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Minor amendments

This section describes policies where we are proposing small changes, together with the reasons for the proposed changes.

You can view the original wording for these policies in the District-wide strategy and policy section of our current Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, and read national planning policy in the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework, 2019). Where there are small changes to policy wording, words being removed are shown struckthrough, while new wording is shown underlined

District-wide strategy and policy

Proposed change 

Reason for change

Spatial strategy for Bath and North East Somerset

DW1 District-wide spatial Strategy

No change to the overall spatial strategy, but replenishing housing supply via new site allocations may mean small changes to the policy and the associated key diagram. The strategic district-wide dwelling and jobs requirements will remain unchanged, although the housing supply will moderately increase.

To provide clarity 

Responding to climate change

CP4 District Heating

The policy includes a district heating network at Keynsham Town Centre. The majority of land allocated for development in Keynsham Town Centre has been built out (such as the Civic Centre). Therefore it is proposed that Keynsham High Street is included as an opportunity area rather than a district heating priority area.

To reflect the latest evidence

CP5 Flood risk management

Minor amendment should cross refer to and ensure that Green Infrastructure benefits are delivered through flood risk management approach.

To provide clarity

SU1 Sustainable Drainage

Amendment to require provision of multi-functional SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems), also acting as Green Infrastructure (multiple benefits)

To provide clarity

Environmental quality

CP6 Environmental Quality

Amend section 4: Nature Conservation:
Update to policy to reference measurable biodiversity net gain requirements and nature recovery networks

To provide clarity

D4 Street and space

Development proposals must be well connected, in particular section h:

Street trees and green spaces should contribute to a network of Green Infrastructure and should be adequately sited to promote connectivity for people and wildlife. All new streets should be lined with trees, wherever possible.

To provide clarity

D8 Lighting

Amend section 2, as follows:

Development will be expected to reduce or at best maintain existing light levels to protect retain or improve the darkness of rivers, watercourse or other ecological corridors in particular to protect or provide a functional dark route for European protected species. New lighting facilities with light spill to these features must be dimmable. Lighting must be designed in relation to protection of wildlife habitats, including B&NES 2018 Waterspace Design Guidance and Bats and Lighting in the UK (ILP, 2018).

To be HRA (Habitats Regulations Assessment) compliant and provide clarity

NE2 Conserving and enhancing the landscape and landscape character

Add new section 4
Great weight will be afforded to conserving and enhancing landscape and scenic beauty within nationally designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and their setting, with particular reference to their special qualities. 

To reflect NPPF  paragraph 172

NE6 Trees and woodland conservation

Amend section 3 as follows:

Development proposals directly or indirectly affecting ancient woodland and ancient trees or veteran trees will not be permitted.

To reflect NPPF 2019

Green infrastructure


CP7 Green infrastructure

It is proposed to amend the policy to provide clarity on policy implementation to support green infrastructure delivery. 

To provide clarity

Green Belt


GB3 Extensions and alteration to buildings in the Green Belt

Proposals to extend or alter a building in the Green Belt will only be permitted provided they would not represent a disproportionate addition over and above the size of the original building.

To conform with the NPPF 2019

A prosperous economy

ED1B Economic development (Change of use from office to residential)

POLICY ED1B: Change of Use and Redevelopment of B1(a) Office to Residential Use

It is proposed that sections of this policy are removed, so that the remaining sections have now been renumbered, as follows. 

1. Change of use (i.e. conversion)
The conversion of office space (B1a) to residential C3 is normally permitted development, subject to the exceptions set out in the GDPO (which includes listed buildings). The principle of change of use through conversion of listed buildings in B1a use to C3 residential use is also accepted. 

1 Change of Use and Redevelopment (i.e. demolition and construction of a new building) 
Planning applications for the change of use and redevelopment of office space (B1a) (Class E (g)(i)) to non-student C2, C3 or C4 residential will be permitted unless there are strong economic reasons for refusal, as set out below.
 2. Strong economic reasons
Strong economic reasons will exist if a) and b) below are true: 
a) The site is within the Bath Central Area, the Bath City Riverside Enterprise Zone, Somerdale, or a town centre listed in Policy CP12, or on a site that has been granted permission since 2011
b) The loss of the space would be a significant loss to strategically important office accommodation in B&NES and significantly harm the Council’s ability to plan positively for economic development. 
In assessing whether strong economic reasons exist, consideration will be given to the following: 
•  The quality of the office space (existing or permitted) to be lost or not implemented, compared to alternative available premises in the locality, and whether these are suitable for any displaced existing occupiers 
•   The need to retain the space in the context of the achievement of strategic Core Strategy targets set out in B1, KE1 and SV1
 •  Current market signals and forecasts (to ensure the long-term targets of Core Strategy policies B1, KE1 and SV1 remain justified throughout the plan period)
•  In the case of a mixed-use residential-led site granted permission since 2011, whether the premises are critical to the sustainability of the permission and whether implementation remains viable, and realistic in light of market signals. 
4  In the event that permitted development rules referred to in this policy no longer apply (whether due to the introduction of a direction under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning Acts or through changes to national legislation or policy):
 a) If the permitted development rules relating to change of use (conversion) from office to residential are removed, all such applications, including for listed buildings, will be assessed using the criteria set out in paragraphs 2-3, above. For the avoidance of doubt, in these circumstances the principle of change of use through the conversion of listed buildings in B1a use to C3 use will no longer be automatically considered acceptable.
b) If the permitted development rules relating to change of use (conversion) from office to residential are widened to include redevelopment, consideration of strong economic reasons, as set out in paragraphs 2-3 above, will no longer be required. This would not apply to listed buildings.

Minor amendments to ensure it reflects new use classes order (September 2020) and current permitted development rights. 

ED1C Economic development (Change of use from office to other town centre uses)

Change of Use and Redevelopment of B1(a) Office Use to Other Town Centre Use
1 The change of use of office space to A1, A2 and A3 uses will be permitted unless clauses 3a and 3b of Policy ED1B apply
The change of use or redevelopment of office space to other town centre uses (not within Class E use) will not normally be permitted, unless the space is of particularly poor quality in relation to the total stock of the city, or, if this is not common ground between the applicant and LPA, the space has been marketed for 12 months, on reasonable terms, at a time when the UK economy is growing and no serious occupier interest has been forthcoming.

Even where these criteria are not met the economic and social benefits of the alternative proposed town centre use (in terms of employment, GVA and contribution to the centre and any townscape improvements resulting from change) will be material considerations, that could, in exceptional cases, outweigh ED1C (2)

Minor amendments to ensure it reflects new classes order (September 2020) and would relate to a change of use from an office to a non E-use class town centre use.

RE1 Employment uses in the countryside

Proposals for employment uses in the countryside outside the scope of Core Strategy Policies RA1 and RA2 will be permitted providing they are consistent with all other relevant policies, and involves all of the following: 
i) Replacement of existing buildings or development of previously developed land 
ii) The limited expansion, intensification or redevelopment of existing employment premises
iii) They would not lead to dispersal of activity that prejudices town and village vitality and viability. 

In the case of development in the Green Belt proposals should be consistent with national Green Belt policy. 

Minor amendment for clarification and to ensure consistency with the NPPF 2019 

CR1 Sequential test

Retail and other main town centre uses (including commercial leisure) should be located within the centres identified on the Policies Map and in Core Strategy Policy CP12. Where there are no suitable and viable sites available (or expected to become available within a reasonable period) to meet the needs for such uses within centres, edge-of-centre locations may be appropriate. Sites should be in a location readily accessible on foot, by bicycle and by public transport, with preference given to sites that are well connected to the town centre. 

Out of centre development of main town centre uses will only be acceptable where i) or ii) below applies:

i No suitable or viable centre or edge of centre sites are available (or expected to become available within a reasonable period) and the proposal would be in a location readily accessible on foot, by cycle and by public transport, with preference given to sites that are well connected to the town centre
ii) It would have a significant adverse impact on existing, committed or planned investment in a centre or centres in the catchment area of the proposal. 

Minor amendments to ensure it reflects the new Use Classes Order (September 2020)

CR2 Impact assessment

Within Bath, an Impact Assessment will be required for Use Class A1-5 E (a-c), together with public houses / drinking establishments and hot food takeaways, and retail proposals over 500sqm (gross) that are located outside of the designated town centres and not in accordance with the Local Plan. For the rest of the District, an Impact Assessment will be required for - Use Class A1-5 E (a-c), together with public houses / drinking establishments and hot food takeaways -  retail proposals over 280sqm (gross) that are located outside of the designated town centres and not in accordance with the Local Plan.

Minor amendments to ensure it reflects the new Use Classes Order (September 2020)

CR3 Primary shopping areas and primary shopping frontages

Development within Primary Shopping Frontages 
Within Primary Shopping Frontages identified on the Policies Map, development will be expected to maintain or provide active ground floor uses. Within Primary Shopping Frontages change of use of shops (Use Class A1) to another use will not be permitted (subject to permitted development rights) unless the proposed use would do all of the following: 

i Make a positive contribution to the vitality, viability and diversity of the centre
ii Not fragment any part of the Primary Shopping Frontage by creating a significant break in the shopping frontage
iii Not result in a loss of retail floorspace of a scale harmful to the shopping function of the centre
iv Be compatible with a retail area, in that it includes a shopfront with a display function and would be immediately accessible to the public from the street

Development outside Primary Shopping Frontages

Outside the Primary Shopping Frontage but within Primary Shopping Areas and Town Centres, the loss of Use Class A1 retail floorspace will be permitted provided that a healthy balance and diversity of uses is retained and concentrations of uses other than Use Class A1 retail use are avoided. The proposed use should still attract pedestrian activity and footfall to the centre and should not significantly harm the amenity of the area. The proposed use should not have an unacceptable impact on the vitality, viability and diversity of the centre.  

Minor amendments to ensure it reflects the new Use Classes Order (September 2020)

Note: The government is currently consulting on further proposed changes to permitted development rights. These would mean a change from any use/mix of uses within the new E use class to residential dwelling (C3) use would be permitted development. The implications of this potential change will be kept under review and may require further changes to Policy CR3.