Planning practice guidance updated - Light pollution, Community infrastructure levy, health and safe communities, hazardous substances

Several sections of the Planning Practice Guidance website have been completly revised with the "Light pollution" section now advising councils to consider the functional nature of lighting proposals and provides protection for groups including astronomers and drivers.

The planning practice guidance section on light pollution now states that authorities can consider whether the proposed lighting is purely for decorative purposes as opposed to being needed for functional reasons such as security. Authorities are advised that insensitively positioned decorative lighting, particularly in rural areas, can be a cause for concern. The updated guidance includes a new focus on potential harms to road users, advising that light spill can cause safety impacts related to the impairment or distraction of people (e.g. when driving vehicles), and advises consideration of whether new lighting will have any safety impacts, for example in creating a hazard for road users.

Authorities are also advised to consider whether new lighting will conflict with the needs of specialist facilities such as observatories, airports and general aviation facilities. Additional changes include the removal of references to "European" protected sites.

The section on "securing developer contributions for education" in the Community Infrastructure Levy section has been updated to include reference to recently revised Community Infrastructure Levy regulations and the Developer Loans for Schools pilot scheme.

Revisions to planning guidance on health and safe communities include reference to the recently-published National Design Guide.

Guidance on hazardous substances has been updated to reflect the circumstances in which the Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency and Office for Nuclear Regulation will advise on applications for hazardous substances consent.

Author: MHCLG

Date: November 2019 Date of publication

This item updates DCP Section 4.1391, 4.62, 4.134, 19.116

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