A: Green Environment
Planning Policy Intentions
Pool is located within a rich rural landscape. Its proximity and ready access to open and varied countryside, with the River Wharfe along its northern boundary, the high ground of the Chevin and Pool Bank to the south and farmland between is one of the characteristics which define it. It is also blessed with green spaces within its built-up areas. This accessible green environment is something which the community is anxious to preserve, a fact clearly expressed in consultations to date which highlight the importance of footpaths/rights of way, cycle paths, agricultural land and recreational land. It is also something which local people are keen to add to, with the need for more burial ground provision specifically identified.
The importance of Pool’s green environment has been recognised by LCC with the countryside areas variously designated as Green Belt, Strategic Green Infrastructure (both in the LCC Core Strategy) and as Special Landscape Area, as a result of which its open functions, character and appearance all enjoy general protection against unsympathetic development. Some of its smaller green spaces are also protected via the saved policies of the Unitary Development Plan; protection proposed to continue via the submitted Site Allocations Plan. These policy provisions represent an excellent base on which the Neighbourhood Plan can develop more locally directed policies for the protection, improvement and extension of Pool’s green environment network.
Pool Main Street is designated as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) by LCC due to its poor air quality, the result of severe traffic congestion and standing traffic, particularly during morning and evening commuting periods. Any further development in the village can only add to the traffic and its attendant pollution, as acknowledged by LCC in a recent Highways objection to proposed new housing at Church Close. The community wishes to control the impact of new development on Main Street traffic volumes and therefore air quality.
The Pool community has demonstrated its wider support for sustainable development and living, one expression of which is the clear interest, expressed by a large majority of respondents in the 2015 ‘Living Survey’, in a local renewable energy scheme, centred on the River Wharfe near Low Mill. This type of low level micro-generation scheme, if feasible, would be generally supported by LCC planning policy (Natural Resources and Waste Plan), subject to acceptable impacts.
POLICY INTENTION GE1:
OTLEY CHEVIN AND WHARFE VALLEY SOUTHERN SLOPES SPECIAL LANDSCAPE AREAS Policy will identify the areas’ particular special features and require that development has regard to them and does not seriously harm their character and appearance. It will also encourage a positive contribution to restoration or enhancement.
POLICY INTENTION GE2:
POOL-IN-WHARFEDALE’S LOCAL GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORK Policy will require the protection and encourage the improvement and extension of an identified network of local green infrastructure links within Pool, including the Wharfedale Greenway.
POLICY INTENTION GE3:
PROTECTION AND ENHANCEMENT OF LOCAL GREEN SPACE
Policy will protect a list (to be agreed) of designated Local Green Spaces from development and change of use, while welcoming and encouraging appropriate enhancement for those sites identified as being in need.
POLICY INTENTION GE4:
PROVISION OF NEW GREEN SPACE
Policy will welcome otherwise acceptable development that delivers new green space for Pool, in particular a new burial ground and any other categories of green space meeting evidenced need.
POLICY INTENTION GE5:
DEVELOPMENT AFFECTING THE MAIN STREET AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT AREA (AQMA)
Policy may seek to control the impacts of any new development in Pool on the volume of traffic impacting upon the Main Street AQMA.
POLICY INTENTION GE6:
RIVER WHARFE LOCAL RENEWABLE ENERGY SCHEME
Policy may welcome the development of a local renewable energy scheme on the River Wharfe.
The community has also identified the following non-planning actions and projects that it wishes to pursue:-
• New Public Garden Space Project – to identify land for and provide a small park for walking, sitting and meeting.
• River Wharfe Local Renewable Energy Scheme Feasibility Study – to investigate the feasibility of such a scheme along the Wharfe within the Neighbourhood Area and, if feasible, the logistics and costs associated with implementation.
• A ‘Sustainable Pool’ Campaign/Project – to promote/raise awareness of actions to encourage energy efficiency, wise use of natural resources etc within the Neighbourhood Area.