Preferred Options consultation document

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(7) 7. Presumption in favour of sustainable development

7.1 At the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is a 'presumption in favour of sustainable development'. The wording of the presumption in set out in paragraph 11 of the NPPF. The NPPF states "that the planning system has three overarching objectives, which are interdependent and need to be pursued in mutually supportive ways so that opportunities can be taken to secure net gains across each of the different objectives:

a) an economic objective – to help build a strong, responsive and competitive economy, by ensuring that sufficient land of the right types is available in the right places and at the right time to support growth, innovation and improved productivity; and by identifying and coordinating the provision of infrastructure;

b) a social objective – to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities, by ensuring that a sufficient number and range of homes can be provided to meet the needs of present and future generations; and by fostering a well-designed and safe built environment, with accessible services and open spaces that reflect current and future needs and support communities' health, social and cultural well-being; and

c) an environmental objective – to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment; including making effective use of land, helping to improve biodiversity, using natural resources prudently, minimising waste and pollution, and mitigating and adapting to climate change, including moving to a low carbon economy."

7.2 The policies in the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan will seek to deliver these objectives in Norfolk to provide for the forecast need for mineral, and sufficient waste management capacity, as identified in the Local Plan, unless:

  • policies within the NPPF that protect areas or assets of importance provide a strong reason for restricting the overall scale, type or distribution of development in the plan area[1]; or
  • any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the NPPF as a whole.

7.3 When considering development proposals, the Norfolk County Council will take a positive approach to minerals development and waste management development that reflects the presumption in favour of sustainable development contained in the National Planning Policy Framework, which is a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.

7.4 Norfolk County Council will always work proactively with applicants and statutory consultees to find solutions which mean that proposals can be approved wherever possible and to secure development that improves the economic, social and environmental considerations of the area.

7.5 Planning applications that accord with the policies in this Local Plan will be approved without delay, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Where there are no policies relevant to the application or relevant policies are demonstrably out-of-date at the time of making the decision, then the Council will grant planning permission unless:

  • policies within the NPPF that protect areas or assets of particular importance provide a clear reason for refusal1; or
  • the adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, considering the NPPF as a whole.

[1] The policies referred to are those in the NPPF relating to: habitats sites (and those sites listed in paragraph 176 of the NPPF) and/or designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest; Local Green Space, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, within the Broads Authority, or defined as Heritage Coast; irreplaceable habitats; designated heritage assets, non-designated heritage assets of archaeological interest which are demonstrably of equivalent significance to scheduled monuments; and areas at risk of flooding or coastal change.

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