Waveney Local Plan

Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development and Settlement Boundaries

1.24 Central to local planning is delivery of sustainable development. Resolution 42/187 of the United Nations General Assembly defined sustainable development as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The UK Sustainable Development Strategy Securing the Future sets out five 'guiding principles' of sustainable development:

  • 033 Woods Meadow Housing Constructionliving within the planet's environmental limits;
  • ensuring a strong, healthy and just society;
  • achieving a sustainable economy;
  • promoting good governance; and
  • using sound science responsibly.

1.25 The National Planning Policy Framework states that paragraphs 18 to 219 of the Framework, taken as a whole, constitute the Government's view of what sustainable development in England means in practice for the planning system.

1.26 The Council considers that the strategy, policies and site allocations set out in this Local Plan will achieve sustainable development in Waveney.

1.27 At the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework is a presumption in favour of sustainable development. This means that Local Plans should seek opportunities to meet development needs of the area and should have sufficient flexibility to adapt to change unless the adverse impacts of doing so would outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies in the Framework or specific policies in the Framework suggest that development should be restricted. For decision making, the Framework states that development which accords with the Local Plan should be approved without delay and where the Local Plan is absent, silent or relevant policies are out-of-date, granting permission unless the adverse impacts of doing so would outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies in the Framework or specific policies in the Framework suggest that development should be restricted. 
 

Policy WLP1.2 - Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development

Planning applications that accord with the policies in this Local Plan (and, where relevant, with policies in Neighbourhood Plans) will be approved wherever possible without delay, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Where there are no policies relevant to the application, or relevant policies are out of date at the time of making the decision, planning permission will be granted unless:

  • The proposal would undermine the achievement of the vision and objectives set out in this Local Plan;
  • The adverse effects of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against national planning policy; or
  • Specific national planning policies indicate that development should be restricted.

035 Halesworth Housing1.28 This Local Plan makes provision for more than enough development to meet needs over the plan period and therefore satisfies the presumption in favour of sustainable development for plan making. In order for the vision and strategy to be successful, it is necessary that the Local Plan controls and limits development in certain locations. The Local Plan also needs to give clear signals to developers, the community and infrastructure providers about where development will take place and where it will not take place. Furthermore, to meet objectives on preserving natural resources and the countryside, the Local Plan must ensure undeveloped land in the countryside is not unnecessarily lost to development in excess of the needs accommodated by the Local Plan. Settlement boundaries are a useful and positive tool in meeting these objectives.

1.29 Settlement boundaries define the built up area of settlements, and subject to the other policies of this Local Plan, indicate where development for housing, employment and town centre development would be suitable. They therefore allow for flexibility in the Local Plan by potentially allowing more development than is planned for by the allocation of specific sites, at the same time as avoiding the loss of further undeveloped land in the countryside and further urban sprawl. Limiting development beyond settlement boundaries lowers land values in these locations by removing the 'hope value' for high value developments such as market housing. This allows the Council to develop 'exception site policies' which allow for certain types of development such as 100% affordable housing schemes or schemes for the relocation of homes at risk from coastal erosion which wouldn't otherwise be viable if they were competing for land with market housing. 

1.30 Policy WLP1.3 defines settlement boundaries and restricts the development of new residential, employment and retail uses outside of settlement boundaries.  

Policy WLP1.3 - Settlement Boundaries

Settlement boundaries are defined on the Policies Map. Land which is outside of settlement boundaries and allocations in the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans is considered as the Countryside.

New residential[1] , employment[2] and town centre[3] development will not be permitted in the Countryside except where specific Policies in this Local Plan indicate otherwise.

Neighbourhood Plans can make minor adjustments to settlement boundaries and allocate additional land for residential, employment and town centre development providing that the adjustments and allocations do not undermine the overall distribution strategy outlined in Policy WLP1.1 and would not be contrary to the other Policies of this Local Plan.

Neighbourhood Development Orders can permit development outside of settlement boundaries providing that the overall distribution strategy outlined in Policy WLP1.1 is not undermined and the development would not be contrary to the other Policies of this Local Plan.

1. New residential development falling within use classes C2, C3, and C4 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) For the avoidance of doubt this does not include dwellings restricted by condition for use as holiday lets. [back]
2. Uses falling within use classes B1, B2 and B8 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) [back]
3. Retail development (including warehouse clubs and factory outlet centres); leisure, entertainment facilities, the more intensive sport and recreation uses (including cinemas, restaurants, drive-through restaurants, bars and pubs, night-clubs, casinos, health and fitness centres, indoor bowling centres, and bingo halls); offices; and arts and culture (including (theatres, museums, galleries and concert halls, hotels and conference facilities). [back]