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Common planning issues

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

Listed below are the most common types of planning constraints. There is a general description for each type of constraint, 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 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

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, can contaminate land formerly used for any commercial, industrial or waste disposal purposes. 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.

Read the Contaminated Land Strategy to find out how we identify and prioritise sites to investigate.

Relevance to planning application process:

If submitting an application on land known to have, or strongly suspected to have, a previous use that could potentially contaminate the land, our Contaminated Land Officer will assess the application and site and, if necessary, the applicant/developer will commission an investigation of the potential hazards. The applicant/developer must propose remedial action before determination of the application by the planning authority. Any planning permission granted may include planning conditions requiring the carrying out of certain actions prior to commencement of the development.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

A Tree Preservation Order 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:

Our Arboriculturist (Tree Officer) will view any development deemed to affect a TPO and 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 the granting of planning permission.

Related planning policy documents:

Read the Eden Local Plan 2014-2032.

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.

Read about the designated Conservation Areas in Eden.

Relevance to planning application process:

We promote high standards of design within Conservation Areas. We are particularly concerned about new developments within Conservation Areas. We pay careful attention to design to ensure that any new developments complement 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:

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) on GOV.UK.

Eden Local Plan 2014-2032.

An Area 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. We entrust care to Local Authorities, organisations, community groups and individuals who live and work within them, or who value them. Designation of AONBs is because of their high qualities.

Relevance to planning application process:

Part of The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty lies within the Eden District. We have a duty to protect and enhance the special character of the area through the promotion of appropriate siting, design, materials and landscaping measures, which help to minimise the impact on this protected environment. We permit development proposals on sites within, or immediately adjacent to, already established settlements. To allow major developments elsewhere in the AONB, exceptional, justified circumstances, need proving.

Article 4 directions

Planning legislation allows certain minor developments (small extensions and alterations, improvements and repairs) without the need for planning permission. Such works are ‘permitted development rights’. Article 4 Directions can reduce or remove permitted development rights in areas where it is felt the character and appearance need preserving.

Relevance to planning application process:

In introducing an Article 4 Direction to an area, certain works previously allowed by permitted development rights will now require a planning application. The intention of an Article 4 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 because 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.

Read about the Alston conservation area - a guide to Article 4(2). There are no specific planning policies related to Article 4 Directions.

Article 3 directions

Planning legislation allows the carrying out of certain minor developments (small extensions and alterations, improvements and repairs) without the need for planning permission. Such works are ‘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 tend to cover sensitive areas, such as National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Conservation Areas. Normal permitted development rights in these areas reduce and developments over certain specified size limits will require a planning application. Through the planning application process, we assess the development for its potential impact on the environment. No fee is payable for planning applications required solely because 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 1 July 1948, is 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 and lighting which affect the character of a listed building requires listed building consent. This is in addition to any other consents required, such as planning permission, advertisement consent, or building regulation approval.

Related planning policy documents:

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) on GOV.UK.

Eden Local Plan 2014-2032.

Core Strategy Development Plan Document (PDF: 3Mb / 96 pages).

It is a criminal offence to carry out works to a listed building, knowingly, or unknowingly, without prior listed building consent. To do this could lead to a substantial fine or imprisonment.

Read more about the listed building.

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