Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document Local Housing Growth Where will the non-strategic sites be? [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 698049//4
Respondent Mendip Hills AONB unit [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 09 Jan 2019
Comment

With reference to the North Somerset Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment Main Report dated September 2018, whilst the methodology Part 1 assessment excludes sites which are entirely within the AONB, we would consider that sites adjacent to settlement boundaries and which fall partly within the AONB and which propose housing of 10 units or more should, where development (including of infrastructure) falls within the AONB, also be excluded within Part 1 assessment.

The National Planning Policy Framework under paragraph 172 sets out that ‘the scale and extent of development within these designated areas should be limited. Planning permission should be refused for major development other than in exceptional circumstances, and where it can be demonstrated that the development is in the public interest…’  The Defra 25 Year Environment Plan under paragraph 2.2.2. further sets out that ‘while development is not prohibited in National Parks or AONBs, major development should take place only in exceptional circumstances’.

In terms of Part 2 assessment of SHLAA sites, we would request that assessment include reference to sites within the setting of the Mendip Hills AONB.   The Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000 confirmed the significance of AONBs and Section 85 places a statutory duty on all relevant authorities to have regard to the purpose of conserving and enhancing natural beauty when discharging any function in relation to, or affecting land within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Potential development proposals outside of the boundaries of AONBs that may have an impact within the designated area are also covered by the ‘duty of regard’. Consideration should also be given to the cumulative impact of the any SHLAA sites on the setting of the Mendip Hills AONB.

 

Summary
Sites adjacent to settlement boundaries which fall partly within the AONB and which propose housing of 10 units or more should be excluded re SHLAA Part 1 assessment. Part 2 assessment should include reference to sites within setting of AoNB.
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