Surrey Heath Draft Local Plan Issues Options/Preferred Options, 2018

Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development

2.36 National planning policy places the presumption in favour of sustainable development at the heart of its approach to planning, and states that 'the purpose of the planning system is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development' (NPPF 2012, Paragraph 6). In order to ensure that planning decisions reflect the national presumption in favour of sustainable development and to ensure that this approach can be taken where a local plan is silent or policies become out of date, all local authorities are encouraged to include a policy reflecting this presumption.

Preferred Approach to Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development

In considering development proposals the Council will take a positive approach that reflects the presumption in favour of sustainable development set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Regard will need to be given to the need to assess, and where appropriate, mitigate against the impact of the proposal on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.

The Council will work with applicants to ensure development improves the social, environmental and economic condition of the Borough.

Planning proposals that accord with the policies in the Surrey Heath Local Plan and with any Neighbourhood Plan policies will in general be approved unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Where there are no relevant policies to determine planning applications then the following will be taken into account:

  • The availability and deliverability of avoidance and mitigation measures in terms of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area: and
  • The benefits of granting permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh any adverse impacts when assessed against the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole; or
  • Specific policies in that Framework indicate that development should be restricted.

Alternative Approach to Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development

  • No alternative considered. The preferred approach reflects guidance in the NPPF