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4.9.6 4.9.7 4.9.8 Areas

4.9.6 4.9.7 4.9.8 Areas (SPA), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Ramsar sites (globally protected wetlands). Any development that has potential to have a likely significant effect on an international site (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects) will be subject to a Habitats Regulations Assessment. This includes a screening process followed by the completion of an Appropriate Assessment (if required) as set out in the European Union Habitats Directive 92 / 42 EEC. Development that would adversely affect the integrity of any SPA, SAC or Ramsar site will need to demonstrate exceptional requirements relating to the absence of alternative solutions and imperative reasons of overriding public interest. National sites include Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Local sites include Local Nature Reserves (LNR), Key Wildlife Sites (KWS) and Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS). These sites are subject to national and local policy protection. The JCS provides an opportunity to deliver some of the objectives and complement the work programme of the Local Nature Partnership (LNP). The three local authorities are all partner organisations of the LNP, helping to deliver actions to address the needs of priority species and habitats as well as plans for other biodiversity and geodiversity assets of local importance or interest. The Gloucestershire Nature Map sets out spatial priorities for ecological conservation and enhancement across the county. A key part of this is the identification of a number of Strategic Nature Areas (SNAs), which are the key landscape-scale blocks of land where characteristic habitats that typify the county can be expanded and linked to support wildlife. Partnerships of local authorities, local communities, landowners and the private sector are also able to identify Nature Improvement Areas (NIA), such as the Cotswold Scarp NIA. These are the places which offer the best opportunities for habitat restoration on a significant scale with the greatest benefits for wildlife and are largely based on SNAs. Geodiversity conservation concerns the protection, management and enhancement of geological formations. Advice is available through the Gloucestershire Geology Trust. It is likely that, during the lifetime of the JCS, a Geodiversity Action Plan will be developed for Gloucestershire that will provide more detailed advice on the conservation of geodiversity. 4.9.9 4.9.10 4.9.11 4.9.12 Delivery Delivery will be achieved within the context of international and national legal frameworks, countywide initiatives and local strategies for biodiversity and geodiversity. Nature conservation will also be an important consideration within the Cotswolds AONB. District plans could support the JCS by identifying and mapping components of the local ecological network, including internationally, nationally and locally designated sites. District plans may also, as appropriate, include the boundaries of SNAs and NIAs which have been identified as priority areas for habitat creation and restoration. Where necessary, District plans will provide additional detail and guidance for decision makers. This may include information on the approach to securing developer contributions, and recommendations for habitat enhancements associated with new development, such as nesting boxes. The development management process will contribute to delivery by protecting sites, habitats and species in accordance with national and local policies and other relevant legal requirements. The NPPF is clear that the presumption in favour of sustainable development does not apply where development requiring Appropriate Assessment under the Birds or Habitats Directives is being considered, planned or determined. Enhancements will be secured through the design of development and via planning conditions and obligations, including S106 agreements and CIL. To deliver these enhancements, developers and local authorities should work with appropriate partner organisations including the LNP and Gloucestershire Geology Trust. The JCS requires developers to avoid harm to biodiversity or, where this is not possible, to incorporate mitigation measures into the design of developments. Developers should also ensure that development outside designated sites will not cause reasonably foreseeable harm to those sites, and if such an effect is likely, should mitigate against it. For situations where measures cannot be provided on-site, the local authorities may in certain circumstances consider a system of ‘biodiversity offsetting’. In addressing the impacts of potential developments on geodiversity, it is intended that the councils will follow a similar approach to that proposed for biodiversity, based on avoidance, on-site mitigation and off-site compensation (for example, by improving the exposure of the geological feature). Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 Adopted December 2017 60

SD10 – RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT Background 4.10.1 4.10.2 The JCS guides new housing development to sustainable and accessible locations as set out in Policy SP2. Policy SD10 provides further detail around the appropriate locations for residential development in the JCS area. Some of these locations will be sites that are allocated for residential development through District plans and neighbourhood plans, while other ‘windfall’ sites will come forward unexpectedly. Throughout the plan period, local authorities are required to maintain a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide five years’ worth of housing against their housing requirements. If the authorities fail to do this then it may be difficult to prevent ad hoc development occurring on greenfield land. This policy therefore sets an approach to residential development to assist in delivering the scale and distribution of development set out in Policies SP1 and SP2. The policy approach directs residential development to previouslydeveloped (brownfield) land. However, the previously-developed sites available in the JCS area are not sufficient to maintain a five-year supply so some greenfield sites will be allocated for development through the JCS, district and neighbourhood plans. Policy SD10: Residential Development 1. Within the JCS area, new housing will be planned in order to deliver the scale and distribution of housing development set out in Policies SP1 and SP2 2. Housing development will be permitted at sites allocated for housing through the development plan, including Strategic Allocations and allocations in district and neighbourhood plans 3. On sites that are not allocated, housing development and conversions to dwellings will be permitted on previously-developed land in the existing built-up areas of Gloucester City, the Principal Urban Area of Cheltenham and Tewkesbury town, rural service centres and service villages except where otherwise restricted by policies within District plans 4. Housing development on other sites will only be permitted where: i. It is for affordable housing on a rural exception site in accordance with Policy SD12, or; ii. It is infilling within the existing built up areas of the City of Gloucester, the Principal Urban Area of Cheltenham or Tewkesbury Borough’s towns and villages except where otherwise restricted by policies within District plans, or; iii. It is brought forward through Community Right to Build Orders, or; iv. There are other specific exceptions / circumstances defined in district or neighbourhood. 5. Proposals involving the sensitive, adaptive re-use of vacant or redundant buildings will be encouraged, subject to the requirements of other policies including Policies SD1, INF4 and SD8. Proposals that will bring empty housing back into residential use will also be encouraged 6. Residential development should seek to achieve the maximum density compatible with good design, the protection of heritage assets, local amenity, the character and quality of the local environment, and the safety and convenience of the local and strategic road network. This policy contributes towards achieving Objectives 6, 7, 8 and 9. Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy 2011-2031 Adopted December 2017 61

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