Save time, do it online: Pay Apply Report

Common planning issues

Before making a planning application there maybe a number of factors which could affect a potential site. These are known as constraints and need to be taken into consideration.

Listed below are the most common types of planning constraints. General description for each type of constraint is provided along with its relevance to the planning application process and links to the relevant planning policies. Where appropriate the information may link through to an external website.

General planning constraints

Flood risk

Flooding from rivers and coastal waters is a natural process that plays an important role in shaping the natural environment. Flooding can cause substantial damage to property and threaten human life. The resulting damage to people and property is a consequence of previous human decisions about the location, nature of settlement and land use. It will never be possible to prevent flooding entirely but through the planning application process we can try to minimise the impact that development would have on these designated areas.

Relevance to planning application process:

Local Planning Authorities have to consult the Environment Agency on any development proposals that are at risk from flooding, therefore all applications are geographically analysed to see if they lie within a flood risk area. The Environment Agency provides technical advice on how best to avoid adverse impacts.

Related planning policy documents:

Contaminated land

Land formerly used for any commercial, industrial or waste disposal purposes can be contaminated by substances that may pose immediate or long-term hazards to the environment or to health, or which may damage any buildings erected on such sites. Contaminants may also escape from the site to cause air and water pollution and pollution of nearby land; the emission of landfill gas may be particularly hazardous. For further information see the Contaminated Land Strategy.

Relevance to planning application process:

If an application is submitted on land where it is known or strongly suspected that the site may have had a previous use which could have potentially contaminated the land, then the Councils Contaminated Land Officer will be consulted. The application and the site will then be assessed and if necessary, the applicant/developer will be required to commission an investigation of the potential hazards. Proposals for remedial action will normally be required before the application can be determined by the planning authority. Any planning permission granted may include planning conditions requiring certain actions to be carried prior to commencement of the development.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is a legally enforceable order, made under the Planning Legislation by the Local Planning Authority. It protects designated trees, groups of trees or woodlands where their damage or removal would have a significantly detrimental impact on the landscape.

Relevance to planning application process:

Any development which may be deemed to affect a TPO will be viewed by our Arboriculturist (Tree Officer) who will consider the risk implications to the protected tree(s) and advise the applicant/developer of any relevant measures required to safeguard the well being of the tree(s). A TPO will not prevent planning permission being granted.

Related planning policy documents:

See Policy NE13 Protection of trees on Eden Local Plan 1996 (PDF: 1.2Mb / 109 pages)

Conservation areas

We have a duty to consider whether certain parts of the District are areas of special architectural or historic interest; the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance and to designate these as Conservation Areas. In Eden there are currently 24 designated Conservation Areas.

Relevance to planning application process:

Within conservation areas, high standards of design are promoted. The Council is particularly concerned about new development within Conservation Areas and careful attention is paid to design to ensure that any new development compliments the existing character of the area and does not detract from it.

Conservation Areas have added protection against poor or inappropriate development and certain works (including demolition) may require Conservation Area consent.

Related Planning Policy Documents:

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is exactly what it says it is: a precious landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so outstanding that it is in the nation's interest to safeguard them. Their care has been entrusted to the local authorities, organisations, community groups and the individuals who live and work within them or who value them. Each AONB has been designated for special attention by reason of their high qualities.

Relevance to planning application process:

Part of The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty lies within the Eden District. Therefore the Council has a duty to try and protect and enhance the special character of the area through the promotion of appropriate siting, design, materials and landscaping measures, which helps to minimise the impact on this protected environment. Development proposals will only be permitted on sites within or immediately adjacent to already established settlements. Exceptional, justified circumstances would have to be proven to allow major developments elsewhere in the AONB.

Related planning policy documents:

See Policy NE2 Development in the North Pennines AONB on Eden Local Plan 1996 (PDF: 1.2Mb / 109 pages)

Article 4 directions

Planning legislation allows certain minor developments (small extensions and alterations, improvements and repairs) to be carried out without the need for planning permission. Such works are known as permitted development rights. Article 4 Directions can be introduced to reduce or remove permitted development rights in areas where it is felt the character and appearance need to preserved.

Relevance to planning application process:

If an Article 4 Direction is introduced to an area, certain works previously allowed by permitted development rights will now require a planning application. The intention of the direction is not to prevent all change, but to ensure that any significant changes are subject to planning control. No fee is payable for planning applications required solely as a result of an Article 4 Direction.

Alston is the only location in the Eden District which has an Article 4 (2) direction. This removes certain permitted development rights for works which affect the 'frontages' of properties in the Alston Conservation Area. See Alston conservation area - a guide to the article 4(2)

There are no specific planning policies related to Article 4 Directions.

Article 3 directions

Planning legislation allows certain minor developments (small extensions and alterations, improvements and repairs) to be carried out without the need for planning permission. Such works are known as permitted development rights. Article 3 Directions limit permitted development rights for most forms of development if an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required.

Relevance to planning application process:

Article 3 Directions generally tend to cover sensitive areas such as National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Conservation Areas. Therefore the normal permitted development rights in these areas are reduced and generally developments over certain, specified size limits will require a planning application. Through the planning application process the development can be assessed for its potential impact on the environment. No fee is payable for planning applications required solely as a result of an Article 3 Direction.

There are no specific planning policies related to Article 3 Directions.

Listed buildings

A listed building is a building, object or structure considered to be of special architectural or historic interest and included in a statutory list compiled by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. By virtue of the Act, any object or structure fixed to the building and any object or structure within the curtilage of the building, which although not fixed to the building, forms part of the land and has done so since before 1st July 1948, is also treated as part of the listed building. In Eden District there are over 1,900 listed buildings.

Relevance to planning application process:

Demolishing or carrying out any alterations or extensions or to attach any signs, lighting and so on which would affect the character of a listed building requires listed building consent. This would be in addition to any other consents required, such as planning permission, advertisement consent or building regulation approval.

Related planning policy documents:

It is a criminal offence to carry out works to a listed building without prior listed building consent - even if you were not aware that the building was listed. To do this could lead to a substantial fine or imprisonment. For further information see listed buildings.