The Neighbourhood Plan

The Neighbourhood Plan gives us, the Parish community, the chance to play a real role in deciding how our local area should develop.

Development has a long-term impact on a place and the people that live there, and it is important to get it right. It is vital that decisions are based on a real knowledge of this area and what is important to people here, so that it brings long-term benefits for local communities …both current and future generations.

The policies in the Neighbourhood Plan have been designed based on what the Parish community have said they value most about this area, and what people feel are the key development planning issues and priorities here. This has been gleaned from consultations over the last seven years. The development concerns local people raised and the things they said they value most about this Parish consistently pointed to similar issues.

 

People said that it is important that development works to sustain cohesive, healthy communities; that we protect our valuable natural and heritage resources; support local people with homes and facilities; that the design of buildings respects the local character of this Parish, that planning supports local businesses and recognises the importance of farms and agricultural land in this Parish …and that we ensure that previous, inappropriate development planning does not set a precedent for the future.

The policies in the Neighbourhood Plan have also been based on extensive research on to the local data, studies and planning policies, plans and regulations that are relevant here.

We don’t have total free reign in determining planning decisions, Neighbourhood Plan policies have to align with national and county planning frameworks and policies, including the specific policies for the AONB and WHS. This Plan gives us the chance to define how these broader policies should be interpreted and applied at the local level in our Parish. To define what sustainable development means here. It provides the planning tool to enable us to plan positively for sustainable development in our Parish over the next 10 years.

A Vision for the Parish…

The Neighbourhood Plan says what makes Perranuthnoe Parish such a special place in which to live & work, what we value & what we want to conserve and enhance. It strives to ensure that Parish communities get the types of development we need, such as new homes & businesses, that development is resilient & sustainable, & that we protect the outstanding natural scenic beauty of landscapes and the heritage character of our Parish, recognising their importance on a local, national and international scale.

The Objectives of the Plan…

Based on the community consultations over the last 6 years, here is a summary the main Objectives contained in the draft Perranuthnoe Neighbourhood Plan. Click the boxes below to see a summary of the Policies that have been written to implement them.

Objective 1 - Community Welfare

To ensure that sustainable development in the Parish supports robust local communities, with a pride in their Parish, able to enjoy its many assets, whilst acting as custodians for future generations. The relevant policies are…

POLICY CW01: In consultations for the Neighbourhood Plan, people emphasised that it is important that planning works positively to maintain and improve community facilities, and that land-use and building development across the Parish should consider long-term community needs.

This policy aims to ensure that before planning permission is granted for change of use of existing community assets and facilities, full consideration is given to their current, or potential future, importance to Parish communities.

POLICY CW02: In consultations for the Neighbourhood Plan, people repeatedly emphasised that footpaths and bridleways are of great value to local communities, as well as to visitors. They are a key part of peoples’ daily lives here, important for community ‘health and wellbeing’. People said that they value in particular the stunning views from footpaths and bridleways, the peace and quiet of them, the way in which the network of footpaths and bridleways interconnects villages and hamlets, and the history and heritage surrounding many of these paths.

Public consultation for the NDP also highlighted communities’ concern over the negative impact of recent development on local landscapes, and that currently, little consideration appears to be being given by developers or decision-makers to the impact of development on the character of the landscapes through which footpaths and bridleways pass, and on the views from them, which is core to what makes footpaths and bridleways so special here.

This policy aims to ensure that development does not impact on public access to, or enjoyment of, footpaths, bridleways, tracks, lanes and cycle-ways. It aims to ensure that development planning considers the local context, including the potential impact of development on landscapes surrounding public footpaths, and that a high priority is placed on protecting both the networks, and the local character and sense of place which is core to their local value.

POLICY CW3: In consultations for the Neighbourhood Plan, people repeatedly emphasised the importance of a range of ‘green spaces’ for community health and wellbeing. The significance of these areas, and the reasons they are valued varies, and includes for recreation, sport, social interaction, growing food (allotment areas), their heritage significance, educational value, natural beauty and importance for wildlife, views, tranquillity and as inspiration for art and photography. Many areas are valued for a combination of these elements.

The results of public consultation pointed to significant local concern over the impact of development, and potential future impact of development, on valued areas of local green space, and on people’s use and enjoyment of them. There was a strong recommendation that areas of core importance to local communities should be given special protection, and an assessment and audit process was used to identify the priority areas and why they are valued.

This policy aims to provide clear guidance to ensure that development planning recognises and protects the qualities of green areas that are of special significance to local communities. These areas are designated as Local Green Space (LGS).

POLICY CW4: Consultations for the Neighbourhood Plan highlighted the strong value which local people place on being part of vibrant communities, and on the great community spirit which exists across all villages and hamlets in this Parish. People expressed strong concern about the increasing trend for ‘buy-up’ of housing by property investors for use as holiday-lets and second homes.

There has been an ongoing escalation in the buy-up of community homes as investment property, in particular in Perranuthnoe village, and in the outlying hamlets within the AONB area of this Parish. There is concern that this poses a risk to the sustainability of communities in these areas. It is also pushing up the price of housing, out of the reach of many local people.

There is concern that this is a pattern of development which has caused the demise of many coastal communities in Cornwall, and that it should not happen here. There were many requests for the Neighbourhood Plan to look at what can be done to address the problem here. While people emphasised that they welcome visitors and recognise that a degree of holiday accommodation is important for the tourism economy in Cornwall, there is felt to already be a ‘more than’ adequate supply of holiday-let accommodation to meet visitors needs in this Parish. Many local people also rent out their homes to visitors during the summer holidays, which adds to the pool of holiday accommodation available during busy periods.

This policy aims to support ‘sustainable and robust communities’ in this Parish, by placing a priority on housing for people to live in (‘principle residency’), in the areas currently most badly affected by buy-up of houses for use as holiday-lets and second homes. ‘Principal Residences’ are defined as those occupied as a person’s sole or main residence, where they spend the majority of their time when not working away from home.

National regulations currently state that the Principle Residency clause can only be used for new builds and building conversions, where the conversion is of a building not previously used as a dwelling. It can’t be applied to existing homes. The Parish would like to achieve the situation where each village and hamlet has a core of at least 75% of housing for local communities to live in, however for the moment the only way to support this is through the ‘principle residency’ clause for new builds and conversions. This policy establishes a ‘Principal Residency’ requirement, for the most badly affected part of the AONB in this Parish.

POLICY CW5: Three core issues of concern emerged from public consultations and research in relation to spatial planning:

i) the problems that arise when planning decisions don’t take into consideration the cumulative impact of development. There is a need for more effective spatial planning that takes into consideration the local context. Decision-makers should recognise that total combined development impact is greater than the sum of its parts.

ii) problems of congestion, in particular relating to parking and traffic, and the impact that this has on local communities. Badly affected areas of the Parish are Goldsithney and Perranuthnoe villages. There is a need to ensure that development does not exacerbate existing problems.

iii) flooding, erosion and subsidence risks, and concerns that development can exacerbate these problems if there isn’t proper assessment and long-term spatial planning.

This policy provides specific policy guidance on each of these issues: parking, safe access and congestion; flooding, erosion and subsidence, and the cumulative impact of development on local communities. It aims to ensure that planning applications are assessed based on knowledge of the area in which the development is proposed, including community use of the area, and of current land-use and development pressures, so as to support effective spatial planning that achieves long-term benefits for local communities.

Objective 2 - Housing & Accomodation

To ensure that the housing and accommodation needs of Parish communities are met and that the Parish maintains the distinct identity of villages and hamlets, avoiding further coalescence between them and maintaining the open space character of landscapes around them.

POLICY HTA 1: Consultation for the NDP over the last five years has revealed considerable concern by local people over the impact of increasing housing sprawl out from villages and hamlets. There is a strong feeling that it is important to stop this pattern of ribbon development, so as to maintain the distinct and separate character of villages and hamlets, which people feel is core to both the local character of this area, and to the identity and close-knit nature of communities and to ‘community spirit’ here.

Cornwall Council does not require the Parish to build a minimum number of houses as is the case with many Parishes; for Perrantuhnoe Parish there is no ‘minimum housing requirement’. This is due to the fact that over half of the Parish lies within the AONB and most of the northern half of the Parish lies within the WHS. However between 2010 and 2018, this Parish had the third highest level of building development in the whole of the West Penwith area.

This Policy establishes the geographic boundaries of the areas in the Parish in which new development should be focused. It aims to help the Parish to maintain cohesive, geographically bounded settlement areas, and to prevent further ‘development sprawl’. Within these ‘development boundaries’, also often referred to as ‘settlement boundaries’ a limited amount of ‘infill’ development will be supported, where it conforms with other policies in the NDP, and so long as it contributes positively to the local character of settlements and to the welfare of the communities that live there. Exceptions may be made to allow space for affordable housing, this is specified in NDP Policy HTA3.

POLICY HTA 2: One of the issues repeatedly raised in local consultations was the increasing trend for large and / or visually intrusive building conversions and replacement dwellings, in particular in AONB areas of the Parish. There is considerable frustration about the negative impact that these have had on valued AONB and heritage landscapes in the Parish.

People pointed to the fact that Cornwall’s AONB Management Plan itself even points to Perranuthnoe as one of a handful of places in the south-west where replacement dwellings have had a negative visual impact on AONB landscapes, and yet the problem continues to get worse. There are clear policies within the AONB, WHS and Cornwall’s Local Plan which emphasise the need for development to respect the valued local character – people asked, so why is no consideration given to this in decision-making on planning applications?

This NDP Policy aims to provide clear guidance, so as to ensure that replacement buildings and conversions are appropriate for the area in which they are located, and do not have a negative impact on the AONB and WHS landscapes, or on local communities.

POLICY HTA 3: Consultations clearly showed that people value greatly being part of vibrant local communities, and that there is a need to ensure that development provides homes for local people. There is a need for housing to remain affordable, and for communities to continue to thrive. Part of this is the need to ensure that those most in need of housing have access to it.

Over the last 10 years a significant level of affordable housing has been allocated within the overall development consents granted. The Parish has an existing stock of approximately 100 affordable and social homes to rent, with a smaller number of affordable homes for low cost home ownership. In addition to this, a scheme of 18 affordable homes was completed in 2019, and there are currently a number of undeveloped plots for affordable homes granted permission under Cornwall Councils ‘affordable led’ planning policy.

This NDP policy recognises the importance of affordable housing. It aims to ensure that the provision of affordable housing is clearly focussed on meeting the needs of the local Parish community, and that affordable homes are reserved for those most in need, in perpetuity. It aims to provide clear guidance on the identification and allocation of ‘exception sites’ for affordable housing. It also provides guidance on the apportioning of housing through ‘affordable-led’ housing schemes in this Parish, so as to ensure that consistency is applied in the use of these schemes.

POLICY HTA 4: There are an increasing number of instances in the Parish where caravans are being placed in fields outside the curtilage of homes, and are then left there for extended periods of time, often years, without planning permission. This type of use is not allowed under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act (1960).

Communities repeatedly expressed concern and frustration over these planning breaches, and over the fact that nothing is being done about it, despite numerous complaints to the planning department. The issues people raised included the visual impact of caravans on the natural beauty and heritage character of landscapes, waste left by users of caravans, and impacts on communities, wildlife and habitats.

This NDP policy aims to provide clear guidance to ensure that the placement and use of caravans, and other forms of moveable accommodation, in this Parish adheres with that permitted in national regulations, and that it does not intrude on local communities or on AONB and WHS landscapes. The provisions in this policy are based directly on national regulations, and aim to make sure that it is very clear what is allowed and what is not, and to apply this to the local Parish context. At the moment there seems to be a lack of understanding at many levels. This policy does not cover commercial campsites; guidance relating to ‘campsites’ is provided under NDP Policy EB3.

Objective 3 - Building Design & Landscaping

To ensure that the design of new and replacement buildings in the Parish, and of modifications to existing buildings, results in developments that are well integrated into their surroundings, and which contribute to the valued local character of landscapes and settlements.

POLICY BDL1: In public consultations for the NDP concerns were repeatedly raised over the negative impact that uncharacteristic and overbearing building design, scale and landscaping is having on natural and heritage landscapes across this Parish.

In county planning policies, it is written that building design should respect ‘distinctive local character’ and that this is particularly important within AONB and WHS areas. However local people are extremely frustrated that in this Parish, currently very little consideration appears to be given by developers or decision-makers to the intrusive impact that inappropriate building design can have on local landscape character and on the local ‘sense of place’ so important to communities here.

The AONB Management Plan even cites Perranuthnoe Parish as one of the places in Cornwall where recent building design has had a negative impact on the natural beauty of coastal landscapes. Local people are frustrated that despite this, and despite the policy guidance that the AONB Management Plan policies provide to address it, the problem continues to get worse. There is an increasing trend for property developers to design large and often visually intrusive buildings so that these ‘stand out’ individually, rather than consideration being given to blending development in, to contribute positively to the valued local character of settlements and landscapes here.

This policy aims to provide clear guidance to ensure that building design and landscaping respects the distinctive and valued character of local landscapes and settlements. The policy establishes a series of building design criteria to clarify what ‘distinctive local character is here’ and why it is of value to this Parish. The criteria are based on the policy provisions in the Cornwall Local Plan, AONB and WHS Management Plans, and on the findings of the local landscape character assessment. Our NDP policy criteria also draw directly on what local people have said they value most, and consider to be key to, the distinctive local character and heritage of their Parish.

POLICY BDL2: As part of design considerations, people pointed to the fact that poorly designed signs and advertisements can detract from the character of both settlements and landscapes, in particular where illuminated signs are used. People feel that the design of signs and any advertisements should be inspired by the Parish’s heritage.

This policy aims to ensure that signs and advertisements used in the Parish are of a design and scale that is in keeping with the local heritage character of the area, and that is not visually intrusive.

 

Objective 4 - Natural Landscapes & Biodiversity

To protect the outstanding natural beauty of landscapes within the AONB and to ensure that development across all parts of the Parish supports the conservation of biodiversity and geo-diversity, enhancing ecosystem integrity and strengthening climate change resilience. The relevant policies are…

Policy NLB1: In consultations for the NDP over the last 7 years, many people have expressed their concern that inadequate consideration is being given to the environmental impact of development and to the negative visual impacts of inappropriate development on the outstanding natural beauty of landscapes here.

The Landscape Character Assessment (LLCA) for Perranuthnoe Parish also raises concerns over the impact of poorly planned development on the scenic beauty of landscapes, in particular in coastal areas. And it outlines the importance of a range of habitats across the Parish for biodiversity, with maps showing protected habitats and wildlife designations.

Over half of the Parish lies within Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The natural beauty of landscapes is also important in the northern WHS area of the Parish, including woodland and heath. Sites of ecological and biodiversity significance are located across the Parish and natural habitats and ecosystems support a number of protected species.

There are a considerable number of county and national policies, regulations and guidelines relevant to the natural environment and biodiversity conservation in this Parish. There is concern that currently these don’t appear to all be being applied effectively in development planning here. What this policy aims to do is to distill the information from all of these broader planning documents, into a series of local planning policy principles, that can be more easily applied to, and therefore actually used in, this Parish. It provides the local area policy guidance necessary to support well-informed development planning that works to protect the beauty of natural landscapes and to conserve biodiversity across the Parish.

This NDP policy aims to ensure that development planning here recognises the social, environmental and economic value of the Parish’s natural resource base to both current and future generations. It establishes three core policy principles, and under each specifies the planning considerations required to implement them.

The Three Core Policy Principles are:

Conserve Biodiversity and support Ecosystem Resilience

Conserve the Outstanding Natural Beauty of Landscapes within the AONB

Safeguard Environmentally Sensitive Areas, Habitats Sites and Protected Species

POLICY NLB 2: The Parish’s coastline lies in a zone of active coastal erosion, located within the AONB and bordering the designated Mounts Bay Marine Conservation Zone.

Consultation for the NDP highlighted the great value which local people place on the Parish coastline, in particular the peaceful, scenic, undeveloped landscapes along the coast, the SW coast path and inter-connecting footpaths, open vistas across Mounts Bay, birds and wildlife, and on access to the beach and coves. The coastline of this Parish is also important for the local economy, because the beach, SW coast path and beauty of natural Cornish landscapes are key attractions for visitors, who in turn use the local cafes, pubs, farm shop and other local businesses.

The key issues of concern people raised in relation to the coastal zone of this Parish were: coastal erosion and the exacerbation of it by the removal of coastal vegetation; the need to protect coastal habitats and wildlife; litter and pollution; concerns over what will happen when coastal erosion affects the south-west coast path and how to ensure that it continues around the coast; the need to ensure that people will continue to have safe access to the beach and coves, and here again the impact of large and visually intrusive housing development on the natural scenic beauty of local coastal landscapes.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Shoreline Management Plan (SMP), outlines the county’s coastal defence management strategy; along Perranuthnoe Parish coastline, Cornwall Council’s management approach is for ‘No Active Intervention’ (NAI). This means that the county has taken the decision not to invest in providing or maintaining sea defences along the coastline of this Parish. Erosion will run its course and is likely to be exacerbated by the effects of climate change. One of the areas of coast that will be most badly affected by erosion is the area to the south of Perranuthnoe village, along the beach. Despite the current sea defences, national coastal erosion risk mapping data currently predicts there may be erosion of up to 80m within the next 100 years.

It is important that development planning in this Parish is based on an understanding of predicted coastal erosion rates, and coastal change risks, and that a clear development planning strategy is established to minimise risks to communities, businesses and the environment.

Our NDP Policy establishes a Coastal Change Management Area (CCMA) to achieve this. This policy establishes a series of coastal change management zones, and provides development planning guidance for each zone. Zoning is based on the latest predicted NCERM 100-year coastal erosion line. The zones and planning principles established for each zone are based on detailed analysis of national coastal erosion data, the SMP, and expert advice from Cornwall Council Environment Service. The development planning principles within this policy follow national and county guidelines for development planning in CCMA, and reflect the priorities and values which Parish communities have expressed for the coastal zone of this Parish, and the issues of greatest concern here.

This NDP policy aims to ensure that development planning in the coastal zone of the Parish is based on an understanding of long-term coastal change processes, and that planning minimises the social, economic and environmental risks associated with coastal erosion.

Policy NLB 3: Consultation for the NDP demonstrated the value that local communities place on old mining sites and spoil heaps, as characteristic local features in natural landscapes. The Parish Landscape Character Assessment (LLCA) also highlights the importance of ‘old mining sites and spoil heaps now overgrown which provide unique habitats for biodiversity, with specialized bryophytes including rare species of lichen and moss’.

This policy aims to ensure that development planning recognises the biodiversity, geo-diversity and landscape value of historic mining sites and spoil heaps in this Parish. It establishes the principle that development should be planned and managed so as to ensure that these landscape features are conserved and that associated habitats, species and ecosystems are not disturbed.

POLICY NLB 4: Public consultation highlighted that local people place great value on maintaining ‘dark skies’ and that there is widespread support for this Parish to be included within the proposed ‘‘West Cornwall Dark Sky Reserve’.

There is significant concern over the increasing impact of light pollution here. This is in particular a problem on elevated ground within the AONB, where there is an increasing trend for new and replacement housing to incorporate large areas of fenestration and in some cases entire glass walls. The visual impact of internal lighting spilling from extensive expanses of glass is polluting evening and night skies. It causes a ‘light box effect’, where the large sheet-glass windows, doors and walls act like huge ‘light screens’ scattered across natural evening landscapes.

The Parish Landscape Character Assessment (LLCA) also identifies ‘increased light pollution eroding the dark skies’ as one of the development pressures that is having a negative impact on natural landscape character in the AONB. It recommends that in development planning it is important to: ‘consider how light pollution can be minimised, through appropriate design in new development’.

Local people are frustrated that currently very little consideration appears to be given to this polluting impact in decision-making on planning applications. There are national and county planning policies and guidelines that require light pollution to be taken into consideration.

Cornwall Local Plan requires that development should ‘maintain dark skies and tranquillity in areas that are relatively undisturbed.’

The AONB Management Plan emphasises that it is important to ‘promote high levels of peace and tranquillity in the AONB with dark night skies by minimising noise, intrusive development and light pollution.’

National Planning Policy Guidance on Light Pollution states that: ‘Lighting has the potential to become ‘light pollution’ or ‘obtrusive light’, and not all modern lighting is suitable in all locations. It can be a source of annoyance to people, harmful to wildlife and undermine enjoyment of the countryside or the night sky, especially in areas with intrinsically dark landscapes.’

Our NDP policy provides clear local planning policy guidance so as to ensure that national and county policies and guidelines are effectively implemented here, in order to reduce the impact of light pollution and glare on natural landscapes and dark-skies in this Parish. It aims to ensure that the risks of light pollution and glare are fully considered in the assessment of planning applications, and that due consideration is given to the value which local people place on maintaining dark skies here.

POLICY NLB 5: One issue which was repeatedly raised in public consultations for the NDP, is the importance of Cornish Hedges as core features within local landscapes here, and as important habitats for wildlife and flowering plants.

The Parish Landscape Character Assessment also underlines the importance of Cornish Hedges across the Parish as ‘a valuable wildlife habitat, as well as creating the distinctive rural farmland character.’ It stresses that ‘Cornish Hedges have defined our landscape for centuries and today provide a distinct local identity’. The LLCA recommends that the Parish should ‘retain the strong field pattern of Cornish hedges and the native vegetation they support and ensure sufficient buffers are created where new development is proposed near hedges.’

Cornwall Council’s Planning for Biodiversity Guide’ is what is termed a ‘material planning consideration’, meaning that the guidance in it must be considered in the assessment of planning applications. It specifies that ‘due to the high biodiversity value of hedges, and the key role they play in our landscape and sense of place in Cornwall, there is a strong presumption in favour of the retaining of all hedges within developments. It is essential that hedges are assessed as both a landscape and biodiversity feature, as part of any development proposal.’

In consultations on the NDP people expressed their frustration that despite the importance of Cornish Hedges to local landscapes here, and despite clear county planning guidelines that say there is a strong presumption in favour of retaining all hedges within developments… at the moment, very little consideration appears to be being given to conserving Cornish Hedges in development in in this Parish.

Our NDP policy applies the principles established in Cornwall’s Planning for Biodiversity Guide to the local planning context in this Parish.  This NDP policy recognises the value which local communities place on Cornish Hedges and Hedgerows as a key part of natural and heritage landscapes in the Parish, and as sites of importance for wildlife. It aims to ensure that a strong priority is given to conserving Cornish Hedges and hedgerows within development planning in this Parish.

POLICY NLB 6: There is increasing interest in environmentally responsible development. However, there is also concern as to whether consistency and rigor are being used to define ‘green’ development and ‘sustainable’ buildings; and concern that there is a risk that without clear principles and criteria such terms could be used to push through development inappropriately. Linked to this, the importance of ensuring that assessment of the environmental credentials of development proposals considers the full lifecycle of the building, recognising that it is rarely carbon efficient to demolish and rebuild a property, even if the replacement building is carbon neutral.

This policy encourages environmentally responsible development, and aims to ensure that consistency, clarity and rigor is applied to the assessment of environmental performance within development proposals in this Parish.

 

Objective 5 - Local Heritage

To safeguard heritage assets, landscapes and areas of traditional settlement character across the Parish for current and future generations, recognising their international, national and local significance. The relevant policies are…

POLICY HCA 1: In consultations for the NDP, people repeatedly stressed that they greatly value the heritage character and history of this Parish. There is a strong interest in local history. An important part of that history is the Parish’s mining heritage which, alongside farming, has shaped the local character of landscapes, villages and hamlets here. The sites of old mining Wheel Houses and spoil heaps are key features in local landscapes across the Parish.

The key heritage attributes of this area outlined in the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site Management Plan are the: ‘patchwork of small holdings…and long established farms and parkland associated with the great mining estates’, where ‘most mineworkers cottages are disbursed in a landscape of small fields …or within small groups of mineworkers cottages set within substantial blocks of early nineteenth century miners smallholdings.’

International WHS designation brings with it a requirement to ‘protect, conserve, present and transmit World Heritage Sites to future generations’, and this is achieved primarily through the development planning system. Development planning should work to positively protect and conserve the mining features and heritage character of this Parish. Consultations for the NDP showed that there is significant concern that currently it does not. The WHS Management Plan and Cornwall’s Local Plan also underline the need for planning to consider and conserve heritage character. There appears to be a clear need to ensure that these are applied effectively in this Parish.

This NDP policy aims to ensure that development planning in this Parish respects and protects the valued attributes of the Mining Landscape World Heritage Site (WHS), and of the landscape in which they are experienced, as is required by the WHS designation status.

POLICY HCA 2: Consultations for the NDP repeatedly highlighted people’s concerns about the negative impact that development is having on the distinctive local heritage character of landscapes and settlements in the AONB. There is concern that currently very little consideration appears to be being given to value of local heritage, neither by developers nor in decision-making on planning applications.

Heritage character is core to the local distinctiveness of AONB landscapes in this Parish, and to the character of Perranuthnoe village and surrounding hamlets; it is part of the local ‘sense of place’ that is so important to people here. Consultation for the NDP showed that local communities feel there is an urgent need to ensure that development does not further erode the heritage of this Parish. The need for planning to consider and conserve heritage character is also underlined in the AONB Management Plan and Cornwall’s Local Plan. There appears to be a clear need to ensure that these are applied effectively in this Parish.

This policy provides the local planning framework to ensure that decision-making on planning applications works positively to conserve and respect our cultural and historic heritage. It aims to ensure that development planning in this Parish gives due recognition to the fact that heritage character is integral to the local distinctiveness of AONB landscapes and settlements here.

The centre of Perranuthnoe village is designated as a heritage ‘Conservation Area’; decision-making on planning applications should therefore prioritise conservation of the heritage character of it, and its setting. The Parish Landscape Character Assessment, and community inputs to the NDP, also identified a number of ‘non-designated’ heritage assets of core local importance within the AONB. This policy provides local policy guidance to ensure that development respects and conserves the distinctive local heritage character of both designated and non-designated heritage assets, and their setting.

 

Objective 6 - Economy & Business

To support sustainable businesses that contribute to thriving communities and to a pattern of economic development that works positively to sustain valued assets and landscape character across the Parish. The relevant policies are…

POLICY EB1: There are a number of local businesses which form an important part of the socio-economic fabric of the Parish, including farm shops, cafes, pubs, artisans, musicians, photographers, artists, gardeners, academics and writers, local grocery stores, a garage, those providing sporting and social welfare activities, and many more. There is strong local support for these businesses. Some concerns were expressed regarding the impact of the tourism industry, in particular in relation to increasing visitor numbers and the impact of traffic and car parking on peoples’ access to their homes, and on access by service vehicles. Concerns were also raised in relation to increasing litter pollution and camping. This was not a reflection on any existing businesses, but more of the need to ensure that development planning includes consideration of the impacts of traffic and visitor numbers on local communities.

This policy aims to support small-scale business development where it provides opportunities for local communities and local businesses, and where that development aligns with other policies in this NDP. It also provides policy guidance to ensure that if business development may lead to increases in traffic and parking, that there is appropriate assessment of the capacity of the area to absorb the predicted number of visitors, without detrimental impacts to ‘people or place’. This also links to NDP Policy CW5 on Spatial Planning.

POLICY EB2: Agricultural production is the main land use in this Parish, there is high grade agricultural land across the Parish, and a number of farms operate in both the AONB and WHS areas of the Parish. Farming is also an important part of the heritage of this Parish, having shaped the landscape here for centuries. Agricultural land, and in particular the small field sizes and patchwork of irregularly shaped fields, are core to the landscape character of both the AONB and WHS.

Public consultation for the NDP has highlighted the value which local communities place on farming as a key part of the livelihoods and heritage of this Parish.There is a strong respect for farmers and recognition that patterns, levels and types of development here should not impose on or restrict farming activity. There is recognition of the challenges that farmers face and of the need to ensure that development planning in this Parish supports them to sustain those livelihoods, and where ever possible to encourage environmentally sensitive patterns of production. There is also a strong desire to ensure that the high-quality agricultural land we have in this Parish is conserved to support food production both now and for future generations.

This NDP Policy aims to actively support farmers in achieving sustainable agricultural production, and to ensure that farmers have access to the ‘best and most versatile’ (BMV) agricultural land, recognising the importance of retaining this land for sustainable food production, for the benefit of current and future generations. It aims to ensure that development planning recognises the high quality of agricultural land in this Parish, the importance of farming to local livelihoods, and the significance of small-field agricultural systems to local landscape character in the AONB and WHS. It also provides local planning policy guidance to ensure that development, including land-use change, does not have a negative impact on the effective operation of farms, stipulating that development should not be supported if it poses significant risks to farming land, livestock, crops, facilities, or to the sustainable and efficient operation of farms. This should be a core consideration in the assessment of planning applications in this Parish.

POLICY EB3: The natural beauty and heritage character of this Parish, its beaches, wildlife and coastal scenery, and the network of public footpaths and bridleways are highly valued by local residents, and are also core to the area’s attraction for tourism. In consultations for the NDP people repeatedly expressed concern over increasing levels of holiday accommodation and tourist numbers in this Parish, and associated social and environmental impacts.

A number of campsites have been set up in this and neighbouring Parishes over recent years. There is concern over the impact that campsites can have on AONB and WHS landscape character and on people’s use and enjoyment of AONB and WHS areas. Related to this, the need to consider the cumulative impact of campsites on these protected landscapes in particular relative to the distribution, location, size and type of sites across the Parish.

There is felt to be an increasing risk that without clear local planning guidance, the expansion of campsites and other forms of holiday accommodation, will impact on the valued character of AONB and WHS landscapes, and the very qualities of this Parish that local people value so highly and which also draw tourists to this area.

This policy aims to ensure that development associated with holiday accommodation and campsites is based on a clear demonstration of tourist accommodation needs, and that it does not have a negative impact on the outstanding value of AONB or WHS landscape character here. It aims to support the Parish in achieving sustainable, low impact tourism that can bring benefits to local communities, with minimal impact on natural and heritage landscapes. It provides the local planning policy guidance to ensure that the type, size, location, distribution and operation of commercial campsites is based on sound impact assessment and does not result in negative social, environmental or economic impacts to the Parish.

POLICY EB4: Many in this and neighbouring Parishes enjoy horse riding. Several agricultural fields in the Parish are now used for keeping horses, and the Parish also includes a livery and stud farm. Equestrian use of land can contribute positively to maintaining valued landscape character across the Parish, by maintaining small field systems, conserving the hedgerows and Cornish hedges which define them, and conserving areas of importance for wildlife. Change of land-use from agricultural to equestrian can, however, also significantly alter the character of local landscapes and remove habitats important for wildlife and biodiversity, in particular if Cornish Hedges are replaced with panel fencing, and if structures associated with the keeping of horses are built in visually prominent locations or are out of keeping with the area.

Under national planning policies and legislation, planning permission is normally required for change of land use from agricultural to equestrian, and for any development associated with equestrian use of land. This policy aims to ensure that the use of land for keeping horses achieves positive social and environmental benefits for this Parish. It also provides the local planning policy framework to support effective implementation of national planning policies here, and to ensure that any development associated with equestrian use respects the valued qualities of AONB and WHS landscapes.

 

Objective 7 - Decision Making

To ensure that decision making on development planning in the Parish aligns with the policies and objectives of this NDP, is transparent and is monitored, to support effective NDP implementation which works positively towards achievement of the long-term vision and objectives for the Parish. The relevant policies are…

POLICY DM1: NDP Implementation and Monitoring Communities expressed a considerable level of frustration and despondency in relation to the development planning process and the impact of it on people living in this Parish. There is concern that decision-making on planning applications currently does not take into consideration the local context, or give recognition to issues of importance to this Parish and the communities that live here.

There is also concern that planning decisions don’t always seem to be being made in line with relevant county policies, or at least that those policies aren’t being applied in a way that supports positive and sustainable development here. There is some optimism that this NDP process may change that situation, and that the NDP may provide local communities with a planning tool that will give local people a real chance to have a say in how their Parish is developed, and a role in planning for their future. The overall development planning process and system wont change, but the NDP can provide the planning framework to make sure that decision-making respects planning issues of importance here.

However, as with any plan or policies, that positive change will only happen if the NDP is actively used to guide planning here. Once the NDP is approved, it will be important to monitor how it is being used, so that it becomes clear if decision-making on planning applications does effectively consider and follow the policies in the NDP.

This policy aims to provide the principles on which to ensure that the NDP is used effectively and to ensure that its use and impact is monitored, in order to demonstrate whether, in practice, development planning processes are working positively towards achieving the NDP’s objectives. It also supports Cornwall Council in achieving its ‘plan, monitor and manage approach’ to delivery of the Cornwall Local Plan. Monitoring of NDP implementation will provide Parish level information to feed into Cornwall Council’s own county wide monitoring process.

 

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