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Joint Core Strategy Issues and Key Questions

7. Other Policy Areas

7.1. There are a number of other topics within the Joint Core Strategy area which have not yet been covered specifically. These include; the Historic Environment; Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; Biodiversity and Habitats and; Retail. Whilst these are very important topics and clearly merit consideration, they are already covered comprehensively by national and regional planning policy and/or national legislation. It is not necessary to duplicate national or regional policy and the government is quite clear on this issue, as set out in Planning Policy Statement 12 - Local Spatial Planning.

7.2. National and regional policy shall continue to provide the steer on these topics and will remain a material consideration in determining applications. Below is a summary of each of these topic areas setting out what existing guidelines are in place:

The Historic Environment

7.3. The historic environment is protected by national Planning Policy Guidance 15 note - Planning and the Historic Environment. This covers a range of aspects from listed buildings to historic parks and gardens, historic battlefields and conservation areas for instance. In summary, this policy aims to ensure that none of these features are adversely affected by any development proposals and, where possible, are enhanced.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

7.4. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty were brought into being by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 strengthened the conservation and management of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beautys in partnership with local authorities. Furthermore, Planning Policy Statement 7 - Sustainable Development in Rural Areas provides the Government's stance on proposals which affect the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In summary, it sets out that significant weight should be given to the preservation of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in determining any proposals which might affect them.

Biodiversity and Habitats

7.5. Planning Policy Statement 9 - Biodiversity and Geological Conservation sets out the Government's policies on protection of biodiversity and geological conservation through the planning system. This covers features such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Ancient Woodland and Other Important Natural Habitats. It gives significant protection to these features and aims to ensure that biological and geological diversity are conserved and enhanced as an integral part of social, environmental and economic development.

7.6. In summary, the main focus of the policy is to promote town centres for retail development. In respect of retail development away from town centres, Planning Policy Statement 6 suggests that unless there is a proven need for additional retail development beyond the town centre, such proposals cannot be considered. Where there is a proven need this can only proceed if it would not adversely affect the vitality and viability of the town centre.

Should any of the above topics have specific policies within the Joint Core Strategy?

Are there any other topics that you think should be covered by the Joint Core Strategy?

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