Section B: Countywide Policies


Paragraph 2.13 of Local Development Plans Wales states “The LDP should contain a succinct set of area wide policies, which set out the general criteria against which planning applications for the development and use of land and buildings will be considered.  Such policies will ensure that development accords with the vision and objectives set out in the strategy.


This Chapter sets out those policies that are to be applied equally across the whole of the County Borough.  The Countywide Policies together form the Development Control framework, and are more restrictive than the more promotional Strategy Policies in Section A and the area specific policies in Section C.  This section provides the basis for the guidance to developers that will allow the Strategy to be delivered.

Welsh Assembly Government - National Planning Guidance


The policies in this section have not been drafted to accord with specific land-uses. They are drafted to reflect general and strategic issues in a format based on policy function.  This approach has reduced duplication that has been evident in previous development plan documents.  In addition, the policies in this section, as far as is reasonably possible, do not re-iterate national policy and consequently some more familiar policy content from previous development plans is not included.  Therefore, it is important that full account is taken of Planning Policy Wales (PPW), the Ministerial Interim Planning Policy Statements (MIPPS) issued since then and also the Technical Advice Notes (TAN) issued on individual topics/issues.


Where the following countywide policies discuss matters covered by national guidance they have included specific local requirements.  Also, the reasoned justifications to the policies do not provide a comprehensive background for the policy requirement.  This information is contained in the topic background papers that support the LDP.  Overall these policies accord with the guidance laid out in WAG Guidance for Countywide Policies.


Generally the policies apply to all development proposals.  However, within some policies there are some controls or requirements that only apply to specific circumstances or land-uses.  In these circumstances, the policy is drafted to make it clear exactly where it applies.  It should be noted that, due to the layout of the Countywide Policies, the relevant policy criteria for any one proposal is likely to be contained across a number of policies.  Consequently all the Countywide Policies should be considered in respect of all development proposals as a matter of course.


CW1 – Sustainable Transport, Accessibility and Social Inclusion

Development proposals that are likely to generate a significant number of trips will only be permitted provided:

  1. Walking and cycling are modes of travel which have been actively encouraged for short trips to and within the development and to nearby services and facilities, including public transport nodes, through the provision of appropriate infrastructure
  2. Provision has been made for ease of cycling, including secure bike storage and cyclist facilities
  3. It has been demonstrated that where a significant number of freight trips will be generated, the least environmentally damaging route will be utilised
  4. The use of Green Travel Plans has been encouraged, where appropriate

Development proposals have the potential to generate significant numbers of trips, either as an origin (e.g. housing, industry [freight movements]) or as a destination (e.g. employment and retail / leisure uses).  As part of their design and layout, such developments should minimise car borne trips.  Where significant numbers of freight trips are involved, such as those associated with mineral extraction or possibly land reclamation, the least environmentally damaging route is to be utilised.  For the purposes of this policy the term “cyclist facilities” could include changing areas and showers.  The term “significant” is defined in the guidelines for Traffic Impact Assessments, Institute of Highways and Transportation.  There is also guidance on this matter within PPW, TAN 18.


Addressing social exclusion is a critical element in regenerating disadvantaged areas throughout the County Borough.  Improving the ability of residents to access services and facilities is a key factor in realising changes to these areas.  Whilst it is acknowledged that a significant proportion of the improvement will be through non-land-use related factors.  However physical access to services and facilities can be enhanced by appropriate location and design.  This policy seeks to maximise this potential.


Green Travel Plans are a means of ensuring a shift towards more sustainable modes of transport.  It is envisaged that developers will be encouraged to enter into such arrangements, particularly in relation to the development of employment sites that currently tend to be inaccessible, other than by car.

CW2 – Amenity

Development proposals must have regard for all relevant material planning considerations in order to satisfy the following requirements:

  1. There is no unacceptable impact on the amenity of adjacent properties or land
  2. The proposal would not result in over-development of the site and / or its surroundings
  3. The proposed use is compatible with surrounding land-uses and would not constrain the development of neighbouring sites for their identified land-use
  4. Where applicable, the viability of existing neighbouring land uses would not be compromised by virtue of their potential impact upon the amenity of proposed new residential development

Proposals for development have the potential for causing undue nuisance that adversely affect the amenity of adjoining land-uses.  The effects are predominantly, though not entirely, related to residential uses.  Consequently the policy will apply to all forms of development in all locations.  The policy addresses two sides of the issue, firstly the adverse effects of a development on adjoining uses, and secondly whether the development of a new residential site would prejudice existing land-uses that would have detrimental effects upon the amenity of those new residents.

CW3 – Design Considerations - Highways

Development proposals must satisfy the following highways requirements

  1. The proposal has regard for the safe, effective, and efficient use of the transportation network
  2. The proposal ensures that new access roads within development proposals are designed to a standard that
    1. Promotes the interests of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport before that of the private car, and
    2. Safely and effectively accommodates the scale and nature of traffic, which those roads are intended to serve
  3. Parking, appropriate servicing and operational space have been provided in accordance with the CSS Wales Parking Standards 2008
  4. Where access onto a highway is required the proposal takes account of the restrictions relevant to the class of road as designated in the road hierarchy ensuring movements and speeds are controlled through appropriate design, in order to ensure highway safety and amenity

The detailed requirements to be observed with regard to the provisions of criterion D are listed in Appendix 16 – Road Hierarchy and Movements Restrictions.

CW4 – Natural Heritage Protection

Development proposals that affect locally designated natural heritage features, will only be permitted

  1. Where they conserve and where appropriate enhance the distinctive or characteristic features of theSpecial Landscape Area (SLA) or Visually Important Local Landscape (VILL).
  2. Within, or in close proximity to sites designated as Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), Local Nature Reserves (LNR), Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS), Green Corridors, or Local Priority Habitats and Species, where proposals either:
    1. Conserve and where appropriateenhance the ecological or geological importance of the designation, or
    2. Are such that the need for the development outweighs the ecological importance of the site, and where harm is minimised by mitigation measures and offset as far as practicable by compensation measures designed to ensure that there is no reduction in the overall value of the area or feature.

The natural heritage of the County Borough is diverse and contains specific biodiversity protection areas from European to local designations, together with local landscape designations.  It is important that these are protected from inappropriate development.  Thispolicy testapplies to any developmentproposal that would, or would be likely to, have a detrimental effect upon the distinctive biodiversity, geological or landscape features and characteristics of the County Borough.  The level of potential harm will be assessed, taking into account, mitigation, compensatory and restoration measures.


Minerals underlie the majority of the County Borough, and the Council aims to balance the need to conserve the distinctive features and characteristics of the natural heritage with the need to safeguard nationally important mineral resources.  Proposals for mineral workings are subject to national policy tests, as set out in Minerals Planning Policy Wales (MPPW), 2000, Minerals Technical Advice Note 1 (Aggregates) (MTAN1) and Minerals Technical Advice Note 2 (Coal) (MTAN2). The implications of such proposals will also need to be considered in respect of the distinctive features and characteristics of the natural heritage identified within the Plan.

CW5 – Protection of the Water Environment.

Development proposals will only be permitted where:

  1. They do not have an unacceptable adverse impact upon the water environment, and
  2. Where they would not pose an unacceptable risk to the quality of controlled waters (including groundwater and surface water)

Whilst the Environment Agency Wales has a regulatory role in relation to water quality, the planning system has a crucial role to play in limiting the adverse effects of development on the water environment.


Climate change, increases in populations and changes in lifestyle have all had an impact upon the water environment and the pressures upon it.  Climate change will affect the amount of rain that falls, it will impact upon river flows, replenishing of groundwater, the quality of water available and incidents of flooding, particularly localised, flash flooding.  The demands and pressures on water resources will also change, with the scale and nature of the problem differing across Wales, as will the approach to dealing with the problems.  The approach to the protection of the water environment will need to take into account the quality and quantity of the local water resource, and how this impacts upon the wider environment in terms of preventing further deterioration of aquatic ecosystems, associated habitats, fisheries, promoting the sustainable use of water, and controlling water abstractions.  This is particularly important in terms of any development proposals that are likely to impact on the rivers Rhymney, Ebbw and Sirhowy

CW6 – Trees, Woodland and Hedgerow Protection

Development proposals on sites containing trees, woodlands and hedgerows, or which are bordered by one of more such trees or hedgerows, will only be permitted provided that:

  1. Where arboricultural surveys are required, they are submitted and approved, including any mitigation, compensation or management requirements, as part of the planning application
  2. Root systems will be retained and adequately protected for the duration of all development activity on site.
  3. Development proposals have made all reasonable efforts to retain, protect and integrate trees, woodlands or hedgerows within the development site.
  4. Where trees, woodlands or hedgerows are removed, suitable replacements are provided where appropriate.

Trees, woodlands, and hedgerows make a positive contribution to both the natural and built environment.  They enhance the amenity value, character and diversity of the landscape, provide vital habitat for biodiversity and offer substantial environmental benefits such as offsetting of noise and improving air quality.  Trees can occupy a substantial part of a development site and because of their potential size can have a major influence on the planning and use of the site.  Arboricultural surveys evaluate trees and hedgerows, assess the effects of development and propose suitable mitigation. Detailed assessments, including topographical surveys, tree surveys / categorisation, tree constraints plans and aboricultural implications assessments, provide important information on the quality and   quantity of trees present and identify mitigation of the potential impacts of development, including the construction process, on trees and hedgerows and their root systems.


Effective measures should be taken to protect existing trees, woodlands and hedgerows that have been identified as worthy of retention through the arboricultural survey process. These features, if integrated sensitively and with due care, will enhance the quality of the development and amenity, safeguard biodiversity and natural heritage resources and minimise loss of trees and woodlands


Where the loss of quality trees, woodlands and hedgerows is unavoidable, the loss should be minimised by providing appropriate replacements.  This will ensure that the overall amenity, landscape and ecological value of the site and its setting is conserved.


Requirements to be observed in respect of trees and woodland are detailed in Supplementary Planning Guidance: Trees and Development – A Guide to incorporating Trees in Proposals for Developing Land.

CW7 – Protection of Open Space

Proposals for development on areas of open space within settlements will only be permitted where:

  1. The amount of open space remaining in the neighbourhood would still be adequate to serve local needs
  2. The site has no significant value as a recreational resource or an area of visual amenity

CW8 – Protection of Community and Leisure Facilities

Proposals that would result in the loss of a community and/or leisure facility will not be permitted except where:

  1. A comparable replacement facility can be provided by the developer either on or off site, and within easy and convenient access on foot or by bicycle, or
  2. It can be demonstrated that the facility is surplus to requirements

CW9 – Protection of Rural Commercial Facilities

Proposals that would result in the loss of a shop or public house in defined villages will not be permitted except where:

  1. The local community would continue to be served by another existing and comparable facility that is located within easy and convenient access by foot or bicycle; or
  2. There is evidence that the current use is not, and could not reasonably be expected to become, financially viable; and
  3. The developer can demonstrate that the premises, if non-operational, has been vacant for over a year and that the premises have been actively marketed for that use for lease or sale over a similar period of time at a reasonable rental or purchase price

Local leisure and community facilities are important to the health, social, educational and cultural needs of the County Borough, as well as its economic well-being.  In addition these facilities often provide the key elements to achieving more sustainable settlements by providing facilities within easy reach of people by foot or bicycle.  Consequently this policy seeks to retain such facilities.  This policy is, therefore, to apply to all proposals that lead, or could lead, to the loss of a facility.


There is a need to ensure that village shops and village pubs, which provide a benefit to the local population and help make rural communities sustainable, receive appropriate protection.  This policy is intended to prevent the loss of such businesses in rural communities by change of use which otherwise would remain financially viable and/or could be sold to a new operator who would continue the service.  The settlements to which this policy applies are defined as Argoed,Deri, Draethen, Fochriw, Groeswen, Hafodyrynys, Hollybush,Markham, Princetown, Rudry, Trinant, and Wyllie

CW10 – Leisure and Open Space Provision

All new housing sites capable of accommodating 10 or more dwellings or exceeding 0.3ha in gross site area will be required to make adequate provision for:

  1. Well designed useable open space as an integral part of the development; and
  2. Appropriate formal children’s play facilities either on or off site and
  3. Adequate outdoor sport provision either on or off site, to meet the needs of the residents of the proposed development

The design and layout of new residential development should incorporate adequate areas of useable public open space as an integral part of the development.  Care should be taken to ensure that where amenity open space is incorporated into the layout of the site it should be designed in such a way as to exploit site topography, create open views and avoid incidental areas of un-useable space.  Where sufficient open space exists adjacent to the development site, developers will need to consider how to exploit this resource and thus provide well-designed public links within the development to these areas of land through anew footpath and/or cycle path provision


The amount of land required for children’s play and outdoor sport provision is based on the National Playing Fields Association (NPFA) standard, which recommend a minimum provision of 2.43 hectares per 1000 population.  Precise requirements for each site will need to be agreed with the Council as local factors may require amendment to these standards, for example the location and quality of existing provision.  The leisure background paper provides an indication of the types of facilities that may be sought on allocated housing sites.


Where necessary the Council will seek to enter into planning obligations under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) in order to secure the appropriate provision of such facilities.

CW11 – Affordable Housing Planning Obligation

Legal agreements will be required to ensure that there is provision of an element of affordable housing, in accordance with an assessment of local need, for all allocated and windfall housing sites that

  1. Accommodate 5or more dwellings or
  2. Exceed 0.15ha in gross site area, or
  3. Where the combined product of adjacent housing site proposals would exceed the thresholds set in A or B above

Where there is evidence of need, the Council will seek to negotiate the following affordable housing targets of:

  • 40% of the total number of dwellings proposed on sites within the Caerphilly Basin (excluding Aber Valley)
  • 25% in the Northern Connections Corridor (excluding Newbridge) and
  • 10% in the Rest of Caerphilly County Borough (including Aber Valleyand Newbridge but excluding the Heads of the Valleys Regeneration Area)

There is a significant need for affordable housing in the County Borough and therefore seeking appropriate levels of affordable housing is justified as a means of contributing to mixed, balanced and sustainable communities through the provision of housing for all sectors of the population


These targets should be treated as indicative as, at planning application stage, site-specific requirements will depend on the current market conditions having regard for the most up to date Local Housing Market Assessment, recent Viability Assessments and information from the Council’s Housing Division.  The targets assume that no grant or public subsidy will be used.  Should grant funding be available, a higher level of affordable housing may be sought. In the case of sites assessed and formally concluded by the Council as being in locations of high affordable housing need and possessing locational or other attributes of particular suitability in terms of meeting such need, the Council may seek to negotiate levels of affordable housing provision up to 100%, having regard to all relevant considerations including the viability of such provision.


Further information on affordable housing requirements is provided in the Council’s Supplementary Planning Guidance on Affordable Housing.

CW12 – Affordable Housing Exception Sites

Permission will be granted for small affordable housing sites in or adjoining rural settlements on land where housing would not normally be permitted and where

  1. The site is solely for affordable housing and there are suitable arrangements to ensure that the housing is affordable and made available for initial and subsequent occupation by those in need of affordable housing
  2. A genuine local need for affordable housing has been identified in the village or settlement
  3. It can be demonstrated that the need for affordable housing in the village or settlement cannot be satisfactorily met within the settlement or within a nearby settlement
  4. The site is at an appropriate scale and is in keeping with the form and character of the settlement

Exceptions sites are a potential means of delivering affordable housing in rural areas. Such developments must relate to rural settlements and be on sites where development is strictly controlled and new-build housing would not normally be permitted. Exceptions sites should be at an appropriate scale for the size of the settlement to ensure that communities are balanced and would normally accommodate no more than 5 dwellings.


Planning permission will be subject to a planning condition or obligation to ensure that the affordable housing will remain available in perpetuity to meet local housing needs. The release of exceptions sites will only be appropriate where there is evidence of local need and this need cannot be addressed within the particular settlement or an adjoining one. In the context of this policy ‘local need’ means a person or household who lives within and/or has a family connection to the settlement in question or an adjoining settlement, and is in affordable housing need.


The ‘rural settlements’ to which this policy applies are Princetown, Llechryd, Argoed, Markham, Hollybush, Deri, Fochriw, Hafodyrynys, Trinant, Machen, Rudry, Draethen, Wyllie, Cwmfelinfach, Ynysddu and Wattsville.


It will be necessary for exceptions proposals to meet all the other relevant criteria including in particular the requirements of PoliciesCW2 and CW3.

CW13 – Use Class Restrictions – Business and Industry

Development proposals on industrial estates will be subject to the following restrictions

  1. On sites allocated or identified as Business Parks, development will only be permitted if it is
    1. within use class B1
    2. to provide an ancillary facility or service to the primary employment use
  2. On sites allocated or identified as Primary Sites, development will only be permitted if it is:
    1. within use classes B1, B2 or B8
    2. ii an appropriate sui generis use
    3. iii to provide an ancillary facility or service to the primary employment use
  3. On sites allocated or identified as Secondary Sites, development will only be permitted if it is:
    1. within use classes B1, B2 or B8
    2. an appropriate sui generis use
    3. to provide an ancillary facility or service to the primary employment use
    4. an acceptable commercial service unrelated to class B uses

The majority of industrial estates in the County Borough comprise businesses that are categorised within Use Classes B1, B2 and B8 of the Town and County Planning Use Classes Order 1987 (as amended), however there are also examples of Sui Generis uses on a number of sites.  Every industrial site that is allocated or protected for use class B2 is considered suitable, in principle, for the location of in-building waste management facilities. This commitment is also referred to in Policy SP9, and both policies fulfilthe requirements of theNational Waste Strategy and the Regional Waste Plan (RWP).  Examples of appropriate Sui Generis uses would include a builder’s merchant, a freight contractor’s yard, vehicle depots and taxi control offices.  Examples of commercial services unrelated to use class B which might be considered acceptable would include indoor health, fitness and play facilities, training facilities, day nurseries, and a commercial and vehicle repair and maintenance business.

CW14 – Use Class Restrictions – Retail

Development proposals incorporating a change of use from class A1 retail premises to another use will be subject to the following restrictions:

  1. Within identified Principal Town Centres, changes of use of the ground floors of class A1 retail premises to other uses will only be permitted where:
    1. The commercial vacancy rate of the centre has been over 10% for over a year and
    2. For a change to residential use the property is located on the edge of the centre
  2. Within identified Primary Retail Areas, the change of use of the ground floors of class A1 retail premises to residential use will not be permitted
  3. Within identified Primary Retail Areas, proposals for new, or the change of use of the ground floors of class A1 retail premises to other class A uses will only be permitted where the total cumulative number of such units would not exceed 10% of the total number of commercial units within the Primary Retail Area

Some uses, such as employment and retail uses, need to be protected to maintain their overall vitality and viability.  Consequently the protection of the uses that are permitted within these areas is important.  In addition it is preferable to protect the identified use of allocations in the LDP to ensure that the needs of the County Borough are met.  Consequently this policy applies to proposals for both new development, which establishes new uses, and to changes of use proposals that seek to change the existing use of premises.  The “edge” of the defined retail centre is taken to mean at or near the point where the retail frontages of the shopping area meet predominantly residential frontages, such as often occurs in older linear shopping centres comprising rows of terraced units.

CW15 – General Locational Constraints

Development proposals will be considered against the following criteria, where they apply:

  1. Development proposals will not be permitted if they prejudice the implementation of wider comprehensive redevelopment or constrain the development of any adjacent site for its allocated land-use
  2. Within settlement boundaries proposals for all types of development accord with the role and function of the settlement within which they are located, and
  3. Outside settlement boundaries proposals will not be permitted unless the proposed development is either:
    1. Associated with either agriculture, forestry or the winning and working of minerals or
    2. For the conversion, rehabilitation or replacement of rural buildings and dwellings, or
    3. For recreation, leisure and tourism proposals that are suitable in a countryside location or
    4. Associated with the provision of public utilities, infrastructure and waste management facilities that cannot reasonably be located elsewhere or
    5. Associated with the reclamation / treatment of derelict or contaminated land

Minerals development is unique in that it can only happen where the minerals occur.  There are substantial mineral resources within the County Borough, including resources of shallow coal, limestone, sandstone and sand and gravel all of which are indicated on the Proposals Map.  In addition someof the coal resources in the County Borough also have the potential to contain economically viable amounts of coal bed methane and licenses have been granted in two areas under other regulations for the exploration of on shore oil and gas.


Any proposals for the winning or working of minerals will be considered in the context of national guidance together with the countywide polices and appropriate site-specific policies contained within the LDP.  Development proposals that do not present specific locally distinct issues will be assessed in accordance with the requirements of national planning policy.

CW16 – Locational Constraints - Retailing

Outside of the defined Principal Town Centres proposals for new retail stores or for additional retail floorspace will only be permitted where:

  1. The vitality and viability of nearby Principal Town Centres will not be undermined, taking into account the cumulative effects of other approved retail developments, recently completed developments and Plan commitments, and 
  2. The proposal would not undermine the Council’s retail strategy, a Town Centre Action Plan or any regeneration plans that the Council has formally approved, or
  3. The proposal is:
    1. A new retailing unit of 1000m2 or less in size, or the change of use of such a size, and
    2. To serve neighbourhood needs, or is ancillary to another commercial use

CW17 – Locational Constraints – Retail Warehousing

Proposals for new retail warehouse units, or for change of use to retail warehouse units, on sites outside of the designated Retail Warehouse Parks will only be permitted if there are no suitable sites or units available within those Parks or within the defined Principal Town Centres

CW18 – Locational Constraints – Housing for People in Need of Care

The development of housing offering an element of care, either through change of use or new development, will be permitted where:

  1. It is located within defined settlement boundaries
  2. There is safe and easy access to existing community facilities, local shops and services

There are a number of people living within Caerphilly County Borough that have specific housing needs as a result of disabilities or other support needs.  Whilst many special needs can be addressed through support in existing homes, the range of needs varies and therefore there is a need for a flexible approach to allow for the needs of those requiring care.


For the purposes of this policy, ‘housing for people in need of care’ refers to proposals for nursing homes, sheltered housing, extra or close care housing, continuing care retirement communities or other similar types of development where an element of care is provided as part of the development.  The policy relates to both new developments and the change of use to housing with care developments through the conversion of an existing building or buildings.  Such facilities can serve the needs of elderly people and/or people with disabilities.


It is likely that the residents of housing with care developments have specific mobility needs and therefore it is particularly important that developments are accessible to services and facilities such as GPs surgeries or shops.


In order to ensure that residents of housing with care developments are integrated within the wider community, sites should be located within defined settlement boundaries.  It may be appropriate for these types of development to be located on allocated housing sites provided other policy considerations can be met, although it is important that such developments do not constrain the wider development of an allocated site.

CW19 – Locational Constraints – Rural Development and Diversification

Rural Development and Diversification schemes will be permitted where:

  1. They are consistent in scale and compatible with their rural location, including the retention and enhancement of existing natural heritage features
  2. That where buildings are required to deliver the scheme, existing buildings are reused where possible, or the new buildings relate to an existing group of buildings
  3. They will be complementary to, and not prejudice, the operation of the existing business

Rural industry has, in general been in decline for many years, and this has been reflected in the loss of many of our traditional farms, farming practices and other rural industries and practices within the County Borough.  As a result, many of these rural industries have now diversified into facilities such as tourist accommodation, boarding kennels, riding schools or small-scale rural industries such as wood processing.


Rural diversification and development can contribute to the rural economy, can sustain rural communities, can provide tourism opportunities for the borough and continue to protect the rural landscape and character.  Many activities, industries and services can be located within the rural environment without any detrimental impact upon the character and value of the countryside.


For the continued integrity of the natural heritage and the protection of the rural character of the County Borough, it is often more appropriate to diversify existing facilities such as farm complexes rather than provide new facilities.  Diversification is essentially changing an existing facility that is no longer suited to its original purpose to another use that will benefit the local environment, economy and people.


All proposals for rural development or diversification schemes will need to demonstrate that they are compatible with their rural location.  The scale and nature of the development should not have an unacceptable impact upon the rural character or the area by way of design, noise, smell, visual or traffic impact. Immediate and distant views should be considered.  Where new buildings or facilities are required then evidence as to why existing buildings are not suitable for the proposed use will be required.  If extensive new or replacement buildings or facilities are required, it will be considered that development or diversification is unlikely to be appropriate for a rural location.

CW20 – Locational Constraints – Conversion, Extension and Replacement of Buildings in the Countryside

The conversion, extension or replacement of a building outside settlement boundaries will be permitted where:

  1. The proposed use, scale, form, siting, design and materials are suitable within its context
  2. A conversion is justified by demonstrating that:
    1. The building is not makeshift in nature and is of permanent, substantial construction, and
    2. The building is structurally sound and capable of conversion or rehabilitation without major alteration or reconstruction
    3. The building is capable of accommodating the proposed use without materially changing its existing character
    4. The development does not result in the domestication or urbanisation of an otherwise rural setting or the unacceptable loss of undeveloped countryside
  3. Extension is justified by demonstrating that:
    1. The scale, form and design of the extension respects the scale and character of the original building, which remains the dominant element;
    2. The extension does not result in the loss of undeveloped countryside
    3. The extension does not result in the domestication or urbanisation of an otherwise rural setting
  4. Replacement is justified by demonstrating that:
    1. The existing building is structurally unsound and not capable of rehabilitation or conversion to an alternative use without major alteration or rebuilding
    2. The use of the existing building has not been abandoned
    3. The use cannot practicably continue to be accommodated in the existing building and
    4. All practical appropriate alternatives for reuse have been examined

Many buildings outside settlement boundaries become unsuited to the purpose for which they were originally built, and without beneficial use can become redundant and fall into disrepair. When assessing planning applications for the reuse or adaptation of a building, the primary considerations will be whether the nature and extent of the new use and the detail of any changes to the building are acceptable in planning terms.


When permitting development beyond the settlement boundary a careful balance is required to conserve, protect and enhance the rural environment through a sensitive approach to design including scale, form, siting and the use of materials, all of which should be appropriate to the context of the proposed development. Careful consideration should be given to the character of the building and its immediate and wider setting.


Proposals for the conversion of buildings outside of the settlement boundary should respect local building styles and materials and should be sympathetic to the character of the original building and the locality.  For conversion to be acceptable the building should be structurally sound and capable of conversion or rehabilitation without major alteration or reconstruction; it should be of permanent and substantial construction and should not result in the domestication or urbanisation of an otherwise rural setting. Buildings that are ruinous or abandoned would not normally be considered suitable for conversion.


The existing building may require an element of extension to enable a new use to be accommodated. Where an extension is proposed it should respect the character, size and scale of the host building, with the original structure remaining the dominant element. Particularly careful scrutiny will be given to proposals that would further extend buildings that have previous extensions, in order to ensure that the scale and character of the original building is not compromised. Proposals should respect the character and setting scale of both the host building and its immediate and wider surroundings and should not lead to an unacceptable loss of undeveloped land


In order to maintain appropriate forms of development in the countryside and avoid their replacement with inappropriate development, replacement buildings will only be permitted where part D can be satisfied.  This policy is designed to ensure that where buildings are clearly ruinous or abandoned they are not classed as buildings that require rebuilding; and that where buildings are replaced, the new development is sympathetic to its location in terms of both use and design.

CW21 – Locational Constraints - Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites

Proposals for Gypsy and Traveller caravan sites, including on land outside of defined settlement boundaries, will be permitted provided:

  1. The site is well related to community facilities and services 
  2. The site can accommodate residential and home-based business uses without detriment to amenity and character of the area
  3. The site is capable of being served by utilities including waste disposal and recovery

This policy relates to applications for both permanent and transit gypsyand travellercaravan sites.  As with other types of housing, it is important that gypsy and travellercommunities have the same opportunity as the settled population to access facilities and services such as schools or GP surgeries.  For this reason, the preferred location for sites is inside or on the outskirts of built-up areas, although suitable sites in rural or semi-rural settings would also be acceptable.


Many gypsiesand travellersrun businesses from the site on which their caravans are stationed and therefore sites should only be permitted where this mix of uses can be accommodated without detracting from the amenity of local residents or character of the local area.


Proposals for gypsy and traveller caravan sites must also generally comply with other policies identified in the Plan, including design considerations.

CW22 – Locational Constraints - Minerals

Development proposals which may impact on minerals safeguarding areas will be considered against the following requirements, as applicable:

  1. Proposals for permanent development uses within identified mineral safeguarding areas will not be approved unless:
    1. The applicant can demonstrate that the mineral is no longer of any value or potential value, or
    2. The mineral can be extracted satisfactorily prior to the development taking place, or
    3. There is an overriding need for the development, or
    4. The development comprises infill development within a built up area or householder development or an extension to an existing building
  2. Proposals for development uses of a temporary nature within identified mineral safeguarding areas will not be approved unless they can be completed and the site restored to a condition that does not inhibit mineral extraction within the timescale that the mineral is likely to be needed

CW23 – Locational Constraints – Mineral Site Buffer Zones

Development proposals for sensitive or minerals development will not be permitted within the mineral site buffer zones identified on the proposals map


Buffer zones aim to reduce the conflict between mineral working and other sensitive land uses as a result of noise and dust from mineral extraction / processing and vibration from blasting.  No new mineral development will be permitted within the buffer zone to prevent encroachment towards the sensitive land uses.  No new sensitive development will be permitted both to prevent any encroachment but also to prevent an additional constraint for the mineral working.


In line with national guidance, buffer zones have been delineated around active, inactive and dormant mineral sites.In relation to active and inactive sites, the buffer zones are drawn from the outer edge of the permission boundary.  The extent of the buffer zone reflects the known effects of mineral working at the site and may exceed the minimum distances set out in MPPW, MTAN1 and MTAN2.  For dormant sites, where there is no experience of the impact of mineral extraction operations, the minimum distances set out in guidance will apply.


Whilst dormant sites retain permission, full modern conditions would be applied to the extant permission in accordance with national guidance prior to any working recommencing on site.  National guidance also recognises the importance of determining the future use of dormant and inactive sites to give certainty to local communities that may be affected by future mineral operations.  Having regard to this, the Council will continue to review, on an annual basis, those sites that have not worked to any substantial extent in the preceding two years and will consider an appropriate strategy for the future use and restoration of those sites, which may include Modification, Suspension, Discontinuance, Revocation or Prohibition Orders where appropriate.