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GB8  Guidelines for Major Developed Sites in the Green Belt  Policy

Within the Major Developed Sites listed in Proposal GB9, infilling and redevelopment of existing buildings will be permitted subject to the new development satisfying the following criteria:

(i) it shall have no greater impact than that existing on the open appearance of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land within it, and where possible have less;

(ii) it should contribute to the achievement of the objectives for the use of land in Green Belts;

(iii) the height of the new development should not exceed the height of the existing buildings;

(iv) it should not occupy a larger area of the site than the existing buildings, but an exception may be made where a reduced building height over a larger footprint would benefit visual amenity;

(v) infilling should not lead to a major increase in the developed proportion of the site;

Any proposals for redevelopment, whether partial or full, should be considered in the context of comprehensive long-term plans for the whole of the site. These plans should include an agreed footprint for the site. The Local Planning Authority may impose a condition on a permission which ensures the demolition of buildings which are not to be retained as new buildings are erected.

All proposals for infilling and redevelopment will be considered in the light of their effect on the visual amenities of the Green Belt and on the traffic and travel implications of the development, including the possible adverse impact of new road infrastructure. The acceptability of a new use for a major developed site will also depend on its having no detrimental effect on local facilities such as schools and health care facilities.

Reasoned justification :

7.25 Wirral’s Green Belt includes a number of major developed sites, whose continuation in use safeguards a number of jobs and important community facilities. The Borough's major hospitals at Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge are in the Green Belt as is one of the Wirral Metropolitan College's complexes at Carlett Park. Over the lifetime of the UDP, these sites may require new buildings or infilling between existing buildings. In the case of Clatterbridge Hospital, a redevelopment programme has already led to the release of a large area at the south and east of the complex.

7.26 It is important that infilling and redevelopment has no greater impact on the Green Belt than the existing development. The calculation and recording of an agreed aggregate ground floor area for the existing buildings should be determined between the Local Planning Authority and the landowner. This site footprint excludes temporary buildings, open spaces with direct external access between the wings of a building and areas of hardstanding. Any new development should normally respect this footprint in location and total area, although in some circumstances an alternative location will have less impact on the openness of the Green Belt.

7.27 The hospital sites in the Green Belt require care in the choice of future uses if they are partially redeveloped. Uses which have minimal traffic generation, particularly of heavy goods vehicles and which do not introduce noise, vibration, fumes, smoke, smell or dust are to be preferred.

7.28 The redevelopment of major sites can have a positive role in providing access to the open countryside and opportunities for outdoor sport and recreation for the urban population, can retain and enhance attractive landscapes and the use of land for agriculture and forestry, and can improve damaged and derelict land around towns and secure nature conservation interests.