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Craven District Council

An introduction to Craven Local Plan policies

Access a quick overview of Local Plan policies, including broad descriptions of each policy's aims and requirements

The Craven Local Plan contains 45 policies with supporting text, which set out many detailed requirements for all types of development. Below is a quick overview of those policies and broad descriptions of the general aims and requirements of each one.

Please be aware that familiarisation with the full text of policies and with the policies' full supporting text is essential in order to gain a complete understanding of detailed policy requirements. This is especially important for people preparing planning applications. The full text is only available in the Craven Local Plan.

Policies are listed, below, in the same order and sections as in the Local Plan itself.

Section 3: Sustainable Development

SD1: The Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development

Policy SD1 reiterates the presumption in favour of sustainable development and the requirement for planning decisions to be made in accordance with the Development Plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise, as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

SD2: Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change

Policy SD2 sets out how the Local Plan will ensure that development contributes to the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, in accordance with the requirements of section 19(1A) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the spatial strategy, proposing new development in locations of low flood risk, supporting energy efficiency and renewable technologies, and managing impacts on water supply, biodiversity and landscape.

Section 4: Strategic Policies and Spatial Strategy

SP1: Meeting Housing Need

Policy SP1 requires the provision of 4,600 net additional dwellings over the plan period to meet housing needs. This is a minimum provision, equating to an annual average of 230 net additional dwellings per annum, and will be met through dwellings completed, sites with permission or under construction, Local Plan housing allocations and an allowance for Tier 5 settlements, open countryside and small sites across the plan area.

SP2: Economic Activity and Business Growth

In conjunction with related economic (EC) policies of the Local Plan, policy SP2 seeks to ensure that the local economy will grow, diversify and generate new opportunities. This will be achieved by safeguarding existing employment land and commitments for B1, B2 and B8 uses, allocating additional employment land, supporting sustainable economic activity and supporting enhanced regional transport connectivity.

SP3: Housing Mix and Density

Policy SP3 seeks to ensure that land is used effectively and efficiently to address local housing needs. New developments will be required to provide an appropriate housing mix, having regard to the SHMA and other evidence, and to be at appropriate densities – typically around 32 dwellings per hectare. Policy SP3 also requires the Council to be flexible in its requirements where necessary.

SP4: Spatial Strategy and Housing Growth

Policy SP4 promotes a sustainable pattern of growth to deliver the spatial strategy of the Local Plan by directing proportionate levels of growth to Tiers 1 to 5 of the settlement hierarchy and by delivering growth on sites with planning permission and sites allocated for development. Policy SP4 also supports additional housing growth on non-allocated sites subject to a number of provisos. In Tiers 1 to 4, additional growth is supported within main built up areas (MBUAs) and, in specific circumstances, adjoining MBUAs. In Tier 5, additional growth is supported within MBUAs in specific circumstances. In the open countryside, limited growth is supported in specific circumstances. All supported growth is subject to detailed criteria.

SP5: Strategy for Skipton – Tier 1

Policy SP5 allocates specific sites in Skipton for new employment, housing and mixed-use development and sets out requirements for each site in the form of Development Principles. Allocated sites are shown on the Policies Map.

SP6: Strategy for Settle – Tier 2

Policy SP6 allocates specific sites in Settle for new employment, housing and mixed-use development and sets out requirements for each site in the form of Development Principles. Allocated sites are shown on the Policies Map.

SP7: Strategy for Bentham – Tier 2

Policy SP7 allocates specific sites in Bentham (which includes High Bentham and Low Bentham) for new housing development and sets out requirements for each site in the form of Development Principles. Allocated sites are shown on the Policies Map.

SP8: Strategy for Glusburn/Cross Hills – Tier 3

Policy SP8 allocates specific sites in Glusburn and Cross Hills for new housing development and sets out requirements for each site in the form of Development Principles. Allocated sites are shown on the Policies Map.

SP9: Strategy for Ingleton – Tier 3

Policy SP9 allocates specific sites in Ingleton for new employment and housing development and sets out requirements for each site in the form of Development Principles. Allocated sites are shown on the Policies Map.

SP10: Strategy for Gargrave – Tier 3

Policy SP10 allocates specific sites in Gargrave for new housing development and sets out requirements for each site in the form of Development Principles. Allocated sites are shown on the Policies Map.

SP11: Strategy for Tier 4a and 4b Villages with Basic Services and Bisected Villages with Basic Services

Policy SP11 allocates specific sites in Burton-in-Lonsdale, Low Bradley and Giggleswick for new housing development and in Cononley for new housing and employment development, and sets out requirements for each site in the form of Development Principles. Allocated sites are shown on the Policies Map.

SP12: Infrastructure, Strategy and Development Delivery

Policy SP12 sets out the Council’s strategy for the provision of infrastructure to support Local Plan growth, as evidenced by the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP). The policy also states that proposals for development are expected to make provision for infrastructure that is directly related to, or made necessary by the development; that such provision may be direct or through contributions secured by planning obligations; that delivery of infrastructure should be timely and to an adoptable standard; and that proposals for the necessary maintenance, upgrading and expansion of utilities infrastructure will be supported in principle.

Section 5: Environment

ENV1: Countryside and Landscape

Policy ENV1 seeks to ensure that Craven’s countryside and landscape is conserved and opportunities to restore and enhance the landscape are taken wherever possible. Development proposals should have regard to relevant landscape evidence and respond to the particular character area and type they are located within. Great weight will be given to conservation of the Forest of Bowland AONB and its setting and the setting of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Support will be given to proposals that benefit degraded landscapes, biodiversity, heritage, the public rights of way network, disabled access, dark skies and the form and setting of settlements.

ENV2: Heritage

Policy ENV2 seeks to ensure that Craven’s historic environment is conserved or enhanced and its potential is fully exploited. Broadly, this means conserving those elements that contribute most to the District’s distinctive character and sense of place; ensuring that proposals affecting heritage assets conserve those elements which contribute to the significance of the assets in line with their importance; supporting proposals that preserve or enhance the character or appearance of Conservation Areas; and supporting proposals that help to secure a sustainable future for heritage assets.

ENV3: Good Design

Policy ENV3 sets out a number of general principles to be followed in the design of new development. These principles are aimed at achieving positive change through good design – including benefits for the local economy, environment and quality of life – and cover such aspects as context and amenity, infrastructure, accessibility, art, culture, crime, shopfronts, adverts and sustainability.

ENV4: Biodiversity

Policy ENV4 states that growth will be accompanied by improvements in biodiversity and, wherever possible, development will make a positive contribution to achieving net gains in biodiversity. This includes protecting international and national designations; avoiding harm to and encouraging enhancement of sites, networks, habitats and species; increasing tree and woodland cover; safeguarding surface and ground water bodies; enabling wildlife to move freely through the natural and built environment; and ensuring that net gains are delivered on specific allocated sites.

ENV5: Green Infrastructure

Policy ENV5 states that growth will be accompanied by an improved and expanded green infrastructure (GI) network. In order to achieve this, development will avoid harm to GI assets and the network they form; enhance or create new GI and secure its long-term management; and create or enhance links in the network, including corridors to help wildlife move freely. GI improvements are also required on specific allocated sites.

ENV6: Flood Risk

Policy ENV6 states that growth will help to avoid and alleviate flood risk. This means development will take place in low risk areas wherever possible and always in areas of lowest acceptable risk, in accordance with the sequential and exception tests. Development will incorporate flood prevention and water management measures, including SuDS where possible; maintain access to watercourses and flood defences; avoid areas with potential to increase flood resilience and seek to enhance natural flood management; minimise risks from surface water with appropriate foul and surface water disposal, in accordance with Appendix C of the Local Plan; and have regard to the latest and best flood risk information.

ENV7: Land and Air Quality

Policy ENV7 states that development will help to safeguard and improve land and air quality. In terms of land quality, this means avoiding development of the area’s best agricultural land (grade 3), unless a particular loss can be justified; supporting the appropriate re-use of brownfield land; and supporting remediation of contaminated and unstable land. In terms of air quality, this means avoiding severe impacts from traffic congestion and helping to ease existing traffic congestion; encouraging walking, cycling and the use of public transport and electric vehicles; and avoiding or reducing harmful or unpleasant emissions from buildings.

ENV8: Water Resources, Water Quality and Groundwater

Policy ENV8 states that development will help to safeguard and improve water resources and will be served by adequate sewerage and waste water treatment infrastructure; will maximise opportunities for water conservation; reduce the risk of pollution and deterioration of water resources; and not lead to pollution of controlled waters. The policy also states that developers will protect surface and groundwater from pollution by investigating the suitability of land for the intended use and will guide development away from Source Protection Zones.

ENV9: Renewable and Low Carbon Energy (RLCE)

Policy ENV9 supports RLCE developments that offer a good balance of benefits, provided these are not outweighed by negative impacts, including cumulative impacts, on the natural or historic environment, landscape, amenity of residents, aviation or telecommunications. The policy also supports community engagement, underground grid connections, removal of redundant infrastructure, commercial wind turbines backed by neighbourhood plans or local communities and small scale wind turbines for farms, rural businesses or local settlements.

ENV10: Local Green Space

Policy ENV10 designates 34 areas of Local Green Space, which are shown on the Policies Map, and protects them from incompatible development that would adversely impact on their open character, their particular local significance and their value to the local community. The policy states that incompatible development should not be approved except in very special circumstances and that new buildings or structures will be regarded as incompatible development unless specific exceptions apply.

ENV11: The Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Policy ENV11 sets out expectations for development that would affect the canal, including expectations for high quality design, integration of the canal into the public realm, improved access (including disabled access), improved environmental quality (including habitats), maintenance of water quality, optimised views, natural surveillance, appropriate boundary treatment and improved amenity. The policy states that development that would have an adverse visual or other impact on the amenity of the canal will not be supported.

ENV12: Footpaths, Bridleways, Byways and Cycle Routes (FBBCRs)

Policy ENV12 states that growth will safeguard and improve the quality, extent and accessibility of FBBCRs and the network they form. It supports proposals that avoid obstruction, diversion or confinement of FBBCRs; enhance the route, usability and amenity of FBBCRs; accommodate FBBCRs within green open space; create new FBBCRs and links to/from new development; and improve access for disabled people. The policy also supports National Trails, green infrastructure corridors, town or village loops and wheelchair circuits.

ENV13: Green Wedges

Policy ENV13 designates Green Wedges at Bentham and South Craven, as shown on the Policies Map, in order to safeguard against the coalescence of separate built-up areas. The policy states that within Green Wedges development will be resisted where it would fail to preserve the separate character and identity of settlements or would fail to preserve the sense of separation between settlements. The policy also seeks to reinforce the character, appearance and recreational value of Green Wedges.

Section 6: Housing

H1: Specialist Housing for Older People

Policy H1 states that the housing needs of older people will be met by supporting appropriate specialist housing provision across all tenures, in locations with access to services, facilities and public transport; by supporting proposals to adapt or extend existing residential properties to meet the needs of older people or people with disabilities; and by allocating specific sites in Settle, Bentham and Gargrave for specialist housing for older people.

H2: Affordable Housing

Policy H2 requires the provision of affordable housing (AH) within developments of general market housing and specialist housing for older people, on greenfield and brownfield sites. The policy’s requirements are subject to specific thresholds and percentages, which apply in different circumstances and which have been tested in the Local Plan Viability Assessment. For larger proposals, AH is required on site, unless a financial contribution for off-site provision is justified. Within designated rural areas, smaller proposals are required to make provision for AH in the form off-site financial contributions. Any reduced provision is not acceptable unless there are exceptional circumstances. The policy also supports the provision of AH by other appropriate means, including Rural Exception Sites.

H3: Gypsies, Travellers, Showmen and Roma (GTSR)

Policy H3 states that the housing requirements of GTSR will be met by maintaining an adequate supply of private sites to occupy. Therefore, development of an established site for any other purpose will be refused, unless specific requirements are met, and new sites or extensions to established sites will be supported, where needed, subject to a number of detailed criteria.

Section 7: Economy

EC1: Employment and Economic Development

Policy EC1 supports proposals for employment and economic development in designated ‘existing employment areas’, on land allocated for employment and mixed use development and on sites within the main built up areas of Tier 1 to 5 settlements, provided that a number of detailed criteria are met. The policy also supports proposals in other locations, but only in specific circumstances.

EC2: Safeguarding Existing Employment Areas

In conjunction with policy EC1, policy EC2 seeks to ensure a continuing and adequate supply of locations for ‘B’ class employment uses. The policy states that sites in ‘B’ class use, including those within designated ‘existing employment areas’, and sites with a commitment to ‘B’ class use, which are shown on the Policies Map, will be safeguarded from non ‘B’ class uses, unless specific circumstances apply. The policy also refers to the safeguarding of existing live/work units (policy EC3) and support for tourism development at Broughton Hall Estate (policy EC4).

EC3: Rural Economy

Policy EC3 seeks to ensure sustainable growth in the rural economy and the provision of long term economic, environmental and social benefits through enterprise and innovation, using farmland and farm buildings in new and different ways, working co-operatively and pro-actively with businesses, enabling land-based businesses to function efficiently, converting existing buildings to employment use or live/work units and supporting the continued use of existing live/work units.

EC4: Tourism

Policy EC4 promotes sustainable tourism that improves the economy, environment and quality of life. It seeks to achieve this by supporting new and improved facilities, helping destinations become established and successful, recognising new opportunities, activities and destinations, acknowledging the full range of potential activities, promoting public transport, footpaths and cycling, achieving ‘synergies of co-location’, securing community benefits and supporting local initiatives. The policy also designates eight ‘key locations for tourism development’, as described in the supporting text and identified on the Policies Map.

EC4A: Tourism–Led Development at Bolton Abbey

Policy EC4A supports sensitive and sustainable tourism-led, mixed-use development at Bolton Abbey. Such development is to be within a defined Core Visitor Area with larger scale development restricted to three specified locations at Bolton Abbey village and Bolton Bridge, as shown on the Policies Map. The policy sets out a number of criteria against which proposals will be considered and requires a satisfactory strategy and masterplan to be produced for the Core Visitor Area with which proposals will be expected to accord.

EC4B: Tourism Development Commitment at Hellifield

Land designated as the Tourism Development Commitment (TDC) is located to the west of Hellifield, as shown on the Policies Map, and benefits from extant planning permission. Policy EC4B supports proposals for alternative tourism development on specific areas of land within the TDC, provided they meet a number of requirements relating to landscape, heritage, biodiversity, Local Green Space, public rights of way and the character and appearance of the local area. The policy also allows for limited additional development, subject to certain provisos.

EC5: Town, District and Local Centres

Policy EC5 supports proposals for appropriate commercial, retail, leisure, cultural and community activity (town centre uses) according to a defined hierarchy of local town and village centres. The policy also safeguards the retail function of Skipton’s defined Primary Shopping Area (PSA), identifies the retail capacity of centres, supports proposals that would help to meet that capacity and requires proposals for main town centre uses outside defined town centres (TCs) to be justified in terms of their location and impact on vitality and viability. Boundaries of the PSA and TCs are shown on the Policies Map.

EC5A: Residential Uses in Town, District and Local Centres

Policy EC5A seeks to manage the development of residential uses in town, district and local centres according to the hierarchy of centres established in Policy EC5. The policy states that the retail function of Skipton’s defined Primary Shopping Area will be protected from ground floor residential uses that would harm vitality and viability. Elsewhere within the centre of Skipton and in other centres, the policy supports appropriate residential uses having regard to their impact on the role, function, vitality and viability of the centre.

Section 8: Infrastructure, Services and Facilities

INF1: Planning Obligations

Policy INF1 is the Council’s policy on planning obligations, or section 106 agreements, themselves and sets out how they will be used. The policy states that, where necessary, planning obligations will help to mitigate the impact of growth, support the provision of infrastructure as identified under Policies H2, INF2, INF3, INF5, INF6 and INF7, secure community benefits and achieve sustainable development. The specific ways in which planning obligations will be used are then set out in a number of detailed policy criteria.

INF2: Community Facilities and Social Spaces

Policy INF2 supports proposals for new or improved facilities where there is a local need, provided that proposals are appropriate in scale, well located, accessible and avoid harm to residential amenities. The policy also supports innovative schemes and proposals to enhance the public realm. Existing facilities are safeguarded by the policy and any loss of facilities must be justified on grounds that they are no longer suitable, viable or marketable, or are to be replaced by new facilities.

INF3: Sport, Open Space and Recreational Facilities

Policy INF3 supports new or improved facilities, provided they are appropriate in scale, well located and accessible. The policy also requires housing and mixed-use developments to provide new or improved facilities, to cater for needs arising from the development, either directly or through financial contributions, subject to specific policy thresholds and criteria and in accordance with Appendix A of the Local Plan. Such requirements have been tested in the Local Plan Viability Assessment. Existing facilities are safeguarded by the policy and the loss of facilities is only supported in specific and limited circumstances.

INF4: Parking Provision

Policy INF4 states that development will provide proper parking of an appropriate quantity and type having regard to the nature of proposals. The Council will be flexible, enabling good design solutions, and will work with developers to avoid anti-social parking. Any likely impacts on public or on-street parking will be taken into account, low-emissions vehicles and electric charging points will be encouraged and SuDS, permeable surfacing and protection of water quality will be ensured.

INF5: Communications Infrastructure

Policy INF5 supports the expansion of communications infrastructure (CI), including broadband, through increased use of existing CI, such as masts, and the provision of new CI where the use of existing is not feasible and where significant adverse impacts can be avoided. The policy also seeks to avoid harm to sensitive areas and buildings, particularly in the location and design of proposals, and imposes specific requirements relating to the provision of enhanced broadband services.

INF6: Education Provision

Policy INF6 seeks to ensure sufficient school places for existing and new residents by supporting new, replacement, extended and altered schools, which are accessible and in scale with the location; by safeguarding land for new/extended primary schools in Skipton/ Bentham; and by requiring developer contributions from residential and mixed-use developments that would result in school-place deficits, subject to specific policy thresholds and criteria and in accordance with Appendix B of the Local Plan.

INF7: Sustainable Transport and Highways

Policy INF7 seeks to minimise greenhouse gases and congestion, supports the provision of safe, accessible travel facilities and operates in conjunction with related Local Plan policies. The policy seeks to ensure that proposals maximise opportunities to travel by non-car modes, are supported by sustainable travel assessments, provide safe, suitable and convenient access for all and make provision for any highway improvements needed to mitigate their impact, including through tariff-style contributions from specific sites in Skipton.