Chapter 3 - Environment
   
BACKGROUND
OBJECTIVES
 
Policies and Proposals:
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
THE LOCATION OF NEW DEVELOPMENT
THE COUNTRYSIDE
LANDSCAPE AND THE APPEARANCE OF THE BOROUGH
NATURE CONSERVATION
RESOURCE CONSERVATION
BUILDINGS AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
PUBLIC PROTECTION
TELECOMMUNICATIONS
   
 
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BACKGROUND
3.1 Care for the environment is at the heart of the development plan process. The concept of sustainable development has emerged as a guiding principle. It focuses on achieving and maintaining a balance between development and the protection of the environment. Development plans are expected to allow for the development which is necessary to meet anticipated social and economic needs whilst safeguarding the overall quality of the environment for the benefit of future generations.
3.2 The objective of environmental sustainability is reflected in all of the Plan's policies and proposals, and is not to be confined to the Environment chapter. The Plan also takes account of the environment in the widest sense, addressing broader concerns such as global warming and resource consumption, as well as the established issues such as the containment of built-up areas and the appearance of new development.
3.3 The practical application of the sustainable development concept in the Plan involves the protection of the best features of the local environment, enhancement of poor or degraded areas, and ensuring that new development makes a positive overall contribution to environmental quality.
3.4 'People and Nature in Darlington', the Council's Strategy for the Green Environment, has been prepared to provide the policy framework for nature conservation in the Borough. The Local Plan's policies have been drawn up within that framework to control the impact of development on wild flora and fauna.
3.5 Darlington is an attractive Borough of distinctive character. Its built environment reflects its historic roles of market town, early industrial and railway centre, Victorian residential suburbs and agricultural settlements. More ancient elements, such as the Roman fort at Piercebridge and the various deserted medieval villages, can be glimpsed only through archaeology. The natural environment is characterised by quiet rolling countryside with attractive villages and varied landscapes, including the particularly attractive landscape of the Tees valley.
3.6 The quality of the environment is enhanced by the clearly defined boundaries between built-up areas and the countryside, which is largely unspoilt by inappropriate development, and by the extensive areas of open land, ranging from formal parks to unused land, within the urban area.
3.7 Areas of poor environmental quality remain, mainly within the town as a legacy of its industrial past. The Council's approach to environmental improvement, through its derelict land reclamation, urban fringe and conservation area grant programmes, is well-established. The Council also uses its development control powers to ensure that development is satisfactorily located and designed, and does not give rise to nuisance through noise or other forms of pollution.
 
OBJECTIVES
3.8 The Council's objectives for the environment, to be pursued through the policies and proposals of the Plan, are:
  i) To sustain the balance between meeting the need for development and maintaining the quality of the environment;
 
 
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  ii) To ensure that the Borough provides an attractive environment for Darlington residents and visitors, including tourists and business people;
  iii) To preserve and, where appropriate, enhance the key archaeological, architectural, historic and natural features of the Borough;
  iv) To protect and enhance the character, vitality and diversity of Darlington town centre;
  v) To improve the appearance of prominent buildings and land in need of attention;
  vi) To ensure that new development respects its setting and the wider environment;
  vii) To ensure protection from all forms of pollution;
  viii) To protect and enhance ecological diversity; and
  ix) To reduce energy consumption and to conserve non-renewable resources.
 
Policies and Proposals:
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
 
POLICY E1 - Keynote Policy for the Protection of the Environment
  AS LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY, THE COUNCIL WILL REGARD THE NEED TO PROTECT AND SUSTAIN THE KEY ATTRIBUTES OF THE BOROUGH'S ENVIRONMENTAL WEALTH AS PRE-EMINENT. PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT MUST REFLECT THE NEED TO SAFEGUARD THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF RESIDENTS, TO MAINTAIN ACCEPTABLE STANDARDS OF AIR, WATER (INCLUDING GROUNDWATER) AND LAND QUALITY, TO CONSERVE ENERGY AND OTHER RESOURCES, AND TO PROTECT THE CHARACTER AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSETS OF THE BOROUGH, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DETAILED CONSIDERATIONS SET OUT IN THE OTHER POLICIES OF THE PLAN.
   
3.9 The Council's intention is that the overall quality of the environment, in its many aspects, should be maintained in tandem with meeting the future needs for development in the Borough. Change must be managed in ways which provide for social and economic needs whilst protecting the best of today's environment for enjoyment by future generations. It is recognised that individual developments may have some negative effects on the environment, but collectively they are expected to contribute as much as they take away, in terms of a balance of costs and benefits. The Council will seek advice from appropriate agencies in assessing development proposals, to determine their environmental impact. Policy E1 is a 'keynote' policy setting out the Council's position on the protection of the environment through the control of development as a context for the more detailed policies set out in this and other chapters of the Plan.
3.10 Water resources are a particularly vulnerable aspect of the environment in Darlington, which lies across an aquifer. Pollutants can easily permeate the soils and contaminate ground water, and development could also affect the hydrology of the area. Once contaminated, it is very difficult and costly, if not impossible, to clean up groundwater, and it is important that the quality and quantity of groundwater is protected.
 
THE LOCATION OF NEW DEVELOPMENT
   
 
POLICY E2 - Development Limits
  MOST NEW DEVELOPMENT WILL FOR THE PLAN PERIOD BE LOCATED INSIDE THE DEVELOPMENT LIMITS DEFINED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP. DEVELOPMENT FOR AGRICULTURAL OR FORESTRY OPERATIONS, AND SMALL SCALE DEVELOPMENT BENEFICIAL TO THE RURAL ECONOMY OR TO THE NEEDS OF RURAL COMMUNITIES (INCLUDING HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROVIDED UNDER POLICY H10), THE OPERATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF WATER, DRAINAGE AND OTHER UTILITY SERVICE PROVIDERS, AND DEVELOPMENT FOR COUNTRYSIDE-RELATED SPORTS OR RECREATION ACTIVITIES, WILL BE PERMITTED OUTSIDE THEM PROVIDED THAT UNACCEPTABLE HARM TO THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THE RURAL AREA IS AVOIDED.
   
 
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3.11 Much of the Borough comprises attractive and generally unspoilt countryside, with well-defined boundaries between built-up and rural areas. The Council has defined development limits, within which most new development will be located, with the intention of maintaining these well-defined boundaries and safeguarding the character and appearance of the countryside. Figure 3.1 and Policy H3 identify those settlements for which development limits have been drawn, and within which development, including new housing development, is acceptable in principle.
3.12 Given the compact nature of the Borough, most social and economic needs can be provided for within the urban area. This is the most appropriate location for most housing, business and retail development, with limited development opportunities within the villages.
   
Figure 3.1 Settlements in Darlington Borough
   
 
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3.13 Outside the development limits, development will be strictly controlled. However, some forms of development need to be located in the countryside, to maintain or diversify the rural economy or otherwise to meet the needs of rural communities. Farm incomes have come under pressure as a result of 'set-aside' and other measures introduced by the Government and its European Union partners to stem production of foodstuffs. The Government recognises that to maintain a healthy rural economy it is necessary to encourage farmers to diversify into non-agricultural enterprises whilst continuing with their traditional agricultural operations, and that this will give rise to development pressures. Development may also be appropriate for countryside-based sport, recreation and tourism uses, or where it would help to maintain or enhance the environment. Policy T53 sets out criteria under which planning permission will be granted for new or extended sewage treatment works. Private gardens are a form of development which may extend beyond development limits even though the dwelling is within the limit. Gardens can be intrusive features in the landscape, depending on the site location and characteristics, and the merits of each case must be considered. Policy E2 establishes the principles for considering development in the countryside.
3.14 Policies E4, E6 and E7 set out the conditions which development which is in principle acceptable outside development limits must normally satisfy. Policies H7, H8 and H10 set out the circumstances in which new housing development in the countryside, and the change of use of rural buildings to residential use, may be acceptable. Policies EP14 and EP15 similarly refer to employment development in the countryside, and Policy R14 to sports and recreation development in the countryside. Non-essential development which makes use of existing buildings may be acceptable in accordance with Policy E5.
   
 
POLICY E3 - Protection of Open Land
  IN CONSIDERING PROPOSALS TO DEVELOP ANY AREA OF OPEN LAND WITHIN THE URBAN DEVELOPMENT LIMIT, THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO MAINTAIN THE USEFULNESS AND ENHANCE THE APPEARANCE AND NATURE CONSERVATION INTEREST OF THE OPEN LAND SYSTEM AS A WHOLE, AND TO SUPPLEMENT THE INTERCONNECTIONS BETWEEN ITS ELEMENTS. PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH INFLICTS MATERIAL NET HARM ON:
  1. THE VISUAL RELIEF AFFORDED BY THE SYSTEM IN BUILT-UP AREAS;
  2. THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THE LOCALITY THROUGH LOSS OF OPENNESS AND GREENERY;
  3. FACILITIES FOR ORGANISED SPORT WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO MEET THE STANDARDS SET OUT IN POLICY R4;
  4. FACILITIES AVAILABLE FOR OTHER FORMAL RECREATIONAL AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES, FOR INFORMAL RECREATION OR FOR HORTICULTURE;
  5. THE INTERNAL CONTINUITY OF THE SYSTEM, OR ON ITS LINKAGES WITH THE OPEN COUNTRYSIDE; OR
  6. AREAS RECOGNISED FOR THEIR NATURE CONSERVATION OR WILDLIFE INTEREST.
     
3.15 Whilst development inside development limits is acceptable in principle, in accordance with Policy E2, there are many constraints on such development and requirements which it should satisfy. A prime constraint is the need to protect the network of open land in the urban area. It makes a vital contribution to environmental quality, providing a green framework which defines and separates neighbourhoods, contributes greenery and spaciousness, provides for the recreation and sporting needs of residents, and supports wildlife.
   
 
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3.16 Open land is land of amenity, sports, recreation and or nature conservation value within the urban area, including parks and public open spaces, other amenity space including woodlands, school grounds and playing fields, private sports grounds, allotments, churchyards and cemeteries, the grounds of institutions and business premises and land left to nature. The areas of urban land to which Policy E3 applies are identified on the Proposals Map. Figure 3.2 indicates the urban open land network. The policy also applies to any smaller areas of amenity, recreation or nature conservation significance to their locality, including private gardens and grounds, and any area of open land identified or created during the Plan period.
   
Figure 3.2 The Urban Open Land Network
   
3.17 Policy E3 sets out a flexible approach to the protection of the network of open land as a whole, whilst recognising that there may be circumstances in which development within open land is acceptable, where, for example, the usefulness or amenity of the network is directly enhanced, compensating provisions of equivalent or improved benefit are secured, where required standards of provision are already substantially exceeded, or where existing buildings within it are proposed to be enlarged or new community buildings appropriately provided. This broad policy is overlain by protective policies relating to specific types of open land, and which generally provide a more rigorous level of protection. These include E9 (parklands), E20 (sites of nature conservation importance), R5 (land surplus to educational requirements), R9 (playing pitches), R10 (land for additional playing pitches) and R19 (allotments). The areas to which these more specific policies apply are identified accordingly on the Proposals Map, but nonetheless, all such areas within the urban area are open land to which Policy E3 applies.
   
 
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3.18 An important characteristic of the open land network are the continuous green corridors which dissect the urban area, notably the River Skerne corridor, Staindrop Road and the Denes, Firthmoor and McMullen Road, the Stockton and Darlington Railway trackbed, and the Faverdale Black Path and Barnard Castle railway trackbed. These corridors extend recreation opportunities and, in particular, promote nature conservation by allowing the movement of flora and fauna. Policy E3 seeks to protect the continuity of open land corridors and is reinforced by Policy E21, which protects continuous wildlife corridors.
3.19 The Council will monitor progress made in enhancing and extending the open land system, and will publish a report of progress as part of the Plan review process.
3.20 The Council's Strategy for the Green Environment will promote the concept of green corridors and their management for nature conservation, recreation and amenity.
3.21 Where open space provision is required in association with new development, principally in accordance with Policy R6, the Council's intention is that wherever possible this should link into, reinforce and extend the continuity of the urban open land network. This requirement is set out in Policy E15.
 
THE COUNTRYSIDE
 
POLICY E4 - New Buildings in the Countryside
  NEW BUILDINGS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE, FOR PURPOSES WHICH ARE ACCEPTABLE IN PRINCIPLE UNDER THE TERMS OF POLICY E2, SHOULD WHEREVER POSSIBLE BE LOCATED WITH AND BE VISUALLY RELATED TO EXISTING BUILDINGS.
   
3.22 It is important that development which is in principle acceptable in the countryside does not detract from the appearance of the area. Policy E7 sets out the requirement that development should respect its landscape setting. This will in most cases be best served by locating new buildings within existing groups of buildings, rather than in isolated sites in open countryside.
   
 
POLICY E5 - Change of Use of Buildings in the Countryside
  THE CHANGE OF USE OF EXISTING BUILDINGS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:
  1. IF THE BUILDING IS OF VISUAL, ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC IMPORTANCE, THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT DAMAGE THE VISUAL ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING OR ITS SURROUNDINGS;
  2. FOR OTHER BUILDINGS, THE STRUCTURE IS SOUND AND CAPABLE OF ADAPTATION WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT REBUILDING OR EXTENSION;
  3. THE PROPOSED USE WOULD NOT BE INTRUSIVE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE NOR CREATE UNACCEPTABLE TRAFFIC, AMENITY OR DISTURBANCE PROBLEMS.
  EXTENSIONS TO EXISTING BUILDINGS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN THEIR SCALE OR CHARACTER IS INVOLVED.
   
3.23 There is no reason why existing buildings in the countryside should not accommodate new uses which may help to diversify the rural economy. Indeed, encouraging new uses may be the best way of ensuring the retention and maintenance of buildings which, whilst they may or may not be statutorily listed, may be visually important or attractive features in the landscape.
   
 
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3.24 Other buildings which are not of the same degree of 'heritage' importance may nevertheless be capable of accommodating new uses in their existing form, whether or not they are redundant for their present uses. Such changes of use could support the rural economy by encouraging farm diversification and other forms of rural enterprise without intrusive development. In assessing changes of use, the Council will give consideration to the impact on the character, appearance and amenity of the locality.
3.25 Extensions to existing buildings can be potentially damaging to the character of the countryside and need to be carefully balanced against the form of the original building. Policies H7 and EP15 refer to the adaptation of rural buildings to residential and employment uses respectively.
   
 
POLICY E6 - Protection of Agricultural Land
  DEVELOPMENT THAT WOULD RESULT IN THE IRREVERSIBLE LOSS FROM AGRICULTURE OF THE BEST AND MOST VERSATILE LAND WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
   
3.26 Agricultural land in grades 2 and 3A is the 'best and most versatile' in the northern region, since there is no grade 1 land because of climatic limitations. Such land is a national resource for the future, and local planning authorities are required to give considerable weight to its protection against development because of its special importance.
3.27 Full details of all works affecting grade 2 and grade 3A agricultural land will be required as part of any planning application to enable the Council, in consultation with the FRCA (Farming and Rural Conservation Agency), to properly assess fully the potential for reversion to agricultural use without loss of quality.
 
LANDSCAPE AND THE APPEARANCE OF THE BOROUGH
   
 
POLICY E7 - Landscape Conservation
  DEVELOPMENT WHICH IS ACCEPTABLE IN PRINCIPLE UNDER POLICY E2 AND DEVELOPMENT ON THE EDGES OF BUILT-UP AREAS WILL BE REQUIRED TO RESPECT THE CHARACTER OF ITS LANDSCAPE SETTING IN TERMS OF ITS SITING, DESIGN, MATERIALS, LANDSCAPING, PROTECTION OF EXISTING LANDSCAPE FEATURES AND RELATIONSHIP TO ADJOINING BUILDINGS, HAVING REGARD TO THE DISTINCTIVE LANDSCAPE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LOCALITY.
   
3.28 Whilst the Borough's countryside is generally of a gentle and unspectacular character, there are distinctive variations of landscape type resulting from geology, topography, river systems, building materials and farming and land ownership patterns. The Council's intention is that development should respect the particular characteristics of its setting. Three landscape types have been identified: the Tees valley with its flat valley floor and steep, wooded sides; the hilly country of the magnesian limestone escarpment in the northwest; and the generally flatter farmlands of the central belt. This last type has been subdivided into the central belt farmlands and Skerne Valley and Ketton. For most development control purposes, the central belt can regarded as one zone, but there are particular characteristics, notably of topography, which in terms of landscape assessment identify the Skerne Valley and Ketton as a distinctive landscape. The greater density of woodland cover, the dense network of public rights of way and the historic pattern of settlement and tenure further characterise this area.
   
 
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3.29 The approximate boundaries of the landscape areas are shown in Figure 3.3. They are not identified on the Proposals Map because their boundaries cannot be clearly defined and there is considerable overlap and merging of characteristics between them. The magnesian limestone, for example, has been used as a building material sporadically throughout the district, while the Raby estate imposes a distinctive building and settlement pattern across the magnesian limestone, central belt and Tees valley landscape areas. The landscape areas are identified in the text to provide guidance to developers in satisfying the basic requirement set out in Policy E7 that development should respect its landscape setting. Supplementary planning guidance will be issued. This requirement applies to all landscapes. Policy E8 places added emphasis on the protection of particularly attractive landscapes.
   
Figure 3.3 Landscape Types
   
   
 
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POLICY E8 - The Area of High Landscape Value
  THE COUNCIL WILL GIVE SPECIAL ATTENTION TO CONSERVING LANDSCAPE CHARACTER AND QUALITY WITHIN THE AREA OF HIGH LANDSCAPE VALUE IN THE TEES VALLEY AND THE WEST OF THE BOROUGH. DEVELOPMENT WHICH IS ACCEPTABLE IN PRINCIPLE UNDER POLICY E2 AND DEVELOPMENT ON THE EDGES OF BUILT-UP AREAS WITHIN AND ADJACENT TO THE AREA OF HIGH LANDSCAPE VALUE, WILL BE PERMITTED IF IT IS OF A HIGH STANDARD OF DESIGN REFLECTING THE SCALE AND TRADITIONAL CHARACTER OF BUILDINGS IN THE AREA AND DOES NOT DETRACT FROM THE HIGH LANDSCAPE QUALITY. ESSENTIAL INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT WHICH CANNOT MEET THESE DESIGN REQUIREMENTS SHOULD BE DESIGNED TO ENSURE THAT ANY DETRIMENTAL IMPACT ON THE CHARACTER OF THE AREA OF HIGH LANDSCAPE VALUE IS MINIMISED.
   
3.30 The Proposals Map identifies the Area of High Landscape Value (AHLV) in the Tees Valley and the west of the Borough. This is an area where the overall landscape quality is high, and where it could be harmed by inappropriate development. In general, development should be designed so as not to detract from the character and quality of the landscape. Some forms of development which have to be located within or on the edge of the AHLV, notably for water or sewage treatment purposes, are often of a character which may appear intrusive or detrimental to the surrounding landscape. The expectation is that every effort will be made to minimise such detrimental impacts on the character of the AHLV.
3.31 The County Durham Structure Plan Review identifies the Tees valley and the Raby estate as an Area of High Landscape Value. The Local Plan extends the Area to include the magnesian limestone escarpment within the Borough. The AHLV thus covers a range of landscape types, and this requires a sensitivity to building designs, styles and materials and landscape features in the locality when considering the design of new development, in accordance with Policy E7.
3.32 Outside the AHLV, consideration has been given to the designation of landscapes of local significance. However, the approach adopted in the Plan is one of seeking to conserve the particular character of all landscapes through Policy E7. Whilst it is appropriate to give added weight to the conservation of landscapes of special significance through Policy E8, the overall approach would not be assisted by developing a hierarchy of local landscapes. There are also insufficient differentials in landscape quality outside the AHLV to justify local designations.
   
 
POLICY E9 - Protection of Parklands
  DEVELOPMENT AFFECTING THE PARKS AND GARDENS OF LANDSCAPE OR HISTORIC INTEREST LISTED BELOW WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE IT DETRACTS FROM THEIR CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OR PREJUDICES EITHER THE SURVIVAL OR REINSTATEMENT OF HISTORIC FEATURES INCLUDING DESIGNED PLANTATIONS. PLANNING PERMISSION, IF GRANTED, WILL BE SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS AIMED TO ENSURE THAT SUCH FEATURES ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN THE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REQUIRED LANDSCAPE WORKS. WHERE PARKLAND IS IN MORE THAN ONE OWNERSHIP, THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE OWNERS TO CO-OPERATE SO THAT SUCH LANDSCAPE WORKS, WHETHER ON OR OFF THE APPLICATION SITE, CONTRIBUTE TO THE SAFEGUARDING OR REHABILITATION OF THE DESIGNED LANDSCAPE IN ITS ENTIRETY.
  1. SOUTH PARK, DARLINGTON;
  2. NORTH LODGE PARK, DARLINGTON;
  3. BLACKWELL GRANGE, DARLINGTON;
  4. ROCKLIFFE PARK, HURWORTH;
  5. MIDDLETON HALL, MIDDLETON ST. GEORGE;
 
 
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  6. WALWORTH CASTLE;
  7. REDWORTH HALL;
  8. HALL GARTH, COATHAM MUNDEVILLE;
  9. NEWBUS GRANGE, HURWORTH;
  10. NEASHAM HALL.
   
3.33 The ten parklands listed in Policy E9 are identified on the Proposals Map. Two are urban parks of historic interest, one of which, South Park is included in the English Heritage List of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. Both are of town-wide amenity and recreation value. A third park, Blackwell Grange, is within the urban area, but is essentially a country house parkland similar in character to those in the rural parts of the Borough.
3.34 The seven rural parklands have a distinct character which differs from the surrounding agricultural landscape, resulting from their deliberate creation, often over long periods of time, as ornamental or designed landscapes. The characters of some parklands have been eroded in recent years, but nevertheless they are important at the local level, providing a cohesive focus in the wider landscape which contribute significantly to the Borough's landscape character. The urban parklands are also open land subject to Policy E3.
   
 
POLICY E10 - Protection of Key Townscape and Landscape Features
  DEVELOPMENT WHICH, BECAUSE OF ITS HEIGHT, SCALE, LOCATION OR DESIGN WOULD MATERIALLY DETRACT FROM THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THE FOLLOWING TOWNSCAPE AND LANDSCAPE FEATURES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED:
  1. THE SKYLINE OF THE CENTRAL URBAN AREA, CHARACTERISED BY THE LANDMARK BUILDINGS OF ST. CUTHBERT'S SPIRE, THE MARKET CLOCKTOWER, ST. JOHN'S CHURCH TOWER AND DARLINGTON STATION CLOCKTOWER;
  2. THE TREE CANOPY SKYLINE OF THE SOUTH-WESTERN PART OF THE URBAN AREA;
  3. THE VILLAGES, SEEN AS COHESIVE GROUPS OF BUILDINGS IN THEIR LANDSCAPE SETTINGS;
  4. VIEWS AND VISTAS OF THE NORTH YORK MOORS AND DALES UPLANDS SEEN FROM WITHIN THE URBAN AREA AND THE VILLAGES, AND FROM THE MAIN ROAD NETWORK.
   
3.35 The skylines of built-up areas and their appearance as groups of buildings in the landscape are important components of the Borough's character. The landmark buildings of the central area include the Market and Station clocktowers, St. Cuthbert's spire and St. John's tower. Whilst modern buildings also feature in the urban skyline, these Victorian and medieval structures dominate and dictate its character. In some of the villages the parish church tower provides the landmark feature. Rather more of the villages, seen from approach roads, have a cohesive appearance and harmonious relationship with their landscape settings; these villages are identified in Policy E10. In general the appearance of the Borough from the main travel routes into and through it determine how it is perceived and it is important that attractive or striking views are not harmed.
3.36 Broader landscape vistas also underpin the Borough's visual quality. Of particular significance in relation to Policy E10 are the views from parts of Darlington and some of the villages across the Tees Valley to the North York Moors and the Dales uplands.
   
 
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3.37 Policy E10 seeks to ensure that these key views and vistas are not damaged by intrusive development. Telecommunications equipment, which by its very nature is usually higher than its surroundings and uncompromising in design, is a form of development which could damage views and vistas. Policies E52 and E53 set out criteria for such development. It is also recognised that agricultural development is essential for the running of farm businesses and may by its nature be detrimental to significant views. Applicants should demonstrate that they have made every attempt to reduce the impact of their proposals on such views by the use of appropriate materials and screening.
3.38 The edges of built-up areas require careful treatment in order to protect their character and appearance, especially when viewed from main travel routes. Policy E14 requires development which would form the long-term edge of built-up areas to incorporate appropriate boundary landscaping along the countryside edge of the development.
   
 
POLICY E11 - Conservation of Trees, Woodlands and Hedgerows
  THE CONSERVATION OF TREES, WOODLANDS AND HEDGEROWS FOR THEIR LANDSCAPE AND HABITAT VALUE, AND NEW AND REPLACEMENT PLANTING WILL BE ENCOURAGED. PREFERENCE WILL BE GIVEN TO THE USE OF INDIGENOUS SPECIES IN PLANTING PROPOSALS.
     
3.39 Trees are essential. Not only do they contribute to amenity and provide wildlife habitat, but on a global scale they stabilise the atmosphere by consuming carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. Trees are often seen, as well, by some people, as a source of nuisance in built-up areas because of leaf litter, the possibility of damage to property, and fear of the possible danger posed by trees adjacent to houses. Many of these problems can be reduced by proper management, and the Council will seek to maintain the health of its own trees, and encourage others to do likewise. Where trees are subject to Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), or are otherwise within the Council's control, removal will normally only be allowed if arboricultural advice confirms that a tree is dead or dying, that it is causing or likely to cause damage to buildings, or that it is in a condition which poses a threat to public safety, and that there are acceptable replanting proposals. Trees that have been formally planted in or adjacent to the highway to complement adjacent development are an important townscape feature and should normally be replaced if their removal is necessary. The Council will establish a strategic approach to the management of trees in the highway based on these criteria, as part of the Strategy for the Green Environment. The Council will encourage tree planting of appropriate species and sizes in all suitable locations, whilst seeking to ensure that planting does not take place on areas of existing nature conservation interest, where this would harm the nature conservation interest.
3.40 The condition of many rural woodlands is declining because they are not being actively managed. Traditional woodland management, involving coppicing, selective felling and promoting regeneration, can be the most effective way of maintaining the ecology of deciduous plantations. Such activities, aimed at the sustainable management of woodlands, may be economically viable.
   
 
POLICY E12 - Trees and Development
  DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WILL BE REQUIRED TO TAKE FULL ACCOUNT OF TREES, WOODLANDS AND HEDGEROWS ON AND ADJACENT TO THE SITE. THE LAYOUT AND DESIGN OF THE DEVELOPMENT SHOULD WHEREVER POSSIBLE AVOID THE NEED TO REMOVE TREES AND HEDGEROWS AND PROVIDE FOR THEIR SUCCESSFUL RETENTION AND PROTECTION DURING DEVELOPMENT. WHERE REMOVAL IS UNAVOIDABLE, ANY REQUIRED LANDSCAPE WORKS SHOULD BE SO DESIGNED AS TO COMPENSATE, ON OR OFF THE DEVELOPMENT SITE, FOR THE LOSS TO THE AMENITY OF THE AREA. DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD HARM MATERIALLY ANY AREA OF ANCIENT WOODLAND PROTECTED UNDER POLICY E20 WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
   
 
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3.41 The Council's intention is to protect all trees worthy of retention wherever possible. Trees are often lost to new development, or subsequently perish, through lack of thought at the design stage. Trees on or adjacent to development sites should be treated as a site constraint from the earliest stages of the design process, and their retention and integration into the development should be an objective in drawing up proposals. The unnecessary loss of trees and hedgerows should be avoided.
3.42 Trees within the highway are a characteristic and attractive feature of the local environment. The Council will ensure that wherever possible, highway maintenance and improvement schemes are designed with the retention of trees as a prerequisite.
3.43 There are ten areas of ancient woodland in the Borough. These are identified as Sites of Nature Conservation Importance, subject to Policy E20, and shown as such on the Proposals Map. The reference in Policy E12 reinforces the protection provided by Policy E20; their appropriate management is encouraged by Policy E11.
   
 
POLICY E13 - Tree Preservation Orders
  THE COUNCIL WILL CONTINUE TO USE ITS POWERS TO MAKE TREE PRESERVATION ORDERS, GIVING PRIORITY TO:
  1. TREES, GROUPS OF TREES OR WOODLANDS WHICH ARE OF LOCAL LANDSCAPE OR AMENITY VALUE AND ARE CONSIDERED TO BE AT RISK;
  2. THE UPDATING, CLARIFICATION AND SIMPLIFICATION OF EXISTING ORDERS IN AREAS WHERE TREES ARE AT RISK.
  WHEN DETERMINING APPLICATIONS TO FELL OR CARRY OUT OTHER WORKS TO TREES SUBJECT TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDERS, THE COUNCIL WILL TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE HEALTH AND STABILITY OF THE TREES, THEIR LIKELY FUTURE LIFESPAN AND THEIR PUBLIC AMENITY VALUE.
   
3.44 The global and local importance of trees is referred to in relation to Policy E12, which requires development proposals to take full account of existing trees and hedgerows. The Council will reinforce this requirement by making Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) to protect threatened trees of amenity and landscape value. The Council will seek expert arboricultural advice before determining any application to fell or carry out other works on trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders.
3.45 Many Tree Preservation Orders were made over forty years ago, and some have not been updated to reflect tree losses and gains. The Council intends to carry out a comprehensive review of orders, replacing those which are now out of date.
   
 
POLICY E14 - Landscaping of Development
  PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO INCORPORATE APPROPRIATE HARD AND SOFT LANDSCAPING WHICH HAS REGARD TO THE SETTING OF THE DEVELOPMENT IN ITS FORM, DESIGN AND PLANT SPECIES, AND WHICH ENHANCES THE APPEARANCE OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND ITS SETTING. OFF-SITE PLANTING WILL BE SOUGHT BY NEGOTIATION WHERE THE COUNCIL CONSIDERS THAT THIS WOULD HELP TO INTEGRATE THE DEVELOPMENT INTO ITS SETTING.
     
 
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3.46 The treatment of land outside buildings can be a key factor in the quality of environment created by development. The form, layout and design of external spaces should be considered early in the development process. For larger sites, landscaping should provide the framework within which the development is designed, in accordance with Policy E15. Preference will be given to landscaping based on low maintenance regimes, wildflower / grass mixes and indigenous tree and shrub species, and incorporating wildlife habitats, where this is appropriate to the setting of the development. Sites held in disuse pending redevelopment should be landscaped, as should residual undevelopable areas.
3.47 The Council will seek off-site planting specifically in relation to development on the edge of built-up areas, where such planting would assist in screening development and integrating it into the built-up area and its landscape setting, and where land ownership and other interests permit. This requirement complements the requirements of Policy E10, insofar as it relates to edge of settlement development.
 
 
POLICY E15 - Open Land in New Development
  WHEREVER APPROPRIATE HAVING REGARD FOR THE LOCATION AND EXTENT OF ITS SITE, NEW DEVELOPMENT SHOULD INCORPORATE OPEN LAND AND LANDSCAPE WHICH LINKS WITH, REINFORCES OR EXTENDS THE NETWORK OF OPEN LAND PROTECTED UNDER POLICY E3. LANDSCAPING WORKS SHOULD WHEREVER POSSIBLE INCLUDE THE CREATION AND RETENTION OF WILDLIFE HABITATS HAVING REGARD TO THE CHARACTER OF THE SITE AND ADJOINING OPEN LAND.
     
3.48 A number of policies require land to be set aside and remain undeveloped within development sites, including E14 (landscaping of development), E23 (nature and development), H11 (design and layout of new housing development) and R6 (open space in new residential development).
3.49 Where such provision is required, and dependent on the location and character of the site, it should be designed to contribute to the urban open land network. Open land and landscaping thus provided in residential developments will count as open space provision for recreation under Policy R6. Individual proposals will be dependent on the relationship of the site to other open land and the nature and character of land; the Council will look in particular, for opportunities to extend or fill-in gaps in wildlife corridors, in accordance with Policy E21, enhance recreation opportunities, in accordance with Policy R13, and reinforce open land of amenity or landscape value. Existing watercourses and their immediate surroundings can provide the focus for such provision, and their retention and enhancement will normally be sought.
   
 
POLICY E16 - Appearance From Main Travel Routes
  THE APPEARANCE OF THE BOROUGH FROM THE MAIN ROAD NETWORK, THE RAILWAY LINES, THE TEESDALE WAY AND THE PROPOSED RECREATION ROUTES WILL BE MAINTAINED AND ENHANCED BY:
  1. ENCOURAGING, ASSISTING AND CARRYING OUT IMPROVEMENTS TO UNSIGHTLY LAND AND BUILDINGS;
  2. PROTECTING FEATURES AND BUILDINGS WHICH CONTRIBUTE POSITIVELY TO THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THEIR SURROUNDINGS;
  3. REQUIRING NEW DEVELOPMENT TO RESPECT ITS SETTING, AND TO INCORPORATE LANDSCAPING, WHEREVER APPROPRIATE, WHICH MAKES A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION TO THE APPEARANCE OF ITS SURROUNDINGS; AND,
  4. PROMOTING THE COMPREHENSIVE IMPROVEMENT AND LANDSCAPING OF MAIN ROAD APPROACHES TO THE CENTRAL AREA.
     
 
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3.50 Whilst Policy E10 is concerned with views and vistas of particular buildings, groups of buildings or landscapes, Policy E16 relates to the overall impressions gained when passing along main travel routes.
3.51 The Railside Revival Project demonstrated the positive benefits for the image of the Borough that can be derived from improving the appearance of travel corridors. The impressions gained whilst travelling into and through the Borough can have an important bearing on economic development and tourism initiatives: seven million people annually pass through the Borough on the East Coast mainline railway.
3.52 The Council will continue, itself and in partnership with others, to enhance the appearance of main travel corridors as opportunities arise. It will consider the introduction of Roadside Revival schemes.
3.53 Some approaches into Darlington, notably Grange Road, Coniscliffe Road and Staindrop Road / Woodland Road, are especially attractive. The features which create their attractive appearance will be protected and new development will be required to respect their character and appearance in accordance with Policies E3, E10 and E29. The impact of edge-of-settlement development has been referred to in relation to Policy E10. This can be emphasised by bypass construction. The A66(T), Heighington and Middleton St. George bypasses have opened up the edges of built-up areas to public view. The development limits identified in Policy E2 seek to safeguard intervening land which forms part of the landscape setting of the built-up area.
3.54 The Council will support and encourage environmental improvements along the A68 within the Borough, in recognition of its potential as a tourist route.
3.55 Whilst Policies E10 and E16 focus on the main travel routes from which the majority of people travelling into and through the Borough form their perceptions, it is also important that the appearance of all landscape and buildings open to public view are protected and, where possible enhanced. The enjoyment of public rights of way will be influenced by the appearance of the 'corridor' through which they pass; the Teesdale Way long distance path will be used by residents and visitors alike, and the Council is especially concerned to protect the appearance of areas visible from it and from proposed recreation routes (Policies R12 and R13).
   
 
POLICY E17 - Landscape Improvement
  OPPORTUNITIES WILL BE SOUGHT FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF AREAS OF POOR OR DEGRADED LANDSCAPE CHARACTER BY:
  1. THE EARLY RECLAMATION OF LAND WHICH BECOMES DERELICT; AND
  2. THE ENHANCEMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF UNUSED AND UNDER-USED LAND THROUGH TREE PLANTING, LANDSCAPE CREATION AND WILDLIFE HABITAT CREATION.
  THE RECLAMATION AND RESTORATION OF THE DARCHEM WASTE TIP AT WEST AUCKLAND ROAD, SKIPBRIDGE BRICKWORKS, SADBERGE RESERVOIR AND LAND OFF HERON DRIVE WILL BE SOUGHT.
   
3.56 Almost all derelict land in the Borough has been reclaimed in recent years. The Council will continue to press for the treatment of any which remains or becomes derelict, in order to enhance the attractiveness of the Borough and ensure the efficient use of land. The Darchem tip poses the major outstanding landscape problem in the Borough, emphasised by its location on a main road access into the town (Policy E16). The Heron Drive site has recently been cleared of buildings, but consists of tipped land which is unsuitable for housing and other forms of development. Skipbridge Brickworks has been partially reclaimed, but there are still a number of buildings, hardstandings and piles of rubble. Sadberge Reservoir is a disused open reservoir on the western edge of Sadberge, consisting of a brick basin enclosed by grass embankments rising above natural ground level. The Council will seek the treatment of other minor areas of dereliction as opportunities and resources allow. In promoting and carrying out reclamation schemes it will recognise the importance of identifying and taking account of any existing nature conservation interest that may have developed on the land, and of taking steps to protect groundwater supplies from contamination in accordance with the Environment Agency's Policy and Practice for the Protection of Groundwater.
   
 
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3.57 Poor landscape occurs in some places around the edges of the town where land is unused or under-used. The proximity of the urban population, with attendant problems of trespass and vandalism, often brings about a decline in farming, and in the management of land. These problems need to be tackled in partnership with landowners in order to resolve conflicts and assist in the maintenance of the landscape.
3.58 The Council will seek landscape improvements in association with new development (as a condition of planning permission), through derelict land reclamation schemes, through its own capital, and through Railside Revival-type partnerships, which encourage businesses and others to join the Council in bringing about area-based improvements. Policy E18 refers to a partnership programme for the River Skerne corridor within the urban area.
   
 
POLICY E18 - The River Skerne
  OPPORTUNITIES WILL BE SOUGHT TO ENHANCE THE APPEARANCE, VITALITY, AND RECREATION AND NATURE CONSERVATION VALUE OF BUILDINGS AND LAND ADJACENT TO THE RIVER SKERNE WITHIN THE URBAN AREA. THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE DEVELOPMENT WHICH ACCORDS WITH OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES OF THE PLAN AND WHICH WILL CONTRIBUTE TO SUCH ENHANCEMENT.
     
3.59 The River Skerne corridor is a resource with considerable amenity, recreation and nature conservation potential. It offers opportunities, too, for urban regeneration and revitalisation. Much has already been done, through the creation of the parkland between Albert Road and Rivergarth. Enhancement is continuing here through the extension of the riverside foot and cycle path, and by the restoration of the river and riverside land to a more natural form.
3.60 The built-up section of the river corridor, between Albert Road and Russell Street, is generally run down and unattractive and a poor setting for the Skerne Bridge, which is a scheduled ancient monument and potential tourist attraction and currently the subject of an enhancement programme. The Council will encourage development in this area which helps to improve and revitalise it, and which enhances the appearance and accessibility of the riverside. The private Skerne Studios initiative, providing office, workshop and living space in converted warehouses alongside the river, demonstrates the potential for revitalisation through the introduction of new uses into the area.
3.61 The riverside environment in the town centre, alongside the inner ring road, is a major area of open space in the town. It provides an attractive walking and sitting area and open views of St. Cuthbert's Church and the central area. Opportunities for enhancement and extension will be taken, as they arise, with imaginative planting along the riverbank and careful choice of materials for walls and railings.
3.62 Policy E18 is an advocative policy, reflecting the Council's intention that the Skerne corridor should be enhanced. It does not override any of the other policies in the Plan, and prospective developers should take guidance from the policies illustrated in detail on the Proposals Map on what development may be acceptable within the Skerne corridor.
   
 
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NATURE CONSERVATION
 
 
POLICY E19 - Sites of Special Scientific Interest
  DEVELOPMENT WITHIN OR WHICH IS LIKELY TO AFFECT A SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST WILL BE SUBJECT TO SPECIAL SCRUTINY TO ASSESS ITS LIKELY IMPACT ON THE SCIENTIFIC INTEREST OF THE SITE. DEVELOPMENT THAT WOULD DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY DAMAGE OR ADVERSELY AFFECT A DESIGNATED OR PROPOSED SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED THAT LOCATIONAL OR OTHER MATERIAL CONSIDERATIONS OUTWEIGH THE EFFECT ON THE SPECIAL INTEREST OF THE SITE ITSELF AND ON THE NATURE CONSERVATION VALUE OF THE NATIONAL NETWORK OF SITES, OR THAT CONDITIONS OR PLANNING AGREEMENTS CAN PREVENT DAMAGING IMPACTS ON THE SITE.
   
3.63 The Plan's nature conservation policies seek to protect local biodiversity from erosion by development. Biodiversity can be defined as "the sum total of life's variety on earth". The UK Government is a signatory to the Biodiversity Convention, arising from the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and is committed to the maintenance of biodiversity at national and global levels. In policy terms, the environmental assets to be safeguarded can be divided into: 'critical natural capital', those aspects of native biodiversity which cannot be readily replaced; and 'constant natural assets', those aspects of native biodiversity which should not be allowed, in total, to fall below minimum levels, but which could be replaced by creating new features or habitats within the locality. The Plan's policies reflect this categorisation of assets
3.64 There are, at the time of adoption of the Plan, four designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in the Borough, at Hell Kettles, Redcar Field, Newton Ketton Meadow and Neasham Fen (Figure 3.4). Sites of Special Scientific Interest are the best examples of our national heritage of wildlife habitats, geological features and landforms. Such sites are statutorily protected, and the local planning authority is required to consult English Nature, which is responsible for site designation, about any proposals within a SSSI, or which might adversely affect a SSSI. The Council will have regard for the views of English Nature in assessing any proposal for development in or adjacent to a SSSI.
   
 
POLICY E20 - Sites of Nature Conservation Importance
  THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO PROTECT AND ENHANCE THE HABITAT VALUE OR SPECIAL FEATURES OF SITES OF NATURE CONSERVATION IMPORTANCE. DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD DAMAGE OR ADVERSELY AFFECT A SITE'S NATURE CONSERVATION VALUE OR GEOLOGICAL OR GEOMORPHOLOGICAL FEATURES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS:
  1. THE ADVERSE IMPACT OF THE DEVELOPMENT CAN BE SATISFACTORILY MITIGATED THROUGH THE IMPOSITION OF CONDITIONS OR BY FORMAL AGREEMENT;
  2. BENEFITS FOR NATURE CONSERVATION ARISING FROM DEVELOPMENT IN THE FORM OF ENHANCEMENT AND / OR ONGOING MANAGEMENT OF THE SITE OUTWEIGH ITS HARMFUL EFFECTS;
  3. NATURE CONSERVATION FEATURES CAN BE PROVIDED WITHIN THE SITE OR ELSEWHERE WHICH FULLY COMPENSATE FOR ANY SUCH FEATURES LOST TO THE DEVELOPMENT; OR
     
 
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Figure 3.4 Nature Conservation Sites
   
   
 
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  4. THE NEED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OR FOR THE BENEFITS ARISING FROM IT OVERRIDE NATURE CONSERVATION INTERESTS TO THE EXTENT THAT AN EXCEPTION TO THIS POLICY IS JUSTIFIED.
  THE COUNCIL WILL ASSIST IN ESTABLISHING ARRANGEMENTS TO MANAGE SITES FOR NATURE CONSERVATION.
   
3.65 The Plan identifies a range of different types of features as Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCIs). They include County Wildlife Sites and County Geological / Geomorphological Sites, identified by Durham Wildlife Trust using a set of agreed criteria. Ancient woodlands are identified in the Plan as SNCIs. Other sites have been identified locally by the Council in consultation with the Wildlife Trust or the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV). As a result, the designation covers several 'tiers' of sites, from those of broader significance to those of Borough-wide importance, and from the irreplaceable to those which can be readily re-created. All, however, are sites which have a particular nature conservation or geological significance which should be a material consideration in determining development proposals. Regionally Important Geological / Geomorphological Sites (RIGS) will be subject to Policy E20, if and when any are identified in the Borough. Other sites may also be designated as SNCIs subject to Policy E20, as they become identified in future.
3.66 Urban SNCIs are also open land, subject to Policy E3 except for the Cleveland Street grassland site. Ancient woodlands are subject to Policy E12, as well as E20. Local Nature Reserves, which are subject to Policy E22, are identified as such on the Proposals Map, but are also SNCIs and subject to Policy E20. The Council will encourage the involvement of local volunteer and other similar groups in the management and enhancement of SNCIs for nature conservation.
   
 
POLICY E21 - Wildlife Corridors
  DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD MATERIALLY HARM THE WILDLIFE HABITAT VALUE OF LINEAR FEATURES PROVIDING CORRIDORS WITHIN WHICH WILDLIFE CAN MOVE AND LIVE, INCLUDING THE OPEN LAND NETWORK WITHIN THE URBAN AREA WHERE IT FORMS CONTINUOUS CORRIDORS, RIVERS AND STREAMS, ROAD AND RAIL CORRIDORS, WOODLANDS, HEDGEROWS AND GREEN LANES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED. HARM WILL BE ASSESSED ACCORDING TO THE IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT ON THE VALUE OF THE FEATURE IN TERMS OF ITS CONTINUITY AND ECOLOGICAL STRUCTURE AND DIVERSITY. THE LANDSCAPING OF NEW DEVELOPMENT WITHIN OR ADJACENT TO WILDLIFE SHOULD, WHERE APPROPRIATE, INCORPORATE SEMI-NATURAL HABITATS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO MAINTAINING THE WILDLIFE VALUE OF THE CORRIDOR.
     
3.67 Reference is made in relation to Policy E3 to the value of continuous green corridors, which often function as wildlife corridors, providing a continuity of habitat which is essential to the colonisation and regeneration of many plant and animal species. Policy E3 seeks to protect such corridors, for their general amenity as well as nature conservation value, where they are formed by linked parts of the open land network, and Policy E15 seeks their consolidation and extension. Policy E21 reinforces this protection, and extends it to other features which are not identified as 'open land' but which are nevertheless valuable as wildlife corridors. Many features, such as hedgerows and roadside verges, function in this way.
3.68 The Cross Town Route safeguarding corridor provides an important wildlife and amenity corridor across the northern part of the urban area. The proposed road will inevitably have detrimental impacts on the corridor in its present form. However the concept of a wildlife corridor should not be abandoned as a consequence, and the proposal offers the opportunity to incorporate appropriate planting and habitat creation to retain an effective linear feature. The Council will seek appropriate landscaping proposals for each section of the road, and will also seek satisfactory interim treatment of land in the safeguarding corridor, pending road construction.
   
 
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POLICY E22 - Local Nature Reserves
  DECLARED LOCAL NATURE RESERVES WILL BE PROTECTED FROM DEVELOPMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH POLICY E20. PRIORITY WILL BE GIVEN TO THE INVESTIGATION OF DRINKFIELD MARSH AND NEASHAM BRICKWORKS AS SITES SUITABLE FOR FURTHER DECLARATIONS, AND MORE WILL BE INVESTIGATED AS THEY ARE IDENTIFIED.
   
3.69 Durham County Council declared the Whinnies at Middleton St. George as a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) shortly before local government reorganisation and the Borough Council has taken over responsibility for it. The Council can declare reserves, in consultation with English Nature, on land in which it has a legal interest. Any LNR will be based around Sites of Special Scientific Interest or other identified wildlife sites. There are educational and recreational as well as conservation objectives in declaring LNRs.
3.70 Drinkfield Marsh and Neasham brickworks are the most obvious candidates for LNR status. Investigations are required into the need for land outside the Council's ownership to be incorporated to secure the proper management of the areas. Other sites will be considered on their merits after the investigation of Drinkfield Marsh and Neasham brickworks.
3.71 The Council can declare LNRs using its powers under Section 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. Declaration affords added protection because the Council is required to have or acquire a legal interest in the land before declaration, and there is a requirement to manage the site to maintain its special interest. Proposed reserves are protected as Sites of Nature Conservation Importance from the harmful effects of development by Policy E20. LNR status will give added weight to the protection of the site's special interest in the application of Policy E20.
   
 
POLICY E23 - Nature and Development
  DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE SO DESIGNED AS TO MINIMISE ITS ADVERSE EFFECTS ON WILDLIFE AND HABITAT. ANY UNAVOIDABLE LOSS OR IRRETRIEVABLE DISRUPTION OF ANY HABITAT IDENTIFIED PRIOR TO OR DURING THE CONSIDERATION OF PROPOSALS AS BEING OF LOCAL OR WIDER IMPORTANCE SHOULD BE COMPENSATED FOR BY CREATING COMPARABLE CONDITIONS WITHIN THE APPLICATION AREA OR BY AGREEMENT ELSEWHERE IN THE LOCALITY, IN CONJUNCTION WITH REQUIRED LANDSCAPE WORKS. DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD MATERIALLY HARM ANY PROTECTED SPECIES, EITHER DIRECTLY OR THROUGH LOSS OR DAMAGE OF HABITAT, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
     
3.72 Whilst identified sites of ecological value, protected by Policies E19 and E20, provide reservoirs of wildlife habitat, these isolated sites are not sufficient in themselves to guarantee the well-being of local flora and fauna. Other areas of open space and undeveloped land, including development sites, are of greater or lesser nature conservation value. Together with linear landscape features in the countryside, they contribute to the network of green corridors, referred to in relation to Policies E3 and E21, which facilitate the movement and migration of flora and fauna.
3.73 There is no reason why development and nature conservation should be fundamentally in conflict. Development can be accommodated on many sites without irrevocable damage to the site's ecology and nature conservation value. Development may provide the opportunity to enhance that value. Where habitat of local or wider significance is present on the site, any loss should be balanced by habitat creation so that the overall nature conservation value of the site is not eroded, and ecological, relationships with the wider area are not lost.
   
 
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3.74 Many species of flora and fauna are afforded a range of protections by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Badgers are protected by the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. The EC Habitats and Species Directive 92/43 EEC requires the UK Government to protect species of community-wide interest. The protection of particular sites is only a partial response to the conservation of protected species, which may have variable or unpredictable distribution. The great crested newt is a protected species which is found extensively throughout the urban area. The seasonal ponds located on the impervious boulder clay in the northern part of the town provide its principal habitat. The newt migrates between ponds, and the grasslands surrounding the ponds are a significant habitat, as well as the actual water areas. It is important, therefore, that the network of ponds as a whole is protected. Individual ponds are identified as Sites of Nature Conservation Importance and protected by Policy E20. Buildings can be important habitats for example as bat roosts or bird nesting sites. The Council will seek the advice of English Nature if there is a possibility that development proposals will affect the habitat of a protected species or individual members of a protected species.
 
RESOURCE CONSERVATION
 
 
POLICY E24 - Conservation of Land and Other Resources
  THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE THE CONSERVATION OF NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCES BY:
  1. GIVING PRIORITY TO THE REDEVELOPMENT OF PREVIOUSLY DEVELOPED LAND WITHIN BUILT-UP AREAS IN PREFERENCE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF OTHER SITES;
  2. PROTECTING MINERAL DEPOSITS OF ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE FROM STERILISATION BY DEVELOPMENT;
  3. ENCOURAGING THE RE-USE OF EXISTING BUILDINGS AND THE USE OF RECYCLED BUILDING MATERIALS;
  4. REQUIRING THE PROVISION OF SITES FOR COLLECTION POINTS FOR GLASS, PAPER, STEEL AND OTHER CONSUMER WASTE PRODUCTS IN APPROPRIATE NEW DEVELOPMENTS, AND ENCOURAGING THE PROVISION OF SUCH COLLECTION POINTS ELSEWHERE IN CONVENIENT AND ACCESSIBLE LOCATIONS.
     
3.75 The Council is committed to the recycling of materials and conservation of non-renewable resources through its Environmental Charter. A number of sites for the reception of consumer waste products have been established. Large retail and commercial developments, and other developments visited by the public, can provide additional sites in convenient and accessible locations; Policy S14 requires major new shopping developments to provide recycling facilities.
3.76 The control of development, however, offers a broader range of opportunities to secure the conservation of resources. Land, along with air and water, is the most precious of resources. Safeguarding undeveloped land, and re-using previously developed land, is a valuable way of protecting our environmental heritage for future generations. However, not all the development which is needed socially and economically can be accommodated on redevelopment sites, and the Plan does allocate some undeveloped land for housing and industrial / business uses. In doing so, sites on the edge of the town have generally been preferred to open land within the built-up area which is to be protected for its amenity, recreation and nature conservation value. Policies E2 (development limits) and E3 (protection of open land) seek to protect undeveloped land. Previously developed land often provides valuable wildlife habitats, particularly where it has remained unused for a long time. Whilst priority is given to the development of such land in advance of greenfield sites, proposals will be considered within the framework of Plan policies, and, in terms of nature conservation, against the context provided by Policy E23.
   
 
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3.77 There are mineral deposits of economic importance within the Borough, including sand and gravel and coal. The Council will safeguard such deposits for the future. The allocation of development sites in the Plan has had regard to the location of known mineral deposits.
3.78 Existing buildings represent a major investment of materials and energy. Demolition destroys this investment, and new buildings use up yet more valuable resources. Existing buildings which become vacant should be adapted to new uses wherever practical, rather than be redeveloped. Where demolition is necessary, materials should be salvaged wherever possible and made available for use in new buildings. Policy E44 seeks the salvage of features and materials of architectural value or interest.
   
 
POLICY E25 - Energy Conservation
  THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE THE EFFECTIVE USE OF PASSIVE SOLAR ENERGY AND THE REDUCTION OF WINDCHILL IN THE LAYOUT, DESIGN AND ORIENTATION OF BUILDINGS, AND THE USE OF ENERGY EFFICIENT MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES.
     
3.79 Almost half the energy used in the United Kingdom is associated with buildings, and the burning of fossil fuels to produce this energy has a significant effect on global warming through the 'greenhouse effect'. Local action to reduce energy consumption can play its part in ameliorating this global issue. The orientation and inter-relationship of buildings, their detailed design and the materials used in their construction can reduce energy needs. Policy E25 is complemented by the Plan's transport and housing policies, which seek to minimise day-to-day travel needs, promote cycling and walking as energy-efficient and pollution-free means of transport, and seek to minimise energy use in new housing development.
   
 
POLICY E26 - Energy From Renewable Sources
  THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE PROPOSALS FOR THE GENERATION OF ENERGY FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES. PROPOSALS WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THERE IS NO MATERIAL ADVERSE IMPACT ON LANDSCAPE, WILDLIFE AND AMENITY. PROPOSALS FOR WIND TURBINES MUST SATISFY THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
  1. IN THE AREA OF HIGH LANDSCAPE VALUE, THEY DO NOT SIGNIFICANTLY DETRACT FROM THE PARTICULAR LANDSCAPE QUALITY OF THE AREA, AND THERE ARE NO OTHER SUITABLE SITES IN LESS SENSITIVE AREAS;
  2. ELSEWHERE, PROPOSALS DO NOT SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT LANDSCAPE CHARACTER OR VISUAL AMENITY;
  3. TURBINES AND ASSOCIATED STRUCTURES ARE OF A HIGH STANDARD OF DESIGN; AND
  4. PROPOSALS DO NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT THE AMENITY OF NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES OR THE CHARACTER AND SETTING OF SETTLEMENTS BY REASON OF NOISE, SHADOW FLICKER, VISUAL DOMINANCE OR ELECTRO-MAGNETIC INTERFERENCE.
   
3.80 The use of energy generated from renewable sources is expected to increase during the period covered by the Plan. Some minor developments have little impact on amenity, but larger developments such as wind farms can only operate efficiently in certain localities, frequently in open countryside of high landscape value. Such proposals will need to be carefully considered having regard to the other policies in the Plan relating to the locality. The study 'Renewable Energy in County Durham', carried out jointly by Durham County Council and ETSU (the Energy Technology Support Unit), indicated that the potential resources for renewable energy development in Darlington are very limited. The technologies which are most likely to have commercial potential, such as biogas, energy from waste, forestry and energy crops, and solar energy, can be controlled within the Plan's framework of development control policies. Specific criteria are needed for controlling wind energy development, which can have unique and significant impacts on visual amenity and landscape. The wind resource in Darlington will not support commercial development within the current economic and technological constraints. The criteria set out in Policy E26 will apply to any proposals which may arise should those constraints change in the future, and to any non-commercial proposals for turbines serving individual consumers.
   
 
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POLICY E27 - Flooding and Development
  DEVELOPMENT IN AREAS AT RISK FROM FLOODING WILL NOT NORMALLY BE PERMITTED.
   
 
POLICY E28 - Surface Water and Development
  NEW DEVELOPMENT WILL BE EXPECTED TO MAKE PROVISION FOR HANDLING SURFACE WATER RUN-OFF WITHOUT INCREASING FLOODING RISKS.
   
3.81 It is important that new development is not at risk from flooding and that it does not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere by impeding floodwater flows or as a result of its effect on the surface water run-off regime. Proposals will be assessed having regard to the advice of the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water plc. Areas at risk from flooding will be indicated on the Proposals Map at the first review of the Plan following notification from the Environment Agency of those areas.
 
BUILDINGS AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
   
POLICY E29 - The Setting of New Development
  NEW DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING ALTERATIONS AND EXTENSIONS TO EXISTING BUILDINGS, WILL BE REQUIRED TO RESPECT THE INTRINSIC CHARACTER OF ITS TOWNSCAPE SETTING IN TERMS OF ITS SITING, DESIGN, MATERIALS, LANDSCAPING AND THE PROTECTION OF EXISTING TOWNSCAPE FEATURES, INCLUDING GARDENS AND OTHER OPEN SPACES WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE CHARACTER OF THE SETTING, AND NOT TO MATERIALLY DETRACT FROM THE APPEARANCE OF ITS SURROUNDINGS.
     
3.82 Most of the Borough's built-up areas have a distinctive character, based on a cohesiveness of layout and design and reflecting their historic origins, which is worth protecting and, in some cases, enhancing. Some areas have been designated as conservation areas and are the subject of policies below. Those areas which do not merit such designation, however, nevertheless have a form and character which should be respected by new development. The Council's intention is to achieve well-mannered forms of development which have regard to their setting whatever the location. Gardens and other open spaces can make a significant contribution to townscape character. The desirability of protecting such features will be a factor in the consideration of development proposals. Policy E29 is concerned with the appearance of new development. Other aspects of the design of development, including landscaping, safety and security, accessibility, traffic generation and impact on the natural environment, are the subject of other policies in the Plan.
   
 
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3.83 The Council will have particular regard to the impact of proposals for external lighting on visual, residential and landscape amenity. Lighting structures can be obtrusive and lighting can give prominence during the hours of darkness to a development which in daylight is relatively unobtrusive. Addressing all the design issues at an early stage in the development process will help to ensure that proposals achieve a satisfactory form of development and an acceptable relationship to their setting. The Council will prepare appropriate supplementary design guidance.
   
POLICY E30 - Protection of Listed Buildings and Their Settings
  THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE THE RETENTION, RESTORATION, MAINTENANCE AND CONTINUED USE OF STATUTORILY LISTED BUILDINGS. CONSENT FOR THE DEMOLITION OF A LISTED BUILDING WILL BE GRANTED ONLY EXCEPTIONALLY, AND IN ANY CASE NOT UNLESS THE COUNCIL IS SATISFIED THAT EVERY POSSIBLE EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO CONTINUE THE PRESENT USE OF THE BUILDING OR TO FIND A SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE USE. THE SETTINGS OF LISTED BUILDINGS WILL BE PROTECTED BY CONTROL OVER THE DESIGN OF NEW DEVELOPMENT IN THEIR VICINITY, CONTROL OVER THE USE OF ADJACENT LAND AND BY THE PRESERVATION OF TREES AND OTHER LANDSCAPE FEATURES.
 
 
POLICY E31 - Alterations to Listed Buildings
  ALTERATIONS TO LISTED BUILDINGS MUST:
  1. BE IN KEEPING WITH THE CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING AND ITS SURROUNDINGS IN TERMS OF THE QUALITY, SCALE, FORM AND DETAILING OF THE DESIGN AND THE MATERIALS USED, AND PRESERVE THE SPECIAL ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING AND ANY DISTINCTIVE FEATURES; AND
  2. MAINTAIN THE CHARACTER OF INTERIORS AND RETAIN INTERNAL FEATURES OF INTEREST.
   
3.84 The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is required to compile lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest, "with a view to the guidance of local planning authorities in the performance of their functions". There are over 500 listed buildings in the Borough, with the number being added to steadily as the lists are revised. The majority are buildings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, mainly domestic in origin. Overall, the age span is from the 12th century to the mid-1960s, and some of the entries are uninhabitable structures such as mileposts, headstones and telephone kiosks.
3.85 Listed buildings are the most important individual features of Darlington's built heritage and, as a rule, their demolition will be resisted by the Council. The Council will request anyone applying for consent to demolish a listed building to submit a statement outlining the structural and economic justification for demolition. Insensitive alterations or extensions can cause almost as much damage: the Council will permit only those changes which reflect the character of the original buildings in such matters as design, scale, colour and materials. The Secretary of State determines applications from local authorities for listed building consent. Authorities are expected to deal with their own listed buildings in ways which provide examples of good practice to other owners.
   
 
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POLICY E32 - Buildings of Local Character and Townscape Value
  THE COUNCIL WILL MAINTAIN AND UPDATE A NON-STATUTORY LIST OF BUILDINGS OF LOCAL CHARACTER AND TOWNSCAPE VALUE WHICH MERIT RETENTION, AND WILL SEEK TO SAFEGUARD THEM AS TOWNSCAPE FEATURES.
   
3.86 There are many buildings which, whilst not statutorily listed, make an important contribution to the character and appearance of the urban area and the villages. The Council does not have control over the demolition of such buildings, except in conservation areas.
   
 
POLICY E33 - Archaeological Sites of National Importance
  PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENTS OR OTHER ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE OR THEIR SETTINGS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
   
 
POLICY E34 - Archaeological Sites of Local Importance
  WHERE IMPORTANT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES ARE KNOWN OR THOUGHT TO EXIST WITHIN A POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT SITE, THE DEVELOPER WILL BE REQUIRED TO CARRY OUT AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD EVALUATION AND TO SUBMIT THE RESULTS OF THE EVALUATION AS PART OF THE PLANNING APPLICATION. PROPOSALS WHICH COULD AFFECT ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS OF LOCAL IMPORTANCE WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THEY ALLOW FOR THE PRESERVATION IN SITU OF THE REMAINS OR, WHERE THE COUNCIL DECIDES THAT SUCH PRESERVATION IS NOT JUSTIFIED, THAT APPROPRIATE AND SATISFACTORY ARRANGEMENTS ARE MADE FOR THE EXCAVATION AND RECORDING OF THE REMAINS AND THE PUBLICATION OF THE RESULTS.
   
3.87 The Borough contains archaeological remains of various ages and descriptions, as might be expected in an area of long habitation. These remains are a finite and irreplaceable resource which is part of our national and local heritage and culture. A small number enjoy special protection as scheduled ancient monuments of national importance, as identified by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. English Heritage's ten-year monuments protection programme will result in an increase in the number of scheduled ancient monuments. At the time of Plan preparation the scheduled monuments in the Borough are as follows:
    Medieval site, Archdeacon Newton;
Castle Hill earthworks, Bishopton;
Ketton Bridge, Brafferton;
Skerne Bridge, Darlington;
Coniscliffe Road Waterworks, Darlington;
Camp on Shackleton Hill, Heighington;
Smotherlaw round barrow, High Coniscliffe;
Croft Bridge, Hurworth;
Earthworks of manor house, Low Dinsdale;
Deserted village of West Hartburn, Middleton St. George;
Piercebridge Roman station;
Piercebridge Bridge;
Shrunken medieval village, Sadberge;
All Saints Church, Sockburn;
Summerhouse earthworks;
Deserted village, Walworth;
Deserted medieval village, Ulnaby;
Tower Hill Motte, Middleton St. George;
Coatham Mundeville medieval village.
   
 
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3.88 Further remains of national importance may come to light during the course of development works. In all these cases, physical preservation of the remains in situ will be sought. In areas where the possibility of such finds has been identified by, or at, planning application stage the applicant will be required to enter into a legal agreement providing adequate safeguards.
3.89 Most archaeological remains in the Borough are of more local importance. Some have been identified through earlier work, but many are in locations where remains are simply thought by archaeologists to be likely to exist. These include the oldest developed parts of the Borough, in particular the town centre and villages, where human settlements have been known to exist for many centuries. Many of these are designated conservation areas. Opportunities for investigation usually only occur when sites are undergoing redevelopment. The field evaluation required by Policy E34 will help to define the character and extent of remains, and indicate the weight which should be attached to their preservation. Thus it will help the Council to decide if the remains should be preserved in situ or through excavation and recording, and will indicate the degree to which the proposed development is likely to affect the remains and the options available for minimising or avoiding damage.
3.90 The Council, with the assistance of its specialist archaeological advisers, will endeavour to advise developers at the earliest opportunity if a proposal might affect archaeological remains. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of prospective developers to make their own enquiries during initial research into a site as to its archaeological sensitivity, and they should consult the Council for advice at the earliest possible stage of the planning process. Consideration will be given to the feasibility of defining sites of local importance on the Proposals Map at each review of the Plan, as information becomes available.
   
 
POLICY E35 - Conservation Areas
  PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT IN OR ADJACENT TO CONSERVATION AREAS WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY PRESERVE OR ENHANCE THE CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF THE AREAS. IN ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS THE COUNCIL WILL PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE LOSS OF GARDENS OR OPEN SPACES, TO MATTERS OF DETAILED DESIGN AND TO THE USE OF TRADITIONAL MATERIALS. FULL OR PARTIAL DEMOLITION OF A BUILDING IN A CONSERVATION AREA WILL BE PERMITTED ONLY IF:
  1. BECAUSE OF ITS DESIGN IT MAKES LITTLE OR NO CONTRIBUTION TO THE CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF THE AREA; OR
  2. IT IS WHOLLY BEYOND REPAIR OR OTHERWISE INCAPABLE OF REASONABLE BENEFICIAL USE; AND
  3. THERE ARE SATISFACTORY DETAILED PLANS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THE SITE.
  WHERE APPROPRIATE, THE GRANT OF DEMOLITION CONSENT WILL BE SUBJECT TO A CONDITION REQUIRING THAT DEMOLITION SHALL NOT TAKE PLACE UNTIL A CONTRACT FOR THE EXECUTION OF THE REDEVELOPMENT WORKS HAS BEEN ENTERED INTO AND PLANNING PERMISSION FOR THOSE WORKS HAS BEEN GRANTED. SCHEMES FOR THE ENHANCEMENT OF CONSERVATION AREAS WILL BE CARRIED OUT AS NECESSARY.
 
 
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POLICY E36 - Designation of Further Conservation Areas
  THE COUNCIL WILL DESIGNATE FURTHER CONSERVATION AREAS, OR EXTEND EXISTING AREAS, WHERE ADDITIONAL PROTECTION IS REQUIRED, GIVING PRIORITY TO:
  1. EXTENSIONS TO VILLAGE CONSERVATION AREAS TO INCORPORATE LAND WHICH PROVIDES THE LANDSCAPE SETTING FOR THE VILLAGE;
  2. SMALL GROUPS OF HOUSES IN THE COUNTRYSIDE WHOSE SETTING WOULD BE HARMED BY FURTHER DEVELOPMENT;
  3. RESIDENTIAL PARTS OF THE URBAN AREA WHICH REPRESENT THE TOWN'S VICTORIAN AND EDWARDIAN BUILDING INHERITANCE.
   
3.91 It is a duty of local planning authorities to designate areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance, as conservation areas. At the time of preparation of the Plan there are six conservation areas designated for parts of the urban area of Darlington, and a further ten for specific rural villages. It is also a duty of local planning authorities to prepare schemes for the enhancement of conservation areas. The Council has carried out enhancement schemes mainly in the town centre and North Road Station conservation areas; further work will be carried out as opportunities arise.
3.92 The Council will consider making Article 4 Directions under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order to restrict permitted development rights in those conservation areas where additional protection from the damaging effects of inappropriate alterations to buildings on the character of the area is required. The Stanhope Road / Grange Road Conservation Area is the priority for consideration, followed by the village conservation areas. The Council will pay particular attention to proposals resulting in the loss of garden or other spaces, as well as to design and materials, because such losses can be particularly harmful to character and appearance, especially in village conservation areas.
   
 
POLICY E37 - Enhancement of the Built Environment
  ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES WILL BE CARRIED OUT IN THE BOROUGH, WITH PRIORITY BEING GIVEN TO THE TOWN CENTRE AND CONSERVATION AREAS.
     
3.93 It is not only buildings which contribute to an attractive built environment, but also urban spaces created by the grouping of buildings. The Council is committed to improving the appearance of the Borough as a whole, and to enhancing its character wherever possible, but attention will be especially focused on the town centre and on conservation areas. The Council recognises the need to maintain and enhance the vitality and attractiveness of the town centre. Shopping, transport and conservation policies are directed towards this objective, and environmental improvements will also help to achieve it.
3.94 Other policies, for example enhancement of the River Skerne corridor (E18) and maintaining the appearance of the town from main travel routes (E16) are also important. The Council will continue improving the appearance and security of town centre car parks.
3.95 Some of the work will be a continuation of schemes already underway. For example, considerable progress has been made in upgrading the most complete of the old town centre yards, in line with a detailed environmental improvement scheme adopted in 1990, but more needs to be done to realise fully the area's potential. And the recent repair and restoration of the turn-of-the-century ornamental stonework and railings on High Row needs to be followed by a comprehensive repaving and landscaping scheme in order to maximise the benefits of pedestrianisation there.
   
 
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3.96 The successful implementation of all the environmental improvement schemes will depend on the support and co-operation of many bodies, private and public, and not only on the resources of the Borough Council. Detailed proposals will be presented for public discussion before new schemes are finalised.
   
 
POLICY E38 - Alterations to Business Premises
  ALTERATIONS TO RETAIL AND BUSINESS PREMISES, INCLUDING THE INSTALLATION OF SHOPFRONTS, SECURITY MEASURES AND SIGNING WILL BE PERMITTED IF THERE WOULD BE NO MATERIAL ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THE BUILDING, OR OF THE STREET SCENE IN WHICH THE BUILDING IS LOCATED. PROPOSALS WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
  1. EXISTING SHOPFRONTS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING OR STREET SCENE SHOULD BE RETAINED AND RESTORED RATHER THAN BEING REPLACED;
  2. NEW SHOPFRONTS OR ALTERATIONS TO EXISTING SHOPFRONTS SHOULD RESPECT THE SCALE, PROPORTIONS AND CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING AND OF NEIGHBOURING BUILDINGS AND SHOPFRONTS;
  3. SECURITY MEASURES WHICH ARE INTEGRAL ELEMENTS OF THE OVERALL SHOPFRONT DESIGN, INCLUDING STALLRISERS AND SPECIALIST GLAZING, WILL BE PREFERRED; IF FURTHER SECURITY MEASURES ARE ESSENTIAL, GRILLES OR LATTICE SHUTTERS WITH HOUSINGS INTEGRATED INTO THE SHOPFRONT DESIGN WILL BE PREFERRED TO SOLID SHUTTERS;
  4. SIGNING SHOULD BE CO-ORDINATED AND BE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE OVERALL SHOPFRONT DESIGN.
     
3.97 The requirement for sensitive and well-mannered development which respects its setting has been established earlier in this chapter of the Plan. Shop fronts, signing, and the installation of security grilles and shutters are aspects of design which can have a profound impact on the appearance of shopping streets and commercial areas. Problems most often arise from the imposition of standard corporate designs on buildings without regard to their style, scale or setting. Installations which are specially designed for the particular building are more likely to be acceptable. Detailed guidance on the design of shopfronts and security measures is available.
   
 
POLICY E39 - Advertisements in Built-Up Areas
  ADVERTISEMENT CONSENT WILL BE GRANTED WITHIN BUILT-UP AREAS EXCEPT WHERE THERE WOULD BE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON AMENITY OR PUBLIC SAFETY, JUDGED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
  1. THE NEED FOR THE SCALE, LOCATION AND DESIGN OF ADVERTISEMENTS TO RESPECT THE CHARACTER, APPEARANCE AND ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS OF THE BUILDING OR OTHER STRUCTURE ON WHICH THEY ARE TO BE DISPLAYED;
  2. THE NEED TO SAFEGUARD THE VISUAL AMENITY OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD WHERE AN ADVERTISEMENT IS TO BE DISPLAYED, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE IMPACT OF THE PROPOSED ADVERTISEMENT AND ITS CUMULATIVE IMPACT TOGETHER WITH OTHER ADVERTISEMENTS IN THE AREA AND THE PARTICULAR CHARACTER OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD;
  3. THE NEED TO PRESERVE OR ENHANCE THE DISTINCTIVE CHARACTER OF CONSERVATION AREAS, AND TO ENSURE THAT THE SPECIAL CHARACTER OF LISTED BUILDINGS AND THEIR SETTINGS IS NOT HARMED;
  4. THE NEED TO PROTECT THE AMENITY AND APPEARANCE OF RESIDENTIAL AREAS AND THE VILLAGES;
  5. THE NEED TO MAINTAIN AND ENHANCE THE APPEARANCE OF MAIN TRAVEL CORRIDORS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH POLICY E16, INCLUDING THE MAIN ROAD APPROACHES INTO THE URBAN AREA AND RAIL CORRIDORS;
  6. THE NEED TO AVOID CLUTTER; AND,
  7. THE NEED TO ENSURE THAT ADVERTISEMENTS DO NOT CAUSE CONFUSION OR DISTRACTION TO DRIVERS AND OTHER HIGHWAY USERS TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY POSE A THREAT TO HIGHWAY SAFETY.
   
 
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POLICY E40 - Advertisements in the Countryside
  ADVERTISEMENT CONSENT WILL BE GRANTED FOR SIGNS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE WHICH ADVERTISE THE LOCATION OF RURAL BUSINESSES AND TOURIST AND RECREATION FACILITIES PROVIDED THAT:
  1. THEY ARE DESIGNED AND SITED TO HARMONISE WITH THEIR SETTING AND DO NOT HARM THE RURAL CHARACTER OF ROAD FRONTAGES OR THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THE WIDER LANDSCAPE;
  2. ON MAIN ROAD FRONTAGES THERE ARE NO MORE THAN TWO SIGNS, ONE FACING IN EACH DIRECTION, LOCATED WITHIN 200m OF THE RELEVANT JUNCTION;
  3. ON MINOR ROAD FRONTAGES THEY ARE REMINDER SIGNS ONLY AND NECESSARY FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY;
  4. THEY ARE NON-ILLUMINATED AND DO NOT RESULT IN CLUTTER; AND,
  5. THEY DO NOT POSE A THREAT TO HIGHWAY SAFETY.
   
 
POLICY E41 - Poster Hoardings
  ADVERTISEMENT CONSENT FOR LARGE SCALE POSTER HOARDINGS WILL BE GRANTED PROVIDED THAT:
  1. THE SITE IS NOT WITHIN THE OPEN COUNTRYSIDE, THE RURAL VILLAGES, RESIDENTIAL OR PREDOMINANTLY RESIDENTIAL AREAS, AREAS OF PLEASANT OPEN SPACE OR WOODED TOWNSCAPE OR THOSE PARTS OF CONSERVATION AREAS WHICH ARE NOT IN PREDOMINANTLY SHOPPING OR BUSINESS USE;
  2. THE SCHEME INCLUDES, WHERE APPROPRIATE, GOOD QUALITY HARD AND SOFT LANDSCAPING; AND,
  3. THE PROPOSAL SATISFIES THE CRITERIA SET OUT IN POLICY E39.
     
3.98 Advertisements can have a major impact on the appearance of buildings and the wider locality. Well-designed signs, tailored to their locations, can inform and attract the public without damaging their settings. The intention of Policies E39, E40 and E41 is to protect visual amenity and highway safety, reduce unsightly clutter on buildings and to protect the architectural character and quality of buildings and townscapes in general, and conservation areas, residential areas and the villages in particular, and to protect the character and appearance of the countryside. Further, more detailed, guidance will be issued. This policy is reinforced by the design requirements of Policy E38.
3.99 As well as commercial advertisements, the Council is concerned about the detrimental effects of highway signs, which are sometimes uncoordinated and result in a cluttered appearance, especially at road junctions. Tourist information signs, too, may inform at the expense of damage to the original atmosphere of a place which first attracts the tourists. The Council will encourage co-ordinated signing schemes which provide sufficient information without clutter.
   
 
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3.100 Parts of the Borough, including the rural area, and the villages, and some of the urban conservation areas, may merit the stricter controls over the size and height of advertisements that would be provided by their declaration as Areas of Special Advertisement Control.
   
 
POLICY E42 - Street Furniture
  THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE PROPOSALS FOR ITEMS OF STREET FURNITURE WHICH MINIMISE ADVERSE IMPACT ON THEIR SURROUNDINGS WITH PARTICULAR REGARD TO NUMBERS, SITING AND APPEARANCE. PROPOSALS WHICH WOULD DETRACT FROM THE CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF LISTED BUILDINGS, CONSERVATION AREAS AND THE COUNTRYSIDE, BE DETRIMENTAL TO RESIDENTIAL AMENITY OR INTERFERE WITH PEDESTRIAN FLOWS WILL BE DISCOURAGED, AND, WHERE SUBJECT TO PLANNING CONTROL, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED. THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE THE PLANNED CO-ORDINATION OF STREET FURNITURE WHERE CONCENTRATIONS OCCUR, AND THE REMOVAL OF INAPPROPRIATE EXISTING ITEMS. ITEMS OF HISTORICAL INTEREST SHOULD BE RETAINED WHERE POSSIBLE.
     
3.101 Street furniture can take many forms and can be the responsibility of a large number of different organisations, each with their own requirements. Some items such as lamp-posts, bollards, traffic signs and signals, guard-rails and bus stops are essential to the functioning of the street itself. Others such as telephone kiosks, poles and cabinets and pillar boxes are important parts of the communications system. Others still, such as seats, litter bins, cycle parking stands, trees, planting boxes and pedestrian direction signs are added to streets to make them more pleasant places. The overall result of having a large number of items of street furniture in close proximity can, however, be one of visual clutter and inconvenience to pedestrians and people with disabilities. Only a small proportion of items of street furniture require prior planning approval from the Council as planning authority but the Council will try to encourage all relevant organisations to minimise any adverse effect on amenity particularly of the more sensitive areas through its other functions, including town centre management.
   
 
POLICY E43 - Vacant Upper Floors
  THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE OWNERS AND OCCUPIERS TO FIND APPROPRIATE USES FOR VACANT UPPER FLOORS OF COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES, IN PARTICULAR LISTED BUILDINGS AND THOSE IN CONSERVATION AREAS. WHERE APPROPRIATE, HAVING REGARD TO THE LOCATION OF THE PROPERTY, ITS RELATIONSHIP TO NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES AND THE PROPOSED USE OF UPPER FLOORS, THE COUNCIL WILL CONSIDER THE RELAXATION OF NORMAL CAR PARKING, LAYOUT, DAYLIGHT AND EXTERNAL SPACE STANDARDS.
     
3.102 The upper floors of older commercial properties, particularly town centre shops, are frequently unused or under-used. This can lead to inadequate maintenance of the fabric of a building, which may eventually result in disrepair and premature demolition. The potential for re-use of upper floors is sometimes limited by technical difficulties, security problems, safety regulations, etc, but wherever possible the Council will assist owners to find new uses. Generally speaking, restrictions of use on retail frontages do not apply above ground floor level. Appropriate uses may include offices or residential accommodation. In the case of the latter, schemes for 'living over the shop' could make a small but valuable contribution to the Borough's housing needs.
   
 
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POLICY E44 - Architectural Salvage
  WHERE DEVELOPMENT INVOLVES THE DEMOLITION OF EXISTING BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES, THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE THE SALVAGE OF ANY FEATURES OR MATERIALS OF ARCHITECTURAL VALUE OR INTEREST, AND THEIR REUSE WITHIN THE DEVELOPMENT OR ELSEWHERE.
     
3.103 The re-use of building materials is encouraged in general by Policy E24. Policy E44 is concerned with particular features of buildings to be demolished which are of architectural value or interest, and may also have a local cultural significance as well-known townscape features. Such features may include doors, windows, staircases, signs or unusual architectural detailing and materials.
   
 
POLICY E45 - Development and Art
  THE COUNCIL WILL, THROUGH NEGOTIATION WITH DEVELOPERS, ENCOURAGE THEM TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE FUNDING OF PUBLIC ART BY COMMISSIONING AND INSTALLING NEW WORKS OF ART IN VISUALLY PROMINENT LOCATIONS WITHIN THEIR DEVELOPMENTS.
     
3.104 Art in the environment may range from the sculptures and murals that are generally perceived as art works, to artists advising on the design of playgrounds and landscaping, or on housing revitalisation schemes. The opportunities for artists to contribute to the creation of identity and sense of place in the environment, and to enhancing image and civic pride, are wide-ranging.
3.105 The 'percent for art' approach, of encouraging developers to allocate a proportion of the capital costs of developments to the commissioning of new works by artists and craftspeople for incorporation in the schemes, is one which the Council is now pursuing in relation to large retail and commercial proposals.
 
PUBLIC PROTECTION
   
 
POLICY E46 - Safety and Security
  PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING THE REFURBISHMENT OF EXISTING BUILDINGS, WILL NORMALLY BE REQUIRED TO BE DESIGNED TO CREATE A SAFE AND SECURE ENVIRONMENT AND TO REDUCE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CRIME.
     
3.106 The sensitive design of buildings and landscaping can reduce the opportunities for crime; it can also reduce the fear of crime, which is a serious problem affecting the quality of life of many people, particularly for women and the elderly. Safety and security considerations may influence the design and equipping of buildings, the layout of car-parks, the form and arrangement of private garden spaces and pedestrian ways, and lighting and landscaping details. Developers should consult the Police Architectural Liaison Officer at an early stage of the design process, so that safety and security provisions are designed into the scheme from the outset.
 
 
POLICY E47 - Contaminated and Unstable Land and Development
  PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT ON LAND WHICH IS LIKELY TO BE CONTAMINATED, UNSTABLE OR A FORMER LANDFILL SITE WILL BE PERMITTED ONLY IF THE APPLICANT CAN DEMONSTRATE THAT THE SITE IS OR WILL BE MADE SAFE FOR THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT AND SURROUNDINGS. PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT NEAR TO SOURCES OF POTENTIAL POLLUTION, AND IN PARTICULAR WITHIN 250m OF LANDFILL SITES, WILL BE PERMITTED ONLY IF THE APPLICANT CAN DEMONSTRATE THAT THE DEVELOPMENT CAN BE CARRIED OUT AND USED SAFELY.
     
3.107 A number of sites within the Borough are contaminated or unstable as a result of previous uses. It is desirable that such sites which are otherwise suitable for development are brought back into productive use, but it is essential that the health and well-being of people working on the site or the end-users of any development are not put at risk.
 
 
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3.108 Where a site is known to have contamination or landfill related problems, the applicant will be required to investigate conditions on the site, and submit a report on the investigation methods, results, and the measures needed to enable development to be carried out safely, before planning permission is granted. Investigations should include consideration of the need to protect the quality and quantity of groundwater supplies. The Council will have regard to Government and other appropriate guidance on the assessment and monitoring of landfill and contaminated land sites when assessing such reports. In considering outline applications, sufficient information will be required to enable the Council to be satisfied that the development can be carried out and used safely, and that any outstanding problems are capable of solution and can be dealt with as matters of detail.
3.109 Gypsum, which is readily dissolved by flowing underground water, underlies parts of the Plan area. Developers will need to satisfy themselves that their proposals for development will not be affected by this geological feature.
   
 
POLICY E48 - Noise-Generating / Polluting Development
  PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH, BY REASON OF THE EMISSION OF NOISE OR OTHER POLLUTANT, WOULD BE MATERIALLY HARMFUL TO THE AMENITIES OF EXISTING OR PROPOSED RESIDENTIAL OR OTHER POLLUTION-SENSITIVE AREAS.
     
 
POLICY E49 - Noise-Sensitive Development
  DEVELOPMENT IN LOCATIONS IN WHICH ITS OCCUPIERS WOULD BE MATERIALLY AFFECTED BY NOISE WILL NORMALLY BE REQUIRED TO INCORPORATE MEASURES TO MITIGATE ITS EFFECTS. PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED WHERE AN APPROPRIATE AMELIORATION OF NOISE LEVELS IS NOT PREDICTED THROUGH THE USE OF SUCH MEASURES.
   
3.110 Noise is a form of pollution which can impair people's quality of life, especially where it affects residential areas or other noise-sensitive developments such as schools, hospitals and open spaces. Some sources of noise, such as that arising from anti-social behaviour or the barking of dogs, are beyond the scope of development plans. The effects of extraneous sources, including road and rail traffic and industrial processes, can be controlled by locating new residential or other noise-sensitive development away from them, or by preventing the location of noise-generating development within or close to existing or proposed residential or other noise-sensitive areas.
3.111 Where residential areas and noise sources cannot be separated, a range of measures may be required to reduce noise to acceptable levels, including noise 'buffer' zones, mounding, landscaping and secondary double glazing. In new development, the design and orientation of buildings can also reduce the effects of noise. Whilst making provision to reduce noise inside dwellings, the importance of gardens and other external spaces as components of the residential environment should not be overlooked. Local shops which are normally an acceptable form of development in residential areas, can cause noise and traffic disturbance. Where appropriate, conditions will be imposed to limit hours of operation and servicing and prevent disturbance during 'unsocial' hours.
   
 
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3.112 When assessing a proposal for residential development near a transport-related or mixed transport and industrial-related source of noise, the Council will determine into which of the four noise exposure categories (NECs) identified below the proposed site falls, taking into account both day and night-time noise levels. In determining and conditioning development proposals, the Council will then have regard to the guidance for each NEC, as follows:
  NEC A:- noise need not be a determining factor in granting planning permission, although the noise level at the high end of the category should not be regarded as a desirable level;
  NEC B:- noise should be taken into account when determining applications and, where appropriate, conditions should be imposed to mitigate the effects of noise;
  NEC C:- planning permission should not normally be granted, but where it is considered that permission should be given, conditions should ensure a commensurate level of protection against noise;
  NEC D:- planning permission should normally be refused.
  The table below gives the noise levels which define each of the NECs, measured in LAeq,T at the position of the proposed dwellings, well away from existing buildings and at 1.2m to 1.5m above the ground levels, for both day and night-time periods.The table below gives the noise levels which define each of the NECs, measured in LAeq,T at the position of the proposed dwellings, well away from existing buildings and at 1.2m to 1.5m above the ground levels, for both day and night-time periods.
 
NOISE LEVELS CORRESPONDING TO THE NOISE EXPOSURE CATEGORIES FOR NEW DWELLINGS LAeq,TdB
NOISE SOURCE NEC A NEC B NEC C NEC D
road traffic        
07.00-23.00 hrs <55 55-63 63-72 >72
23.00-07.00 hrs <45 45-57 57-66 >66
rail traffic        
07.00-23.00 hrs <55 55-66 66-74 >74
23.00-07.00 hrs <45 45-59 59-66 >66
air traffic        
07.00-23.00 hrs <57 57-66 66-72 >72
23.00-07.00 hrs <48 48-57 57-66 >66
mixed sources        
07.00-23.00 hrs <55 55-63 63-72 >72
23.00-07.00 hrs <45 45-57 57-66 >66
         
3.113 The NEC system is applicable only to proposed residential development adjacent to transport or mixed transport and industrial noise sources. The impact of industrial noise will have to be individually assessed, because both the noise and people's response to it can be so variable. Assessment will generally be based on appropriate guidance, such as British Standard 4142 1990 'Method for Rating Industrial Noise Affecting Mixed Residential and Industrial Areas', and will involve a comparison of the measured or predicted noise level (in LAeq,T) against the existing background noise level. The difference in levels will not be expected to be greater that 5-10 dB(A) but in any event should not exceed the levels identified for mixed sources in the above table. Non-residential noise-sensitive developments are variable in their character and layout, so that the impact of noise cannot be assessed by applying the NEC principle. Specific guidance is published for hospitals and schools, and developers should refer to these sources instead.
3.114 Other forms of pollution can also impair people's quality of life and damage the environment. Responsibility for controlling pollution at source lies with the Environment Agency, the Council in its environmental health capacity, or other agencies. As local planning authority, the Council will reinforce these specific controls by seeking to limit the damaging effects of pollution on people and the environment through the location and design of potentially polluting development.
   
 
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POLICY E50 - Hazardous Installations
  PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE VICINITY OF NOTIFIED HAZARDOUS INSTALLATIONS WILL NORMALLY ONLY BE PERMITTED IF THE COUNCIL IS SATISFIED THAT THERE WOULD BE NO INCREASE IN THE POPULATION POTENTIALLY AT RISK.
     
3.115 The Council has been notified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of five installations in the Borough handling hazardous substances. These are located at Aycliffe Industrial Estate (storage of vinyl chloride monomer), Broken Scar Water Works (chlorine storage), Valley Street gas holder (natural gas storage), Trees Park Village at Teesside Airport (liquid petroleum gas storage), and Gatherley Moor Reservoir (chlorine storage). The HSE has drawn consultation zones around each of these installations and the Council will seek their advice on development proposals within them, with the aim of precisely defining any area within which certain classes of development must be restricted. Once defined, such areas will be shown on the Proposals Map on a review of the Plan.
   
 
POLICY E51 - Broken Scar Development Limitation Zone
  EXCEPT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TEES GRANGE FARM SITE, NO FURTHER PROPOSALS FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OR OTHER DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD RESULT IN AN INCREASE IN THE 'AT RISK' POPULATION WILL BE PERMITTED WITHIN THE DEVELOPMENT LIMITATION ZONE AROUND BROKEN SCAR WATER WORKS, OTHER THAN FOR SINGLE DWELLINGS ON INFILL SITES, UP TO A CUMULATIVE MAXIMUM OF FIVE DWELLINGS, WHICH WILL BE CONSIDERED ON THEIR MERITS.
     
3.116 The use of chlorine is a routine part of the water treatment process, and the storage of chlorine at Broken Scar does not pose a greater threat, per se, to people living in its vicinity than is the case with other Notifiable Hazards. It is the extensive residential developments in the area in recent years which have taken up the acceptable risk margin and led to the conclusion that further development involving an increase in the population which could be affected by any incident should be strictly limited once the Tees Grange Farm and Hummersknott housing sites have been developed. The term 'at risk population' refers to people who, because of their situation, could not be easily organised and evacuated in an emergency. It includes residents of private houses and nursing homes, hospital patients and children at school. Single dwelling infill development, up to a maximum of five new dwellings within the zone, which is identified on the Proposals Map, excluding Tees Grange Farm, may be acceptable if suitable sites are identified.
 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS
   
3.117 Telecommunications are an essential part of modern life and the continuing developments in technology have changing effects on the environment. Minor development does not need planning permission but policies are needed for larger new structures and other equipment for transmitting and receiving signals.
   
 
POLICY E52 - New Masts
  PROPOSALS FOR NEW MASTS OR OTHER STRUCTURES FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT WILL BE CONSIDERED HAVING REGARD TO THE SPECIAL SITING, TECHNICAL AND OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE EQUIPMENT, THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROPOSAL AS PART OF A NATIONAL NETWORK AND THE NEED TO MINIMISE VISUAL INTRUSION AND DAMAGE, AND WILL BE APPROVED PROVIDED THAT:
     
 
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  1. THERE IS NO EXISTING MAST, STRUCTURE OR BUILDING THAT CAN BE SATISFACTORILY USED FOR THE PURPOSE;
  2. THE PROPOSAL WILL REPLACE EXISTING MASTS OR STRUCTURES, AND WILL FACILITATE FUTURE NETWORK DEVELOPMENT BY REDUCING THE NEED FOR ADDITIONAL MASTS OR STRUCTURES;
  3. IF THE SITE IS LOCATED IN THE AREA OF HIGH LANDSCAPE VALUE, A CONSERVATION AREA OR WITHIN THE SETTING OF A LISTED BUILDING, THERE IS NO SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE SITE OUTSIDE SUCH AREAS; AND
  4. THE PROPOSAL IS DESIGNED AND LANDSCAPED TO MINIMISE ANY ADVERSE IMPACT ON THE APPEARANCE AND AMENITY OF ITS SURROUNDINGS.
   
3.118 Some equipment needs to be in prominent, often rural, locations for operational reasons but technology is improving and it is important that the visual impact of new masts is kept to a minimum. A balance needs to be struck between visual amenity and telecommunications technology. In sensitive locations, such as the Area of High Landscape Value, applicants should show that other possibilities have been explored first. Proposals for all masts within 3km of Teesside Airport must be notified to the Civil Aviation Authority.
   
 
POLICY E53 - Satellite Antennae
  PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED WHERE REQUIRED FOR SATELLITE ANTENNAE ON DWELLINGS AND OTHER BUILDINGS PROVIDED THAT:
  1. THE SITING, DESIGN AND COLOUR MINIMISES VISUAL IMPACT ON THE BUILDING;
  2. THERE IS NO MATERIAL ADVERSE IMPACT ON THE AMENITY OF NEIGHBOURING BUILDINGS.
  SHARED SYSTEMS SHOULD NORMALLY BE INSTALLED ON BUILDINGS CONTAINING MORE THAN ONE DWELLING OR BUSINESS.
   
3.119 Most dishes and other antennae do not require permission provided that they comply with the criteria contained in the General Development Order. However, antennae which do not meet the criteria, or any on listed buildings, require careful control in order to minimise their impact. A proliferation of dishes on blocks of flats, offices and other mixed use buildings must be avoided. The Council issues detailed guidance for developers and householders.