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.
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
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
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.
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
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).
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Map 16 and Gwithian Green, Gwithian
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
6.3.28). 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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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).
Sites of Archaeological and Historic
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
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
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
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.
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).
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
6.3.85 POLICY CC-17:
PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD
ADVERSELY AFFECT HISTORIC PARKS AND GARDENS OR THEIR SETTING WILL NOT BE
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.
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),
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
(i) THE PROPOSED USE IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE LOCATION OF THE SITE AND ITS
(ii) THE SCHEME IS INTENDED TO REDUCE SAFETY HAZARDS AND
(iii) FEATURES OF LANDSCAPE CHARACTER, NATURE CONSERVATION, ARCHAEOLOGICAL,
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.
Summary of POLICIES and PROPOSALS
||LOCAL PLAN POLICIES/PROPOSALS
||STRUCTURE PLAN POLICIES 1997 (2004)
|Safeguarding/managing the resource
||(Policy 1 & 2)
||ENV 1 (Policy 2)
||ENV 1, ENV A
|Managing landscape change
||ENV 4, ENV 5
||ENV 4, ENV 5, ENV D
|Features of conservation value
||ENV 5, ENV 6, ENV 7
|Trees, woodland and hedgerows
CC-10, GD-2, TV-4)
||ENV 7 (Policy 2)
|Tree planting/hedgerow restoration
|The coastal environment
||ENV 1, ENV 6, MAR 2 (Policies 2 & 4)
|The historic environment
||(Policy 1 & 2)
|Sites of archaeological importance
|| ENV 2
||ENV 2, ENV B
|Historic Parks and Gardens
|Managing the resource
TV-15, CS-4, CS-5,
||ENV 13 (Policy 3)