Policy ENV 4: River corridors
Development proposals must make sure that river corridors are protected and opportunities should be taken to enhance them as important natural landscape features and usable areas of open land including, where appropriate, by:
- conserving and enhancing existing areas of value;
- restoring and enhancing the natural elements of the river environment; and
- promoting public access.
4.25 The council, in consultation with the Environment Agency and Lead Local Flood Authority (for statutory main rivers and all other ordinary watercourses respectively) will seek to protect, promote and enhance river corridors as important natural landscape features.
4.26 LPS Policy SE 6 'Green infrastructure' seeks to deliver a network of green and blue infrastructure to provide a variety of benefits. River corridors are important green infrastructure assets and the Weaver, Bollin, Dane and Wheelock are listed as strategic assets in Criterion 3(i). Policy ENV 16 'Surface water management and flood risk' deals with development and flood risk.
4.27 The Cheshire East Landscape Character Assessment (2018) provides guidance for assessing development proposals affecting the river valleys landscape type: "The overall landscape strategy for the river valley type is to conserve the valued natural and cultural heritage features, enhance areas which are not in good condition and promote sustainable recreation activity” (p114).
4.28 Landscape guidance for the river valleys includes managing and enhancing semi-natural habitats, promoting linkages and retaining tranquillity.
4.29 This policy links with Policy ENV 3 'Landscape character'.
4.30 Most of the river corridors overlap with local landscape designations where LPS Policy SE 4 'The landscape' also applies.
4.31 There are a variety of ways that development schemes can protect and enhance river corridors. These include:
- Locating open space next to the river
- Designing front facing schemes that positively integrate with the river
- Providing for good daytime light provision along the river corridor through the location, scale and massing of buildings
- Integrating flood attenuation with landscape and biodiversity enhancements
- Using bio-engineering solutions rather than hard bankside engineering
- Restoring the natural course and corridor of a river where it has been heavily modified or channelled
- Incorporating features to support fish and other aquatic wildlife
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