Development Management Policies Consultation Draft

Ended on the 7th September 2017
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(4) Introduction

2.1 Promoting good design is fundamental to achieving high-quality, inclusive development and is an important consideration for new buildings and public and private spaces. It goes beyond aesthetic considerations, addressing issues such as connectivity between people and places and the integration of development into the natural, built and historic environment.

2.2 Harlow's New Town heritage, based on the design principles set out in the Master Plan prepared by Sir Frederick Gibberd, established the overall layout and character of the town. The dominant green spaces provide a sense of openness and tranquillity in an otherwise relatively densely populated urban area. The policies contained within this chapter aim to conserve, protect and enhance the natural and built environment of Harlow, including its green spaces, biodiversity and overall landscape quality. The policies also aim to safeguard the environment from harmful development that may affect, for example, air quality, water quality or flood risk.

2.3 The district currently has ten Conservation Areas, designated for their special architectural or historic interest. The Conservation Area status aims to ensure the character and appearance of these areas is protected. There are also 168 listed buildings in Harlow which are preserved and enhanced through the policies in the Local Plan. The Council has also sought to identify buildings and structures which have not been identified nationally for listing but which contribute towards the district's distinct character and heritage.

2.4 This chapter and the policies contained within it will help deliver the Council's Corporate Priorities, as follows:

  • A clean and green environment

2.5 This chapter and the policies contained within it will help deliver the following Local Plan Strategic Objectives:

  • Objective 1 – Create and enhance high quality built environments which are well connected to revitalised green spaces
  • Objective 2 – Deliver high quality design through new development whilst protecting and enhancing the district's heritage
  • Objective 3 – Adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change

(4) PL1 Design Principles for Development

A high standard of urban and architectural design is expected for all development. Development will be supported where it meets the following criteria:

(a) it is supported by a design rationale based on an understanding and analysis of local context and character, taking into consideration the Adopted Harlow Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD);

(b) it protects, enhances or improves local distinctiveness, taking account of local character, patterns of development, urban form and landscape character, building typology, detailing and materials, trees and landscaping, front boundary treatments and other features of local and historic significance;

(c) it provides appropriate physical, legible and safe connections with surrounding streets, paths and neighbouring development;

(d) it responds to the scale, height, massing, architectural detailing and materials of the surrounding area, is visually attractive and respects its context without restricting style and innovation;

(e) it provides logical and legible layouts which support active street frontages,  improve the public realm, provide distinction between public and private space,  and provides an appropriate level of well-designed and well-located high quality  landscaping;

(f) it forms inclusive development that is accessible, well-connected, gives sustainable modes of transport priority over private vehicles, and integrates land uses with sustainable modes of transport;

(g) it is flexible enough to respond to economic, social, environmental and technological change;

(h) it creates safe and secure environments which help to reduce opportunities for crime and minimise the fear of crime.

(2) Justification

2.6 This policy sets out the design criteria for all development in Harlow, taking into account the requirements of the Adopted Harlow Design Guide SPD. It also ensures the design and layout of new development respects Sir Frederick Gibberd's Master Plan for the New Town, which ensured the town was planned to be contained within the original landscape and to retain as many natural features as possible.

2.7 The policy is applicable to all development types in the district, whether they are for the provision of buildings and structures or the layout of places and spaces.

(1) Implementation

2.8 A Supplementary Planning Statement or Design and Access Statement will be required for major developments and may be required for other developments. It should demonstrate how the criteria in this policy and relevant national policies and guidance have been complied with.

2.9 For further guidance and explanation on the characteristics of high quality urban and architectural design and the methods to create safe and secure environments, applicants should refer to the Adopted Harlow Design Guide SPD. This will be used to guide and assess future development across Harlow and will be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.

(1) PL2 Amenity Principles for Development

Development which protects or improves the level of amenity of existing and future occupants and neighbours in the local area will be supported.

In assessing the impact of development on amenity, all the following will be considered:

(a) privacy and overlooking;

(b) overshadowing and loss of daylight and sunlight;

(c) aspect and outlook;

(c) overbearing and the perception of overbearing;

(d) the perception of enclosure;

(e) access to high quality and useable amenity space; and

(f) compatibility of adjacent uses.


2.10 This policy aims to promote and protect high standards of amenity. This is a key element of sustainable growth and continued regeneration, and will assist in meeting the Council's priority to ensure regeneration takes place in the district.

2.11 The policy also aims to avoid loss of privacy due to the proximity and design of development and will allow sufficient daylight and sunlight to penetrate into and between buildings. It also takes into account the need for development to provide access to amenity space and links with Harlow's wider Green Infrastructure network.


2.12 For further guidance, applicants should refer to the Adopted Harlow Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document. This is useful when considering the design and layout of new buildings, structures, places and spaces.

2.13 As well as assessing development against all of the criteria in this policy individually, the cumulative effect of each of these criteria will be considered as part of assessment.

(3) PL3 Sustainable Design, Construction and Energy Usage

Development will be expected to deliver high standards of sustainable design and construction and efficient energy usage. Development will be supported where it meets or exceeds the minimum standards required by Building Regulations.

(1) Justification

2.14 Local Plans should consider climate change, the effects of which are wide-ranging and can lead to increased drought, extreme weather events (including heatwaves, snow and storms) and surface water flooding. Such impacts could have a major negative impact on the local economy, people, infrastructure and environment.

2.15 This policy seeks to reduce the impact of new development on the environment and this should be read in conjunction with the Strategic Policies set out the Local Plan which identify the most sustainable locations for growth and promote the use of sustainable modes of transport.

2.16 Many buildings in Harlow are a legacy of its New Town heritage and were constructed using the methods and techniques of the time. Some of these buildings are now no longer fit for purpose and need replacement. The Council will ensure that new buildings are constructed in a sustainable manner and accord with current best practice.

2.17 The policy encourages applicants to consider the impact of their development and seek ways to address the effects, beyond those measures required by Building Regulations.

(1) Implementation

2.18 The Building Regulations set out the minimum requirements for the conservation of fuel and power. The associated guidance suggests measures to reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, which include the consideration of:

(a) appropriate layout and building orientation to maximise solar gain in the winter;

(b) the use of Green Infrastructure, such as trees and rain gardens;

(c)  efficient use of all roof and vertical surfaces for the installation of low carbon technologies and green roofs;

(d) integrating passive ventilation, such as wind catchers, or low energy options where mechanical ventilation or cooling is required;

(e) generating energy from on-site renewable or low-carbon energy systems;

(f) the use of local, sustainable and energy efficient materials; and

(g) the re-use of existing resources.

2.19 A Sustainability Statement may be required for detailing the sustainability credentials of the proposed development. This should cover any use of on-site low carbon/renewable energy technology and how the design, massing, layout, construction of the building and use of Green Infrastructure contributes to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The energy hierarchy set out in the Strategic Policies should be considered within the Sustainability Statement. The Sustainability Statement should also make clear how measures have been incorporated into the design of the development to ensure they are well integrated.

2.20 Where a Sustainability Statement is submitted, the developer will be required to provide evidence of the implementation of the target total carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction level, by using nationally recognised, independently audited schemes such as Energy Performance Certificates. The evidence should include a clear breakdown of the percentage of carbon savings delivered by building efficiency and the use of any low carbon or renewable energy technologies.

(7) PL4 Green Wedges and Green Fingers

Development on land designated as Green Wedge or Green Finger will be supported where it meets one or more of the criteria below:

(a) it is for small-scale development;

(b) it is for essential infrastructure and local transport infrastructure which must  demonstrate a requirement for a Green Wedge or Green Finger location;

(c) it is for the replacement of buildings, provided that the new building/buildings  are in the same use and not more harmful than the one it replaces;

(d) it constitutes strategic infrastructure development which can demonstrate that it  is of benefit to the wider community.

Additionally, development must meet both the criteria below:

(e) it demonstrates that the roles and functions of the Green Wedges and Green  Fingers are not adversely affected; and

(f) it enhances the landscape, promotes biodiversity and integrates with existing  Green Infrastructure.

(2) Justification

2.21 Green Wedges and Fingers are fundamental to the character of Harlow. Sir Frederick Gibberd's Master Plan sought to preserve the form of the original landscape and the natural features that gave the district its distinctive character; consequently the green areas were generally kept free of buildings and as natural as possible.

2.22 The purpose of this policy is to continue to protect the Green Wedges and Green Fingers from encroachment and visual intrusion, while recognising there may be opportunities for some development within them, where the development benefits the wider community or improves the biodiversity and/or landscaping.


2.23 While the roles and functions of the Green Wedges and Green Fingers differ, these two types of open space are complementary and of equal importance; the main difference being their scale. Details of their roles and functions are set out in the Strategic Policies.

2.24 Small-scale development can include householder applications, school or sports related development, recreation and community uses.

2.25 Applications for local transport infrastructure must demonstrate their requirement for a Green Wedge or Green Finger location. This would also include the provision of essential infrastructure identified in the Local Plan, or where the applicant can demonstrate that there is no other location within the district that could accommodate the proposed infrastructure.

(2) PL5 Other Open Spaces

Development on Other Open Spaces will be supported unless one or more of the following criteria are met:

(a) the development would compromise the landscape character, openness,  biodiversity or urban design principles of the town and/or the surrounding area;

(b) the development would remove access to an open space which, in accordance  with the current evidence, is of high quality and/or high public value in providing  opportunities for sport and recreation;

(c) the development would prejudice the potential for comprehensive development  of adjacent land.

(1) Justification

2.26 Along with the preservation of Green Wedges and Green Fingers, the preservation of Other Open Spaces is fundamental to ensuring the original design of Sir Frederick Gibberd's Master Plan for Harlow is respected, which planned the district to be interspersed with many open spaces to offset the provision of small private gardens.

2.27 Other Open Spaces can be of public value where they have a role or function which makes a positive contribution to the character of the area. Such spaces often provide opportunities for recreational uses and also provide landscaping and visual buffers.

2.28 The aim of this policy is to protect those Other Open Spaces which make a positive contribution, through their specific role or function, to the overall character and design of Harlow. For example, some Other Open Spaces offer amenity and informal recreational opportunities, and therefore contribute to the health and wellbeing of local residents by providing nearby spaces for outdoor and physical activity.


2.29 Other Open Spaces are defined as open spaces, both private and publically owned, which are not allocated as Green Belt, Green Wedge or Green Finger in the Local Plan. Other Open Spaces vary in nature and quality and can include:

  • strips of landscaping, for example next to a road, pavement or cycle path;
  • amenity spaces and gardens;
  • areas of land between buildings;
  • informal recreational areas; and
  • woodland and landscaping belts.

2.30 An application for infill development, which would block the potential for comprehensive development, would not be supported. For example, where there are open spaces adjacent to each other, the development of one open space in isolation could prevent the opportunity to develop the open spaces as a whole.

(1) PL6 Trees and Hedgerows

1. Existing trees and hedges

Development and tree works applications, which ensure that trees and hedges are protected and enhanced, will be supported. Where development has a negative impact on existing trees and hedges, the proposal will be assessed based on all the following criteria:

(a) the impacts the development would have on the trees and/or hedges and the  proposed measures to mitigate any impacts;

b) the character and value of the trees and/or hedges;

c) the existing condition of the trees and/or hedges;

d) any existing specific protections the trees and/or hedges currently have; and

e) the provisioning of replacement trees and/or hedges, which are a suitable  species and ensure the canopy cover is maintained and enhanced.

2. Trees and hedges in new development

Development which includes the planting of new trees and hedges will be supported where all the following criteria are met:

a) the location and species of the trees and hedges are suitable, when considering  their juxtaposition to development and infrastructure both above and below  ground;

b) the species selection of trees and hedges helps enhance resilience and  diversity of the trees and hedges, including genetic and species diversity;

c) the total canopy cover of the proposal site will be increased, in the long-term,  through the planting of trees, shrubs and hedges; and

d) where necessary, the below-ground environment is enhanced.


2.31 This policy aims to protect the trees and hedgerows in Harlow, which form an important part of the Green Infrastructure and landscaping in the district, fundamental to Harlow's original design character. Trees and hedgerows provide wildlife habitats and natural visual and noise buffers, and assist in mitigating the effects of climate change, for example by providing shading and reducing the temperature of the local micro-climate.

2.32 Whilst over 300 trees in Harlow are already protected by Tree Preservation Orders, and many trees and hedgerows are found within protected areas such as Green Wedges, there are a number of significant trees and hedgerows found in Other Open Spaces and residential areas.

2.33 Many of the trees and hedgerows in the district are over 70 years old and, therefore, pre-date the development of the New Town, as Sir Frederick Gibberd's Master Plan aimed to respect the existing natural landscape assets. There are over 250 veteran trees in Harlow and many of the existing trees are likely to become veteran and ancient specimens in the future. A number of hedges have historic importance, especially where they are found along original highways and old parish and farm boundaries.

(1) Implementation

2.34 When assessing the impacts of development on trees and/or hedges and measures to mitigate any impacts, an Arboricultural Impact Assessment and Arboricultural Method Statement may need to be submitted to the Council.

2.35 When assessing the value and condition of existing trees and/or hedgerows, a survey may need to be submitted to the Council. The value that trees and/or hedges offer includes historic, cultural, ecological, economic and amenity value. The condition includes the health and structure of the trees and/or hedges.

2.36 Existing specific protections that trees and/or hedges may have include Tree Preservation Orders and other protections offered by Conservation Areas or Hedgerow Regulations.

2.37 The enhancement of the below-ground environment could be achieved through measures such as cellular confinement systems, Sustainable Drainage Systems, soil mycorrhizal inoculations and porous surfacing.

2.38 The Council may also require a Management Plan to be submitted, which demonstrates how the future maintenance of new trees and hedges would be managed, in order to protect their long-term quality.

2.39 Where appropriate, the Council will consult with specialists to obtain advice on tree and hedgerow matters.

(4) PL7 Green Infrastructure and Landscaping

Green Infrastructure and landscaping must be protected and enhanced as part of development.

Development will be supported where all the following criteria are met:

(a) new Green Infrastructure and landscaping are well planned, taking into
consideration the practicalities and requirements of future management and  maintenance;

(b) existing Green Infrastructure and landscaping are, where possible, protected and  enhanced and in all cases are sympathetically integrated into the development;  and

(c) development makes connections wherever possible to landscaping and
Green Infrastructure outside of the site.


2.40 Green Infrastructure is an important element of Harlow's distinctive character, which Sir Frederick Gibberd developed within his original Master Plan to respect the existing natural environment and integrate it within the New Town to provide functional areas of green and open space which could be used and enjoyed by wildlife, visitors and residents.

2.41 The requirement of this policy is for new Green Infrastructure and landscaping to be sympathetically integrated into development to ensure the continuation of Sir Frederick Gibberd's Master Plan.

2.42 There are opportunities for development to create, protect and enhance existing Green Infrastructure and landscaping, to improve the natural environment, and create additional wildlife habitats and reinforce existing green links. This policy aims to protect existing Green Infrastructure in Harlow and ensure that new Green Infrastructure is well-planned and effectively managed in the future.


2.43 Green Infrastructure is multi-functional natural and man-made green space, including parks, playing fields, woodlands, allotments and wildlife corridors. At a smaller-scale, it also includes measures to assist climate change mitigation, such as green roofs and green walls.

2.44 The Adopted Harlow Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document should be consulted for guidance on appropriate landscaping for development.

2.45 The Council may require a Management Plan to be submitted, which demonstrates how the future maintenance of the Green Infrastructure and landscaping would be managed, in order to protect its quality and functionality in the long-term.

(3) PL8Biodiversity and Geodiversity Assets

Development should contribute to and enhance biodiversity or geodiversity assets.

The potential harm caused by development on these assets and their surroundings will be assessed based on the harm caused by the development. The greater the significance of the asset, the greater the weight that is given to the asset's protection.

Development will be supported where it meets the following criteria:

(a) it creates new biodiversity and protects geodiversity assets and creates links to existing biodiversity and geodiversity assets;

(b) it includes the protection and enhancement of existing biodiversity and geodiversity assets;

(c) where it can be demonstrated that protection and enhancement of existing biodiversity and geodiversity assets is not possible, appropriate measures must mitigate the negative effects on these assets.


2.46 As a planned New Town, Harlow benefits from networks of open spaces which contribute to the biodiversity of the district, conserve habitats of local significance and enable the appreciation of wildlife.

2.47 Helping to protect and enhance biodiversity is one of the fundamental aims of national policies and guidance, to halt the overall decline in biodiversity. This policy aims to ensure the continued protection and enhancement of biodiversity and geodiversity assets in Harlow.


2.48 Designated biodiversity and geodiversity assets are allocated on the Policies Map and are listed in the Appendices. In Harlow, the highest order asset type is Sites of Special Scientific Interest, followed by locally designated sites, ancient woodland, and aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland. There are, as yet, no designated geodiversity assets in Harlow.

2.49 There may also be non-designated assets of biodiversity and geodiversity importance which the Council will seek to protect and enhance, in order to extend the geodiversity and the network of biodiversity and open spaces across the district.

2.50 The Council may require assessments of biodiversity and geodiversity assets to be submitted, which identify the impacts of development and any necessary mitigation and/or compensatory measures.

2.51 Biodiversity assets within development will require appropriate protection, enhancement and/or mitigation measures for the biodiversity assets. Appropriate measures could include management agreements, planning conditions and/or obligations.

(3) PL9Pollution and Contamination

All development proposals must minimise and, where possible, reduce all forms of pollution and contamination.

Development will be supported unless, individually or cumulatively, there are unacceptable impacts on or from:

  • noise pollution;
  • light pollution;
  • air quality (including dust, odour and emissions);
  • vibration;
  • surface and ground water quality;
  • land quality, condition and stability;
  • the natural environment;
  • the built environment;
  • general amenity;
  • health and safety of public;
  • compliance with statutory environmental quality standards.

The location and type of development and its relationship to the surrounding built and natural environment will be taken into consideration when assessing the acceptability of the impacts.

Where it can be demonstrated that pollution and/or contamination is unavoidable, appropriate measures must mitigate the negative effects of the development.

(1) Justification

2.52 It is important that any potential conflicts arising from pollution or contamination are assessed in order to protect the built and natural environment, including safeguarding local amenity and the health and well-being of local residents

2.53 Sir Frederick Gibberd's Master Plan for Harlow separated residential uses from industrial uses, which were concentrated within a number of employment areas. Consequently the Council will consider whether new uses are compatible with existing uses within an area in order to minimise the risk of pollution and/or contamination.

2.54 Development in Harlow has historically been built at a high density. Where new development could have an impact on existing development due to potential pollution or contamination, the Council will give careful consideration to impacts on the amenities of the surrounding area.

2.55 In terms of air quality in Harlow, air quality monitoring has been undertaken and there are no areas where the air quality has led to the designation of Air Quality Management Areas. This policy aims to maintain this position in the district.


2.56 The Council may require assessments of any pollution and/or contamination to be undertaken and submitted, which identify any existing pollution and/or contamination, and the impacts of the development and any necessary mitigation and/or compensatory measures. For example, an assessment of light may need to take into consideration the detail of the angles of lights, lighting design, light spillage, luminance levels, height of light columns and proposed hours of use. Mitigation measures could include the use of baffles and appropriate building design to minimise impacts. The Council may also impose conditions to control and manage pollution and contamination levels.

(7) PL10 Water Quality, Water Management, Flooding and
Sustainable Drainage Systems

1. Water Quality

Development will be supported unlessit adversely affects water quality, including quality of waterways and other bodies of water, identified Source Protection Zones (SPZ), Aquifers and all other groundwater.

New developments adjacent to water courses must seek to include restoration and de-culverting. The culverting of water courses must be avoided wherever possible.

2. Water Management

To minimise impact on the water environment, all new dwellings should achieve the Optional Technical Housing Standard for water efficiency of no more than 110 litres per day as described by Building Regulations.

3. Flooding

All development proposals will be considered against the NPPF (including application of the sequential test and, if necessary, the exception test) and against the European Water Framework Directive (or any subsequent equivalent).

Development must follow a risk-based and sequential approach, so that it is located in the lowest flood risk area. If this cannot be achieved, the exception test must be applied and the appropriate mitigation measures must be undertaken.

Development must meet all the following criteria:

(a) it must not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere;

(b) within sites at risk of flooding, the most vulnerable parts of the proposed  development must be located in areas of lowest flood risk;

(c) flood levels of development in Flood Zones 2 and 3 should be situated above the  1% (1 in 100 years) plus climate change predicted maximum water level, plus a  minimum watertight depth of 300mm above the normal water level;

(d) development must be flood resilient and resistant, with safe access and escape  routes, and it should also be demonstrated that residual risks can be safely  managed;

(e) any necessary flood protection or mitigation measures should not have an undue  impact on nature conservation, landscape character, recreation or other  important matters;

(f) there should be no net loss in flood storage on site;

(g) flood flow routes should be preserved; and

(h) where necessary, planning permission will be conditional upon flood protection  and/or runoff control measures being operative before other site works.

4. Sustainable Drainage Systems

Where a sustainable drainage system (SuDS) is required, the drainage scheme must meet all the following criteria:

(a) provide the most sustainable option from the SuDS hierarchy;

(b) achieve multiple benefits including management of flood risk and surface water  pollution, amenity and biodiversity;

(c) achieve the greenfield runoff rate;

(d) provide appropriate attenuation taking into account climate change;

(e) provide arrangements for future maintenance and management; and

(f) major proposals should also comply with the principles and standards set out by  the Lead Local Flood Authority for SuDS.

(1) Justification

2.57 Sir Frederick Gibberd's Master Plan planned Harlow within the landscape, keeping the valleys free from development and building on the higher ground, therefore helping to prevent major flooding.

2.58 This policy will ensure that the quality of drinking water is maintained, avoiding harmful polluting developments which affect its quality.

2.59 The policy also sets out targets for water management. The Environment Agency's report, Water Stressed areas – final classification (2013), states there is serious water stress for many parts of the east of England including Harlow, both now and in the future. Serious water stress is the result of a large population with high water demands but with limited water availability.

2.60 It is therefore appropriate to set a water use target of 110 litres per head per day for residential development, which is approximately 50 litres less than the current Harlow average and 15 litres less than the standard Building Regulations requirements. Developing a house with this target could save 79kg of CO2 and 15m3 of water per year per house.

2.61 This policy also aims to prevent the risk of flooding in the district. Flood risk is a combination of the probability and the potential consequences of flooding from all sources – including from rivers and the sea, directly from rainfall on the ground surface and rising groundwater, overwhelmed sewers and drainage systems, and from reservoirs, canals and lakes and other artificial sources.

2.62 Surface water flooding is also an important issue and this policy aims to prevent this through the use of sustainable drainage systems in new developments. Sustainable drainage systems are designed to control surface water run off close to where it falls and mimic natural drainage as closely as possible. They provide opportunities to reduce the causes and impacts of flooding, remove pollutants from urban run-off at source through natural filtration and combine water management with green space to provide benefits for amenity, recreation and wildlife.

(1) Implementation

2.63 Applications for developments involving high risk activities in Special Protection Zones (SPZs) or aquifers must be accompanied by a risk assessment to determine whether the development would pose a threat to water quality and what mitigation measures or management strategy is being put in place to deal with the risk. In terms of water quality, high risk activities include those involving hazardous substances such as pesticides, oils, petrol and diesel.

2.64 Meeting the water management target can be achieved by ensuring development makes use of efficient appliances such as efficient showerheads, spray taps and low-flush toilets, recycling grey water, and using natural filtration measures and facilities.

2.65 National policies and guidance defines flood zones and the types of development which are considered appropriate and inappropriate. It also provides information on the sequential test for Flood Risk Zones and how to then apply an exception test.

2.66 Applicants may be required to submit a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment to the Council in order to assess the flood risk to and from the development site. Applicants should refer to the latest guidance from the Environment Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the most up to date information on Flood Risk Assessment.

2.67 To demonstrate that a development will be protected over its lifetime, information must be submitted in the assessment of how users will access the development, how flood risk will be reduced, how any overland flood and flow routes are preserved and what flood defence infrastructure will be in place. Flood warning and evacuation procedures may also need to be put in place.

2.68 The risk of flooding can be avoided and reduced by:

  • locating new development within areas of lower flood risk through the application of the sequential test for Flood Risk Zones and then applying an exception test in accordance with the NPPF;
  • ensuring that development proposals in flood risk areas actively manage and reduce flood risk by applying the sequential approach at site level;
  • where possible, the footprint of existing buildings should be reduced;
  • where possible, flood storage should be maximised through the use of Green Infrastructure.

2.69 In terms of surface water flooding, the general aim should be to discharge surface run off as high up the following hierarchy of drainage options as reasonably practicable:

  1. into the ground (infiltration);
  2. to a surface water body;
  3. to a surface water sewer, highway drain, or another drainage system;
  4. to a combined sewer.

2.70 Methods of attenuation include attenuation ponds, filter strips and swales.

2.71 When considering whether a drainage system is appropriate for a development, the Council will consider the technical standards produced by DEFRA, design and constructions costs and advice from the relevant flood risk management bodies. When planning a sustainable drainage system, developers need to ensure their design takes account of the construction, operation and maintenance requirements of both surface and subsurface components, allowing for any personnel, vehicle or machinery access required to undertake this work.

2.72 The Council will consult the statutory bodies on drainage systems where it is applicable to do so.

2.73 Developers should refer to the Council's Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for further information and advice.

(5) PL11 Heritage Assets and their Settings

Development that affects a heritage asset or its setting will be assessed based on the harm caused by the development on the significance of the heritage asset. The greater the significance of the asset, the greater the weight that is given to the asset's conservation. The level of impact caused to the significance of the heritage asset will be assessed against allthe following criteria:

(a) the impact of development on the character, appearance, or any other aspect of  significance of the asset or its setting;

(b) the design quality of the development and the extent to which it safeguards and  harmonises with the period, style, materials and detailing of the asset (including  scale, form, massing, height, elevation, detailed design, layout and distinctive  features); and

(c)  the extent to which the development is sympathetically integrated within the  area and any distinctive features (including its setting in relation to the  surrounding area, other buildings, structures and wider vistas and views).

(1) Justification

2.74 The purpose of this policy is to protect the features and characteristics for which designated and non-designated heritage assets were selected. This also includes any buildings or structures within the curtilage or wider setting of a heritage asset and which contribute towards its significance.

2.75 National policies highlight the importance of these assets as irreplaceable resources. They are part of the historic environment which contributes strongly to the character and distinctiveness of places; bringing wider social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits to local communities and providing enjoyment to the wider public.

2.76 Harlow contains several Scheduled Monuments including a number of historic moats and burial mounds, earthwork remains of medieval villages, a barn, a chapel and remnants of Roman villas and temples. The district has a rich historical past and contains various archaeological remains, which were preserved throughout the development of the New Town.

2.77 Harlow contains one Historic Park and Garden to the east of the district which was previously owned, developed and maintained by Sir Frederick Gibberd. The gardens and the house are located within the Stort Valley to the east of the town.


2.78 Designated heritage assets include listed buildings and their curtilage, conservation areas, archaeological remains, Scheduled Monuments and historic parks and gardens as well as their settings. Locally listed buildings are known as non-designated assets. Historic England administers national designations which include all designated heritage assets apart from conservation areas.

2.79 National policies and guidance outline the rationale behind the designation of heritage assets, with special architectural or historic interest being at the core of any designation decision. National policies also set out the hierarchy of significance of historic assets.

2.80 Where appropriate, the Council will consult with Historic England and Essex County Council to obtain specialist advice on heritage assets.

Listed and Locally Listed Buildings

2.81 Harlow has over 150 listed buildings (refer to the Appendices for more information). The Department for Culture, Media and Sport designates listed buildings and Scheduled Monuments. Locally listed buildings have also been identified as they contribute towards the district's heritage.

2.82 The register of nationally listed and locally listed buildings may alter during the Local Plan period. Any updates to these lists, including the removal or addition of buildings and structures, will be published on the Council's website.

2.83 Where planning permission is required for alterations or additions to listed and locally listed buildings, a Heritage Statement should be submitted assessing how the proposal complements or mitigates any harm towards a building's historic character and/or architectural interest. For proposals which affect a Grade I or II* listed building or structure, the Council will also seek advice from Historic England.

2.84 As well as assessing the effect that development would have on the physical features of a listed or locally listed building/structure, this policy will also assess the impact the proposal will have on the asset's setting. The term 'setting' refers to the surroundings in which a building or structure is located, and may therefore be more extensive than its curtilage. Setting is often expressed by reference to visual considerations, although the way in which a building or structure is experienced in its setting is also influenced by other environmental factors such as noise, dust and vibration from other land uses, and by understanding the historic relationship between places.

2.85 When assessing applications for development which may affect the setting of a listed or locally listed building or structure, consideration will be given to the implications of cumulative change which may materially impact on the significance of the building or structure, its economic viability and its conservation.

Conservation Areas

2.86 The district's ten Conservation Areas are allocated on the Policies Map and have been designated because of their special architectural or historic interest. This policy ensures that development in Conservation Areas respects the character, appearance and features which justify the special designation of that area. This is also applicable to development which affects the setting of a Conservation Area. The Council will encourage redevelopment and refurbishment that would enhance a Conservation Area and its setting.

2.87 The Council has completed character appraisals and management plans for several of the district's Conservation Areas. This is part of an ongoing monitoring and review process. Supporting statements accompanying an application should set out how development proposals have considered these character appraisals and how they have accorded with management plans. The appraisals, plans and confirmed Article 4 Directions for the Old Harlow and Harlow Garden Village Estate Conservation Areas are available on the Council's website.


2.88 A desk-based assessment, or where appropriate an archaeological field evaluation, must be submitted where proposals are on or adjacent to sites of known archaeological interest or sites believed to possess potential archaeological significance. Following the assessment, further investigation may be required.

2.89 Where the loss of the whole or a part of a heritage asset's archaeological significance is justified, planning conditions may be attached to a planning permission to ensure that an adequate record is made of the significance of the heritage asset before it is lost.

(2) PL12 Enabling Development of Heritage Assets and
their Settings

Development affecting a heritage asset (and its setting) which is at risk will be supported where it would otherwise conflict with other policies of the Local Plan, if this is the only way to secure the future conservation of the asset and it can be demonstrated that the benefits of the development outweigh the negative impacts.


2.90 Enabling development may be considered appropriate where the ongoing conservation of a listed building or locally listed building is at risk, and in this instance it must be shown that this is the only way to conserve the asset by providing an income for the upkeep and repair. Such development will not be justified on the basis that it will generate increased revenue or property values.


2.91 For advice on what should be included in an application for planning permission and more general guidance on enabling development, refer to the Historic England website.

(1) PL13 Advertisements

Proposals for advertisements will be assessed against all the following criteria:

(a) the effect the advertisement may have on the general amenity of the area,  including heritage assets, and the presence of any features of landscape or  cultural significance;

(b) the position of the advertisement in comparison to the scale and size of the host  building;

(c) the cumulative effect of the development when read with other advertisements  on the building or in the surrounding area. The clutter or over-concentration of  advertisements must be avoided;

(d) the size, scale, dominance and siting of the advertisement and how it relates to  the scale and character of the surrounding area;

(e) the design and materials of the advertisement, or the structure containing the  advertisement, and its impact upon the appearance of the building on which it is  to be affixed and the character of the surrounding area;

(f) the size, scale, type and levels of illumination of the advertisement and its impact  upon the amenity of people living nearby and the potential for light pollution;  and

(g) the impact upon the safety of the public, including highway users.

(1) Justification

2.92 Advertisements can contribute significantly to the character of an area and, without proper management, can create clutter and an unattractive street scene in the built environment. However, advertising is an important way of promoting businesses and contributing to the vitality of the area. The intention of this policy is, therefore, to manage advertisements in a consistent manner, taking into consideration any impact on the amenity value of the area and the safety of the public.


2.93 This policy will apply to proposals which require the express consent of the Council. The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007 sets out where express consent is required.

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