Planning constraints

Planning application considerations

When we consider a planning application for proposed development, we have to take into account various planning constraints which can affect our decision. These include:

Flood risk

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These are areas of land identified by the Environment Agency (EA) as potentially at risk of flooding. The EA categorises the areas into flood zones. The extent of the risk will depend on which flood zone the land falls into. For further information on these flood zones please use the Environment Agency flood map website.

If a proposed development would fall within a Flood Risk Zone, the applicant should consult with the EA to agree the parameters of any Flood Risk Assessment (FRA). This FRA must be included with the planning application, otherwise the application may not be registered.

When a FRA has been submitted as part of the application we will consult with the EA for their opinion as part of the application process.

Any Planning permission granted on a site in a flood zone may be tied to any mitigation strategy as outlined in the FRA or by suitably worded planning conditions.

Department for Communities and Local Government: Planning Policy Statement 25 (Development and Flood Risk)

Contaminated land

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If you have concerns that a site may be contaminated from a previous use, please contact our Renewal and Environmental Protection Team. If a proposed development site is likely to be contaminated, we may ask for a Contaminated Land Survey to be included with the planning application.

This may have implications for the nature of uses on a site, the siting of buildings and any reasonable mitigation works may be conditioned as part of a planning permission. There may also be responsibilities under separate legislation with regard to contaminated land issues. Our Renewal and Environmental Protection Team would be able to advise.

Listed buildings

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If there is a listed building on a proposed development site, as well as any application for planning permission, Listed Building Consent will be needed for any works which affect the special character of a listed building, this includes its setting. Listed building consent is different from planning permission. The two systems are quite separate although in practice the same drawings and information can often be used, provided that they contain sufficiently detailed information. It is the responsibility of the applicant for listed building consent to make out the case for the proposed alterations.

More information can be found in the Listed Buildings section.

Conservation areas

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Within a conservation area, in addition to controlling demolition, the Council will seek to:

  • ensure that all new development harmonises with its context
  • make environmental improvements
  • control advertisements and shop signs
  • ensure that traffic control measures harmonise with the character of the area
  • make grants available for the repair of buildings

More information can be found in the Planning Conservation section.

Article 4 Directions

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Conservation Areas

Article 4 Directions are issued by the Council in circumstances where specific control over development is required, primarily where the character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened. They are therefore more commonly applied to conservation areas.

Article 4 Directions provide controls over minor development by removing certain 'permitted development' rights within conservation areas.  Generally they only apply to dwellings and to external alterations to the elevations of properties fronting a highway, waterway or public open space.  Where a direction is in place, planning permission is required for alterations to windows, doors, roofs and chimneys, including changes in materials such as UPVC windows.  Permission is also required for erecting porches, gates, walls and fences, and the demolition of walls around dwellings.  In Trafford the following areas are covered by Article 4 directions:-

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

Houses in Multiple Occupation ('HMOs') are shared dwelling houses occupied by at least three unrelated individuals, who share basic facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom.

An Article 4 Direction to remove permitted development rights for changes of use from dwellings (Use Class C3) to small HMOs (Use Class C4) was made by Trafford Council on the 15 December 2017. The Direction is intended to mitigate the potential impacts from the arrival of the significant numbers of students attending the proposed University Academy 92 (‘UA92’), and therefore a potential rise in the number of HMOs.

The Article 4 Direction came into force with immediate effect on the 21 December 2017. Following confirmation by the Council on the 20 March 2018, the Article 4 Direction shall remain permanently in force across Trafford.

You can view further information on the introduction of an Article 4 Direction for conversions and HMOs here.

Hazardous sites

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Certain sites within Trafford may contain or may have previously involved the use of hazardous materials as defined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

When we receive a planning application for development on or near these sites we will consult with the HSE for their advice and guidance. This may deem certain proposed uses as unsuitable for these sites.