The Built and Historic Environment
The development strategy of the plan and the sites proposed for development reflect the area’s settlement structure of the city, towns and villages, retaining the separate identities of individual settlements.
Development proposals will be required to conserve and enhance the built and historic environment through:
- being designed to create a distinct sense of place and enhance local character taking account of local design and other guidance, undertaking a heritage impact assessment if significant impacts might arise, and providing measures such as heritage interpretation to further the understanding of local heritage issues;
- avoiding harm to designated and non-designated heritage assets and historic character, unless there are overriding benefits from the development that outweigh that harm or loss and the harm has been minimised;
- providing a continued or new use for heritage assets whilst retaining their historic significance.
In applying the above, regard will be given to the level of importance of the heritage asset.
The Natural Environment
Development proposals will be required to conserve and enhance the natural environment (including valued landscapes, biodiversity including priority habitats, networks and species, ancient trees and woodlands, geodiversity, high quality agricultural land and soils) through:
- being designed to respect and retain, and add to, natural assets; taking account of local design and other guidance, and undertaking landscape, biodiversity or other appropriate assessments if significant impacts might arise;
- avoiding harm to designated and non-designated assets of the natural environment unless there are overriding benefits from the development and the harm has been minimised.
In applying the above, regard will be given to the level of importance of the natural element.
In addition, development will deliver net biodiversity gain through the provision of on-site or off-site natural features, creating new or enhancing existing green infrastructure networks that have regard to and help to achieve the local green infrastructure strategies. It will need to be demonstrated that the gain to biodiversity is a significant enhancement (at least a 10% gain) on the existing situation.
All residential development will address the potential visitor pressure, caused by residents of the development, that would detrimentally impact on sites protected under the Habitats Regulations Directive through:
- the payment of a contribution towards the cost of mitigation measures at the protected sites (as determined under the Norfolk Green infrastructure and Recreational Impact Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy plus an allowance for inflation) ; and
- the provision or enhancement of adequate green infrastructure, either on the development site or nearby, to provide for the informal recreational needs of the residents as an alternative to visiting the protected sites. This will equate to a minimum of 2 hectares per 1,000 population and will reflect Natural England’s Accessible Natural Greenspace Standard.