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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 06/12/2005
Local Development Framework - Core Strategy



ANNEXE 1
Waverley Borough Council


Local Development Framework

CORE STRATEGY

Preferred Option and Policies

DECEMBER 2005



Waverley Borough Council
The Burys,
GODALMING S J Thwaites BSc Dip EP MRTPI Surrey GU7 1HR Director of Planning and Development


For further information:
Telephone: 01483 – 523291
Fax: 01483 – 523191
e-mail: localplan@waverley.gov.uk
or visit our website at www.waverley.gov.uk/planning


1. PORTRAIT OF THE BOROUGH


A SPATIAL PORTRAIT

1.1 Waverley is a predominantly rural borough situated in the south west corner of Surrey. It is the largest Borough in the County and is 345 square kilometres in area (133 square miles). The Borough lies within the Rest of Surrey area, outside the Western Corridor/Blackwater Valley and London Fringe Sub-Regions, identified in the South East Plan.

1.2 About 60% of the Borough is in the Green Belt. It has a residential population of about 116,000. There are four urban settlements: Farnham (population 36,000) Godalming (21,000); Haslemere (15,000) and Cranleigh (12,000). There are 20 villages in the extensive rural area.

1.3 The environment of the Borough is of very high quality. 80% of the Countryside is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The landscape has a very wooded character and some 30% is woodland, the highest proportion in the UK. The Borough also has extensive national nature reserves, most of them heathland. There are over 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) of heathland commons with access for the public. There are broad areas of rolling Greensand sandstone hills extending across the centre of the Borough. The highest point in Waverley is Gibbet Hill at Hindhead, which is 272 metres (897 feet) OD.

1.4 Waverley has a very rich historic heritage. There are 45 conservation areas, over 1600 listed buildings, as well as locally listed buildings and heritage features. This heritage combined with the beautiful landscape and attractive towns and villages gives many Waverley residents a high quality of life. For the most part it is an affluent area, and residents are keen to engage in community issues.

1.5 There are some 48,000 dwellings in the Borough, 80% of which are owner occupied. Currently, new houses are built at a rate of approximately 200 a year, 50 of which are affordable.

1.6 Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh each has its own distinctive character and each is very attractive in appearance. The wooded hillsides in Godalming and Haslemere define and give character to their centres. Farnham is dominated by the Castle and is bisected by the A31 which follows the valley of the River Wey. Countryside surrounds routes right into the heart of Cranleigh. All have extensive residential areas, some of which are semi-rural in character. They can be described as “market towns”, and all have a historic centre. They provide a range of shopping facilities according to their size, and there are few vacant premises. These four urban areas have extensive residential areas, some with low density neighbourhoods. These are under pressure in some areas for redevelopment at a higher density.

1.7 Almost all the villages have conservation areas and are very attractive traditional settlements. Several villages provide employment opportunities as well as services, but the number of village shops and schools has decreased in recent years, to the detriment of those communities.

1.8 Surrey has twice the amount of traffic of any other location in the UK, and Waverley has its share of traffic congestion. 86% of households have one or more cars. Traffic levels are high on all the main roads, and they have an adverse impact on all the town centres and on a number of villages such as Wrecclesham and Bramley.

1.9 The Borough has some good north-south strategic transport links. The principal road and rail routes lead through Farnham or Guildford towards London, Winchester or Portsmouth. Six railway stations (Farnham, Godalming, Farncombe, Witley, Milford and Haslemere) give access to London Waterloo in under an hour (Cranleigh has no rail link). Heathrow and Gatwick airports are within reach. However, the east-west links are not particularly easy, and some southern parts of the Borough are surprisingly distant from main roads. Bus transport is generally good in and near urban areas, but less so in the rural areas. Cycling is popular in the Borough but there is much scope for development of the levels of cycling and provide a real travel choice.

1.10 The A3 at Hindhead is the most serious transport problem, but this is moving towards a solution.

1.11 Waverley also has valuable sand deposits to the east and west of Farnham and these have been extracted for many years. The workings scar the landscape but the land is to be restored over a period of time.

1.12 For the most part, Waverley is a relatively affluent area. This is reflected in the very expensive house prices and in high car ownership. However, there are pockets of serious deprivation, about half the population has limited disposable incomes and there is a lack of affordable housing for first time buyers and key workers.

1.13 The Borough has an ageing population. In general facilities meet the needs of the population and new facilities are being planned to meet future requirements. There are hospitals at Farnham, Cranleigh and Haslemere, and there is a rehabilitation unit at the former Milford Hospital at Tuesley Lane Godalming. A replacement surgery for the town centre medical practice is proposed at Godalming, and there is to be a new health centre and a new hospital in Cranleigh.

1.14 The Community Strategy has identified a major need for affordable housing iin the Borough. The need for social facilities for young people is becoming apparent, and leisure needs have been identified, such as for sport centres. The loss of school playing fields is a consideration.

1.15 The economic characteristics of the Borough reflect its location within the ambit of London. Unemployment is 0.7%, which is well below the national average of 3.2%. There is however, a skill shortage in some sectors.

1.16 The four urban areas are important commercial centres of employment. Finance and insurance accounts for 29% of the Waverley workforce and distribution, hotels and restaurants account for 26%. 1.17 All the towns have industrial estates. However, there has been pressure to change the use of some industrial sites to housing.

1.18 The Borough is well provided with Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, having offices in Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere , Cranleigh and Bramley.

1.19 Surrey and Waverley are one of the most crime-free areas in the country.


THE ISSUES

1.20 The issues have been identified by making an assessment of Government Planning Policy Statements and Guidance, RPG9 (2001), the emerging South East Plan (2005) (the Core Strategy is consistent with the SEP), the Surrey Structure Plan (2004), the Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002), the Waverley Community Strategy (2003), the Surrey Community Strategy (2004) and a range of other County and Waverley strategies, as well as other documents by significant organisations such as English Nature and the Environment Agency.

1.21 The main issues facing the Borough are (not in any priority order):

the future identity and focus of the Borough; how and where to deliver the Regional Spatial Strategy and Surrey Structure Plan housing requirement; access to a choice of housing, including affordable housing for rent and housing for key workers and for the elderly, and access to child care. how to meet the housing needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showmen; the pressure for development in low density areas and the urban fringe; how to protect the character of residential areas from the impact of new higher density development;

access to health care, including home help provision; how to protect, conserve and enhance the high quality built environment, town centres, village greens, commons, historic areas and buildings and rural landscapes in the Borough, especially the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; pressure on wildlife and habitats;

changes in the rural economy; economic trends, in particular skills gaps and workforce/housing tensions; pressure for changing the use of industrial land to other uses;

how to manage visitors who wish to come to Waverley and how to safeguard tranquil areas; traffic issues, including traffic levels and speeds, congestion, too many journeys by car and car parking; limited public transport, especially in rural areas; how to achieve accessibility for all; how to make best use of the opportunities for enhancement arising from the construction of the A3 tunnel at Hindhead (if it is approved by the Secretary of State and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister);

loss of shops, schools and Post Offices in villages and local centres; meeting leisure needs across the Borough; lack of facilities for young people, especially in rural areas; how to promote recycling, waste minimisation and use of renewable energy;

the need to address climate change; how to deal with flood risk; how to deal with light pollution having infrastructure in place prior to development; how to provide adequate infrastructure such as water supply. how best to foster the prosperity of the town centres;

how to deal with Dunsfold Aerodrome, Milford Hospital and urban Key Sites;

promoting good design, including sustainable construction; pockets of deprivation;

crime and fear of crime and community safety.


THE VISION –
HOW WAVERLEY WILL BE AS A PLACE IN 2018

1.22 The Council, through the Local Development Framework, will maintain and improve the quality of life for the community of Waverley, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

1.23 In 2018 Waverley strive to be a place where:

people live and work in a clean, tidy, safe and attractive environment; people have access to homes that they can afford; existing places of work are protected and new job opportunities encouraged; there is access to adequate and appropriate health, education, open space and leisure facilities; people can get around easily with or without a car; the Borough’s rural and urban landscapes and historic heritage are properly managed, protected and enhanced; and renewable energy is harnessed, measures to meet climate change are taken and recycling is actively undertaken. 1.24 This Vision is based firmly on the sustainability principle. In 1987, the World Commission on the Environment and Development defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”


WHAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE

1.25 The objectives are derived from the Waverley Borough Community Strategy (2003) and the Surrey Community Strategy (2004) and are not listed in priority order.

1.26 The aspiration is that Waverley will be a place where the community has:

access to affordable housing for rent or sale and housing for key workers; met the appropriate accommodation needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showmen; protection from crime and the fear of crime; good health, access to good quality health care and protection from pollution; the required infrastructure such as water supply and the means of transport; access to high quality open space, sport, leisure and cultural facilities for all; employment opportunities;

access to a full range of local and town centre shops;

access to a range of community, cultural and educational facilities; including aiding the voluntary sector and including community shops. access to community facilities in villages;

access to open space and countryside, where the landscape is protected, conserved and enhanced; heritage and wildlife to enjoy which is protected, conserved and enhanced;

a high quality natural and built environment which is protected, conserved and enhanced;

accepted the need for recycling, waste minimisation and use of renewable energy; restricted traffic growth and minimised its impacts; accessibility to all areas including to public transport;

involvement in shaping the future of its area;


A SPATIAL STRATEGY-
THE CORE PRINCIPLES

1.27 The core objective of the Council for the Local Development Framework is to facilitate the delivery of services, infrastructure and development to meet both local and wider community needs, without undermining the built and natural resources. The core principles that underpin policies in the Local Development Framework encourage:

an attack on poverty and social exclusion; an improvement in the general health of the people in the Borough; education and lifelong learning; decent homes and affordable housing; safe and comfortable places; community identity and distinctiveness; economic prosperity; access to facilities and services; the prudent use of resources; and the enhancement and protection of the environment.

1.28 The spatial strategy will meet the needs of people for homes, jobs, leisure and transport without undermining the value of built and natural resources. This strategy will be achieved by continuing to focus development that is needed on the built up areas while conserving the countryside and heritage. This strategy complies with government guidance in PPS1 Creating Sustainable Communities.


2. OPTIONS


Introduction

2.1 The Core Principles establish the key objectives for the Local Development Framework. These seek to respond to the dynamics of change and ensure that services, infrastructure, homes, jobs and community and leisure needs are delivered without undermining the built, natural and man-made environmental resources of the Borough. The purpose of this section of the document is to identify the preferred long-term spatial location for delivering the development to meet these needs.

2.2 The Core Strategy is influenced by a range of national, regional and strategic policies, which are set out in national Planning Policy Statements and Guidance, current regional guidance in RPG9, the draft South East Plan (2005) and the recently approved Surrey Structure Plan (2004). It is also influenced by the Waverley and Surrey County Community Strategies and draws on a comprehensive set of information set out in the evidence base. The Sustainability Appraisal report that the Council is preparing identifies the sustainability and environmental issues affecting the Borough and the implications that the Core Strategy will have on the future.

2.3 The current Local Plan (adopted in April 2002 following a Public Inquiry in 2000) is well-understood and well-respected by the public and developers. It sets out clear policies based on sustainability principles. It provides for development needs of both the rural and urban communities and seeks to protect and enhance the Borough’s valuable environmental assets and improve the quality of life of its residents.

2.4 The Core Strategy Issues and Options document, which was the subject of extensive public consultation between mid-February and mid-April 2005, identified four spatial options. These options explored different ways of locating and accommodating future development.

2.5 Each of these options has advantages and disadvantages which were explored in the public consultation exercise.

2.6 There was a clear preference in the public consultation for Option 1, with a second preference for Option 2.


2.7 The Core Strategy Policies will provide the framework for development up to 2018. The current Surrey Structure Plan requires that Waverley should provide for 2,810 dwellings over the period April 2001 to March 2016 – i.e. 187 per year. Pending the approval of the South East Plan and the housing allocations it contains, the Council will roll-forward the annual Structure Plan requirement to cover the period 2016 to 2018. The total housing requirement for the period 2001 to 2018 is 3,185 dwellings. Some 867 new dwellings were built between April 2001 and March 2005. This leaves some 2,318 dwellings to be provided between April 2005 and March 2018. Housing provision is dealt with under Core Policy CP13 below. The Housing Development Plan Document will address the longer term issues and other issues, including whether phasing policies are required. 2.8 The South East Plan is currently being prepared. This Plan will set the strategic context up to 2026. The District housing allocations, which will form part of the South East Plan and will which cover the period up to 2026, have not yet been set.


Consideration of the Options

2.9 It is crucial that the Preferred Option for the Core Strategy meets the diverse community needs and directs the necessary new development in a sustainable manner.

2.10 Option 1 continued the approach established in the current Local Plan by focussing development on previously developed land and provides flexibility to meet specific needs, including exceptions for affordable housing in rural areas. There was concern, however, that, with this option, the encouragement of higher density redevelopment in residential areas could lead to the deterioration of environmental quality, greater congestion and a reduction in the quality of life for the residents of the Borough.

2.11 On its own this option presented some drawbacks which would need addressing.

2.12 Option 2 sought to give more focus to development within Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh and within the villages on the principal roads and railway lines. Whilst this approach may have benefitted some of the villages by sustaining the continuity of local services and facilities, it could have rendered services and facilities in other, more remote, villages more vulnerable. It could also have increased the movement away, particularly by younger people, from the more remote communities. A greater focus on fewer settlements could also have lead to a greater pressure for higher densities in those areas and consequentially potentially greater congestion and potentially more significant threats to quality of life.

2.13 This Option presented some significant drawbacks which would need to be addressed. 2.14 Option 3 sought to focus development only in the four main settlements. Such a focus could have lead to even greater pressure for higher densities in Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh, for extensions of the urban areas and more congestion in those areas whilst at the same time rendering all rural communities less viable and making services and facilities in all Waverley’s villages more vulnerable. An extension to the urban area of one or more of the four main settlements could have impacted adversely on their character and setting and on the countryside.

2.15 For these reasons the Council concluded that this option should not be pursued further.

2.16 Option 4 sought to promote a comprehensively planned new settlement which could be designed to provide the development needs of the borough in a co-ordinated manner using up-to-date sustainable construction techniques designed to minimise the consumption of non-renewable resources. Such a proposal, could take 10 years to come to fruition. Even if it were to be built on previously developed land in the rural area, this option would conflict with current Structure Plan and emerging regional planning policies. Furthermore it would have a major impact on the rural character and environment. The Government Office has confirmed that the Council could not resist “windfall” housing development within developed areas even if it were to adopt this option.

2.17 Current indications are that there is sufficient land to meet the housing allocation development needs up to 2018 and beyond. The Housing Development Plan Document will explore this issue in more detail. For this reason, the Council considers that it is not necessary to consider the need for this option until the longer term. The Council, however, wishes to retain this option as a potential option for the longer term (until after 2018) or should circumstances change, for instance due to housing allocations to Waverley in the South East Plan significantly being increased.


THE PREFERED OPTION

2.18 The Council has concluded that the preferred option should be a hybrid of Options 1 and 2 whereby development will primarily be located on previously developed land in sustainable locations in Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh. Development appropriate to the needs of rural communities will be permitted in rural settlements and, very exceptionally, limited development to meet the essential and proven housing and community needs of the main settlements and rural communities adjacent to those settlements. 2.19 The Core Strategy Policies have been prepared within the context of this Preferred Option.

THE PROCESS OF PRODUCING THE CORE STRATEGY

2.20 The Government Office for the South East has advised and guided the production of the Core Strategy through all the various stages of the process. The public consultations have been carried out in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Local Development )(England) Regulations 2004. It is intended that the Public Inquiry on the Core Strategy will be held in the summer of 2006.





3. THE POLICIES


INTRODUCTION

3.1 The following sections set out the Core Strategy Policies of the Local Development Framework for the Borough of Waverley.

3.2 The Core Strategy is a statutory document which, following the Public Examination and the Inspector’s Report, will provide the spatial framework for guiding development and other proposals in the Borough of Waverley.

3.3 This document forms a comprehensive package which provides the spatial framework for guiding development proposals and other activities. Individual policies do not stand alone. They must not be read in isolation from one another, but as a whole.

3.4 More detailed policy guidance will be provided in Development Plan Documents and in Supplementary Planning Documents. These documents are detailed in the Council’s Local Development Scheme which sets out the timetable for producing the various documents.

3.5 It was originally intended that the Core Strategy should set out the framework for guiding development and other activities up to 2016. Following advice from the Government Office that the end date of the Core Strategy should be 10 years from the date of adoption of the Housing DPD, the Core Strategy will cover the period up to 2018.

3.6 The current Local Plan provides the basis of many of the policies. This was the third Local Plan which had been produced for Waverley and covered the period to 2006. The original Borough-wide Local Plan was adopted in 1984 and covered the period to 1991. The Review Plan was completed in 1993 and covered the period up to 2001.

3.7 The provisions of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 have extended the period of the 2002 Local Plan to 2007. In order to facilitate the gradual replacement of the current Local Plan policies by new policies in Local Development Documents (LDDs) and Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs), the Council is able to save some existing policies beyond 2007 until they are replaced. These “saved” policies will continue to form part of the Development Plan for the area and are included in Appendix 1.

3.8 The Council will be preparing Annual Monitoring Reports which will assess the progress, implementation and effectiveness of the Local Development Framework. Amongst other things, the Annual Monitoring Report will assess the extent to which policies are being implemented and set out whether they are producing the intended results. The text accompanying the policies sets out the principal indicators that will be used to identify how each policy will be delivered.



4. COMMUNITY FACILITIES


Background

4.1 Ensuring that people have access to good social and community facilities is an essential part of the planning process. Community facilities are those that benefit a settlement because they are available to community organisations, enabling them to function. Community Facilities include education, health and welfare facilities such as schools, health centres, hospitals, residential and care homes, libraries, community/day centres, prisons, village and community halls and churches. Public houses and shops also form part of the fabric of a community, but are not community facilities within this definition. Consideration of the issues relating to shops is set out in Policy CP19 (Town Centres and Shopping). Policy CP20 (Visitor Economy) covers the issues relating to pubs.

4.2 Meeting the community needs of the existing population and the needs of future generations is an essential part of the planning system. The provision of a sufficient range of services is recognised in the Waverley Community Strategy (2002). This point has also been recognised in the Consultation process. Local facilities such as village schools, doctors’ surgeries, churches and community/village halls often form a focus for community life and are particularly important to older and less mobile people.

4.3 The Council recognises that it is important to maintain a spread of facilities to meet the day-to-day needs of Waverley’s residents in both the towns and villages in the Borough not only as an essential component of sustainable development but also to promote social cohesion.

4.4 Although Waverley is a generally affluent Borough, there are pockets of absolute and relative deprivation where action is needed. The Council considers that it is important to take local views into account in determining community needs. The Council’s Opportunities For All Strategy has identified local areas of disadvantage. The Council continues to encourage local communities to carry out Village and Community Appraisals such as have been carried out in Haslemere, Cranleigh and Chiddingfold and are under way in Farnham. In addition, Health Checks have been carried out for Cranleigh, Haslemere and Farnham. These examine the state of these larger settlements as perceived by the community.

4.5 There are many educational establishments (both independent and state) in Waverley ranging from local and village schools to the Surrey Institute of Art & Design University College in Farnham. The Council recognises the importance of these facilities to community life and the need to allow them to adapt and expand to meet changing needs.

4.6 There may be instances where a proposed development will result in the need for new or improved community services and facilities. (See also Policy CP5) In such cases the Council may seek a Planning Obligation requiring the developer to contribute towards the necessary improvements. The approach to be taken to planning obligations is set out under Policy CP5 (Infrastructure and Services). The more detailed policy approach to Planning Obligations will be set out in the Planning Obligations Development Plan Document.
Policy Background

4.7 The Surrey Structure Plan (2004) requires local planning authorities to identify sites for social and community needs at locations which are easily accessible to the communities being served. It also requires that where proposals lead to the loss of existing facilities for which there is a continuing need, alternative equivalent provision must be made.

4.8 The draft South East Plan (2005) stresses that social, cultural and health infrastructure keeps pace with development and population growth and encourages strong and inclusive partnership to co-ordinate development and reduce disparity and deprivation and strengthen economic and social cohesion.

4.9 The current Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002) recognises that community facilities are an important aspect to the quality of life. Current policies seek to safeguard existing facilities unless the facility is no longer needed, readily accessible adequate alternative facilities exist and there is no other community need for the site/buildings. It also seeks to provide for the appropriate development and expansion of facilities to meet changing and expanding community needs.


4.10 The objective of the Core Strategy Policy is to protect existing facilities which have a recognised local value and to ensure that new facilities are provided to meet the changing needs of the community. The purpose of this policy is to clarify this strategic approach.

4.11 Whilst the emphasis in the Core Strategy is to locate new development in Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh where there is convenient public transport, the policy set out below also seeks to ensure that appropriate facilities are maintained and provided in the smaller settlements. In exceptional circumstances, therefore, where a genuine local need for new community facilities can be demonstrated which cannot be met in any other way, some new community facilities may be permitted on sites adjoining rural settlements. The approach to be taken to such exceptional circumstances is set out in Policy CP2 (Location of Development).

4.12 Where buildings used for community purposes become redundant, the Council will, before granting permission for an alternative use, seek to ensure that they are not needed for an alternative community use or that there is another site available,. Developers will therefore be required to demonstrate that all reasonable efforts have been made to dispose of the building for an alternative community use.

4.13 The Council will encourage the maximum use to be made of community facilities and will encourage flexible layouts and, where appropriate, buildings being shared by a range of community uses.


POLICY CP1 COMMUNITY FACILITIES

Sites and buildings for new or improved community facilities will only be permitted where they meet the identified needs of local communities or the wider area Development will only be permitted for the redevelopment of a community facility, site and/ or building where all reasonable efforts have been made to dispose of the building for an appropriate alternative community use, and it can be demonstrated either that there is no longer a continuing need for the facility or that the need can be better provided for by accessible alternative provision elsewhere
Facilities required for young people, the elderly, health and education will be given priority, especially in areas which are considered to be pockets of deprivation.

Arrangements for the provision of replacement or additional community facilities, including commuted sums to provide for such facilities, will be secured by planning obligations.


How the Policy will be delivered

4.14 The Council will:

work with the community, service providers, the voluntary sector and other partners to maximise the use of meeting community needs through the re-use and sharing of existing facilities and to identify any particular need or shortfall in the provision of community facilities; monitor proposals for changes of use of community facilities through the Annual Monitoring Report.


5. LOCATION OF DEVELOPMENT


Background

5.1 Waverley is a Borough with rich urban and rural landscapes comprising towns and villages each of which has a distinctive character. This individuality arises not only from their differing size, geography, geology and history, but also because they are relatively distant from one another. The rural parts of the Borough are equally diverse. Many are nationally and internationally important assets, not only for their natural beauty, but also for their wildlife. They are also important for recreation.

5.2 The four main settlements and many of the villages have absorbed a considerable amount of development over the last 50 years and remain the main focus of development needs. However, the Community Strategy and the consultation process have identified a concern that continuing development, particularly at higher densities, is leading to the deterioration of environmental quality, greater congestion and a gradual reduction in the quality of life for the residents.
Policy Background

5.3 Government policy as set out in Planning Policy Statements and Guidance (See Appendix 2) sees the planning system as having a fundamental role in putting the principles of sustainable development into practice. It is thus Government policy to:-

focus development on previously developed land in towns and villages which have good transport connections; achieve urban renaissance; and support and protect rural areas.

5.4 These objectives are reflected in the recently approved Surrey Structure Plan (2004). New development is to be directed to locations that can be easily accessed without a car and major development in open countryside is considered inappropriate. Waverley falls into two sub-areas in this Plan.

5.5 Farnham lies within the Blackwater Valley Structure Plan sub-area. The Structure Plan recognises the important sense of place and character of Farnham and seeks to ensure that these are safeguarded. The Structure Plan seeks to make the best opportunities for housing on previously developed land and buildings within the urban area, ensuring that new development contributes to improvements to the quality of the built environment and transport network. The Structure Plan also seeks to maintain, conserve and manage the character of the Blackwater Valley River corridor and promote its value as a resource for wildlife, recreation and outdoor pursuits. The Structure Plan seeks to ensure that the whole of the Blackwater Valley area is planned in a co-ordinated way, taking into account social and economic needs and recognising the limited potential of Farnham to contribute to wider sub-regional development needs largely as a result of national and international environmental designations, including the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.

5.6 The remainder of the Borough lies within the South West Surrey sub-area in which quality landscape is to be maintained, managed and protected and the role of market towns and development needs of rural communities are to be supported. This means that development will be restricted to previously developed land and buildings within Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh and to small-scale development to meet local needs in the villages. A reserve housing site was identified at Furze Lane, Farncombe and included in the Waverley Borough Local Plan 2002. This site is to be retained as a “saved” policy.

5.7 The whole of Waverley lies within the “Rest of Surrey” area identified in the South East Plan. The emphasis of regional policy is to protect the landscape and heritage resources and support the long-term social and economic viability of the market towns and rural communities by prioritising development and infrastructure which meets local needs, in particular addressing needs for affordable housing.

5.8 The adopted Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002) seeks to ensure that development is sustainable in terms of its environmental, social and economic impacts. The Local Plan seeks to promote environmental enhancement and restrain development which would cause environmental damage, unacceptable levels of traffic or pollution or harm amenity or the distinctive character of the Borough. The Local Plan seeks to ensure that development is located so as to reduce the need to travel and to focus development in Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh.

5.9 The preferred option gives priority to the efficient and effective use and re-use of land within existing built up areas whilst not compromising quality of life considerations.


Policy Approach
5.9 The consultation process has generally supported the current policy approach. The consultation process has, however, identified a concern that continuing development, particularly at higher densities, is leading to the gradual deterioration of environmental quality, greater congestion and a reduction in the quality of life for the residents.
5.10 Having regard to national, regional and strategic policies and having regard to the fact that much of Waverley lies within the Green Belt and is subject to national and international environmental designations, the fundamental objective of the Core Strategy is to continue to focus development on previously developed land in the four main settlements of Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh and villages.

The purpose of Policy CP2 is to set out this broad strategy and to explain the position regarding very exceptional situations regarding development adjacent to rural settlements. In order to recognise the concerns that have been raised in the consultation process the Council will, when considering development proposals, have particular regard to the impact of the proposal on the character of the locality in accordance with Policy CP13 (Design).

5.12 Small-scale developments to meet the needs of rural communities will be permitted in rural settlements, provided the infrastructure is in place or can be provided (See Section 8).5.13 The Council recognises that very exceptionally limited development to meet the essential and proven social, cultural, economic or housing needs of rural communities will be necessary to support rural communities.

5.14 Detailed policies defining Key Sites in urban areas where redevelopment is anticipated to take place and policies to address the protection and enhancement of the character and distinctive qualities of residential areas outside town centres will be set out in appropriate Development Plan Documents.


POLICY CP2 LOCATION OF DEVELOPMENT In order to promote sustainable patterns of travel and achieve urban renaissance, development consistent with conserving environmental quality will primarily be located on previously developed land in sustainable locations in Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh. Limiteddevelopment appropriate to the needs of rural communities will be permitted in rural settlements, provided its scale, layout and appearance maintains or enhances the character of the settlement.

Very exceptionally, where no alternative sites exist, limited development to meet the essential and proven housing and community needs of rural communities may be permitted adjacent to rural settlements provided there is no adverse effect on the character of the settlement or the surrounding rural area.


How the Policy will be delivered

5.15 The Council will:-

work closely with partners to develop the role of the main centres; work closely with other Blackwater Valley Authorities and other partners to maximise opportunities for meeting the social and economic needs of Farnham whilst recognising the limited potential of Farnham to contribute to wider sub-regional development needs; monitor the proportion of development taking place on previously developed land in the main settlements and the impact on environmental quality and congestion through the Annual Monitoring Report; monitor the amount of development permitted in rural settlements through the Annual Monitoring Report; monitor the amount of development permitted in exceptional circumstances through the Annual Monitoring Report; through the Annual Monitoring Report, identify any rural settlements where additional development is needed


6. METROPOLITAN GREEN BELT


6.1 The Metropolitan Green Belt (MGB) covers about 81 square miles (61%) of the Borough. The broad boundary has existed for nearly 50 years, and the current detailed boundary has been in place about 20 years. This permanence is one of the important characteristics of the Green Belt policy.

6.2 The MGB plays a crucial role in spatial planning throughout the South East. There is a presumption against inappropriate development in the Green Belt


Policy Background

6.3 National planning policy for the Green Belt is set out in PPG 2 Green Belts, published in 1995.

6.4 The draft South East Plan (2005) states that the Government has confirmed its continuing commitment to the Green Belt as an instrument of planning policy. Consultation on the draft South East Plan has confirmed very strong public support for the concept of Green Belts. Policy CC9 of the draft South East Plan states that the existing Green Belt in the region will be retained. It adds that the opportunity should be taken to improve the land-use management and access of both Green Belt areas and strategic gaps as part of initiatives to improve the urban/rural fringe.

6.5 The Surrey Structure Plan (2004) re-affirms the importance of the Green Belt and the presumption against inappropriate development within it.

Policy Approach

6.6 The Council will continue to exercise strict control over development within the Green Belt, in accordance with national and regional policy.

6.7 The Green Belt contains a number of major developed sites such as hospitals, research establishments and schools. These sites remain subject to Green Belt policies and the Green Belt notation washes over them. PPG2 indicates that where such sites are specifically identified as “Major Developed Sites in the Green Belt” (MDS), limited infilling or redevelopment is not inappropriate.

6.8.1 Annexe C of PPG2 sets out the national policy guidance relating to Major Developed Sites in the Green Belt. The Council is of the view that the designation of Major Developed Sites should be the exception rather than the rule and that rigid tests and criteria should be applied.

6.8.2 The Council has given careful consideration as to whether any sites within the Borough should be specifically identified as Major Developed Sites. In giving consideration to this question the Council has taken into account: a) whether the site has a substantial footprint of development and an identifiable care of buildings;

b) whether there is a firm prospect that the site will be the subject of substantial development/redevelopment proposals during the lifetime of the Core Strategy;

c) whether the MDS tool is appropriate in the particular circumstances; and

d) whether there is sufficient justification for the identification of the site as an MDS.

6.8.3 The Council has concluded that the only site which merits identification is Milford Hospital. Supplementary Planning Guidance for this site was prepared in 2003. It may be necessary, in due course, to update this document.

6.11 In conjunction with partner organisations, the Council will consider ways in which the land-use management and access within the Green belt areas on the urban fringe can be improved (See also Section 7).

6.12 The purpose of the policy is set out the broad strategic position on the Green Belt but not to repeat national guidance.


POLICY CP3 METROPOLITAN GREEN BELT

The Metropolitan Green Belt and its boundaries within Waverley will be maintained.

The following site has been identified as a Major Developed Site and is shown on the Proposals Map: Milford Hospital.

An appropriate updated Supplementary Planning Document for this area to replace the 2003 Supplementary Planning Guidance for this site will be prepared in the future.


How the Policy will be delivered

6.13 The Council will:-

control development within the Metropolitan Green Belt in accordance with national and regional policy; identify and keep under review any sites that should be identified as ‘Major Developed Sites’ and provide appropriate policy guidance through Supplementary Planning Documents or Area Action Plans; work with partner organisations and landowners to promote improvements to the character, accessibility to and quality of urban fringe land.
7. COUNTRYSIDE


Background

7.1 Waverley has some of the most attractive and unspoilt countryside in Surrey. There are extensive tracts of countryside where there are no towns and only a few small settlements. Although much of the countryside in the Borough is within the Green Belt, there are still significant areas of countryside that lie outside the Green Belt. More than half of the Borough is nationally designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Other areas have more local landscape significance and have been identified as Areas of Great Landscape Value (AGLV), Farnham/Aldershot Strategic Gap and Areas of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI). The countryside outside the Green Belt still plays an important role in defining the character and distinctiveness of the Borough and the setting of towns and villages. 7.2 Waverley contains significant areas of woodland. In fact approximately 30% of its area is wooded. It also contains a range of nationally and internationally important wildlife habitats, including part of the Thames Basin Heaths and the heaths round Blackheath, which are considered in the section on Biodiversity and Heritage.

7.3 In 1995 the Council for the Preservation of Rural England and the former Countryside Commission identified much of the Borough as an Area of Tranquillity.

7.4 The countryside plays an important economic role in providing a diverse range of local employment opportunities and in terms of its value for leisure and recreational purposes. The County Council’s Countryside Strategy promotes sustainable economic and social activities, whilst at the same time conserving its character, diversity and distinctiveness. The County Council’s Landscape Character Assessment seeks to protect the distinctive character of the different parts of the Surrey Countryside.

Policy Background

7.5 National planning policy for the countryside is set out in PPS 7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas, published in 2004. 7.6 The draft South East Plan (2005) refers to the essential role that agriculture, horticulture and forestry play in the management of the landscape and biodiversity, as well as commercial production. The draft Plan also states that sustainable land management is the key to enduring local and regional distinctiveness and a vital and vigorous countryside. Draft Policy C3 sets out a range of ways in which active and high quality management of the Region’s countryside will be encouraged and supported.

7.7 Policy LO4 of the Surrey Structure Plan (2004) recognises that the countryside is a working countryside. It provides for small-scale development where it is needed in the open countryside to support rural activities.

7.8. The Waverley Community Strategy (2003) sets out various aims under the heading of ‘Planning and Environment’. These include increasing access to and appreciation of the countryside; and conserving wildlife and improving our natural environment.

7.9 The Council’s existing policy for the countryside (Policy C2) is well-established. It indicates that the countryside will be protected for its own sake and that building in open countryside away from settlements should be strictly controlled.


Policy Approach

7.10 The consultation stage endorsed the importance of protecting the openness of the countryside and its intrinsic qualities and the need to manage of the countryside as a resource. Therefore, where development may be required to support rural activities, the preference is for such development to be in or near rural settlements. Such an approach would assist in protecting open countryside and is more likely to meet sustainability objectives in terms of accessibility to services and facilities.

7.11 The Council recognises that some forms of development will be required in the countryside. All development must be appropriate in layout, scale, height, materials, form, impact and siting and should not adversely affect the landscape, wildlife, ecological, environmental, archaeological or historic resources. Subject to this, the following types of development can be acceptable in the countryside:-
i) small scale expansion of existing industrial and commercial development in accordance with the Policy CP17; and j) farm diversification in accordance with saved Policy RD8

7.12 The Council also recognises the unique position in relation to Dunsfold Aerodrome. The airfield was built during World War II by the Canadian Army as an emergency airfield. Military use ceased after the War and it was allowed to be used for civilian aviation uses subject to restrictions. The aerodrome was, until the end of the year 2000, operated by BAE Systems for the assembly, repair and flight testing of aircraft. The site is now owned by The Rutland Group.

7.13 Planning permission was granted in 2000 for the permanent use of the site for the assembly, repair and flight testing of aircraft subject to conditions. which do not restrict its occupation to BAE Systems. A number of temporary permissions have been granted since 2000 to enable the long term future of the site to be resolved.

7.14 In 2000 the aerodrome extended to some 213.7 hectares (528 acres). The Rutland Group has acquired additional areas of land since that date. The site contains some 46,450 square metres (500,000 square feet) of buildings concentrated along its northern perimeter. The principal access to the site is via Stovold’s Hill, a single carriageway road running south from the B2130. The junction of Stovold’s Hill with the B2130 is hazardous. There is a secondary access to the site on the south-eastern boundary through Compass Gate.

7.15 The position regarding the future of Dunsfold Aerodrome continues to change. It is therefore proposed that this site will be the subject of an Area Action Plan. The identification of Dunsfold Aerodrome as a site suitable for an Area Action Plan does not imply that any or all of the site should be covered with new development, nor does it imply that it should be the site of a new settlement.

7.16 The purpose of the policy is to make clear the Council’s position on proposals for development in the countryside, on management and on Dunsfold Aerodrome.

POLICY CP4 COUNTRYSIDE

In the countryside defined on the Proposals Map, the character and intrinsic qualities of countryside will be protected for their own sake.

The Council will promote good management of the countryside, whilst allowing it to adapt to the identified needs of the community.


An Action Area Plan for Dunsfold Aerodrome will be prepared in the future.


How the Policy will be delivered

7.17 The Council will:-

focus new development within existing towns and villages; exercise control over development that is required in the countryside to ensure that it is appropriate for its location and to ensure that any potentially adverse impacts are mitigated, if necessary through the use of planning conditions and Section 106 Agreements; identify and keep under review any sites that should be identified as ‘Major Developed Sites’ and provide appropriate policy guidance through Supplementary Planning Documents or Area Action Plans; work with partner organisations and landowners to promote improvements to the character, accessibility to and quality of urban fringe land.


8. INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES


Background

8.1 All new development, whether large or small, has an impact on existing infrastructure and services. It is therefore crucial that there are mechanisms in place in Local Development Frameworks to secure adequate funding and timely delivery of infrastructure and services. It is now generally recognised that developers should be expected to contribute towards the necessary improvements or new facilities that are required as a consequence of their development.

8.2 Infrastructure and services include educational, cultural, health care and open space/play facilities, car parking, transport (including roads, access, on-site circulation and servicing, cycleways, footpaths and public transport), street lighting, gas, electricity and telecommunications services, water supply (See also Section 13), foul and surface water sewerage, sewage treatment, waste facilities and combined heat and power systems. It may also include works of art and community facilities.

8.3 The planning system is having an increasing role in ensuring that the right infrastructure and other needs are met at the right time. Health Checks can be used to identify shortfalls. Planning obligations and agreements are altering the development landscape. Educational, cultural and infrastructure needs are increasingly being met through Section 106 agreements. Such agreements allow local planning authorities to require private developers to provide both the infrastructure and services that is required as a consequence of their development.

8.4 The Waverley Community Strategy (2003) and the Consultation process have recognised the need for the Council to continue to work in partnership with developers and infrastructure and service authorities to meet the needs of present and future residents, achieve sustainable development and improve the quality of life in the Borough.

8.5 The Council therefore aims to ensure that development does not place an unnecessary strain on existing infrastructure and services and that the necessary infrastructure (both on-site and off-site) is in place before development is occupied. This may require agreement between the local authority, the developer and the relevant infrastructure/service authority on the identification, funding and programming of infrastructure and services.

8.6 The Council will continue to work with infrastructure authorities and other partners to identify where existing infrastructure or services are overloaded or at capacity and to identify specific infrastructure requirements. The Council will continue to work with Network Rail and other rail companies to secure improved carparking facilities, cycle facilities and integrated transport infrastructure at railway stations.

Policy Background

8.7 Government Policy regarding planning obligations is currently being reviewed, however, the main principles are not likely to be altered substantially.

8.8 The approved Surrey Structure Plan (2004) requires that local authorities ensure that infrastructure requirements are identified and established and that development which requires new or improved facilities is not permitted unless the infrastructure that is required is available or will be provided within an agreed timetable and that developers should make appropriate contributions.

8.9 The draft South East Plan (2005) also seeks to ensure that appropriate infrastructure and community services are provided and that assessments of need are made to identify gaps which the development process can seek to address.

8.10 These issues are recognised in the adopted Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002). This Plan stresses that development will only be permitted where adequate infrastructure, services and facilities are available or where arrangements have been made for suitable provision.

8.11 Although Waverley is not an area where significant major development is planned, development will continue to take place. Thus, whilst no major housing or other land-use allocations are being made, it is necessary to ensure that, where any development takes place, developers provide the infrastructure and services that are required to meet the needs of their developments and contribute to appropriate community needs. The Council will address these needs in a future DPD/SPD. In the interim, the Surrey Local Government Association Good Practice Guide will be applied. Development contributions will be made in accordance with the principles set out in government guidance. The Council will continue to be guided by the provisions of appropriate Government Circulars and Policy Statements and will apply a consistent approach in the way that it responds.

8.12. The Council recognises that the cumulative impact of several small developments can place as much pressure on infrastructure and services as a single major development.

8.13. The community at large will continue to meet the cost of meeting current shortfalls, implementing improvements required to replace worn-out facilities and meeting the changing needs of the existing population. However, it is appropriate that all developments should make a fair and reasonable provision to offset the demands which they create. This may require developers being asked to carry out impact studies and pay of commuted sums.

8.14 The provision of essential infrastructure and services and commuted sums will be secured through planning obligations or by conditions attached to a planning permission. Planning permission may be refused if the necessary improvements to infrastructure and services cannot be secured. The provision of infrastructure or services alone will not be sufficient to justify a development.

8.15 At the same time that infrastructure will be sought in relation to new development, energy saving, recycling and water conservation will be promoted, tranquillity safeguarded and potential light pollution addressed through Core Policy CP10 (Environmental Quality/Pollution).

8.16 Bearing these considerations in mind, the purpose of the policy is to set out the broad position for developers as to what will be required regarding infrastructure and services.

POLICY CP5 INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES

Appropriate levels of infrastructure will be sought through both public and private funds. Developers will be required to make adequate arrangements for the improvement or provision of infrastructure and services necessary to service the development proposed before the development is occupied and to contribute to appropriate community needs.

Arrangements for the provision of infrastructure and services that are required as a consequence of development will be secured by planning obligations or by conditions attached to a planning permission.

The provision of infrastructure or services alone will not be sufficient to justify a development.

The development or expansion of infrastructure and services required to serve existing or proposed developments or necessary to meet long term requirements will be permitted provided that any adverse impacts are mitigated.


How the Policy will be delivered

8.16 The Council will:-

work with infrastructure and service authorities to secure the timely delivery of appropriate infrastructure; monitor the development of sites to ensure that development does not proceed in advance of necessary infrastructure; monitor how planning obligations and agreements are secured through the Annual Monitoring Report; monitor the enforcement of appropriate conditions through the Annual Monitoring Report.


9. MANAGING TRAVEL DEMAND AND WIDENING TRAVEL CHOICE


Background

9.1. The economic success of the region raises issues in terms of travel and transport. Surrey has more than double the national average of traffic on its roads and this results in high levels of congestion, especially at peak times. 9.2 In Waverley, the predominantly rural road network and the limited public transport and other transport options encourage people to rely on their cars. This contributes to:-

environmental and social difficulties in terms of congestion; adverse impacts on the character of historic towns and the countryside, where the road network struggles to cope with the volumes of traffic; and social exclusion for those unable to use a car and who therefore have difficulty accessing services and facilities.

9.3. The Waverley Community Strategy (2003) recognises this. In the section dealing with ‘Transport, Highways and Related Issues’, it identifies the following key aims:-

make access to key locations and health services easier for all; make alternatives to using the car more attractive and convenient; improve safety and security of transport for all travellers; and protect the environment by reducing the adverse impact of traffic.


Policy Background

9.4. Specific Government Policy is contained in PPG13 Transport.

9.5 The Regional Transport Strategy has a vision of a high quality transport system to act as a catalyst for controlled economic growth and to provide for an improved quality of life for all in a sustainable and socially inclusive manner. It sets out a range of objectives to achieve this vision, including:-

to facilitate urban renaissance and foster social inclusion by rebalancing the structure and use of the transport system. In particular, by bringing forward measures that encourage modal shift and significantly improve the attractiveness of local public transport. to reduce the wider environmental, health and community impact associated with the transport system by bringing forward measures to positively manage the transport system in ways that reduce our dependence on the private motor car.

9.6 It is important that the Council’s strategy and policies relating to transport are consistent with and supports the objectives of the Surrey Local Transport Plan (LTP). LTPs are the means by which local authorities (in this case Surrey County Council), show how they intend to tackle transport issues. The current Surrey LTP runs from 2001/2002 to 2005/2006. It aims to provide the freedom to get around, to gain access to everyday facilities and establish a transport system that supports the economy in a way that ensures a better quality of life, both now and in the future. It adds that this sustainable approach, which must offer people a wider choice of transport alternatives, is fundamental to Surrey’s LTP. The LTP includes objectives, targets and strategies for improving all forms of transport, together with a 5-year programme of work and the associated bid for funding.

9.7 The County Council is now in the early stages of preparing the second LTP. Waverley will continue to work with the County Council, and other relevant partners such as public transport operators, to ensure that the planning strategy is consistent with other transport strategies relevant to the Borough.

9.8 The existing Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002) includes a range of objectives to address transportation issues. These focus on:-

reducing the need to travel, particularly by car; widening travel choice; minimising the harmful effects of transport on the environment; and improving accessibility.

Policy Approach

9.9 There are clearly limits to the extent that the Borough Council, through its planning strategy, can tackle this important issue. However, there are two key elements to the policy approach that can support the wider aim of reducing traffic levels, congestion and the use of the car.

9.10 The first relates to the location of development. This links to other key strategic policies. The aim is, as far as possible, to locate new development in town centres and other locations where there is access to a wide range of services and facilities, in order to reduce the need to travel and the length of journeys. Ideally these will be locations where access to other modes of transport is good.

9.11 The second element is the aim of widening travel choice. This means supporting measures to improve accessibility to public transport and to promote walking and cycling. The Council has already adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document, the Waverley Borough Cycling Plan. This has an overall aim of maximising the use of cycling so as to minimise the use of cars.

9.12 The Council supports measures to improve the existing transport infrastructure and to promote greater accessibility for all. This requires an integrated approach to transport, including integrated facilities at railway stations. It also means securing sustainable locations for development and ensuring that where a development generates a requirement for improved or additional transport infrastructure, appropriate mechanisms, such as conditions or Section 106 agreements, are in place to deliver the improvements. Seeking more funding for public transport is an important measure. In considering the use of planning conditions or Section 106 agreements to secure improved transport infrastructure, the Council will follow the guidance set out in relevant national guidance, namely Circular 11/95: “Use of Planning Conditions in Planning Permissions” and Circular 05/05: “Planning Obligations”.

9.13 The purpose of the policy is to make clear how new development will need to provide for meeting travel demand and widening the choice for the means of travel.


POLICY CP6 MANAGING TRAVEL DEMAND & WIDENING THE CHOICE OF TRAVEL

Development proposals will:-

a) give preference to walking, cycling and public transport and reduce reliance on the private car; b) be located where there are choices in the modes of transport available and minimise the distance people need to travel; c) provide for improvements to the existing infrastructure network, including road and rail, and enhance facilities for bus users, pedestrians cyclists and those with reduced mobility. Arrangements for the provision of transport infrastructure required as a consequence of development will be secured by planning obligations or by conditions attached to a planning permission


How the Policy will be delivered

9.13 The Council will:-

consider the transport implications of development proposals and only allow development to take place if the impacts on infrastructure or the environment can be mitigated satisfactorily; work closely with partners, particularly the local highway authority, to ensure that planning policies and planning decisions are consistent with the wider transport strategy for the area; require a transport Assessment to be submitted with applications for major developments

work with the Local Strategic Partnership, comprised of leading community organisations, such as the Police, and health authorities.


10. WATER MANAGEMENT

Background

10.1 The River Wey and its tributaries drain most of Waverley and many of its towns and villages are located in or adjoining the floodplains. In the past some of these areas have flooded, sometimes with devastating effect and although a number of measures have been undertaken to improve flood control, there are still risks.

10.2 Flooding is part of the natural cycle of events and assists in the biodiversity of floodplains which are often valuable wetland habitats. The management and reduction of the incidence of flood risk is an integral part of the development process, both in order to reduce damage to property and to avoid loss of life.

10.3 One of the key aims of delivering sustainable development is the sustainable use of water resources. This includes the management of both the supply of water and its disposal, including the management of run-off through the encouragement of sustainable drainage systems. The protection of the water supply and water pressure is, however, the responsibility of the water authorities.

Policy Background

10.4 Government policies regarding the consideration of flood risk are set out in PPG25 Development and Flood Risk. This document recognises that uncertainties are inherent in the prediction of flooding and that flood risk is a material planning consideration. PPG3 Housing also recognises that flood risk is a material planning consideration. The Environment Agency has the lead role in providing advice on flood issues

10.5 Local Authorities are to adopt a risk-based approach to proposals for development in, or affecting, flood risk areas. The definition for the risk of flooding is:-

little or no risk – annual probability of flooding <0.1%; low to medium risk – annual probability of flooding 0.1-1.0%; high risk annual probability of flooding with defences where they exist >1.0%.

10.6 PPG25 indicates that residential, commercial or industrial development within developed areas subject to high risk may be acceptable provided appropriate flood defences can be maintained. However, the PPG states that residential commercial and industrial development should not take place in undeveloped high risk areas. It also indicates that flood plains may be suitable for some recreation, sport, amenity and conservation uses, provided adequate warning and evacuation procedures are in place.

10.7 The draft South East Plan (2005) and the approved Surrey Structure Plan (2004) both recognise the impact of climate change, the prospects for increased flooding and the need for efficient management of water resources. The Environment Agency has produced indicative Flood Risk maps and these were indicated on the Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002).


Policy Approach

10.8 The Council recognises the effects of climate change and the damage that flooding causes and that whilst such damage cannot be prevented entirely, flood risk can be minimised and managed. The Council recognises that the susceptibility of land to flooding is a material consideration in the development process and will take the advice of the Environment Agency on the distribution of flood risk and the availability of flood defences in its area.

10.9 Floodplains are shown on the Proposals Map. New development in undeveloped floodplains will be avoided and development that is appropriate to the risk will only be permitted subject to suitable design and conditions to secure the necessary management of that risk.

10.10 Applications by individual householders for minor extensions or alterations to properties within area of risk do not normally raise significant issues, but should be designed and constructed to conform to any relevant extant flood protection arrangements.

10.11 Developers will be expected to provide appropriate flood risk assessments and will be required to provide for and maintain flood defences and other flood-water management measures that are required as a consequence of development.

10.12 The Council also recognises that sustainable drainage systems have an important role to play in controlling surface water run-off and that it is important to manage the supply of water and be aware of the position regarding water pressure. Rainwater harvesting by households should be encouraged.

10.13 The purpose of the policy is to make clear the requirements for flood prevention water and drainage management that developers will need to make and the position regarding proposals for development in the flood plain.


POLICY CP7 WATER MANAGEMENT

Developers will make appropriate measures to to attenuate surface runoff through sustainable drainage systems where appropriate. New development on undeveloped flood plains will be avoided. Development on land at risk from flooding will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that it will not impede the flow of floodwaters, increase the risk of flooding elsewhere or reduce the capacity of a floodplain. Appropriate water, flood and drainage management initiatives will be required, particularly to deal with the incidence of flash flooding arising because of climate change. A flood risk assessment, appropriate to the scale and nature of the development, will be required for any development proposal within areas identified as being at high risk and for new residential development in areas of low to medium risk.

The disposal of surface water from new development to public sewers will not be permitted.

Arrangements for the provision and maintenance of flood defences and other water management measures that are required as a consequence of development, including the provision of services, will be secured by planning obligations or by conditions attached to a planning permission.


How the policy will be delivered

10.14 The Council will:-

in considering proposals for planning permission, give appropriate weight to information on flood risk and only allow development to take place if the impacts on flooding can be mitigated satisfactorily; work closely with the Environment Agency and other partners to ensure that water, flood and drainage management measures are implemented; through the Annual Monitoring Report, monitor development to ensure that, where it is permitted in accordance with the above policy, it does not proceed in advance of flood control infrastructure;

in consultation with the Environment Agency, give consideration to the making of Article 4 Directions where extensions or alterations that are permitted development are likely to have a direct and/or adverse effect of a watercourse or flood defences.seek greater efficiency of the use of water in the design of new development .


11. BIODIVERSITY


Background

11.1 Waverley enjoys an outstandingly rich biodiversity. Biodiversity is defined as “the variety of life in all its forms”. (Planning Policy Statement 9 – Biodiversity and Geological Conservation) These ecological, resources are irreplaceable and contribute to the identity and distinctiveness of the Borough. The response of the public and organisations to the consultation, s demonstrates a strong wish that every effort should be made to protect, conserve and enhance these assets.


11.3 Planning Policy Statement 9, “Biodiversity and Geological Conservation sets out the considerable importance of biodiversity. The Waverley Environmental Natural Resources Audit (1997) highlights that the Borough is especially rich in wildlife habitats. There are extensive designated nature reserves and Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCIs), Local Nature Reserves (LNR) and a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and Regionally Important Geological or Geomorphological Sites (RIGS) in Waverley. There are a number of reserves of international importance, including Hankley Common and Frensham Common Special Area of Conservation (SAC), the Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham candidate SAC and part of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) and the Wealden Heaths Phase 1 SPA at Hindhead. There are extensive areas of lowland heath and ancient woodland. These areas are protected and there is a presumption against development, unless it is in the national interest.

11.4 The Thames Basin Heaths SPA impinges on Upper Hale, north Farnham. Like the other designated reserves, the Thames Basin Heaths are strongly protected and development is precluded unless it is needed in the national interest. There is a 400m zone around the SPA where residential development is excluded and a 2 kilometre and 5 kilometre zone where new housing will have to be accompanied by provision of open space.

11.5 There are also a number of undesignated sites, particularly in or adjacent to urban areas, which are important local wildlife habitats which are much valued by local people. The biodiversity value of these sites needs to be taken into account if development is proposed. The canals and river corridors also provide valuable wildlife habitats.

11.6 The concept of biodiversity, which is the variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes of which they are a part, means that all wildlife is important where it occurs, including in areas outside reserves. Therefore, biodiversity is also important in areas other than nature reserves, such as agricultural farmland, derelict land and the wider countryside..

11.7 The opportunity to mitigate climate change and the effect on biodiversity will need to be taken when the scope to create wildlife corridors and buffer zones arises.

Policy Background

11.8 PPS 9, sets out the Government’s fundamental objective of effective protection of the country’s biodiversity, and urges local authorities to maintain and strengthen their commitment to the stewardship of the natural environment.

11.9 Similarly the draft South East Plan (2005) and the Surrey Structure Plan (2004) stress the importance of protecting, conserving and enhancing the rich biodiversity of the area.

11.10 The policies in the Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002) which seek to protect, conserve and enhance biodiversity are well established and based firmly on national, regional and strategic policies. Policies D5, C9, C10, C11, C12 are “saved”.


Policy Approach

11.11 Through its various responsibilities the Council will continue to protect, conserve and appropriately enhance the Borough’s rich biodiversity .

11.12 The policies in the Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002) which seek to protect, conserve and enhance biodiversity will be retained as saved policies. The purpose of the policy is to set out the broad strategic position on biodiversity and not to repeat national guidance.


POLICY CP8 BIODIVERSITY

The biodiversity of the Borough will be protected, conserved and enhanced.


How the Policy will be delivered

11.13 The Council will:-

continue to work with developers, English Nature and other partners to secure the protection, conservation and enhancement of the Borough’s biodiversity; through the Annual Monitoring Report, monitor the development of sites to ensure that development does not adversely affect the Borough’sbiodiversity; through the Annual Monitoring Report, monitor the enforcement of agreements and conditions attached to planning permissions; Have regard to the Surrey Biodiversity Action Plan habitats and Priority UK PAP species; Ensure adequate ecological information is available before considering granting permission for development likely to cause loss of biodiversity.


12 HERITAGE
Background

12.1 There are over 1,600 listed buildings of architectural or historic interest in the Borough, (Farnham alone has nearly 600), together with many other buildings and structures of local importance. There are hundreds of smaller Items, such as milestones and old signposts, which have been identified as Heritage Features and there are eight Historic Parks and Gardens. There are also 45 conservation areas of architectural or historic importance and those Areas of Special Historic Landscape.

12.2 Conservation Area Appraisals have been undertaken for Wrecclesham, Farnham Town Centre and Bramley and the conservation area boundaries have been amended. There is an ongoing programme of enhancement schemes and opportunities for working with other agencies, such as the Highway Authority, to enhance historic areas will be sought. The Health Checks for Farnham, Haslemere and Cranleigh also indicate some of the opportunities for making improvements to the centres.

Policy Background


Policy Approach

The purpose of the policy is to provide the broad strategic approach and not to repeat national guidance.

POLICY CP9 HERITAGE

The heritage of the Borough will be protected, preserved and enhanced

How the policy will be delivered

The Council will continue to work with developers, English Heritage and other partners to secure the protection, conservation and enhancement of the Borough‘s heritage.

Through the Annual Monitoring Report monitor the development of sites to ensure that development does not adversely affect the Borough’s heritage.

Through the annual Monitoring Report monitor the enforcement of agreements and conditions attached to planning applications.



13. ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND POLLUTION


Background

13.1 The planning system plays a key role in protecting and improving the natural environment, public health and safety and amenity. This includes consideration of the impact of development which may give rise to pollution (including air and light pollution, noise and land and water contamination), either directly or indirectly. The planning system is also central in ensuring that other uses and developments are not, so far as is possible, affected by major existing or potential sources of pollution nor should become potential sources of pollution.

13.2 The presence of contamination is not restricted to land with previous industrial uses. It can occur on greenfield as well as previously developed land and it can arise from natural sources as well as human activities.

13.3 The presence of contamination in land can present risks to human health and the environment. Development through the planning process incorporates an obligation to assess the risk from land contamination and presents a means of dealing with both natural and man-made pollution by appropriate remedial techniques. The impact of development on the quality of land, air and water is capable of being a material planning consideration.

13.4 Waverley has a few pockets of poor air quality principally in Farnham town centre and at Hindhead and has some areas of degraded and contaminated land, but has no hazardous installations. The Council has identified a number of Air Quality Management Areas for which action plans to improve air quality have been drawn up , notably working with the Blackwater Valley authorities. The Council continues to work with the County Council and landowners to secure the restoration and improvement of mineral sites and to promote the improvement and enhancement of degraded landscapes and land on the “urban margins”, such as the Farnham/Aldershot Strategic Gap. There are a few areas in Waverley where land contamination is known to exist, the most significant of which are at Riverside in Farnham, the Godalming Key Site and the Cranleigh Brick and Tile Works.

13.5 New technologies in renewable energy alongside improvements in energy efficiency and the development of combined heat and power are continuing to evolve and are providing opportunities for reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

13.6 Waverley continues to encourage all developers to adopt sustainable construction methods (which include waste reduction principles), energy efficiency techniques and other measures to minimise the use of non-renewable resources. All new ‘building work’ is controlled by the Building Regulations 2000. These regulations include Part L, the ‘conservation of fuel and power’. These Regulations are currently under review.


Policy Background

13.7 The improvement of environmental quality, the control of air, noise and light pollution, the removal/minimisation of contamination and the effective use of renewable energy are consistent themes of Government policy, regional and Structure Plan and current Local Plan policy and are fundamental objectives of the Council’s Corporate Strategy.

13.8 Relevant Government Policy is set out in Circular 2/2000; PPG10 Planning and Waste Management; PPS22 Renewable Energy; PPS23 Planning and Pollution Control and PPG24 Planning and Noise. These documents seek to secure the effective protection of the environment and the prudent use of resources so that “where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation”.

13.9 Circular 2/2000 identifies the following objectives for contaminated land:-

to identify and remove unacceptable risks to human health and the environment; to seek to bring damaged land back into beneficial use; and to seek to ensure that the cost burdens faced by individuals, companies and society as a whole are proportionate, manageable and economically sustainable.

13.10 The draft South East Plan (2005) sets out the regional approach to managing environmental resources, the reduction of pollution and waste, sustainable construction and the measures and targets to be adopted at the regional levels.

13.11 Policies in the approved Surrey Structure Plan (2004) and the Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002) recognise the need for air, noise, odour, radiation, light and other pollution controls, the consideration of flood risk and the implications of renewable energy. Policy SE2 of the Surrey Structure Plan 2004 Policy SE2 promotes the inclusion of a proportion of renewable energy within development schemes. The County Council is the Waste Planning Authority. The County Structure Plan indicates that provision for sufficient waste facilities in accordance with the Best Practicable Environmental Option and that the Surrey Waste Local Development Framework identify appropriate sites. Waverley is the Waste Collection Authority. The Community Strategy supports the continued collection of recyclable materials.

Policy Approach

13.12 The Council recognises that the quality of the environment in Waverley is very high and is sensitive to impact. For these reasons the Council will make every effort to preserve and enhance the quality of both the urban and rural environment. The overall aim of the Core Policy is to ensure that air and light pollution, noise and contamination are contained and minimised and that the consumption and use of energy is reduced. The need for additional capacity for waste management facilities to treat existing waste volumes from households must be taken into account and also the arisings from the commercial sector and new development .

13.13 The Council will actively promote measures to encourage energy efficiency and minimise the use of resources. The Council recognises the potential for renewable energy technology, for example for bio-mass heating, anaerobic digestion, microgeneration, combined heat and power and photovoltaic cells. A future Renewable Energy Development Plan Document will consider whether it is appropriate to require a percentage of energy in new developments to come from on-site renewable energy sources. In the interim, the Council will continue to operate Surrey Structure Plan Policy SE2.

13.14 The purpose of the policy is to set out the strategic parameters to secure environmental quality.

POLICY CP10 ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY/POLLUTION

Development proposals will maintain and enhance the quality of the environment. Development proposals will include measures to:-

a) minimise pollutants, including emissions, lighting, and noise; b) limit adverse effects on water quality, on ground water, and reduce water consumption; c) reduce the consumption and use of energy and resources; d) incorporate facilities for recycling of water and waste; e) address contaminated land, waste and water issues; f) address the issue of climate change; g) reduce road traffic.

The development or expansion of water supply or waste water facilities will normally be permitted where they are:-

a) needed to serve existing or proposed development;

b) in accordance with the provisions of the Development Plan; or

c) in the interests of long term water supply and waste water management.

provided that the need for such facilities outweighs any adverse land use or environmental impact and that any such adverse impact is minimised.

13.14 The Council will:-

continue to work with the Environment Agency, transport authorities, pollution control managers and landowners to ensure that air and light pollution, waste, noise and land and water contamination issues are properly taken into account and that the potential impacts and risks are addressed; continue to work with the Environment Agency and landowners to address contaminated land, waste and water issues; in considering proposals for planning permission, give appropriate weight to information on environmental impact and only allow development to take place if the adverse environmental impacts are comprehensively considered and can be mitigated satisfactorily; through the Annual Monitoring Report, monitor the enforcement of agreements and conditions attached to planning permissions to ensure that air and light pollution, noise and land and water contamination are properly taken into account; through the annual monitoring report, monitor the achievement of targets and measures set in the South East Plan; continue to work with the County Council and landowners to secure the restoration and improvement of mineral sites, including Hambledon, Cranleigh and Ewhurst Brickworks and the sand extraction sits in the Farnham area, and to promote landscape enhancement, particularly in the Farnham/Aldershot Strategic Gap; continue to work with the County Council to ensure that the collection, transport and disposal of waste and collection of recyclables is carried out to efficiently and to the highest environmental standards practicable; work with landowners, local communities and other partners to foster appropriate renewable energy initiatives; continue to work with the County Council on improvements in street lighting standards



14. LANDSCAPE


Background

14.1 Waverley has a rich diversity of landscape reflecting a wide variety of geology and topography and centuries of human influence. Extensive parts of the Waverley countryside are recognised nationally for their high landscape quality. The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), designated by the Countryside Commission in 1958, is a national designation which recognises this high quality landscape. The AONB covers nearly two thirds of the whole area of the Borough and “washes over” many villages and small settlements.

14.2 In response to the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, the Surrey Hills AONB Partnership has produced a Management Plan 2004-2009 which sets out the aspirations for the area and which recognises that there will be a presumption against major residential and commercial development proposals and new development visible from the AONB must not prejudice enjoyment of its natural beauty. It also indicates that limited development may be permitted within villages and other communities “washed over” by the AONB designation. The Management Plan also recognises that the countryside is an important recreation resource and that changing needs of informal recreation, including the improvement of public footpaths, bridleways, need to be accommodated (see also Section 21). A Quiet Lanes Initiative has been undertaken between the Partnership and the County Council to safeguard country lanes.

14.3 The District Councils in Surrey that have the Surrey Hills AONB within their boundaries have collaborated to produce a joint policy for the AONB. This is included in Policy CP11.

14.4 In 1958 and 1971 the County Council designated part of Surrey as an Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) for its own intrinsic value. Additional areas in Waverley were designated in 1984. The AGLV is a local designation which complements the AONB. For the most part the AONB and AGLV designations are contiguous. However there are significant areas around Farnham and Godalming and in the south eastern part of the Borough which extend beyond the AONB designation.

14.5 In 1997 the County Council undertook a detailed assessment of Surrey’s Landscape and Woodlands which has enabled the identification of different landscape character areas. This study has enabled local authorities to retain the characteristic diversity of the different parts of the county.

14.6 The County Council, in partnership with the local authorities, is to review the AGLV in Surrey as part of a wider reassessment of landscape quality and character and to define criteria to guide development design and conserve the diversity and distinctiveness of the Surrey landscape.

14.7 Other parts of the Borough are covered by other local landscape designations including Areas of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI) and the Farnham Aldershot /Strategic Gap. These areas have been identified because of their vulnerability to development pressures and Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002) Policies C4 and C5 have enabled the Council to secure landscape and other improvements including improvements to public footpaths and bridleways.

14.8 There is an overlap between the Moor Park part of the South Farnham Special Environmental Policy Area (saved Policy BE3) and the AGLV notation where there is a low density policy in tandem with a rural policy. This recognises the distinctive rural character of this area within which lies a very low residential area, divorced from the main settlement of Farnham.

14.9 There are also extensive overlaps between the AONB/AGLV and areas of biodiversity and historic value (see Sections 11 and 12).


Policy Background

14.10 The Government’s planning policies for AONBs are set out in PPS7 Sustainable Development in Rural Areas. Government policy confers the highest status of protection on the landscape and scenic beauty of these areas. The objective of Government policy is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of these areas.

14.11 The draft South East Plan (2005) and the adopted Surrey Structure Plan (2004) similarly require that the landscape quality of these areas should be conserved and enhanced. The Surrey Structure Plan also seeks to ensure that development will contribute to meeting the objectives of local countryside management projects and to improvements to areas where landscape is becoming degraded, especially on the urban fringe.

14.12 PPS7 requires local designations (including the AGLV, the ASVI and the Farnham/Aldershot Strategic Gap) must be justified if they are to be part of the policies in the Local Development Framework. This justification will be carried out when the Development Control policies are reviewed.


Policy Approach

14.13 The outcome of the consultation process has supported the objective of conserving and enhancing the distinctive landscape qualities of the Borough in line with national, regional and strategic policies. The fundamental objective of the Core Policy is to ensure that the high quality landscape and scenic beauty of the Borough is retained and improved for the benefit of future generations

14.14 The Council will, through management agreements, continue to promote landscape enhancement measures and to seek to improve areas where landscape is becoming degraded. The protection and prevention of fires will be a consideration.


POLICY CP11 LANDSCAPE

The attractive landscape and character of the rural areas will be conserved and enhanced. Where development in the countryside is acceptable in principle, appropriate landscape management measures will be required and developers must demonstrate how any adverse impacts are to be mitigated.

The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Area of Great Landscape Value
The conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of the landscape is of primary importance within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, reflecting its national status. The principles to be followed in the area are to:-

Measures to support and promote positive land management (including the prevention of fires), which contribute to conservation and enhancement of the AONB will be encouraged.

The Council, in partnership with the County Council and other Surrey authorities, will carry out an assessment of the character of the landscape areas in the county. Landscape quality within the Area of Great Landscape Value, particularly in locations which are visible from the AONB, will be conserved. Development within the AGLV will have regard to the need to conserve and maintain its diversity and distinctiveness and the setting of villages and urban areas.

How the Policy will be delivered

13.15 The Council will:-

monitor development taking place in the countryside and its impact on the distinctive character and landscape through the Annual Monitoring Report; monitor management agreements and other landscape enhancement measures through the Annual Monitoring Report; identify and keep under review areas where landscape is becoming degraded and work with partner organisations and landowners to promote improvements; review local landscape designations in partnership with other relevant authorities including the County Council.; continue to support the Surrey Hills Joint Advisory Committee.



15. TOWNSCAPE

Background

“Townscape” describes the character of towns and assists understanding of urban places and their appearance.

Waverley has four main urban settlements: Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh. The centres of all four are conservation areas, and contain a rich heritage of historic buildings and heritage features. The centres are also busy commercial areas comprised of shops, offices, dwellings, public buildings, pubs and restaurants. The outer areas are mainly residential with schools and open space and include some industrial estates.


Policy Background

There is no specific government Planning Policy Statement (PPS) for towns as a whole, but Planning Policy Statement 6 Planning for Town Centres deals with town centres. One of the government aims is stated as being “to promote good design, improving the quality of open spaces, protecting an enhancing the architectural and historic heritage of centres, and ensuring that town centres provide an attractive and safe environment for businesses, shoppers and residents.” (paragraph 1.5) The policy in the Core Strategy needs to reflect this aim.

Since all the urban centres are conservation areas and as there are conservation areas in the outer urban areas, Planning Policy Guidance 15 : Planning and the Historic Environment is also relevant.

Paragraph 4.16 makes clear that it is not appropriate to prevent development altogether in commercial centres, but “the emphasis will generally need to be on controlled and positive management of change.” New development will need to accord “with the areas’ special and architectural and historic interest.” The PPG makes it clear that the character, (the specific townscape of the place) needs to be preserved.

Policy LO2 of the Surrey Structure Plan 2004 sets out how urban areas should be managed. This has a bearing on townscape because it refers to promoting the principles of urban renaissance. This concept relates to the rejuvenation of urban areas largely through Area Action Plans, which are to be produced by Local Planning Authorities as part of their Local Development Frameworks.

The Waverley Borough Local Plan 2002 has a number of policies that relate to townscape. Policy BE1 to BE6 all refer to urban areas that merit special policies to protect their character and these are “saved Policies “ in the Development Scheme 2005. Policy HE8 on conservation areas and TC1 to TC16 on town centres are also relevant. Some of the TC policies are reviewed in this document.

Policy approach

The need to consider townscape as a specific policy arose from the responses to the public consultation on the Core Strategy Preferred Option and Policies. As with all the policies in the Core Strategy, the approach is to devise a broad policy that covers the topic at a general level. The policy covers the whole of the urban area, not just the town centre, and deals primarily with character.

POLICY CP12 TOWNSCAPE

Development proposals will maintain and enhance the quality and character of the urban environment and will promote urban renaissance as appropriate.

How the policy will be delivered

The Council will:-

seek the preparation of design briefs and statements;

monitor the amount of redevelopment taking place in low density areas;


16. DESIGN


Background

16.1 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 the biennial Waverley Design Award Scheme has been running successfully since 1995. In line with current good practice, the Council encourages developers to submit Design Statements as part of their planning applications.

16.2 Several of Waverley’s communities have produced Village Design Statements, which seek to identify aspects of the environment which are locally distinctive such as local building styles and materials. Village Design Statements have, or will have, status as Supplementary Planning Documents.

16.3 Whilst it is important that new development should enhance and protect the local distinctiveness of the area, it is also recognised that innovation and originality can make a positive contribution to the quality of the environment.


Policy Background

16.4 Government Policy regarding design issues is set out in PPS 1 Delivering Sustainable Development and PPS 7 Sustainable Development in Rural Areas, both published in 2004.

16.5 The Surrey Structure Plan (2004) seeks a high standard of design, both of new buildings and the way they integrate with their surroundings. All development proposals, including small scale and infill redevelopment schemes, will be required to satisfy the fundamental principles set out in the design guide Surrey Design (2002.)

14.6 The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) has produced guidelines called “Making Design Policy Work – How to Deliver Good Design Through Your Local Development Framework (June 2005). This sets out five fundamental factors for better design policies as follows:-

i) Embed design concerns across the new LDF policy hierarchy and beyond to the Community Strategy;

ii) Treat design as a cross-cutting issue which infuses all other policy areas;

iii) Base design policies on an in-depth understanding of local context and the design process;

iv) Recognise that design is important beyond the scale of individual sites and can help establish LDF objectives at different spatial levels;

v) Ensure design policy addresses social and sustainable as well as visual and functional concerns.


Policy Approach

16.6 The need for good quality design is a key element in sustainable development. The scale, design and layout of new buildings and landscape features can complement what is already there, or form the basis of new character. All new development in Waverley should complement, enhance and protect the local distinctiveness of the area. Design excellence will take into account the objectives of sustainable construction, energy and water efficiency including the harvesting of rainwater, minimising waste and maximising the use of local and regional materials and other products. Consideration must be given to the effects on amenity by “bad neighbour” uses.

16.7 In trying to make the best use of land, higher density developments may be proposed in the developed areas of the Borough. If approached with imagination, design flair and a good understanding of the character of the area, such developments should not be a threat to the quality of life, but should make a positive contribution to the quality of the living environment. The need to provide open space needs to be taken into account when considering proposals for residential development .

16.8 New layouts should consider the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users.

16.9 In considering proposals for development or redevelopment within developed areas, the Council will have regard to the special characteristics, local topography, and character of the site and its surroundings

16.10 Proposals for development should incorporate appropriate areas of open space and should take account of the aims and objectives contained in the Safer Waverley Partnership Community Strategy 2005 – 2008 for reducing actual crime and the fear of crime, particularly in town centres (See also Sections 21 and 22). Where appropriate, designs should also incorporate fire prevention measures, such as sprinkler systems.

16.11 The purpose of the policy is to set out criteria for assessing good design and to provide developers with guidelines on how to approach the design of new development.

POLICY CP13 DESIGN

The Council will expect all development to demonstrate the principles of good design. New developments will contribute to the street scene and quality of the area and respect its character and the way it functions.

Development proposals will incorporate good design characteristics including:-

a high quality standard of design;

respect for the character, form, density, layout, scale, appearance, materials, setting and local context;

crime prevention and fire prevention measures;

sustainable construction and energy efficiency techniques, and other measures to minimise the use of non-renewable resources;

safe and accessible environments;

a sense of place;

will not adversely affect the amenities of the occupiers and future occupiers of neighbouring properties;

pay regard to the existing features of the site, including water features, trees and hedgerows; and

appropriate landscaping and planting.

Developers will submit Design Statements to accompany major planning applications.


How the Policy will be delivered

16.12 Through the Annual Monitoring Report, the Council will monitor:-
the number of major developments subject to a design statement;
the number of design awards achieved for new development.

16.13 Baseline data will be collected on local distinctiveness


17. HOUSING NEED


Background

17.1 The Government is committed to creating mixed and inclusive communities offering a choice of housing and lifestyle. In its proposed amendment to PPG3, the Government has stated that part of what makes a community sustainable is a well-integrated mix of housing of different types and tenures to support a wide range of households of different sizes, ages and incomes.

17.2 In Waverley there is a high market demand for housing generally. However, there is a limit on the amount of housing that can be built in the Borough. The current Structure Plan requirement is for at least 2,810 dwellings to be provided over the period 2001 to 2016. This equates to an annual average of 187 dwellings. It is important that the Council does what it can to meet the accommodation needs of the wide range of households.

17.3 The Community Strategy identifies the importance of providing affordable housing and of meeting the housing needs of specific groups.

17.4 In Waverley, it has long been recognised that there is a mismatch between the existing housing stock and the size of households.

Policy Background

17.5 National policy is contained principally in PPS 1 Delivering Sustainable Development and PPG3 Housing, which relates specifically to housing. The latter document is currently under review. The Government has consulted on changes to the PPG relating to the need for both affordable housing and market housing generally.

17.6 The overall housing aims of the draft South East Plan are to:-

ensure that adequate levels of housing are delivered in the form of high quality housing within sustainable communities; make better use of land; secure a step-change in the delivery of affordable housing; provide the right type of housing; make better use of existing stock. 17.7 In relation to housing need, the draft South East Plan states that a range of housing will need to be provided in the region to meet the needs of all sections of the community. It identifies two particular trends:-

the increasing number of elderly people in the population; and the increase in the number of smaller households.

17.8 In the draft policy relating to housing needs, it is indicated that assessments of need should include the elderly and disabled, students, black and minority ethnic households, families with children and others with special requirements. The draft South East Plan also indicates that local authorities should carry out and keep up-to-date urban potential studies and housing market and housing needs assessments.

17.9 Surrey Structure Plan Policy DN10 specifically relates to housing type and need. It states that new dwelling provision should incorporate a mix of sizes and types of housing to contribute towards meeting the needs of all sections of the community.

17.10 Policy H4 in the current Local Plan promotes a proportion of small units in new developments in order to meet the needs of households seeking smaller units and to increase the overall supply of smaller units in the Borough, given that the existing stock has a lower than average amount of small units.


Policy Approach

17.11 The purpose of the policy is to address strategic housing and accommodation issues, including the needs specific groups such as the elderly, students, single person households, key workers, gypsies, travellers and travelling showmen and those with support needs. The details of how the Council will address housing needs will be contained in the proposed Housing DPD. In carrying out this work the Council will work in co-operation with partner organisations. The greatest priority in terms of housing need is to meet the significant need for subsidised affordable housing. The Core Strategy contains a separate policy, Policy CP16, relating to subsidised affordable housing.

17.12 In preparing the more detailed policies for the proposed Housing DPD, the Council will gather evidence of the housing needs within the Borough.


POLICY CP14 HOUSING NEED

The housing needs of the Borough will be delivered through a mix of sizes and types of housing and other accommodation designed to meet the appropriate accommodation needs of all sections of the community.

Details of the mix of housing to be sought and any specific requirements to meet specific needs will be set out in the Housing DPD.
How the Policy will be delivered

17.13 The proposed Housing DPD will provide more detailed policies that will be used to address identified accommodation needs..

17.14 The Council will:-

continue to work in partnership with other relevant organisations to identify the range of housing and accommodation needs within the Borough; monitor the type and mix of tenure of housing through the Annual Monitoring Report.





18. HOUSING PROVISION


Background

18.1 The Council has specific targets to meet in terms of housing provision. These are currently set out in the Surrey Structure Plan 2004. This indicates that the Council must make provision for 2,810 net additional dwellings between 2001 and 2016. It is necessary for the Council to monitor closely the delivery of new housing to ensure that this minimum target can be accommodated.

18.2 Given the character of the Borough, particularly the various constraints on development outside the urban area, much of the new housing development comes forward on small previously unidentified (windfall) sites.


Policy Background

18.3 One of the key Government objectives set out in PPG3 Housing is to provide sufficient housing land, giving priority to re-using previously developed land within urban areas, bringing empty homes back into use and converting existing buildings, in preference to the development of greenfield sites.

18.4 This theme is picked up in the draft South East Plan (2005). It states that national and regional guidance seeks to provide more sustainable patterns of development, based on higher densities and a sequential approach. It states that the efficient use of previously developed land and buildings within urban areas will be the first step in providing for the South East’s housing needs. The draft plan indicates that at least 60% of all new housing development in the South East should be on previously developed land.

18.5 Policy H2 of the draft South East Plan (2005) states that local authorities will prepare housing allocation strategies, phasing the development of large sites and the provision of infrastructure to ensure that overall housing allocations can be met.

18.6 A key factor in the delivery of additional housing is the provision of necessary infrastructure to support this. The draft South East Plan policy relating to infrastructure states that the scale and pace of land release for new development will be dependent on there being sufficient capacity in existing infrastructure to meet the area’s current needs and will be related to the provision of new transport and other infrastructure to meet the needs of new development.

18.7 The South East Plan also acknowledges that development in urban areas is not necessarily an easy option. It refers to potential obstacles such as high development costs and land assembly. It also states that infrastructure and other requirements associated with the cumulative impact of small-scale development in urban areas also need to be taken into account.

18.8 The Surrey Structure Plan (2004) states that the implementation of Surrey’s housing requirements will be monitored and assessed against the results of Surrey’s Housing Capacity Study, and district housing capacity studies. It states that the ‘Plan, Monitor, Manage’ approach will be implemented to ensure that best use is being made of previously developed land. Policy LO6 of the Structure Plan states that local planning authorities will adopt a plan, monitor, manage approach to housing provision, with appropriate phasing policies in local development frameworks.


Policy Approach

18.9 Until the South East Plan housing allocations are confirmed, the requirement for Waverley is set out in the Structure Plan. The requirement is to make provision for 2,810 net new dwellings between 2001 and 2016. This equates to an average of 187.3 dwellings per annum. The Core Strategy will run to 2018. Pending the approval of the South East Plan and the new housing allocations, the Council will roll-forward the current Structure Plan annual requirement for the two years from 2016 to 2018. This gives a revised total requirement of 3,185 dwellings for the period 2001 to 2018. As at April 2005, some 867 net new dwellings had been built, at an average rate of 217 dwellings per annum. This leaves 2,318 dwellings to be provided between 2005 and 2018, an average of 178 dwellings per annum. Whilst the details of how this requirement will be met will be set out in the proposed Housing DPD, the Council is confident that the current housing requirement will be met through the use of previously developed land. Based on the supply over the last five years, small and medium windfall sites alone can be expected to continue to deliver an average of 136 dwellings per annum. It is expected that the housing requirements will be met through:-

the continued emergence of windfall sites;

the development of sites with planning permission; and the development of sites identified in the existing Local Plan as having housing potential, and other sites identified as a result of the Urban Housing Potential Study (UHPS).

18.10 If anything, there is concern about potential over-supply in the short term. The Housing DPD will consider, therefore, whether phasing policies are required to ensure a more consistent delivery of new sites for housing.

18.11 The Council has commissioned its own study of housing potential within the Borough. The outcome of this will also inform the Housing DPD.

18.12 In due course the South East Plan will become the Regional Spatial Strategy and will replace the Structure Plan. It will set out new housing allocations, by district, which will be required to cover the plan period up to 2026. The Housing DPD will need to address the possible implications of the, as yet, unresolved allocations and the implications for delivery in Waverley. This a further reason for taking a positive approach towards phasing current provision, so that the Council is better placed to accommodate the longer term allocations that emerge from the South East Plan.

18.13 Following consultation earlier in 2005, the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA), approved Part 1 of the South East Plan, containing the ‘Core Regional policies’, at the Regional Assembly on 13th July 2005. In terms of overall levels of housing for the Region, the Assembly agreed to an annual average growth level of 28,900 dwellings per annum. The Core Strategy of the draft South East Plan also sets out proposed sub-regional and county housing figures. Waverley is entirely within the area known as ‘Rest of County’. The SEERA figures indicate an annual average for this are of 220 dwellings per year between 2006 and 2026. It adds that the figures are provisional, pending the conclusion of the work carried out at sub-regional level.

18.14 In Surrey, the County Council, supported by the districts has undertaken a capacity-based exercise to inform proposals for the district level housing allocations. Consultation on the options for district-level distribution took place in September/October 2005.

18.15 The Housing allocation for Waverley from the South East Plan is anticipated to be 220 dwellings per annum Clearly the Council will have to respond to the allocations when finally known. However, as the Housing DPD is being produced in advance of the South East Plan the focus must be on meeting current allocations as set out in the Structure Plan. Once the allocations from the South East Plan are known, the Council will have to respond and this may include an early review of the Housing DPD.

18.16 The purpose of the policy is to set out the housing allocation for the Borough to 2018.


POLICY CP15 HOUSING PROVISION

Provision is made for 3,185 dwellings (net) for the period April 2001 to March 2018.

The Local Planning Authority will review the delivery of housing through its Annual Monitoring Report and will introduce phasing policies where appropriate.


How the Policy will be delivered

18.17 The Council will:-

adopt a Plan, Monitor, Manage approach, with appropriate policies, including, if necessary phasing policies, being set out in the Housing DPD; through the Housing DPD, ensure that there is sufficient provision to meet the annual average requirement for at least five years; continue to monitor closely the delivery of new housing and, if necessary, review the strategy to ensure that current and future requirements can be accommodated; ensure that necessary infrastructure is provided prior to occupation to support the deliver of additional housing.






19. SUBSIDISED AFFORDABLE AND SOCIAL HOUSING


Background

19.1 Waverley continues to have a significant need for subsidised affordable housing to meet the needs of those unable to afford market housing. The updated Housing Needs Survey dated 2003, identifies an annual shortfall in the Borough of 673 units. In preparation for the Housing DPD, the Council has commissioned an updated survey of local needs for affordable housing. The Council will further identify this need in terms of different sizes and types of housing and different forms of tenure.

19.2 “Affordable housing” can be defined as “..that provided with a subsidy to enable the asking price or rent to be substantially lower than the prevailing market prices or rents in the locality and where mechanisms exist to ensure that the housing remains affordable for those who cannot afford market housing.” (Source: draft South East Plan (2005) Policy H4).


19.3 Current national policy is set out in PPG3 and Circular 6/98. The Government is in the process of reviewing the relevant section of PPG3. When published, this will update the PPG and enable the Government to cancel Circular 6/98. The Government approach is that Councils should continue to plan for an appropriate mix of affordable housing based on size and type.

19.4 The draft South East Plan (2005) identifies the need for significant increase in the supply of affordable housing. It states that the cost of housing is a major barrier to continued economic growth, contributing to significant problems in recruitment and retention and longer distance commuting which, in turn, adds to levels of road congestion. The draft plan states that Local Development Documents will need to set targets for the provision of affordable housing both for social rented and other forms of affordable housing, based on the results of housing need and housing market assessments.

19.5 The draft South East Plan (2005) also points out that existing rates of affordable housing provision in the region are currently running at less than half the rate required by RPG9 to meet existing needs. Policy H4 of the draft plan states that Local Development Documents will contain policies to deliver a substantial increase in the amount of affordable housing in the region. It identifies an overall regional target of 25% of all new housing being social rented and 10 – 15% being other forms of affordable housing.

19.6 The draft South East Plan (2005) states that the ability to set lower site size thresholds for negotiating affordable housing will be particularly important in towns and cities that are heavily reliant on small housing sites.

19.7 Policy D11 of the Surrey Structure Plan (2004) relates to affordable housing. This states that Local Development Frameworks will include a target for affordable housing, having regard to the objective that at least 40% of new housing provision in the County should be affordable. 19.8 One of the key priorities in the Waverley Community Strategy (2003) is the need for affordable housing in the Borough.

19.9 The Government recently published its response to the consultation on the “Homebuy” initiative. In essence, this is a programme to expand the opportunity of home ownership to as many people as possible. The Government states that it is proposing to help over 100,000 new households into home ownership by 2010.


19.10 The Council will explore and expand opportunities to maximise the provision of affordable housing and will work closely with partner organisations to achieve this. The detailed policies for securing affordable housing will be set out in the proposed Housing Development Plan Document (DPD).

19.11 Having regard to the outcome of the updated local needs assessment and the outcome of the Government’s review of PPG 3, the Housing DPD will set out the minimum site/size thresholds where a proportion of new housing must be affordable. The Council will also set out the proportion of affordable housing that it expects to be delivered on development sites. The Council will also specify the proportion of affordable housing that should be social rented and that which should be other forms of affordable housing.

19.12 The presumption will be that affordable housing should be provided on-site. However, the Council will also explain the circumstances under which a contribution towards off-site provision will be considered. The Council will also explain the mechanisms that will be used to secure delivery of affordable housing through the planning process.

19.13. Core Policy CP2, which relates to the location of development, indicates that in exceptional circumstances limited development to meet the proven housing needs of rural communities may be permitted adjacent to rural settlements. The existing Local Plan has a rural exception sites policy, which allows for the provision of affordable housing within or adjoining rural settlements, where there is a genuine local need. The Council envisages that an updated policy will be included in the Housing DPD. This will set out the circumstances under which affordable housing, to meet identified local needs, will be permitted on sites within or adjoining rural settlements, which would not otherwise be acceptable for housing.

19.14 The purpose of the policy is to explain how the Council will maximise opportunities for the provision of subsidised affordable and social housing.

POLICY CP16 SUBSIDISED AFFORDABLE AND SOCIAL HOUSING

The Council will maximise and improve the provision of affordable housing (including housing for key workers) as a proportion of the new housing. The Housing Development Plan Document will set minimum thresholds to determine the size of site on which a contribution to affordable housing will be sought.

New affordable housing will primarily be sought on site. Exceptionally, there may be circumstances where it is not desirable to incorporate affordable housing on site. In such circumstances the Council will accept commuted payments towards the provision of affordable housing on an alternative site.

In rural areas, where there is evidence of local need and no alternative sites exist, small scale affordable housing schemes will be permitted on land within or adjacent to rural settlements which would not otherwise be released for development.

Arrangements for the provision of subsidised affordable and social housing will be secured by planning obligations or by conditions attached to a planning permission.


How the Policy will be delivered

19.15 The proposed Housing DPD will provide more details and policies on both the provision of affordable housing on development sites generally and on the provision of affordable housing to meet identified local needs in or adjacent to rural settlements.

19.16 The Council will:-

work closely with relevant partners, including Registered Social Landlords, to maximise and improve the provision of affordable housing in accordance with national and regional policy; monitor the provision of subsidised and affordable social housing through the Annual Monitoring Report.





20. EMPLOYMENT


Background

20.1 A successful economy is essential to the achievement of balanced, prosperous and healthy communities. Government policy seeks to ensure that economic growth takes place in a sustainable way so that undesirable impacts are minimised.

20.2 Waverley’s economy functions as part of the wider southeast region, one of the leading regions in Europe and in the wider world economy. It lies close to both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports and has good road and rail access into London, to other parts of the UK and to Europe via the Channel Tunnel.

20.3 Industrial and commercial development includes uses within Classes B1 – B8 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. This includes offices, research, light, general and special industry and warehousing. It does not include retail premises or tourist related facilities such as hotels and public houses.

20.4 Changes in farming practice, the decline of agriculture and changes to the European Common Agricultural Policy continue to have a major impact on the rural economy.

20.5 There are some 4,700 VAT-registered businesses in Waverley, over 80% of which employ fewer than 10 people. There are business parks/industrial estates in Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh and in some villages. 20.6 The 2001 Census indicates that the resident population in the Borough was some 115,665, of which some 57,912 (50%) were economically active. Of these some 29,529 (51%) were in managerial/professional and technical occupations. Unemployment levels in the Borough have been consistently amongst the lowest in the UK since the low for many years.

20.7 The Council’s Economic Opportunities Strategy (1998) recognises the need to encourage and develop commercial activity in partnership with business and other agencies, build on the existing strengths and abilities of the Borough’s workforce, maintain and improve relevant skills, retain local companies and encourage new enterprises. The Council employs a Business Support Manager and its pro-active efforts to support the Borough’s economy have been recognised by it being awarded Beacon Council status in 2003/2004. The Waverley Business Directory gives detailed information on over 750 firms in order to assist businesses to establish links with other local firms.

20.8 The Waverley Business Forum was established in 1993 to improve and develop relationships between businesses and the Borough Council and thus improve the quality and prosperity of economic life in the Borough

20.9 Waverley’s proximity to London and world markets creates high volumes of traffic. Limited public transport away from the main settlements of Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh make it difficult to undertake essential journeys by means other than the private car. Crowded roads and high levels of congestion have been identified in the Core Strategy and in the Regional Economic Development Strategy as being serious economic inhibitors in the area. The A3 at Hindhead is particularly notorious for severe delays caused by heavy traffic. Subject to the outcome of the recent public inquiry, work on the dual carriageway and the bored tunnel under the Devil’s Punch Bowl is not likely to be completed before 2011.

20.10 In this context, the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) Regional Strategy states that if the region is to continue to “punch its weight internationally” it must not only provide investment for new and improved infrastructure but also change travel behaviour and methods of working to embrace new communications technology. It also identifies the need to:-

match investment in technology with investment in improving skills and education, thereby maximising employability of the workforce; address the question of affordable housing; reclaim and reuse previously developed land; focus on “smart growth”; embrace the principles of sustainable development; and maintain the value of the environment as an economic asset.

20.11 The northern part of Waverley, including Farnham and Godalming, lie within the main area of economic success identified in the SEEDA Regional Economic Strategy 2002. The Strategy encourages the development of “enterprise hubs” to facilitate the transfer of technology and knowledge. Waverley’s towns, whilst not “hubs” in themselves, lie in close proximity to the Guildford/Farnborough hub. The Strategy also seeks to maximise opportunities for urban renaissance and promote sustainable forms of urban development. Small rural towns are identified as having a key focus in achieving this goal.


Policy Background

20.12 The recently adopted Surrey Structure Plan (December 2004) seeks to respond to changing economic needs flexibly by ensuring that the best use is made of urban land. It indicates that the development needs of sustainable economic growth in the County will be met primarily through the reuse of suitably located land already in or available for employment use. It also encourages the development of a mix of types and scale of premises, including mixed use sites. The Structure Plan also identifies that, as a result of its prosperous economy, there have been recruitment and skills shortages and, as a result, some sites will need to be redeveloped for housing purposes. Whilst the Structure Plan expects that up to 20% of secondary employment sites will be redeveloped for other uses it stresses that Local Authorities will need to maintain an adequate supply of employment land for future requirements.

20.13 The key objective of the draft South East Plan (2005) is to maximise untapped economic potential and address deprivation. Whilst the emerging South East Plan contains no specific strategic policy guidance in terms of the future direction of economic strategy for areas outside the sub-regional growth areas the topic-specific policies (Policy RE4) indicate that sufficient employment land and range of sites should be made available to promote continued sustainable growth, more efficient use should be made of existing sites and that the loss of existing suitably located industrial and commercial sites should be resisted.

20.14 These strategic approaches are mirrored in the current Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002). This document stresses that the loss of suitably located and well-established industrial and commercial land will be resisted and that more effective use should be made of existing sites through redevelopment. The current Local Plan states that sites will be suitably located where they meet one or more of the following criteria:-

the continued use of the site for commercial or industrial purposes would not have a materially adverse impact on the local environment or the amenities of local residents; they lie within or close to residential areas which can provide a source of labour; they are conveniently located to customers/markets and to other firms; they are located where the highway network can satisfactorily absorb the traffic generated; and they are conveniently served by public transport and/or are conveniently accessible from nearby residential areas by walking or bicycle.

20.15 In January 2005, the Government published an amendment to Planning Policy Guidance Note (PPG)3 – “Housing”, relating to: ‘Supporting the Delivery of New Housing’. This document encourages local planning authorities to consider favourably applications for housing or mixed use on land allocated for industrial or commercial purposes, or redundant land and buildings in industrial or commercial use, but which is no longer needed for such use. This ‘test’ is subject to a number of criteria.


20.16 Waverley continues to be an attractive location for economic investment. It is important that a variety of jobs is maintained close to where people live in order to reduce distances travelled to work. The majority of its industrial and commercial land is located in the four main settlements of Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh. There are a number of pockets of employment in some of the larger villages.

20.17 Waverley has a high quality environment and convenient location to London, Heathrow, Gatwick and the Channel Tunnel. As much of its area lies within the Green Belt and is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are limited opportunities for new allocations. As a result much of the industrial and commercial land in the Borough has been redeveloped for high value service sector uses.

20.18 The Core Strategy policy approach therefore seeks to sustain employment opportunities with a particular focus on existing industrial and commercial land in the four main settlements of Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh. (See also Section 5.) Where proposals relate to the redevelopment of existing industrial and commercial land outside the four main settlements and villages with defined boundaries the Council will have regard to national policies relating to the Green Belt and to the countryside.

20.19 The Council will carry out an Employment Land Review as part of the Housing Development Plan Document. This will include a review of the adequacy and quality of existing employment land and will identify which, if any industrial/commercial sites could be developed for residential purposes. Where employment sites in town centres are to be redeveloped, mixed use developments will be encouraged (see also Section 22).

20.20 During the preparation of the 2002 Waverley Borough Local Plan concern was expressed that employment land was being lost to retail and housing and that the particular needs of small businesses were not being catered for. It was recognised that there were limited opportunities in Waverley for additional employment land and a number of sites were identified for industrial and commercial development. With the exception of the Railway Yard at Wrecclesham, which Network Rail has retained for operational purposes, all the other sites have been developed or are under construction.

20.21The Consultation process has generally supported the current policies. The current approach to safeguarding suitably located industrial and commercial land has generally been supported on appeal and has been well supported by the business community. Although the Wrecclesham Railway Yard is no longer available, there have not been significant demands from business to allocate replacement land. The consultation process has emphasised the importance of safeguarding suitably located industrial and commercial land. Subject to such safeguards and having regard to the employment land releases in Farnborough and Guildford, a need for new allocations has not been identified.

20.22 The Council maintains a list of available office and industrial premises. This demonstrates that there is a continuing supply of premises available for new businesses. As part of its work on the Housing Development Plan Document the Council is undertaking an employment land review. This will include a qualitative assessment of current sites and will identify which, if any could be redeveloped for residential purposes.

20.23 The purpose of the policy is to set out the strategic framework for maintaining and sustaining economic growth in the Borough.


POLICY CP17 EMPLOYMENT

The employment needs of the Borough and sustainable economic growth will be met through the retention and re-use of existing suitably located industrial and commercial land.

Suitably located industrial and employment land will be safeguarded vigorously.

Development/redevelopment of existing industrial and commercial land within developed areas will be permitted where it provides a mix of types and scale of premises for a range of economic activities. Redevelopment of employment sites in town centres will include an appropriate mixture of uses.

Development/redevelopment of existing industrial and commercial land outside settlements will only be permitted where it does not materially have an adverse impact on the countryside.

The Local Planning Authority will review employment land allocations through its Annual Monitoring Report and will allocate surplus or unsuitably located employment land for alternative purposes where appropriate.


How the Policy will be delivered

20.24 The Council will:-

carry out an Employment Land Review as part of its Housing Development Plan Document. This will also include an assessment of the need for waste management sites. review the relationship between labour supply and housing need through the housing Development Plan Document; monitor redevelopment of existing sites through the Annual Monitoring Report. 21. LEISURE AND OPEN SPACE


Background

21.1 Sport and recreation are essential parts of the quality of life of the Waverley community. Formal facilities are provided by the larger leisure centres in Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh, other private health and fitness clubs and many schools with dual- use facilities for the public. These are located in both the towns and the more rural areas.

21.2 For informal leisure needs, Waverley has an extensive rights of way network. The adopted Waverley Cycle Plan SPD (April 2005) highlights the many cycle routes across the Borough.


Policy Background

21.3 PPG17 Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation requires planning authorities to undertake regular assessments of their facilities in order to assess and understand the needs of local communities and to ensure effective planning for open space, sport and recreation.

21.4 The Government believes that open space standards are best set locally, since national standards cannot cater for local circumstances, such as differing demographic profiles and the extent of existing built development in an area. Waverley will carry out an audit of its open space during the Summer of 2005. Until that work has been completed, national standards will be used.

21.5 The Surrey Structure Plan (2004) encourages both formal and informal recreation and leisure development in urban areas, particularly where it overcomes identified deficiencies. Following the guidance in PPG17, it also supports the retention of land and buildings in leisure use, unless they are proved to be surplus to requirements, or where relocation of facilities will achieve a better and more accessible network.

21.6 Promoting healthy lifestyles is one of the themes in the current Waverley Community Strategy (2003). As the majority of people can enjoy informal activities, opportunities for informal recreation such as walking, cycling and horse-riding are encouraged. The potential health benefits support a more sustainable approach to day-to day living.

21.7 Waverley’s Cultural Strategy 2003-2008 and the Playing Pitch Strategy (2003) have identified that there is a strong and wide ranging sports and recreation sector in the Borough. Many of the clubs and organisations wish to improve or expand existing facilities. The provision of indoor sports facilities is perceived to be average to good, while the parks and open spaces in Waverley receive a high rating of approval. The strategy identifies the need to achieve greater access to parks and the countryside for those with special needs.


Policy Approach

21.8 Development for recreation or leisure use will be encouraged to locate in the built up areas. (See also Section 5.) Outdoor forms of recreation may be acceptable in the Green Belt and in rural areas beyond the Green Belt provided that it does not prejudice the character of the countryside. Sports or other leisure pursuits that are likely to attract significant numbers of participants or spectators should be located within or on the edge of the built up areas. Developments will require special justification if they are to be located in open countryside. All development in rural areas should be designed and sited with great care and sensitivity to its rural location. The Dual-use of recreational facilities will continue to be supported.
21.9 More intensive use of previously developed land puts pressure on land used for sport and recreation. Land which is in recreational use, or publicly accessible, such as playing fields, play space, open space, cemeteries, churchyards, allotments and green spaces around housing developments is an important recreation resource, is important to the character of the area and may be of nature conservation importance. These spaces must be protected, as once lost they are never regained. Unless an assessment has been undertaken which has clearly shown the open space or the buildings and land to be surplus to requirements, it should not be built on.

21.10 In some instances it will be necessary for developers to provide alternative open space and recreational uses which benefit the community. These may provide better and easier access for local people.

21.11 An Open Space Audit in Waverley will be carried out during the Summer of 2005.

21.12 It is important to ensure that making best use of land does not result in a poor environment and quality of life for the community. Adequate amenity space including space for children’s play is essential.

21.13 The National Playing Fields Association (NPFA) is the recognised authority on children’s’ play requirements. It recommends minimum standards for outdoor playing space of 2.4 hectares (6 acres) for 1,000 people, comprising 1.6 hectares (4 acres) for outdoor sport and 0.8 hectares (2 acres) for children's play.

21.14 The NPFA recommends a hierarchy of children's play areas, designed to meet the needs of different age groups, in locations based on walking time. The Association also considers the role played by builders in delivering facilities necessary to serve their developments.

21.15 The purpose of this policy is to protect existing recreational land and facilities and to encourage the creation of further space and facilities for communities, in appropriate and sustainable locations.


POLICY CP18 LEISURE/ OPEN SPACE

Existing leisure facilities and open space will be safeguarded.

New or improved built leisure facilities, which meet the needs of local communities will be provided where they adjoin existing facilities in towns and villages.

Informal recreation will be permitted in rural areas on the edge of existing towns and villages where it does not conflict with Green Belt policies and other policies which protect the countryside.

Formal recreational facilities on the edge of existing towns and villages, such as sports pitches, will only be permitted where appropriate measures are taken to mitigate their environmental impacts.

Residential development will incorporate appropriate areas of open space adequate to meet the needs of residents.

Sites and buildings for new or improved leisure and recreation facilities will only be permitted where they do not undermine the viability of existing facilities.


How the Policy will be delivered

21.16 The Council will:-

carry out a borough-wide audit of Open Space during the Summer of 2005; protect existing recreational land and buildings; continue to promote the dual-use of recreation facilities.

21.17 Through the Annual Monitoring Report, the Council will monitor the:-

provision of new and replacement recreation facilities including those in dual-use; loss of existing recreation facilities as a result of development; loss of open space; gain in recreational open space.
22. TOWN CENTRES AND SHOPPING


Background

22.1 The four main centres of Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh serve a variety of functions, not only as shopping centres or places to work, live and play. In addition, they meet the needs of local communities and visitors, offering a range of facilities in an attractive and historic environment, by day and night. It is important that their character be preserved. All four of the centres serve their own localised catchment areas and are relatively small in scale, with only Farnham and Godalming being included within Group 3 of the Surrey retail hierarchy of town centres. In addition, Waverley has a number of smaller local centres, serving suburban residential areas. Many of the villages have one or more local shops to serve local needs and some have post offices. It is recognised that it is important to retain these facilities. Local and village shops are protected under “saved” Policy S2.

22.2 Each of the four centres has at least one large retail food outlet to serve the community. In addition, Farnham and Godalming also have superstores on the edges of the centres. Each centre has a variety of multiple stores and many individual small shops which contribute to the character of the centre.

22.3 It is important that where appropriate, Local Authorities continue to work in partnership with local organisations in order to understand and foster the vitality and viability of town centres. Town Centre Health Checks have recently been completed in Cranleigh, Haslemere and Farnham.

Policy Background

22.4 The key objective of PPS6 Town Centres continues to be the promotion of vital and viable town centres through planning for the growth and development of existing centres and promoting and enhancing existing centres, by focussing development and encouraging a wide range of services in a good, accessible environment.

22.5 In looking at new town centre development, PPS6 and the Surrey Structure Plan (2004) require local authorities to apply the relevant “sequential test” and assess the cumulative impact on the character and function of the centre, anti-social behaviour, crime and the amenities of nearby residents. In seeking to promote the vitality and viability of town centres, an integrated approach must be taken with regard to the evening and night-time economy. Planning policies and proposals must take account of and complement Waverley’s Statement of Licensing Policy.

22.6 The draft South East Plan (2005) identifies Farnham as a “Secondary Regional Centre” and requires local planning authorities to carry out regular assessments of these town centres. The draft Plan also encourages local planning authorities to encourage and initiate schemes and proposals that help strengthen the viability of small rural towns, recognising their importance to the wider rural areas and support and reinforce their role as local hubs for employment, retailing and community facilities and services.

22.7 The Safer Waverley Partnership Community Safety Strategy 2005–2008 demonstrates that while the overall crime rate is very low in the Borough, residents are worried that they may be a victim of crime. Waverley has hot spot crime areas around town centres and incidents that occur in these areas are often alcohol-related. There are planning related objectives in the Strategy which aim to help reduce town-centre anti-social behaviour.


22.8 Whilst the Health Checks have not indicated either a quantitative or qualitative need for additional retail floorspace the four centres will continue to be the preferred sites for appropriate new retail, commercial and service development in order to strengthen the existing mix and accessibility by public transport. The sequential test requires that developers should demonstrate that all potential town centre options have been assessed before edge-of-centre and, lastly, out–of-centre sites are put forward. Any proposal that is considered to undermine the retail role of the main centres will be resisted.

22.09 The Council will support measures to encourage long-stay parking in peripheral car parks so that space for short-stay parking can be released in town centre car parks.

Development Opportunities

22.10 The Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002) identified a number of Key Sites in the centres, where proposals for development were anticipated, but which have not yet been fully redeveloped include:-

Riverside, Farnham

Farnham Key Site 2: 20–25 West Street

Godalming Key Site: Land between Flambard Way, Catteshall Lane and Woolsack Way. The first phase of development is currently under construction. Haslemere Key Site: Land between West Street and Lower Street. 22.11 The Plan also identifies the East Street area of Farnham as an Area of Opportunity. This will remain the policy basis of the development until such time as a town centre Area Action Plan is drawn up. The housing allocation will be included in the Housing DPD of the Local Development Framework.

22.12 The purpose of this policy is to ensure the continued vitality and viability of the town centres without detriment to their individual historic characters.

POLICY CP19 TOWN CENTRES AND SHOPPING

The centres of Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh will continue to be the focus for employment, retail, leisure and services. Sustainable patterns of development will be encouraged. Development proposals will support the vitality, safety and viability of these centres.

Proposed new retail, commercial and service developments will be subject to the relevant sequential test. Applicants will be required to demonstrate:-

a) the need for development on edge-of–centre or out-of-centre sites;

b) that the development is of an appropriate scale;

c) that there are no more central sites for the development;

d) that there are no unacceptable impacts on existing centres; and

e) that locations are accessible by a choice of means of public transport.

Higher density residential developments and mixed-use developments, which are complementary to the character of the main centres, will be encouraged. Retail uses will be safeguarded within the Central Shopping Areas.


How the Policy will be delivered

22.13 The Council will:-

continue to work closely with Town Centre Health Check partners; through the Annual Monitoring Report, monitor:- - vacancy rates and take-up; identify and keep under review town centre sites which present opportunities for development and provide appropriate policy guidance through Supplementary Planning Documents or Area Action Plans.


23. VISITOR ECONOMY


Background

23.1 Waverley has many assets which attract visitors, including historic towns, attractive villages and highly accessible countryside.

23.2 Waverley’s Cultural Strategy defines tourism as ‘people who travel to a destination for a variety of temporary purposes’. This includes people who visit the area on business or for pleasure or visit for a day or less. Waverley has a limited number of visitor facilities, which include accommodation such as hotels and bed and breakfast, self-catering accommodation and other places to stay overnight or for longer breaks, attractions in the towns and in the countryside, restaurants of all kinds and public houses.

23.3 Tourism in Waverley supports over 2,600 jobs and is worth 100m for the local economy. It also plays an important part in the social and environmental well being of the area and often provides the means of sustaining the heritage and culture and enriching the quality of life. Any proposals for new visitor related development will need to take account of other core strategy policies relating to employment, environment and heritage.


Policy Background

23.4 Guidance relating to Tourism and Leisure is given in PPS7 Sustainable Development in Rural Areas.

23.5 The draft South East Plan (2005) and the Surrey Structure Plan (2004) encourage tourism development in urban areas and appropriate small-scale schemes in rural settlements where they assist farm diversification or the retention of buildings which contribute to the character of the countryside.

23.6 Tourism has been identified in the Waverley Economic Strategy as a key sector to be supported. However, its resources for tourism are limited, and it works with a number of partner organisations to add value and create a co-ordinated approach across a wider area.


Policy Approach

23.7 As the Borough has limited visitor facilities, it is desirable to retain those which are viable, and to provide new facilities where appropriate.

23.8 Town centres are the preferred location for tourism development, where businesses and facilities are concentrated, and accessibility by public transport highest.

23.9 Outside the built up areas, development for the benefit of visitors will it assist farm diversification, benefit the local economy and facilitate the appropriate re-use of rural buildings which contribute to the character of the area. Wherever possible, such development should be accommodated in existing or replacement buildings. New buildings will be permitted only where:-

the required facilities are needed in conjunction with an existing countryside attraction; they meet criteria set out in PPS7; and there are no suitable existing buildings or developed sites available.

23.10 Extensions to existing tourist accommodation must be of a scale appropriate to their location, and where the extension may help to ensure the future viability of such businesses. However, it should not detract from the vitality and viability of existing centres or damage the environment which attracts visitors to the area.

23.11 The purpose of this policy is to ensure that visitors to the Borough are managed in a sustainable way, and a balance struck between the concerns of residents about traffic and pollution and the need to support local businesses which provide services to visitors.


POLICY CP20 VISITOR ECONOMY

Existing visitor facilities will be safeguarded.

Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh will continue to be the focus for visitor facilities.

Proposals for visitor facilities in the towns and villages will be permitted in appropriate locations where identified needs are not met by existing facilities.

Proposals for new facilities will be subject to the sequential test. Applicants will be required to demonstrate:-

a) the need for development on edge-of–centre or out-of-centre sites;

b) that the development is of an appropriate scale;

c) that there are no more central sites for the development;

d) that there are no unacceptable impacts on existing centres; and

e) that locations are accessible by a choice of means of public transport.


Where new or improved facilities are proposed in or close to existing towns and villages and satisfy the relevant sequential test, developers will ensure that they do not have an adverse impact on the countryside or conflict with Green Belt policies.


How the Policy will be delivered

23.12 Through the Annual Monitoring Report the Council will monitor:-

the amount and level of tourism development; hotel occupancy rates;

volume and value of tourism by purpose of visit .




24. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS
24.1 Telecommunication and information systems are an integral and essential element in 21st century life. Much of the telephone system is well-established and new technologies in the form of masts are now a recognised element of both the urban and rural environments.

24.2 Fast, reliable and cost-effective communications assist business and contribute to economic growth. With the recent growth and development of digital telecommunications and information systems, the Council recognises that telecommunications technology is continuing to evolve rapidly.

24.3 The Government’s general approach regarding telecommunications and information systems is to facilitate the growth and development of new technologies and systems whilst still being fully committed to environmental objectives and protecting public health.

24.4 Telecommunications developments include masts, transmission equipment and housing as well as antennae, cabinets and overhead wires.

24.5 The Government has granted extensive permitted development rights to many forms of telecommunications developments and in many cases planning permission is not required. In certain circumstances where express permission is not required, operators must give local authorities notice and further details can be requested for prior approval. Where permitted development rights exist, the Council will continue to encourage apparatus to be sited to minimise its visual impact.

24.6 Controls remain strict in environmentally sensitive areas, including Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or sites of scientific or international/national nature conservation interest and where they may affect listed buildings or ancient monuments. In Green Belts, telecommunications developments which affect openness are likely to be inappropriate.

24.7 Special provisions exist where proposals affect schools or other educational establishments. Operators are strongly encouraged to share masts and sites in order to limit visual intrusion.

24.8 Health considerations and public concern can be material considerations in determining proposals, however, it is the Government’s view that the planning system is not the place for determining public health safeguards.

24.9 Waverley recognises the contribution that telecommunications can make to the economy by encouraging people to work at home and by reducing the need of people to travel. The Council encourages developers of housing, office and other developments to consider telecommunications and information system needs at an early stage in the development process.


24.10 The Government’s policy regarding telecommunications development is set out in PPG 8. The Government’s policy is to ensure that people have access to a wide range of services and to facilitate the growth of new and existing telecommunications systems, whilst keeping environmental impact to a minimum.

24.11 Saved Policy D11 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002) sets out the principal issues to be taken into account in considering telecommunications developments for which planning permission or prior approval of details are required.


24.12 The Council will continue to facilitate appropriate telecommunications and information systems and will ensure that where permission is granted or prior approval is sought that the apparatus is sited to minimise its visual impact.

24.13 In accordance with Government policy, the Council will continue to maintain strict control of telecommunications and information system development in the Metropolitan Green Belt, in environmentally sensitive areas, including Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Sites of Special Scientific Interest and where they may affect Listed Buildings or ancient monuments.

24.14 The purpose of the policy is to make clear the position of the Borough Council regarding telecommunications development.


POLICY CP21 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS Where proposals are made for essential digital and electronic communications infrastructure, suitable arrangements will be made to mitigate the environmental impact and to protect the amenities of local residents.


24.15 The Council will:-

continue to work with telecommunications and information system operators to ensure that people have access to telecommunications and information systems services, to facilitate the growth of new systems and services, to minimise environmental impact and to protect public health; through the Annual Monitoring Report, monitor the development of sites to ensure that telecommunications and information systems planning permissions and prior approvals do not adversely affect the Borough’s valuable environmental and wildlife heritage;



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