12 Environmental protection and improvement

Policy EN 1

Development Affecting the Green Belt

Other than in very special circumstances, inappropriate development will not be permitted within the Green Belt.

The construction of new buildings within the Green Belt will be considered to be inappropriate unless it is for the following purposes:

  1. agriculture and forestry (unless permitted development rights have been withdrawn);
  2. essential facilities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation, for cemeteries, and for other uses of land which preserve the openness of Green Belt and do not conflict with the purposes of including land within it; or
  3. limited extension, alteration or replacement of existing dwellings, provided this would not result in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building, or, in the case of replacement, the new building is not materially larger than the one it replaces.

The reuse of buildings within the Green Belt will not be considered to be inappropriate providing:

  1. it does not have a materially greater impact than the present use on the openness of Green Belt and the purposes of including land within it;
  2. any extension of, or uses on surrounding land associated with, the reused building do not conflict with the openness of Green Belt and the purposes of including land in it (for example, because they involve extensive external storage, or extensive hardstanding, car parking, boundary walling or fencing);
  3. the buildings are of permanent and substantial construction, and are capable of conversion without major or complete reconstruction; and
  4. the form, bulk and general design of the buildings are in keeping with their surroundings.

The carrying out of engineering and other operations and the making of material changes in the use of land are inappropriate development unless they maintain openness and do not conflict with the purposes of including land in the Green Belt.

Planning permission will not be granted for development within or conspicuous from the Green Belt that might be visually detrimental by reason of its siting, materials, or design, even where it would not prejudice the purposes of including land in the Green Belt.

Planning permission will be granted for the working of minerals, provided that high environmental standards are maintained, the affected sites are well restored, and the development is consistent with other policies and proposals of the Plan.

Reasoned justification

12.4 The purposes of the Green Belt are:

  1. to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas;
  2. to prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another;
  3. to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment;
  4. to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and
  5. to assist in urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict land and other urban land.

12.5 The extent of the Green Belt in Salford is defined on the proposals map. The Regional Spatial Strategy for the North West states that the boundary of the Greater Manchester Green Belt should not be reviewed before 2011, and the city council supports this approach. Having given detailed consideration to development needs within the city, it is considered that there is no overriding need to allocate sites for development within the existing Green Belt.

12.6 A key aim of the policy is to protect the Green Belt’s most important attribute, its openness, and ensure that inappropriate development does not take place. Inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and such development will only be approved in very special circumstances. Consequently, new buildings will only be permitted where they are genuinely required as part of a use that maintains the openness of the Green Belt, or where they replace an existing dwelling.

Policy EN 2

Worsley Greenway

Development will not be permitted where it would fragment or detract from the openness and continuity of the Greenway, or would cause unacceptable harm to its character or its value as an amenity, wildlife, agricultural or open recreation resource.

Reasoned justification

12.7 The Worsley Greenway is a strategically important “green wedge” within the Worsley area. It covers some 195 hectares, and is of great value to the city and local area. It provides amenity open space, recreational land and facilities, attractive landscapes, farmland, water features such as Old Warke Dam, public access, strategic recreation routes, areas of ecological importance, attractive woodland, features of historic and heritage importance, and relief within an urban area. It also provides the setting for the settlements of Worsley, Roe Green, Beesley Green, and the Bridgewater Canal, and is an essential element of their historic character. The protection and enhancement of Worsley Greenway, in its entirety, is therefore of great strategic and local importance.

Policy EN 4

Farm Diversification

Proposals involving the diversification of farms into non-agriultural activities will be permitted where they would:

  1. contribute to the sustainable development objectives expressed in the aims of the UDP;
  2. help to sustain rather than replace the agricultural enterprise;
  3. be consistent in their scale with their rural location;
  4. not result in excessive expansion and encroachment of built development into the countryside;
  5. reuse or replace existing buildings where feasible; and
  6. not have an unacceptable impact on the amenity of nearby residents, other rural businesses, or recreational users of the area.

Reasoned justification

12.10 Despite the large areas of high-grade farmland around the western edges of Salford, the traditional farm economy, based around moss crops, is declining. Between 1987 and 1997, land put to horticultural crops fell by 56% and the total agricultural workforce fell by 40%.

12.11 Diversification into non agricultural activities may be vital to the continuing viability of many farm enterprises, and therefore to the protection of the existing landscape, and so the city council will be supportive of well conceived farm diversification schemes.

12.12 Within the Green Belt, which covers a very large proportion of the agricultural area of the city, favourable consideration will be given to proposals for diversification that preserve the openness of the Green Belt and do not conflict with the purposes of including land within it. Where a proposal comprises inappropriate development in the Green Belt, any wider benefits resulting from the diversification may contribute to the ‘very special circumstances’ required for the development to be granted permission.

Policy EN 5

Irwell Valley

Development within the Irwell Valley will not be permitted where it would:

  1. result in the severance or fragmentation of the open land resource;
  2. reduce the public accessibility of the valley, or sever or fragment any existing or potential strategic recreation routes within the valley;
  3. have an unacceptable impact on the landscape or wildlife interest of the valley;
  4. result in the unacceptable loss of land of acknowledged existing or potential recreation value;
  5. have an unacceptable impact on important views into, through, or within the valley;
  6. have an unacceptable effect on water quality and levels of river flows;
  7. have an unacceptable impact on the visual quality of the river frontage; or
  8. have an unacceptable impact on the amenity of other valley users.

Reasoned justification

12.13 The Irwell Valley is an environmental and cultural resource of sub-regional importance, forming a strategic wedge of open land penetrating into the heart of urban Salford. It is a major landscape feature in its own right, and presents a series of linked opportunities for outdoor sports, informal recreation, wildlife/biodiversity, and access. It includes an integral part of the Irwell Sculpture Trail, which stretches from Manchester city centre to Bacup in Lancashire. The valley forms part of a Core Forest Area in the Red Rose Forest Plan, and is regarded as a major opportunity to deliver the vision of the community forest. In addition, where development is appropriate adjacent to it, the valley provides an important urban design asset.

12.14 The policy seeks to protect the character of the valley and to promote the continuity of open land throughout the area. In recent years, there have been a number of strategic decisions made that have resulted in urban intrusions within the valley. Maintaining the remaining continuity of access, and preventing further fragmentation of the valley landscape, are the key policy objectives.

12.15 In recent years, the city council has worked to reclaim many of the derelict and despoiled areas of land within the valley, focusing mainly on improvements to access and appearance. This work will continue, but there will be an increased emphasis on the provision of a mix of open land uses and recreational opportunities, particularly within the four Key Recreation Areas falling within the valley. These areas in particular will help to satisfy the needs of local residents, thereby fulfilling the strategic role of the valley as a major community forest resource for the benefit of Salford, as well as potentially forming an important part of a Regional Park in the future (Policy R3 'Regional Park').

Policy EN 7

Nature Conservation Sites of National Importance

Development that would adversely affect the special interest of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) will only be permitted where:

  1. the benefits of the development clearly outweigh the reduction in the special interest for which the site is designated as a SSSI;
  2. the benefits of the development clearly outweigh the contribution that the site makes to retaining a full range of natural and semi-natural habitats, and geological and physiographical features, within England; and
  3. the detrimental impact on the nature conservation interest of the site has been minimised as far as is practicable, and all reasonable action will be taken to make good any damage.

Where appropriate, conditions or planning obligations will be used to ensure the protection, enhancement and management of the nature conservation interest of SSSIs.

Reasoned justification

12.18 The purpose of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) is to safeguard, for present and future generations, the full range of habitats, species, and geological and physiographical features throughout England. At present, there are no SSSIs within Salford, although Botany Bay Woods are currently under consideration for designation. Sites of international importance are also all identified as SSSIs, but are afforded specific protection in this UDP by Policy EN6 'Nature Conservation Sites of International Importance'.

12.19 The protection and management of SSSIs is seen by the government as a key aspect of achieving sustainable development, and meeting their biodiversity objectives. SSSIs are afforded statutory protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

12.20 Therefore, SSSIs will be strongly protected from operations that damage, or are likely to damage, their special interest. Planning permission will only be granted for such activities where the benefits of the proposed development clearly outweigh the adverse impacts on nature conservation. In determining this, regard will be had to the importance of the site in maintaining a full range of the nation’s most important habitats and earth science sites. The city council is required to consult English Nature before granting permission for the development of land in a SSSI, or adjacent to a SSSI that would be likely to affect it. Some development activities affecting SSSIs that do not require planning permission may still require specific consent from English Nature, as set out in the notification of the SSSI.

12.21 The sensitive management of SSSIs is essential to their long-term protection, and the city council will encourage landowners and occupiers to enter into management schemes with English Nature. Where appropriate, the granting of planning permission may be conditional upon the entering into of such an agreement. Improvements to public access will also be encouraged, where these are consistent with the safeguarding of the nature conservation interest of the SSSIs.

Policy EN 8

Nature Conservation Sites of Local Importance

Development that would adversely affect the nature conservation value of a Site of Biological Importance, a Local Nature Reserve, or a priority habitat for Salford as identified in the Greater Manchester Biodiversity Action Plan, will only be permitted where:

  1. the benefits of the development clearly outweigh the reduction in the nature conservation interest for which the site is protected or identified as a priority habitat;
  2. the detrimental impact on the nature conservation interest of the site has been minimised as far as is practicable; and
  3. appropriate mitigation is provided to ensure that the overall nature conservation interest of the area is not diminished.

Where appropriate, conditions or planning obligations will be used to ensure the protection, enhancement and management of the nature conservation interest of these sites and habitats.

Reasoned justification

12.22 Salford contains a number of sites that are of considerable local importance. It is important that these valuable natural environmental assets are protected and enhanced, and, wherever possible, improvements to their management are secured.

12.23 Sites of Biological Importance (SBIs) are identified by the city council, based on assessments by the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit, but are not afforded the statutory protection that SSSIs are. The SBIs are given one of three gradings based on their ecological value - County Importance (Grade A), District Importance (Grade B), or More than Local Importance (Grade C). The following attributes are primarily used in site selection:

  1. exemplification of a habitat type;
  2. biodiversity of habitats/species;
  3. rarity of species present;
  4. naturalness of the site/substrate; and
  5. fragility of the site.

12.24 Within Salford, there are 33 SBIs, some of which include priority habitats as identified in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. The SBIs are shown on the proposals map and are listed below:

  1. Great Woolden Wood, Cadishead;
  2. Bridgewater Canal, Eccles/Winton/Barton;
  3. Three Sisters, Eccles;
  4. Old River Irwell, Irlam/Cadishead;
  5. Towns Gate Marsh, Irlam;
  6. Woodland North of Moss Farm, Irlam;
  7. Kersal Dale, Kersal;
  8. Kersal High School Grounds, Kersal;
  9. Kersal Moor, Kersal;
  10. Marsh and Pool at Greenheys, Little Hulton;
  11. Ponds North of Cleworth Hall, Little Hulton;
  12. Salford Quays North, Ordsall;
  13. Brindleheath Junction, Irwell Riverside;
  14. Grassland and Heath off Clively Avenue, Pendlebury;
  15. Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal, Pendlebury/Irwell Riverside;
  16. Marsh near Clifton Junction, Pendlebury;
  17. Oakwood, Pendlebury;
  18. PFA Site, Agecroft, Pendlebury;
  19. Unity Brook, Pendlebury;
  20. Blackleach Reservoir, Walkden North;
  21. Clifton Moss (South), Walkden North/Pendlebury;
  22. Springside Reservoirs, Walkden North;
  23. Brickfield Wood, Boothstown & Ellenbrook;
  24. How Clough, Walkden South;
  25. Ponds near New Manchester, Walkden South/Little Hulton;
  26. Walkden Reservoir, Walkden South;
  27. Foxhill Glen, Irlam;
  28. Alder Forest Marsh, Winton;
  29. Bittern Pits Wood, Worsley;
  30. Botany Bay Wood, Boothstown & Ellenbrook;
  31. Middlewood, Worsley;
  32. Worsley Woods, Worsley;
  33. Twelve Yards Road, Irlam.

12.25 Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) are declared by local authorities under the National Parks and Access to Countryside Act 1949. They are habitats of local significance, which give the public an opportunity to see, learn about and enjoy wildlife. At present, there are four LNRs in Salford (Blackleach Country Park, Kersal Dale, Worsley Woods and Clifton Country Park), but another site (Kersal Moor) is currently under consideration for such designation.

12.26 There is a national commitment in the UK Biodiversity Strategy to reversing the decline of a range of habitats and species, and securing the restoration of viable areas and population levels. A number of these habitats and species are identified as specific priorities for Salford in the Greater Manchester Biodiversity Action Plan. Further guidance will be produced on the distribution of these priority habitats and species, targets for their protection and enhancement, and proposals for improvement.

12.27 Where a development proposal could adversely affect a protected site, applicants will be expected to provide a full assessment of the existing nature conservation value of the site and the likely impacts of their development proposal on it. Where the damage to, or the loss of, the nature conservation value of the site is considered to be acceptable, appropriate compensatory measures will be required to ensure that the overall nature conservation interest and biodiversity resources of the city are not diminished.

Policy EN 9

Wildlife Corridors

Development that would affect any land that functions as a wildlife corridor, or that provides an important link or stepping stone between habitats, will not be permitted where it would unacceptably impair the movement of flora and fauna.

Where development is permitted, conditions or planning obligations may be used to secure the protection, enhancement and/or management measures designed to facilitate the movement of flora and fauna across or around the site.

Reasoned justification

12.28 Land both within and outside designated nature conservation sites can play an important role in maintaining the diversity of flora and fauna, by enabling the migration, dispersal and genetic exchange of species. Features as diverse as canals, rivers, railways, woods, parks and playing fields can all make a significant contribution in this regard, particularly where they help to form a continuous link between habitats and green spaces. Therefore, a vital aspect of protecting and enhancing the nature conservation interest within the city will be to minimise, wherever possible, the negative impacts of development on the ability of flora and fauna to move within and through an area. These impacts are most likely to be in the form of the degradation in the quality and extent of habitats, and the impairment of the continuity of wildlife corridors.

12.29 Where development is permitted that would affect the functioning of a wildlife corridor or any other important link between habitats, it will normally be required to incorporate satisfactory provision for movement of flora and fauna, for example through the inclusion of sensitive landscaping and planting that incorporates native species. Where habitats are to be created as part of the development, these should, wherever possible, relate to the priorities of the UK and Greater Manchester Biodiversity Action Plans.

12.30 The key areas of search for wildlife corridors are shown on the Proposals Map, and represent the main open spaces and linear features that connect through to the countryside. It is recognised that not every parcel of land within the areas shown on the proposals map will be important for the movement of flora and fauna, and each proposal will be judged on its merits. Equally, however, there will be other areas of land in the city that are not shown as areas of search on the proposals map that will also have an important role in enabling the movement of flora and fauna. This role of these sites will also be protected by this policy.

Policy EN 11

Mosslands

In the Mosslands:

  1. development that would affect the conservation value or the integrity of an existing or restored lowland raised bog habitat will only be permitted subject to the criteria (a) to (c) of Policy EN8 'Nature Conservation Sites of Local Importance';
  2. development that would affect land which has the potential to be restored to lowland raised bog habitat will be permitted:
  1. in the Heartland: only where the development would not prevent that restoration in the future; and
  2. elsewhere in the mosslands only where:
  1. the development would not prevent that restoration in the future; or
  2. provision is made as part of the development for the restoration of an area of lowland raised bog habitat elsewhere in the mosslands, equivalent to that potential area lost as a result of the development; or
  3. the development secures major nature conservation benefits for the mosslands if it has been clearly demonstrated that either restoration pursuant to (ii) is not practically feasible or the major conservation benefits outweigh the benefits that would arise from restoration pursuant to (ii);
  1. development on land that cannot practicably be restored to lowland raised bog habitat will be permitted provided it would not prevent the restoration of other land to that habitat; or as part of the development, provision is made in accordance with criterion B(ii).

In every case, the overall nature conservation interest of the mosslands will be maintained.

Where appropriate, conditions or planning obligations will be used to ensure the protection, enhancement and management of the mosslands’ nature conservation interest.

Reasoned justification

12.34 The mosslands within Salford, as shown on the proposals map, are of considerable landscape and nature conservation value. Parts of the mosslands have the potential to be restored to lowland raised bog, which is a habitat of international importance, has special status under the EU Habitats Directive, and is identified as a priority habitat in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. The city council is committed to securing the restoration of lowland raised bog habitat, and the protection of the wider mosslands area, whilst also ensuring that a sustainable and successful rural economy is maintained.

12.35 Agricultural practices and mineral extraction over many decades have caused serious damage to the lowland raised bog habitat of the Chat Moss area of Salford, but in many cases there is the potential to reverse that damage. Regional Spatial Strategy for the North West sets a target of improving 1,000 hectares of degraded raised bog by 2015, and the Greater Manchester Biodiversity Action Plan has targets of establishing appropriate hydrological conditions capable of supporting lowland bog species on 100 hectares of Chat Moss by 2010, and a further 100 hectares by 2020.

12.36 Some existing or restored lowland raised bog habitat has the status of a Site of Biological Importance (SBI), and is therefore subject to the provisions of Policy EN8 'Nature Conservation Sites of Local Importance'. Other land may achieve a similar nature conservation value through restoration work. In order to provide an appropriate and consistent level of protection to such land, development affecting it will be subject to the same tests of Policy EN8 'Nature Conservation Sites of Local Importance' as if it had the equivalent status.

12.37 Given the importance of lowland raised bog habitat, the UDP seeks to protect any land within the city (and through EN 6, land on the edge of the city within Wigan) that has the potential to be restored to a lowland raised bog. This restoration potential requires a minimum depth of peat and particular hydrological conditions to be successful. Proposals for development involving the removal of peat with the potential for restoration to lowland raised bog habitat will be required to demonstrate that these conditions will exist and that the potential of other land to be restored to that habitat will not be impaired.

12.38 The focus of protection will be on the Mossland Heartland, which adjoins the candidate Special Area of Conservation at Astley and Bedford Moss in Wigan. The Mossland Heartland is considered to have the most potential for securing a significant area of lowland raised bog within the city in the future. Outside the Mossland Heartland, the mosslands area is primarily agricultural in nature, and it will be important to support the farm economy, and where appropriate farm diversification, whilst maintaining the overall nature conservation value of the mosslands.

12.39 Nevertheless, there are substantial peat deposits within this wider mosslands area that have the potential to be restored to lowland raised bog habitat, and these will also be afforded some protection. The loss of the potential of such sites to be restored to this habitat because of major development will only be considered acceptable where a commensurate area of lowland raised bog is restored and/or managed elsewhere in the mosslands area as a result of the development, or other major nature conservation benefits are secured. In implementing this, the emphasis will be on the creation of areas of lowland raised bog that are large enough to allow an independent hydrological regime to be established, rather than the restoration of small, isolated pockets of this habitat that will be more easily damaged. Where issues of land ownership make this impractical, the provision of an alternative high quality habitat within the city may be considered acceptable. This approach seeks to balance the objectives of nature conservation and habitat improvement with the need to support the rural economy.

12.40 Where a major development proposal could adversely affect a site that is, or has the potential to be restored to, a lowland raised bog habitat, applicants will be expected to provide details of the depths and quality of peat, and of existing habitats, and a full assessment of the long-term impacts of development on them and their potential to be restored to lowland raised bog habitat. It will be assumed that a site does have the potential to be restored to lowland raised bog habitat unless the applicant can clearly demonstrate otherwise.

12.41 Sites that cannot be restored to a lowland raised bog habitat also play an important nature conservation role as part of the wider mosslands area. It will be important that any development on these sites supports this wider nature conservation value, either through the protection, provision or management of appropriate habitats on-site, or the improvement or management of such habitats elsewhere within the mosslands area, commensurate with the scale of development and its ecological impact.

12.42 The proposed Nature Conservation and Biodiversity supplementary planning document will provide further guidance on the implementation of this policy. Regard should also be had to Policy M2 'Mineral Development' of this UDP, which addresses the issues relating to peat extraction and minerals development on the mosslands.

Policy EN 12

Important Landscape Features

Development that would have a detrimental impact on, or result in the loss of, any important landscape feature will not be permitted unless the applicant can clearly demonstrate that:

  1. the importance of the development plainly outweighs the nature conservation and amenity value of the landscape feature; and
  2. the design and layout of the development cannot reasonably make provision for the retention of the landscape feature.

If the removal of an important existing landscape feature is permitted as part of a development, a replacement of at least equivalent size and quality, or other appropriate compensation, will be required either within the site, or elsewhere within the area.

Where appropriate, conditions or planning obligations will be used to secure the appropriate management of important landscape features.

Reasoned justification

12.43 Landscape features include, amongst other things, trees (single or grouped), copses, woodland, hedges, ponds, streams, ditches and lakes. Such features play a vital part in creating an attractive and pleasant environment for the people of Salford, and help to support an abundance of wildlife. The protection of these features from adverse development, and their replacement when they are lost, in order to secure the same amenity value for the area, will assist in enhancing the attractiveness and image of the city. The Red Rose Community Forest will have a particularly important role in developing a diverse range of landscapes throughout Salford, in addition to woodland.

12.44 In determining the importance of any landscape feature, regard will be had to its:

  • value within the context of the community forest;
  • value within the wider setting;
  • value for wildlife or biodiversity;
  • contribution towards the viability of a wildlife corridor; and
  • contribution towards the local amenity of the area in which it is found.

Policy EN 13

Protected Trees

Development that would result in the unacceptable loss of, or damage to, protected trees will not be permitted. Where the loss of trees is considered acceptable, adequate replacement provision will be required.

Reasoned justification

12.45 Protected trees include all trees within conservation areas and those covered by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). Such trees are protected because of their high amenity value, and positive contribution to the environmental quality of the city. It is important that this is not gradually eroded, and so there is a presumption against their damage or loss. Where the benefits of development clearly outweigh the loss of protected trees, or the health of the trees has already been compromised, their removal may be permitted, but only where adequate replacements are provided. This will normally be within the site, and on a basis of at least two for one, with the replacements being of an appropriate size and maturity to secure the same amenity value for the area. The city council will keep existing TPOs under review, and will designate new TPOs where appropriate, to ensure that the amenity, environmental quality and nature conservation value of the city are all protected.

Policy EN 17

Pollution Control

Development proposals that would be likely to cause or contribute towards a significant increase in pollution to the air (including dust pollution), water or soil, or by reason of noise, odour, artificial light or vibration, will not be permitted unless they include mitigation measures commensurate with the scale and impact of the development. Potential releases of pollution must be capable of being adequately regulated by the relevant pollution control authority under the pollution control framework.

When assessing such proposals, particular regard will be had to the proximity of the development and its effect upon environmentally sensitive uses, buildings, features, areas and considerations such as:

  1. housing;
  2. schools, hospitals, nursing homes or similar institutions;
  3. areas of open space used frequently for recreation purposes;
  4. industrial processes and utilities infrastructure that require specific operating conditions;
  5. the landscape;
  6. the quality of soil, air, and ground and surface waters;
  7. nature conservation;
  8. agricultural land quality;
  9. water supply; and
  10. archaeological designations.

Consideration will also be given to:

  1. the cumulative effect of pollution, having regard to the effects of existing sources of pollution; and
  2. any balancing benefits of the development.

In areas where existing levels of pollution exceed local or national standards, planning permission will be granted for environmentally sensitive developments only where the development incorporates adequate measures to ensure that there is no unacceptable risk or nuisance to occupiers, and that they are provided with an appropriate and satisfactory level of amenity.

Reasoned justification

12.56 Pollution has a major impact on health, amenity, natural resources and quality of life. The planning system will be used in conjunction with other powers, co-ordinated with the pollution control regimes exercised by other agencies, in order to minimise the generation and effects of pollution as far as possible, for example by controlling development likely to give rise to an increase in pollution and ensuring that uses sensitive to pollution are appropriately located.

12.57 The acceptability of development giving rise to pollution of all kinds will be judged by reference to national regulations, and to standards set by regulatory bodies and the local authority. Planning applications should contain sufficient information for the local authority to assess the likelihood of pollution and its potential effects. An air quality assessment will need to be submitted as part of any transport assessment where a development could have significant air quality impacts, along with details of mitigation measures.

12.58 Mitigation measures and contributions to pollution reduction may come in many forms, including pre-emission treatment, engineering works, the adoption of alternative working practices, building design, noise attenuation, travel plans, public transport improvements, cycle facilities, lighting cowls and beam angle reduction, tree planting and landscaping.

Policy EN 18

Protection of Water Resources

Development will not be permitted where it would have an unacceptable impact on surface or ground water in terms of its quality, level or flow.

Reasoned justification

12.59 Water is an essential resource for humans and wildlife. Natural and manmade waterways, such as lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and canals, form an important part of Salford’s environment and heritage. It is therefore important to protect water resources and their flow levels, in order to safeguard human health, amenity, ecological assets and the economy. The city council is a partner in the Mersey Basin Campaign, which is working to improve the quality of all rivers, canals, lakes and watercourses to a standard that will at least sustain fish life.

12.60 The quality and levels of surface and ground waters are affected by many aspects of every day human and economic activity, including:

  • effluent from sewage treatment works;
  • storm sewage discharges to watercourses;
  • industrial and agricultural discharges;
  • run-off from roads and urban areas;
  • accidental or illegal discharges;
  • litter and illegal tipping;
  • leachate from contaminated sites and abandoned mine workings, particularly if disturbed;
  • active minerals development; and
  • wells, water abstraction points, and irrigation.

12.61 When assessing development proposals, the city council will, in consultation with the Environment Agency, pay due consideration to the potential impact(s) on surface and groundwater resources. The city council will also have regard to the relevant local environment agency plans and the groundwater vulnerability and source protection maps where relevant.

Policy EN 19

Flood Risk and Surface Water

Development, including the alteration of land levels, will not be permitted where it would:

  1. be subject to an unacceptable risk of flooding;
  2. materially increase the risk of flooding elsewhere; or
  3. result in an unacceptable maintenance liability for the city council or any other agency in terms of dealing with flooding issues.

Any application for development that is considered likely to be at risk of flooding, or to increase the risk of flooding elsewhere materially, will need to be accompanied by a formal flood risk assessment that should accurately assess the level of flood risk involved. Where appropriate, it should clearly identify the mitigation or other measures to be incorporated into the development or undertaken on other land which are designed to reduce that risk of flooding to an acceptable level.

In determining the potential impact of the proposed development on the risk of flooding elsewhere, particular regard will be had to the extent to which the development:

  1. is located within or impacts upon a functional floodplain or floodzone;
  2. incorporates protection, attenuation or mitigation measures, and the use of source control techniques and sustainable drainage systems; and
  3. provides adequate access to watercourses for maintenance purposes.

Where development would be subject to a significant flood risk, including on allocated sites, and it is not possible to reduce the risk to an acceptable level through design solutions or other measures secured through the development, it will be allowed to proceed only in co-ordination with the completion of those elements of the River Irwell Flood Control Scheme which are necessary to mitigate the identified risk satisfactorily.

Development will not be permitted unless adequate provision is made for the discharge of foul and surface water associated with the proposal.

Reasoned justification

12.62 Flooding in Salford is mainly due to high water tables, and surcharged watercourses, culverts and sewers. It can affect parts of Lower Broughton, Charlestown, Kersal and Clifton Junction lying in the flood plain of the River Irwell; parts of Barton, Peel Green, Winton, Worsley and the Linnyshaw area of Walkden lying in the flood plain of several brooks; parts of Irlam falling in the flood plain of Platt’s Brook and the River Irwell (old course); land adjoining the Glaze Brook in Cadishead; and land adjoining the Shaw Brook and Whitehead Brook to the north of Worsley Moss, in Worsley and Boothstown. These areas are shown diagrammatically in Appendix D and in greater detail on the Environment Agency’s Indicative Flood Plain Maps. Development can have significant implications for flood risk. Within areas susceptible to flooding, new development may itself be at risk of flooding and may in turn increase the risk of flooding elsewhere by reducing the capacity of land to naturally drain and/or increasing surface water run-off. Risk, and the measures which may be required to mitigate it, will be assessed by reference to the council’s Strategic Flood Risk Assessment in consultation with the Environment Agency, flood risk maps and local knowledge.

12.63 For sites thought to be at risk from flooding developers will be required to undertake an assessment of flood risk and the run off implications of their proposals that is appropriate to the scale and nature of the development and the risks involved.

12.64 Waterside development is playing an important role in the city’s regeneration but, in areas that are at risk of flooding, development may only be appropriate where design solutions are used to minimise that risk to an acceptable level.

12.65 New development often increases the demands of the local foul and surface water drainage systems, and it is important that these have adequate capacity to cope with this. Where they would not, developers will be expected to contribute to their improvement. The use of sustainable drainage systems to slow down drainage and create water-holding features may be necessary, together with maintenance provision where appropriate, as may other features required to ensure that the risk of flooding for others is not increased. Sustainable drainage systems may also have potential added benefits of creating environmental features from areas set aside for the collection and passive treatment of surface water, for example new wetland habitats, bringing amenity and nature conservation benefits. However, it should be noted that the sewerage undertaker may not always agree to adopt sustainable drainage systems.

12.66 The culverting of watercourses should be avoided wherever possible, because of the adverse effects on flood defences and ecology. Applications involving the culverting of a watercourse will only be permitted if there is no reasonable practical alternative or if the effects would not justify a more costly alternative. In all cases, where it is appropriate to do so, adequate mitigation must be provided for any damage caused. The reopening of culverted watercourses where this leads to environmental and flood defence improvements, will be encouraged.

Policy EN 20

River Irwell Flood Control

Within the area shown on the proposals map, planning permission will not be granted for any development that would prejudice the provision of flood storage basins or associated water channel improvements to be undertaken as part of the River Irwell Flood Control Scheme.

Reasoned justification

12.67 Planning permission was granted in August 1994 for the construction of flood storage basins in the Lower Kersal area of the city, and associated channel improvement works, as part of the River Irwell Flood Control Scheme. Some initial flood control measures have subsequently been installed at Littleton Road playing fields, but additional works, particularly at Castle Irwell and along the banks of the river, will be required to bring the flood defences in this part of the city up to a 1 in 100 year standard.

12.68 These works are seen as essential to the successful regeneration of Broughton, Charlestown, Lower Kersal, and the surrounding area, and, accordingly, any development that would prevent the satisfactory completion of the flood control scheme will be resisted. The city council and the Environment Agency are working together to secure the completion of the flood defence works as a priority.

Policy EN 21

Renewable Energy

Planning permission will be granted for renewable energy development provided that the impact on environmental quality and amenity does not outweigh the benefits of the development’s potential contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, diversifying the country’s energy supply, and meeting national targets for the production of renewable energy.

Reasoned justification

12.69 The Government has proposed that 10% of the UK electricity requirements should be met from renewable energy sources by 2010, and 20% by 2020. Renewable energy sources can potentially make a significant and sustainable contribution towards meeting the city’s energy needs, and will be encouraged wherever possible, provided that they do not have unacceptable environmental impacts in themselves. Development proposals should demonstrate any environmental, economic and social benefits as well as how any environmental and social impacts have been minimised through careful consideration of location, scale, design and other measures.

12.70 Within Salford, there is likely to be greatest potential for the use of solar energy, although there may also be opportunities for the use of other technologies such as geothermal energy and energy crops. The impact on the operational integrity and safety of Manchester Airport will be an important consideration in any development involving wind turbines, and the city council is required to consult Manchester Airport on all such developments (see Policy DEV 7 'Protection of Aviation Safety at Manchester Airport').

Policy EN 22

Resource Conservation

Development proposals for more than 100 dwellings or 5,000 square metres of floorspace will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that:

  1. the impact on the conservation of non-renewable resources, and on the local and global environments, has been minimised as far as practicable; and
  2. full consideration has been given to the use of realistic renewable energy options, and such measures have been incorporated into the development where practicable.

Reasoned justification

12.71 All buildings have an impact on the environment through the consumption of finite materials, energy and water. In the UK, buildings produce 50% of total carbon dioxide emissions and consume half the nation’s energy requirement. Careful design and construction can help to minimize the harmful impacts of buildings and contribute to reductions in the rate of climate change, levels of acid rain and ozone depletion. It can also help to enhance social equity and tackle the problem of ‘fuel poverty’, where people are unable to afford the cost of heating their homes. In considering the potential for minimising the unnecessary use of non-renewable resources, regard will need to be had to issues such as:

  1. the efficiency with which energy is used and conserved, through the appropriate location, siting, design, layout, orientation and screening of buildings;
  2. the use of building materials and construction methods that minimise any potential detrimental environmental impacts;
  3. the minimisation and amount of waste produced during construction and operation;
  4. the use and disposal of water in a responsible and efficient manner;
  5. the ability to reuse existing buildings, where this is compatible with urban regeneration objectives; and
  6. the use of building forms that can adapt to changing requirements and accommodate different uses and needs, where this is appropriate to the location and character of the area.

12.72 Developments that would result in the consumption of large amounts of energy should seek to minimise the environmental impact of this consumption as much as possible, and the use of renewable energy wherever feasible is one way of achieving this. The use of combined heat and power technology to provide efficient heat and electricity, and the orientation of buildings to maximise solar gain, can both help to reduce the energy requirements of new developments and therefore their contribution to climate change.

12.73 Proposals that incorporate new technologies in resource conservation will be permitted, where these do not have a detrimental impact on overall design quality and are compatible with other relevant UDP policies. By encouraging the use of sustainable construction materials and methods, for example by using recycled materials or carefully managed natural materials, and locating buildings to take advantage of solar gains for lighting and heating, the city council can promote building types and forms that may help reduce the detrimental impacts buildings have on the local and global environment. Developers should take account of the principles found in Salford’s Green Development Advice Guide. Where possible, developments should incorporate sustainable drainage systems, in accordance with Policy EN9 'Wildlife Corridors'.

12.74 In many circumstances, the reuse of existing buildings can help to minimise resource requirements, and can also help to maintain local identity and character. The use of adaptable building forms in new development can assist in ensuring that new buildings will have a long life, but this needs to be compatible with the character of the area.

Policy EN 23

Environmental Improvement Corridors

Development along any of the city’s major road, rail and water corridors will be required to preserve, or make a positive contribution to the corridor’s environment and appearance.

In determining the extent to which a development would achieve this, regard will be had in particular to:

  1. the quality of design and landscaping, particularly in terms of elevational treatments and the impact on views;
  2. the extent to which the proposal would assist in the implementation of corridor improvement strategies;
  3. the impact on the quality, management and maintenance of the public realm;
  4. the contribution that would be made towards air quality improvement and accessibility, particularly by promoting improved public transport and access by foot and cycle;
  5. the impact on historic and tourism-related features; and
  6. the extent to which wildlife habitats are protected and improved.

Reasoned justification

12.75 The city’s road, rail and water corridors present the public face of Salford, and are very important in terms of local pride for those that live and work in the city, and the image that is presented to visitors. However, as the corridors have evolved over many years, parts of them have developed a range of environmental problems relating to poor air quality, congestion, and design quality. Their environmental improvement is therefore an important objective of the UDP. Where resources allow, corridor improvement strategies will be produced to coordinate the improvement of individual corridors, both through environmental enhancements and transport improvements. In determining applications for development within or affecting the corridors, particular regard will be had to the design and accessibility policies of the UDP. It is accepted that the extent of the positive contribution that developments will be able to make to the environment and appearance of a corridor will be partly dependent on the type of development proposed and the characteristics of the particular site. It is also recognised that, in the case of development of land along the Manchester Ship Canal that is related to its operational role, it might not always be practicable to preserve or make a positive contribution to the environmental improvement corridor.

12.76 The corridors covered by this policy include:

  1. the Strategic Route Network, particularly:
    1. the A6 (Chapel Street, Salford to Manchester Road West, Little Hulton);
    2. the A57 and B5320 (Eccles New Road/Liverpool Road/Cadishead Way);
    3. the A56 (Bury New Road);
    4. the A580 (East Lancashire Road);
    5. the A576 (Eccles Old Road/Gilda Brook Road); and
    6. the A666 (Bolton Road);
  2. the rail network, particularly:
    1. the Manchester/Liverpool line;
    2. the Manchester/Bolton line; and
    3. the Manchester/Wigan line; and
  3. the waterway network, particularly:
    1. the River Irwell/Manchester Ship Canal;
    2. the Bridgewater Canal; and
    3. the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal.