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EM7  Environmental Criteria for New Employment Development  Policy

Proposals which satisfy the requirements of Policy EM6 will be permitted when the Local Planning Authority is satisfied that the benefits of the proposal outweigh the disadvantages when assessed against the additional criteria set out below:

(i) the extent to which the proposal will lead to an increase in the volume of traffic, especially heavy goods vehicles, passing through residential areas, particularly where the roads used are not already identified as part of the main road network;

(ii) the extent to which existing natural features and vegetation have been incorporated into the proposal;

(iii) the impact of the proposal on any site carrying nature conservation designations; and

(iv) the extent to which the proposal is accessible by a choice of means of transport.

Reasoned justification :

This justification applies to Policies EM6 and EM7.

5.23. Policy EM6 sets out general criteria which all proposals for employment uses, including the conversion, re-use or extension of existing premises, must satisfy. Policy EM7 identifies additional environmental factors to which the Local Planning Authority will have regard when assessing proposals which satisfy Policy EM6. These policies should be read in conjunction with the other policies and proposals, in Section 5 of the UDP, which identify the appropriate types of employment development for individual locations. General design guidelines, together with a fuller explanation of the industrial Use Classes can be found in Supplementary Planning Guidance Note 1.

5.24 As already indicated, the strategy set out in Section 5 of the UDP allows for flexibility in terms of broad land-use allocations while ensuring that individual developments are of a high standard. In addition to their economic benefits, new employment development should make a positive contribution to the Borough's environment and should not result in a loss of amenity, particularly in respect of neighbouring uses.

5.25 In every case the aim must be to achieve a high standard of development which will be of sufficient quality to ensure the long-term attractiveness of the area in which the proposal is located. Particularly high standards of development will be expected where the proposal is directly visible from main transport routes into and through the Borough and where the development will directly influence the image of the Borough as a whole.

5.26 Special consideration needs to be given to potentially polluting or hazardous developments. While it is not the function of the planning system to duplicate the roles of the statutory authorities concerned with these issues, the UDP has an important role to play in controlling the location of development which has the potential to cause hazard or pollution. Separate policies dealing with potentially polluting or hazardous development are found in Section 21 of the UDP.

5.27 The Council is keen to reduce congestion and see provision for a choice of means of transport. The Council will, therefore, have regard to the extent to which a proposal is accessible by a choice of means of transport. The Council will also seek to encourage the introduction of public transport services to new developments where such services do not already exist.