Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

Ended on the 17th November 2017
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Part B Key Topics

5 Housing

H1 Provision of new housing

(43) In addition to delivery of existing commitments and completions and the allowance for windfalls, land for a minimum of 4,660 new homes will be provided during the plan period to 2031 in the following locations:

(6) 1. at Scraptoft about 1,200 dwellings in a Strategic Development Area on land north of Scraptoft, in accordance with Policy SC1;

(8) 2. at Market Harborough a minimum of 1,140 dwellings, including the following allocations:

(2) a. Overstone Park - about 600 dwellings in accordance with Policy MH1;

(2) b. East of Blackberry Grange, Northampton Road - about 350 dwellings in accordance with Policy MH2;

(7) c. Burnmill Farm - a maximum of 90 dwellings in accordance with Policy MH3;

(7) 3. at Lutterworth about 1,500 dwellings in a Strategic Development Area on land east of Lutterworth, in accordance with Policy L1;

(5) 4. at Fleckney a minimum of 295 dwellings, including the following allocation:

(3) a. land at Arnesby Road - about 130 dwellings in accordance with Policy F1;

5. at the following other Rural Centres, a minimum of:

a. Billesdon -10;

(4) b. Great Glen - 35

(1) c. Houghton on the Hill - 65;

6. at the following Selected Rural Villages, a minimum of:

(2) a. Bitteswell - 30,

(1) b. Church and East Langton -30,

(28) c. the Claybrookes - 50,

(2) d. Dunton Bassett - 40,

e. Foxton - 10,

(2) f. Gilmorton - 25,

(1) g. Great Easton with Bringhurst - 30,

h. Hallaton - 30,

(3) i. Lubenham - 35,

j. Medbourne - 30,

k. South Kilworth 20,

l. Swinford - 35,

m. Tilton on the Hill - 35,

n. Tugby - 15.

5.1 H1 Explanation

(4) 5.1.1 Paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local planning authorities to ensure sufficient housing land is provided to meet identified needs across the 'housing market area'. For Harborough, this means working with the other local authorities which together form the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA). This is a relatively self-contained area, across which people travel to work and move house and was identified and confirmed by the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA), 2017.

5.1.2 The HEDNA calculated the objectively assessed need in accordance with the Planning Practice Guidance and used the official demographic projections (2014-based DCLG household projections, produced in July 2016) as the starting point. These projections were then adjusted to take account of local factors affecting migration and household formation rates and employment growth forecasts. An adjustment was made to take account of market signals and affordable housing needs. The outcome is the objectively assessed housing need for the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area and for each local authority within it.

5.1.3 The full objectively assessed housing need for the Leicester and Leicestershire HMA is 4,829 dwellings per annum between 2011 and 2031 (96,580 total) and for Harborough District is 532 dwellings per annum between 2011 and 2031 (HEDNA, Table 89), giving a total plan requirement across the 20 year plan period of 10,640 dwellings.

(7) 5.1.4 Further to the HEDNA, another study was undertaken to consider the potential impact on housing requirements of the strategic storage and distribution growth proposed at Magna Park, in accordance with Policy BE2 Strategic distribution. The Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study, 2017 concluded that the HEDNA's objectively assessed housing needs (OAN) remain true and robust both for the Leicester and Leicester HMA and the Harborough District. However, taking account of Objective 2, particularly reducing the need for out-commuting and thereby helping to increase the sustainability and self-containment of communities (from 19% currently to 25% in future), there is a need for a small re-distribution of housing growth across the Leicester and Leicestershire area. This re-distribution would lead to a modest increase in housing requirements in Harborough District over and above the OAN, in order to help house the new workers expected to be employed at Magna Park. The Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study identified that the 700,000 sq m. of strategic storage and distribution proposed for the plan period within Policy BE2 results in the need for approximately 25 more dwellings per annum. This results in an overall housing requirement for Harborough District of 557 dwellings per annum.

5.1.5 Harborough District is able to meet all of its housing requirement within the District, as evidenced by the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), 2016. However, should any local authorities within the Leicester and Leicestershire HMA be unable to meet their full housing needs, because of either a lack of physical capacity or significant harm to the principles and policies of the NPPF, there will be a need to consider whether those needs can be met elsewhere within the HMA.

5.1.6 Leicester City Council has indicated that there will be unmet housing need within the City. A letter from Leicester City Council to all the other local planning authorities in the HMA dated 13th February 2017 stated that 'the scale of the need [OAN] set out in the HEDNA is of such magnitude that it is concluded that there will be an unmet need arising in the city'. An additional letter sent on the same day to the Planning Inspector for the examination of the North West Leicestershire Local Plan set out 'our formal declaration of unmet housing need arising in the city'. The scale of the shortfall in Leicester City will be established during preparation of their Local Plan. Leicester City Council has indicated a desire to work with other local authorities within the HMA to ensure the unmet need can be accommodated within the HMA by ensuring emerging plans are flexible enough to respond to addressing such needs. Similarly, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council have indicated that the Borough will have an unmet need of at least 160 dwellings to 2031 and over 1,000 dwellings to 2036. They have asked that councils in the HMA take this into account in preparing their own local plans.

5.1.7 As set out in section 1.5, local authorities have a statutory Duty to Cooperate over such matters and to identify how any such needs would be met. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is currently being prepared by the 9 local authorities within the HMA. This document will identify how any unmet housing needs will be accommodated and will be signed by each authority as a binding agreement. Until the MoU is agreed and the scale of any unmet need for Harborough to help to meet is identified, Harborough's plan requirement is 557 dwellings per annum, or 11,140 dwellings in total over the plan period.

(6) 5.1.8 The 557 dwellings per annum housing requirement will also be the basis for calculating the five year supply of deliverable housing land, in accordance with NPPF, paragraph 47. Policy H1 will help ensure that the Council is able to demonstrate this national requirement. Appendix G Housing trajectory sets out the expected annual housing delivery throughout the plan period. From 2018/9 and every year throughout the plan period, the housing trajectory demonstrates at least a five year supply of deliverable housing land.

5.1.9 The 5 Year Housing Land Supply report, as at 31 March 2017 shows that a 20% buffer has been applied from 2011/12 to 2016/17, moving land forward from later on in the plan period. However, this buffer is expected to be reduced to 5% from 2018/9, the expected year of adoption of the Local plan.

5.1.10 Policy H1 provides for delivery of the housing plan requirement, plus an additional 15% contingency in the supply of housing land in order to allow for possible future circumstances affecting the supply of housing in the District, including:

  • a potential need to help meet demonstrable unmet housing need arising from other local planning authorities within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA);
  • a slower delivery than expected on housing allocations and/or the strategic development areas;
  • housing sites gaining planning permission but not delivering completed housing in a timely manner or at the density originally proposed;
  • changing economic circumstances affecting the take-up of housing;
  • the non-delivery of housing sites due to site-specific factors; and
  • in order to provide flexibility and choice in the local housing market.

5.1.11 Policy H1 therefore makes provision for 12,800 dwellings from 2011 to 2031. Of this, about 8,140 dwellings have already been built or committed (through the granting of planning permission, or through allocation in neighbourhood plans) or are anticipated on windfall sites. Policy H1 therefore provides housing land for a further 4,660 dwellings.

5.1.12 Housing land is provided in accordance with the settlement hierarchy and strategic aims of Policy SS1 Spatial strategy . The sources of housing land supply are set out at Table B.1 below. Policy H1 includes slightly rounded figures.

Table B.1 Sources of Housing Land Supply


Dwellings

Completions (already built, as at 31 March 2017)

2,458

Commitments (with planning permission or allocated through neighbourhood plans, as at 31 March 2017)

5,454

On allocated housing sites (Policy H1, 2, 3 and 4)

3,870

To be delivered on non-allocated sites

793

Assumed contribution from unidentified (windfall) sites

225

Total housing land supply

12,800

5.1.13 Housing land supply includes provision of two Strategic Development Areas (SDAs) at:

  • land to the east of Lutterworth, delivering approximately 1,500 dwellings within the plan period and a further approximately 1,250 dwellings beyond 2031;
  • land to the north of Scraptoft, delivering approximately 1,200 dwellings within the plan period.

5.1.14 The remainder of Harborough's housing land supply is provided in accordance with the housing distribution strategy used in the 2011 Harborough Core Strategy, which concentrates housing development in the urban areas. This reflects the generally more limited services available in rural settlements, and thus contributes to reducing journey lengths, especially by private car, and associated carbon emissions.

5.1.15 Policy H1 identifies the approximate number of homes to be provided in or adjoining each settlement in the settlement hierarchy. These homes will be provided on a range of sites, including on land specifically allocated for housing within the policy in the larger settlements. These specific sites are allocated in order to:

  • provide certainty about the location of significant scale development (for local communities, infrastructure providers and developers);
  • aid delivery of the individual sites; and
  • ensure delivery of the overall strategy.

(1) 5.1.16 Each allocated site has been assessed through the SHLAA and identified as either deliverable within the first 5 years of the plan period or developable later within the plan period. The envisaged start date and duration of construction for each allocation (taking account of the extent of site preparation and upfront infrastructure provision required, together with expected overall annual delivery rates) is set out at Appendix G Housing trajectory. Each allocation is supported by a site-specific policy in Part C Places and Sites.

5.1.17 The scale of new housing to be provided in individual settlements reflects the roles of different places in the settlement hierarchy (see Policy SS1 The spatial strategy). These roles partly reflect the population size of the settlements and their location in respect of other settlements but also relate to the range of activities and services present and, in relation to primary schools, their ability to expand to accommodate the needs generated by new development. In selecting the scale of housing to be provided in each settlement, account has been taken of fundamental constraints on development, such as flood risk, and the supply of potential development sites in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). It also included further detailed consideration of villages where the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of this Local Plan identified potential sensitivity, or where the SHLAA sites were considered to conflict with the criteria in Policy GD2 Settlement development. Each settlement figure is a residual figure, taking account of existing commitments and previous completions within the settlement. For this reason there are relatively few dwellings required to be found in Rural Centres, where a large number of planning applications have been recently approved.

5.1.18 In order to provide choice in the housing market, provide a mix of sites and make sites available to small and medium size house builders, the Local Plan also makes provision for smaller housing sites. Provision of smaller sites will be made through: the delivery of existing small site commitments; 'windfall' sites (as defined in the NPPF glossary) and small sites identified in the SHLAA that accord with policies GD2 Settlement development and GD4 New housing in the countryside; and housing allocations in neighbourhood plans. Information on the current status of neighbourhood plans can be found on the Council's website.

5.1.19 The forecast for windfall delivery takes account of past rates of delivery, in accordance with NPPF, paragraph 48. The forecast excludes:

  • residential gardens (in accordance with NPPF paragraph 48);
  • sites identified in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA); and
  • sites in rural centres and sustainable rural villages, delivery of which will contribute towards the provision for the settlement set out in Policy H1.

5.2 H1 Supporting information

Table B.2 Supporting Information: Policy H1

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes – NPPF paragraphs 47, 48 and 50.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA) 2017;

Harborough Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), 2016;

Windfall Analysis, September 2016;

Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study, 2017; and

5 Year Housing Land Supply report, as at 31 March 2017 (July 2017).

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

1 - Housing

3 - Location of development

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on relevant planning applications in combination with Neighbourhood Plans where appropriate.

How will it be monitored?

Through the annual Authority Monitoring Report by assessing the extent to which dwellings granted planning permission compared with H1.

H2 Affordable housing

(30) 1. 40% affordable housing will be required on relevant housing sites:

a. of more than 10 dwellings; or

b. with a combined gross floorspace of more than 1,000 square metres; or

(1) c. of more than 0.5 hectares.

(7) 2. The tenure split for the affordable housing will be as follows:

(2) a. about 75% affordable or socially rented; and

b. about 25% low cost home ownership products; or

c. a variation on the above mix which is shown to be justified by reference to the latest assessment of affordable housing need.

3. Where on-site provision is demonstrated to be impractical, off-site commuted sums of an equivalent value will be made in lieu of on-site provision.

(2) 4. Where small housing developments (of 10 or fewer dwellings, 1,000 square metres gross or less, or 0.5 hectares or less) are proposed within five years of each other on sites that have a spatial relationship (such as a shared access or being located adjacent to each other), or on adjacent sites that are (or have been within the five year period) in the same ownership, affordable housing will be required where a cumulative total of more than 10 dwellings, 1,000 square metres or 0.5 hectares is proposed.

5. Proposals which do not meet the above policy requirements will be acceptable where it is demonstrated to the Council's satisfaction that a different level or mix of affordable housing is required to make the development viable and the approach contributes towards creating mixed and balanced communities.

5.3 H2 Explanation

5.3.1 Affordable Housing is provided for sale or rent to those whose needs are not met by the market and includes social rented, affordable rented and low cost home ownership products. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (paragraph 50) requires local planning authorities to set policies to meet affordable housing need in order to help create sustainable, inclusive and mixed communities.

5.3.2 The number of affordable houses needed in the District has been calculated at 206 new affordable homes per annum from 2011 to 2031 (Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Employment Development Needs Assessment, 2017 (HEDNA), Table 39, January 2017). This figure includes an estimate of the backlog of households currently in need and a prediction of future need. Total need is compared with an estimate of future supply, to give a net figure for the number of affordable homes needed in the plan period.

5.3.3 Policy H2 requires relevant market housing developments to provide a minimum of 40% of the dwellings as affordable housing. Emerging national policy (as set out in 'Fixing our broken housing market', the Housing White Paper published by the Government in February 2017) is expected to set out a number of exemptions, where some types of new market housing will not be required to provide affordable housing, and will therefore not be considered 'relevant'. These are expected to include build to rent schemes, supported housing, custom build schemes and rural exception sites. Such schemes would not be 'relevant' and would therefore fall outside the requirements of this policy.

5.3.4 The threshold site size of more than 10 dwellings to provide affordable housing specified in Policy H2 is set by national policy and guidance.

5.3.5 The affordable housing requirement will be met in partnership with registered affordable housing providers, such as housing associations, to ensure the amount of affordable housing required to meet the requirement is delivered. The Council will support applications from registered providers, housebuilders and other relevant parties to the Homes and Communities Agency for funding through its affordable homes programmes.

5.3.6 The required affordable housing tenure split reflects evidence of the relative need for different affordable housing products (HEDNA, Table 43). The relative requirements have been rounded for ease of implementation. The term 'intermediate housing' used in the HEDNA has been replaced in the policy with the broader range of products described in emerging national policy as 'low cost home ownership products'. The tenure split set out in the policy conforms with emerging national policy requirements for housing sites to deliver a minimum of 10% affordable home ownership units. However, Policy H2 allows for a different tenure split to be provided to reflect the latest evidence of need. Provision of a different tenure split would require agreement with the Council, following liaison with the relevant registered providers. The make-up of provision type within these tenures will be determined by the Council on a site-by-site basis according to the latest evidence of local need.

5.3.7 The Council is keen to ensure that affordable housing is delivered in circumstances where small housing sites are developed adjacent to each other, or have another spatial relationship such as a common access or where parts of a site are developed via separate planning applications within 5 years of each other. In these circumstances the Council will require provision of affordable housing commensurate with the cumulative total number of dwellings proposed on the sites to be developed.

5.3.8 Sites will be designed to help create mixed and balanced communities, to avoid an over-concentration of one particular form of housing. Where on-site provision is demonstrated to be impractical following consultation with registered affordable housing providers, the developer will provide a commuted sum to the Council at an equivalent value which recognises the need and cost of future land acquisition, in order to allow for the provision of affordable housing on a separate site.

(1) 5.3.9 The affordable housing requirements set out in Policy H2 have been assessed in terms of their potential impact upon the viability of individual housing developments. The Local Plan Viability Assessment, 2017 demonstrates that both the required percentage of affordable housing and the mix of tenures are viable across a range of housing developments in the District and for both the East of Lutterworth and Scraptoft North Strategic Development Areas.

5.3.10 However, should an applicant consider that an individual housing proposal is unable to meet these affordable housing requirements due to particular unusual circumstances, the applicant will be required to submit a viability assessment to the Council. In such cases the Council will commission an independent review of the viability assessment, for which the applicant will bear the cost. This review should take account of the availability of public funding. Only where the independent review supports the conclusions of the applicant's viability assessment will a scheme which does not meet the affordable housing requirements be considered appropriate. In relation to sheltered housing, it is recognised that provision of affordable housing may be particularly difficult to achieve in relation to extra care schemesand other types of supported living schemes. In such circumstances, the policy will be implemented on a case by case basis, and the individual viability assessment and its review will be used to demonstrate an appropriate affordable housing requirement / commuted sum.

5.3.11 The Planning Policy Guidance enables the provision of starter homes on industrial and commercial land which is considered under-used or unviable. Applications for starter homes on such sites will be considered in the context of the need to retain key employment land for use by local businesses, as set out in Policy BE3 Existing employment areas. In addition, there will be consideration of whether the site is suitable for housing use, taking account of such considerations as its location in relation to retail and community services, and any impacts upon the amenity of the site in question arising from adjoining uses.

5.3.12 Policy GD4 New housing in the countryside includes requirements concerning Affordable Housing in rural locations where particular provisions apply.

5.4 H2 Supporting information

Table B.3 Supporting Information: Policy H2

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes – NPPF paragraph 50

See also 'Fixing our broken housing market', the Housing White Paper (DCLG February 2017)

What evidence has informed this policy?

Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA) 2017; and

Local Plan Viability Assessment, 2017.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

1 - Housing

How will it be implemented?

Through securing starter homes and other affordable housing through decisions on relevant planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

This will be monitored through the annual Authority Monitoring Report, reporting on:

1. extent to which % of affordable housing secured on relevant sites complies with policy;
2. extent to which agreed tenure split on affordable housing complies with policy; and
3. whether any variation on the agreed tenure split was justified by reference to the latest assessment of housing need; or
4. whether any variation on the agreed tenure split was justified to make the development viable and contribute towards creating mixed and balanced communities; and
5. whether commuted sums were received towards affordable housing from small housing
developments.

H3 Rural exception sites

(7) 1. Development proposals for affordable housing on small sites in rural areas that would not normally be permitted for housing, will be approved as rural exception sites where:

(1) a. the site is visually and physically connected to a settlement;

b. the scale of the development would be in-keeping with the role and function of the settlement;

(1) c. there is clear evidence of local affordable housing need;

d. the development would accommodate households who are either current residents of the parish or have a strong local connection with the local community; and

(1) e. the housing remains affordable in perpetuity.

(1) 2. Small numbers of market homes may be permitted on rural exception sites where they:

a. are essential to enable the delivery of affordable units;

b. meet an identified and proven element of local need, such as starter homes or units to enable 'downsizing'; and

(1) c. constitute no more than 20% of the number of dwellings proposed, the exact percentage being determined by the viability of each scheme

5.5 H3 Explanation

5.5.1 The development of rural exception sites is an exceptional circumstance where affordable housing development may be permitted in the open countryside. 'Affordable housing' refers to a number of housing products as defined by the National Planning Policy Framework, 2012. Rural exception sites will be considered as an exception to Policies SS1 The spatial strategy, GD2 Settlement development, GD4 New housing in the countryside, and H1 Provision of new housing. However, rural exception sites are still required to comply with all other policies of the Local Plan, together with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and national Planning Practice Guidance (PPG).

5.5.2 The letting or ownership of properties delivered on rural exception sites will be confined to existing residents of the relevant Parish, or to those with a local connection. A local connection policy will be agreed per scheme between the relevant Housing Association and the Council. This will ensure that dwellings are let or sold to those who are in need of accommodation and on the Council's housing register and will include lettings and ownership criteria with the following pattern:

  • A property would usually be released to a household currently living in the Parish who needs an affordable dwelling. Such a household would usually have lived in the Parish for a minimum period of time (e.g. 9 out of the previous 12 months).
  • If no one who lives in the Parish needs the affordable home, then any person with a strong local connection to the Parish would be considered. Strong local connections include a resident:

◦ with immediate family living in the Parish;

◦ who previously lived in the Parish;

◦ who works in the Parish; or

◦ who needs to move to the Parish to provide care or receive care.

5.5.3 In the event that a property cannot be released to a resident who meets the criteria as above, a cascade mechanism will be put in place to ensure that an affordable dwelling is not left empty. This will allow for the letting or sale of affordable dwellings delivered on rural exceptions sites to residents who live outside the Parish and will enable those in need of an affordable home who live in neighbouring parishes to be considered ahead of others in need elsewhere in the District.

5.5.4 All rural exception sites must remain as affordable housing for local people in perpetuity. This will be secured through a Section 106 legal agreement which is specific to the site concerned.

5.5.5 Where site or financial viability constraints indicate that cross-subsidy through an element of market housing provision may be necessary, the need for this must be justified to the Council. This should include an economic viability assessment to demonstrate the economic need for inclusion of market housing and clear evidence of local need for the types of market housing proposed. The Council will need to be satisfied that there are no other options available (e.g. funding from other sources). It must be evident from the proposal that the local affordable housing need is the focus of the proposal so market housing cross-subsidy should be no more than 20% of the overall scheme. This would enable a small scheme of four affordable units to progress based on cross-subsidy from a single market house.

5.6 H3 Supporting Information

Table B.4 Supporting Information: Policy H3

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes – NPPF paragraph 54.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Previous delivery of exception sites in Harborough; Parish housing need surveys.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

1 - Housing

How will it be implemented?

Through the identification of rural exception sites in partnership with parishes, decisions on relevant planning applications and delivery by housing associations.

How will it be monitored?

Through recording the progress of rural exception site permissions and development in the annual Authority Monitoring Report. Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

H4 Specialist housing

(8) 1. Specialist housing development, such as sheltered and extra care accommodation, will be:

a. permitted on sites within existing residential areas; and

(7) b. sought as an integral part of all residential developments of over 100 dwellings at a rate of at least 10% of all dwellings proposed, where:

i. the site offers a suitable location for the provision of specialist housing; and

ii. provision of specialist housing would not have an adverse impact upon the deliverability and/or viability of the scheme.

(1) 2. Specialist accommodation will be permitted where it:

a. is conveniently situated in relation to local retail and community services;

b. has a design, layout and access suitable for occupation by people with disabilities and the elderly.

(1) 5.7 H4 Explanation

5.7.1 Specialist housing refers to forms of sheltered or extra care accommodation where the occupiers receive care and assistance of some kind, but live in self-contained dwellings and have a degree of independence. It is included in the C3 Use Class –'dwelling houses', rather than Use Class C2 - 'residential institutions', although some accommodation within C2 can be provided as part of the same development. On-site communal facilities may be provided and properties can be rented, owned or part owned/part rented.

5.7.2 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (paragraph 50) requires local planning authorities to plan for a mix of housing needs, including for older people and people with disabilities.

5.7.3 The need for specialist housing to 2031 in the District has been estimated to be 51 dwellings per annum or 1,267 dwellings over the plan period (Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Employment Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA), 2017, Table 65).

5.7.4 The call for sites to be included in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) did not identify any specific specialist housing sites and the Council has very little land of its own that may be suitable. New provision often arises on previously unidentified / redevelopment sites. However specialist housing can also be appropriately located as part of a larger general purpose residential scheme and will be sought by the Council on sites delivering more than 100 dwellings that offer a suitable location. Provision of at least 10% of units on sites of 100 or more dwellings would yield approximately 400 specialist housing units throughout the plan period. In combination with the provision of specialist housing on dedicated sites, this requirement will make a significant contribution to meeting identified needs.

5.7.5 The remaining 900 units will need to be provided on windfall sites in accordance with the criteria in part 2 of the policy. The provision of properties suitable for older people in the villages is also important, as many villages have even higher age profiles. Neighbourhood plans are well placed to identify local need and include provision in neighbourhood plan policies.

5.7.6 The design of specialist housing should include meeting the needs of those in wheelchairs. The requirements laid out in Building Regulations Part M Category 2 include wider doorways, step free access to bathroom facilities and wider parking spaces.

5.8 H4 Supporting information

Table B.5 Supporting Information: Policy H4

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes – NPPF paragraph 50.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA), 2017; and

Leicestershire Accommodation Strategy for Older People 2006 - 2016.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

1 - Housing

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on relevant planning applications for approved schemes implemented by private developers, registered providers and the District Council either as standalone schemes or in combination with other development.

How will it be monitored?

Through the annual housing land supply survey and through the specialist housing programme. It will also be monitored through the annual Authority Monitoring Report.

H5 Housing density, mix and standards

(6) 1. New housing development will be permitted where it:

(2) a. makes efficient use of land and, while respecting the character of the surrounding area, maximises the density on sites from where a full range of services and facilities is accessible by walking, cycling and public transport;

(3) b. meets the nationally described space standards;

(6) c. is designed to meet higher water efficiency standards of 110 litres per person per day as prescribed in Building Regulations, Part G.

(7) 2. Major housing development should provide a mix of house types that is informed by up to date evidence of housing need.

(5) 3. Housing development on sites capable of providing 100 dwellings or more, should meet the accessible and adaptable standards in Building Regulations, Part M, Category 2, in 4% of dwellings proposed.

(5) 4. Housing development on sites capable of providing 250 dwellings or more should provide land for self-build and custom build dwellings to help meet identified local demand for them.

5.9 H5 Explanation

(1) 5.9.1 The density of a residential development is the amount of houses on a given area of land and is normally expressed in terms of the number of dwellings per hectare. Housing density should make efficient use of land whilst reflecting local circumstances.

5.9.2 The centres of Market Harborough and Lutterworth in particular have the highest concentrations of both public transport and access to other services. Higher residential densities close to these locations makes the best use of such sites, subject to appropriate design and layout. In more peripheral locations, lower density housing may be more appropriate. However, rather than applying rigid density standards, the appropriate density should be a result of good design and layout, in accordance with Policy GD8 Good design in development and informed by design reviews where appropriate.

5.9.3 Minimum construction standards for new buildings are set by Building Regulations. Nationally described space standards can be applied through the Building Regulations provided there is a policy to do so in the Local Plan. These set minimum gross internal space standards for dwellings in relation to the type of dwelling, numbers of bedrooms and intended occupants, size of bedrooms and ceiling heights. The Local Plan Viability Assessment, 2017 assumed minimum space standards based on the nationally described space standards and so provides evidence of the general viability of meeting these standards. The Housing White Paper has set out the intention to review these standards.

5.9.4 The European Environment Agency defines water stress as occurring when the demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use.The review of water resources in 2013 identified that the majority of the District is considered to be moderately water-stressed, but towards the east of the District there are areas that are seriously stressed. This means there is pressure on drinking water resources and implications for water quality, particularly in drought conditions.

5.9.5 Given the level of growth and the potential impacts of climate change it is vital that new developments limit their additional demand on water to reduce this pressure. Severn Trent has identified a risk to long term supply and demand in the strategic grid (covering Harborough District ) from 2020. Developments designed to be more water efficient,through the installation of water efficient fittings and appliances, can help reduce water consumption, as can capturing and re-using rain water and grey water (i.e. waste water generated from households from streams without faecal contamination) on-site. Residential developments will be expected to meet the requirement in the Building Regulations, currently 110 litres per person per day, including five litres for external water use.

5.9.6 In establishing the appropriate mix of dwelling types, account should be taken of the range of accommodation types required in the local area. This is derived from an understanding of the size and characteristics of future households over the plan period and an appreciation of how well suited the existing dwelling stock is to meet those needs. New housing should complement the existing accommodation and provide the additional types of housing required. The prescribed mix of house types required in 'major development' schemes (see Appendix M Glossary) will be informed by the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Employment Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA), 2017 and other up to date evidence of need, including housing needs assessments, neighbourhood plans and local needs surveys.

5.9.7 There are optional Building Regulations standards that apply to housing which is intended for occupiers who require greater degrees of accessibility and adaptability. The HEDNA, 2017 has identified a growing unmet need for wheelchair accessible housing. Meeting this need would require a total of 440 homes over the plan period to be built to the accessible and adaptable standard as laid out in Building Regulations, Part M, Category 2. This has informed the requirement for 4% of homes on sites for over 100 homes to be built to the higher standard. The viability implications of this requirement have been fully tested through the Harborough Local Plan Viability Assessment. All bungalows are expected to conform to the higher standard. In assessing whether a site is subject to this criterion, a net density of 35 dwellings per hectare will be used.

5.9.8 Through recent legislation, regulations and advice in respect of self-build and custom build, the Government has made it clear that it wants more people to have the opportunity to build their own homes. As of 22 May 2017 the Council has 57 individual registrations for self build on the Council's self-build register. Relevant legislation (Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015) places a duty on the Council to have regard to this register in carrying out its planning function. The HEDNA anticipates most new delivery to be on small windfall sites but recognises that there is some potential, through policy, to encourage developers of larger schemes to provide plots for self-build. In assessing whether a site is subject to this criterion, a net density of 35 dwellings per hectare will be used.

5.10 H5 Supporting information

Table B.6 Supporting Information: Policy H5

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraph 50.

See also 'Fixing our broken housing market', the Housing White Paper (DCLG February 2017)

What evidence has informed this policy?

Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA) 2017;

Local Plan Viability Assessment, 2017;

Harborough Self-Build Register;

Water Stressed Areas- final classification, 2013, DEFRA ;

Water Resources Management Plan, 2014, Severn Trent Water.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

1 - Housing

3 - Housing density, mix and standards

9 - Design

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications with appropriate standards enforced through Building Regulations.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

H6 Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople accommodation

(8) 1. Provision will be made for a minimum of 5 Gypsy and Traveller permanent residential pitches, and 26 plots for Travelling Showpeople.

(4) 2. The following sites are allocated as Gypsy and Traveller sites:

(35) a. Land at Spinney View Farm, Claybrooke Parva (3 pitches) as shown on the Policies Map;

b. Smithfields, Lutterworth Road, Dunton Bassett (additional 2 pitches within existing site boundary, as shown on the Policies Map);

(5) c. Land at Boneham's Lane, Gilmorton (10 pitches) as shown on the Policies Map as a reserve site, to meet future accommodation needs due to either:

i. an increase in need of pitches arising from a change to the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS) definition of Gypsies and Travellers; and/or

ii. sufficient evidence is provided that the identified 'unknown' Gypsy and Traveller population does meet the PPTS definition of Gypsies and Travellers;

d. all subject to the following criteria:

i. provision of a safe access;

ii. retention and improvement of all existing hedgerow boundaries;

iii. provision of adequate and appropriate additional landscape screening; and

iv. provision of a suitable drainage scheme.

3. The following site is allocated as a Travelling Showpeople site:

(1) a. Land at Moorbarns Lane, Lutterworth (18 plots) as shown on the Policies Map; subject to the criteria 2d i-iv above.

4. Development for non Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople uses will not be permitted on the above sites, or on existing permitted or lawful Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople sites.

5. Development for new, and extensions/improvements to existing permitted or lawful, Gypsy and Traveller sites (including transit sites) will be permitted where:

(2) a. the development is for residential use only;

(6) b. the site is located within safe walking distance to a settlement and has access to a range of services including health and education provision;

(1) c. the size reflects the scale of the nearest settlement, its local services and infrastructure;

d. there is suitable and safe highway access;

(3) e. the development provides mitigation measures, such as adequate and appropriate landscape screening, to prevent adverse impacts on the character and appearance of the locality and on neighbouring uses;

f. the site conforms to current good practice design guidelines; and

(1) g. the development does not put the health and safety of occupants at risk through:

i. unsafe access;

ii. unacceptable noise levels or air quality from existing land uses;

iii. unacceptable levels of contaminated land; or

iv. flood risk.

6. Development for new, and extensions/improvements to existing permitted or lawful, Travelling Showpeople sites will be permitted subject to:

(1) a. the site meeting criteria 5b - 5g above;

b. the site being used exclusively for residential, storage and maintenance purposes only; and

c. the movement of vehicles to and from the site and the maintenance of equipment on the site not creating unacceptable noise or visual disturbance for occupants of existing land uses within the surrounding area.

7. Development of rural exception sites will be permitted for affordable Gypsy and Traveller accommodation subject to the site:

a. providing affordable pitches in perpetuity; and

(2) b. only accommodating households who are either current residents of the District or have an existing family or employment connection with the District.

8. Provision for Caravan and Boat dwellers will be permitted subject to the proposal meeting criteria 5a - 5g above.

5.11 H6 Explanation

(1) 5.11.1 Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople have particular accommodation requirements. Showpeople need space to store and maintain their show ground equipment, especially over the winter months. All sites need to be located so that the occupiers can pursue their business interests and access services, whilst not conflicting with neighbouring land uses. This can lead to the need for sites to be near to employment sites and settlements and also in countryside locations due to the availability of suitable sites.

5.11.2 At March 2016 there were 82 residential pitches occupied by Gypsies and Travellers across Harborough District. In addition, there were 98 plots occupied by Travelling Showpeople households. The Gypsy and Traveller sites include well established sites at Greenacres, north of Market Harborough, and Mere Farm, Ullesthorpe, together with a publicly-owned site at Boneham's Lane, Gilmorton. Existing Travelling Showpeople provision is largely concentrated south of Lutterworth.

5.11.3 The Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA), 2017 identified a need for 5 additional pitches, and 26 further Showpeople plots as shown in Table B.7 below.

5.11.4 A Gypsy and Traveller pitch is normally conditioned through a planning application to be for up to 2 caravans per pitch, of which no more than 1 will be a static caravan. A Travelling Showpeople plot is normally conditioned to be for up to 3 caravans per plot, of which no more than 1 will be a static caravan. Both of the above are based on planning merit, and are dependant upon the size of the pitch/plot proposed, together with the size of the wider site and location of the site. Travelling Showpeople sites have significantly larger plots than Gypsy and Traveller site pitches due to the additional space needed for the storage, maintenance and servicing of equipment, and therefore an additional caravan will not have the same visual impact as it would on a Gypsy and Traveller site. Licenses are a legal requirement for all caravan sites, with licenses required to be obtained from the Council's Environmental Health Team prior to occupation of sites, and for Travelling Showpeople sites a Showman Guild license will also be required.

Table B.7 Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople requirements 2016-2031


April 2016 -

March 2021

April 2021 -

March 2026

April 2026 -

March 2031

Total

Gypsy and Traveller pitches

3

1

1

5

Travelling Showpeople plots

19

3

4

26

(1) 5.11.5 The GTAA, 2017 identifies Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople need in accordance with the definitions of the Government's Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS), 2015. Policy H6 meets the identified needs of Travellers who accord with the definition through site allocations and a criteria-based enabling policy.

5.11.6 For those that do not meet the definition of the PPTS, 2015, the policy sets out criteria to be applied for the provision of additional sites to meet the needs of those who do not meet the definition, in accordance with the 2016 draft Communities and Local Government guidance 'Housing Need for Caravan and Boat Dwellers'. This draft guidance is concerned with all those who have a need to live in a caravan or houseboat whatever their race or origin, but do not meet the 2015 PPTS definition through not leading a nomadic way of life. It includes, but is not restricted to:

  • Bargees;
  • Romany Gypsies;
  • Irish and Scottish Travellers;
  • New-age Travellers; and,
  • Travelling Showpeople.

5.11.7 In addition to identifying those who do not meet the PPTS, 2015 definition, the GTAA, 2017 identifies a need arising from 'unknown' Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople. The unknown need arises from sites where existing occupants were not able to be interviewed as part of the GTAA fieldwork. The needs of these households are recognised by the GTAA as there is likely to be future household formation from those that meet the PPTS definition. For unknown Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople, the GTAA uses a national approximation of 10% of households meeting the PPTS definition, and applies an annual growth rate of 1.5%. Both the need for currently unknown Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople together with those that do not meet the PPTS definition are shown in Table B.8 below.

Table B.8 Unknown and non-definition Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople need 2016-2031


April 2016 - March 2021

April 2021 -

March 2026

April 2026 -

March 2031

Total

Unknowns





Gypsy and Traveller pitches

4

4

5

13

Travelling Showpeople plots

3

1

1

5

Do not meet the PPTS definition





Gypsy and Traveller pitches

18

3

3

24

Travelling Showpeople plots

1

1

1

3

(2) 5.11.8 Given the itinerant nature of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople, it is important to take account of any cross boundary considerations with neighbouring authorities, including outside of the County, as part of the Duty to Cooperate. The outcome of discussions between the relevant authorities is that it has been agreed that the Harborough District is able to meet its own needs in full with no dependence on neighbouring areas.

5.11.9 The Council has undertaken a Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Site Identification Study (GTTSIS), 2017 assessing all sites for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople provision. The results of this work have provided the list of deliverable sites, whilst also providing updated guidance in relation to best practice regarding site accommodation and layout.

5.11 10 Deliverable sites are identified as allocations and are expected to help meet need for Gypsy and Traveller sites within the first 5 years of the plan period, with a further site at Boneham's Lane, Gilmorton to be identified to assist in meeting future needs. The existing site at Boneham's Lane, together with the extension site adjacent to the north east are in public ownership, with the existing site owned and managed by Leicestershire County Council.

5.11.11 The GTTSIS did not manage to identify any sites for Travelling Showpeople despite extensive calls for sites and through assessing existing sites for potential expansion. A deliverable site at Moorbarns Lane, Lutterworth has been identified to help meet Travelling Showpeople needs. The site has a lapsed planning consent for 18 Showpeople plots, and is considered to be deliverable within the first 5 years of the plan period. In addition, a further site of 7 plots as an expansion to an existing site in Lutterworth will also count towards the identified need. Further provision is expected to be achieved through the criteria-based enabling policy.

5.11.12 In addition to meeting the criteria set out in Policy H6 (2) and (4), all Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople sites that come forward through the allocations and enabling policy will be subject to relevant planning application considerations, including the need for relevant ecology surveys.

5.12 H6 Supporting information

Table B.9 Supporting Information: Policy H6

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes – NPPF paragraphs 50 and 159

Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS).

What evidence has informed this policy?

The Leicester and Leicestershire Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment, May 2017; and

Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Site Identification Study, July 2017.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

1 - Housing

3 - Location of development

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Through the annual Authority Monitoring Report updating:-
1. the extent to which planning permissions granted for:-
- Gypsy and Traveller permanent residential pitches; and
- plots for Travelling Showpeople
meet the identified requirements during the plan period; and
2. the supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide 5 years' worth against:-
- the locally set pitch targets for Gypsies and Travellers; and
- the locally set plot targets for Travelling Showpeople.

6 Business and employment

BE1 Provision of new business development

(9) 1. Scale and Distribution
In addition to the delivery of existing commitments, a minimum of 59 hectares for office B1 (a) and (b), industrial B1(c) and B2, and non-strategic storage and distribution B8 will be provided in the following locations:

a. at Market Harborough, a minimum of 24 hectares including the following allocations:

i. Land at Airfield Farm (North West Market Harborough SDA) - approximately 13 hectares in accordance with Policy MH4.

(1) ii. Airfield Business Park, Leicester Road - approximately 6 hectares in accordance with Policy MH5;

(1) iii. Compass Point Business Park, Northampton Road - approximately 5 hectares in accordance with Policy MH6;

(3) b. at Lutterworth, a minimum of 26 hectares including the following allocations:

(1) i. 10 hectares of business use within Use Class Orders B1 and B2 as part of the East of Lutterworth Strategic Development Area (SDA) in accordance with Policy L1;

(7) ii. 13 hectares of storage and distribution within Use Class Orders B8 on land to the south of the A4304 as part of the East of Lutterworth SDA, in accordance with Policy L1;

(1) iii. Land south of Lutterworth Road/Coventry Road - about 3 hectares in accordance with Policy L2.

c. Land off Marlborough Drive, Fleckney - about 3 hectares in accordance with Policy F2.

(1) d. Land south and west of Priory Business Park, The Kibworths - about 6 hectares in accordance with Policy K1.

(2) 2. Rural Economic Development
On sites within or well related to Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages, sustainable development which delivers local employment opportunities, supports and diversifies the rural economy or enables the expansion of business and enterprise will be permitted where it:

a. re-uses existing buildings; or

b. re-develops existing and former employment sites and commercial premises; or

c. comprises well designed new buildings of a size and quality to cater for identified local needs; and

d. is equipped to meet modern business requirements.

6.1 BE1 Explanation

6.1.1 Policy BE1 relates to the following as set out in the Town and Country (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended):

  • B1a - Offices
  • B1b - Research and development
  • B1c - Light industry
  • B2 - General industry
  • B8 - Storage and distribution, but excluding strategic distribution, namely units in excess of than 9,000 sq.m. gross.

6.1.2 A key function of the Local Plan is to provide the framework within which the economic objective of promoting sustainable economic growth and increasing prosperity for residents can be achieved. Paragraphs 20-21 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) require local planning authorities to help achieve economic growth, by planning pro-actively to ensure sufficient land for employment is provided to meet identified needs.

6.1.3 The Local Plan complements the emerging Harborough Economic Development Strategy (EDS) (to be published autumn/winter 2017). This outlines the Council's commitment to improving the economic prosperity of the District so residents, businesses and visitors are able to thrive. The emerging strategy sets out economic aspirations, building on the work undertaken through the Open for Business Strategy, 2013, with key priorities around:

  • physical and digital infrastructure;
  • strategic championing;
  • inward investment;
  • bringing forward sites for development;
  • town centres, enabling business growth and innovation;
  • tourism and culture; and
  • skills and learning.

(1) 6.1.4 The Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA), 2017 calculates future need in accordance with the national Planning Practice Guidance (PPG). In considering future employment land need its approach draws together a number of strands of analysis including labour demand and trend based forecasts. The HEDNA interrogated the economic growth potential of the Leicester and Leicestershire Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA), the area's economic structure and past performance. It also assessed baseline forecasts and overlaid economic drivers and planned investment to derive a planned growth scenario.

6.1.5 The planned growth scenario sees both enhanced employment growth and productivity improvements to 2031. Employment growth is expected across a range of sectors, with Professional, Scientific and Technical and Administrative and support services expected to see the highest absolute increases for the FEMA. These sectors in particular are expected to drive demand for office floor-space.

6.1.6 Employment growth of 9,500 jobs is expected for Harborough District (2011-31) representing a percentage growth per annum which exceeds that expected across the FEMA, region and UK. The HEDNA translates job forecasts for the planned growth scenario into forecasts of employment land need by relating sectors to B class uses, and using jobs to floor-space and floorspace to land area ratios. Set alongside this, the assessment runs projections of need based on past completions for B1, B2 and non-strategic B8 use, and uses demand forecasts for strategic B8 based on the Leicester & Leicestershire Strategic Distribution Study: Update, 2016. The strategic distribution sector is addressed separately and more fully in Policy BE2 Strategic distribution.

6.1.7 The identified gross need for B Class employment land in Harborough District, excluding strategic distribution (B8 use in units over 9,000sq.m. gross floor-space), is a minimum of 51 hectares between 2011 and 2031 (HEDNA, Table 83), as shown in Table B.10 below.

Table B.10 Gross Land Requirements by Use Class 2011-2031 (Hectares)

B1a/b (Office)

B1c/B2 (Industrial)

Non-strategic B8 (Storage /Distribution in units <9,000sq.m)

Total

Range 14 to 21

22

8

Range 44 to 51

6.1.8 In order to ensure delivery of sufficient land to meet the requirement for employment, Policy BE1 takes the HEDNA future need for different B class uses and factors in the supply side. This includes the need to replace poorer quality existing employment floor-space which is expected to be lost during the plan period. Further allowance is made for economic aspirations, reflecting the ambition of the emerging Harborough EDS, 2017, the LLEP Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), 2015 and sector growth plans, and taking account of local circumstances affecting the supply or employment-generating potential of employment land including:

  • the objective to reduce out-commuting for work;
  • provision of greater short term supply and choice in the local market;
  • potential non-delivery of committed employment sites due to specific circumstances or economic factors; and
  • employment sites gaining permission but not delivering in a timely manner or at the density anticipated.

6.1.9 Since the start of the plan period (1 April 2011) a net total of 16.5 hectares has been built or committed for B1, B2, and non-strategic B8 uses through the granting of planning permission or through allocation in neighbourhood plans. This results in a residual requirement for a minimum of 34.5 hectares based on the upper end of the range for offices. As illustrated in Table B.11 below, the Plan allocates sites in excess of this minimum figure.

Table B.11 Sources of Employment Land Supply (Hectares)


Office B1a/b

Industrial B1c/B2

Non-strategic B8 Storage /Distribution

(units <9,000sq.m)

Total

Net Completions (already built, as at 31 March 2017)

2.4

5.3

-2.9

4.8

Net Commitments (with planning permission or allocated through neighbourhood plans, as at 31 March 2017)

5.3

4.9

1.4

11.7

On allocated employment sites (Policy BE1)

18.6

18.9

21.0

58.5

Total employment land supply

26.3

29.1

19.5

75

NB Totals may not add exactly due to rounding

6.1.10 Policy BE1 provides for a supply of employment land in accordance with the settlement hierarchy and strategic aims of Policy SS1 The spatial strategy. The preferred strategy is to focus development at Market Harborough and Lutterworth (particularly within the SDAs) as the District's main economic centres, and at Rural Centres all of which are well located, served by infrastructure and are accessible by sustainable modes of travel. In order to support the delivery of allocated sites in the District's main economic centres, further employment delivery would only be supported in accordance with Policy BE1(2). Policy L1 allocates part of the East of Lutterworth SDA for non-strategic B8 storage and distribution use in order to support the viability of the wider Strategic Development Area.

6.1.11 Policy BE1 identifies a minimum amount of land to be provided in or adjoining particular settlements, together with site allocations. These specific sites are allocated in order to:

  • provide certainty about the location of significant scale development (for local resident and business communities, infrastructure providers and developers);
  • aid delivery of the individual sites; and
  • to ensure delivery of the overall strategy and the minimum requirement for employment land and different types of B class use.

6.1.12 The assessment of potential employment allocations considered the following factors:

  • fundamental constraints on development (such as flood risk);
  • their suitability, availability, and deliverability as evidenced by the Strategic Employment Land Availability Assessment (SELAA 2017);
  • the Sustainability Appraisal; and
  • the criteria in Policy GD2 Settlement development.

6.1.13 Each allocation is supported by a site specific policy in Part C of this Local Plan and is shown on the Policies Map. Several sites with the benefit of outline planning consent are identified as allocations, as should consent lapse for any reason they still need to be relied upon to meet the land requirement to 2031. These are not included in the Net Commitments figures in Table B.11 above. In addition further land for employment use may be allocated in neighbourhood plans and is expected to come forward for development through the usual development management process to supplement the planned provision in Policy BE1.

6.1.14 Some of the sites allocated are new undeveloped sites, whilst others are partially developed and were allocations in the previously adopted Harborough District Local Plan 2001. The site areas stated in Policy BE1 relate to the land area that remains available for development.

6.1.15 The site capacity (in terms of floorspace) of each allocation is based on its most likely B Class use/s and plot densities as set out in the HEDNA, unless the characteristics of the site and/or its location suit a higher or lower density. The Council encourages development proposals that provide a variety of unit sizes ranging from approximately 50 - 500sq.m. to cater for the requirements of both starter businesses and expanding or relocating companies.


6.2 BE1 Supporting Information

Table B.12 Supporting Information: Policy BE1

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes – NPPF paragraphs 20-21.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA), 2017;

Harborough Strategic Employment Land Availability Assessment Update (SELAA), 2017;

HDC Existing Employment Area Review (EEAR), 2012;

Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Distribution Sector Study (L&L SDSS), 2014;

Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Distribution Study: Update and Refresh of Outputs and Conclusions (L&L SDSS Update), 2016;

Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) (2014-2020), 2015; and

Harborough District Local Plan Preliminary Traffic Impact Assessment, 2016.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

2 - Employment

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on relevant planning applications plus any associated improvement schemes.

How will it be monitored?

This will be monitored through the annual Authority Monitoring Report outlining the extent to which planning permission has been granted for:-
1. B1/B2/non-strategic B8 uses on:-
- 6 ha. of land at Airfield Business Park, Leicester Road, Market Harborough;
- 13 ha. of land at Airfield Farm, Market Harborough;
2. B1 uses on 5 ha. of land at Compass Point Business Park, Northampton Road, Market Harborough;
3. B1/B2 uses on 10 ha. in an SDA on land east of Lutterworth;
4. Non-strategic B8 uses (in units of 9,000 sq.m. (gross) or below) on 13 ha. in an SDA on land east of Lutterworth;
5. B1 uses on 3 ha. of land south of Coventry Road/Lutterworth Road, Lutterworth;
6. B1(c)/B2 uses on 1.5 ha. and non-strategic B8 uses on 1.5 ha. of land off Marlborough Drive, Fleckney; and

7. B1/ B2 uses on 6ha of land south and west of Priory Business Park, The Kibworths.

BE2 Strategic distribution

(11) 1. Magna Park, as identified on the Policies Map, is safeguarded for strategic storage and distribution (Class B8). Proposals for redevelopment at the existing site will be permitted where:

(1) a. each unit has at least 9,000 sq.m. gross floorspace; and

(2) b. any new building or the change of use of an existing building(s) is for Class B8 and ancillary use only; or

(4) c. the proposal for any non-strategic storage and distribution use is small-scale, proportionate in scale to the strategic storage and distribution use and ancillary to the use of individual plots.

(180) 2. Additional development of up to 700,000 sq.m. for non rail-served strategic storage and distribution (Class B8) use will be permitted where it would:

(9) a. form an extension of, or be on a site adjoining, Magna Park;

(11) b. support or at least have no adverse impact on the viability and deliverability of existing or further Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges (SFRIs) within or serving neighbouring authorities and Leicestershire;

(30) c. increase employment opportunities for local residents, including training and apprenticeships;

(12) d. include measures to enable an increase in the proportion of the workforce commuting from locations within Harborough District;

(32) e. not lead to severe traffic congestion anywhere on the nearby strategic and local road network, particularly the A5, whether within Harborough District or outside; and

(19) f. ensure 24 hour operations do not have an unacceptable environmental, community or landscape impact in the immediate and wider surrounding area.

6.3 BE2 Explanation

(2) 6.3.1 This policy contributes towards meeting the requirement for land to support the strategic distribution sector within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA) to 2031, specifically non rail-served provision. It does so without compromising the overall objective of sustainable development and the protection of the quality and diversity of the District's natural and historic environment.

6.3.2 The need for further strategic distribution facilities was identified in the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Distribution Sector Study (L&L SDSS) 2014, which was updated in 2016. The study considered all existing and planned sites within Leicestershire and the East Midlands. These were as follows:

  • East Midlands Distribution Centre, Castle Donnington, Leicestershire.
  • East Midlands Gateway, Lockington, Leicestershire.
  • East Midlands Intermodal Park, Etwall, Derbyshire.
  • Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) Phase 3, Lilbourne, Northamptonshire.
  • South Northants, Milton Malsor, Northamptonshire.
  • Corby Eurohub, Corby, Northamptonshire.
  • Corby International Rail Freight Terminal, Corby, Northamptonshire.

6.3.3 The sector and industry is global in its nature and economic drivers and cross-boundary in its effects. The study identified minimum gross land requirements for strategic B8 development across the HMA, including provision for non rail-served sites of 152 hectares by 2031.

6.3.4 Harborough District has been a focus of strategic distribution since Magna Park was developed in the early 1990s. Magna Park is a 223 hectare strategic warehousing and distribution park located to the west of Lutterworth. It is located in an area of land bounded by the M1, M6, and M69 motorways; known as the 'Golden Triangle' for its logistically favourable location.

6.3.5 Magna Park is the largest single employment centre in the District in terms of land and the number of jobs. It is significant in economic terms at a district and sub-regional level and as a nationally recognised distribution centre. The site is occupied by blue chip multi-national companies who operate their national and regional distribution centres from there.

6.3.6 Magna Park is a first generation specialist distribution park, which meets the criteria for a commercially attractive strategic distribution site and will serve the needs of a modern logistics and distribution industry throughout the plan period. Policy BE2 therefore maintains and safeguards the existing Magna Park as a leading regional and national distribution hub by limiting future development to Class B8 uses only with a minimum floorspace of 9,000 sq.m. Plots should be re-developed for new strategic distribution buildings once existing units have become either physically or functionally obsolete.

6.3.7 The M1 corridor in Harborough District is a key area of opportunity for Leicester and Leicestershire as identified in the L&L SDSS Update, 2016 and is of regional and national significance to the strategic distribution sector. The forecasts of land in the SDSS are minimum levels of provision and there is a strong case that Harborough should continue to make a substantial contribution to long term non-rail served strategic warehouse, logistics and distribution development in Leicester and Leicestershire. There is a need to meet the further requirements for non rail-served B8 strategic distribution by supporting additional development at Magna Park to help maintain and expand the established competitive advantage which Leicester and Leicestershire has in accommodating the sector.

6.3.8 Major planning applications have already been made in the Magna Park area which can help deliver this objective. Policy BE2 therefore provides criteria for assessing these or other potential new sites for strategic distribution. It sets a limit on the amount of development to be permitted which balances the strategic distribution floorspace with the capacity of the housing provision.

6.3.9 This figure is based on the Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study 2017, as already described in paragraph 5.1.4. This looked at the jobs growth associated with three floorspace scenarios for strategic distribution (100,000 sq.m., 400,000 sq. m. and 700,000 sq.m.) and at three levels of 'self-containment' of the workforce (19% commuting within Harborough District as in the 2011 census, 25% and 35%) . It concluded that the highest growth scenario, accompanied by a 25% self-containment target, could be accommodated within the flexibility in housing numbers already being allowed for in the Local Plan and that there would only be a very small increase in housing requirement in two other local authorities (Daventry and Oadby and Wigston), both of which are within the margin of error for the study.

6.3.10 In combination with other plan policies, including but not limited to the General Development, Infrastructure, and Climate Change policies, BE2 seeks to minimise and mitigate the environmental, community and landscape impacts of strategic distribution development and improve local economic benefits - by achieving the highest possible standards of design, environmental sustainability and performance in operation.

6.3.11 Environmental and Economic Impact Assessments for additional development schemes will be required to address impacts for the immediate locality and wider surrounding area, the scope of which is to be agreed with the Council at the outset. Development proposals are likely to have significant job creation potential and will be expected prepare an Employment and Training Strategy to demonstrate how the employment and training requirements will be addressed and supported, in addition to meeting the requirements of policy IN2 (Sustainable Transport). This will be agreed by the Council and secured via planning obligation.

6.4 BE2 Supporting information

Table B.13 Supporting Information: Policy BE2

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes – NPPF paragraph 21.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Harborough Strategic Employment Land Availability Assessment Update (SELAA), 2017;

Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Distribution Sector Study (L&L SDSS), 2014;

Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Distribution Study: Update and Refresh of Outputs and Conclusions (L&L SDSS Update), 2016;

Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA), 2017;

LLEP Logistics & Distribution Sector Growth Plan, June 2015

Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study, 2017;

Harborough District Local Plan Preliminary Traffic Impact Assessment, 2016;

Lutterworth East SDA Junctions Operational Assessment, 2016;

Lutterworth East Strategic Transport Assessment, 2016; and

Lutterworth East Strategic Transport Assessment 2017 Update, 2017

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

2 - Employment

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

BE3 Existing employment areas

(2) 1. In Key Employment Areas, as identified on the Policies Map, development will only be permitted where it:

a. is for business use (Use Classes B1, B2, B8); or

b. is for small-scale uses providing services to support the business use; and

c. would not be detrimental to the quality and attractiveness of the Key Employment Area.

2. In General Employment Areas, as identified on the Policies Map, development will be permitted where it:

a. is for business use (Use Classes B1, B2, B8) or non-B class economic development uses subject to Policy RT2; or

b. is for small scale uses providing services to support the business or non-B class economic development use; and

c. would not prejudice the wider redevelopment or regeneration of the area;

d. would not result in any significant loss in employment;

e. would, where possible, enhance the quality and attractiveness of the General Employment Area; and

f. would not, alone or cumulatively, result in the General Employment Area ceasing to be predominantly in B class use.

(1) 3. Development of starter homes on industrial and commercial land that is considered under-used or unviable for future commercial uses and suitable for housing will be permitted providing that:

a. any such provision does not prejudice the use of other well-used or viable employment land or premises; and

b. the development would not result in unsatisfactory residential amenity for future residents.

6.5 BE3 Explanation

6.5.1 Policy BE3 supports the provision of new jobs in the District to 2031 by guiding the type of development that will be permitted in existing employment areas. It reflects Paragraph 22 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which discourages longer term protection for sites where there is no reasonable prospect of employment use, while planning to meet the development needs of business and support the economy.

6.5.2 Harborough District contains a wide variety of established employment areas in a range of locations which provide a diverse stock of commercial buildings in terms of size, type, quality and condition. These areas play a significant role in the local economy and provide job opportunities that already help to meet local employment needs. The Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Employment Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA), 2017 forecasts the demand for employment land and floorspace over the plan period, but does not take account of the quality of existing stock or demand arising from its renewal. Protecting identified employment areas and encouraging their renewal, where appropriate, therefore reduces the need for new employment allocations.

6.5.3 Protecting employment areas that are both suitable and viable for continued employment use is also important to help prevent the incremental loss of land to other more valuable or profitable land uses and to support economic growth. It also helps to promote a sustainable pattern of employment across the District and maintain the vitality of Rural Centres, particularly where an existing employment area is the last or only one in a settlement.

6.5.4 The HDC Existing Employment Areas Review (EEAR), 2012 assessed the District's main existing employment areas against a comprehensive set of criteria and categorised them as follows:

  • Key Employment Areas (KEA) – sites of significance for existing and future business use;
  • General Employment Areas (GEA) – sites generally fit for purpose for business use but may benefit from upgrade or renewal; and
  • Lower Quality Employment Areas – sites that do not warrant retention for business use.

6.5.5 KEAs are therefore protected for continued business use. GEAs remain important but, in order to continue to be attractive to the market and achieve high levels of occupancy, may benefit from:

  • physical enhancement;
  • improvement through intensification; or
  • redevelopment for business or other economic development uses.

6.5.6 The NPPF defines economic development as 'including those within the B Use Classes, public and community uses and main town centre uses (but excluding housing development)'. Economic development provides job opportunities, generates wealth or an economic output or product. The types of non B Class economic development uses that may be considered appropriate within GEAs under this policy include certain C and D class uses (e.g. education and training facilities, childcare facilities) and certain sui generis uses that have characteristics similar to B1, B2 and B8 class uses. Proposals for trade counters, bulky goods retail, hotel and leisure facilities, together with proposals for Use Class B1a and other main town centre uses, will be considered on a case by case basis with regard to the scale and nature of the operation and its potential retail, town centre and transport impacts, including assessment under Policy RT2 Town and local centres.

6.5.7 Proposals for development within KEAs and GEAs, other than for B class uses, must be supported by sufficient information to determine their economic implications and impact. These areas function better if they remain only or predominantly in B class use as this reinforces commercial investment confidence, facilitates trading between like businesses and avoids conflicting activities. Policy BE3 provides a framework within which business investment decisions can be made.

6.5.8 Those areas identified as KEA and GEA, as shown on the Policies Map, are listed in Table B.14 below. They will be subject to periodic review. Once employment allocations identified in Policy BE1 Provision of new business development are fully developed they will be deemed to be KEAs.

Table B.14 Key and General Employment Areas

Key Employment Areas

General Employment Areas

Market Harborough

Market Harborough

The Point Business Park, Rockingham Road

Welland Industrial Estate, Rockingham Road

Bowden Business Village, off Leicester Road

Euro Business Park, Rockingham Road

Riverside End Industrial Estate, Riverside

The Shires, Euro Business Park, Rockingham Road

Compass Point Business Park, Northampton Road

Riverside Industrial Estate, Rockingham Road

Airfield Business Park, Leicester Road

Rockingham Road Industrial Estate, Rockingham Road

Peaker Park, Rockingham Road

Sovereign Park, Lathkill Street


Courtyard Workshops, Bath Street


Fernie Road Industrial Estate, Fernie Road


Fosters Foods, Great Bowden Road


Farndon Road Business Centre, Farndon Road


Saw Mill, Gores Lane

Lutterworth

Lutterworth

St John's Business Park, off Rugby Road

Wycliffe Industrial Estate, Leicester Road

Bilton Way Industrial Estate, Leicester Road

Semelab, Coventry Road

Midland Court, off Leicester Road

Elizabethan Way, off Leicester Road

Cosford Business Park, off Central Way

Oaks Industrial Estate, Gilmorton Road


Ladywood Works, off Leicester Road

Broughton Astley

Off Leicester Road (Lutterworth Coaches/ Travis Perkins area)

Swannington Road/ Stanier Road Industrial Estate

Land at Gilmorton Road

Rural Centres

Rural Centres

Nursery Court and Milestone Court, Kibworth Business Park, south of Harborough Road, Kibworth Harcourt.

The Hatchery, Harborough Road, Kibworth Harcourt.

Churchill Way Industrial Estate, Fleckney.

Victoria Works, Saddington Road, Fleckney.


Agricultural Barns, Gliding Club, Sibbertoft Road, Husbands Bosworth

6.5.9 Outside KEAs and GEAs, employment land does not warrant protection and its release for alternative uses will be considered flexibly and in accordance with the general development policies of this plan.

6.6 BE3 Supporting Information

Table B.15 Supporting Information: Policy BE3

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraphs 21, 22 and 161.

What evidence has informed this policy?

HDC Existing Employment Areas Review (EEAR) 2012; and

Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA), 2017.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

2 - Employment

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

The AMR will also monitor:-

1. the amount of industrial and commercial land lost to starter homes; and

2. the number of starter homes granted planning permission on industrial and commercial land.

BE4 Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground

(1) 1. Within the area of Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground as defined on the Policies Map, development will be permitted where:

(3) a. the proposed use is ancillary to an existing legal and authorised use, namely the proving and testing of motor vehicles, vehicle storage, the aircraft museum and related tourism activity, car auctions, and aircraft recycling, maintenance and storage; or

(1) b. it is associated with the operation of the site by vehicles for corporate entertainment, in accordance with the 2009 unilateral undertaking and under the terms of the associated Operational Plan.

(1) c. it will conform with the controls set out in the noise limits of the Operational Plan, and noise monitoring system set out in the Noise Management Plan and the 2009 unilateral undertaking;

(1) d. the design, materials, massing and bulk of new development would have no unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area;

(1) e. the development would be assimilated into the landscape setting by retaining, replacing and/or enhancing existing perimeter tree planting;

(3) f. traffic to be generated by the development is within the capacity of the highway network and would not have a significant adverse impact on the amenity of local residents;

(3) g. highway improvements are provided in accordance with the requirements of the highway authority taking into account total traffic to be generated by existing and proposed development within the Proving Ground and the Industrial Estate; and

(1) h. all access is taken via the main gate to Bath Lane.

(2) 2. Within the area of Bruntingthorpe Industrial Estate, as defined on the Policies Map, development for Class B1b, B1c, B2 and B8 uses only will be permitted if:

(2) a. it is ancillary to an existing use, or

(2) b. it delivers a comprehensive upgrade or improvement to the physical environment of the estate in accordance with an approved development brief or master-plan; and

(1) c. the design, materials, massing and bulk of new development would have no unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area;

d. traffic generated by the development is within the capacity of the highway network and would not have a significant adverse impact on the amenity of local residents;

(3) e. highway improvements are provided in accordance with the requirements of the highway authority taking into account total traffic to be generated by existing and proposed development in the Industrial Estate and the Proving Ground;

(2) f. it is subject to approval and implementation of a Travel Plan to increase access to the site by modes other than the private car;

(1) g. all access is taken via the main gate to Bath Lane; and

(2) h. any individual unit for Class B8 use does not exceed 500sq.m in gross floorspace.

6.7 BE4 Explanation

6.7.1 The vehicle proving ground use of this former airfield dates back to the early 1970s. Since then, the 265 hectare site has been used for a variety of other purposes including open storage (mainly of vehicles), car auctions and an aircraft museum, as well as limited flying. There are three large hangar buildings on the site along with other former airfield structures. An extensive hard standing area sits on the north side of the runway and is used for the storage of new vehicles awaiting sale. Adjacent to the site to the south east is Bruntingthorpe Industrial Estate, an industrial area providing space for a range of small to medium-sized businesses in a variety of new and old, former military, buildings. It presents a generally untidy and unattractive appearance especially when viewed from Mere Road.

6.7.2 The proving ground site is located in a rural area to the north east of Lutterworth so is quite remote from any substantial settlement. The main entrance is at Bath Lane. From here commercial traffic serving the site, including vehicle transporters and heavy goods vehicles, is routed eastwards to the A5199. A well established tree planted belt surrounds nearly the whole site, providing a good ground level screen from bordering rural lanes, nearby villages and isolated farmsteads. There is poor access to facilities and sustainable modes of transport.

6.7.3 This is a large site which is capable of being used for a variety of purposes. However, because of its rural location and limited accessibility, the range of uses needs to be closely controlled. The site and its operation for corporate entertainment is subject to a 2009 unilateral undertaking between the Council and the owner. Permitted event activity involves: the demonstration and testing of motor vehicles (including emergency service vehicles or equipment) and related driver instruction, hospitality, vehicle maintenance and repair, cycling and Go-karting in accordance with the Unilateral Undertaking.

6.7.4 Restricting the range of permitted uses will help avoid both disturbance to nearby residents and any wider impacts on the rural character of the area. Also, there is a risk that uses that are dependent on road access here could lead to inappropriate types and volumes of traffic. This could pose a serious risk to highway safety, given the limitations on carriageway width and alignment. It would also reinforce unsustainable travel patterns.

6.7.5 The policy recognises the scope of the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground site to accommodate specialist uses whilst managing the impact on the rural area. It also recognises the opportunity to comprehensively redevelop Bruntingthorpe Industrial Estate to improve premises and provide wider transport and environmental benefits.

6.7.6 Policy BE4 relates specifically to Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and Industrial Estate and provides an exception to Policy GD3 Development in the countryside, but should be read in conjunction with other general development policies in Chapter 4 of this plan.

6.8 BE4 Supporting information

Table B.16 Supporting Information: Policy BE4

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes – NPPF paragraph 21.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Responses to the consultation on Local Plan Options, October 2015;

Unilateral Undertaking relating to Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome and Proving Ground, 2009;

Noise Management Plan relating to Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome and Proving Ground, 2009;

Existing Employment Areas Review, (EEAR) 2012;

Harborough Strategic Employment Land Availability Assessment (SELAA), 2017; and

Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA), 2017.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

2 - Employment

3 - Location of development

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority's Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

BE5 Leicester Airport, Stoughton

(5) 1. Within the area of Leicester Airport, as defined on the Policies Map, development will be permitted where:

a. it is required for the operational use of the airfield, including improvements to the existing control tower and runway;

b. it is for aviation uses or is ancillary to an existing aviation use; or

c. it involves the conversion or re-use of an existing permanent building on site.

(3) 2. Within the complex to the North of Gartree Road, as defined on the Policies Map, additional development or the re-use of existing buildings for Class B1b, B1c, B2 or B8 will be permitted where:

a. the proposed use does not conflict with safety requirements of existing uses at the airfield;

(1) b. it is necessary for the continuation of an existing enterprise, facility or operation compatible with the operational use of the airfield;

c. the design, materials, and massing of new development would not have an unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area;

(1) d. traffic generated by the development is capable of being accommodated on the highway network and will not have a significant adverse impact on the amenity of local residents;

e. a Travel Plan is approved and implemented to increase access to the site by modes other than the private car; and

(1) f. any individual unit for Class B8 use does not exceed 500sq.m in gross floorspace.

6.9 BE5 Explanation

6.9.1 This is the site of a former Second World War airfield situated on the eastern edge of Leicester and just to the south of the small village of Stoughton. Now known as Leicester Airport, it is used for the flying of light aircraft and helicopters and is home to the Leicestershire Aero Club. There is also a small commercial area, a karting circuit and paint ball centre. However the bulk of the airfield site that is not used for runway and apron purposes is farmed. Although part of the former runway is disused there are no extensive areas of open commercial storage. Although the site is close to the urban area of Leicester it is served only by local roads with its entrance off Gartree Road, and has poor access to sustainable modes of transport.

6.9.2 Although the site is not remote from facilities and potential employees, it is situated in the countryside with relatively poor rural road access. Despite being modest in scale, there is the risk that its near-urban location could be attractive to numerous business ventures creating road traffic and disturbance that would harm the character of the immediately surrounding area. Clearly the airfield serves a need for light aircraft flights and there is potential for commercial uses with aviation links. These should be limited in scale and type of activity to avoid inappropriate adverse impacts.

6.9.3 Policy BE5 relates specifically to Leicester Airport and provides an exception to Policy GD3 Development in the Countryside, but should be read in conjunction with other general development policies in Chapter 4 of this plan.

6.10 BE5 Supporting information

Table B.17 Supporting Information: Policy BE5

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes – NPPF paragraph 28.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Harborough Strategic Employment Land Availability Assessment (SELAA), 2017; and

Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA), 2017.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

2 - Employment

3 - Location of development

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

The policy will be monitored through the annual employment land survey. Any planning permissions which are granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

7 Retail, town centres and tourism

RT1 Provision of new retail uses

(1) 1. During the plan period additional retail provision will be made for a minimum of 4,300 sq.m (gross) of convenience floorspace and a minimum of 10,100 sq.m (gross) of comparison floorspace.

2. Retail or mixed use developments contributing to the delivery of the following settlement-specific retail floorspace targets to 2031 will be permitted provided they are in accordance with Policy RT2:

a. Market Harborough: 3,100 sq.m (gross) convenience and 8,000 sq.m (gross) comparison;

(2) b. Lutterworth: 1,000 sq.m (gross) convenience and 1,500 sq.m (gross) comparison; and

c. Broughton Astley: 200 sq.m (gross) convenience and 200 sq.m (gross) comparison.

3. Market Harborough Allocations

(4) a. The Commons Car Park and adjoining retail unit as shown on the Policies Map is allocated for retail and town centre uses. Development will be permitted where it:

i. delivers a mixed use development including a net increase in retail floorspace of at least 1,500 sq.m (gross);

(1) ii. delivers a sensitively designed comprehensive scheme which conserves and enhances the Conservation Area and complements the character of the town centre in terms of scale, height, mass, design, materials and layout;

iii. provides safe, attractive pedestrian linkages within the site and to the wider town centre;

(2) iv. results in no net loss of public car parking spaces either on site or through additional equivalent provision elsewhere;

v. is sensitive to the River Welland and its role as a wildlife corridor; and

(1) vi. mitigates flood risk.

(2) b. Land off High Street as shown on the Policies Map is allocated for retail and town centre uses. Development will be permitted where it:

i. delivers a mixed use development including a net increase in retail floorspace of at least 2,000 sq.m (gross);

ii. delivers a sensitively designed comprehensive scheme which conserves and enhances the Conservation Area and complements the character of the town centre in terms of scale, height, mass, design, materials and layout, including a significant improvement to the appearance of the frontage onto High Street;

iii. ensures any development to the rear of frontage properties has suitable, prominent, safe and attractive pedestrian access from High Street; and

(1) iv. mitigates flood risk.

4. East of Lutterworth SDA Allocation

(1) a. Of the target in 2.b. above, about 1,000 sq.m (gross) of convenience floorspace and about 500 sq.m (gross) of comparison floorspace shall be provided as a neighbourhood centre within the East of Lutterworth SDA in accordance with Policy L1 to meet the needs of the expanding community.

7.1 RT1 Explanation

(1) 7.1.1 Policy RT1 supports retail growth in the District by setting out the appropriate retail floorspace provision figures over the plan period and by allocating sites in appropriate locations to contribute to meeting identified need.

7.1.2 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that local planning authorities should assess the quantitative and qualitative needs for land or floorspace for retail development over the plan period. When planning for growth in their town centres, local planning authorities are encouraged to allocate suitable sites to meet the scale and type of retail development needed. It is important that the needs for retail and other main town centre uses are met in full and not compromised by limited site availability.

7.1.3 The Harborough Retail Study Update, 2017 provides an update of the District wide needs assessment for retail floorspace in Harborough which was first carried out in 2013 through the Harborough Retail Study. The Update is based on population projections assuming the 12,800 housing provision over the plan period. The findings for convenience (mainly food) and comparison (non-food) goods retail floorspace are set out in Table B.18 and Table B.19 respectively below.

Table B.18 Convenience Goods Retail Floorspace Projections to 2031

Centre

Additional Retail Floorspace sq.m Gross (1)

(assuming net to gross ratio of 70%)


Up to 2021

2021-2026

2026-2031

Total

Up 2031

Market Harborough

1,800 sq.m.

600 sq.m.

700 sq.m.

3,100 sq.m.

Lutterworth

400 sq.m.

300 sq.m.

300 sq.m.

1,000 sq.m.

Broughton Astley

100 sq.m.

100 sq.m.

-

200 sq.m.

Other (2)

-

-

-

-

Total

2,300 sq.m.

1,000 sq.m.

1,000 sq.m.

4,300 sq.m.

(1) Over and above commitments. (2) Negative floorspace projections excluded

Table B.19 Comparison Goods Retail Floorspace Projections to 2031

Centre

Additional Retail Floorspace sq.m Gross (1)

(assuming net to gross ratio of 75%)


Up to 2021

2021-2026

2026-2031

Total

Up to 2031

Market Harborough

900 sq.m.

3,200 sq.m.

3,900 sq.m.

8,000 sq.m.

Lutterworth

500 sq.m.

500 sq.m.

500 sq.m.

1,500 sq.m.

Broughton Astley

-

100 sq.m.

100 sq.m.

200 sq.m.

Other

100 sq.m.

100 sq.m.

200 sq.m.

400 sq.m.

Total

1,500 sq.m.

3,900 sq.m.

4,700 sq.m.

10,100 sq.m.

(1) Over and above commitments (2) Negative floorspace projections excluded

7.1.4 The Retail Study Update, 2017 stresses that long term floorspace capacity forecasts beyond 2026 are susceptible to change due to unforeseen circumstances including changes in population growth, growth in expenditure per capita and growth in turnover efficiencies. Small variations in recommended growth rates can lead to large variations in floorspace capacity where projected over a long period. Therefore the Retail Update, 2017 recommends that long term projections (beyond 2026) should be treated with caution. In view of this advice, the Council will keep projections for the period 2026-31 under review.

7.1.5 Whilst the re-use of vacant shop units will absorb an element of the identified retail floorspace need, the Harborough Retail Study, 2013 identified a number of sites in Market Harborough and Lutterworth with potential to accommodate additional floorspace requirements. Subsequently, the Local Plan Options Consultation, 2015 put forward four sites in Market Harborough and one site in Lutterworth for allocation.

(1) 7.1.6 Springfield Retail Car Park in Market Harborough has been discounted as an option as the location of the site is outside the primary shopping area and could dilute the shopping offer of the town centre and encourage car-based shopping. The redevelopment could also involve a car park deck which would have an adverse impact on the the Grade II listed Settling Rooms at the centre of the site.

7.1.7 The Commons Car Park site in Market Harborough is included as an allocation for mixed use retail development. The site lies partially within the town's primary shopping area and within the town centre boundary. It is ideally located to contribute to future retail need. However, any development scheme would need to be sensitive to its location within the town's Conservation Area and riverside frontage and should be guided by a development brief. The allocation includes existing retail floorspace (Tesco) along with the Council owned Commons Car Park. Current frontage onto The Square (Tesco building) is poorly designed. A comprehensive redevelopment of the allocated site provides the opportunity to enhance the Conservation Area. Development proposals would need to ensure that there would be no net loss of car parking in the town centre.

7.1.8 The second allocation (Land off High Street) is a site which also has the potential to enhance the Conservation Area. High Street forms the backbone of the town's Conservation Area and the frontages included in the allocation currently detract from the rhythm and cohesiveness of the streetscape. The redevelopment of these properties offers the opportunity to open up land to the rear which would be well related to the primary shopping area and support its vitality. Any development scheme would need to be sensitive to its location within the town's Conservation Area and should be guided by a development brief. Given that this site is likely to be more complicated to deliver, being in multiple ownership, it is envisaged that this site would come forward later in the plan period.

7.1.9 Both allocations are ideally located to support Market Harborough's retail floorspace needs and maintain vitality and viability over the coming decade. Development briefs will be prepared, in conjunction with the owners/ developers, to bring these sites forward. There will also be additional convenience retail floorspace provision as part of the committed schemes forming the North West Market Harborough Strategic Development Area. The precise scale of this provision is as yet unknown but will be delivered in two local centres that will serve the proposed development to the north west of the town.

7.1.10 With regard to Lutterworth, the Strategic Development Area to the east of the M1 will be required to provide a local centre with retail provision of up to 1,000 sq.m of convenience floorspace and up to 500 sq.m of comparison floorspace. This will help to reduce the number of car trips and improve sustainability. Whilst no sites have been allocated in the town centre, it is expected that vacant units will absorb some of the identified need. Proposals for new retail floorspace will be assessed in accordance with Policy RT2 Town and local centres.

7.1.11 As recommended by the Retail Study Update, 2017, longer term retail needs (beyond 2026) for both Market Harborough and Lutterworth Town Centres will be monitored through regular floorspace requirement updates that take into account any changing assumptions.

7.2 RT1 Supporting information

Table B.20 Supporting Information: Policy RT1

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes-NPPF paragraphs 23-27.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Harborough Retail Study, 2013;

Harborough Retail Study Update, 2016; and

Harborough Retail Study Update, 2017.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

2 - Employment

7 - Historic Environment

8 - Town/Village Centres

9 - Design

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications in conjunction with the promotion of sites in the Council's ownership or where there is a need to coordinate action on land in multiple ownership.

How will it be monitored?

Through the annual Authority Monitoring Report setting out the extent to which planning permission has been granted towards the following retail floorspace targets:-
1. 3,100 sq.m. (gross) convenience + 8,000 sq.m. (gross) comparison at Market Harborough including 1,500 sq.m. (gross) at Commons Car Park, 2,000 sq.m. (gross) on land off High Street and 4,000 sq.m. (gross) on land off St Mary's Road.
2. 1,000 sq.m. (gross) convenience + 1,500 sq.m. (gross) comparison at Lutterworth including 1,000 (gross) + 500 sq.m.

(gross) comparison as a neighbourhood centre within the Strategic Development Area east of Lutterworth.

RT2 Town and local centres

(1) 1. The vitality and viability of the following retail hierarchy of city, town, district and local centres will be maintained and enhanced:
Town centres: Market Harborough, Lutterworth;
District centre: Broughton Astley;
Local centres: Fleckney, Great Glen, Kibworth Beauchamp.

Town centres and primary shopping area

(1) 2. Within the town centres of Market Harborough and Lutterworth, as defined on the Policies Map, development proposals for main town centre uses will be permitted providing their scale and design reflects the role, function, distinctive qualities and historic/architectural heritage of the town centre. Development that would harm the vitality and viability of either town centre will not be approved.

3. Market Harborough primary shopping area, as defined on the Policies Map, will be the focus for retail uses. Development which helps maintain the existing retail function of the area, and does not lead to a concentration of non-retail uses which would undermine the vitality and viability of the area's primarily retail role, will be permitted.

4. Residential development within the defined town centres of Market Harborough and Lutterworth will be permitted, subject to the creation of a satisfactory residential environment and so long as it does not undermine the functionality and heritage of the town centres.

5. Sequential test
Development, including extensions to existing facilities, for main town centre uses should be located in the defined Town Centres, then in edge of centre locations and only outside defined town centres if a sequential test shows that the development, having demonstrated appropriate flexibility in form and scale, cannot be accommodated within a suitable and available centre or edge of centre location.

6. Impact assessment
Development of main town centre uses outside the defined town centres, or of retail uses within Market Harborough town centre but outside the primary shopping area, will only be permitted if an impact assessment demonstrates that the proposal would not have a significant adverse impact on the vitality and/or viability of existing centres. An impact assessment will be required for development of, or in excess of:

a. 1,500 square metres gross in Market Harborough; and

b. 500 square metres gross elsewhere in the District.

(1) 7. Local centres
Within the local centres of Fleckney, Great Glen and Kibworth Beauchamp, as defined on the Policies Map, proposals for shopping and business uses will be permitted provided development proposals do not detract from the character of the area in terms of design, mass, material, height or location and the amenity of neighbouring residents is not adversely affected. Proposals outside the defined local centre will need to apply the sequential test and carry out an impact assessment in accordance with the threshold set out above.

7.3 RT2 Explanation

7.3.1 Town and village centres are at the heart of local communities and are valued as places in which to meet, eat, shop, relax and work. Policy RT2 is concerned with supporting the retail hierarchy and promoting the continued vitality and viability of the District's town and local centres, with particular emphasis on Market Harborough and Lutterworth, both of which are market towns with Conservation Areas covering their centres.

7.3.2 The way in which town centres are used is continually evolving and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) emphasises that local plans should plan positively for town centres to support their vitality, provide for customer choice and promote their individuality. It also makes clear that the Local Plan should define a network and hierarchy of centres that is resilient to anticipated future economic changes. Table B.21, below, sets out the hierarchy of retail centres in Harborough District and shows some centres outside the District boundary which potentially have a functional relationship with the District.

Table B.21 Harborough Retail Hierarchy


Description

Within Harborough District

Beyond Harborough District

City centre

The highest level of centre identified in development plans. In terms of hierarchies, it will often be a regional centre and will serve a large catchment. The centre may be very large embracing a wide range of activities and may be distinguished by areas which may perform different main functions.


Leicester, Northampton

Town centres

Usually the second level of centres after city centres; in many cases they will be the principal centre in a Local Authority's area. In rural areas they are likely to be market towns and other centres of similar size and role which function as important service centres, providing a range of facilities and services for extensive rural catchment areas. In planning for the future of town centres, local planning authorities should consider the function of different parts of the centre and how these contribute to its overall vitality and viability.

Market Harborough,

Lutterworth.

Rugby, Kettering, Corby,

Wigston, Hinckley

Melton Mowbray, Oakham,

Uppingham, Blaby.

District centres

These usually comprise groups of shops often containing at least one supermarket or superstore, and a range of non-retail services, such as banks, building societies and restaurants, as well as local public facilities such as a library.

Broughton Astley.

Oadby, South Wigston, Hamilton, Evington,

Narborough, Enderby.

Local centres

These include a range of small shops of a local nature, serving a small catchment. Typically, local centres might include, amongst other shops, a small supermarket, a newsagent, a sub-post office and a pharmacy. Other facilities could include a hot food take away and launderette. In rural areas, large villages may perform the role of a local centre.

Kibworth Beauchamp, Fleckney,

Great Glen.

Desborough, Burbage,

Stoney, Stanton,

Countesthorpe, Cosby,

Huncote, Sapcote, Whetstone.

7.3.3 The NPPF is clear that local plan policies should promote competitive town centre environments, provide customer choice, encourage a diverse retail offer and promote the individuality of town centres. It sets out two key tests that should be applied when considering proposals for main town centre uses which are not in an existing town centre and which are not in accord with an up to date local plan, namely the sequential test and the impact assessment. Both are designed to ensure that development does not undermine the health of existing town centres.

7.3.4 Policy RT2 allows both a sequential test and an impact assessment to be applied taking into account local criteria and thresholds. The sequential test is considered first as it may identify more preferable sites in the town centre, referred to as a 'town centre first' approach. If no such sites are found, then the development is subject to the impact test to determine the likely adverse impacts of locating the development outside the town centre. Main town centre uses are defined in the NPPF and comprise retail, office, leisure, entertainment, arts, culture, and tourism development.

7.3.5 Market Harborough is the largest and most vibrant shopping centre in the District, benefiting from an historic, attractive environment. Given its size and role in the retail hierarchy, and in order to ensure that retail development and other town centre uses are directed to the most appropriate locations, both a town centre boundary and a primary shopping area are defined in line with the findings of the Harborough Retail Study, 2013.

7.3.6 The policy approach aims to guide most retail development to the primary shopping area, in order to support the existing retail function of the area, maintain the vitality and viability of the centre as a whole, keep its shopping offer within easy walking distance and avoid it being diluted by too many non-retail uses. It also ensures that other main town centre uses, such as leisure, hotels and offices, and secondary shopping take place within the wider town centre boundary where a greater variety of uses co-exist, or as a last resort in an edge of centre location. Edge of centre is defined by the NPPF as locations within 300 metres of the town centre boundary, or for retail development in Market Harborough within 300 metres of the Primary Shopping Area boundary.

7.3.7 Lutterworth's town centre is much smaller than Market Harborough's with a more limited choice of comparison shops, with residents looking primarily to nearby Leicester and Rugby for higher order stores. Whilst the town centre is a Conservation Area, the shopping environment is impacted by heavy through-traffic. The town centre boundary has been identified for Lutterworth as the preferred location for retail and other town centre uses.

7.3.8 Policy RT2 sets local floorspace thresholds for the preparation of Impact Assessments. These thresholds follow the recommendations set out in the Harborough Retail Study Update, 2017 and reflect the fact that the NPPF threshold of 2,500 square metres represents a significant proportion of the overall projected retail needs for the District. Developments of less than 2,500 square metres could have a significant adverse impact on centres within Harborough. The thresholds represent a more reasonable and locally specific approach which reflects the scale of identified need and the modest size of town and local centres across the District.

7.3.9 In promoting thriving town centres, it is essential that both the historic and architectural context is taken into account in the design of development. Both Market Harborough and Lutterworth Town Centres have Conservation Area status and the historic environment provides an irreplaceable and distinctive backdrop to the activities that take place. The policy ensures that new development respects its setting in scale and design.

7.3.10 Broughton Astley, identified as a district centre in the retail hierarchy, has a Neighbourhood Plan that was 'made' in 2014. This sets out retail policy for the village, including a defined Shopping and Business Area and an allocation for additional retail provision beyond the centre to improve the village's sustainability. Therefore Policy RT2 does not refer to Broughton Astley.

7.3.11 So far as the local centres are concerned, Fleckney, Great Glen and both Kibworth parish councils are all leading on the preparation of neighbourhood plans which are likely to set out policies for their local centres. However, Policy RT2 sets out the policy approach and defines Local Centre boundaries for these settlements to guide those emerging neighbourhood plans. The policy also recognises that these centres have an important role to play in supporting and servicing local communities to the benefit of the sustainability of these settlements.

7.4 RT2 Supporting information

Table B.22 Supporting Information: Policy RT2

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraphs 23-27.

What evidence has informed this policy?

NPPF – definition of uses;

Harborough Retail Study, 2013;

Harborough Retail Study Update, 2016; and

Harborough Retail Study Update, 2017.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

2 - Employment

7 - Historic environment

8 - Town/village centres

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

RT3 Shop fronts and advertisements

(3) 1. New shop fronts will be permitted where they relate well in scale, proportion, material and decorative treatment to the façade of the building and its neighbours. In Conservation Areas changes to shop fronts will only be permitted where they contribute to the conservation and enhancement of the area's character or appearance.

2. Advertisement designs should respect the character and architectural details of the buildings on which they are proposed and their surroundings, in terms of scale, siting, materials, colour and lettering and method and intensity of illumination.

3. New shop fronts should, where possible, improve accessibility and make provision for the needs of specific groups in the community such as the elderly and those with disabilities.

(1) 7.5 RT3 Explanation

7.5.1 The Council is committed to maintaining and improving the District's shopping streets and centres. It recognises that shop fronts play a key role in creating attractive and vibrant areas which people want to live in and visit. Well designed shop fronts and adverts can benefit areas in a variety of ways including adding visual interest to the street scene, attracting customers and improving the townscape. However, when poorly designed or positioned, they can be harmful and result in visual clutter, obstructions and even hazards.

7.5.2 Securing high quality design and a good standard of amenity is one of the core principles set out in the NPPF. It recognises that poorly placed advertisements can have a negative impact on the appearance of the built and natural environment.

7.5.3 Whilst the principal function of any shop front and associated signage is to advertise and display the goods and services provided within the building, the secondary, less obvious, role is to influence or improve the overall appearance and attractiveness of the street scene, public realm and accessibility to the community. Policy RT3 has been included to ensure that this secondary role is appreciated and taken into account in the design of shop fronts and advertisements which are sympathetic to their immediate and wider surroundings.

7.5.4 Both of the District's town centres, and many of the village centres, have Conservation Area status and contain numerous listed buildings and other buildings of local interest. In such areas it is essential that shop fronts are sensitively designed to complement architectural details and historic features. In order to achieve this, internally illuminated signs and advertisements will not normally be permitted in the town centres of Market Harborough and Lutterworth, the local centre of Kibworth Beauchamp or in any other Conservation Area.

7.6 RT3 Supporting information

Table B.23 Supporting Information: Policy RT3

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraphs 56 and 67.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Enforcement cases; and

Applications for advertisements.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

7 - Historic environment

8 - Town/village centres

9 - Design

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

RT4 Tourism and leisure

(1) 1. The potential of tourism in the District will be maximised and tourism and leisure opportunities for visitors and residents will be increased by:

a. supporting the retention, enhancement and expansion of existing tourism and leisure attractions and tourist accommodation;

b. permitting development of tourism and leisure attractions and tourist accommodation that are well connected to other leisure destinations and amenities, particularly by public transport, walking and cycling;

c. encouraging enhancement of the environment and local distinctiveness, including heritage and landscapes, which will increase the attractiveness of the District to visitors and increase tourism.

2. New tourist accommodation, attractions and other tourism-related development will be directed to Market Harborough town centre, Key Centres and Rural Centres in accordance with the settlement hierarchy, except where:

a. an initiative requires a countryside location or setting or it is directly related to a specific tourist destination and, where possible, it re-uses previously developed land and existing buildings; or

b. it involves the diversification of agricultural uses or otherwise benefits rural businesses and communities; and

c. its scale and appearance respects the character of the countryside, the local landscape and the surrounding environment; and

d. it does not adversely affect the local transport infrastructure.

(2) 3. Land off St Mary's Road as shown on the Policies Map is allocated for leisure, entertainment and tourism uses. Development will be permitted where it:

(1) a. delivers a mixed use scheme of at least 3,000sq.m (gross) including some or all of the following uses: A3-A5 food and beverage, C1 hotel, D2 assembly and leisure;

b. delivers a sensitively designed comprehensive scheme which protects the Listed Buildings at 91-93 St. Mary's Road and their setting; and

(1) c. mitigates flood risk.

(1) 4. The Council will support the promotion and management of Foxton Locks and the Grand Union Canal in line with the ambition for the area to be a regional tourist attraction.

7.7 RT4 Explanation

7.7.1 As a district which benefits from a number of tourist attractions, the tourist industry forms an important part of the local economy and can support the provision of local services and facilities.

7.7.2 The value of tourism in Harborough has been increasing steadily since 2009. The economic impact of tourism has increased by 27% between 2009 and 2015 whilst visitor numbers have remained roughly the same (rising by 0.76%). This would indicate that those visitors in 2015 were contributing more to the economy with a higher spend per visit than those in 2009.

7.7.3 This increased value per visit appears to be attributed to a growing staying visitor trend and the associated additional spend related to this (cost of hotels, evening meals and spend over at least two days instead of one). Between 2009 and 2015 the amount of staying visitors has increased by 9.1% whilst day visitors have gone down by 0.1%.

7.7.4 The East Leicestershire Tourism Accommodation Study, January 2015, identified that two thirds of east Leicestershire's tourist accommodation is located within Harborough District. The Tourism Accommodation Study identified strong demand for all forms of tourist accommodation to support increasing trends in domestic short breaks, a growth in leisure trips linked to visiting friends and relatives, trends for family get together breaks away, and a growing market for high quality distinctive contemporary accommodation. Harborough's central location in the country means it is well placed to capitalise on the growth of accommodation needs and increase tourism. The study highlights the following benefits of tourism for Harborough:

  • Providing opportunities to boost the incomes of farming and rural land-based businesses;
  • Generating income for rural shops, pubs, restaurants, and food producers;
  • Creating new jobs, both directly and indirectly as customer and accommodation business spending permeates through the local economy.

7.7.5 A further benefit would be to support the vitality and viability of town centres, in particular the night-time economy of Market Harborough whose historic town centre, with its collection of attractive independent shops and its restaurants and bars is an attraction in its own right.

(2) 7.7.6 The Local Plan Options Consultation, 2015, included a potential development area for retail/town centre uses north of St. Mary's Road, Market Harborough. The review of commercial and leisure uses undertaken by the Retail Study Update, 2017, identified a need for food and beverage uses, as set out in Table B.24 below, and other commercial leisure facilities (including a small cinema and health and fitness facilities).

Table B.24 Food and Beverage Floorspace Projections to 2031

Centre

Additional Food and Beverage Floorspace (sq.m Gross)


Up to 2021

2021-2026

2026-2031

Total

Up to 2031

Market Harborough

800 sq.m.

700 sq.m.

700 sq.m.

2,200 sq.m.

Lutterworth

200 sq.m.

200 sq.m.

200 sq.m.

600 sq.m.

Broughton Astley

100 sq.m.

-

100 sq.m.

200 sq.m.

Other

300 sq.m.

300 sq.m.

300 sq.m.

900 sq.m.

Total

1,400 sq.m.

1,200 sq.m.

1,300 sq.m.

3,900 sq.m.

7.7.7 Developing the St Mary's Road site for retail would extend shopping provision outside the Primary Shopping Area and dilute the retail offer of the town centre. However the site has the potential to increase the commercial leisure and tourism offer within the town, in particular to provide a new hotel, a health and fitness centre and associated public house, bar or restaurant facilities. The site is in a single ownership. It is occupied by various industrial and sui generis uses which would need to be relocated. These include the Market Harborough Brewery which could be relocated within the development as part of the tourism offer. It also includes two Listed Buildings (91-93 St. Mary's Road) and any development would need to retain these and be sensitively designed to avoid any impact on their setting.

7.7.8 The Council will continue to work with other organisations to best promote tourism that is on offer in the District. Additional development which can help develop links to other sectors including food and drink, outdoor pursuits and the arts and cultural sector will also be supported. The Council will also work in partnership with Leicestershire Promotions Ltd and its Tourism Strategy for Leicester and Leicestershire 2011- 2016 to maximise growth in tourism for Harborough district.

7.7.9 The Harborough Blueprint for Tourism 2013-2018 aims to increase visitor numbers by 12% over 5 years and a 10% growth in economic activity through visitor spend. Encouraging the development of new tourism accommodation is identified as a district-wide priority. The development of Market Harborough as 'England's Finest Rural Market Town'; the development of major projects at Foxton Locks; developing Lutterworth, Wycliffe and Whittle connections; the use of Bruntingthorpe Airfield and Proving Ground as an events venue; and the establishment of new events and festivals in Market Harborough, Lutterworth and Foxton Locks are key priorities for the Council.

(1) 7.7.10 Foxton Locks provides an asset both to the local community and also the wider population beyond the District. Foxton Locks includes nationally important designated heritage assets and collectively the locks and the inclined plane form the focus of a 30 acre country park with an estimated 300,000 visitors annually. As an established local and regional visitor attraction, the Locks have the potential to contribute significantly to the local economy of the Harborough District.

7.7.11 The Canal and River Trust Destination Management Plan, 2016 sets out a vision for the site and a shared statement of intent as to how to manage the area as a regional tourist destination over a period of time, identifying necessary actions for stakeholders and apportioning resources accordingly. The proposed development is a Leicester and Leicestershire Economic Partnership (LLEP) priority through the Strategic Economic Plan, 2015 and there is future potential for the Canal and River Trust to work with a commercial accommodation development partner to progress a scheme for the site. Any future visitor experience enhancement to Foxton Locks will be supported by the Council in partnership with the Canal and River Trust to help ensure that the future of the Locks is secured through appropriate sensitive sustainable development, providing this maintains and enhances the heritage asset in accordance with Policy HC1 Built heritage.

7.8 RT4 Supporting Information

Table B.25 Supporting Information: Policy RT4

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraphs 18-21, 28

What evidence has informed this policy?

East Leicestershire Tourism Accommodation Study 2015;

Harborough Blueprint for Tourism 2013-2018;

The Canal and River Trust Destination Management Plan 2016;

LLEP Strategic Economic Plan, 2015;

Harborough Retail Study Update, 2017; and

The Tourism Strategy for Leicester and Leicestershire 2011-2016.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

2-Employment

5-Protection of Local Services

8-Town/ Village centres

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

8 Heritage and community assets

HC1 Built heritage

(4) 1. Development affecting heritage assets and their settings will:

(1) a. be appraised in accordance with national policy; and

b. be permitted where it protects, conserves or enhances the significance, character, appearance and setting of the asset, including where possible better revealing the significance of the asset and enabling its interpretation.

(3) 2. Development will be refused where the proposal would lead to harm to or the loss of significance of a heritage asset and/or its setting, unless it can be demonstrated that the harm or loss is clearly outweighed by the public benefits of the proposal.

(1) 3. Development within or affecting a Conservation Area will be permitted where it reflects and respects the special characteristics of the Conservation Area, including local design and materials.

4. Development that secures the viable and sustainable future of heritage assets at risk of neglect or loss will be permitted where such development preserves or enhances the significance of the heritage asset; and

a. this is demonstrably necessary to secure the future of the asset;

b. it does not result in harm to the asset or its setting;

c. the public benefit outweighs the harm caused; and

d. no other funding is available.

5. Development which enhances the local and regional role of Foxton Locks and the former inclined plane as a tourism and recreational facility and which maintains and enhances the value, importance and integrity of these heritage assets will be permitted.

8.1 HC1 Explanation

(2) 8.1.1 The character, quality and diversity of the District's extensive historic environment will be taken fully into account with a view to its conservation and enhancement in the context of the sustainable development of the District

8.1.2 Heritage assets are parts of the environment that are valued for their architectural, historic, archaeological and artistic interest. The District has a significant number of heritage assets, both designated and non-designated, which are a key part of its character. They comprise both designated assets (such as Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments and Registered Parks and Gardens) and non-designated assets (including, for example, archaeological sites).

8.1.3 The setting of a designated heritage asset often makes an important contribution to its character. Proposals for development should be carefully assessed to ensure that important features and vistas that make a positive contribution to the significance of the asset are preserved. The character, quality and diversity of the District's extensive historic environment will be taken fully into account with a view to its conservation and enhancement in the context of the sustainable development of the District. Lists of heritage assets and links to them can be found at Appendix H Heritage assets list.

Promoting sustainable uses

8.1.4 The survival of most historic buildings depends upon their continued, viable use and this may, among other things, require alterations to improve access. All proposals will be expected to describe the significance of the asset, identify the impact of works on the special character of the asset and provide a clear justification for the work, including, where relevant, identification of public benefits. To enable planning decisions to be based on a full understanding of the significance of the heritage asset, the Council will expect the following assessment to have been carried out:

  • an analysis of the asset to establish its significance both as a whole and specific parts affected by the proposal;
  • an assessment, where appropriate, of the contribution made by the setting of the asset to its significance; and
  • explanation of how the assessment has informed the proposed development, including how the proposed detailed design, scale, layout, materials and architectural or historical features would be appropriate and sympathetic.

8.1.5 The harm to, or loss of part or the whole of, a heritage asset will need to be justified. Where the proposal would result in harm or loss of a heritage asset, the Council will require evidence that there are considerable public benefits to justify its loss or that there are no other mechanisms for supporting the retention of the asset. Any mitigation measures proposed are not considered to be public benefits.

8.1.6 Where planning permission is granted, appropriate conditions may be applied and/or planning obligations may be secured to ensure that heritage assets are appropriately conserved and, where possible, enhanced. This may include provision for the recording of assets prior to commencement of any work.

Listing Assets

8.1.7 The Council will continue to work with Neighbourhood Plan Groups, the local community and interest groups to identify and, where appropriate, support proposals for local listing of buildings, where it can be demonstrated that the buildings meet the criteria for such listing.

Conservation Areas

8.1.8 There are currently 62 Conservation Areas within the District which will be kept under review. The Council is committed to improving the management of the Conservation Areas in the District through the preparation of Conservation Area appraisals and management plans, its development management procedures and the use of Article 4 Directions, as appropriate and resources permit.

8.1.9 In conjunction with partner organisations, the Council will:

  • undertake reviews of existing Conservation Area Statements and develop these into management plans;
  • prioritise for review any Conservation Area Statements and associated management plans relating to settlements where proposals are anticipated and the settlement is considered to be sensitive to development; and
  • appraise opportunities to designate new Conservation Areas and support local listing or statutory listing of appropriate buildings.

Assets at Risk

8.1.10 Assets at risk are those at risk of being lost as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development. Where heritage assets are found to be 'at risk', i.e. they are on Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register or on a local register covering Grade II and locally listed heritage assets, or where they are in danger of falling into this category, the Council may support the development of creative and sustainable measures to secure the future of such assets, in a manner appropriate to their significance. The Council may give particular weight to proposals which promote public and economic benefits such as tourism or enhanced public access.

8.1.11 Alternative use of a heritage asset may be considered where this would retain the viability of the asset, providing it would not result in the loss of its significance. Should the harm or loss be agreed, the Council will require a clear indication that the development will be implemented and that the loss of the asset was justified. Where the loss of a heritage asset is agreed, the Council will need to be satisfied that there are approved and detailed plans and delivery mechanisms in place for the implementation of the approved proposal.

8.1.12 In the context of the historic environment, enabling development is development that would otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms if it were not for the fact that it would bring heritage benefits sufficient to justify it being carried out and which could not otherwise be achieved. A typical example would be the construction of houses where planning policy would normally prohibit, but where the profits from that development would fund essential repairs to the particular heritage asset. Such proposals will only be considered acceptable subject to:

  • them not resulting in harm to the heritage asset or its setting;
  • them ensuring unified management of the place;
  • securing the long-term future of the place and, where applicable, its continued use for a purpose sympathetic to its context and history;
  • no other suitable funding being available; and
  • clear demonstration that the amount of enabling development is the minimum necessary to secure the future of the place, and that its form minimises harm to other public interests.

8.1.13 The heritage benefits of any proposed enabling development should demonstrably outweigh the dis-benefits of departing from either the development plan or national planning policy. Moreover, in accordance with national planning policy, where there is evidence of deliberate neglect of, or damage to, a heritage asset, the deteriorated state of the asset would not be taken into account in any planning decision, nor any purchase price paid or the circumstances of the owner.Such enabling development permitted will be secured through suitable planning conditions and planning obligations through section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) as amended. .

Foxton Locks

(2) 8.1.14 The policy sets out the Council's support for appropriate development of heritage assets for sustainable alternative uses, including for tourism and recreation. Foxton Locks is a nationally significant heritage asset within the District. It includes the Grade II* flight of locks and other listed buildings associated with the Grand Union Canal and the Inclined Plane Scheduled Monument. The canal is also a Conservation Area. The Council has worked with the Canals and Rivers Trust and its partners to deliver the first phase of improvements to the area. Further development will be in accordance with the Canal and River Trust Destination Management Plan, 2016 described in paragraph 7.7.11 above. Any associated development would need to be suitably located and of an appropriate scale and design.

8.2 HC1 Supporting information

Table B.26 Supporting Information: Policy HC1

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - Core principle of NPPF (paragraph 17, 10th bullet); and

Section 12: Conserving and enhancing the historic environment.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Conservation Area Statements;

Enabling Development and the Conservation of Significant Places, Historic England, 2008; and

'Easy Access to Historic Buildings', Historic England, 2015; and

The Canal and River Trust Destination Management Plan, 2016.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

2 - Employment

4 - Infrastructure

7 - Historic environment

8 - Town/village centres

9 - Design

12 - Environmental impact

13 - Tourism and culture

14 - Neighbourhood planning

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to criteria 1, 2, 3 or 4 of this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

HC2 Community facilities

(1) 1. Development proposals which would result in the loss of existing community facilities will be permitted where:

(1) a. it can be demonstrated that there is no longer a need for the facility, either for its original purpose or another community use; or

(1) b. another community facility of similar function and scale and with sufficient capacity to meet needs is available within easy and safe walking distance of the majority of the community which it serves; or

c. the community facility is to be replaced by a facility that is of a scale, function and standard equivalent to, or superior than, the existing facility, is within easy and safe walking distance of the majority of the community which it serves, and is to be made available before the closure of the existing facility.

(1) 2. Development at existing community facilities will be permitted in order to assist in their diversification and improved accessibility where the proposal seeks to sustain the future of the facility.

(3) 3. Proposals for the provision of new community facilities and the flexible use of existing space for community uses will be permitted where they are within easy and safe walking distance of the majority of the community they will serve.

8.3 HC2 Explanation

(3) 8.3.1 Paragraph 70 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) identifies the importance of community facilities and the need to sustain existing facilities and place new facilities at the heart of new development.

8.3.2 Community facilities (for example, places of worship, town and village halls, community centres, indoor sports facilities, schools, doctors' surgeries and libraries) play an important role at the heart of communities, providing hubs for recreation, congregation and interaction through which social networks can be maintained, while minimising the need to travel.

8.3.3 Existing community facilities require protection from change of use or redevelopment. In addition to protection through this policy, communities have powers through the Community Right to Bid to protect assets that are important to them.

8.3.4 Existing community facilities may also require upgrading over time as the needs of the community change. The flexible use of existing and proposed facilities is supported, including proposals for use by religious communities. This is important to ensure the long term sustainability of the facilities.

8.3.5 The Community Infrastructure Assessment, 2017 includes an assessment of the appropriate level of developer contributions for community buildings infrastructure from new build residential developments. The assessment will inform an update of the Development Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), 2017.

8.4 HC2 Supporting information

Table B.27 Supporting Information: Policy HC2

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraph 70.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Settlement Profiles, 2015;

Harborough District Village Halls, June 2016;

Harborough District Community Buildings, June 2016;

Community Infrastructure Assessment, 2017; and

Infrastructure Delivery Plan, 2017.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

3 - Location of development

5 - Protection of local services

8 - Town/village centres

9 - Design

10 - Transport

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

HC3 Public houses, post offices and village shops

(5) 1. Development involving the loss of an existing public house, post office or village shop selling primarily convenience goods will be permitted where:

a. reasonable efforts have been made to preserve the facility (including exploring diversification options) but it would not be economically viable to retain the building or site for its existing use; and

b. the public house, post office or village shop has been proactively marketed at a reasonable price for a minimum of 12 months for its current use, free of tie and restrictive covenant and there has been no definite interest in either the freehold or leasehold.

(1) 2. Development at public houses will be permitted in order to assist in their diversification, including:

(1) a. extensions and alterations to provide kitchen and restaurant facilities;

b. improvements to the external environment, including children's facilities;

c. conversions or extensions to provide bed & breakfast or other guest accommodation;

(1) d. a micro-brewery or similar enterprise related to the public house use;

e. alterations to enable take-away food and off-licence services; and

f. use of part of the premises for a local shop, post office, library, or other community function unrelated to the public house use.

3. Development at village shops and post offices will be permitted in order to assist in their diversification where this would help to sustain the future of the facility.

4. Development of new public houses, post offices and shops will be permitted where they are within easy and safe walking distance of the majority of the community they will serve.

8.5 HC3 Explanation

8.5.1 Public houses, post offices and village shops selling primarily convenience goods are all identified as key services, in recognition of the valuable contribution they make to meeting the day-to-day needs of local communities and therefore supporting their sustainable growth.

8.5.2 The Council supports the retention of public houses, post offices and village shops and will not approve proposals involving their loss other than in the circumstances set out in the policy criteria. Applications for change of use or redevelopment will therefore be resisted unless evidence to the satisfaction of the Council is provided to show that the premises have been marketed at a reasonable price for a minimum of 12 months. The marketing strategy, along with the price at which the property will be marketed, should be agreed with the Council prior to commencement of the marketing exercise. In relation to public houses, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Public House Viability Test, 2015 provides a useful tool to assess the viability of the business.

8.5.3 Business diversification is an important consideration when considering the viability of public houses, post offices and village shops. The Council encourages community groups and business owners to consider diversification of their existing business to retain and maintain their viability.

8.6 HC3 Supporting information

Table B.28 Supporting Information: Policy HC3

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraph 70.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Harborough District Pubs and Community rooms, June 2016 and

Harborough District Pub June 2016.

Which Local Plan objective does it meet?

3 - Location of development

5 - Protection of local services

8 - Town/village centres

13 - Tourism and culture

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.


9 Green infrastructure

GI1 Green infrastructure networks

(2) 1. Development will be permitted where it ensures green infrastructure is fully integrated into the proposal, maximising existing green assets and creating new green space.

2. Green infrastructure assets will be safeguarded by ensuring that:

(1) a. development does not compromise their integrity or value;

b. development contributes wherever appropriate to improvements in their quality, use and multi-functionality; and

c. opportunities to add to the green infrastructure network are maximised through partnership working.

3. Development which supports the potential of the following strategic green infrastructure assets to contribute to the aims of the wider green infrastructure network will be permitted:

(1) a. Welland, Sence, Soar, Swift and Avon river corridors;

b. Grand Union Canal;

(2) c. Dismantled railway lines;

d. Saddington, Stanford and Eyebrook reservoirs; and

e. traffic free cycle routes, and long distance recreational footpath and bridleway routes

9.1 GI1 Explanation

(2) 9.1.1 Green Infrastructure (GI) as defined by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is a network of multi-functional green space, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities. Green infrastructure promotes recreation, tourism, biodiversity, geodiversity and water management. Promoting new green space and protecting existing green assets also helps mitigate against climate change.

9.1.2 Policy GI1 recognises that there are certain assets within Harborough District which are strategic in their importance and potential impact. The policy will be implemented by the Council, public sector partners (neighbouring local authorities, and environmental protection groups) and private sector developers delivering development. Where appropriate, developer contributions will be sought to secure links or improvements to green infrastructure assets. The partner organisations are, amongst others:

  • Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust,
  • Canal and River Trust,
  • Welland Rivers Trust and Welland Valley Partnership,
  • Woodland Trust,
  • Leicestershire and Leicester Access Forum,
  • County and district local authorities.

9.1.3 In areas identified as being of strategic GI importance, the Council will work with these partners, and developers, to take advantage of opportunities to protect, enhance and enable the following:

  • access and movement, creating linkages, promoting walking/cycling;
  • biodiversity value;
  • natural processes including flood management;
  • cultural heritage through interpretation and accessibility to key heritage assets; and
  • landscape character protection and enhancement.

9.1.4 The NPPF states that planning policies should protect and enhance public rights of way and access. Councils should seek opportunities to provide better facilities for users, for example by adding links to existing rights of way networks.

9.1.5 The Harborough Open Spaces Strategy, 2016 supports Policy GI1 and aims to provide a network of greenways which will improve links between settlements, and other green assets. The Council will work with partners and developers in seeking new/enhanced access in the form of multi-use greenways enabling improved access to the countryside for more people. This network of corridors will utilise existing bridleways, restricted byways, permissive routes and former railway lines. Greenways will improve access to the countryside and offer quiet through routes which can be used for walking, cycling, horse riding and other activities, potentially replacing car journeys. Opportunities will be sought to incorporate them into new development or provide links to them. Potential routes such as former railway lines will be protected from inappropriate development so that their potential contribution to the GI network is not jeopardised.

9.2 GI1 Supporting information

Table B.29 Supporting Information: Policy GI1

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes-NPPF core planning principles, paragraphs 17, 35, and 41.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Harborough Open Spaces Strategy (2016 to 2021), 2016.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

3 - Location of development

6 - Natural environment

13 - Tourism and culture

How will it be implemented?

On an opportunity basis through contributions from developers or grants to communities. The District Council will also seek to work in partnership with organisations to create a network of green infrastructure.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning application granted contrary to the criteria set out in this policy will be identified in the Authority Monitoring Report and the reason for granting it explained.

GI2 Open space, sport and recreation

(7) 1. The District's open space, sport and recreation facilities (as shown on the Policies Map) and any future additional facilities provided as part of new development will be safeguarded and enhanced through improvements to their quality and use.

(1) 2. Development resulting in the loss of or reduction in public and private open spaces and recreation spaces will not be permitted unless it can be clearly demonstrated that:

a. a robust assessment clearly demonstrates that the space or recreational facility is surplus to local requirements and will not be needed in the-long term in accordance with local standards; or

(1) b. replacement areas will be at least equivalent in terms of quality, quantity and accessibility, and there will be no overall negative impact on the provision of open space in accordance with local standards; or

c. the proposal is for alternative recreational provision which meets evidence of local need in such a way as to outweigh the loss.

(1) 3. Developments of more than 10 dwellings which would result in deficiencies in the quantity, accessibility and/or quality of existing open space, sport and recreation facilities should contribute towards:

(1) a. the provision of specific new open space, sport and recreation facilities in accordance with local standards; and/or

b. the enhancement of identified existing facilities to meet the relevant local standards.

(1) 4. New open space, sport and recreation facilities should be provided within residential development sites (unless otherwise agreed by the Council) and should:

(1) a. be accessible, usable, of high quality and good design, visible and safe and include facilities for a range of ages;

b. enable links to be created between new development and surrounding recreational networks and facilities (including Public Rights of Way);

c. provide an appropriate landscaping and landscape maintenance scheme; and

d. specify, prior to the commencement of development, the responsibilities for management and maintenance in-perpetuity of the open space, sport and recreation facility.

9.3 GI2 Explanation

9.3.1 This policy will provide access to high quality open space, sport and recreation facilities, in accordance with paragraphs 73 and 74 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). 'Open space sport and recreation facilities' refers to all of the typologies listed in Table B.30 below. This is achieved through the protection of existing open space, sport and recreation facilities and the provision of new and enhanced facilities in association with new development.

9.3.2 Paragraph 74 of the NPPF explains that existing open space, sports and recreational buildings and land should not be built on unless clearly surplus to requirements, or their replacement would be at least equal in quantity and quality, or the development is for alternative sports and recreation provision. Policy GI2 reflects this and applies to all existing open space, sport and recreation facilities as identified on the Policies Map, as well as to all forthcoming new facilities.

9.3.3 A comprehensive audit of open space, sport and recreation facilities was undertaken in 2016 in partnership with local communities. Having assessed the quantity, quality and accessibility of existing open space it has been possible to establish up to date provision standards for open space, sport and recreation sites in accordance with paragraph 73 of the NPPF.

9.3.4 The Harborough Open Spaces Strategy (2016 to 2021), 2016 (HOSS) explains how the Council manages and secures the future of open spaces in its ownership, and how it will work in partnership with others to enable new open space to come forward in the future. The Open Spaces Strategy seeks to enhance and protect existing open space and to enable new open space provision.

(1) 9.3.5 The HOSS (and any subsequent iterations) sets out the local standards for each of the open space typologies and forms the basis on which provision in accordance with Policy GI2 will be sought (see Table B.30 below). To ensure that the contribution is fairly and reasonably related in size and scale to the new development, the amount of open space (or off site contribution towards improvement of existing open space in specified exceptional circumstances) is linked to the anticipated final population of the new development concerned. These provision standards have been set using both qualitative and quantitative information sources both from the audit and consultation. The document provides a methodology for the application of these standards to individual planning applications.

Table B.30 Typologies of open space, sport and recreation and quantity provision standards

Type

Definition

Quantity Provision Standard

Accessibility Provision Standard

Parks and Gardens

Sites that provide high quality opportunities for informal recreation and community events. Includes urban parks, formal gardens and country parks.

0.4 ha per 1000 population

4km or 10 drive/bus

Natural and Semi-Natural Greenspaces

Sites that provide access to wildlife, environmental education and awareness, biodiversity and nature conservation. Includes publicly accessible woodlands, urban forestry, scrub, grasslands (e.g. downlands, commons, meadows), wetlands, open and running water and wastelands.

8.5 ha per 1,000 population (rural area)

1.5 ha per 1,000 population (urban area)

1.6km or 20 mins walk

Amenity Greenspace

Sites that provide opportunities for informal activities. Most commonly but not exclusively found in housing areas. Includes informal recreation green spaces and village greens.

0.9 ha per 1000 population

800m or 10 mins walk

Green Corridors and Greenways

Sites that are accessible and free to use for walking, cycling or horse riding, for leisure purposes or travel, and opportunities for wildlife migration. Includes tow-paths along canals and riverbanks, cycleways, rights of way and disused railway lines.

Usually a linear footpath or cycle route, so not realistically measurable. New and augmented routes to be provided on an opportunity basis as set out in Open Spaces Strategy.

1.6km or 20 mins walk

Provision for Children and Young People

Areas designed primarily for play and social interaction involving children and young people, such as equipped play areas, multi-use games areas and skateboard parks.

0.3 ha per 1000 population

400m - 800m or 5 -10 mins walk

Outdoor Sports Facilities

Natural or artificial surfaces either publicly or privately owned used for sport and recreation, including pitch sports, tennis, bowls, athletics or countryside and water sports. Includes school playing fields.

The Harborough District Playing Pitch Strategy, 2017 identifies the required provision for outdoor sport.

4km or 10 mins drive/bus

Allotments and community gardens

Providing opportunities for people to grow their own produce as part of the long-term promotion of sustainability, health and social inclusion. May also include urban farms, but not private gardens.

0.35 hectares per 1000 population

4km or 10 mins drive/bus

Cemeteries & Burial Grounds

Cemeteries and other burial grounds, also providing opportunities for quiet contemplation, wildlife conservation, biodiversity and provide a link to the past.

0.35 hectares per 1000 population (See also policy GI3 Local Green Space)

2km or 5 mins drive/bus

Civic Spaces

Civic and market squares and other hard surfaced community areas designed for pedestrians, which can provide a setting for civic buildings and facilitate community events.

No normal amount. New pedestrian spaces to be provided in new shopping centres; or existing civic spaces to be enhanced through contributions.

This typology is limited to a very small number of sites in urban areas. An accessibility threshold would not therefore be appropriate

Source: Open Spaces Strategy (2016 to 2021),

9.3.6 The Council's preference is for provision to be made on-site. However, off-site provision can be made where a site is constrained or too small to enable appropriate on-site provision. Any off-site provision must be within a suitable distance from the development it is intended to serve, as set out in the accessibility standard for the relevant typology (see table B.30 above). In relation to criterion 4a, the term 'accessible' refers to the implementation of the accessibility standards for new open space, sport and recreation facilities that are set out in the HOSS, which also explains the other quality requirements in this criterion.

9.3.7 The policy ensures that any new open space, sport or recreation facility has an identified responsible organisation for management and maintenance prior to the commencement of development. The responsibilities may fall to a private management company set up by the developer, a community group, the Town or Parish Council or the District Council. If a Town or Parish Council adopts an open space, sport or recreation facility, a commuted sum for maintenance will be required to be paid by the developer in accordance with the HOSS. The District Council, in most circumstances, will not adopt new open spaces.

9.3.8 The Harborough District Playing Pitch Strategy, 2017 (HPPS) determines the supply of and demand for playing pitches, and identifies any shortfalls or oversupply. It also determines where there are any quality issues concerning pitches and ancillary buildings such as changing rooms. The HPPS includes the sports of cricket, football, rugby union, rounders, tennis and outdoor bowls and meets the Sport England requirements for a strategy of this kind. The aims, objectives and delivery plan of the HPPS (including any subsequent iterations) forms the basis of policy for assessing the requirement for sports pitch provision.

(1) 9.4 GI2 Supporting information

Table B.31 Supporting Information: Policy GI2

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - Paragraphs 73-74 and Paragraph 204.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Harborough Open Space Assessment, 2004;

Harborough Open Spaces Strategy (2016 to 2021), 2016; and

Harborough Playing Pitch Strategy, 2017.

Which local plan objectives will it meet?

4 - Infrastructure

6 - Natural environment

10 - Transport

How will it be implemented?

Relating to new open space provision, through the decisions on planning applications as part of the Development Management system. Relating to existing open space sport and recreation sites through the Action and Delivery Plan for the Open Spaces Strategy 2016 to 2021.

How will it be monitored?

Through the dedicated, established S106 database monitoring and review processes. Existing open space provision will be monitored through the dedicated database of sites held by the Council. The quality of open spaces managed by the Council will be delivered and monitored through relevant parts of the the Grounds Maintenance Contract. Those not owned by the Council will be monitored when the Open Spaces Strategy is reviewed. This will also be monitored through the annual Authority Monitoring Report.

GI3 Cemeteries

1. The Council will ensure sufficient burial provision continues to be provided in the District in the following ways:

a. Extensions to existing burial sites will be permitted where there is a demonstrable requirement for additional capacity for burials and cremation ashes and this cannot be met within the curtilage of an existing site;

b. New burial sites will be permitted where there is a need for additional capacity for burials which cannot be met through extending existing sites, including provision for the East of Lutterworth and Scraptoft North SDAs; new sites should be located as close as possible to the assessed need;

(2) c. Land is allocated for a new burial site to serve Market Harborough and surrounding villages to meet identified needs at land to the east of Harborough Road (B6047), Market Harborough, as shown on the Policies Map, providing a minimum of 3,000 burial plots.

9.5 GI3 Explanation

(1) 9.5.1 The Harborough Cemetery and Burial Strategy, 2016, identifies the existing capacity for burials/cremation ashes, along with future requirements. This study has been completed on a site-by-site basis in order to establish where there is a shortfall in capacity, and where there is sufficient capacity.

9.5.2 Where the Cemetery Strategy identifies a shortfall of capacity, it recommends options to address the shortfall. The three options recommended for consideration are intensification, extension and provision of a new site. The approach recommended in a particular circumstance takes into account the level of additional capacity required, the existing site and its surrounding land use.

9.5.3 A number of areas of the District have been identified where the shortage of burial/ cremation ash capacity cannot be accommodated by the intensification or extension of existing sites. These areas are:

  • Towards the south of the District around Market Harborough. There is a shortage of capacity within Market Harborough and around Foxton. Lubenham and Great Bowden are also expected to see shortages of capacity in the period between 2031 and 2039. A site is allocated for new cemetery provision at land east of Harborough Road (B6047). This will have a minimum capacity of 3000 burial plots and will be implemented by the Council as burial authority or by, or in partnership with, a private provider. The Council will consider use of its CPO powers if necessary to deliver this project.
  • Towards the north of the District around Scraptoft, Thurnby and Bushby, and Houghton on the Hill. This provision will be implemented by provision within Policy SC1 Scraptoft North Strategic Development Area in partnership with the local burial authority.
  • Associated with the East of Lutterworth Strategic Development Area. This provision will be implemented by provision within Policy L1 East of Lutterworth Strategic Development Area in partnership with the local burial authority.

9.5.4 The cemetery provision required in association with the Strategic Development Areas will be 0.35 hectares per 1000 population in the new development. This will be provided either within the site boundary, or in close proximity to the site in accordance with the burial site accessibility standard set out in the Harborough Open Spaces Strategy, 2016. On other residential developments, the Council will continue to seek either on-site burial provision or contributions towards an off-site burial provision through Section 106 agreements and obligations (or via the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) if adopted). These will be required to meet the provision of burial site standards set out in GI2 Open space, sport and recreation, in order to enable communities to intensify, expand or fund new sites for burials.

9.6 GI3 Supporting Information

Table B.32 Supporting Information: Policy GI3

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraphs 7, 14 and 70.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Harborough Cemetery and Burial Strategy, 2016; and

Harborough Open Spaces Strategy (2016 to 2021), 2016.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

4 - Infrastructure

5 - Protection of local services

6 - Natural environment

7 - Historic environment

8 - Town/village centres

How will it be implemented?

New cemetery provision will be made by the relevant burial authority, and in the case of SDAs in partnership with developer. In the case of Market Harborough new provision will be implemented by the District Council as burial authority possibly in partnership with the private sector.

How will it be monitored?

Implementation of the policy through planning permissions. Adequacy of the provision to meet requirements by a future review of the Cemetery and Burial Strategy.

GI4 Local Green Space

(8) 1. Local Green Spaces are allocated on the Policies Map and will retain their openness permanently. Further Local Green Space may be identified in Neighbourhood Plans providing it meets the relevant criteria in relation to scale, beauty, historic significance, recreational value, tranquillity, or ecological value and it does not conflict with the strategic policies of this Local Plan.

(7) 2. The construction of new buildings on Local Green Space will not be permitted except in very special circumstances where the potential harm to the Local Green Space, including to its openness, special character and significance to the local community, is clearly outweighed by other considerations, such as the benefits of the development in enabling or enhancing public access to and use of the Local Green Space.

9.7 GI4 Explanation

9.7.1 Local Green Space designation provides special protection for green areas of particular importance to local communities. Local Green Space sites have been identified in accordance with paragraphs 76 and 77 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) because of their beauty, historic significance, recreational value, tranquillity, or ecological value.

9.7.2 The Local Green Space sites have been identified following the assessment of sites submitted to the Council by local communities in 2012, with further sites submitted in 2013. The assessment included seeking and considering the views of landowners of the proposed Local Green Space sites. Further views were sought as part of the Harborough Local Plan Options Consultation, 2015. Since the completion of the original assessment the Council has encouraged Parish Councils to identify other potential Local Green Space sites through their Neighbourhood Development Plans to ensure comprehensive coverage within the District.

9.7.3 The Assessment of Potential Local Green Space Sites background paper includes the full list of nominated sites and sets out the assessment methodology. The paper identifies why each site is special and explains why it is designated as Local Green Space. The full list of Local Green Space sites can be found at Appendix I Local Green Space designations.

9.7.4 The designated Local Green Spaces are consistent with Policy SS1 The spatial strategy and meet the criteria set out in paragraph 77 of the NPPF.

9.7.5 Neighbourhood Plans that have been 'made' within the District have successfully designated a number of Local Green Space sites. These sites can be identified in the respective neighbourhood plans and it is expected that further sites will be designated through the neighbourhood plan process in the future. The Council will support this process by advising on the justification for Local Green Space and on whether a particular site would conflict with strategic policies in this Local Plan. Where concerns are not addressed by the qualifying body the Council may raise concerns with the neighbourhood plan examiner.

9.7.6 This policy recognises the particular importance of the designated sites and ensures their long term protection. The second part of the policy allows for development where any harm is considered to be clearly outweighed by its benefits in enabling or enhancing public access to or use of the site. This provides for minor development such as provision of tourism interpretation facilities or footpaths to enhance access to the site.

9.8 GI4 Supporting information

Table B.33 Supporting Information: Policy GI4

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraphs 76-78 and 87 -89

What evidence has informed this policy?

Community and landowner consultation, 2012 and 2013 and 2015 update;

'Made' Neighbourhood Plans within the Harborough District; and

Assessment of Potential Local Green Space sites, 2014.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

3 - Location of development

6 - Natural environment

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Through the dedicated database of Local Green Space held by the District Council, and by Neighbourhood Plan delivery. This will also be monitored through the annual Authority Monitoring Report.

GI5 Biodiversity and geodiversity

(2) 1. Nationally and locally designated biodiversity and geodiversity sites, as shown on the Policies Map, will be safeguarded.

2. Development will be permitted where:

a. there is no adverse impact on:

(1) i. the conservation of priority species,

ii. irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and the loss of aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland, unless the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss,

iii. nationally designated sites,

(1) iv. locally designated sites;
unless, in all cases, the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the impact.

(1) 3. there is no loss of any 'best and most versatile agricultural land' unless this is demonstrably necessary to facilitate the delivery of sustainable development;

(1) 4. there is no net loss or sterilisation of natural resources;

(1) 5. opportunities for improving habitats and for improving the water quality of local water courses to improve the aquatic habitat are incorporated;

(2) 6. unavoidable loss or damage to habitats, sites or features is addressed through mitigation, relocation, or as a last resort compensation to ensure there is no net loss of environmental value.

(1) 7. Development should contribute towards protecting and improving biodiversity and geodiversity through, as relevant:

a. protecting and enhancing habitats and populations of priority species;

(1) b. protecting and enhancing the strategic biodiversity network and wildlife corridors, particularly river and canal corridors, disused railways and all watercourses;

c. maintaining biodiversity during construction;

d. providing contributions to wider biodiversity improvements in the vicinity of the development;

e. including measures aimed at allowing the District's flora and fauna to adapt to climate change;

f. including measures to improve the water quality of any water body as required by the Water Framework Directive; and

g. protecting features and areas of geodiversity value and enhancing them to improve connectivity of habitats, amenity use, education and interpretation.

9.9 GI5 Explanation

(1) 9.9.1 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) recognises the role of the planning system for protection and enhancement of natural ecosystems. NPPF paragraphs 117 to 119 identify the requirements to enhance biodiversity and geodiversity. Circular 06/2005: "Biodiversity and Geological Conservation - Statutory Obligations and Their Impact Within The Planning System" provides guidance on how nationally designated sites and species should be treated.

9.9.2 Harborough District is relatively poor in biodiversity terms, due to the predominance of agriculture. There are 13 SSSIs mainly in the east of the District (see Appendix J Biodiversity and geodiversity sites). Alongside these national designations, there are over 200 Local Wildlife Sites which have been through the formal notification process, one Local Nature Reserve (North Kilworth) and 4 Regionally Important Geological or Geomorphological Sites (RIGS). Irreplaceable habitats include ancient woodland and aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland, mature plantation woodland, ancient species rich hedgerows, and species rich grasslands. However, the potential exists to create and enhance wildlife corridors and networks and encourage the rebuilding of fragmented habitats through conservation management.

9.9.3 Other than one SSSI, there are no statutory geodiversity designations in the District at present. Railway, canal and road cuttings, disused quarries, river settings and outcrops could offer potential geodiversity interest. Their potential value in educational, recreational and landscape terms should be respected and protected where appropriate.

(2) 9.9.4 Development provides an opportunity to improve biodiversity and geodiversity. This includes ensuring that the site design retains wherever possible the natural assets of the site, including hedges, trees and woodland and any water bodies and enhances these assets to increase biodiversity.

9.9.5 Development can also assist in protecting and enhancing the interconnectivity of habitats. Measures to provide rainwater drainage, such as ponds, swales and wetlands can provide and/or enhance 'green' and 'blue' wildlife corridors by linking with existing habitats either within the site or beyond its boundaries. This is particularly important for improving the water quality of water bodies as required by the European Water Framework Directive, 2000.

9.9.6 Best and most versatile agricultural land is a scarce resource in this district. It should not therefore be lost without very good reason. In applying this policy the Council will, however, take into account the economic and other benefits of developing the best and most versatile agricultural land.

(2) 9.9.7 There is a need to work with partners, including the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, the Rivers Trusts, Leicestershire County Council and developers to progress projects and identify key opportunity areas for the improvement of biodiversity value and the appreciation of geodiversity as part of the wider green infrastructure network. Improving interconnectivity between habitats is particularly important, to allow for migration of species when challenged by changing climate. The opportunities for engaging with local communities to encourage more local wildlife sites are particularly important and neighbourhood planning is a way to encourage improved biodiversity at a local level.

9.9.8 Priority areas for protection and enhancement are the River Welland corridor, along with parts of the River Sence and the Grand Union Canal, and the other SSSIs. These features were identified in the 6Cs Sub-Regional Strategic Framework, 2010 as having potential to contribute to the improvement of biodiversity and the wider green infrastructure network. Locally designated sites are those meeting the criteria approved by the local RIGS Panel or that meet Leicestershire County Council's 'Criteria for the Selection of Local Wildlife Sites in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, 2011'.

(2) 9.10 GI5 Supporting information

Table B.34 Supporting Information: Policy GI5

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraphs 113 - 119.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Harborough Open Spaces Strategy 2016 – 2021, 2015;

Space for Wildlife: Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Biodiversity Action Plan 2016 – 2026, 2016;

6Cs Sub-Regional Strategic Framework, 2010;

Leicestershire Green Infrastructure Strategy: Volume 1 Phase 1 Habitat Study, 2008; and

Harborough District Council Watercycle Study, 2016

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

3 - Location of new development

6 - Natural environment

12 - Environmental impact

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications. Financial contributions from development, together with external funding will support delivery. Implementation will also be guided by the Harborough Open Space Strategy, 2015 and the partnerships identified there.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

The Council will monitor the status of SSSIs via Natural England together with the data that comes from the monitoring of the Biodiversity Action Plan for Leicestershire, 2016.

10 Climate change

CC1 Mitigating climate change

1. Major development will be permitted where it demonstrates:

(5) a. how carbon emissions would be minimised through passive design measures;

(1) b. the extent to which it meets relevant best practice accreditation schemes to promote the improvement in environmental and energy efficiency performance;

(1) c. how the development would provide and utilise renewable energy technology;

d. whether the building(s) would require cooling, and if so how this would be delivered without increasing carbon emissions;

e. how existing buildings to be retained as part of the development are to be made more energy efficient;

f. how demolition of existing buildings is justified in terms of optimisation of resources in comparison to their retention and re-use; and

g. how carbon emissions during construction will be minimised.

2. In Strategic Development Areas applicants should demonstrate whether a decentralised energy network is viable and, if so, the arrangements for its delivery and future management.

10.1 CC1 Explanation

10.1.1 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (paragraph 94) directs local plans to include policies that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases in accordance with the provisions of the Climate Change Act 2008. This commits the UK to reducing emissions to at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.

10.1.2 Harborough District Council recognises the risks associated with climate change and has committed to action through Climate Local. The Harborough District Council Climate Local Action Plan, 2015 sets out the Council's initial strategy for addressing climate change including measures to reduce the carbon footprint of the District from its relatively high level and to increase the resilience of communities to the impacts.

10.1.3 New built development should be designed to reduce carbon emissions as close to zero as practicable. Design and Access Statements accompanying planning applications for major developments should identify cost effective approaches to low carbon development, which will be guided by the energy hierarchy. This requires that the design of any development should consider use of the following energy options in priority order:

  • passive design considered first as a means to reduce emissions,
  • then the energy efficient design of building services, including decentralised energy networks,
  • and finally, including renewable energy at building or site level.

10.1.4 The energy efficiency of a building is covered by part L of the Building Regulations, which sets out the minimum requirements. In addition, a number of nationally recognised accreditation schemes are useful in assessing sites and can help to deliver higher standards than the minimum required in building regulations. Schemes include BREEAM, Passivhaus and the new Home Quality Mark.

10.1.5 Decentralised energy systems generate and supply electricity, heating or cooling close to where it is used, thereby reducing transmission energy losses and lowering carbon emissions. The proposed Strategic Development Areas (SDAs), are considered to be the most feasible opportunities for decentralised energy network systems. They should consider the feasibility of a local network as part of the development. If a decentralised system is not included, then the promoters must demonstrate that it is not practical or feasible.

10.1.6 In rural communities there may also be opportunities for local micro-networks, particularly small scale heating networks or community owned energy infrastructure.

10.2 CC1 Supporting information

Table B.35 Supporting Information: Policy CC1

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraph 17, sixth bullet.

What evidence has informed these policies?

Leicestershire and Rutland Planning for Climate Change study, May 2008;

Harborough Climate Change Action Plan, 2015; and

Harborough Infrastructure Delivery Plan, 2017.

Which Local Plan objectives will they meet?

4- Infrastructure

6- Natural environment

9- Design

12- Environmental impact

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

The policy will also be monitored via the Climate Local Annual Report, including District carbon emissions. This topic will be monitored through the Authority's Monitoring Report.

CC2 Renewable energy generation

(1) 1. Development for renewable and low carbon energy generation will be permitted where:

a. it is an appropriate technology for the site;

b. it avoids harm to important bird and animal species;

(1) c. it avoids substantial harm to any heritage asset, designated or not, and its setting and any less than substantial harm is clearly outweighed by the other benefits of the development;

d. it minimises the impact on local and historic landscape character;

e. it does not create a significant noise intrusion for existing dwellings;

f. it includes measures to mitigate against any adverse impacts on the built and natural environment resulting from the construction, operation and decommissioning of any equipment/infrastructure;

(1) g. it does not contribute towards an unacceptable cumulative visual impact from renewable energy developments when considered in conjunction with nearby developments and permitted proposals within the District or adjoining local authority areas; and

h. adequate conditions are imposed and/or a legal agreement is entered into ensuring that once the use ceases operating permanently, it is fully decommissioned and the site appropriately restored.

(1) 2. Small scale single wind turbines (less than 30m) will be permitted subject to the above criteria. Larger wind turbine developments will only be permitted, subject to the above criteria, in the following areas:

(1) a. medium scale development (1-3 turbines up to 65 metres): Welland Valley, Lutterworth Lowlands and Upper Soar landscape areas;

(3) b. large wind farms (4 or more turbines up to 125 metres): Lutterworth Lowlands and Upper Soar landscape areas.

10.3 CC2 Explanation

(1) 10.3.1 The UK has a target, that 15% of energy must be from renewable sources by 2020 (EU Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and the Council on Renewable Energy).

10.3.2 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (paragraph 97) emphasises that all communities are responsible for reducing emissions. Local plans should have a positive strategy to promote energy from renewable and low carbon sources, with policies designed to maximise the development of low carbon energy. The impact of wind generation projects on communities has been recognised by the Government. A Ministerial statement made on the 18th June 2015, makes it clear that suitable areas for wind energy development must be identified in local plans and such developments must have the support of local communities.

10.3.3 The Planning for Climate Change: Renewable Energy Opportunities study, May 2008 found that wind turbines, biomass plants (including combined heat and power), solar thermal heating, photovoltaic energy, and energy from waste all have a potential to be utilised and developed within the District. The assessment identified wind energy as a noteworthy source of potential renewable energy generation for the District.

10.3.4 The Landscape Sensitivity to Renewable Energy in Harborough District Study, July 2016 has identified the areas of the District with most capacity for accommodating renewable energy. In general, larger scale renewable energy, including commercial wind farms, is best accommodated in the Upper Soar and Lutterworth Lowlands Landscape Character Areas (see Fig. A.4, Chapter 4), which are characterised by man-made features. The Welland Valley Landscape Character Area has medium capacity for accommodating renewable installations. High Leicestershire and the Laughton Hills Landscape Character Areas have limited capacity for accommodating renewable infrastructure. Small installations (e.g. single wind turbines below 30m) may be capable of being accommodated in some locations within these landscape character areas, where it can be demonstrated that there is no adverse landscape impact and other criteria in the policy are met.

(1) 10.3.5 Commercial renewable energy developments are expected to provide an environmental impact assessment and to ensure that important animal and bird species are properly safeguarded. Bird sensitivity should be especially considered to the east of the District, close to Rutland Water which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Ramsar site and a European Special Protection Area.

10.3.6 Community owned energy is an important means of engaging communities with their own energy generation. Community owned energy projects are encouraged within the District. A local community energy company has been set up as part of the Sustainable Harborough Challenge, called Harborough Energy, specifically to enable community owned renewable energy projects. The first two solar projects were commissioned in 2016.

10.3.7 In all cases where planning permission is required for renewable energy projects, any approval shall include a planning condition requiring the removal of equipment/ associated infrastructure and the reinstatement of building or land to original condition or appearance within three years of such equipment becoming permanently non-operational.

10.4 CC2 Supporting information

Table B.36 Supporting Information: Policy CC2

Does it meet the National Planning Policy Framework?

Yes - NPPF Section 10 of the NPPF.

House of Commons: Written Statement (HCWS42), Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on 18 June, 2015.

What evidence has informed these policies?

Planning for Climate Change: Renewable Energy Opportunities for Blaby, Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, Melton, North West Leicestershire, Oadby and Wigston and Rutland, Final Report, May 2008;

Harborough Climate Change Action Plan, 2015;

Landscape Sensitivity to Renewable Energy in Harborough District, 2016; ; and

Harborough Infrastructure Delivery Plan, 2017.

Which Local Plan objectives will they meet?

4 - Infrastructure

6 - Natural environment

12 - Environmental impact

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Through the annual analysis of the installed energy generating capacity from Government databases. Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

CC3 Managing flood risk

(10) 1. New development should take place in the areas of lowest risk of flooding, including the potential future risk due to climate change. Development should take place within Flood Zone 1, wherever possible. The Sequential Test, and, where necessary, the Exceptions Test should be used to assess the suitability of proposed development.

2. Major development in Flood Zone 1, and all development in Flood Zones 2 or 3, will be permitted where:

(1) a. it satisfactorily addresses the mitigation, flood management and design requirements identified in a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment of all sources of flood risk on the site and downstream of the site; and

b. its design incorporates flood resilience measures to allow for increased risk due to climate change.

3. Development in Flood Zone 3, unless meeting the Exceptions Test, will only be permitted as follows:

a. Flood Zone 3a: 'less vulnerable' uses, including retail and business uses (A and B Use Classes), agriculture and some non-residential institutions (Use Class D1) other than for health services, nurseries and education; and water compatible development;

(1) b. Flood Zone 3b: water compatible development; this zone will be safeguarded to ensure protection of the functional floodplain.

10.5 CC3 Explanation

(1) 10.5.1 Specific planning guidance on development and flooding is incorporated in the NPPF paragraphs 99 to 104. Local plans are required to take into consideration flood risk and to direct development away from areas of flood risk. The use of the sequential test to direct development to low risk sites is indicated in NPPF, paragraph 104.

10.5.2 There are a range of public bodies with responsibility for flooding. The Environment Agency (EA) has a leading role, particularly in preparing Catchment Flood Management Plans for each river basin. In Harborough District the rivers are covered by the following plans

  • Welland and tributaries - Anglian River Basin;
  • Soar and tributaries - Humber River Basin; and
  • Avon and tributaries - Severn River Basin.

10.5.3 Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFA) have responsibility for producing Flood Risk Management Strategies for local sources of flooding including surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses. Leicestershire County Council are the LLFA for Harborough District and have published their Local Flood Risk Management Study, 2015.

10.5.4 LLFAs are statutory consultees to any schemes that may impact on flood risk. The Environment Agency is also a statutory consultee for any development in Flood Zones 2 and 3.

(1) 10.5.5 The Council's Strategic Flood Risk Assessment, 2009 (SFRA) as updated in 2017, provides the evidence to determine the likely impact that new development will make to flood risk. It found that less than 10% of the District falls within Flood Zone 3 (highest risk of flooding). The majority of the Flood Zone 3 areas are in rural areas and therefore, in general, the flood risk within the District is not considered to be a significant constraint on future development. However, a number of watercourses are prone to flooding during extreme weather conditions. The River Welland, which flows through the centre of Market Harborough, is particularly vulnerable, the most recent flooding occurring in March 2016.

10.5.6 The majority of the District has clay soils, which are particularly prone to surface water flooding. Various settlements across the District are at risk, including: Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Broughton Astley, Great Glen, Scraptoft and Thurnby and Bushby, as well as some smaller villages. These settlements are particularly at risk during extreme flood events and sewers on new developments should be designed to safely accommodate extreme rain events, beyond the normal design criteria.

(1) 10.5.7 As set out in the NPPF (paragraph 103, footnote 20) applicants for major development, namely that of 1 hectare or greater in Flood Zone 1 or any development in Flood Zone 2 or 3, would be expected to submit a site specific Flood Risk Assessments (FRA) to identify the main flood risks to the site, including whether a development will increase flood risk downstream, and recommendations for mitigating measures. The assessment should identify how a development will be designed to cope with flooding and how the risk will be mitigated without increasing the risk elsewhere. The FRA should also consider the future risk by including the climate change projections. Recommendations for mitigation will be incorporated as conditions to the planning permission. The FRA should include:

  • identification of flood risk;
  • assessment of existing run-off rates;
  • calculation of greenfield run-off rates;
  • identification of measures, in line with the drainage hierarchy, to reduce run-off rates; and
  • calculation of proposed run-off rates; and
  • calculation of increased risk as identified in the climate change projections.

10.6 CC3 Supporting information

Table B.37 Supporting Information: Policy CC3

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF core planning principle (paragraph 17, sixth bullet), section 10, and paragraphs 100 to 104.

What evidence has informed these policies?

The Leicestershire and Rutland Planning for Climate Change study, May 2008;

Harborough Strategic Flood Risk Study, 2009;

Strategic Growth Plan Strategic Flood Risk Assessment - Harborough District Update, 2017;

Harborough Climate Change Action Plan, 2015;

Harborough Watercycle Study, 2015;

Anglian River Basin Management Plan, 2015 Update;

Humber River Basin Management Plan, 2016 Update;

Severn River Basin Management Plan, March 2016 Update;

Leicestershire Flood Risk Management Strategy, 2015 and

Harborough Infrastructure Delivery Plan, 2017.

Which Local Plan objectives will they meet?

4 - Infrastructure

6 - Natural environment

11 - Flood risk

12 - Environmental impact

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained. This will include any planning permission given contrary to EA advice and LLFA reporting.

CC4 Sustainable drainage

(3) 1. All major development must incorporate sustainable drainage systems (SuDS).

2. Prior to the commencement of development, the responsibilities for management and maintenance in perpetuity of the SuDS must be agreed.

3. The design and layout of the SuDS, taking account of the hydrology of the site, will:

a. manage surface water close to its source and on the surface where reasonably practicable to do so;

b. use water as a resource, re-using it where practicable, and ensuring that any run-off does not negatively impact on the water quality of a nearby water body;

c. use features that enhance the site design and make an active contribution to making places for people;

d. incorporate surface water management features as multi-functional greenspace wherever possible;

e. provide for the re-naturalisation of modified water courses where practical;

f. be located away from land affected by contamination that may pose an additional risk to groundwater or other waterbodies;

(2) g. demonstrate that the peak rate of run-off over the lifetime of the development, allowing for climate change, is no greater for the developed site than it was for the undeveloped site; and

(2) h. ensure that flooding would not occur to property in and adjacent to the development, in the event of an occurrence of a 1 in 100 year rainfall event (including an allowance for climate change) or in the event of local drainage system failure.

10.7 CC4 Explanation

10.7.1 Paragraph 103 of the NPPF indicates that priority should be given to sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). Leicestershire County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) is the statutory consultee for SuDs schemes in Harborough District. SuDS are a vital tool in ensuring that the water quality of water bodies improves in line with the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive, 2000 (WFD).

10.7.2 The principle of SuDS is to slow the flow of water from the site, retaining rainfall in the various SuDS elements across the site and at building scale. The SuDS design should be designed with the hydrology of the site. In general drains leading to a large retention pond are not considered to be suitable.

10.7.3 Minor development of more than one dwelling should address the opportunity for SuDS in the Design and Access Statement accompanying a planning application. SuDS can be adapted for minor development of 9 or fewer dwellings as well as major developments by choosing from a range of measures that suit the site including:

  • green roofs;
  • rainwater harvesting;
  • rainwater gardens;
  • permeable surfaces;
  • swales and basins;
  • tree planting; and
  • ponds and wetlands.

10.7.4 Greenfield development should discharge water from the site no more quickly than the original green field site. The heavy clay soil that is characteristic of Leicestershire can lead to rapid run-off and in sensitive sites this may lead to the need for further retention measures. This is best achieved by designing the scheme to take account of the hydrology of the site, for example by creating wetlands in the lowest areas. Watercourses on the site should be an intrinsic part of the overall SuDS scheme and if they are modified by weirs and culverts consideration should be given to re-naturalising the water course. Where development is on brownfield sites, the opportunity should be taken to reduce the risk of flooding and improve and protect water quality and habitats. SuDs should not be located on land affected by contamination, as this may leach into the groundwater, or be carried to nearby water bodies. Guidance is available from the EA in their groundwater protection statements.

10.7.5 In addition development proposals should demonstrate that:

  • adequate foul water treatment and disposal already exists or can be provided in time to serve the development;
  • no surface water connections are made to the foul sewerage system, except in exceptional circumstances where it can be shown where there are no feasible alternatives;
  • suitable access is safeguarded for the maintenance of water resources and drainage infrastructure.

10.7.6 The SuDS design should also take account of the potential for delivering wider benefits, especially biodiversity and water quality improvements and the opportunities for provision of open space. The provision for maintenance and upkeep of SuDS should be an integral part of the planning application. The Council also requires the use of SuDS during construction to ensure that run-off from the site does not increase flood risk to nearby properties as a development is built or impact upon water quality of nearby watercourses.

10.7.7 The design of the SuDS should be informed by the industry best practice as currently found in the CIRIA SuDS Manual C753, 2007 (or updates). Where rainwater harvesting is implemented then full regard shall be had to the provisions of the Private Water Supply Regulations, 2016.

10.8 CC4 Supporting Information

Table B.38 Supporting Information: Policy CC4

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraph 103.

See also European Water Framework Directive, 2000

What evidence has informed these policies?

The Leicestershire and Rutland Planning for Climate Change study, May 2008;

Harborough Strategic Flood Risk Study, 2009;

Harborough Climate Change Action Plan, 2015;

Harborough Watercycle Study, 2015; and

Harborough Infrastructure Delivery Plan, 2017..

Which local plan objectives will they meet?

4 - Infrastructure

6 - Natural Environment

11 - Flood Risk

12 - Environmental Impact

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

11 Infrastructure

IN1 Infrastructure provision

(9) 1. Major development will be permitted where there is, or will be when needed, sufficient infrastructure capacity to support and meet all the requirements arising from it, including those away from the site and its immediate vicinity, whether within Harborough District or outside.

(6) 2. Direct provision and/or financial contributions towards meeting all the eligible costs of infrastructure directly required by a major development (or cumulatively with other major developments within Harborough District or outside) will be sought from the scheme promoter whenever this is necessary. Planning obligations under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) will be required taking into account the viability of the development. This will be in addition to the affordable housing requirement as set out in Policy H2.

(1) 11.1 IN1 Explanation

11.1.1 Infrastructure includes physical assets such as:

  • roads and footpaths;
  • cycleways;
  • public transport facilities;
  • electronic communications (including broadband);
  • gas and electricity supplies;
  • water supply;
  • foul drainage and sewage treatment facilities; and
  • surface water management and power stations;

and social assets such as:

  • health centres and doctors' surgeries;
  • schools and colleges;
  • community halls and indoor sports facilities; and
  • green infrastructure, including playing fields and informal open space (green infrastructure is dealt with in Chapter 9).

11.1.2 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) paragraphs 17, 156, 157 and 162 highlights the importance of infrastructure provision in accompanying and enabling the sustainable growth of communities.

11.1.3 Planning for infrastructure is a key part of preparing a local plan. In particular it is important to ensure that the infrastructure necessary to service new development is provided in a timely and financially viable way. Establishing the capacity of existing infrastructure to accommodate the demands arising from the occupiers of new development is a key starting point. However, in some cases new development can be sited to enable new infrastructure in locations that will promote longer term sustainable growth. Infrastructure required as part of the development of specific strategic sites in this Local Plan is set out in the relevant site allocation policies in Part C.

(2) Funding infrastructure

11.1.4 Providing some forms of infrastructure is largely dependent on a commercial relationship between developers and infrastructure providers. The public utility providers are private companies that charge for their services, so their upfront provision costs are off-set not only by what developers pay in terms of initial charges but also by future revenues arising from billing new customers. However, the use of other types of infrastructure, such as new public roads, schools and health facilities, may not be directly charged to users. Although some government derived funding sources pay for such provision, there is also a reliance on developer contributions in one form or another, especially where the extra capacity required directly arises from development generated demand.

11.1.5 Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) enables local planning authorities to negotiate with prospective developers, so that they either directly build, or make financial contributions towards, infrastructure. The rules under which councils can negotiate planning obligations are subject to nationally-set tests concerning whether they are necessary in order to make the development acceptable in planning terms, directly related to the development, and fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind.

11.1.6 There are also rules limiting to a maximum of five the number of financial contributions that can be pooled together towards the cost of a particular piece of infrastructure. The government has placed this limitation on pooling Section 106 derived contributions to encourage planning authorities to switch to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) approach to securing developer contributions; but this may change following a national review of CIL.

11.1.7 'Fixing our Broken Housing Market', the Housing White Paper published by the Government in February 2017, postponed consideration of the future of CIL and section 106 funding regimes to autumn 2017 at which time the Government will respond to the paper prepared by the CIL Review Team and published in February 2017. Titled 'A New Approach to Developer Contributions', this paper presents a comprehensive review of the operation of CIL and its relationship to section 106 and makes a number of recommendations which will significantly change the current CIL system if accepted by the Government.

11.1.8 The Council will need to take account of this and any other changes to regulations relating to development finance prior to submitting the Plan for examination. Further guidance on how it will implement Policy IN1, having regard to any changes in regulations introduced by the Government, will be set out in revisions to the Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), 2017.

11.1.9 Where specific items of infrastructure cannot be provided directly within a development, or it is not appropriate to be located on the development site itself, developers will be required to pay for or contribute to the cost of necessary infrastructure through Section 106 agreements, or through CIL if progressed. Leicestershire County Council as highway authority's preferred method for the delivery of highway infrastructure is through agreements under Sections 38 and 278 of the Highways Act 1980. Where available, the Council will also seek to use other funding sources to contribute to identified infrastructure need.

11.1.10 Developers will be required to consider all the infrastructure implications and requirements of a scheme and not just those on the site or its immediate vicinity. Examples include improvement to a road junction some distance away from the development if the amount of traffic generated by the scheme would exceed the junction's capacity. In some cases it is possible that improvements will be required to roads in neighbouring districts or in Leicester City as a result of growth in Harborough District. For instance as a result of proposed growth along the A5 corridor Highways England has been working with several local authorities to seek road improvements some of which will be outside the district. Similarly it is possible that growth in neighbouring areas might require improvements to roads within Harborough District. Building on evidence prepared to underpin this Local Plan, the District Council will continue to work closely with the County and City highway authorities, and with Highways England and neighbouring planning authorities, to ensure a coordinated approach to identifying and delivering such road improvements.

11.1.11 In terms of provision for waste, Leicestershire County Council as waste planning authority considers relevant development proposals on a case-by-case basis. Where the need for improvements to the existing local civic amenity infrastructure are identified the County Council will seek contributions to fund any necessary improvements in accordance with its Leicestershire Planning Obligations Policy, 2016 and the CIL Regulations.

11.1.12 In circumstances where infrastructure capacity or its future delivery cannot be certain, Policy IN1 will be used as a reason to refuse planning permission or restrict (through a condition or Section 106 agreement) development from being commenced.

(2) Harborough Infrastructure Delivery Plan

11.1.13 The Harborough Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP), has been prepared alongside this Local Plan and identifies the need for new infrastructure to support new development proposed in the Local Plan. In particular it:

  • establishes the capacity of existing infrastructure to meet the needs of existing residents and businesses;
  • identifies where capacity is insufficient or absent to meet the needs of new planned development; and
  • sets out broad costs and responsibilities for providing new infrastructure required to deliver the key economic and housing development proposed in the plan.

11.1.14 The IDP is available separately on the Local Plan web site and is a live document which the Council will update regularly recognising that circumstances will change over time and new information and government guidance on infrastructure delivery, funding sources, and investment programmes will become available. The Council will continue to engage with key infrastructure providers to ensure that issues, proposals and aspirations are captured.

11.1.15 The IDP has also informed the economic viability assessment of the whole plan (see paragraph 11.1.16 below) and may inform the introduction of a CIL, if progressed. The IDP will also inform how the Council sets its own capital expenditure priorities, including those resources secured through developer contributions and potentially CIL.

11.1.16 The preparation of the Local Plan has been informed by a Local Plan Viability Assessment, 2017. This has considered whether the requirements of each policy including Policy IN1 would impact on the overall viability of the plan and ensure that appropriate policies requiring financial contributions or specific provision are generally viable.

11.1.17 When applying Policy IN1 in the determination of planning applications the Council will be guided by the IDP as updated, together with the advice from infrastructure providers. The delivery of infrastructure will be enabled through a range of funding mechanisms and partners so that provision is made in a timely fashion to enable development and meet users' needs as they arise. Development may need to be phased to ensure the provision of infrastructure in a timely manner. Conditions attached to the planning permission or a planning obligation may be used to secure this phasing arrangement.

11.2 IN1 Supporting information

Table B.39 Supporting Information: Policy IN1

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes – NPPF paragraphs 173, 175 - 177.

'Fixing our Broken Housing Market', the Housing White Paper, February 2017

'A New Approach to Developer Contributions', CIL Review Group, October 2016

What evidence has informed this policy?

Harborough Infrastructure Delivery Plan, 2017; and

Local Plan Viability Assessment, 2017

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

4 - Infrastructure

5 - Protection of local services

6 - Natural environment

7 - Historic environment

8 - Town/village centres

9 - Design

10 - Transport

11 - Flood risk

12 - Environmental impact

How will it be implemented?

Through:

1. liaison with the infrastructure providers; and/or

2. the application of appropriate conditions attached to planning permissions; and/or

3. negotiating with prospective developers to secure any requisite financial contributions and/or commitments to implement the necessary works directly and secured by Section 106 agreements attached to the planning permissions.

How will it be monitored?

Through the annual Authority Monitoring Report explaining the extent to which:
1. individual items of infrastructure were programmed in accordance with the programming identified in the I; and
2. individual items of infrastructure were delivered in adequate time and to the requisite quality to enable the development to function effectively and without detriment to the occupiers and/or users of the developments.

IN2 Sustainable transport

(3) 1. Development proposals should support the transport policies of the Local Transport Authority (and where appropriate adjoining transport authorities) and where there are impacts on the national road network be aligned with policies of Highways England. Proposals should seek to maximise the use and efficiency of existing transport facilities and where necessary provide mitigating measures to deal with the impacts of development on the transport network, both within and outside the District.

(1) 2. Residential and commercial development proposals will be permitted, subject to the provision of:

a. safe access, servicing and parking arrangements in accordance with highway authority guidance and standards;

b. measures to facilitate and encourage safe access by cycle and on foot;

c. protection of, connection to, and extension where practicable of existing pedestrian, cycle and equestrian routes;

(1) d. provision for public transport enhancement where justified, including information and waiting facilities and measures to encourage public transport use;

e. provision for the transport needs of specific groups in the community, such as the elderly and those with disabilities;

f. provision of electric vehicle recharging facilities where appropriate; and

(3) g. mitigation for any adverse impact on air quality, especially in Air Quality Management Areas, and residential amenity, including traffic noise.

(1) 3. Control of speed and flow of vehicular traffic in settlements and at junctions should use measures which minimise the need for additional traffic signs and signals. Proposals to reduce the environmental effect of highway related structures by reducing unnecessary traffic signs and street lighting should be implemented where safety allows.

11.3 IN2 Explanation

11.3.1 In a rural district such as Harborough, the need to travel for jobs or services, or to be served by mobile delivery, has always been an important feature of daily life. The relationship between places and sustainable transport is important, not only in helping to ensure people can travel easily and sustainably but also in managing the effects on transport infrastructure in the District. In rural areas maintaining access to services is vital and this will be pursued by supporting limited rural development in accordance with Policy H1 Provision of new housing, GD2 Settlement development, GD3 Development in the countryside and GD4 New housing in the countryside. This will enable retention of local services, increase opportunities for home and village delivery of services and will support the ability for people to work and shop from home using digital connectivity, subject to this being available at sufficient speeds (see Policy IN3 Electronic connectivity).

11.3.2 Owing to physical constraints within the historic areas of the District, the level of development proposed and lack of expected public funding sources, the development strategy does not rely on a significant need for additional transport infrastructure. Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy directs most development into areas which already have capacity to offer sustainable transport choice for local journeys to access services and facilities.

11.3.3 Policy IN2 aims to assist in the delivery of the goals and outcomes of the Leicestershire County Council Local Transport Plan 3 2011-2026 (LTP3). In addition, the Council will work closely with neighbouring planning and highway authorities (in particular Leicester City, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire County Councils), Highways England, National Rail and local train operating companies in considering proposals for strategic development in the District.

11.3.4 Local Transport Plans are developed by the Local Transport Authority following the Local Transport Act 2000. LTP3 came into effect in March 2011 and sets out the transport strategy to 2026 for Leicestershire. It is supported by rolling three year Implementation Plans. The Local Plan aims to assist Leicestershire County Council in the delivery of the following outcomes:

  • The transport system provides more consistent, predictable and reliable journey times for the movement of people and goods.
  • All residents have efficient, easy and affordable access to key services, such as employment, education, health care and food shopping, particularly by public transport, bike and on foot.
  • More people walk, cycle and use public transport as part of their daily journeys.
  • The negative impact of the transport system on the environment, air quality and individuals is reduced.

(1) 11.3.5 The Council is anxious to ensure that both the occupiers and users of new development, and those elsewhere who may be affected by it indirectly, will not be subjected to below acceptable standards of air quality. Therefore, in controlling the potential impact of development upon air quality, the Council will require an effective air pollution mitigation strategy if a development proposal would be likely to either:

  • have a moderate adverse, or worse, impact upon air quality within an existing Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) whether the proposal is inside or outside of that AQMA; or
  • contribute directly or indirectly to the declaration of another AQMA be it in this district or an adjoining one.

11.3.6 An AQMA is an area identified as one in which the national air quality objectives are unlikely to be achieved. A moderate adverse impact is defined by Land-Use Planning & Development Control: Planning For Air Quality May 2015 b(v1.1) EPUK & IAQM (or a successor document).

(2) 11.3.7 The approach to transport set out in this Local Plan acknowledges that additional transport infrastructure improvements will be largely developer funded, and that public transport provision, for both new and existing services, will also be developer funded where necessary. Within and adjacent to Market Harborough, development will be expected to contribute to transport improvement schemes set out in the Market Harborough Transport Strategy 2017-2031, with development within and adjacent to Lutterworth and Magna Park expected to contribute towards transport improvement schemes set out in the A5 Strategy and Action Plan.

11.3.8 Short journeys within towns and villages should be able to be undertaken by walking or cycling instead of taking the car. Journeys by rail or bus from Market Harborough to Leicester are encouraged, together with rail travel to London where travellers can benefit from enhanced services and connections to Europe at St Pancras International. However, use of the private car and goods vehicles for transport will continue to be important in the District due to its rural nature. Nevertheless, advances in technology over the lifetime of the Local Plan are likely to increase the use of low carbon vehicles. Development of recharging facilities will be sought in large-scale housing and commercial development schemes.

11.3.9 The Highways, Transportation and Development documentation (6Cs Design Guide) published by Leicestershire County Council covers advice on highway design, including car parking, transport assessments and transport plans. These documents are the starting point for detailed agreement on development proposals and include car parking standards to be applied in new developments, and will inform criteria 2 a), b) and c) of the policy.

11.3.10 Over-provision of traffic signs and signals, including lights, in towns and villages can have a detrimental effect on their character and appearance. Future developments should aim to minimise road signage and lighting where possible subject to compliance with the Leicestershire County Council 6Cs Design Guide, 2013 and updates.

11.4 IN2 Supporting information

Table B.40 Supporting Information: Policy IN2

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraphs 29-41, and 93.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Leicestershire County Council Local Transport Plan 3;

Leicestershire County Council Local Transport Plan 3 Implementation Plan 2015/2016;

Leicestershire County Council 6Cs Design Guide, 2013;

Market Harborough Transport Strategy 2017-2031;

The Midlands Connect Emerging Strategy, November 2016;

The Midlands Connect Strategy, March 2017;

A5 Sustainable Transport Strategy 2011-2026; and

Leicester and Leicestershire Draft Rail Strategy, 2016.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

1 - Housing

2 - Employment

3 - Location of development

4 - Infrastructure

6 - Natural environment

10 - Transport

12 - Environmental impact

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the Authority's Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

IN3 Electronic connectivity

(2) 1. Major development will only be permitted where adequate broadband services are to be made available to all residents and/or users of the development.

(1) 2. Major development should incorporate a bespoke duct network, designed and implemented in cooperation with a recognised network provider, and where viable, a fibre to the premises (FTTP) solution.

3. Other forms of infrastructure, such as facilities supporting mobile broadband and Wi-Fi, should be included in major development and designed in a sympathetic and appropriate way in order to reflect the character of the surrounding area.

4. Telecommunications development will be permitted where:

a. there is no significant impact on the character or appearance of the building on which, or space in which, the equipment is located, including not contributing to street clutter;

(1) b. the significance, appearance, character and setting of heritage assets are conserved;

c. all options for sharing of existing equipment, and erecting masts on existing tall buildings or other structures have been fully explored, with the preferred approach adopted wherever possible;

d. they are appropriately designed, minimising size and scale and camouflaging appearance wherever possible;

e. all masts and additions to existing masts are self-certified to meet International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) standards; and

f. provision is made to ensure that equipment that has become obsolete or that is no longer in use is removed as soon as practicable and the site restored to its former condition.

11.5 IN3 Explanation

11.5.1 The Council recognises the social and financial benefits to individuals and businesses of having telecommunications networks for mobile phones and broadband that are fit for purpose. The NPPF requires local plans to support the expansion of electronic communications networks, including telecommunications and high speed broadband.

Broadband

11.5.2 High speed broadband is no longer merely desirable, but is essential in ordinary daily life and for businesses. This is particularly the case in this District as it features a high proportion of home working when compared to other districts locally. The Government's Broadband Delivery (BDUK) is delivering superfast broadband and better mobile connectivity to the nation. It is the aim of the Council, in line with the BDUK programme, to provide access to superfast broadband to all residents and businesses in the District. It will seek to ensure that this meets the ambitions of the Government's Digital Communications Infrastructure Strategy (2015) and is at market prices with a full choice of UK service providers.

11.5.3 Through the Local Plan, the Council will support the provision of telecommunication growth and new technologies whilst ensuring adverse impacts on the character of the built form or physical environment are minimised.

11.5.4 The Government has given permitted development rights to a variety of minor forms of telecommunications development. In such cases, although the Council cannot object to the principle of development, it can exercise control over the siting and appearance with the aim of protecting amenity. The Council encourages early discussions by operators when they consider developing their networks and will require that detailed evidence and justification for any new site accompany any application for planning consent.

11.5.5 Applications for major residential and employment development should be supported by a communications strategy that delivers future-proofed infrastructure and supports sustainable communications services. Developers are encouraged to engage with broadband providers at the earliest opportunity to enable the highest possible internet connection speeds to be provided in new developments. They should also ensure that future occupiers have access to a sustainable communications infrastructure, giving appropriate consideration to the choice and availability of UK communications providers that can offer high speed data connections. The provision of the necessary infrastructure may be funded by the service providers. This applies particularly on larger urban sites but may be more problematic on smaller developments in rural locations.

Telecommunications

11.5.6 This policy aims to provide a thorough assessment for all telecommunication proposals, whether they are prior approval applications or developments requiring full planning permission. It provides guidance for both new and replacement masts, whilst providing the flexibility to allow for an efficient expansion of the network and to meet the demands imposed by technological advancements.

11.5.7 Reasonable justification should be provided by the applicant to demonstrate why the chosen site is the preferred option, including evidence demonstrating that mast sharing has been investigated and that alternative sites have been explored. The onus is on the developer to demonstrate that the preferred site is the most suitable for the proposal and how the needs of the occupiers will be met; the Council may refuse permission on the grounds that insufficient information has been provided. Appropriate camouflage and screening may be necessary where the proposed development would cause an intrusive visual impact on the surroundings.

11.5.8 The NPPF also requires the applicant to supply information relating to the outcomes of any consultations with local communities or other organisations which have an interest in the proposal. It is especially important to gain these views if the proposed siting is close to a sensitive location such as a school or hospital. The proposal must be able to demonstrate that it complies with the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) Guidelines for public exposure, in accordance with the Mobile Operators Association's (MOA) Ten Commitments, 2001 (as updated or replaced).

11.5.9 There are links with the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP), which harnesses the efforts of infrastructure providers to aid the delivery of the Local Plan. The IDP will also ensure links with mobile operators to ensure that their aspirations for future improvements to the networks are facilitated.

11.6 IN3 Supporting information

Table B.41 Supporting Information: Policy IN3

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes – NPPF paragraphs 42 to 46.

What evidence has informed this policy?

The Digital Communications Infrastructure Strategy, March 2015, DCMS; and

Mobile Operators Association's (MOA) Ten Commitments, 2001.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

2 - Employment

4 - Infrastructure

5 - Protection of local services

9 - Design

How will it be implemented?

Through decisions on planning applications, engagement with key stakeholders involved in the promotion and delivery of high speed broadband and telecommunications and any relevant references in the IDP to future major investment proposals.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

IN4 Water resources and services

(3) 1. Water resources will be protected and water services provided. Development will be permitted where it would:

a. not adversely affect the quality of any water course into which the surface water emanating from new development flows;

b. not adversely affect ground water quality by preventing potential sources of water pollution within Source Protection Zones (as identified on the Policies Map);

(1) c. have access to an adequate water supply to support the development proposed;

d. have ready access to adequate foul water treatment and disposal facilities that either already exist or can be provided in time to serve the development;

e. ensure the removal of any contamination from the site and that the development would not result in the migration of any contamination to a location where it could have an adverse affect upon the water environment; and

f. contribute to an enhanced water environment and its associated ecology wherever possible.

(1) 2. Major developments, and high or intense water use developments, should include a grey water and rainwater harvesting system, unless demonstrated to the Council's satisfaction that such a system is not feasible or practical.

11.7 IN4 Explanation

11.7.1 The conservation and management of water resources is a vitally important issue and an area of increasing concern. The European Water Framework Directive, 2000 (WFD) established a framework for managing the water environment. It requires measures to be taken to encourage the sustainable use of water and to protect and improve inland surface waters, groundwater and coastal waters with the aim of achieving good status. The Environment Agency is the 'competent authority' for the WFD which requires a management plan to be developed for each river basin district. The Humber, Severn and Anglian River Basin Management Plans, which were updated in 2015, require water courses within Harborough District to continue to show improvements in overall quality in line with the quality standards specified in these documents. It is a minimum requirement that there will be no deterioration in water quality.

Potential water pollution

11.7.2 The increased quantities of waste water and sewage effluent arising from new development have to be managed to ensure that there is no deterioration in the quality of the water courses receiving this effluent. This also includes effluent from industrial sites and residential properties, as well as pollution run-off from impermeable urban surfaces such as highways, sediment from land under construction, and pollutants from contaminated land. In order to prevent unacceptable risks from pollution, the following will be taken into account in the determination of planning applications:

  • effects (including the cumulative effects) of pollution on health, the natural environment or general amenity, and
  • the potential sensitivity of the area or proposed development to adverse effects from pollution.

11.7.3 Drinking Water Safeguard Zones are designated areas in which the use of certain substances must be carefully managed to prevent the pollution of water sources that are used to provide drinking water. In order to provide water for people to drink, water is abstracted from reservoirs, rivers and the ground (known as groundwater) in areas referred to as Drinking Water Protected Areas (DrWPAs). Safeguard Zones, which are a joint initiative between the Environment Agency and water companies, relate to any water sources that are at risk of deterioration which would result in the need for additional treatment. The Environment Agency targets these zones to address pollution so that extra treatment of the water can be avoided.

Drinking water

11.7.4 Groundwater supplies a significant proportion of potable water (i.e. drinking water). To protect these water supplies from pollution, the Environment Agency (EA) designates Source Protection Zones (SPZs). SPZs are defined for groundwater sources such as wells, boreholes and springs that are used for public drinking water supply. The principal reasons for defining SPZs are to influence planning decisions and to promote pollution prevention through environmental permits. Hence, the EA will be consulted on all planning applications within the SPZs in the District as identified on the Policies Map. There are two Groundwater Source Protection Zones in the District, located in the area surrounding Husbands Bosworth and North Kilworth.

11.7.5 Developments must be appropriate to the sensitivity of the site and planning proposals are required to demonstrate that appropriate mitigation measures have been incorporated to reduce groundwater pollution to an acceptable minimum. Groundwater contamination is likely to occur when pollutants such as fertilizers, nutrients, pesticides, faecal bacteria or chemicals (leaking from a landfill or a storage tank) are flushed through the rock into the groundwater and reach the aquifer.

11.7.6 SPZs and vulnerability maps (which identify where a groundwater resource is at risk from pollution due to the nature of the soil, unsaturated or inherent characteristics of the aquifer) indicate where the risks to groundwater are higher than others. They are used as the initial tool in support of the EA's responses to developers and set restrictions to some types of development that may not be appropriate due to the risk they pose to the water environment. Such development types might include, for example, land uses proposed for power generation, new combustion plants, composting facilities, incineration plants and intensive pig or poultry operations.

11.7.7 The EA gives advice to developers and planners on development proposals falling within designated groundwater SPZs accordingly. A groundwater risk assessment, for which site-specific data is essential, may be required as a condition of relevant planning permissions.

Water infrastructure

11.7.8 Surface water drainage is expected to be managed in accordance with the Government's water strategy for England document entitled 'Future Water' published in 2008. The strategy sets out a vision for more effective management of surface water in the context of both climate change and the growing pressure for housing. This would entail new developments not conveying surface water to foul or combined sewage systems and, where practicable, removin surface water already connected to them.

11.7.9 Consideration of the current Water Cycle Study, 2015 will be required to ensure that infrastructure improvements are delivered in a timely manner to minimise impacts on water quality and the environment. It will also be necessary to link into the water companies' 5 year Asset Management Plans to ensure appropriate investment is planned, funded and delivered.

Water environment

11.7.10 Land affected by contamination can pose a risk to surface water, groundwater, human health and the wider environment. It is therefore imperative to ensure that development contributes positively to the water environment and its ecology where possible and does not adversely affect surface and/or ground water quality in line with the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive 2000.

Water conservation

11.7.11 The efficient use of water is important in reducing carbon emissions. Rainwater collected from the roofs of buildings can be used as a substitute for mains water, which has undergone a high level of treatment to ensure it is safe for drinking. Rainwater, stored in underground tanks, can be used for toilet flushing and clothes washing. Similarly grey water, that is water already used in the home, perhaps for bathing, can be stored and reused for toilet flushing. Suitable systems are commercially available and are most easily included in new developments.

11.8 IN4 Supporting Information

Table B.42 Supporting Information: Policy IN4

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes – NPPF paras. 7 & 143.

Also European Water Framework Directive, 2000; and

'Future Water', Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, June 2011.

What evidence has informed this policy?

Harborough Watercycle Study, 2015;

Humber River Basin Management Plan, 2015 update;

Severn River Basin Management Plan, 2015 update;

Anglian River Basin Management Plan, 2015 update;

Environment Agency: Drinking Water Protected Areas Safeguard Zones;

Environment Agency: Groundwater Source Protection Zones; and

Harborough Infrastructure Delivery Plan, 2017 (IDP).

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

4 - Infrastructure

6 - Natural environment

12 - Environmental impact

How will it be implemented?

Through liaison with Environment Agency and/or water authority as necessary and decisions on planning applications.

How will it be monitored?

Any planning permission granted contrary to the criteria in this policy will be identified in the annual Authority Monitoring Report and the reasons for it being granted explained.

12 Implementation, monitoring and review

IMR1 Monitoring and review of the Local Plan

1. The Council will monitor, through the preparation of its Annual Monitoring Report, the delivery and effectiveness of policies of this Local Plan against specific performance indicators and targets set out in Appendix K: Monitoring Framework.

(6) 2. The Council will commence a partial or full review of the Local Plan no later than five years from the date of adoption, or earlier where:

a. specific review trigger points as set out under policies and in the monitoring framework have been, or are likely to be, met;

(1) b. collaborative working with other planning authorities, including those within the Leicester & Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA), establishes objectively the need for further provision of housing and/or employment land within the Harborough District and there is insufficient flexibility already provided for within the Plan; or

c. the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Growth Plan sets out a scale and spatial distribution of development for Harborough District which is significantly different to that set out in the Local Plan and there is insufficient flexibility already provided for within the Plan.

3. Should a review be required under b. or c. above, it will be commenced within 12 months of the need for the review being established.

12.1 IMR1 Explanation

12.1.1 It is important that this Local Plan is capable of being implemented and that the delivery and effectiveness of its policies against objectives and timescales are monitored. It is also important that the Local Plan continues to be relevant in terms of the social, economic, and environmental conditions and in respect to changing national and regional planning policies.

12.1.2 The supporting information under each policy sets out how it will be delivered. Most policies will be delivered through the development management process, and the Council will ensure that it continues to offer a high quality and efficient service to all applicants, whether they be householders or major developers, to assist in the timely delivery of sustainable development. Where required supplementary planning documents, development briefs or master plans may be prepared, potentially in partnership between the Council and a developer in order to support the development of specific sites or to provide clarity on the implementation and delivery of policies.

12.1.3 The preparation of the Local Plan has been informed by the Local Plan Viability Assessment, 2017 which has considered whether the requirements of each policy including Policy IN1 Infrastructure provision would impact on the overall viability of the plan, in order to ensure that policies do not impose unreasonable burdens on development.

12.1.4 Following adoption, monitoring the achievement of plan objectives, using targets and indicators, enables supporting action to be taken, or the need for partial or full Plan review to be identified and progressed if policies are failing or circumstances have changed. Monitoring of the Local Plan will be reported through the annual Authority Monitoring Report (AMR). The AMR is a key element of the Local Plan and will measure the success of policies against a series of national and local indicators. It will identify:

  • how well policies are achieving their objectives,
  • whether sustainable development is being delivered,
  • whether the assumptions and objectives which informed policies are still relevant, and
  • whether the targets in the Local Plan are being met.

12.1.5 The Council will keep under regular review the evidence base of the Local Plan, including key documents such as the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA), 2017 as well as the wider national, regional and local social, economic and environmental context. Significant changes to the context of the Plan revealed through updates to key evidence will inform the need to undertake a formal review.

12.1.6 A performance monitoring framework is set out in Appendix K Monitoring framework which identifies the key indicators that will be used to monitor the delivery of the Local Plan Objectives that are set out in Chapter 2 (section 2.3). The framework measures the performance of related key policies and indicators that cover matters critical to the overall performance of the Plan and the delivery of sustainable development. Although all the policies in the Plan will be subject to periodic monitoring as referred to in the supporting information table for each policy, the key performance measures in the framework will be monitored each year and the results published in the AMR.

12.1.7 The Council recognises that to be effective the Local Plan needs to be kept up to date. The national Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) indicates that plans will need to be reviewed, either in whole or part, at least every five years. 'Fixing our broken housing market', the Housing White Paper (DCLG February 2017) indicates that this may become a statutory requirement. The Council will undertake a partial or full Monitoring and review of the Local Plan to take account of significant changes to national policy where relevant and in the following circumstances:

a. When specific trigger points have been met

Specific trigger points for partial or full Monitoring and review of the Local Plan have been set out for relevant key policies in Appendix K Monitoring framework. Where monitoring through the AMR indicates that the trigger point has been reached or will be reached in the near future, the Council will commence a review of appropriate policies.

b. Responding to the HEDNA

The Council has worked collaboratively with other authorities to establish, objectively, the level of growth that is required through the joint commissioning of a Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA), 2017. It will continue to work to establish the scale and distribution of any additional provision. In the event that this work identifies the need for further provision of housing and employment land, and there is insufficient flexibility in Policy SS1 The spatial strategy, Policy IMR1 will be invoked.

c. Responding to the emerging Leicester & Leicestershire HMA Strategic Growth Plan

The joint Strategic Growth Plan will include a vision for the Leicester and Leicestershire HMA to 2050 and will set out the scale and spatial distribution of future development in the HMA between 2031 and 2036, and the quantum and broad areas of search to meet development needs beyond to 2050. Should the Strategic Growth Plan set out a scale and spatial distribution of development for the Harborough District which is significantly different to that set out in the Local Plan, an early review or partial Monitoring and review of the Local Plan will be brought forward.

12.2 IMR1 Supporting information

Table B.43 Supporting Information: Policy IMR1

Does it meet national

planning policy and guidance?

Yes - NPPF paragraph 14.

See also 'Fixing our broken housing market', the Housing White Paper (DCLG February 2017)

What evidence has informed this policy?

Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA), 2017;

Duty to Cooperate Statement, 2017; and

Local Plan Viability Assessment 2017.

Which Local Plan objectives will it meet?

All objectives will be met through ensuring that, through monitoring and, where necessary, review, the plan will achieve its stated objectives.

How will it be implemented

Partial or total review of the plan could be triggered if no justifiable reason for recorded, or anticipated, poor performance against indicators of Plan's objectives identified during monitoring of key performance measures in the annual Authority Monitoring Report.

How will it be monitored?

Review of plan to be programmed through a revised Local Development Scheme, against which performance would be regularly monitored.

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