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St Helena : St Helena Land Development Control Plan
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 28.04.2012 (Article Archived on 12.05.2012)

The revised Land Development Control Plan (LDCP) was formally adopted from 2nd April 2012.

The revised LDCP compared with the previous 2007 Plan, promotes appropriate development and creates an investor-friendly framework through:

St Helena Land Development Control Plan


 


The revised Land Development Control Plan (LDCP) was formally adopted from 2nd April 2012.


The revised LDCP compared with the previous 2007 Plan, promotes appropriate development and creates an investor-friendly framework through:


 


Placing greater emphasis on allowing development, within appropriate regulations.


Having clear conservation principles which see the natural and built heritage as key tourism assets, but ones which require protection.


 


Placing greater emphasis on properly planned development to make the best use of the Islandís land and buildings and also placing greater emphasis on higher environmental standards.


The revised LDCP keeps the three existing planning-policy zones of Green Heartland, Coastal Zone and Intermediate Zone. However, there are some slight changes to the zone boundaries.


Green Heartland policies try to protect the undeveloped appearance of such areas forever. At the same time the new policies allow derelict buildings to be rebuilt and extended. The policies also raise environmental standards of tourism development, protect agricultural land and help agricultural businesses.


 


Coastal Zone policies were previously restrictive. These, have been radically re-designed to allow extensive tourism development, provided that the natural landscape and seascape are protected. Some residential development will also be allowed, to create balanced communities. This includes the new idea of Coastal Village Areas, planned coastal resorts, for which development design briefs are to be prepared. Three locations for these areas have been identified plus the opportunity for developers to come forward with others.


 


Agricultural land is protected and agricultural businesses will be helped by tourism development on the least productive land.


 


Intermediate Zone policies allow for most of the island's development to be accommodated in this zone. The zone includes seven Comprehensive Development Areas, for which development design briefs are to be prepared, with a total target of just over 500 plots. Within them, and elsewhere where developers come forward with large development schemes, the new policies will require between 10% and 25% of plots to be for affordable housing, either on site or through contributions for the same purpose elsewhere on the island. Again, agricultural land in this zone is protected.


The whole approach to, and extent of, National Protected Areas has been reconsidered and they have been re-named as National Conservation Areas to make clear their purpose. Management plans for these areas will be the subject of consultation with the landowners and the general public before they are adopted.


 


The airport is covered by its own Ordinance but, in case work is needed in connection with it outside the area set out in the Airport Ordinance, then there is a clearly stated presumption in the LDCP in favour of whatever is needed.


 


All elements of infrastructure have been considered, and policies will provide for what is required for the island's development needs. In the case of new roads there is a specific policy requiring that, as well as safety, the effects on natural and built heritage are to be considered as being more important than speed and free-flow of traffic.


 


Housing policies try to ensure that sufficient areas will be granted permission to meet the long term housing needs of the island, including allowing for those increases which will result from future economic growth. The affordability of housing is important and the aim is to achieve it through the LDCP policies working with the Land Disposal Policy and Housing Strategy.


 


Tourism business development is promoted particularly in the Coastal Zone. All tourism development is to be sustainable, with specific attention devoted to water and energy use, as well as the requirement for environmental impact assessment for larger proposals. Two "flagship" developments are to be permitted in the Green Heartland which has been carried forward from the 2007 Plan. These are at Broad Bottom and at the Devil's Punchbowl, and the environmental requirements have been stiffened radically, requiring the developments to be "an example of international best practice of sustainable development with the minimum of disturbance to the natural ecology of the area and the principal method of grassland maintenance to remain pasture grazing".


 


The revised LDCP went through a total of 30 weeks of public consultation, starting with the principles of revision and going through first and second consultation drafts. All representations received were carefully considered first by the Land Planning and Development Control Board and then by Informal Legislative Council and Executive Council. After detailed debate and detail revisions, the Governor in Council formally adopted the revised Land Development Control Plan on 20th March. The Plan has an intended ten year life but, because of the uncertainty of the likely effects of the Airport on development trends, the policies will be reviewed against those trends in 2015 before the Airport opens. It will also be fully reviewed at the end of its life in 2022, when the effects of opening the Airport have become clear.


 


David Taylor


Head of Planning and Development Control


23rd April 2012


 

 

This article is the Property and Copyright of Saint Helena Herald.

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