2. Key Structure Plan and Waste Local Plan Policies

The following is a list of key Structure Plan and Waste Local Plan policies as referenced in the Revised Deposit Local Plan. Details of how to view the full Structure Plan are contained in Appendix 2.

Twenty One Criteria for the 21st Century

S1 In order to meet the needs for development and change in the plan area in a way that is more environmentally sustainable in the longer term, all planning activities and development decisions should take account of the following criteria. Where appropriate, local planning authorities may require proposals for development to demonstrate how far they contribute to the achievement of these criteria.

The criteria are:-

  1. meeting needs for a balance between homes, jobs and a range of facilities and services in order to improve the quality of life for all sections of the community, but not necessarily meeting all demands for development;
  2. minimising impact on the environment, including residential areas, and compensating for the loss of environmental resources where their loss is acceptable and unavoidable in order to achieve other policies in the plan;
  3. reducing the need to travel, particularly by car, and improving accessibility for all to a range of services and facilities by more environmentally friendly means of transport (including public passenger transport, walking and cycling);
  4. not creating or perpetuating unacceptable traffic or transport conditions;
  5. efficient and effective renewal and re-use of existing premises and “brown” sites, particularly in the urban areas to reduce the need for greenfield sites;
  6. protecting and enhancing the attractiveness and individual character of urban and rural areas for residents, businesses and visitors;
  7. protecting and enhancing water quality and maintaining groundwater and river levels for human consumption, industrial and agricultural water supply and to support local biodiversity;
  8. avoiding the development of land which is unstable, at risk to flooding or which would be likely to increase the risk of flooding elsewhere;
  9. protecting and enhancing air quality, including the reduction of air pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases;
  10. according with the objectives of and not causing damage to the Sussex Downs and High Weald Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Ashdown Forest, downland, wetland, open heathland, ancient woodlands, undeveloped coast (including Heritage Coast), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Areas (SPA), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Ramsar sites, nature reserves, ancient monuments, conservation areas, historic parks and gardens, battlefields and other areas of designated or recognised important landscape, archaeological, geological, ecological or historical character and their settings;
  11. preventing development which would reduce strategic and other important gaps of valued countryside between settlements;
  12. protecting and enhancing the provision of open and green spaces and community facilities in towns and villages where these are recognised as being of importance for environmental and/or community purposes;
  13. protecting and enhancing conservation areas, other areas of acknowledged townscape importance, listed buildings and other buildings of acknowledged importance and their settings;
  14. protecting agricultural land and preventing development on the best and most versatile (grades 1, 2 & 3a);
  15. disposing of waste in an environmentally acceptable and economically practical manner by reducing waste generation, increasing the re-use and treatment of waste, and minimising disposal to land;
  16. protecting mineral resources and land with potential for filling with waste;
  17. making efficient and effective use of existing or planned infrastructure and services;
  18. being energy efficient and taking advantage of ambient sunlight;
  19. avoiding and reducing unnecessary noise and artificial lighting;
  20. safeguarding environmentally acceptable sites which are identified as having potential for renewable energy production from prejudicial development; and
  21. promoting the principles of sustainable development among residents, businesses and visitors.

Definition of Development Boundaries

S5 In order to conserve the distinct landscape character, natural resources, woodland and agriculture of the countryside in general, the development boundaries of towns and appropriate villages will be defined in local plans to take account, in particular, of the need to protect the features listed in policy S1 (j)-(n). The definition of these boundaries will also need to take due account of the need for local facilities and, in particular, the allocations of land for housing and employment uses made in policies H1, E10 and E12. Outside these defined development boundaries agriculture and woodland will remain the main land uses and no development will be permitted unless it complies with the countryside development policies elsewhere in this plan.


S8 The development boundaries of appropriate villages will be defined in local plans in accordance with policy S5 and the considerations below. In addition, these considerations will be used to determine the scale and nature of change in such villages.

  1. The relationship of the village to its neighbouring towns and villages and the services and facilities they provide and the transport links between them in order to minimise the need for travel.
  2. The availability and capacity of infrastructure and services.
  3. The character of existing development in the vicinity, of the village as a whole and its setting in the surrounding countryside.
  4. The practicable and acceptable level of traffic and car parking.
  5. The need to preserve and enhance buildings of historic, architectural or local interest and their settings, historic parks and gardens and conservation areas.
  6. The need to maintain adequate open space and gaps in development which contribute to the character or amenity of the village.


S25 The role of Bexhill as a residential, employment, tourist, shopping and service centre will be maintained and developed. Major improvements to Bexhill town shopping centre will be investigated and appropriate schemes brought forward. A primary concern will be to provide more employment and a wider range of jobs to improve the economy of the Bexhill and Hastings area. Regeneration of existing vacant and underused sites within the town for appropriate uses to improve the local economy and environment will be encouraged. Completion, within the plan period, of the new community and a high quality business park to the north east of the town will be sought. This will require appropriate transport improvements and measures to be in place (or available in time) both to provide necessary access and to avoid adding to the transport problems in the wider area. A Transport and Environment Strategy, jointly with Hastings, will be pursued to improve accessibility further, manage the transport consequences of increased economic activity, reduce reliance on the private car and enhance the environment for residents and visitors. This will include efforts to secure a new railway station at Wilting Farm to serve north Bexhill and north-west Hastings.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

EN2 Conserving and enhancing landscape quality and character will be the primary objective in the Sussex Downs and High Weald Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This will be sought through measures including:-

  1. careful control of development;
  2. programmes of countryside management and enhancement, including the restoration of key features such as chalk grassland and heathland.
  3. promoting local awareness;
  4. supporting the viability of the local economy in ways which are compatible with the primary objective;
  5. traffic management and traffic calming; and
  6. minimising the impact of any development within AONBs, or close to them and affecting their setting, by measures to carefully integrate the development into the AONB landscape and, where appropriate, providing compensating environmental resource for any necessary loss that is accepted.

EN3 In order to protect and promote the quiet enjoyment of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, development within them will be limited to that derived from the character and qualities of the countryside, having regard to the social and economic well-being of the areas. Development involving change or damage to their character or qualities, including significant increases in noise and/or intrusion from traffic or other activity, or having a significant adverse effect on established views, will not be permitted.

EN4 On open downland and within the medieval Pale of Ashdown Forest, stricter criteria than in policy EN3 will apply. No development will be allowed other than that which provides for the needs of quiet recreation such as walking, cycling and riding, or which specifically enhances the landscape.

EN5 As exceptions to policies EN3 and EN4, if justified by proven national interest and a lack of alternative sites, major industrial or commercial development, minerals, waste or new transport development may be acceptable within AONBs. Any such development will only be allowed where it is demonstrated that the loss of environmental resource has been kept to a minimum and that it meets the criteria in EN2(f).

The Coast

EN6 The existing character of the coastal environment, both urban and rural, should be conserved and enhanced and positive measures taken to restore character where this has been damaged. The undeveloped coast will be conserved for quiet informal recreation and nature conservation. Particular attention will be given to the conservation and enhancement of the Sussex Heritage Coast and the Rye Bay Lowland Coast of Regional Significance. Consideration will be given to seeking Heritage Coast status for the Hastings to Dungeness shore.

Urban Fringe Areas

EN7 The landscape character of urban fringe areas - that is, usually areas within 2km. of the predominantly built up areas of major towns - will be subject to positive measures to improve landscape character whilst encouraging appropriate recreational use and public access. Priority in implementing this policy will apply to the urban fringes of Brighton & Hove, Eastbourne, Bexhill and Hastings.

Remote and Tranquil Areas

EN8 The plan area’s diminishing stock of areas of relative remoteness and tranquillity will be protected. These will be identified through landscape assessment work in supplementary planning guidance and referred to in local plans. Measures to protect and extend such areas will be sought and proposals for development will not be acceptable, unless compelling justification is provided of overriding benefits and it is demonstrated that there are no alternative sites for or methods of achieving those benefits.

Extensive and Noisy Activities in the Countryside

EN9 Activities that require extensive use of land, such as golf courses, and noisy activities will not be acceptable in remote and unspoiled landscapes. Where a case can be established for such uses and the development can be satisfactorily assimilated into the landscape, locations in areas of damaged or disturbed landscapes or in urban fringes will be preferred provided the noise impact on neighbouring areas is acceptable.

Light Pollution

EN14 Development proposals and transport and replacement lighting schemes will be required, where applicable, to include measures for minimising light pollution, especially in remote and unspoiled landscape.

Nature Conservation

EN17 The existing natural resource of species, habitats and geological features, including statutory sites of national and international importance and their settings, ancient woodland, and other sites of demonstrable geological, landscape or wildlife importance (including the active residence of specially protected species)27 will be protected from damage. Particular regard will be paid to the protection of river corridors and the special habitats of downland, wetland, open heathland, ancient woodland, meadows, salt marsh and shingle.

(27 This policy includes sites notified under the Ramsar convention, Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC); Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), National, Marine and Local Nature Reserves (NNR,MNR,LNR); and non-statutory sites such as Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) and Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS).

EN18 Actions to increase the extent and diversity of the natural resource will be supported. These may take the form of extensions to existing wildlife habitats, the creation of new habitats, the protection or creation of “habitat corridors” and the location or creation of new geological exposures. Land surplus to agricultural requirements will be considered for habitat creation.)

EN19 Environmentally sensitive agriculture will be encouraged and supported, with priority given to areas of wildlife and landscape importance. Proposals for the improvement of agricultural land which conflict with significant wildlife interests will be opposed.

EN20 Where major development, for which there is an established need, would result in significant loss of important habitat, measures to provide compensating and equivalent habitat will be required.

EN21 Within towns, areas of wildlife interest will be identified, protected and enhanced, with priority given to maintaining connections between habitat areas.

Archaeological and Historical Features

EN22 Provision should be made for the identification, recording, safeguarding, investigation and preservation, preferably “in situ” or, where not feasible, by record, of all archaeological sites (including those of maritime interest) and monuments and historic and listed buildings.

EN23 Sites and features of demonstrable historical or archaeological importance and their settings, including ancient monuments, listed buildings, conservation areas, historic parks and gardens, battlefields and other historic features will be protected from inappropriate change and development.

EN24 Development proposals affecting known archaeological sites or areas of potential archaeological interest should be accompanied by an assessment, based on a field evaluation, of their archaeological implications before decisions on applications for planning permission can be made.

Public Passenger Transport

TR12 Implementation of the East Sussex County Council Rail Strategy13 and any revisions to it will be sought to maintain and improve the rail network including new facilities, to bring about strategic and economic benefits such as improved links to the Channel Tunnel and to encourage the use of rail as an alternative to the private car. This includes:-

  1. improvement of the South Coast Rail Link and services, including the electrification of the Hastings to Ashford line;
  2. improvement of the Uckfield to Hurst Green line and services, including electrification;
  3. provision for new stations including:-
    1. continuing investigation of the feasibility of providing a station in the Stone Cross area, to serve Stone Cross, North Langney and Eastbourne Park; and
    2. at Wilting Farm to serve north Bexhill and north-west Hastings;
  4. improvement of services linking to the Channel Tunnel; and
  5. improved services between the coastal towns and the Crawley/Gatwick area. 13 Rail Strategy for East Sussex, ESCC, May 1990.

The Countryside

S10 Outside defined town and village boundaries agriculture and woodland will remain the main land uses and development and change in the countryside will be strictly controlled.

  1. Proposals for new development in the countryside will be required to demonstrate that a countryside location is necessary and that a town or village location would not be suitable.
  2. In the countryside, conversions and/or changes of use of existing buildings3 for employment, recreation, tourist accommodation and facilities, and institutional uses will be supported, without the need to demonstrate that a countryside location is necessary, provided:-
    1. their form, bulk and general design are in keeping with their surroundings; and
    2. the use is appropriate to the area in terms of scale, type and impact on its surroundings (including traffic impact and impact on the vitality of towns and villages).
  3. Additional housing development will not be allowed in the countryside unless it is:-
    1. housing for local needs which meets the requirements set out in policy H5; or
    2. demonstrated by the applicant to the satisfaction of the planning authorities to be essential to the running of an enterprise which must be in a countryside location and is of an appropriate size and directly related to the enterprise; or
    3. the conversion of a building in non-residential use which makes a valuable contribution to the rural scene and is the only practicable means of retaining it.

3 Such buildings must be of permanent and substantial construction and, if in open countryside, be capable of conversion without major or complete reconstruction.

S11 To help the rural economy, some alternative uses of agricultural land and countryside may be permitted, where the use is appropriate to the area in terms of scale, type and impact on its surroundings (including traffic impact). These uses will be mainly for employment, recreation and tourist accommodation and facilities. Any such development must, where applicable:-

  1. meet the requirements of policy S1;
  2. make use of suitable existing buildings that could be converted or demonstrate for any new development that a countryside location is necessary;
  3. be part of a whole farm or enterprise plan so that the ultimate extent of the new venture may be seen in its entirety and in relation to its setting; and
  4. include positive or compensatory measures for environmental enhancement and/or management of the whole site.

Proposals will be judged by the local planning authority in relation to other activities and developments in the wider area, to ensure the cumulative impact will not give rise to adverse impacts on the character of the area, on infrastructure and on the vitality of towns and villages.

Proposals Not Within or on the Edge of Existing Main Shopping Centres

SH3 Proposals for shopping development within urban areas, but not within or on the edge of existing main shopping centres (including proposals for warehouse clubs, factory shops and warehouses supporting virtual shopping systems) will be supported only if they meet the following criteria:-

  1. it can be demonstrated that, cumulatively with similar developments, they do not harm the vitality and viability of existing shopping centres;
  2. the proposal would not lead to significant losses of land available for housing and would not use land identified in local plans to be protected for business, industrial and warehousing22
  3. they do not hinder policies to maintain and enhance the role of existing shopping centres or to regenerate urban areas;
  4. they do not give rise to unsatisfactory traffic impact, in terms of highway congestion, access and car parking;
  5. they are accessible by a choice of means of transport, including public transport, walking and cycling; and
  6. they would not harm the physical or visual character of the area, the amenities of neighbouring land uses or the relationship between the development and the surrounding landscape;

and they meet the following criteria appropriate to the development:-

  1. it is demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the planning authorities, that suitable sites are not available in or on the edge of nearby existing main shopping centres;
  2. they are within or on the edge of an existing district or local shopping centre;
  3. they are away from existing shopping centres, but within or near significant areas of newly occupied housing, and are intended to serve unsatisfied local needs;
  4. if, to locate them in or adjacent to the existing main shopping centre would result in excessive development and/or harm to its character - in terms of size, form, parking, traffic generation or servicing in the main shopping centre itself.

22 As defined in Use Classes Order B1, B2 and B8.

Outside Urban Areas


  1. Proposals outside urban areas for shopping developments will only be permitted within or on the edge of existing main shopping centres21 provided that it can be demonstrated that, cumulatively with similar developments, they do not harm the vitality and viability of existing shopping centres. Proposals on the edge of an existing main shopping centre will, however, only be supported where it is demonstrated that there is an absence of suitable sites within the existing main shopping centre.
  2. Garden centres may be permitted where it can be demonstrated that they satisfy the criteria in policy S1 and comply with policies S8 and S9 or S10 and S11. 21 For the purposes of the shopping policies in this plan, “existing main shopping centres” are:-

In Urban Areas

  1. town centres;
  2. nucleated suburban centres in urban areas having over 50 shops (retail and service trade); and
  3. a special case addition of the Meridian Centre, Peacehaven; and

Outside Urban Areas

  1. village centres with over 30 shops (retail and service trade).

Existing main shopping centres should be defined in local plans, together with their boundaries.

Waste Local Plan Policies

POLICY WLP 11: Reduction, re-use and recycling during demolition and design, andconstruction of new developments.

All development proposals shall have regard to the need to minimise, re-use and recycle waste generated during the demolition and/or construction phase, and shall demonstrate that:

  1. the development maximises the re-use of existing buildings and new buildings are designed and constructed so as to maximise the lifespan of the development; and
  2. the development incorporates construction practices which minimise the use of raw materials and maximise the use of secondary aggregates and recycled materials where practicable; and
  3. waste material generated by the proposal is minimised and re-used or recycled where appropriate on site (for example in landscaping proposals) or removed from the site to facilities which can re-use or recycle the materials; and
  4. where appropriate, the development includes the provision of temporary facilities on or adjacent to the site during the demolition / construction phase to sort the waste produced in order to minimize the amount of waste that will need to be removed from the site for final treatment or disposal.

POLICY WLP 12: Recycling as part of major development

All development proposals employing, attracting or accommodating a large number of people shall have regard to the extent to which the proposals include as an integral part of the development:

  1. facilities for the recycling /composting of waste; and/or
  2. facilities within individual or groups of properties or premises for the source separation and storage of waste for collection or on site reuse or composting.

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