Policy PODM26: Amenity

  1. All new development, including alterations and extensions to existing buildings, will be expected to provide the occupiers/users with a high standard of amenity to ensure a suitable living environment. Development will not be permitted if it would have an unacceptable impact on the amenity of existing or potential neighbouring properties or uses.
  2. When assessing the impact of the occupation, operation and construction of a development on amenity, consideration will be given to the following:
    1. Overlooking of windows of habitable rooms and private amenity space;
    2. Loss of privacy;
    3. Overshadowing of private amenity space;
    4. Loss of daylight and/or sunlight to existing windows of habitable rooms;
    5. Overbearing impact/visual dominance;
    6. Light pollution;
    7. Airborne pollutants;
    8. Odours;
    9. Noise pollution and disturbance;
    10. Vibration;
    11. Insects and vermin; and
    12. Provision of a satisfactory and usable external amenity space to residential properties in keeping with the character of immediate surrounding development.
  3. Where existing amenity is poor, improvements will be sought in connection with any development.
  4. On large scale and other developments where construction operations are likely to have a significant and ongoing or long-term impact on local amenity, a construction management plan covering such issues as hours of working, access points of access and methods of construction will be required.

Reasoned Justification

Protecting the amenity of both the future occupiers of new development and the occupiers of existing developments is vital for the sustainability of communities in the Broads. The NPPF seeks high standards of amenity for existing and future users. Amenity can include many factors such as traffic, smell, loss of privacy, outlook, noise and overlooking. This policy lists the general issues that should be considered by applicants when developing schemes.

The policy applies to situations where new development would affect the amenity of an existing land use, and where a new development may lead to complaints about an existing land use which is not currently an issue because there are no neighbours.

The impact of construction is often raised as a concern in relation to planning applications, but this is a short-term impact – the impacts of construction stop when the scheme is in place. We can control hours of work and delivery hours for example. We will consider the impact of construction and put in place controls on a case-by-case basis.

Proximity to waste management and mineral sites can lead to amenity issues. As such, the Authority will liaise with Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils for sites that are near to mineral and waste sites in line with Norfolk and Suffolk County Council minerals and waste.

In assessing compliance with this policy, the Authority will draw on expert advice from statutory consultees and the Environmental Services Sections of the relevant Council.

Reasonable alternative options

The original policy, with no amendments.

Given the importance of Amenity, not to have a policy is seen as an unreasonable alternative.

Sustainability appraisal summary

The following is a summary of the assessment of the policy and alternative(s).

A: Keep original policy: 5 positives. 0 negatives. 0 ? Overall, positive.

B: Preferred Option - amend policy: 5 positives. 0 negatives. 0 ? Overall, positive.

How has the existing policy been used since adoption in May 2019?

According to recent Annual Monitoring Reports, the policy has been used and applications have been determined in accordance with the policy.

Why have the alternative options been discounted?

The amendments to the original policy fundamentally reinforce the importance of amenity. Adding loss of privacy as well as the need for construction management plan are positive improvements and will help ensure the health and wellbeing of the community.