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PART 2

CHAPTER C - PRUDENT USE OF NATURAL RESOURCES

 

REDUCING THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF DEVELOPMENT ON THE ENVIRONMENT

EFFECTIVE USE OF LAND AND BUILDINGS

 

MINERALS

MINERAL WORKINGS AND RESOURCES

MINERALS REVIEW

 

WASTE MANAGEMENT, SITES AND FACILITIES

WASTE MANAGEMENT SITES AND FACILITIES

LANDFILL AND LANDRAISE

 

RENEWABLE ENERGY

RENEWABLE ENERGY

 

NATURAL RESOURCES

AGRICULTURAL LAND

WATER

 

MONITORING

 

4.1 INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND

4.1.1 It must be ensured that finite resources such as oil, gas and minerals are used effectively and that other options, from sustainable local sources are proposed as alternatives where possible. Renewable resources such as water, fisheries and forests should be used in ways that do not threaten their numbers, size or quality, neither now or in the future. The use of natural resources such as wind, water, tides, currents and sunlight should also be encouraged in a manner that gives full consideration to the quality of the local environment and amenities. The aim is also to encourage recycling and the re-use of natural resources, waste, land and buildings.

 4.1.2 Land use planning should make space for new development whilst giving clear guidance on how to use natural resources prudently. This should contribute towards reducing our environmental ‘footprint’.

4.1.3In order to contribute towards this aim and to create sustainable communities, it must be ensured that communities develop a strong element of fulfilling local needs by means of local produce. The purpose of the Unitary Development Plan is to enable communities in the Plan area to achieve this and to try and reduce the need to travel by encouraging an appropriate mix of uses, including employment, housing and services locally. The following paragraphs contain a brief introduction to land use matters that contribute to the aim of using natural resources sparingly.

4.1.4The following paragraphs contain a brief introduction to land use matters that contribute to the aim of using natural resources sparingly.

REDUCING THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF DEVELOPMENT ON THE ENVIRONMENT

4.1.5 A substantial contribution can be made to sustainable development by giving priority to re-development and re-using land and buildings. Disused, derelict, or underused sites offer development opportunities that can reduce the amount of greenfield sites used in the future. Re-using buildings will be a means of meeting the economic and social needs of communities without the need for new buildings. This can also lead to an improved use of the existing infrastructure, make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the area and contribute towards the viability of service centres. The Welsh Assembly Government is committed to encourage everyone to recycle land and buildings.

4.1.6Through its policies and proposals, the Unitary Plan has a significant role to play by managing the environmental effects of developments and helping to channel them to locations that can best cope with further development. Encouraging mixed use developments, giving priority to town centres as locations for retail and leisure uses, increasing the density of developments and giving full consideration to sustainable matters in the layout and design of the site will all contribute towards reducing the environmental footprint of developments.

MINERALS

4.1.7There is increasing concern regarding the effects of mineral extraction on the environment and on the amenities of local communities. A balance must be struck between fulfilling the needs of the present and the future. The Unitary Development Plan aims to respond to the implications of protecting mineral resources, including mineral waste for recycling, whilst ensuring that Gwynedd contributes to the regional and national mineral landbank in the short term and further into the future.

4.1.8Society creates an economic incentive for the quarrying industry, mainly as a result of the demand for aggregates. Building materials are needed for all the buildings and basic structures society requires, and a number of industries are totally dependent on minerals for basic raw materials and associated building materials. The construction industry uses approximately 90% of the produce of quarries.

4.1.9 There are substantial environmental, social and economic implications relating to the mineral extraction industry. When excavating and extracting minerals, all the associated advantages and disadvantages in terms of sustainable development principles must be fully considered.

WASTE MANAGEMENT, SITES AND FACILITIES

4.1.10Gwynedd Council is a Waste Planning Authority with statutory responsibility for planning waste management facilities. The Council is also the waste collection authority and the waste disposal authority.

4.1.11Disposing of waste in a manner that is both environmentally acceptable and sustainable is a difficult task. The current national guidance regarding this issue is seen in ‘Wise about Waste: The National Waste Strategy for Wales’ (2002). This strategy is designed to move Wales from an over-reliance on landfill to a position where it will be a model for sustainable waste management. It aims to achieve this by adopting and implementing a sustainable, integrated approach to waste production, management and regulation (including litter and flytipping) that minimises the production of waste and its impact on the environment, maximises the use of unavoidable waste as a resource, and minimises where practicable, the use of energy from waste and landfill. New European and national regulations mean that environmental standards are rising with added emphasis on reducing, re-using and reclaiming waste. In this respect waste minimisation, rather than any approach involving waste disposal, is seen as the preferred method of waste management. Promoting the reduction and management of waste in order to minimise disposal is vital in order to deal with the issue at the outset and to overcome the associated problems relating to waste disposal. Proposals for waste disposal will have to fulfil the needs of local strategies and accord with the waste disposal hierarchy and the best options with regards to the environment. The Government will also set down statutory performance standards that will require every Local Authority to take substantial steps in the fields of recycling and composting. The Gwynedd Unitary Development Plan aims to respond to the land requirements of waste disposal within this context at a time of change and uncertainty.

4.1.12European legislation has set ambitious targets for reducing the amount of biodegradable waste transported to landfill sites over the next 20 years. ‘Wise about Waste: The National Waste Strategy for Wales’ (2002) has also set challenging targets in respect of:

RENEWABLE ENERGY

4.1.13Energy and water conservation and making use of renewable resources can contribute substantially to the objectives of sustainable development by reducing the use of resources which are in short supply and reducing greenhouse gases and other damaging impacts.

4.1.14The conventional methods of producing energy (electricity) are by means of power stations that burn fossil fuels, namely gas, oil or coal. Unfortunately, burning these fuels creates substantial environmental pollution that contributes to global climate change. Due to these effects, efforts must be made to reduce the total amount of energy used, to make effective use of energy and to increase the contribution of renewable pollution-free energy to meet local, regional and national energy needs.

4.1.15Gwynedd Council supports the principle of meeting a proportion of energy needs from renewable sources. At present, hydro power is the only form of renewable energy produced on a large scale in Gwynedd. The Council is therefore keen to see various methods of creating renewable energy being developed, and an increase in the total amount of renewable energy created due to the benefits to the environment and the sustainable nature of this energy. The Unitary Development Plan aims to respond to the land use needs of renewable energy infrastructure and sets a framework to assess the effects on the environment, wildlife and the amenities of local residents.

4.1.16Renewable energy developments can detrimentally affect the environment and the amenities of local residents. The other matters that must be taken into consideration are the direct effect of these developments on the built environment and archaeology. A reasonable balance must be sought whenever a conflict arises between the environmental benefits of renewable energy projects and their impact upon other interests of acknowledged importance.

NATURAL RESOURCES

4.1.17 In accordance with the principles of sustainable development, the need for development must be weighed up against the need to protect natural resources such as air, soil and water in terms of their abundance and/or their quality.

4.1.18Agriculture represents a substantial amount of the land use within the Plan area and therefore it is important with regard to the character and standard of the landscape and the area’s biodiversity. The quality of the agricultural land varies a great deal within the area, and only a small percentage of it lies within the category of ‘best and most versatile lands’. Those lands are a scarce resource that cannot be reclaimed once they are lost to development.

4.1.19Water, whether in watercourses, ground water or bodies of water (e.g. lakes and ponds), is an important natural resource. The demand for water in the UK has increased substantially during the last 40 years. The increase in the demand for water and the need to guard against problems associated with dry periods means that it is vitally important for water resources to be protected. An adequate supply is also important in order to dilute the effects of pollution, leisure activities, biodiversity, agriculture and fisheries.

OBJECTIVES

BASED ON THE AIM OF PRUDENT USE OF NATURAL RESOURCES, THE AIMS OF THE UNITARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN WILL BE:

STRATEGIC POLICIES

4.1.21The Strategic Policies set a framework and reflect the Council’s commitment, through its land use planning powers, to ensure that developments are directed to suitable locations and in a way that uses resources prudently. The following strategic policies are key to the Plan’s efforts to achieve this.

 

LAND REDEVELOPMENT AND REUSE - STRATEGIC POLICY 6

Priority will be given to making appropriate and suitable use of previously developed land, which is suitable for development, or buildings that are vacant or not used to their full potential. Development should make the most efficient and practicable use of land or buildings in terms of density, siting and layout.

 

MINERALS - STRATEGIC POLICY 7

Development proposals to make use of mineral resources, including secondary aggregates, will be approved provided they do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of local residents. These resources will be protected from development in order to safeguard Gwynedd’s contribution towards meeting the regional and national demand.

 

WASTE - STRATEGIC POLICY 8

Proposals for facilities to treat and dispose of waste will be approved, if they fulfil the needs identified in national, regional and local waste strategies, and provided they do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of nearby residents.

 

ENERGY - STRATEGIC POLICY 9

Development proposals to provide energy from renewable sources will be approved provided they do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of nearby residents.

 

REDUCING THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF DEVELOPMENT ON THE ENVIRONMENT

Background

4.2.1Whilst policies in other sections of the Plan provide guidance regarding specific types of land uses, e.g. residential development, shops, workshops, etc. it should be emphasised that those policies should not be read in isolation. A prospective developer should read the Plan as a whole in order to gain a full understanding of matters linked to the proposed development. The policies included in this part of the Plan will be pertinent key policy considerations in relation to a number of types of development, and it will be necessary to thoroughly consider them in preparing and determining a planning application. Policies C1 – C7 seek to ensure that new development is located on sites that make the best use of any existing resources and infrastructure, and support the re-use of previously developed land or suitable buildings. The table below provides a list of cross-references to other policies that are closely linked to some of the policies listed in this section of the Plan. (This list is not exhaustive and does not include more general policies. A list of cross-references has not been provided for every policy).

Policy

Key policy considerations

C1

C26 – Wind turbine developments; C27 – Renewable and sustainable energy schemes; CH7 – Affordable housing on rural exception sites directly adjoining the boundaries of Villages and Local Centres; CH9 – New dwellings in open countryside; CH40 – Cemeteries; CH44 – Provision of community sports or recreational facilities; D7 – Rural workshops or small scale industrial/ business units outside development boundaries.

C2

CH45 – Major commercial leisure developments; D27- Comparison and convenience goods retail stores outside defined town centres.

C3

B7 – Sites of archaeological importance; B20 – Species and their habitats that are internationally, and nationally important; B30 – Contaminated land or buildings

C4

B2 – Alterations to listed buildings or buildings in their curtilage; B20 –
Species and their habitats that are internationally, and nationally important; CH11 – Conversion of buildings within development boundaries for residential use; CH12 – Conversion of buildings in rural villages and open countryside for residential use; D10 – Conversion of buildings for industry or business use; D14 – Serviced holiday accommodation; D15 – Self-serviced holiday accommodation.

 

EFFECTIVE USE OF LAND AND BUILDINGS

POLICY C1 - LOCATING NEW DEVELOPMENT

Land within the development boundaries of towns and Villages and the developed form of Rural Villages will be the main focus for new development. New buildings, structures and ancillary facilities in the countryside (i.e. outside development boundaries and outside the development form of Rural Villages) will be refused with the exception of development that is permitted by another policy of the Plan, for example:

  1. development in connection with agriculture or forestry, including housing for farm, forestry or other rural land based industry workers or for individuals that provide an essential service to the agricultural or forestry sector within the County, who have to live at or close to their place of work
  2. affordable housing on appropriate sites that are immediately adjacent to development boundaries
  3. demolition and reconstruction of dwellings
  4. alteration and extension of dwellings
  5. employment enterprises that facilitate rural economic diversification
  6. mineral extraction
  7. development in connection with rural tourism, and open air sports and leisure enterprises
  8. renewable energy generation harnessing natural resources
  9. development associated with providers of statutory infrastructure
  10. cemeteries

New buildings, structures and ancillary facilities in the countryside will be strictly controlled and should be spatially well related to existing development whenever possible.

4.2.2Explanation - The concept of fostering sustainable communities is a central element of this Plan. Locating new development within towns and villages or within the built form of Rural Villages, where there are existing facilities and services, offers an opportunity to:

4.2.3Land outside development boundaries and the built form of Rural Villages is considered to be the countryside. Planning Policy Wales clearly states the commitment to maintain the distinctive character of the rural landscape and to enhance the quality of the rural environment. The challenge is to do this whilst providing for appropriate new development, e.g. agriculture or forestry enterprises, appropriate leisure and tourist activities, developments that facilitate economic rural diversification. Proposals for developments of this type will have to conform to the requirements of the relevant policies that deal with that particular activity. This policy seeks to clearly state the Local Planning Authority’s intention not to support unnecessary development in the countryside.

 

POLICY C2 - ADOPTING THE SEQUENTIAL APPROACH

Proposals that need to be accessible to a large number of people (e.g. supermarket, large employer and large leisure facilities) on sites that are not allocated in the Plan for that specific use will be refused unless they are located within the Sub-regional Centre (Bangor) or the Urban Centres (Caernarfon, Porthmadog, Pwllheli, Blaenau Ffestiniog) and that:

  1. clear evidence can be provided to show that the sequential test has been used when selecting which site to develop, with priority given to suitable, feasible or viable sites which are located:
  1. firstly, within the defined town centres;
  2. followed by sites located on the edge of the defined town centres, and
  3. then out-of-centre sites in the Sub-regional Centre and Urban Centres that have good linkages with the public transport service or the cycling network (or where there are specific plans to provide such a service), and the proposal meets an identified qualitative and quantitative need.

4.2.4Explanation - Locating new developments within existing Service Centres offers an opportunity to:

4.2.5It is expected that development that attracts a large number of people should be located within, or on the edge of, the centre of the main Service Centres, namely Bangor, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Pwllheli. These centres are accessible to the remainder of the area and provide a wide range of services and social facilities and high quality links to public transport. These are the Plan area’s main centres for work and shopping. The aim is to increase the proportion of people that are within walking or cycling distance or a public transport journey to the facilities and services that they need. The location of retail development is a matter dealt with in more detail within section 6.4 of the Plan.

POLICY C3 - RE-USING PREVIOUSLY DEVELOPED SITES

Proposals that give priority, wherever this is feasible, to re-using previously developed land or buildings that are located within or near development boundaries, rather than utilising greenfield sites, shall be approved provided that the site or building and the proposed use are suitable and conform to the Plan’s objectives and development strategy.

4.2.6Explanation - The Local Planning Authority intends to ensure that the area’s development needs during the Plan period are satisfied in a way which encourages the re-use of previously developed land and buildings (see glossary of terms at the end of this Plan for definition of ‘previously developed land’) in order to safeguard valuable open lands within centres and villages and in the countryside.

4.2.7Re-using land which is suitable for re-development will also make an important contribution to improving the image of places. In turn, this will be a means of maintaining and attracting more investment. Not all previously developed land or buildings are suitable for development, for example, because of its location, the presence of protected species or due to its archaeological value. Proposals to develop on previously developed land or buildings will be considered against all other relevant policies in the Plan.

 

POLICY C4 - ADAPTING BUILDINGS FOR RE-USE

Proposals to adapt buildings for re-use as a first option over demolition will be approved provided that all the following criteria can be met:

 

  1. in the case of a building in the countryside, that the building is of permanent construction, structurally sound and is capable of being adapted without major or complete reconstruction;
  2. that the building is suitable for the proposed use;
  3. that the design, including any necessary changes/alterations, respects the structure, form and character of the existing building and its surroundings and retains any inherent traditional, historic or architectural features of merit in the building;
  4. that any associated external storage or operations do not cause significant harm to the visual quality and character of its surroundings;
  5. in the case of a building in the countryside, that the development does not lead to a dispersal of activity on such a scale as to prejudice town or village activity.

4.2.8Explanation - Whilst the principle of adapting buildings for re-use is supported, not all buildings will be suitable for this. It is expected that the building in question will be suitable for its new use in terms of its form and location. There are a considerable number of derelict buildings in some parts of the Plan area, many of which are in very isolated places. In order to safeguard the vitality of towns and villages, proposals that involve adapting isolated buildings which do not have a functional or visual link with towns or villages will not be supported. It is important to consider the structural condition of the building itself. A structure in the countryside that is so ruinous that it has to be substantially or entirely re-built will not be suitable. Assessment of a site should reveal at least the following features: a building with structural walls which are demonstrably sound up to the eaves level; door and window openings; and that steps have been taken to safeguard the condition of walls (e.g. roof, capped walls). A structural report on the building, prepared by a specialist, will be required as part of the planning application. A proposal involving substantially or entirely re-building a building will be considered against the requirements of other policies that deal with new buildings for specific uses.

4.2.9It is expected that the building can accommodate the new use without much change to its form, especially if the building is a traditional one. Further guidance on good practice can be found in the Gwynedd Design Guide 2002. Other policies in chapters 5 and 6 of this Plan deal with re-using buildings for specific uses.

 

POLICY C5 - REDEVELOPMENT SITES

Development proposals on sites identified on the Proposals Maps as redevelopment sites will be permitted provided that they conform to the development brief that has been prepared for each site and/ or any masterplan for the site approved by the Local Planning Authority.

4.2.10Explanation – The redevelopment sites noted on the Proposals Map have been identified as sites that provide opportunities to make effective use of previously developed land or land that is not being used to its full potential. They are in key locations within or near centres and villages and provide opportunities for a variety of uses that include tourism or leisure related facilities, business or commercial uses, residential units and community facilities. Further guidance regarding the proposed land use is available in a development brief that has been prepared for each separate site, which form part of a Supplementary Planning Guidance series.

 

POLICY C6 - GLYN RHONWY REDEVELOPMENT SITE

Proposals for the Glyn Rhonwy redevelopment site (as designated on the Llanberis Inset Map) that create quality employment or leisure opportunities for the benefit of Gwynedd’s communities will be permitted provided that:

  1. the development will contribute to the area’s cultural and linguistic wealth;
  2. the development will safeguard the amenities and wellbeing of local residents;
  3. the development integrates effectively with the Local Centre of Llanberis and does not diminish its vitality, viability or attraction;
  4. the development, in terms of its design, scale, nature, layout and density does not adversely affect the outstanding visual and natural environment that it is set within. Any new buildings or associated development will have to integrate effectively with the topography, character and setting of the site;
  5. a high standard of design is achieved. This will have to be an aspirational development in terms of the quality of its design and its environmental credentials;
  6. satisfactory arrangements are made to provide safe and effective vehicular, pedestrian and cycle access into the site. Effective internal pedestrian and cycle links should also be provided. An efficient public transport service link will have to be provided from the site;
  7. adequate vehicular parking spaces are provided within the site in accordance with the Local Planning Authority’s approved guidelines. The parking provision on the site must not however prejudice the quality of the built form or the surrounding landscape;
  8. the site should be developed in an integrated manner. It could be developed in phases if necessary, but this should be done methodically and not in a piecemeal manner.

4.2.11Explanation - The site, which covers an area of 57.1 hectares, is a former slate quarry. The remains of two quarrying sites (now filled with water) provide evidence of this, together with a number of slate spoil heaps. During the Second World War part of the site was used by the Air Force Ministry as a bomb store. A land reclamation scheme as well as vegetation growth has however removed evidence of most of the former on-site buildings. Apart from a few pockets of land, most of the site is now covered with vegetation.

4.2.12Given that the site is located outside the development boundary of Llanberis, this policy specifies the type of development that would be acceptable on the site. To this extent, in line with relevant Plan policies, residential development would not be permitted here.

4.2.13Any development on the site has to ensure that the following features are protected and maintained:

4.2.14The Plan adopts a realistic but flexible approach to the future development of the site. As such, any development here should be in accordance with the following objectives:

4.2.15Further development guidance regarding this site is available in a specific development brief.

 

POLICY C7 - BUILDING IN A SUSTAINABLE MANNER

Proposals for new development, or for the adaptation and change of use of land or buildings, which have not demonstrated that consideration has been given to matters relating to using more sustainable building materials, energy efficiency, waste recycling and the long term use of the building will be refused.

 

In order to reduce the detrimental effect of a development on the environment, applications for new buildings, to adapt buildings or to change the use of land or buildings must comply with the following criteria unless it can be demonstrated that it is impractical to do so:

  1. retain and re-use existing buildings
  2. improve energy efficiency through siting, design and orientation
  3. incorporate a landscape scheme and planting that will provide the building(s) with adequate shelter from the weather
  4. use drainage systems that do not increase flood risk and do not cause significant impact on local hydrological conditions
  5. use locally sourced sustainable building materials and materials from certified sustainable sources
  6. incorporate waste reduction measures (such as home composting) and waste recycling, sorting, storing and collection facilities
  7. incorporate water conservation measures (e.g. rainwater harvesting)
  8. provide lifetime buildings which can be re-used or easily adapted for future use, and
  9. provide the opportunity to share facilities where appropriate.

An Energy Design Advice Report will be required to accompany each planning application (apart from outline ones) for non-residential buildings over 1000 square meters.

 

The energy efficiency credentials of proposed development will be assessed against the standards established under the Code for Sustainable Homes or BREEAM.

 

4.2.16Explanation - When considering planning applications for new buildings or the alteration, extension or change of use of an existing building, the Local Planning Authority will expect to see a resourceful attitude to the plan and design of the proposed development. The plan and design should reflect the need to reduce the harmful impact of development on the environment and a wide range of measures can be adopted whilst planning and building new developments in order to achieve this. For example, a new development scheme and building design should contribute towards energy conservation by locating the building to face a southerly direction and ensuring a landscaping scheme that shelters the building from the wind. The type of building materials can also have an effect. The process of producing some materials uses much more energy than others and opting for local materials can save energy by reducing the need to travel. If buildings are built with the long-term requirements of the users in mind, building extensions or new buildings can be avoided. Further details regarding these principles are contained in the Gwynedd Design Guide 2002. Other sources of guidance include for example, the Building Research Establishment, CIRIA (Construction Industry Research and Information Association), and the Forestry Stewardship Council.

4.2.17The Energy Design Advice Report which is required in relation to planning applications (with the exception of outline planning applications) for new non-residential buildings over 1000 square meters will be expected to contain recommendations regarding energy efficiency and appropriate renewable technologies which could be incorporated into the development. The developer should also provide their response to that report to accompany the application. If the Local Planning Authority is of the opinion that energy issues were not given sufficient consideration when designing a non-residential building project over 1000 square meters, then planning permission will be refused.

4.2.18The Welsh Assembly Government has adopted the Code for Sustainable Homes as its preferred tool to assess the sustainability of new homes. For all other type of buildings the Assembly Government has adopted BREEAM (the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) Excellent.

 

MINERALS

Introduction

4.3.1      Gwynedd has a long history of mineral extraction both in quarrying and metalliferous mining, and it remains an important facet of the economic and social make up of Gwynedd.
                   
4.3.2           As a Mineral Planning Authority the Council has a duty to ensure that mineral resources are exploited in a sustainable way so that they can make an appropriate contribution to the area’s construction materials requirements.

4.3.3      Ensuring that mineral development is carried out with the minimum harm to the environment and the amenity of the area is of paramount importance to Gwynedd. The mineral policies contained in this Plan seek to achieve a balance between the need to protect and promote the environment of Gwynedd and the obligations imposed by the Government for the supply of minerals.

4.3.4     Whilst policies C8 – C20 provide the land use planning guidance in respect of mineral development within the Plan area, it is important to emphasise that these policies should not be read in isolation. Prospective developers should read the Plan as a whole in order to gain a full understanding of the issues relating to the proposed development. The table below provides cross-references to other policies that are closely related to policies listed in this section of the Plan. (The list is not exhaustive and it does not include other more general policies or development control type policies for each policy).

Policy

Key policy considerations

C8

A1 – Environmental Impact or other impact assessment; B8 – The Llyn and Anglesey Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty;  C13 – Slate; C14 – Restoration and Aftercare; CH28 – Impact of development on trips.

C9

A1 – Environmental Impact or other impact assessment;  C13 – Slate; C14 – Restoration and Aftercare; CH28 – Impact of development on trips.

C20

B2 – Alterations to listed buildings or buildings in their curtilage; B4 – Development in or affecting the setting of a conservation area.

 

MINERAL WORKINGS AND RESOURCES

POLICY C8 - MINERAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE LLŶN AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY (LLŶN AONB)

Applications for new mineral working sites and for the extension of existing operations in the Llŷn AONB will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances. Consideration of such applications will include an assessment of:

  1. the need for the development in terms of mineral supply as determined in the Regional Technical Statement for Aggregates¹;
  2. the impact on the local community of permitting or refusing the development;
  3. whether alternative supplies can be made available at reasonable cost or whether there is scope for meeting the need in some other way;
  4. any detrimental effect on the landscape and environment and the extent to which it can be moderated;
  5. in the case of extensions to existing quarries, the extent to which the proposal would enhance the local landscape;  
  6. there is no unacceptable damage to land drainage and water resources;
  7. whether the proposal includes a scheme for the afteruse of the site and details of the restoration and aftercare to achieve it.

Even when an application satisfies these criteria it will be subject to the most rigorous examination and will be expected to meet in full the requirements of other appropriate policies in the Plan.

4.3.5            Explanation - the Council is aware of its responsibility to protect the AONB. Mineral Planning Policy Wales 2000 (MPPW), supported by the Minerals Technical Advice Note (Wales) 1 – Aggregates 2004  (MTAN), makes it very clear that mineral development should only be allowed in AONBs in exceptional circumstances. The MPPW sets out matters that should be taken into account when considering proposed mineral extraction in or close to AONBs. However, notwithstanding the current position on aggregate reserves in Gwynedd, which indicates there will be no need to grant further permissions for the crushed rock aggregate mineral working within the Plan period, publication of the proposed Regional Technical Statement for Aggregates¹ may raise the need for the Council to consider proposals for further mineral working which could include the AONB. It is extremely unlikely that there will be any application for crushed rock aggregate extraction during the Plan period even if the potential is identified in the Technical Statement, but it may be necessary to safeguard resources and they will be considered against Policy C9.

¹MTAN Wales – Aggregates 2004 [Appendix A] requires the production of a 5-yearly Regional Technical Statement on Aggregates to provide a strategic basis for future UDPs.

 

POLICY C9 - MINERAL DEVELOPMENT¹ OUTSIDE THE LLŶN AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY

Mineral exploration, working or extension to existing operations will be permitted to maintain the Plan area’s landbank of aggregates and to meet the demand for slate products provided the following criteria are met:

  1.  there is no unacceptable harm to the amenity of local residents in terms of outlook and levels of dust, noise, vibration and light as a result of the operation itself or the resulting traffic movements;
  2.  there is no unacceptable harm to the stability and support of adjacent land;
  3.  the development is sensitively screened and landscaped;
  4.  the proposal does not sterilize or otherwise prevent the working of other significant mineral deposits;
  5.  the proposal does not increase the extent of active mineral working in a particular locality to an unacceptable degree;
  6.  there is no unacceptable harm to land drainage and water resources;
  7.  the proposal ensures that the potential use of the resource is maximised and there is satisfactory disposal of any waste arising from the mineral operation;
  8.  the proposal includes a scheme of blasting to demonstrate that it can be controlled to meet the conditions detailed in Mineral Technical Advice Note MTAN (Wales) 1: Aggregates, or any amendments;
  9.  the proposal includes a scheme for the afteruse of the site and details of the restoration and aftercare required to achieve it;
  10.  wherever economically feasible, mineral waste or products should be transported by rail or water;
  11. schemes for the winning and working of slate should meet the requirement of Policy C11.

4.3.6  Explanation - Even though mineral working is a temporary use of land it can have considerable impact on the local amenity and on the environment. Some impacts could render the development unacceptable. This policy seeks to identify those aspects of mineral development that require controlling in the interest of the local amenity and the environment.

¹This policy is applicable to mineral exploration operations that fall outside the scope of Part 22 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

 

POLICY C10 - CONTRIBUTION TO THE SUPPLY OF AGGREGATES

In determining applications for the development of sites for aggregate minerals the Council will have regard to current national policy for maintaining a landbank and the guidance contained in Minerals Technical Advice Note MTAN (Wales) 1: Aggregates. The Council will take into account the Regional Technical Statement for Aggregates when it is published.

4.3.7        Explanation - The Council, as a Mineral Planning Authority, is required to maintain a landbank of permitted reserves of aggregate minerals. Current guidance states a minimum 10 year landbank of crushed rock and a minimum 7 year landbank for sand and gravel. There may be circumstances where individual mineral planning authorities are unable to meet the minimum requirements.

4.3.8        The Technical Statement will identify a regional strategy for the provision of aggregates in North Wales with apportionments for each authority. The Statement will assess the environmental capacity of each authority to contribute to an adequate supply of primary aggregates.

4.3.9        As of 2004 the sand and gravel landbank stood at 7 years. The Council will have to consider making further reserves available before the end of the Plan period to meet the minimum requirement. Although no specific sites have been allocated in the Plan the Proposals Map indicates areas of known sand and gravel resources that have been safeguarded. This is further explained in Policy C11.

4.3.10       The hard rock land bank for active sites stands at approximately 35 years. It is therefore considered unlikely that there will be a need to make further reserves available before the end of the Plan period. Further extraction of hard rock will only be permitted in rare and exceptional circumstances, such examples include, ‘where supply of an aggregate of a particular specification is clearly demonstrated or where operators are prepared to unilaterally surrender the consents relating to existing permitted reserves through planning agreements or Prohibition Orders’ MTAN (Wales): Aggregates, para 49.

4.3.11  All figures on the land bank and reserves are derived from the Annual Aggregates Monitoring Report 2002 compiled by the North Wales Regional Aggregates Working Party.

POLICY C11 - SAFEGUARDING MINERAL RESOURCES

To ensure that known mineral resources are safeguarded for future use Mineral Consultation Areas (MCAs) have been identified and are shown on the Proposals Map.

 

Any non-mineral development within a MCA will require evidence as to what extent it may sterilize or restrict the working of mineral resources. Where the evidence is not forthcoming or demonstrates that there will be an unacceptable impact on mineral resources the application will be refused. However, where it is considered that the proposed development is of overriding importance consideration will be given to the principle of pre-extraction of the minerals.

4.3.12          Explanation  - Notwithstanding that there are currently sufficient permitted reserves, the Council recognises that minerals can only be worked where they lie and there is a need to safeguard mineral resources for future generations. The consultation zones have been identified to avoid a conflict between areas with environmental designations and where there would be an obvious unacceptable impact on the local amenity and those areas containing high quality aggregates. In instances where there was an overriding need for development which would sterilize a mineral resource, such as a major public service infrastructure project, the developer would be encouraged to secure the prior removal of the mineral.

POLICY C12 - BUFFER ZONES

Planning applications for mineral extraction within the buffer zones identified on the Proposals Maps will be refused unless a new buffer zone can be provided to reflect the minimum distances referred to in MTAN 1 : Aggregates. A notional buffer zone will be applied to all new planning applications for mineral working in accordance with the minimum distances referred to in MTAN 1 : Aggregates, and in cases where the notional buffer zones can not achieve the minimum distances required, developments will be refused.  Proposals for sensitive developments as defined by MTAN 1 : Aggregates, within the buffer zones identified on the Proposals Maps and within any notional buffer zones will be refused.

4.3.13          Explanation - The Council recognises the benefits of establishing such zones in protecting local amenity and sensitive areas whilst maintaining the viability of approved mineral working. The buffer zones identified in the Proposals Maps have been specified in accordance with the criteria set out in MTAN 1 : Aggregates. The buffer zones identified in the Proposals Maps as well as any notional buffer zones are defined from the outer edge of the area where extraction and processing operations will take place including site haul roads.  The minimum distances required are 100 metres for sand and gravel and 200 metres for hard rock quarries. For the purposes of clarity, hard rock quarries include extraction from hard rock mineral working deposits.

 

POLICY C13 - SLATE

Proposals for the winning and working of slate from new sites or extensions to existing slate quarries will be refused unless all the criteria in Policy C9, and in exceptional circumstances, all the following criteria can be met:

  1. that the proposal can be justified on geotechnical and economic grounds;
  2. that the proposal meets an identified need for material of dimension stone quality;
  3. that material of dimension stone quality cannot be released from existing slate quarries

4.3.14        Explanation - The role of the slate industry to the area’s economy is fully recognised. However, the Plan area has adequate reserves of slate to sustain current levels of supply for roofing and dimension stone for many years beyond the Plan period.  The conflict between this visually intrusive industry and the landscape needs to be addressed in a similar manner to other extractive mineral operations.

4.3.15  The development of slate quarries for primary aggregates supply, as opposed to the use of waste arising from the processing of slate as a secondary aggregate is neither sustainable nor desirable. The Plan area has adequate reserves of hard rock and to permit further quarrying is not in the best interest of Gwynedd nor the North Wales region.

 

POLICY C14 - RESTORATION AND AFTER CARE

Applications for mineral working will be refused unless a scheme for restoration, aftercare and afteruse, including details of proposed funding is included. Restoration shall be progressive unless it can be demonstrated that this is not practical. The scheme should address the following matters:

  1. the existing use of the site
  2.  adjoining land uses
  3. the surrounding landscape character
  4. the proposed final landform
  5. the in-situ soil resource, its conservation during site working, and its use in the restoration and afteruse of the site
  6. the potential for natural decolonisation or for enhancing or providing wildlife habitats, amenity and/or recreational use
  7.  the potential for educational use based on the industrial heritage and geology/geomorphology of the site
  8. the potential for community benefit and employment
  9. other Plan policies
      

4.3.16            Explanation - The Council must be satisfied before an application is determined that no matter how long the development, the site can be properly restored and brought back into beneficial afteruse within a recognisable timescale. The MTAN sets out comprehensive guidelines on how a high standard of restoration and aftercare should be achieved and how beneficial afteruse should be provided. The Council will not permit new mineral development without a scheme of restoration and aftercare being agreed.

 

POLICY C15 - REMOVAL OF MATERIAL FROM MINERAL WORKING DEPOSITS

Proposals to remove material from a mineral-working deposit will be granted provided that all the criteria set out in Policies C9 and C10, and the following criteria, can be met:

  1. that the operations can be effectively completed within a defined  timescale;
  2. that the removal of material will not cause significant harm to visual amenity;
  3. that the removal of material will not cause significant harm to the amenity of local residents;
  4. that the removal of the mineral-working deposit will not cause a significant harm to the historic environment or cultural heritage of the Welsh slate industry;
  5. the proposal represents the best sustainable option when compared with the supply of equivalent products from primary hard rock quarries;
  6. that the proposal shall seek to avoid significant harm to nature conservation interests.      

4.3.17        Explanation - Slate working produces a high proportion of waste material. Granite quarries can also have associated mineral-working deposits. Traditionally much of the waste produced has been tipped as close to the working site as possible. This material is a valuable natural resource and can be used as an alternative to primary aggregate. This eases the pressure on primary mineral resources and will reduce the amount of quarry waste material being tipped.

4.3.18       The same range of planning constraints is applicable to the removal of material from a mineral-working deposit as to the winning and working of minerals. However, in contrast to the latter where mitigation measures have to be applied to reduce detrimental visual impact, there can be a long-term benefit to the environment in terms of the removal of an eyesore or a source of danger to the public. Recognition has to be given to the desirability of retaining some slate tips as examples of the cultural and industrial heritage of the area.

4.3.19       The supply of slate waste for aggregate use may not, in the widest sense, be the most sustainable option in either commercial or environmental terms. For example, to meet the required specification slate waste may require processing which in itself consumes energy; this product is then used to displace products that are already available as a by-product of processing operations at primary rock quarries. Proposals therefore need to be considered circumspectly with regard given to the two potential drawbacks of unnecessary energy consumption and the displacement of the waste mineral disposal problem.

NOTE this policy does not apply to the removal of material from some mineral-working deposits of less than 2 Ha. in area under deemed planning permission granted by the General Permitted Development Order 1995.

POLICY C16 - RAILHEAD AND WHARFAGE FACILITIES

Existing and potential railhead and wharfage facilities identified on the Proposals Map will be safeguarded. Proposals that adversely affect the future availability of these facilities, or facilities for bulk mineral transportation will be refused.

4.3.20        Explanation - Construction aggregates are a relatively low value product with a high transport cost. Transportation in bulk to distant markets is essential to maintain low unit cost competitiveness with primary aggregates from locations nearer to the market. The Plan area has the highest level of slate waste resources in the UK, and has a leading role to play in the supply of slate waste as a secondary aggregate.

4.3.21       Bulk transportation may be achieved by rail and/or by sea. As a Mineral Planning Authority with access to a strategic rail network it is important that potential bulk transport outlets for secondary aggregates be safeguarded. This can contribute to a more sustainable system of transporting minerals.

4.3.22        Furthermore, while the Council has no direct control over their development, marine aggregates are recognised as a valuable resource and provide an alternative to land-won aggregates. It is important that policies should protect the only marine aggregates landing facility in North Wales (i.e. Porth Penrhyn) from sterilisation by other forms of permanent development.

 

MINERALS REVIEW

POLICY C17 - REVIEW OF OLD MINERAL PLANNING PERMISSIONS

Minerals review site applications will be determined against all the following criteria:

  1.  the duration of the permission is limited to a reasonable working life (applicable to sites reviewed under the Environment Act 1995);
  2. the application sets out measures to minimise the impact on visual amenity, biodiversity, sites of archaeological, architectural and historic importance, public health, water resources, rights of way and the amenity of local residents;
  3. the application sets out measures to minimise the impact of transportation and mineral waste disposal;
  4. the application sets out appropriate measures for restoration and aftercare and for the mitigation of the effects of mineral working.

4.3.23        Explanation - Between 1943 and 1951 approximately 1000 quarrying operations first became subject to planning permission in the UK. Some permission pre-date the statutory planning register. After 1948 all mineral operators had to regularise their existing operations and apply for planning permission for future working. None of these permissions had any time limit and few had any worthwhile conditions.

4.3.24       In the late 1980s the Government recognised the need to bring all old mineral planning permissions up to date. The aim was to achieve this in two stages:

  1. The Planning and Compensation Act 1991: pre 1947 Act permissions were registered and operators required to submit a scheme of modern planning conditions for approval.
  2.  The Environment Act 1995 - Valid mineral permissions from 1948 to 1982 were published by the Mineral Planning Authority indicating sites as either ‘active’ or ‘dormant’. ‘Active’ site operators have to submit a scheme of modern planning conditions for approval by an agreed date. ‘Dormant’ sites were prevented from being worked until new planning conditions have been approved.

4.3.25          Although the Mineral Sites Review application involves a statutory process similar to that of a planning application, it is a mechanism to update an existing planning permission, and does not provide a mechanism for challenging the original permission itself.

4.3.26The legislation provides for the future review of all sites at 15 year intervals. The intention is that on completion of the review all active mineral workings will be subject to a reasonable degree of planning control and all the environmental issues raised by their continued working will have been subject to public examination and addressed. In practice the review legislation is fraught with difficulties and has been subject to successful legal challenge.

4.3.27 All applications for ROMP (Review of Old Mineral Permissions) including stalled applications will be subject to the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment ) Regulations 1999 (as amended 2000).

 

POLICY C18 - DORMANT MINERAL SITES

All dormant mineral sites identified on the Proposals Map will be reviewed to assess their potential to contribute to the landbank and the likelihood of their reopening. Where appropriate, Prohibition Orders will be served under S.102 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

4.3.28        Explanation  - MPPW encourages MPAs to assess the landbank contribution of ‘dormant’ sites. This is further emphasised in the MTAN and where appropriate mineral planning authorities are to serve Prohibition Orders which have the effect of extinguishing the permissions. This action has two benefits, removing the threat of resumption of long inactive sites, often sited in areas considered inappropriate by modern standards and allowing a more effective assessment of the aggregates landbank. This in itself allows both the mineral planning authorities and mineral industry to plan more effectively.

4.3.29  The Council has pre-empted this policy and has already lodged five successful Prohibition Orders on sites in the Llŷn AONB, thereby removing the threat of working from this highly sensitive area of Gwynedd as well as removing some 1000 years of reserves from the landbank. A fifth Order is currently subject to appeal.

 

POLICY C19 - BORROW PITS

Proposals for the development of borrow pits will be approved provided that:

  1. there are demonstrable environmental benefits to be gained
  2. they can be developed in accordance with mineral planning policies

4.3.30            Explanation - Borrow pits are temporary mineral workings developed to supply a particular construction project. Borrow pits can offer significant environment benefits over mineral supply from existing reserves. They should be located near to the project and preferably supply material direct without the use of public roads. There needs to be clear environmental benefits for the use of a borrow pit and restoration should be to a high standard.

 

POLICY C20 - LOCAL BUILDING STONE

The temporary re-opening of small-scale mineral operations to provide traditional building materials for the repair and/or alteration of buildings or walls of architectural or historic importance or the construction of new buildings, walls or other structures on sites of architectural or historic importance, or the construction of new buildings on sensitive sites will be supported in principle provided that it is compatible with other Plan policies and that it is in the interests of building conservation. Planning permission will be limited to a maximum of 12 months. The Council will attach a condition specifying end use to which the stone is to be put.

4.3.31        Explanation - The impact of the County’s built environment on the character of the area is recognised. In many parts of Gwynedd the character of building materials plays an important part in local heritage. The Council recognises the importance of allowing for the provision of traditional materials where there is a genuine need.

 

WASTE MANAGEMENT, SITES AND FACILITIES

Background

4.4.1           The Unitary Development Plan’s (UDP) waste policies are a key element in the planning of local waste management facilities and the waste policies of the UDP are intended to satisfy Article 7 of the European Waste Framework Directive of 1975. [75/442/EEC], which requires member states to establish an integrated and adequate network of waste facilities. Other key waste-related European Directives are also directly applicable to the UDP including:

Landfill Directive
Hazardous Waste Directive
Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive

4.4.2           At a national level, waste planning management guidance from the Welsh Assembly Government is set out in Technical Advice Note [TAN] 21, [2001] and the national Wales Waste Strategy, ‘Wise about Waste’ [2002].

4.4.3           TAN 21 requires the land use planning system to contribute to the provision of waste management facilities through clear proposals, policies and guidance in UDP’s ‘which will need to indicate suitable locations for establishing the various elements of the future waste management network.’

4.4.4           The Wales Waste Strategy sets out a range of moving targets in particular for recycling/composting 40% of municipal waste by 2009/10. The Council will meet those targets by promoting the development of sustainable waste management systems in appropriate locations including waste recycling and composting facilities.

4.4.5        Regional Waste Plans provide the link between European waste strategies and UDPs. The North Wales Regional Waste Plan (NWRWP), published in autumn 2003, indicates the range and type of waste management facilities which will be required to fulfill the projected regional demand for waste disposal and includes an apportionment for each waste planning authority to carry forward into appropriate specific land-use allocations in the UDP. The land-use policies of the UDP have been developed in the wider context of the NWRWP, which is subject to review every three years.There are 4 key principles to be taken into account when assessing the provision / allocation of new waste management facilities which include sustainability, proximity, regional self-sufficiency and the waste disposal hierarchy.

4.4.6     Whilst Policies C21 – C25 provide land use planning guidance in respect of providing waste management facilities within the Plan area, it is important to emphasise that these policies should not be read in isolation. Prospective developers should read the Plan as a whole in order to gain a full understanding of the issues related to the proposed development. The table below provides cross-references to other policies that are closely related to policies listed in this section of the Plan (the list is not exhaustive and it does not include other more general policies or development control type policies for each policy).

Policy

Key policy considerations

C22

A1 – Environmental Impact or other impact assessment; B8 –  The Llŷn and Anglesey Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); B10 – Protecting and Enhancing Landscape Conservation Areas; B15 – Protection of International Nature Conservation Sites; B17 – Protecting sites of regional or local significance; CH28 – Impact of development on trips.

C24

CH28 – Impact of development on trips.

 

WASTE MANAGEMENT SITES AND FACILITIES

POLICY C21 - PROVISION OF WASTE MANAGEMENT AND RECYCLING FACILITIES

Land shown on the Proposals Map is allocated at Llwyn Isaf, Clynnog Fawr as a landfill/ landrise facility to dispose of residual municipal waste.

 

Land and property listed below, and shown on the Proposals Map, is safeguarded and/or allocated for the provision of infrastructure that could sustain or add to the range of waste management facilities identified in the North Wales Regional Waste Management Plan.

 

Location

Possible elements of Infrastructure

Land at Cibyn Industrial Estate

  • Material recycling facility
  • In-vessel composting
  • Civic amenity site
  • Residual waste treatment facility (e.g. energy from waste facility)

Llwyn Isaf Site, Clynnog Fawr

  • Composting facility
  • Waste transfer facility
  • Landfill / landraise

Coed Bolyn Mawr, near Bethel

  • Expanded C&D facility and waste transfer facility

Cilgwyn, Carmel

  • Landfill facility
  • Civic amenity site

Penygroes Industrial Estate

  • Material recycling facility
  • In-vessel composting
  • Civic amenity site
  • Residual waste treatment facility (e.g. energy from waste facility)

Land near Porthmadog Skip Hire, Porthmadog

  • Civic amenity site
  • Recycling facility
  • Waste transfer facility

Ferodo site

  • Recycling facility
  • In-vessel composting
  • Civic amenity site
  • Residual waste treatment facility (e.g. energy from waste facility)
  • Integrated facility to include elements of the above

Williams & Williams site, Pencaenewydd

  • Expanded C&D facility
  • Waste transfer facility

H Parry Composting Site, Chwilog

  • Expanded green facility
  • Waste composting facility including in-vessel and open windrow

Cookes site, Penrhyndeudraeth

  • Materials recycling facility
  • Residual waste treatment facility
    (e.g. energy from waste facility)

Cefn Graianog, Llanllyfni

  • Landfill facility
  • Open windrow composting

Bryncir Quarry

  • Landfill facility (inert waste only)
  • Materials recycling facility
  • Waste transfer facility

Part of Peblig site, Caernarfon

  • Civic amenity site
  • Materials recycling facility

 

4.4.7        Explanation - Planning Policy Wales (March 2002) requires UDP’s to identify sites for waste facilities or areas where such facilities may be suitable.

4.4.8          Based on the latest draft targets issued by the Assembly in relation to the disposal of municipal waste, local waste authorities will only be permitted to dispose of 10% of its residual municipal waste to landfill facilities by 2020 and 5% by 2025. In addition to these targets, ceilings are set in terms of the amount of putrescible waste (e.g. paper, cardboard, kitchen and garden waste). The maximum amount is reduced on an annual basis.

4.4.9        Guidance on the level of provision for different types of wastes for the UDPs is provided by the illustrative apportionments identified in Regional Waste Plans. The North Wales Regional Waste Plan has identified a number of categories of waste management facilities and the Plan’s apportionment indicates a number of additional waste facilities of a given throughput would be required in 2013 in Gwynedd including the Snowdonia National Park.

Table 3 - Gwynedd/Snowdonia National Park apportionment of waste management facilities

Type of Facility

Estimated Number Required

1.    Materials recycling facility for primary source segregation

3.6

2.    Composting – open windrow

1

3.    Composting – municipal solid waste

1.4

4.    Composting - in vessel

1.4

5.    Mechanical biological treatment plant

0.9

6.    Energy from waste plant

0.4

7.    Processing/re-use of inert waste

7.4

8.    Landfill

0.8* [see below]

9.    Materials recycling facility for non-inert waste

0.2

10.  Energy from waste plant non-inert

0.01

11.  Anaerobic digestion

0.2

12.  Civic amenity site

0.2

13.  Other transfer facility

0.65

 

4.4.10       Up until December 2008, municipal and private sector residual waste, i.e. waste not recycled or composted, in Gwynedd can be disposed of at Faengoch, Cilgwyn or at Ffridd Rasus, Harlech (which lies in the Snowdonia National Park). From January 2009, the Gwynedd Waste Authority intends to dispose of the residual municipal waste from Arfon and north Dwyfor at the Llwyn Isaf site, which has planning permission for landfill and associated operations which expires in 2013. The residual municipal waste from Meirionnydd and south Dwyfor will continue to be disposed of at Ffridd Rasus for the forseeable future.

4.4.11        In the longer term (by around 2012), particularly due to the allowances set on the amount of putrescible waste that can be disposed of at landfill facilities, the Waste Authority is investigating the possibility of establishing an anaerobic digestion process between the pulverisor and the landfill facility at Ffridd Rasus. It will also be investigating the possibility of establishing an anaerobic digestion process at Llwyn Isaf to deal with the waste from Arfon and Dwyfor. Another measure that will be investigated includes the establishment of an energy from waste facility. 

4.4.12     The Council commissioned a detailed study of Gwynedd with the aim of identifying specific locations that would be suitable for the infrastructure required to manage all controlled waste streams arising in Gwynedd over the period to 2020. The study identified 13 specific sites (as specified above) in the Plan area, that have potential to develop new waste management infrastructure, or for the extension of present waste management facilities (either in terms of scale or range of activities). These sites, which include some industrial estates, have been listed in the policy and are shown on the Proposals Map. These sites are considered to provide an adequate range of potential sites to satisfy the requirements of the private sector during the Plan period. Any proposal that will need planning permission will be required to comply with all the other relevant policies in the Plan.

 

POLICY C22 - WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITIES

Proposals for waste management facilities will be approved provided that they are justifiable in terms of the ‘Best Practicable Environmental Option’1 (or the subsequent ‘Sustainable Waste Management Option’2), the waste disposal hierarchy3 and the proximity principle4 provided there is demonstrable local need for the development and that all the following criteria can be met:.

  1. that the location and scale of the development is appropriate for its immediate surroundings and is compatible with other existing nearby uses;
  2. the size of the site/facility relates to the estimated annual throughput of waste to be recycled, treated or incinerated;
  3. adequate measures for site management have been incorporated into the application;
  4. the proposal contains appropriate measures for the mitigation of the effects of the proposed development;
  5. the application is accompanied by a traffic impact assessment;
  6. that the development will not have an adverse impact on biodiversity of recognised importance, water resources or drainage regimes.

1 Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) has been defined as “… the outcome of a systematic and consultative decision making procedure which emphasises the protection and conservation of the environment across land, air and water. The BPEO procedure establishes, for a given set of objectives, the option that provides the most benefits or the least damage to the environment as a whole, at acceptable cost, in the long term as well as the short term” (12th Report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (1998)).

2 Sustainable Waste Management Option (SWMO) – based on research undertaken by central government aimed at identifying best planning practice for assessing waste management options. Once published it will supplement the technique of the BPEO to ensure that social and economic, as well as environmental, issues are taken into the consideration of waste management plans

3 The ‘waste disposal hierarchy’, lists in order of priority the options for managing waste, namely (1) waste reduction, (2) re-use (3) recovery (recycling, composting and energy recovery) and (4) waste disposal.

4 The ‘proximity principle’ acknowledges that waste should be disposed of as close to its place of production as possible. This facilitates the assessment of the requirements for and location of waste management facilities and encourages regional self-sufficiency. It also serves to raise  local communities’ awareness that the treatment of the waste they produce is their problem. The transportation of wastes can in itself have a significant environment impact.

4.4.13        Explanation -The Council will in the first instance give priority to the reduction of waste. However it is recognised that there is also a significant need to ensure that there is an adequate planning framework in place to facilitate the establishment of appropriate waste management facilities, including recycling facilities. The disposal and recycling of waste are potentially environmentally polluting activities. An area may be too sensitive to justify the development of a waste disposal site within or near it for reasons including the protection of biodiversity, landscape, the rural or built environment, cultural and historic heritage, and the local economy.

4.4.14       The Planning Authority will have regard to the need to protect the environment, and take into account the preservation of amenity and conservation of resources, the Government's strategy for sustainable waste management and relevant E.C. Directives.

4.4.15          There is not sufficient special or hazardous waste created in Gwynedd to justify a single site to deal with it. It is believed that there could be justification for a hazardous waste storage facility, particularly to deal with emergency cases that could arise e.g. in the case of fly tipping. It is considered that the best way forward to deal with this is by providing a special cell within present landfill sites.

4.4.16  Landfill / landraise, and hazardous waste collection / disposal sites are potentially harmful to the environment by their very nature. Planning permission for landfill / landraise or hazardous waste collection / disposal facilities in areas subject to international nature conservation designation, or on sites which will affect those designated areas, will not be granted. In areas subject to a national designation, waste sites will not be permitted unless there exists overwhelming justification in terms of need for the facility and clear proof that other options are impractical.

 

POLICY C23 - NEW DEVELOPMENT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITIES

Proposals for employment, commercial and residential developments will be refused unless on-site facilities for recycling/composting are provided by the developer.  This policy will be relevant to the following:

  1. developments of more than 40 units;
  2. new retail developments, re-development or refurbishment of shopping facilities where the current or new floor space is 500 m2 or more;
  3. business, industrial, wholesale or storage developments which are 500m2 or more;
  4. large leisure, recreation visitor or community developments;
  5. public car parks;
  6. smaller developments which attract substantial numbers of individuals on a regular basis.

4.4.17       Explanation – This policy aims to promote the provision of recycling and composting facilities, especially on sites that are used by a large number of people regularly.  Developments such as shopping facilities, large leisure facilities, and developments which involve a large number of housing, are expected to provide recycling and/or composting sites that are well designed and convenient.

 

LANDFILL AND LANDRAISE

POLICY C24 – LANDFILL / LANDRAISE AND HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION/DISPOSAL SITES

Proposals for landfill/landraise and / or waste collection/disposal sites will be refused unless all the following criteria can be met:

  1. there is a local, sub-regional or regional need for the site which cannot be met through means that perform better in relation to the waste hierarchy;
  2. that the location and scale of the development is appropriate for its immediate surroundings and is compatible with other existing nearby uses;
  3. that the size of the site/facility relates to the estimated annual waste input and to the estimated life span of the site;
  4. there are no other more suitable alternatives or existing permitted sites;
  5. adequate measures for site control during and after waste disposal restoration and aftercare management have been incorporated into the application;
  6. the proposal includes provision for an acceptable after-use;
  7. the proposal contains appropriate measures for the mitigation of the effects of the proposed development;
  8. the application is accompanied by a Traffic Impact Assessment;
  9. the development will not have an adverse impact on nature conservation interests of acknowledged importance, nor on water resources or drainage regimes and that there is no risk of flooding.

4.4.18          Explanation - There will be a need for landfill/landraise sites in the foreseeable future.The waste hierarchy ranks the different broad methods of managing waste. Disposal is identified as the lowest ranking type of waste management facility for dealing with waste. Disposal involves the tipping of waste into holes in the ground (landfilling) as well as landraising, where some or all of the waste is deposited above ground and then the landscape contoured. It can also include the incineration of waste without recovering energy. In the context of the accepted principles of sustainability, proposals must be fully justified in terms of need. Justification should include an examination of alternative options and have particular regard to the position of landfill in the hierarchy of waste management.

4.4.19       The overall impact of landfill or landraise sites should be minimised and proposals need to be of a scale and duration commensurate with their anticipated input. It must be demonstrated that practical restoration and management measures at any site will be able to minimise effects on the environment.

4.4.20       The waste disposal industry in Gwynedd relies entirely on road transport. High intensity road haulage can have a significant effect on the amenity of local residents and cause hazards to road users. The intensity of road haulage generated at a waste disposal site should be limited to a level commensurate with the safe capacity of the road network and the effect of haulage traffic on the amenity of local residents. A Traffic Impact Assessment may be required to accompany a planning application. An Environmental Impact Assessment may be required under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999. Waste disposal sites may not be justifiable within or near to particularly sensitive areas. Planning controls will not be used to duplicate matters that can properly be controlled by site licensing.

 

POLICY C25 - THE USE OF INERT WASTE TO IMPROVE AGRICULTURAL LAND

Proposals for the disposal of inert waste material for the purposes of improving agricultural land will be approved provided that all the following criteria are met:

  1. that the location and scale of the development is appropriate for its immediate surroundings and is compatible with other existing nearby uses;
  2. the waste material to be used cannot be reused or recycled;
  3. the land is already used, or is required, for agricultural purposes;
  4. there is a need for the quality of the land to be improved;
  5. there will be a long term improvement in the quality of the agricultural land;
  6. the development will not have an adverse impact on biodiversity of acknowledged importance, water resources or water drainage.

4.4.21            Explanation - Agricultural land can be improved by land raising using inert waste materials, followed by good husbandry and agricultural practices. The cost of disposal of such waste to landfill has increased with the introduction of landfill tax. The use of inert fill for the improvement of agricultural land does not attract tax, and, although they do require registration such operations do not require a Waste Management Licence from the Environment Agency. The disposal of inert waste on agricultural land is a waste disposal operation in its own right and can only be properly justified provided it brings with it an identifiable and necessary improvement to the agricultural quality of that land.

 

RENEWABLE ENERGY

BACKGROUND

4.5.1The Government’s targets for reducing greenhouse gasses and global warming were set following the Kyoto conference and the realisation of these targets is much dependent upon renewable energy.In response to the Kyoto agreement the UK Government has set a target of increasing the UK contribution of electricity supplied from renewable energy sources to 10% by 2010. More recently, the Energy White Paper¹ has set an aspirational target of supplying 20% of electricity by 2020 from renewable resources. The Welsh Assembly Government has outlined its part in enabling Wales to work towards an agreed target for its electricity requirements from renewable sources and it has a target of producing 4TWh of electricity per annum from renewable sources by 2010 and 7TWh by 2020. This will mainly be achieved by ‘on-shore’ wind energy development (800MW) with the remainder from ‘off-shore’ technologies and other renewable technologies (200MW). The Welsh Assembly Government’s aim is to secure the right mix of energy provision for Wales whilst minimising the impact on the environment. This will be achieved by strengthening renewable energy production, and through a greater focus on energy efficiency and conservation. The latest sources of national policy and advice: Ministerial Interim Planning Policy Statement (MIPPS) 01/2005 and the revised TAN 8, both entitled ‘Planning for Renewable Energy’.

4.5.2        Energy efficiency is also an important consideration. A substantial amount of energy is wasted in heat loss from buildings and positive steps can be taken in the design and energy efficiency of new buildings and building in a sustainable manner. These issues are dealt with under Chapter 2 (Effective protection of the environment) of this Plan (e.g. Policy B24 – Building materials), and earlier on in this Chapter - Policy C5 – Building in a sustainable manner).

4.5.3      Whilst policies C26 and C27 provide land use planning guidance in respect of renewable energy development within the Plan area, it is important to emphasise that these policies should not be read in isolation. Prospective developers should read the Plan as a whole in order to gain a full understanding of the issues related to the proposed development. The table below provides cross-references to other policies that are closely related to policies listed in this section of the Plan. (The list is not exhaustive and it does not include other more general policies or development control type policies for each policy.)

Policy

Key policy considerations

C26

A1- Environmental or other impact assessments; B7 - Sites of archaeological importance; B8 – The Llŷn and Anglesey Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); B9 - Heritage Coast; B10 Protecting and enhancing Landscape Conservation Areas.

C27

A1 - Environmental or other impact assessments; B7 – Sites of archaeological importance; B8 - The Llŷn and Anglesey Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); B9 – Heritage Coast; B10 Protecting and enhancing Landscape Conservation Areas; CH28 – Impact of development on journeys.

¹’Our energy future – creating a low carbon economy’, February 2003.

 

RENEWABLE ENERGY

POLICY C26 - WIND TURBINE DEVELOPMENTS

Proposals for wind turbine developments within the Llŷn AONB will be refused. In other locations, only proposals for small scale or community or domestic based wind turbine developments will be approved provided that all the following criteria are met:

  1. that the development would not have a significantly harmful impact on the setting of the Llŷn or Anglesey AONBs or the Snowdonia National Park;
  2. that any associated ancillary developments (e.g. buildings/structures, car parking areas, fences, roads etc) are designed and, where possible, sited so as to alleviate their potential visual impact;
  3. the development (either individually or combined with other wind turbine developments) will not have a significant detrimental impact upon the landscape or nature conservation features;
  4. that there are no unacceptable potential environmental impacts or effects on amenity arising from the wind turbines including noise, light reflection and shadow flicker;
  5. that the development will not create significant electromagnetic interference to existing transmitting or receiving systems that cannot be adequately mitigated;
  6. that adequate provision has been included in the scheme regarding the decommissioning (including the removal of all ancillary developments), restoration and after-care of the land on cessation of use;
  7. that the development will not cause a significant harm to areas of archaeological importance, particularly within or near designated areas.

4.5.4        Explanation - Wind turbines are an important source of clean electricity and present a sustainable method of energy generation. This policy seeks to encourage this method of energy generation whilst at the same recognising the potential impact such schemes may have on the visual quality of the landscape and other environmental and social factors.

4.5.5        Small scale and community based wind turbine developments are identified as developments with generating capacity of less than 5MW. Proposals for domestic turbines should only have a rated power output proportionate to the energy consumption requirements of the property.

4.5.6        There are no Strategic Search Areas identified in Gwynedd and due to the Plan area’s proximity to nationally designated areas, such as the Snowdonia National Park and the Llŷn and Anglesey AONBs. All wind turbine developments within the Plan area (but outside the Llŷn AONB) will be restricted to small scale, community, or domestic based schemes.

4.5.7        Further detailed guidance on this matter will be provided in an SPG on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

4.5.8              Planning applications for proposals that are likely to have a significant impact on the environment will be required to submit an Environmental Statement in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) (England and Wales) Regulations 1994.

 

POLICY C27 - RENEWABLE AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SCHEMES

Proposals for renewable energy and sustainable energy management schemes (e.g. hydroelectric, landfill gas, pumped water storage, anaerobic digestion, biomass) will be approved provided that all the following criteria are met:

  1. that it does not involve the development a scheme of above 5mw capacity within the Llŷn AONB or that any scheme located outside the Llŷn AONB will not have a significant harmful impact on its setting, or on the setting of the Anglesey AONB or the Snowdonia National Park;
  2. that the type, scale and design of the proposed development is appropriate to the site, location and the impact on the landscape;
  3. that associated ancillary equipment is sited and designed so as to alleviate visual impact on the landscape;
  4. that any associated overhead connection lines and pipes will not cause significant harm to the visual quality of the landscape;
  5. that the proposed development will not create an unacceptable increase in the levels of noise, smells, dust or fumes;
  6. that there will be no unacceptable harm to hydrological systems (ground and surface water), to the detriment of biodiversity;
  7. that the development will not generate unacceptable levels of traffic bearing in mind the quality of roads and the nature of the surrounding area.

4.5.9        Explanation - In addition to wind power other forms of renewable energy and sustainable energy schemes such as hydroelectric, biomass, landfill gas or anaerobic digestion can make a significant contribution to increasing the proportion of energy generated from renewable sources. It could be feasible to develop smaller schemes providing energy or heating for the local energy market or even individual homes or businesses in the Plan area, especially if fuel is provided locally. However, just as in the case of wind powered renewable energy the need for such developments will have to be measured against their potential impact on the visual quality of the landscape and other environmental and social considerations.

4.5.10   Where appropriate, the Local Planning Authority will request that the developer submits an Environmental Statement so that the full environmental implications of the development may be appraised.

 

NATURAL RESOURCES

BACKGROUND

4.6.1Agriculture represents a substantial proportion of land use within the Plan area and is important in shaping the appearance of the area and for biodiversity. The quality of agricultural land within the Plan area is extremely variable. However, only a small part is within the ‘best and most versatile category.

4.6.2The area has an abundance of fresh water which is important to its industry. A sufficient supply is also important for other interests including recreational activities, biodiversity, agriculture and fisheries. However, the area is not as dependent on ground water as other parts of England and Wales. Research undertaken by the Environment Agency has demonstrated that there is a sufficient supply of public water in Wales. However, a closer balance between the supply and the demand was seen in a number of rural areas in North and West Wales.

4.6.3Whilst policies in other sections of the Plan provide guidance regarding specific types of land uses, e.g. residential development, shops, workshops etc., it is important to emphasise that those policies should not be read in isolation. Prospective developers should read the Plan as a whole in order to gain a full understanding of the issues related to the proposed development. The policies included in this section of the Plan could be pertinent key policy considerations in relation to a number of different types of land use, and it will be necessary to thoroughly consider them in preparing and determining planning applications.

 

AGRICULTURAL LAND

POLICY C28 - SAFEGUARDING AGRICULTURAL LAND

Proposals that will lead to the loss of grade 1, 2 or 3a agricultural land will be refused unless there is an overriding need for the development and it can be demonstrated that:

  1. there is no previously developed land available; and
  2. there is no land of lower agricultural grades available, other than land that has an environmental value recognised by a landscape, wildlife, historic or archaeological designation which outweighs agricultural considerations.

4.6.4Explanation - The Local Planning Authority will scrutinise development proposals on the best and most versatile agricultural land (grades 1, 2 and 3a). Consideration will be given to the following factors:

  1. the need to safeguard agricultural land in the long term
  2. the quality and function of the land in question
  3. the need for the development in question, and
  4. the availability of other suitable land in the area

4.6.5There may be exceptional cases where the loss of the best and most versatile agricultural land is unavoidable. It is however vital that alternative sites on lower quality agricultural land or non-agricultural land have been firstly considered. ‘Overriding need’ for development in this context is defined as follows:

4.6.6The aim is to ensure that the minimum amount of agricultural land, especially the best and most versatile, is lost to development.

 

WATER

POLICY C29 - SAFEGUARDING WATER RESOURCES

Proposals that will cause significant harm, which cannot be mitigated or managed effectively, on surface water, ground water sources or freshwater ecosystems will be refused.

4.6.7            Explanation - Developers should consider the long term effects of proposals on the amount of water that will be used in the future and how changes in water levels will effect the local landscape and biodiversity. New developments that require water will be restricted to areas where there are sufficient water resources, or where it is possible to secure a new provision of water resources without having a detrimental effect on river flow, existing water quality or on agriculture, fisheries, amenities and nature conservation. Development proposals which require water will be required to provide details about the effects of such proposals on agriculture, biodiversity etc. Developments that enable sufficient natural drainage to avoid the depletion of water supply in the locality will be encouraged. For example, the use of permeable surfaces, e.g. block paving to cover large areas of land such as parking areas will be encouraged since this will allow water to drain away naturally. Proposals that provide means of reducing the amount of water used through, for example, recycling rainwater or systems that support the effective use of water will be supported. In assessing the application and the necessary measures, the Local Planning Authority will consult with the Environment Agency and Welsh Water.

 

MONITORING

Sustainability Principle: Prudent use of natural resources

Topic: Reducing the long term effects of development on the environment

Strategic Aim:

 

To make effective use of developed land, existing buildings and finite resources.

Strategic Polices:

 

Strategic Policy 6 - Priority will be given to making appropriate and suitable use of previously developed land, which is suitable for development, or buildings that are vacant or not used to their full potential. Development should make the most efficient and practicable use of land or buildings in terms of density, siting and layout.

List of Part 2 Policies: C1 – C7
 

Indicators of policy performance:

 

Applications for new development located outside development boundaries or the built form of Rural Villages.

 

Applications for development that need to be accessible to al large number of people.

 

Applications for development that re-uses previously developed land.

 

Applications for development that adapt and re-use existing buildings or parts of existing buildings.

 

% of new buildings that will achieve the level set by the Welsh Assembly Government under the Code for Sustainable Homes/BREEAM.

Target:

 

Locate most new development within development boundaries or within the built form of Rural Villages.

 

No new development that need to be accessible to a large number of people located outside identified town centres or other sites within the built form of centres that are accessible to a variety of transport modes.

 

Increase in the use of previously developed land.

 

Increase the % of houses, employment units, etc that involve adapting and re-using existing buildings.

 

Increase the % of new buildings that make effective use of renewable energy in accordance with the Code for Sustainable Homes or BREEAM standards. 

Key partners:

 

  1. Gwynedd Council
  2. Private sector
  3. Department for the Economy and Transport, Welsh Assembly Government
  4. Cwmni Adwy
  5. Cwmni Tref Caernarfon
  6. Building Preservation Trusts
  7.  Architects
  8. Landscape architects

Supplementary/ supporting actions

 

  1. Establish a register of vacant buildings, identifying those with unimplemented planning permission for conversion.
  2. Establish a register of brownfield sites.
  3. Establish an awareness raising programme of sustainable building principles amongst property owners and landowners
  4. Implement the Gwynedd Environmental Strategy
  5. Publicise and implement the Gwynedd Design Guide

 

Sustainability Principle: Prudent use of natural resources

Topic: Minerals

Strategic Aim:

 

To retain a balance between the need for mineral workings and the possible damage to the environment and local amenities.

Strategic Polices:

 

Strategic Policy 7 - Development proposals to make use of mineral resources, including secondary aggregates, will be approved provided they do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of local residents. These resources will be protected from development in order to safeguard Gwynedd’s contribution towards meeting the regional and national demand.

List of Part 2 Policies: C8 – C20
 

Indicators of policy performance:

 

The Authority’s landbank figure

 

Number of Prohibition Orders on the dormant mineral review sites within the Llŷn Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

 

Number of restored areas released after the mineral extraction ceases.

Target:

 

Secure an adequate supply to satisfy a local need and contribute to the regional/ national supply.

 

Reduce the hard rock landbank to a level that equals the foreseen demand.

 

Ensure that all worked out sites are restored to a beneficial after-use.

Key partners:

 

  1. Minerals industry
  2. North Wales Working Party on Minerals
  3. North Wales Mineral Authorities
  4. The Environment Agency
  5. Building industry
  6. Building Preservation Trusts
  7. Countryside Council for Wale

Supplementary/ supporting actions

 

  1. Prepare annual regional reports and statistics on minerals.
  2. Support the scheme to provide a rail head at Blaenau Ffestiniog for mineral transportation.
  3. Undertake and maintain research work to record  mineral resource areas and buffer zones.
  4. Undertake and maintain research work to record suitable sites for secondary aggregate supply

 

 

 

Sustainability Principle: Prudent use of natural resources

Topic: Waste

Strategic Aim:

 

To ensure that adequate waste management facilities are available to meet the requirements of re-using, reclamation and disposal.

Strategic Polices:

 

Strategic Policy 8 - Proposals for facilities to treat and dispose of waste will be approved, if they fulfil the needs identified in national, regional and local waste strategies, and provided they do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of nearby residents.

List of Part 2 Policies: C21 – C25
 

Indicators of policy performance:

 

% EU/ UK/ Assembly targets attained

 

% exhausted waste management sites restored

Target:

 

Adopt land use policies for the provision of
sufficient local/regional waste management facilities

 

Ensure that all exhausted waste management sites are restored to beneficial use

Key partners:

 

  1. Industry, business and commerce
  2. Waste Disposal Authority
  3. Waste Collection Authority
  4. Waste recycling industry
  5. The Environment Agency

Supplementary/ supporting actions

 

  1. Establish a Regional Waste Technical Group
  2. Prepare a Regional Waste Plan
  3. Support waste recycling initiatives e.g. Antur Waunfawr
  4. Support composting enterprises/plans e.g. Menter Fachwen
  5. Provide/upgrade waste recycling centres
  6. Establish an awareness raising programme amongst Gwynedd’s schools, industry and business e.g. Gwynedd and Anglesey Green Schools Charter
  7. The Council’s pilot scheme for the collection of domestic waste

 

Sustainability Principle: Prudent use of natural resources

Topic: Energy

Strategic Aim:

 

To aim to ensure that new developments make effective use of energy and that the area’s contribution to local, regional and national renewable energy supplies increases.

Strategic Polices:

 

Strategic Policy 9 - Development proposals to provide energy from renewable sources will be approved provided they do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of nearby residents.

List of Part 2 Policies: C26 and C27

Indicators of policy performance:

 

Number of applications for renewable energy developments approved.

 

% contribution made by renewable energy created in the area in satisfying the local demand for energy.

 

% contribution made by renewable energy created in the area in satisfying the regional demand for energy.

 

% contribution made by renewable energy created in the area in satisfying the national demand for energy.

 

Target:

 

Increase the supply of renewable energy created in the Plan area

Key partners:

 

  1. Electricity Board (Scottish Power)
  2. British Wind Energy Trust
  3. Developers
  4. Architects
  5. Builders

Supplementary/ supporting actions

 

  1. Gwynedd and Anglesey Green Schools Charter
  2. Gwynedd Design Guide
  3. Gwynedd Environmental Strategy

 

Sustainability Principle: Prudent use of natural resources

Topic: Effective use of natural resources

Strategic Aim:

 

To safeguard natural resources when planning development, during the building period and after the development has been completed.

Strategic Polices:

 

List of Part 2 Policies: C28 and C29

Indicators of policy performance:

 

% of best and most versatile agricultural land lost to development

 

Applications permitted for developments involving water abstraction.

Target:

No loss of best and most versatile agricultural land.

 

Reduce the number of new development that would have a detrimental impact on the supply of water.

Key partners:

 

  1. Gwynedd Council
  2. Welsh Water
  3. The Environment Agency
  4. Technical Services Division, Welsh Assembly  Government’

Supplementary/ supporting actions

 

  1. Implement the Local Environment Agency Plans

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