1. Creating a Quality Environment

1.1.

INTRODUCTION

1.1.1.

This chapter deals with the built and natural environment. It sets out design principles and proposals to safeguard and enhance the historic and ecological landscape. The scope for rural development is specified, along with measures to manage land to ensure more sustainable forms of development are achieved, and to safeguard against climate change and other risks to health. The aim is to value the environment through the environmental protection goal as identified in Part 1 and set out below. The policies and proposals will be implemented primarily through the development control process, the Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) and a series of management plans for urban greenspace and the countryside.

Goal 1

Sustain a healthy, visually attractive, ecologically and historically rich environment.

1.2.

JUSTIFICATION OF PART 1 STRATEGIC POLICIES

1.2.1.

There is a need to radically improve the standards of new development throughout the County, and in particular the townscape quality of the City Centre, so as to foster an accessible environment, distinct sense of place and to integrate the centre, seafront and River Tawe. By capitalising on the regeneration proposals for these areas there is an opportunity for Swansea to establish a strong identity as a Waterfront city.

1.2.2.

This needs to be complemented by continued improvement of the environment along the main approach corridors and gateways to the City, particularly the eastern approach which is being significantly enhanced as part of the SA1 Waterfront scheme, together with completion of the Tawe regeneration corridor. Enhancement of the community regeneration areas of Gorseinon, Pontarddulais and Clydach, linking in with major regeneration initiatives, are also key elements of this strategy. Facilitation of development and redevelopment of derelict and underused sites and “greening” programmes within the urban area will help to improve the environment and image.

1.2.3.

In order to promote sustainable growth and protect the countryside and natural heritage from inappropriate development, a series of green wedges are required around the urban settlement. This is a well-established policy tool to protect areas of open character most at risk from development, and help contain and shape the urban form. The following green wedges have been identified:-

  • Clyne Valley
  • Cockett Valley
  • Birchgrove
  • Gorseinon
  • Pant-Lasau
  • Kilvey
  • Llan Valley
  • West Cross/Newton
1.2.4.

Healthier and more active lifestyles are encouraged through the protection and enhancement of an urban greenspace system based on a network of wildlife reservoirs, green corridors and pocket sites. These link in with the green wedges and take greenspace into the heart of the urban area.

1.2.5.

In rural areas it is essential to improve the quality of the villagescape, protect the village character and landscape from harmful development, and also provide opportunities for appropriate smallscale development to support the rural economy. In the larger villages in particular there will be opportunities for infill and small scale “rounding off”. Opportunities to provide for local needs affordable housing will also be catered for.

1.2.6.

The County is particularly rich in ecological resources, and is covered by a large number of internationally designated conservation sites as well as nationally and locally significant sites. The need to protect the high quality countryside is at the heart of the policy framework, together with the need for positive management to safeguard areas with conservation designations.

1.2.7.

The adequacy of water supply and the sewerage infrastructure are material considerations in determining planning applications. There is a need to identify development sites where water supply and/or drainage provision problems can be solved, and to avoid the development of sites where adequate water supply and/or drainage provision is unlikely to be achieved.

1.2.8.

The risk of flooding is another material planning consideration. Development should be guided away from areas that may be affected by flooding and restrict development which would itself increase the risk of flooding or would interfere in the ability of the Environment Agency (EA) or other bodies to carry out flood control works or maintenance. The use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) should be encouraged in all new development wherever practicable.

1.2.9.

The Water Framework Directive controls the ecological and chemical quality of water bodies (rivers, lakes and groundwater) and is transposed in Wales by the Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Regulations 2003. When considering planning applications, the implications of land development on the quality of estuarine and coastal water bodies against the ecological criteria in the Directive must be taken into account, as well as the forthcoming River Basin Management Plans prepared by the EA. Additionally, the Coast is an important national resource and the possibility of problems arising from sea erosion must be taken into account.

1.2.10.

The Council must also take into account the nature, scale and extent of contamination which may pose risks to health and guide developments to lessen the risk from land instability and land contamination. A new regime for contaminated land has been introduced under the provisions of Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and The Contaminated Land (Wales) Regulations 2001. The Council must have regard to the requirements of the Act when considering planning applications.

1.2.11.

Much work has already been undertaken within the County in dealing with the legacy of dereliction, contamination, pollution and land instability, arising from past industrial activity. This has led to a substantial improvement in the quality of the County’s physical environment. This process must continue when assessing new development proposals and the Council will seek to guard against the possibility of new problems being introduced.

1.3.

GENERAL DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES

Objectives

  • To upgrade the visual environment and image of the area (1.a)
  • To promote locally distinct, innovative design sensitive to the location and setting (1.b)
  • To ensure the public realm and new development is accessible for all (1.k)
  • To promote inclusive design in all new developments (3.i)
  • To promote resource efficient buildings and layouts in all new development (1.m)
1.3.1.

The Council is committed to achieving high standards of design and layout in all new developments and alterations to existing buildings. Such development should be sensitive to the County’s unique mix of coastal and rural settings. To achieve this, proposals will be required to meet a number of criteria, as set out in the following policies. The policies are not intended to stifle expression, but to safeguard basic amenity standards, while at the same time promoting sensitive and sustainable design that conserves resources, respects its surroundings and, where appropriate, contributes to the vitality and vibrancy of the area.

Design

POLICY EV1

New development shall accord with the following objectives of good design:

  1. Be appropriate to its local context in terms of scale, height, massing, elevational treatment, materials and detailing, layout, form, mix and density,
  2. Integrate effectively with adjacent spaces and the public realm to create good quality townscape,
  3. Not result in a significant detrimental impact on local amenity in terms of visual impact, loss of light or privacy, disturbance and traffic movements,
  4. Incorporate a good standard of landscape design,
  5. Sensitively relate to existing development patterns and seek to protect natural heritage and the historic and cultural environment, not only on-site, but in terms of potential impact on neighbouring areas of importance, and, where appropriate:
  6. Foster ‘inclusive design’ by ensuring the development allows access for the widest range of people possible,
  7. Support an integrated transport system,
  8. Contribute to the creation of new, and the improvement of existing, spaces and an enhancement of the general street scene,
  9. Promote resource efficient and adaptable buildings and layouts using sustainable design and construction techniques, including the reuse and recycling of construction and demolition waste on site, and energy and water efficiency measures,
  10. Provide a safe environment by addressing issues of security, crime prevention, and the fear of crime in the design of buildings and the space and routes around them
  11. Have regard to the desirability of preserving the setting of any listed building/li>

Design statements will be required in support of planning applications that have design implications, including applications for new or extended buildings and infrastructure, changes to landscape appearance, and/or those involving sensitive sites and locations.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, SP14, EV2-5, EV7-28, EV31, EV40, EC1-9, ECNR, EC11-12, EC14-20 HC1-15, HC17-18, HC21- 22, HC28-30, HC32, R10-12, R15, AS2, AS5-6, AS10, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 12; WO Circulars 61/96 and 1/98 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act and Regulation 1990; Ministerial Interim Planning Policy Statement (MIPPS) 01/2008 - on Good Design; Planning and Inclusive Design (Access Statements) – Final Interim Guidance, 2007

SPG: Designing an Accessible Environment; The Protection of Trees on Development Sites: A guide to developers; Gower and Rural Design Guide (forthcoming); Residential Development: A guide to achieving best practice (forthcoming); Infill Residential Design Guide (forthcoming); Design Guide for Household Development (forthcoming); Tall Building Design Guide (forthcoming); Sustainable Developers’ Guide (forthcoming)

1.3.2.

Amplification

The County does not have a uniform character, but is made up of areas and localities that have distinct identities. Design should respond to this local context, and, where there is scope, seek to improve the built environment. There will be instances where replicas of existing buildings are appropriate, for example, where infill developments are proposed in some of the residential terraces that are traditional to Swansea and the surrounding settlements and in the inter and post war suburbs. In the majority of cases however, modern, innovative, sensitive designs are encouraged in preference to imitations of historical styles, so long as they are sympathetic and appropriate to their surroundings.

1.3.3.

High-density development can contribute to sustainable development by reducing pressure on greenfield sites, and, at locations served well by public transport, reducing overall travel demand. High-density development must be carefully designed in order to ensure a high quality environment and integration with surrounding areas.

1.3.4.

The Council will seek to resist inappropriate tandem development where it would cause access difficulties, disturbance and lack of privacy for occupiers of both the proposed new development and existing dwellings. Increasing density through tall buildings if not well located and proportioned can harm townscape, skylines, seascape and the coastline. They may also have a detrimental impact on the amenity of neighbouring occupiers by causing overlooking and/or overshadowing and create adverse micro-climatic effects. However tall buildings can provide a physical expression of the status of the City Centre and provide a focal point. SPG will therefore be prepared to provide further guidance on their development.

1.3.5.

The Council encourages the re-use of previously developed land in preference to development of any other land. However it is recognised that some of these areas have regenerated into sites important for nature conservation. If it is established that such a site has become important in terms of nature conservation, even if it is non-designated, an ecological survey will be required during the assessment of any planning application and appropriate mitigation measures imposed should planning permission be granted.

1.3.6.

SPG in the form of development briefs will be prepared for specific sites where appropriate, to assist in securing good design and demonstrate how the policy criteria apply.

1.3.7.

Design Statements should identify the character of the area and indicate how the scheme meets the design policies of the UDP and national policies, and where briefs have been adopted they should indicate how the objectives of the brief have been met. TAN 12 provides further guidance on the content of design statements.

1.3.8.

Applicants are encouraged to submit additional illustrative material in support of outline planning applications where this would usefully demonstrate the relationship of the proposed development with neighbouring development and land uses. Additional details will be required by the Council as the local planning authority where it considers this is necessary in sensitive locations, with particular scrutiny being given to proposals within conservation areas and the Gower AONB.

1.3.9.

Developments should be sensitively related to existing settlement patterns and where feasible retain the natural heritage and the historic and cultural environment. In particular, development proposals that are likely to threaten the cultural or linguistic identity of communities by reason of scale and character will be resisted. SPG is to be prepared to determine the need for language statements/linguistic impact assessments to accompany planning applications. Natural heritage and the historic environment can be affected by development not only on-site, but also in terms of potential impact on neighbouring areas of importance, such as Conservation Areas, SSSIs or LNRs.

1.3.10.

To protect the character of the County’s countryside, particularly the Gower AONB and the upland fringes around Mawr, proposed development in rural areas will need to preserve, and where possible enhance, the environment through its location, scale and design. Schemes can assimilate into the landscape and village settlement pattern by giving careful consideration to design and materials, particularly in relation to scale, proportion, texture and colour, which reflect local character and relate sympathetically to existing development and surrounding landscape. Open spaces and gaps within a village setting can be an essential part of its character and will not necessarily be considered as infill plots for development purposes. Design Guidance is being prepared for Gower villages and the rural areas of the County, which will provide advice on appropriate building design and context.

1.3.11.

Landscape design can be important in helping to integrate new development with its surroundings and careful consideration should be given to both the functional and aesthetic aspects of this at the planning application stage. Accurate surveys of existing trees and site levels will be essential for the proper consideration of many proposals.

1.3.12.

Agreed planting schemes will be required to be implemented in the first planting season following completion or occupation of a scheme and will need to be maintained for a specific period to enable the new planting to become established. The Council encourages and supports the use of indigenous species in planting schemes, where appropriate. In certain instances it will be necessary for applicants to enter into a Section 106 Agreement to safeguard management and maintenance arrangements for planting schemes and to agree acceptable finance arrangements.

1.3.13.

The Council will encourage the efficient use of resources, including land, in the design and layout of new development. Development should incorporate energy efficient design and layout and where appropriate energy generation, as well as promoting the utilisation of sustainable building materials and construction techniques, whilst minimising the generation of waste and pollution. The efficient use of water resources must also be taken into account and the design of new buildings must have regard to water conservation measures.

1.3.14.

New development should be designed to be accessible to all users including the visually and hearing impaired and people with limited mobility, including wheelchair users and those with pushchairs. Historic buildings can present particular accessibility difficulties and this issue is dealt with under paragraph 1.3.25. Buildings should be designed to be adaptable to any future changes in use. This includes both commercial buildings and dwellings, where the development of lifetime homes will be supported. Buildings that are readily adaptable are less likely to become redundant in the future.

1.3.15.

Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, requires the Council to consider crime and disorder reduction while exercising all their duties. When designing schemes for new development, crime prevention should be encouraged through thoughtful design, layout and lighting (see also Policy EV4). In new residential and mixed use development the layout should be designed, wherever possible, so that access routes within the new development are well-overlooked by building frontages. Crime prevention and fear of crime will be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. However, the provision of security lighting should avoid causing unnecessary light pollution (Policy EV40 refers).

1.3.16.

Proposals for new development should have regard to the desirability of preserving the setting of any listed building, which is often an essential part of its character.

SITING AND LOCATION

POLICY EV2

The siting of new development should give preference to the use of previously developed land over greenfield sites, and must have regard to the physical character and topography of the site and its surroundings by:

  1. Avoiding locations that would have a significant adverse impact on prominent buildings, landscapes, open spaces and the general locality, including loss of visual amenity,
  2. Effectively integrating with the landscape, seascape or coastline by utilising topography to integrate into the contours of the site and avoiding conspicuous locations on prominent skylines and ridges,
  3. Retaining important views into and out of the site,
  4. Taking into account and where possible retaining site features including existing buildings, topography, landscape, archaeological and water features, trees and hedgerows, and, where appropriate:
  5. Undertaking, at the earliest opportunity, an assessment of species and habitats on site and, where planning permission is granted, implementing any necessary mitigation measures,
  6. Avoiding detrimental effects on the historic environment,
  7. Locating near transport nodes to encourage an integrated transport system,
  8. Not prejudicing the viability and function of any agricultural land adjoining the site,
  9. Determining whether the proposal would be at risk from flooding, increase flood risk off-site, or create additional water run-off,
  10. Having due regard to the implications of the development for infrastructure and services,
  11. Integrating with existing community facilities,
  12. Utilising landscape and topography to maximise energy efficiency,
  13. Having full regard to existing adjacent developments and the possible impact of environmental pollution from those developments, as well as the creation of any environmental pollution to the detriment of neighbouring occupiers (including light, air and noise),
  14. Identifying the location of any hazardous installations in the area and development that would be at risk from, or prejudice the operational use of, hazardous installations,
  15. Identifying and fully addressing issues of contamination and land instability.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, SP14, EV1, EV3, EV6, EV9, EV11, EV14-28, EV31, EV33-41, EC1-2, EC4-9, ECNR, EC11, EC13-18, EC20, EC22, HC1-4, HC9, HC11-12, HC14-15, HC18, HC26-32, R9-15, AS1, AS10-11, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TANs 6, 12 & 15

SPG: Designing an Accessible Environment; Gower AONB and Rural Design Guide (forthcoming); Residential Development: A guide to achieving best practice (forthcoming); Infill Residential Design Guide (forthcoming); Design Guide for Household Development (forthcoming); Tall Building Design Guide (forthcoming); Sustainable Developers Guide (forthcoming)

1.3.17.

Amplification

The siting and location of new development is fundamental to achieving sustainable development. It is important that previously developed land is used for new development wherever feasible and that it is located to minimise the need to travel, especially by car, whilst maximising energy efficiency.

1.3.18.

Development that is well located and designed can potentially enhance the natural heritage, built environment and the visual amenity of an area. New development must successfully relate to any adjacent buildings and public spaces acknowledging established building lines, establishing clear boundaries between public and private space, avoiding ‘left-over’ spaces and helping to define streets and public spaces. New development should be orientated so that it avoids ‘dead frontages’ by facing onto roads and existing spaces, except where the established layout does not follow this form. Key buildings should be located at corners/junctions to establish a hierarchy of development.

1.3.19.

The Council will seek to direct development away from areas which are identified in TAN 15 to be at risk of flooding. New development in areas of flood risk requires strong justification and a Flood Consequences Assessment (FCA) will be required from developers (Policy EV36 refers).

1.3.20.

'The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, (as amended), the Conservation (Natural Habitats & c.) regulations 1994 and Part III of CROW Act 2000 give special protection to a wide range of plants and animals and introduce measures to prevent disturbing their habitats. The protected species for Wales are listed in WAGs ‘List of Species and Habitats of Principal Importance for the Conservation of Biological Diversity'. All proposals for new development must give full consideration to the provisions of this legislation as well as the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) 1999 Regulations (as amended) in order to avoid habitat loss or damage leading to species loss.

1.3.21.

Policies EV16-EV21 provide advice on the siting of development in rural areas, in addition to which it should be noted that the nature of development and its proximity to farms can result in detrimental affects on farm holdings. This may include incidents of trespass and disturbance that could affect the efficiency and upkeep of holdings. Land drainage systems on farm holdings may also need to be redesigned due to increased surface water run-off on adjacent development sites, whilst water courses may be affected by discharges from industrial and other forms of development.

1.3.22.

The capacity of existing infrastructure and utility services and the need for additional facilities will be taken into account when considering planning applications. The Council will seek to maximise the use of existing infrastructure. The adequacy of water supply and sewage infrastructure are material planning considerations and new development should be located, and its implementation planned, to allow for the sustainable provision of water services. Greenfield runoff should be achieved for all new development and separate foul and surface water systems provided.

1.3.23.

The Council will have regard to the advice of the National Radiological Protection Board concerning the electromagnetic effects of high voltage overhead lines (132kv and above) in determining applications for planning permission on adjacent sites for housing, education, employment and other forms of land use in which people spend a large proportion of their lives, or in responding to proposals for high voltage overhead lines which may pass close to, or through, built up areas. Consideration should be given to placing lines underground when desirable on environmental, landscape or amenity grounds and when economically and technically feasible.

ACCESSIBILITY

POLICY EV3

Proposals for new development and alterations to and changes of use of existing buildings will be required to:

  1. Provide access and facilities for all,
  2. Provide satisfactory parking in accordance with Council adopted design standards,
  3. Contribute to a high quality public realm by improving pedestrian linkages with adjoining spaces and attractions,
  4. Be accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and users of public transport.

The only exceptions to the above criteria will be where it can be demonstrated that, in undertaking measures to adhere to a particular accessibility requirement, significant harm would be caused to the character of a building of architectural or historic significance.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, SP14, EV1-2, EV4, EV7, EC1-7, ECNR, EC8-12, EC15-18, EC20, HC1-15, HC18-23, HC25, HC28- 30, HC32, AS1-2, AS7, CC1, CC4

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TANs 12 and 18; Cadw: ‘Overcoming the Barriers’; Disability and Discrimination Act, 1995; Planning and Inclusive Design (Access Statements) – Final Interim Guidance, 2007

SPG: Designing an Accessible Environment

1.3.24.

Amplification

open to the public (such as shops, restaurants, hotels, places of entertainment, leisure and community buildings, etc), places of employment, education buildings, and new residential development. The term ‘access and facilities for all’ relates to all sections of the community.

1.3.24.

Amplification

open to the public (such as shops, restaurants, hotels, places of entertainment, leisure and community buildings, etc), places of employment, education buildings, and new residential development. The term ‘access and facilities for all’ relates to all sections of the community.

1.3.25.

Since October 1999 there has been a requirement under Part M of the Building Regulations for all dwellings to be constructed to an accessible standard, now set by British Standard 8300:2001. By considering the means of access and levels of residential properties at the planning application stage, the policy aims to avoid the need for amended planning applications to accommodate the requirements of Part M following the submission/approval of Building Regulations applications. Since October 2004 under the Disability Discrimination Act Part III, all service providers have to make reasonable adjustments to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access. In order to safeguard the character and features of buildings of architectural or historic significance, which covers listed buildings and ancient monuments, a degree of flexibility may need to be applied. Guidance on this is provided in the Cadw publication ‘Overcoming the Barriers’.

1.3.26.

An Access Statement will be requested by the Council to accompany certain applications for planning permission and listed building consent under Section 42 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, to ensure that provision for everyone is being achieved.

1.3.27.

When considering the provision of parking spaces for private vehicles the Council will have regard to the advice contained within the Standing Conference on Regional Policy for South Wales ‘Parking Guidelines’, and any subsequent revisions to this guidance, as well as the comments of the Head of Transportation Services.

1.3.28.

CREATING A QUALITY PUBLIC REALM

1.3.29.

In creating a quality public realm it is important that buildings, spaces, routes, surfaces (hard and soft) for both pedestrians and vehicles, public art, lighting and signage are well integrated, so as to provide comfortable, attractive and secure places for people to use. Although the public realm is considered important throughout the County, the areas where Policy EV4 will be specifically targeted are the City Centre, the Waterfront and major development areas.

PUBLIC REALM

POLICY EV4

Where development and ancillary features impact on the public realm designs should ensure that schemes:

  1. Integrate with areas to produce spaces and sequences that result in quality townscape and building frontages that actively engage with the public,
  2. Are of human scale and provide effective surveillance resulting in spaces that are “people friendly” in terms of perceived and actual safety levels, and
  3. Provide attractive detail through the use of high-quality, durable materials.

Main Cross References: SP1, EV1, EV3, EC1-2, EC4-5, EC15-16, HC1-2, HC4, HC8, HC11, HC14-15, HC18, HC30, AS2-6, AS10, CC1, CC4

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN12

SPG: Oystermouth Square, Mumbles (forthcoming); Swansea City Centre Strategic Framework (forthcoming)

1.3.30.

Amplification

This policy is particularly important in relation to the City Centre, where the Council’s aspirations are for a series of spaces and routes that link into one another. They should encourage people to move freely through and between them, and to actively spend time within them. In this context, buildings should make a positive contribution to the public realm by facing onto streets and spaces, enlivening areas through their uses and detailed design and ensuring that all space is positively used.

1.3.31.

Ancillary features include highways, cycle routes, pedestrianisation schemes, landscaping, playgrounds and street furniture (such as benches, litterbins, bollards, street-lighting, etc).

ART IN THE EVIRONMENT

POLICY EV5

The provision of public works of art, craft or decorative features to enhance the identity and interest of major new developments or refurbishment schemes will be supported.

Main Cross References: SP1, EV1, EC1-2, EC4-5, EC15-16, HC1- 2, HC4, HC8, HC11, HC14, HC18, CC1

National Planning Guidance: TAN12

SPG: Percent for Art – procedure and guidance.

1.3.32.

Amplification

A programme of art in public spaces can raise the interest and quality of the public realm and in conjunction with good design can foster a sense of place and local identity. Examples of such work include sculptures, stained glass and metal work features, murals, tiling and paved design. Percent for Art SPG has been adopted by the Council, which seeks to realise the production and installation of artworks within or close to key development sites for the specific enhancement of the 'public faces' of these sites.

1.3.33.

Although this policy applies primarily to the City Centre, the Waterfront and major development areas, art is to be welcomed anywhere, especially in housing developments and District Centres.

1.3.34.

Developers are encouraged to discuss proposals at an early stage in the design process, as in many cases this policy could relate to works that are an intrinsic part of the scheme. Where appropriate ‘Percent for Art’ will be managed by conditions on a planning permission or through a Section 106 Agreement.

1.4.

THE HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT

Objectives

  • To conserve and enhance the historic and cultural environment (1.g)
  • To avoid significant adverse environmental impacts from new development (1.j)
  • To improve safety and reduce the adverse environmental impacts of transport (5.c)
1.4.1.

ANCIENT MONUMENTS AND PROTECTION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

A high level of national protection is afforded to Scheduled Ancient Monuments and their preservation, and the safeguarding of their setting is of paramount importance. Works that affect Scheduled Ancient Monuments require the prior consent of Cadw: WAG’s heritage division. There are 114 Scheduled Ancient Monuments within the County, twenty of which are in the ownership of the Council.

1.4.2.

There are over 4000 records of historical and archaeological importance on the County Sites and Monuments Record (SMR). The SMR has been formally adopted by Council resolution for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1995 and is available for public inspection at the Offices of the Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust (GGAT) – see www.ggat.org.uk for further details. The SMR provides an indication whether archaeological remains are known or likely to exist on a particular site. Absence of a reference on the SMR does not necessarily mean that no archaeological interest exists. To avoid inadvertent damage to unscheduled archaeological sites during development due to lack of awareness, GGAT’s curatorial division monitors planning applications and updates the SMR on behalf of the Council.

POLICY EV6

The Council will seek to protect, preserve and enhance Scheduled Ancient Monuments and their settings, and also unscheduled archaeological sites and monuments and their settings listed in the County Sites and Monuments Record held by the Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust’s Curatorial Division. Where proposals affect sites and areas of archaeological potential, applicants will be required to provide the following information with planning applications:

  1. An assessment or evaluation of the archaeological or historic importance of the site or structure,
  2. The likely impact of development on the archaeological site, and
  3. The measures proposed to preserve, enhance and record features of archaeological interest.

Main Cross References: SP1, SP3, EV2, EC4, HC1-2, HC19, HC21, AS4, AS8, AS11, CC1-5

National Planning Guidance: PPW; WO Circular 60/96

SPG:

1.4.3.

Amplification

If the Council, on the advice of GGAT, believe that important remains exist at a proposed development site, developers may be required to submit an archaeological and/or field investigation. This must be undertaken prior to the determination of any planning application. Such pre-determination evaluations of sites will enable the Council to assess whether archaeological remains merit preservation in situ or preservation by record. Whenever possible, the Council will seek the physical preservation of important archaeological remains "in situ". In some cases this may mean that development is inappropriate on part, or in exceptional cases, the whole of a site. In other cases, detailed plans may be required to pay full regard to the evaluation and mitigation of the effects of development on the site.

1.4.4.

The GGAT has identified five Archeologically Sensitive Areas (ASAs) within the County, which are illustrated in Appendix 6. The ASAs are located at Llangyfelach, Lower Swansea Valley, Loughor, Oystermouth and Swansea City Centre. The designation does not confer any extra planning controls on the ASAs and is not intended to restrict development, but indicates areas where the effect of any proposed development on the archaeological resource may become an issue during the determination of a planning application. The ASAs do not indicate every area where archaeology will be a factor in the determination of planning applications, but will show the likely areas where this will occur.

1.4.5.

Where development is permitted on a site of archaeological interest, the Council will as appropriate require:

  1. A planning condition to protect the archaeological features of the site, and/or,
  1. A planning condition for an archaeological investigation and recording, or the implementation of other mitigatory measures to be carried out by the developer prior to the commencement of the development, working to a project brief prepared by the Council and GGAT.
1.4.6.

WAG will be consulted on all development proposals likely to affect the site of a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Where archaeological remains deemed by WAG to be of national importance only become apparent when development has commenced, the remains may be scheduled. Developers will then be required to seek Scheduled Monument Consent before continuing work and planning permission may be revoked if deemed necessary. Where nationally important remains and their settings are affected by proposed development there should be a presumption in favour of their physical preservation in situ. In other cases, the relative importance of the archaeological factor will need to be measured against the need for the proposed development.

1.4.7.

The nature of the safeguarding measures will be agreed in conjunction with GGAT and the developer. Where preservation in situ of the archaeological resource is considered inappropriate, the developer will be expected to make satisfactory provision for the excavation and recording of the remains. An archaeological investigation is only complete when the results of the work are published/made publicly available.

1.4.8.

Where planning permission is granted, the Council, in liaison with GGAT’s curatorial division or other suitable expert, will monitor development to ensure that it is implemented as agreed.

1.4.9.

LISTED BUILDINGS

There is a general presumption in favour of the preservation of listed buildings. Works (internal and external) that would affect the character of a listed building must not be implemented unless they are firstly authorised by listed building consent. Applications for listed building consent will be required to demonstrate why alterations of a listed building are desirable or necessary, and should be supported by appropriate information (normally written justification). Where it intends to grant listed building consent, the Council will firstly notify Cadw of all listed building consent applications that affect Grade I and II* listed buildings, those affecting the exterior of Grade II listed buildings and those affecting the interior only of Grade II listed buildings grant-aided under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monument Act, 1953.

EXTENSIONS/ALTERATIONS TO LISTED BUILDINGS

POLICY EV7

Extensions or alterations to a listed building will not be permitted unless they safeguard the following:

  1. The character of the listed building in terms of its scale, design, materials and features which it possesses that are of special architectural or historic interest, and
  2. The historic form and structural integrity of the building.

The change of use of listed buildings will be permitted where this contributes towards the retention of a building without having an adverse effect on its character, special interest or structural integrity.

Main Cross References: SP1, SP3, EV1, EV3, EV8-9, EC4, HC5-7, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 12; WO Circulars 61/96 and 1/98 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act and Regulation 1990

SPG:

1.4.10.

Amplification

The setting of a listed building is often an essential part of its character. If listed buildings become isolated from their surroundings, their character as well as their economic viability may suffer. They may also lose much of their interest and the contribution they make to townscapes or the natural heritage.

1.4.11.

Where the original use of a building is no longer viable, proposals will be determined on the basis of concurrent applications for detailed planning permission and listed building consent, which should contain full detailed and surveyed drawings of the existing building and any works associated with the proposed change of use.

DEMOLITION OF LISTED BUILDINGS

POLICY EV8

Permission will not be granted for the total or substantial demolition of a listed building other than where there is the strongest justification and convincing evidence that:

  1. Every reasonable effort has been made to sustain existing uses or find viable new uses compatible with the building’s character and setting, and
  2. Preservation in some form of charitable or community ownership is not possible or suitable, and
  3. The proposed new development would produce substantial benefits for the community, which would decisively outweigh the loss resulting from demolition.

Main Cross References: SP1, SP3, EV1, EV7, EC4, HC30, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 12; WO Circulars 61/96 and 1/98 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act and Regulation 1990

SPG:

1.4.12.

Amplification

The Council will consult with Cadw and follow the advice contained within WO Circulars 61/96 and 1/98 in assessing applications for the demolition of a listed building, which must be accompanied by sufficient supporting information to allow assessment under the above criteria. Applications will also need to be accompanied by a full structural survey detailing why demolition is required.

CONSERVATION AREAS

POLICY EV9

Development within or adjacent to a conservation area will only be permitted if it would preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area or its setting.

New development in such locations must also be of a high standard of design, respond to the area’s special characteristics, and pay particular regard to:

  1. Important views, vistas, street scenes, roofscapes, trees, open spaces, and other features that contribute to the character or appearance of the conservation area,
  2. The retention of historically significant boundaries or other elements that contribute to the established pattern of development,
  3. The relationship to existing buildings and spaces, and pattern of development,
  4. Scale, height and massing,
  5. Architectural design, established detailing, and the use of materials,
  6. Boundary treatment, and
  7. Public realm materials.

Main Cross References: SP1, SP3, EV1-2, EV7, EV10, EV16-17, EV25-30, EC4, EC15, HC1-3, HC7, HC11, HC15, HC18, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN12; WO Circular 61/96 The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990

SPG: Holts Field Conservation Area Design Guide; Shopfront Guidance, Design, Signage and Security Measures

1.4.13.

Amplification

Section 72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 places a duty on Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of conservation areas. Designation of a conservation area does not preclude new development, but such development should make a positive contribution to an area’s character or appearance, or leave the character or appearance unharmed.

1.4.14.

Applications must be accompanied by detailed plans and drawings that show the proposed new development in its setting.

1.4.15.

The local highway authority and statutory undertakers will be expected to use appropriate highway markings, signs and structures to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of conservation areas.

1.4.16.

Designated conservation areas within the County are listed in Appendix 7 and more detailed information relating to the designations is available from the LPA. All conservation policies will apply to any additional conservation areas designated following adoption of the UDP. A review of the boundaries of existing conservation areas will be undertaken separately from the UDP process.

1.4.17.

Trees in conservation areas are subject to similar controls as trees to which a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) applies. It is an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot or wilfully damage or destroy trees within a conservation area without the Council’s consent.

DEMOLITION OF UNLISTED BUILDINGS IN CONSERVATION AREAS

POLICY EV10

Consent for the demolition of unlisted buildings that make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of a conservation area will not be granted unless it can be demonstrated that:

  1. The condition of the buildings would not justify the cost of repair,
  2. Efforts have been made to find a viable use,
  1. Redevelopment would produce substantial benefits for the community that would outweigh the loss resulting from demolition, and
  2. There are acceptable and detailed plans for redevelopment.

Main Cross References: SP1, SP3, EV1, EV9, EV34-35, EV38, EV40, EC4, EC15, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW ; TAN12; WO Circulars 61/96 and 1/98

SPG: Holts Field Conservation Area Design Guide

1.4.18.

Amplification

Where the redevelopment of an unlisted building presents an opportunity to enhance the character and appearance of a conservation area, replacement buildings will be required to be of an appropriate quality. Demolition will only be allowed where there are approved plans for redevelopment, and a contract for the commencement of development has been signed, to prevent the creation of unsightly gaps in the street frontage.

HISTORIC PARKS, GARDENS AND LANDSCAPES

POLICY EV11

Development that would harm the character or setting of registered Historic Parks and Gardens or the character of Historic Landscapes will not be permitted.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EC17, HC11, HC23, HC25- 26, HC30

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN12; WO Circular 61/96: Register of Landscapes, Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales

SPG: Promoting Swansea's Natural Environment: A Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan; Candidate SINC designation map, (forthcoming)

1.4.19.

Amplification

A Register of Landscapes, Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales has been compiled by Cadw, ICOMOS UK and CCW. Part 1 of this Register lists Historic Parks and Gardens, whilst Part 2 provides details of Historic Landscapes. The Register entails no additional planning controls but the sites are considered to make an important contribution to the character of the County and are deemed desirable to protect.

1.4.20.

The Register identifies the following sites as Historic Parks and Gardens: Brynmill Park, Clyne Castle, Cwmdonkin Park, Cwmgelli Cemetery, Fairyhill, Kilvrough, Penllergaer, Penrice Castle, St. James’ Park, Singleton Park, Sketty Hall, Stouthall and Victoria Park. These are all shown on the Proposals Map. The effect of a proposed development on a Park or Garden or its setting may be a material consideration when determining planning applications. The Council will consult Cadw and the Garden History Society, as appropriate, on planning applications impacting on Historic Parks and Gardens. This policy will apply to any additional sites that are included in the Register following adoption of the UDP.

1.4.21.

The County contains two Landscapes of Historic Interest: West Gower and Cefn Bryn. Due to the large area that they cover, they are not shown on the Proposals Map, but can be found within Volume 2 of the Register and are illustrated in Diagram 5. The Council will have regard to the Register when determining planning applications where the development is of sufficient scale to have more than local impact on the historic landscape. Such developments would normally require an EIA that will include an assessment of the impact of the proposals on the historic landscape, including an Assessment of the Significance of the Importance of Development on Historic Landscape Areas (ASIDHOL).

 

LANES AND PUBLIC PATHS

POLICY EV12

The character of lanes and public paths that contribute to the amenity, natural, and historic qualities of an area will be protected.

Development proposals that include requirements to set back improvement lines, remove hedgerows, and provide new access and visibility splays will be resisted where this would result in a loss of character.

In rural areas the design of any necessary works should be appropriate to the character of the area and should not detract from the landscape or suburbanise the area.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1, EV20, EC11-14, EC17, EC20, HC2, AS3-4,

National Planning Guidance: PPW; Hedgerow Regulations, 1997

SPG:

1.4.22.

Amplification

Hedgerows, trees, walls, verges and ditches, which are often found alongside lanes in both urban and rural settings, along with the surface material, make an important contribution to the character and amenity of lanes and public paths. Their removal to provide improvement lines, access and visibility splays should be kept to the minimum requirement. Any proposed development that would result in the loss of hedgerow must have regard to the Hedgerow Regulations 1997.

1.5.

SHOPFRONTS AND ADVERTISEMENTS

Objectives

  • To upgrade the visual environment and image of the area (1.a)
  • To avoid significant adverse environmental impacts from new development (1.j)

SHOPFRONTS

POLICY EV13

Proposals for new or renovated shopfronts, including security grilles, should be sympathetic to the character of the building, adjacent properties and the surrounding area. They should take account of:

  1. Scale and proportion,
  2. Detailing above the shop front, and
  3. Colour, materials and sign design.

Roller shutters will only be appropriate where:

  1. They are out of sight when not in use,
  2. The shutter housing box is either concealed behind the fascia or fitted flush beneath and matches it in finish,
  3. Guides for the edges are unobtrusive and finished to match the window frame,
  4. The shutter only extends between fascia and sill level, except where a recessed doorway needs to be protected, and,
  5. They are of a type which allow views through and are finished in an unobtrusive colour.

Main Cross References: SP1, SP3, EV1, EV14, EC4-6, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW

SPG: Shopfront Guidance, Design, Signage and Security Measures

1.5.1.

Amplification

This policy applies to all retail premises and other commercial premises that have similar physical characteristics, such as betting shops, banks, building societies, etc. The Council has adopted SPG in respect of the design of shopfronts and roller shutters, which, whilst recognising that crime prevention is a material planning consideration, seeks innovative design solutions to avoid creating dead street frontages. Solid roller shutters in particular are to be avoided as they create a hostile and lifeless environment after opening hours, provide targets for graffiti and detract from the vitality and visual amenity of an area. Preferred solutions for security grilles are internal or external demountable units. Unobtrusive colours are those which match the building to which the shutter is fitted.

ADVERTISEMENTS

POLICY EV14

The design of advertisements should be:

  1. Appropriate to their surroundings in terms of scale, colour and materials used,
  2. Respectful of the architectural qualities of any building on which they are located,
  3. Appropriate to the location in terms of the method of display and support, and the type and intensity of any illumination, and,
  4. Acceptable in terms of road safety.

Where possible, the opportunity should be taken to rationalise any existing signs on the buildings or sites concerned.

Consent for the display of free standing sign boards where they endanger public safety will not be permitted.

Main Cross References: SP1, SP3, EV1-2, EV13, EV15, EC4-6, EC8-12, EC17, EC20-21, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TANs 7 and 12

SPG: Advertisement Policy in Gower; Shopfront Guidance, Design, Signage and Security Measures

1.5.2.

Amplification

This policy seeks to avoid proliferation of signage that can result in an unsightly and cluttered appearance on a building or within a locality to the detriment of character and visual amenity. Proposals for new advertisements will be assessed in terms of visual amenity and public safety, and rationalisation of signage will be encouraged. Existing poor quality signs displayed on a building or in its locality will not be regarded as justification for similar displays.

1.5.3.

Advertisement consent is required for the display of almost all outdoor advertisements. The advertisement control system imposes standard conditions on all advertisements requiring them to be kept in a clean, tidy and safe condition and have the permission of the owner of the site on which they are displayed. The Council has adopted SPG in respect of the provision of shop signage and has the power to require the discontinuance of any display. Free standing sign boards on the highway that restrict pedestrian movement will be considered detrimental to public safety.

1.5.4.

To promote and safeguard the cultural identity of the area, bilingual advertisements in Welsh and English will be supported, particularly for tourist attractions and facilities, subject to normal advertisement control procedures.

1.5.5.

HOARDINGS AND ILLUMINATED DISPLAY PANELS

The Council has a long established policy to improve the environment of the City through strictly controlling the display of, and actively pursuing the removal of, advertisement hoardings that cause substantial injury to the amenity of the locality or a danger to members of the public. As part of an ongoing package of environmental enhancement measures a number of hoardings have already been removed from gateway routes into the City. The continuation of this process, linked with rationalisation of display through combined information display panels and advertisements, is considered fundamental to creating an image of Swansea as an attractive and prosperous City and helping its tourism and inward investment.

POLICY EV15

Advertisement hoardings and illuminated display panels will only be approved at sites where they are used positively as a design element and integrate well with their surroundings.

Where the advertisement design would contribute to information provision any benefit arising from this will be a material consideration in assessing the merits of the proposal in amenity and public safety terms.

Proposals for hoardings that screen a derelict site pending redevelopment, or an acknowledged unsightly feature, may be acceptable and will be considered on their merits.

A discontinuance notice will be served where existing hoardings are an impediment to the comprehensive redevelopment of a site, a regeneration scheme, or an area environmental improvement scheme.

Main Cross References: SP1, SP3, EV1-2, EV14, EV40, EC2-4, EC8-9

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TANs 7 and 12

SPG: Information Advertisement Display Panels

1.5.6.

Amplification

A programme of legal action to remove hoardings from Council owned land will be continued and discontinuance notices served at other locations where substantial injury to the amenity of the locality or a danger to members of the public is caused by the advertisement, particularly along main arterial routes into the City Centre. Display panels to be used for information provision will include details of public events directions, etc, to guide visitors and residents and assist in traffic movement.

1.6.

VILLAGES AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Objectives

  • To protect the countryside from development that would cause material harm, particularly where the undeveloped coastline or other areas of high landscape quality are concerned (1.c)
  • To prevent coalescence of settlements and protect the interplay of town and country (1.d)
  • To bring forward proposals for the remediation of dereliction and pollution (1.h)
  • To promote resource efficient buildings and layouts in all new developments (1.m)
  • To provide sustainable employment opportunities for rural communities (2.g)
  • To develop sustainable tourism initiatives and improve the quality and range of the accommodation base (2.i)
  • To allocate sufficient and appropriate new housing land to meet projected housing needs over the plan period (3.b)
1.6.1.

The following policies set out the framework to assess where development may be appropriate in the rural area. Any development that would result in further suburbanisation of the countryside will not be permitted, and where good townscape exists it will be conserved. The policies should not be considered in isolation, but should be read in conjunction with Policy EV1 and other policies as appropriate.

POLICY EV16

Within the small villages identified on the Proposals Map, small-scale development will be approved only where it is appropriate to the location in terms of the following criteria:

  1. It is of a scale, density and layout compatible with the size and form of settlement,
  2. It has a design that in its form, elevational treatment, detailing and use of materials is sympathetic to the architectural character of the village,
  3. It will not involve a loss of land of recreational, natural heritage or amenity value,
  4. It has an acceptable relationship with adjacent buildings, spaces and landscape, including coastal features,
  1. It will not harm the amenity of neighbouring residents, and
  2. It can be accessed without prejudicing highway safety and without detriment to the character of the village.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EV9, EV17-22, EV25-26, EV34-EV36, EV39, EC6, EC11, EC17-19, HC3, HC15

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN12

SPG:

1.6.2.

Amplification

‘Within’, in the context of this policy, is defined as what could reasonably be incorporated into the existing village form without detracting from its character and amenity. The test for this is based on the criteria set out in the policy. The filling of gaps in an otherwise continuous frontage will not always be an acceptable form of development, especially where this has the effect of changing an informal, low-density linear or dispersed village into a suburban street. The requirement for development to be sympathetic to the character of the village is not intended to discourage innovative sensitive design approaches that do not harm the character and amenity of settlements.

1.6.3.

Policy EV16 applies to the following villages: Craig Cefn Parc, Felindre, Garnswllt/Lon-y-Felin, Horton, Knelston, Llangennith, Llanmadoc/Cheriton, Llanrhidian, Middleton, Oldwalls, Oxwich, Oxwich Green, Parkmill, Penmaen, Port Eynon/ Overton, Reynoldston, Rhossili, Rhyd-Y-Pandy, Scurlage and Wernffrwd.

1.6.4.

These villages have been selected following an assessment of their size, facilities, structure and accessibility. Size and facilities are key criteria, with a minimum requirement of 25 dwellings and at least one village “facility” (church, shop, pub, hall, post office, etc.). In addition, they are accessible by public transport and have a cohesive structure, which offers some limited potential for small-scale development within the settlement.

1.6.5.

Beyond these villages, residential development will be assessed in terms of the policy for development in the countryside (Policy EV20), and other development in accord with the policies for the rural economy. Many of these villages are in the AONB, within which the primary importance will be the conservation and enhancement of its natural beauty (Policy EV26).

1.6.6.

There are some settlements within the County which have more than 25 dwellings, such as Pitton and Ty’n y Cwm, but are not covered by Policy EV16 by reason of lack of facilities, village identity or character, and where there is no scope for appropriate infill.

LARGE VILLAGES

POLICY EV17

Within the boundaries of the large villages as identified on the Proposals Map, development will be limited to existing commitments, small infill plots and, in locations outside the AONB, small scale rounding off, subject to the other considerations set out in the amplification to this policy.

Extensions into the surrounding countryside will not be permitted, except where they contribute to affordable local housing needs as defined in Policy EV18.

Development that involves:

  1. The ‘capturing’ of surrounding countryside through an extension of the built up area and residential curtilages,
  2. The extension of a settlement in the form of ribbon development, or
  3. The coalescence of villages, will not be permitted.

Development will be required to be appropriate to its location and will only be approved where it meets the criteria of Policy EV1.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EV9, EV16, EV18-22, EV25-26, EV34-39, EC6, EC11, EC17-19, HC3, HC15

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN12

SPG: Penclawdd Old Dock Site - Planning Proposals; Crofty Industrial Estate Action Plan; Sandy Lane: A Step in the Right Direction,

1.6.7.

Amplification

The large villages on the Gower peninsula are subject to intense development pressure because of their location. If the rural character of these villages and the character of Gower is to be maintained and protected, this development pressure needs to be carefully regulated. Furthermore, the Plan’s spatial strategy is firmly based on sustainability principles, and in order for this overall strategy to be effective, development must be focused on the main urban area, which will support regeneration initiatives and encourage the re-use of brownfield land. In this context Policy EV17 applies a comparatively restrictive approach towards the growth and expansion of large villages with relatively tightly-drawn boundaries. Exceptions may however be permitted in exceptional circumstances where this would contribute to local needs affordable housing. The villages covered by this policy are the Gower Fringe settlements, (including their relevant parts situated within the AONB, indicated below), Pennard/Southgate, Grovesend and Pontlliw. The Gower Fringe settlements are: Bishopston (including Manselfield, Murton, Oldway, Copley and Kittle), Dunvant, Penclawdd/Crofty/Llanmorlais and Blue Anchor, Three Crosses and Upper Killay. In addition to the criteria set out in the policy, a number of issues relate to the following villages: -

  1. Bishopston: it is important to preserve the separate identities of Bishopston, Copley, Kittle, Manselfield, Murton and Oldway through the retention of the land between these settlements as open space used primarily for agricultural or horticultural purposes.
  2. Penclawdd: there is potential for positive reclamation at the heart of the village through a programme of improvements, focused on the former derelict dock and associated land and railway land. Appropriate uses may include recreation, leisure, business, housing, ancillary retail and associated highway improvements incorporating pedestrian and cycle links
  3. Southgate: further intensification of development along Eastcliff and Westcliff will not be permitted.
1.6.8.

Small-scale rounding off is defined as development which takes the developed area up to the village boundary limits as defined on the Proposals Map. It must be appropriate to its context in terms of scale, density and layout, respect the size and built form of the settlement, and not involve the loss of land of recreational, natural heritage or amenity value. The only development permitted beyond settlement limits will be where local needs affordable housing is justified. In such circumstances there must be a clearly defined defensible boundary, such as a road or woodland, which would suitably contain the size of the development, maintain the character and form of the village and limit the opportunity to create a precedent for further land release

LOCAL NEEDS AFFORDABLE HOUSING

POLICY EV18

In exceptional circumstances permission may be granted for the development of small sites within and adjoining settlements. This would be for the specific purpose of providing affordable housing to meet an existing deficiency for people who need to live in the locality and who cannot reasonably be accommodated through the area’s general housing market.

Such releases will only be made where:

  1. There is proven need in the locality,
  2. There are binding agreements to make the housing available for low cost purchase or rent, and for the retention of the housing in the long term as low cost housing to meet local needs
  3. It has a design that in its form, elevational treatment, detailing and use of materials is sympathetic to the architectural character of the village,
  4. It will not involve the loss of land of important recreational, natural heritage or amenity value,
  5. The scale of the development is in accord with the character of the area, and
  6. No satisfactory alternative arrangements can be made to meet the identified needs.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EV16-17, EV20, EV34-36, EV39, EC12-13, HC1, HC3, HC17

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 2

SPG: Local Housing Market/Needs Assessment (forthcoming)

1.6.9.

Amplification

This policy refers primarily to the villages identified in Policies EV16 and EV17 and is intended to help sustain local communities. For the purposes of this policy, “within” refers to EV16 villages, while “adjoining” refers to larger EV17 villages. It is important to stress that releases under this “exceptions” policy are not expected to be extensive or numerous and that in all cases confirmation of need will be required to be demonstrated. Scurlage in particular has the potential to provide local needs affordable housing on land adjacent to the health centre, and any such development should be used to bring about improvements to the character of this settlement. There may occasionally be potential for other small rural settlements to provide opportunities for local needs affordable housing subject to compliance with all the policy criteria.

1.6.10.

In the County’s rural areas, particularly Gower and Mawr, the price of housing has risen to levels well beyond the reach of many local people seeking to enter the housing market for the first time. Consequently younger people are being forced to secure accommodation elsewhere and move away from their villages of birth. This process can in turn have an undesirable impact on the age structure and vitality of a settlement.

1.6.11.

This policy links with Policy HC3, which deals with affordable housing within the urban area. The forthcoming SPG on Local Housing Market/Needs Assessments will establish the nature and level of housing requirements in the local housing market, including the need and demand for affordable and market housing across both the urban and rural areas.

1.6.12.

In the meantime, in order to assess the need for affordable housing in a particular location, the comments of the Director of Regeneration and Housing will be sought for any development proposals which merit consideration. Affordable housing will be directed towards meeting the needs of the following categories of people as identified in TAN2:

  1. Existing residents needing separate accommodation in the area, for example, married couples and people living in tied accommodation on retirement,
  2. People whose work provides important services and who need to live closer to the local community,
  3. People who are not necessarily resident locally but have long standing links with the local community, for example elderly people who need to move back to a village to be near relatives, and
  4. People with the offer of a job in the locality, who cannot take up the offer because of lack of affordable housing.

REPLACEMENT DWELLINGS/CHALETS

POLICY EV19

Replacement dwellings in the countryside, including residential chalets, will only be permitted where:

  1. The residential use has not been abandoned,
  2. The proposed new dwelling is similar in terms of its siting, scale, design and character with the dwelling it is to replace, and
  3. The development complements the character of the surrounding area.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EV16-17, EV20, EV22-23, EV26, EC12, HC1, HC10

National Planning Guidance: PPW

SPG: Holt’s Field Conservation Area Design Guide; Sandy Lane: A Step in the Right Direction; Hareslade Chalet Development; Miles Lane Chalet Development.

1.6.13.

Amplification

It is intended to avoid the replacement of rural dwellings with inappropriate new development that detracts from the character of the countryside.

1.6.14.

Whilst there is no statutory definition of abandonment, the Courts have held that four criteria should be examined in determining whether the use of a building has been abandoned:

  1. The physical condition of the building
  2. The period of non-use
  3. Whether there has been any other use
  4. Evidence regarding the owner’s intentions

Questions of abandonment in any particular instance will be determined on the basis of a balanced consideration of the facts against these criteria.

1.6.15.

There are a number of clusters of residential chalets on Gower, such as Sandy Lane and Hareslade, where there is pressure to improve and or replace these properties with more permanent structures. SPG has been produced to guide development within these areas, and to maintain their character. Conditions may be imposed on replacement chalets to ensure that no extensions or additions are undertaken without further permission being obtained. Any proposal to increase the number of residential chalets within these clusters will be viewed as intensification and will not be permitted.

NEW DWELLINGS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

POLICY EV20

In the countryside new dwellings will only be permitted where:

  1. The dwelling is required to accommodate a fulltime worker solely or primarily employed in agriculture, forestry or an appropriate use to serve the rural economy who needs to live on the premises rather than a nearby settlement, and
  2. There is no alternative existing dwelling available in nearby settlements and there are no existing buildings on the farm or forestry unit suitable for conversion to residential use, and
  3. The proposed dwelling is located as close as possible to the existing farm buildings, forestry complex or place of work.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EV12, EV16-19, EV22, EV26, EV34-36, EV39, EC12, HC1, HC17, R11.

National Planning Guidance: PPW

SPG:

1.6.16.

Amplification

Applications for dwellings for agricultural and forestry workers, or for full time workers employed solely or primarily in another appropriate use to serve the rural economy, will be required to be accompanied by objective information assessing:

  1. The functional need for the dwelling, and
  2. Demonstrating the financial sustainability of the enterprise, and
  3. The genuineness of the need for accommodation to serve the enterprise.

Activities falling within the scope of this policy are defined as forestry, agriculture and related services, fishing, sustainable tourism and low impact recreational activity. The functional need and financial viability of the operation or enterprise will determine whether a new dwelling is necessary. Where it is considered that a new dwelling will be required in support of a new agricultural activity, but the case is not yet fully proven, the Council may consider granting temporary planning permission for the siting of a caravan for a period of up to 3 years to allow time for the viability of the enterprise to be demonstrated.

1.6.17.

Where permission is granted in the case of a proven need for a new dwelling related to an agricultural or forestry holding, it may be subject to conditions and a Section 106 Agreement tying the dwelling to occupancy by a person solely or mainly working, or last working in the locality in agriculture, or in forestry, or a widow or widower of such a person, and to any resident dependants.

1.6.18.

The Council will monitor adherence to occupancy conditions on a regular basis. Such conditions and related Section 106 Agreements will be indicated in property “searches”.

1.6.19.

Removal of an agricultural occupancy condition will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that the agricultural need advanced at the time of the original permission no longer applies and there is no need for the dwelling to meet the long term needs of the local agricultural community or those employed in associated agricultural services. Evidence will be required of the property having been offered for sale and to rent with the occupancy condition at a realistic “affordable” price to the agricultural community and associated agricultural services, over an acceptable period of appropriately targeted marketing.

RURAL DEVELOPMENT

POLICY EV21

In the countryside non residential development will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that:

  1. It is beneficial for the rural economy or rural employment, or
  2. It meets the overriding social or economic needs of the local community, or
  3. It is an appropriate development associated with farm diversification, sustainable tourism and recreation, or nature conservation and does not adversely affect the viability of an established farm unit, or
  4. It provides an acceptable economic use for previously developed land or existing building(s) in accordance with Policy EC12, or
  5. It is essential for communications, telecommunications, other forms of utility service provision, minerals or renewable energy generation.

Proposals for any of the above would need to demonstrate, where relevant, that:

  1. The development needs to be located in the countryside rather than in a nearby settlement, and
  2. The business is viable and financially sustainable, and
  3. The proposal is in accord with conservation and design policies of the Plan.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EV16-17, EV22-23, EV25- 31, EV34-36, EV39, EC11-14, EC17-20, EC22, HC25-27, HC29, HC32, R1-9, R11-17

National Planning Guidance: PPW

SPG: Promoting Swansea's Natural Environment: A Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan; Candidate SINC designation map, (forthcoming)

1.6.20.

Amplification

Where proposals are made for developments on the basis of the above criteria, objective written evidence to justify the exception will be required to be submitted in support of a planning application.

1.6.21.

Within this policy, appropriate uses to serve the rural economy are defined as forestry, agriculture and related services, fishing, sustainable tourism and low impact recreational activity. They should be in keeping with the landscape and character of the area and not include any new building development which would either individually or cumulatively significantly harm the landscape.

1.6.22.

Protection of agricultural land as a productive resource is dealt with under Policy EC13. Development within villages is dealt with in Policies EV16 and EV17.

1.7.

COUNTRYSIDE PROTECTION AND THE GREENSPACE SYSTEM

Objectives

  • To upgrade the visual environment and image of the area (1.a)
  • To protect the countryside from development that would cause material harm and protect the undeveloped coastline from unnecessary development (1.c)
  • To prevent coalescence of settlements and protect the interplay of town and country (1.d)
  • To protect and enhance valued natural heritage and species (1.e)
  • To protect and enhance a system of urban greenspace (1.f)
  • To extend and improve appropriate access to and enjoyment of the countryside and urban greenspace (3.h)
1.7.1.

This section sets out a series of policies that deal with the countryside and green spaces within the urban area. Countryside is defined as all that land within the County that lies outside built-up settlements and which is not allocated for development.

1.7.2.

The County exhibits a rich and diverse countryside and historic environment, where there is a need to maintain and enhance its landscape quality, protect its nature conservation interests and sustain or enhance it’s biodiversity interests, while allowing for appropriate development in existing settlements that will benefit the rural economy.

POLICY EV22

The countryside throughout the County will be conserved and enhanced for the sake of its natural heritage, natural resources, historic and cultural environment and agricultural and recreational value through:

  1. The control of development, and
  2. Practical management and improvement measures.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EV16-17, EV19-21, EV23, EV25-32, EC11-14, EC17-22, HC1, HC9, HC25-26, HC29, HC32, R1-9, R11-17, AS13

National Planning Guidance: PPW

SPG:

1.7.3.

Amplification

The countryside, besides being important for its landscape and nature conservation value, agriculture and other economic benefits, especially tourism, also provides an important setting and resource for the urban area. It helps to attract inward investment and represents one of the main reasons many people choose to live in and visit the area.

1.7.4.

In protecting the countryside the Council wish to maintain and enhance its viability. Management agreements can provide a useful tool in countryside stewardship particularly in resolving conflicts of interest between the rural economy, nature conservation and recreation. Agreements will be sought where appropriate to pursue defined environmental aims.

GREEN WEDGES

POLICY EV23

Green wedges are identified at the following locations:

  • Clyne Valley (including land between Upper Killay and Dunvant),
  • Cockett Valley (including Cockett and Hendrefoilan Ridges and land between Dunvant, Three Crosses and Gowerton),
  • Birchgrove (including land between Birchgrove, Glais and Tawe Valley floor),
  • Gorseinon (including land between Gorseinon, Grovesend and Penllergaer and the Estuary area around Loughor and Penyrheol),
  • Pant-Lasau (including land around Morriston and Clydach),
  • Kilvey (including land between St. Thomas and Crymlyn Bog, and around Bonymaen and Cefn Hengoed),
  • an Valley (including land between Penllergaer and Llangyfelach, Garngoch Common, and land between Gowerton, Loughor and Kingsbridge), and
  • West Cross/Newton (including land between West Cross, Newton and Bishopston).

Within these areas development will only be permitted if it maintains the openness and character of the green wedge and does not contribute to the coalescence of settlements or adversely affect the setting of the urban area. Appropriate development within the green wedge comprises the following:

  1. Justified development in association with agriculture or forestry,
  2. Essential facilities for outdoor sport and recreation or cemetery use,
  3. Limited extension, alteration or replacement of existing dwellings,
  4. Small scale farm diversification
  5. The re-use of existing permanent/substantial buildings,
  6. Affordable housing for local needs under Policy EV18
  7. Other uses of land and forms of development that maintain the openness of the green wedge and do not conflict with the purpose of including land within it.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV2, EV19, EV21-22, EV24-25, EV35-36, EV39, EC14, EC17-20, EC22, HC1, HC9, HC19-22, HC25-27, HC29, HC31-2, R1-9, R11-17

National Planning Guidance: PPW

SPG: Greening the City; Promoting Swansea's Natural Environment: A Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan; Candidate SINC designation map, (forthcoming)

1.7.5.

Amplification

Green wedges are areas of countryside that are under pressure for development and which are important for containing and shaping the urban form and the surrounding settlements. They also protect the environmental and wildlife interests in these areas and are intended to prevent any development that would contribute towards the coalescence of settlements. It is therefore important to retain their open character. Additionally, they assist in urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land. A concise analysis of each green wedge, describing their key characteristics and providing a rational for their designation is set out below:

  1. Clyne Valley: The valley area of the Clyne River is a well established woodland landscape feature cutting into the urban area, and forming a logical and strong containment for a large portion of West Swansea. It provides an important setting for the urban area and safeguards valuable countryside from encroachment. The outer edge of the green wedge follows the cycle path and AONB boundary, which form a logical defensible boundary. The northern portion between Dunvant and Upper Killay covers an important part of the Gower Fringe where there is strong pressure for development. The green wedge also forms part of Clyne Valley Country Park (Policy HC22 refers), which seeks to capitalise on the management and development potential of the area for appropriate recreational and leisure uses.
  2. Cockett Valley: This area of lowland rolling farmland with mosaic field pattern and scattered woodland cuts into the urban area, utilising strong landscape and topographical features to contain and shape the urban form. Land between Dunvant, Three Crosses and Gowerton is under development pressure that could lead to the coalescence of these villages, whilst the urban influence is strong towards the eastern part of the green wedge, where the urban edge encircles the rural area.
  3. Birchgrove: Another area of lowland rolling, mosaic pattern farmland, which extends out from the north western edge of the urban area. Prevention of coalescence between Birchgrove and Glais, and safeguarding the countryside north of the M4 from further urban encroachment forms the basis of this green wedge designation. Its eastern boundary is determined by rising landform, beyond which extends open countryside towards Neath/Port Talbot.
  4. Gorseinon: A fragmented green wedge which primarily seeks to prevent the coalescence of Gorseinon and Penllergaer with the villages of Grovesend and Pontlliw respectively, whilst managing the sensitive open countryside to the west of Gorseinon abutting the Loughor Estuary Special Area of Conservation. It consists primarily of rolling lowland farmland bisected by the Afon Lliw river valley
  5. Pant-Lasau: Undulating lowland farmland encircles the northern edge of the urban area. Around Morriston there is strong pressure for development which could lead to a significant extension of the urban form out into open countryside. The logical defensible boundary follows the existing Pant Lasau, Rhyd y Pandy and Mynydd Gelli Wastad roads. It includes land which is considered essential to retain open, in order to protect the setting of the urban area and Mynydd Gelliwastad and to prevent uncontrolled urban expansion.
  6. Kilvey: This green wedge is based on the large landform of Kilvey Hill, which dominates the eastside of Swansea, contains the urban form and provides an important setting. The northern plateau is also a striking landform and prevents the eastward sprawl of urban development into a very visible location. As with Clyne Valley, much of this area has recreational development potential and management issues, covered by Swansea Urban Woodland Policy HC20.
  7. Llan Valley: This is an extensive, but fragmented green wedge comprising largely rolling lowland farmland with coastal influences towards the western edge. It primarily seeks to manage the urban form through controlled expansion, whilst preventing the coalescence of Gorseinon with Gowerton/Penllergaer, Penllergaer with Fforestfach and the westward expansion of Llangyfelach. This is the area of greatest development pressure, where there is a need to control the urban form to complement urban renewal and regeneration initiatives.
  8. West Cross/Newton: This green wedge is a mixture of undulating common land and gently rolling farmland. It includes areas under intense development pressure, between West Cross/Newton and the Gower Fringe settlements of Manselfield and Bishopston. There is a need to prevent further encroachment to avoid the coalescence of the urban area with these villages and to protect the countryside. The boundary of the green wedge between the built up areas is defined by the AONB.
1.7.6.

The areas identified include land which has been subject to considerable development pressure both in the past and currently. It is essential to retain the openness of green wedges, to serve the objectives of the policy, protect important areas of open land and maintain the integrity of individual settlements.

1.7.7.

Whilst there are policies in the UDP which seek to control development in the open countryside, it is considered important to give extra protection to the above mentioned vulnerable areas of open space on the edge of the urban area and between settlements, in line with PPW guidance. Green wedges are a well established policy tool within the County, although their boundaries have been carefully reviewed to ensure that only those areas that require extra protection to fulfil the purpose of the policy are included, whilst in addition ensuring sufficient land for development needs is provided.

1.7.8.

GREENSPACE SYSTEM

The greenspace system consists of areas of open space within or adjacent to the urban area. It is made up of four interrelated elements, namely; wildlife reservoirs, green corridors, pocket sites and riparian corridors, and is the basis for the Council’s Greening the City Strategy.

1.7.9.

The level of protection afforded for the greenspace system is the same as that for parks, playing fields, recreation and amenity space specified in Policy HC23. Some wildlife reservoirs will be within or include green wedges and these will also be protected by Policy EV23. Similarly, some parts of the greenspace system will include statutorily and locally designated areas and these will also be protected by Policies EV25–EV29 as appropriate.

1.7.10.

The greenspace system will be reinforced and enhanced by landscape improvement schemes. Conservation and wildlife measures will be encouraged to increase its wildlife value. The protection and enhancement of wildlife corridors and networks is considered essential to securing the long term protection of biodiversity in the County.

POLICY EV24

Within the greenspace system, consisting of wildlife reservoirs, green corridors, pocket sites and riparian corridors, the natural heritage and historic environment will be conserved and enhanced.

Development proposals which would be likely to have a significant adverse effect on the greenspace system or which do not provide for appropriate compensatory or mitigation measures will not be permitted.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EV23, EV25-EV29, EV32, EC15, HC1-2, HC11, HC14, HC18-26, HC29, HC32, R1, R9, R11, R14

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN5; Draft TAN 5; Providing Accessible Natural Greenspace in Towns and Cities; Strategy for Sport and Physical Activity: Climbing Higher

SPG: Greening the City; Promoting Swansea's Natural Environment: A Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan; Candidate SINC designation map, (forthcoming); Greenspace Strategy for Swansea (forthcoming)

1.7.11.

Amplification

Due to the coverage of the greenspace system, the Proposals Map shows only major wildlife reservoirs within the urban and green wedge areas. Non inclusion however does not prejudice protection. There is a considerable range of pocket sites within the County, which are of such a scale and number that their individual identification at the scale of the Proposals Map is unrealistic. Nevertheless when taken collectively the pocket sites are of considerable significance, play an important role in the greenspace system and are worthy of protection. The greenspace system will be identified to a greater extent within the forthcoming SPG.

1.7.12.

The principal riparian corridors are the Tawe Riverside, Lliw and Llan Valleys. The main green corridors are Cwmgelli-Trewyddfa, Cockett- Cwmdu-Hafod, Cwmgwyn-Mount Pleasant-Waun Wen, Llansamlet- Frederick Place-Trallwn and Swansea Bay. The principal wildlife reservoirs are Crymlyn Bog-Kilvey Hill, Lower Swansea Valley- Drummau, Uplands of Mawr from Craig Yr Allt to Cefn Drum, the eastern side of Loughor Valley, Llan Valley, Hendrefoilan Ridge- Cockett Valley, Clyne Valley and Gower.

1.7.13.

The areas covered by the policy have been defined on the basis of one or more of the following values; landscape significance, nature conservation value, local amenity benefit, local character, links to the countryside and informal recreation potential. The nature conservation value is based on extensive habitat surveys dating back to 1992 and further survey work that has been undertaken as part of the preparation of the LBAP. In terms of informal recreation it is intended that in Swansea no one should live more than six minutes walk (300metres) from their nearest natural open space.

1.7.14.

It is not the intention of the policy to prevent appropriate socioeconomic development. Where acceptable development would have an impact on an area of greenspace, the Council will seek to enter into negotiations for an appropriate planning obligation to secure the permanent provision and future management of the remaining greenspace area. Where relevant, appropriate compensatory provision and mitigation measures will be required to ensure there is no overall reduction in the quality of greenspace.

1.7.15.

NATURAL HERITAGE PROTECTED SITES

The County’s countryside is particularly rich in ecological resources, and is covered by an exceptional number of conservation designations ranging from the international level, through to locally significant areas, details of which are listed in Appendix 8. The series of policies that follow reflect this significance and overlay the core policy.

1.7.16.

SITES OF INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE

The Habitats Directive (1992) provides for the creation of a network of protected areas across the European Union known as "Natura 2000", and requires such areas to be protected from deterioration and damage. The network comprises Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Marine Special Areas of Conservation (Marine SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Ramsar Sites.

POLICY EV25

Development, alone or in combination with other plans or projects, which is likely to adversely affect the integrity of a European protected site (SAC, Marine SAC, SPA and Ramsar Sites) and is not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site, will not be permitted unless:

  1. There are imperative reasons of over-riding public interest, including those of a social or economic nature, which are sufficient to override the reasons for designation, and
  2. There is no alternative solution.

Where such development is permitted, planning conditions and/or obligations will be used to secure all compensatory measures necessary to ensure that the overall coherence of the European Site is protected.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EV9, EV21-22, EV24, EV29-31, EV35-36, EV26, EV39, EC16, HC1-2, HC18, HC21, HC23, HC29, HC31-32, R1, R9, R11, R14, AS14

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 5; Draft TAN 5

SPG:

1.7.17.

Amplification

Regulation 48 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats and C.) Regulations 1994 (as amended) requires that, before permitting development affecting European sites, the Council assess whether the proposal will have a significant effect on the site. Such development could be on, adjacent to, or some distance away from a European site. Where a proposal is likely to have a significant effect, the Council is required to undertake an Appropriate Assessment of the implications of the development on the conservation objectives for the site. An Appropriate Assessment will be required where it cannot be demonstrated that the proposal, plan or project will not have a significant effect on the European site. For proposals which may have an effect on the European sites at Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries and Crymlyn Bog, the Council will liaise with the relevant neighbouring authority to assess any ‘in combination’ impacts that may occur.

1.7.18.

SITES OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE

These are defined as the Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Nature Reserves (NNRs) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).

AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY

POLICY EV26

Within the Gower AONB, the primary objective is the conservation and enhancement of the area’s natural beauty. Development that would have a material adverse effect on the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the AONB will not be permitted. Any development within the AONB should:

  1. Be of an appropriately high standard of design, and
  2. Retain and where possible enhance existing features of natural heritage and the historic environment.

Main Cross References: SP1-4, EV1-2, EV9, EV16-17, EV19-22, EV24-25, EV27-31, EV35, EC11-14, EC17-22, HC9-10, HC22-23, HC29, HC31, R1, R5, R7, R9-11, R14, AS13

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 5; Draft TAN 5

SPG: Advertisement Policy in Gower; Promoting Swansea's Natural Environment: A Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan; Candidate SINC designation map, (forthcoming); The Gower AONB Management Plan; Lighting Guide for Gower AONB (forthcoming)

1.7.19.

Amplification

The Gower peninsula is an area of exceptional landscape quality and beauty. It is a relatively small area, which contains important wildlife, significant cultural and historical interest and a wide range of landscape features. The area is recognised as being of national importance and has been designated an AONB since 1956.

1.7.20.

Government guidance requires decisions affecting AONB’s to favour conservation of the natural beauty of the landscape, whilst having regard to the social and economic well being of the area. Major industrial or commercial development will not be allowed unless proven national interest and lack of alternative sites justify an exception. PPW clearly states that AONB’s and National Parks are of equal status in terms of landscape and scenic beauty and that both must be afforded the highest status of protection from inappropriate developments. Great weight must therefore be given to conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the AONB. There is a statutory duty on the Council and all other public bodies/utility companies to have regard to AONB purposes under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, 2000 (CROW Act). This applies to all activities affecting the AONB, whether located within or adjacent to the AONB.

1.7.21.

The Gower AONB Management Plan is a statutory plan as required by the CROW Act. It has a 20 year vision and will be reviewed at 5 yearly intervals. It aims to inform policy in other strategies and facilitate action to conserve, protect and enhance the Gower landscape and its nature conservation interests, and provide for public enjoyment where this is consistent with other aims. It is important that the objectives/policies of the AONB Management Plan are adhered to.

SSSIs AND NATIONAL NATURE RESERVES

POLICY EV27

Development that significantly adversely affects the special interests of sites designated as SSSIs and NNRs will not be permitted unless the need for the development is of such significance that it outweighs the national importance of the designation.

Where development is permitted, planning conditions and/or obligations will be used to protect and enhance those interests and where necessary provide effective mitigation and compensatory measures.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EV9, EV21-22, EV24, EV26, EV29-31, EV35, EC15-16, HC21, HC29, HC31-32, R1, R9, R11, R14, AS13

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN5; Draft TAN 5.

SPG: Promoting Swansea's Natural Environment: A Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

1.7.22.

Amplification

Nationally designated sites can be damaged either directly or indirectly by developments in or adjacent to their boundaries and even by development some distance away. Objectives for nature conservation are to contribute to the conservation of the abundance and diversity of wildlife and its habitats. Where there are no alternatives and the need for development is commensurate with the national importance of the site, full and effective mitigation and compensation will be required of the developer.

1.7.23.

SSSIs and NNRs are regarded as ‘sensitive areas’ under the EIA Regulations and all Schedule 2 development in or partially within such designations must be screened for the need for an EIA.

1.7.24.

When considering applications likely to damage a SSSI, the Council must give notice of the proposed operations to CCW and take their advice into account in deciding whether or not to grant planning permission. On sites of more than local importance it is likely that WAG will call in planning applications for determination.

1.7.25.

SITES OF LOCAL IMPORTANCE

These are defined as Local Nature Reserves (LNRs), Sites of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINCs), and Regionally Important Geological / Geomorphological Sites (RIGs).

POLICY EV28

Within locally designated areas the natural heritage will be preserved and enhanced wherever possible.

Development that would significantly adversely affect the special interest of Local Nature Reserves will not be permitted unless the need for the development is of such significance that it outweighs the importance of the designation.

Development that would significantly adversely affect SINCs or RIGs, or which would not provide for appropriate compensatory or mitigation measures will not be permitted, unless it can be demonstrated to meet appropriate social or economic needs where the benefits in such terms would outweigh the harm to the feature concerned.

Where development is permitted which would damage the nature conservation value of the site, such damage will be kept to a minimum, and appropriate mitigation or compensatory measures sought.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EV9, EV21-22, EV24, EV26, EV35, HC1-2, HC9, HC32, R1, R9, AS13

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 5; Draft TAN 5

SPG: Promoting Swansea's Natural Environment: A Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan; Candidate SINC designation map (forthcoming)

1.7.26.

Amplification

Six LNRs have been declared in the County on land which the Council considers should be managed and protected as a nature reserve. There are no RIGs currently designated within the County. Candidate SINCs have been identified on the basis of the document ‘Guidelines for the selection of wildlife sites in South Wales’. This regional guidance was published in 2004 and has been developed by a partnership of Local Authorities and the Wildlife Trusts in consultation with a wide range of organisations throughout South Wales. It is proposed that details of the SINCs, and any future RIGs, will be adopted in due course as SPG. The intention is to provide greater clarity on nature conservation issues when determining development proposals.

1.7.27.

When assessing the merits of proposals affecting locally designated areas, matters to be taken into account are:

  1. Contribution to the local community and economy,
  2. Proposed mitigation measures,
  3. The need to be located at the designated site, and
  4. The suitability of alternative sites.
1.7.28.

Given the breadth and diversity of landscape designations within the County and the level of protection that features and characteristics are afforded, there is insufficient need or justification to in addition designate special landscape areas. However CCWs Landmap survey information will be used to review non-statutory landscape areas.

COMMON LAND

POLICY EV29

Common land will be protected from development in recognition of its importance for agriculture, natural heritage, the historic environment and as an informal recreation resource.

Main Cross References: SP2-3, EV9, EV21-22, EV24-27, EV35, EC13, EC16, HC1-2, HC9, R1, R4, R8-9, R11, R14, AS6, AS10, AS13

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 5; Draft TAN 5

SPG: Promoting Swansea's Natural Environment: A Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan; Candidate SINC designation map (forthcoming)

1.7.29.

Amplification

All areas of common land are identified on the Proposals Map. However, it is recognised that not all these areas have the status of final registered common land. There are ongoing disputes on several sites which need to be resolved through the Commons Commissioners and this can be a complex and time consuming process. Such sites are referred to as provisional registered common land. For the purposes of the UDP provisional registered common land will be treated as final registered common land, similarly final registered common land which is the subject of an application to be removed from the commons register will be regarded as final registered common land. Where it is established that any application is well founded in law and there have been no representations or objections to its removal, the Council has the authority, under section 13 of the Commons Registration Act 1965, to remove it from the register of common land. Where land has legally been removed from registration following an application then that land ceases to be common land and EV29 no longer applies. However, nature conservation and landscape protection polices will still apply to the land

1.7.30.

The landscape and ecological character of commons within the County is quite diverse. They have largely been defined by the agricultural uses to which they have been put in terms of grazing and other common rights. To retain their character it is essential that such practices continue.

1.7.31.

Other appropriate uses on common land are nature conservation and informal recreation. Under the CROW Act all common land is registered as access land. The retention of the open unimproved character of common land will be the main criterion to be considered in assessing any development proposals. The impact of access roads and development adjacent to common land will also need to be taken into consideration.

TREES, WOODLAND AND HEDGEROW PROTECTION

POLICY EV30

Protection and improved management of woodlands, trees and hedgerows which are important for their visual amenity, historic environment, natural heritage, and/or recreation value will be encouraged, with priority being given to:

  1. Protecting the remaining areas of ancient semi natural woodland and planted ancient woodland sites,
  2. Promoting new planting with species appropriate to the location, where there is no conflict with other land uses or nature conservation interests, and
  3. Ensuring that where management involves commercial felling and replanting, protection of amenity interests is achieved.

Main Cross References: SP2-3, EV9, EV21-22, EV25-27, EV35, EC13-14, HC1-2, HC14, HC20, HC32

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 5; Draft TAN 5; TAN 10

SPG: Promoting Swansea's Natural Environment: A Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan ; Candidate SINC designation map (forthcoming)

1.7.32.

Amplification

The Council are empowered to protect trees and woodlands by making Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), imposing planning conditions or both. Trees in conservation areas are afforded similar control to TPO protected trees. Hedgerows are protected by The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 where they meet certain criteria.

1.7.33.

Ancient Woodland and Planted Ancient Woodland sites are seminatural habitats which are irreplaceable and should be afforded a high level of protection.

1.7.34.

Where new planting is proposed, the emphasis should be on new broad-leaved species native to the area, although it is recognised that in some locations conifers can form effective parts of mixed species planting.

1.7.35.

Encouragement will be given to landowners to undertake traditional management programmes and to utilise grant aided schemes.

1.7.36.

PROTECTION OF THE UNDEVELOPED COASTLINE

The undeveloped coast extends west from Mumbles Head encompassing Gower, and the Loughor Estuary and forms a valuable but fragile asset. It is also a key element in the image, identity and quality of life of the area. High priority is therefore placed on its protection. In association with the rest of the countryside policies, the aim is to safeguard the undeveloped coastline (much of which is Heritage Coast in addition to its other national and international designations) from development, in order to protect its scape, nature conservation interests and archaeological sites. It is also an aim to improve those areas in need of enhancement.

1.7.37.

The County supports an exceptionally varied coastline, ranging from cliffs and sandy beaches to salt marshes and dune systems. Accordingly this policy only identifies the length of the undeveloped coastline, as the landward extent varies according to topography. At any particular location the landward extent is based on judgement of the direct physical and environmental linkages between the land and sea. This includes the degree of inter-visibility between the land and sea, the extent of land created by coastal processes and the relationship with maritime/coastal related activities. This policy complements those for the developed coastline, which cover the mouth of the Tawe, in particular the Maritime Quarter, SA1 Swansea Waterfront, Swansea Docks, key destinations around Swansea Bay and the Lower Swansea Valley.

POLICY EV31

Along the undeveloped coastline development proposals for the provision of visitor and recreation facilities and services to complement existing facilities will be permitted at the coastal locations indicated below, provided that they are of a scale and design that respects sensitive nature conservation, landscape and historic environment interests:

  • Limeslade
  • Bracelet Bay
  • Rotherslade
  • Langland Bay
  • Caswell Bay
  • Oxwich
  • Horton
  • Port Eynon
  • Llangennith
  • Rhossili
  • Penclawdd
  • Loughor Foreshore

Elsewhere along the undeveloped coast development will not be permitted and priority is placed on protection and enhancement of the natural heritage and historic environment and improvement of existing facilities.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV1-2, EV21-22, EV25-27, EV35- 36, EV39, EC16-17, HC21, HC31, R11

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN14

SPG: Swansea Bay Shoreline Management Plan, 2nd edition forthcoming); Swansea Bay Coastal Zone Management Plan, (forthcoming); Promoting Swansea's Natural Environment: A Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan; Candidate SINC designation map (forthcoming); Gower Management Plan

1.7.38.

Amplification

The areas of the Gower coastline identified by this policy provide opportunities for improved access and appropriate sustainable tourism and recreation opportunities and for the improved management and enhancement of existing facilities within the overall context of coastal and environmental protection policies. In these areas protection of the natural beauty of the AONB will remain a prime consideration.

1.7.39.

The Loughor Foreshore area provides opportunities for environmental improvements/ enhancements, recreation and sustainable tourism activities.

1.7.40.

Apart from the facilities and services identified by the policy, development which requires a coastal location should be located on the developed coast, subject to due regard being paid to the risks of erosion, flooding or land stability.

1.7.41.

At the locations identified for visitor and recreation facilities and services, the impact of any increased recreation activity on nature conservation and landscape interests will need to be taken into consideration. Account should also be taken of the Swansea Tourism Strategy. In addition, any coastal development will have to comply with the adopted policy under the Shoreline Management Plan, which sets out sustainable policies for coastal defence

1.7.42.

ENVIRONMENTAL ENHANCEMENT

Although considerable progress has been made in removing much of the dereliction of the County’s industrial past, there are still areas that suffer from environmental blight and lack of open space. It is important to progress the upgrading process and ensure that new development proposals are combined with environmental improvement and management schemes to bring about improved environmental quality for the community as a whole. Such work will include the creation of new habitats and landscaping schemes and will contribute to the provision of an even distribution of natural open space throughout the County. A progressive programme of greening and habitat creation will make a major contribution towards the County’s network of green corridors.

POLICY EV32

Environmental improvement schemes will be implemented at a number of locations shown on the Proposals Map. These are intended to:

  1. Improve visual appearance, natural heritage value and recreation potential,
  2. Improve the setting of industrial, commercial and residential developments and transport corridors, and
  3. Maintain, extend and improve the quality of the urban greenspace network in line with the aims of the ‘Greening the City’ strategy.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV22, EV24, EC1-2, EC15-16, EC20, HC1-4, HC9, HC11-12, HC14-15, HC18, HC28-29, R1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN 5; Draft TAN 5

SPG: Greening the City; Eastside Initiative; A Landscape Strategy for Swansea East and Neath West; A Landscape Strategy for Swansea North and West; Swansea East Environmental Enhancement Programme Review; Promoting Swansea's Natural Environment: A Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

1.7.43.

Amplification

Significant investment has been made in environmental improvements, with Council investment attracting a substantial amount of grant aid. The works have brought about radical improvements and made a significant contribution to improving the image of the County for inward investment. Whilst much has been achieved, further works are required to fully capitalise on earlier investment.

1.7.44.

The framework for this environmental regeneration is contained in the Landscape Strategies and Action Plans for Swansea East and Neath West (1994) and Swansea North and West (1996), which provide SPG. Key environmental priorities include Fabian Way Eastern approaches, Tawe Regeneration Corridor, Swansea Vale, Gorseinon and older industrial estates. A number of enhancement schemes are earmarked for implementation and identified on the Proposals Map. This is not an exhaustive list however and further sites will be identified for treatment through the Plan period.

1.8.

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Objectives

  • To bring forward proposals for the remediation of dereliction and pollution (1.h)
  • To avoid any developments in the vicinity of existing hazards (1.i)
  • To avoid significant adverse environmental impacts from new development (1.j)
  • To protect undeveloped and functional floodplains(1.l)
  • To safeguard and improve the quality and quantity of controlled waters (4.c)

SEWAGE DISPOSAL

POLICY EV33

Planning permission will only be granted where development can be served by the public mains sewer or, where this system is inadequate, satisfactory improvements can be provided prior to the development becoming operational.

In exceptional circumstances where connection to the main sewer is not feasible, consideration will be given to the use of private drainage systems, provided the criteria set out in Circular 10/99 are met. Private foul drainage systems will only be permitted within sewered areas where justified as a temporary expedient pending planned improvements to the mains system.

Main Cross References: SP2, EV2, EV25, EV34, EC1-2, EC20-21, HC1-4, HC9, HC11-12, HC14-15, HC17-18, HC28-29, HC32, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; WO Circular 10/99

SPG:

1.8.1.

Amplification

Many of the County’s sewerage systems and sewage treatment works are becoming overloaded. Unless additional infrastructure is provided, further demands placed on existing facilities may result in the pollution of controlled waters.

1.8.2.

WO Circular 10/99 provides advice on the exercise of planning controls over the use of non-mains sewerage in new development particularly with regard to the use of septic tanks. Annex A of the circular sets out the factors which should be taken into account when considering the suitability of any proposals, such as likely effects on the environment, amenity and public health. Planning applications for new development must be accompanied by a full assessment, as the responsibility for demonstrating that a development can be effectively served by a sewerage disposal system rests primarily with the developer. Following advice from statutory consultees and other bodies, if the Council deems the proposed sewerage disposal system unsatisfactory then planning permission will be refused. Potentially adverse effects on designated sites will be taken into account through compliance with the Habitats Regulations.

1.8.3.

Private sewage treatment plants require regular maintenance at frequent intervals in order to produce effluents that meet their discharge conditions. Failure to reach the required standard can result in a significant environmental impact. Where appropriate, developers will be required to enter into a Section 106 Agreement to ensure that adequate arrangements are made for wastewater management and future maintenance.

PROTECTION OF CONTROLLED WATERS

POLICY EV34

Development proposals that may impact upon the water environment will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that they would not pose a significant risk to the quality and or quantity of controlled waters.

Initiatives that lead to improvements in the quality of surface water will be approved subject to satisfactory ecological and visual safeguards.

Main Cross References: SP1, SP3, EV2, EV33, EV35, EV39, EC1- 2, EC11, EC15-16, EC20-21, HC1-4, HC9, HC11-12, HC14-15, HC18, HC21, HC28-29, HC31-2, R13, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN15

SPG:

1.8.4.

Amplification

Water is an essential resource and its presence and purity is paramount for the sustainability of life. Over-abstraction can have a detrimental impact on existing users and the environment, whilst pollution of surface and ground waters can render the resource unsuitable for use by man and damage the environment. Maintaining or enhancing the water quality of coastal waters, rivers, canals, lakes, ponds and other water bodies is important for a wide range of uses.

1.8.5.

Activities such as the disposal of effluent in soakaways, landfilling or ineffective storage of chemicals can result in the pollution of groundwater. Contaminated sites should be adequately sealed against the leakage of polluted matter and surface drainage should be directed away from the source of contamination and any contaminated water (ground or surface water) must be adequately treated prior to discharge. Planning permission will not be granted where in the opinion of the Council and the EA the disturbance of contaminated land will significantly affect the quality of surface and groundwaters. Similarly, abstraction and dewatering can affect quantities available. As the clean up of contaminated groundwater or the restoration of quantities or flow is difficult and very expensive, the Council, in co-operation with the EA, will seek to prevent or reduce the risk of groundwater pollution by restricting development that threatens controlled water quality. Guidance on considerations affecting the acceptability of development from a groundwater protection viewpoint has been published by the EA as its “Policy and Practice for the Protection of Groundwater”.

POLICY EV35

Development that would have an adverse impact on the water environment due to:

  1. Additional surface water run off leading to a significant risk of flooding on site or an increase in flood risk elsewhere, and/or
  2. A reduction in the quality of surface water run-off,

will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that appropriate alleviating measures can be implemented.

Sustainable drainage systems (SUDS) will be encouraged wherever they would be effective and practicable, so as to ensure that development does not increase run off, and potentially damage important landscape features and protected species and habitats. Where SUDS are not provided then any conventional drainage system utilised must improve the status quo.

Main Cross References: SP2-3, EV2, EV16-18, EV20-21, EV23, EV25-31, EV34, EV40-41, EC1-4, EC8-9, EC14-18, EC20-21, HC1- 4, HC9, HC11-12, HC14-15, HC18, HC21-22, HC28-29, HC31-32, R11, R17, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN15; “Interim Code of Practice for Sustainable Drainage Systems” National SUDS Working Group, July 2004

SPG:

1.8.6.

New developments may result in a substantial increase in surface water runoff as permeable surfaces are replaced by impermeable surfaces. This may result in an increase in river flow, which can cause physical damage to the banks and bed of a watercourse as well as increase the risk of flooding. Other consequential effects, often at some distance from the development, are increased pollution, silt deposition, damage to watercourse habitats and river channel instability.

1.8.7.

SUDS can be implemented at all scales of development and developers should consider their incorporation early in the development process. Their use may allow development to proceed that would otherwise be refused because of an increase in flood risk caused by run-off. Developers may be required to demonstrate that they have examined the SUDS option, providing the Council with details and options. If it is demonstrated that SUDS could work on a site, and subject to the appropriate agreements being in place with regard to adoption, then the Council will require SUDS to be implemented. Planning conditions or Section 106 Agreements will be used to ensure SUDS implementation and long-term maintenance and renewal. Guidance on the implementation, adoption and maintenance of SUDS has been published by the National SUDS working group “Interim Code of Practice for Sustainable Drainage Systems” (2004).

DEVELOPMENT AND FLOOD RISK

POLICY EV36

New development, where considered appropriate within flood risk areas, will only be permitted where developers can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Council that its location is justified and the consequences associated with flooding are acceptable.

Main Cross References: SP1-3, EV2, EV16-18, EV20-21, EV23, EV25, EV31, EV37, EC1-2, EC4, EC9, EC14-18, EC20, EC22, HC1-4, HC9, HC11-12, HC14-15, HC18-19, HC21, HC28-29, HC31-32, R2-3, R5-6, R8-9, R11-12, R14, R17, AS6, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TAN15

SPG:

1.8.8.

Amplification

Areas at risk from flooding are shown on the Development Advice Maps that accompany TAN 15 and are proposed to be updated every 3 years. The TAN15 Development Advice Maps are indicative of flood risk and should be referred to, to determine when flood risk issues need to be considered. These maps can be viewed at the local planning authority offices or at local libraries. The EA’s Flood Map can be used for further clarification.

1.8.9.

Following the precautionary framework, the Council will direct development away from areas that are at a high risk of flooding. Development can only be justified within an area at high risk from flooding if it meets the criteria and tests specified within TAN 15 (Section 6 and Appendix 1 refer). To accord with the provisions of Section 6, highly vulnerable development/emergency services will not normally be permitted within Zone C2. Should a proposal meet the relevant criteria within the justification test (i), (ii) and (iii), the Council will request developers to submit a Flood Consequences Assessment (FCA) with a planning application. Developers are advised to consider Section 7 and Appendix 1 of TAN 15 and to contact the EA in order to discuss the scope of the assessment required and establish what information may be available.

1.8.10.

In addition to the risk of flooding to new developments located in floodplains, development in such locations may also increase the risk of flooding elsewhere by reducing the storage capacity of the floodplain and/or by impeding the flow of floodwater. Proposals to redevelop previously developed land will be evaluated on the basis of the guidance in TAN15 and the conclusions of any associated FCA. The creation of flood storage areas, for example, is a recognised tool in flood management. In all cases of new development within flood risk areas, proposals must incorporate appropriate mitigation measures. Where necessary, developers will be expected to enter into a Section 106 undertaking to ensure the implementation of such measures and to secure the future maintenance of associated flood alleviation measures.

1.8.11.

It is considered beneficial for watercourses to remain in an open state for both flood defence and environmental purposes and the Council is therefore generally opposed to the culverting of watercourses. Any culverting of a watercourse requires the prior written approval of the Council under the terms of the Public Health Act 1936 and the prior written consent of the EA under the terms of the Land Drainage Act 1991/Water Resources Act 1991. The EA seeks to avoid culverting and its consent for such works will not normally be granted except for access crossings. Relevant detailed guidance may be found in ‘Environment Agency Policy Regarding Culverts, 1999’.

1.8.12.

all cases, developers will be required to identify, implement and cover the cost of any necessary measures required to provide a competent evaluation. In some cases the elements of necessary measures may be such that the EA undertakes them with the cost being covered by the developers. The Council has jointly commissioned with the EA a hydraulic model for the River Tawe catchment, which will provide more accurate baseline data for the preparation of FCAs.

TIDAL AND RIVER DEFENCES

POLICY EV37

The integrity and continuity of tidal and river defences will be maintained and improved where necessary. Access to existing and future tidal and river defences for maintenance and emergency purposes will be protected and where appropriate, improved subject to satisfactory ecological and visual safeguards. Where development relating to tidal and river defences is permitted the stability and continuity of the defences must be maintained.

Main Cross References: SP2-3, EV2, EV36, EC1-2, EC15-16

National Planning Guidance: PPW; TANs 14 and 15

SPG: Promoting Swansea's Natural Environment: A Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan; Candidate SINC designation map (forthcoming)

1.8.13.

Amplification

A breach of tidal and river defences could lead to serious flooding not only in the vicinity of the breach, but also in areas of low lying land often at some considerable distance. The successful operation of such defences requires monitoring and management and appropriate access for maintenance and emergency purposes. The Council will support the development of soft sea defences rather than hard sea defences unless there is no viable alternative. The continued construction of hard-engineered flood defences to protect development in defined flood hazard areas is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term. Government resources for flooding and coastal defence projects are directed at protecting existing developments and are not available to provide defences in anticipation of future development.

1.8.14.

Development within any watercourse or within 7 metres of any main river (as defined by the EA) requires land drainage consent from the EA.

1.8.15.

Proposals to develop new, or improve existing, coast protection works or for flood defence/relief may require an EIA. Developers should contact the Council to determine whether an EIA will be required.

CONTAMINATED LAND

POLICY EV38

Development proposals on land where there is a risk from contamination or landfill gas will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Council, that measures can be taken to satisfactorily overcome any danger to life, health, property, controlled waters, or the natural and historic environment.

Main Cross References: SP2-3, EV2, EV40, EC1-2, EC15, EC20, HC1-4, HC9, HC11-12, HC14-15, HC18, HC28-29, R14, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; WO Circular 22/87

SPG:

1.8.16.

Amplification

Failure to identify and accurately assess any risk to development arising from contamination or landfill gas generation may pose a threat to the health and safety of future occupiers or neighbouring occupiers, as well as the natural and historic environments and controlled waters. Consultations will be undertaken with the EA and/ or with the Council’s Pollution Control section to ensure that any development proposed does not pose a risk to controlled waters. The EA will also be consulted in respect of development proposals located within 250 metres of landfill sites.

1.8.17.

The Council’s Environment Department holds information on the known location of contaminated land and landfill sites and sites where the land use history suggests a risk of contamination or the land is designated as contaminated under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. However this information is not exhaustive and the responsibility for determining the extent and effects of such constraints upon a site remain with the developer. UDP allocations of land for development do not signify that those areas are free from contamination.

1.8.18.

Planning applications on sites that the Council has reason to believe are contaminated must be accompanied by a site investigation report containing a risk assessment and proposed remedial measures. Consideration of the acceptability of remedial measures will include the impact they have on controlled waters and the natural and historic environment. The Council, in consultation with the EA, will need to be satisfied that actual or potential contamination can be overcome before planning permission can be granted.

LAND INSTABILITY

POLICY EV39

Development which would create, affect or might be affected by unstable or potentially unstable land will not be permitted where there would be a significant risk to life, health, property or the natural heritage on the site or in its vicinity unless the Council is satisfied that proposals to make the land capable of supporting the development are adequate.

In the case of Graig Trewyddfa, development or substantial re-development will not be permitted.

Main Cross References: SP2-3, EV2, EV16-18, EV20-21, EV23, EV25, EV31, EV34, EC1-2, EC4, EC9, EC14-18, EC20, HC1-4, HC9, HC11-12, HC14-15, HC18, HC21, HC28-29, HC31, R1, R4-6, R9, R11-12, R14, R17, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW

SPG:

1.8.19.

Amplification

This policy aims to steer development away from areas of unstable land. There is an extensive legacy of underground workings and surface spoil heaps in parts of the County due to the area’s long history of mining and quarrying. The possible effects on land stability of past workings, as well as of natural processes in the limestone areas, must therefore be taken into account in the consideration of planning applications, in order to ensure that development is not exposed to, or does not create, significant risks from land instability.

1.8.20.

Developers may be required to provide engineering assessments in support of planning applications where the Council is concerned that proposed development may create, affect or be affected by unstable land. The Council will need to be satisfied that a site is stable or that any actual or potential instability can reasonably be overcome before planning permission is granted. Any remedial measures proposed must be completed before building works commence or be an integral part of the construction works. Development will not be allowed if expensive engineering projects, which have cost implications for the Council, will be required to prevent erosion.

1.8.21.

Information on ground stability can be obtained from the Council’s Environment Department, the Mineral Valuer and the Coal Authority. Although there is evidence of mining activity and geological problems within the County, there is only one defined slip area. This is located at Graig Trewyddfa and is identified on the Proposals Map. Although the Council holds information on areas of ground instability, this information is not exhaustive and the responsibility for determining the extent and effects of such constraints upon a site remain with the developer.

AIR, NOISE AND LIGHT POLLUTION

POLICY EV40

Development proposals will not be permitted that would cause or result in significant harm to health, local amenity, natural heritage, the historic environment or landscape character because of significant levels of air, noise or light pollution.

Main Cross References: SP2-3, EV1-2, EV15, EV35, EV38, EC1-2, EC5, EC12, EC15-17, EC20-21, HC1-4, HC9, HC11-12, HC14-15, HC18, HC28-29, R1, R4-14, AS13, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW; MPPW; MTAN; TANs 6, 11, 19, 21 and Draft TAN18

SPG:

1.8.22.

Amplification

Pollution may cause significant damage to human health, quality of life, residential amenity, and the natural and historic environment. This policy seeks to ensure that developments that would result in significantly high levels of noise, light or air pollution are appropriately located away from residential areas, other sensitive developments and areas of landscape, natural environment and heritage importance. The policy also seeks to ensure that incompatible development and land uses are not located close to existing sources of potential pollution.

1.8.23.

The adverse effects of pollution are an important consideration when determining planning applications. When assessing new development proposals the Council will seek to minimise the impact of pollution of all kinds, and where possible planning conditions will be used to minimise environmental harm. The Council will look to the statutory environmental agencies to use their anti pollution legislative powers to monitor and enforce against discharges, noise, etc.

1.8.24.

Where proposed development is to be located in close proximity to a source of noise pollution, or includes possible noise conflicts within the proposed site, proposals will be required to incorporate design, landscaping and other measures to minimise the effects on future occupants. The layout of buildings can frequently be designed or modified to reduce the effects of noise disturbance. Similarly schemes can be designed to incorporate materials, features and landscaping which reduce the impact of noise on the surrounding buildings. Where there are potential noise implications, developers may be required to provide an assessment of noise impact, together with proposals for mitigation in support of planning applications. Planning permission will be refused if the Council is not satisfied with the results of the assessment and proposed mitigation measures. Notwithstanding the use of good design and materials, there will be some instances where new residential and other noise sensitive uses such as hospitals and schools will not be acceptable in close proximity to existing noise generating uses or activities.

1.8.25.

Planning permission will not be granted for development that would cause significant harm to air quality by virtue of emissions from the development itself or the additional new traffic movements it would generate. Neither will permission be granted where a development is proposed that would increase the number of exposed individuals in an area likely to fail UK air quality objectives (proposed or in Regulations). This may be a declared Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), or an area that might become an AQMA if the application were to be granted. The Hafod Air Quality Management Area (NO2) is currently the only AQMA within the County boundary. This designation was declared within the Lower Swansea Valley, Hafod area in 2001 and followed a comprehensive, County wide review and assessment of air quality that identified the area as being likely to fail the statutory NO2 objective by 2005. An Action Plan was subsequently prepared which comprises targeted measures to improve air quality within the Hafod AQMA. The Council are satisfied that the outcome of the Action Plan will provide a practical delivery of the improvements required. The AQMA boundary is plotted on the Proposals Map.

1.8.26.

Light pollution can have a harmful affect on the amenity of neighbouring land uses, traffic safety and the natural environment. However, lighting can also help prevent crime and the fear of crime and facilitate greater use of sport and recreational areas. A balance therefore needs to be struck, and, where necessary, conditions will be attached to planning permissions to ensure that the design and operation of lighting systems are satisfactory and/or to prevent light pollution.

HAZARDOUS INSTALLATIONS / CONSULTATION ZONES

POLICY EV41

The development of new hazardous installations involving the use, storage or movement of hazardous substances that would cause significant safety or health risks, or would adversely affect natural heritage and the historic environment to a significant degree or would prejudice the use or development of other land will not be permitted.

Development of land in the vicinity of existing hazardous installations will not be permitted if there would be significant risk to life or health.

Main Cross References: SP3, EV2, EV25, EV35, EC1-2, EC20, HC1-4, HC9, HC11-12, HC14-15, HC18, HC28-29, R13, CC1

National Planning Guidance: PPW

SPG:

1.8.27.

Amplification

Under health and safety legislation, certain sites and pipelines are designated as notifiable installations and the development of land in their vicinity is subject to planning controls aimed at keeping the hazardous installations adequately separated from housing and other land uses with which they might be incompatible from a safety viewpoint. In determining whether or not to grant permission for a new hazardous installation or for a development on land in the vicinity of a hazardous installation, the Council will take advice from the Health and Safety Executive and other statutory consultees.

1.8.28.

Notifiable installations and their consultation zones are shown on the Proposals Map and listed below (further details are available from the local planning authority):

  • BP Chemicals, Queens Dock
  • INCO Europe Ltd, Clydach
  • British Gas, Swansea Enterprise Park
  • Albion Chemicals, Landore
  • Brisco Williams, Garngoch
  • 3M’s, Garngoch
  • Notified High Pressure Mains: Llansamlet, Swansea Vale, Ynysallan, Mynydd Gelliwastad, Fforestfach.
  • High Pressure Gas Pipeline: Milford Haven to Tirley
1.8.29.

The above list may be subject to modification from time to time. Although not all the installations listed are within the Plan area, they are all of relevance in the context of the consultation zones.

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