Open Spaces Supplementary Planning Document

Appendix 1: Local Plan Policies

Policy GE1 Green Infrastructure

  • The Council will protect green infrastructure based on an analysis of existing assets, informed by the Green Infrastructure Study and Green Space Strategy by incorporating the Council's Green Space Standards, and characterisation assessments.
  • New development proposals should make provision for green infrastructure to ensure that such development is integrated into the landscape and contributes to improvements in connectivity and public access, biodiversity, landscape conservation, design, archaeology and recreation.
  • Coventry's existing and planned network of green infrastructure should be used as a way of adapting to climate change through the management and enhancement of existing habitats. This must be demonstrated through the creation of new habitats wherever possible to assist with species movement, to provide a source of locally grown food through allotments and community gardens, to provide sustainable and active travel routes for people, to provide shade and counteract the urban heat island effect, and to assist in improving public health and wellbeing.
  • New development will be expected to maintain the quantity, quality and functionality of existing green infrastructure. Where quantity is not retained, enhancement to quality is expected. Where the opportunity arises, and in line with the city's most up-to-date Green Space Strategy, the Council will also expect new developments to enhance green infrastructure and create and improve linkages between individual areas. Any development which is likely to adversely affect the integrity of a green corridor will be required to be expressly justified and where appropriate, mitigation measures put in place.
  • A key element of Coventry's approach to green infrastructure will be the continued development of a network of green spaces, water bodies, paths and cycle ways, with priority given to those parts of the city where there is an identified deficiency of green space. Where a development proposal lies adjacent to a river corridor or tributary, a natural sinuous river channel should be retained or, where possible, re- instated. Culverts should be removed unless it can be demonstrated that it is impractical to do so.
  • Development must respect the importance of conservation, improvement and management of green infrastructure in order to complement and balance the built environment. A strategic network of green infrastructure already exists in the city, connecting natural heritage, green space, biodiversity, historic landscapes or other environmental assets, together with links to adjacent districts in Warwickshire and Solihull. This strategic network will be safeguarded and enhanced by:
    • Not permitting development that compromises its integrity and that of the overall green infrastructure framework (including the Coventry/Oxford Canal);
    • Using developer contributions to facilitate improvements to its quality, connectivity, multi- functionality and robustness;
    • Investing in enhancement and restoration where opportunities exist, and the creation of new resources where possible, such as linking green infrastructure to other forms of infrastructure;
    • Improving its functionality, quality, connectivity and accessibility;
    • Ensuring that a key aim of green infrastructure is the maintenance and improvement and expansion of biodiversity;
    • Integrating proposals to improve green infrastructure in the delivery of new developments, particularly through area based regeneration initiatives and major proposals and schemes;
    • Flood risk management and improving surface water quality.

Policy GE2: Green Space

  • Development involving the loss of green space that is of value for amenity, recreational, outdoor sports and/or community use will not be permitted unless specifically identified as part of a strategic land use allocation, or it can be demonstrated that:
    • An assessment showing there is no longer a demand, or prospect of demand, for the recreational use of the site or any other green space use; or
    • A deficiency would not be created through its loss, measured against the most up-to-date Coventry Green Space standards; or
    • The loss resulting from any proposed development would be replaced by equivalent or better provision in terms of quantity and quality in a suitable location of the city.
  • To support the proposed allocations at H2:19 and JE2:4 the following sites are allocated for the provision of new replacement sports pitches:
    • Land at Charter Avenue (former Alderman Harris School site).
    • Land east of Coundon Wedge Road.

Policy GE3: Biodiversity, Geological, Landscape and ArchaeologicalConservation

  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), Local Nature Reserves (LNRs), Ancient Woodlands, Local Wildlife and Geological Sites will be protected and enhanced. Proposals for development on other sites, having biodiversity or geological conservation value, will be permitted provided that they protect, enhance and/or restore habitat biodiversity. Development proposals will be expected to ensure that they:
    • lead to a net gain of biodiversity, where appropriate, by means of an approved ecological assessment of existing site features and development impacts;
    • protect or enhance biodiversity assets and secure their long term management and maintenance;
    • avoid negative impacts on existing biodiversity;
    • preserve species which are legally protected, in decline, are rare within Coventry or which are covered by national, regional or local Biodiversity Action Plans.
  • Where this is not possible, adequate mitigation measures must be identified. If mitigation measures are not possible on site, then compensatory measures involving biodiversity offsetting will be considered, but only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Biodiversity will be encouraged particularly in areas of deficiency, in areas of development and sustainable urban extensions, and along wildlife corridors. Opportunities will be sought to restore or recreate habitats, or enhance the linkages between them, as part of the strategic framework for green infrastructure. Protected Species, and species and habitats identified in the Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP), will be protected and conserved through a buffer or movement to alternative habitat. Identified important landscape features, including Historic Environment assets, trees protected by preservation orders, individual and groups of ancient trees, ancient and newly-planted woodlands, ancient hedgerows and heritage assets of value to the locality, will be protected against loss or damage. In the case of archaeological remains, all practical measures must be taken for their assessment and recording in accordance with Policy HE2.

Policy GE4: Tree Protection

  • Development proposals will be positively considered provided:
    • there is no unacceptable loss of, or damage to, existing trees or woodlands during or as a result of development, any loss should be supported by a tree survey;
    • trees not to be retained as a result of the development are replaced with new trees as part of a well- designed landscape scheme; and
    • existing trees worthy of retention are sympathetically incorporated into the overall design of the scheme including all necessary measures taken to ensure their continued protection and survival during construction.
  • Development proposals that seek to remove trees that are subject to 'Protection', without justification, will not be permitted.

Policy GB1: Green Belt and Local Green Space

  • The city's most up-to-date Green Belt and Local Green Space boundaries are identified on the Policies Map.
  • A: Inappropriate development will not be permitted in the Coventry Green Belt unless very special circumstances exist. Development proposals, including those involving previously developed land and buildings, in the Green Belt will be assessed in relation to the relevant national planning policy.
  • B: Within areas designated as Local Green Space, the erection of small buildings and structures which are ancillary to the primary use of the land may be acceptable. Other development will not be permitted unless very special circumstances are demonstrated.
  • In addition to appropriate development in the Green Belt identified in the NPPF, limited infill development would be considered appropriate. Any proposal in these locations will be expected to be of an appropriate density to reflect surrounding properties should not impact negatively on the openness and character of the wider Coventry Green Belt and will also need to accord with Policy H3.

Policy DS4 (Part A) - General Masterplan principles

The following General Principles should be adhered to when master planning any major development proposal:

  • Where appropriate the Masterplan should clearly identify any phasing of development along with the timely provision of supporting infrastructure;
    • Where the site is identified as an allocation within the Local Plan or City Centre AAP it should plan positively to meet in full the requirements identified within the relevant

policies associated with the allocation. Where the proposal represents a phase or phases of a wider scheme however, the quantum of development should reflect the relative size and characteristics of the phase, including its position within the wider site;

  • Where possible, all proposals should be planned in a comprehensive and integrated manner reflecting partnership working with relevant stakeholders. Where proposals represent a phase of a larger development the Masterplan should have full regard to any adjoining land parcels and development proposals to ensure it delivers appropriate parts of the strategic or site-wide infrastructure and other relevant features. This should support the wider delivery of the comprehensive scheme;
    • Opportunities to deliver higher density residential and mixed-use development should be maximised along public transport corridors and in designated centres with lower densities provided elsewhere (in accordance with policies H9 and R3);
      • Employment and commercial proposals should respond positively to market demands and requirements, maximising opportunities to locate within or close to designated centres (as appropriate) and provide a range and choice of opportunities to meet business and customer needs;
      • Identify appropriate highway infrastructure along with sustainable transport corridors that include the provision for integrated public transport, cycling and walking which provides excellent connectivity and linkages to within the site itself, the city centre and with the surrounding area and existing networks;
      • Appropriate levels of car and cycle parking should be made in accordance with the Local Plan's parking requirements. Spaces should be well integrated within the

development and laid out to ensure they do not result in the obstruction of the highway as a result of excessive on-street parking;

  • Where appropriate social and community facilities should be concentrated within mixed use hubs and designated centres and easily accessed by public transport, walking and cycling (having regard to Policy CO1);
    • Proposals should respond to the local context and local design characteristics (in accordance with Policies GE3, HE2 and DE1), to create new well designed developments with a distinctive character which residents will be proud of;
      • Features of the historic environment should be respected as part of new developments with existing heritage assets conserved and enhanced as part of development proposals (in accordance with Policy HE2). Where appropriate, this should include the setting of buildings and spaces and the restoration of assets at risk of loss;
      • Sympathetically integrate existing landscape, biodiversity and historic features of the site into the development taking opportunities to protect, enhance and manage important features along with mitigation and enhancement measures to provide satisfactory compensatory provisions where appropriate (having regard to Policies GE1-4);
    • Provide fully integrated, accessible and connected multi-functional green and blue infrastructure which forms strategically important links to the surrounding area to provide routes for people and wildlife and open spaces for sports, recreation and play;
  • Where appropriate incorporate innovative and creative approaches to energy generation, the provision of utilities and information technology, mitigation of pollutants, management of surface water and flood risk and waste management solutions. These should be adopted to make new developments more sustainable and resistant to the impacts of climate change; and
  • All new Masterplans should be informed by consultation with existing communities in adjoining areas. This should take place prior to the submission of a planning application to ensure feedback can influence the final proposals.

Policy EM4 Flood Risk Management

  • All major developments must be assessed in respect of the level of flood risk from all sources. If development in areas at risk of flooding is the only option following the application of the sequential test, it will only be permitted where all of the following criteria are met:
    • the type of development is appropriate to the level of flood risk associated with its location with reference to Coventry's Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) flood zone maps and advice on appropriate uses within these zones from the Environment Agency and/or Lead Local Flood Authority;
    • it is provided with the appropriate minimum standard of flood defence and resilience to aid recovery (including suitable warning and evacuation procedures) which can be maintained for the lifetime of the development;
    • it does not impede flood flows, does not increase the flood risk on site or elsewhere or result in a loss of floodplain storage capacity;
    • in the case of dwellings, it is evident that as a minimum, safe, dry pedestrian access would be available to land not at high risk;
    • in the case of essential infrastructure, access must be guaranteed and must be capable of remaining operational during all flooding events.
  • All opportunities to reduce flood risk in the surrounding area must be taken, including creating additional flood storage. In this instance reference should be made to the Councils IDP or Regulation 123 list. In order to achieve this:
    • the functional floodplain (Flood Zone 3b) should be protected from development and reinstated in brownfield areas wherever possible;
    • single storey buildings, basements and buildings on stilts will not be acceptable in Flood Zone 3;
    • all opportunities to undertake river restoration and enhancement including de-culverting, removing unnecessary structures and reinstating a natural, sinuous watercourse will be encouraged;
    • unless shown to be acceptable through exceptional circumstances, development should be set back at least 8m (from the top of bank or toe of a flood defence) of Main Rivers and 5m from Ordinary watercourses for maintenance access. This includes existing culverted watercourses.
    • finished floor levels must be set a minimum of 600mm above the 1% AEP (1 in 100 year) plus climate change flood level.

Where a development benefits from an existing or proposed flood defence scheme, the development should contribute towards the capital and/or maintenance of these defences over its lifetime.

  • For sites in Flood Zone 3a, development should not impede flow routes, reduce floodplain storage or consume flood storage in a 'flood cell' within a defended area. If the development does result in a loss of storage, compensatory floodplain storage should be provided on a 'level for level' and 'volume for volume' basis.
  • For sites in Flood Zone 3a, all types of new development behind flood defences should be avoided, where possible, due to the residual risks of breach and overtopping. Development should ensure that it would not prevent the water bodies' ability to reach good status or its potential to do so as set in the Severn River Basin Management Plans and should support, where possible, to improving the status class.
  • A sequential, risk-based approach to the location of suitable development will be undertaken by the Council based on the Environment Agency's latest flood maps, SFRA flood zones and Vulnerability Classification to steer new development to areas with the lowest probability of flooding avoiding, where possible, flood risk to people and property and managing any residual risk.
  • The Exception Test (for use when there are large areas in Flood Zones 2 and 3, where the Sequential Test alone cannot deliver acceptable sites, but where some continuing development is necessary) will apply where development will provide wider sustainability benefits that outweigh flood risk, fully informed by an appropriately scaled Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) which indicates that development will be safe for its lifetime taking account of the vulnerability of its users, without increasing flood risk elsewhere, and, where possible reducing flood risk overall.
  • Land that is required for current and future flood management will be safeguarded from development. Where development lies adjacent to or benefits from an existing or future flood defence scheme they may be expected to contribute towards the cost of delivery and/or maintenance of that scheme in accordance with Policy IM1.
  • A Flood Risk Assessment is required, appropriate to the scale and nature of the development proposed, where the development is:
    • within a river floodplain, as defined by the Coventry SFRA indicative flood zone maps;
    • within 20 metres of any watercourse;
    • adjacent to, or including, any flood bank or other flood control structure;
    • within an area where there may be surface water issues and drainage problems;

Policy H9: Residential Density

  • Residential development, including conversions, must make the most effective and efficient use of land whilst ensuring compatibility with the quality, character and amenity of the surrounding area.
  • Therefore, outside of the Ring Road (The A4053) a minimum of 35 dwellings per hectare (net) should be provided on Previously Developed Land.
  • Developments inside the Ring Road (The A4053) should aim to achieve a minimum of 200 dwellings per hectare (net).
  • Developments on Greenfield sites should achieve a minimum of 30 dwellings per hectare (net).

DE1 Ensuring High Quality Design

    • All development proposals must respect and enhance their surroundings and positively contribute towards the local identity and character of an area.
    • The setting, integrity and character of heritage assets will be protected in accordance with Policy HE2.
    • All development will be expected to meet the following key principles:
      • respond to the physical context of the site;
      • consider the local distinctiveness and identity of the site but also have regard to opportunities to enhance the local built and natural environment through new development and enhanced design;
      • where appropriate, retain and incorporate into the layout the protection of important views, including key views of the three spires;
      • preserve or enhance the character and setting of the historic built, landscape and where appropriate archaeological environment;
      • preserve or enhance the character and setting of major road, rail and canal corridors;
      • clearly define the boundaries between public and private spaces and enclosure of space;
      • provide attractive, safe, uncluttered, active and easily identifiable, high quality public spaces;
      • make places that inter-connect and are easy to move through;
      • ensure places are easily understood by users, with clear routes and distinct physical features;
      • seek high quality design and attention to detail in the layout of developments, individual buildings and infrastructure in terms of function and impact, not just for the short term, but over the lifetime of the development;
      • be adaptable to changing social, technological, economic and market conditions and ensure that developments maximise the use of the site;
      • promote diversity through mixes of uses within a site or building, which work together to create vital and viable places;
      • be proactive in responding to climate change and adopt sustainable and low carbon construction principles in terms of their design, layout and density;
      • consider green infrastructure at the earliest stage in the design process, to ensure that it is well planned, designed, managed and maintained. It should also be well integrated and serve multiple purposes (as appropriate);
      • support the integration of through routes for public transport and incorporate suitable bus priority measures as appropriate;
      • minimise adverse impact on important natural resources;
      • conserve, restore or enhance biodiversity; and
      • respect and enhance landscape quality including trees, hedges and other landscape features of value.