SECTION 2

 

2.00  INTRODUCTION

2.01 This section contains policies which relate to a specific area.

 Built Environment

POLICY AREA1 Areas of Special Character

Within Areas of Special Character, as defined on the Proposals Map, planning permission will be granted subject to:

(i)       the retention of buildings and other features such as boundary walls, hedges, trees, railings, open spaces, etc. which make positive contributions to the special character of the areas;

(ii)      the maintenance of an appropriate mix of uses where this is an important element in the character of an area;

(iii)     the development makes a positive contribution to the special character of these areas, particularly with regard to the characteristics included in the descriptions for each area given in supplementary planning guidance.

Reason

The District Council recognises that there are areas within the District which have a special character and importance which should be protected.

Explanation

2.02  There are several areas within the District, which because of their special character or historical significance should be subject to more rigorous control over new development.

2.03  It is important that the criteria for designation are selective, otherwise the principle of special protection becomes diluted. In all cases, areas come close to, but do not quite comply with, the criteria for the designation of conservation areas.

2.04  The Council's criteria for the selection of areas for designation as Areas of Special Character are:

(i)     The area must have been substantially built before 1939. Only in exceptional cases will areas dating from a later period be designated;

(ii)     The area must have a recognisable and distinctive special character worthy of protection;

(iii)    The area must contain buildings, the majority of which are distinctive or of high quality design and appearance; and

(iv)    The area must be of sufficient size to be identifiable and cohesive.

2.05 Supplementary Planning Guidance, entitled 'Areas of Special Character', sets out detailed plans of the areas designated under these criteria and descriptions of each area identifying the special characteristics of each. New areas may be designated in accordance with the Council's agreed criteria.

POLICY AREA2 Conservation Areas

Planning permission will be granted for development which preserves or enhances the character or appearance of a Conservation Area or its setting.

Reason

To preserve or enhance Conservation Areas.

Explanation

2.06  The Council has produced Supplementary Planning Guidance entitled ‘Conservation Areas’. All proposals for development will be considered in the light of this guidance.

POLICY AREA3 The Setting of Arundel

No development will be permitted, particularly within the area shown on the Proposals Map, which would adversely affect views of Arundel or its special setting.

Development will not be permitted within the town of Arundel or beyond which would adversely affect the rural views outwards from the town and in particular from the following locations:

(i)      London Road, in the vicinity of 9 and 11 London Road (north-westerly views);

(ii)     London Road, in the vicinity of the Roman Catholic cemetery (southerly views);

(iii)    the northern ends of Mount Pleasant, King Street and Parsons Hill and at their junction with London Road (southerly views);

(iv)    London Road, in the vicinity of Tower House (easterly views);

(v)     the northern end of High Street (southerly views);

(vi)    Bakers Arms Hill and its junction with Maltravers Street (southerly views);

(vii)   Kings Arms Hill and its junction with Maltravers Street (southerly views);

(viii)  Mount Pleasant, in the vicinity of the Old Poor House (southerly views);

(ix)    the Arundel river bridge, in Queen Street (easterly views).

Development will not be permitted which would adversely affect the long distance views of Arundel Castle or Arundel Cathedral.

Reason

To protect the setting of historic Arundel, which is of national and local importance.

POLICY AREA4 Historic Parks and Gardens

Permission will not be granted for development which adversely affects the character or setting of registered historic parks and gardens.

Reason

To protect historic parks and gardens.

Explanation

2.07  Arundel Castle and the related Park are contained in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens maintained by English Heritage as a Grade II* feature of great historic interest. The purpose of the Register is to record the existence of historic parks and gardens so that highway and planning authorities and developers know that they should try to safeguard them when planning new road schemes and new development generally.

POLICY AREA5 Protection of Open Space

The District Council will protect public and private open spaces, playing fields, outdoor sports facilities and children's play facilities, as shown on the Proposals Map, from development other than associated recreational development. Unrelated development will not be allowed.

Exceptions to this policy will only be granted where:-

(i)      the development materially enhances the existing facility or satisfies an essential social need that is unable to be provided elsewhere in the locality and where the amount of open space is not significantly reduced, or

(ii)     an equivalent or increased amount of open space can be provided or improved recreational opportunity created elsewhere in the locality by the developer and where a substantial proportion of the site is retained as usable public open space, in addition to the requirements of Policy GEN20.

Reason

In view of the shortage of open space within the district it is important that existing facilities are retained or that better facilities can be provided nearby, as an alternative.

Explanation

2.08  Research undertaken across the district during 1993/94 revealed a serious deficiency of open space when measured against the National Playing Fields Association (NPFA) 'Six Acre Standard'. This recommends a minimum standard for outdoor playing space of 6 acres/2.4 hectares per 1,000 population.

2.09  The table below shows the deficiency on a broad East/West basis.

  Current Provision
(hectares)
NPFA Standard
(hectares)
Overall Deficiency
(hectares)
East

108.64

127.38 18.74
West

136.68

183.27 46.59






These figures include the new District Park at the former HRI site, Littlehampton; Church Field, Barnham; open space achieved at North Bersted; Rosemead; and land at Middleton-on-Sea. However, the survey does not include open countryside or the foreshore. Although these areas are a valuable recreational resource, they are not included within the NPFA's definition of open space.

2.10  Privately owned open space, to which the public have no access, can contribute significantly to the open space needs of an area; the loss of such space can lead to increased pressure on other facilities. School playing fields are not generally available for public use.

2.11  However, playing fields can be a valuable local resource which, once lost to other forms of development, are difficult to replace. Government guidance confirms the need to safeguard school playing fields for general community use. Sport England is consulted on all applications for developments which involve playing fields which are, or were, in the last five years, in use.

2.12  If Sport England objects to such a proposal but the Local Planning Authority is minded to grant planning permission, the Local Planning Authority has to inform the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, so that the Secretary of State may decide whether to intervene, or to leave the matter for the Local Planning Authority to decide.

Informative

2.13  For the purposes of criterion (ii) of Policy AREA5, "in the locality" should be taken to mean within easy walking distance, which will vary according to the use of the open space.

POLICY AREA6 Allotments

The District Council will resist the development of allotment sites where it is considered that a loss of amenity will occur. An exception to this may be allowed where improved facilities for allotment holders can be provided or a suitable alternative site provided.

Reason

Allotments provide an important recreational activity for many people and also contribute to the character and open space of an area. In considering proposals, account will be taken of the current and likely future need.

 

 

Explanation

2.14  At present there is adequate allotment provision across the District. The District Council will, however, in association with Town and Parish Councils, monitor the requirement for allotments and seek further provision should this prove necessary. Protection will be given to current sites wherever possible. Any alternative sites provided should be within easy walking distance.

POLICY AREA7 Public Car Parks

Planning permission will not be permitted for development which involves the loss of existing public car parking facilities or spaces, including those at railway stations, particularly long term provision, unless it is necessary to meet wider transport objectives. An exception may be made where suitable alternative spaces can be provided in the locality or to meet wider transport objectives and/or the aims of urban renewal.

Reason

To ensure that adequate parking continues to be provided in the District. Adequate car parking at the railway stations within the District is necessary if rail use is to be encouraged.

Explanation

2.15  The provision of off-street car parks is normally made by the District Council, but can also be provided by the County Council if it assists with the management of traffic or improvement of road safety. Private companies and Town and Parish Councils can also provide and operate off-street car parks.

2.16  The provision of public car parking needs to be considered in conjunction with the commitment to urban renaissance opportunities. To be acceptable, redevelopment proposals for existing town centre car parks will need to demonstrate that they will positively contribute to the aims of urban regeneration and wider accessible transport objectives, and would need to be imaginative in terms of multiple uses, accessibility strategies and the use of underground decking facilities. The possibility of decking over existing car parks, particularly in town centres, in order to provide employment or housing on upper floors, whilst retaining ground floor parking to the standards required, may therefore be considered.

POLICY AREA8 Littlehampton Harbour Strategy

Within the area defined on the Proposals Map, planning permission will only be granted for development which:

  supports the continuation and development of the harbour as a commercial and recreational port; and/or
  improves both economically and environmentally the links between the town and the harbour.

Reason

To ensure the co-ordinated planning of this sensitive and economically important area.

Explanation

2.17  The Littlehampton Harbour Strategy indicates the type of development that will be encouraged in specific locations and supports a balance of commercial and industrial activities, particularly those that are marine related, so as to:

  ensure the continued existence and development of the Harbour as a commercial/recreational port;
  improve both economically and environmentally the links between the town and the Harbour; and
  maintain the Harbour’s infrastructure through a variety of cost effective schemes.

2.18  The Strategy develops these aims under a number of headings, as follows:

  Redevelopment of East Bank Wharves
  Commercial Activity within the Harbour
  Improving Public Access to the River Arun
  Recreation and Tourism
  Infrastructure Renewal and Improvement
  Drainage and Flood Prevention.

2.19  All proposals for development will be considered in the light of the adopted Harbour Strategies. Proposals which conflict with or compromise the Strategy will be resisted. The Strategy was prepared following an extensive process of public consultation and combines the full range of land use, financial and management issues relating to the Harbour area.

 Rural Environment

POLICY AREA9 Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Development will not be permitted within the Sussex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) unless:

(i)      development is essential for agriculture, forestry, mineral extraction or disposal of waste, quiet informal recreation, rural diversification or essential community needs; and

(ii)     it is demonstrated that it would not be harmful to the visual quality and characteristics of the AONB; or

(iii)    in exceptional circumstances, it is demonstrated that the development meets national interests; no alternative site is available; and any harmful effects are minimised.

Development outside but near to the AONB will not be permitted where it would be unduly prominent in, or detract from, views into or out of the AONB.

Reason

The Sussex Downs are an important national resource and need to be protected from unnecessary development.

Explanation

2.20  The Sussex Downs were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the Countryside Commission in 1966 because of the national importance of their landscape quality. The Sussex Downs Conservation Board and West Sussex County Council have published Landscape Assessments and these will be used in assessing the impact of development.

2.21  In assessing proposals, regard will be had to the following documents:

- Planning Policy Guidance Note No. 7

- South Downs Planning Guidelines

- Management Strategy for the Sussex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

- Sussex Downs Landscape Guidelines

- Landscape Assessment of the Sussex Downs AONB.

POLICY AREA10 Strategic Gaps

Strategic Gaps, as identified on the Proposals Map will be maintained and protected between the following settlements:

(i)      Worthing and Ferring

(ii)     East Preston and Ferring

(iii)    Littlehampton and Middleton-on-Sea

(iv)    Pagham and Selsey

(v)     Bognor Regis and Chichester

(vi)    Arundel and Littlehampton

Proposals for development within a Strategic Gap will be subject to the most rigorous examination.

 

Development will only be permitted if:

(i)      it is demonstrated to be necessary to meet the requirements of, or is consistent with, other policies of the Development Plan; and

(ii)     it would not compromise, either individually or cumulatively, the objectives and fundamental integrity of the strategic gap; and

(iii)    attention is given to the long term enhancement of the landscape, amenity and conservation value within the gap and, where possible, to the improvement of public access.

Reason

To prevent coalescence and retain the separate identity and amenity of settlements and to protect the undeveloped coastline.

Explanation

2.22  The West Sussex Structure Plan sets out the policy framework for strategic gaps and identifies six strategic gaps within Arun District. The objectives of the strategic gaps are to prevent coalescence and to retain the separate identity and amenity of settlements and protect the undeveloped coastline. The protection of the strategic gaps along the District's coastline has been a main aim of planning policy in the District for some years.

2.23  Proposals will be subject to 'rigorous examination', which includes an assessment of the type of use, the proposed level of activity, the scale of the proposed buildings, the impact on the surrounding environment in terms of contributing to the coalescence of settlements and the reduction in openness of the strategic gaps.

POLICY AREA11 Local Gaps

Local Gaps, as identified on the Proposals Map will be protected and maintained between:

(i)      Findon and Worthing

(ii)     Angmering and Rustington/East Preston

(iii)    Felpham and Bognor Regis

(iv)    Walberton and Barnham

(v)     Eastergate and Barnham

Development in the Local Gaps will only be permitted if:

(i)      it is demonstrated to be necessary to meet the requirements of, or is consistent with, other policies of the Development Plan; and

(ii)     either individually or cumulatively it does not contribute to the coalescence of settlements; and

(iii)    attention is given to the long term enhancement of the landscape, amenity and conservation value within the gap and, where possible, to the improvement of public access.

Reason

Local Gaps between settlements are important in order to prevent coalescence and to retain the separate identity of settlements.

Explanation

2.24  The local gaps designated in this Local Plan are regarded as vitally important to protect the separate identity of the towns and villages they separate. Designation of local gaps provides an additional level of policy protection for land between towns and villages which are vulnerable to development pressures. The term 'gap' is used to emphasise policy objectives and it is not necessarily descriptive.

POLICY AREA12 Agricultural Land Quality

The use of best and most versatile agricultural land (Grades 1, 2 and 3a) for any form of development not associated with agriculture or forestry will not be permitted unless need for the development outweighs the need to protect such land in the long term. Where development is permitted on the best and most versatile land it should, as far as possible, use the lowest grade of land suitable for that development.

Reason

To protect the natural resource of high grade agricultural land.

Explanation

2.25  Government policy aims to protect the "best and most versatile" agricultural land as an important national natural resource for the future. The term covers land classified as Grade 1, 2 and 3a under the Agricultural Land Classification scheme administered by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). However, where development of agricultural land is unavoidable, Local Planning Authorities should seek to use areas of poorer quality land in preference to that of higher quality, except where other sustainability considerations suggest otherwise. These might include biodiversity value, landscape quality and character, amenity value, accessibility to infrastructure, workforce and markets, or protection of natural resources.

 

 

POLICY AREA13 Sites of International Importance for Nature Conservation

Proposals for development in, or likely to affect (directly or indirectly) a site of international importance for nature conservation will be subject to the most rigorous examination. Development not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site which is likely to have an adverse effect on the site, will not be permitted unless: there is no alternative solution, there are reasons of public health or public safety, or there are benefits of primary importance to the environment.

Where such sites do not host a priority habitat or species, development will not be permitted unless there are imperative reasons of overriding public interest.

Where development is permitted, the use of conditions or planning obligations will be considered in order to avoid and minimise harm to the site, to enhance the site’s nature conservation interest, and to secure any compensatory or mitigation measures and appropriate management that may be required.

Reason

To protect sites of international importance for nature conservation from harmful effects of development. These include RAMSAR sites and Special Protection Areas (SPAs).

Informative

2.26  Pagham Harbour is recognised for its international importance.

POLICY AREA14 Sites of National Importance for Nature Conservation

Proposals for development in, or likely to affect (directly or indirectly) Sites of Special Scientific Interest will be subject to special scrutiny. Where such development is likely to have an adverse effect, it will not be permitted unless the reasons for the development clearly outweigh the nature conservation value of the site itself and the national policy to safeguard the national network of such sites.

Where the site concerned is a National Nature Reserve, a site identified by the Nature Conservation Review or Geological Conservation Review, particular regard will be paid to the national importance of that site.

Where development is permitted, harm to the nature conservation interest must be minimised. The use of conditions or planning agreements will be considered to ensure the protection and enhancement of the nature conservation interest, and to provide appropriate compensatory or mitigation measures and site management.

Reason

To protect sites of national importance for nature conservation from the harmful effects of development.

Explanation

2.27  The assessment of proposals affecting such sites will consider the availability and suitability of other sites for the proposed development; and whether reasons for the proposed development are in the public interest. Where development is permitted, conditions or planning obligations may be used to ensure the protection and enhancement of the site's nature conservation interest. Environmental assessments will be required to accompany planning applications for development likely to have an adverse effect on sites of national importance.

POLICY AREA15 Sites of Local Importance for Nature Conservation

Proposals for development in, or likely to have an adverse effect (directly or indirectly) on a Local Nature Reserve, Site of Nature Conservation Importance (including ancient woodlands or wildlife corridors) or Regionally Important Geological/Geomorphological Site will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that reasons for the proposal outweigh the need to safeguard the nature conservation value of the site/feature. Where development is permitted which would damage the nature conservation value of the site/feature, such damage should be kept to a minimum.

Conditions or planning obligations will be used to secure necessary compensatory or mitigation measures, enhancement and site management.

Where appropriate, the Authority will consider the use of legal agreements to provide appropriate compensatory measures, enhancement and site management.

Reason

To protect sites of local importance for nature conservation from the harmful effects of development. These include Sites of Nature Conservation Importance and Local Nature Reserves.

Explanation

2.28  Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCIs) are identified by the County Council on account of the special interest of their flora and/or fauna. Planning obligations or conditions may be used to secure compensatory measures and steps to ensure protection of threatened animal or plant species.

POLICY AREA16 Ancient Monuments and Sites of National Archaeological Importance

There will be a presumption in favour of the preservation of scheduled and other nationally important monuments and archaeological remains. Development which adversely affects their sites or settings will not be permitted.

Reason

To preserve archaeological heritage.

Explanation

2.29  Where nationally important archaeological remains, whether scheduled or not, and their settings are affected by proposals for development, there should be a presumption in favour of their physical preservation in situ. A list of the scheduled ancient monuments and other sites to which Policy AREA16 applies is given in Supplementary Planning Guidance.

POLICY AREA17 Sites of Archaeological Interest

Permission will not be granted for development that would be harmful to the significant archaeological interest of a site. Where the presence of archaeological remains is known or suspected:

(i)      the applicant must arrange for archaeological assessment of the site to be carried out before the planning application is determined;

(ii)     where the assessment shows that the physical preservation of remains in situ is not justified, conditions may be attached to any permission granted that development will not take place until provision has been made by the developer for a programme of archaeological investigation and recording. The programme will be carried out prior to the commencement of the development;
and

(iii)    whenever practicable, opportunities should be taken for the enhancement and interpretation of archaeological remains left in situ.

Reason

To preserve the archaeological heritage.

Explanation

2.30  Archaeological remains are a fragile and finite resource. The majority of sites are not scheduled ancient monuments and must rely on the sympathetic application of planning and management policies for their survival and protection. Archaeological excavation for the purposes of preservation by record is a second-best option after preservation in situ, as it usually results in the total destruction of evidence from which future techniques might have been able to extract more information.

2.31  The archaeological assessment required by criterion (i) will take the form of an initial evaluation of the probable extent and importance of any remains and how the design of the development could avoid or minimise disturbance to them. The assessment must be submitted as part of the planning application, and may take the form of a desk-based evaluation. Where this indicates that important archaeological remains may exist, further assessment in the form of a field evaluation will be required, to be carried out before the planning application is determined. The programme required by criterion (ii) will be carried out according to a project brief agreed with the Council, and may include provision for the preservation of finds and the publication of results. Any assessment, evaluation or excavation required by this Policy will be carried out only by a professionally qualified archaeological organisation or consultant.

2.32  Appropriate management of archaeological remains is essential to ensure they survive in good condition and are not needlessly or thoughtlessly destroyed. Where nationally important archaeological remains, whether scheduled or not, and their settings are affected by proposed development, there should be a presumption in favour of their physical preservation. In all cases, an interpretation of the site and findings, by a professional archaeological contractor, is to be carried out. To preserve the archaeological remains and secure their preservation, a programme of enhancements should be prepared. Where possible, conflicts between land use and the preservation of known archaeological sites should be resolved by management agreements.

POLICY AREA18 Portsmouth and Arundel Canal

Planning permission will not be granted for development which adversely affects the remaining line and configuration of the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal.

Reason

The remnants of the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal are important early 19th Century historic features in the landscape of the coastal plain and warrant protection.

 Town Centres

POLICY AREA19 Primary Shopping Frontages

Along the primary shopping frontages, as defined on the Proposals Map, proposals for retail (Use Class A1) will be permitted. Proposals for financial and professional services (Use Class A2) uses and food and drink premises (Use Class A3) will be permitted provided that:-

(i)      the proposal would not create a concentration of non-retail uses to the detriment of the vitality of the town centre;

(ii)     provision is made for a window display, appropriate to a shop front, which is in keeping with the character of the shopping area; and

(iii)    there is no detrimental effect on the character or amenities of the area through smell, litter or noise.

 

 

Reason

To maintain the viability and vitality of the primary shopping area.

Informative

2.33  For the purpose of this policy, a concentration of non-retail use is defined as two or more adjacent units.

Explanation - Principal Shopping Areas

2.34  In each Principal Shopping Area it is clear that different sections of these areas serve a different function. The primary shopping frontages are of most significance in respect of retail uses, whilst other areas serve a complementary function by adding to the services and facilities provided by the shopping centre. Principal Shopping Areas are identified on the Proposals Map for Bognor Regis, Littlehampton and Rustington.

Informative

2.35  The District and County Councils have commissioned a study of Bognor Regis town centre, to review the town centre layout and provide new or improved facilities for residents, visitors, shoppers and businesses. The objectives of this study are:

  to improve the layout and appearance of the town centre to form a more attractive environment;
  to create clear visual links between the shopping centre, the station, car parks and the seafront;
  to modernise the shopping centre and consider the provision of a glazed canopy over the pedestrian area (or in part);
  to ensure measures are put in hand to improve the town’s toilets, street furniture, flower beds and other amenity features.

POLICY AREA20 Arundel Shopping Frontage

Within the designated frontages in Arundel town centre, as defined on the Proposals Map, the loss of commercial uses at ground floor level will not be permitted, unless it can be demonstrated that the commercial use is no longer viable.

Reason

In the interests of the viability, vitality and character of the town centre.

 

POLICY AREA21 Re-use of Redundant Floorspace

Within the Principal Shopping Areas, proposals for the reuse of vacant floorspace on the upper levels for residential purposes will be permitted provided that:

  the development has no significant adverse effects for the occupiers of neighbouring properties; and
  it reflects the need to minimise noise intrusion. Applications must be accompanied by details of noise insulation measures required.

A reduction in the car parking standards will normally be acceptable provided that there is no adverse effect on the levels of traffic congestion and road safety.

Reason

To encourage an increase in the number of residential properties in the principal shopping centres, thereby adding to the vitality of the centre. An increase in residents may also aid security through natural surveillance.

Informative

2.36  The Council will take a flexible approach with regard to conversion of upper floors with regard to densities and amenity space provision in town centre locations in line with PPG3 ‘Housing’.

POLICY AREA22 Loss of Residential Units

Proposals for the change of use of existing residential properties in the Principal Shopping Areas will be resisted, except for a change to retail (Use Class A1).

Reason

To maintain the variety of uses which contribute to the vitality of the principal shopping areas and retain the existing stock of residential properties.

POLICY AREA23 Littlehampton Riverside Walk

The provision of a public riverside walkway will be required as part of any redevelopment that may be proposed for the area shown on the Proposals Map. Any such walkway will be expected to link with the existing or proposed walkway on adjoining land and, where necessary, to River Road, Littlehampton.

Reason

To improve public access to the riverside.

Explanation

2.37 The land to the north of the area covered by the East Bank Development Brief, between River Road and the River Arun, is occupied by industrial buildings. The District Council will require the provision of a public riverside walkway as part of any redevelopment proposals for this area, in order to facilitate improved public access to the riverside and to link with the public riverside walkway proposed within the East Bank Development Brief area. This facility should take account of the needs of disabled people.

 

 

Arun District Local Plan 2003