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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Council held on 14/10/2003


Extract from Waverley Local Plan 2002 – Policy D1 (Environmental Implications of Development)


Environmental Implications of Development

2.9 Virtually all developments result in an impact on the environment, changing the appearance of land or buildings or affecting the activities that are carried out on a site. Planning applications must provide adequate information for these impacts to be assessed. The sensitivity of the Borough’s environment means that even relatively small-scale developments need rigorous assessment. Large scale proposals may require an Environmental Impact Assessment in accordance with the relevant EU Directive and Statutory Instruments(2). The Council will therefore require appropriate information to enable the environmental implications of a development to be assessed in accordance with Structure Plan Policy EN2 (Environmental Assessment).

2.10 This assessment will cover a range of impacts. Policy D1 is an overarching policy setting out the principal concerns. These are amplified through the other policies of the Plan with the exception of the issue of environmental pollution which is amplified in the text leading to Policy D2 (Compatibility of Uses). In assessing the environmental implications of development, the Council will take into account the views and recommendations of the Environment Agency and other bodies with a responsibility or expertise in environmental matters.

POLICY D1 – Environmental Implications of Development

The Council will have regard to the environmental implications of development and will promote and encourage enhancement of the environment. Development will not be permitted where it would result in material detriment to the environment by virtue of:-

(a) loss or damage to important environmental assets, such as buildings of historical or architectural interest, local watercourses, important archaeological sites and monuments and areas of conservation, ecological or landscape value;

(b) harm to the visual character and distinctiveness of a locality, particularly in respect of the design and scale of the development and its relationship to its surroundings;

(c) loss of general amenity, including material loss of natural light and privacy enjoyed by neighbours and disturbance resulting from the emission of noise, light or vibration;

(d) levels of traffic which are incompatible with the local highway network or cause significant environmental harm by virtue of noise and disturbance;

(e) potential pollution of air, land or water, including that arising from light pollution and from the storage and use of hazardous substances.

The Council will seek, as part of a development proposal, to resolve or limit environmental impacts. This may include the submission of a flood-risk/run-off assessment to determine the potential flood risk to the development, the likely effects of the development on flood risk to others, whether mitigation is necessary, and if so, whether it is likely to be effective and acceptable. The Council will also seek remedial measures to deal with existing problems such as land contamination.

Extract from Waverley Local Plan 2002 – Policy D4 (Design and Layout)


Design and Layout

2.27 The design and layout of new development, including extensions to existing buildings, can have an important impact upon the character and quality of an area. The Council is committed to promoting good design and Policy D4 sets out the main factors which will be taken into account in considering the appearance of a proposed development and its relationship to its surroundings.

2.28 The Council does not seek to be overly prescriptive on design issues and recognises that innovation and originality can make a positive contribution to the quality of the environment. However, high quality development requires careful attention to design, from the broadest concept through to materials and detailing. Applicants are encouraged to employ an architect or other suitably skilled advisor to ensure that design issues are properly addressed.

POLICY D4 – Design and Layout

The Council will seek to ensure that development is of a high quality design which integrates well with the site and complements its surroundings. In particular development should:-

(a) be appropriate to the site in terms of its scale, height, form and appearance;

(b) be of a design and materials which respect the local distinctiveness of the area or which will otherwise make a positive contribution to the appearance of the area;

(c) not significantly harm the amenities of occupiers of neighbouring properties by way of overlooking, loss of daylight or sunlight, overbearing appearance or other adverse environmental impacts;

(d) pay regard to existing features of the site such as landform, trees, hedges, ponds, water courses and buffer zones, walls or buildings;

(e) protect or enhance the appearance of the street scene and of attractive features such as landmark buildings, important vistas and open spaces;

(f) incorporate landscape design suitable to the site and character of the area, of a high standard and with adequate space and safeguards for long-term management;

(g) provide adequate amenity space around the proposed development; and

(h) provide safe access for pedestrians and road users and, where appropriate, servicing facilities and parking for motor vehicles and bicycles.

2.29 The requirements of the policy will vary according to the nature of a site and the character of its surrounding area. Individual schemes should respond to these local circumstances rather than seeking to impose a standardised design. The Council publishes a range of guidance on design issues and supports local communities which are attempting to identify aspects of the environment which are locally distinctive such as local building styles and materials (see paragraph 11.7). A frequent application of Policy D4 will be in relation to extensions to residential properties. The Council has prepared Supplementary Planning Guidance on this issue (see paragraphs 6.63 - 6.65).

2.30 Surrey County Council has produced detailed guidance on the issues facing the landscape and woodlands of the County(5). The Council will take this into account in determining planning applications and will produce Supplementary Planning Guidance on Trees and Landscape Design,