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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
6 COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE
This Chapter in PDF format (180Kbs)
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INTRODUCTION
POLICY BACKGROUND
POLICIES AND PROPOSALS
Safeguarding and Managing the Environmental Resource
POLICY CC-1
POLICY CC-2
Landscape
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
POLICY CC-3
Heritage Coast
POLICY CC-4
Areas of Great Landscape Value
POLICY CC-5
Managing Landscape Change
Countryside Stewardship
Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA)
The National Trust
World Heritage Site
Nature Conservation
Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas
POLICY CC-6
Sites of Special Scientific Interest
POLICY CC-7
Areas of Great Scientific Value
County Wildlife Sites
County Geological Sites
Ancient Woodland
Local Nature Reserves
POLICY CC-8
Protected Species
POLICY CC-9
Features of Conservation Value
POLICY CC-10
Conservation Management
POLICY CC-11
Trees, Woodland and Hedgerows
Safeguarding the Treescape and Hedgerows
POLICY CC-12
Tree Planting
POLICY CC-13
The Coastal Environment
Marine Conservation
POLICY CC-14
Coastal Management
The Historic Environment
Sites of Archaeological and Historic Importance
POLICY CC-15
Areas of Great Historic Value
POLICY CC-16
Listed Buildings
Historic Parks and Gardens
POLICY CC-17
Managing the Archaeological Resource
Land Reclamation
POLICY CC-18
Summary of POLICIES and PROPOSALS
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Local Plan Menu
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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
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Proposals Map
Inset Map
Glossary
Plan Help
Terms and Conditions
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6. COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE
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6.1 INTRODUCTION

6.1.1 The quality and character of Penwith's coast and countryside represent an invaluable but finite resource. A complex inter-relationship of factors has shaped the features and characteristics of the rural environment. Its interest and value are based on the physical, geological, ecological and archaeological features, tempered by human activity, which interact to create today's landscape. It is also a resource valuable in terms of the economy, tourism, recreation, education and a place in which to live and work. Such diverse interests and pressures inevitably create conflicting demands which must be assessed and balanced within the overall framework of the Plan.

6.1.2 Although the importance of the District's environmental assets necessitates that protection must remain a strong element of policies there is also a compelling need and considerable scope for measures to manage and improve the environment, so that the distinctive character and qualities associated with Penwith can be safeguarded and where appropriate enhanced.

6.1.3 The overall emphasis of this section reflects the importance of this dual approach. The diversity and richness of resources are identified together with appropriate policies and proposals to ensure that landscape character, amenity, nature conservation, archaeological and historic values are safeguarded. In addition measures are set out for the conservation and enhancement of these resources, reflecting the Council's active and positive commitment in implementing the environmental aims of the Plan, as well as providing a framework in which other agencies can effectively operate.

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6.2 POLICY BACKGROUND

6.2.1 The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requires local plans to include policies in respect of the conservation of the natural beauty and amenity of the land and the improvement of the physical environment. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW Act) introduced in 2000 created a new statutory right of access to open country and registered common land, modernising the rights of way system. The Act gives greater protection to Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), and provides better management arrangements for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), and strengthens wildlife enforcement legislation. The Council also has a general duty under the Countryside Act 1968 to conserve the natural beauty and amenity of the countryside, a responsibility which embraces the conservation of flora, fauna, geological and physiological features. Detailed guidance on achieving these aims is contained in various Planning Policy Guidance notes and Planning Policy Statements.

6.2.2 In PPG 7 "The Countryside – Environmental Quality and Economic and Social Development" the need to respect the character of the countryside and achieve a balance between rural enterprise and protecting the landscape, wildlife habitats and historic features are clearly set out. PPS 7 'Sustainable Development in Rural Areas' has been published for consultation; it will supersede PPG7 and will relate to more sustainable patterns of development in rural areas. PPG 9 "Nature Conservation" emphasises the need to take nature conservation interests into account in all land use activities; PPG 15 "Planning and the Historic Environment" and PPG 16 "Archaeology and Planning" relate to the protection of the historic environment, archaeological remains and their records whilst PPG 20 "Coastal Planning" relates to the problems and opportunities afforded by a maritime location and the need to protect the coast from inappropriate development.

6.2.3 The Regional Planning Guidance (RPG 10) highlights the special environmental quality and diversity of the area's coast and countryside as a national asset which must be recognised and protected. Emphasis is placed both on the conservation and enhancement of environmental assets. The Structure Plan also focuses upon the overall need to protect and enhance the County's rural environment and reconcile the conflicts and pressures that arise in the countryside.

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6.3 POLICIES AND PROPOSALS

Safeguarding and Managing the Environmental Resource

6.3.1 The policies and proposals in this section will play a fundamental role in helping to meet the Plan's objectives of safeguarding the environmental resources of the coast and countryside and providing a framework that supports initiatives for the management and enhancement of the countryside. In this way the special character and qualities of Penwith's coast and countryside will be safeguarded for the enjoyment, appreciation and recreational needs of both residents and visitors to the District.

6.3.2 In recognising the importance of Penwith's coast and countryside as a resource the Plan must provide the means to safeguard the area's landscape, amenity, nature conservation, archaeological, historic and geological interests. It is also important that recognition is made to the importance of protecting the character of individual settlements within Penwith. (POLICY TV-1, para. 7.3.5)

6.3.3 POLICY CC-1:

DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE IT WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY HARM THE LANDSCAPE CHARACTER, AMENITY, NATURE CONSERVATION, ARCHAEOLOGICAL, HISTORIC OR GEOLOGICAL VALUES OF THE COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE OF PENWITH.

6.3.4 Protection, however, is only part of the approach. The management and enhancement of the coast and countryside is also an important objective in securing and improving the environmental qualities of the District. In this respect the Council is in a position to take positive steps in pursuing the aims and objectives of the Plan both by example and the promotion, support and coordination of measures initiated and funded from other sources. The policies of the Plan provide such a framework for the management and enhancement of the coast and countryside. POLICY CC-2 seeks to ensure that proposals which will maintain, enhance and facilitate the enjoyment, conservation and value of the landscape will be supported and encouraged.

6.3.5 POLICY CC-2:

PROPOSALS WHICH MAINTAIN, ENHANCE AND FACILITATE THE ENJOYMENT AND UNDERSTANDING OF LANDSCAPE CHARACTER, AMENITY, NATURE CONSERVATION, ARCHAEOLOGICAL, HISTORIC AND GEOLOGICAL VALUES IN THE COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE WILL BE PERMITTED.

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Landscape

6.3.6 The landscape of Penwith reflects the inter-relationship between physical and climatic elements and human activities from pre-historic times to the present day. It is the interaction of these elements that create the character and special identity valued by those who live and work in the District and the many who visit the area. The importance of Penwith's landscape is reflected by statutory, national and countywide designations including Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Heritage Coast, West Penwith Environmentally Sensitive Area and Area of Great Landscape Value. Parts of Penwith’s landscape are also included in a proposed World Heritage Site for Cornish Mining (due for inspection by UNESCO in 2006).

6.3.7 Although special emphasis is rightly given to formal landscape designations it is important not to undervalue the contribution made to the identity of Penwith by all parts of the countryside. Almost any landscape is valued by somebody, for whatever reason, and the importance of safeguarding those parts of the countryside not within a designated landscape area is fully recognised. This accords with the government's view, as expressed in PPG 7, of the need to protect the countryside in general for the sake of its beauty and diversity of landscape as well as its ecological, agricultural and recreational value, a view carried through into PPS 7. There is no implication in the Local Plan, therefore, that non-designated areas of the coast and countryside are necessarily suitable for development. Where proposals are considered acceptable within the policies of the Plan development should always be integrated with its surroundings in terms of scale, siting and design and should respect the landscape character, amenity, nature conservation, archaeological, historic and geological values of the countryside (POLICIES CC-1, para. 6.3.3, GD-1, para.
5.3.3 and GD-2, para. 5.3.7).

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Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

6.3.8 The Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a statutory designation which includes almost half the District. Designation confers the means to protect the most important landscape of England and Wales for the benefit of future generations. The primary purpose of designation is the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty, which relates not only to the area's landscape value but also its fauna, flora and geology.

6.3.9 The main body of the AONB lies in the western part of the District. To the north a rugged coastline of cliffs is backed by a narrow shelf of coastal heath and enclosed farmland characterised by small farming settlements with distinctive groups of granite and slate-roofed houses and outbuildings, surrounded by intricate patterns of small fields contained by stone walls and Cornish hedges. The higher open moor inland includes areas of heather, gorse and bracken and is characterised by distinctive rock outcrops. The western and southern parts of the designation are also framed by a rocky coastline edged by coastal heath and enclosed farmland though the landscape is generally of a softer aspect. The whole area is also largely devoid of tree cover except where sheltered valleys link with the coast. Pockets of heath and scrub also provide important physical and visual links between the coast and higher moors.

6.3.10 The AONB also includes parts of wider areas extending eastwards along both coasts into Kerrier. Godrevy Point, part of the more extensive North Cliffs, lies in stark contrast to the extensive dune system immediately to the south. The less rugged coastal strip between Marazion and Cudden Point consists predominantly of enclosed farmland and is physically dominated by St. Michael's Mount.

6.3.11 In pursuing the primary purpose of designation, account must also be taken of the economic and social needs of local communities. This is an acknowledgement that the countryside is not a museum and that an active rural way of life must be supported. Pressures exist for various types of development and the fundamental consideration must be that the special qualities, features and character of the AONB are properly safeguarded. However, a range of objectives and policies of the Local Plan seek to address the needs of local communities within the AONB in ways that meet this requirement. As a result of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, 2000 (CROW Act) a Management Plan has been prepared for the Cornwall AONB which provides more detailed guidance on key issues and relevant policy approaches. The Management Plan is complementary to the approach of the Local Plan and will provide valuable support in implementing, reviewing and developing policy.

6.3.12 In order to evaluate development proposals a strong policy approach is required to reflect the importance of the AONB. Planning Policy Guidance "The Countryside – Environmental Quality and Economic and Social Development" (PPG 7 and emerging PPS 7) stresses that policies should favour conservation of the natural beauty of the landscape. This approach is also reflected by the Structure Plan (Policy ENV 1, 1997 and Policy 2, 2004). The Local Plan identifies the importance of such matters as scale, location, design and materials in assessing the impact of development proposals throughout the District (POLICIES GD-1 and GD-2, paras. 5.3.3 and 5.3.7). Within the AONB, however, particular care must be taken with such matters so that where development is considered acceptable it reflects, and is in harmony with, the special character and national importance of the AONB. Care must also be taken to avoid the erosion of the character of the AONB through the cumulative effect of development, including small scale development.

6.3.13 POLICY CC-3:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT CONFLICTING WITH THE OBJECTIVE TO CONSERVE AND ENHANCE THE AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.


6.3.14 Development adjoining or close to the AONB can also have an adverse impact on the character, amenity or enjoyment of the AONB itself. It is not considered appropriate to define a 'buffer zone' as such since much would depend on the type of development and the local topography. In the case of the St. Buryan Area of Great Landscape Value, however, this would be an important consideration since the whole designated area contains landscape features and habitats characteristic of the adjacent AONB, by which it is bounded on three sides. In line with national guidance POLICY CC-3 provides for the consideration of development proposals outside the AONB which would have an impact on the designated area.

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Heritage Coast 

6.3.15 The influence of the sea on the landscape, history and culture of Penwith, cannot be over emphasised and it is the coastline which perhaps provides the best known images of the area. The diversity of the coast embraces small coves, some of which still support commercial fishing activities, rugged granite cliffs and sweeping sandy bays. The importance of the coastline is underlined by the fact that well over half has been defined by the Countryside Agency as Heritage Coast, a designation intended to protect the country's most attractive and largely undeveloped coastline. The coastal stretch between St. Ives and Mousehole, together with Godrevy headland, are included within the designation.

6.3.16 The main objectives of designation include the conservation, protection and enhancement of their natural beauty and to facilitate their appreciation in ways which are compatible with the essential character of the area. In this respect natural beauty not only relates to landscape value but also to terrestrial, littoral and marine flora and fauna and features of architectural, historic and archaeological interest. Emphasis is also given to the promotion of management measures to safeguard and enhance the special qualities of the area and promoting its public enjoyment in ways which are compatible with the essential character of the area. There is a need, therefore, to integrate such interests as conservation, tourism and recreation but only so far as they remain consistent with the designation's natural beauty and heritage features (POLICIES TM-1 and R-8, paras. 10.3.4 and 11.3.50).

6.3.17 The Structure Plan gives particular emphasis to the conservation of natural beauty within the Heritage Coasts and, where compatible with this objective, facilitating their enjoyment for recreation and tourism (Policy MAR 1, 1997 and Policy 2, 2004). The Local Plan, particularly General Development Guidance policies (Section five), provides a detailed framework that can be used effectively to ensure that development proposals reflect the character of the Heritage Coast.

6.3.18 POLICY CC-4:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT CONFLICTING WITH THE OBJECTIVE TO CONSERVE AND ENHANCE THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF THE HERITAGE COAST WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

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Areas of Great Landscape Value

6.3.19 Landscapes of County importance have been identified by the County Council as Areas of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) and as such their character is safeguarded by Policy ENV 1 of the Structure Plan (Policy 2, 2004). Two areas were originally designated in Penwith, an extensive area around St. Buryan and Drift and the smaller area of Upton Towans. The main characteristic of the St. Buryan AGLV, which is also predominantly within the Heritage Coast designation, is enclosed farmland which separates the higher granite moorland to the north from the coastal margins to the south and west. Upton Towans forms part of an extensive sand dune system stretching from the Hayle Estuary to the Red River. The site has remained largely undeveloped as a result of its former use as an explosives storage area, thereby retaining its interest and value in landscape and ecological terms. As a consequence the area has not experienced the pressures for holiday development which characterises much of the remainder of the dune system. In view of their countywide importance in landscape terms there is a need to afford protection to such areas to safeguard their character and amenity value.

6.3.20 The County Council reappraised the AGLV designation as part of the 1997Structure Plan. A small extension of the St. Buryan AGLV has been agreed and is to include the parkland east of Trewidden, the enclosed valley of the Newlyn River south east of Buryas Bridge and the higher open landscape around Chyenhal. Also a new designation has been agreed between the AONB boundary and the urban areas of St. Ives, Carbis Bay and Lelant. This contains two distinct areas, the valley landscape of rounded, well wooded farmland around Trevethoe and the starker upland landscape above St. Ives. The coastal panorama of St. Ives Bay, with its extensive dune system, has also been agreed. The area is divided into two sections by the Hayle Estuary and although much of the area between Hayle and Gwithian has been developed for tourism the remainder is still to a great extent in its wild state. The area links with the existing designation at Upton Towans, the boundary of which has itself undergone minor rationalisation. Changes to the designation have been incorporated through the Local Plan process.

6.3.21 POLICY CC-5:

DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE IT WOULD CAUSE SIGNIFICANT HARM TO THE CHARACTER AND AMENITY OF THE AREAS OF GREAT LANDSCAPE VALUE.

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Managing Landscape Change

6.3.22 Landscape conservation has in the past concentrated on designated landscapes such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but greater emphasis is now being placed on looking at the landscape of the countryside as a whole, in terms of its character and distinctiveness and the changes taking place within it. This approach is reflected in the County Council's "Cornwall Landscape Assessment" (1994) which identifies character areas within a physical and historic context. The emerging Structure Plan (2004) includes specific reference to landscape character areas (Policy 2).

6.3.23 The character of much of the rural landscape has largely been shaped and maintained by farming practices. The prehistoric pattern of small scale fields enclosed by stone walls, for example, still survives in west Penwith, producing a unique historic landscape. Over recent years changes in agricultural practices and priorities have created new pressures and demands. Increasingly areas of land are being taken out of agricultural production with farmers looking at alternatives for the economic use of their land, including projects relating to tourism and recreation. Whilst the government supports diversification there remains a strong presumption to maintain and enhance the landscape, as well as protecting the best and most versatile agricultural land. West Penwith ESA covers over 9,000 hectares of the higher northern part of the Land's End Peninsula between St. Ives and St. Just. The Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme offers incentives to encourage farmers to adopt agricultural practices which will safeguard and enhance parts of the countryside that are of particularly high landscape, wildlife or historic value.

6.3.24 Within Penwith such changes have already had an impact. There is a continuing loss of local features and habitats caused by the destruction of traditional field systems, stone walls and hedge banks as well as the reclamation of moorland and wetland. Many of the older agricultural buildings, which form an integral part of the familiar rural scene in terms of their style, materials and detail have been converted to residential use, often incorporating discordant features such as formal gardens and car parking areas. New agricultural buildings can also have a considerable impact in the landscape, although the local planning authority can exercise some control to influence the effects of the development on the landscape in terms of siting, design and appearance.

6.3.25 Although the Local Plan contains a range of policies to safeguard environmental interests, in assessing development proposals the Council has an important proactive role to play in the management and enhancement of landscape character and amenity as well as other related environmental interests, in line with the aim of POLICY CC-2 (para. 6.3.5). In this respect the Council operates closely with such agencies as the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Countryside Agency, English Nature, the Forestry Commission, the National Trust and Cornwall County Council.

Countryside Stewardship 

6.3.26 This scheme provides an important means of underpinning farming practices within an overall environmental context. The scheme, administered by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is open to farmers, estate owners, voluntary bodies and local authorities. The scheme provides financial incentives to protect, enhance and regenerate particular types of landscape and habitats including coastal lands, uplands, lowland heath and historic landscapes. The aim of Stewardship is to combine conservation and public enjoyment of the countryside with commercial farming and land management, and includes landscape, wildlife, historical and access objectives.

6.3.27 The scheme provided the Council with the opportunity to become directly involved in rural land management on a scale not previously possible, allowing it to initiate and promote the conservation and restoration of prominent and extensive landscapes and other environmental features. So far, schemes cover nearly 700 hectares (1,730 acres) throughout the District, including significant projects at Bartinney Downs and Ardensaweth-Roskestal Cliffs, both within the AONB and Heritage Coast. The County Council now provides the Countryside Management service within the District.

Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA)

6.3.28 Another important measure in helping to conserve landscape character is the Environmentally Sensitive Area. ESAs are designated and administered by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for their special landscape and historic interests which can be safeguarded or restored by supporting specific agricultural practices through financial incentives. A primary objective of the West Penwith ESA is to maintain and where appropriate restore the historic landscape character through the management and restoration of such features as small scale field patterns and traditional farm buildings although currently no buildings have been restored under the scheme. Although ESA is not a planning designation itself it nevertheless has important implications for conserving features which make the landscape so special. The West Penwith ESA, which was extended to cover approximately 9,527 ha. in 1997, lies predominantly within the AONB, Heritage Coast and Area of Great Historic Value and as such makes a positive contribution to maintaining and enhancing its distinctive character.

The National Trust

6.3.29 The National Trust, which owns land for the benefit of the nation, has acquired over a period of time considerable tracts of land in Penwith including Godrevy Head, Penberth, Trengwainton, St. Michael's Mount and Porthcurno. Acquisition and management has enabled the Trust to develop an integrated approach to conservation, recreation and tourism, providing the ability to impose a high level of protection and a capability of conserving whole landscapes. This is particularly the case in the Zennor area where a substantial managed estate has been developed, including the ancient farm of Bosigran, creating long term stability within an important historic landscape. A similar approach is being taken in the St. Just Mining District, where the Trust has begun to acquire a substantial ownership base on Cape Cornwall.

World Heritage Site

6.3.30 The importance of Penwith’s mining heritage in terms of its historical impact on the world, its physical survival in the landscape and in local cultural distinctiveness, is recognised by the bid for a Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. If the bid is successful it will have implications for planning decisions in Penwith. As well as recognising the unique role of Cornish Mining in shaping modern industrial society, World Heritage Status will bring tangible socioeconomic benefits to the area it covers as well as the areas around it. UNESCO are due to determine the Bid in 2006.

Nature Conservation

6.3.31 The richness and diversity of Penwith's natural habitats and wildlife form a major resource, which not only requires protecting for its own sake but also in terms of its education, scientific and recreational values. Conservation of the natural environment and wildlife is a key objective in land use planning and Planning Policy Guidance "Nature Conservation" (PPG 9) provides advice to take account of such interests. Although there is an emphasis on protecting key nature conservation sites, both within the national and local context, the guidance clearly sets out the need to maintain an overall awareness of nature conservation values to be taken into account in all land use matters. The acknowledged importance of designated sites should not, therefore, diminish the importance of other habitats and features throughout the District which not only have an intrinsic value of their own but contribute to the perception of the area's character and identity.

Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas

6.3.32 The Habitats Directive was adopted by the European Community in 1992 . It aims to contribute towards protecting biodiversity through the conservation of natural habitats, wild plants and animals across the European Union. This internationally important network will include Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA), which are on land already designated Sites of Specific Scientific Interest. There are currently two Special Areas of Conservation in Penwith, the jointly recognised Lower Bostraze and Leswidden, and one Special Protection Area at Marazion Marsh.

6.3.33 POLICY CC-6:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY HARM THE INTEGRITY OF A DESIGNATED OR CANDIDATE SPECIAL AREA OF CONSERVATION, OR A DESIGNATED OR PROPOSED SPECIAL PROTECTION AREA, OR WHICH WOULD CONFLICT WITH THE CONSERVATION OBJECTIVES FOR SUCH A SITE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

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Sites of Special Scientific Interest

6.3.34 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are designated by English Nature for their value in terms of their flora, fauna, geological or physiographic features and represent prime sites within the national context. Some sites are important because what they exemplify is rare, others are representative of their type. SSSIs need to be protected from development that would have an adverse effect on their special interest. Sites are afforded statutory protection through the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 (as amended) and the Structure Plan also seeks to safeguard their conservation interests (Policies ENV 4 and ENV 5, 1997 and Policy 2, 2004). The planning authority has a duty under section 28G of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 “to take reasonable steps, consistent with the proper exercise of the authority's functions, to further the conservation and enhancement of the flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features by reason of which sites is of special scientific interest” (section 28G). It is also important that any development outside the designated boundary should not have any adverse impact on the value of the site itself. Such impact may be caused by a variety of factors including raising or lowering the water table and the effects of pollution and erosion.

6.3.35 POLICY CC-7:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY HARM THE NATURE CONSERVATION VALUE OR GEOLOGICAL INTEREST OF A SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

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Areas of Great Scientific Value

6.3.36 The maintenance of nature conservation interests is also of importance in the more extensive Areas of Great Scientific Value (AGSVs), designations of countywide importance representing a broader approach to nature conservation than the protection of specific sites. These areas act as a buffer around the most important and sensitive nature conservation sites and provide links between protected sites facilitating the movement of wildlife.

6.3.37 Within Penwith there are two AGSV designations, namely the Penwith Moors and Coast and the coastal stretch from Hayle to Godrevy. The former contains two extensive coastal SSSIs, with the cliffs supporting a typical heathland vegetation. The Hayle designation contains a widespread sand dune system, which is identified in "Action for Biodiversity in the South West" as a key sand dune system, highly susceptible to physical damage from over use.

6.3.38 The importance of safeguarding the nature conservation interest of AGSVs is reflected in the Structure Plan. Policy ENV 5 (Policy 2, 2004) states that development should not have an adverse impact on the landscape features within the AGSV of importance to wildlife by reason of their physical links between habitats.

County Wildlife Sites

6.3.39 The Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT) is an agency concerned with the conservation of the County's wildlife and the natural environment that supports it. The Trust designates County Wildlife Sites which represent important areas of natural and semi-natural habitats such as heathlands, wetlands, open water, dunes and woodland and are indicative of the sites of countywide importance intended to be protected by Policy ENV 5 of the Structure Plan (Policy 2, 2004).

County Geological Sites

6.3.40 Cornwall contains a wealth of geological, mineralogical and geomorphological sites of interest, with some of the more important sites already designated as SSSIs. English Nature, as part of its strategy on earth science conservation, has initiated efforts to identify County Geological Sites and the Cornwall RIGS Group undertakes this work locally. The Structure Plan recognises concerns about sites of earth science value being lost or damaged, Policy ENV 4 (Policy2, 2004) stating that sites should not be significantly damaged by development.

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Ancient Woodland

6.3.41 In addition to the above designations there are also other specific sites of nature conservation value which should be safeguarded. Remnants of ancient woodland have been identified by English Nature at Trevaylor, Rosehill, Tremenheere and Gurlyn. They are defined as woodlands that have existed from at least medieval times to the present day without being cleared for use other than timber production and are of considerable nature conservation importance.

Local Nature Reserves

6.3.42 Within Penwith there are Local Nature Reserves at Steeple Woods, St. Ives Link to Map 16 and Gwithian Green, Gwithian Link to Map 19. LNR are designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (as amended) and should be of sufficient nature conservation value, with a commitment to long term management. Other opportunities to establish such reserves have also arisen, such as the proposed LNR at Upton Towans, Gwithian and in assessing their suitability account will be taken of their value in terms of habitat, species, physiological and geological features and potential for public enjoyment, interpretation and education.

6.3.43 POLICY CC-8:

DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE IT WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY HARM THE NATURE CONSERVATION OR GEOLOGICAL INTEREST OF AREAS OF GREAT SCIENTIFIC VALUE, COUNTY WILDLIFE SITES, COUNTY GEOLOGICAL SITES, ANCIENT WOODLAND SITES AND LOCAL NATURE RESERVES. WHERE DEVELOPMENT IS PERMITTED ANY IMPACT ON SUCH VALUES MUST BE MINIMISED AND CONDITIONS WILL BE IMPOSED, OR A PLANNING OBLIGATION SOUGHT, TO ENSURE THAT MITIGATING MEASURES ARE UNDERTAKEN.

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Protected Species

6.3.44 The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and, for example, the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 give protection to a wide range of plants, animals and their habitats. The Council will not, therefore, permit any development that would adversely affect any species or its habitat protected by law. The Local Plan also acknowledges the need to protect and provide for wildlife in general when considering specific development proposals (POLICIES GD-2 and GD-3, paras. 5.3.7 and 5.3.9).

6.3.45 POLICY CC-9:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD CAUSE SIGNIFICANT HARM TO A PROTECTED SPECIES OR ITS HABITAT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

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Features of Conservation Value

6.3.46 Throughout the countryside there are features which are not only of landscape and historic character but are also of importance for nature conservation. Such features may include streams, river corridors, ponds, wetlands, trees, woodland and field boundaries. River corridors are important areas of open land which should be protected from inappropriate development which could have an adverse impact on nature conservation, fisheries, landscape, public access or water-related recreation. Where development is subject to planning control it is important to safeguard such features (POLICY GD-2, para. 5.3.7) and, where appropriate, provision made for landscaping and other conservation measures for the benefit of wildlife (POLICY GD-3, para. 5.3.9). River corridors are important areas of open land which should be protected from inappropriate development which could have an adverse impact on nature conservation.

6.3.47 The importance of landscape features for wildlife, however, is significantly increased by the collective network they create across the landscape which connects many fragmented habitats. In effect they act as corridors or steppingstones joining one habitat to another. It is particularly important, therefore, to safeguard those landscape features and habitats which are of major importance for wildlife. Such an approach is advocated by the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) through the Habitats Regulations (1994) in pursuing biodiversity. It suggests that where development is permitted, the Council will seek to ensure that mitigating measures are taken to offset the loss of value of landscape features and habitats for wildlife.

6.3.48 POLICY CC-10:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD HAVE A SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE INTEGRITY OR CONTINUITY OF LANDSCAPE FEATURES AND HABITATS OF MAJOR IMPORTANCE FOR WILD FLORA AND FAUNA WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

WHERE DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD HAVE A MORE LIMITED ADVERSE EFFECT IS PERMITTED, DAMAGE TO NATURE CONSERVATION VALUES MUST BE MINIMISED AND WHERE APPROPRIATE A PLANNING OBLIGATION WILL BE SOUGHT TO ENSURE THAT COMPENSATORY MEASURES ARE UNDERTAKEN TO RETAIN THE CONTINUITY OR INTEGRITY OF THE FEATURES OR HABITATS.

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Conservation Management

6.3.49 Nature conservation measures have, as in landscape conservation (para. 6.3.22), tended to be focused towards designated or protected sites. In order to improve the conservation of the natural heritage it is necessary to secure sustainable use and management of the countryside as a whole, as well as individual sites. In "The Character of England : landscape, wildlife and natural features", English Nature has identified broad based Natural Areas typified by their wildlife and natural features. The concept is intended to provide an integrated approach and a practical framework to link local and national priorities such as Biodiversity Action Plan targets.

6.3.50 The decline in biodiversity, in simple terms 'the variety of life', is generally acknowledged throughout the countryside as a whole. The Cornwall Local Biodiversity Initiative (1997) provided an environmental audit of the whole County, setting priorities for action in order to conserve, and where possible, restore specific species and habitats through a series of Biodiversity Action Plans. In the context of Penwith, the Local Plan provides a policy framework both for safeguarding environmental interests in the countryside and encouraging the management of landscape features of major importance for wild flora and fauna. The Community Plan, Penwith 'A Vision for the Future' (2003) supports the importance of biodiversity and target N24 aims to devise a local biodiversity action plan for Penwith. The preparation of Biodiversity Action Plans provides more detailed information that can support the implementation of relevant planning policies. It is proposed that Cornwall wide Supplementary Planning Guidance is prepared in this respect. Close links have been formed with other agencies such as the Countryside Agency and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs implementing such agri-environmental initiatives as Countryside Stewardship and Environmentally Sensitive Area (paras. 6.3.26 to 6.3.28). In these schemes management agreements are made with landowners and occupiers to achieve conservation objectives including the establishment, improvement and restoration of habitats and features such as walls, hedges, water courses and tree planting.

6.3.51 The Council also works towards establishing Local Nature Reserves (para. 6.3.42) and sites have been designated at Steeple Woods, St. Ives (Link to Map 16) and Gwithian Green, Gwithian (Link to Map 19). The site at Steeple Woodland, in the ownership of the Council, covers an area of semi-natural broad leaved woodland and western heath. Scrub clearance and woodland management measures have been implemented as well as improving access. Designation provides the focus for a valuable community asset in terms of education and recreation.

6.3.52 POLICY CC-11:

THE CREATION AND MANAGEMENT OF LANDSCAPE FEATURES AND HABITATS WHICH ARE OF MAJOR IMPORTANCE FOR WILD FLORA AND FAUNA WILL BE ENCOURAGED BY:-

(i) MANAGEMENT AGREEMENTS WITH LANDOWNERS AND OCCUPIERS; AND

(ii) ESTABLISHING LOCAL NATURE RESERVES.

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Trees, Woodland and Hedgerows

6.3.53 Climate and geography are determining factors in the distribution, extent and characteristics of tree cover in Penwith. The stunted and contorted shapes of trees that survive the elements within Penwith's exposed landscape contrast sharply with the more sheltered parts of the peninsula where tree cover assumes a greater significance in terms of providing habitat and amenity.

Safeguarding the Treescape and Hedgerows

6.3.54 Certain measures already exist to safeguard trees and woodlands. Tree Preservation Orders cover much of Penwith's most important treescape and the Council will continue to make orders where appropriate, with an emphasis on encouraging appropriate aftercare. The Structure Plan stresses that development should not unnecessarily lead to the loss of trees and woodland of significant nature conservation or landscape value (Policy ENV 7, 1997 and Policy 2, 2004). The Local Plan also places emphasis on retaining trees which contribute to the character, amenity and wildlife value of the surrounding area (POLICY GD-2, para. 5.3.7 and POLICY TV-4, para. 7.3.14). In addition Ancient Woodland, remnants of which are found in Penwith, are protected under POLICY CC-8 (para. 6.3.43).

6.3.55 Hedgerows have had little protection in the past but their continuing loss nationally has resulted in the Government producing the Hedgerow Regulations 1997, under the Environment Act 1995, to provide protection for important hedgerows.

6.3.56 The Council recognises the importance of safeguarding existing trees, woodland, hedgerows and Cornish hedges for their landscape, amenity, nature conservation and historic value, although acknowledges that planning controls do not necessarily embrace all situations.

6.3.57 POLICY CC-12:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD RESULT IN THE LOSS OR DAMAGE TO TREES, WOODLAND, HEDGEROWS AND CORNISH HEDGES WHICH MAKE A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE CHARACTER OF THE LANDSCAPE AND NATURE CONSERVATION WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

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Tree Planting

6.3.58 In recognising the value of trees and woodland in terms of their landscape character, wildlife interest and amenity the Council will continue to both undertake and promote initiatives to maintain and enhance tree cover. The Council acted as an agent for the Cornwall Tree Planting Scheme which targeted small sites that offered significant landscape and conservation gains in rural areas, the urban fringe and along the line of communication corridors. Farmland sites were also a priority, especially field corners, hedgerows, small copses or group planting and the screening of existing farm buildings. This initiative, however, has now ended.

6.3.59 Initiatives currently being promoted by the Council and County Council in association with other agencies include the Woodland Grant Scheme and Farm Woodland Premium Schemes (Forestry Commission), and Working Woodlands. Community planting schemes may also be eligible for funding through the Silvanus Trust. Such schemes can offer opportunities for the economic use of land, as well as providing opportunities for recreation, amenity and the creation of wildlife habitats. Planting schemes should promote the use of native species where ever possible as detailed in POLICY CC-13 (para. 6.3.63).

6.3.60 In assessing the suitability and management of planting schemes care will be taken to ensure the maintenance of landscape character, particularly within designated landscape areas, and that other environmental interests such as nature conservation, archaeological and historic are not adversely affected. This is of particular importance in an area such as Penwith, which has scant tree cover, where proposals could have a major impact on the landscape.

6.3.61 In terms of reducing the impact of development proposals POLICY GD-3 (para. 5.3.9) requires that suitable planting should be incorporated into the scheme to provide screening, shelter and interest.

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Hedgerow Restoration

6.3.62 Hedgerows, including traditional Cornish hedges, form prominent and historic components in the landscape contributing to the attractiveness, character and diversity of the countryside and providing a haven for wildlife. Initiatives such as Countryside Stewardship and Environmentally Sensitive Area's can be used to combat the decline in both the quality and extent of hedgerows, making a positive contribution to landscape features and habitats.

6.3.63 POLICY CC-13:

TREE PLANTING AND HEDGEROW SCHEMES WHICH ARE IN KEEPING WITH THE CHARACTER OF THE LANDSCAPE WILL BE ACCEPTABLE SUBJECT TO:-

(i) THE USE OF NATIVE SPECIES WHERE APPROPRIATE; AND

(ii) APPROPRIATE AFTERCARE AND MANAGEMENT MEASURES.

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The Coastal Environment

6.3.64 Penwith's coastal environment is widely recognised, its importance reflected by the number of both national and local designations relating to its landscape character and conservation interests, including statutorily designated Heritage Coast and AONB. The extent of these designations is such that a very high proportion of the coast is already covered by a policy framework which provides effective safeguards to protect its character and quality, particularly the undeveloped coast. As a consequence, the definition of a specific coastal zone, as propounded in PPG 20 "Coastal Planning", would serve only to create a superfluous designation in view of the fact that the physical configuration of the area ensures that the maritime influence effectively embraces the District as a whole. Definition would be an arbitrary exercise and achieve little or no practical benefit over and above the existing policy framework.

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Marine Conservation

6.3.65 The nature conservation value of Penwith's coastline is nationally recognised. The granite cliffs of Land's End and the north coast are exposed to the full force of the Atlantic and include good examples of exposed rocky shore communities with breeding seabirds and North Atlantic grey seals. Mount's Bay, on the other hand, is relatively sheltered and contains a variety of habitats including extensive sandy shores, rocky reefs and a submerged forest and supports species rich marine communities. St. Ives Bay has been identified by English Nature as a Sensitive Marine Area in recognition of its subtidal marine wildlife including sponges, sea anemones and crustacea. The bay contains the Hayle Estuary, the most south westerly in Great Britain and adjacent to important bird migratory routes, as well as an extensive sand dune system.

6.3.66 The importance of the coast as a national resource is emphasised in PPG 20 and the need to protect not only designated areas but also the remaining areas of nature conservation value. Significant stretches of Penwith's coastline are designated as SSSIs, AGSV, CWS and CGS and as such are afforded protection. The Structure Plan also emphasises the need to safeguard aquatic habitats and associated wildlife (Policy ENV 6, 1997 and Policy 3 & 4, 2004). Furthermore, one of the objectives of Heritage Coast designation, which covers a major part of Penwith's coastline, is to protect littoral and marine flora and fauna. Policy MAR 2 (Policy 4, 2004) states that development proposals should not lead to pollution of marine or coastal waters.

6.3.67 Although some protection is achieved by the above policy framework and guidance, protection does not extend beyond the mean low water mark. Significant areas of value and interest lie below this level and there is a need to recognise the importance of subtidal areas when considering development proposals and management of the coast in general. Threats to marine conservation values can arise from various sources including development proposals, recreation, tourism, commercial activities, coastal defence works and pollution. Where development in coastal areas is considered acceptable, however, or coastal maintenance such as flood protection schemes is required, particular care should be taken to minimise damage to nature conservation interests.

6.3.68 POLICY CC-14:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD HAVE A SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE SHORELINE OR ADJACENT COASTAL WATERS IN TERMS OF ITS LANDSCAPE CHARACTER, AMENITY, NATURE CONSERVATION, ARCHAEOLOGICAL, HISTORIC AND GEOLOGICAL VALUES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

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Coastal Management

6.3.69 The coastline is a dynamic system shaped by powerful natural processes and affected by human activities. Processes such as erosion, flood and storm damage, and the rise in sea level caused by global warming all create risks to coastal areas. Human activities can also have a considerable impact including recreation and tourism, commercial undertakings such as working ports and harbours, and other development pressures. Such a complex and dynamic system requires a co-ordinated management strategy in order to achieve conservation objectives and sustainability. The County Council Countryside Service works together with local communities, landowners, councils, colleges and businesses to conserve the coastline, whilst allowing it to evolve naturally, balancing the needs of conservation, access, recreation and other activities and pressures.

6.3.70 Attention is now also being focused on the seaward side of the coastline with emphasis on establishing management regimes over suitable lengths of coast, known as coastal cells, which can be identified by shared coastal processes rather than by the occurrence of administrative boundaries. To this end a Strategic Coastline Study has been produced jointly by Penwith and Kerrier District Councils, together with English Nature, the Environment Agency, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and other agencies. The area of study extends from Lizard Point in Kerrier to Land's End and the main objective is the establishment of strategic guidelines for sustainable and effective management of the coastline with due regard for natural processes, existing and future uses. Other objectives include the integration of nature conservation values and the identification of appropriate shoreline maintenance methods.

6.3.71 A similar study, the Land's End to Hartland Point Shoreline Management Plan, covering the remainder of Penwith's coastline commenced in 1996. Such an approach is indicative of the strategic overview required for the whole of the coastline.

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The Historic Environment

6.3.72 Penwith is rich in archaeological and historic remains and contains many outstanding features including burial mounds, chamber tombs, ritual stone monuments, ancient settlements, field systems, cliff castles, hill forts, fogous, granite crosses, holywells and chapels. Although the individual monuments, sites and features are of great importance in themselves the District is particularly significant for its extensive and complex archaeological and historic landscape which has survived through the centuries. The District is also rich in industrial remains especially as a result of tin mining activities, with the remains of engine houses providing an enduring and stark image of this heritage. A measure of Penwith's importance in this respect is the recommendation, in 1988, by the USA/UK Countryside Stewardship Exchange Scheme to put forward parts of Penwith, along with several other areas of the County, for designation as the Cornish Mining Areas World Heritage Site (by ICOMOS).

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Sites of Archaeological and Historic Importance

6.3.73 Archaeological and historic remains represent a finite non-renewable resource and in many cases are vulnerable to damage and destruction, not just to the sites themselves but also their setting. Such sites are identified in the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Sites and Monument Record maintained by Cornwall County Council. The list of sites is continually under review in the light of chance discoveries, ongoing fieldwork and new research.

6.3.74 The designation and preservation of Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) is a function of central government. Sites are included in the Schedule of Ancient Monuments maintained by the Secretary of State and are protected under the terms of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 and the National Heritage Act 1983. Designated monuments may be areas of land, as well as buildings or structures, which are of historic interest and are of importance in the national context. Every proposal affecting such a site or its setting must be referred to the Secretary of State for Scheduled Monument Consent. In addition the Structure Plan (Policy ENV 2, 1997 & Policy 2, 2004) seeks to safeguard the structure, character and setting of the archaeological and historic environment, with priority given to the physical preservation of nationally important sites.

6.3.75 Planning Policy Guidance "Archaeology and Planning" (PPG 16) sets out detailed advice on the handling of archaeological remains in the planning process. Nationally important archaeological sites and structures and their settings, whether scheduled or not, will normally be physically preserved 'in-situ' from development that may adversely affect them.

6.3.76 Where there is reason to believe that important archaeological remains may exist on a proposed site it is vital that early consideration is given to this in the planning process. The Council may request a field evaluation to be undertaken, which provides a rapid and inexpensive operation used to help define the character and extent of the remains and thereby indicate the weight which should be attached to their preservation. Where preservation 'in-situ' is not considered justified it is important that satisfactory provision is made for excavation and recording of the remains before the development commences. In the absence of an agreement the Council can secure excavation and recording by imposing conditions.

6.3.77 Although many archaeological sites and remains are located in the countryside the following policy will also apply to those located in the towns and villages.

6.3.78 POLICY CC-15:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD DAMAGE SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENTS AND OTHER NATIONALLY IMPORTANT ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS, OR THEIR SETTING, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

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Areas of Great Historic Value

6.3.79 Areas of Great Historic Value (AGHV) are designated by the County Council where there are concentrations of Ancient Monuments or where the landscape has changed little from previous historical periods and where many sites can still be seen in their original settings. Two such areas are identified in the Structure Plan within the District (Proposal ENV B), the extensive Penwith Moors and Coast, covering much of the Land's End peninsula, and the Upton Towans-Godrevy area. The Penwith Moors and Coast designation contains a host of archaeological remains and forms one of the greatest concentrations of Scheduled Monuments in Britain. Moreover much of the prehistoric landscape still remains intact since agricultural activity over the centuries has tended to maintain and reuse the ancient field systems. The survival of whole agricultural landscapes on such a scale is unusual in Britain. The area is also rich in industrial remains, mainly as a result of tin mining activities in the St. Just area. The Gwithian-Godrevy designation contains extensive and important remains from early prehistoric camps to a medieval manor house. Although sand blow has been responsible for burying these sites it is known that extensive archaeological evidence still remains preserved. Following reappraisal of the designation by the County Council as part of the Structure Plan, an extension of the Gwithian-Godrevy AGHV was proposed at Upton Towans where the remarkable remains of the National Explosives Works are extremely well preserved beneath the dunes and this has been incorporated through the Local Plan process.

6.3.80 Within the Areas of Great Historic Value and where remains of county importance are affected proposals will not be permitted unless there is no significant adverse impact. The Structure Plan also safeguards the structure, character and setting of the archaeological and historic environment in general, but particularly the AGHV (Policy ENV 2, 1997 and Policy 2, 2004).

6.3.81 POLICY CC-16:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE AREAS OF GREAT HISTORIC VALUE AND THOSE AFFECTING ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS OF COUNTY IMPORTANCE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE IT WOULD HARM:-

(i) THE HISTORIC CHARACTER OF THE LANDSCAPE OR

(ii) THE VALUE, CHARACTER OR SETTING OF THE REMAINS.

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Listed Buildings

6.3.82 Listed Buildings, which can be of value for their architectural or historic interest, can make a significant contribution to the rural landscape. The importance of Listed Buildings is outlined in the Towns and Villages section, and proposals which affect Listed Buildings and their setting will be considered in the context of POLICIES TV-10 (para. 7.3.28), TV-11 (para. 7.3.30) and TV-12 (para. 7.3.32).

6.3.83 Other buildings, although not Listed, can also form an important element in the local scene and proposals affecting such buildings will be considered in the context of POLICY GD-8 (para. 5.3.22).

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Historic Parks and Gardens

6.3.84 Historic parks and gardens form an important part of an area's heritage and environment. The Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England is a national record established and maintained by English Heritage. It contains over 1500 sites of national significance and aims to ensure that these parks and their features and qualities are safeguarded. There are five registered sites in Penwith: Trengwainton near Penzance, St. Michael's Mount, The Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden in St Ives, Morrab Gardens in Penzance and The Downs, St Michael's Hospital in Hayle. Inclusion on the Register does not confer statutory protection but PPG 15 "Planning and the Historic Environment" requires that local authorities try and safeguard historic gardens and their settings.

6.3.85 POLICY CC-17:

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT HISTORIC PARKS AND GARDENS OR THEIR SETTING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

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Managing the Archaeological Resource

6.3.86 A major concern is how to conserve the fabric of a complex and historic landscape such as west Penwith when it is still a working environment. The removal of field boundaries and moorland clearance for agricultural purposes have already adversely affected the historic landscape and there are increasing pressures from recreation and tourism. Conservation of the wider historic landscape is much dependent on active land management. In this respect the District Council, County Council together with their partners in the statutory conservation agencies, play a valuable role in both instigating and co-ordinating schemes which provide protection to archaeological and historic resources as well as promoting their value and interest in terms of education, recreation and tourism.

6.3.87 One important measure in helping to conserve the historic landscape was the introduction of the West Penwith Environmentally Sensitive Area (para. 6.3.28), a primary reason for designation being the national importance of its archaeological landscape. Objectives of the scheme include maintaining and
restoring the historic landscape character including small scale field patterns and traditional farm buildings, as well as encouraging active management and protection of historic sites. Under the scheme financial incentives are available to farmers to maintain such features within the context of a working environment. The success of the ESA is reflected by its extension in 1997 into three distinct areas, the largest area covering Botallack (Link to Map 5), St. Just (Link to Map 4) and Nanquidno, the second covering parts of Madron (Link to Map 9) and Sancreed parishes and the third incorporating Trencrom and Halsetown.

6.3.88 The conservation of archaeological sites and historic landscapes is also a criterion in assessing projects under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (para. 6.3.26). Schemes so far undertaken, or agreed for funding, which embrace elements of archaeological conservation include land at Nanquidno Downs and Gurland Cliff. The areas covered by such schemes correspond closely to the designated AGHVs and the importance of such practical initiatives should be fully recognised in safeguarding and managing the archaeological and historic resource.

6.3.89 The proposed Cornish Mining World Heritage Site will be accompanied by a Management Plan setting out policies and actions to ensure the protection, conservation and enhancement of the Site’s outstanding universal value. The Management Plan will provide useful guidance on development affecting the Site.

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Land Reclamation

6.3.90 Penwith's industrial legacy has resulted in widespread dereliction associated mainly with extensive mining and extractive activities. Much of this land, however, has become integrated within the landscape through natural regeneration although surviving features, such as engine houses, offer a constant visual reminder of this heritage and contribute to the area's strong sense of identity.

6.3.91 The Government continues to attach high priority to reclaiming derelict land but greater flexibility is now given in selecting schemes for grant aid to provide for wider environmental benefits in terms of recreation, historic and nature conservation, particularly in areas of high scenic or ecological value. Although reclamation schemes for 'hard end' uses such as industry and housing remain important they will normally be more appropriate in towns and villages and will be considered in the light of POLICY TV-15 (para. 7.3.42). Such an overall approach is endorsed by the Structure Plan, which gives priority to proposals which reduce safety hazards, facilitate appropriate development or enhance the historic landscape or nature conservation value of the land (Policy ENV 13, 1997 & Policy 3, 2004). In addition, special small clearance schemes may be eligible for grant aid to improve neglected or unsightly land. Such schemes can be undertaken not only by local authorities but also voluntary sector organisations such as Groundwork Trusts.

6.3.92 Although much of Penwith's derelict land does not justify reclamation there still remain areas which would benefit from treatment and improvement. A countywide Land Reclamation Strategy was adopted in 1997 to develop a coordinated and integrated approach to reclamation work in Cornwall. As part of this strategy a reclamation programme has been drawn up within Penwith based on three main objectives. The first relates to the improvement and enhancement of unsightly areas including the safety aspects of former mine workings and shafts, particularly in areas frequented for recreational pursuits, such as the coastal footpath. The second relates to the development of rural tourism with particular emphasis on projects based on the heritage of the area. The third is the encouragement of employment opportunities through the provision of suitable workspace. Schemes will be assessed and co-ordinated within this framework.

6.3.93 In drawing up reclamation schemes the proposed end use or uses should be compatible with the location of the site and its surroundings as well as the policies and proposals of the Plan. Liaison with other agencies such as English Nature, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the Cornwall County Council Historic Environment Service, World Heritage Site Office and the RIGS group will be necessary to ensure that their particular interests are safeguarded. In practical terms there is a close link with the District Council in co-ordinating and integrating schemes within the wider objectives of other conservation initiatives such as Countryside Stewardship. In this way suitable sites can be targeted to achieve specific benefits within a particular environmental context.

6.3.94 Consultation with other agencies such as the Environment Agency and South West Water will need to evaluate the impact of any reclamation scheme in terms of increased risk of flooding, effect on groundwater quality and potential disturbance of toxic materials which might pollute watercourses. Such schemes will also be considered in the context of POLICIES CS-4 (para. 13.3.19), CS-5 (para. 13.3.21) and CS-7 (para. 13.3.26). Where it is likely that the site contains contaminated or toxic materials prior investigation will be required to evaluate and, where necessary, appropriate measures taken to tackle the problem.

6.3.95 POLICY CC-18:

PROPOSALS FOR THE RECLAMATION OF DERELICT LAND AND THE IMPROVEMENT OF UNSIGHTLY LAND OUTSIDE TOWNS AND VILLAGES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS:-

(i) THE PROPOSED USE IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE LOCATION OF THE SITE AND ITS SURROUNDINGS, OR

(ii) THE SCHEME IS INTENDED TO REDUCE SAFETY HAZARDS AND

(iii) FEATURES OF LANDSCAPE CHARACTER, NATURE CONSERVATION, ARCHAEOLOGICAL, HISTORIC AND GEOLOGICAL VALUE ARE SAFEGUARDED.

WHERE IT IS LIKELY THAT THE SITE CONTAINS CONTAMINATED OR TOXIC MATERIALS PRIOR SITE INVESTIGATIONS WILL BE REQUIRED TO DETERMINE THE EXTENT OF CONTAMINATION AND, WHERE NECESSARY, MEASURES TO AVOID POLLUTION DURING AND AFTER IMPLEMENTATION WILL BE SECURED THROUGH THE USE OF CONDITIONS.

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Summary of POLICIES and PROPOSALS

TOPIC LOCAL PLAN POLICIES/PROPOSALS STRUCTURE PLAN POLICIES 1997 (2004)
Safeguarding/managing the resource CC-1, CC-2 (Policy 1 & 2)
Landscape CC-1 (GD-1, GD-2) ENV 1 (Policy 2)
AONB CC-3 ENV 1
Heritage Coast CC-4 MAR 1
AGLV CC-5 ENV 1, ENV A
Managing landscape change CC-2  
Nature conservation   (Policy 2)
SSSIs CC-7 ENV 4, ENV 5
AGSV/CWT/CGS CC-8 ENV 4, ENV 5, ENV D
Protected species CC-9 (GD-2, GD-3)  
Features of conservation value CC-10 (GD-2, GD-3) ENV 5
Conservation management CC-11 (CC-2) ENV 5, ENV 6, ENV 7
Trees, woodland and hedgerows    
Safeguarding treescape/hedgerows CC-12 (CC-8, CC-10, GD-2, TV-4) ENV 7 (Policy 2)
Tree planting/hedgerow restoration CC-13 (GD-3)  
The coastal environment    
Marine conservation CC-14 (CS-8) ENV 1, ENV 6, MAR 2 (Policies 2 & 4)
The historic environment   (Policy 1 & 2)
Sites of archaeological importance CC-15  ENV 2
AGHV CC-16 ENV 2, ENV B
Listed Buildings TV-10, TV-11, TV-12 ENV 3
Historic Parks and Gardens CC-17 ENV 2
Managing the resource CC-2  
Land reclamation CC-18 (GD-3, TV-15, CS-4, CS-5, CS-8) ENV 13  (Policy 3)
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