CO1 Development Within the Developed Coastal Zone Policy
Development will be permitted within the Developed Coastal Zone subject to the following criteria:
(i) the development requires a coastal location, unless the applicant can demonstrate that there are no alternative sites outside the Coastal Zone capable of accommodating the proposed development;
(ii) the proposal will not adversely affect coastal and marine nature conservation or earth science, archaeology, urban or rural landscape value or visual quality; and
(iii) the proposal does not reduce the effectiveness or impede the maintenance of sea defence or coastal protection structures and additionally satisfies the requirements in Policy CO5 and Policy CO6 relating to development in areas at risk from flooding and erosion.
Public access to the coast will be expected to be preserved and, where practical and safe to do so, enhanced.
The Local Planning Authority will also have regard to possible cumulative impacts resulting from the combination of the proposal with other existing or proposed developments in the Coastal Zone.
Reasoned justification :
20.16 Policy CO1 sets out a number of criteria which will be applied to developments above the High Water Mark, other than to coastal or sea defence works, within the developed parts of the Coastal Zone. These criteria, particularly the requirement for a coastal location, reflect the national planning advice set out in PPG20.
20.17 The reasoned justification for Policy COA1 has outlined the importance of much of the coast for nature conservation. Given this situation, impact on nature conservation must be a key factor when assessing new proposals for development in the Coastal Zone. Particular regard will be had to the impact of development, in the industrial area around Bromborough and Eastham, on the Mersey Estuary SSSI. In this respect, the cumulative effect of a proposal, when combined with other existing or proposed developments within the Coastal Zone will be an important consideration. In general, development will not normally be permitted which would have a detrimental effect on nature conservation and where such an effect cannot be resolved through the use of planning conditions or Section 106 legal agreements. Further policy guidance on the assessment of proposals on nature conservation can be found in Section 13 of the UDP.
20.18 A key feature of Wirral's coastline is the high degree of public access to the coast, and a long-standing objective of the Council has been the completion of a continuous coastal route for pedestrians and cyclists. While this is substantially complete along the Dee Estuary and the north Wirral coast, substantial gaps exist along the Mersey coast, to the south of Seacombe. New development in these localities should make specific provision for public access to the coast where it is practical and safe to do so.
20.19 No development in the Coastal Zone should lead to a reduction in public access to the coast, and indeed where possible, should enhance it. Where this is not possible, Section 106 legal agreements may be used to secure alternative linkages.