Objective 2 - Protecting & Enhancing the Built Environment
Local Plan Policies EN6 to EN10 seek to protect and enhance buildings and sites of special architectural or historic interest. Clackmannanshire has a rich built heritage representing many periods of Scotland’s past and comprises an essential component of the landscape of the area, helping to give Clackmannanshire its identity. The protection and enhancement of this heritage is vitally important. Development Plan policies will ensure the preservation, conservation and enhancement of Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas, Nationally Important Gardens and Designed Landscapes, notable archaeological remains and other valuable elements of the built heritage.
Proposals affecting listed buildings and their settings or conservation areas will be considered in the light of national planning guidance, particularly NPPG 18 (Planning and the Historic Environment) and the Memorandum of Guidance on Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas 1998. Proposals that may affect sites of potential archaeological interest will be considered in the context of NPPG 5 (Archaeology and Planning). The Council encourages early and pre-submission consultation to ensure that good quality development is achieved while allowing proper protection of our heritage. The Council will maintain a local register to input to the National Buildings at Risk Service.
Policy EN6 - Listed Buildings
When determining applications for listed building consent or planning applications that affect a listed building or its setting, the Council will seek to ensure preservation of the building, its setting, or any features of architectural or historic interest. Approval will normally be granted for uses that would secure a viable future for a listed building, provided that any alterations are sympathetic to the character of the building and its setting.
Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites
Policy EN7 - Archaeological or Historic Sites
Development will not be permitted where it could destroy or adversely affect a Scheduled Ancient Monument or other important archaeological or historic sites or their setting unless it can be demonstrated that:
- there is a significant public interest to be gained from the proposed development that outweighs the archaeological importance of the site; In the case of scheduled monuments the significance of the development must be of a national order to outweigh the national importance which attaches to their preservation; and
- there is no appropriate alternative location for the proposal; and
- the proposal has been sited and designed to minimise damage to the archaeological resource
Policy EN8 - Site Assessment, Evaluation and Recording
Where any proposal could affect a known site of archaeological importance, the applicant will be required to provide an assessment of the archaeological value of the site and the likely impact of the proposal on the archaeological resource. Such an assessment will require a field evaluation report to the reasonable satisfaction of the Council, to determine:
- the character and extent of the remains of the archaeological resource
- the likely impact of the proposal on the features of the archaeological interest
- ways in which the proposal can be designed to preserve the archaeological resource
Where the development is considered to be acceptable and it is not possible to preserve the archaeological resource in situ, the developer may be required to make arrangements for a full archaeological investigation. This may include excavation and recording prior to the start of development, followed by analysis and publication of the field data. Planning conditions will be used and agreements sought to secure these arrangements.
Gardens and Designed Landscapes
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Historic Scotland compiled a national “Inventory of Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes” in 1987 and this is currently being extended. Sites are assessed on the basis of aesthetic and historic value, horticultural, arboricultural or archaeological value, scenic value or nature conservation value. This is a national designation and development affecting these sites are the subject of statutory consultation with Historic Scotland and SNH.
Clackmannanshire has two sites that are worthy of consideration for inclusion in the Inventory. "The protection and enhancement of Castle Campbell, Dollar; The Japanese Garden at Cowden, and The Gean, Alloa would contribute positively towards conserving important aspects of local heritage”.
Policy EN9 - Nationally Important Gardens and Designed Landscapes
Any development which would adversely affect a Garden or Designed Landscape identified in the Inventory, or included in any extension to it, will not normally be permitted. In addition:
- Proposals should be accompanied by a landscape appraisal by a qualified landscape architect which includes sufficient detail to allow the full extent, impact and quality of the proposals to be examined;
- Planning conditions and agreements may be used to achieve repair, restoration and management of the planned landscape as part of the proposals.
A Conservation Areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve and enhance. The planning authority is preparing Character Appraisals for each Conservation Area in Clackmannanshire. These Appraisals will provide guidance on the particular aspects of the Conservation Area which provide its distinctive character and which are worthy of conservation. These Appraisals will be produced as Supplementary Advice Notes and augment and support the policies of the Development Plan. All of Clackmannanshire’s Conservation Areas have been reviewed and, as a result, Alva, Castle Campbell, Sauchie and Tullibody Conservation Areas have been de-designated.
Further action is required by the planning authority, this includes:
An important aspect of Conservation Area designation is enhancement. Proposals for new development within or which affect the Conservation Areas should actively enhance the character and appearance of the built environment and any landscape setting within which the Conservation Area lies.
The Plan makes the following changes to Conservation Areas:
- Retention of the following Conservation Areas with boundary amendments: Alloa Glebe, Clackmannan, Dollar, Tillicoultry, Kennet and Old Alloa
- Designation of new Conservation Area: Muckhart
- De-designation of the following Conservation Areas: Alva, Castle Campbell, Sauchie, and Tullibody.
Policy EN10 - Conservation Areas
- New development must contribute to the protection and enhancement of the architectural and historic character of Conservation Areas.
- Development Control decisions shall be based on the Conservation Area Character Appraisal Supplementary Advice Notes.
- There is a presumption against the demolition of buildings within Conservation Areas where this would harm the special character of the area and the Council will encourage the positive reuse of redundant or vacant buildings within Conservation Areas.
- Parking, lighting and traffic management proposals in Conservation Areas will be assessed in terms of the need to ensure the preservation and enhancement of the area’s character.
Trees within Conservation Areas are protected by legislation and planning authorities can require the planting of new trees as part of development proposals, where this is considered appropriate. The Council must be consulted and permission sought before any action is taken to fell, top, lop or carry out any surgery to trees in Conservation Areas.
Open spaces in Conservation Areas can form an important and integral element of the character and established amenity of the area. Any proposals to change an area of existing open space will be considered in the context of the effect on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. Open space is more fully considered in Chapter 4 of this Plan (Policy INF14).
Article 4 Directions
Article 4 Directions remove permitted development rights for some forms of minor works that would not normally require planning permission. On the basis of the Character Appraisals, the planning authority will reassess and update Article 4 Directions for Clackmannanshire’s Conservation Areas.
Townscape Audits consider the physical, environmental and land use characteristics of part or all of a town or village. They identify the key features that contribute to character and identity. Audits aim to reinforce the character and identity of our towns through assisting development control decision making and promoting positive enhancement and change. The areas proposed in Paragraph 1.30 for Conservation Area de-designation will be priorities for the completion of Townscape Audits, commencing with Alva.
Enhancing Environmental Quality
SPP 1 (The Planning System) states that protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment, in both urban and rural areas, is a key objective of the planning system. The Plan provides for specific environmental enhancement along river valleys, the A91 corridor and within conservation areas as well as requiring site appraisals to be submitted where necessary for larger proposed housing developments. However, all new development brings an opportunity to improve environmental quality and this will be a key consideration in the determination of all planning applications. New developments should accord with national planning guidance, notably that contained in NPPG 14 (Natural Heritage) and the advice set out in PAN 51 (Planning and Environmental Protection) and PAN 60 (Planning for Natural Heritage). PAN 52 (Planning in Small Towns) and PAN 44 (Fitting New Housing Development into the Landscape) set out many of the principles which should be achieved in new development. The Scottish Executive published Designing Places – A Policy Statement for Scotland in November 2001. The policy statement provides a national context for improving design in new developments and public spaces and emphasising the importance of local character and identity. The Plan seeks to ensure that these objectives are met. However, guidance on good design is set out in more detail for specific types of development in Policy EN 11.
The Council will expect new developments to contribute towards improvements in environmental quality in order to enhance the built environment; protect the character of individual areas; and complement the landscape. The Clackmannanshire Landscape Character Assessment statement identifies that the protection, reinstatement or introduction of valuable traditional features in the environment, such as drystone walls, hedges and woodland, will generally be encouraged. New development should also contribute to safety and security in accordance with the principles set out in PAN 46 (Planning for Crime Prevention).
One of the key principles of the Structure Plan is that new development should be used as a means of enabling enhancement of the built or natural environment. Accordingly, the Structure Plan has a policy that promotes the Council’s desire to secure enhancement of the environment where opportunities arise as an integral part of development proposals. Typically, this may include enhancement such as new landscaping that promotes nature conservation, or use of sustainable urban drainage solutions to surface water management.
Policy EN11 - Enhancing Environmental Quality
New development will be expected to positively contribute to its immediate environment by:
- Achieving a high quality of architectural design and integrating well with the built form and landscape character of its immediate surroundings
- Ensuring that the form, scale, layout and materials reflect and, where possible, enhance the character of the surrounding area
- Protecting and enhancing the landscape, woodland, habitat, pond and watercourse resources within and around the site
- Ensuring the protection and enhancement of local amenity through the provision of high quality landscaping, planting and boundary treatments
- Sensitive siting of soft and hard landscaping features of suitable specification for amenity and to provide shelter belts. The provision of landscaping to be in accord with SAN 12 (Open Space and Landscaping) in the case of housing developments
- Assessing proposals for new developments to ensure that they provide a high level of safety and security for pedestrians where necessary, including protection of existing accesses within and around the site, in accordance with PAN 46 (Planning for Crime Prevention) and the Secured by Design initiative
A number of specific areas exist within Clackmannanshire where enhancement is particularly desirable. These areas are shown on the Proposals Maps as Environmental Enhancement Areas. The Council will seek to address particular problems in the environmental quality of these areas. Projects that may be implemented by the Council or its partner agencies, or through development, will be targeted. The key Environmental Enhancement Areas are set out below. In addition to these, environmental enhancement projects will be carried out on other specific sites where opportunities or needs arise.
The Council has a duty to preserve and enhance Conservation Areas and as such, proposals for enhancement will be prepared as part of the Conservation Area Character Appraisal SANs.
- The Rivers – Clackmannanshire’s three main rivers have become degraded as a result of many influences, but particularly urban development and modern agricultural practices. Through initiatives such as the Clackmannanshire Countryside Rivers Project, the Council and its partner agencies are seeking to protect and enhance the rivers in the area. Enhancement in the form of riverbank improvements, water quality improvements, wetland creation and improved public access are typical of what the Council would support.
- The A91 corridor – The A91 is Clackmannanshire’s principal tourist route, taking in the Hillfoot villages, access to the Ochils Hills and, the areas biggest visitor attraction, Sterling Mills. Between Menstrie and Tillicoultry, parts of this important road corridor have become significantly degraded, particularly at the entrances of the settlements and along the key "approach routes" to the main visitor areas. Accordingly, where opportunities exist, the Council will seek to upgrade these areas. Tourism Management Plans (TMPs) that aim to provide a framework for environmental and economic improvements can be used to secure funding for such areas. Accordingly, the potential to establish a TMP or Hillfoots Initiative for the A91 corridor will be investigated.
- Conservation Areas –The Council has a duty to preserve and enhance conservation areas and as such, proposals for enhancement will be prepared on a priority basis as Conservation Area Enhancement Statements. The Council has been awarded significant monies under the Old Alloa Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) and implementation of this enhancement scheme is the key priority.
Policy EN12 - Area Environmental Enhancement
Proposals that would detract from the setting of settlements or key landscape features within Environmental Enhancement Areas will not normally be acceptable. Developers will be required to demonstrate how their proposals can be successfully integrated with proposed environmental enhancements and an explanation of the measures proposed to achieve this shall be submitted at the same time as any planning application.
All major new housing development proposals identified in this Plan have been subject to an environmental appraisal and all policies and key proposals have been subject to a sustainability appraisal carried out by external consultants. The aim of these appraisals is to highlight the likely positive and negative environmental impacts of development, ensuring that environmental quality is protected and enhanced. Where major proposals which have not been subject to this appraisal process come forward, the Council will expect the developer to carry out a site appraisal.
Policy EN13 - Site Appraisals
Proposed new housing developments for sites in excess of 30houses and other developments involving more than 2 hectares of land will require a site appraisal. The appraisal will secure the protection and enhancement of the site ensuring that it fully integrates with its surroundings. It should follow the methodology set out in the Supplementary Advice Note on Site Appraisals and provide the following:
- Identification of all known environmental constraints and assess the impact development may have on them.
- Opportunities for environmental enhancement resulting from the proposed development.
- An environmental framework indicating how the development will integrate into the surrounding townscape and landscape and meet other relevant policy requirements in this Plan.
The developer will be required to follow the methodology set out in the Supplementary Advice Note on Site Appraisals. Relevant guidance provided within Scottish Planning Policies and Planning Advice Notes will also be taken into account in preparing the site appraisal.
The responsibility for identifying and designating land as contaminated land and requiring its suitable remediation rests with the Council under The Environment Act 1995. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency is the main controlling agency together with the Council’s Environmental Services. PAN 33 (Development of Contaminated Land) explains that contamination may threaten public health, the natural and built environment, and act as a barrier to economic activity. It explains that local plans should encourage and promote the re-use of brownfield land, including contaminated sites where appropriate. The local plan should provide an opportunity to set out the priorities for reclamation and re-use of contaminated land, and inform on the availability of sites and the potential constraints attached to them. Such contaminants may escape or have the potential to escape from the site to cause air, land or water pollution and in some circumstances may be associated with significant issues of ground stability directly or indirectly associated with the former use of the site; such as surface mineral workings, landfill or the deposit of waste materials on the land. Central government maintains that the “suitable for use “ approach is most appropriate to achieving sustainable development and is to be applied on the basis of a site specific risk assessment. The Environment Act 1995 applies the “polluter pays” principle whereby the cost of remediation is for the polluters, landowners and taxpayers. However, the Council has on occasion intervened as part of its enabling role to assist with redevelopment for new land uses e.g. site clearance at the former tannery at Tullibody, and at the former Burgh Yard at Dollar.
Policy EN14 - Contaminated Land
The Council will only permit development on, or in the vicinity of land that is known to be, or may be, unstable, contaminated, or affected by landfill gas where the Council is satisfied that the actual or potential risk can be overcome. The Council will require all development proposals to be supported by appropriate survey information from a professionally qualified source, detailing the extent and nature of ground instability / contamination, the resultant implications for site development and possible remedial action. Where necessary the Council will require appropriate remedial measures to be under taken to overcome, remove or render harmless any identified problems or contamination before development proceeds.
The Council has prepared a strategy for the assessment of sites to be included in the Contaminated Land Register. As survey work proceeds and sites are identified for inclusion in the register, consideration will be given to the inclusion of these sites in the Local Plan for future development, where appropriate. The Council will only permit development on, or in the vicinity of land that is known to be, or may be unstable, contaminated or affected by landfill gas where the Council is satisfied that the actual or potential risk can be overcome. The Council will require all development proposals to be supported by appropriate survey information from a professionally qualified source, detailing the extent and nature of ground instability/contamination, the resultant implications for site development and possible remedial action. Where necessary, the Council will require appropriate remedial measures to be undertaken to overcome, remove or render harmless any identified problems or contamination before development proceeds.
The role of planning in pollution control and how it relates to the environmental protection agencies and processes is explained in PAN 51 (Planning and Environmental Protection), with the government’s “precautionary approach” to pollution control. The main enforcing agencies are the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Council’s Environmental Services. Planning control complements these enforcing regimes through its more pro-active capabilities in guiding development to suitable locations and in granting planning permission. Planning should not duplicate other statutory controls or be used to secure objectives under other legislation. Efficient joint working with other agencies is required, where relevant, to ensure that development is in the right place and does not unacceptably pollute the air, water or the environment or cause significant nuisance to people.
The environmental regimes listed in PAN 51are:
- Integrated Pollution Control (IPC)
- Local Air Pollution Control
- Pollution of Controlled Waters
- Drinking Water Quality - public and private supplies
- Contaminated Land
- Radioactive Substances
- Statutory Nuisance including Noise
Policy EN15 - Planning and Environmental Protection
The Council will adopt the “precautionary principle” to pollution control and development indicated in “This Common Inheritance, 1990” and reiterated in PAN 51 (Planning and Environmental Protection). To do this the Council will adopt effective joint working principles and practices between the planning system and other enforcing agencies to guide and control the nature and location of all relevant forms of development. Developers will require to demonstrate that any environmental protection matter relating to the site or the development has been fully evaluated and considered alongside any other planning matters or issues and the resultant proposal does not unacceptably affect the neighbourhood.
The control of Hazardous Substances is a distinct area of control. Legislation relates to “notifiable” substances and their quantities, it refers to “controlled quantity” of substances, and aims more to protect the environment than provide a way of controlling pollution. The control of land use is a separate matter to Hazardous Substances Consent although any likely impact from the storage or movement of hazardous substances can be significant for land use planning.
Policy EN16 - Control of Hazardous Substances
Planning permission will only be granted for development involving, or in the vicinity of a site known to be used for, the storage, transport and movement of hazardous substances, as scheduled in the primary legislation, where it would not result in unacceptable risk to:
- the life, health and safety of the users of the site and/or
- the life, health and safety of people working on, living on or visiting the neighbouring land.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations are a vital aspect in the effective planning of the area. EIA and the related Traffic Impact Assessment requirements are considered in Chapter 1 and Chapter 4 of this plan respectively.
The Council has approved a Planning Enforcement Strategy that explains in full detail when enforcement action will be required and how the Council will approach any breaches of control. Enforcement must serve the interests of the wider community as opposed to any individual or private interest.
Policy EN17 - Planning Enforcement and The Environment
The Council will take enforcement action, in the public interest, in accordance with the Planning Enforcement Strategy where any development is carried out without the required planning permission or contrary to a condition on a planning permission. Due weight shall be attached to the circumstances of each case in accord with the Enforcement Strategy for any unauthorised development that would result in a materially harmful effect on the environment or amenity of the area or for development that does not comply with any planning restriction or condition.