The Parish Plan

SECTION A - ENVIRONMENT

1. Introduction.

1.1 In this section of the Parish Plan we consider environmental issues. Of necessity these will be related to other sections of the plan.

1.2 Definitions. We define the environment as the area around us. This will include natural elements like air, water, wildlife and human elements like land-use and buildings. These can be viewed at different scales – for example, at a specific site, over the whole parish, or relating to global issues.

2. Environmental Policy

2.1 Introduction. The Council considers that all residents benefit from improvements to our shared environment. If this is to be sustainable we need to consider how actions today will impact upon the environment in the future.

2.2 Stakeholders. The Council recognises that environmental improvement will come about by consultation and partnership with local stakeholders, including residents, local authorities, landowners and businesses.

POLICY A1

The Parish Council will have an environmental policy that will:

a) Meet the requirements of government regulation relating to the environment.

b) Establish a framework for setting and reviewing environmental objectives, to achieve continuous improvements in our environment.

c) Work closely with local stakeholders on all relevant environmental management issues.

d) Work with suppliers and contractors to ensure that their environmental practices are in accord with our own.

e) Involve Councillors, staff and volunteers in the promotion and awareness of the Council's environmental outlook, through environmental awareness, training and guidance.

f) Encourage biodiversity within landholdings by appropriate land management techniques and environmental initiatives.

g) Prevent pollution, reduce waste and encourage conservation of resources.

3. Biodiversity

3.1 Introduction. Within the Parish there are a number of different habitats (see the Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Nottinghamshire). These support distinctive flora and fauna that provide character to different parts of the parish. These include, in particular, the wetlands of the Leen Valley, the mature hedgerows on farmland, the areas of mixed woodland and the habitats on sandy soils.

POLICY A2

The Parish Council will support schemes that conserve and enhance biodiversity within the parish.

3.2 The Moor Pond Wood Project. This project is a joint scheme between the landowner, the County Council, the Parish Council and the 'Friends of Moor Pond Wood' to manage the woodland areas between Grange Cottages (SK 548504) and Papplewick Dam (SK 545513). The aim of the project is to:-

a) Conserve and enhance the biodiversity of the project area.

b) Explore, record and preserve the industrial archaeological remains.

c) Improve access to the project area, to allow its use as a recreational resource.

POLICY A3

The Parish Council will continue to support the aims and work of the Moor Pond Wood Project.

3.3 Other Sites Important for Nature Conservation (SINC sites). There are other SINC sites within the Parish. These also require special attention.

POLICY A4

The Parish Council will recognise and protect SINC sites within the parish boundary.

3.4 Pavements in the parish. Concern has been expressed about the condition and aesthetic quality of the pavements in the parish. The Council recognises that the pavements should:

a) Provide a safe route for pedestrians, and

b) Be constructed, where possible, of materials that are sympathetic to the surrounding environment.

3.5 Verges in the village. Concern has been expressed about the condition and aesthetic quality of roadside verges in the village. There are problems arising from the lack of safe parking and the damage caused by vehicles parked on grassed areas.

3.6 Verges alongside rural routes. Concern has been expressed about the safety of cyclists and pedestrians along the side of Moor Road (between numbers 281 and 353), and Forest Lane between Barracks Farm gate and the A60. The Council supports the construction of paths alongside these busy sections of road, believing that it will enhance the safety of road users and pedestrians.

POLICY A5

The Parish Council will review and promote schemes that will:

a) Improve the safety and aesthetic quality of pavements and verges.

b) Improve the availability of off-road parking.

4. The Village Conservation Area

4.1 Introduction. Gedling Borough Council defines the village centre as a Conservation Area. This recognises the special character of the juxtaposition of historic buildings in the village centre. Many buildings are 'Listed' and therefore have specific protection. In reality there will always be potential conflict between preserving buildings and allowing residents to improve the amenity of their home.

POLICY A6

The Parish Council will continue to support protection of the special environment of the Conservation Area, whilst being mindful of the need to allow residents to enhance their living standards.

4.2 Street-scene. The street-scene plays an important contribution to the character of the Conservation Area. This includes street furniture like signs and lampposts, and the wires that provide links to utilities.

POLICY A7

The Parish Council will continue to support protection of the street-scene by working to keep the intrusion of signs, poles, and wires to a minimum.

4.3 The visual impact of the parish. There is little doubt that when people are encouraged to collaborate in improving the shared environment there is a better community spirit and improved environmental quality. In the past this has included:

a) Continued entry in competitions like the 'CPRE Best Kept Village competition'.

b) Periodic litter picking by volunteers.

POLICY A8

The Parish Council will continue to promote schemes that will improve the aesthetic quality of the village and surrounding areas.

5. The Green Belt Area

5.1 Introduction. Most of the Parish of Papplewick is a rural area within the Greater Nottingham Green Belt. The essential character of this environment is of mixed farm-land and woodland.

5.2 Land-use. The character of the green belt is largely influenced by land-use. Changes in land-use will inevitably lead to changes in the character of the countryside.

POLICY A9

The Parish Council will continue to balance support for development of the lifestyle and the livelihood of residents in the Green Belt, whilst preserving the character and appearance of the countryside.

5.3 The Council considers that four types of development have a particular impact on the rural landscape - hedgerows, telecommunication masts, power lines and light pollution.

POLICY A10

The Parish Council will place a high priority on protection of hedgerows in any scheme to change land-use in the Green Belt.

POLICY A11

The Parish Council will place a high priority on minimising 'light pollution' from any scheme to change land-use in the Green Belt.

POLICY A12

The Parish Council will place a high priority on reducing the visual impact of telecommunication masts and power lines.

6. Mineral Extraction

6.1 Introduction. Extraction of minerals is a significant issue on the Sherwood Sandstone areas to the east of the Parish. Presently this only occurs at the Bestwood II Quarry on Mansfield Road. The Council recognises that the location of the quarry next to the A60 is a strong factor in its operation. The Parish Council has entered into a joint monitoring group with Tarmac plc, and Ravenshead Parish Council.

POLICY A13

The Parish Council will monitor the operations of Bestwood II Quarry, to ensure compliance with the conditions applied to its operation, and minimise effects on the environment.

POLICY A14

When extraction at Bestwood II Quarry ceases, the Parish Council will place a high priority on ensuring that the site is landscaped, and made available for recreational purposes.

7. Traffic and Transport

7.1 Introduction. The impact of traffic on the local environment has increased over recent years, and is the cause of numerous complaints. Residents in the village have suffered from the effects of increased air pollution, noise, dirt and vibration. These combine to reduce the quality of life of residents living close to main roads.

7.2 Traffic management and control. More effective management of traffic will reduce the environmental issues raised in 7.1. Traffic management is dealt with under policies D3 and D4 of this plan.

7.3 Public transport. Reduction in traffic is the best way in which the issues raised in 7.1 are going to be improved, and a principal factor in reducing traffic will be development of better public transport links. The Council's policy on the development of public transport links is dealt with in Section D of this plan.

7.4 Car sharing. The second method by which traffic originating in the parish can be reduced is by encouraging the practice of 'car sharing'. The Council's policy on the encouragement of car sharing schemes is dealt with in Section D of this plan.

8. Effective Use of Resources

8.1 Introduction. Effective use of the Earth's resources is essential to the maintenance of sustainable development. This is a global issue in which local action can play a significant part. Four elements to effective use of resources are reduction in amounts of material used, re-use of materials, recycling of materials and reduction of waste.

8.2 Reduction of consumption. The Council recognises the need to take a leading role in demonstrating and encouraging reduction in consumption. Local examples have included: Greater use of electronic media for communicating the Council's business, leading to the reduction of the quantity of paper used, and Councillors sharing cars to meetings whenever possible to reduce fuel consumption.

POLICY A15

The Parish Council will demonstrate and support measures to reduce consumption of finite resources.

8.3 Reuse of materials. The Council recognises the need to take a leading role in demonstrating and encouraging reduction in consumption by re-use of materials. Local examples have included: Use of recovered kerbstones to build steps and walls in the Moor Pond Wood and Walter's Hill footpath, and Councillors re-using envelopes and 'scrap' paper for internal correspondence.

POLICY A16

The Parish Council will demonstrate and support measures to reuse materials, leading to reduced consumption of finite resources.

8.4 Recycling. The Council recognises the need to take a leading role in demonstrating and encouraging recycling as a means of reduction in consumption. Local examples have included: Provision of recycling facilities in the 'Griffins Head' car park, and encouraging residents to use the Borough Council kerbside recycling service for paper, card, cans and glass. There is much more that can be done.

POLICY A17

The Parish Council will support measures to increase the range and volume of finite resources sent for recycling.

8.5 Dismantling. The Council recognises the need to take a leading role in demonstrating and encouraging dismantling of complex products at the end of their working life. Such action would:

a) Save finite resources through reuse of components.

b) Save finite resources through recycling of materials.

c) Reduce the problem of fly-tipping.

POLICY A18

The Parish Council will support measures to increase access to specialist dismantling facilities for products such as electronic equipment, refrigerators and motor vehicles.

8.6 Reduction of waste. Pressure on space for landfill sites is increasing. Landfill sites are a major producer of methane - one of the important greenhouse gases. The Council recognises the need to take a leading role in demonstrating and encouraging reduction in waste. Local examples include: Greater use of recycling facilities to reduce the amount collected in 'wheelie bins'. Other measures might include:

a) Less frequent bin collection.

b) More encouragement of composting of organic rubbish.

c) More encouragement of recycling.

POLICY A19

The Parish Council will demonstrate and support measures to reduce the amount of material collected in rubbish bins.

9. Energy

9.1 Introduction. Increased energy consumption leads to depletion of finite resources and, in the case of fossil fuels, to increases in 'greenhouse gases'. 'Greenhouse gases' are widely recognised as a major factor leading to climate change. This is another global issue in which local action can play a significant part.

9.2 Energy saving in the home. Domestic consumption of energy accounts for 30% of the release of greenhouse gases in the UK. Increased use of insulation, double glazing and use of thermostatic valves in heating systems can make a major contribution to energy consumption, and save money for the householder.

POLICY A20

The Parish Council will support measures to encourage households to reduce Energy consumption.

9.3 Transport. Use of energy for transport accounts for a further 30% of the release of greenhouse gases in the UK. Measures outlined in (7.3) and (7.4) would reduce energy consumption in the Parish. Reduction of energy may be achieved by:

a) Using local sources for food, and services.

b) Reducing the speed of traffic in the parish to the speed limits.

c) Reducing the amount of traffic on the roads.

POLICY A21

The Parish Council will support measures to reduce the amount of energy used in transport.

9.4 Alternative energy. Reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels could also be achieved by greater use of 'alternative energy'. This might include 'combined heat and power plants', 'biomass generation' of electricity and 'wind-works' (small scale wind turbines).

POLICY A22

The Parish Council will support measures to reduce the amount of fossil fuel used to generate electricity, and would favourably consider suitable proposals to increase the use of 'alternative energy'.

10. Pollution

10.1 Introduction. Environmental pollution is a growing concern to residents. The most significant issue in the parish is the twin issue of litter and fly-tipping. They cost money to clear up, degrade the visual amenity of the area and form a potential health risk.

10.2 Litter. The reduction in the amount of litter is a perennial problem. Efforts to reduce litter pollution may include:

a) Anti-litter campaigns.

b) Periodic litter-picking by volunteers.

c) Support for legislation to punish offenders.

d) Provision of litter bins at strategic locations.

POLICY A23

The Parish Council will strongly support measures to reduce the amount of litter pollution.

10.3 Fly-tipping. Dumping of large objects like cars, refrigerators and tyres has become a problem in recent years. Solution to this problem may be related to policy A17. This may include:

a) Support for legislation to punish offenders.

b) Rapid communication with the Borough Council when a problem has been identified.

POLICY A24

The Parish Council will support measures to reduce fly-tipping in the parish.

10.4 Air quality. Improved air quality would benefit all residents and particularly the very young, older people and those people with respiratory problems. This would also make a contribution to reduction of Greenhouse gases. The Parish Council supports measures which will improve air quality, for example in paragraphs, (7.3), (7.4), (8.5), (9.2) and (9.4).

POLICY A25

The Parish Council will support measures to improve air quality in the parish.

11. The Working Environment

11.1 Introduction. The health, safety and welfare of people in the working environment are important issues. The Parish Council directly employs the Clerk, and 'employs' a range of volunteer workers who assist in the Moor Pond Wood Project, footpath maintenance and maintaining the playground (for example).

11.2 Health and safety of employees. The sole Council employee is the Clerk. The Health and Safety of the Clerk is covered by a policy document drawn up by the Council in 1997.

POLICY A26

The Parish Council will annually monitor the operation of the health and safety policy, and amend it when necessary.

11.3 Health and safety of volunteer workers. The Parish Council recognises its responsibilities in reviewing the Health and Safety of people working as volunteers on behalf of the Parish Council.

POLICY A27

The Parish Council will:

a) Devise a Health and Safety Policy to relate to volunteers.

b) Carry out risk assessment on the activities commonly undertaken by volunteers.

c) Take all appropriate measures to ensure the Health and Safety of people working as volunteers on Parish Council business.

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