Hastings Local Plan Consultation Draft (Regulation 18)

Ended on the 24 March 2021
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5. Development Policies

5.1 We want better standards of design for new development in our Borough, development that one day will be recognised for its architectural merit and become part of the rich built heritage that makes Hastings, Hastings. The impact on the natural environment also needs to be considered42 including enhancing biodiversity even on our smallest development sites. This section of the Local Plan includes a brief suite of policies which set out our design expectations to ensure that development is of a high quality and that the impact of development is properly mitigated. We outline where we will use planning obligations (Section 106 Agreements) to support this.

5.2 Our carbon neutral ambitions need to shape the design of development and inform the transport choices of new occupants. The anticipated introduction of the Future Homes Standard, which will be secured through Building Regulations rather than the planning system, may limit the role of local planning authorities in setting stringent planning targets from 2025. We want, however, to make sure steps are being taken towards a carbon neutral future and encourage innovative design solutions whilst protecting valued heritage assets43. We want to see at least a carbon 20% reduction before these regulations take effect – our assessment of development viability has limited us from going even further. We also want to help futureproof development so that a full transition to zero carbon will be easier.

5.3 The reduction in energy demand is a top priority for any carbon reduction strategy, for example, energy insulation improvements in buildings enable systems such as heat pumps to work at a higher level of efficiency. However, as new and existing buildings and vehicles switch away from the use of fossil fuels and towards electricity, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that electricity is supplied from renewable sources.

5.4 Our evidence base shows that building-integrated technologies (particularly heat pumps and solar) represent the biggest opportunity for increasing low and zero carbon (LZC) capacity in Hastings, we strongly support building-integrated and standalone renewable energy developments, provided that they are appropriately designed and integrated.

5.5 This includes the installation of energy efficiency measures and/or LZC technology within heritage assets, provided these are carried out in line with best practice, such as Historic England guidance. We are also producing our own guidance note on the installation of solar panels in conservation areas and listed buildings.

5.6 The policy approaches also reflect the need – reinforced in the context of Covid-19 - to ensure healthy living environments with good space standards and access to green infrastructure and open spaces44. Ensuring adequate provision of accessible and wheelchair adapted homes based on local needs is also essential45.

5.7 The hilly topography of Hastings means that the Council needs to consider the impact of development on the wider setting of heritage assets, including more distant views to and from across the other sides of the valleys.

Development Policy 1 (DP1): Design – Key Principles

  1. Development should make a positive contribution to the quality, character, local distinctiveness and sense of place in Hastings. The Council will support high quality development, supported by a Design and Access Statement where appropriate, that:
    1. Responds to the existing character, enhances the landscape character and responds to the complex topography of Hastings considering the impact from key viewpoints, responding to the urban grain and reinforcing existing street patterns and character.
    2. Preserves and enhances existing heritage assets, including protecting their setting and key historic views across the Borough.
    3. Makes use of traditional building materials or complementary materials that contribute positively to local distinctiveness and also benefit de-carbonisation.
    4. Maximises opportunities for integrating physical activity and where possible provides active travel networks that support and encourage walking and cycling where development is at a scale that allows this. Provides people-friendly streets and public spaces which enable people, including wheelchair users and those with pushchairs/buggies to move around safely and comfortably.
    5. Provides a healthy environment for occupants including a comfortable micro-climate, account should be taken of the local climatic conditions.
    6. By virtue of design, scale, form, height, mass, and density reduces or avoids any adverse impact on the amenity (privacy, over shadowing, loss of daylight or noise transfer) of neighbouring properties during construction and occupation.
    7. Incorporates high quality shopfronts, outdoor advertisements and signage or replacement of these to improve design quality.
    8. Provides, where appropriate, public art.
  2. Development impacting heritage assets will be expected to reflect local historic character and be of an appropriate scale and siting, of high quality design, and use appropriate materials and finishes. The Council will require:
    1. A full understanding of the significance of the heritage asset to be set out in proposals along with a convincing demonstration of how the proposed design sustains and enhances that significance.
    2. Any harm to the significance of heritage assets to be removed, minimised or mitigated.
  3. Where taller buildings are proposed in the Borough, these should be supported by modelling of views and should:
    1. Avoid negative impacts on the skyline and any landscape views and views to and from heritage assets or on the setting of heritage assets; and
    2. Avoid/mitigate against any adverse micro-climatic effects such as sun, reflection, wind and overshadowing of open spaces or waterways.
    3. Demonstrate that there is no harm to residential amenities of nearby properties.

Development Policy 2 (DP2): Design - Space and Accessibility Standards

  1. Development will be supported that provides adequate space for occupants that is ergonomic and adaptable to the different needs of users, and in the case of residential development, different life stages. Development should allow ease of access to everyone including those with disabilities or with mobility impairments.
  2. The Council will use the national Space Standards, or any successor, to assess provision and will normally seek a minimum home size as set out in Table 5.1:
Table 5.1 Space Standards46

A screenshot of a cell phone  Description automatically generated

* Where a 1b1p has a shower room instead of a bathroom, the floor area may be reduced from 39m to 37m, as shown bracketed.

Source: Technical housing standards – nationally described space standard, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government 2015

  1. The Council will require all new homes to meet M4(2) Accessible and Adaptable standards47. Where there is an identified need on the Council Housing Register, sites that provide affordable housing in line with Strategic Policy SP2 will, as part of the affordable housing requirement, need to provide 5% of the total housing requirement to meet M4(3): Category 3 - Wheelchair Accessible Dwellings.
  2. Attractive, well designed private outdoor spaces (balconies or gardens) should be provided unless safety considerations mean this is not feasible.
  3. Where a home office is proposed as part of a dwelling, the internal floor area must equate to that of a one person single bedroom as set out in Table 5.1.

Development Policy 3 (DP3): Sustainable Design

  1. It is anticipated that Building Regulations will set higher standards for carbon emissions from buildings from 2025. In the interim, all new build development should achieve a minimum 20% reduction in regulated CO2 emissions compared with Building Regulations Pt L 2013. This should be achieved through energy efficiency measures, minimising the demand for artificial cooling and on-site renewable energy generation. For new build on greenfield sites, this target should be exceeded and development on Bohemia sites (see Focus Area Policy 2) should target net zero carbon development.
  2. For existing developments, where permission is required, applicants will be encouraged to adopt a comprehensive whole house approach to retrofitting and carrying out energy efficiency works to maximise carbon savings overall, whilst still being sensitive to the site, its surroundings and context.
  3. The Council will require submission of an energy statement for all major development that demonstrates it uses the most energy and carbon efficient technology that is feasible. The statement should set out what low carbon energy technologies will be installed and the estimated reduction in regulated CO2 emissions these will deliver.
  4. Major development will be supported where it follows a hierarchical approach in achieving the energy and carbon dioxide emission requirements of the Building Regulations. Development must:
    1. Minimise energy demand through energy efficiency measures such as fabric performance and passive design that minimises solar gain, maximises passive cooling and natural ventilation and considers opportunities for seasonal cooling/heating; and
    2. Supply energy efficiently and exploit local energy resources such as secondary heat and district energy networks. Preference must be given to technologies with greater efficiencies, and fuels with lower carbon emissions, to achieve the highest total lifecycle carbon emission savings, adopting in order of priority: (1) Electrically-driven ground or water source heat pumps or use of waste heat sources or (2) Electrically- driven air source heat pumps or (3) Direct electric heating or, as a last resort, (4) Gas- fired boilers. The use of solar thermal systems in combination with one of these systems to provide a proportion of the annual heat demands may provide additional carbon and cost savings so should be considered if suitable and viable. Other technology will also be considered if it can be demonstrated to have lower CO2 emissions; and
    3. Where possible utilise on-site renewable energy generation and storage.
  5. In more sensitive areas which are protected for their natural environment or heritage value, where proposals are promoted for their contribution to climate change objectives, the Council will take a balanced approach to ensure that we both maximise the available opportunities for reducing our carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy generation whilst still conserving special landscape character, biodiversity and the significance of heritage assets. The Council will wherever possible suggest alternative locations on a site where the harm to sensitive assets could be reduced to an acceptable level or removed. Alternatively, applicants will be encouraged to consider alternative forms of LZC technology that may be better suited to the site characteristics.

Development Policy 4 (DP4): Flood Risk and Water Quality

1. A Flood Risk Assessment will be required as part of a planning application for development in flood risk zones 2 and 3. Sequential and Exception Tests may also be required.

2. A Flood Risk Assessment will be required as part of a planning application for development in flood risk zone 1 that is:

A. More than 1 hectare; or

B. a change to a more vulnerable use (for example, commercial to residential) where it could be affected by other sources of flooding (for example surface water); or

C. Identified as having critical drainage problems.

3. All development should incorporate sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) and manage surface water run off to ensure flood risk is not increased elsewhere and incorporate water drainage through infiltration. Where not feasible, this should be discharged to:

A. Open water bodies or if this cannot be achieved

B. To the public sewer system, subject to checks with infrastructure providers.

4. Development adjacent to flood and/or sea defences will be required to protect the integrity of existing defences, contribute to new defences where appropriate and be set back from the banks of watercourses and their defences to allow their management, maintenance and upgrading.

5. Development in the Coastal Change Management Area which has the potential to be negatively impacted by or hasten the effects of coastal change will need to demonstrate clear mitigation strategies to manage any risks.

6. Measures to discharge directly into the ground will only be acceptable in areas that are not identified as containing a high groundwater table. Sites identified as containing a high groundwater table should be subject to appropriate hydrological monitoring before drainage designs are submitted.

Development Policy 5 (DP5): Biodiversity

  1. Planning applications should be accompanied by appropriate ecological appraisals outlining the potential impact of the proposed development on habitats and species. Proposals should avoid harm to biodiversity.
  2. Where development will have an adverse impact, permission will only be granted where it can be demonstrated that:
    1. There are no reasonable, less damaging, alternative locations, solutions or sites;
    2. The need for development outweighs the affected nature conservation interest; and
    3. The design and layout of the scheme minimises any adverse impacts.
  3. If the criteria under 2 A to C above is met, development should include measures that mitigate potential harmful impact or, as a last resort, make a financial contribution towards biodiversity to offset the harm. If the harm caused cannot be adequately mitigated such applications will be refused.
  4. Development (other than where loss of degradation of habitat would be negligible such as a change of use or building alteration) will be expected to demonstrate biodiversity net gain and will be supported where proposals can demonstrate:
    1. The development has been informed by ecological information, as set out in an ecological statement that sets out constraints and opportunities relating to onsite and adjacent biodiversity;
    2. A minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain on all greenfield sites using the DEFRA metric (or equivalent agreed as part of any pre-application discussion) either on or, offsite where net gain cannot be achieved on site; and
    3. A long-term monitoring and management plan for biodiversity has been prepared. For major development this should cover a 30 year period and will be secured by a planning condition or as a planning obligation secured by a Section 106 Agreement.
  5. Where biodiversity net gain cannot be achieved on site, the Council may accept a payment secured through a legal agreement to deliver suitable off-site compensation though biodiversity enhancements to protected sites and sites of biodiversity importance in the Borough.

Development Policy 6 (DP6): Green Infrastructure

  1. All major development should identify and protect green infrastructure and identify opportunities to enhance green infrastructure and support climate change adaptation and ecosystems.
  2. All major development, and where feasible other forms of development, will be expected to contribute to high-quality green infrastructure and enhance access to publicly accessible open space including:
    1. Providing local access to shade as part of a wider adaptation to climate change;
    2. Creating challenging and creative intergenerational play facilities and provision in a natural setting, particularly in areas of deficiency of access to play;
    3. Positively addressing the needs of biodiversity and species movement in the urban area, particularly in the face of decreased habitats and the challenges imposed by climate change;
    4. Woodland and habitat creation such as ponds and wetlands, providing bird and bat boxes on new developments and the provision of green and blue roofs or walls;
    5. Providing noise and pollution barriers/absorption measures; and
    6. Any planted beds containing species known to benefit pollinators.
  3. The Site Allocations Schedule (Appendix 1), identifies sites where there are opportunities to provide new high-quality public open spaces as part of new development. All major residential development will be expected to contribute to open space and play space improvements where provision is not made on site.
  4. Important trees, woodlands and hedgerows, will be protected comprising those:
    1. Protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO);
    2. In Conservation Areas;
    3. Designated as Ancient Woodland;
    4. Within historic parks and gardens; or
    5. Within an area designated for its biodiversity importance.
  5. The removal of trees will only be considered acceptable where it is in the interests of good arboricultural practice, as set out in the relevant British Standard for tree work, or where an appropriate number of suitable replacement trees, including fr1uit or nectar bearing trees, can be planted and maintained on site. Where on site provision is not possible, a financial contribution will be required towards suitable off-site locations for either new planting or management of existing trees or woodlands.
  6. An Urban Greening Factor will be developed to guide developers on the delivery of green infrastructure on brownfield sites.

Development Policy 7 (DP7): Access, Servicing and Parking

  1. The Council will require a Transport Assessment and may also require a Travel Plan to ensure that the impact of development on the highway network is managed or mitigated where development meets the thresholds set out in guidance from East Sussex County Council.
  2. The needs of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport operation should be given priority over the needs of through traffic and private vehicular access.
  3. All residential development should provide on-site secure cycle parking facilities in line with East Sussex County Council's Guidance for Parking at New Residential Development or any successor document. Major office development should also provide onsite secure cycle parking spaces.
  4. All development should ensure access, car parking and servicing has been efficiently and creatively integrated into the scheme, minimising land occupancy and ensuring a safe and attractive pedestrian environment. Car parking provision should not dominate, or unduly shape the design of new development.
  5. The Council will minimise car parking provision, particularly in accessible locations, with a maximum of 1 car parking space for each home across the whole Borough except in as set out in (6).
  6. Car Parking will be restricted for residential and office development in the 'Low Car Parking Area', within a 400m radius of Hastings Station, no new parking should be provided except disabled bays unless:
    1. It is demonstrated through a Transport Assessment that car parking is necessary to support safety on the highway network or
    2. A viability assessment indicates an element of parking is necessary to ensure the development is deliverable. In such cases, it is expected that the car parking provision will be less than 1 space per home.
  7. Disabled parking provision should be provided in accordance with guidance contained in 'Manual for Streets' (2007).
  8. Where feasible, the Council will require electric vehicle charging facilities for all new properties with off-street parking in accordance with current standards and codes of practice. Charging points should also be considered for other parking areas.

Development Policy 8 (DP8): Planning Obligations (Section 106)

  1. The Council may use planning obligations to address the impacts of development in line with policies set out in this Local Plan. The Council may seek planning obligations as set out in Table 5.2 below

Table 5.2 Indicative planning obligations

Type of development

Indicative Planning Obligation

(A) All development (excluding householder applications), where required

  • Highwaysworks/contributions
  • Rights ofWay
  • Biodiversity measures off site or a financial contribution towardsthese
  • Fluvial or surface water attenuation measures where impacts cannot be addressed onsite.
  • Restrictions to on street sparking, car clubs or other modal shift schemes in line with PolicyDP7

(B) In addition to (A), major residential development (10 or more homes)

  • Affordable Housing in line with PolicySP2
  • Open space contribution where open space is not provided on site to pay for upgrades/access improvements to existing openspace
  • Play space contributions and maintenance contributions to pay for upgrades/access improvements to existing playspace

(C) In addition to (A and B), larger scale residential and commercial development (40 or more homes or floorspace of 2,500sqm or more)

  • Employment and training contributions
  • Public transport contributions
  • Public realm improvements including publicart
  • Provision of on-site openspace
  • Construction phase local employment labour procurement targets and/or employment and skills plans
  • Contributions to other social infrastructure, such as health facilities, education libraries

Note: Details of any formulae will be included in the next draft of the Local Plan for comment taking into account the viability assessment of Local Plan policies, and the costs of infrastructure delivery, following consultation.

  1. The Council will use planning obligations to secure the reprovision of community facilities, including sports and cultural infrastructure, should existing uses be subject to redevelopment proposals.
  2. Where a Section 106 Agreement is entered into the Council will secure proportionate and reasonable fees associated with the monitoring of any planning obligation in addition to the Council's legal costs incurred in drafting and completing the Section 106 Agreement. All payments secured by planning obligations will be index linked from the date of permission or where sums are specified in this policy the date of adoption of the Local Plan.
  3. Other planning obligations may be sought to secure policy requirements set out in this plan and to mitigate the specific impacts of development in line with the legal tests set out in Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations (2010) (as amended).

Other Planning Policies

5.8 Additional planning policies are being developed as set out in Table 5.3 and will be included the next stage of the Local Plan (Regulation 19). We welcome your views and comments on the scope of these policies.

Table 5.3 Other policies being developed/considered for inclusion


Summary of scope


Traveller Accommodation needs

This policy will set out our approach to meeting the identified accommodation needs of Travellers in line with relevant national policy and guidance.


Pollution and hazards

This policy will set out measures to manage local environmental impacts including noise and air pollution as well as land contamination. This will draw on the Sussex Planning Noise Advice Document & Air quality and emissions mitigation guidance for Sussex (2020) as our baseline requirement for design.


Land stability

This policy will set out measures to deal with issues of land stability, including where a site is sloping, has a former use associated with higher levels of land instability, or is situated on, underneath or adjacent to a clifftop.


Managing the impact of hot food take-aways, drinking establishments and alcohol delivery services

This policy will set out our approach to managing the concentration, location, logistics and wider social, economic and health impacts of new hot food take-aways, drinking establishments and prohibiting new alcohol delivery services (where alcohol is not accompanying the purchase of a meal).


Managing the impact of short term visitor accommodation

This policy will set out our approach to short term visitor accommodation within properties currently identified as in C3 use (dwellinghouses), including managing the loss of permanent residential accommodation and neighbour amenity. This policy will not apply to properties currently identified as in C1 use (hotel, B&B or guesthouse).


Self-contained extensions

This policy will set out our approach to the development of self- contained extensions and annexes to existing C3 dwelling houses or within their curtilage.


Managing built heritage

Including demolition, setting, changes to doors, windows and roofs, development affecting archaeological assets, non- designated assets and the former Convent of Holy Child Jesus.


Managing residential conversions

This policy will set out our approach to houses in multiple occupation.


Management of language schools

This policy will set out our approach to new and change of use of existing language schools.

Appendix 1

Site allocations for renewable energy production

Site allocations for energy production development, may be identified, in the next iteration of this plan including large scale energy from wind.

Other guidance

Management of biodiversity net gain and urban greening

A formula and management approach to biodiversity net gain and urban greening will be set out in planning guidance.

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