Environment and Heritage 

Draft policies

Policy EH1 Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services

New development within, or immediately adjacent to the Biodiversity Corridors and green infrastructure assets identified on Map C and Appendix 6 will only be supported where it can be clearly demonstrated that development proposals will not give rise to any unacceptable harm to the integrity or function of the Biodiversity Corridors.

Development with the potential to adversely impact on the areas defined on Map C will be required to demonstrate how the scheme will impact on the integrity and function of the Biodiversity Corridors. Where necessary, this should include the identification of avoidance and mitigation measures sufficient to avoid any significant harm to the designation. The Centre for Biological Diversity recommends corridors of around 30m, however, that may not always be possible due to nearby housing but should be used as a guide.

Policy EH2 Surface Water Management

No development should take place in areas at risk from flooding as shown in the HDC Strategic Flood Risk Assessment report 2010, or located in Flood Risk Zones 2 and 3, unless it can be shown that there are no sites where it would be possible to locate that development, in an area at lower flood risk. If having adopted a sequential approach, it shows the development must be sited in a flood risk area, then it must be designed to be flood resilient and resistant and have a safe means of escape. The need for a sequential test does not apply to changes of use or residential extensions.

All development proposals on undeveloped land (i.e. greenfield) must demonstrate an acceptable means of surface water disposal and prove that there will be no net increase in surface water run-off from the application site as a result of the development.

All development proposals on previously developed land (i.e. brownfield) must demonstrate that surface water run-off from the application site as a result of the development will be as close as reasonably practical to the greenfield run off rates from the development for the same rainfall event but should never exceed the rate of discharge from the site prior to its redevelopment.

Policy EH3 Protection of trees and hedgerows

Development that damages or results in the loss of trees of arboricultural and amenity value, trees the subject of a TPO or loss of hedgerows and/or priority habitat, or which significantly damages ecological networks will not be supported; unless the need for, and the benefits of the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss.

Development proposals, where appropriate, must be designed to incorporate and enhance biodiversity within and around developments and enhance ecological networks, seeking to

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retain wherever possible ancient trees, trees of good arboricultural and amenity value and hedgerows to contribute to the Government’s target to halt the decline in biodiversity by aiming for a net gain for nature.
Proposals, where there are trees on the site or on neighbouring sites that could be affected by the development, should be accompanied by a survey that establishes the health and longevity of any affected trees or hedgerows and a management plan to demonstrate how they will be maintained and enhanced and damage prevented.

Policy EH4 Renewable and Low Carbon Energy

Proposals for energy-generating infrastructure using renewable or low carbon energy sources will be supported provided that:

  1. a)  The energy-generating infrastructure is located as close as practicable and is in proportion to, the scale of the existing buildings or proposed development it is intended to serve

  2. b)  The siting, scale, design and impact on heritage assets and their setting, landscape, views and wildlife of the energy generating infrastructure is minimised and does not compromise public safety and allows continued safe use of public rights of way

  3. c)  The amenity of adjoining uses are not adversely impacted in terms of noise, vibration, or electromagnetic interference

Proposals for energy-generating infrastructure on land in current agricultural production or on ‘best and most versatile’ agricultural land will not be supported unless it is utilising the product of farming operations.

Policy EH5 Non-designated heritage assets

Development proposals involving the Non-designated heritage assets listed below must take into account their significance including their contribution to local distinctiveness. All proposals that have the potential to directly impact the asset and/or its setting must provide a heritage statement demonstrating that the potential harmful impacts to the asset’s significance has been clearly identified and avoided or minimised where possible.

  1. a)  The Telephone Boxes at The Hollow and Haglands Lane

  2. b)  The Bus Shelter at Common Hill

  3. c)  The Reading Rooms, Church Street

  4. d)  The Wells' Houses - see Appendix 4

  5. e)  The Heritage Finger Posts - see Appendix 3

Policy EH6 Conserve and Enhance the Heritage Environment

New development must respect and enhance the local distinctiveness and character of the area, landscape and the significance of heritage assets. Development proposals must demonstrate that all the following criteria have been met:

• The proposal conserves and enhances the natural beauty and wildlife and cultural heritage of the area and protects the setting of designated and non-designated heritage assets including:

  • Listed buildings

  • Buildings within a Conservation Area

  • Scheduled Monuments

  • Historic buildings or structures/features of local distinctiveness and character

    Development should be in keeping with existing designed or natural landscapes and maintains the individual identity of settlements and the integrity of the predominantly open and undeveloped character of the area

EH7 ‘Unlit village’ status

Development proposals that detract from the unlit environments of the Parish by significantly reducing sky quality, will not be supported.
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All development shall be expected to demonstrate practice in line with the SDNPA Technical Advice Note April 2018 (or any subsequent update), through the submission of a lighting plan. This includes floodlighting at equine establishments and on sports fields or sports grounds.

A plan reflecting best practice principles should show;

• The lighting is required and appropriate for the task
• It has been designed specifically to minimise the impact of the lighting on the night

sky by reducing sky glow, glare, and spill
• Incorporates sufficient mitigation measures to reduce light pollution to a minimum
• That the illumination of lit surfaces does not detract from the unlit environment
• That internal spill through excessive glazing does not detract from the unlit environment
Any new adoptable highway lighting will need to conform to the West Sussex County Council Private Finance Initiative (PFI) street lighting specification.

EH8 Wells Houses

Development proposals affecting the Wells’ Houses (see Appendix 4) within the Parish will be supported where they preserve and enhance their character, setting and appearance and in particular where proposals protect the distinctive whitewashed slurry (Sussex Dinging) walls, small windows and thatched roofs.

EH9 Sunken Lanes and Stream Lane

Development that damages or results in the loss of the sunken lanes listed below will be resisted, unless the need for, and benefits of, development in that location clearly outweigh the loss or damage.

  1. a)  East Street

  2. b)  The Hollow

  3. c)  Little Hill

  4. d)  Mill Road

  5. e)  Sunset Lane

  6. f)  Spinney Lane

  7. g)  Bower Lane

  8. h)  Westward Lane

  9. i)  Juggs lane

  10. j)  Southlands Lane

  11. k)  Haglands Lane

EH10 Landscape character and important views

All development should maintain the local character of the landscape within the neighbourhood planning area (see West Chiltington Landscape Character Assessment) and should not have an unacceptable impact on significant views (see Map E) that currently provide open field aspects, views to the South Downs or views from the village centres and other open spaces.

EH11 Sub-division of Agricultural Land

Where planning permission is required, development on agricultural land sub-divided into holdings of less than 0.4 hectares and involving enclosure and/or the erection of small structures (temporary or permanent) will be resisted.
The same requirements will apply to proposals for development on holdings of between 0.4 and 5 hectares unless it can be demonstrated that such development is reasonably necessary for agricultural, viticultural or horticultural purposes.

EH12 Development on Agricultural Land

Proposals for development should safeguard the best and most versatile agricultural land from development and will be resisted on land Graded 1, 2 and 3a as designated in the Agricultural Land Classification Map produced by Natural England (See the OpenGov data website) unless it can be demonstrated that it would meet the following criteria:

a) It supports the diversification of an existing agricultural enterprise or other land-based rural business

b) The need for the development clearly outweighs the harm