5. The Economy

5.1.

North Kesteven’s economy is still heavily influenced by its traditional agricultural-sector industries although over recent decades its employment structure has changed considerably. The District has a high proportion of business uses that focus on public administration, education and health functions; distribution; and manufacturing, which represent 37.1%, 21.6% and 15.3% of all sectors respectively. There is also an expanding banking, finance and insurance sector (9.6%). The District is characterised by low unemployment rates, relatively good skills levels, and wage levels are below national average and amongst the lowest in the Country.

5.2.

The Council is committed to strengthening the local economy of the District, increasing the range of job opportunities for local people, and supporting local businesses and services to maintain its 100 prosperous and thriving communities. In doing so, the Council seeks to ensure that development will enhance the local environment and will not detract from the quality of area.

5.3.

It is proposed that most employment development will be concentrated in Sleaford and North Hykeham, and the ‘service villages’ in accordance with the locational strategy, which draws on the potential of these areas to provide employment opportunities. The whole of the District benefits from EU Objective 2, which provides assistance to support social and economic restructuring and EU Objective 3 status, which can help to finance training and employment programmes in areas of relatively low incomes.

5.4.

A business park has been designated within the District for office, research and development or light industrial uses for the County of Lincolnshire. The site chosen at Decoy Farm, Skellingthorpe, takes into account factors that are likely to attract such developers to the area, including proximity to the strategic road network, an attractive working environment and a large supply of labour within reasonable travelling distance.

5.5.

The Structure Plan indicates the provision of new employment land required for defined towns in Lincolnshire.

5.6.

This chapter aims to guide development to suitable areas within North Kesteven to improve the quality of the environment by way of promoting the District as a place to live and work, and facilitate the broadening of the local economy to help stimulate new job opportunities by providing choice through flexibility and competition.

5.7.

The Local Plan approach accords with North Kesteven’s Economic Development Strategy, which sets out the Council’s proposed schemes to address the economic needs and opportunities of the District, and provisions of its Local Agenda 21 strategy, contributing to all three of the Council’s objectives:

  • A good quality of life for all residents – Employment growth in the District will contribute towards the quality of life of residents, by way of employment provision and making locational decisions to increase social inclusion.
  • A thriving and prosperous economy – Ensuring the availability of land and premises will help to encourage inward investment and the growth of indigenous firms, contributing towards expansion of the District’s economy.
  • A clean green and safe environment – The identification and management of the most suitable employment land will contribute towards safeguarding the character and quality of the local environment, through reducing the need to travel and directing development to more sustainable locations.

POLICY E1 - Employment development sites View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for development falling within Classes B1 (b) and (c), B2 or B8 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 on Existing Employment Areas, Employment Allocations or Employment Sites with Planning Permission (as shown on the Proposals Map), subject to the phasing proposals for the Lincoln Policy Area set down in this Plan. Planning permission will be granted for retail development on these sites, provided that:

  1. The use proposed is minor in scale and caters primarily for the needs of the area’s workforce; or
  2. They have satisfied the sequential approach set out in Policy R1 if considered to be bulky goods retail developments.

Justification

5.8.

The District Council is committed to supporting the local economy and improving employment opportunities in North Kesteven. One of the ways it achieves this is by ensuring that there is adequate land available for both the expansion of existing employment generating development and the establishment of new businesses. The emerging County Structure Plan indicates that employment development should be concentrated at the defined towns. This Local Plan has adopted the time-scale 2001-2021 for employment land allocations, in line with the Structure Plan period.

5.9.

For the Lincoln Policy Area, policy in the Structure Plan sets out a phased release provision of Employment land over two periods: 2001-2015 and 2016-2021. This mainly applies to sites over 5 hectares in size regarded as being of strategic significance. The allocated Employment Sites in the North Kesteven part of the Lincoln Policy Area that have been identified for release in these Two phases are set out in the Table in Appendix 2

5.10.

For the Rest of the District (including Sleaford) as identified within the Local Plan’s locational strategy, no phased provision of employment land is set out within the Structure Plan. However, in the Structure Plan, Sleaford is identified as a major settlement and Main Town suitable for the expansion and allocation of employment opportunities, and is therefore also identified as a sustainable location for new employment land allocations and development

5.11.

A total of 144.68 ha (Sites Residual Capacity Area) has been designated specifically for employment development in the Local Plan for the period 2001-2021. This includes 99.44 ha allocated within the Lincoln Policy Area, which forms part of the land requirement for Lincoln and its surrounds, and 45.24 ha in Sleaford and the Rest of the District (see Appendix 2). The North Kesteven part of the Lincoln Policy Area is defined as that including the settlements as listed in Appendix 1. The remainder of the allocated employment land in those areas not located in the Lincoln Policy Area or Sleaford, is distributed to the villages that service local areas, in accordance with the locational strategy’s defined tier of settlement structure. This takes into consideration the traditional rural structure of the District, and the sparse location of many of its settlements, with only limited access by public transport. The sites are also assessed against long-established key determinants of business location, which are influential in distinguishing between locations, including access to customer and supplier markets, availability of facilities and infrastructure, proximity to the strategic road transport network, availability of labour and the cost of land and servicing requirements.

5.12.

Employment sites have been selected on merits of location and accessibility, varying in size, land type, service provision and environmental quality to cater for the differing requirements of businesses both indigenous and new. They are intended to guide development to accessible and serviced locations within the District and ensure that the Council continues to promote sustainable development and growth.

5.13.

Where possible, employment allocations have been designated on land that has previously been developed. This seeks to bring about opportunities to recycle land and redundant buildings, and alleviate issues such as contamination on sites, which are considered favourable for employment uses. In releasing land for employment development, the Council will look to give priority to brownfield sites over greenfield locations.

5.14.

Employment uses B1 (b) and (c), B2 and B8 identified in the policy, through the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 as may be amended, refer to the following:

Use
 Class Description
 B1 (b) Research and Development, Studios, Laboratories, High Tech
  (c) Light industry
 B2  General industry
B8
  Wholesale warehouse, Distribution centres, Repositories

 

5.15.

It is particularly important to direct uses that will attract a large number of journeys to areas that are accessible by cycle, foot or public transport. In considering the land allocations for employment development, sites have been sought where links to facilitate such movements and good service provisions are readily available, for example, those areas that benefit from good access to major roads and public transport networks. To ensure that employment land is safeguarded for its designated use, proposals for retail uses that will serve the area’s workforce for example, sandwich outlets and newsagents will be considered. Bulky goods retail developments such as builder’s merchants; plant hire; tyre and exhaust depots; furniture, carpet, and hardware retailers will also be considered against this policy. Before permitting such development, the Council will need to be satisfied that the sequential approach set out in Policy R1 has been adopted. Convenience, comparison or retail service use developments, which are likely to attract significant numbers of journeys, are considered to be more appropriately sited in or adjacent town centre locations, and will be considered against policy R1.

5.16.

Proposals for development on existing and allocated employment sites located adjacent to existing residential areas or other sensitive land-uses are likely to be restricted to B1 uses only. This seeks to ensure that the development of employment operations that may create nuisances to the amenity of local residents is averted. B1 (a) office developments will be considered under Policy E3.

POLICY E2 - Decoy Farm Business Park View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for the development of office, research and development, studio and laboratory, high tech or light industrial uses, as defined by Use Class B1 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, as may be amended, on the land defined as a Business Park on the Proposals Map.

Development of the land should accord with the Decoy and Fen Farms’ Joint Development Brief (August 1996).

Justification

5.17.

There has been an identified shortfall in the supply of high quality business parks, to accommodate the relocation or expansion of companies seeking prestigious sites within the East Midlands region. Such firms essentially desire attractive working environments with clean air and a parkland setting.

5.18.

Business Parks are considered more appropriately sited within the cities or market towns of the region, in areas with good accessibility, particularly to existing or potential public transport routes, and where the impact of the environment would be minimal. The allocation of land at Decoy Farm, Skellingthorpe has been the chosen site for a business park to serve the County of Lincolnshire. The site has numerous locational advantages:

  • It is adjacent to the A46 trunk road, with access to the strategic road network.
  • It is within the Lincoln Policy Area, and therefore in close proximity to a large workforce.
  • It does not take-up farmland of the best quality.
  • Existing wooded areas abut much of the site adding to the locational quality of the area.
  • The establishment of the University of Lincoln has created opportunities for the cross-fertilisation of research and business development.
  • It is directly adjacent to a major residential allocation within the City of Lincoln.
5.19.

The broad principle of the way in which the Council considers the site should be developed is outlined in the development brief for the site – The Decoy and Fen Farms’ Joint Development Brief, which was adopted in August 1996.

5.20.

Much of the site is low lying and it is likely that measures will be required to adequately safeguard buildings against the risk of flooding should flows exceed the capacity of the Foss Dyke Navigation, River Witham and Boultham Catchwater Drain flood defences (see Policy C10). There is a flood risk assessment being undertaken for the Lincoln Policy Area, which will help to clarify the situation. In addition, land at the centre of the site is identified as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and was formerly identified as being of wildlife interest (although it is not identified as a County Wildlife Site). The Council will seek to ensure that the interest of this land is not adversely affected by development proposals. Guidance on potential measures for the protection and enhancement of this important site is included within the Development Brief. The impact of any construction proposals on this site should be considered as part of an environmental assessment of the wider impacts of the business park development including effects on local residents, ecology, landscape, drainage and water systems.

POLICY E3 - Major office development View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for new development or a change of use to office accommodation, provided that potential sites are selected in accordance with the following search sequence:

  1. locations in the existing town centres of North Hykeham and Sleaford or allocated employment development sites;
  2. edge-of-centre sites in those existing centres which are or will be well-connected to the centres;
  3. out-of-centre sites, with preference given to sites which are or will be well-served by a choice of means of transport and which are close to the centre and are likely to form links with the centre.
Preference will be given to proposals which make better use of previously-developed land and buildings, and to sites which are well served by public transport.

Justification

5.21.

Office developments provide a good source of employment opportunities for the District. These predominantly cater for service sector industries, which are becoming increasingly important in light of the general decline in manufacturing and agriculture, on which the District’s economy is heavily reliant. The Council seeks to ensure that these types of developments, which are likely to attract large numbers of journeys, are located close to areas that will encourage trips by cycle, foot and public transport or alternatively, accessibility can be improved to an acceptable standard as part of the development (see policy T1). In considering accessibility issues, the Council will be mindful of the fact that the District is predominantly rural, that its population is dispersed, and that opportunities for people to travel by means other than the private car can be limited. Consequently, all judgements of whether a location is relatively accessible or not will be made in the context of the overall levels of accessibility throughout the District. Nonetheless, the Council will wish to ensure that its decisions contribute to reducing overall dependence upon the private car as much as is possible.

5.22.

The applicant will be required to adopt a sequential approach in searching for suitable office locations, to minimise the impact on the amenities of the area and demonstrate that other areas within or adjacent settlements have been unsuccessfully explored. This approach should firstly consider town centre locations, then brownfield sites available for development or conversion, followed by allocated employment sites and areas that are readily accessible by cycle, foot and public transport.

5.23.

Office developments will be directed where appropriate, close to centres of population and where they will be served by good public transport links, for example, near to the city of Lincoln, in and around town centres, including the use of upper floors, and within larger village settlements. Consideration will only be given for such developments in countryside locations and areas with poor accessibility where it can be proven that more sustainable areas have been unsuccessfully explored. The District Council may seek to enter into an agreement with applicants for a contribution towards improving the provision of cycle or public transport facilities in accordance with Policy T1, where there is likely to be a need to help ease accessibility.

5.24.

To protect the rural character of its villages, the District Council will seek to ensure that the scale and design of the proposal are in keeping with neighbouring land-uses and that they do not reduce local distinctiveness. Although the Council welcomes development proposals to change the use of a premise to provide office accommodation, particular care will be taken to prevent the loss of existing facilities such as retail and residential uses. In considering ‘change of use’ applications, the District Council will assess levels of provision within the locality, and weigh up the loss of its associated use with the likelihood of replacement nearby.

POLICY E4 - Employment development in the countryside View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for new development, redevelopment, and/or expansion of development falling within Classes B1 (b) and (c), B2 or B8 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 in the countryside (as shown on the Proposals Map), only if a countryside location is essential and the development cannot be located in an existing employment area, on land allocated for employment use or on land within a settlement curtilage, and: -

  1. it is of a scale appropriate to meet identified local employment needs;
  2. there is safe access and sustainable accessibility to the site;
  3. it will contribute to the rural economy of the area;
  4. it will protect the quality and character of the countryside;
  5. where appropriate, it involves the replacement of suitably located existing buildings of permanent design and construction where this would result in a more acceptable and sustainable development than could be achieved through conversion.

Previously-developed land, and sites adjacent to a settlement curtilage will be given preference, although sites elsewhere in the countryside will be considered where no other suitable location can be found.

Where appropriate, planning permission may be granted subject to a condition removing permitted development rights to change the nature of activities or use, or to extend the buildings.

Justification

5.25.

It is recognised that the countryside is already home to a number of existing businesses, many of which can be expanded in their existing locations without detriment to their surroundings. Similarly, land or premises in the countryside that is presently used for one type of employment use can often be suitable to accommodate an alternative employment use.

5.26.

Employment uses B1 (b) and (c), B2 and B8 identified in the policy, through the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 as may be amended, refer to the following:

Use
Class
Description
 B1 (b) Research and Development, Studios, Laboratories, High Tech
  (c) Light industry
 B2  General industry
 B8  Wholesale warehouse, Distribution centres, Repositories
5.27.

On the whole it is the Council’s policy to direct new employment generating businesses to major employment areas and where possible within towns and larger settlements to protect rural areas from sporadic and intrusive development and reduce the need for people to travel. However, it is accepted that not all developments are suitable for such locations and may be located adjacent a settlement curtilage without harm to the countryside. There will also be certain employment uses that may not be reasonably carried out or suitably accommodated within or adjacent the curtilage of a settlement due to their potentially disturbing nature. In view of the optimum size of business that the local employment base can comfortably support, the Council will consider new proposals elsewhere in the countryside that are of a scale that will meet identified local needs, where the applicant can demonstrate that other areas within or adjacent to settlements have been unsuccessfully explored.

5.28.

The Council is concerned to ensure that proposals are designed with consideration and can be acceptably accommodated without causing significant harm to the environment and the amenities of neighbouring residents (see policy C2). To ensure that the approved development will remain appropriate in scale to its given location, and the nature of its activities will not cause further disturbance to neighbouring land uses in the future, permitted development rights may be removed.

5.29.

Proposals that will generate large numbers of visits should be located in areas where accessibility is good or could be made better. Where appropriate the Council may seek to enter into an agreement with applicants for a contribution towards improving the provision of cycle or public transport facilities to an acceptable standard in accordance with Policy T1. In considering accessibility issues, the Council will be mindful of the fact that the District is predominantly rural, that its population is dispersed, and that opportunities for people to travel by means other than the private car can be limited. Consequently, all judgements of whether a location is relatively accessible or not will be made in the context of the overall levels of accessibility throughout the District. Nonetheless the Council will wish to ensure that its decisions contribute to reducing dependence upon the private car as much as is possible.

POLICY E5 - Conversion of buildings in the countryside to non-residential use View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for the conversion of a building in the countryside to non-residential use, provided that:

  1. The existing building is of permanent and substantial construction, and is capable of conversion without major reconstruction; and
  2. Any extensions proposed are in keeping with the scale, character and setting of the original building.

Justification

5.30.

North Kesteven’s countryside contains many non-residential buildings of traditional design and construction (such as barns, stables, chapels or schools) that give variety and character to the countryside. The countryside also contains many modern agricultural buildings that represent a significant economic asset. As the use of the countryside continues to change, many rural buildings are no longer needed for the purposes for which they were originally built. They can, however, be suitable for conversion to commercial or industrial uses, or for tourism, sport or recreation. Such conversions can help to: reduce demands for new buildings in the countryside; avoid wasting the economic resource that the buildings represent; prevent the deterioration of some buildings that contribute a great deal to the character of the countryside; sustain and diversify the rural economy; and provide new jobs.

5.31.

In assessing proposals for conversions, the Council will look at:

  • The building itself, and will examine:
  1. Whether the building will need substantial reconstruction to make it suitable for conversion either because it is in poor condition, or because it is of only temporary or insubstantial construction. If the building would require extensive rebuilding then it cannot be considered as suitable for re-use, because the proposal would not be a conversion. Consequently, applicants must provide information on the building’s structural condition.
  2. Whether the building is in keeping with its countryside location in terms of its form, bulk and general design. If the existing building has a harmful effect upon the countryside in terms of visual amenity, the Council will be unlikely to grant permission for a proposal that will lead to its retention. The Council may, however, permit a proposal that will lead to an improvement in such a building’s appearance, to the point where it will be in keeping with its rural surroundings.
  • The use:

A countryside location will not be appropriate for all types of uses.

  1. Uses that will generate large numbers of visits may overload the local road network, or may cause unacceptable disturbance to people living in the vicinity of the building or the access roads, such proposals should be located in areas where accessibility without the use of a car is good or alternatively, accessibility can be improved to an acceptable standard as part of the development (see policy T1). Where appropriate the District Council will seek to enter into an agreement with the applicants for a contribution towards improving cycle or public transport facilities, in accordance with Policy T1. In considering accessibility issues, the Council will be mindful of the fact that the District is predominantly rural, that its population is dispersed, and that opportunities for people to travel by means other than the private car can be limited. Consequently, all judgements of whether a location is relatively accessible or not will be made in the context of the overall levels of accessibility throughout the District. Nonetheless, the Council will wish to ensure that its decisions contribute to reducing dependence upon the private car as much as is possible.
  2. A use that generates unacceptable levels of dust, noise, smell, vibration, smoke, etc. would be intrusive in the countryside and would also be inappropriate.
  3. Some uses (particularly most kinds of shops or entertainment facilities) are unlikely to be acceptable in a countryside location, because they will tend to compete with similar facilities in nearby towns or villages, where it is the Council’s policy that such uses should be concentrated.
  • The conversion proposed
  1. Alterations, extensions or demolitions should be kept to the minimum. Extensive changes to the fabric of a building will often erode its character, and increase its visual impact within the countryside. Any changes to the building must be respectful of the building’s character and the rural nature of the surroundings. Similarly, the external storage of materials or finished products, and lorry or large-scale car parking will usually appear intrusive in a rural location and should be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether.
  2. Bats, barn owls, swallows and other birds often use rural buildings as roosting or breeding sites. It is the responsibility of the applicant to arrange for buildings to be surveyed to establish whether any such species will be affected by a proposed conversion, and to ensure that their proposal makes provision for the species (preferably within the building or alternatively elsewhere). An application that is not accompanied by an adequate wildlife survey will be rejected.
5.32.

The Council has produced and adopted supplementary planning guidance, entitled ‘The Re-Use and Adaptation of Rural Buildings’ which provides detailed design and policy guidance on this subject.

POLICY E6 - Farm Diversification View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for proposals to establish non-agricultural business uses on farm holdings, provided that the proposal will be of a scale consistent with its rural location, will not harm the viability of existing agricultural activity, and where feasible any necessary built facilities will be provided through the conversion of existing buildings.

Justification

5.33.

The Council welcomes the diversification of farm businesses into appropriate non-agricultural activities. Such diversification can be vital to the continuing viability of many farm businesses and also provides wider and more varied employment opportunities for the District’s workforce. Common forms of diversified activities are farm-based food processing and packing, farm shops, rural sports, farm workshops, or the provision of services to other farms.

5.34.

The Council wishes to encourage the broadening of the rural economy and will grant planning permission for diversification proposals that will not harm the viability of existing agricultural activity, and which are appropriate to a rural location. Uses that will generate large numbers of visits may overload the local road network, or may cause unacceptable disturbance to people living in the vicinity of the farm or the access roads, such proposals should be located in areas where accessibility without the use of a car is good or alternatively, accessibility can be improved to an acceptable standard as part of the development (see policy T1). In considering accessibility issues, the Council will be mindful of the fact that the District is predominantly rural, that its population is dispersed, and that opportunities for people to travel by means other than the private car can be limited. Consequently, all judgements of whether a location is relatively accessible or not will be made in the context of the overall levels of accessibility throughout the District. Nonetheless, the Council will wish to ensure that its decisions contribute to reducing dependence upon the private car as much as is possible. Where appropriate the District Council will seek to enter into an agreement with the applicants for a contribution towards improving cycle or public transport facilities, in accordance with Policy T1. A use that generates unacceptable levels of dust, noise, smell, vibration, smoke, etc. would be intrusive in the countryside and would also be inappropriate.

5.35.

Some uses (particularly most kinds of shops or entertainment facilities) are unlikely to be acceptable in a countryside location, because they will tend to compete with similar facilities in nearby towns or villages, where it is the Council’s policy that such uses should be concentrated. Farm shops may be acceptable but, where necessary, the Council may use planning conditions to limit the range of produce that can be sold from a proposed farm shop. It should be noted that farm shops operating from existing buildings and selling produce only from the holding do not require planning permission.

5.36.

Any necessary built facilities should be provided by means of the conversion of existing buildings, if this is feasible. Where new buildings are essential, the Council will be concerned to ensure that the character and appearance of the countryside is not adversely affected. Where possible, a new building should be sited amongst or adjacent to an existing group of buildings, and its scale, design and materials must be appropriate to its rural surroundings.

POLICY E7 - Protection of existing employment sites or buildings View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for the establishment of a non-employment use on land or buildings that were last used for employment purposes, only if:

  1. The loss of the land or building will not adversely affect the employment opportunities both in the short term and over the remainder of the plan period, and also the immediate locality and wider area.
  2. Continued use of the site or building for employment purposes would adversely affect the character or appearance of its surroundings, amenities of neighbouring land-uses or traffic conditions, that would otherwise be significantly alleviated by the proposed use; or
  3. The existing site or building is no longer capable of providing an acceptable standard of accommodation for employment purposes

Justification

5.37.

It is necessary for the Council to ensure that there is an adequate range and supply of development sites and premises within the District to cater for the differing needs of employment generating uses that may arise over the Plan period. This policy accords with the provisions of Policy C8, which seeks to protect allocated sites from other types of development. To achieve this, the Council will generally seek to prevent the development of an allocated employment site for uses other than those falling within Classes B1, B2 or B8 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 as may be amended. These refer to the following:

 Use Class Description
B1
 (a) Offices, not within A2
B1 (b) Research and Development, Studios, Laboratories, High Tech
  (c) Light industry
B2  General industry
B8  Wholesale warehouse, Distribution centres, Repositories

 

 

5.38.

It is also intended that this Policy will help to safeguard local employment opportunities by ensuring that existing sites and buildings used for businesses purposes are protected.

5.39.

There are certain circumstances where alternative uses for employment land or buildings may be acceptable, for example, where the use of a premise is unsatisfactory for its present location due to the proximity to residential areas or sensitive land uses and the impact it imposes on amenities and the local road network. It is also possible that some buildings may not provide suitable accommodation for the needs of modern industries and therefore an alternative use may be considered more appropriate.

POLICY E8 - Transport depots / Haulage businesses View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for the establishment or expansion of a transport depot, haulage business or business that will generate significant amounts of freight movement, provided that: the site is well-related to the strategic road and/or rail network, and avoids routing through congested and residential areas or villages. Potential sites should be selected in accordance with the following search sequence:

  1. Existing and allocated employment development sites.
  2. Previously-developed sites that are well related to the strategic road and/or rail network.
  3. Greenfield sites that are well related to the strategic road and/or rail network.

Justification

5.40.

Transport depots, haulage businesses and businesses that are likely to generate significant amounts of freight movement demand large areas of land, and can potentially create substantial disturbance to the amenities of neighbouring uses. The nature of the development means that they will need to be located close to main transport networks both to support operations and avoid the need for heavy vehicles to travel on unsuitable minor roads. It should be noted that, as well as planning permission, the operation of a haulage business requires a licence from the Government. The Council would encourage applicants to apply for planning permission before they apply for their operator’s licence.

5.41.

Proposed sites should be chosen on merits of good accessibility, in a location that will cause least harm to the amenity, character and appearance of its surroundings. The disturbance from transport depots, or haulage and other freight generating businesses will generally be in the form of noise arising from the movement of vehicles travelling to, from and around the site, and associated repair and maintenance works. However, other nuisances that the development may contribute, such as dust, dirt, fumes and vibrations, will also need to be considered.

5.42.

To minimise the impact of such development on local amenities, the District Council will require applicants to adopt a sequential approach in searching for a suitable location. This will involve firstly considering location on an existing or allocated employment site. Where the applicant can clearly demonstrate that these areas are not suitable for their needs, brownfield sites followed by greenfield sites that are well related to the strategic road and/or rail network can be secured, where there is evidence that areas explored in this sequence have been unsuitable.

POLICY E9 - Telecommunications developments View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for the development of telecommunications equipment provided that;

  1. All reasonable measures to minimise adverse effects are incorporated; including siting, location, appearance and landscaping of apparatus designed to minimise impact on amenity in both the natural and built environment.
  2. The proposal would not, in both countryside and urban locations, be visually intrusive in or harm the character and appearance of sensitive landscape areas of particular environmental importance and areas and buildings of architectural or historical importance which have been statutorily designated as being important, such as: Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s), Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Conservation Areas, Parks or Gardens of Special Historic Interest, Listed Buildings. In these locations, proposals should be sensitively designed and the developer must demonstrate there are no suitable alternative locations.

Consideration will be given to the technical and operational constraints of operators.

The Council will, as appropriate, consider proposals in accordance with national criteria and procedures, including:

  1. assessing where some minor telecommunications equipment may not constitute development requiring planning permission (“de minimis”);
  2. intervening, in certain circumstances, to seek relocation or removal of telecommunications apparatus installed under permitted development rights;
  3. before certain telecommunications apparatus is installed under permitted development rights, determine whether Prior Approval is required for the siting and appearance of the development, in response to an operator’s submission.

Justification

5.43.

Much minor telecommunications development does not need planning permission (i.e. it is ‘permitted development’). However, before installing some telecommunications apparatus under permitted development rights, developers need to apply to the Council for its determination as to whether prior approval will be required to the siting and appearance of the proposed development. The Council can decide: that prior approval is not required (in which case the development can proceed); that prior approval is needed, and give its approval to the siting and appearance of the proposed development (in which case the development can proceed); or that prior approval is needed, and refuse approval to the proposed siting and/or appearance (preventing the development). In determining whether approval of siting and appearance is required, and in considering planning applications, the Council will use the provisions of this policy and written justification.

5.44.

The development of modern telecommunications is generally to be welcomed, as they can have significant social, economic and environmental benefits. However, telecommunications equipment can be large in size and may need to be located in prominent positions in order to operate effectively. As a consequence, they can have an adverse impact upon the character or appearance of their surroundings. Thus, although the Council wishes to facilitate the growth of telecommunications systems, it does not wish this to be achieved at the expense of the District’s environment.

5.45.

Some parts of the District may be particularly sensitive to harm from telecommunications developments – those buildings, structures and areas of land that have particular historic or landscape importance. Where development is proposed in a location affecting any of these assets, the Council will expect the applicant to provide evidence that the apparatus must be located there, and that an alternative (and less sensitive) location would not meet their operational requirements.

5.46.

In all cases where a proposal will have adverse effects upon the character or appearance of its surroundings, the Council will expect the applicant to show that all reasonable measures to reduce the development’s harmful impacts have been incorporated into the proposal (see policies C1 and C2). Applicants must show that:

  • They have considered the option of sharing an existing mast, site or associated equipment, and can demonstrate that this solution is not reasonably achievable. [The Council has compiled a Telecommunications Site Register that identifies sites where planning permission has been granted for the development of telecommunications equipment].
  • They have considered locating apparatus on an existing building or structure, where its visual impact would be reduced, and can demonstrate that this solution is not reasonably achievable.
  • The proposed location for the equipment has been chosen so as to use natural features and local geography to minimise its impact upon its surroundings.
  • The equipment has been designed in order to minimise its visual impact.
  • Their proposal includes, where appropriate, an effective landscaping scheme designed to blend any structures into their surroundings.

POLICY E10 - Hazardous installations and substances View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for hazardous installations or proposals that involve the presence of hazardous substances, only if:

  1. The occupiers or users of other land are not exposed to unacceptable risk.
  2. The quality of water, air or soil resources will not be adversely affected; and
  3. Minimum separation distances (variable dependent upon the hazard concerned) from concentrations of population and areas of particular natural sensitivity or interest are achieved.
Development proposals that may be sensitive to existing sources of hazard will be permitted only where the level of risk is considered acceptable and/or can be successfully mitigated.

Justification

5.47.

Hazardous Substances Consent is required for the storage and use of certain toxic, inflammable or explosive substances at or above a controlled quantity. However, even after all possible measures have been taken to comply with health and safety legislation, there remains a residual risk of an accident that cannot be eliminated. This policy seeks to ensure that this residual risk is addressed by the land use planning system.

5.48.

The policy seeks to ensure that adequate distances are maintained between hazardous installations and residential premises or areas where people congregate in large numbers – when considering applications both for hazardous installations and for other uses in the vicinity of existing hazardous installations. The Council will seek the advice of the Health and Safety Executive on all such developments.

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