North Somerset Local Plan 2038 Preferred Options

North Somerset Local Plan Preferred Options: Consultation Draft March 2022

4. Locational Policies

Policy LP1: Strategic location: Wolvershill (north of Banwell)

A new mixed use strategic growth location is proposedat Wolvershill (north of Banwell)at the broad location defined on the Policies Map to accommodate up to around 2,800 dwellings, including 980 affordable homes,around 11haof employment land, a mixed use local centre and at least three420-place primary schools.

A single masterplan and supporting design codes will be prepared to guide itscoordinated and comprehensive development and the creation of a sustainable community. In addition, a suitable phasing strategy will be required identifying the phased delivery of development parcels linked to infrastructure provision.

The development must comply with the following development principles:

  • The new development must complement the existing Banwell village in respect of the scale and range of facilities and encourage integration between the two communities;
  • Development must be integrated effectively with the design and delivery of the Banwell Bypass;
  • A Strategic Gap is defined between the new development area and Banwell to retain the character and setting of Banwell;
  • The creation of attractive, easily accessible, safe and direct walking and cycling routes linking the new development with local facilities, with Banwell and into Weston-super-Mare, including the three M5 crossing points (two road bridges and a direct cycle/pedestrian access into Parklands Village);
  • The creation of effective public transport links into Weston-super-Mare, employment areas and other destinations including rail stations, including designated bus corridors and improving accessibility for existing Banwell residents;
  • The development must respect the landscape setting, including minimising any impact on the Mendip Hills AONB;
  • The creation of a mixed use local centre focused on Wolvershill Road to form the heart of the new community with a high quality public realm;
  • The development must consider access through the site including the future role and function of Wolvershill Road, including opportunities for encouraging active travel and public transport access;
  • Low traffic neighbourhoods within the scheme should be used to ensure convenient and safe walking and cycling access to the local centre and key facilities;
  • The development must deliver ecological, habitat and environmental enhancement, particularly in relation to horseshoe bats, linking habitat between the scarp and along key green corridors between new development and Banwell;
  • Explore the opportunity for a North Somerset Nature Park to provide bat mitigation, provision of land for biodiversity and habitat enhancement;
  • Green infrastructure should form an interconnected network throughout the development and where appropriate with integrated sustainable drainage systems. Additional woodland and tree planting surrounding and throughout the development will be required, including tree planting along the M5 edge;
  • Heritage features will be integrated into the development;
  • The identification of new employment in the area well connected to the M5 J21;
  • Effective management and treatment of surface water, controlling run-off into surrounding watercourses and integrating into the green infrastructure network;
  • The creation of any new access arrangements should not have an adverse impact on communities elsewhere, such as Banwell and areas to the west of the M5;
  • Provision of new playing pitches and open space;
  • Educational facilities centrally located within the new development, including schools within a safe walking distance from the new homes, access to early years settings and walkable access to services used by children and families;
  • Implement the movement and access strategy identified through transport evidence;
  • The development will be located having regard to any noise impacts, and suitable mitigation will be delivered to address any impacts; and
  • The creation of distinct character areas across the development, particularly distinct residential neighbourhoods, with materials, and design, referencing the local context and demonstrating best practice in placemaking.

Justification

The spatial strategy indicates that if growth is to be located in the most sustainable locations then the Weston-super-Mare area is a primary location to consider. However, while Weston has a wide range of services and facilities, jobs and public transport opportunities, it is also highly constrained in terms of new development opportunities given the topography and areas at risk of flooding. Land at Wolvershill (north of Banwell) has been identified as a strategic growth location and this policy sets out the overall approach to the masterplanning of a new community which will complement the existing Banwell village while also benefitting from excellent accessibility linking it to the Weston urban area. The development will be phased in relation to the delivery of the Banwell Bypass.

At this stage in the plan making process, the strategic site is presented as a broad location for further investigation, but with key design and development principles set out to guide the masterplanning process. The broad location identified on the Policies Map is intended to accommodate all of the land uses and infrastructure required to deliver the scheme and not all of the identified site may be suitable for residential use. Further guidance may be prepared in the form of a Supplementary Planning Document that may refine the development boundary and provide further detail on the distribution of land uses within the development informed by masterplanning and this will form further guidance to the preparation and consideration of planning applications.

Transport evidence has been prepared to consider the transport implications of growth in this area. This is published separately and has considered the impacts of additional transport movements, the approach to movement and access within and surrounding the development including connections back into Weston-super-Mare and identifies the need for further work to explore mitigation.

Policy LP2: Strategic location: Yanley Lane (Woodspring golf course)

A new mixed use strategic growth location is proposed at Yanley Lane (Woodspring golf course)on land released from the Green Belt at the broad location defined on the policies map to accommodate around 2,500 dwellings, including 875 affordable homes, 10 ha employment land, a local centre, a new secondary school and three420-place primary schools.

Detailed masterplanning will be prepared to guide its coordinated and comprehensive development and the creation of a sustainable community.

The development must comply with the following development principles:

  • The development will form a distinctive, new sustainable community with a unique high quality character and design;
  • The development will deliver neighbourhoods based on high standards of active travel with safe, direct and attractive walking and cycling routes from the new neighbourhoods to the local centre, schools and facilities, and links into Bristol, Parson Street station and surrounding areas. Severance caused by Colliters Way and the relationship to the A38 will need to be addressed;
  • A segregated mass transit route will pass through the development linked to the local centre and provide the opportunity for fast, frequent access to Bristol;
  • The development will be designed with direct access on to an extended Metrobus network, enable local bus access throughout the development and connect with the wider bus network in the area;
  • A centrally located, accessible and distinctive local centre will form the heart of the new development, with the re-use of the golf club house providing an opportunity to provide community and other facilities from the outset;
  • The development will comprise medium to high density living in beautiful buildings and a green setting with the highest densities will be close to the local centre, facilities and public transport nodes to ensure these are accessible by the highest number of people on foot;
  • New schools, healthcare, community, and recreation facilities will be provided;
  • Low traffic neighbourhoods within the scheme should be used to ensure convenient and safe walking and cycling access to the local centre and key facilities;
  • Green infrastructure corridors will structure the development, enhance existing wildlife features, increase biodiversity and provide attractive routes to walk and cycle, and will define the limits of development;
  • Development will enhance the Yanley ridge - with tree planning and other landscape improvements;
  • The development will respect and where feasible enhance the historic setting of Ashton Court and Clifton Suspension Bridge, conservation areas and listed buildings;
  • The development will address flooding and drainage issues include the identification of potential protected flood corridors from the Barrow Tanks;
  • The proposals will include suitable transport hubs/interchanges to ensure access between sustainable modes of transport and accommodate a potential park and ride facility. Large surface level car parks should be minimised and the local centre should not be visually dominated by car parking;
  • Vehicular access routes onto Colliters Way and the A38 will be designed to prevent through traffic diverting through the area;
  • Consideration will need to given to providing a range of job opportunities, well related to public transport access;
  • The development will need to set out a phased approach to development, including consideration of potential beyond the plan period;
  • The proposals must include compensatory improvements to the remaining Green Belt; and
  • The identification of primary and secondary educational facilities centrally located to the new developments, including school places within a safe walking distance from the new homes, access to early years settings and walkable access to services used by children and families.

Justification

The Council has concluded that it is not possible to accommodate the scale of growth required for North Somerset in sustainable locations outside the Green Belt. This results in the need to consider whether exceptional circumstances are met to consider development in the Green Belt in accordance with the overall spatial strategy. Development at Yanley Lane (Woodspring golf course) has been identified as being appropriate for consideration given its proximity to Bristol and its unique opportunity to create high quality public transport and cycle access into the city, in a location which avoids the most sensitive areas of Green Belt and which has the potential to deliver a high quality, sustainable new community.

At this stage in the plan making process, the strategic site is presented as a broad location for further investigation, but with key design and development principles set out to guide the masterplanning process. Further guidance may be prepared in the form of Supplementary Planning Document that may refine the development boundary informed by masterplanning.

Policy LP3: Nailsea and Backwell

Proposed development at Nailsea and Backwell will require a strategic and coordinated approach to mitigation, particularly the provision of a package of new transport infrastructure and taking account of cumulative impacts. All proposed sites will be required to positively contribute to the delivery of transport and other measures through either direct delivery and/or S106 contributions as part of an agreed phasing strategy linking the delivery of proposed growth to infrastructure provision.

Development proposals in the Nailsea and Backwell area must demonstrate how they will support the delivery of a package of measures including:

    • Strategic measures designed to alleviate traffic impacts on Station Road, and traffic congestion at the Backwell crossroads. This is likely to include a strategic rail crossing providing an alternative multi-modal route between Nailsea and the A370, and associated measures to discourage traffic from using Station Road, subject to further feasibility review and environmental assessment;
    • Improvements to active travel routes within and between Nailsea and Backwell, including use of Youngwood Lane as a north-south connection, links to the town centre and Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Schemes;
    • Improvements to bus priority, service frequency, and interchange infrastructure on the A370 High Frequency Bus Corridor;
    • Improved public transport connections between Nailsea and the A370, enabling interchange;
    • Access improvements for Nailsea and Backwell Station, to include increased provision for cycle parking, bus interchange, and car parking, and consideration of possible future station expansion or relocation;
    • A package of measures to improve sustainable travel opportunities and reduce car dependency in the area, to alleviate congestion through mode shift;
    • An cycle link on spine/distributor road
    • A high quality extension of Festival Way active travel route along an east-west alignment between Chapel Hill and Chelvey Road, to serve new development in Backwell and better connect rural lanes to the west of Backwell with the off-road alignment along the railway towards Flax Bourton, without use of the A370 or significant diversion from desire lines;
    • Explore the opportunity for a North Somerset Nature Park to provide bat mitigation, provision of land for biodiversity and habitat enhancement;
    • The provision of around 8ha of new employment land to be identified as part of planned growth including investigating potential as part of the East of Backwell mixed use site;
    • The provision of new primary, secondary and special educational needs provision delivered alongside and as part of new development proposals;
    • Identification of facilities for enhanced leisure provision including built facilities and sports pitches; and
    • Environmental enhancement of the setting of the two settlements particularly within the area between Nailsea and Backwell to be protected by the proposed extension of the Green Belt.

Justification

Nailsea is a main town within North Somerset and a focus for growth as part of the preferred spatial strategy for development. Given its proximity to Nailsea and the train station, growth opportunities at nearby Backwell have also been considered and form part of the draft proposals.

In order to accommodate strategic growth in the area, evidence indicates that very significant transport interventions would be required to support growth and avoid adverse impacts upon the existing transport network. The transport evidence published alongside this consultation has identified key transport issues including connectivity across the railway between Nailsea and Backwell.

There is ongoing work considering the implications of proposed growth allocation in the area and whether this can be effectively mitigated and phased with infrastructure. In particular, as set out in the transport evidence published alongside this consultation, this includes consideration of options for how strategic transport infrastructure could be delivered. Ongoing evidence around deliverability of this infrastructure will be important in setting the framework for growth.

Other proposals in the area which will require a comprehensive approach include the identification of new employment opportunities, rail station enhancement including additional parking and facilities to support walking and cycling, the identification of a North Somerset Nature Park to support ecological and habitat improvements, environmental enhancements and an assessment of future leisure and recreational provision and educational needs.

There will need to be new primary school provision to meet the future needs arising from the proposed development sites, dependent on the mix and type of development proposed. There will also be a requirement for additional secondary provision, although this will need to be assessed in the context of the potential delivery of a new secondary school at Yatton which could release capacity at Backwell, and also new special needs provision.

Policy LP4: Housing, employment and mixed use allocations

Residential sites of 10 or more units and employment sites (including mixed use sites) are shown on the Policies Map and set out in Schedules 1 and 2. Development must take account of the site-specific requirements set out in the schedules.

Justification

The schedule allocates the proposed residential, employment and mixed use sites which will be developed over the plan period. The schedule indicates the potential capacity and any high level principles and considerations which will need to be addressed.

The airport and port are major strategic employers and specific policies will set out the approach to development proposals at these locations.

Policy LP5: Educational, sporting, leisure, and community use allocations

Sites for educational, sporting, leisure, and community facilities are shown on the Policies Map and set out in Schedule 4. Development must take account of the site-specific requirements set out in the schedule.

Justification

This schedule identifies the locations of the proposed schools, leisure, recreation and community facilities, including children and family centres, proposed to be delivered over the plan period.

The Council has an ambition to deliver a secondary school at Yatton over the plan period, a replacement Voyage Learning Campus within Weston-super-Mare and potentially additional special needs provision, but sites are yet to be identified.

Policy LP6: Settlement boundaries

Settlement boundaries for towns and villages are defined on the Policies Map and set out in Schedule 5 of this plan. New development within the settlement boundaries must accord with the relevant policies of the plan.

The extension of residential curtilages, including the extension into the countryside of the curtilage of a dwelling located within a settlement boundary, will be permitted provided that it would not harm the character of the surrounding area or the living conditionsof adjoining occupiers.

Settlements with boundaries that are located in the Green Belt are inset from the Green Belt and Green Belt policies do not apply within the settlement boundary. These are also listed in Schedule 5.

Justification

Settlement boundaries identify the areas at the towns and villages within which specific local plan policies will apply, particularly in relation to housing development. All settlement boundaries have been reviewed as part of the local plan and new boundaries identified for several settlements.

Policy LP7: Town centre hierarchy

New town centre uses will be focused on existing and proposed town, district and local centres as defined on the Policies Map.

Town centres:

  • Weston-super-Mare
  • Clevedon
  • Portishead
  • Nailsea

District centres:

  • Clevedon (Hill Road)
  • Locking Castle, Weston-super-Mare
  • Queensway, Weston-super-Mare
  • Worle High Street

Local/village centres:

Within Weston-super-Mare

Bournville (St Andrews Parade) - Castle Batch - Coronation Estate (Loxton Road) - Parklands Village (proposed) - Locking Road - Milton Hill - Milton Road - Oldmixon (Aller Parade) - Winterstoke Village (proposed) - Whitecross Road-

Outside Weston-super-Mare:

Backwell - Banwell - Churchill - Congresbury - Long Ashton - Pill - Winscombe - Wrington - Yatton

Proposed

Wolvershill (north of Banwell) - Yanley Lane (Woodspring golf course)

New proposals for town centre uses within these areas will be supported provided they are a scale appropriate to the size and role of these centres, support the creation of a comfortable, safe, attractive and accessible town centre environment and improve the mix of town centre uses in each centre.

Proposals for new or extended town centre uses outside these areas will need to demonstrate that:

  • They couldn't be located firstly within then adjacent to the centres; and
  • They wouldn't adversely affect the vitality and viability of these centres.

Elsewhere in the district the loss of small scale shops will be resisted including neighbourhood and village stores, eating and drinking establishments that support the needs of local communities and support self-containmentto non-town centre uses.

Proposals for new or extended town centre uses outside these centres will need to demonstrate that:

  • They could not be located within or on the edge of existing centres in accordance with the sequential approach to site selection;
  • they would have no adverse impact on the vitality and viability of these centres;
  • The use could not be located within or on the edge of an existing centre in accordance with the sequential approach to site selection; and
  • They would have no adverse impact on the viability and vitality of these centres.

Justification

This policy reflects the changes to the Use Class Order 2020 which allow for greater flexibility for existing town centres to adapt to the rapidly changing way we shop and access commercial and other services. Recent societal changes such as internet shopping and access to services as well the impact of Covid and the rise of the cafe culture mean that our town, village and other centres increasingly have become places to meet and socialise. The ability for town centre businesses to be more agile can potentially reduce the likelihood of dead frontages and so maintain the attractiveness of the town and other centres to residents and visitors.

For the purposes of policies within this plan appropriate town centre uses are defined in the NPPF and includes those uses generally falling into the commercial, business and service sector (Class E) but also includes cinemas, bars, nightclubs, bingo halls, casino's, theatres, museums and galleries. Use outside of class E such as drinking and hot food takeaway outlets, bars and nightclubs can attract visitors but can also create noise and disturbance to local residents or other users and will be assessed on their merits bearing in mind the local circumstances.

Town centre uses (whether community, cultural, retail, leisure, financial and professional, visitor facilities etc) are best located where they can be accessed by a wide range of people and transport modes such as by public transport, walking and cycling. The town centre boundaries have been drawn to retain a concentration of uses which are accessible by a variety of means and which can act as a focus for activity.

Weston retail parks have evolved over the years into an outer commercial area which provides a considerably large retail offer, principally due to a lack of large units within the town centre area. They are not identified as district centres and further expansion of uses which could be located in the town centre will be resisted in order to maintain the role and identity of the town centre as a focus for activity.

New centres may need to be identified in association with major development areas and this will be progressed as more detailed work is undertaken and the needs are established. These centres will need to be appropriate in scale and function to the community they serve.

 

Policy LP8: Extent of the Green Belt

The boundaries of the North Somerset Green Belt are defined on the Policies Map. The following changes to the existing Green Belt are proposed:

  1. A change to the inner Green Belt boundary at Yanley Lane (Woodspring golf course) to accommodate new strategic development.
  2. Land to the east of Backwell will be released for mixed use development.
  3. Land to the south of Portishead will be released for residential development.
  4. A new area of Green Belt is proposed south of Nailsea, and west of Backwell to maintain the separation of the settlements and protect the countryside in this area from encroachment.
  5. The following villages within the Green Belt will be inset from the Green Belt.
    • Abbotts Leigh
    • Clapton-in-Gordano
    • Cleeve
    • Dundry
    • Failand
    • Flax Bourton
    • Felton
    • Leigh Woods
    • Portbury
    • Redhill
    • Tickenham
    • Weston-in-Gordano
    • Winford

Justification

The North Somerset Green Belt is highly valued by local residents and is an effective planning tool in preventing the urban sprawl of Bristol and shaping the pattern of development in North Somerset. It keeps land permanently open, prevents towns and villages merging together and protects the countryside.

Changes to the boundary at Yanley Lane (Woodspring golf course), Backwell and Portishead are a result of exceptional circumstances resulting from the need to accommodate the housing requirement. A sequential approach to meeting this requirement has been adopted with sustainable locations outside the Green Belt preferable to Green Belt release and the amount of development allocated in the Green Belt kept to the minimum.

The most significant release of Green Belt is at Yanley Lane (Woodspring golf course). A Green Belt review examined the broad location on this side of Bristol to determine how well specific parcels of land met the purposes of the Green Belt. This highlighted the importance of the Green Belt north of the railway between Long Ashton and Bristol. This Green Belt will be retained. Land to the south, whilst still important in Green Belt terms, has significant sustainability benefits linking it with the wider employment opportunities and services in the Bristol urban area. The precise Green Belt boundary will be determined as the masterplanning for the area proceeds.

The releases at Portishead and Backwell are smaller scale. All sites preform Green Belt purposes although at Portishead and Nailsea less so than parcels to the east of these towns. The spatial strategy steers development to locations well-related to the towns given access to facilities, jobs and public transport opportunities.

Backwell is well related to Nailsea and is also one of the most sustainable villages. It also has a railway station. East of Backwell is a relatively good location in road transport terms being on the Bristol side of the Backwell crossroads. It also has the potential to help deliver improved highway access to Nailsea.

A new area of Green Belt is proposed south of the proposed allocation at Youngwood Lane, Nailsea, and west of the proposed allocation at Grove Farm, Backwell. The exceptional circumstance for making this new Green Belt is a result of the changed Local Plan circumstances of locating two significant new allocations in close physical proximity. Further development in this vicinity could threaten the separation of Nailsea and Backwell and result in further encroachment into the countryside. An extension of the Green Belt in this area, bounded by Chelvey Road, would also provide the opportunity to enhance the area through compensatory improvements to the Green Belt for the benefit of wildlife, the environment and enjoyment of residents.

Villages have been assessed to determine whether changes need to be made regarding whether a settlement is excluded or washed over by the Green Belt. This is based on the openness of the village and 'the important contribution which the open character of the village makes to the openness of the Green Belt' (NPPF paragraph 144).

A joint Green Belt and settlement boundary will define the extent of these villages. Adjustments will be made to existing settlement boundaries, where applicable, to correct inconsistencies and anomalies and ensure the robustness of the boundary. Boundaries at villages are not being adjusted to include new green field development sites, this is incompatible with the spatial strategy. Development inside boundaries will be permitted in accordance with the other policies in this plan.

Policy LP9: Strategic gaps

Strategic gaps are defined to help retain the separate identity, character and/or landscape setting of settlements.

Strategic gaps are identified on the Policies Map between:

  • Weston super Mare and Hutton.
  • Weston super Mare and Locking.
  • Yatton and Congresbury.
  • Banwell and Wolvershill (north of Banwell).

Development within strategic gaps as shown will only be permitted where:

  • The open or undeveloped character of the gap would not be significantly adversely affected;
  • The separate identity and character of the settlements would not be harmed; and
  • The landscape setting of the settlements would not be harmed.

The likely impact of the proposal in conjunction with any other developments with extant planning consent must be taken into account.

Justification

Gaps between settlements can play an important role in maintaining the local character and distinctiveness of the settlements, and the sense that they are separate places. Identification and protection of strategic gaps will help to prevent their erosion by incremental development which would be detrimental to the settlements' separate identities, character and/or landscape setting. Protection is particularly important where such erosion could potentially cause coalescence of the settlements.

Reliance on countryside policies alone would be unlikely to provide sufficient protection against the reduction or loss of such important gaps to development, particularly in the long term. While such policies provide some control of development in the countryside, they often allow for exceptions, and there is also the risk of development being allowed on appeal. Without the added protection of strategic gap designation, there is a significant risk that incremental development would eventually erode the gaps, with the detrimental effects identified above.

Strategic gaps have a broad similarity to some of the purposes of Green Belts in that they can help prevent the merging of settlements, assist in safeguarding the countryside from 'encroachment' regarding land between the settlements, and help to protect the setting and character of settlements, (though this involves villages as well as towns). However strategic gaps operate on a more localised, focused scale than Green Belts.

In view of this similarity it is inappropriate for strategic gaps and Green Belt to overlap, which has had implications in reviewing strategic gaps, in preparing this Local Plan.

For example, the Council is proposing to extend the Green Belt to include land between Nailsea and Backwell. Therefore, as a necessary consequence of that, it is proposed to delete the existing strategic gap (in the Site Allocations Plan) between those settlements. However if the Green Belt is not extended as proposed, it is proposed that a revised strategic gap would be retained.

Strategic gaps often include significant green infrastructure (GI) and are particularly useful in helping to protect GI close to settlements and their communities, giving them convenient proximity to all the potential benefits of GI. Such benefits include contribution to carbon storage, cooling and shading, sustainable drainage, natural flood risk management, and wildlife corridors. They can be attractive places for recreation and exercise, especially where crossed by public rights of way, with the added interest of biodiversity and natural beauty.

The existing strategic gaps as defined in the adopted Site Allocations Plan have been reviewed. The main changes are justified in detail in a background document on strategic gaps, and are as follows:

  • Removal of the strategic gap between Nailsea and Backwell (it is proposed to extend the Green Belt between these settlements).
  • Removal of the St Georges strategic gap, Weston super Mare (Weston).
  • Removal of the strategic gap between Weston and Uphill.

Policy LP10: Transport infrastructure allocations and safeguarding

Land is allocated or safeguarded and defined on the Policies Map for the delivery of the following transport schemes, the improvement of existing services or the creation of sustainable transport links and facilities:

J21 Bypass Scheme

A371 to Churchlands Way Link

Banwell Bypass

Barrow Gurney Bypass

Herluin Way to Locking Road Link, Weston-super-Mare

Extension to Long Ashton Transport Hub

Weston-super-Mare Transport Hub (location to be determined)

Bus Rapid Transit for Weston (investigation, no identified alignment)

Airfield Bridge Link, Weston-super-Mare

Dualing of The Runway, Weston-super-Mare

J21 outbound improvements

Wolvershill Road / Churchlands Way, Weston-super-Mare

M5 Junctions 19, 20 & 21

A corridor extending 10 metres either side of the railway land boundary fence of the Taunton-Bristol railway line.

Transport interchange hubs at railway stations;

  • Weston-super-Mare
  • Weston Milton
  • Weston Parkway (formally Worle)
  • Yatton
  • Nailsea Backwell

Extension of railway station platforms to accommodate full length trains;

  • Worle
  • Yatton
  • Nailsea Backwell

Reopening of the bay platform at Weston-super-Mare

Re-opening Portishead Passenger Rail Line

Double track on the loop line between Weston Railway Station and Worle

Weston Southern Rail Chord, Weston-super-Mare

Longmoor Village, Long Ashton

Reserved transport corridor within consented Yanley Lane development, Nailsea (20/P/2347/RM)

Mass Transit - Bristol City Centre to Bristol Airport (investigation, no identified alignment)

Major Road Network scheme at A38 / Downside Road / West Lane, highway improvement scheme

Churchill crossroads, highway improvement scheme

 

Justification

This policy provides for safeguarding routes for potential transport improvements, including road, rail and bus infrastructure.

The promotion and justification for transport infrastructure are set out in the Joint Local Transport Plan 4 (JLTP4) which was adopted in March and covers the period 2020 to 2036. The JLTP4 is prepared by the four unitary authorities of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and sets out the vision for transport up to 2036. It sets out the approach to achieving a well-connected sustainable transport network that works for residents across the region, a network that offers greater, realistic travel choices and makes walking, cycling and public transport the natural way to travel.

The fundamental aim of the JLTP4 is in line with the Local Plan - namely to provide a well-connected and sustainable transport network to accelerate the shift towards low carbon trip and support sustainable development and the take up of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles to decarbonise transport to improve quality of life and improve environmental conditions for local residents and businesses. The majority of the major schemes have been subject to detailed analysis and there is no need to repeat these in the Local Plan. Where appropriate, the general location of these schemes is identified on the Policies Map. However, there are schemes for which the location or the precise alignment haven't been identified, such as for Weston-Super-Mare Transport Hub and the Mass Transit route.

Transport schemes included in the JLTP4 enhance connectivity and road safety and promote the use of public transport. The major transport schemes proposed to be delivered over the plan period are the re-opening of Portishead Branch Line and the Banwell Bypass which are at an advanced stage of planning and delivery, and the potential for mass transit corridors from Bristol along the A38 to the Airport and A370 to Nailsea in association with the development proposals. It should be noted that the safeguarded area of the Banwell Bypass as shown on this drawing is illustrative and is based on the current design of the Bypass which is being presented for public consultation in 2022. The safeguarded area in the next version of the Local Plan may be further refined to reflect any evolution of the Bypass design as a result of public feedback and environmental and technical assessment.

The approach to active travel routes is set out in Policy DP15.

In tandem with the Local Plan, North Somerset is preparing an Infrastructure Delivery Plan setting out the key infrastructure requirements, including transport infrastructure, needed to implement the Local Plan proposals, and how it is to be delivered and monitored.

Policy LP11: Bristol Airport

Within the Bristol Airport Green Belt inset as defined on thePolicies Map, the development of facilities which contribute to sustainable improvementsto operational efficiency and passenger safety at the airport may be acceptableprovided that:

  • The proposed use requires an airport location and is considered appropriate within the Green Belt inset;
  • The impacts of the operation of the airport on the living conditions of residents and the environment, including noise, air quality, visual and landscape impact, biodiversity and climate change, are not unacceptable.
  • Appropriate surface access improvements including major public transport infrastructure (such as Mass Transit) are provided in step with development to mitigate the adverse impact of airport traffic on local communities and the highway network and facilitate a sustained modal shift to public transport. Proposals must be accompanied by an agreed a surface access strategy with identified funding and trigger points;
  • Improvements are made to the local highway network serving the airport including junction capacity, highway safety, footways and cycleways to mitigate the adverse impacts of airport operations; and
  • Benefits to the local economy and community are maximised.

Detailed guidance will be provided through the preparation of an airport SDP.

Justification

Bristol Airport is the eighth busiest airport in the UK and carried over 8,960,000 passengers in 2019. The covid-19 crisis and the subsequent mitigation measures adopted by governments across the world have had an acute impact on the aviation industry, with significant (but as yet uncertain) repercussions as to the future of the industry. The pandemic caused an unprecedented decline in the number of flights since 2020, which was greater than following the global financial crisis of 2008.

In 2019, the UK Climate Change Act 2008 target for greenhouse gas emissions reductions was increased from at least 80% (from a 1990 baseline) to at least 100% by 2050. More than two thirds of local authorities in the UK have declared their commitment to help delivering the Net Zero Transition through declaring a climate emergency.

In 2021, the UK Government committed to formally include international aviation and shipping emissions in the targets set under the UK Climate Change Act, from the start of the sixth carbon budget (which covers the years 2033-37). It has separately committed to net zero aviation emissions by 2050.

In March 2020, Bristol Airport's application to expand was refused by the Council. The proposal was to increase the operational capacity of Bristol Airport from its cap of 10 million passengers per annum (mppa) up to 12 mppa together with the provision of an additional 3,900 car parking spaces. It also sought to revise the summer night flying limits. The decision was subject to an appeal submitted by Bristol Airport with the decision issued on 2nd February 2022. The draft policy will be reviewed in the context of that decision.

Regardless of expansion plans, Bristol Airport will be expected to define and deliver a low carbon, accessible, integrated, and reliable transport network, for both staff and passengers to access the airport when they need to and support the delivery of infrastructure that prioritises lower emission vehicles. The airport is also expected to limit the increase in demand for additional car parking provision.

The airport must also address the operational impact on the environment, such as air quality, noise and landscape impact. As well as impacts from aircraft, airports generate air pollution from a number of other sources including ground based power and heating, equipment to service aircraft, on-site vehicles and airport-related traffic on surrounding roads (staff, passengers and freight). Aircraft noise is a major environmental concern for communities impacted by aviation operations, particularly in relation to night time flights. Bristol Airport is expected to continue work in limiting night and daytime exposure to aircraft noise.

Airports also have an impact on biodiversity, including loss or degradation of habitats when further development occurs, and through the effects of light and noise pollution on some species.

This policy makes general provision for the management of future development at Bristol Airport by setting out the criteria for airport-related development within the Green Belt inset. Outside the inset, Green Belt policy applies and where there is a need to demonstrate very special circumstances that outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and any other harm. Off-airport parking is dealt with at Policy DP19.

It is anticipated that a Supplementary Planning Document will be prepared to provide detailed guidance on the approach to managing flying activities and development at the airport.

Policy LP12: Air safety

Planning permission will not be granted for development that would prejudice the safe operation of Bristol Airport or other safeguarded aerodromes. Specifically, within the Public Safety Zones (1-in-100,000 individual risk contours) at Bristol Airport, shown on the Constraints Map, development will only be permitted in the following cases:

  • An extension or alteration to a dwelling house which is for the purpose of enlarging or improving the living accommodation for the benefit of the people living in it, such people forming a single household, or which is for the purpose of a residential annex;
  • An extension or alteration to a property (not being a single dwelling house or other residential building) which could not reasonably be expected to increase the number of people working or congregating in or at the property beyond the current level or, if greater, the number authorised by any extant planning permission;
  • A change of use of a building or of land which could not reasonably be expected to increase the numbers of people living, working or congregating in or at the property or land beyond the current level or, if greater, the number authorised by any extant planning permission;
  • Long-stay and employee car parking (where the minimum stay is expected to be in excess of six hours);
  • Open storage and warehouse development (excluding distribution centres, sorting depots and retail warehouses);
  • Development of a kind likely to introduce very few or no people onto a site on a regular basis;
  • Public open space (excluding children's playgrounds, playing fields or sports grounds), in cases where there is a reasonable expectation of low intensity use;
  • Golf courses (excluding clubhouses);
  • Allotments; and
  • Other forms of development of which, in the opinion of the local planning authority, there is a reasonable expectation of low-density occupation.

Within the Public Safety Zones (1-in-10,000 individual risk contours) shown on the Constraints Map, development will only be permitted in the following cases:

  • Long-stay and employee car parking (where the minimum stay is expected to be in excess of six hours);
  • Built development for the purpose of housing plant or machinery, and which would entail no people on site on a regular basis;
  • Golf courses (excluding clubhouses); and
  • New transport infrastructure (such as railway stations, bus stations, P&R schemes)

Parameters, including requirements for uncongested areas, associated with the flight activity of the Helicopter Museum will be addressed and integrated with development proposals at the Weston Villages in line with the Weston Villages SPD and expert guidance. The safeguarded corridor to allow safe and environmentally acceptable flight activity at the Helicopter Museum is shown on the Policies Map.

Justification

Two planning tools are employed to ensure that development does not prejudice air safety: aerodrome safeguarding areas and Public Safety Zones (PSZ).

Aerodrome safeguarding areas ensure that consultation takes place with the relevant aerodromes on proposals for tall structures and other development (e.g. that attracting large numbers of birds) that could affect the safety of aircraft in flight. A separate set of maps has been issued specifically concerning wind turbine development near to aerodromes. Consultation may lead to restrictions on the height or detailed design of buildings or on development which might create a bird hazard. However, a development will not necessarily be unacceptable simply because it needs to be the subject of consultation.

The outer boundary of the safeguarded area for Bristol Airport is indicated on the Policies Map, this notation is neither the responsibility nor the proposal of North Somerset Council. The separate safeguarding map for wind turbine development has a radius of 30km centred on Bristol Airport and therefore the whole of North Somerset is included.

Not all aerodromes are officially safeguarded. Operators of other aerodromes are advised to agree unofficial safeguarding arrangements with the local planning authority and this has been done for the Helicopter Museum at Weston. Government advice is relevant to both kinds of safeguarding, though the legal requirements do not apply to unofficial safeguarding.

This policy applies both to officially and unofficially safeguarded aerodromes. Public Safety Zones have been defined at the ends of the main runways at Bristol Airport to minimise risk on the ground in the event of a crash. Particular attention is to be paid to proposals that would significantly increase the numbers of people living, working or congregating within these areas. Department for Transport Circular 2021: Control of Development in Airport Public Safety Zones introduces a general presumption against development within PSZ's.

The areas of the PSZ's correspond essentially to the 1-in-100,000 individual risk contours calculated for the airport, simplified for representation on a map. Within each zone is a smaller area, based on 1-in-10,000 individual risk contours, where the level of risk is such that development should only be acceptable if it involves a very low density of people coming and going. Because the PSZ's are situated entirely within the Green Belt, any application within them will also be assessed against Green Belt policy. The revised Guidance advises that the extent of each PSZ, and the associated 1-in10,000 individual risk contours where applicable, should be indicated on the Policies Map.

Policy LP13: Royal Portbury Dock

The role of Royal Portbury Dock will be maintained and enhanced by providing for the intensification of employment and business development associated with the port as defined on the Policies Map.

Development within the port should seek to:

  • Address capacity and public transport and active travel connectivity issues at Junction 19 of the M5;
  • Improve connectivity and perceived safety of routes for employees to Portishead, Bristol and other local neighbourhoods and further afield by means other than private car, including public transport, including providing or improving high-quality active travel connections;
  • Protect and enhance local ecology; and
  • Ensure that there will be no significant demonstrable harm to the living conditions of residents of neighbouring settlements.

Justification

Royal Portbury Dock is a key component of the wider port in Bristol, handling ships of up to 130,000 tonnes deadweight, is conveniently linked by motorway and rail routes and is a significant local employer. However, there are climate change and environmental implications related to the port and its operations which need to be taken into account.

The Replacement Local Plan and Core Strategy considered port expansion issues and land was removed from the Green Belt and safeguarded for future port use, subject to demonstrating need and other detailed requirements. Further opportunities have been reviewed but no further Green Belt amendment is proposed. The remaining Green Belt land located between the port estate and Portishead is considered extremely sensitive in preventing coalescence and checking unrestricted urban sprawl.

The remaining gap is also considered to be highly sensitive in terms of ecology. The area includes a network of wildlife corridors and a nature conservation area (Vole City), which protect a range of habitats. The Bristol Port Company manages and monitors these green areas for a variety of wildlife (including great crested newts, water vole, breeding birds, owls, and wildfowl and wading birds) in accordance with their Ecological Management Plan.

Further development at the port that makes efficient use of land at the Port estate will be supported, particularly where it increases employment opportunities for local people such as from Portishead. Outside the Port estate, Green Belt policy applies and it would be for the developer to demonstrate very special circumstances that outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and any other harm.

Policy LP14: Local Green Space

Planning permission will not be granted except in very special circumstances for development which adversely affects a designated Local Green Space as shown on the Policies Map and set out in schedule 3, particularly regarding the characteristics underpinning its designation, such as beauty, historic importance, recreational value, tranquility or richness of wildlife.

Justification

Areas of Local Green Space (LGS) are designated in the adopted Site Allocations Plan. The Council has reviewed the LGS designation and the currently designated sites, in the light of the latest government guidance. The Council considers that most of the sites can be carried forward into this Local Plan, and the proposed list of LGS sites is shown in schedule 3. A full justification is to be included in a background document on LGS.

Policy LP15: Preferred Area for mineral working - land at Hyatts Wood Farm, south of Stancombe Quarry

Land at Hyatts Wood farm, south of the existing Stancombe Quarry, is identified as a Preferred Area for mineral working on the Policies Map.

Planning applications for mineral working within that area must meet the following criteria:

  • Proposals should be phased to the satisfaction of the Council;
  • Relevant development management policies and issues must be met or addressed to the satisfaction of the Council. For example: living conditions, noise, vibration, air over pressure, public health and safety, dust, biodiversity, local geological sites, landscape, transport, highways and impact on the local highway network, public rights of way, strategic road network, flooding/drainage issues, water, heritage, archaeology, Ancient Woodland, landscape, landscaping and restoration;
  • The amount of mineral extracted per year and the level of vehicle movements to and from the quarry must not exceed existing permitted levels at the quarry;
  • Provision is made for any diversion of public rights of way that would be affected by operations, and their reinstatement;
  • Good quality landscaping, with appropriate planting/bunding would be provided/retained as appropriate, and managed and maintained;
  • Proposals must make satisfactory measures to safeguard against adverse effects on water and water resources, including appropriate depth of extraction;
  • Adequate and appropriate provision for restoration and aftercare must be made, including sustainable use of overburden and waste materials; and
  • Proposals, including restoration, must meet biodiversity net gain requirements.

The Preferred Area is widely drawn, beyond the area appropriate for actual extraction, to include peripheral land likely to be affected by landscaping and eventual restoration measures. The limits of actual mineral extraction will be restricted to a more confined footprint, taking account of factors such as need for buffers, landscaping, potential impacts on noise, landscape etc. For example, extraction will not be permitted above (further south than) the 198m contour.

Justification

National guidance refers to the importance of planning for a sufficient supply of minerals to provide the infrastructure, buildings, energy and goods that the country needs. Mineral planning authorities should plan for the steady and adequate supply of minerals by designation of either Specific Sites, Preferred Areas, or Areas of Search for mineral working. Preferred Areas are defined as areas of known resources where planning permission might reasonably be anticipated. 

Hyatts Wood Farm would be a further expansion of the quarry following a previous southern extension (on land called The Spinney) for which there was a Preferred Area in the adopted Development Management Policies Plan. Planning permission for mineral working of The Spinney was granted in May 2015 (application reference 14/P/1179/F2), and it is being worked.

The Council has reviewed the issue of minerals allocations and considers that allocation of a Preferred Area at Hyatts Wood Farm is appropriate. The Council has considered information submitted by the Stancombe Quarry operator, Tarmac Trading Ltd., indicating that the remaining unconstrained permitted reserves at Stancombe, (including The Spinney) are likely to be exhausted within the plan period to 2038.

Durnford Quarry, also run by Tarmac, is likely to cease minerals extraction at the start of the plan period, as the extant planning permission (ref 12/P/2223/F) requires extraction of limestone to cease by the end of 2022. Facilitation of continued operations at Stancombe throughout the plan period would help to maintain the supply of aggregate in the district. This is consistent with the NPPF requirement for a 'steady and adequate supply of aggregates'.

Allocation as a Preferred Area is appropriate because there is reasonable certainty of 'known resources' at Hyatts Wood Farm as a result of mineral investigation by Tarmac.

Detailed fuller requirements will be determined at the planning application stage, but some points are indicated below.

It is anticipated that access to Stancombe would remain from the A370 to the north (as for the existing quarry) with access into Hyatts Wood Farm solely via the existing quarry via a cut and cover tunnel beneath Long Lane.

The mineral working at Hyatts Wood Farm would necessitate demolition of the existing farm buildings.

There are residential properties nearby. The Council will need to be satisfied that impacts such as noise and vibrations are acceptable.

The Hyatts Wood Farm site is within an Environment Agency Source Protection Zone. Source Protection Zones (SPZs) are defined around large and public potable groundwater abstraction sites.

It will be important for the Environment Agency to be consulted at the planning application stage, and for proposals to incorporate any measures necessary to avoid adverse impacts on water resources.

Screening for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be necessary. If EIA is found to be required, planning applications should be supported by the necessary ecological impact assessment reports. These reports should include assessments on habitats, protected species and notable sites. The scope of the surveys would need to be agreed in advance.

The Council will need to be satisfied regarding impact on landscape, particularly following restoration, but proposals should also include measures to minimise visual impact during operation of the quarry. All details, including restoration proposals, should be in a detailed planning application.

In particular care will be needed to ensure the proposal respects the existing natural ridge landform of Broadfield Down. Extraction will not be permitted above (south of) the 198m contour.

Planning applications will be subject to all relevant policies in this Plan. Policy DP30 on mineral working is particularly relevant.

The Minerals Safeguarding Area (MSA) for carboniferous limestone (see Policy LP17) has been reviewed and amended to include all the Hyatts Wood Farm site and other land, to help ensure that the mineral resources underlying it are protected from sterilisation by non-mineral development.

Policy LP16: Area of Search for minerals working - land at Downside Farm, south of Freemans Quarry

Land at Downside Farm, south of the existing Freemans Quarry, is identified as an Area of Search for mineral working on the Policies Map. Planning applications for mineral working within that area must meet the following criteria:

  • Proposals should be phased to the satisfaction of the Council;
  • Relevant development management policies and issues must be met or addressed to the satisfaction of the Council. For example: living conditions, noise, vibration, air over pressure, public health and safety, dust, biodiversity, local geological sites, landscape, transport, highways and impact on the local highway network, public rights of way, strategic road network, flooding/drainage issues, water, archaeology, Ancient Woodland, landscape, landscaping and restoration;
  • The amount of mineral extracted per year and the level of vehicle movements to and from the quarry must not exceed existing permitted levels at the quarry;
  • Provision is made for any diversion of public rights of way that would be affected by operations, and their reinstatement;
  • Good quality landscaping, with appropriate planting/bunding would be provided/retained as appropriate, and managed and maintained;
  • Proposals must make satisfactory measures to safeguard against adverse effects on water and water resources, including appropriate depth of extraction; and
  • adequate and appropriate provision for restoration and aftercare must be made, including sustainable use of overburden and waste materials.
  • Proposals, including restoration, must meet biodiversity net gain requirements.

Within the Area of Search the limits of actual mineral extraction will be determined at the planning application stage, taking account of factors such as need for buffers, landscaping, potential impacts on noise, landscape etc.

Justification

National guidance refers to the importance of planning for a sufficient supply of minerals to provide the infrastructure, buildings, energy and goods that the country needs. Mineral planning authorities should plan for the steady and adequate supply of minerals by designation of either Specific Sites, Preferred Areas, or Areas of Search for mineral working. Areas of Search are defined as areas where knowledge of mineral resources may be less certain but within which planning permission may be granted, particularly if there is a potential shortfall in supply

Downside Farm would be the first extension of Freemans Quarry following the initial establishment of the quarry (granted planning permission March 1996). The quarry is currently working the permitted reserves. The permission requires all mineral extraction to cease in 2026, so working of the quarry beyond that is likely to be dependent on future planning permission being granted for a time extension to work any remaining reserves.

The Council has reviewed the issue of minerals allocations and considered information submitted by the Freemans Quarry operator, Breedon Group. The Council considers that allocation of an Area of Search at Downside Farm is appropriate. The operator predicts that, (assuming extraction continues beyond 2026) the remaining permitted reserves at Freemans Quarry would not be likely to last to the end of the plan period in 2038.

The council considers that allocation of an Area of Search is more appropriate than a 'Specific Site' or 'Preferred Area' in the absence of detailed geological investigation by Breedon at this stage. Areas of Search are 'areas where knowledge of mineral resources may be less certain". It would be sensible for Breedon to carry out more detailed investigation to obtain fuller data on the mineral resource on the site and any constraints etc. that may be affecting it.

Freemans Quarry is the second largest aggregate-producing quarry in North Somerset after Stancombe. The third quarry, Durnford, is likely to cease mineral extraction at the start of the plan period. Facilitation of continued operations at Freemans Quarry, and at nearby Stancombe, would help to maintain the supply of aggregate in the district. This is consistent with the NPPF requirement for a 'steady and adequate supply of aggregates'.

Detailed, fuller requirements will be determined at the planning application stage, but some points are indicated below.

The Council will need to be satisfied that proposals are acceptable regarding impact on and safety of footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways and PROW (Public Rights of Way).

The Council will need to be satisfied that impacts such a noise and vibrations are acceptable.

The Downside Farm site is partly within an Environment Agency Source Protection Zone. Source Protection Zones (SPZs) are defined around large and public potable groundwater abstraction sites.

It will be important for the Environment Agency to be consulted at the planning application stage, and for proposals to incorporate any measures necessary to avoid adverse impacts on water resources.

Screening for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be necessary. If EIA is found to be required, planning applications should be supported by the necessary ecological impact assessment reports. These reports should include assessments on habitats, protected species and notable sites. The scope of the surveys would need to be agreed in advance.

The Council will need to be satisfied regarding impact on landscape, particularly following restoration, but proposals should also include measures to minimise visual impact during operation of the quarry. All details should be in a detailed planning application.

Within the Area of Search the limits of actual mineral extraction will be determined at the planning application stage, taking account of factors such as need for buffers, landscaping, potential impacts on noise, landscape etc. In particular care will be needed to ensure the proposal respects the existing natural ridge landform of Broadfield Down.

Planning applications will be subject to all relevant policies in this Plan. Policy DP30 on mineral working is particularly relevant.

The MSA for carboniferous limestone (see Policy LP17) has been reviewed and amended to include the Downside Farm site, to help ensure that the mineral resources thought to underlie it are protected from sterilisation by non-mineral development.

Policy LP17: Minerals Safeguarding Area for carboniferous limestone

Planning permission will not be granted for development within Carboniferous Limestone Mineral Safeguarding Areas (MSAs) shown on the Policies Map that is incompatible with safeguarding the mineral unless:

- it is exempt development; or

- the applicant can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Council that:

i) the mineral concerned is not worthy of safeguarding; or

ii) the development is temporary and would be completed and removed and the site restored to a condition that does not inhibit extraction of the mineral within the timescale that the mineral is likely to be needed; or

iii) there is an overriding need for the development. Where consent is to be granted prior extraction of the mineral will be encouraged where practicable and environmentally acceptable.

Exempt development is defined as:

  • Alterations and extensions to existing buildings;
  • Infill development (development already between or immediately surrounded by existing permanent buildings);
  • Advertisements;
  • Prior notification (telecoms, forestry, agriculture, demolition);
  • Certificates of lawfulness of existing use, and certificates of lawfulness of proposed use or development;
  • A change of use of existing development which would not significantly intensify development on site;
  • Applications for reserved matters after outline consent has been granted; and
  • Applications for works to trees.

Temporary development would normally be restricted by temporary planning permissions (duration to be determined by the planning authority) and normally be restricted to development without structures of a permanent nature, so they can be readily removed within a short period. These measures should help ensure the development would be unlikely to affect extraction should mineral development become newly approved (granted planning consent) in the area.

Justification

Identification of Mineral Safeguarding Areas (MSA) is consistent with the NPPF paragraph 210 (c) which states that Mineral Planning Authorities (MPA) should define MSAs 'and adopt appropriate policies so that known locations of specific mineral resources of local and national importance are not needlessly sterilised by non-mineral development where this should be avoided, (whilst not creating a presumption that resources defined will be worked).'

Policy LP17 is consistent with this, and also with paragraph 212 of the NPPF: 'Local planning authorities should not normally permit other development proposals in Mineral Safeguarding Areas if it might constrain potential future use for mineral working.'

The policy is also consistent with guidance in Mineral Safeguarding in England: Good Practice Advice (2011) by the British Geological Society (BGS) and the Coal Authority. The good practice advice states that mineral resources are finite and must be protected to give future generations the best possible chance of meeting their own needs. Minerals can only be worked where they naturally occur and with increased pressure on land use we must ensure that those resources are not needlessly sterilised by other forms of development.'

The good practice advice adds that it is a common misconception that designation of safeguarded areas makes mineral extraction more likely or inevitable. That is not the case. There is no presumption that areas within a MSA will ultimately be allocated for extraction. If an application is submitted for mineral extraction within a MSA the MSA designation in itself does not provide any support for a grant of consent.

The good practice advice states that MSAs alert those proposing sites for future development to the presence of valuable mineral resources which they otherwise might not have considered, and indicate where local mineral safeguarding policies formulated specifically to suit local circumstances, may apply.

The process should ensure that minerals are not unnecessarily sterilised whilst allowing competing development to proceed if the criteria in the policy are met.

To show that the mineral is 'not worthy of safeguarding' (criterion i) the developer would normally be expected to demonstrate that the mineral is not economic or practicable to work, perhaps because it is not present in sufficient quantity or is so heavily constrained as to make extraction not economically viable.

To show 'overriding need' for the development (criterion iii) the developer would normally be expected to demonstrate that there are overriding factors which outweigh the value of the mineral thought to be present. This would normally be likely to involve consideration of the importance of the development and consideration of why the particular location is needed.

Supporting information is likely to be needed to accompany planning applications, to be able to demonstrate such things, or to demonstrate that prior extraction is not practicable or environmentally acceptable etc. This information could be provided in the form of a Mineral Assessment, carried out to a satisfactory standard. The 2011 good practice advice identifies what form Minerals Assessments can take, but the precise nature of the information required will be decided by the Council, preferably at pre-application discussion.

The promotion of prior extraction in criterion 3 is consistent with the NPPF paragraph 210 (d).

The council has reviewed the MSA and proposed some amendments to the boundary, largely to reflect the proposed Preferred Area and Area of Search for mineral working.