviate pollution and modify microclimates.
7.184 The plan area has a wide range of sites designated for their sensitive character, flora and fauna and other environmental value. It is important that these areas are protected, maintained and, where possible, enhanced. Maintaining an inter-connected network of green spaces is essential to retaining existing biodiversity and enhancing areas by providing important links and wildlife corridors for species, helping to protect against habitat fragmentation and allowing species migration. The protection and enhancement of biodiversity and open spaces should not just be seen in isolation, but as the development of green infrastructure networks across the plan area.
7.185 Some key strategic green infrastructure assets of biodiversity, landscape and recreational value in the plan area, include but are not limited to:
- Canals, river corridors, tributaries and river valleys;
- Disused railway corridors (e.g. Chichester to Lavant);
- Cycle paths such as Centurion Way and Salterns Way;
- Cycle and pedestrian links within the plan area and to the National Park;
- Natural and semi-natural urban greenspaces such as the Medmerry Realignment, East Beach Pond, ditches, hedgerows, allotments and play areas;
- Farmland which is predominantly arable land in the south of the plan area and pasture and equestrian uses in the north-east;
- Wetland areas at Chichester and Pagham Harbours;
- Trees and woodland areas;
- Wildlife corridors;
- Coastal features such as vegetated shingle at Selsey and West Wittering; and
- Ancient Woodlands and Historic parks and formal and informal recreation areas such as Bishops Palace Garden, Priory Park, and Oaklands Park.
7.187 Growth and new development in the plan area will result in increased pressure on existing green infrastructure networks and may generate demands for new provision. The impact of development may lead to increased user pressure on the more sensitive biodiversity sites and may require alternative compensatory provision, for example in the form of alternative recreational space. This is particularly relevant to Chichester and Langstone Harbour and Pagham Harbour and the impact of recreational pressure on the birds that use these Special Protection Areas. Any negative impacts that the development may have should be weighed against the benefits of the proposal. This may include looking at whether the assets are surplus to requirements, if the proposal impacts on a small area or corridor or if a wider need exists for the development and there is no alternative location. If the adverse impact cannot be negated through reasonable means then mitigation should be provided on or off site. The form and nature of mitigation will depend on the context of the site and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. This will ensure that new provision relates well to the overall green infrastructure network and is suitable to the site.
7.188 The Council published its Delivering Green Infrastructure in the Local Plan Area document in 2016. The document is not formal policy but provides guidance to developers on ensuring the delivery of GI in the plan area, and includes a GI Developer Checklist which sets out how the Council expects proposals for major developments to integrate high quality GI from the earliest stage.
7.189 The GI Delivery Document was informed by the Council's Green Infrastructure Mapping project undertaken in 2013 in partnership with Forest Research UK. This sought to identify and map the components of the local ecological networks. The results of this mapping work, in addition to details of species records and the location of priority habitats and designated sites, has enabled the Council to identify and map strategic corridors. These maps are shown in Figure 5.1
Policy DM32: Green Infrastructure
All development will be expected to contribute towards the
provision of additional green
infrastructure, and the protection and enhancement of existing green infrastructure.
The existing green infrastructure network must be considered at an early stage of the design process for all major development proposals. Masterplans should illustrate how the development incorporates the existing green infrastructure network, and any new green infrastructure.
Planning permission will be granted where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been addressed:
- The proposals maintain and, where appropriate, incorporate improvements to the existing network of green infrastructure, or the restoration, enhancement or creation of additional provision areas;
- Where appropriate, the proposals create new green infrastructure which is integrated into the development design and meets the needs of the communities within and beyond the site boundaries;
- The proposals contribute to improving the health and well-being of the local and wider community;
- The proposals do not lead to the dissection of the linear network of cycle ways, public rights of way, bridleways and ecological corridors; and
- Where appropriate, the Council will seek to secure via planning obligation provision for the future management and/or maintenance of green infrastructure.
Development that will harm the green infrastructure network will only be granted if it can incorporate measures that avoid the harm arising or sufficiently mitigate its effects.
The Council will expect that a legal agreement is entered in to where it is necessary to secure green infrastructure provision, or to ensure the long term sustainable management of green infrastructure. Unless stated elsewhere the Council will normally not be responsible for the long term maintenance and management of green infrastructure.
7.190 The Chichester Ship Canal linked Chichester City with the Harbour and, together with the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal, fed into the River Arun at Ford. In conjunction with the Wey and Arun Canal, this created an inland water route from Portsmouth to London via the River Wey.
7.191 Through navigation along this route is currently not possible as a result of road culverts, development or abandonment. The Wey and Arun Canal Trust Limited and The Chichester Ship Canal Trust are working to restore their respective sections.
7.192 The benefits of enhancements to the plan area's canals could include increased recreation, leisure pursuits and economic activity in line with objectives and aspirations set out in the Green Infrastructure policy and national guidance.
7.193 Proposals for development may need to include an ecological study and a transport assessment to identify how proposals will avoid or mitigate any potential impact.
7.194 There remains a further significant length of the former Portsmouth and Arundel Canal within the plan area (between Runcton and the plan area boundary east of Colworth) where there are no proposals for restoration. Nevertheless much of this alignment forms the route of a public right of way which extends eastwards into Arun District.
7.195 These remnants are important early 19th Century historic features in the landscape of the coastal plain and warrant protection and, where feasible, enhancement to facilitate the cultural and historic understanding of the area. They also provide the opportunity for leisure and tourism pursuits.
Policy DM33: Canals
Development that makes provision of through navigation or enhancement of the Chichester Ship Canal and the Wey and Arun Canal will be supported where it meets environmental, ecological and transport considerations.
Development will be permitted where it would not adversely affect the remaining line and configuration of the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal and features along it. Where no such line and configuration remains, proposals to reinterpret the alignment within new development proposals will be supported.
Open Space, Sport and Recreation
7.196 The Local Plan Review can assist in enhancing well-being and promoting healthy lifestyles by protecting, enhancing and providing new open space, sport and recreation (including indoor) facilities. Open space also forms a key component of a green infrastructure network (see Policy DM32) and therefore contributes to the area's biodiversity assets.
7.197 Open space includes formal facilities such as parks, sports and recreation grounds, children's play areas, outdoor sports facilities, playing pitches, amenity spaces and allotments, and also more informal facilities such as natural green spaces, beaches, lakes, watercourses and recreational routes. Indoor sports facilities include swimming pools, leisure centres, fitness stations and sports facilities provided in community centres and schools, where public access may be restricted to certain times.
7.198 The Chichester Open Space, Sport and Recreation Study (including indoor facilities) and Playing Pitch Strategy 2018 proposes quantity, access and quality standards for different typologies in the plan area. When existing provision is compared against the recommended standards, the study identifies a justified need for allotments, amenity open space, play space (especially youth play space) and parks, sport and recreation grounds. The study recommends that levels of provision in new development are considered together with amenity open space. The aim would be to provide amenity/natural greenspaces which have both a recreational value and biodiversity value through native planting. There should be a move away from providing numerous small amenity grass areas, to providing fewer, larger amenity/natural spaces in new development. It recommends that sites which have significant nature conservation, historical or cultural value should be afforded protection, even if there is an identified surplus in quality, quantity or access in that local area. Some areas have sufficient local provision for certain types of open space, although every area is deficient in some form of provision in terms of quantity, accessibility or quality. The study also highlights the very poor access to youth provision, with significant gaps in many of the settlements. Therefore, Policy DM34 seeks to retain all open space unless an equivalent replacement can be provided in terms of quantity, accessibility and quality.
7.199 Where a surplus of provision is identified against the standards set out in the Open Space, Sport and Recreation Study including Indoor Sports Facilities and Playing Pitch Strategy 2018, proposals involving the loss of facilities will need to take into account the potential for the use of the land to help reduce shortfalls of other types of open space and future needs arising from development. Policy DM8 covers the loss of community halls.
7.200 New housing developments create an additional need for both open space and recreational facilities. Where access to existing local facilities or the quality of provision is inadequate, new developments will be expected to provide new or improved facilities in respect of allotments, amenity open space, play space (including youth space) and parks, sport and recreation grounds and natural or semi-natural greenspace. The provision of additional amenity/natural greenspace may be required as part of mitigation measures to protect against the potential disturbance to bird populations (see Policy DM30). In accordance with the standards set out in the Open Space, Sport and Recreation Study including Indoor Sports Facilities and Playing Pitch Strategy 2018, on-site provision for open space, sports and recreation facilities will be sought to meet the recreational needs of the residents' new housing development. All types of residential development where there is a net increase in homes will be expected to contribute to the provision of facilities. The standards below exclude car parking and changing rooms, which should be provided in addition to the open space quantity standards. However, SuDS and landscape screens and buffers can potentially be provided within the open space if they are both functionally appropriate and form an integral part of the design of the type of open space being provided.
7.201 The study also recommends standards for certain indoor sports facilities including sports halls, swimming pools, synthetic pitches, and health and fitness stations. The Local Plan Review seeks to ensure that existing facilities are protected and where needed positive improvements are achieved. These standards identified are as follows:
Table 7.1 Minimum Open Space requirements from new development
(metres/straight line walk time)
600 metres or 12-13 minutes
Amenity and Natural Green Space
600 metres or 12-13 minutes
Parks and Recreation Grounds
600 metres or 12-13 minutes to local facilities
10 minutes drive time for larger multi-functional facilities
Play Space (Children)
480 metres or 10 minutes
Play Space (Youth)
720 metres or 15 minutes
Total for new provision
Table 7.1a Household size multiplier
Average Household Size (Census 2011)
Table 7.2 Thresholds for Open Space provision
Threshold requirement for open space, sport & recreation facilities
*CIL (off-site) ✔ S106 (on-site)
Type of provision
Amenity and Natural Green Space
Parks, Sport and Recreation Grounds
Play Space (Children)
Play Space (Youth)
Table 7.3 Sport/Recreation facilities requirements from new development
(per 1000 population)
(Drive-time or walking in urban areas)
Swimming Pools - Based on 4 lane x 25m pool unit
10.05 sqm; or 0.042 pools
Within 15/20 minutes
Sports Halls - Based on 4 x badminton court hall unit
0.26 courts; or 0.065 halls
Within 15/20 minutes
Health & Fitness - Based on individual stations (pay and play access)
5 stations, subject to viability
Within 20 minutes
Small community halls
1 venue for each settlement of 500 people.
1 further venue for each additional 2,500 people but with flexibility of interpretation
600 metres (15 minutes straight line walk time)
15 minutes drive-time might be acceptable in rural areas.
7.202 Further details are set out in the Open Space, Sport and Recreation Study including Indoor Sports Facilities and Playing Pitch Strategy 2018. The standards and methodology will be set out in the revised Planning Obligations and Affordable Housing SPD. Off-site facilities and improvements will be via other funding sources including CIL. The Council will use appropriate planning obligations to secure the provision and maintenance of open space, sport and recreation facilities.
7.203 The Area Based Policies identify the locations where new and enhanced open space, sport and recreation facilities will be sought in association with strategic development and refers to additional provision that will be sought to address current needs where opportunities arise. Where appropriate, other specific allocations and enhancements will be identified in the relevant Neighbourhood Plans, forthcoming DPD, Supplementary Planning Document(s) and the Green Infrastructure Strategy.
7.204 Recreational activities which are likely to create noise disturbance to the surrounding environment should demonstrate that activities would not adversely impact on the tranquillity and enjoyment of local residents, or other users of the coast and countryside.
Policy DM34: Open Space, Sport and Recreation including Indoor Sports Facilities and Playing Pitches
The Council will seek to retain, enhance, improve access and increase the quantity and quality of public open space, playing fields, sport and recreation facilities (including indoor facilities) and rights of way including improvement of links to them.
Development involving their loss will be granted permission where all the following criteria have been addressed:
- Alternative accessible replacement facilities of overall at least equivalent quantity and quality are provided: or
- Where the Chichester Open Space, Sport and Recreation Study (including Indoor Sports Facilities) and Playing Pitch Strategy identifies a surplus of provision, future needs and the potential of the open space to meet any shortfall in other types of provision in the local area have been taken into account; and
- There are no adverse impacts on biodiversity, heritage assets or the integrity of the Green Infrastructure network.
Exceptions will only be made where the benefit of the development outweighs any harm, and it can be demonstrated there are no reasonable alternative sites available.
New residential development (excluding replacement
dwellings) will be required to
- The creation of new open space, sports and recreation facilities (including indoor facilities); new links to the existing rights of way network and/or (dependent upon scale of development or local need within the parish).
- Improving the quality and/or accessibility of existing open space or indoor facilities.
New or improved facilities should be provided in accordance with the detailed standards set out in Tables 7.1, 7.1a, 7.2 & 7.3. Further detail will be set out in the revised Planning Obligations and Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document.
Subject to competing priorities, the Community Infrastructure Levy may contribute to provision, but larger sites will be expected to make on-site provision secured via S106 agreements.
Where opportunities arise, the provision of new and enhanced public open space, sport and recreation facilities and links to the existing rights of way network will be sought to meet any identified shortfalls in the local area.
Where possible, sports (including indoor) facilities that attract large numbers of people will be located in larger settlements and will be easily accessible by public transport, cycling and walking.
7.205 Equestrian activities and facilities are very popular in the plan area, particularly on the Manhood Peninsula and the more commercial polo activities in the northeast of the district. The Council recognises the contribution these activities make to the rural economy and the need to make provision for equestrian development. However, it is necessary to ensure that there is no harm to the character and appearance of the countryside.
7.206 Horse related development requires adequate land for commercial enterprises and associated new buildings, generally in a countryside location. New stable blocks and field shelters can often appear isolated and intrusive on undeveloped land; therefore, where possible, the re-use of existing buildings will be encouraged including for any form of staff accommodation where required. Associated development such as lighting, storage, waste disposal, manèges and sub-division of fields can be prominent features in the landscape and in some cases may not be appropriate. Additionally, these uses and structures as well as the re-profiling and manicured appearance of grass land for polo uses can, both individually and cumulatively, change the visual character of an area and its landscape.
7.207 It is essential that any equestrian development does not have an adverse impact on the special qualities of the landscape, for example, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the South Downs National Park. Therefore, proposals should provide comprehensive details of the development required; such as size, materials and fencing together with a detailed scheme of land and site management. The design and materials of new horse related structures must be in keeping with the character of the rural area. As part of the proposals, the protection of watercourses and ground water from contamination associated with slurry disposal will be required.
7.208 In most cases conditions will be attached to the planning permission requiring stables and field shelters to be used only for private use and not business and commercial uses. Appendix C sets out the details of information which may be required as part of a planning application.
Policy DM35: Equestrian Development
Development proposals for horse related development will be granted where it can be demonstrated that all the following criteria have been addressed:
- There is adequate land for the numbers of horses kept:
- Existing buildings are reused where possible but where new buildings are necessary, these are well-related to existing buildings, appropriate to the number of horses to be kept and the amount of land available;
- There is minimal visual impact on the landscape caused by the proposed development either individually or cumulatively;
- The proposal, either on its own or cumulatively, with other horse related uses in the area, is compatible with its surroundings, and adequately protects water courses, groundwater and the safety of all road users;
- The proposal does not lead to the need for additional housing on site; and
- The proposal is well related to or has improved links to the existing bridleway network