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LA3  Priorities for Areas Requiring Landscape Renewal  Policy

Within areas designated for landscape renewal, proposals which will secure positive improvements to the visual appearance of the area will be permitted where the nature of the proposals would be appropriate to the general character of the area and especially where they contribute to the achievement of the following objectives:

(i) the screening, removal or enhancement of existing intrusive features;

(ii) the re-establishment of appropriate landscape features and boundary treatment; and

(iii) the beneficial use of under-used open land, appropriate with other designations within the area.

Proposals which would introduce additional intrusive development or which would lead to a further loss of landscape features will not be permitted.

Reasoned justification :

14.14 National planning policy guidance indicates that it is for local planning authorities to determine the more specific policies that reflect the different types of countryside found in their areas. Policy LA3, therefore, sets out the criteria that the Local Planning Authority will apply to proposals located within areas which are identified as Areas Requiring Landscape Renewal (ARLRs).

14.15 ARLRs are areas of degraded landscape which detract from the image and attractiveness of the Borough. They are of heightened importance where they occur as extensive tracts of under-utilised land in prominent locations, easily visible from major thoroughfares and especially where they have potential to become considerable environmental assets. The primary objective of Policy LA3 is, therefore, to ensure that the need to renew the landscape is given special priority when considering applications for new uses within ARLRs.

14.16 While many initiatives for environmental improvement can be carried out without reference to planning powers, it is important that planning policies ease the way by establishing the land-use priorities within each ARLR. National planning policy guidance, for example, states that planning policies for areas requiring landscape renewal should seek to secure environmental improvements, allow for beneficial land-uses to be reintroduced and promote opportunities for increased public access and the provision of additional amenity for local residents. Policy LA3, therefore, seeks to reflect these concerns by restricting proposals which would lead to further damage to the visual appearance of an ARLR and by providing for new uses that will contribute towards the wider objective of landscape renewal.

14.17 To be acceptable under Policy LA3, proposals must also be appropriate to the general characteristics of the area concerned. For example, the Local Planning Authority will wish to differentiate between areas where the existing landscape structure no longer exists and an entirely new landscape structure needs to be established, and areas where an original landscape structure can still be recognised and merely needs to be redefined and enhanced. The significance of adjacent land-uses will also be a material consideration.

14.18 The Local Planning Authority may also, where appropriate, wish to consider opportunities for landscape enhancement as part of "planning gains" associated with adjacent developments, for example, by allowing greenspace contributions under Policy GR6 to be redirected to land outside the area to be developed. However, the need for landscape renewal will not be held to justify any relaxation of national Green Belt controls or policies related to other designations set out within the UDP.