Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

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Development Management Development Plan (DPD)

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Section 8: Environmental Management

Issue DM24: Contaminated Land

Issue
Development in the borough will inevitably be on previously developed land, including industrial and other sites that may be affected by contamination. Contaminated land can potentially have health implications and also detrimentally impact upon the natural environment and water quality. Reusing this land provides the opportunity to deal with contamination so that threats posed to health and the environment may be tackled. It is important that any land that is known or suspected of being contaminated is dealt with before development occurs.

Context
It is necessary that when development is proposed on or near a site that is known to be, or there is good reason to believe may be, contaminated that the developer carries out a site assessment to establish the nature and extent of contamination. The assessment of land affected by contamination is a complex subject and as such it is intended that each site will be judged separately and on its merits and taking into account guidance set out within ‘Land affected by Contamination – Technical Guidance for Applicants and Developers, Second Edition’ (December 2007). This document provides an informative guide to developers, advising them how to deal with land contamination and to inform them of what information is required with a planning application submission for the development of land that could potentially be contaminated. The guidance within this document does not replace the DEFRA & the Environment Agency’s Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination (CLR11) and Planning Policy Statement 23. The Council considers it essential that a Contaminated Land Assessment be carried out by or under the direction of a suitably qualified competent person and in accordance with BS10175 (2001) Code of Practice for the Investigation of Potentially Contaminated Sites.

Contaminated Land – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To ensure that when development is proposed on or near a site that is known or believed to be contaminated, that remediation works are carried out before the occupation of any new development.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Ensuring that development on or near land that is known to be contaminated or which may be affected by contamination will only be permitted where:

  1. An appropriate Contaminated Land Assessment has been carried out as part of the application to identify any risks to human health, the natural environment or water quality; and
  2. Where contamination is found which would pose an unacceptable risk to people’s health, the natural environment or water quality, the Council will impose a condition to ensure the applicant undertake appropriate remedial measures to ensure that the site is suitable for the proposed end use and the development can safely proceed.

Contaminated Land – Alternative Options

1. There are no reasonable alternative to this policy other than to rely on the requirements of PPG23.

It is considered that it is necessary for a land contamination policy to take account of the guidance set within an Essex context.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy ENV7: Quality in the Environment

Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008)

Policy KP2: Development Principles

Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy U2: Pollution Control

Issue DM24: Questions

View Comments (2) 89. Do you agree with the suggested option?
No Comments 90. Is there an alternative option that is more appropriate?
View Comments (2) 91. Are there any other land contamination issues that need to be considered?

No Comments Issue DM25 – Land Instability

Issue
The Thames Estuary frontage of the borough is backed by cliffs from the western boundary to Marine Parade in the east. The cliffs are often steeper than the natural stable gradient for the material(s) of which they are composed. As such there has been an on-going history of movement of the cliffs ranging from small scale slumping to major rotational and transitional movements, such as that seen below the Southend Bandstand in 2002.

The cliffs, if not maintained, over a significant period of time, would naturally degrade to a stable profile which would continue to slump and move northwards. However, such a situation does not accord with the built environment of the borough and measures would need to be introduced to prevent and or reduce the movement or accommodate it. Before any significant works are to be undertaken it will be essential to monitor existing movement to identify the nature and extent of the problems that the cliffs present.

Context
It is important to ensure that the full implications of building on unstable land are taken into account at an early stage in the development process. Whether land is suitable for a particular purpose rests primarily with the developer. The stability of the ground so far as it affects land use is a material consideration which should be taken into account when deciding a planning application.

There are a number of measures that would assist this situation. These include drainage systems, which would assist in alleviating small scale slumping and reinforcing active slip planes in appropriate locations which would address the larger rotational and or transitional movements but this requires significant engineering intervention. Such engineering could be utilised not only to stabilise the cliff but also form part of a structure which could provide added value by providing, for example, additional amenities and facilities for residents and visitors alike, whilst improving the tourism offer and providing commercial opportunities and employment.

Given a requirement for remedial work in areas of the cliffs there is a duty to explore investment opportunities that would assist remedial work required and stabilise other areas under threat.

Land Instability – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To ensure that no new development will be at risk from land instability or increase this risk to the site or other areas.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Ensuring that every planning application in areas where the Council may suspect land instability, will include an appropriate assessment of land stability that analyses the issues relevant to ground instability and indicates how they would be overcome.

2. Ensuring that development construction will only be permitted where it has been demonstrated that the development of unstable or potentially unstable land:

  • Will be constructed and used safely and without adding to the instability of site and surrounding land; and
  • Will be stabilised by measures which are environmentally acceptable and will not adversely impact upon neighbouring uses.

Land Instability – Alternative Options

1. There are no reasonable alternative to this policy.

The Council considers it necessary to ensure the protection of areas from development that could lead to unstable cliffs that could detrimentally impact upon the structures of buildings along the Seafront and potentially endanger lives.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 12

Strategic Objective 14

Policy KP2: Development Principles

Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

n/a

Issue DM25: Questions

View Comments (1) 92. Do you agree with the suggested option?
No Comments 93. Do you agree that there are no reasonable alternative options? If not, please state why.
View Comments (3) 94. Are there any other issues regarding land stability that you think the Council should consider?
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