Skip to main content
Guildford Borough Council

Submission Local Plan: Strategy and Sites - Main Modifications

Submission Local Plan: Strategy and Sites - Main Modifications - Part 1: Policies

4. Policies

4.1 Strategic Policies

Policy S1 - Presumption in favour of sustainable development

Introduction

4.1.1 The National Planning Policy Framework is underpinned by a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Local Planning Authorities should regard this principle as a golden thread running through both plan-making and decision taking. This means that Local Plans must plan positively to seek opportunities that meet the area's objectively assessed development needs and be flexible enough to adapt to rapid change unless any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly outweigh the benefits or specific policies in the NPPF suggest that development should be restricted.

4.1.2 Adopting the presumption in favour of sustainable development will enable the Council to approve appropriate development without delay in accordance with the NPPF.

POLICY S1: Presumption in favour of sustainable development

(1) When considering development proposals we will take a positive approach that reflects the presumption in favour of sustainable development contained in the National Planning Policy Framework. We will work proactively with applicants jointly to find solutions that mean that proposals can be approved wherever possible, and to secure development that improves the economic, social and environmental conditions in the area.

(2) Planning applications that accord with the policies in this Local Plan (and, where relevant, with policies in adopted neighbourhood plans) will be approved without delay, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

(3) Where there are no policies relevant to the application or relevant policies are out of date at the time of making the decision, then the Council will grant permission unless material considerations indicate otherwise, taking into account whether:

(a) Specific policies in that Framework indicate that development should be restricted. The application of policies in that Framework that protect areas or assets of particular importance provides a clear reason for refusing the development proposed; or

(b) Any adverse impacts of granting permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole.

 

Definitions

4.1.2a Sustainable development will be achieved by seeking economic, environmental and social gains jointly and simultaneously through the planning system.

Reasoned justification

4.1.3 The NPPF emphasises that all Local Plans should be based upon and reflect the presumption in favour of sustainable development. The principle informs both the policies and site allocations contained within the 'Local Plan: strategy and sites' and will be used to guide decision makers.

4.1.4 Local Planning Authorities are encouraged to include a policy within their Local Plan that embraces the presumption in favour of sustainable development. Policy S1 meets this requirement and adopts the model wording suggested. When implementing Policy S1, local circumstances will be taken into account to respond to different opportunities for achieving sustainable development. In accordance with the NPPFpolicies in the NPPF that protect important natural and heritage assets, the presumption will not automatically apply to policies relating to; habitats sites (including sites protected under the Birds and Habitats Directives) and/or , designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), development requiring appropriate assessment because of its potential impact on a habitats site[8], land designated as Green Belt, or Local Green Space, the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, designated heritage assets, and or locations identified as at risk of flooding.

 

--------------------

[8] This includes net new residential development within 5km of the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area and residential development of over 50 net new dwellings within 7km of the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area. See Policy P5 Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.