Picture: Heron Fly-by by Philip Wood

Welcome to our Planning page

Here we will give hints and tips on how to use the Planning System to greatest effect to influence future planning decisions.

Our Planning page focuses on how we can protect and enhance the Yare Valley “Strategic Green Infrastructure Corridor” from Whitlingham Country Park to the proposed Bowthorpe Lakes Country Park.

For an overall view and general guidance on Planning Procedure, and how best to respond to a Planning Application go to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) at .  A very useful site.

Using Planning Policy to support your case

Wherever possible it is helpful to support your case with reference to Planning Policy documents.

For the Yare Valley from the Whitlingham Country Park to Bawburgh, the planning policies of two District Councils, may be relevant to a particular planning application. On the left of the river going upstream South Norfolk District Council (SNDC) is the relevant authority. On the right, for the most part it is Norwich., otherwise SNDC (approaching Bawburgh).

Remember that no Policy is capable of protecting the Valley for all time. Policies are always subject change or being over-ridden by Local Authority Development Management Committees or by a Government Planning Inspector on appeal by developers. That is why we must always be alert to threats to our green space and respond with vigour.

Links to Policies


Policy Statements

Maps in particular pages 162 and 163 for maps for policies DM 4.5 and DM  4.6

For Norwich

Policy Statements in particular Policy DM 6 on pp 57-58

Map. Select the Norwich South Sheet.

Key Policies

The key Policies for protecting the Yare Valley Green Infrastructure Corridor are:


Policy DM 4.5 Landscape Character and River Valleys

All development should respect, conserve and where possible, enhance the landscape character of its immediate and wider environment. Development proposals that would cause significant adverse impact on the distinctive landscape characteristics of an area will be refused. All development proposals will be expected to demonstrate how they have taken the following elements (from the 2001 South Norfolk Landscape Assessment as updated by the 2012 review) into account:

  • The key characteristics, assets, sensitivities and vulnerabilities;
  • The landscape strategy; and
  • Development considerations.

Particular regard will be had to protecting the distinctive characteristics, special qualities and geographical extents of the identified Rural River Valleys and Valley Urban Fringe landscape character types.

For Norwich

Policy DM 6 Yare Valley Character Area

Within the Yare Valley Character Area, as defined on the Norwich (South) Local Policies map, development will only be permitted where it would not damage the environmental quality, biodiversity or character of the area and where it is for:

  1. agriculture or forestry purposes; or
  2. facilities ancillary to outdoor sport and recreation or other uses appropriate to the purpose of this policy; or
  3. the limited extension of or alteration to existing buildings.

Other SNDC Policies that might be relevant

There are other policies of SNDC that can be relevant to applications in particular instances, and help support protection of the Valley. These are:

Policy DM 4.6 Landscape Setting of Norwich

All development proposals will not harm and where possible should enhance the landscape setting of Norwich with regard to the following considerations:

Norwich Southern Bypass Landscape Protection Zone

All development proposals within the Norwich Southern Bypass Landscape Protection Zone (NSBLPZ), as shown on the Policies Map, should have regard to protecting the openness of the Zone and, where possible, enhancing the landscape setting of the southern bypass, including the practice of wild flower planting and management regimes.

Key Views

All development proposals located within the Key Views ‘cones’ shown on the Policies Map should ensure they do not obstruct the long-distance views to and from the City.

Undeveloped Approaches

All development proposals within the visual zone of influence viewed from the identified Undeveloped Approaches to Norwich should reinforce and avoid undermining the rural character of the Undeveloped Approaches to Norwich.


All development proposals on the approaches to defined Gateways (shown on the Proposal Map) shall reinforce and avoid undermining the significance of these Gateways as the visual points of the landscape and townscape change marking the ‘arrival’ at and ‘departure’ from the city of Norwich.

Development which would significantly harm the NSBLPZ or the landscape setting of the Norwich urban area will not be permitted.

Policy DM 4.7 Strategic Gaps between settlements within the Norwich woodlands and traditional orchards and will serve Tree Preservation Orders where necessary.

The Council will presume in favour of the retention of ‘important’ hedgerows as defined by the Hedgerows Regulations 1997. The Council will safeguard and promote the appropriate management of protected and other significant trees and hedgerows, unless the need for, and benefits of, a development clearly outweigh their loss.

Policy DM 4.9 Incorporating landscape into design

Where appropriate, detailed development proposals must demonstrate a high quality of landscape design, implementation and management as an integral part of the new development.

The provision for new planted features (such as tree belts, hedgerows, wild flowers and specimen trees) is expected to form part of development proposals from their outset and should provide an appropriate landscape setting for the scheme.

‘Hard’ landscape features (such as paving, kerb stones, street furniture, boundary treatments etc) will reflect and where possible enhance locally distinctive character and styles where relevant; or innovative contemporary solutions reflecting local context and reinforcing or creating local distinctiveness and the setting of the development.

Landscape schemes will be required to respect the character and distinctiveness of the local landscape and should ensure that any land remodelling respects the local topographic character in terms of height, slope, angle and character. Landscape schemes should be clearly and properly specified.

Norwich Southern Bypass Landscape Protection Zone (NSBLPZ)

4.56 A Landscape Zone has been identified where there are high levels of visual accessibility to and from the road to a predominantly open rural area that plays an important part in making the landscape setting of Norwich. This Zone does not have a distinct or special landscape character in its own right.

4.57 The review undertaken by Chris Blandford Associates (CBA) has concluded that for the most part the boundaries of the originally defined Landscape Zone are robust, subject to the to removal of some areas, most notably around Easton and Costessey, that will in future make only a limited contribution to the landscape setting. This is as a result of past or permitted development or preferred strategic sites allocations determined in the Joint Core Strategy and South Norfolk Site Allocations. The amended Landscape Zone is identified on the Policies Map (see Map DM 4.6).

A big thank you to all who respond to help safeguard the Yare Valley for the future.

Outcomes of planning applications will be reported on our News when they become available.