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The Environment

6.25    The Parish is located either with the National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it is clear that people living in the Parish greatly value the natural environment in which they live. Maintaining open spaces was a high priority in their responses to the questionnaire as was the preservation of sites of historic significance. While the Plan could seek to protect green spaces, the NP Group elected not to do so on the basis that the majority of the parish would fall into this category. Instead, development policies seek to protect the spaces that separate villages in order to protect the character of each.

6.26    The Parish has a number of heritage assets including Drake’s Leat and the Plymouth Leat, memorials and buildings of historic significance such as Buckland Abbey and the Parish churches. Additionally, there are a number of iconic views and landscape features such as the views of Buckland Monachorum from the top of the village towards the church and the road which runs through the village of Milton Combe. These aspects of the parish’s character must be maintained and not threatened by inappropriate development. Against this, many expressed a view that the village centre of Yelverton, while providing a vital range of services, had not been developed in a manner which preserved its character or visual attractiveness. This may be addressed by the embryonic thoughts of development around Leg of Mutton which, if presented, will be tested against all the policies in the Plan.

6.27    Responses to the questionnaire and points noted on both of the evidence gathering sessions additionally indicated concern about the overall appearance of open spaces (littering / dog mess) and the possible linkage between ‘high ground’ development and ‘low lying’ flooding through lack of attention to surface water runoff. Two villages (Milton Combe and Buckland) are effected by flooding in severe weather conditions and therefore great care needs to be taken when considering development which could impact on ground water run off.

6.28    Parishioners were asked for their views on renewable energy technology to reduce our carbon footprint and as a high proportion were in favour. The Parish Council has conducted a feasibility study to look at the potential of solar, biomass and hydro schemes within the Parish. If any of these are taken on (as a community energy project) it is hoped that income generated will be able to support community projects.

6.29    Living within both a National Park and AONB, great care and sensitivity must be shown to the environment although this does not translate as ‘nothing can be done’ in terms of development and provision of improved services.

6.30    The following Environment Polices were agreed.

Environmental Policy 1: E1 - Heritage

Development will not be permitted where it would adversely impact on sites of historic significance. DNP and AONB policies provide protection and while the NP does not advocate additional policies in this area, it will vigorously re-enforce those of the two LAs.

Environmental Policy 2: E2 - Local Character

New development must contribute to the local character by retaining a sense of place appropriate to its location and be able to demonstrate conformity with the relevant Landscape Character Assessments (at Annex C in the 'Download' section). Development proposals must be designed to retain, or where appropriate, replace, dry stone walls, trees and hedge-rows and building materials should, wherever practicable conform to the guidance provided by both Local Authorities.

Environmental Policy 3: E3 - Climate Change

The Plan encourages the development of alternative sources of energy provided that:

(a) The siting scale and design of the energy generating infrastructure is appropriate to the surroundings and is as close as possible to the building it serves.

(b) Adjoining users are not adversely impacted in therms of noise, vibration or electro-magnetic radiation.

(c) The energy generating equipment is removed as soon as reasonably practical once it is no longer used for energy generation.

Environmental Policy 4 : E4 - Flood risk

Any new development (economic or residential) must ensure and demonstrate that the risk of flooding to low lying settlements (particularly Buckland and Milton Combe) suffer no consequential increase in flooding risk.

Environmental Policy 5: E5 - Recreation & Tourism

Development which improves the provision of, or access to, recreational sites will be actively supported. Infrastructure which encourages tourism to the area will be sup-ported provided it does not impact adversely on residents.