Core Strategy Issues & Options

Ended on the 8 December 2006
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10.1 The Council want the overall pattern of development and physical change across Rother to reflect the visions for the different towns and rural parts of the district as much as possible.

10.2 The development strategy of the Rother District Local Plan is taken as the starting point, as this followed extensive local consultation and has recently been thoroughly tested through the Public Inquiry process.

10.3 The Local Plan's development strategy is set out primarily by its policies DS1 and DS2.The former contains overall development principles that guide the location and nature of development, while the latter applies these, in broad terms, to its distribution across the district up to 2011. These policies are complemented by strategies for each of the towns - Bexhill, Battle and Rye.

10.4 These are discussed further for each town in the respective 'Area Strategies' in subsequent sections. There is also consideration of a new strategy for rural areas of the district.

10.5 However, the Core Strategy need not necessarily continue current policies. This is because the considerably longer timeframe means that new development options to meet the further development requirements stemming from the new South East Plan will have to be considered. Also, factors influencing activity patterns may well be different.

10.6 Even so, some basic principles are contained in national and emerging regional polices.

10.7 Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 (PPG3), and the draft Planning Policy Statement that will shortly update it, sets clear principles for determining the location of new housing.

PPG3/ Draft PPS3 - Housing policies:

  • seek to ensure that everyone has the opportunity of a decent home
  • look for development patterns that do not reinforce social distinctions
  • promote sustainable patterns of development, with good access to jobs and services
  • adopt a sequential approach for the location of housing that prioritises urban, especially brownfield, land
  • provide for housing in villages and market towns to help meet local needs and to support local services
  • provide for affordable housing to be sited outside village development boundaries as anexception to normal planning policies

10.8 As stated in section 1, the principle of sustainable development is at the heart of current planning policies at all levels.

4.1 The Local Plan interprets this national policy framework and puts forward broad principles for the location of development. These relate to:

(i) priority to making best use of urban land, especially through the re-use of previously developed land/buildings;

(ii) fostering sustainable and socially inclusive communities, including by supporting local services and helping meet local needs, such as for affordable housing;

(iii) ensuring a sufficient continuing supply of employment sites and premises to foster economic regeneration;

(iv) ensuring a good level of accessibility to a range of services and jobs by public transport, recognising that opportunities are more limited in rural areas;

(v) making best use of existing infrastructure, including transport, community facilities and mains drainage;

(vi) not prejudicing the character and qualities of the environment, particularly the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and undeveloped coastline;

(vii) protecting sites of recognised nature conservation importance, particularly of internationally and nationally important sites, as defined on the Proposals Map;

(viii) protecting historic parks and gardens and Battle battlefield, as defined on the Proposals Map;

(ix) respecting the importance of the countryside in terms of its distinct landscape character, natural resources, woodland and agriculture;

(x) protecting ancient woodland from development that would prejudice its ecological and landscape value;

(xi) ensuring that development is safe from flooding, including by restricting development in flood risk areas and not increasing such risk elsewhere;

(xii) protecting vulnerable countryside gaps between settlements;

(xiii) ensuring a sufficient continuing supply of housing land;

(xiv) avoiding development on unstable land except where a proposal demonstrates that actual or potential instability can reasonably be overcome.

(24)Question 9 - Are these the most appropriate general principles for guiding the location of development up to 2026?

Strategic Countryside Gaps:

Maintaining the separation of settlements is regarded as important to protect their individual character and setting.

The Local Plan defines strategic gaps between:

Bexhill and St. Leonards;

Battle and Hastings;

Fairlight and Hastings;

Crowhurst and Hastings;

Rye and Rye Harbour

Plan 4: Flood Risk Zones, 2006

Plan 4

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