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District Plan

Appendix D: Extract from Hertfordshire Structure Plan Review 1991-2011

POLICY 1 : SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The policies of this Plan, together with those of local plans, will seek to enable activities and development in Hertfordshire to be carried out consistently with the principles of sustainable development. Those aspects within the ambit of the Structure Plan and local plans will be subject to monitoring and review in the light of evolving policies and concerns at national and international levels, and new information as it comes forward. Where feasible, appropriate targets and benchmarks will be set.

The general aim will be to:

1. Encourage economic growth consistent with environmental constraints, with the main emphasis on promoting the knowledge economy rather than mass industrial production;
2. Make provision for the housing and social needs of people in ways which minimise the need to travel and otherwise exploit the sustainability advantages of urban concentration, with the prime emphasis on regeneration in the County’s main towns;
3. Improve people’s quality of life, both in town and country, in ways which do not prejudice the quality of life of people in the future or threaten the environment;
4. Avoid pollution in all its forms, in particular pollution of ground and surface water resources;
5. Contain road traffic growth, particularly in the main towns, and encourage walking, cycling and greater use of passenger transport in preference to the private car, in particular through development of new and improved bus and rail services;
6. Conserve the County’s critical capital and other important environmental assets, including its landscape, ecological, built and archaeological heritage, and safeguard the County’s area of green belt;
7. Conserve natural resources, in particular the County’s best & most versatile agricultural land;
8. Minimise resource depletion and make the most efficient use of land, minerals, buildings, energy, water and waste.

Aims for Sustainability

A. Reduce overall demand for resources (including land and water);
B. Make the most efficient use, including re-use and recycling, of renewable and non-renewable resources (including land);
C. Increase the use of renewable resources where this would not be detrimental to other aims;
D. Maintain and enhance biological diversity;
E. Mitigate the possible causes and effects of climate change;
F. Increase the rate of carbon fixing;
G. Reduce pollution and the effects it has on ecosystems and human health;
H. Maintain critical national and local environmental assets, which would be impossible or very difficult to replace;
I. Maintain and where possible increase stocks of less critical environmental assets (of which no one example is critical but whose overall spread and frequency are important for the environmental character and quality of an area);
J. Improve the overall quality of life, meeting housing, employment, health, education, recreation and other human needs within a safe, healthy, diverse & pleasant environment;
K. Increase community awareness and involvement;
L. Improve equality of opportunity in economic and social terms;
M. Apply the precautionary principle where the potential damage to the environment is uncertain and significant.