LPP2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policies

Rural Areas

3.25  Waverley is a predominately rural Borough, with much of the Borough falling within the Green Belt, and approximately 30% designated as Countryside beyond the Green Belt. For the purposes of this section and policy, rural areas are defined as any area outside of settlement boundaries, irrespective of whether the land is in the Green Belt or Countryside beyond the Green Belt. In the Green Belt, development will also need to be considered against Green Belt policies.

3.26  One of the core planning principles set out in the NPPF is to take account of the character of different areas, including through recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it. Rural areas are important to the history and cultural development of the Borough, while also performing an important role in promoting sustainable development, including by supporting ecological networks, the rural economy, and food production.

3.27  Waverley's rural areas contain some of the most environmentally sensitive areas of the Borough. As well as having regard to protecting and enhancing designated landscapes, wildlife sites and soil and water resources, development should seek to maintain the cultural heritage and historic environment. The detailed impacts of development should also be considered, for example ensuring lighting is sensitively designed with regard to landscape impacts and its effect on wildlife. Policies RE1, RE2, RE3, NE1, NE2 and DM1 will be relevant to most development in rural areas. Careful consideration should be given to the location and design of development to maximise opportunities for sustainable transport and avoid isolation as set in Policies SP1, SP2, ST1 and DM13.