Policy INF 10: Canals and mooring facilities
- Development proposals affecting the borough’s canals must:
- seek to provide an active frontage and positive connection with the waterway;
- be designed to make a positive contribution to the visual appearance of the canal corridor through high standards of design, materials, external appearance, layout, boundary treatments and landscaping;
- safeguard or enhance the canal’s role as a biodiversity, heritage, recreational and tourism asset, and landscape feature;
- not harm the structural and operational integrity of the canal or its related infrastructure assets;
- safeguard and, where possible, enhance public access to, and the recreational use of, the canal corridor;
- integrate the waterway, towpath and canal environment into the public realm in terms of design and management of the development; and
- optimise views to and from the waterway and generate natural surveillance of water space through the siting, configuration and orientation of buildings, recognising that appropriate boundary treatments and access issues may differ between the towpath and the offside of the canal.
- Proposals for new moorings will be permitted where they satisfy the requirements of Criterion 1, and:
- do not have an unacceptable impact on recreational users and other waterway users;
- do not have an unacceptable impact on water resources and navigational safety; and
- the built development is of an appropriate scale and ancillary to the mooring facilities.
- In additional to satisfying the requirements of criteria 1 and 2, new moorings for permanent residential use will only be permitted within settlement boundaries and infill boundaries.
- Development proposals must be consistent with LPS Policy PG 3 'Green Belt', where relevant.
10.27 The borough has over 115 km of canals running through it: the Macclesfield, Peak Forest, Shropshire Union (including the Llangollen and Middlewich branches), and Trent and Mersey canals. They support recreation, health and well-being and the visitor economy. The patchwork of built development and green space along the canal is important, for amenity and well-being and also ecology. It will be important that new development along the route of the canal is sympathetic to its character, recognising these sensitive locations and maximising opportunities to provide a positive interrelationship with the canal and the waterside setting it provides. Such relationships should secure the use of positive layout and design of new development, which seek to maintain and re-instate the characteristics and distinctiveness of local canal architecture and waterscape.
10.28 New development should investigate opportunities to preserve and enhance the distinctive industrial heritage of the canal and the wide range of historical assets that are associated, including bridges, tunnels, locks, wharfs, lock keepers cottages and mile markers, all of which contribute to the unique character of the waterway.
10.29 New waterside developments place extra liabilities and burdens on waterway infrastructure and also provide opportunities for new infrastructure to be provided, in particular improvements to canal towpaths as sustainable routes for cyclists and pedestrians. When considering proposals for new development alongside the canal the council will work with the Canal & River Trust to make sure that any necessary improvements to the canal infrastructure arising directly from needs generated from new development are met by developer contributions. Such contributions, where necessary and viable, could comprise improvements to the canal towpath, including surface improvements for wheelchair and pushchair users; access to the canal; signage; or improvements to adjacent areas. LPS Policy SE 6 'Green infrastructure' encourages the improvement and protection of the canal as crucial green infrastructure.
10.30 In line with Policy ENV 7 'Climate change', proposals should also consider whether there are opportunities to reduce carbon emissions and building resilience, in particular investigating the potential for using the canal in relation to heating and cooling within new development.
10.31 The policy seeks to make sure that development adjacent to canals is of a high standard, does not undermine its important attributes and, where possible, seeks to enhance them. The canals in the borough have a wide variety of permanent mooring facilities available and demand may result in pressure for further development of new linear or lay-by mooring facilities, new marina developments, or extensions to existing facilities. The policy allows for the development of these, providing the impacts on users, the waterway and the local environment is acceptable. Any marina development would need the Canal & River Trust's separate agreement to connect and gain access to the waterway network. In order to gain the Trust's agreement, proposers must complete its off-line mooring and marina developments application process.
10.32 Additional controls will apply to new built development in the Green Belt, in line with national policy and LPS Policy PG 3 'Green Belt'.
10.33 Proposals for tourist accommodation will also be subject to Policy RUR 8 'Visitor accommodation outside of settlement boundaries'.
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