Cheltenham Plan Pre-Submission consultation

Pre-Submission Cheltenham Plan

14 Health and Environmental Quality


14.1 The protection and enhancement of the environment is considered essential in helping to improve the health and wellbeing of Cheltenham. The wellbeing of the Borough’s residents is a key consideration in all policy-making and no less in the determination of planning applications.

14.2 Successful development management should be based on a clear understanding of the characteristics of the local area in terms of character, built form, architecture, heritage and landscape. Well-designed, attractive places improve the quality of life for all by enhancing the environment and minimising the opportunity for crime and the fear of crime. It also contributes to the development of safer, stronger and sustainable communities that can adapt to the challenges of climate change.


Development will only be permitted where it would:

a) not cause unacceptable harm to the amenity of adjoining land users and living conditions in the locality (Notes 1 & 2); and

b) not, by nature of its size, location, layout or design, give rise to crime or the fear of crime nor endanger public safety; and

c) make adequate provision for security and the prevention of crime and disorder including, where appropriate, the incorporation of counter-terrorism measures

d) accord with Policies SD4 and SD15 of the Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy and the principles of good design embodied within

e) where appropriate, take account of local models for building socially sustainable communities.

This policy contributes towards achieving the Cheltenham Plan Vision: Theme A – objectives c, d, g, h and i.

Note 1: In regard to daylighting, the Council will have regard to BSI British Standards Code of Practice ‘BS 8206-2:2008 Lighting for Buildings’, and the Building Research Establishment’s publication ‘Site layout planning for daylight and sunlight: a guide to good practice’ (2011).

Note 2: In determining privacy for residents, the Council will apply the following minimum distances:

  • 21 metres between dwellings which face each other where both have windows with clear glazing.
  • 12 metres between dwellings which face each other where only one has windows with clear glazing.


14.3 In order for our built surroundings to make a positive contribution to our quality of life, they need to provide safe, attractive, long-term and liveable environments for the whole community.

14.4 In assessing the impacts of a development including any potential harm, the Council will have regard to matters including loss of daylight; loss of outlook; loss of privacy; and potential disturbance from noise, smells, dust, fumes, vibration, glare from artificial lighting, hours of operation, and traffic / travel patterns.

14.5 Whilst the above represent the most commonly encountered issues, the list is not exhaustive and other matters may also be relevant according to the circumstances. Further information can be found in the Council’s Supplementary Planning Guidance on Sustainable Buildings (2003) and the Supplementary Planning Document on Residential Alterations and Extensions (2008).

14.6 The Council works with the police and other partners to make sure that necessary measures are put in place to ensure public safety and to tackle crime and the causes of crime. In relation to the safety of higher risk buildings and places, regard will be paid to the Home Office / DCLG publication Crowded Places: The Planning System and Counter-Terrorism (2012) in helping to determine an appropriate response to all relevant development proposals.

14.7 Whilst the above policy is designed to assist in creating a safer and more sustainable future, it is recognised that planning for economic and environmental sustainability alone cannot build a successful community. This can only be achieved through a matrix of formal and informal opportunities or supported activities that contribute to the concept of social sustainability. First and foremost, this entails understanding what people need from the places where they live and work. The Council will therefore, wherever possible, encourage appropriate models of social sustainability such as those set out in its report Welcome to the future – a local model for building socially sustainable communities (2016) as a means of creating more holistic developments and more integrated communities.


14.8 Major planning applications will need to be accompanied by a Health Impact Assessment in accordance with JCS Policy SD14. The applicant will also be required to submit supporting information to demonstrate how the proposed development positively contributes to health and wellbeing and particularly the 10 principles of Active Design developed by Sport England and supported by Public Health England.