Development Management Plan Consultation Document 3rd February - 27th April 2012

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(2) 5 Historic and Natural Environment

(1) Designated heritage assets

5.1 Designated heritage assets are defined as: World heritage sites, scheduled ancient monuments, listed buildings, protected wreck sites registered historic parks and gardens, registered battlefields and conservation areas.

(3) The issue

5.2 Retaining sites of heritage value and protecting them from loss or the adverse impacts of development is an issue highlighted in the Planning Strategy. Conservation areas have been designated across the town and more detailed consideration is given to any development that may affect them. When development does occur in, or close to, conservation areas, the potential impact on the special significance of these designated areas is considered.

5.3 The designation of heritage assets is defined in various ways – through legislation, a national planning policy, the Local Planning Authority (LPA) plan-making process, and by Council Resolution. In determining applications there will be a presumption in favour of preventing harm or loss to a heritage asset, in conformity with the Planning Strategy.

5.4 Appendix B at the end of this document shows the protective designations and allocations including conservation areas and scheduled ancient monuments.

5.5 Proposals that involve designated assets might require also further specific guidance.

5.6 The expectations of policies elsewhere in this plan or the Planning Strategy can be applied flexibly. For example in Conservation Areas, it may be necessary to permit development which does not meet these standards to enable a viable use to be found for a building without compromising environmental quality.

(7) Option 1: A single policy

5.7 This option would allow an applicant to view a potentially more user friendly single piece of guidance around proposals specifically involving planning permission for designated heritage assets. To achieve this particular approach the existing policies would need to be reviewed and potentially grouped together and the likely changes in national guidance would also need careful consideration. There could be some issues that are not covered by the existing policies that also need to be included in the eventual Development Management Plan policy.

5.8 The current local plan policies relating to designated heritage assets broadly cover the following topics: (For more detailed information please see the Hastings Local Plan 2004, pages 171 – 179).

5.9 Development within Conservation Areas: this outlines (amongst other things) that proposals should enhance the character of the designated area, its buildings and surroundings, there should be a high standard of design, use of sensitively chosen materials in proposals, that green spaces should be preserved and that the layout and arrangement of buildings should follow the existing patterns.

5.10 Demolition in a Conservation Area: This policy generally states that demolition is to be avoided unless it is to preserve or enhance the character of the area or there is not other viable use for the building(s) concerned.

5.11 Replacement Doors and Windows in Conservation Areas: this gives specific instruction around the materials and styles that should be appropriately selected for the area in question.

5.12 Roof Materials in Conservation Areas: Also specific guidance around replica treatments and appropriate material choices.

5.13 Development Involving Listed Buildings: this outlines (amongst other things) that proposals should be appropriate in scale, design, materials etc so as not to detract from the special architectural and historic character and appearance of listed buildings and their setting. Changes of use, external and internal alteration will only be permitted where they do not adversely affect the special architectural and historic character.

5.14 Demolition of Listed Buildings: this is also a policy to discourage demolition unless no other viable practical or suitable alternative can be found.

5.15 Replacement Doors and Windows in Listed Buildings: Specific guidance to the replacement of exact replicas or original features.

5.16 Roof Materials for Listed Buildings: Specific guidance to the replacement of exact replicas or original features.

5.17 Archaeological Sites and Ancient Monuments: assessments of implications of any proposals are required from any applicant and the protection of the setting of these assets is outlined in this policy.

5.18 Through the policies there is also the requirement for an applicant to demonstrate and provide evidence of assessments with most kinds of proposal involving these designated assets.

5.19 There is also some guidance towards specific proposals such as those for winch huts, advertisements and shop fronts.

Option 2: Split the guidance into separate policies

5.20 Another option could be to split the guidance into separate policies; this might help to reinforce the view that each aspect of designated heritage is important in its own right. A greater number of policies, however, covering one area could also have the consequence of reducing their impact when considering applications. The flexibility to respond to applications would remain if there were more policies but their consistent use might be reduced.

(1) Option 3: Some more stringent guidance

5.21 Some more stringent guidance is another way to view this policy. It is possible to be more prescriptive, especially around design matters in heritage terms, and this approach would have the advantage of achieving minimum standards across the town. Standards, however, can become outdated and setting them limits the chances of certain types of development occurring where it might be most needed. It could also be the case a standard for one area is different to the next, and what was intended to be a minimum standard could become an unintended maximum. It could be argued that a way to achieve specific standards for developments is through site specific negotiations or potential Neighbourhood Plans.

(1) Option 4: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy, and the general guidance from this consultation

5.22 It could be sufficient to rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy. The sites identified on the eventual proposals map would relate to the Planning Strategy and the less detailed policies of that plan. This option would allow greater flexibility in the consideration of planning applications, but could lead to less consistent decisions. This approach may also have the consequence of there not being enough specific guidance for development to suit the town.

Relationship to other plans

5.23 Planning Strategy (2012): Objectives: 1, 2, 3 and 7

Local Plan (2004): Reference policies C1 to C10

Non designated heritage assets and local lists

(4) The issue

5.24 Some parts of the town's heritage are not formally designated heritage assets, but are are considered as important. These include areas of archaeological interest, unregistered parks and gardens and buildings, monuments, sites, places or landscapes that are positively identified as having significance in terms of the historic environment. Guidance, therefore, could be important for the protection and management of locally valued places that are not nationally recognised.

5.25 We will welcome the creation and management of a Local List of non-designated heritage assets and this will help to inform the decisions for planning applications made in connection with those assets identified.

(3) Option 1: A policy for non-designated heritage assets

5.26 This option introduces a policy basis for non-designated heritage assets and would alert potential applicants to the heritage value across the town that is not nationally recognised.

5.27 With any planning application is could be expected that proposers assess, in the same way as with designated assets, the potential impact that their scheme might have on the character and setting of a non-designated heritage asset. The assessment would likely need to take account of the reason for the identification of the asset, its local importance and what about it should be preserved. The level of protection that a non-designated heritage asset is given is likely to be proportionate the significance of that asset and the scale of any harm or loss proposed.

Suggested policy:

Non-designated heritage assets and their setting will be afforded protection that is proportionate to the scale of any harm or loss proposed and the significance of the asset in question.

(4) Option 2: Some more stringent guidance

5.28 Some more stringent guidance is another way to view this policy. It is possible to be more prescriptive, and this approach would have the advantage of achieving minimum standards of protection across the Borough. Standards, however, can become outdated and setting them limits the chances of certain types of development occurring where it might be most needed. It could also be the case a standard for one area is different to the next, and what was intended to be a minimum standard could become an unintended maximum. It could be argued that a way to achieve specific standards for developments is through site specific negotiations or potential Neighbourhood Plans.

(2) Option 3: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy

5.29 It could be sufficient to rely upon national guidance and policies in the Planning Strategy. This option would allow greater flexibility in the consideration of planning applications, but could lead to less consistent decisions. This approach may also have the consequence of there not being enough specific guidance for development to suit the town.

Relationship to other plans

5.30 Planning Strategy (2012): Objectives: 1, 2, 3 and 7

Local Plan (2004): No policies

(9) Defining the green infrastructure network

(26) The first issue

5.31 The protection of habitats and species are important subjects in their own right, and these are described in national policy and the Hastings Planning Strategy. The latter also outlines the principles of prevention, then mitigation and then as a last resort, compensation in terms of nature conservation.

5.32 Access to green infrastructure and open space has tremendous value in terms of people's quality of life, providing access to the natural environment and recreational uses. There are also indirect benefits in economic terms of having a good quality natural environment; opportunities are created for leisure and recreation, making the area more attractive to people and businesses alike.

5.33 The Proposals Map that will form part of the final Development Management Plan will define the boundaries of the various natural habitats and open spaces across the town which are to be protected.

Identifying existing green space for protection

5.34 The protective designations and allocations plan at the end of this document identifies a number of important areas of habitat for various indigenous and visiting species, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), national nature reserves, local nature reserves, Local Wildlife Sites, Ancient Woodland and more. In addition, there are other areas not identified that may be of importance.

5.35 Open/green space uses may include community woodland, marsh, public and private parks, burial grounds, and allotments, many of these will be identified on the proposals map. The space could be multi-functional, so suitable for play, recreation, walking and cycling, whilst supporting wildlife, and flood management.

5.36 Do you support the boundaries we have displayed in appendix B

5.37 Are there any other areas we should consider?

(6) The second issue

5.38 Where new development takes place it often provides an opportunity for adding to or strengthening the green network. This could be by the provision of a new area, or especially in the more densely developed areas of Hastings, to aid in the management and enhancement of those that already exist. The type of space needs to be appropriate to the surrounding area, yet offer a suitable variety of environments, fulfilling amenity, recreational, visual and ecological purposes.

(11) Option 1: A policy for the assessment and provision of green space with new development

Suggested policy:

5.39 The Council expects that proposals, where appropriate, include assessments of existing ecology. These assessments should be of habitats, including trees, hedges, shrubs and ponds. The specific species of new planting should be given particularly careful consideration to avoid ‘invasive species’ and the loss of neighbouring amenity. Measures for protection and management of the ecology will also be required where appropriate.

Certain development allocation sites will be more able to provide more green space than others. Through the consultation process and into the final document those allocations that should include particular contributions to the green infrastructure as outlined above will be identified.

5.40 Please comment on the site specific part of this document if you know of areas within proposed allocations that should be protected.

(4) Option 2: Some more stringent guidance

5.41 Some more stringent guidance is another way to view this policy. It is possible to be more prescriptive, especially around the requirements for assessments, and this approach would have the advantage of assurance that every planning application was accompanied by a full ecological assessment. Some planning applications, however, especially in town centre locations, or for existing buildings, might not require the same level of assessment if there is not vegetation already in place. It could be argued that a way to identify those places most in need of the most detailed assessments is through site specific negotiations or potential Neighbourhood Plans.

(2) Option 3: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy

5.42 It could be deemed sufficient to rely upon national guidance and policies in the Planning Strategy. The sites identified on the eventual proposals map would relate to the Planning Strategy and the less detailed policies of that plan. This option would allow greater flexibility in the consideration of planning applications, but could lead to less consistent decisions. This approach may also have the consequence of there not being enough specific guidance for development to suit the town.

Relationship to other plans

5.43 Planning Strategy (2012): Objectives: 3, 4 and 5

Local Plan (2004): Adapted from a combination of policies: NC7, NC8, NC9, OS2, OS3, OS4 and OS5

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