PPS 4 (Draft): Industry, Business and Distribution
Policy IBD 1
Justification and Amplification
4.1 The characteristics of industry and business uses are continuously changing. Some industrial and business uses can be carried on in proximity to residential or other sensitive uses without detriment to amenity by reason of noise, vibration or noxious emissions. It is not always appropriate to separate industry and business, especially small-scale developments, from residential areas for which they provide employment and services. The Department will not restrict an industrial or business use solely because it differs from the predominant land use in the locality. Rather, uses of land will be regarded as incompatible with each other if their juxtaposition would cause serious problems for the occupiers of either.
4.2 Where industrial or business development is permitted in residential areas, however, the Department will, where necessary, control subsequent intensification by conditions or planning agreements where such intensification would lead to foreseeable harm to local amenity.
4.3 In making provision for industrial and business development, and in considering proposals, the Department will seek to minimise adverse effects on natural and built heritage resources. Particular care will be taken to safeguard local, national and international natural heritage designations. The Department will expect development proposals affecting features and areas of the historic environment, such as archaeological sites, listed buildings and conservation areas, to protect and, where possible, enhance their character. The Department’s policies for nature conservation and the built heritage are set out in Planning Policy Statement 2 ‘Planning and Nature Conservation’ and Planning Policy Statement 6 ‘Planning, Archaeology and the Built Environment’ respectively.
4.4 Concern for environmental issues in general in relation to industrial and business development is not only important in itself but it can make sound economic sense. Good design, for instance, is as important for industrial and business development as for other forms of development. It is not just about appearance and how a development relates to adjoining buildings and spaces. It also encompasses a commitment to energy conservation and waste management, and careful attention to the quality of the surrounding landscaping. Well-designed buildings and sites are not only better for the wider environment but can make economic sense by increasing job satisfaction and minimising running costs.
4.5 Access to a proposed site, parking and servicing arrangements and the overall impact of an industrial or business development on the local road netwo rk will all be carefully considered by the Department in assessing development proposals. For major developments a Transport Assessment and a Travel Plan may be required. The Department will seek to ensure that the development proposed will not lead to inc reased congestion on the public road network and that the location chosen is also accessible to walking, cycling and public transport networks.
Environmental Impact Assessment
4.6 Environmental assessment is the process by which information about the likely environmental effects of certain major projects is collected, assessed and taken into account by the Department in deciding whether planning permission should be granted. Major industrial and business development proposals are among those most likely to be affected by the requirement to undertake environmental assessment. The Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 set out the types of project where an Environmental Statement will be required to assess the likely environmental effects of the proposal and properly consider any mitigating factors.
4.7 In addition to planning permission some industrial developments may also require consent under the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993, as amended by The Planning (Control of Major-Accident Hazards) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 . This legislation allows the Department to consider whether the proposed storage or use of a significant quantity of a hazardous substance is appropriate in a particular location, having regard to the risks arising to persons in the surrounding area and the wider implications for the community. Consent is also required where a hazardous substance is introduced onto a site, or used differently within it, without there being any associated development requiring planning permission. Detailed guidance on these matters is currently contained in Development Control Advice Note 12 – Planning Controls for Hazardous Substances, published by the Department in May 2000.