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Local Plan - frequently asked questions

How does the Plan address environmental issues in the Borough?

The Plan includes a number of environmentally focussed policies designed to ensure that environmental matters are taken full account of in the future development of the Borough and that development can mitigate environmental harms and deliver the greatest environmental benefits, both in terms of site design as well as off-site environmental improvements. Such policies include:

  • LPA08: Green Infrastructure
  • LPC05: Open Space
  • LPC06: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation
  • LPC07: Greenways
  • LPC08: Ecological Network
  • LPC09: Landscape Protection and Enhancement
  • LPC10: Trees and Woodland
  • LPC13: Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Development
  • LPD09: Air Quality

Taking Policy LPC05 Open Space as an example, there are over 1,700 hectares of accessible open spaces and outdoor sports and recreation facilities in the Borough. These include different types of open spaces such as parks and gardens, natural and semi-natural greenspaces, amenity greenspaces, provision for children and young people (including equipped play areas), allotments, cemeteries and churchyards, outdoor sports and recreation facilities (including playing fields, golf courses, bowling greens, tennis courts and sailing spaces.

The policy sets out that the Borough's network of open spaces, is protected, managed, enhanced and where appropriate expanded, development proposals resulting in the loss of open space will only be permitted in limited circumstances, and new residential development will be required to contribute to the provision, expansion and enhancement of open space to meet needs in accordance with the policies of the Plan.

Policy LPC10 Trees and Woodland also makes clear contributions to delivering environmental improvements, particularly with respect to the requirement that where a tree is justifiably lost, its replacement will normally be required on at least a 2 for 1 ratio.

The Local Plan also references the need to provide compensatory mitigation measures in terms of the release of some Green Belt land to meet identified development needs. Such mitigation measures will improve areas of remaining Green Belt land, delivering environmental improvements.

The Council will work with partners, including the Mersey Forest Partnership, to deliver various environmental improvements across the Borough in tandem with delivering growth. An example of this being the £180,000 secured by the Council as a result of the planning permission for the Omega south west extension which will be used to improve green spaces within the Bold Forest Park.

The Policy framework in the Plan complements national policy and legislation in respect of environmental matters, particularly with respect to Biodiversity Net Gain, and will enable the Council to not only protect the existing environmental assets in the Borough, but also improve them.