14 Policies and Plans 14.1 Scope of the Assessment 14.2 Statutory and Planning Context 14.3 Assessment Methodology 14.4 Policy Review 14.5 Impact Summary

14 Policies and Plans

14.0 Introduction

14.0.1 This Chapter provides a review of the extent to which the Proposed Scheme would accord or conflict with planning policies relevant to the Proposed Scheme and the local environment.

14.1 Scope of the Assessment

14.1.1 The review considers land use planning polices as developed and applied at a national, regional and local level.

14.2 Statutory and Planning Context

14.2.1 National Planning Policy Guidelines (NPPGs) and Scottish Planning Policies (SPPs) provide statements of Scottish Executive policy on land use and planning. There is an ongoing programme of replacement of NPPGs with updated SPPs.

14.2.2 The Scottish Executive also publishes Circulars that provide statements of policy and guidance on policy implementation, and Planning Advice Notes (PANs) that provide advice on good practice

14.2.3 Planning Authorities are required to establish Development Plans (DPs) that interpret and apply national policies regionally and locally.

14.2.4 Government advice to planning authorities relating to the preparation of structure and local plans (two key components of development plans) is provided in Scottish Development Department (SDD) Circular 32/1983 (as amended 1997) and PANs 37 and 49.

14.2.5 Structure Plans are required to address strategic land use planning and development constraints within each Council in the context of national and regional planning guidance. Local Plans are required to identify specific and detailed policies/proposals for development and land use in general conformity with structure plans. In the context of the Proposed Scheme responsibility for the production of both structure and local plans lies with Dumfries and Galloway Council.

14.2.6 In November 2006 The Planning etc (Scotland) Act (2006) received Royal Assent. The Act significantly reforms the planning system with a new hierarchy of national, regional and local planning and development policies that were effective as of spring 2007. The Act makes provision for the establishment of a National Development Framework (NDF) underscored by area strategic development plans and local development plans. An initial NDF was published in 2004. Pending the preparation and adoption of are strategic development plans and local development plans, policies formalised in structure plans and local plans continue to inform the planning process in relation to land use and development.

14.3 Assessment Methodology

14.3.1 The assessment has been undertaken in accordance with the Volume 11, Section 3, Part 12 of the DMRB, Policies and Plans.

14.3.2 The DMRB provides guidance on appropriate national, regional and local policy documents (as revised) that should be considered when undertaking the assessment. These include appropriate NPPGs, SPPs, Circulars and PANs and structure and local plans relevant to the Proposed Scheme location.

14.3.3 The assessment has involved the following tasks:

  • the identification of policies of relevance to the Proposed Scheme and the associated local environment;
  • a review of the environmental impacts and predicted residual effects identified by the various assessments reported in Chapters 6 to 13 and 15; and
  • an evaluation of the impacts and predicted residual effects against the identified polices.

Impact Criteria

14.3.4 The impact relative to each of the policies identified is reported as being positive, negative or neutral where:

  • a positive impact indicates that the Proposed Scheme would conform to or contribute to the realisation of policy or plan objectives and commitments;
  • a negative impact indicates that the Proposed Scheme would be in conflict with policy or plan objectives and commitments; and
  • a neutral impact indicates that the Proposed Scheme would represent instances where, on assessment, the policy or plan objectives and commitments are either not in conformance or conflict with the proposals or they are not relevant in the context of the proposals.

14.4 Policy Review

National Planning Policy

National Planning Framework for Scotland

14.4.1 The National Planning Framework provides an analysis of the underlying trends in Scotland’s development, key drivers of change and the challenges to be faced. It guides the spatial development of Scotland and sets the context for development plans and planning decisions.

SPP 1: The Planning System

14.4.2 SPP1 sets out the key planning objectives in relation to sustainable development, the economy, social justice, environmental quality, development design and integrated transport. The guidance states that:

"The planning system is important in delivering the Executive’s commitment to a more sustainable, effective, integrated transport system…. Integrated and sustainable transport is necessary to help improve air quality, address climate change and protect environmental resources from the damage caused by pollution."

NPPG5: Archaeology and Planning and NPPG18 Planning and the Historic Environment

14.4.3 NPPG5 and NPPG18 set out the requirements for developments likely to affect the historic environment. These have been considered within the assessment of impacts on cultural heritage contained within Chapter 6.

NPPG14: Natural Heritage

14.4.4 NPPG14 sets out policy on the assessment of development proposals showing due concern for natural heritage. It deals, in detail, with requirements for development likely to affect sites of national and international importance. Chapter 7 (Ecology and Nature Conservation) has considered the objectives of NPPG14 and, where appropriate, incorporated these into proposed mitigation measures to address any predicted significant adverse impacts on nature conservation.

SPP15: Planning for Rural Development

14.4.5 The document sets out the approach, key messages and objectives that should underpin planning policies and decisions affecting rural areas. It also describes the increasingly important links between development planning and community planning.

SPP 17: Planning for Transport

14.4.6 SPP 17 sets out the national focus on transport policy as the delivery of transport projects and the positive role land use and transport planning takes in supporting and building upon the Scottish Executive’s transport delivery agenda.

14.4.7 Objectives of SPP 17 of relevance to the Proposed Scheme comprise the following.

The transport network to support the economy, assist in reducing the need to travel, create the right conditions to promote sustainable transport modes and restrict adverse environmental impacts.

The interaction of accessibility, transport and the development strategy to be considered early in the planning process with land allocations taking into account transport opportunities alongside economic competitiveness and sustainable development.

Strategic land use plans to co-ordinate with Regional and Local Transport Strategies, and settlement strategies and identify where economic growth or regeneration requires additional transport infrastructure.

Planning Advice Notes (PANs) and Circulars

14.4.8 Relevant PANs and circulars include PAN 56: Planning and Noise, PAN 58: Environmental Impact Assessment, SEDD Circular 18/1987 on Agricultural Land, SEDD Interim Guidance on European Protected Species, Development Sites and the Planning System and SE Revised Guidance updating Circular 6/95, Nature Conservation: Implementation in Scotland of EEC Directives on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Flora and Fauna and the Conservation of Wild Birds (‘The Habitats and Birds Directives’). The guidance provided in these documents has been taken into account during the assessment process.

14.4.9 SPP 17 is accompanied by Planning Advice Note (PAN) 75 that sets out background information and good practice advice and by Transport Assessment and Implementation: A Guide, which explains to developers how they should demonstrate the transport effects of their proposed development.

Approved Dumfries and Galloway Structure Plan

14.4.10 The Dumfries and Galloway Structure Plan’s stated aim is ‘to encourage the growth and development of sustainable communities in Dumfries and Galloway’ by:

  • supporting development of the local economy;
  • supporting urban and rural communities;
  • supporting and protecting the natural and built environment; and
  • making best use of services and facilities.

14.4.11 Key themes detailed in the strategy statements for the plan reference the need to make best use of existing transport links and service provision, recognise the importance of the natural and built environment to the quality of life, and develop a partnership involving the Council, public and private agencies, local people and communities to facilitate and encourage development. General polices and the implications of the Proposed Scheme are detailed in Table 14.2.

Annandale and Eskdale Local Plan

14.4.12 There are two areas of policy of relevance to the Proposed Scheme; Community Policies and General Policies specific to Carrutherstown.

14.4.13 Issues and priorities identified by the community within Carrutherstown include the safeguarding of valuable local facilities (General Policy 75), which specifically refers to the school and village hall.

14.4.14 The Proposed Scheme will benefit the community of Carrutherstown (particularly those properties closest to the existing A75 in the vicinity of Whitecroft Gate at the eastern end of the village) by displacing the A75 to the south and consequently further away from residential properties. The Local Plan indicates the desirability of retaining an open space between the road and the village to conserve the current amenity value (General Policy 43: Areas of Local Environmental Importance). Although a link road is proposed to connect the existing A75 with Carrutherstown at this location, vehicular traffic flow on this access route will be low and the surrounding area will be landscaped to provide screening from the proposed new A75 alignment as discussed in Chapter 8.

14.4.15 General polices and the implications of the Proposed Scheme are detailed below.

Table 14.1 – Dumfries and Galloway Structure Plan Policies



Policy Assessment


Environmental Assessment and Monitoring

Environmental Assessments will be required in accordance with government regulations. The Council may require the impact of the development to be monitored following its implementations where an environmental assessment indicates this would be appropriate.

An Environmental Impact Assessment in accordance with government regulations has been undertaken.



Landscape Character

The policy requires the Council to take into account the guidance set out in the Landscape Assessment when assessing development proposals likely to have a significant impact on the landscape. It further commits the Council to encourage and where resources permit, support initiatives to conserve and enhance the landscape character of Dumfries and Galloway.

The EIA has been informed by reference to the Dumfries and Galloway Landscape Assessment (published by SNH).



Conservation of Habitats and Species

When assessing development proposals, the Council will seek to ensure that the impact on any habitat which is valued for its nature conservation interests is fully considered. Particular attention will be given to those habitats and species which are identified in Circular 6/1995, but which do not fall within the boundaries of national or international nature conservation designations.

Where important nature conservation interests would be adversely affected, the Council will consider the use of Section 75 agreements to maintain existing interests or in exceptional circumstances encourage the creation of new or replacement habitats where possible.

Where resources are available the Council will continue to give consideration to the establishment of appropriate management measures, including assisting with the voluntary management of sites, and where appropriate, the designation of Local Nature Reserves, in conjunction with other agencies, organisations and local communities to ensure that nature conservation interests are safeguarded.

Consideration has been given to nature conservation during design process.

The value of habitats has been evaluated and potential impacts of the scheme on ecology and nature conservation assessed (Chapter 7). Appropriate mitigation has been recommended.



Listed Buildings

The policy confirms the Council’s support and encouragement for the retention, preservation, re-use and renovation of listed buildings. It further indicates the Council will resist development proposals which would destroy or adversely affect the character, appearance, or setting of a listed building and stipulates strict criteria to be met prior to approval of demolition.

Listed buildings would not be affected by the scheme.



Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes

Development in or affecting the setting of a site listed in the Inventory of Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes or mentioned in the list of Non-Inventory Sites will require an evaluation of the proposal’s impact on the site and its setting. There will be a presumption against development which would adversely affect the landscape features, character and setting of these sites and the approaches and environs of Inventory Sites.

Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes will not be affected by the scheme.



Development Affecting Archaeological Sites

There will be a presumption against development which would destroy or adversely affect the appearance, fabric or setting of Scheduled Ancient Monuments, sites of national importance and other areas of significant archaeological interest.

In exceptional circumstances, where it is not possible to secure the preservation of archaeological remains, the Council will require an appraisal of the impact of the development on the site. The developer will be responsible for securing an agreed programme of archaeological work to the satisfaction of the council.

Scheduled Ancient Monuments will not be affected by the scheme.



Archaeologically Sensitive Areas

The policy requires the Council to safeguard the character and archaeological interest of "archaeologically sensitive areas.

No archaeologically sensitive areas would be affected by the Proposed Scheme.



A75 Upgrading

The Council will continue to press the government to undertake a rapid review of its policy for the A75 to reflect its national and international role and resolve deficiencies along the route.

The scheme directly addresses this issue.



Pedestrian and Cycle Facilities

The Council, in conjunction with other agencies and groups, and subject to funding being available, will support the development of facilities for cyclists and pedestrians in towns, villages and the countryside.

The existing A75 route will be suitable for cyclists once the new section of carriageway is operational.


Table 14.2 – Annandale and Eskdale Local Plan Policies



Policy Assessment

General Policy 1

Development Principle

There will be a general presumption against development which would give rise to a material degree of land use conflict, which would materially detract from and/or be incompatible with the character or amenity of the locality.

The Proposed Scheme has been rigorously assessed during the design process and the proposed design has been selected to minimise any potential conflicts.


General Policy 2

Development Considerations

As part of the assessment of development proposals, including those on sites identified in the Plan, developers will be required to satisfy the Planning Authority with regards to their proposals in terms of all of the following:

  • access, ground conditions and stability, contamination, foul and surface water drainage and water supply;
  • traffic generation onto the adjacent road network;
  • flooding; (see Policy 58 on Flood Risk and Development);
  • environmental impact.

When assessing planning applications, the Planning Authority will take into account the provisions of any site guidance, site specifications, or development brief as set out in Section 3 of the Plan. Where further information is required, the Planning Authority may apply the provisions of Article 13 of Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Scotland) Order 1992 or Article 4(3) in respect of outline applications.

These issues have been addressed during the Environmental Impact Assessment process.


General Policy 12

Potentially Polluting Development

The policy defines the criteria which must be satisfied prior to the Council considering the granting of planning permission where a development has the potential to cause pollution of water, air, soil or pollution through noise, dust, odour, vibration, light and heat. Specific reference is made to approval by regulatory authorities.

The Council is not the competent planning authority for the Proposed Scheme.

The potential impacts identified in the policy have been evaluated as part of the EIA for the Proposed Scheme. Regulatory authorities have been consulted.


General Policy 37

Public Rights of Way

The policy details the Council’s commitments to asserting, safeguarding and investigating Public Rights of Way. It confirms the Council will not normally grant permission to development proposals which would result in the loss of a Right of Way unless a satisfactory alternative route or mitigating measures can be secured.

The Council is not the competent planning authority for the Proposed Scheme.

No Rights of Way would be affected.


General Policy 38

Access Routes

The Planning Authority will work with landowners, local communities and the relevant agencies to protect, and where necessary develop new or alternative access routes in the countryside. Where an access route is adversely affected by a proposal the Council will consider the use of access agreements and encourage the use of grant schemes to secure alternative or mitigating measures.

Alternative access routes have been provided to the affected properties.


General Policy 43

Areas of Local Environmental Importance

There will normally be a presumption against development having a materially adverse effect on areas of local environmental importance defined on the Inset Maps.

This has been considered during the Environmental Impact Assessment.


General Policy 46

Nature Conservation Sites of Local Importance

The policy requires the Council to consider development proposals which are likely to affect the sites identified by the Council as Nature Conservation Sites of Local Importance against Structure Plan Policy E6.

The assessment has taken account of all ecological interests locally and accordingly mitigated any adverse effects.


General Policy 51

Listed Buildings:

The policy places obligations on the planning authority relating to proposal for the re-use, modification or change of use for listed buildings. Of particular relevance to the Proposed Scheme is the requirement to ensure that development proposals that would harm the setting of a listed building are not permitted.

The cultural heritage assessment has concluded the Proposed Scheme would not harm the setting of any listed buildings.


General Policy 53a

Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes

The policy requires the planning authority to assess development proposals in or affecting the setting of a site against Structure Plan Policy E11.

The Inventory Designed Landscape of Kinmount House Estate is located over 600m to the east of the Proposed Scheme and is unlikely to be significantly affected


General Policy 54

Known Archaeological Sites – Including Scheduled Ancient Monuments

The policy requires the planning authority to assess development proposals within or adjacent to known archaeological sites, including scheduled ancient monuments, in accordance with Structure Plan Policy E12.

Potential impacts on relevant sites have been assessed as part of the cultural heritage assessment. The assessment has concluded there would be no significant impact on the features.


General Policy 56

Protecting the Quality of Groundwater

Proposed development which may cause contamination of the groundwater in areas defined on the Proposals Map will not be permitted unless mitigation measures are carried out as part of the development to prevent such contamination taking place.

SUDS techniques will be incorporated into the scheme design to protect groundwater and pollution prevention measures will be in place during the construction period.


General Policy 57

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)

The Council as Planning Authority will encourage the use of SUDS and other appropriate innovative methods such as reed beds, as a means of treating surface water run-off from development sites. In particular SUDS methods will normally be required where development involving significant surface water run-off is proposed in areas:

  • where diffuse pollution can reach a watercourse without adequate prior filtering,
  • which lie upstream from an area prone to flooding and where the slowing down of surface water would avoid exacerbating the problem, and/or
  • where the existing drainage system is restricted in its ability to accept the development proposal.

The Council will use conditions and/or Section 75 Agreements to ensure that the long term maintenance of any SUDS scheme is secure.

SUDS are incorporated into the scheme design. Discussions with SEPA have taken place.


General Policy 70


The Planning Authority recognises that cycling has an increased role to play within an overall transport strategy and will develop measures to promote and facilitate cycling wherever it is considered appropriate.

The existing A75 route will be suitable for cyclists (<100 vehicles per day) once the new section of carriageway is operational. However, there is negligible NMU use recorded locally.


General Policy 75

Safeguarding of Land for Community Facilities –

As discussed within the main text of the Chapter, safeguarding of community facilities such as Carrutherstown school and village hall are priorities.

The Proposed Scheme will not impact upon these community facilities (see Chapter 10 for further details), and will improve access to them through the retention of the existing A75 as a local access route coupled with the upgrade of the U81a junction.


14.5 Impact Summary

14.5.1 The Proposed Scheme has either a natural effect of positive accord with the assessed policies. This is due, in part, to the various design proposals and mitigation measures included within the scheme design.

14.5.2 Environmental aspects have been taken into consideration during the design process through identifying sensitive areas (and receptors) in terms of ecology, hydrology, land use, landscape and the associated visual impact and archaeology. Where avoidance of impacts has not been possible through design specification alone, specific mitigation has been developed.

14.5.3 An improved drainage network will ensure that water quality is appropriately managed and the landscaping proposals will mitigate the Proposed Scheme’s potential visual effects. The alignment has also been designed to minimise the loss of prime agricultural land and avoid areas of particular ecological and archaeological sensitivity. Where closure of existing junctions and accesses is necessary, alternatives have been developed that aim to minimise disruption to users. The existing A75 will be used to this end and will provide an opportunity for improved access to the community facilities in Carrutherstown and the provision of safer routes for potential NMU use.