Spelthorne Local Plan - Preferred Options Consultation: Policies and Site Allocations

Spelthorne Local Plan Preferred Options: policies

Spatial policies

 

Policy SP1: Staines-upon-Thames

Strategy

  1. Recognising its size, location and significant opportunity for further regeneration, Staines-upon-Thames will be a key focus for housing, employment and retail development in the Borough. The guidance for how the town grows sustainably and coherently will be provided within a new Masterplan for Staines to deliver development to meet need.

Infrastructure

  1. Growth of the town will be dependent on enhanced infrastructure, particularly to capitalise on the proximity to Heathrow Airport. The Council will support proposals that facilitate new and improved public and sustainable transport links, education facilities, healthcare services, and social and community uses in accessible locations, working with infrastructure providers to identify projects for funding.

Retail and Leisure

  1. New development should support the position of Staines at the top of the retail and leisure hierarchy within the Borough. Proposals that contribute to culture, the arts and access to the River Thames will be considered favourably in accordance with the Masterplan.
  2. Mixed-use development that has the potential to introduce new community and healthcare uses to the centre will be encouraged which increase foot-fall and contribute to the vitality and viability of the centre.

Character

  1. The Staines Conservation Area (shown on the Policies Map) will be preserved and enhanced. New development in Staines is likely to be high density within the town centre to maximise efficient use of land but will be expected to achieve high quality design in accordance with the Masterplan.

Opportunities

  1. There are opportunities for attractive riverside development and public realm enhancement. Improved access will be encouraged in order to maximise the asset that is the River Thames-side location.
  2. Southern Rail Access to Heathrow that includes a station at Staines, and Southern Light Rail as the Council's preferred solution, is considered essential for the town to maximise benefits of the proposed Heathrow expansion.
  3. Tall buildings will be designed to reflect the redefined character of Staines and the design is to be of high standard. There are opportunities to improve existing local leisure facilities.
  4. Renewable and low carbon energy solutions will be expected to be incorporated in all new development3, including opportunities for combined heat and power (CHP) and district heat networks.

[3] All new development is for non-residential uses of 1000 sqm or greater and is for 10 or more dwellings

 

Sustainability Appraisal Indicators

Reasoned Justification

Staines-upon-Thames is the main town centre within Spelthorne and therefore sits top of the centre hierarchy in the Borough. In this role, Staines is required to support a variety of uses, including shops, offices, leisure and entertainment facilities. It is therefore necessary to consider how to ensure Staines continues to perform its function as part of the Masterplan. Through this, Staines has the opportunity to grow and develop into a thriving town that can take advantage of its close proximity to Heathrow Airport, and proposed new public transport schemes are likely to enhance its connectivity further. Identified as a 'Step up Town' by the EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership, Staines is already on the map and its growth is sustainable and meets the needs for residents, businesses and visitors. For this reason, the Staines-upon-Thames Masterplan will deliver an ambitious and viable vision for the transformation and regeneration of the whole town. The Masterplan will be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document to guide decision-making and allocations, supporting the Local Plan and this policy.

As well as accommodating growth, Staines also has significant character through the Staines Conservation Area and the proximity to and views of the river. There is therefore an expectation that any new development which affects the setting of the Conservation Area or the river will respect the character and enhance this.

The growth of Staines will allow opportunities to improve public realm and pedestrian linkages through the town centre. This will also provide opportunity to take advantage of the river and the footpath network through the Thames Path where possible. Utilising this asset is therefore a key strand of enhancing Staines and justifies its inclusion as part of the policy.

Mixed-use development within Staines town centre will reduce the need to travel and provide homes close to transport hubs. Mixed-use development presents opportunities to make good use of community combined heat and power, as the different types of use spread demand for heat and power over the day, evening and night. The buildings are likely to be in close proximity and reduce the cost of developing the heat network. Leisure and retail facilities can provide a base demand to help the efficiency of the system. Taller buildings will require piling for deep foundations which may provide opportunities for ground source heat.

Monitoring Indicators

Indicator

Target

Data Source

Amount of floorspace for main town centre uses

N/A

Planning applications and appeals

Number of dwellings completed each year within Staines

N/A

Planning applications and appeals

 

Key Evidence

  • Retail and Town Centre Study 2018
  • Staines-upon-Thames Masterplan (forthcoming)
  • Enterprise M3 LEP - Local Industrial Strategy Towns Study

Sustainability Appraisal Alternative Options

Alternative Option 1: Don't include a policy specific to Staines. Let the market decide the quantity and location of development.

Reject alternative. This would offer no control over development and could negatively impact character and the settlement hierarchy.

Alternative Option 2: Include a policy that specifically outlines how development should be accommodated in Staines. Direct growth to the most appropriate areas, prioritising those near employment and transport links. Consider the hierarchy of settlements to inform growth patterns.

Preferred approach. Having localised policies in the Plan is considered to ensure that each area of the Borough accommodates an appropriate amount of growth and each area can be planned for effectively across the plan period.

 Core Strategy 2009 policies to be replaced

    • Policy TC1: Staines Town Centre

Policy SP2: Ashford, Shepperton and Sunbury Cross

Strategy

  1. Ashford, Shepperton and Sunbury Cross offer the potential for development opportunities to help meet identified needs. There are opportunities to maximise the efficient use of land by raising densities whilst ensuring high quality design, particularly around public transport interchanges.

Infrastructure

  1. The Council will support proposals that seek to improve infrastructure to support the anticipated level of development in the centres. The Council will work with infrastructure providers to identify projects for funding. Improvements will be sought for:
  1. public transport and sustainable and active travel opportunities,
  2. education facilities and healthcare services,
  3. social and community uses including open space provision in accessible locations

Retail and main town centre uses

  1. The Council will seek to preserve and enhance the retail offer and other uses in Ashford, Shepperton and Sunbury Cross to strengthen the vitality and viability of each centre. Development proposals are expected to be consistent with the scale and function of each centre and will be directed to the Primary Shopping Areas for each centre as shown on the Policies Map (forthcoming).

Character

  1. The Conservation Areas around Shepperton (shown on the Proposals Map) will be preserved and enhanced, along with heritage assets. Proposals will be supported that protect and enhance the local character of the area.

Opportunities

  1. Sunbury Cross offers an opportunity to improve the safety and connectivity for active and sustainable modes of travel, whilst improving the public realm and helping to improve air quality, particularly around Sunbury Cross roundabout.
  2. Ashford offers the opportunity to enhance the local level retail and leisure offer including health and fitness facilities and children's play spaces.
  3. Shepperton would benefit from improved local connectivity, particularly improvements to bus services where there is currently a limited service.
  4. Renewable and low carbon energy solutions will be expected to be incorporated in all new development4, including opportunities for combined heat and power (CHP) and district heat networks.

[4] All new development is for non-residential uses of 1000 sqm or greater and is for 10 or more dwellings

Sustainability Appraisal Indicators

Definitions

Primary Shopping Area is a defined area where retail development is concentrated.

Public Transport interchanges are defined as rail stations and bus stations within the Borough and are shown on the Policies Map (forthcoming). For the district centres, Ashford rail station, Sunbury rail station and Shepperton rail station are relevant. Standalone bus stops are not included within the definition of public transport interchanges.

Reasoned Justification

Ashford, Shepperton and Sunbury Cross are identified in the centre hierarchy as district centres offering retail facilities to their communities but without the range of retail offer provided in Staines. Ensuring vitality in the centres involves bringing unused retail units back into occupation and seeking to provide a diverse range of stores. Encouraging expansion where appropriate within the Primary Shopping Areas of each centre would allow for growth in this sector.

Ashford, Shepperton and Sunbury Cross each have their own mainline train station to provide connectivity into central London via Richmond and Kingston. This accessibility makes the three district centres attractive places to live. Providing housing around transport interchanges such as rail stations accords with the NPPF in making effective use of land. Whilst this approach would lead to higher densities, it is also important to ensure that the quality of design and standards are maintained.

Each of the three district centres have their opportunities where improvements could be sought and these have been identified within the policy. In addition to these, the three centres have more general infrastructure needs which will increase should growth occur and place greater pressures on existing services. This issue has been highlighted as a key component of delivering growth in the centres. Infrastructure improvements will need to be in an accessible location to cater for all sections of the local community and ensure that this can be fully utilised.

Monitoring Indicators

Indicator

Target

Data Source

Number of ground floor retail (A1) uses lost to other use classes within the Primary Shopping Area

N/A

Annual retail surveys

Permissions granted for retail uses (A1)

None

Annual retail surveys, planning applications and appeals

Permissions granted for change of use from A1 to other uses that would result in a net loss of A1 uses in a Primary Shopping Area

None

Planning applications and appeals.

Number of new dwellings completed in the three district centres

N/A

Planning applications and appeals

Quantity of open space

No loss of open space, identified deficiencies met by end of plan period

Planning applications and appeals

Key Evidence

  • Open Space Assessment (Spelthorne BC, 2019)
  • Retail and Town Centre Study 2018
  • Annual Retail Surveys
  • Playing Pitch Strategy

Sustainability Appraisal Alternative Options

Alternative Option 1: Do not include a specific policy for Sunbury, Shepperton and Ashford. Let the market decide the quantity and location of development.

Reject alternative. This option would provide limited control over development and could negatively impact character and the settlement hierarchy.

Alternative Option 2: Include a policy that specifically outlines how development should be accommodated in Sunbury, Shepperton and Ashford. Direct growth to the most appropriate areas, prioritising those areas near employment and transport links. Consider the hierarchy of settlements to inform growth patterns.

Preferred approach. Having localised policies in the Plan will help to ensure that each area of the Borough accommodates an appropriate amount of growth and each area can be planned for effectively across the plan period.

 Core Strategy 2009 policies to be replaced

  • Policy TC5: Proposals for Retail Development
  • Policy TC3: Development in Ashford, Shepperton and Sunbury Cross
  • Policy CO2: Provision of Infrastructure for New Development

Policy SP3: Stanwell and Stanwell Moor

Strategy

  1. The Council will support the communities of Stanwell and Stanwell Moor and will minimise adverse impacts of the Heathrow expansion whilst seeking to secure economic and environmental benefits locally.

Infrastructure

  1. The Council will support the provision of new social facilities including education and healthcare services as well as new leisure facilities to meet identified local needs.
  2. The Council will work with infrastructure providers, developers and other key stakeholders to identify long term sources of funding and secure proposals for new infrastructure which offer sustainable transport links including active travel and public transport to improve access into and out of Heathrow Airport and other employment areas.
  3. The Council will support proposals which enhance the function and setting of the local watercourses and river corridors and the rights of way network throughout the area.

Retail

  1. The Council will protect the role that local retail facilities play in providing for the needs of the communities in Stanwell and Stanwell Moor. Development proposals for A1 (retail) use will be supported, where the scale is considered to complement the existing role and function.

Character

  1. The Council will support the preservation and enhancement of the Stanwell Conservation Area and other heritage assets in the locality and will seek to ensure that the areas of current and former mineral working and other open land are fully restored or enhanced to provide an appropriate setting for recreation and nature conservation.

Opportunities

  1. The Council will support opportunities for new and enhanced open spaces within Stanwell and Stanwell Moor and will encourage improved linkages as part of the wider green infrastructure network to promote walking and cycling.

Sustainability Appraisal Indicators

Reasoned Justification

Stanwell and Stanwell Moor are communities to the north of the Borough which are less well connected to the rest of Spelthorne. Stanwell is more developed to the south and links with the northern-most part of Ashford, whilst Stanwell Moor has a more distinct, rural character. Both Stanwell and Stanwell Moor are heavily impacted by Heathrow Airport. There is therefore a requirement for these communities to benefit from new and improved facilities and infrastructure where this can be secured.

Clare Road in Stanwell is identified as an important shopping parade which supports its local community. There is therefore a need to ensure that the vitality and viability of this parade is maintained and enhanced where appropriate. Stanwell Moor has a small area of retail provided on Horton Road, the offer for which is limited and further improvements could be sought.

Stanwell and Stanwell Moor would benefit from improved local connectivity with other parts of the Borough and with Heathrow Airport. These improvements would focus around enhanced public transport and opportunities to encourage sustainable and active travel through cycle ways and improved pedestrian linkages.

Monitoring Indicators

Indicator

Target

Data Source

Permissions granted for new shops (A1) or change of use to shops (A1)

N/A

Planning applications and appeals

Area of land restored or enhanced

No derelict or degraded land

Survey and minerals and waste planning applications

Number of schemes in Conservation Areas providing positive enhancement

No loss of heritage assets

Planning applications and appeals

Surveys

Quantity of open space

No loss of open space, identified deficiencies met by end of plan period

Planning applications and appeals

Key Evidence

  • Assessment of Leisure Needs
  • Local List of Buildings and Structures of Historic Interest
  • Register of Heritage Assets
  • Listed Buildings (statutory list)
  • Open Space Assessment (Spelthorne BC, 2019)
  • Playing Pitch Strategy

Sustainability Appraisal Alternative Options

Option 1: Don't include a policy specific to Stanwell and Stanwell Moor. Let the market decide the quantity and location of development.

Reject alternative. This would offer no control over development and could negatively impact character and the settlement hierarchy.

Option 2: Include a policy that specifically outlines how development should be accommodated in Stanwell and Stanwell Moor.

Seek to minimise the impact from the Heathrow Airport expansion.

Preferred approach. Having a localised policy in the Plan is considered to ensure that Stanwell and Stanwell Moor are planned for holistically and specific impacts from Heathrow Airport are addressed.

Core Strategy 2009 policies to be replaced

      • Policy TC4: Local Shopping Centres and Parades

Policy SP4: Local Centres, Shopping Parades and Isolated Retail Units

Strategy

  1. Spelthorne has a number of local centres and a series of shopping parades which are defined on the Policies Map.
  2. Local Centres:
  • Lower Sunbury
  • Charlton
  • Laleham
  • Upper Halliford
  1. Shopping Parades:
  • Victoria Parade, Kingston Road, Staines
  • Staines Road West, Ashford
  • Stainash Parade and The Broadway, Kingston Road, Staines
  • Groveley Road, Sunbury
  • Green Lane, Shepperton
  • Edinburgh Drive, Staines
  • Clare Road, Stanwell
  • Convent Road and Feltham Hill Road junction, Ashford
  • Feltham Road, Ashford
  • Green Street, Sunbury
  • Laleham Road, Shepperton
  • The Avenue, Lower Sunbury
  • Vicarage Road, Sunbury Common
  • Woodlands Parade, Ashford Common
  1. The Council seeks to protect the role that these Local Centres and shopping parades play in providing for local shopping and service needs of the community. Development proposals for A1 (retail) will be supported, where their scale is appropriate to the centre and will complement its existing role and function.
  2. Development proposals (new and change of use) for other town centre uses will also be supported provided they maintain:
  1. an active frontage,
  2. the overall role of the centre in meeting day-to-day retail needs,
  3. customer choice,
  4. the vitality and viability of the centre or parade, and
  5. the scale and function of the centre.
  1. The loss of a retail unit (within use class A1) that provides for everyday needs, will only be acceptable if evidence is provided of active and comprehensive marketing of the site for its current use for a minimum of 12 months, prior to submission of a planning application.
  2. Proposals for residential development on the upper floors, which will enhance the local vitality, will be considered positively.

Opportunities

  1. The Council will support opportunities to improve the relationship between the shopping area and the wider environment including public realm and landscaping.
  2. There are opportunities to improve connectivity, particularly for active and sustainable modes of travel and the infrastructure to support these.

Sustainability Appraisal Indicators

Definitions

Local centres are smaller residential areas with some retail uses which help meet the day-to-day needs of the area. These centres are generally located in more remote locations and are less well connected to either the main town centre or the three district centres.

Shopping parades are rows of shops providing a variety of facilities for their local neighbourhood. These parades can be of varying sizes but generally help to contribute to meeting some or all of their local communities' everyday needs. The list provided in the policy is not exhaustive and all parades will be shown on the forthcoming policies map.

Active and comprehensive marketing requires demonstration of a marketing campaign for a continuous period of at least 12 months as a minimum. Marketing must be undertaken through a recognised commercial agent at a price that genuinely reflects the market value of the current or most recent use of the site. It must be demonstrated to the Council's satisfaction that marketing has been unsuccessful for all relevant floor space proposed to be lost through re-development or change of use.

Reasoned Justification

The Borough has a number of local centres which support a smaller population when compared to the town and district centres. The local centres play an important role in supporting their communities. These centres have a few shops which help to provide for local people's basic day-to-day needs but lack the diversity of more established retailers or uses such as banking facilities, supermarkets etc. However, the role these centres play within their communities is important and maintaining the vitality of these is a key challenge. Therefore the Council is justified in protecting these centres and encouraging the development of additional A1 uses where appropriate.

In addition, the Borough also has a vast number of shopping parades dispersed across residential areas. These parades also play a key role in helping to support their communities where there is an absence of a district or local centre. Many of these parades provide homes for local businesses and are of importance to the communities which they serve. The Council will seek to maintain these parades to help them to continue to fulfil their functions and encourage the re-use of vacant units to ensure vitality within the parades.

Spelthorne also has a small number of isolated shops which provide an important service, such as post offices or local convenience stores. As such, these units often provide for everyday needs. These units could be vulnerable to development pressures and therefore, due to the key role they play within their communities, seeking significant justification for proposals affecting these is considered necessary.

Monitoring Indicators

Indicator

Target

Data Source

Permissions granted for change of use of shops (A1)

Nil

Planning applications and appeals

Key Evidence

  • Annual retail survey

Sustainability Appraisal Alternative Options

Option 1: Do not include a policy specific to local centres, shopping parades and isolated retail units in Spelthorne. Let the market dictate the role of these assets.

Reject alternative. This would offer no control over development and could negatively impact character and the settlement hierarchy.

Option 2: Include a policy that specifically outlines how development should be accommodated in local centres, shopping parades and isolated retail units and their role.

Consider the hierarchy of settlements to inform growth patterns.

Preferred approach. Having a localised policy in the Plan is considered to ensure that each area of the Borough accommodates an appropriate amount of growth and each area can be planned for effectively across the plan period.

Core Strategy 2009 policies to be replaced

  • Policy TC4: Local Shopping Centres and Parades
  • Policy CO1: Providing Community Facilities

 

Policy SP5: Colne Valley Regional Park

  1. The extent of the Colne Valley Regional Park within the Borough is defined on the Policies Map (forthcoming).
  2. The Council will expect proposals for development within the Colne Valley Park to make a positive and sustainable contribution towards implementing the objectives of the Park. The Council will support in principle development within the park where it can be demonstrated that it will:
  1. maintain and enhance the landscape and historic environment of the Park and its overall amenity value;
  2. contribute to the objectives of the Park;
  3. conserve and enhance biodiversity within the Park through the protection and management of its species, habitats and geological features;
  4. provide opportunities for countryside recreation and ensure that facilities are accessible to all;
  5. contribute to a vibrant and sustainable rural economy within the Park; and
  6. encourage community participation, including volunteering and environmental education, and promote the health and social well-being through high quality green space.

 

Sustainability Appraisal Indicators

 

Reasoned Justification

The Colne Valley Regional Park covers over 10,000 hectares to the west of London. It forms a narrow corridor of countryside, much of it within the Green Belt, stretching from Rickmansworth in the north to Staines and Wraysbury in the South where the River Colne joins the Thames. It is some 14 miles long and 3 miles wide at its widest point. It straddles a number of local authority boundaries. The area within Spelthorne covers some 1,000 hectares and comprises three major reservoirs, Staines Moor, Hithermoor and the settlement of Stanwell Moor.

The Colne Valley Regional Park was conceived in the 1960's with the broad aim of providing for informal recreation in a countryside setting. The original objectives remain just as valid today, although they have been updated, modified and extended over the last 50 years:

  1. To conserve the biodiversity resources of the Park through the protection and management of its diverse plant and animal species, habitats and geological features.
  2. To resist urbanisation of the Colne Valley Park and to safeguard existing areas of countryside from inappropriate development.
  3. To provide opportunities for countryside recreation including appropriate accessible facilities.
  4. To maintain and enhance the landscape, historic environment and waterscape of the Park in terms of their scenic and conservation value and their overall amenity.
  5. To achieve a vibrant and sustainable rural economy, including farming and forestry, underpinning the value of the countryside.

The Council supports the objectives of the Park and will seek to ensure that land within it is kept open and available for informal recreation where possible and that any proposals for development make a positive contribution to the setting of the Park, its landscape and recreational potential.

Monitoring Indicators

Indicator

Target

Data Source

Land lost to inappropriate development in the Green Belt within the boundaries of the Park

No loss of Green Belt to inappropriate development

Planning applications and appeals

Provision of recreational facilities within the Park

Net gain of recreational facilities

Survey and planning application records

Changes to biodiversity

Net gain of biodiversity areas and/or designations

Survey and published data

Landscape enhancement/restoration schemes completed

Net gain of land under active management for agriculture, recreation and leisure

Survey and planning application records

 

Key Evidence

    • Current facilities
    • Area of land in agricultural use
    • Area of land in recreational use
    • Area of land subject to restoration schemes
    • Rights of Way and Permissive paths
    • SSSIs and SNCIs

Sustainability Appraisal Alternative Options

Alternative Option 1: Do not have a local policy on the Colne Valley Park. Rely on other policies to protect and enhance the Park and its role.

Reject alternative. This will not allow the Council to positively respond to impacts on the Colne Valley Park. This has negative environmental impacts.

Alternative Option 2: Have a localised policy on the Colne Valley Park.

Preferred approach. This will enable the Colne Valley Park to be effectively maintained and enhanced with regard for local circumstances. This has positive environmental impacts.

 Core Strategy 2009 policies to be replaced

    • No relevant policies.

 

Policy ST6: River Thames and it's Tributaries

  1. The River Thames is a strategically important and iconic feature of Spelthorne. It is an important natural and cultural asset providing leisure, ecological, environmental, landscape and economic benefits. This role will be protected and promoted. The special character and setting of the River Thames as defined on the Policies Map (forthcoming) will be conserved and enhanced, and appropriate development proposals associated with river related activities and employment will be supported.
  2. The Council supports opportunities to increase the use of the river for tourism and improving river-based and riverside recreation and leisure activities. All development proposals should protect and enhance the river and its setting as a valuable resource for biodiversity, wildlife and as an SNCI. Where possible and where there will be no adverse effect on the SNCI, development proposals should support infrastructure such as boatyards, moorings, jetties and safety equipment etc.
  3. Proposals for riverside development and improved facilities will need to demonstrate that there will be no unacceptable impact upon navigation, biodiversity, flood risk and landscape setting.
  4. Development proposals on the riverside should preserve or enhance the waterside character, heritage value and setting, and provide physical and visual links with the surrounding areas (including views along the river).
  5. The Council is supportive of river-related business uses (for example boat yards) and supports their continued presence in a river-side location.
  6. The Council will support and promote new links across the river which support active and sustainable travel and leisure uses of the river.

New Mooring Facilities

  1. A mooring or other floating structure will be supported if it complies with the following criteria:
  1. it does not harm the character, openness and views of the river, by virtue of its design and height;
  2. the visitor mooring allows use for a period of less than 24 hours;
  3. there is no interference with the recreational use of the river, riverside and navigation; and
  4. the proposal is of wider benefit to the community.

River Thames Scheme

  1. The Council supports proposals for the wider River Thames Scheme and welcomes the proposed new footpath connection in Laleham as part of the recreational benefits the scheme will bring. The proposed route is shown on the Policies Map (forthcoming).

Sustainability Appraisal Indicators

Reasoned Justification

The River Thames forms a large part of the southern boundary of the Borough between the neighbouring boroughs of Runnymede and Elmbridge. It is a significant local and regional amenity. The Thames is the longest river in England measuring 215 miles; it begins in the Cotswold Hills (Gloucestershire), meandering eastwards through Spelthorne before passing through the city of London and ending in the North Sea. The River Thames is regarded as a key asset of the Borough, and the Council is keen to maximise its potential. The river brings great benefits from tourism, leisure, recreation and ecological perspectives, and is also beautiful.

Policy SP6 aims to ensure that the setting of the river and its tributaries is protected and where possible enhanced. This involves protecting landscape features that contribute to the setting, and protecting and enhancing views of the river.

Particular care will be needed in assessing the visual impact of development proposals in locations that form part of the setting of the river to ensure that the setting is not damaged and that new development makes a positive contribution to the riverside environment.

There is public access to much of the Thames riverside in Spelthorne, although access to the River Ash, Colne and the River Thames downstream of Shepperton Lock is more limited. Existing riverside access will be maintained and opportunities will be sought to improve access in conjunction with developments in riverside locations.

Monitoring Indicators

Indicator

Target

Data Source

Number of new visitor moorings

No specific target

In house Council Monitoring

Sustainability Appraisal Alternative Options

Alternative Option 1: Rely on national policy relating to flooding. Do not have a policy on the River Thames. Rely on other policies to protect and enhance the River Thames and its role in Spelthorne.

Reject alternative. This approach would have little regard for local circumstance and would fail to recognise the integral nature of the River to the Borough's character. It is uncertain if other policies on leisure and recreation would sufficiently safeguard the River Thames.

Alternative Option 2: Include a policy on the River Thames covering mooring, navigation, character, recreation and design factors. Recognise the setting of the River Thames and its significance to the Borough. Recognise the River Thames Scheme within the policy.

Safeguard and promote economic uses associated with the River Thames.

Preferred approach. This will enable the Council to consider impacts on the wider River Thames when making decisions and recognise the positive impacts it has on the environment, economic opportunities it presents and social benefits.

Alternative Option 3: Include a policy on the River Thames covering navigation and recreation only.

Reject alternative. This approach recognises the active role of the River Thames in terms of boating and leisure/recreation but fails to take account of the specific character and design of the area.

Core Strategy 2009 policies to be replaced

          • Policy EN9: River Thames and its Tributaries
          • Policy EN10: Recreational Use of the River Thames

Policy SP7: Heathrow Airport

The Council will support in principle the sustainable expansion of Heathrow Airport by:

  1. working strategically with local authorities around Heathrow Airport.
  2. permitting development proposals outside the airport or Development Consent Order (DCO) Limits boundary5 in the Borough for Airport Supporting Development (ASD)6 particularly those that support economic development provided that they:
  1. ensure safeguards are in place to mitigate air, noise, light and other pollution in the Borough; and
  2. protect and enhance designated areas of existing environmental character including Sites of Nature Conservation Importance, areas of landscape value, the Borough's historic and cultural heritage (including historic buildings and Conservation Areas), habitats particularly within Biodiversity Opportunity Areas and open space of amenity and recreation value;
  3. demonstrate ecological offsetting and mitigation measures;
  4. offer the highest quality design of buildings and structures.

c.  resisting inappropriate development in the Green Belt unless the harm is outweighed by very special circumstances.

d.  supporting initiatives that encourage modal shift towards more sustainable forms of transport such as:

  1. promoting sustainable transport choices which reduce the need to travel;
  2. improving surface access to minimise airport related traffic (congestion) in the Borough as a whole;
  3. promoting initiatives such as car sharing/clubs, the use of electric vehicles, low emission cars and colleague shuttle buses from the surrounding areas; and
  4. supporting southern rail access including the promotion of the Southern Light Rail (SLR) where there is benefit to communities in the Borough and the wider strategic network.

[5] Development Consent Order (DCO) Limits boundary is the overall boundary of the Heathrow Expansion project which includes land Heathrow intends to construct buildings, infrastructure and much of the extensive landscape mitigation areas, and land where Heathrow may potentially require property and other rights for landscape mitigation areas (Heathrow, 2019).

[6] Airport Supporting Development (ASD) describes a range of development that is related to the airport’s operation, and includes uses such as airport operations, cargo, maintenance, industrial, freight forwarding, hotels and offices (Heathrow, 2019).

Sustainability Appraisal Indicators

Reasoned Justification

The policy sets out the Council's position on Heathrow's expansion and reinforces the local importance the airport has on the Borough's economy. The Council supports the proposed expansion (future expansion) in principle and recognises the potential economic benefits and opportunities that the expanded airport (future expansion) could bring to Spelthorne, the wider South East and the UK as a whole. However, its support is entirely dependent on Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) making sure that the proposed scheme comprehensively and effectively mitigates the impacts it will have on our communities, businesses, services and environment.

The main objective of this policy is for the Council to ensure that the expanded Heathrow Airport (future expansion at Heathrow Airport) secures and provides the best possible outcomes for its residents and businesses, and in particular those most directly affected in the Stanwell Moor and Stanwell communities.

Heathrow Airport, the UK's main and busiest airport lies immediately north of the Borough. Currently the proposed expansion plans, which entail major changes to the layout of the airport and the infrastructure surrounding it, will encroach into Spelthorne.

Heathrow Airport is an important contributor to the local economy as 7% of Spelthorne's population works at the airport which is around 3,525 people7. There is also a concentration of airport supporting facilities (related developments and activities), including freight forwarding services to the north of the Borough.

Due to the Borough's close proximity to the airport, it experiences air and noise pollution and other environmental impacts. Over 92% of Heathrow employees who live in the Borough reach the airport by car rather than public transport which highlights poor connectivity. Undoubtedly the Borough is also affected by activities related to the operation of the airport and its associated businesses, such as logistics and distribution, which impact on air quality, noise, the efficiency of the local and strategic road network.

Given the economic benefits and opportunities Heathrow Airport brings to Spelthorne, the Council will work in partnership with HAL and other service providers to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the airport and seek to avoid and mitigate any potential adverse environmental impacts on the Borough and its surrounding areas.

[7] Source: Heathrow -  Community Investment Programme 2018 - Spelthorne

Monitoring Indicators

Indicator

Target

Data Source

Extent of the 66 Leq noise contour

Reduction in areas affected by the 66 Leq noise contour

BAA, DfT, The Borough Council

Key evidence

Sustainability Appraisal Alternative Options

Alternative Option 1: Do not include a policy on Heathrow Airport. The airport is outside of the Borough boundary therefore the Local Plan should not address it.

Reject alternative. This approach would limit the Council's ability to have an input on airport expansion-related matters. This option would not address airport related development within Spelthorne.

Due to uncertainty the DCO boundaries could alter and change the impacts on the Borough.

Alternative Option 2: Include a policy on Heathrow Airport. Recognise the potential impacts of expansion and plan to accommodate change through appropriate mitigation measures. Consider the impacts of expansion on the area outside of the Development Consent Order boundary.

Preferred approach. This will allow the Council to effectively manage the potential impacts of Airport growth on the Borough. At present an airport expansion is likely therefore the Local Plan is recognising the potential impacts.

Core Strategy Policies to be replaced

          • No relevant policies.