BMSDC Joint Local Plan Preferred Options (interactive)

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Please login or register using the links above View Comments (0) (0) 13 – LOCAL POLICIES – HOUSING (Development management policies)

LP01 - Hamlets and Clusters of development in the countryside

Policy background and explanation

13.01 Sustainable development is at the heart of planning. The location of development is a critical determinant on its sustainability and has a significant effect on the extent to which it contributes socially, economically and environmentally.

13.02 Paragraph 78 of the NPPF states that "To promote sustainable development in rural areas, housing should be located where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural communities. Planning policies should identify opportunities for villages to grow and thrive, especially where this will support local services. Where there are groups of smaller settlements, development in one village may support services in a village nearby."

13.03 Within the rural areas of Babergh and Mid Suffolk there are many small, dispersed communities and clusters of houses. Whilst they do not have the level of services and facilities to support larger scale new housing, some small-scale development may be appropriate in order to achieve the ambitions of NPPF paragraph 78 (above). This will also help meet the Councils' objective to support strong and healthy communities, by enabling people to stay within their communities.

Preferred approach

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  1. Within the settlement boundary of identified hamlets the principle of development is acceptable.
  2. Proposals for new dwellings located within small clusters of housing[1] may be acceptable, subject to satisfying the following criteria:
    1. Where it would not be detrimental to the character of the surroundings;
    2. The scale of development consists of infilling by one dwelling or a pair of semi-detached dwellings within a continuous built up frontage;
    3. It would not cause undue harm to the character and appearance of the cluster or any harmful visual intrusion into the surrounding landscape; and
    4. Particular care will be exercised in sensitive locations such as conservation areas and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and any other designated land.
  3. Proposals which would consolidate sporadic or ribbon development or the infilling of large gaps or extending edges, will be resisted. The cumulative impact of proposals will be a major consideration as development should be proportionate to the location and context, having regard to the level of local infrastructure provision.

Discounted alternative approaches

13.04 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy proposes a flexible approach in conformity with the NPPF.

LP02 - Residential Annexes

Policy background and explanation

13.05 The creation of an annexe to an existing dwelling, whether the main dwelling is located inside, or outside settlement boundaries can often create a useful facility for the support and care of family members.

13.06 A residential annexe should therefore be designed to ensure the planning unit/ dwelling curtilage as a whole provides genuinely flexible subordinate ancillary accommodation that can be adapted and re-adapted to meet the changing needs of family circumstances over time. This should include the option of absorbing the annexe back into the main dwelling accommodation if necessary, by the same or future occupiers.

13.07 To meet these requirements rather than create a separate dwelling unit. It is essential that the main dwelling and annexe accommodation are directly physically and/or functionally connected and have a close spatial relationship with shared facilities and space.

13.08 Unduly large or detached annexes can prove an economic and practical liability when vacated or when the property changes ownership and this leads to pressure for the annexe to be severed and let separately from the main dwelling. This can create sub-standard accommodation with inadequate standards of access, amenity and space, which is unacceptable in planning terms.

13.09 Householder permitted development rights may allow the siting of caravans and mobile homes within the curtilage of an existing dwelling under certain conditions and subject to any restrictions[2]. The installation of caravans and mobile homes may be approved for use as annexe accommodation where considered appropriate and acceptable when assessed and adequately justified. Such approvals will be subject to a condition or legal agreement, which restricts occupation to meet the specific need identified and it may be necessary to impose a time limit and or any other necessary restrictive conditions. Additional accommodation within existing dwelling curtilages is generally contrary to policy of the Local Planning Authority. However, genuine, evidenced and justified exemptions can be recognised for special family and or personal circumstances identified.

Preferred approach

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  1. Proposals for residential annexe accommodation may be considered favourably providing the proposal is designed so that it can continue to be used as an ancillary and subordinate part to the main dwelling, without creating an independent dwelling and/or separate planning unit at present or in the future.
  2. An annexe proposal must be subordinate in scale, form and mass from the main dwelling, and must contain a physical and/or functional link to the main dwelling, thereby ensuring an ancillary relationship with the main dwelling.
  3. Equally, the proposal must not create significant material consideration issues for the main dwelling or proposed annexe, when assessed against other relevant policies.
  4. Where such annexe proposal is considered acceptable planning agreement will be imposed to restrict occupation of the annexe to person(s) related or similarly linked (such as immediate family related or lawful relationship) to the occupants of the main dwelling. When considered necessary by the LPA the requirement for a legal agreement may be necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms and or the removal of permitted development rights.

Discounted alternative approaches

13.10 No reasonable alternative policy has been identified at this stage, as the policy is a reasonable and proportionate to meeting needs.

LP03 - Residential Extensions and Conversions

Policy background and explanation

13.11 Dwellings can be adaptable to meet the changing requirements of occupiers. It is often popular to extend or convert residential properties rather than move residence. Equally, extensions and conversions to residential dwellings can create diversity and flexibility in housing stock in sustainable locations in addition to meeting occupier needs. The Local Planning Authority will need to assess such proposals to buildings and the adjoining curtilage to ensure the proposal does not create unacceptable layout, design, amenity, access, parking or any other environmental or social impacts. The Local Planning Authority will also have regard to any existing Supplementary Planning documents or guidance.

13.12 All proposals are advised to have regard to any existing Supplementary Planning documents or guidance endorsed by the Local Planning Authority on good quality design principles and standards.

13.13 The Local Planning Authority may impose conditions and / or remove permitted development rights to make the development acceptable in planning terms. For example, removing permitted development rights to insert new windows and erect additional outbuildings to protect the amenities of neighbouring occupiers.

13.14 New residential development can be achieved through the sub-division of large dwellings or the conversion of ancillary buildings within settlement boundaries (see Policy: Replacement dwellings and additional dwellings on sub-divided plots within settlement boundaries). It should also be noted for planning applications for the conversion, extension or other development that involves alterations to the roof-space, there may be a need to carry out bat surveys and possibly surveys for other protected species depending on the specific nature of the proposal.

Preferred approach

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  1. Proposals for development within the curtilage of existing dwellings, extensions to existing dwellings or conversions within residential dwelling curtilage may be permitted providing they;
    1. Are in keeping with the size, scale, mass, design and materials of the existing dwelling and wider setting.
    2. Incorporate a good quality design which maintains or enhances the character and appearance of the building, street scene and surroundings and reflects and respects the relationship of the site and its context setting and those of any adjoining properties.
    3. The design, size, scale, mass and materials of the resultant development must be compatible to the area's character and appearance
    4. Will not materially, unacceptably or detrimentally affect the amenities of neighbouring properties or adversely affect neighbouring commercial uses.
    5. The proposal would not cause the felling of or any damage to any significant trees and hedgerows that contribute to the environmental quality and visual amenity benefits of the locality.
    6. A safe vehicular access can be achieved and sufficient space remains available to park vehicles in the curtilage of the dwelling.
    7. The proposal will not result in over-development of the plot or within the curtilage or create an incongruous impact. The cumulative effects of a number of extensions or conversions to the existing dwelling or dwelling curtilage will be regarded as a material consideration.

Discounted alternative approaches

13.15 No reasonable alternative policy has been identified at this stage, as the policy is a reasonable and proportionate to meeting needs.

LP04 - Replacement Dwellings In The Countryside

Policy background and explanation

13.16 This policy sets the criteria for replacement dwellings outside settlement boundaries within the countryside. This policy has a direct interlinking relationship with Policy on residential extensions and conversions), which is referred to in this replacement dwelling policy.

13.17 Replacement dwellings and extensions within the countryside (outside of settlement boundaries) can gradually change and have an individually and cumulative adverse impact on the rural character of the countryside over a period of time, which is contrary to strategic aims and policies to balance and maintain the social and environmental aspects within sustainable development and environmental policies. The sub-division of plots in the countryside could create new dwellings in the countryside contrary to the aims of the Joint Local Plan and National planning policy, unless there is an exceptional circumstance (for example, residential annexe accommodation and rural exception site).

13.18 Proposals to extend residential curtilage of an existing dwelling onto agricultural land or other uses of land in the countryside for an enlarged garden, amenity land or other use is considered under policy on Change in use of land.

13.19 All proposals are advised to have regard to any existing Supplementary Planning documents or guidance by the Local Planning Authority on good quality design principles and standards.

13.20 The Local Planning Authority may impose appropriate conditions or in necessary circumstances remove permitted development rights to make the development acceptable in planning terms. For example, removing permitted development rights to insert new windows and erect additional outbuildings to protect the amenities of neighbouring occupiers.

Preferred approach

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  1. Proposals to replace an existing dwelling in the countryside or the conversion/erection of ancillary buildings or boundary treatments for such dwelling, may be permitted providing the proposal complies with policy on (Residential extensions and conversions policy) criteria and in addition:
    1. The design, size, scale, mass and materials of the resultant development must be compatible to the area's character and appearance and must not be significantly different and no more visually intrusive to that of the original dwelling to be replaced and must not significantly urbanise the plot or property curtilage.
    2. The existing dwelling must not be a listed building or a building of historic or architectural importance and merit or a non-designated heritage asset.
    3. There must not be any increase in the number of dwellings on the site. If the proposal incorporates any increase in dwellings on the site refer to the Hamlets and Clusters of development in the countryside policy and settlement hierarchy policy.
    4. The original dwelling must have a lawful permanent residential use and be capable of residential occupation in its current condition and form before any acceptable approved alteration.

Discounted alternative approaches

13.21 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy is in conformity with the NPPF.

LP05 - Replacement Dwellings and Additional Dwellings on Sub-Divided Plots Within Settlement Boundaries

Policy background and explanation

13.22 This policy sets the criteria for replacement dwellings inside settlement boundaries. This policy has a direct interlinking relationship with Policy on Residential Extensions and Conversions, which is referred to in this policy.

13.23 Proposals to extend residential curtilage of an existing dwelling onto agricultural land or other uses of land in the countryside for an enlarged garden, amenity land or other use is considered under policy on Change in use of land.

13.24 In general terms replacement of existing dwellings and sub-division of existing residential plots within settlement boundaries does provide a regular source of housing supply in sustainable locations and contributes to the effective and efficient use of land. When considering proposals for replacement and additional dwellings on existing residential plots within settlement boundaries the Local Planning Authority will need to assess layout, design, scale, amenity and how this relates to spatial context and surroundings.

13.25 All proposals are advised to have regard to any existing Supplementary Planning documents or guidance by the Local Planning Authority on good quality design principles and standards.

13.26 The Local Planning Authority may impose appropriate conditions or in necessary circumstances remove permitted development rights to make the development acceptable in planning terms. For example, removing permitted development rights to insert new windows to protect the amenities of neighbouring occupiers.

Preferred approach

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    Within settlement boundaries proposals to replace existing dwellings and sub-divide existing residential plots and garden curtilages to create a new dwelling may be permitted providing the proposal complies with policy on Residential extensions and conversions criteria and specifically the proposal must provide and maintain:
    1. Good quality design that maintains and enhances the character and appearance of existing buildings, street scene and surrounding context.
    2. The proposal must not have unacceptable impact on the amenities of neighbouring occupiers or other properties.
    3. Adequate private amenity and utility space compatible with the areas context.
    4. Adequate and acceptable access and parking.
    5. Adequate levels of amenity with reasonable access to light, privacy, free from unacceptable noise, odour, smoke, dust, light or any other pollutants.

Discounted alternative approaches

13.27 No reasonable alternative policy has been identified at this stage, as the policy is a reasonable and proportionate approach to meeting needs.

LP06 - Supported and Special Needs Housing

Policy background and explanation

13.28 The National Planning Policy Framework encourages planning policy for different housing groups in the community to reflect different size, type and tenure of housing needs for a range of people including but not limited to families with children, older people, people with disabilities, travellers, people who rent their home and people wishing to commission or build their own home.

13.29 All housing proposals must help contribute to a range of dwelling types and bedroom spaces to meet the requirements of different households as identified through evidence within the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) (May 2017 and January 2019 update). The SHMA data for the Ipswich Housing Market Area is a key piece of data to identify the housing needs across the districts to 2036.

13.30 Other evidence of local housing needs may include the housing register or needs survey carried out by communities, such as parish/town councils, neighbourhood planning groups or other organisations, which would be considered alongside the SHMA evidence base document that sets the needs at the District level. Any alternative assessment of local need would need to be viewed in the context that new housing development is contributing to the District wide need and not just to the needs of the parish/town where the development is proposed.

13.31 This policy is to ensure development meets a particular set of identified local needs within the districts. It is also to ensure that supported and special needs housing is provided in an appropriate manner, so that it contributes to the quality of life for its residents and meet wider sustainable development requirements.

13.32 The SHMA (May 2017) indicates the population of older persons is currently 26.2% in Babergh and 24.8% in Mid Suffolk. The Objectively Assessed Need projections indicate the population aged 65 or over is going to increase dramatically in the Ipswich Housing Market Area over the plan period by 57.8%[3] to 2036. The Councils have recognised this need through the Joint Homes Strategy in that the specific population forecasts for both districts show the increase in over 65s is 20% over 20 years. In addition to the older population predicted to rise it is also expected a growing number of households to include one or more persons with a disability and more households with people living with long-term health conditions.

13.33 There is a Building Regulation standard in force relating to accessible dwellings, which sets standards in relation to accessible and adaptable dwellings (Part M4(2)) and wheelchair accessibility dwellings (Part M4(3)), which are over and above the minimum requirements[4]. Local Planning Authorities can apply these standards by incorporating a requirement within their planning policies. The SHMA identifies that there will be an increase of people across the two districts (Babergh and Mid Suffolk) by 2036.

13.34 The SHMA[5] recognises that there is an increasing need for the provision of older people accommodation; 1369 additional specialist units will be needed in Babergh comprising of 1125 sheltered housing, 106 enhanced sheltered housing, 138 extra care housing. Although it is also recognised the actual numbers and type of specialised accommodation needed may depend on changes in patterns of demand and expectations furthermore the County Council are developing further accommodation typologies to respond to future care needs. It is considered suitable to plan towards this target currently with the knowledge that accommodation to be delivered should not be too prescriptive. There is also an additional requirement for registered care (nursing and residential care homes). The SHMA identifies there will be a requirement for 1591 people in Babergh by 2036, which means an additional 572 registered care accommodation will be required over the plan period.

13.35 There is also a recognised trend within the SHMA[6] increasing need for the provision of older people accommodation; 1005 additional specialist units will be needed in Mid Suffolk comprising of 755 sheltered housing, 73 enhanced sheltered housing, 176 extra care housing. Although it is also recognised the actual numbers and type of specialised accommodation needed may depend on changes in patterns of demand and expectations furthermore the County Council are developing further accommodation typologies to respond to future care needs. It is considered suitable to plan towards this target currently with the knowledge that accommodation to be delivered should not be too prescriptive. There is also an additional requirement for registered care (nursing and residential care homes). The SHMA identifies there will be a requirement for 1670 people in Mid Suffolk by 2036, which means an additional 1004 registered care accommodation will be required over the plan period.

13.36 The requirements for supported and special needs housing will need to comply with the Technical housing standards, which is a national document that sets out the government's nationally described space standard[7]. This material consideration is also interlinked with design and amenity. Further local requirements regarding the link between spacing standards, design and amenity can be found in Policy - Design & Residential Amenity.

13.37 Opportunities should be taken to integrate older persons housing into the community, in order to address potential issues of isolation and to promote inclusivity. For example older persons housing on sites that are well related to schools, community centres or other focal points can help to create integrated communities. The Suffolk Healthy Ageing Needs Assessment (2018) identifies tackling social isolation and loneliness as one if its recommendations. There is a particular need for older and vulnerable people to have opportunities to access sustainable transport and modes of travel other than the car.

13.38 To achieve a greater mix of housing types, the starting point will be that all developments of ten units or more or sites of 0.5ha or more residential units will be expected to provide a mix of house types and sizes. The Council will expect applicants to relate needs to the SHMA and/or to an assessment of local need where the methodology and scope for this is either adopted via a neighbourhood plan or agreed with the Council.

13.39 Neighbourhood Plans may wish to identify specific localised needs for certain types of dwellings where supported by evidence gathered through a local housing needs assessment which is supported by the Council. There are also other or complementary mechanisms in which communities can deliver the homes needed in the local community, for example through the establishment of a Community Land Trust.

13.40 This policy applies to all sites and proposals which individually or as part of a wider or contiguous site, that could accommodate a level of development that would meet the needs of different housing groups.

Preferred approach

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Proposals for residential nursing homes and specialist housing (sheltered, enhanced sheltered and extra care) and development proposals, including extensions, conversion and new developments for supported and special needs housing, will be supported where they are:

  1. Located on sites appropriate for residential development;
  2. Within well located areas and connected to urban areas or main core villages that have sufficient access to local services and facilities (particularly health services) and public transport for long-term sustainability;
  3. The proposal has sufficient amenity standards including access to open space for the residents;
  4. The proposal is well designed and will meet any special needs of the residents of the facility; and
  5. Designed and sited to respect, maintain and enhance landscape characteristics.

Scheme composition must include:

  1. Proposals for ten units or more or sites of 0.5ha or more must accommodate 35% affordable housing to meet affordable housing need.
  2. Proposals for ten units or more or sites of 0.5ha or more must accommodate 50% of the dwellings will need to meet the requirements for accessible and adaptable dwellings under Part M4(2) of Building Regulations (or any relevant regulation that supersedes and replaces).
  3. Proposals for ten units or more or sites of 0.5ha or more must accommodate 3% for bungalows if appropriate for the scheme. The bungalows provided will be required to remain in perpetuity through the removal of permitted development rights. Therefore, it may be necessary for the Local Planning Authority to apply conditions and/or request in a planning obligation/legal agreement.

Adopted Neighbourhood Plans may set out an approach to housing type and mix specific to the local area where there is appropriately supported evidence.

Discounted alternative approaches

13.41 No reasonable alternative policy has been identified at this stage, the policy proposes a reasonable and proportionate approach to meeting specialist needs. The SHMA (2019 update) provides up to date evidence regarding supported and special needs housing.


LP07 - Affordable Housing

Policy background and explanation

13.42 The Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) – Part 1 and 2 (May 2017) and subsequent SHMA (2014-based Local Housing Need) evidence base updated data January 2019 is a joint evidence base document between Babergh DC, Mid Suffolk DC, Suffolk Coastal DC, Waveney DC (now East Suffolk) and Ipswich BC that (amongst other matters) provides the evidence to justify the need and requirement for affordable housing. Planning policy reflects the size, type and tenure of housing needed for different people in the community and affordable housing is an identified need within Babergh and Mid Suffolk Districts as required by Paragraph 61 of the NPPF.

13.43 The evidence and information within the strategic Housing Needs & Requirements Policy provides the local affordable housing need calculations setting out the mix and composition within the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Districts. The data identifies a total potential demand of 495 discount home ownership/starter homes dwellings in Babergh, and 430 discount home ownership/starter homes dwellings in Mid Suffolk. The provisions for discount home ownership and starter homes must not be made at the expense of shared ownership and social /affordable rent provision.

13.44 In exceptional circumstances[8], where proposals are not able to meet the requirements for affordable housing for viability reasons, and to ensure that development can still come forward and overall housing delivery is not compromised, the Council may agree to alter the requirements subject to this being demonstrated through a comprehensive viability assessment, to the Council's satisfaction. Before reducing the overall provision of affordable housing, the tenure and type of affordable housing should be first adjusted to secure viability and best meet the housing needs.

13.45 Local need for affordable housing may be identified through a local housing needs survey (LHNS)[9]. Developers are encouraged to work closely with the Council's Strategic Housing team at pre-application stage to ensure appropriate evidence is provided with any planning application.

13.46 Babergh and Mid Suffolk Councils will encourage new homes to be delivered through Community-led housing vehicles such as Community Land Trusts (CLT's), Co-operatives or Co-housing groups which address a local housing need. The Local Plan recognises that community-led development can be beneficial for local communities and may be an appropriate 'exception' to development on the edge of settlements or in the countryside. Proposals of any scale will need to demonstrate an appropriate mix which links to identified local needs, with such needs perhaps identified via a local survey.

Preferred approach

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Affordable housing requirements are as follows:

  1. The Joint Local Plan will seek to retain and deliver 35% requirement for affordable housing on relevant sites of ten or more units or sites of 0.5ha or more.
  2. 984 for Babergh and 1288 for Mid Suffolk is to be for affordable rent / social rent, and 506 for Babergh and 583 for Mid Suffolk is to be for shared ownership and 496 for Babergh and 430 for Mid Suffolk is to be for discounted home ownership/starter homes.
  3. Affordable housing provision is expected to be delivered on-site, unless it can be demonstrated in exceptional circumstances that it is not feasible or practical to provide the units on site in which case it may be agreed that a commuted sum could be paid towards off-site affordable housing provision. In exceptional circumstances, where it is evidenced and justified and the Council is satisfied that the provision of affordable housing is not viable, as demonstrated through a viability assessment the Council may agree to vary the requirement for affordable housing.
  4. The Council will not permit any proposal that creates artificial or contrived subdivision of a site to circumvent affordable housing. If there is reasonable expectation of adjoining land coming forward for housing development, it will take account of the whole contiguous site area when calculating what affordable housing is required. Affordable housing will also be sought where a site is capable of accommodating the stated thresholds. If three or more dwellings can be accommodated on site, there will be an expectation to do so and if this is not the case a justification must be provided to support the case.
  5. Neighbourhood Plans may set requirements for a greater proportion of affordable housing where this is supported by evidence of need and a viability assessment. Some communities may aspire to bring forward community-led housing schemes, which are broadly encouraged by the Councils. The Councils will need to be satisfied that (i) the scheme was initiated by, and is being led by a legitimate local community group such as a Parish Council or Community Land Trust and (ii) the scheme has general community support, with evidence of meaningful public engagement.
  6. An element of market housing on rural exception sites at a threshold of up to 35% will be supported, to ensure that they are financially viable to deliver and ensure greater flexibility and assistance to bring forward more suitable and sustainable exception sites.
  7. Where major development involves housing, 10% of the housing must be available for affordable home ownership as part of the overall affordable housing contribution from the site. Unless this would exceed the level of affordable housing required in the area, or significantly prejudice the ability to meet the identified affordable housing needs. Exemptions to this 10% affordable home ownership requirement are:
    • Solely build-to-rent homes
    • Specialist accommodation for specific needs
    • Community-led housing scheme
    • 100% rented Gypsy & Traveller sites
    • Development by people building or commissioning their own homes (self-build)
    • Exclusively for affordable housing (entry-level exception site or rural exception site).
  8. The Local Planning Authority will use planning obligations or legal agreements to secure and deliver affordable housing to ensure the benefit of affordable housing will be enjoyed by successive occupiers.

Discounted alternative approaches

Alternative

Reason for discounting

Lower affordable housing requirement that set out in the SHMA.

It is not considered appropriate to lower the AH requirement as this would not be likely to delivery the identified district volume of AH overall (not every site contributes to AH). Viability is built into the preferred policy to enable flexibility in exceptional circumstances.

No market housing on rural exception sites.

This approach is considered more restrictive to rural housing delivery options.


LP08 - Provision for Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople

Policy background and explanation

13.47 National planning policy for Gypsies and Travellers is set out in Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (2015) and requires planning authorities to use their evidence to plan positively to meet the needs of Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople.

13.48 Gypsies and Travellers are defined for planning purposes within the Planning Policy for Travellers Sites (2015) as:

'Persons of nomadic habit of life whatever their race or origin, including such persons who on grounds only of their own or their family's or dependants' educational or health needs or old age have ceased to travel temporarily, but excluding members of an organised group of travelling showpeople or circus people travelling together as such.

In determining whether persons are 'gypsies and travellers' for the purposes of this planning policy, consideration should be given to the following issues amongst other relevant matters:

a) whether they previously led a nomadic habit of life

b) the reasons for ceasing their nomadic habit of life

c) whether there is an intention of living a nomadic habit of life in the future, and if so, how soon and in what circumstances.'

13.49 Travelling Showpeople are defined within the Planning Policy for Travellers Sites (2015) as:

'Members of a group organised for the purposes of holding fairs, circuses or shows (whether or not travelling together as such). This includes such persons who on the grounds of their own or their family's or dependants' more localised pattern of trading, educational or health needs or old age have ceased to travel temporarily, but excludes Gypsies and Travellers as defined above.'

13.50 Mid Suffolk is one of the largest districts in England covering 87,107 hectares (335 square miles), the majority of the population live in villages and rural areas. Mid Suffolk contains a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest and other designated land such as internationally designated Special Area of Conservation north of the District.

13.51 Babergh District is mainly rural in character covering an area of 230 square miles. Babergh District has a diverse economy where there is strength in manufacturing, creative industries, distribution, hotel and restaurant sectors. Babergh is particularly deprived in terms of access to housing and other services.

13.52 The jointly commissioned Ipswich Housing Market Area Gypsy, Traveller, Travelling Showpeople and Boat Dwellers Accommodation Needs Assessment (ANA) (May 2017) identifies for Gypsy and Traveller provision Babergh is in need for 1 permanent Gypsy and traveller pitch and Mid Suffolk is in need for 9 permanent Gypsy and traveller pitches up to 2036 (A pitch is an area on a site developed for a family unit to live). Each authority is to meet the needs in respect of Gypsy and Traveller accommodation within their own areas.

13.53 The following data shows existing Gypsy and Traveller data since 2016, which includes Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople. All of which is in private ownership.

Babergh Five Year estimate of the need for permanent/residential site pitches (2016-2021)

Source: ANA 2017

Babergh Twenty-year summary (2016-2036)

Source: ANA 2017

Mid Suffolk Five Year estimate of the need for permanent/residential site pitches (2016-2021)

Source: ANA 2017

Mid Suffolk Twenty year summary (2016-2036)

Source: ANA 2017

*Includes the development of 3 potentials 2016-21

**The figures in brackets in the table above are based on a possible scenario of 21 pitches not being available. However, since the Accommodation Needs Assessment (ANA) evidence was produced the 21 pitches are available. Therefore, the additional need is 9 pitches up to 2036 as identified earlier in this policy.

Definitions and meanings within the table of existing Gypsy and Traveller use:

  • 'plots' means Travelling Showpeople only
  • 'pitches' mean Gypsies and Travellers only
  • 'yards' means Travelling Showpeople only
  • Actual authorised plots and pitches: This refers to the actual number of pitches observed by visiting the site compared to the number of pitches given planning permission. (There is no difference between actual and observed pitches in Babergh or Mid Suffolk).
  • Plots and pitches in use (vacant): Refers to the pitches / plots in use at the time and then vacant column for those vacant at the time.
  • Caravans on authorised sites and yards: Reflects the caravan count, which shows there have been more caravans than pitches i.e. some pitches have contained more than one caravan. For Mid Suffolk the figures show there are 10 additional caravans 7 + 65 + 10 = 82 total.
  • The data in the table above includes temporary planning permissions and unauthorised developments.

13.54 Both districts have regular incidents of unauthorised encampments with major transport links influencing the pattern of occupation. Accommodation needs from unauthorised encampments was considered separately and this information is as follows some of which are subject to enforcement action.

Unauthorised sites in 2016

Unauthorised sites in 2017

Unauthorised sites in 2018

Babergh District

12

9

5

Mid Suffolk District

7

11

16

Source: ANA 2017

13.55 Proposals for accommodation for those who do not meet the current definition of Gypsies and Travellers or Travelling Showpeople would be considered under the other relevant housing policies, including Policy on Moorings and Marinas.

13.56 Proposals for new sites for Gypsies and Travellers or Travelling Showpeople would be considered under all relevant environmental policies, including Policy on Biodiversity

Preferred approach

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  1. The Councils will work with partner agencies to identify suitable permanent and transit pitches to meet the needs identified in an up to date needs assessment.
  2. The principle for Traveller development will be considered as with other residential development in other policies*, and having regard to the following considerations:
    1. The need for pitches in the District as evidenced in an up to date needs assessment, and the availability of deliverable sites. The site choice must be the result of a sequential search. Land ownership limitations are not a reason to justify selection above other sustainability criteria;
    2. The site shall not dominate the nearest settled community;
    3. The site is well related to local services and facilities (particularly medical services and schools), preferably by means other than the private car;
    4. The site is designed with regard to established design guidance documents and best practice;
    5. Any employment use on the site is compatible with residential and local amenity;
  3. Conditions will normally be applied to limit the number of pitches/plots on the site, or to safeguard occupancy by the Gypsy/Traveller community.
  4. Neighbourhood Plans may allocate sites for Gypsy and Traveller use.

Discounted alternative approaches

13.57 No alternative options are put forward at this stage, as the policy proposes a reasonable and proportionate approach to meeting the needs of Gypsy and Travellers.

LP09 - Moorings and Marinas

Policy background and explanation

13.58 The Councils will work with partner agencies to identify suitable moorings to meet the needs identified in an up to date needs assessment.

13.59 An area of the mooring of houseboats is shown on the Policies Map at Pin Mill, Chelmondiston.

13.60 Increases in the number of moorings and marina berths result in additional pressure for associated land-base facilities, often where access is poor. Facilities proposed can include housing, other recreational provision, hotels, chandlers, boat repairs, clubhouses etc. and often these will be out of scale in the locality. There is a need to protect the special landscape and ecological characteristics of these internationally important areas and as a result, Babergh District Council will need to prepare a project-level HRA to assess the likely impacts from development."

13.61 Water-based and associated land-based facilities of an appropriate scale will only be permitted on the Stour and Orwell estuaries where these are compatible with landscape characteristics, biodiversity, agriculture, access and river safety constraints. A sustainable development approach will be of the utmost importance on both estuaries.

13.62 The existing moorings and marinas fall within the Stour and Orwell Estuaries SPA and Ramsar sites

Preferred approach

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  1. An area for the mooring of houseboats is shown on the Policies Map at Pin Mill, Chelmondiston. Outside this area, the mooring of houseboats will not be permitted.
  2. Planning permission will only be granted for a houseboat at Pin Mill if it meets the following criteria:
    1. it lies within the area defined on the Policies Map;
    2. the total number of houseboats within the area does not rise above 28;
    3. the houseboat appearance is that of a traditional form of vessel in terms of both the hull and superstructure;
    4. the houseboat will not result in an adverse effect on integrity of Stour & Orwell Estuaries SPA and Ramsar site e.g. In terms of pollution, or have a significantly detrimental impact on the surrounding area, biodiversity value, character and appearance to the location within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty;
    5. All new houseboat proposals will need to demonstrate appropriate measures to ensure that there is no risk of deterioration in Water Framework Directive (WFD) status for the River Stour and Orwell
    6. the vessel is completely river-worthy (capable of floating and being moved)
    7. access to it is gained by a jetty and the houseboat to be secured to the jetty or a mooring post.
  3. Where planning permission is granted for the mooring of houseboats, the Councils will require the applicant to enter into a legal agreement for the removal and disposal of any vessel so moored if it subsequently sinks, or becomes unfit for habitation, derelict or is otherwise abandoned
  4. Any proposal for the replacement of houseboats will have to comply with the above requirements.
  5. No introduction or major extension of existing or associated land-based sailing facilities, including moorings and jetties will be permitted on the Stour and Orwell Estuaries.
  6. Where planning permission is granted a Construction Environmental Management Plan will be included as a condition, to be secured prior to commencement, to demonstrate that it mitigates against impacts upon SPA and Ramsar Habitat Sites

Discounted alternative approaches

13.63 No alternatives are considered reasonable at this stage, as the policy is relevant to local circumstances.

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LP10 - Self-Build and Custom-Build

Policy background and explanation

13.64 The Self Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 requires LPAs to keep a register of people who are interested in building their own homes. NPPF para. 61 states that LPAs should plan for the needs of those wishing to build their own homes. The Council has set up a self-build register to understand the level of interest and demand in plots for self-build / custom build across the districts. As of April 2018, there were 164 people on the self-build register all with a variety of land and locational requirements.

Preferred approach

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  1. The Councils will support proposals for self-build/custom-build housing or proposals that make a proportion of serviced dwelling plots available for sale to self-builders or custom builders, on appropriate sites and where in compliance with all other relevant policies of this Joint Local Plan.

Discounted alternative approaches

13.65 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy proposes a flexible approach in conformity with the NPPF.


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LP11 - Employment Development

Policy background and explanation

14.01 In the 2019 NPPF, chapter 6 'Building a strong, competitive economy' is clear when it sets out "Significant weight should be placed on the need to support economic growth and productivity, taking into account both local business needs and wider opportunities for development."

14.02 Economic growth is critical to the future of the communities across Babergh and Mid Suffolk, as set out in the Joint Strategic Plan Refresh 2016 which states one of its five key priorities is "Business growth and increased productivity – Encourage development of employment sites and other business growth, of the right type, in the right place and encourage investment in skills and innovation in order to increase productivity".

14.03 The purpose of this section is;

  1. Maintain an environment where businesses can develop confidently with positive policies that protect their amenity and ability to thrive.
  2. To encourage development of employment sites and other business growth, of the right type, in the right place and encourage investment in skills and innovation in order to increase productivity.
  3. To encourage inward investment to the Districts by supporting infrastructure improvements that will enable the continued growth of Felixstowe and strengthen the Districts' links to Felixstowe and the rest of the UK.
  4. Develop and support the tourism sector as one of the key drivers of economic growth.
  5. Be responsive to changing behaviours, innovation and sectoral advancements to enable business to be competitive and improve productivity.

Supporting A Prosperous Economy

14.04 Alongside our major strategic employment sites, the rural economy plays an important role in the prosperity of the Districts as a whole, and the vitality of local communities. The Ipswich Economic Area Sector Needs Assessment (SNA) (2017) highlighted that Babergh has a high amount of rural employment and diverse commercial property needs across the Districts. Mid Suffolk's commercial activity is concentrated along the A14 corridor, with smaller rural employment sites dispersed across the District, which are sometimes for single use and under owner-occupation. These rural employment sites have grown organically over time. Within both Districts, demand is largely localised, driven by micro and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) businesses. As such the suitable expansion of existing businesses plays a vital role in the local economy.

14.05 The Ipswich Economic Area SNA (2017) highlighted that poor infrastructure, particularly broadband and transport links can inhibit economic growth in the Districts. The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has identified opportunities within the agricultural-technology sector in Babergh and Mid Suffolk.

14.06 The policy on small scale employment and flexible working practices recognises the importance of micro and SME scale of businesses in the two districts, where their predominantly rural nature means it offers benefits such as where these can thrive in the home. It seeks to accommodate Micro and SME operators positively by making provision for small scale employment and flexible working practices in appropriate locations. The provision to enable remote working, in particular through telecommunications connectivity, will be addressed in the contributions, infrastructure and services policy.

Preferred approach

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  1. Proposals for employment use must:
    1. Be in accordance with the spatial distribution as set out in JLP Part 1;
    2. Provide adequate servicing, access and off-road parking for its type, mix, use and location;
    3. Not have a detrimental impact upon the highway network;
    4. Be sensitive to the surroundings, including any residential and other amenity, landscape and heritage assets; and
    5. Demonstrates high-quality design by having regard to the relevant policies of the Joint Local Plan.
  2. Change of use to small scale employment use in predominantly residential areas is supported where:
    1. There is no direct sales from the site;
    2. The direct and indirect effects of the scale of the business activity, including the employment of non-residents at the business, must remain incidental to the overall use of the site for residential purposes;
    3. The hours of operation are compatible with residential use; and
    4. The business does not involve significant noise, dust, fumes or other emissions, outdoor storage or frequent delivery/collection (more than twice daily) which could adversely affect local amenity.

Discounted alternative approaches

14.07 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy proposes a flexible approach in conformity with the NPPF.

LP12 - Safeguarding Economic Opportunities

Policy background and explanation

Ensuring an Adequate Supply of Land and Premises for Economic Growth

14.08 The policy for ensuring an adequate supply of land and premises for economic growth aims to ensure that a continuous range and diversity of appropriate employment sites and premises are available throughout the plan period. The Councils consider that availability of employment opportunities – particularly in rural areas – is essential to maintain sustainable communities. The loss of individual premises or land in employment use in itself may not appear to be significant, but the cumulative loss of several such units is very damaging to the local economic resilience. The policy seeks to retain employment use on existing employment premises, but also enable other commercial uses, such as small scale retail, services and other facilities.

14.09 Overall, the Council expects that employment land and premises will remain in employment use throughout the plan period. Where a business is unable to make premises work viably, this does not mean that the premises is inherently unsuitable for employment use as an alternative operator or another business use may be able to operate successfully from the premises.

14.10 It is about a balance between ensuring there is sufficient choice in the employment land and premises market over the long term and being proportionate in the type and level of evidence required to support a change of use of small premises.

14.11 On some sites it may be appropriate to undertake a "land swap" whereby employment land/premises can be redeveloped with another use and the employment uses can be developed elsewhere on a new site. This could be beneficial for businesses to provide modern premises, and it could be beneficial for local amenity if employment uses were relocated away from residential areas. Where a land swap is agreed, the Council will expect no net loss of space, and a net gain in the quality of overall provision of employment land/premises.

14.12 However, in some circumstances the loss of employment land and premises may be justified, and the Council will seek to ensure that where such losses occur that alternative provision is enabled in the interests of local employment sustainability.

Preferred approach

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  1. In order to protect the amenity of existing businesses, proposals for development in the vicinity of land and premises in lawful business, commercial and employment activity may only be approved where such activity would not be compromised through amenity conflicts arising from the proposed development.
  2. The Councils shall resist the loss of identified employment sites, as well as other land and premises in lawful employment/commercial use. This includes land around identified employment sites that may be required and is most logically used for employment purposes beyond this plan period. Where a robust case is made that the land or premises is no longer economically viable or is inherently unsuitable to be retained for an employment, business or appropriate community use, the Council may consider the redevelopment of land and premises for alternative uses. Proposals that would lead to the full or partial loss of employment sites or premises will be required to demonstrate:
    1. that the possibility of re-using or redeveloping the land for other commercial, employment, business or community uses have been explored by a period of sustained marketing for 12 months by an independent qualified assessor. This must be undertaken at a realistic asking price, on a range of terms and in an appropriate format. The approach for the marketing campaign must be agreed by the Development Management case officer from the outset;
    2. The supply, availability and variety of employment land is sufficient to meet both overall District as well as localised needs;
    3. The proposal would not give rise to amenity conflicts with existing or proposed employment uses/activities in the vicinity of the site;
    4. That there would be an overriding environmental or community benefit from redevelopment or change to another business or community use, which outweighs the benefit of the current employment use continuing; and
    5. There would be a substantive economic benefit to the area that would result from allowing redevelopment.
  3. Where employment land or premises are lost to non-employment generating uses, unless it is demonstrated that the use is no longer viable, the Council will seek contributions to help offset the economic impact of the loss of business opportunities. Contributions may include any combination of:
    1. Alternative land or premises;
    2. Financial contributions towards infrastructure installations to enable the delivery of replacement employment premises on Strategic Employment Sites;
    3. Financial contributions towards skills, training and qualifications for displaced employees.

14.13 Discounted alternative approachesNo reasonable alternative policy has been identified at this stage, as the policy is a reasonable and proportionate to meeting economic needs.

LP13 - Retail and Town Centres

14.14 The aim of the policy is to promote competitive town centre environments that provide customer choice and a diverse retail offer. It is also aimed at supporting the viability and vitality of town centres in the Babergh and Mid Suffolk districts.

14.15 The Primary Shopping Frontage (PSFs) and Secondary Shopping Frontages (SSFs) and Primary Shopping Areas (PSA) and Town Centre Boundaries have been updated in Sudbury, Hadleigh and Stowmarket in accordance with recommendations suggested in the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Town Centre and Retail Study (2015).

14.16 The retail policy seeks to prevent the proportion of Class A1 retail uses at ground floor level falling below an indicative minimum threshold within Primary Shopping Frontages (PSFs). This is to ensure the continued primary retail function of the different retail zones. A more flexible approach to cover SSF's to reflect market trends is considered more appropriate. This will allow applications to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

14.17 The NPPF allows Local Planning Authorities to set their own locally set floorspace threshold for requiring retail and leisure development outside of town centres, which are not in accordance with an up-to-date plan, to provide a retail impact assessment. The Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Town Centre and Retail Study (2015) suggests that a threshold of 400m2 is appropriate to require a retail impact assessment, to demonstrate that to the Councils that development outside of town centre boundaries would not impact on the vitality and viability of nearby centres. The level of detail to be included in the retail impact assessment should be proportionate to the scale and type of retail proposal and should be agreed between the Council and applicant on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, in dealing with such applications (regardless of its size) paragraph 86 and 87 of the NPPF states that Local Planning Authorities should apply a sequential test to focus main town centre uses in town centres, then in edge of centre locations and only if suitable sites are not available (or expected to become available within a reasonable period) should out of centre sites be considered. The primary and secondary shopping frontages and town centre boundaries for Hadleigh, Stowmarket and Sudbury are set out in the relevant Policies Maps.

Preferred approach

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  1. Primary/Secondary Shopping Frontages
    1. Within Primary Shopping Frontages (as defined in the Policies Maps), the Councils will seek to ensure a balance between retail and non-retail uses to secure the vitality and viability of Town Centres. Within Primary Shopping Frontages the Council will seek to ensure that the number of A1 units at ground floor level do not fall below the following thresholds:
      1. Sudbury – 80%
      2. Stowmarket – 70%
      3. Hadleigh – 60%
    2. Within Secondary Shopping Frontages (as defined in the Policies Maps) development of Use Classes A1-A5, D1 and D2, may be permitted where:
      1. Evidence is provided that the current use is no longer required and cannot be made viable;
      2. The proposal does not individually or cumulatively undermine the vitality or viability or the town centre; and
      3. The proposal is consistent with the scale and function of the town centre.
  2. Within Town Centre Boundaries consideration is given to ensuring that development proposals do not eliminate separate access arrangements to upper floorspace, which could be used for residential, community or employment uses.
  3. Out of Town Centre Applications
    1. Where an application for retail and leisure development outside of town centre boundaries, is in excess of 400m² an impact assessment will be required. A sequential test in accordance with the NPPF will be applied for any applications for main town centre uses. Applications which would have a significant adverse impact on the vitality and viability of nearby centres will not be supported.

Discounted alternative approaches

14.18 At this stage there are no alternative approaches put forward. The Babergh and Mid Suffolk Town Centres and Retail Study (2015) provides the evidence based to justify this approach.

LP14 - Tourism and Leisure

14.19 The NPPF para 83. states the Local Plan should enable sustainable rural tourism and leisure developments which respect the character of the countryside.

14.20 The Local Plan seeks to provide a diverse range of accommodation across the District to cater for the tourist demand. Tourist accommodation particularly that which is in permanent buildings can sometimes come under pressure to be occupied for full time residential use. New tourism accommodation should therefore be restricted by planning conditions and/or legal agreements so that it is retained for the benefit of the tourism economy and not lost to residential use. Planning conditions will limit the occupation of new self-catering tourist accommodation units to a continuous period of 56 days by one person or persons within one calendar year. The owners/operators of the accommodation will be required to maintain an up to-date Register of all lettings, which shall include the names and addresses of all those persons occupying the units during each individual letting. The Register will be required to be made available at all reasonable times to the Local Planning Authority.

14.21 Proposals to remove holiday occupancy must include appropriate evidence where it can be fully and satisfactorily demonstrated that there is no demand for the tourist accommodation. Marketing evidence must be provided with details on:

  1. why the property is being marketed;
  2. it's location, links to transport networks and general setting;
  3. advertising methods – particulars should be set out in a bespoke, well-designed brochure with professional photos. Evidence of advertisements in both local and national publications/ online advertisement and/ or targeted mailing will be demonstrated;
  4. guide price/rent; and
  5. guide terms.

Preferred approach

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  1. Proposals for new tourism and leisure facilities, or improvements/extensions to existing facilities, may be supported where proposal(s):
    1. Enhance the district's ability to attract and cater for visitors, increase local employment opportunities and provide for environmental improvements;
    2. Improve the range, quality and accessibility of facilities;
    3. The facility (where appropriate) is in close proximity to the people it serves and accessible by public transport;
    4. Complements and does not compete with the vitality and viability of the settlement centre; and
    5. Where relevant includes facilities which are open to the wider community, to enhance both accessibility and the range of facilities available.
  2. In addition to the criteria above, proposals in the countryside may be supported where the proposal:
    1. Increases access, enjoyment and interpretation of the countryside, appropriately, sensitively and sustainably;
    2. Provides appropriate parking and access and ensures the associated traffic movement would not compromise highway safety;
    3. Improves accessibility for existing settlements, which are not well served by public transport;
    4. Reflects the intrinsic quality and respects the character of the countryside by having regard to the Councils Landscape Guidance and any other relevant documents endorsed by the LPA;
    5. The proposal must follow a hierarchy of seeking firstly to avoid impacts, mitigate for impacts so as to make them insignificant on the local ecology, biodiversity, trees and hedgerows, or as a last resort compensate for losses that cannot be avoided or mitigated for; and
    6. Is of an appropriate scale for their context and/or comprise of the conversion of an existing rural building, of landscape, historic or architectural merit.
  3. Leisure facilities of more than 400m2 gross floorspace in out-of-town locations will require a Retail Impact Assessment.

Discounted alternative approaches

14.22 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy is appropriate to local circumstances.


LP15 – Countryside Tourist Accommodation

Preferred approach

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  1. New tourist accommodation will be restricted by means of planning conditions which permits holiday use only. The conditions will restrict the period of continuous occupation of the accommodation to a maximum of 28 days and a register of all lettings, and proof of a residential address for occupiers, will be required to be made available at all times.
  2. The Councils should only support the removal of a holiday occupancy condition if evidence is provided that there is no demand for the tourist accommodation, and there has been sustained marketing for 12 months as set out in the supporting text.

Discounted alternative approaches

14.23 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy is appropriate to local circumstances.


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LP16 - Environmental Protection

Policy background and explanation

15.01 The aim of this policy is to ensure that all developments are environmentally sustainable and will seek to prevent and mitigate against adverse environmental impacts and climate change, irrespective of the size of the development. Development proposals must take into account a broad range of environmental issues such as air quality, water consumption and quality, drainage, sewerage, energy, noise, light, waste, contamination, design and building materials. The policy will provide an update to the environmental standard requirements in view of the National Housing Standards Review, 2014.

15.02 Land and air pollution are subject to regulatory controls under Environmental Health Legislation including the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Pollution Prevention Act 1999 and the Environment Act 1995. Applications within an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and all major planning applications, may be required to submit an air quality impact assessment to assess and quantify the impact on local air quality and to identify appropriate mitigation measures to ensure that development is acceptable on the grounds of air quality. Contributions may also be required towards the cost of air quality mitigation measures.

15.03 Lighting needs to be appropriate for the design and scale of development and location. It is important lighting is designed to illuminate the target only and not detract from the night sky's natural state and thereby avoid light pollution.

15.04 The Joint Local Plan will encourage proposals that help bring contaminated sites into productive use. Where a site is affected by contamination, responsibility for securing safe development rests with the developer and/or landowner.

15.05 In line with the National Planning Policy Framework the Joint Local Plan seeks to protect high quality agricultural land where possible. Whilst in some cases meeting wider objectives will necessitate the loss of agricultural land, particularly considering the relatively limited amount of brownfield land available for development in the Districts, the policy seeks to ensure that loss of agricultural land is a consideration.

15.06 Where it is anticipated that contamination may be present near or on a proposed development area a precautionary approach is essential to ensure there is no unacceptable risk to health, or to the environment or amenity. The applicant will be required to demonstrate by way of adequate site investigation information, prepared by a competent person, that there is no unacceptable risk to health, or the environment and where unacceptable contamination is found there will be a requirement for mitigation/remediation/verification, as agreed with the Councils.

15.07 Where appropriate potentially contaminated land should be investigated and remediated prior to development and/or during construction to a level appropriate to its proposed use. Where mitigation / remediation cannot be satisfactorily achieved development will be refused.

Preferred approach

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To protect the environment all developments must have regard to the following:

Where construction may cause potential impacts, measures proposed must include Construction Environment Management Plans (CEMPs)

  1. LAND

    Efficient and Effective Use of Resources/Land

    1. Development on previously developed land will be prioritised, where appropriate, to minimise the loss of the best and most versatile agricultural land.
    2. Development will contribute towards making more efficient use or re-use of existing resources and reducing the lifecycle impact of materials used in construction.
    3. Development proposals must not prejudice the ability of future allocated sites to come forward by, for example, restricting or blocking access to services such as water, gas, electricity, drainage, the free flow of air, water and daylight
    4. Land Contamination and Instability

    5. Where necessary, development will include measures to remediate land affected by contamination and locate development safely away from any hazardous source;
    6. Where necessary, development will include measures to address land instability issues where identified;
    7. These measures must be compatible with the National and International Standards.
  2. POLLUTION

    Pollution and Environmental Amenity

    1. Prevent, or where not practicable, reduce all forms of possible pollution including, but not limited to; air, land, ground and surface water, odour, noise, light and any other general amenity, including public amenity and visual amenity impacts.
  3. WATER
    1. Development will be required to comply with the SCC Construction Surface Water Management Plan (or updates if appropriate)
    2. Development proposals will need to demonstrate it protects and enhances groundwater, surface water features and controls aquatic pollution to help achieve the objectives[10] of the Water Framework Directive

Discounted alternative approaches

15.08 No alternative options are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is appropriate to securing environmental protection.

LP17 - Biodiversity

Policy background and explanation

15.09 The NPPF advocates that local plans should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by protecting and enhancing sites of biodiversity or geological value and minimising impacts on and providing measurable net gains for biodiversity.

15.10 The level of protection to be afforded to Special Protection Areas (SPAs), RAMSAR and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Ramsar sites is set out in the UK Habitats Regulations. To summarise, proposals that would result in significant effects on these sites, either alone or in combination with other plans and projects, should be refused, unless mitigation measures can be applied to avoid adverse effects on site integrity. Only in exceptional circumstances where there are 'imperative reasons of overriding public interest' would development that causes harm to a SPA, SAC or Ramsar sites be permitted.

15.11 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are protected through the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). The NPPF states that development on land within or outside of an SSSI likely to have an adverse effect on an SSSI should not normally be permitted. An exception should only be made where the public benefits of development clearly outweigh the impacts.

15.12 Priority species and habitats are identified by the UK post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. The NERC Act 2006 requires the Secretary of State to publish a list of habitats and species which are of principal importance for the conservation of biodiversity in England. Known as the Section 41 list, this should be used to guide decision makers in implementing their duty under Section 40 of the NERC act to have regard to the conservation of biodiversity in England when carrying out their normal functions: England Biodiversity Strategy 2020, Biodiversity Net gain initiative and DEFRA biodiversity Metric Calculator is designed to assess changes to biodiversity value as a result of development or land changes and can be an essential method to ensure net gains are achieved.

15.13 At the local level, designations in Babergh and Mid Suffolk comprise of County Wildlife Sites, County Geodiversity Sites/Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites.

15.14 In producing the Plan consideration can be given to the level of protection to afford to local sites of biodiversity and geodiversity value including County Wildlife Sites, County Geodiversity Sites and priority habitats and species.

15.15 To create, protect and enhance ecological networks, the NPPF advises that biodiversity should be conserved and enhanced at a landscape-scale.

15.16 The Babergh Green Infrastructure Strategy (2012) identifies potential wildlife corridors (river and green corridors) that would benefit from enhancement. Suffolk Nature Strategy identifies a large area of Babergh and the south of Mid Suffolk as 'South Suffolk ancient woodland clusters' which is one of the areas of principal importance for landscape-scale conservation in Suffolk, along with the two AONBs.

15.17 Green infrastructure refers to a network of spaces and linkages that are generally valued for their wildlife, geological, landscape or historic importance and may also have recreational value and help reduce flood risk. Although often important in their own right, when considered as a holistic network they provide much greater benefits. Emphasising the importance of green infrastructure creation, protection and enhancement, ensures an improved and healthy environment that is available for present and future communities. These improvements can include reducing vulnerability and increase resilience to extreme weather events and flooding through measures such as SuDs and green roofs for example.

15.18 The Joint Local Plan, therefore, seeks to ensure that all new development secures high standards of design and green infrastructure which creates attractive and sustainable places where people want to live and spend time. Networks of green infrastructure should be provided across new developments linking with existing networks of open space.

15.19 Protection for internationally and nationally protected sites is established in legislation. In producing the Plan consideration can also be given to the level of protection to afford to local sites of biodiversity and geodiversity value including County Wildlife Sites, County Geodiversity Sites and Priority habitats and species.

15.20 Through previous Habitats Regulations Assessments there has been recognition of the sensitivity of the internationally protected sites and the potential for significant effects arising from increased recreational disturbance related to new housing development.

Preferred approach

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  1. Development proposals will be supported where:
    1. All development should follow a hierarchy of seeking firstly to avoid impacts, mitigate for impacts so as to make them insignificant for biodiversity, or as a last resort compensate for losses that cannot be avoided or mitigated for. Adherence to the hierarchy should be demonstrated.
    2. Significant weight has been given to the protection of designated and potential designated sites. Proposed development which is likely to have an adverse impact upon designated and potential designated sites, or that will result in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats (such as ancient woodland) will not be supported.
    3. They maintain and contribute to the enhancement of biodiversity and geological conservation interests including Priority habitats and species. Enhancement for biodiversity should be commensurate with the scale of development. For example, such enhancement could include watercourse improvements to benefit biodiversity and improve water quality, habitat creation, wildlife links (including as part of green or blue infrastructure) and building design which creates wildlife habitat (e.g. green roofs, hedgehog friendly fencing, bird, insect and/or bat boxes) relevant to local conservation priorities.
    4. They plan positively for the creation, protection, enhancement and management of local networks of biodiversity with wildlife corridors that connect areas. Where possible, link to existing green infrastructure networks and areas identified by local partnerships for habitat restoration or creation so that these ecological networks will be more resilient to current and future pressures.
    5. They identify and pursue opportunities for securing measurable net gains for biodiversity and suitable indicators for monitoring biodiversity.
    6. The development's primary objective is to conserve and enhance biodiversity.
  2. Development which would have an adverse impact on species protected by legislation[11], or subsequent legislation, will not be permitted unless there is no alternative and the local planning authority is satisfied that suitable measures have been taken to:
    1. reduce disturbance to a minimum; and
    2. maintain the population identified on site;
    3. provide adequate alternative habitats to sustain at least the current levels of population.
  3. Where appropriate, the local planning authority will use planning obligations and/or planning conditions to achieve appropriate mitigation and/or compensatory measures and to ensure that any potential harm is kept to a minimum.

Discounted alternative approaches

15.21 No alternative options are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is appropriate to securing biodiversity protection.

LP18 - Landscape

Policy background and explanation

15.22 The landscape and the historic environment have a strong inter-relationship, as the character of the landscape is influenced by historic assets and their settings, as well as traditional villages and historic townscapes. Equally, the landscape can be important to the setting of a historic asset.

15.23 Babergh and Mid Suffolk have a diverse landscape character, with parts of Babergh lying within Dedham Vale and River Stour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. Adjoining the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is an area defined as the Stour Valley Project extending beyond Sudbury and into West Suffolk, however this area does not currently benefit from the same protection as an AONB. There is a current application for a boundary extension to the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) gives significant protection to these designated landscapes.

15.24 Other areas of landscape which are not designated are also attractive and important, each with its own characteristic and sense of place. Areas with uninterrupted panoramic views of surrounding landscapes and numerous landmarks such as field patterns with associated hedges, woodlands and copse of trees. Some of these landscapes have been captured by famous artists, such as Constable and Gainsborough.

15.25 Landscape character assessments of the area have been carried out and provide information on the different landscape character types of the area. It recognises particular qualities and features of landscapes to provide an understanding of distinct sense of place and sensitivities to development and change. These assessments will be used as a basis to guide decisions about whether development is appropriate in the landscape and provide a framework for the provision of appropriate landscape mitigation.

15.26 Where development may be visually prominent or adversely affect landscape character, production of a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, a strategic landscape masterplan and/or a landscape management plan detailing mitigation proposal may be required.

15.27 The Joint Local Plan seeks to protect and, where possible, enhance the landscape, taking account of its natural beauty and features of archaeological or historic interest. To ensure all new development proposals responds to and reinforces the local distinctiveness of the area in scale, form, design, materials and location.

Preferred approach

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  1. The Councils will support: -
    1. Development in suitable locations which will not adversely affect the natural environment including; landscape character sensitivity and visual impacts of the proposal on the wider area (including effects on health, living conditions);
    2. New development that integrates positively with the existing landscape character of the area and reinforces the local distinctiveness.
    3. Proposals that are sensitive to their landscape, visual or amenity impacts (including on dark skies); subject to siting, design, lighting, use of materials and colour, along with the mitigation of any adverse impacts;
    4. Development that enhances and protects landscape value such as; locally characteristic landscape features, archaeological and historic patterns of settlement and land use[12]and designations; being demonstrably informed by local guidance, in particular the Council's Local Landscape Guidance, the Suffolk Landscape Character Assessment and Settlement Sensitivity Assessment.

Discounted alternative approaches

15.28 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is in conformity with the NPPF and is relevant to local circumstances.


LP19 – AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY

Preferred approach

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  1. The Councils will support development in or near the AONBs that:
    1. Gives great weight to conserving and enhancing the landscape and scenic beauty;
    2. Does not adversely affect the character, quality views and distinctiveness of the AONB or threaten public enjoyment of these areas; and
    3. Supports the wider environmental, social and economic objectives as set out in the AONB Management Plan[13].

Discounted alternative approaches

15.29 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is in conformity with the NPPF and is relevant to local circumstances.

LP20 - The Historic Environment

Policy background and explanation

15.30 Babergh and Mid Suffolk have a considerable wealth of historic settlements and buildings which contribute to the area's distinctiveness and make it an attractive place to live and work. The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act, 1990 contains statutory provisions relating to the management of the historic environment however local authorities may develop policies through their local plans. The NPPF advocates that local plans should set out a positive approach to the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk.

15.31 Heritage Assets are defined by the NPPF as 'A building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest'. It includes nationally designated heritage assets, other non-designated heritage assets and sites of potential archaeological interest.

15.32 The designated heritage assets in Babergh and Mid Suffolk comprise of some 7,000 listed buildings, 60 Conservation Areas, 72 Scheduled Ancient Monuments and 7 Registered Parks and Gardens. In addition, there are other buildings and features which make an important contribution to the character and appearance of the area. These may not be of sufficient quality to be designated as a heritage asset but are important in reinforcing a sense of local identify.

15.33 Some designated heritage assets are known to be at risk through neglect and decay, or vulnerable to becoming so. The authorities will continue to monitor heritage at risk and will work with Historic England and other bodies to secure appropriate solutions.

15.34 In exceptional circumstances, permission may be granted for development which would not normally be acceptable in order to secure the long-term future of the designated asset. This is known as 'enabling development' and should only be carried out as a last resort in line with the guidance produced by Historic England.

Preferred approach

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The Councils will:

  1. Support the re-use/ redevelopment of a heritage asset, including buildings at risk, where it would represent optimal viable use including assets in isolated locations
  2. Support development proposals that contribute to local distinctiveness, respecting the built form and scale of the heritage asset, through the use of appropriate design and materials.
  3. Require development that includes heritage assets with archaeological interest to submit an appropriate desk-based assessment and, where necessary, a field evaluation by a suitably qualified person.
  4. Have regard (or Special Regard where appropriate) to the historic environment and take account of the contribution any designated or non-designated heritage asset makes to the character of the area and its sense of place. All designated and non-designated heritage assets must be preserved, enhanced or conserved in accordance with statutory tests[14] and their significance.
  5. Depending on the nature of the works/development proposed, require the applicant to demonstrate via the submission of a heritage statement that:
    1. The significance of the heritage asset is fully understood (statement of significance);
    2. The potential impacts on the heritage asset's special character and setting are understood (impact assessment);
    3. The proposal has been fully justified in light of the significance and impact identified above (statement of justification); and
    4. Establishes a conservation strategy, including details of mitigation, repair, preservation, protection and recording as appropriate.
  6. Support proposals to enhance the environmental performance of heritage assets where a sensitive approach to design and specification ensures that the significance of the asset is not compromised by inappropriate interventions and the special characteristics of the heritage assets are safeguarded. All proposals should have regard to the Historic England Advice guidance note "Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings".
  7. In the interests of safeguarding and enhancing local distinctiveness only support development if there are no adverse impacts to, or loss of, buildings/features of local architectural landscape or historic interest subject to their level of significance and whether the adverse impacts that may arise from a development proposal cannot be reasonably avoided and are outweighed by public benefits. Where development is considered acceptable;
    1. An agreed programme of work will be required for recording prior to development.
    2. Impacts on archaeological sites/historic buildings will be mitigated through obligations and /or conditions.

Discounted alternative approaches

15.35 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is proportionate and relevant to local circumstances.

LP21 - Change in Land Use for Equestrian or other animal/rural land base uses

Policy background and explanation

15.36 Proposals to increase or extend residential garden land by the change in use of land can have a significant impact on the environment, especially when there is an impact on best and most versatile agricultural land or there are adverse effects on the landscape character and setting of the locality. The impact of such a change is likely to be unacceptable. Designated constraints, local guidance and supplementary planning documents will provide detailed information and guidance for assessing landscape impacts of such proposal.

15.37 The National Planning Policy Framework is clear economic diversification and a high-quality environment have to be pursued together. Both of which are mutually dependant and supportive and are the essence in achieving sustainable development. This also means diversification of the rural economy should not be at the expense of the environment or productive agricultural land or the best and most versatile land. Any proposals in relation to legislation associated or connected with the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs will be considered proportionately along with the consideration of positive approaches to manage land for agriculture, conservation or recreational purposes. Long-term sustainability of any proposal will need to be considered especially if the proposal is to develop agricultural land. It is often the case once land is developed the restoration of natural habitats or landscape enhancement features is expensive to create.

15.38 The Local Planning Authority will not encourage new industrial development to intrude into the rural environment away from settlements. The operation of industrial development often requires necessary access to materials, support services, markets, clients and labour, which are often not available in rural locations without creating sustainability issues, intensification and cumulative impacts to the rural road/lane networks/highway. Proposals to change the use of agricultural land from existing redundant buildings to recreation, leisure or tourism-based activity may be suitable subject to proportionately balanced assessment of environmental harm and any other appropriate policies that may relevant to such proposal.

15.39 Proposed changes in use arising from the diversification of farm enterprises/businesses may be acceptable providing the proposal does not adversely impact on the social, environmental or economic aspects of the existing farm. In particular, the proposed diversification must not place unreasonable restrictions on the farm that could jeopardize its viability as a result of the development permitted after the farm was established. Equally any proposal must not detrimentally affect neighbouring amenity, proposals must be compatible with the protection of the countryside with regard to landscape, ecology, biodiversity, natural resources and intrinsic recreational value. The proposal must not unreasonably or unnecessary result in the loss of best and most versatile agricultural land or productive agricultural land, the proposal must not create excessive traffic intensification resulting in cumulative impacts or traffic safety issues.

15.40 The Local Planning Authority will expect the use of existing buildings to be considered in the first instance where proposals require the provision of new or more floor space. Any acceptable new buildings must be ancillary to and used solely in connection with the existing farm enterprises/business to meet the operational needs. Condition(s) may be necessary for the Local Planning Authority to apply.

Preferred approach

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  1. The change in use of land for equestrian uses or other animal/rural land based uses in the countryside, including the erection of buildings and equipment for equestrian or other animal husbandry/rural land based uses may be permitted subject to:
    1. The location, size and scale of the site must be appropriate and necessary for the proposal in question;
    2. The site must be sensitively sited to protect the amenity of the locality from an environmental and social perspective;
    3. The layout, size, scale, design, materials and siting of any proposed building or equipment (including lighting and means of enclosure) must not create serious adverse impact on the natural and local environment or the appearance of the locality. Proposals should re-use existing buildings first where appropriate and any new buildings should be located in or adjacent to an existing group of buildings to have minimal impact within the landscape;
    4. There must be no significant detriment to amenity in terms of noise, odour, light or any other forms of pollution and disturbance;
    5. The proposal must be able to include satisfactory scheme for the disposal of waste (if appropriate);
    6. The proposal must be able to integrate with existing features and respect and enhance the character of the surrounding landscape/area;
    7. The proposal must not adversely affect or damage any significant trees and hedgerows that contribute to the environmental quality and visual amenity benefits of the rural location;
    8. The proposal must not create significant detriment to biodiversity, geodiversity or the interlinked surroundings;
    9. The proposal should not result in the irreversible loss of best and most versatile agricultural land or productive agricultural land and it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority that there are no suitable alternative sites on lower grade land.
  2. Where a new equine or other related animal husbandry/rural land based business use is proposed and residential accommodation is proposed. Proposals must demonstrate a proven essential and necessary need to sufficiently justify new rural residential accommodation in the countryside to the Local Planning Authorities satisfaction. In particular, such proposals will be expected to demonstrate, justify and evidence;
    1. The essential need for rural residential accommodation is appropriate to be located in the isolated and/or remote and/or detached rural countryside;
    2. There are no other surrounding building(s) or nearby residential accommodation to serve the proposal;
    3. There is permitted temporary accommodation in place for 1 year serving the business and has been the main residence and there are no other permanent residence in association or connection;
    4. There is a proven essential and necessary need for new residential accommodation to serve the equine or other related animal husbandry/rural land based business;
    5. There is proportionate, necessary and sound viable business evidence to demonstrate the equine or other related animal husbandry/rural land based business has been in continuous sound viable operation for more than 3 years, and there is a proven sustainable business;
    6. The finances of the equine or other related animal husbandry/rural land based business are directly in relation to the proven essential and necessary need for new residential accommodation;
    7. There are no material considerations to prevent new residential accommodation in the location proposed.

Where such proposal is considered acceptable, the proposed landscaping and boundary treatments must achieve a rural rather than urban or suburban character. Permitted Development Rights will be removed. The Local Planning Authority may impose planning conditions and planning obligations/legal agreement to make the development acceptable in planning terms.

Discounted alternative approaches

15.41 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is proportionate and relevant to local circumstances.


LP22 – AGRICULTURAL LAND TO RESIDENTIAL GARDEN LAND

Preferred approach

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  1. The change in use of agricultural land to residential garden land or land ancillary to a residential dwelling may be permitted subject to:
    1. The location, size and scale of the proposal would not have an adverse impact on the landscape characteristics and biodiversity of the locality;
    2. The proposal would not result in the irreversible loss of best and most versatile agricultural land or productive agricultural land;
    3. The site must not intrude into the open countryside including trees and hedgerows;
    4. The site must not threaten designated or Priority Habitats Sites or threaten the viability of farm holdings due to the breaking up of agricultural land;
    5. The proposal must not be or become unacceptably intrusive through intensification and therefore damaging to the character of the countryside setting or nearby residential setting;
    6. There must be no significant adverse impact on public rights of way or the areas of urban/rural transition that provides the setting of settlements in the countryside; and
    7. In all cases the Local Planning Authority will consider the possible cumulative impacts of separate individual changes as a material consideration.
  2. Where such proposal is considered acceptable, the proposed landscaping and boundary treatments must achieve a rural rather than urban or suburban character. Permitted Development Rights will be removed.
  3. The Local Planning Authority may impose planning conditions and planning obligations/legal agreement to make the development acceptable in planning terms.

Discounted alternative approaches

15.42 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is proportionate and relevant to local circumstances.

LP23 - Sustainable Construction and Design

Policy background and explanation

15.43 The NPPF (Para.148) states that the Joint Local Plan should help shape places in ways that contribute to radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, minimise vulnerability and improve resilience.

15.44 The NPPF advocates good design whilst optimising the potential of the site for the use of alternative heat and energy initiatives.

15.45 The Joint Local Plan supports proposals for sustainable construction and design providing that development proposals are sympathetic to local character and history, including the visual impact upon surrounding built environment and landscape setting.

15.46 The NPPF urges that Local Planning Authorities should recognise the responsibility of all communities to contribute to energy generation from renewable or low carbon sources.

15.47 Whilst the planning system has a role to play in delivering sustainability in buildings, construction methods and the energy performance of buildings are primarily addressed via Building Regulations. Nevertheless, the March 2015 Ministerial Statement enables local planning authorities to require energy efficiency standards that exceed Building Regulations provided these do not exceed the requirements of the Level 4 of the former Code for Sustainable Homes. This equates to around a 20% improvement in CO2 emissions performance above the Target Emission Rate of the 2013 Edition of the 2010 Building Regulations.

15.48 The Joint Local Plan expects and actively supports developers to explore innovative ways to cut CO2 emissions.

15.49 Other technical standards to improve sustainability were introduced by the Government in October 2015 through the introduction of optional water efficiency Building Regulation standards. Both the Essex & Suffolk and Anglian Water areas are classified as experiencing 'serious' water stress (www.gov.uk/government/publications/water-stressed-areas-2013-classification) therefore, the Joint Local Plan responds to these changes by requiring improvements to water efficiency on new dwellings to achieve the higher water efficiency standard of 110 litres/person/day (compared to 125 litres/person/day under Building Regulations).

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Description generated with very high confidence

Fittings based specifications for 110L/person/day from DCLG Building Regs 2010) (2016 amendments) part G2.

15.50 The Anglian Water region is particularly vulnerable to impacts of climate change including the potential reduction in summer rainfall, lower available water resources, these factors are all compounded with Eastern England identified as the driest region in the UK. In order to future-proof against climate change the Joint Local Plan will encourage all residential development to achieve 100ltrs per person per day and take advantage of the removal of the fixed element of the zonal charge levied by Anglian Water (at the time of writing - potential saving of up to £740 per plot).

15.51 The NPPF requires all new development to be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change. This includes measures to protect against extreme winter and summer temperatures, flood risk and ensuring adequate water supply.

15.52 BREEAM (the British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) can be used to assess the environmental performance of new and existing non-residential buildings and refurbished residential buildings.

Preferred approach

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  1. All new development is required to minimise its dependence on fossil fuels and to make the fullest contribution to the mitigation of climate change through adopting a sustainable approach to energy use.
  2. All new residential development is required to:
    1. Achieve reductions in CO2 emissions of 19% below for the Target Emissions Rate of the 2013 Edition of 2010 Building Regulations (Part L); and
    2. Meet the higher water efficiency standards of 110 litres per person per day, as set out in building regulations part G2.
  3. In meeting the above, all major developments are required to submit a Sustainability Design and Construction Statement that demonstrates how the following principles will be incorporated into the design of the development:
    1. Passive design principles (e.g. site layout and building orientation) designed to minimise the energy demand of the building through maximising natural sunlight and ventilation, effectively utilising solar gains for thermal comfort;
    2. Energy efficiency measures (e.g. insulation, air tightness and efficient building services), with a proactive approach to improving on the minimum standards specified in the Building Regulations;
    3. On-site renewable and other low carbon energy generation (NB: the energy statement should investigate the technical feasibility and financial viability of the options available and the CO2 savings achieved with each to allow the greatest CO2 reduction is selected);
    4. Development that incorporates a high level of building materials with low embodied carbon will be encouraged; and
    5. That the risks associated with future climate change have been planned for as part of the layout of the scheme and design of its buildings to ensure its longer-term resilience.
  4. Non-residential development of 1,000sqm and above must achieve a minimum of BREEAM 'Very Good' standard or equivalent. Developers will be expected to provide certification evidence of the levels for BREEAM at design stage and on completion of development.
  5. All residential developments are encouraged to achieve 100 litres per person per day. This is in addition to criterion 1.c in accordance with recommendation from Anglian Water.

Discounted alternative approaches

15.53 No alternative options are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is appropriate to securing environmental protection and responds to local circumstances.

LP24 - Design and Residential Amenity

Policy background and explanation

15.54 Good design is a key aspect of sustainable development and has the potential to maintain and enhance existing environments. It can also have benefits in terms of the health of residents and community safety. The Joint Local Plan provides a framework to promote high quality, well designed developments, and good quality housing. In order to achieve this aim, applicants should work collaboratively with the Councils at an early stage. In determining applications regard will be given to the 'Suffolk Design Guide for Residential Areas', and any other relevant documents endorsed by the Councils, where appropriate.

15.55 In addition, dwellings built to adapt to and accommodate the needs of the occupier over their lifetime can facilitate choice, help meet the needs of an ageing population and improve quality of life. Building for Life for residential buildings which is a government endorsed industry standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods.

15.56 The local plan seeks new dwellings to be designed to meet these needs using the Lifetime Homes Standard or other similar design standards as appropriate.

Preferred approach

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  1. All new development must be of high-quality design, with a clear vision as to the positive contribution the development will make to its context. As appropriate to the scale and nature of the development, proposals must:
    1. Respond to and safeguard the existing character/context;
    2. Create character and interest;
    3. Include high quality design and architecture;
    4. Be designed for health, amenity, well-being and safety; and
    5. Meet Space Standards[15].
  2. In order to achieve this development proposals shall:
    1. Respond to the wider townscape/landscapes and safeguarding natural and built features of merit;
    2. Be compatible/harmonious with its location and appropriate in terms of scale, mass, form, siting, design, materials, texture and colour in relation to the surrounding area;
    3. Protect and retain important natural features such as trees or hedgerows during and post construction;
    4. Create/reinforce a strong design to the public realm incorporating visual signatures (e.g. signage, hard landscaping, public art);
    5. Include good practice in design incorporating design principles such as active frontages/edges, permeability, strong street composition and connectivity. Major schemes will be required to undertake a design review to test this and adherence to Building for Life Criteria;
    6. Incorporate high levels of soft landscaping, street trees and public open space that creates, and connects to, green infrastructure and networks;
    7. Focussing on movement by foot, bicycle and public transport, including linkages to create/contribute to a 'walkable neighbourhood';
    8. Design-out crime and create an environment for people to feel safe, and has a strong community focus;
    9. Protect the health and amenity of occupiers and surrounding uses by avoiding development that is overlooking, overbearing, results in a loss of daylight, and/or unacceptable levels of light pollution, noise, vibration, odour, emissions and dust; Including any other amenity issues; and
    10. Provide a reasonable standard of accommodation for future occupants in terms of privacy and adequate facilities such as bin storage, cycle storage and garden space.
  3. All developments must also demonstrate that they conform with the design principles in any design documents endorsed by the LPA, Neighbourhood Plans and/or village design statements. Development which fails to improve the quality and character of the area will not be supported.

Discounted alternative approaches

15.57 No alternative options are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is in conformity with the NPPF and appropriate to local circumstances.

LP25 - Energy Sources, Storage and Distribution

Policy background and explanation

15.58 The National Policy Framework (NPPF) proposes that "the planning system should support the transition to a low carbon future in a changing climate. Paragraph 152 of the NPPF states that Local Planning Authorities should support community-led initiatives for renewable and low carbon energy.

15.59 The policy on Energy Sources, Storage and Distribution is aimed at encouraging and facilitating the development of renewable energy in the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Districts. This is in line with national policy stating that planning plays a key role in helping shape places to secure radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, minimising vulnerability and providing resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as supporting the delivery of renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure. This is central to the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The NPPF urges that Local Planning Authorities should recognise the responsibility of all communities to contribute to energy generation from renewable or low carbon sources.

15.60 The Joint Local Plan supports proposals for renewable energy development providing that there would be no adverse effects on Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation, Sites of Special Scientific Interest or the AONB designations.

15.61 The Joint Local Plan seeks to support proposals for low carbon energy systems especially where networks can be expanded to accommodate new and existing developments over time. Networks could include, for example, specifically designed Combined Heat and Power systems (CHP) linked to district heating networks or utilising existing waste heat from industrial uses/ existing power stations through a district heating network. These types of systems represent a particularly efficient use of energy and should be considered by developers in new proposals.

15.62 The potential for new standalone technologies has not been investigated within the two districts however, there may be interest in developing suitable schemes in the area. The Local Plan seeks to support proposals which are appropriate in scale, design and location.

Preferred approach

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  1. Renewable, decentralised and community energy generating proposals will be supported subject to:
    1. The impact on (but not limited to) landscape, highway safety, ecology, heritage, residential amenity, drainage, airfield safeguarding and the local community has been fully taken into consideration and where appropriate, effectively mitigated;
    2. Where renewables are to be incorporated within a development, an integrated approach is taken, using technology that is suitable for the location and designed to maximise operational efficiency without comprising amenity;
    3. The impact of on and off-site power generation infrastructure (for example over-head wires, cable runs, invertors, control buildings, security fencing and highway access points), is acceptable to the Local Planning Authority;
    4. The provision of mitigation, enhancement and compensation measures when necessary;
    5. Approval of connection rights, and capacity in the UK power network, to be demonstrated as part of the planning application (where applicable).
  2. The local planning authority will use planning obligations attached to planning consents for energy development schemes to ensure the site is restored when energy generation ceases or becomes non-functioning for a period of three months.
  3. Where proposals for renewable and low carbon energy are located in nature conservation sites, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or impact on the setting of heritage assets (including conservation areas) or any other designated areas[16], the applicant must be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority that potential harm resultant from development can be effectively mitigated and that there are no alternative sites available within the District.

Discounted alternative approaches

15.63 No alternative options are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is in conformity with the NPPF and appropriate to local circumstances.

LP26 - Flood Risk

15.64 Strategic policies should be informed by a strategic flood risk assessment and should manage flood risk from all sources. They should consider cumulative impacts in, or affecting, local areas susceptible to flooding, and take account of advice from the Environment Agency and other relevant flood risk management authorities (NPPF para. 156). As areas at risk of flooding are low across both districts the Local Plan will seek to avoid any vulnerable sites in the first instance, where mitigation may be needed a detailed site assessment with any development proposals will be required.

15.65 'Inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding should be avoided by directing development away from areas at highest risk, but where development is necessary, the development should be made safe for its lifetime without increasing flood risk elsewhere (NPPF para.155).

15.66 Local Plans should apply a sequential, risk-based approach to the location of development – taking into account the current and future impacts of climate change – so as to avoid, where possible, flood risk to people and property. They should do this and manage any residual risk (NPPF para. 156).

15.67 Whilst neither of the districts have major flood risk areas there is a small section of estuary which is threatened by coastal erosion on the Shotley Peninsular and there are areas across both districts which suffer from localised flooding. Localised flooding is mainly a result of surface water flooding which has potential to be addressed through measures to improve drainage channels.

COASTAL CHANGE

15.68 Local Plans should reduce risk from coastal change by avoiding inappropriate development in vulnerable areas and not exacerbating the impacts of physical changes to the coast (NPPF para.167).

15.69 The Essex and South Suffolk Shoreline Management Plan 2 (2010) identifies an area in Babergh within which development should be restricted due to pressure from coastal erosion. This relates to the eastern section of Babergh known as the Shotley Peninsula, along the estuary.

Preferred approach

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The Councils will

  1. Direct development to locations with the least impact on flooding or water resources. All development should consider the impact of and promotion of design responses to flood risk, the availability of water and water infrastructure for the lifetime of the development.
  2. The Strategic Flood Risk Assessment should be the starting point in assessing whether a proposal is at risk from flooding.
  3. Proposals for new development, or the intensification of existing development, will not be permitted in areas at high risk from flooding unless the applicant has satisfied the safety requirements in the Flood Risk National Planning Policy Guidance (and any successor). This includes the 'sequential test'; where needed the 'exception test' and also a site specific flood risk assessment.

Discounted alternative approaches

15.70 No alternative options are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is in conformity with the NPPF and appropriate to local circumstances.


LP27 - Sustainable Drainage Systems

15.71 It is essential that new development does not have a detrimental impact on water quality in Babergh and Mid Suffolk and, where possible and necessary, development should contribute to water quality enhancements.

15.72 Appropriate Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) can also contribute to water quality through filtration. Early consideration should be given to the potential to use SuDS to identify when/where the use of such technologies is feasible and to also identify which type of SuDS is most appropriate to local site conditions.

15.73 Both the Essex & Suffolk and Anglian Water areas are classified as experiencing 'serious' water stress therefore the Joint Local Plan will support development proposals that provide water recycling measures such as rain water harvesting and greywater recycling.

15.74 The Lead Local Flood Authority at Suffolk Council Council, the CIRIA SuDs Manual and the latest Suffolk Flood Management Strategy should be consulted when considering SuDs planning, design and maintenance.

Preferred approach

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  1. Proposals for all new development will be required to submit schemes appropriate to the scale of development detailing how on-site drainage will be managed so as to not cause or exacerbate flooding elsewhere.
  2. Require all development to mitigate against existing and potential flood risks (including fluvial, surface and coastal) through application of a sequential approach to flood risk and implementation of Sustainable Drainage Systems, and risks to ground or surface water quality. Developers will be required to demonstrate they have consulted with relevant authorities regarding wastewater treatment capacity (Anglian Water and the Local Flood Authority at Suffolk County Council).
  3. If new development or redevelopment proposals require changes to the drainage network (including rain water harvesting and greywater recycling), adequate mitigation which avoids any risks and/or detrimental impacts must be provided and implemented with SuDS Approval Board adoption prior to occupation.

15.75 Discounted alternative approachesNo alternative options are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is in conformity with the NPPF and appropriate to local circumstances.

Please login or register using the links above View Comments (3) (3) 16 – LOCAL POLICIES – HEALTHY COMMUNITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE (Development management policies)

LP28 - Designated Open Spaces

Policy background and explanation

16.01 Access to high quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and recreation can make an important contribution to the health and wellbeing of communities. Furthermore, open spaces can play an important historical, environmental and local amenity role. The protection of designated open spaces (as defined by the Policies Maps, includes allotments, amenity green space, accessible natural green space and sports and recreation facilities) is given by the Councils in the interest of maintaining distinctive, attractive, healthy and functional places. The Councils Open Space Assessment (2019) examines existing and projected needs for open space, sport and recreation provision with the Districts. The study identifies that the majority of parishes in Babergh and Mid Suffolk have some form of open space deficit. Therefore, the Joint Local Plan places priority on protecting high quality open spaces, especially where there is an existing shortfall of supply in that locality. However, this study does not take into account the rural nature of the Districts, which includes access to the countryside via a national network of public rights of way.

16.02 This policy seeks to offer protection to designated open spaces as defined on the proposal maps. Allotments are valuable community spaces which offer people opportunities for food production. Amenity green space is defined as spaces which are open to free and spontaneous use by the public but are not formally managed for a specific function such as a park or playing field; nor managed as a natural or semi-natural habitat. Sports and recreational facilities include (but are not limited to) parks and gardens, outdoor sports facilities, play spaces and formalised sports clubs' space (such as playing pitches and golf courses). These spaces can contribute towards healthy communities. Accessible natural green space covers a variety of partly or wholly accessible spaces including meadows, woodland and copses all of which share a trait of having natural characteristics and wildlife value, but which are also open to public use and enjoyment. Individually or collectively all of these spaces can contribute to the overall visual amenity of an area.

16.03 Neighbourhood Plans can designate Local Green Spaces in accordance with the criteria set out in paragraphs 99 to 101 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

16.04 However, it is not the intention of the policy to stifle change or growth, particularly where such change is in the interests of the space or the users of the space. Therefore, there is flexibility within the policy that allows appropriate development, change of use, land swap and other options that could result in enhanced amenity green space provision (of all typologies).

16.05 Proposals for the total or partial loss of open space(s) must provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that an open space is surplus to requirements. It is expected that this is supported by sufficient engagement with the local community.

16.06 There is also the need to ensure that open space (of all types) is incorporated into new development, but particularly on sites of 1 hectare or more. This does not necessarily mean formal play areas, as the flexible policy requires consideration of the most suitable open space to meet local needs and aspirations. Where suitable the Councils will also seek open space provision as part of non-residential uses of 1 hectare or more. This will normally be required to be provided on the development site itself, but in appropriate cases off-site provision may be agreed by the LPA. The acceptability of off-site open space provision will be dependant on its proximity and accessibility to the community it serves.

Preferred approach

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  1. The total or partial loss of designated open spaces[17] (as defined on the Policies Maps) may be permitted where:
    1. the development will support the enjoyment and functionality of the space, be sensitive to its character and function and would not result in detrimental impacts on local amenity or distinctiveness;
    2. the space is demonstrably no longer performing a role as a functional or visual public amenity, or is surplus to requirements;
    3. an alternative space of equal or greater quality, accessibility and quantity can be provided to serve the communities' needs; or
    4. the development is for alternative sports and recreation provision, and the applicant can evidence that the benefits of the new provision clearly outweigh the loss of the current or former use.
  2. Developments in excess of 1 hectare will be required to provide on-site open space provision to meet identified needs/deficits, unless there is a Council preference to make improvements to existing open space within the locality in an equally or more accessible location than the proposed development.
  3. Open space provision is to be provided in line with the open space standards identified in the Open Space Assessment (as amended).

Discounted alternative approaches

Alternative

Reason for discounting

Carry forward existing designations in Local Plans / Core Strategies into the Joint Local Plan.

The Open Space Assessment (2019) provides new evidence to discount this option.


LP29 - Services and Facilities Within the Community – Provision / Retention

Policy background and explanation

16.07 The aim of the policy is to support and safeguard key services and facilities within the Districts, which play an important role within the community. In particular within rural communities where provision is limited, in the interest of maintaining sustainability and quality of life.

16.08 While it is not the intention of this policy to protect facilities which are clearly not economically viable or feasible (either in its current or future form), the loss of community facilities should be justified by sufficient evidence as identified in the policy. Proposals for the provision or loss of services and facilities should engage with the local community at an early stage to understand its relative importance, and any future requirements for such services. This should be informed by discussion with the LPA to ensure that consultation is considered appropriate and robust.

16.09 For the purpose of this policy community services and facilities include: village and public halls, community centres, places of worship, cinemas, libraries, leisure centres, museums, public houses, restaurants, cafés, convenience shops, banks, building societies, and post offices. Schools and healthcare facilities are addressed in separate policies in this Plan.

Preferred approach

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  1. Provision of New Facilities
    1. Proposals for new community services and facilities or improving existing facilities will be supported where the proposal is well related to and meets the needs of the local community, would reduce the need to travel to other settlements, is of a proportionate scale to the settlement and would not adversely affect existing facilities. Proposals, particularly those located in the countryside, must demonstrate evidence of the community need for / benefits of the new facilities and good accessibility to the community to be served.
  2. Loss of facilities

    Development involving or comprising of the loss of an existing community facility, service or a premises, which is currently or last used to provide such use, will only be permitted if either;

    1. Compensatory provision of an alternative or improved facility will be, provided in an equally accessible or improved location; or
    2. The applicant can sufficiently demonstrate that the service or facility is not viable or valued by the community, either in its current or future form and is not needed for an alternative community use.
  3. Evidence to demonstrate that a service or facility is not viable, either in its current or future form should be agreed with the Council in advance (before being gathered) and should include:
    1. A sustained marketing period of 12 months, undertaken at a realistic asking price and on a range of terms and in an appropriate format by an independent qualified assessor; and
    2. Regard to any material considerations, designations or adopted plans for the area.
  4. Conversion of community facilities or premises into residential dwelling(s) will only be permitted where it complies with the relevant Joint Local Plan policies.

Discounted alternative approaches

Alternative

Reason for discounting

Leave the protection of community services and facilities to the NPPF.

Concern that this would not provide enough protection to valued community facilities.

Restrict the loss of all community facilities.

This could result in buildings previously used as community facilities being left vacant for a prolonged period of time.


LP30 - Safe, Sustainable and Active Transport

Policy background and explanation

16.10 This policy has aims to ensure accessibility for all and to deliver sustainable development. It also seeks to provide a suitable policy framework for more detailed considerations of planning around transport and accessibility.

16.11 The National Planning Policy Framework states that developments that will generate significant amounts of traffic should provide a travel plan, to set out measures to facilitate sustainable modes of transport. Suffolk County Council have produced new guidance for Travel Plans, which will be adopted for use as a material planning consideration in due course.

Preferred approach

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  1. Development proposals that are expected to, or likely to have major impact[18] on the highway infrastructure:
    1. Will be required to provide a travel plan in accordance with the County / National Guidance[19];
    2. Should also be supported by a transport statement or transport assessment.
  2. All developments are to maximise the uptake in sustainable and active transport a transport hierarchy must be considered. This will prioritise the following modes of transport in order – walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing.
  3. Proposals for all development shall, where appropriate, incorporate provision for:
    1. Pedestrians, including disabled persons and those with impaired mobility;
    2. Cyclists facilities, including routes, secure cycle parking, showers and changing facilities;
    3. Public transport, such as new or revised services, and physical measures such as bus stops and improving bus and railway stations to reduce dependency on private vehicles;
    4. Linkages to networks as appropriate including the development of new pedestrian and cycle paths;
    5. Opportunities to protect and enhance the public rights of way network;
    6. Facilities to allow for multi-modal interchanges;
    7. Access to car park facilities in accordance with the relevant parking guidance[20]
    8. Electric vehicle charging;
    9. Servicing and emergency vehicles; and
    10. Sustainable modes of transport for freight.

Discounted alternative approaches

16.12 No alternative options are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is in conformity with the NPPF and appropriate to local circumstances.

LP31 - Managing Infrastructure Provision

Policy background and explanation

16.13 The Councils have worked closely with infrastructure provides to ascertain infrastructure requirements related to growth planned in the Joint Local Plan. This engagement will continue throughout the plan period. This will ensure that infrastructure projects are delivered in a timely manner.

16.14 In the event that essential infrastructure cannot be appropriately delivered to support new development, this policy will be used to restrict development from being commenced or, in certain cases, from being permitted, in the absence of proven infrastructure capacity. In cases where the cumulative impact of schemes on strategic infrastructure could prevent schemes being developed, a coordinated approach will be used to pool resources to address requirements and where this cannot be achieved the policy of restriction shall apply.

Preferred approach

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  1. All new development must be supported by, and have good access to, all necessary infrastructure. Planning permission will only be granted if it can be demonstrated that there is, or will be, sufficient infrastructure capacity to support and meet the necessary infrastructure requirements arising from the proposed development.
  2. Development proposals must consider all of the infrastructure implications of a scheme including existing commitments to infrastructure provision and cumulative impacts if the proposal forms one of a number of growth projects in a locality and or infrastructure catchment area.
  3. Conditions or planning obligations, as part of a package or combination of infrastructure delivery measures, will be required for relevant proposals.
  4. Applicants must demonstrate that adequate consideration has been given to the likely timing of infrastructure provision to the satisfaction of the LPA and relevant infrastructure providers. As such, development may need to be phased either spatially or sequentially to ensure the provision of infrastructure in a timely manner. Restrictions on planning permissions and or/ planning obligations may be used to secure satisfactory phasing arrangement.

Discounted alternative approaches

16.15 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is necessary, in conformity with the NPPF and is relevant to local circumstances.

LP32 - Health and Education Provision

Policy background and explanation

16.16 New development must provide for the educational needs of new residents. The NPPF (paragraph 94) sets out great importance should be placed on the need to provide new school places. It also states that local planning authorities should take a proactive, positive and collaborative approach to meeting this requirement, giving great weight to the need to create, expand or alter schools. This will involve the expansion of existing schools where feasible and identification of opportunities to create new schools.

16.17 The Councils have worked closely with Suffolk County Council through the IDP to identify the educational requirements needed to accommodate growth in the Joint Local Plan. The IDP highlights that in order to accommodate planned growth, school extensions and new schools will be required. The Councils will support the creation of well-designed new schools. The Proposal Map indicates areas protected for school expansions and new schools. The delivery of new schools and school expansions is important for the delivery of the Plan, and as such they are to be protected for that use. Similarly, with high demand for school places within the Districts it is important that existing educational facilities are offered a level of protection.

16.18 Similarly, the Council has worked closely with the relevant healthcare providers to establish the required health provision for the lifetime of the Plan. This includes meeting the needs of the identified ageing population in the Plan area. Whilst taking account of changing models of current and future healthcare provision, it is assumed that the ongoing healthcare needs of the population will need to be met at a level deemed acceptable by the relevant healthcare providers, on a continuous basis.

Preferred approach

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  1. Sites proposed, or in current health and educational use (C2/D1 Class Uses), will be protected for that use. The change of use, or re-development of educational establishments and their grounds, will not be permitted unless:
    1. It can be clearly demonstrated that the use of the site is genuinely redundant and the same use is not viable, or community use(s) can be found;
    2. Satisfactory alternative and improved facilities will be provided; and
    3. For educational uses, the area of the site to be redeveloped is genuinely in excess of Government guidelines for playing field provision, taking into account future educational projections.
  2. The Councils will respond positively to and support appropriate and well-designed applications regarding the creation of new health and/or education facilities, and extensions to existing facilities (C2/D1 Class Uses). As expressed in the NPPF, the Council will apply the presumption in favour of the development. The Council will engage in pre-application discussions with promoters to develop a collaborative approach to suitable applications. Where necessary, the Council will utilise planning obligations to help to mitigate any adverse impacts of an educational development and assist in delivering development that has a positive impact on the community.

Discounted alternative approaches

16.19 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is necessary, in conformity with the NPPF and is relevant to local circumstances.


LP33 - Developer Contributions and Planning Obligations

Policy background and explanation

16.20 The aim of the policy is to provide a policy framework for securing an appropriate level of infrastructure, including developer contributions and obligations. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate that existing, planned and/or committed infrastructure is sufficient to accommodate new development proposals.

16.21 Planning obligations are legally binding agreements entered into between a Local Planning Authority and a developer, which are intended to make development acceptable that would otherwise be unacceptable. Used effectively, planning obligations can increase the quality of development, however they must be reasonable and proportionate and directly relevant to planning and the proposed development.

16.22 The Councils have Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) in place. This means that some types of new development must make a payment which will be used to fund infrastructure required to support development in the District. The amount of levy payable depends upon the size type and location of the new development. A portion of CIL is also paid to the relevant Parish Councils in which development takes places. However, CIL cannot be the single source of funding for infrastructure. This is because certain types of infrastructure (such as new primary schools) need to be delivered through section 106 planning obligations.

Preferred approach

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  1. When making planning decisions, regard will be given to a core list of infrastructure constraints identified within the Councils Infrastructure Delivery Plan and the associated Joint Local Plan evidence base. Applicants are required to mitigate the additional impacts their development will place on infrastructure.
  2. The delivery of planned growth set out in the Joint Local Plan is dependent upon the availability of infrastructure to support it. The required infrastructure will be provided through a combination of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), Planning Obligations, Developer Contributions and where appropriate funding assistance from the Councils / other provider organisations. Planning applications will be expected to include appropriate infrastructure provision.
  3. Applicants shall adhere to the relevant documents endorsed by the Council detailing the types and priorities of infrastructure provision required for the districts.             

Discounted alternative approaches

16.23 No alternatives are put forward at this stage, as the policy approach is necessary, in conformity with the NPPF and is relevant to local circumstances.

Please login or register using the links above View Comments (0) (0) Key Evidence Documents

An up to date list of key documents which will provide the evidence base for the Joint Local Plan is available on the Councils website: https://www.babergh.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/evidence-base/current-evidence/ and https://www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/evidence-base/current-evidence/

The key evidence documents at this stage are:

  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Annual Monitoring Report (2017-18);
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Heritage and Settlement Sensitivity Assessment – March 2018;
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Homes and Housing Strategy 2019-2024;
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) (2019);
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Strategic Plan Refresh 2016 – 2020;
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Infrastructure Delivery Plan (2019);
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Landscape Guidance (2015);
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Landscape Character Assessment – August 2015;
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Open for Business Strategy (2018);
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Open Space Assessment – May 2019;
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Settlement Hierarchy Review (2019);
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) – July 2019;
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Sustainability Appraisal (2019);
  • Babergh & Mid Suffolk Town Centres & Retail Study – September 2015;
  • Babergh and Mid Suffolk Plan Viability & CIL Review Study – May 2019;
  • Dedham Vale AONB & Stour Valley Project Management Plan 2016 – 2021;
  • Department for Communities and Local Government (2015) Technical housing standards – nationally described space standards;
  • Essex and South Suffolk Shoreline Management Plan 2 (2010);
  • Gypsy, Traveller, Travelling Showpeople and Boat Dwellers Accommodation Needs Assessment (ANA) - May 2017;
  • Historic England – Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings (2018);
  • Ipswich Economic Area Sector Needs Assessment – September 2017;
  • Ipswich and Waveney Housing Market Areas Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) Part 2 – May 2017;
  • Ipswich and Waveney Housing Market Areas Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) Part 2 Partial Update – January 2019;
  • Ipswich and Waveney Economic Areas – Economic Land Needs Assessment - March 2016;
  • Landscape Fringes of Ipswich – Settlement Sensitivity Assessment – July 2018;
  • Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB Management Plan 2018 – 2023;
  • Suffolk Design Guide for Residential Areas (2000);
  • Suffolk Health ageing Needs Assessment (2018);
  • Suffolk Travel Plan Guidance;
  • Suffolk Parking Guidance (2015);

Glossary

Accessible and adaptable dwellings

Accessible and adaptable dwellings were introduced by the Government through revisions to the Building Regulations in 2015, as one of a suite of 'optional' standards that can be required through planning policy. Part M4(2) of the Building Regulations sets out the specifications for accessible and adaptable dwellings.

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is defined in the National Planning Policy Framework (2019) as:

"housing for sale or rent, for those whose needs are not met by the market (including housing that provides a subsidised route to home ownership and/or is for essential local workers); and which complies with one or more of the following definitions:

  1. Affordable housing for rent: meets all of the following conditions: (a) the rent is set in accordance with the Government's rent policy for Social Rent or Affordable Rent, or is at least 20% below local market rents (including service charges where applicable); (b) the landlord is a registered provider, except where it is included as part of a Build to Rent scheme (in which case the landlord need not be a registered provider); and (c) it includes provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households, or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision. For Build to Rent schemes affordable housing for rent is expected to be the normal form of affordable housing provision (and, in this context, is known as Affordable Private Rent).
  2. Starter homes: is as specified in Sections 2 and 3 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and any secondary legislation made under these sections. The definition of a starter home should reflect the meaning set out in statute and any such secondary legislation at the time of plan-preparation or decision-making. Where secondary legislation has the effect of limiting a household's eligibility to purchase a starter home to those with a particular maximum level of household income, those restrictions should be used.
  3. Discounted market sales housing: is that sold at a discount of at least 20% below local market value. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Provisions should be in place to ensure housing remains at a discount for future eligible households.
  4. Other affordable routes to home ownership: is housing provided for sale that provides a route to ownership for those who could not achieve home ownership through the market. It includes shared ownership, relevant equity loans, other low cost homes for sale (at a price equivalent to at least 20% below local market value) and rent to buy (which includes a period of intermediate rent). Where public grant funding is provided, there should be provisions for the homes to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households, or for any receipts to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision, or refunded to Government or the relevant authority specified in the funding agreement."

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is designated by Natural England. The purpose of designation is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area.

BREEAM

BREEAM is a method of assessing the sustainability of new non-residential buildings and conversions of existing buildings. Buildings are assessed against a number of sustainability criteria including energy, water use, waste management and procurement, and can be awarded one of six – unclassified, pass, good, very good, excellent or outstanding. A BREEAM assessment can be carried out at the design stage.

Building for Life

Building for Life is a Government-endorsed tool for assessing the design quality of neighbourhoods and homes, and the latest version is Building for Life 12. To achieve Built for Life accreditation, using a traffic light approach a development must score 9 'greens' from a set of 12 questions which revolve around 'integration into the neighbourhood', 'creating a place' and 'street and home'.

Building Regulations

Building Regulations are set by the Government through 'Approved Documents' and cover the construction and alterations to Buildings. Whilst Building Regulations approval is separate to planning permission, planning policies can require certain 'optional' (higher specification) Building Regulations to be applied.

Call for Sites

The Planning Practice Guidance requires planning authorities to issue a call for potential sites in order to identify as wide a range as possible of sites that could be suitable for development. The Councils have undertaken three call for sites exercises which involved contacting those on the planning policy database and advertising the process.

Community Infrastructure Levy

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was introduced in legislation in 2010 and enables planning authorities to set a 'levy' on new development in order to secure the infrastructure needed. Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils adopted CIL in 2016. The Charging Schedules set out the rate of CIL that will be charged for different types of development, dependant upon location. The broad categories of infrastructure that CIL will be spent on are set out by the Councils in their Regulation 123 List.

County Geodiversity Sites

Geodiversity is defined by the NPPF as the range of rocks, minerals, fossils and landforms. County Geodiversity Sites (CGS) are non-statutory designations identified for their geological interest.

County Wildlife Sites

County Wildlife Sites are identified by the County Wildlife Site Panel. They are a non-statutory designation, with protection afforded through the planning system and via approaches to land management.

Custom Build

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 requires authorities to keep a register of individuals and associations of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in the authority's area in order to build houses for those individuals to occupy as homes. Through the Joint Local Plan the Councils have the opportunity to set out what constitutes a custom build house for the purposes of planning.

Development Plan

The Development Plan comprises any Development Plan Documents that have been adopted in relation to the area. The Development Plan for Babergh and Mid Suffolk comprises of:

Babergh:

  • Saved policies of the Babergh Local Plan Alteration No. 2 (2006)
  • Babergh Local Plan 2011 – 2031 - Core Strategy and Policies (2014)
  • Any 'made' Neighbourhood Plans (currently East Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan (2016), Lavenham Neighbourhood Plan (July 2016) and Lawshall Neighbourhood Plan (2017))

Mid Suffolk:

  • Mid Suffolk Local Plan (1998) (saved policies only)
  • First Alteration to the Mid Suffolk Local Plan (July 2006)
  • Mid Suffolk Core Strategy Development Plan Document (2008)
  • Mid Suffolk Core Strategy Focused Review (2012)
  • Stowmarket Area Action Plan (2013)
  • Any 'made' Neighbourhood Plans (currently Parish of Mendlesham Neighbourhood Development Plan (2017), Stradbroke Neighbourhood Plan (2019), Debenham Neighbourhood Plan (2019) and Stowupland Neighbourhood Plan (2019)).

The Development plan also includes adopted Minerals and Waste plans, which are produced by Suffolk County Council. Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 states that decisions 'must be taken in accordance with the Development Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise'. Once adopted, the Joint Local Plan will be the Development Plan for Babergh and Mid Suffolk, alongside 'made' Neighbourhood Plans.

Duty to Co-operate

The Duty to Co-operate was introduced through the Localism Act 2011. It places a duty on local planning authorities to co-operate with other specified bodies in relation to strategic matters.

East of England Forecasting Model

The East of England Forecasting Model (EEFM) is managed by Cambridgeshire Econometricsand Cambridgeshire County Council, on behalf of local authorities across the East of England. The model provides jobs forecasts, and associated demographic and housing forecasts. The latest EEFM run was published in August 2016.

Edge of Centre

Edge of Centre is defined for retail purposes in the National Planning Policy Framework as being a location which is well connected and up to 300m from the Primary Shopping Area. For office development, this includes locations outside the town centre but within 500 metres of a public transport interchange. In determining whether a site falls within the definition of edge of centre, account should be taken of local circumstances.

Employment Land Needs Assessment

The Employment Land Needs Assessment (ELNA) was commissioned by Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils along with Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council and Waveney District Council to define the Functional Economic Area and identify the qualitative and quantitative need for employment land across the Districts. The ELNA was based upon the 2015 East of England Forecasting Model jobs forecasts and was published in 2016.

Employment Land Supply Assessment

The Employment Land Supply Assessment (ELSA) was commissioned by Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils along with Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council (now part of East Suffolk) to assess the sites that were put forward for employment uses as part of the call for sites process.

Exception Test

In relation to flood risk, in instances where the sequential test has been followed but it is not possible to locate development in an area of lower flood risk, the Exception Test may be applied. For the Exception Test to be passed it must be demonstrated that the development provides wider sustainability benefits to the community that outweigh flood risk, informed by a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment where one has been prepared; and a site-specific flood risk assessment must demonstrate that the development will be safe for its lifetime taking account of the vulnerability of tis users, without increasing flood risk elsewhere and where possible will reduce flood risk overall.

Functional Economic Area

The Functional Economic Area is established in the Employment Land Needs Assessment. It is based upon analysis of travel to work areas, housing market areas and commercial property market areas. Babergh and Mid Suffolk sit within the Ipswich Functional Economic Area along with Ipswich and Suffolk Coastal.

Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure is defined by the NPPF as a network of multi-functional green space, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities.

Habitats Regulations Assessment

A Habitats Regulations Assessment is an assessment carried out under the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora). The Directive requires that any plan or project not directly connected with or necessary to the management of a European protected site but likely to have a significant effect thereon, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, shall be subject to appropriate assessment of its implications for the site in view of the site's conservation objectives. As part of the production of the Joint Local Plan a Habitats Regulations Assessment has been carried out.

Haven Gateway / Haven Gateway Partnership

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are both part of the Haven Gateway Partnership. The Partnership provides a framework through which to promote the Haven Gateway sub-region, which is centred around the Ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.

Heritage Assets

Heritage assets are defined by the NPPF as "a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest. It includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing)."

Housing Delivery Test (HDT)

The Housing Delivery Test was introduced in November 2018 with the first results published in February 2019. Results are published annually, measuring housing delivery against previous 3 years requirement. Depending on the outcome there are 3 key thresholds and consequences:

- <95% = required to produce an action plan within 6 months;

- <85% = 20% buffer required for 5-year housing land supply;

- <75% = presumption in favour of sustainable development in accordance with the relevant paragraphs of the NPPF.

Housing Market Area

The Housing Market Area is an area which is reasonably self-contained in relation to migration (housing moves) and commuting. The Housing Market Area for Babergh and Mid Suffolk has been defined through the Strategic Housing Market Assessment and also comprises the areas covered by Ipswich Borough Council and part of East Suffolk Council (former Suffolk Coastal area).

Ipswich Strategic Planning Area (ISPA)

The Ipswich Strategic Planning Area includes the whole area of Babergh District, Mid Suffolk District, Ipswich Borough and part of East Suffolk Council (former Suffolk Coastal Area). A map of the area is provided in the document.

Infrastructure Delivery Plan

An Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) sets out then infrastructure required in an area, when it will be provided and how it will be funded. An IDP has been produced to support and evidence the infrastructure requirements of the Joint Local Plan.

Joint Strategic Plan

The Councils' Joint Strategic Plan was produced in 2013/14 and refreshed in 2016. The Joint Strategic Plan sets out a framework for delivering the Councils' services over the period 2016 – 2020.

Local Development Scheme

The Local Development Scheme sets out the formal local planning documents the Councils intend to produce together with stages and timetable for their production.

Local Green Space

Local Green Spaces are green areas of particular importance to local communities, and where development can be ruled out other than in very special circumstances. The NPPF states that Local Green Space must be in reasonably close proximity to the community it serves; be demonstrably special to a local community and hold particular local significance (for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value, tranquillity or richness of its wildlife); and be local in character and not an extensive tract of land.

National Planning Policy Framework

The revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published by the Department of Communities and Local Government in February 2019, replacing the previous NPPF published in March 2012, and revised in July 2018. It is the key piece of national planning policy and is supported by guidance in the form of the Planning Practice Guidance. In considering whether a Local Plan is 'sound', through the Examination process, the Councils will need to be able to demonstrate that the plan accords with the policies within the NPPF.

Neighbourhood Plan

The Localism Act 2011 introduced a power for communities to produce a Neighbourhood Plan which gives communities an opportunity to shape and influence development in their area. 'Made' Neighbourhood Plans form part of the Development Plan. For an up to date list of Neighbourhood Plans in the Districts please see the Councils' websites.

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership

The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP) is a business-led collaboration between private, public and education sectors covering the whole of Suffolk and Norfolk. The NALEP is funded by Government and in turn provides funding and support for growing the local economy. The NALEP published a Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) in 2014. The SEP identifies five 'high impact' sectors for targeting support – Advanced manufacturing and engineering, agri-tech, energy, ICT/digital culture and life sciences. It also identifies growth locations which include Stowmarket in Mid Suffolk and Sudbury in Babergh. The New Anglia LEP are currently developing a new Economic Strategy, the delivery of which will act alongside the delivery of the new Joint Local Plan.

Objectively Assessed Need

The term Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) relates to the need for housing. The OAN has been established through the Government's Standard Methodology. The OAN is the 'starting point' for setting the housing requirement in the Joint Local Plan.

Out of centre

A location which is outside of the defined town centre and not capable of being described as 'edge of centre'.

Permanent Gypsy and Traveller Site

A permanent Gypsy and Traveller Site is one which is intended for permanent residential use, rather than for temporary transit or short stay stopping purposes.

Planning Practice Guidance

The Planning Practice Guidance accompanies the national planning policy set out in the NPPF. It provides guidance on how local planning authorities should apply the policies contained in the NPPF, or other planning-related statements of national policy or legislation. It is web-based and is updated periodically.

Planning Obligations

The NPPF defines planning obligations as a legally enforceable obligation entered into under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to mitigate the impacts of a development proposal. They are commonly known as Section 106 agreements. Section 122 of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 (as amended) states that a planning obligation may only constitute a reason for granting planning permission for the development is the obligation is:

  1. necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms;
  2. directly related to the development; and
  3. fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.

Primary Shopping Area

Defined area where retail development is concentrated (comprising the primary and secondary shopping frontages). The Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Retail and Town Centres Study provides recommendations in relation to the extent of the Primary Shopping Areas.

Primary Shopping Frontage

Primary Shopping Frontage includes a high proportion of retail uses. These have been defined through the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Retail and Town Centres Study.

RAMS

Babergh, Ipswich, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney Councils (now East Suffolk Council) are taking a joined-up approach to mitigating the potential for significant effects arising from increased recreational disturbance related to new housing development. For Babergh and Mid Suffolk these relate to the Stour and Orwell river and Deben estuaries. The Councils are currently producing a Recreational disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS) which will identify and cost the measures necessary to mitigate recreational and leisure impacts and confirm how they will be funded. The intention of the strategy is to avoid adverse effects on the integrity of the Habitats Sites in combination with other plans and projects, over the lifetime of the Local Plan.

Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites

Geodiversity is defined by the NPPF as the range of rocks, minerals, fossils and landforms. Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites (RIGS) are non-statutory designations identified for their geological interest.

Secondary Shopping Frontage

Secondary frontages have a greater diversity of uses than Primary Shopping Frontages. These have been defined through the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Retail and Town Centres Study.

Sector Needs Assessment

The Sector Needs Assessment (SNA) (part of the ELSA commission) updates the qualitative and quantitative need for employment land provided in the ELNA based on the 2016 East of England Forecasting Model and identifies the spatial requirements related to the needs of employment sectors.

Self Build

The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 requires the authorities to keep a register of individuals and associations of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in the authority's area in order to build houses for those individuals to occupy as homes. Self-build is defined for the purposes of the Community Infrastructure Levy as as all homes built or commissioned by individuals or groups of individuals for their own use, either by building the home on their own or working with builders.

Sequential Test (flooding)

The Sequential Test in relation to flooding seeks to ensure that development is located away from areas of higher flood risk where possible. For the purposes of plan-making, the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment should be used to steer development to lower flood risk areas. Where the Sequential Test concludes that there are not sufficient sites in a suitable lower risk flood zone(s), it may be necessary to apply the Exception Test. The acceptability of flood zones to development depends upon the vulnerability of the proposed use.

Sequential Test (retail)

The Sequential Test for retail uses is established in national planning policy. The National Planning Policy Framework requires the sequential test to be applied in relation to applications for main town centre uses that are not within a town centre. Locations within town centres should be considered first, followed by edge of centre locations and finally out of centre locations.

Settlement hierarchy

The settlement hierarchy categorises settlements based upon their role in terms of levels of service provision. Settlement hierarchies are currently established in the Mid Suffolk Core Strategy (2008) and the Babergh Local Plan (2011 – 2031) Core Strategy (2014). Revisions to the settlement hierarchy are proposed through this consultation, including to establish one consistent hierarchy across both Districts.

Site of Special Scientific Interest

Sites of Special Scientific Interest are protected areas designated by Natural England under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Sites are designated for either wildlife or geological interest.

Special Area of Conservation

Special Areas of Conservation are habitats protected under the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora). An assessment of potential effects arising through the production of the Joint Local Plan is undertaken through carrying out a Habitats Regulations Assessment.

Special Protection Area

Special Areas of Conservation are habitats of importance for bird species protected under the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora). An assessment of potential effects arising through the production of the Joint Local Plan is undertaken through carrying out a Habitats Regulations Assessment.

Starter Homes

Under The Housing and Planning act 2016 a Starter Home:

  1. is a new dwelling,
  2. is available for purchase by qualifying first-time buyers only,
  3. is to be sold at a discount of at least 20% of the market value,
  4. is to be sold for less than the price cap, and
  5. is subject to any restrictions on sale or letting specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State.

The price cap outside of London is set at £250,000, and a qualifying first time buyer must be at least 23 years old but under the age of 40.

The Housing White Paper (February 2017) includes a number of proposals in relation to Starter Homes including requiring households to have an income of less that £80,000, requiring some or all of the discount to be repaid if the home is sold within 15 years and including Starter Homes within the definition of affordable housing.

Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment

The Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) is an assessment of land availability which identifies a future supply of land which is suitable, available and achievable for housing and economic development uses over the plan period. The SHELAA is a key piece of evidence from which sites will be selected for allocation through the process of producing the Joint Local Plan. Sites put forward through the Call for Sites which have been assessed as suitable, available and achievable will be incorporated in the SHELAA.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment

The Strategic Housing Market Assessment is a key piece of evidence and is required by the National Planning Policy Framework. The Strategic Housing Market Assessment identifies the Objectively Assessed Need for housing (OAN) and the mix and type of housing, including affordable housing, required over the plan period.

Structure Plan

Structure Plans formed part of the Development Plan until the introduction of now-abolished Regional Spatial Strategies under the Planning and Compulsory Act 2004. The 2001 Suffolk Structure Plan was the final Structure Plan to cover Babergh and Mid Suffolk but is no longer in force.

Town Centre

The Town Centres are defined areas which are characterised by offering a range of main town centre uses, which include retail, leisure, cultural and office uses.

Transit Gypsy and Traveller Site

A Transit Site (also known as a Short Stay Stopping Site) is a site intended for use by Gypsies and Travellers for a short amount of time whilst travelling. The length of continuous stay on a Transit Site is limited to a maximum of 12 weeks.

Travelling Showpeople's Yard

A Travelling Showpeople's Yard is the location at which Travelling Showpeople have their permanent residence and will usually include space for storage of equipment.

Use classes

Use classes are defined in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) and are defined as:

Part A

  • A1 Shops – Shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices, pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and internet cafes.
  • A2 Financial and professional services – Financial services such as banks and building societies, professional services (other than health and medical services) and including estate and employment agencies. It does not include betting offices or pay day loan shops – these are now classed as "sui generis" uses (see below).
  • A3 Restaurants and cafés – For the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises – restaurants, snack bars and cafes.
  • A4 Drinking establishments – Public houses, wine bars or other drinking establishments (but not night clubs).
  • A5 Hot food takeaways – For the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises.
  • AA Drinking establishments with expanded food provision

Part B

  • B1 Business – Offices (other than those that fall within A2), research and development of products and processes, light industry appropriate in a residential area.
  • B2 General industrial – Use for industrial process other than one falling within class B1 (excluding incineration purposes, chemical treatment or landfill or hazardous waste).
  • B8 Storage or distribution – This class includes open air storage.

Part C

  • C1 Hotels – Hotels, boarding and guest houses where no significant element of care is provided (excludes hostels).
  • C2 Residential institutions – Residential care homes, hospitals, nursing homes, boarding schools, residential colleges and training centres.
  • C2A Secure Residential Institution – Use for a provision of secure residential accommodation, including use as a prison, young offenders institution, detention centre, secure training centre, custody centre, short term holding centre, secure hospital, secure local authority accommodation or use as a military barracks.
  • C3 Dwellinghouses – this class is formed of 3 parts:
    • C3(a) covers use by a single person or a family (a couple whether married or not, a person related to one another with members of the family of one of the couple to be treated as members of the family of the other), an employer and certain domestic employees (such as an au pair, nanny, nurse, governess, servant, chauffeur, gardener, secretary and personal assistant), a carer and the person receiving the care and a foster parent and foster child.
    • C3(b): up to six people living together as a single household and receiving care e.g. supported housing schemes such as those for people with learning disabilities or mental health problems.
    • C3I allows for groups of people (up to six) living together as a single household. This allows for those groupings that do not fall within the C4 HMO definition, but which fell within the previous C3 use class, to be provided for i.e. a small religious community may fall into this section as could a homeowner who is living with a lodger.
  • C4 Houses in multiple occupati–n - small shared houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.

Part D

  • D1 Non-residential institutio–s - Clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries (other than for sale or hire), museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law court. Non residential education and training centres.
  • D2 Assembly and leisu–e - Cinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls (but not night clubs), swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or area for indoor or outdoor sports and recreations (except for motor sports, or where firearms are used).

Sui Generis

  • Certain uses do not fall within any use class and are consider'd 'sui gene'is'. Such uses include: betting offices/shops, pay day loan shops, theatres, larger houses in multiple occupation, hostels providing no significant element of care, scrap yards. Petrol filling stations and shops selling and/or displaying motor vehicles. Retail warehouse clubs, nightclubs, launderettes, taxi businesses, amusement centres and casinos.

Wheelchair accessible dwellings

Wheelchair accessible dwellings were introduced by the Government through revisions to the Building Regulations in 2015, as one of a suite of 'optional' standards that can be required through planning policy. Part M4(3) of the Building Regulations sets out the specifications for wheelchair accessible dwellings.



[1] For Local Plan purposes small clusters of dwellings are defined as a nucleus of at least ten dwellings adjacent to or fronting an existing adopted highway with no settlement boundary. For the avoidance of doubt and in the interest of good planning small clusters of dwellings are not defined as hamlets.

[2] Such as immediate family/personal consent that may be in place.

[3] Strategic Housing Market Assessment, Section 6 (May 2017)

[4] Part M4(2) and Part M4(3) are references to the relevant Building Regulations Approved Documents.

[5] Strategic Housing Market Assessment, Appendix 6 (January 2019)

[6] Strategic Housing Market Assessment Appendix 6 (January 2019)

[7] Technical housing standards – national described space standard (March 2015)

[8] Sites and proposals such as brownfield, rural exception site as an example. But, this is not an exhaustive list of circumstances and does not mean exceptional circumstances are always acceptable in all other planning terms when assessed as a comprehensive balanced proposal.

[9] The term local need refers to affordable housing needs arising within a parish area that meet the needs of applicants with a defined local connection to that parish.

[10] Refer to The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Regulations 2017 (or relevant updates)

[11] Legislation including but not exclusively - The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2017), the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), the Protection of Badgers Act (1992), and listed as Priority Habitats and Species (s41 Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (2006)

[12] Landscape and landscape features include but not exclusively; Local Green Space, hedgerows, woodlands, rural lanes, orchards, parkland, TPOs, historic field systems, trees, watercourses, ponds and lakes, heritage assets and the historic skyline.

[13] Management Plan includes but not exclusively; Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Project Management Plan and Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB

[14] Planning Listed Building and Conservation Area Act 1990, Sections 66 and 72

[15] Applicable for residential development as set out in the Government's Technical Housing Standards – Nationally Described Space Standards (as amended).

[16] Designated areas include but not exclusive to: SSSI, SAC, SPA, NNR, Ramsar Sites, and Local Nature Reserves

[17] Including those identified in 'made' Neighbourhood Plans

[18] As considered by the relevant Highway Authority.

[19] Such as Suffolk Travel Plan Guidance and any National Government Transport Guidance

[20] Suffolk Guidance for Parking (updated 2015)

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