3. Environment

3.1.

INTRODUCTION

Ogmore Castle
3.1.1.

Unitary Development Plans have a key role to play in achieving an appropriate balance between conservation and development. It is considered that Environmental Policies should feature at the forefront of the UDP and that Environmental considerations should play a key part in decision making. Protection and enhancement of the natural and built environment of the Vale of Glamorgan is therefore accorded a high priority. 

3.1.2.

In the rural areas the overall aim of the Plan will be to maintain a diverse, thriving, attractive and environmentally healthy countryside. In the urban areas the aim will be to create and sustain more “liveable” attractive environments which will help to maintain thriving communities. 

3.1.3.

Recent development in the Vale of Glamorgan has been located very close to the main built up areas leaving the countryside relatively unaffected. However, the rural environment has been subject to significant changes in recent decades. Increasing pressure is being placed on the countryside due to changes in the rural farming economy and increasing demand for recreation and development. In an area as  attractive as the Vale of Glamorgan, there is great need to protect the rural environment not only to sustain its agricultural base, but to preserve its rich heritage for future generations, as well as for local residents and others to enjoy today. A testimony to the richness and diversity of the natural environment of the Vale of Glamorgan is the presence of a number of protective designations. The Vale has twenty two Sites of Special Scientific Interest totalling some 850 hectares,two Local Nature Reserves and seven Wildlife Trust Reserves incorporating twelve miles of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast stretching from Ogmore-By-Sea to West Aberthaw. This stretch of coastline includes the Dunraven Bay candidate Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The Severn Estuary at Penarth is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Wetland of International Importance (RAMSAR site), Special Protection Area (SPA) and a possible Special Area of Conservation (pSAC).

3.1.4.

Equally important is the man made environment. More than ever there is a need to look after and enhance the existing built environment, which exhibits a great variety of townscape and architectural character: from the Victorian housing of Penarth and industrial heritage of Barry, to the older agricultural market towns of Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and the surrounding rural settlements. The historical significance of many of the buildings and settlements in the Vale is illustrated by the designation of 38 Conservation Areas, over 400 Listed Buildings and over 90 Ancient Monuments. Two areas within the Vale are included within the Register of Landscapes of Outstanding Historic Interest in Wales, and 18 sites are included within the Register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest in Wales. A list of Landscapes Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest is contained in Appendix 2. As well as the statutory protection afforded Listed Buildings and Ancient Monuments, the Plan will establish a policy framework intended to protect the local environment, particularly residential areas from inappropriate development which would threaten their existing character and amenities.

Dyffryn House and Gardens 

3.1.5.

In addition to preserving and enhancing both the natural and built heritage of the Vale of Glamorgan, the Plan can play a part in reducing environmentally damaging practices and thus helping to ensure that the local and global environment is conserved for future generations. It is therefore essential that the Plan provides a clear policy context within which to help preserve and enhance the quality of the Vale's natural and built environment now and in the future. 

3.2.

NATIONAL PLANNING GUIDANCE

3.2.1.

The legislative framework for environmental policy is enshrined in a number of National Acts and Regulations and European Directives. In addition, policy guidance is contained within a number of supplementary documents, most notably Planning Policy Wales 2002. These guidance notes define the parameters for the plan policies and proposals.

Natural Environment

Glamorgan Heritage Coastline 

3.2.2.

Planning Policy Wales 2002 requires Local Planning Authorities to consider the environment in the widest sense in plan preparation and to assess the likely environmental impact of plan policies and proposals on the natural environment. Paragraph 5.1.1 of the Guidance states:

“The natural heritage of Wales includes its geology, land forms and biodiversity and its natural beauty and amenity. It embraces the relationship between landform and landscape, habitat and wildlife, and their capacity to sustain economic activity and to provide enjoyment and inspiration. The natural heritage is not confined to statutorily designated sites but extends across all of Wales - to urban areas, the countryside and coast. Attractive and ecologically rich environments are important, both for their own sake and for the health and the social and economic well being of individuals and communities. Biodiversity and landscape are important in the economic life of many communities and the quality of the environment is often a factor in business location decisions.” 

3.2.3.

The Guidance further states in Paragraph 5.1.3:

“A key role of the planning system is to ensure that society's land requirements are met in ways which do not impose unnecessary constraints on development whilst ensuring that all reasonable steps are taken to safeguard or enhance the environment. However, conservation and development can often be fully integrated. With careful planning and design, not only can the potential for conflict be minimised, but new opportunities for sustainable development can also be treated. For example, new development on previously developed land provides opportunities to restore and enhance the natural heritage through land rehabilitation, landscape management and the creation of new or improved habitats.” 

3.2.4.

Further detailed guidance is given in Planning Policy Wales Technical Advice Note (Wales) 5: Nature Conservation and Planning (1996); and Planning Policy Wales Technical Advice Note (Wales) 6:  Agricultural and Rural Development (2000).

Built Environment 

3.2.5.

Planning Policy Wales 2002 requires consideration of a wide range of factors in respect of the built environment. These factors include consideration of issues such as Design, Access and Disability, Historic Environment, Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and Archaeology. 

3.2.6.

Of particular relevance to the Vale of Glamorgan is consideration of the historic built environment. Planning Policy Wales 2002 clearly outlines the role of the UDP in respect of the historic environment. Paragraphs 6.1.1 and 6.1.2 state:

“It is important that the historic environment encompassing archaeology and ancient monuments, listed buildings, conservation areas and historic parks, gardens and landscapes - is protected. The Assembly Government's objectives in this field are to:

  • Preserve and enhance the historic environment, recognising its contribution to economic vitality and culture, civic pride and the quality of life, and its importance as a resource for future generations; and specifically to 
  • Protect archaeological remains, which are a finite and non-renewable resource, part of thehistorical and cultural identity of Wales, and valuable both for their own sake and for their role in education, leisure and the economy, particularly tourism;
  • Ensure that the character of historic buildings is safeguarded from alterations, extensions or demolition that would compromise a build's special architectural and historic interest; and to
  • Ensure that conservation areas are protected and enhanced, while at the same time remaining alive and prosperous, avoiding unnecessarily detailed controls over businesses and householders.”
3.2.7.

Paragraph 6.1.2 continues:

“Local planning authorities have an important role in securing the conservation of the historic environment while ensuring that it accommodates and remains responsive to present day needs. This is a key aspect of local authorities' wider sustainable development responsibilities which should be taken into account in both the formulation of planning policies and the exercise of development control functions.”

3.2.8.

Further detailed guidance is contained within Planning Policy Wales Technical Advice Note (Wales) 12: Design (2002); Welsh Office Circulars 60/96 'Planning and the Historic Environment: Archaeology'; and 61/96 'Planning and the Historic Environment: Historic Buildings and Conservation Areas'. 

3.2.9.

Sustainable Development

The Report of the World Commission on the Environment and Development issued in 1987 first drew to world attention the need to achieve sustainable development and protect finite resources. The Local Agenda for the 21st Century is commonly referred to as LA21. Through the production of the 1990 White Paper “This common Inheritance” and “A better quality of life: A strategy for sustainable development for the United Kingdom” published in 1999, Central Government have indicated the intention to work towards ensuring that development and growth are sustainable. 

3.2.10.

The nature of this advice is reflected in Planning Policy Wales 2002 by stressing the important role the planning system can play in achieving the goal of sustainable development. Paragraph 2.1.4 states:

“Both the Assembly's Sustainable Development Scheme and the UK vision of sustainable development, stress that working towards sustainable development means pursuing four 'Objectives' at the same time, namely:

  • social progress which recognises the needs of everyone;
  • effective protection of the environment;
  • prudent use of natural resources; and
  • the maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment.”
3.2.11.

Whilst it is not the intention of the Unitary Development Plan to repeat Government advice in detail, such advice is reflected in the formulation of the policies and proposals contained within the Plan. 

3.3.

OBJECTIVES

3.3.1.

In order to provide a context for policies and proposals relating to the environment, the following objectives are defined:

  • To protect and enhance the countryside and coast, fostering biodiversity throughout the Vale and recognising areas of importance for landscape and nature conservation;
  • To maintain the identity of settlements and to prevent urban coalescence;
  • To enhance the character of the built environment and in particular to protect the best features of the urban fabric;
  • To protect important heritage features; and
  • To promote the recovery of derelict and degraded land and to control the adverse effects of development.

Craig Penllyn Hay MeadowWhite Letter Hairstreak Butterfly

3.4.

POLICIES AND PROPOSALS

The Countryside

POLICY ENV 1 - DEVELOPMENT IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

WITHIN THE DELINEATED COUNTRYSIDE PERMISSION WILL ONLY BE GRANTED FOR:

  1. DEVELOPMENT WHICH IS ESSENTIAL FOR AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE, FORESTRY OR OTHER DEVELOPMENT INCLUDING MINERAL EXTRACTION, WASTE MANAGEMENT, UTILITIES OR INFRASTRUCTURE FOR WHICH A RURAL LOCATION IS ESSENTIAL;
  2. APPROPRIATE RECREATIONAL USE;
  3. THE RE-USE OR ADAPTATION OF EXISTING BUILDINGS PARTICULARLY TO ASSIST THE DIVERSIFICATION OF THE RURAL ECONOMY; OR
  4. DEVELOPMENT WHICH IS APPROVED UNDER OTHER POLICIES OF THE PLAN.
3.4.1.

Due to the diverse nature of the Vale of Glamorgan areas of countryside range from remote open landscapes to the more enclosed urban fringe settings of towns and villages. The Vale of Glamorgan is an area under constant pressure for development unrelated to traditional activities. Such development can unacceptably affect agriculture and diminish the quality of the rural landscape. This  policy seeks to protect the countryside from inappropriate development. For the
purposes of this policy countryside is defined as that area of land lying outside settlement boundaries of the main towns and villages, identified in Policy HOUS 2, which has not been developed for employment use or allocated in the Plan for  development purposes. Employment Use is defined as those uses which fall within classes B1 Business, B2 General Industrial and B8 Storage and Distribution of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended). 

3.4.2.

Planning Policy Wales 2002 paragraph 5.1.1 states:

“The natural heritage of Wales includes its geology, land forms and biodiversity and its natural beauty and amenity. It embraces the relationship between landform and landscape, habitat and wildlife, and their capacity to sustain economic activity and to provide enjoyment and inspiration. The natural heritage is not confined to statutorily designated sites but extends across all of Wales - to urban areas, the countryside and coast. Attractive and ecologically rich environments are important, both for their own sake and for the health and the social and economic well being of individuals and communities. Biodiversity and landscape are important in the economic life of many communities and the quality of the environment is often a factor in business location decisions.”

3.4.3.

In conjunction with the Welsh Development Agency and the Countryside Council for Wales, the Council have undertaken a comprehensive landscape assessment of the Vale of Glamorgan, using the new LANDMAP methodology. This study includes an assessment of all of the components listed above and has provided a basis for landscape policy, management and design guidance. Planning Policy Wales 2002 also states that in order to safeguard the character and appearance of the countryside, to reduce the need to travel by car and to economise on the provision of services, new houses in the countryside away from existing settlements recognised in UDPs or from other areas allocated for development, must be strictly controlled. Many parts of the countryside have isolated groups of dwellings. Sensitive filling in of small gaps, or minor extensions to such groups, may be acceptable, but much depends upon the character of the surroundings, the pattern of development in the area and the accessibility to main towns and villages. 

3.4.4.

Policy ENV 1 recognises that there may be a number of appropriate uses which may be permitted in the countryside, subject to no unacceptable effects. Examples may include infrastructure schemes proposed by the Statutory Undertakers, affordable housing (Policy HOUS 13) intended to meet rural housing needs, the development of waste management facilities (Policy WAST 1), the reuse and redevelopment of redundant hospitals (Policy COMM 2) and the provision of community facilities e.g. village halls, churches, burial land, the development of telecommunication systems (Policy COMM 6) and renewable energy schemes (Policy COMM 7). 

3.4.5.

Appropriate recreational facilities may be permitted in the countryside where they are of an informal nature and compatible with the rural landscape, nature conservation and visual amenities of the open countryside. Uses such as walking, angling, climbing and picnicking will be acceptable, as these are generally compatible with the rural character of the open countryside. Strict control will, however, be exercised over facilities such as car parks and toilet blocks where they are considered appropriate, and these should be sensitively integrated into the countryside. Proposals for golf courses and other sport and leisure facilities, in the open countryside will be assessed in accordance with policies in the Sport and recreation chapter of the Plan. (See Policies REC 7, 8 and 9). 

3.4.6.

The Plan recognises the important role small scale farm diversification can play in promoting a healthy rural economy in the Vale. Small scale diversification can encourage further economic diversity by helping to stimulate new and varied forms of wealth creation and employment. Examples of small scale diversification include teleworking, holiday accommodation, farm shops and craft workshops. In addition to farm diversification there are opportunities for small-scale rural enterprise in existing rural settlements, sites identified for employment use in rural areas and through the use of existing rural buildings.

POLICY ENV 2 - AGRICULTURAL LAND

THE BEST AND MOST VERSITILE AGRICULTURAL LAND (GRADES 1, 2 AND 3A) WILL BE PROTECTED FROM IRREVERSIBLE DEVELOPMENT, SAVE WHERE OVERRIDING NEED CAN BE DEMONSTRATED. NON AGRICULTURAL LAND OR LAND OF A LOWER QUALITY SHOULD BE USED WHEN DEVELOPMENT IS PROPOSED, UNLESS SUCH LAND HAS A STATUTORY LANDSCAPE, NATURE CONSERVATION, HISTORIC OR ARCHAEOLOGICAL DESIGNATION WHICH OUTWEIGHS AGRICULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS. 

3.4.7.

A thriving agricultural industry requires that its most productive land is protected from irreversible development. Government Policy is to protect the best and most versatile land i.e. Grades 1, 2 and 3a, as a "national resource for the future". Where appropriate, non-agricultural land should be considered initially for development. The reclamation and development of derelict land has the advantage of removing possible eyesores and bringing such land back into beneficial use. Where
development is proposed on land of Grade 1, 2 and 3a and where there is a choice between sites of different classification, development should generally be directed towards land of the lowest classification. 

3.4.8.

Notwithstanding the above, there may be occasions when land of low agricultural quality may be of importance for other reasons, for example, high landscape value or as an important wildlife habitat. Developments, such as those permitted by Policy ENV 1, may conflict with other plan policies intended to protect the natural environment. As a consequence proposals which require the development of agricultural land will need to be assessed fully in the light of all appropriate plan policies and other material considerations.

POLICY ENV 3 - GREEN WEDGES

GREEN WEDGES HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED IN ORDER TO PREVENT URBAN COALESCENCE BETWEEN AND WITHIN SETTLEMENTS AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:

  1. DINAS POWYS AND PENARTH AND TO THE SOUTH AND WEST OF LLANDOUGH;
  2. NORTH WEST OF SULLY;
  3. NORTH AND EAST OF WENVOE;
  4. SOUTH OF BRIDGEND; AND
  5. BARRY, RHOOSE AND ST ATHAN.
WITHIN THESE AREAS DEVELOPMENT WHICH PREJUDICES THE OPEN NATURE OF THE LAND WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
3.4.9.

Land on the urban fringe, which for the purposes of this policy is defined as the area of countryside immediately adjoining urban areas, is vulnerable to speculative development. The spread of development into the countryside, which can result in urban sprawl, incremental loss of open land and lead ultimately to the coalescence of settlements, can have a detrimental effect upon agriculture, the landscape and amenity value of the land and can unacceptably erode community identity. Although there are other policies within the Plan aimed at restricting development in the countryside, it is considered necessary to afford additional protection to areas of important and vulnerable open land by restricting development on the urban fringe and between settlements. 

3.4.10.

Policy ENV 3 seeks to ensure that areas of important and vulnerable open land, located between Dinas Powys and Penarth, to the south and west of Llandough, to the north and east of Wenvoe, to the north west of Sully, south of Bridgend and between Barry, Rhoose and St Athan, are protected from all forms of development except those specified in Policy ENV 1. The limited nature of the operations permissible under Policy ENV 1 will ensure that whilst some essential development may take place in the countryside, the predominantly open and undeveloped character of the Green Wedge remains unchanged. The Green Wedge identified to the east of Wenvoe will abut the line of the proposed Airport Access Road, which at the time of writing is to be confirmed and may only be shown as an indicative line.

Aerial view of land between Dinas Powys and Penarth 

3.4.11.

A policy for managing urban form has been consistently supported by the Secretary of State for Wales in approving South Glamorgan Structure Plans in 1980 and 1989 and by the Inspector's Report on the East Vale Local Plan Inquiry in 1986. More recently the Report of the Panel of the Examination in Public of the South Glamorgan Replacement Structure Plan in 1996 proposed that:

“Local plans and related planning policies should seek to prevent the coalescence of Cardiff, Penarth, Dinas Powys and Barry… preserve the setting of the main urban areas... and conserve those areas of countryside forming a vital amenity and recreational resource for people in the urban areas.”

3.4.12.

Whilst the Plan presently seeks to protect vulnerable land by implementing a policy of designating areas of land as green wedges, this does not preclude the designation of a Green Belt within the Vale of Glamorgan during the Plan period. Important factors of a Green Belt are its strict control of development and its permanence. Thus, because of its wide ranging impact, the development of a Green Belt policy must be formulated in association with other Local Planning Authorities in South East Wales. Prior to the designation of any Green Belt, it will be necessary for a sub-regional study to be conducted, to identify development needs and ways of managing change over the next 30 years. Work on this has already begun to provide the context for a debate about urban form and the merits of a Green Belt designation. It is not anticipated that a Green Belt designation will form any part of this Plan. Proposals for designation may, however, be considered as part of the 1st Review of the Plan, subject to sub regional agreement. Any designation of a Green Belt in the South East Wales region will be made in accordance with guidance contained in Planning Policy Wales 2002.

POLICY ENV 4 - SPECIAL LANDSCAPE AREAS

NEW DEVELOPMENT WITHIN OR CLOSELY RELATED TO THE FOLLOWING SPECIAL LANDSCAPE AREAS WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED THAT IT WOULD NOT ADVERSELY EFFECT THE LANDSCAPE CHARACTER, LANDSCAPE FEATURES OR VISUAL AMENITIES OF THE SPECIAL LANDSCAPE AREA:

  1. ELY VALLEY AND RIDGE SLOPES
  2. LOWER THAW VALLEY
  3. UPPER THAW VALLEY
  4. NANT LLANCARFAN
  5. CWRT YR ALA BASIN
  6. DUFFRYN BASIN AND RIDGE SLOPES
  7. CASTLE UPON ALUN
3.4.13.

The design of development approved within the countryside can have a great effect upon the quality of the rural landscape. Development in the above areas will be strictly controlled in order to protect their special landscape character. Following the development of the LANDMAP methodology for landscape assessment by the Welsh Landscape Partnership Group and the Countryside Council for Wales, the Vale of Glamorgan Council has undertaken a comprehensive landscape study entitled “Landscapes Working for the Vale of Glamorgan”. This study forms the basis for the designation of the seven Special Landscape Areas. Full details of how these areas have been defined can be found in the Topic Paper on Special Landscape Areas. Any development proposed within or on land closely related to defined Special Landscape Area will need to have regard to the characteristics and features of the surrounding landscape. Applicants will need to demonstrate that their proposal has been designed to minimise the impact of the development upon the landscape. The Council will consider issues such as use of landform, orientation of buildings, use and enhancement of existing hard and soft landscape features such as trees, hedgerows, woodlands or walls, and use of materials when assessing the impact of a development. A separate SPG providing guidance on design both inside and outside of Special Landscape Areas will also be issued by the Council. 

3.4.14.

The Coast

The Vale of Glamorgan is an area heavily influenced by the sea and coastal activities. The coastal zone of the Vale of Glamorgan is for the purposes of this Plan defined as land adjacent to the coast between the Ogmore and Ely rivers comprising the Heritage Coast and the East Vale Coast. The zone includes areas of both undeveloped areas of coastline such as the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Porthkerry and Lavernock and developed areas such as Barry and Penarth.

POLICY ENV 5 - THE GLAMORGAN HERITAGE COAST

THE SPECIAL ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITIES OF THE GLAMORGAN HERITAGE COAST WILL BE CONSERVED AND ENHANCED. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF LIMITED INFORMAL RECREATION FACILITIES AT CWM COLHUW, OGMORE-BY-SEA AND DUNRAVEN, THE REMAINDER OF THE AREA WILL BE TREATED AS A REMOTE ZONE WITH PRIORITY BEING GIVEN TO AGRICULTURE, LANDSCAPE AND NATURE CONSERVATION. 

View Map

3.4.15.

The designation of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast recognises its national importance as an area of attractive undeveloped coastline. The objective of the designation is to ensure that the undeveloped character of the coastline is conserved and to enable the provision of appropriate recreational facilities. 

3.4.16.

Strong pressure for new development, especially residential development, exists throughout the rural areas of the Vale of Glamorgan. However, the undeveloped, unspoilt nature of the coastline is fundamental to the character of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. If the sense of isolation and natural scenery is to be retained it is considered important to strictly control new development. Similarly, development outside but close to, or prominent from within the Heritage Coast boundary can have an impact on the landscape quality of the coast and should therefore be carefully considered. 

3.4.17.

Farming is the major activity on the good agricultural land within the Heritage Coast. It is therefore important to recognise and support the maintenance of a viable agricultural industry including appropriate farm based diversification proposals. Consequently, agricultural land within the Glamorgan Heritage Coast will be protected from any influences that inhibit good farm management. 

3.4.18.

The above policy does not specifically preclude informal recreational development in appropriate locations within the Heritage Coast. If there is irreconcilable conflict between recreation and conservation objectives, conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty should take precedence. 

3.4.19.

The Management Plan for the Glamorgan Heritage Coast project identified much of the coastal area as a “Remote Zone” where conservation and environmental protection is paramount. Considerable effort has been expended on its protection and enhancement, and public access is catered for at popular visitor locations and via the network of coastal footpaths. Cwm Colhuw, Dunraven and Ogmore-by-Sea attract many visitors each year and these areas will continue to act as a local focus
for informal recreation activity, thereby relieving pressure on the other, more sensitive areas of the Heritage Coast.

POLICY ENV 6 - EAST VALE COAST

OUTSIDE THE GLAMORGAN HERITAGE COAST DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE UNDEVELOPED COASTAL ZONE WILL BE PERMITTED IF:

  1. A COASTAL LOCATION IS NECESSARY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND
  2. THE PROPOSAL WOULD NOT CAUSE UNACCEPTABLE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS BY WAY OF:
    • VISUAL OR NOISE INTRUSION;
    • IMPACT ON AREAS OF LANDSCAPE IMPORTANCE;
    • AIR, LAND OR WATER POLLUTION;
    • EXACERBATION OF FLOODING OR EROSION RISK;
    • HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS; OR
    • IMPACT ON ECOLOGY OR FEATURES OF GEOLOGICAL OR EOMORPHOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE.
IN AREAS OF EXISTING OR ALLOCATED DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE COASTAL ZONE, ANY NEW PROPOSAL SHOULD BE DESIGNED WITH RESPECT TO ITS LOCAL CONTEXT AND SENSITIVE TO ITS COASTAL SETTING.
3.4.20.

Planning Policy Wales 2002 states that

“UDPs should normally only propose coastal locations for development which needs to be on the coast. In particular, the undeveloped coast will rarely be the most appropriate location for development. The developed coast, by contrast, may provide opportunities for restructuring and regenerating existing urban areas. Where new development requires a coastal location, the developed coast will normally provide the best option, provided that due regard is paid to the risks of erosion, flooding or land instability” (paragraph 5.7.2 refers). Here, proposals for new development should be of a type and character compatible with its location and sensitive to its coastal setting, particularly where its visual or environmental impact would be significant.

3.4.21.

A comprehensive study was carried out to define the Coastal Zone for the eastern Vale from Aberthaw to the Taff Barrage combining character and “feel” of the area with topographical, ecological and visual information. An initial area within approximately 1km from High Water Mark was studied, with landform, land use, development and nature conservation features of the area identified with the aim of determining a Coastal Zone boundary. Where reasonable this has been chosen to follow definable boundaries that are apparent on the ground. For the purposes of this Policy, the Undeveloped Coastal Zone is defined as areas within the Coastal Zone boundary lying outside the settlement boundaries of the main towns and villages, identified in Policy HOUS 2, which have not been developed for employment use or allocated in the Plan for development purposes. Employment Use is defined as those uses which fall within classes B1 Business, B2 General Industrial and B8 Storage and Distribution of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended). 

3.4.22.

Entrance to Barry Docks Much of the eastern part of the Vale of Glamorgan coastline is developed. The settlements of  Barry, Penarth and Sully and the electricity generating installation at Aberthaw feature prominently along the coastline. The Council recognises that the operational requirements of some developments clearly necessitates a coastal location. Though outside the defined settlement boundary for Barry, the port estate is clearly a developed area and its continued use and development as a commercial/industrial estate and for the expansion of operational port facilities by Associated British Ports, is endorsed. The continued use of the Aberthaw Power Station site for electricity generation is recognised, particularly in view of the existing connection to the National Grid system and access to water for cooling purposes. The presence of these developments along the East Vale Coast give increased importance to those areas of undeveloped coastline. The Council will, through Policy ENV 6, safeguard the East Vale Coast from inappropriate development. 

3.4.23.

The Plan will seek to ensure that development which requires a coastal location is located in areas that are presently developed, in order to ensure that the natural character and landscape of the undeveloped coastline is protected. Within the undeveloped coastline, development proposal for which a coastal location is not necessary will be strongly resisted. In particular, the Severn Estuary Special Area of Conservation (which includes the coast between Penarth and Lavernock Point) will be protected in accordance with Policy ENV 13.

Coast between Penarth and Lavernock 

POLICY ENV 7 - WATER RESOURCES

RIVER, OTHER INLAND WATERS AND UNDERGROUND WATER RESOURCES WILL BE SAFEGUARDED. DEVELOPMENTS WHICH IMPROVE THE WATER ENVIRONMENT OR HELP TO PREVENT FLOODING WILL BE FAVOURED. DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE IT WOULD NOT:

  1.  HAVE AN UNACCEPTABLE EFFECT ON THE QUALITY OR QUANTITY OF WATER RESOURCES OR ON FISHERIES, NATURE OR HERITAGE CONSERVATION, RECREATION OR OTHER AMENITY INTERESTS RELATED TO SUCH WATERS;

OR

  1. BE POTENTIALLY AT RISK FROM FLOODING, OR INCREASE THE RISK OF FLOODING LOCALLY OR ELSEWHERE TO AN UNACCEPTABLE LEVEL.
3.4.24.

Through its development control function the Council will maintain a close working relationship with the Environment Agency, in order to ensure that new developments do not adversely effect the water environment or water supply. 

3.4.25.

The water environment is important in providing water for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes; serving as a channel for the dispersal of water; as an important wildlife habitat; and as a major source of recreation. 

3.4.26.

New developments can have a significant effect upon the quality of underground, surface and coastal water, for example in the discharge of heat, effluent and run off from buildings and hard surfaces. They can also affect the volume of water, either by abstraction or discharge, for example quarrying operations, which in turn can effect nature conservation, the concentration of chemicals and organic pollution and cause the capacity of the water course to be exceeded and result in flooding. Thus areas liable to flooding should not be developed unless acceptable protection measures can be implemented. Similarly development which would exacerbate flood risk elsewhere should not be permitted.

Development In The Countryside

POLICY ENV 8 - SMALL SCALE RURAL CONVERSIONS

PROPOSALS WHICH INVOLVE SMALL SCALE CONVERSIONS OF RURAL BUILDINGS TO NEW USES WILL BE PERMITTED IF ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA ARE MET:

  1. WHERE THE BUILDING IS OF ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC ALUE, THE PROPOSED CONVERSION RETAINS THOSE ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC FEATURES PRESENT IN THE BUILDING; 
  2. IN THE CASE OF A CONVERSION TO BUSINESS USE THE BUILDING IN TERMS OF FORM, BULK AND GENERAL DESIGN IS IN KEEPING WITH ITS SURROUNDINGS;
  3. THE BUILDING IS STRUCTURALLY SOUND AND THE CONVERSION CAN BE ACHIEVED WITHOUT SUBSTANTIAL RECONSTRUCTION OF THE EXTERNAL WALLS, OR EXTENSION TO THE BUILDING. HOWEVER, EACH PROPOSAL WILL BE ASSESSED AS A MATTER OF FACT AND DEGREE, DEPENDING ON THE PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE;
  4. CONVERSION WORK CAN BE UNDERTAKEN WITHOUT UNACCEPTABLY ALTERING THE APPEARANCE AND RURAL CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING;
  5. WHERE RESIDENTIAL USE IS CONSIDERED ACCEPTABLE, AMENITY SPACE CAN BE PROVIDED WITHIN THE CURTILAGE OF THE SITE WITHOUT UNDUE INCURSION INTO THE RURAL LANDSCAPE;
  6. VEHICULAR ACCESS IS AVAILABLE OR CAN BE PROVIDED FROM THE PUBLIC HIGHWAY WITHOUT ANY UNACCEPTABLE EFFECT UPON THE APPEARANCE OF THE COUNTRYSIDE;
  7. SATISFACTORY PARKING PROVISION CAN BE MADE WITHIN THE CURTILAGE OF THE SITE;
  8. IN THE CASE OF CONVERSION FOR SMALL SCALE COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL, RECREATIONAL OR TOURISM USE THE PROPOSAL SHOULD NOT CREATE UNACCEPTABLE TRAFFIC OR OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS;
  9. IN THE CASE OF CONVERSIONS FOR SMALL SCALE COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL USES, ANY RETAIL SALE OF PRODUCTS SHOULD BE ANCILLARY TO THE MAIN USE;
  10. THE PROPOSAL IS NOT INCOMPATIBLE WITH ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT ON ADJOINING LAND. APPLICANTS MAY BE REQUESTED TO ENTER INTO A LEGAL AGREEMENT TO CONTROL THE ACTIVITIES OF OTHER LAND IN THEIR OWNERSHIP;
  11. UTILITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES CAN BE PROVIDED WITHOUT UNACCEPTABLE VISUAL INTRUSION AND WITHOUT DETRIMENT TO THE ENVIRONMENT;
  12. THE PROPOSED NEW USE WOULD PRESERVE OR ENHANCE THE SETTING OR CHARACTER OF ANY CONSERVATION AREA;
  13. THE PROPOSAL WOULD PRESERVE OR ENHANCE THE ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC QUALITY OF A LISTED BUILDING OR ITS SETTING.
3.4.27.

Much of the Vale of Glamorgan's appeal comes from its attractive countryside and traditional buildings. Many of the rural buildings are of considerable interest because of the craftsmanship and pride invested in their construction and are also of historic interest as reminders of our agricultural heritage. 

3.4.28.

It is preferable that rural buildings be retained for their original use or are put to a new agricultural use. Where buildings become redundant from agricultural practice they can quickly deteriorate and fall into ruin without regular use or maintenance. The absence of traditional agricultural and rural buildings can impoverish the rural scene and where appropriate new uses should be found for these buildings to ensure their future and retain and contribute to the rural character of the Vale. 

3.4.29.

New housing in the countryside is subject to strict control both nationally and locally. Policy HOUS 3 only allows residential development in the countryside in the interests of agriculture or forestry. Government Guidance suggests that it may be appropriate to apply similar principles to the conversion of existing rural buildings to dwellings as for new housing. 

3.4.30.

There are a number of hamlets and isolated pockets of dwellings in the Vale where new dwellings would not be allowed. However, it is accepted that the conversion of existing rural buildings in these hamlets may be acceptable. Isolated conversions in particular are unsustainable. They can place an unacceptable burden on local services, are often at a distance from local public transport services thereby increasing the need to travel by car to work, school or for shopping and they can cause an unacceptable visual intrusion into the rural landscape. Residential conversions can also have a detrimental effect on the fabric and character of historic farm buildings. 

3.4.31.

Whilst new uses can frequently be the key to the preservation of historic buildings, it is important to ensure that the new development is sympathetic to the rural character. For example the creation of a residential curtilage around a newly converted building can have a harmful effect on the character of the countryside, especially in areas of high quality landscape.

3.4.32.

It will generally be more acceptable to convert rural buildings to uses such as appropriate commercial, industrial and recreational enterprises, which will have a beneficial effect upon the rural economy. However such uses must be sympathetic with the rural location of buildings and must not create unacceptable traffic or other environmental problems. Planning applications submitted without the details required in policy ENV 8 are unlikely to be acceptable and may be refused on the grounds that insufficient information has been submitted to properly assess the proposal. 

3.4.33.

Policy ENV 8 is more fully explained in Supplementary Planning Guidance published by the Council “The Conversion of Rural Buildings”

POLICY ENV 9 - DEVELOPMENT INVOLVING HORSES

HORSE RELATED DEVELOPMENTS, INCLUDING STABLES, FIELD SHELTERS, RIDING SCHOOLS, STUD FARMS AND LIVERY STABLES WILL BE PERMITTED IF THEY WOULD NOT:

  1. RESULT IN THE LOSS OF THE BEST AND MOST VERSATILE AGRICULTURAL LAND (GRADES 1, 2 AND 3A) OR PREJUDICE VIABLE AGRICULTURAL UNITS;
  2. UNACCEPTABLY AFFECT THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THE LOCALITY;
  3. CAUSE POTENTIAL DANGER OR NUISANCE TO NEIGHBOURS, PEDESTRIANS, VEHICLES OR HORSE RIDERS; OR
  4. RESULT IN THE OVERUSE OF LOCAL BRIDLEWAYS OR OPEN SPACE.
3.4.34.

The use of land for horse grazing and horse related development has become increasingly popular in recent years and such developments have become common features around the edge of urban areas as well as in the countryside. Such demands are likely to continue. Some uses do not require planning permission such as simple grazing, keeping horses as “pets” within the curtilage of a dwelling house, or for buildings housing horses kept solely for agriculture purposes. Normally horse related development for leisure or commercial purposes will require planning permission. Though related activities can help provide new opportunities for employment and land use, the number of people keeping horses can increase the pressure on existing bridleways and open spaces, often to the disadvantage of pedestrians. Regard will be had to advice contained in the Countryside Commission document “Horses in the Countryside”. The Council will seek to ensure that horse related facilities should look appropriate for the purpose and not take on the appearance of a surrogate dwelling house. Standards of design, construction and maintenance of buildings and land appropriate to the character of rural areas will be required. This will ensure that equestrian activities do not have an adverse effect on the countryside, as well as ensuring that horses are well cared for.

POLICY ENV 10 - CONSERVATION OF THE COUNTRYSIDE

MEASURES TO MAINTAIN AND IMPROVE THE COUNTRYSIDE, ITS FEATURES AND RESOURCES WILL BE FAVOURED, PARTICULARLY IN THE GLAMORGAN HERITAGE COAST, AREAS OF HIGH QUALITY LANDSCAPE, AND AREAS SUBJECT TO DEVELOPMENT PRESSURE AND/OR CONFLICT SUCH AS THE URBAN FRINGE. 

3.4.35.

Planning Policy Wales 2002 paragraph 5.5.1 states that

“The natural heritage of Wales includes its geology, land forms and biodiversity and its natural beauty and amenity. It embraces the relationship between landform and landscape, habitat and wildlife, and their capacity to sustain economic activity and to provide enjoyment and inspiration. The natural heritage is not confined to statutorily designated sites but extends across all of Wales - to urban areas, the countryside and coast. Attractive and ecologically rich environments are important, both for their own sake and for the health and the social and economic well being of individuals and communities. Biodiversity and landscape are important in the economic life of many communities and the quality of the environment is often a factor in business location decisions.” The Vale of Glamorgan is an area of particularly rich and diverse countryside, much of which is afforded protection by this Plan and statutory designations. 

3.4.36.

Proposals for development in the countryside will be assessed in accordance with the requirements of Policy ENV 1 of the Plan. It is the purpose of Policy ENV 10 to enable the countryside of the Vale of Glamorgan to be conserved and managed in both formal and informal ways to minimise the potentially harmful effects of developments and to reconcile conflicts between users - especially around the urban fringe areas. The landscape assessment “Landscapes Working for the Vale of Glamorgan”, undertaken by the Council in partnership with the WDA and CCW will help to progress this intention. The Study contains a wealth of data and information relating to the rural landscape of the Vale, and provides management and design guidance, and has also been used as the basis for Supplementary Planning Guidance for the UDP. 

3.4.37.

Mineral extraction, modern agricultural practices, afforestation, recreation and tourist activity can result in degradation of the environment unless partnered by sensitive land management practices. In order to minimise the degrading effects of development, where appropriate the Council will impose planning conditions on developments or seek to enter into management agreements with developers. 

3.4.38.

In order to improve nature conservation in the Vale, measures to increase the number and variety of habitats and improve existing ones, thereby fostering species survival and diversity, will be favoured. This will include, where possible the creation of new or improved habitats for wildlife in both new and existing developments and the use of management plans and agreements to ensure the maintenance and improvement of sites.

Landscape Features

POLICY ENV 11 - PROTECTION OF LANDSCAPE FEATURES

DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED IF IT DOES NOT UNACCEPTABLY AFFECT FEATURES OF IMPORTANCE TO LANDSCAPE OR NATURE CONSERVATION INCLUDING: TREES, WOODLAND, HEDGEROWS, RIVER CORRIDORS, PONDS, STONE WALLS AND SPECIES RICH GRASSLANDS. 

3.4.39.

The character of the Vale of Glamorgan is heavily reliant upon the retention of features within it. Most notably trees, woodlands, hedgerows, river corridors, ponds, stone walls, species rich grasslands, traditional orchards, parkland trees and wetlands all contribute to its unique character, as well as providing resources for recreation and wildlife habitats, corridors or networks. The fragile nature of these features means that once lost they are rarely replaced, and the loss of just one or two individual features can have a considerable effect on the appearance and wildlife value of a locality. In support of this policy the Environment Agency has adopted a policy of resisting the culverting of watercourses unless to facilitate access crossings only. Culverting of a watercourse will be subject to land drainage consent issued by the Agency. 

3.4.40.

Hedgerows have come under particular threat in recent years with changes in farming practices resulting in larger fields and the destruction of many miles of hedgerow. New regulations for the protection of hedgerows were introduced in June 1997. These regulations make it illegal to remove most countryside hedgerows without permission, and set out certain criteria for classifying hedgerows as “important.” They do not apply to domestic hedgerows, and are currently under review.

POLICY ENV 12 - WOODLAND MANAGEMENT

THE IMPROVEMENT, MANAGEMENT AND EXTENSION OF WOODLAND, TREE COVER AND HEDGEROWS, PARTICULARLY OF BROADLEAF NATIVE SPECIES, WILL BE FAVOURED, ESPECIALLY WHERE IT:

  1. MAKES A SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT TO THE LANDSCAPE SUCH AS ON DERELICT LAND, THE URBAN FRINGE, OR IN THE VICINITY OF MAJOR ROAD/RAIL CORRIDORS AND QUARRIES; OR
  2. IT HELPS TO DIVERSIFY AND EXTEND WILDLIFE HABITATS; OR
  3. IT ADDS TO RECREATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES.
3.4.41.

Clustered Bellflower The quality of many small woodlands within the Vale of Glamorgan is poor and positive management measures are required to ensure their continued presence in the landscape. The management and improvement of woodlands is encouraged and supported through the advisory service provided by Coed Cymru and the Forestry Authority's Woodland Grant Scheme and Woodland Improvement Grants. 

3.4.42.

Particular importance will be attached to the management of ancient, semi-natural woodland. Natural regeneration and new planting to increase tree cover and wildlife habitats will be favoured, and preference will be given to the planting of native broad-leafed species.

Nature Conservation

POLICY ENV 13 - INTERNATIONAL AREAS OF NATURE CONSERVATION IMPORTANCE

INTERNATIONAL SITES WHICH ARE DESIGNATED OR POTENTIAL RAMSAR SITES, SPECIAL PROTECTION AREAS OR SPECIAL AREAS OF CONSERVATION WILL BE PROTECTED. DEVELOPMENT OR LAND USE CHANGES LIKELY TO HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON SUCH SITES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE AND THERE ARE IMPERATIVE REASONS OF OVERIDDING PUBLIC INTEREST. WHERE SUCH SITES HOST A PRIORITY HABITAT OR SPECIES (AS LISTED IN THE E.C. HABITATS DIRECTIVE) DEVELOPMENTS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS REQUIRED FOR REASONS OF HUMAN HEALTH OR SAFETY. IF IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES DEVELOPMENT IS PERMITTED, APPROPRIATE CONDITIONS OR AGREED PLANNING OBLIGATIONS WILL BE USED TO SEQURE ADEQUATE COMPENSATION OR MITIGATION MEASURES. 

POLICY ENV 14 - NATIONAL SITES OF NATURE CONSERVATION IMPORTANCE

DEVELOPMENT LIKELY TO HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT, EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY ON THE CONSERVATION VALUE OF A NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE OR A SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE AND IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED THAT THE BENEFITS ARISING FROM THE DEVELOPMENT CLEARLY OUTWEIGH THE SPECIAL INTEREST OF THE SITE. IF DEVELOPMENT IS PERMITTED, APPROPRIATE CONDITIONS OR AGREED PLANNING OBLIGATIONS WILL BE USED TO SECURE ADEQUATE COMPENSATION OR MITIGATION MEASURES. 

POLICY ENV 15 - LOCAL SITES OF NATURE CONSERVATION SIGNIFICANCE

DEVELOPMENT AND LAND USE CHANGE LIKELY TO HAVE AN UNACCEPTABLE EFFECT ON A LOCAL NATURE RESERVE, A REGIONALLY IMPORTANT GEOLOGICAL / GEOMORPHOLOGICAL SITE, OR A SITE SHOWN TO BE OF IMPORTANCE FOR NATURE CONSERVATION WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THE REASONS FOR THE PROPOSAL CLEARLY OUTWEIGH THE LOCAL IMPORTANCE OF THE SITE. IF DEVELOPMENT IS PERMITTED, APPROPRIATE CONDITIONS OR AGREED PLANNING OBLIGATIONS WILL BE USED TO ENSURE THE IMPACT ON NATURE CONSERVATION IS MINIMISED. 

POLICY ENV 16 - PROTECTED SPECIES

PERMISSION WILL ONLY BE GIVEN FOR DEVELOPMENT THAT WOULD CAUSE HARM TO OR THREATEN THE CONTINUED VIABILITY OF A PROTECTED SPECIES IF IT CAN BE CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED THAT:

  1. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES THAT JUSTIFY THE PROPOSALS; 
  2. THERE IS NO SATISFACTORY ALTERNATIVE; AND
  3. EFFECTIVE MITIGATION MEASURES ARE PROVIDED BY THE DEVELOPER.
3.4.43.

The Vale of Glamorgan is characterised by a rich mixture of undulating farmland, river valleys, unspoilt coastline and woodlands. A testimony to this diversity of the natural environment is the number of protective designations. 

3.4.44.

Glamorgan Heritage Coast at Southerndown Policies ENV 13 and ENV 14 seek to protect statutorily designated sites of national or international importance. They include part of the Ramsar site, Special Protection Area (SPA), possible Special Area of Conservation (pSAC) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) of the Severn Estuary Dunraven Bay candidate Special Area of Conservation and twentytwo other SSSIs within the Vale of Glamorgan. Together these total some 900 ha and include woodland, grassland, heathland, riverbanks and coastal sites, the majority of which are in coastal locations. Geological and geomorphological sites are included within the term nature conservation, and there are several sites of importance within the Vale of Glamorgan, most notably along the coast where land forms are revealed. The Severn Estuary is particularly significant as a wetland of international importance. A list of the twenty two SSSIs within the Vale of Glamorgan is attached as Appendix 2. 

3.4.45.

All proposals affecting international or nationally important sites will be subject to rigorous examination both individually and in combination with other proposals or projects. Proposals, which have beneficial effects for nature conservation, will be favoured. If in exceptional circumstances development is permitted, appropriate conditions or agreed planning obligations will be used to secure appropriate compensation or mitigation measures. 

3.4.46.

The local authority is required to consult the Countryside Council for Wales regarding any development affecting SSSIs. CCW is responsible for designating SSSIs and for specifying “notifiable operations” within them. Wider consultation areas around SSSIs can also be defined by CCW but there are none currently operative in the Vale of Glamorgan. 

3.4.47.

If in exceptional circumstances development is permitted, the local authority will ensure, through appropriate conditions or agreed planning obligations, that the integrity of the site is safeguarded. 

3.4.48.

ENV 15 protects sites of more local significance. There are two Local Nature Reserves in the Vale of  Glamorgan, and seven nature reserves that are managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. A list of all designated sites is given in Appendix 2. In addition to these defined sites, Policy ENV 15 also seeks to protect other sites of interest to nature conservation that may come to light. 

3.4.49.

The presence of a species protected by legislation, such as the Conservation (Natural  Habitats, & c.) Regulations 1994, Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 or The Protection of Badgers Act 1992, is a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. When evaluating any development proposal which, if carried out, would be likely to result in harm to a protected species or its habitat, the Council will be guided by advice received from the Countryside Council for Wales. Applicants will also be advised of the need to conform with any statutory species protection affecting the site concerned. 

3.4.50.

A Landscape Study for the Vale of Glamorgan carried out in partnership with the WDA and the CCW, includes the investigation of ecological features throughout the Vale, and may suggest that other sites should be recognised. This is a first stage towards the preparation of a local Biodiversity Action Plan for the Vale and will complement the preparatory work being undertaken for the Glamorgan area with partnership organisations. Supplementary Planning Guidance has been prepared following this Landscape Study in order to provide detail and support for relevant policies in the UDP and to inform the evolving Countryside Strategy. 

3.4.51.

Where development or change is proposed which will affect a site of local significance, this will normally be resisted. Should development be permitted in these areas, developers will be required to ensure that adequate mitigation or compensation measures are undertaken. 

3.4.52.

Built Environment

TOWNSCAPES

The Vale of Glamorgan possesses varied and important townscapes, which provide the basis on which conservation policy is formulated and around which a programme of environmental enhancements can be implemented.

3.4.53.

Barry

Barry is a maritime industrial town, which saw its major growth around the turn of the century when the Docks were built. Its old core still focuses on the Dock area and town centre commercial core. 20th Century development has largely taken place on the periphery of the town.

3.4.54.

The older areas of Barry are characterised by a range of attractive residential terraces, distinctly Victorian and Edwardian in character and incorporating significant changes in building levels due to the hillside setting of much of the town. Many of these terraces provide dramatic views of the Dockland area, Barry Island and the Bristol Channel. Unfortunately, infill development in the older areas of the town has not always complemented the scale and style of the original built up areas. 

3.4.55.

The public and commercial elements of the built environment in Barry do not make as large a contribution to the townscape as is normally the case in British towns. Barry's most impressive Victorian building, the Docks Board Office is isolated from the rest of the town by the railway line, which separates the town from the Dock. 

3.4.56.

Holton Road, King Square and High Street still retain a significant number of their original Victorian/Edwardian facades, and the imposing Town Hall façade is intended to be retained in a major commercial redevelopment scheme. 

Holton Road, Barry Town Hall, Barry

3.4.57.

Penarth

Penarth differs from Barry in that the development of the Dock and the associated terraced housing was not the dominant factor in the creation of the present day townscape. More important was the suburbanisation of Penarth by the 19th Century middle classes who valued the attractive coastal setting of the town and recognised the commercial advantages of its proximity to Cardiff. The northern section of Penarth is not unlike the traditional core of Barry in that it is characterised by Victorian terraces situated between the Dock and the commercial centre. Many of the properties front directly on the street giving the area an essentially urban character. 

3.4.58.

The areas south and west of the town centre feature wide tree lined roads of large detached or semi detached housing representative of Penarth's Victorian prosperity. During this period, Penarth also enjoyed a degree of popularity as a holiday resort, evidence of which remains in the form of the Pier, Esplanade, Alexandra Park, Cliff Walk and the Italian Gardens.

The Esplanade, PenarthAlexandra Park, PenarthItalian Gardens, Penarth
 

3.4.59.

20th Century development has seen the reinforcement of Penarth's suburban townscape through the substantial private and local authority housing development mainly in south and west Penarth. 

3.4.60.

Cowbridge

Cowbridge, unlike Barry and Penarth, was established as a substantial settlement prior to the industrial revolution. Indeed the origins of the settlement date back as early as the 1st Century, which makes Cowbridge one of the earliest settlements in the Vale of Glamorgan.

3.4.61.

During the 17th and 18th c enturies Cowbridge became the principal market town for the area. The prosperity during this period led to the construction of a number of fine buildings in the Eastgate/High Street/Westgate area. Many of these buildings still remain and make a significant contribution to the character of the historic commercial core of the town. 

3.4.62.

The historic core of Cowbridge is characterised by a traditional mix of residential, commercial and retail uses in the centre. Whilst the traditional pattern of mixed land uses have undergone considerable change during this Century, with many services now occupying ground floor units and the under occupation of upper floors, the essential historic character of Cowbridge still remains. 

3.4.63.

The development of Cowbridge directly relates to the burgage plot pattern of the medieval settlement. The settlement is therefore linear in character dominated by the High Street with the focal point being the Town Hall. The medieval Town Walls are still evident in places and encircle the core of the town. The walls enfold the important group of buildings facing Church Street: the Church, Cowbridge Old Grammar School and the South Gate; an ancient monument. This differentiates Cowbridge from Llantwit Major as the scale and form of High Street gives a distinctly urban character to Cowbridge despite it being only a third of the population of Llantwit Major. The Cowbridge Walled Town Study commissioned by the Council in 1995 identifies the town centre's special qualities and sets out proposals for their enhancement. The findings of the study will inform the preparation of the Cowbridge and Llanblethian Conservation Area Appraisal. 

3.4.64.

As is often the case in small towns and villages the problem of traffic congestion is substantial although the majority of through traffic has been diverted with the construction of the bypass. 

3.4.65.

Llantwit Major

Evidence suggests that a settlement has existed in the Llantwit Major vicinity since the Iron Age and this ancient heritage has had a significant influence on the present day townscape.

3.4.66.

Llantwit Major is notable for its medieval street pattern, for its unspoilt countryside setting (particularly to the south and west) for the fields within the town along the Ogney Brook, and for the numerous buildings of architectural and historic interest. Unlike Cowbridge, the historic core of Llantwit Major has the feel of a rural village. 

3.4.67.

Villages

There are a number of villages in the Rural Vale of early medieval origins, many of which formed the basis of original agricultural communities. Although the character  of some of these villages has been effected by insensitive infilling they nevertheless form the largest components of the Vale of Glamorgan's Conservation Areas.

Church and Village Square at Llanmaes 

3.4.68.

Conservation

All Local Planning Authorities are obliged to determine areas worthy of preservation due to their special architectural or historic interest and which are then designated as Conservation Areas.

3.4.69.

The wealth of architectural heritage in the Vale of Glamorgan is demonstrated by the high number of Conservation Areas. In total, there are currently 38 designated areas within the Vale ranging from the largest, Penarth - which encompasses an extensive built up area - to St.Georges-Super-Ely containing only a handful of buildings

Map of the Vale showing all of the Conservation Areas

3.4.70.

The purpose of designating Conservation Areas is to afford protection to the combination of features which give an area its special character and attraction. These features may include urban and village patterns, individual and groups of buildings, attractive open spaces, historical artefacts, landscapes and trees. Section 69 of the Town and Country Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 states that every Local Authority shall from time to time determine which parts of their area are areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. Welsh Office Circular 61/96 sets out some broad criteria for the assessment of areas worthy of designation. These can justify and inform the review and assessment of existing Conservation Areas and justify the designation of new ones. The following criteria will be applied in the assessment of whether an area is of special interest:

  • The identification of distinctive and well-preserved buildings of historic and/or architectural merit. 
  • The identification of secondary buildings which contribute to the distinctive quality and identity of the townscape. These buildings may, by virtue of their materials, design or relationship with other buildings, form an important background to buildings of historic and/or architectural merit.
  • The identification of the distinctive urban / rural quality which embodies the special character of the area.
  • A combination of landscape setting and features; scale and relationship of buildings and the spaces around them; architectural detailing and materials; street furniture; use of enclosure; use of colour, rhythm and texture; legibility and hierarchy of public and private spaces.
  • The identification of landmark buildings and / or landscape features which contribute to townscape identity by providing focal points for views and vistas in and out of the area.
  • The identification of landscape features which form part an integral part of either the setting or interior of the area. These can include important trees, hedgerows, village greens, parkland, gardens or a network of private and public open spaces.
3.4.71.

There are a range of special controls, which afford Conservation Areas additional protection over and above normal planning control:

  • A building within a Conservation Area may not be demolished without first obtaining Conservation Area Consent. Churches in ecclesiastic use are exempt. 
  • Minor forms of development which are normally “permitted” without planning permission may be subject to a Local Authority direction requiring Conservation Area Consent to be obtained prior to works being undertaken.
  • Trees within Conservation Areas may not be felled, lopped, topped or uprooted without giving six weeks prior notice to the Local Planning Authority.
3.4.72.

A further four areas will be investigated to establish how far the criteria set out above merit their designation as Conservation Areas. These are:

  • St Andrews Major
  • St Donats
  • Penllyn
  • High Street, Barry

POLICY ENV 17 - PROTECTION OF BUILT AND HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT

THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITIES OF THE BUILT AND HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT WILL BE PROTECTED. DEVELOPMENT WHICH HAS A DETRIMENTAL EFFECT ON THE SPECIAL CHARACTER APPEARANCE OR SETTING OF:

  1. A BUILDING OR GROUP OF BUILDINGS, STRUCTURE OR SITE OF ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC INTEREST, INCLUDING LISTED BUILDINGS AND CONSERVATION AREAS;
  2. SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENTS AND SITES OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND / OR HISTORIC INTEREST;
  3. DESIGNED LANDSCAPES, PARKS OR GARDENS OF HISTORIC, CULTURAL OR AESTHETIC IMPORTANCE
WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
3.4.73.

Planning Policy Wales 2002 defines the historic environment as encompassing archaeology and ancient monuments, listed buildings, conservation areas and historic parks, gardens and landscapes all of which should be protected and enhanced. The Vale of Glamorgan has a wealth of significant architectural and townscape features, well demonstrated by the many designations previously described. CCW and Cadw, in partnership with the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), have produced the Register of Landscapes, Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales. Two areas within the Vale of Glamorgan have been identified as Landscapes of Outstanding Historic Interest, whilst 18 sites are included within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens in Wales. No statutory controls have followed from the inclusion of sites within the Register, but guidance is contained within the Welsh Office Circulars 61/96 - Planning and the Historic Environment: Historic Buildings and Conservation Areas and 1/98 - Planning and the Historic Environment: Directions by the Secretary of State for Wales. 

3.4.74.

Policy ENV 17 seeks to ensure that this unique built and historic environment of the Vale of Glamorgan is protected and enhanced. Development which is unsympathetic or out of character with the locality or features of acknowledged importance will not be permitted. Facilities to enhance and increase the public enjoyment of these historic environments will be encouraged provided that the facilities do not conflict with their conservation. 

3.4.75.

Archaeological Sites

 The ancient history of human settlements in the Vale of Glamorgan gives the area considerable archaeological interest. The increasing number of Bronze Age, Romano-British and Medieval finds add to the knowledge of these periods and the historical significance of the area. It is important that the potential insight into local history, which the study of areas of archaeological interest can provide, is not unnecessarily lost by modern interference.

3.4.76.

Planning Policy Wales 2002 requires that Plans contain policies for the protection, enhancementand preservation of sites of archaeological interest and of their setting. It is envisaged that these policies will perform an important function in establishing a framework within which development proposals which affect archaeological remains can be assessed thus aiding developers in the preparation of planning applications and Local Authorities in the decision making process.

POLICY ENV 18 - ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD EVALUATION

WHERE DEVELOPMENT IS LIKELY TO AFFECT A KNOWN OR SUSPECTED SITE OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE, AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVALUATION SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY AND MAY BE REQUIRED BEFORE THE PROPOSAL IS DETERMINED. DETAILED PLANS WOULD NEED TO REFLECT THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE EVALUATION. 

POLICY ENV 19 - PRESERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS

WHERE DEVELOPMENT IS PERMITTED WHICH AFFECTS A SITE OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MITIGATION MEASURES WILL BE REQUIRED TO ENSURE PRESERVATION ON SITE OR ADEQUATE RECORDING PRIOR TO DISTURBANCE. 

Boverton Place near Lantwit Major 

3.4.77.

Tinkinswood Burial Chamber, St. Nicholas Significant archaeological features can have a considerable bearing on the feasibility of development proposals and should be thoroughly investigated prior to any formal planning application. The curatorial division of the Glamorgan - Gwent Archaeological Trust holds the Vale of Glamorgan Sites and Monuments Records. A list of all planning applications will be referred to the Trust for comment. Where archaeological remains are known or believed to be present, prospective developers may be required to arrange an archaeological desk survey and / or field evaluation to the satisfaction of the Council, prior to the determination of any application. A field evaluation consists of intrusive and / or non intrusive archaeological field work to supplement and improve the archaeological information regarding the site to a level of confidence at which planning recommendations can be made. Where a proposed development affects an important archaeological site, or its setting, the presumption will be in favour of the physical preservation of the remains, regardless of whether or not the site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Where development is permitted, remains should be preserved and sensitively incorporated into the development scheme. Where remains are to be lost a detailed programme of investigations and recording will be required to be undertaken prior to the commencement of construction.

POLICY ENV 20 - DEVELOPMENT IN CONSERVATION AREAS

PROPOSALS FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT OR ALTERATIONS TO BUILDINGS OR FEATURES  WITHIN CONSERVATION AREAS WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY PRESERVE OR ENHANCE THE CHARACTER OF THE CONSERVATION AREA. SUCH PROPOSALS WILL NEED TO REFLECT:

  1. THE SCALE, DESIGN, LAYOUT, CHARACTER, MATERIALS AND SETTING OF THOSEB UILDINGS WHICH ESTABLISH THE CHARACTER OF THE AREA;
  2. THE PATTERNS OF USE WHICH ESTABLISH THE CHARACTER OF THE AREA;
  3. IMPORTANT OPEN SPACE WITHIN AND ADJOINING CONSERVATION AREAS;
  4. IMPORTANT TREES AND HEDGEROWS; AND
  5. PONDS AND STREAMS.
3.4.78.

It is the intention of this policy to provide a framework to preserve and enhance the character of the existing Conservation Areas. A list of Conservation Areas in the Vale of Glamorgan is attached as Appendix 3. 

3.4.79.

Applications for planning permission within Conservation Areas should be supported by full detailed drawings and where appropriate fully detailed landscaping proposals. Architectural detail within Conservation Areas is very important. It can often mean the difference between a visually acceptable addition to the street scene and an inappropriate form of development, which significantly detracts from the character of the area. 

3.4.80.

The setting of new development within Conservation Areas is often as important as the detail of the building itself. Boundary walls, open space and natural vegetation all contribute to the special character of the area. Treatment of these features will be a material consideration in the determination of applications. 

3.4.81.

Open areas may be essential to the character and appearance of Conservation Areas and may be a principal reason for their designation. The landscape adjoining Conservation Areas and spaces between buildings form the context for Conservation Areas and complement the quality of the built environment. The loss of these areas may be severely detrimental to many of the Conservation Areas. The Council will undertake Conservation Area Appraisals to identify those aspects and features of importance to the character of a Conservation Area. These will be published as Supplementary Planning Guidance, including guidance relating to Barry Garden Suburb, Penarth, Cowbridge with Llanblethian, and Conservation Areas in the Rural Vale. 

3.4.82.

Early discussions with the Council will establish what details are required for any given application and also any policy objections to the proposal.

POLICY ENV 21 - DEMOLITION IN CONSERVATION AREAS

THE DEMOLITION OF BUILDINGS IN CONSERVATION AREAS WILL BE STRICTLY CONTROLLED, INCLUDING BOUNDARY WALLS, FENCES, RAILINGS AND GATES WHERE THEY MAKE AN IMPORTANT VISUAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE QUALITY OF THE STREET SCENE. IN PARTICULAR:

  1. LISTED BUILDING CONSENT FOR THE DEMOLITION OF A LISTED BUILDING OR BUILDING/STRUCTURE WITHIN ITS CURTILAGE WILL ONLY BE GIVEN IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES;
  2. THE DEMOLITION OF AN UNLISTED BUILDING OR STRUCTURE WITHIN A CONSERVATION AREA WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE FULL PLANNING PERMISSION HAS BEEN GRANTED FOR THE PROPOSED NEW USE OR DEVELOPMENT; AND
  3. PROPOSALS FOR THE DEMOLITION OF A BUILDING IN A CONSERVATION AREA SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED BY PROPOSALS FOR THE APPROPRIATE RE-USE OF LOCAL INDIGENOUS MATERIALS WHICH REFLECT THE CHARACTER OF THE CONSERVATION AREA.
3.4.83.

Government guidance suggests that the Secretary of State would not expect consent to be granted for the total or substantial demolition of any Listed Building without convincing evidence that real efforts have been made either to sustain existing uses, find viable new uses or that the redevelopment would produce substantial planning benefits for the community which would decisively outweigh the loss resulting from demolition. 

3.4.84.

Buildings are listed for their historic and architectural interest and demolition of such buildings will rarely be permitted. However, Policy ENV 21 does recognise in the reasoned justification that there may be rare occasions when it would be appropriate to grant Listed Building Consent for the demolition of buildings or structures within the curtilage of Listed Buildings. Where this is the case conditions should secure adequate time and access for the survey and recording of sites prior to the development commencing. 

3.4.85.

If demolition is carried out without redevelopment following immediately, a detrimental effect on the character of the conservation area by virtue of unsightly and derelict gap sites can often result. In order to prevent this occurring, the Council will only grant Conservation Area consent for demolition of an unlisted building where full planning permission has been granted for redevelopment of the site.

POLICY ENV 22 - ADVERTISEMENTS IN CONSERVATION AREAS

ADVERTISEMENTS WITHIN CONSERVATION AREAS SHOULD RESPECT THE FORM OF THE BUILDING ON WHICH THEY ARE DISPLAYED IN STYLE AND SCALE AND SHOULD NOT BE AN INCONGRUOUS ELEMENT IN THE STREETSCENE. TRADITIONAL MATERIALS AND SIMPLE TYPEFACES ARE FAVOURED. INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED FASCIA SIGNS AND BOX SIGNS WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY WOULD NOT UNACCEPTABLY AFFECT THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THE CONSERVATION AREA. 

3.4.86.

Fascia signs should utilise high quality materials and designs that relate to the historical and architectural context of the particular shop and Conservation Area. Traditional fascia styles and methods of construction will be favoured, with wood being the most appropriate material. Hand painted signs are associated with traditional shopfronts and are preferable in Conservation Areas, although individual letters in metal or matt plastic finish applied to fascias and walls may be a suitable alternative. 

3.4.87.

Internally illuminated fascia signs and box signs are alien to Conservation Areas and will generally have a detrimental affect on their character and appearance. The Council will publish detailed design guidance concerning the treatment of advertisements within Conservation Areas.

POLICY ENV 23 - SHOPFRONT DESIGN IN CONSERVATION AREAS

RETENTION OF THE ESTABLISHED CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF SHOP-FRONTS IN  CONSERVATION AREAS WILL BE FAVOURED. PROPOSALS FOR NEW SHOP-FRONTS, ALTERATIONS AND SECURITY SHUTTERS WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY REFLECT THE DESIGN, CHARACTER, SCALE AND PROPORTION OF BUILDINGS AND RELATE SYMPATHETICALLY TO THE CHARACTER OF NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES. 

Cowbridge High StreetShop facia keeping to the character of Cowbridge

3.4.88.

Well-designed shopfronts, sympathetic to the appearance of Conservation Areas will strengthen  and improve the character and quality of these shopping areas and make commercial sense. New shop-fronts and alterations should also complement the traditional character of the street scene in terms of scale, design and materials. Security shutters can radically alter the appearance of a shop-front and create dead, anonymous frontages after normal working hours. 

3.4.89.

The Council will publish detailed Supplementary Planning Guidance with regard to the treatment of shopfronts within Conservation Areas.

POLICY ENV 24 - CONSERVATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF OPEN SPACE

THE CONSERVATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF OPEN SPACES WHICH ARE IMPORTANT FOR AMENITY, RECREATION AND/OR NATURE CONSERVATION WITHIN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT WILL BE FAVOURED, TOGETHER WITH THE CREATION OF A NETWORK OF GREEN SPACES AND APPROPRIATE TREE PLANTING AND LANDSCAPING SCHEMES. 

3.4.90.

Areas of open space, which may be used for formal/informal recreation, nature conservation or landscaping purposes can make an important contribution to the amenity of urban areas. In conservation areas in particular, the existence and form of open spaces can play a significant part in shaping the quality and character of the townscape.

POLICY ENV 25 - REGENERATION OF URBAN AREAS

MEASURES TO IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY OF THE URBAN FABRIC WILL BE FAVOURED WITH PRIORITY BEING GIVEN TO OLDER URBAN AREAS AND HOUSING ESTATES. PARTICULAR ATTENTION WILL BE GIVEN TO THE REGENERATION OF DERELICT OR DEGRADED LAND ESPECIALLY WITHIN THE FORMER DOCKLAND OF BARRY AND PENARTH.

3.4.91.

The Plan will encourage measures which seek to improve the urban fabric of older urban areas and housing estates, in order to ensure that urban areas remain healthy, viable and pleasing environments in which to live and work. 

3.4.92.

The Plan encourages the regeneration of derelict and degraded land within the fabric of urban areas. The re-use of brownfield sites provides opportunities for the provision of residential developments and commercial and retail uses compatible with the location, whilst ensuring that the need for development of greenfield sites is reduced. Former uses of the site may constitute an important industrial archaeological resource and this should be considered early in any redevelopment proposals. See also paragraph 10.6.10 of the waste management chapter. 

3.4.93.

In redeveloping brown field sites, that is to say land previously used for urban or industrial development, developers should be aware of the effect the previous use of the land has had upon the site. Any proposals for regeneration that include the redevelopment of brown field sites must be accompanied by a detailed site investigation report. The investigation report must contain an assessment of the nature and extent of any contamination within a site, carry out an assessment of the potential risks in developing a contaminated site and outline the mitigation measures which may be taken to reduce such risks. 

3.4.94.

The old Dock Office and the regenerated Custom House in Penarth Dock Special attention has been paid to the regeneration of the former dockland at Penarth and Barry for residential, retail, leisure and business use. Schemes for the regeneration of both docklands have commenced and it is envisaged will be completed during the plan period.

POLICY ENV 26 - CONTAMINATED LAND AND UNSTABLE LAND

PROPOSALS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF CONTAMINATED LAND AND UNSTABLE LAND WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THE CONTAMINATION AND/OR INSTABILITY WILL BE REMOVED OR REDUCED TO A LEVEL WHERE THERE IS NO UNACCEPTABLE RISK TO THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THOSE LIVING OR WORKING ON THE SITE OR NEARBY, TO FLORA AND FAUNA ON THE SITE OR NEARBY, AND TO THE QUALITY OF AIR AND WATER ON THESE SITES OR NEARBY. 

3.4.95.

Planning Policy Wales 2002 states that the planning system should guide development to lessen the risk from natural or man-made hazards, including risk from land instability and land contamination (Section 2.7 refers). Rather than seeking to prevent development of such land, although in some cases this may be the eventual outcome, it seeks to ensure that development is suitable and that the physical constraints on the land are taken into account at all stages of the planning process. 

3.4.96.

The re-use and reclamation of derelict and waste land often requires developers / agencies to address the problems of contamination and instability. In formulating proposals for the redevelopment of contaminated and / or unstable land developers will need to demonstrate that a site is stable or that any actual or potential instability or contamination can reasonably be overcome. Where the mitigation measures proposed for a site include the removal of the worst contaminated material and containment of the rest by capping the site with suitable materials, it is important to ensure that the construction of foundations, services and other underground work does not uncover the contaminated materials left on site, or that the underground works themselves do not create pathways for polluted materials to follow. Consequently, applications for planning permission will need to be accompanied by detailed site investigation reports, which outline the nature and extent of the contamination/instability and indicate appropriate remedial measures. Planning permission may not be granted unless the Council is satisfied that instability and contamination may be over come safely and without undue impact upon the environment.

POLICY ENV 27 - DESIGN OF NEW DEVELOPMENTS

PROPOSALS FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT MUST HAVE FULL REGARD TO THE CONTEXT OF THE LOCAL NATURAL AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND ITS SPECIAL FEATURES. NEW DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE IT:

  1. COMPLEMENTS OR ENHANCES THE LOCAL CHARACTER OF BUILDINGS AND OPEN SPACES;
  2. MEETS THE COUNCIL'S APPROVED STANDARDS OF AMENITY AND OPEN SPACE, ACCESS, CAR PARKING AND SERVICING;
  3. ENSURES ADEQUACY OR AVAILABILITY OF UTILITY SERVICES AND ADEQUATE PROVISION FOR WASTE MANAGEMENT;
  4. MINIMISES ANY DETRIMENTAL IMPACT ON ADJACENT AREAS;
  5. ENSURES EXISTING SOFT AND HARD LANDSCAPING FEATURES ARE PROTECTED AND COMPLEMENTED BY NEW PLANTING, SURFACE OR BOUNDARY FEATURES;
  6. ENSURES CLEAR DISTINCTION BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SPACES;
  7. PROVIDES A HIGH LEVEL OF ACCESSIBILITY, PARTICULARLY FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT, CYCLISTS, PEDESTRIANS AND PEOPLE WITH IMPAIRED MOBILITY;
  8. HAS REGARD TO ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN DESIGN, LAYOUT, MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY; AND
  9. HAS REGARD TO MEASURES TO REDUCE THE RISK AND FEAR OF CRIME.
3.4.97.

This policy establishes a framework to achieve appropriate sensitive new development that promotes creative and imaginative design within the Vale of Glamorgan. In view of the wide variety of architectural styles and contrasting identities of the Vale's towns, villages and open countryside, it would be inappropriate to introduce rigid, over prescriptive design controls for new development within the Plan. However, to further promote the above good design principles and provide better advice to architects and their clients the Council will prepare guidance and design briefs for specific topics or sites. Similarly advice on plant species in landscaping schemes can help meet the criteria set out above. In many circumstances the use of native provenance tree and shrub species in landscaping schemes can provide benefits for bio-diversity as well. Volume Two of “Landscapes Working for the Vale of Glamorgan” study provides some guidance on this point. Supplementary Planning Guidance has been produced in respect of amenity standards.

POLICY ENV 28 - ACCESS FOR DISABLED PEOPLE

ALL NEW DEVELOPMENT (AND WHERE PREDICTABLE, THE CHANGE OF USE OR ALTERATIONS TO BUILDINGS) OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND BUILDINGS USED FOR EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION PURPOSES WILL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE SUITABLE ACCESS FOR CUSTOMERS, VISITORS OR EMPLOYEES WITH MOBILITY DIFFICULTIES. 

3.4.98.

In an ideal world all people should be able to move freely around towns, cities and villages and feel welcome. However, in practice the design of buildings and spaces around those buildings can create insurmountable obstacles to people with limited mobility. In addition, unsympathetic design can make people with special mobility needs feel most unwelcome. 

3.4.99.

It is important to encourage those persons who design and manage the environment to give equal importance to access and the provision of facilities for people with limited mobility as they do to the  appearance and functioning of buildings and spaces. By doing this the environment can be improved for everyone including people with disabilities, parents with small children and others with limited mobility. Many of the benefits can be achieved with no additional or minimal extra cost, simply by careful thought and imagination. Where additional money is required, most people would agree that the investment is worthwhile financially and socially. 

3.4.100.

The statutory framework with regard to the provision of access and facilities for persons with disabilities is embodied in Section 76 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 which requires Local Planning Authorities when granting planning permission to draw the attention of the applicant to Sections 4 and 7 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. The Act requires developers of specified types of building to provide suitable means of access, parking and toilet facilities to meet the needs of people with disabilities, where practicable and reasonable. The types of building to which the Act applies are buildings open to the public (for example shops, restaurants, hotels, places of entertainment, leisure and community buildings), places of employment, education buildings and most types of buildings other than residential ones. 

3.4.101.

The “Codes of Practice for Access for the Disabled to Buildings”, British Standard Institution code of practice BS 5810: 1979 sets out the minimum standards with which access provision should comply. However, the BSI are currently reviewing these standards in the light of developments in access design in the last 15 years. Developers will therefore be encouraged to design to higher standards than presently stated in BS 5810. 

3.4.102.

In the case of new building development the requirements of Part M of the Building Regulations 1992 will apply. There will be very few instances where it is neither practicable nor reasonable to design to at least the standards of Part M and complementary local standards for development to which Part M is not applicable. The picture is less clear cut in relation to alterations to existing buildings, so if deficiencies are identified in a submitted scheme the onus will be placed on the applicant to demonstrate effectively that access provision is neither practicable or reasonable. In all buildings there is scope for providing induction loops, clear signage and carefully placed sockets, handles, equipment and control panels to benefit users with disabilities. 

3.4.103.

There is often perceived to be a conflict between conservation and improving access for people with disabilities, especially in Listed Buildings. Whenever alterations are proposed the opportunity to improve access and facilities for disabled people should be taken. This can often be done while respecting, preserving and enhancing the character of the building. There are many examples of sensitive and imaginative schemes. 

3.4.104.

In order to assist developers the Council will produce Supplementary Planning Guidance relating to Access.

POLICY ENV 29 - PROTECTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED IF IT WOULD BE LIABLE TO HAVE AN UNACCEPTABLE EFFECT ON EITHER PEOPLE'S HEALTH AND SAFETY OR THE ENVIRONMENT:

  1. BY RELEASING POLLUTANTS INTO WATER, SOIL OR AIR, EITHER ON OR OFF SITE; OR 
  2. FROM SMOKE, FUMES, GASES, DUST, SMELL, NOISE, VIBRATION, LIGHT OR OTHER POLLUTING EMISSIONS.
3.4.105.

The aim of this policy is to prevent adverse effects of pollution both in terms of the impact on local environmental quality and their contribution to global damage. The UK government is committed to reducing existing pollution levels and therefore future developments should not exacerbate the current situation. Accordingly, any polluting or hazard risk will be judged in the context of both UK and EC legislation / standards. Advice will be sought from the relevant regulatory authorities, including the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive, and Local Authority Environmental Health Officers. Whilst light pollution is not covered by legislation, the Council will have regard to the recommendations of the Institute of Lighting Engineers and the joint Department of the Environment/Countryside Commission publication “Lighting in the Countryside: Towards Good Practice” (1997) when dealing with applications that could conceivably have unneighbourly consequences. If the pollution can be controlled to the satisfaction of the regulatory authorities, permission may be granted subject to conditions. In such cases, operations will need to be monitored appropriately to ensure continued compliance. In accordance with the precautionary principle, if it is considered that satisfactory standards cannot be achieved or sufficient doubt exists, then permission will not be granted. In order to allow the regulatory authorities to assess the full implications of any development, where applicable, applicants will need to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment in line with the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999. 

3.5.

IMPLEMENTATION

3.5.1.

Many of the policies contained within the chapter will be implemented through the Council's Development Control powers. However, in attempting to create and maintain a sustainable and pleasant rural and urban environment, much effort will need to be expended by the Council and other bodies outside the traditional planning powers. The Council will, therefore, seek the widest possible range of cooperation and gr ant aid from public and private institutions, voluntary bodies and private individuals in order to achieve its objectives for the environment.

« Back to contents page | Back to top