Main Modifications

Chapter 10 - The Rural Economy

MM/095

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 MM/095

Policy E15

Policy E15 - New build dDevelopment for new businesseconomic developmentpurposes in the rural areacountryside

Well-designed new build development for economic development purposes for new businesses will be permitted in sustainable locations, including development of businesses in situ, at a scale and form compatible with their rural location.

For clarity and effectiveness

MM/096

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 MM/096

Paragraph 10.5 

Disused rural buildings may hold species such as bats or barn owls, protected by the Wildlife and Conservation Countryside Act 1981(as amended) and other legislation Conservation of Habitats and Species regulations 2017. The conversion of such buildings should make provision for their continued use by protected species which are present. If this is not possible, mitigation should be provided nearby.

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For clarity and effectiveness

MM/097

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 MM/097

Policy E16 

Policy E16 - Conversion of rural buildings for economic development purposes

Where it can be demonstrated that a rural building is not needed for an agricultural use, its conversion for economic development purposes will be permitted where all the following criteria are met:

1) Their form, bulk and general design are in keeping with the character of the surrounding countryside;
2) The proposed use is acceptable in terms of its impact on the surrounding area and the local highway network;
3) It can be demonstrated through a structural survey that the building is capable of conversion;
4) any alterations associated with the conversion would not be detrimental to the distinctive character of the building (or its setting), its historic fabric or features.
5)4) if the building forms part of a complex of agricultural or industrial buildings, a comprehensive strategy is put forward which shows the effects on the use of the remaining complex, and on any listed buildings and their settings.
6) where the building currently contains protected species, mitigation should be provided.
5) Where the building contains protected species any negative impacts should be fully addressed following the "avoid, mitigate and compensate" hierarchy.

For clarity and effectiveness

MM/098

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 MM/098

Policy E17 

Policy E17 - Farm Diversification

Proposals to diversify the range of economic activities on a farm will be permitted if all the following criteria are met:

1) The proposal is compatible with the agricultural operations on the farm, and is operated as part of the farm holding.
2) The re would be no irreversible loss of best and most versatile agricultural land is minimised.
3) The likely traffic generation could be safely accommodated on the local highway network.

Proposals should where possible utilise available existing farm buildings.

For clarity and effectiveness

MM/099

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MM/099

Paragraph 10.10

10.10 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires that planning authorities should take into account the economic and other benefits of best and most versatile land. Where significant development of agricultural land is demonstrated to be necessary, local planning authorities should seek to use areas of poorer quality. For the purposes of Policy E18 significant development is considered to be any planning application that is "major development" as defined by The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. The majority of agricultural land in Thanet is best and most versatile and therefore the following policy applies

For clarity and effectiveness

MM/100

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MM/100

Policy E18

Policy E18 - Best and Most Versatile Agricultural Land

Except on sites allocated for development by virtue of other policies in this Plan, planning permission will not be granted for significant development which would result in the irreversible loss of best and most versatile agricultural land unless it can be clearly demonstrated that:

1) the benefits of the proposed development outweigh the harm resulting from the loss of agricultural land,
2) there are no otherwise suitable sites of poorer agricultural quality that can accommodate the development, and
3) the development will not result in the remainder of the agricultural holding becoming not viable or lead to likely accumulated and significant losses of high quality agricultural land.

Applications for solar parks on best and most versatile agricultural land should comply with Policy CC06 - Solar Parks

For clarity and effectiveness

MM/101

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 MM/101

new paragraph

10.10a The National Planning Policy Framework also states that the planning system should protect and enhance valued soils and prevent the adverse effects of unacceptable levels of pollution. This is because soil is an essential finite resource that provides important 'ecosystem services', for example as a growing medium for food, timber and other crops, as a store for carbon and water, as a reservoir of biodiversity and as a buffer against pollution. As part of the government's 'Safeguarding our Soils' strategy, Defra has published a Code of practice for the sustainable use of soils on construction sites. The Council would encourage developers to have regard to this. 

Agricultural related development

10.11 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires that Local Plans support the needs of the food production industry. Agricultural related businesses are those that are not part of a farm business, such as producing and packing operations. These value adding operations are an important part of the rural economy but their scale and location should respect the character and appearance of the rural area as set out in SP02.

For clarity and effectiveness

MM/102

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 MM/102

Policy E19

Policy E19 - Agricultural Related Development

Development related to the agricultural industry will be approved subject to landscape, traffic and other planning considerations, and the scale of the development being acceptable

To improve clarity and effectiveness and to avoid duplication of Policy SP02.