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Planning and Land Use

The Wyre Forest District Local Plan was adopted in April 2022 and sets out how the district will accommodate its housing and employment needs up to 2036. It sets out how growth will be managed, whilst contributing to the achievement of sustainable development. It shows where development will take place, the areas that will be protected and the policies used to determine planning applications. The content of the plan has to be consistent with the government’s national planning policy, as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework , which states that the planning system should support the transition to a low carbon future in a changing climate, and support renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure.

Policies in the Wyre Forest District Local Plan include:

  • Policy SP37 on Renewable and Low carbon Energy- sets out requirements to maximise use of natural heat and light and potential for renewable energy microgeneration, installation of decentralised energy and heating networks, solar panels and electric vehicle charge points. To reduce carbon emissions and secure sustainable energy solutions, all new developments over 100 square metres gross, or one or more dwellings, should incorporate the energy from renewable or low carbon sources equivalent to at least 10% of predicted energy requirements, unless it has been demonstrated that this would make development unviable. Applications are required to include an Energy Assessment demonstrating how these requirements will be met. New developments should be built to the highest standards of energy efficiency, subject to the Government's policy for national technical standards and the viability of the development. This contributes to government policies to achieve net zero by 2050 and to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and their pledge to introduce by 2025 a Future Homes Standard requiring new build homes to be future-proofed with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency. In addition, research into the potential for renewable energy development across Worcestershire has been carried out, with a Renewable Energy Research Paper and a Renewable Energy Assessment being produced.

  • Policy SP23 on Protecting and Enhancing Biodiversity- sets out the expectation for proposed developments to deliver measurable net gains in biodiversity through the promotion and re-creation of priority habitats, ecological networks and the protection and recovery of legally protected and priority species populations.

  • Policy SP 27 on Transport and Accessibility- sets out requirements for managing travel demand and the provision of viable sustainable transport choices, with priority given to improving infrastructure, technology and services to support active travel (walking and cycling) and passenger transport (bus, rail and community transport) during the plan period.

  • Policy SP 29 on Water Conservation and Efficiency – sets out the requirement for development to include design features that to reduce water consumption, achieving a water efficiency standard of 110 litres per person per day. Development must also include design features to support recycling / re-use of water through measures such as rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling.

  • Policy SP31 on Flood Risk Management. Areas of the District are subject to regular flooding instances and the Local Plan plays an important role in steering new development to areas with the lowest probability of flooding. It requires new developments to provide integrated flood mitigation methods and by working to retain surface water runoff on-site through sustainable drainage, integrating flood mitigation measures and providing appropriate buffering between watercourses and development. Development needs to be resilient to flood risk and the effects of climate change for its lifetime by setting appropriate floor levels, providing safe pedestrian and vehicle access and where appropriate provide a flood evacuation management plan, exceedance route plan and a SuDS maintenance plan.
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