Spacer Graphic
Home | Login | Sitemap | Contact Us | A to Z | Help
You are here: Penwith on the Web/Living in Penwith/Sustainable Development and Improvement (Planning and Building Control)/Local Plan
Penwith District Local Plan
Adopted 2004
This Chapter in PDF format (84Kbs)
Filler Image
Spatial Strategy
Filler Image
Local Plan Menu
Filler Graphic
1 Introduction
2 The Local Plan Area
3 Plan Strategy
4 Objectives
5 General Development Guidance
6 Coast and Countryside
7 Towns and Villages
8 Housing
9 Employment
10 Tourism
11 Recreation
12 Transportation
13 Community Services
14 Environmental Appraisal
15 Monitoring and Review
Filler graphic
Proposals Map
Inset Map
Plan Help
Terms and Conditions
Filler Image

Filler Graphic

Filler Graphic << Previous Chapter | Next Chapter >>


3.1.1 A Local Plan necessarily covers a wide range of complex issues which are often inter-related. While the plan must address its policies and proposals to land use matters these in turn affect, and are affected by, wider environmental, economic and social considerations. It is therefore essential in formulating a Local Plan to identify, at an early stage, the overall strategic approach at which the policies and proposals are directed. This section assesses briefly the national, regional and County strategic frameworks for the Plan and takes them into account in developing a Plan Strategy.

3.1.2 The principles of a clearly defined strategy can be used to develop the objectives and policies of the Plan. They can also be applied to wide ranging and complex issues to determine a policy direction where the Plan may not contain specific policy guidance. A statement of the overall approach of the Plan may also be useful in providing direction and consistency to other, complementary, activities where the planning system has no direct control. It follows that it is important that the strategy is essentially simple, clearly expressed and clearly understood.

Back to Top


3.2.1 Growing awareness of environmental issues, ranging from such matters as the international implications of global warming to local problems of pollution and development threats to individual sites, was reflected by the Government, in September 1990, through the publication of the Environment White Paper "This Common Inheritance". This document emphasises the theme of stewardship of the planet and the need for sustainable growth. Within this context the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 required that local plans include policies relating to the conservation of the natural beauty and amenity of the land and the improvement of the physical environment. This Act has been supplemented by a succession of Planning Policy Guidance (PPGs), and more recently, Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) which contain further emphasis and detailed information on the way in which environmental issues should be treated in development plans.

3.2.2 In Planning Policy Guidance "Development Plans and Regional Planning Guidance" (PPG 12), which relates to plan preparation procedure and the content and form of plans, it is identified that plans must make adequate provision for development that is needed and at the same time take account of the need to protect the natural and built environment. In particular it is identified that the preparation of development plans can contribute to the objectives of ensuring that development and growth are sustainable and that the effect of planning decisions should not deny future generations the best of today's environment. The PPG charges local planning authorities with a responsibility to ensure that their plans consistently and comprehensively take environmental considerations into account and identifies that environmental concerns need to form an integral part of policy appraisal in all development plan preparation.

3.2.3 Regional Planning Guidance (RPG 10) seeks to provide the context for achieving a balance between the following objectives:

  • to safeguard and enhance the distinctiveness and diversity of the region's environment;
  • to encourage and maintain a diverse and healthy economy throughout the region;
  • to secure a sustainable level of growth and distribution of development;
  • to provide a framework for the provision of infrastructure and services so as to ensure an enhanced quality of life and
  • to provide for a safe and efficient transport system to serve the existing and future needs of the region.

3.2.4 The guidance recognises the quality and diversity of the region's environment and emphasises the requirement to balance the need for development against the need to protect and enhance the environment. Guidance is also given on employment, housing, tourism and leisure, minerals and transport and communications. Throughout the document there is a significant emphasis on the need to achieve sustainable growth together with a requirement for development plans both to protect valuable landscapes, habitats, agricultural land and natural and man-made features and to address ways in which development patterns can reduce consumption of fossil fuels and pollution.

3.2.5 The approach of the Structure Plan has, since the formulation of the original Structure Plan in the late 1970s, been based on both encouraging economic growth and on maintaining the character of the County. The present Structure Plan is based on the belief that social, economic and environmental objectives need to be integrated and directed towards a more sustainable future. In the Vision and Strategy section of the Plan, Policy SP 1 identifies that the underlying objective of the Plan's policies is to achieve sustainable development and that in the application of policies in Local Plans, and the consideration of applications for planning permission, it will always be appropriate to have regard to the economic and social well being of local communities as well as the environmental implications of development. Policy SP 2 seeks to minimise the need to travel and encourage access by public transport and by non-vehicular means by, for example, making full and effective use of land within urban areas and by closely integrating development with the availability of public transport. This fundamental emphasis on sustainable development is being carried forward in the new Structure Plan.

Back to Top


3.3.1 The Penwith Local Plan has been prepared within this framework of guidance most of which demonstrates an increasing awareness of, and emphasis on, sustainability. However, while the achievement of sustainable development has become a central tenet of the planning system, it tends to mean different things to different people. The UK Strategy for Sustainable Development, the Framework for Sustainable Development in the South West and PPG 12 (see para. 3.2.2) give an indication of the Government's view of what is considered sustainable but the following definition also helps clarify the meaning of the term: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." The Brundtland Report, World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future : Oxford University Press 1987.

3.3.2 The concept of basing local plans on the protection of environmental qualities through the promotion and encouragement of appropriate developments and controlling or preventing those that are likely to have a harmful effect is not new to Penwith. The plans prepared previously by both the District and County
Council, including the Penzance Local Plan, former County Structure Plan and Countryside Local Plan, have all been based on a broadly similar premise. This approach has been consistently supported, and indeed at times strengthened, by the public and other bodies through the consultation process.

3.3.3 The strategy that follows does not therefore represent a radical change of direction but rather the extension of an existing, well established approach that has achieved considerable successes in protecting some elements of the environment. For sustainable development to be the aim, however, much wider environmental considerations must be at the heart of the plan and decision making processes while not losing sight of the pressing economic and social issues that face the Plan.

3.3.4 This leads to general principles, or aims, which are:-

  • to safeguard the environment (in the broadest meaning of the word);
  • to provide for the employment, housing, recreational and social needs of the local community and, in order to reconcile these two,
  • to pursue and encourage development which is sustainable.

3.3.5 More than 60,000 people live and work in the District and the Plan must set a context within which their needs, in terms of housing, employment, recreation and travel, have a reasonable chance of being met. However, if the aim of sustainable development is to be achieved it is essential to differentiate between the genuine 'needs' of the local community and the wider 'demands' that inevitably lead to pressure for development that may be of an inappropriate type or scale. In endeavouring to meet these needs it is essential to make the best and most efficient use of available resources, including land. There is an emphasis, therefore, throughout the Plan on the re-use of previously developed land provided that it is in the right location. It is also important to recognise that the protection of critical environmental capital and resources, which are those of national importance and whose loss would be extremely serious, must be given a high priority within the approach of the Plan. Above all it must be recognised that there are limits to what the environment can safely bear from development and that a 'healthy' environment can set the scene for economic and social wellbeing.

3.3.6 The Local Plan Strategy is, therefore:-

  • to protect and improve environmental resources and assets;
  • to consider the long term, as well as short term, effects in assessing development proposals;
  • to manage land use change so as to avoid damaging environmental consequences and enhance environmental quality;
  • to strengthen the local economy, and provide for housing and other development, in ways that are sustainable, meet the needs of the community as a whole and respect the special character of the District; and
  • to focus new development on the three main urban areas or, in the case of serviced industrial land, in the main transport corridor at transport nodes where accessibility to non-car modes can be maximised.

Spatial Strategy

3.3.7 In line with national, regional and Structure Plan guidance there will be an emphasis on locating most development in the urban areas where there is the widest range of service and facilities and good accessibility to public transport networks. In the rural areas development will be related to the economic and social, including housing, needs of the existing population and will be focused on St Just and the principal villages. This approach can allow for reduced reliance on the need to travel, particularly by private car, and limit the impact of new development on villages and the countryside. The main urban centres in Penwith are Penzance (Link to Map 1) and Newlyn (Link to Map 8), Hayle (Link to Map 17 and Link to Map 18) and St Ives (Link to Map 15 and Link to Map 16) and the focus of policies for development is on these centres. Where development is intended to serve the District as a whole, the emphasis will be on Penzance as the largest population centre and focus of communications. Certain types of development are difficult to locate within urban areas and the effect of building on edge of town sites on the surrounding countryside, as well as on the setting and character of the settlement, must be considered. While it will be important to retain existing industrial land provision in the Hayle harbour area, there are no opportunities to provide suitable additional serviced industrial land within the urban areas. The implications of developing such sites on the edge of towns, in terms of landscape and agricultural values, must be balanced, therefore, against alternative locations which offer similar, or improved accessibility benefits, particularly to non-car modes, as urban areas. To the west of Hayle the St. Erth Station area provides a location within the main transport corridor that is accessible by both rail and principal bus routes from Penzance and St. Ives as well as from Hayle and is considered appropriate as a strategic employment location.

Back to Top

3.3.8 POLICY ST-1:


3.3.9 Policy ST-1 is complemented by the other 'key' policies in the Plan (GD-1, CC-1, TV-1, H-1, E-1, TM-1, R-1, TP-1 and CS-1) and, together with the Plan's Objectives (Section 4), these provide the core strategy for the planning and control of development during the Plan period.


Spatial strategy for the location of development ST-1 ENV12 (Policy 16)
Back to Top
Filler Graphic << Previous Chapter | Next Chapter >>
  Filler graphic
Disclaimer | Privacy | Directgov | Top of Page

© 2005 Penwith District Council, St Clare, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 3QW. Tel: 01736 362341 Fax: 01736 336575