Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft

Living within Environmental Limits

DM 1

Flooding and drainage

Core Strategy Policy

CS3: Environmental impacts and flood risk assessment

Replacement Local Plan Policies

No relevant policy

Policy Intentions:

  • To discourage inappropriate development in flood risk areas.
  • To ensure that the impact of new development on flooding is fully taken into account.
  • To encourage porous/permeable surfacing wherever practical.
  • To support the Environment Agency's approach.
  • Allocate the Weston strategic flood solution areas.


Core Strategy Policy CS3 superseded RLP Policy GDP/2 and provides the broad strategic approach to flooding and the application of the sequential test; this policy provides advice on more detailed development aspects. The strategic flood solution at Weston as identified in Core Strategy Policy CS30: Weston Villages and the Weston Villages SPD is specifically allocated for inclusion on the Proposals Map.


Policy DM 1: Flooding and drainage

All development must consider its vulnerability to flooding, taking account of all sources of flood risk and the impacts of climate change. Exceptions to national policy on flood risk (as elaborated in national technical guidance and in Policy CS3 of the North Somerset Core Strategy) will not be permitted.

All development that would increase the rate of discharge of surface water from the site must consider its implications for the wider area, including revised or amended proposals. Sustainable drainage systems are expected; alternatives will only be permitted where sustainable drainage is impractical and the alternative does not raise insurmountable objections. If discharge of surface water to a public sewer is proposed, the applicant must demonstrate that capacity exists, otherwise, how excess surface water will be managed into the long-term.Essential flood prevention and drainage works must be completed and adopted prior to first residential occupation.

Open areas within developments must be designed to optimise drainage and reduce run-off, using permeable/porous surfacing in areas of hard landscaping and parking.

The council will identify a rolling programme of flood risk priority areas where investment will be targeted. It will ensure that flood risk management measures deliver wider community and environmental benefits. These will include improved community resilience to flood events, such as safe areas and escape routes.The council will ensure proper access to, and maintenance of, water courses and flood mitigation structures.

Land is safeguarded for a strategic flood solution at the former Weston Airfield and to the south of the Cross Rhyne, and for flood management infrastructurealong the River Banwell as shown on the Proposals Map.

DM 2

Renewable and low carbon energy

Core Strategy Policy

CS1: Addressing Climate Change and Carbon Reduction

Replacement Local Plan Policies

No directly relevant comparable policy

Policy Intentions:

  • To support the use of renewable and low carbon energy generation.
  • To ensure that schemes do not have an unacceptable adverse impact on the local environment, infrastructure and nearby residents.
  • To encourage the most suitable technology for a given location.
  • Support local community-based schemes which offer direct benefit to local residents. 


The NPPF requires Local Planning Authorities to plan positively for renewable energy generation as part of a wider move towards a low carbon future. Paragraph 93 reads, "Planning plays a key role in...supporting the delivery of renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure."

This is considered a central component of addressing climate change and Policy CS1 of the adopted Core Strategy provides a strategic policy in this respect. Policy DM 2 (Renewable and low carbon energy) relates specifically to the delivery of renewable and low carbon energy and includes various criteria that will apply in the determination of any such proposal.

The policy relates to all proposals for renewable and low carbon sources of energy generation except those that fall within Permitted Development including many micro-renewables. A fundamental balance the policy seeks to achieve is to be proactive in supporting the wider transition to a low carbon future and encouraging renewable and low carbon energy whilst at the same time ensuring that installations do not have an adverse impact on local communities and the environment.

A separate SPD is being prepared on renewable energy. 

Policy DM 2: Renewable and low carbon energy

DM2 renewable and low carbon energy

Proposals for renewable and low carbon energy installations will be supported in principle subject to:

  • adequate measures being taken to mitigate adverse impacts;
  • where the environmental, social and economic benefits outweigh any negative impacts; and
  • where energy resources at the proposed location are suitable for the technology being installed.

The following criteria will be key considerations:

  • residential amenity, including noise and visual impacts including the cumulative impact on the landscape;
  • the local natural environment, its resources and characteristics, wildlife and habitats;
  • local infrastructure resulting from installation and operation of large scale sites;
  • any heritage asset;
  • the openness of the Green Belt;
  • the quality and setting of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) including both views to and from it; and
  • the safeguarding parameters associated with any identified aerodromes including Bristol Airport.

In addition to any adverse impacts, the positive implications of the proposal should be factored in including the creation of local employment, support for the local economy, the contribution to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions locally and community ownership benefits. Proposals for renewable energy installations related to the requirements of policy CS2 (part 2) of the Core Strategy or where it is proposed that the installation will supply energy into an existing building(s) or business will be encouraged.

Elements of many renewable energy projects will be considered inappropriate in the Green Belt and AONB, due to their adverse impact on the purposes and objectives of these designations.

In cases where adverse impacts are present, appropriate mitigation measures will be necessary. However, where impacts are insurmountable, or considered of particular harm, applications may be refused.

Proposals are encouraged that:

  • maximise the opportunities for community-led renewable and low carbon energy production. Any additional social and economic benefits which might be gained through a community-led approach will be considered; and
  • take advantage of the opportunities to integrate district heating and combined heat and power (CHP) into new and existing development. Where practical and viable, major developments will be encouraged to incorporate infrastructure for district heating or CHP to benefit existing areas.

The application of renewable and low carbon energy generation as part of the energy strategy at the Weston Villages should be a priority, and proposals coming forward there will need to demonstrate how this is being addressed.

If proposals for the utilisation of tidal power from the Severn Estuary are brought forward a detailed review of the economic, social, and environmental implications will be required.



Core Strategy Policy

CS5: Landscape and the Historic Environment

Replacement Local Plan Policies

Policy ECH/3 Conservation Areas

Policy ECH/4 Listed Buildings Policy ECH/5 Historic Parks and Gardens

Policy EC/6 Archaeology

Policy EC/7 Landscape Character Area

Policy Intentions:

  • To safeguard the rich and varied built, historic and natural heritage of North Somerset in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
  • To safeguard as yet unidentified heritage assets.
  • To ensure that the historic environment plays a key role in the economic and cultural life of North Somerset and is at the heart of regeneration.
  • To involve the community in understanding, protecting and enhancing the historic environment of North Somerset.


These policies roll forward and amend many of the policies from the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan as well as incorporating the philosophy behind the NPPF. 

Policy DM3: Heritage assets

DM3 heritage assets

In determining applications that affect Heritage Assets the greater the significance of the Heritage Asset the greater the weight will be given to its conservation and the greater the justification required for any harm.

Development adversely affecting a historic asset or its setting will only be permitted if:

  • Any harm is necessary in order to deliver substantial public benefit.
  • The harm to or loss of a historic asset is outweighed by the optimum viable use of the heritage asset and securing its long term future.
  • The level of any development is the minimum necessary to secure the future of the historic asset.

Alternative uses of a historic asset or enabling development to secure its future will only be permitted where:

  • It will secure the long term future of the historic asset and where applicable its continued use for a purpose sympathetic to conservation.
  • No viable use of the heritage asset can be found in the medium term that will enable its conservation.
  • Conservation through grant funding or some form of charitable trust or public ownership is not possible.

The applicant will need to provide evidence that other potential owners or users of the site have been sought through appropriate marketing and that reasonable endeavours have been made to seek grant funding.

Where there is evidence of deliberate neglect of or damage to a heritage asset, the resultant deteriorated site of the heritage asset will not be taken into account in any decision.

The council will require an applicant to provide a description of the significance of an heritage asset(s) affected by the proposal and the contribution of their setting to that significance. The level of detail will be proportionate to the importance of the heritage asset. Where possible any previously unidentified heritage assets will be identified during the pre-application stage.

Where the loss of the whole or part of the heritage asset's significance is justified, the developer will be required to record and advance understanding of the asset before it is lost. 

DM4 conservation area

Policy DM4:Conservation Areas

When considering proposals within a Conservation Area, the council will seek to secure the retention of the existing buildings and features that contribute to its character. In addition, when determining applications for new development, the council will have regard to matters such as bulk, height, materials, colour, vertical or horizontal emphasis and design. Outline applications for development will not be acceptable.

Policy DM5: Listed Buildings

Applicants should provide the council with sufficient information to enable an assessment to be made of the impact of the proposals on the special architectural or historic interest of the building and its setting. A high standard of design and detailing will be expected where alterations to a ListedBuilding are proposed.

Policy DM6:Historic Parks and Gardens 

Historic Parks and Gardens (both registered and unregistered) are an important part of North Somerset's heritage.

Where significant development is proposed applicants will be required to provide historic landscape assessments before planning applications are determined.

Policy DM7: Archaeology

The council will ensure that archaeological interests are fully taken into account when determining planning applications.

DM7 archaeology

Where there is good reason to believe that development proposals could affect archaeological remains, the council will seek a field evaluation and assessment to establish the extent and importance of the remains before the planning application is determined. Where the proposal affects, or there is reason to believe that it may affect, locally important archaeological remains, the council will not determine the application until the results of the archaeological assessment are known.

It is nearly always preferable that archaeological remains are preserved 'in situ' as even archaeological excavation means the total destruction of evidence, apart from removable artefacts. In some cases, applicants will be required to modify their proposal to take account of the archaeological remains, for example by using foundations which avoid disturbing the remains or by the careful siting of landscaped or open areas.

In cases where the council decides that it is not necessary to preserve remains 'in situ', developers will be required to make appropriate and satisfactory provision for the excavation and recording of the remains before development commences. Formal voluntary legal agreements will be sought with developers, before permission is granted, to excavate and record the remains and to publish the results. Alternatively, planning conditions will be attached to the grant of planning permission requiring an approved programme of archaeological work to be undertaken before development commences, which may include the deposition of geotechnical information. 

DM8 non-designated heritage assets

Policy DM8: Non-designated heritage assets

There are many buildings, structures and archaeological sites which are not of sufficient importance to be included in the statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historical Interest or the Schedule of Monuments of National Importance yet which make a valuable contribution to the area's historic and architectural development or to the general townscape. Where possible, these are identified in conservation area appraisals. However, it is unlikely that all such structures and sites will have been identified in advance. Accordingly, the council will assess those which are the subject of applications for development, in order to determine whether they are of local importance and warrant protection from inappropriate change. In addition the council will prepare a list of locally important buildings, structures and archaeological sites. The criteria for selection will be agreed through a public consultation process. Inclusion on the local list will not however give the full protection of statutory listing or scheduling.

DM 9

Nature conservation

Core Strategy Policy

CS4: Nature Conservation

Replacement Local Plan Policies

ECH/10 Biodiversity

ECH/11 Protected species and their habitats

ECH/12 Wildlife sites of international importance

ECH/13 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserves

ECH/14 Wildlife and Geological sites and Local Nature Reserves

Policy Intentions:

  • Minimise the impact of development on the existing biodiversity and geodiversity of North Somerset taking into account its hierarchy of importance.
  • Ensure no net loss of biodiversity and encourage the enhancement and protection of species and habitats, particularly legally protected and priority species and habitats.
  • Ensure all development proposals fully consider the implications for biodiversity and conduct a thorough site survey, if required, and evaluation prior to the determination of a planning application.
  • Balance the need for development with the impact on nature conservation issues and use conditions, legal agreements and planning obligations to mitigate harmful effects. Ensure that opportunities are taken to conserve and enhance the site's biodiversity and/or geological interest and particularly to protect important species and habitats.
  • Promote measures to enhance biodiversity such as linking sites by a series of ecological corridors.


Roll forward and amendment of North Somerset Replacement Local Plan Policies. Strategic Nature Areas are broad areas identified by Biodiversity South West as being important areas for the conservation and expansion of particular habitat types. These areas are part of the South West Nature Map. 


DM9 nature conservation butterfly

Policy DM 9: Nature conservation

Development that is likely to have a significant adverse impact on biodiversity will not be permitted unless there is an overriding need for the development in the proposed location and measures can be introduced to mitigate such an impact.

Development within or outside a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or National Nature Reserve that is likely to have a direct or indirect adverse effect on its biodiversity or geological interest will not be permitted unless the benefits of the development clearly outweigh both the impacts on the biodiversity or geological value of the site concerned and any broader impacts upon the national network of SSSIs.

Development which could harm, directly or indirectly the presence of important wildlife habitats and species, (which are legally protected or have been identified as Section 41 (‘priority’) habitats and species of principal importance inEngland) will not be permitted unless the harm can be avoided or mitigated by appropriate ecological mitigation measures provided or incorporated within development.

Within the definedNorth Somersetand Mendip Bats Special Area of  Conservation (SAC) consultation area (a buffer of 5 km from the constituent sites of the SAC), development that would adversely affect structures, feeding grounds or landscape features used by greater and lesser horseshoe bats will not normally be permitted unless there is an overriding need for the development in the proposed location and measures can be introduced to mitigate such an impact.

Planning permission will not be granted for development that would have a significant adverse effect on locally designated wildlife and geological sites and Local Nature Reserves, unless the importance of the development outweighs the value of the substantive interest present.

Development proposals may need to be accompanied by a full ecological survey, as part of the application, to include the following details:

  • a description of the biodiversity interest of the site, including where applicable regard for any Strategic Nature Areas;
  • the nature and extent of the impact on biodiversity of the proposed development or change of use of land;
  • the steps to be taken to protect, enhance and where appropriate, manage, retain and incorporate the biodiversity interest into the proposals, which may include monitoring;
  • where possible, steps to link existing habitats which could potentially be of importance for wildlife; and
  • where appropriate, the mitigation and compensation measures required to restore habitats and/or create new habitats.

 Development proposals should ensure that, where appropriate, provision is made for:

DM9 nature conservation newt
  • retention of important woodland, trees, hedgerows, watercourses, ponds, wetland habitats, geological features, rhynes and other major natural features, habitats or wildlife corridors, and their protection during construction work;
  • compensatory provision, within the site itself, or immediate vicinity if practicable, of at least equivalent biodiversity value where the loss of habitats or features of importance to wild flora and fauna is unavoidable;
  • incorporation of habitat features attractive to wildlife within the development, including those which meet the needs of particular species;  
  • future management of retained and newly created features of importance to wildlife;
  • management, enhancement and monitoring of landscape features or wildlife species which are of major importance for wild flora and fauna as part of the development proposals;  
  • planting of native species of local origin wherever possible; and
  • measures to link existing habitats which could potentially be of importance for wildlife.

DM 10


Core Strategy Policies

CS1 Addressing climate change and carbon reduction

CS4 Nature conservation

CS5 Landscape and the historic environment

CS9 Green infrastructure

CS12 Achieving high quality design and place making

Replacement Local Plan Policies

ECH/5 Historic Parks and Gardens

ECH/7 Landscape character areas

ECH/10 Biodiversity

Policy Intentions:

  • Incorporate existing trees and wooded areas into design proposals where practical.
  • Ensure the planting of new trees is properly designed and adequately maintained in the longer term.


New policy to provide detailed guidance on new planting and the protection of existing trees. 

Policy DM10: Trees

DM10 trees

North Somerset Council will require that all development proposals:

  • include, where practical, the introduction of appropriate tree planting as an integral part of the design and landscaping of new developments;
  • demonstrate that the retention, protection and enhancement of tree canopy cover has been considered throughout the design and development process;
  • evaluate, at a level of detail appropriate to the proposal, the short and longer-term impacts that the development may have on existing trees;
  • achieve high quality design by demonstrating that the long term retention of appropriate trees is realistic, and that the trees are viewed as an asset by new occupants rather than as an issue of conflict. The future growth of tree canopy and roots should be fully accounted for when designing:

(i) the location, spacing and orientation of buildings, gardens and green spaces;

(ii) the location of underground services;

(iii) the relative positions of trees and windows for light;

(iv) specific issues relating to tree species eg. aphid honey dew, fruit drop, density of canopy, leaves and needles;

(v) future management requirements and accessibility;

  • include, where appropriate, the provision of newlarge-growing street and open space treesthat are planted in high-quality tree pit designs, which maximise tree health and minimise future maintenance of the street surface;
  • ensure the engineering requirements to accommodate tree planting and future tree growth in relation to building foundation design are complied with;
  • provide high quality physical protection of retained trees, which includes working methods that will be clearly communicated and understood by all site staff;
  • include, for larger-scale developments, an initial tree maintenance specification for new trees to ensure they thrive and grow to healthy maturity; and
  • provide a plan for the management of wooded areas that balances the protection and enhancement of biodiversity with increased opportunities for recreation and play.

DM 11


Core Strategy Policies

CS5 Landscape and the historic environment

Replacement Local Plan Policies

ECH/7 Landscape Character Areas

ECH/8 Mendip Hills AONB

CH/15 The Coastal Zone

Policy Intentions:

  • To protect and enhance the diversity, quality and distinctive qualities of the landscape of North Somerset identified in the North Somerset Landscape Character Assessment.
  • Avoid developments which would have an adverse impact on the landscape.
  • Protect and enhance areas of sensitive landscape, including both the nationally registered and unregistered Historic Parks and Gardens in North Somerset.
  • Protect dark skies from light pollution.
  • Protect areas of greatest tranquillity from development.


The NSC Landscape Character Assessment SPD was adopted in 2005.

This policy is a roll forward and amendment of the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan approach.

Where required the applicant should set out in any supporting documents such as the Design and Access Statement, that regard has been taken of the local landscape and how this has been incorporated into a final design solution. This may need to be supported by photomontages or similar visuals.

Policy DM 11: Landscape

DM11 Landscape

All development should:

  • Respect and not adversely affect the particular character of the landscapeas identified in the North Somerset Landscape Character Assessment SPD (2005) or successor documents.
  • Respect and respond to its distinctive qualities.
  • Avoid the introduction of harmful, incongruous or intrusive elements into views and be appropriate with regard to siting, scale, form, colour and use of materials.
  • Include appropriate landscaping and boundary treatments in the scheme.
  • Conserve and enhance natural or semi-natural vegetation characteristic of the area.
  • Respect the character of the historic landscape including features such as field patterns, watercourses, drainage ditches, stone walls and hedgerows.
  • Respect and avoid adverse impacts on the Mendip Hills AONB including views to and from the AONB.
  • Where outdoor lighting is proposed adopt a lighting scheme which minimises obtrusive light. Particular care should be taken in those areas which impact on the Mendip Hills AONB and where dark skies are an important feature of the area.

Where some harm to the local landscape character is unavoidable, but a development is otherwise deemed beneficial, then positive mitigation measures should be secured by a landscape condition or planning agreement (Section 106), involving works on or off-site as necessary.

DM 12

Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB)

Core Strategy Policies

CS5 Landscape and the historic environment

Replacement Local Plan Policies

ECH/8 Mendip Hills AONB

Policy Intentions:

  • Major developments in the AONB will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances in line with the National Planning Policy Framework (para 116) and will need to demonstrate they are in the public interest.
  • Ensure development would not harm the natural beauty of the AONB.
  • Ensure that the priority consideration for all proposed development impacting on the AONB is the conservation and, where possible, enhancement of its natural beauty.
  • Meet the economic and social needs of the local communities and the demand for recreation so far as this is consistent with the conservation of the natural beauty of the area.
  • Protect views to and from the AONB.


Amended policy from the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan.

Further guidance has been prepared by the Mendip Hills AONB - Management Plan 2009-2014, Agricultural Building Design Guidance, and Guidelines for Horse Related Development.


DM12 mendip hills

Policy DM 12: Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB)

Development which would have a major impact on the landscape and scenic beauty of the Mendip Hills AONB will not be permitted unless in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated that it is in the public interest.

All development will be controlled and managed to ensure it would not harm the natural beauty of the AONB. Proposals which meet the economic needs of local communities and meet demand for recreation will still need to be consistent with the conservation of that natural beauty.

Any development which may be deemed appropriate will need to comply with the additional overriding requirement to conserve and, where possible, enhance the landscape and natural beauty of the AONB.

Particular attention will be given to the siting, scale, size, character, design, materials and landscaping of the proposed development, views to and from the AONB, as well as conservation of wildlife and cultural heritage.

Wherever possible new roads and major infrastructure proposals should be kept away from the AONB and, where they would be likely to affect it, proposals should demonstrate the need for development and that the siting and design would do as little damage to the environment as practicable.

DM 13

Development within the Green Belt

Core Strategy Policy

CS6: North Somerset's Green Belt

Replacement Local Plan Policies

RD/3 Development in the Green Belt

RD/4 Major Development site in the Green Belt(Barrow Hospital)

Policy Intentions:

Provide detailed guidance and consistency of approach concerning those types of new development which are considered to be not inappropriate in the Green Belt:

  • Extensions and replacement buildings (a 50% rule will generally apply unlessthe area is one of a predominantly residential road characterised by large detached houses and there is no harm to the openness of the Green Belt).
  • Development in villages with settlement boundaries which are washed over by the Green Belt.
  • The redevelopment of sites on previously developed land.
  • Appropriate facilities for sports and outdoor recreation.


The policy reflects the changes in the NPPF whilst rolling forward much of the detailed guidance from the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan Policy RD/3.


DM13 dev in green belt

Policy DM 13: Development within the Green Belt

The extent of the North Somerset Green Belt is shown on the Proposals map.

Extensions alterations or replacement of existing buildings

The extension or alteration of a buildingwill not be regarded as inappropriate provided that it is within the existing curtilage and it does not result in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building.For North Somerset 'original' relates to the building as existing on 26th July 1985 or for buildings constructed after this date as so built. The determining factors in assessing whether the extension is disproportionate will be the size of the proposed extension in relation to the size of the original building and the impact on the openness of the Green Belt. An extension will not normally be regarded as disproportionate provided it does not exceed 50% of the gross floor area of the original building. Proposals for new garages and other outbuildings within 5 metres of the existing building will be regarded as an extension.

The replacement of an existing buildingis not regarded as inappropriate provided the new building is in the same use and is not materially larger than the one it replaces. A replacement building will not normally be regarded as materially larger provided it does not exceed 50% of the gross floor area of the original building (i.e. it includes the notional increase that may have been permitted as an extension). In assessing this regard will be had to both increase in size and the impact on the openness of the Green Belt.

In determining the impact on the openness of the Green Belt for both extensions and replacement buildings regard will be taken of the design (including bulk, height and floorspace), siting and overall scale of the development on the site. The location, visual character of the site and surroundings and the effect of the proposal on the open and rural character of the area in general, prominence, visual and physical impact (including the impact of lighting) and plot size will all need to be assessed. Where the character of the area is one of a predominantly residential road characterised by large detached houses, on well screened and spacious plots (for example Cadbury Camp Lane north of Tickenham), it is possible that more substantial house extensions or replacement houses may be accommodated than in other parts of the Green Belt. In making this judgement, particular account will be taken of the views of the local Parish or Town Council and any relevant Neighbourhood Development Plan.

In the case of proposals to extend replacement buildings, the original floor space will be calculated as that of the original building that was on the site on or prior to 26th July 1985 and not that of the replacement building. Outbuildings exceeding 10 cubic metres capacity within 5 metres of the building will be treated as part of the building. Any permission granted within a 5-year period prior to 26th July 1985 but not implemented prior to that date will be considered, if built after 26th July 1985, to form part of the 'original' building.

Proposals for outbuildings and garages should be of a scale and height subordinate to the original building and should not adversely affect the openness of the Green Belt.

Note: Policies DM 38 (Extensions to dwellings) and DM 45 (Replacement dwellings in the countryside) will also be applicable to residential applications.

Development in settlements in the Green Belt with settlement boundaries

Limited infilling and redevelopment will not be regarded as inappropriate within those villages washed over by Green Belt but which have retained their settlement boundaries (Cleeve, Dundry, Felton, Flax Bourton and Winford). Such development will nevertheless still be required to comply with other policies in the Local Development Framework.

Redevelopment and infilling on previously developed sites in the Green Belt outside settlement boundaries

Limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of previously developed sites is not inappropriate provided it would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land within it than the existing development.

Infilling should:

  • not extend beyond the perimeter of the buildings which make up the bulk of the built up area of the site; and
  • should be visually contained within the site and should not exceed the scale or height of the existing buildings.

Partial or complete redevelopment proposals should:

  • not extend beyond the footprint of the original buildings unless the proposal by virtue of its height or location on the site would have an equal or lesser impact on the Green Belt than the original buildings; and
  • result in environmental improvements on rundown or derelict sites.

Appropriate facilities for outdoor sports and recreation

New buildings associated with sport and recreation provision in the Green Belt should be:

  • directly related and subsidiary to the main outdoor use;
  • be of a scale and size proportionate to the sporting or recreational use;
  • be sensitively designed and located to reflect the character of the area and minimise any harm to the openness and purposes of the Green Belt; and
  • where outdoor lighting is proposed a lighting scheme should be adopted which minimises obtrusive light.

DM 14

Duration of planning consent for disposal of waste to land

Core Strategy Policy

CS7: Planning for waste

North Somerset Waste Local Plan Policies

Policy WLP20

West of England Joint Waste Core Strategy

Policy Intention:

-Limit the length of time taken for disposal of waste to land to minimise any adverse impact.


The North Somerset Waste Local Plan (NSWLP) includes policy WLP20 on this issue. While most development management policies in the NSWLP are covered by policies in the adopted West of England Joint Waste Core Strategy (JWCS), policy WLP20 is not, and it is appropriate to include a policy in the Sites and Policies Plan.

Planning permissions for disposal of waste to land will normally be subject to a time limited condition. This will help to ensure, for example, that where tipping has not been completed to the original planned level within the developer's original intended timescale, the site is nevertheless satisfactorily restored to the council's satisfaction without undue delay.


Policy DM14: Duration of planning consent for disposal of waste to land

The duration of any planning permission for the disposal of waste to land, including landfill or land raise, will be limited to that reasonably necessary to complete the development, including operations and subsequent restoration.

DM 15

Mineral working exploration, extraction and processing

Core Strategy Policies

CS8 Minerals Planning

Mineral Working in Avon Local Plan Policies

Policies MLP1, MLP26, MLP28, MLP29, MLP30, MLP34, MLP44.

Policy Intentions:

  • To ensure adequate consideration for the needs of the minerals industry whilst mitigating the effects of minerals related development and activity, including that concerning on-shore gas, such as hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
  • To minimise waste generated in minerals related development and activity, and promote productive use of that waste.
  • To ensure positive planning for the restoration of the land and its return to beneficial use.


The NPPF paragraph 143 requires local authorities to set out environmental criteria against which planning applications for minerals development will be assessed. It was considered appropriate to cover onshore gas, including hydraulic fracturing, in the policy since the NPPF includes oil and gas in its definition of minerals of local and national importance.

Policy DM 15: Mineral working exploration, extraction and processing

In considering proposals for mineral working, including exploration, extraction and processing, and including that concerning on-shore gas, such as hydraulic fracturing (fracking), regard will be had to the following:

  • government guidance on minerals;
  • the existence of allocated areas for mineral extraction such as preferred areas or areas of search;and
  • any potential impacts on amenity, human health, public safety, and the natural and historic environment, including impacts concerning visual quality, landscape, biodiversity, historic assets, traffic and the local road network, water resources, contamination, air pollution including dust, noise, vibrations, risk of flooding, land stability, seismic activity, tip and quarry slope stability, and measures to prevent or minimise any potential problems.

Proposals should be supported by adequate evidence that potential impacts have been satisfactorily investigated and addressed. Proposals must not have unacceptable impacts and should satisfactorily mitigate any adverse impacts. Where investigations identify a need for safeguards or mitigation appropriate conditions may be imposed, or agreements sought.

DM15 minerals processing2

Adequate measures must be taken to ensure minimum waste of resources during extraction and processing, and that any waste material generated is used for a productive purpose, to the satisfaction of the council.

The council will normally require mineral working and restoration to be carried out in phases, with a view to minimising potential impacts.

A high quality of restoration and satisfactory after use of the land, for an appropriate use or uses to be agreed by the council, will be required. Appropriate conditions may be imposed, or agreements sought.

Restoration should be carried out in the shortest possible time, at the earliest possible opportunity, to a timescale to be agreed with the council, and should normally be phased restoration to occur alongside and integrated with the extraction, so that restoration is not left until extraction on the site has completed.

The council will particularly expect companies with more than one site in the area to ensure that activity is suitably integrated between them, with appropriate phasing, to ensure that sites are not left unworked and unrestored for long periods. Appropriate agreements may be sought. 

DM 16

Control of non-mineral development likely to affect active minerals sites or sites recently granted consent for mineral working 

Core Strategy Policy

CS8 Minerals Planning

Mineral Working in Avon Local Plan Policies

Policies MLP40, MLP41

Policy Intention

  • To support the mineral industry by controlling other uses likely to affect mineral sites.


The adopted Mineral Working in Avon Local Plan (MWIALP) includes a policy (MLP39) on buffer zones around mineral sites, restricting non-minerals development within designated buffer zones, partly aimed at reducing the likelihood of mineral operations being affected/restricted by encroachment of non-minerals development. It is considered that there is a need for a similar policy but using a more flexible approach than designation of buffer zones.


Policy DM 16: Control of non-mineral development likely to affect active minerals sites or sites recently granted consent for mineral working

The council will give particularly careful consideration to proposals for non-mineral development close to (generally within about 500m of the boundary of) active minerals sites or sites newly granted consent for mineral working, including ancillary activities.

Where such proposals, due to their nature and location, would be likely to significantly impair mineral working activities of such sites, they will be resisted unless satisfactory mitigation measures would be undertaken.

DM 17 -18

Allocation of land at the Spinney, south of Stancombe Quarry, as a preferred area for minerals working and identification of Minerals Safeguarding Area for carboniferous limestone 

Core Strategy Policy

CS8 Minerals Planning

Mineral Working in Avon Local Plan Policies

Policy MLP12.

Policy Intention:

  • To indicate where mineral development is likely to occur and ensure future needs are not compromised by non-mineral development.


This is effectively a carry over from the adopted Mineral Working in Avon Local Plan (MWIALP) which identifies land at The Spinney as part of an existing Preferred Mineral Extraction Area. This is a potential southern extension of Stancombe Quarry.

The council has reviewed the issue of minerals allocations including consideration of existing minerals allocations in North Somerset in the MWIALP, and is of the view that continued allocation of land at The Spinney as a preferred area is appropriate. The justification for this is to be set out in a supporting document on minerals to form part of the evidence base. That document has regard to the fact that the council is working with other local authorities in the West of England to produce a Joint Local Aggregates Assessment for that area, which includes North Somerset.

Identification of Mineral Safeguarding Areas is consistent with the NPPF paragraph 143.


Policy DM 17: Allocation of land at The Spinney, south of Stancombe Quarry, as a preferred area for minerals working

Land south of the existing permitted reserve at Stancombe Quarry, called 'The Spinney' is identified as a preferred area for mineral working on the Proposals Map.

Detailed requirements will be determined at the development management stage. In addition proposals should be phased to the satisfaction of the council and:

  • relevant development management policies and issues must be met or addressed to the satisfaction of the council. For example: amenity, noise, vibration, air over pressure, public health and safety, dust, biodiversity, landscape, highways and impact on the local highway network, water, archaeology, landscaping and restoration;
  • proposals must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the council, that there is a genuine need to work The Spinney and that it is appropriate to do so at that particular time;
  • a suitably qualified ecological consultant should be contracted to carry out a wildlife survey which covers evidence of any legally protected species;
  • provision is made for stopping up and or/diversion of public rights of way that would be affected by operations, and their reinstatement as part of restoration of the site as appropriate;
  • good quality landscaping, with appropriate planting/bunding would be provided/retained as appropriate, and managedand maintained, including for example along the west boundary fronting Backwell Hill Road, the south boundary fronting Long Lane, and the east boundary;
  • 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.

Policy DM 18: Identification of Minerals Safeguarding Area for carboniferous limestone

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

  • it is exempt development; or
  • the applicant can demonstrate that:

       i) the mineral concerned is not worthy of safeguarding;

       ii) the development is temporary and would be completed and removed and the site restored to a condition thatdoes 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.

Note: Exempt development is defined as householder development such as extensions, advertisements, and also infill development (development already between or immediately surrounded by existing permanent buildings).

Temporary development would 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.

A separate evidence paper has been produced setting out the context for minerals policies and proposals. The document can be viewed here.

DM 19

Green infrastructure 

Core Strategy Policy

CS9 Green Infrastructure

Other Documents

Biodiversity and Trees SPD

North Somerset Landscape Character Assessment SPD

Replacement Local Plan Policies

CF/1 Provision of Cultural and Community Facilities (Includes open space)

CF/4 -Safeguarding of existing land and buildings in community use, and proposed sites

ECH/1Amenity areas and Gateways to settlements

ECH/10-14 (biodiversity related)

Policy Intentions:

  • To ensure new development contributes to the safeguarding, improvement and further provision of North Somerset's green infrastructure.
  • To ensure master plans and development proposals fully take the safeguarding and provision of multi-functional, inter-connected and adaptable green infrastructure into account in the design and layout of schemes.


NPPF paragraph 114 refers to the need to plan positively for the creation, protection, enhancement and management of green infrastructure. The council is preparing two SPDs relating to more detailed guidance on green infrastructure and playing pitches.

Policy DM 19: Green infrastructure

DM19 Green InfrastructureNorth Somerset Council will require development proposals to contribute to the social and economic regeneration of North Somerset, and the quality of the environment, through the creation of high quality well designed and accessible green infrastructure. Proposals will, where appropriate, ensure that green infrastructure is:
  • multi-functional;
  • part of a connected green infrastructure;
  • able to maximise the opportunity to respond to climate change;
  • designed to enable the community to actively use green infrastructure for sports and play as well as passive recreation;
  • able to promote community cohesion;
  • accessible;
  • provided in line with more detailed guidance set out in Supplementary Planning Documents, such as the Biodiversity and Trees SPD, the Weston Villages SPD and where relevant the North Somerset Landscape Character Assessment SPD, or successor documents; and
  • designed to promote and enhance local diversity and distinctiveness.

For proposals of 10 or more dwellings green infrastructure provision should be made on site, however where this is not possible, practical or desirable, and for development of 9 dwellings or less, financial contributions will be sought. Contributions will vary depending on the existing provision in the locality and whether the requirement is for new provision or for upgrades to existing provision. Provision formaintenance will also be required, likely to involve commuted sums if the green infrastructure is to be adopted by North Somerset Council.

Gardens play an important role in the green infrastructure and should be designed to a high standard. Where possible their design and layout shouldrelate to the wider green infrastructure.

Proposals should seek to incorporate important sites and linkages in the layout and design of the development.