Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Strategy for Cumulative Impacts

Next Steps

7       Next Steps

7.1    National planning policy is now contained in the National Planning Policy Framework, 2013, the National Planning Practice Guidance, 2014 and the National Planning Policy for Waste, 2014.  Apart from the sand and gravel drop-in sessions in 2012, the previous consultation exercises were undertaken prior to the publication of these policy statements and it is necessary to revisit the emerging messages from those early consultation exercises in light of this new policy framework and guidance, particularly given the continued prominence of cumulative impacts in the new statements.

7.2    Issue 1: The inclusion of cumulative impacts in the overall policy framework of the Minerals and Waste Local Plans

Government policy and guidance concerning the issues which mineral and waste planning authorities should take into account when assessing development proposals includes the need to take account of cumulative impacts.  The need to take account of cumulative impacts is already included in the policies of the existing minerals and waste local plans and the responses to previous consultation exercises, and to individual planning applications, has been that this should continue into the new plans. This consultation provides an opportunity for that message to be reaffirmed, if you still consider it to be appropriate, and also to help agree how such assessments should be undertaken in light of new Government policy and guidance. For the purposes of clarification, the policies of the new plans will address both beneficial and adverse cumulative impacts and both impacts will be taken into account in the consideration of new development proposals. 

7.3    Issue 2: Methodology for the assessment of cumulative impacts

The review provided with this consultation indicates that, at present, there is not an adopted standard methodology for the assessment of cumulative impacts of new development proposals. The National Planning Policy Framework refers (paragraph 143) to the cumulative impacts from an individual site or a number of individual sites in an area. The reference is found in the minerals section but it could equally apply to waste management developments. The approach suggested by Mr Justice Brown (reference 6) includes a wider range of issues; which are i) successive effects, ii) simultaneous effects from concurrent developments, and iii) combined effects from the same developments. Both new plans could take an approach which strictly follows the guidance in the NPPF or they could adopt an approach which takes a wider range of factors into account. We are seeking your views to establish the most appropriate approach for assessing new development proposals in Derbyshire and Derby.

Option 1: Adopt a methodology for the assessment of cumulative impacts based on the NPPF guidance which refers to the cumulative impacts from an individual site or a number of individual sites in an area.

This option would be in line with the National Planning Policy Framework and could be justified on that basis. However, the review of the different methodologies provided above shows that there are a range of techniques which are available for use in different circumstances. Basing a policy strictly on this limited range of factors may not be appropriate for the circumstances pertaining in Derbyshire and Derby where you have previously indicated that cumulative impacts are a major issue due to the industrial legacy of the area.

Option 2: Adopt a methodology for the assessment of cumulative impacts based on the approach suggested by Mr Justice Brown which includes i) successive effects, ii) simultaneous effects from concurrent developments, and iii) combined effects from the same developments.

This option would enable a wider range of issues to be taken into account in the assessment of cumulative impacts. It would enable successive effects over time to be assessed which would allow a more thorough examination of the impacts of a new development proposal set against the effects of historic industrial developments.

7.4 Issue 3: Recognition of differences in the baseline conditions in different parts of the Plan area.

The assessment of cumulative impacts requires not only an appropriate methodology, but also a measure of the situation in the area or of the community which is being affected. The summary provided by the historical context (see support paper for further details) indicates that industrial developments were focused in certain parts of the Plan area and as a result these areas have experienced a greater level of adverse impacts. The messages from previous consultation exercises and from responses to other mineral and waste planning applications is that these areas are more sensitive to additional, further adverse cumulative impacts compared to areas where little or no development has taken place.  Correspondingly those areas also have greater potential to benefit from the positive aspects of new developments.

We are seeking your views about how the new plans will recognize those differences in sensitivity.

Option 1: The criteria that will be used to assess the cumulative impacts of development reflects the differences in the baseline conditions (historical context) between different parts of the Plan area.

This option would overtly recognise the effects and implications of the historical legacy of different parts of the Plan area which would allow the corresponding differences in the levels of sensitivity to future change to be taken into consideration. It would enable the use of different assessment methodologies and/or factors which are appropriate to the area of a proposed development.

Option 2: That the same criteria are used to assess the cumulative impacts of developments for all parts of the Plan area.

You may consider that the crucial requirement is to establish a comprehensive set of criteria that could be used to assess the cumulative impact of developments on all parts of the Plan area. This option would place emphasis on the range of issues to be taken into account in the assessment of cumulative impacts. It would not automatically require as assessment of those issues which did not apply to the respective parts of the Plan area but it would not discount the possibility of those issues being a relevant consideration either now or at some point during the Plan period. The use of an appropriate methodology would enable differing weights to be given to particular impacts in specific parts of the Plan area.