North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

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6 WORKING COMMUNITIES AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Introduction

6.1 The Local Plan aims to support the District's economy, an important contributor to the sustainable development of the District and the prosperity and quality of life of its residents. Economic development can help increase employment opportunities, regenerate communities and economic investment. As well as identifying new locations for employment and the means of protecting existing employment of all types, the Plan also supports the District's town centres and tourism economy. Evidence for this chapter of the Plan has been provided primarily by reports commissioned by the Council from 2013 through to 2017[16] as well as papers produced by the Council[17].

6.2 The Plan provides for 46.44ha of employment land including that within the strategic sites identified in Chapter 4: Spatial Strategy. Existing employment sites will be protected for such uses, with some safeguarded principally for B1, B2 and B8 uses, reflecting the importance of the industrial sector to the District's economy. In general non-employment uses on protected employment sites will not be allowed. Town centre uses will be encouraged in town centres, and elsewhere only where it would support the economic, community, and social role of town centres. In rural areas policies will support small-scale development aimed at diversification of the economy. It is also recognised that development can benefit the local labour market and economy, by raising skills and supporting the local workforce. Measures can be attached to planning permissions through local labour agreements to help deliver a wide range assistance, including vocational opportunities and apprenticeships, work placements and childcare. Policy SS1 allows for such agreements in support of the local economy.

(1) Background

6.3 North East Derbyshire is part of the Sheffield City Region which has strong links with the north of the District, and the D2N2 economic area covering Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The Strategic Growth Plans of the LEPs (submitted to Government in 2014) provide the strategic context for the Council's own Growth Strategy, and for the Local Plan. North East Derbyshire also surrounds Chesterfield, which effectively acts as a commercial centre to the District.

6.4 There have been significant changes to the local economy and business base following the decline of traditional engineering and mining-related activities in the 1980s although the District's economy still contains significant manufacturing, construction and agricultural sectors. There has been growth in the business, professional services and the public sector (Education and Health), but starting from a low base. Thus, overall, the percentage of North East Derbyshire's workforce based in these sectors is still relatively low.

6.5 North East Derbyshire District lost a net total of 500 workforce jobs in the 15 years to 2015, made up of losses in the B2 industrial sectors, public administration and construction, but with growth elsewhere, including land transport, storage and administration & professional services. However this is in a local economy with a relatively low base of employment. The significance of local workplace jobs is tempered by the low job density figure[18] which reflects that many residents take up jobs in nearby employment centres such as Sheffield, Chesterfield and the M1 corridor.

6.6 Take-up of employment land since 1991 has totalled 53 ha but tailed off significantly between 2008 & 2013, recovering since then, with around 7.5 ha developed in the past 3 years. Almost all of the take-up since 2008 has been at Coney Green, Clay Cross. This is all in the context of earlier significant losses of large industrial and mining sites recognised in the allocations made in the 2005 Local plan.

6.7 In terms of commercial demand there are strong levels of demand particularly driven by local SMEs looking for existing new and secondary premises to purchase or lease, rather than development plots. A shortage in supply is keeping vacancy levels low, despite companies 'making do' in poor quality secondary stock. The picture for office space is more mixed, though again there is poor quality secondary office space.

6.8 In terms of policy and strategy the District's Growth Strategy & Action Plan (2014)(a)[19] and its Housing and Economic Development Strategy 2015-2020 (b) together aim to support growth in the District. Relevant objectives from these strategies include:

  • Developing and promoting the districts as competitive business locations (a);
  • Work towards maintaining an appropriate supply of suitably located employment land and premises (a).
  • Unlocking the potential of major employment and housing sites (b);
  • town centres: realise the vitality and viability of town centres (b);
  • Supporting the rural economy, including tourism (b).

6.9 These strategies identify major employment sites and locations for employment along the M1 Strategic Growth Corridor, the A61 Growth Corridor and at:

  • Callywhite Lane, Dronfield
  • Former Biwaters Site, Clay Cross
  • The Avenue site, Wingerworth
  • Markham Vale
  • Former Coalite Site

6.10 The Local Plan will therefore need to provide for economic development that meets the objectives of the strategies by identifying sufficient land for anticipated growth in attractive and sustainable locations; and protecting sites in order to maintain and improve the attractiveness of the Council's employment land portfolio. Recognising the advice in the NPPF a review of land used and allocated for employment has been carried out through an Employment Land Availability Assessment, informed by the 2014 & 2017 Employment Sites Review.

(1) Economic Growth and Employment Land Provision

6.11 As described in Chapter 4 the Local Plan and its employment land provision will accommodate growth in line with wider strategies and to provide more positive support and not constraint for economic growth and delivering regeneration in the District. The Plan accounts for the Council's Economic Development Strategy and also acknowledges the wider market, City-region and HMA context, wherein the District serves other nearby employment centres.

6.12 The 2017 Employment Land Update assessed likely future growth reflecting the context of the District and sub-region beyond it, including that of the LEPs. This is considered to be a realistic and reasonable forecast and the most appropriate for the Plan to adopt. The forecast identified several core growth sectors to be promoted and supported in the years ahead in North East Derbyshire. These are Digital and Creative Industries, Advanced Manufacturing, Food and Drink, Construction and Environmental Industries, and finally Social Enterprises. By uplifting growth in these sectors a 'regeneration' forecast was prepared as the one most closely reflecting the District's strategy and a reasonable assessment of future growth. This has indicated growth of around 3,000 jobs. Based on this forecasting the 2017 Update Report identified a likely future net increase in B1,B2 & B8 employment land of 18ha (2014-34).

6.13 An employment land provision, of around 41ha was recommended by the 2017 Employment Land Update. This would allow for the significant (20ha) anticipated losses of existing employment land but still provide for this overall employment land increase. It also allowed for a small flexibility margin. This figure reflects the forecast related to the 'Regeneration' scenario[20]. Chapter 4 describes how this level of employment land is aligned with the housing provision in the Plan. This recommended figure is being used as the starting point for establishing the employment land provision.

6.14 Updating the 2014-34 requirement to 2017 means accounting for take-up of 3.49ha, and losses of 0.81 ha, giving a revised 2017 Plan recommended range of 25.3 – 38.3 ha

(2) Available Employment Land

6.15 The Clay Cross/Holmewood Corridor is currently the main location for industrial and commercial development land in the South & East. Markham Vale is the most significant sub-regional employment location, of which the employment land allocation within the District (appr. 7ha) remains mostly undeveloped. Outside the District, in Chesterfield and Bolsover, almost all of the available land has been developed. Dronfield and Killamarsh are the main focus for employment (B1 & B2) in the North, but with limited land immediately available.

6.16 Table 6.1 below represents the employment land availability in 2017.

Table 6.1 – Employment Land Availability (April 2017)

Site

Area still Available at April 2017 (ha)

Comments/Notes

Sites with development ongoing

Coney Green, Clay Cross

9.03

Area developed since 2014 includes 2 sites u/c.

Derby Road, Upper Mantle Close, Clay Cross

0.89

One plot remaining (DCC ownership).

Westhorpe Business Centre, Killamarsh

0.35

Remaining plot undeveloped.

MEGZ (West of M1), Long Duckmanton

4.70

2005 Local Plan Allocation, remaining part of an implemented (cross-district) permission.

MEGZ (Part of former Coalite land, Chesterfield Road), Long Duckmanton

1.25

2005 Local Plan Allocation, remaining part of an implemented (cross-district) permission.

Renishaw Industrial Estate (inc. Ravenshorne Commercial

Park)

2.50

Remaining area of 2005 Plan existing employment area.

Hepthorne Lane, Tupton

3.32

Remaining area of 2005 Plan existing employment area.

Existing Sites Total

22.04


Sites Allocated & Permitted only

Biwaters Site – Mixed Use Development, Clay Cross

8.00

2005 Local Plan Allocation subject to planning approval and outstanding applications.

Callywhite Lane Extension, Dronfield

6.00

2005 Local Plan Allocation – revised developable area.

Land Adjacent to Norwood Industrial Estate, Killamarsh

5.40

2005 Local Plan Allocation part taken up with housing. Area remaining equates to size of employment allocation (E1(d) within original mixed use site (E3))

The Avenue – Mixed Use Development, Wingerworth

5.00

2005 Local Plan Allocation. Additional employment area as part of large Mixed Use Site,

Allocation & Permissions only

24.40


Overall District Total

46.44



(1) Providing for losses in the Provision & Protection of Employment Land

6.17 The most significant element of the recommended range of employment land requirement in the District is to address anticipated losses. The 2017 update estimates a losses figure of approximately 20 ha for the 20 year plan period. This is based on previous trends, and as the report states, this reflects low rates of losses in recent years (compared to the previous report). The Employment Land Update suggests that "the Council should also consider the scope to which existing legacy estates and sites in the District are no longer productive for employment use and could be better placed to support non B class employment uses in the future."[21]

6.18 The employment land provision also has regard to the guidance in the NPPF to "avoid the long term protection of sites allocated for employment use where there is no reasonable prospect of a site being used for that purpose." Consequently land allocations have been reviewed and certain sites that could fulfil the NPPF description, or with limited value to the land portfolio have been considered with regard to their future employment use.

6.19 As a result some sites are recognised as have a variety of development issues relating to access, flood risk, marketability, etc and while they are currently retained as employment allocations, development for B1,B2 or B8 uses over the Plan period is uncertain. While not providing for the loss of any specific sites, it is recognised that better quality, more sustainable replacement sites may be considered in any future review of the Plan provision, with undeveloped sites appropriate for de-allocation. This is not considered appropriate at the present time as no suitable sites have presented themselves through the Assessment of prospective employment land[22].

6.20 Employment opportunities are not confined to B1, B2 and B8 uses, and employment growth is increasingly provided by other commercial and public sectors such as leisure and the health service. This wider definition of economic development was reflected in the NPPF and National Planning Policy Guidance in 2012[23]. The 2005 Local Plan pre-dated this change and policies limited such uses on employment sites. In adjoining districts more recent Local Plans reflect the National Planning Policy Guidance relating to the increasing diversity of employment generating uses.

6.21 The types of location sought after by different sectors, including each non–B class will differ according to the needs of each use. It is possible that such uses will seek to locate on either allocated employment land, or to recycle sites within existing employment areas. The Plan aims to adopt a positive approach to sui generis and other non B class job-creating uses on employment sites provided the use proposed is compatible with the predominant uses on the site, and it is appropriate in terms of its scale, nature and form. Such employment uses would be considered under Policy WC3 (Employment Areas).

6.22 In light of the above it is not possible to predict where or how much loss of employment land to non-employment uses will occur. The Plan, recognises this, and guided by the Employment Land Update, makes provision accordingly. Fewer losses than anticipated may occur in future, or there may be significantly more losses than anticipated. In addition, suitable land, currently not identified, may come forward in strategic and sustainable locations to improve the District's portfolio (see 6.15). Any of these situations could trigger a review of employment provision and policy, and this situation will be monitored.

6.23 The employment land provision of 46.44ha would allow for over 26ha of losses of B1,B2 & B8 uses and still maintain a net increase in (B1,B2 & B8) employment land over the Plan period of 18ha, the basis of the Employment Land Review update recommendation. This is considered an appropriate response to the uncertainty of employment land delivery, quality of sites, and prospective employment uses (other than B1,B2 & B8) in the District.

(7) Employment Land Provision

6.24 To meet the future additional provision for office and industrial space in North East Derbyshire, the Council is guided by the employment studies referred to above. These reports have identified issues with poor quality stock and an imbalance in the location of the portfolio of sites, with further land needed in areas of stronger demand (such as in closer proximity to the M1 junction); and to cater for the continued demand for B2 floorspace (particularly from indigenous companies).

6.25 The NPPF and Planning Practice Guidance suggest a policy approach to positively plan to support the District's employment needs so that the local economy is not unduly constrained over the plan period, but also recognises the issues around land supply and competing pressures on available development sites. The 2017 reports have also highlighted the physical constraints of the District's potential land supply which would preclude a step-change in delivery[24].

6.26 The Employment Land Update refers to both indigenous growth needs as well as a degree of footloose demand within a wider sub-regional market. It suggests that the Plan needs to consider how the delivery of B-class employment land can be prioritised in particular areas and for particular uses, drawing upon the growth opportunities provided by the principal employment centres with good access to the strategic road network. These are Markham Vale, including the former Coalite cross-boundary site, plus the strategic sites of the Avenue and the former Biwater site.[25]

6.27 Additional employment sites, mostly brought forward through consultation, have been assessed by the Council. Additional employment sites have been assessed on their availability, suitability and deliverability through the Employment Land Availability Assessment, and as part of the Sustainability Appraisal. None have been demonstrated to meet the sustainability requirements of the Plan. Further information on the process can be found in the Employment Land Assessment[26].

6.28 The Plan provides for 46.44ha of employment land on the sites described below. The majority of this provision is on the strategic sites set out in Chapter 4. The strategic sites in particular will provide a significant improvement to the quality of the employment land portfolio of the District. A number of sites are within existing partially developed employment areas. In addition to these is a single regeneration area identified at Callywhite Lane. Taken together the sites listed in table 6.2 below will provide for new employment land to meet the employment land target in Policy SS2. The Plan makes no other new employment allocations.

Table 6.2 Local Plan Employment Land Availability

Existing Employment Sites and allocations with development land remaining


Coney Green, Clay Cross

9.03

Derby Rd, Upper Mantle Close, Clay Cross

0.89

Westthorpe Business Centre, Killamarsh

0.35

Land adj Norwood Industrial Estate

5.40

Markham Vale (West of M1), Long Duckmanton

4.70

Markham Vale (Part former Coalite land) Long Duckmanton

1.25

Renishaw Industrial Estate

2.50

Hepthorne Lane, Tupton

3.32

Sub-Total

27.44



Strategic Sites and Regeneration Area


The Avenue, Wingerworth

5.00

Former Biwaters Site, Clay Cross

8.00

Dronfield Regeneration Area (Callywhite Lane), Dronfield

6.00

Sub-Total

19.00



Total Provision

46.44

(1) Employment Land considered for allocation and retention.

  • The Strategic Sites such as the Avenue and the Biwaters Site are described in Chapter 4.
  • Coney Green, Clay Cross: Remaining plots from a large, successful mixed employment area. Recent development in this location constitutes the whole of the District's take-up, 2009-16.
  • Derby Rd, Upper Mantle Close, Clay Cross: Lying to the North of Clay Cross town centre, this plot remains undeveloped within a small estate containing a broad mix of industrial uses.
  • Westthorpe Business Park, Killamarsh: The remaining single plot of a Derbyshire CC employment estate.
  • Markham Vale (Part former Coalite): This site is an area remaining from the large cross boundary Markham Vale Economic Growth Zone, covered by an outline planning permission. It is partly developed.
  • Markham Vale (South-West of M1J29a): This site is an area remaining from the large cross boundary Markham Vale Economic Growth Zone, covered by an outline planning permission. It is partly developed.
  • Renishaw Industrial Estate (Part): Two parts of a long-established employment area. The Western part (known also as Renishaw Business Park or Ravenshorne Commercial Park) contains small-scale workshop units, and includes permissions for non-B employment uses. The larger employment area was submitted as a potential housing site (ECK/902) but is considered unsuitable.
  • Land South of Norwood Industrial Estate: This is the amount of employment land remaining from a 2005 Plan mixed-use allocation, partly developed with housing. A satisfactory access cannot easily be achieved for the remainder of the land. The development of the site may also impinge on education and recreation land.
  • Hepthorne Lane, Tupton: This remaining section of a former railway sidings adjoins North Wingfield but lies mostly within a flood plain & has some access issues. Although suitable employment uses would be acceptable prospects for development are limited.
  • Former Callywhite Lane Extension, Dronfield: This is a long-standing allocation from the 2005 Adopted Plan, the northern end of which has been partly developed. Despite lack of progress on this site it represents an important extension to a valuable industrial area and a potential significant business park opportunity in the North Sub-Area. Issues over access in particular need to be resolved and were, until recently associated with the electrification of the East Midlands Main Line. As this work through Dronfield is now associated with the longer term HS2 project, such issues will be resolved much later. The development of the site is only likely towards the end of the Plan period and will have to account for designated flood risk areas associated with the River Drone which runs through the area. The land is thus safeguarded under Policy WC1 as a regeneration area and it is expected to contribute around 6ha of land in employment use. In view of its prospective development, any future employment use on the land will be protected under Policy WC3 (Employment Areas).

(7) Policy WC1 Dronfield Regeneration Area

  1. Land shown on the Policies Map for the extension of Callywhite Lane Industrial Estate, Dronfield is safeguarded as a Regeneration Area within the Local Plan. As such, the land will be safeguarded for development in order to deliver the comprehensive development of the area. It will be protected for future employment use under Policy WC3 (Employment Areas).
  1. Any development area will take account of impact and vulnerability to flood risk in relation to designated flood risk areas in the vicinity.

Protection of Employment Sites

6.29 Although future losses of employment land are accounted for in the overall employment land target set in Policy SS2 these losses must nevertheless be subject to some control. The Plan recognises that many existing sites provide an important contribution to the local and strategic portfolio of employment sites and should be retained.

6.30 The Plan seeks to secure and retain the sites identified for employment use. These areas, which are existing employment sites and allocations, have been identified as the most appropriate employment locations and will be safeguarded from potential redevelopment or change of use to a non-employment use, for example housing or retail. Certain sites, listed under policy WC2, are identified as being particularly important for the retention of the District's B-class employment base, either strategically, or locally for a particular settlement.

6.31 Other sites currently in use are considered appropriate for employment uses using a broader definition, rather than to retain solely for B1, B2 or B8 uses. This is for two main reasons; to be in line with Government Guidance and the NPPF, which introduced a wider definition of economic development, and accounting for the Plan's Objectives to support the District and local economy. Therefore, redevelopment for other appropriate employment generating uses will be considered under Policy WC3. These uses are specifically to include care homes (if sufficient employment is provided) and traveller sites, where it is accepted that an element of employment is incorporated in the use of land.

6.32 Importantly, proposals for main town centre uses will need to support, rather than damage, the vitality and viability of the District's, and other nearby town centres. In this respect, the scale of the proposal and size of settlement, and the market being served by the proposal would be considered. Planning decisions would therefore need to take account of policy WC5, Retail Hierarchy and Town Centre Uses.

(2) POLICY WC2: Principal Protected Employment Areas

  1. The following sites as shown on the Policies Map are protected for office, light industrial and research and development (Use Class B1), general industrial (Use Class B2) and storage and distribution (Use Class B8).

Clay Cross/Danesmoor

Coney Green Industrial Estate

Bridge Street Industrial Estate/Upper Mantle Close

Pilsley Road

Corbriggs

Industrial Estate, Mansfield Road

Dronfield

Callywhite Lane Industrial Estate

Stubley Lane/Wreakes Lane Industrial Estate

Eckington

Rotherside Road

Holmewood

Holmewood Industrial Estate

Holmewood Industrial Park

Holmewood Business Park

Killamarsh

Norwood Industrial Estate

Rotherham Close

Westthorpe Fields, off Green Lane

Sheffield Road Industrial Area

Long Duckmanton

Markham Vale, NE of Chesterfield Road (part former Coalite wks)

Renishaw

Renishaw Industrial Estate (Ravenshorn Commercial Park)

Temple Normanton

Temple Normanton Business Park


(2) POLICY WC3: Employment Areas

  1. The following areas on the Policies Map are protected as General Employment Areas for employment uses[27].

Clay Cross

Derby Rd (East & South)

West of Derby Road

Dronfield

Dronfield Regeneration Area

Gunstones Bakery, Stubley Lane

Sheffield Road

Eckington

Littlemoor Business Park

Killamarsh

Land South of Norwood Industrial Estate

Morton

Morton Ind Est

Stonebroom

Stonebroom Industrial Estate

Tupton

Hepthorne Lane

  1. Within these Employment Areas the Council will support development proposals for employment uses28 where they:
    1. Demonstrate that they will maintain or increase local employment opportunities,
    2. Maximise opportunities for employing local people and developing skills
    3. Do not prejudice the future development of the viable existing uses on the site or nearby employment sites by reason of conflicting activities, access arrangements or movements of traffic or people.
  1. Proposals for Main town centre Uses on these sites will be considered also in the light of policy WC5.
  1. Development involving the full or partial loss of sites or buildings to a non-employment use within 'General Employment areas' will only be permitted if the applicant can demonstrate that:
    1. the land or building is no longer physically suitable for employment uses and there is no realistic prospect of re-use or redevelopment for such uses[28], this should include evidence that describes measures taken and explains how development problems that prohibit re-use for employment cannot be overcome; and
    2. there is no demand for the building or redevelopment of the site by providing evidence of unsuccessful active marketing for employment use over a period of 2 years, including an advertising board placed in a visible location on the site and online marketing, a list of reasons as to why enquirers found the site unsuitable; and
    3. the proposed use does not prejudice the future development of the viable existing uses on the site or nearby employment sites by reason of conflicting activities, access arrangements or movements of traffic or people.

(1) Ancillary Development on Employment Sites

6.33 The Council will support development proposals which are ancillary to, or support the economic viability of employment sites and the local economy. Therefore ancillary development including workplace nurseries and catering facilities, education and training facilities, and other sui-generis uses which create jobs will be supported. However care will be taken to ensure such development does not prejudice the operation of neighbouring employment activities and sites.

Policy WC4 Development on Employment Land

Retail and Town Centres

6.34 Strong, vibrant town and local centres are vital to creating a thriving District. It is important to have a good retail offer in the District to reduce leakage of retail expenditure to shops outside of the District, whilst recognising the role of the District's centres within a wider network, including Sheffield and Chesterfield. The retail sector provides a plentiful supply of employment which needs to be utilised for the District's local economy.

6.35 The National Planning Policy Framework requires local authorities to quantify the need for additional retail development and then identify locations for such development by applying a sequential approach which prioritises town centre locations, in order to ensure the vitality and vibrancy of town centres.

6.36 A Retail and Centres Study for Chesterfield, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire was produced in 2018[29]. This report has modelled future retail expenditure growth for the District up to 2021, 2026, 2031 and 2033 and the potential implications of new floorspace.

6.37 The Retail and Centres Study is important in developing policies and defining the limits for the town centres of Dronfield, Clay Cross, Eckington and Killamarsh. The study reveals capacity figures for the whole of the district; it states that for Convenience Goods[30] there would be a potential floorspace capacity of at least 2,000 sq. m up to 2,900 sq. m until the end of the plan period. However, for Comparison Goods there would be a negative floorspace capacity which ranges from -100 sq. m to -200 sq. m. In order to provide for additional capacity for convenience goods. To address this the study identifies the 'Bridge Street Triangle' in Clay Cross as the most suitable opportunity to deliver a retail-led development in the district. This area is bounded by the A61 to the west, Harris Way to the north-east and Eldon Street to the south. Extending the Town Centre into this area would help deliver a key priority of the Clay Cross Regeneration Framework as a modern retail and services area, including town centre uses, a combination of comparison goods retailers or a further foodstore.

Town Centre and Local Centre Boundaries

6.38 The town centre boundaries of the four main towns in the 2005 adopted Local Plan were re-assessed through the Retail Study and are to be amended following further detailed work by the Council. In all four town centres the study recommends that amended town centres should also serve as the primary shopping area and would not require separately designated primary and secondary frontages.

6.39 The Study indicates that Dronfield's town centre boundary should be significantly refined, on the basis that "Dronfield does not provide a compact or coherent centre". The study suggests contracting the town centre boundary to cover the proposed area from the Sainsbury's in the north-west, to the Forge Shopping Centre in the east. The town centre boundary is amended accordingly. The shopping parade along Sheffield Road/Chesterfield Road, as shown on the Proposals Map is designated as a 'Local Centre'.

6.40 The Clay Cross town centre boundary is amended accordingly to include the Bridge Street Triangle in the north-west and the former Clay Cross Junior School and an undeveloped field next to it to the south. T

6.41 Eckington's town centre boundary will be retained subject to minor amendments. Killamarsh's town centre boundary will be extended in the east to include the Community Campus with Killamarsh Sports Centre, the library and church.

Retail Development Outside Centres

6.42 In line with the overall approach to support economic growth and sustainable communities, the Plan allows small scale retail development to serve the needs of local communities in locations within settlements and outside centres. Evidence set out in the Retail Study update has not identified any further retail centres, but has set out local thresholds for retail development, beyond which an impact assessment would be required to ensure that development is of a scale appropriate to its location.

(1) Policy WC5: Retail Hierarchy and Town Centre Uses

  1. Retail Hierarchy

    The Council will support the following hierarchy of Towns, and Local Centres in the District:

    1. Town Centres - Dronfield and Clay Cross, Eckington and Killamarsh.
    2. Local Centre – Sheffield Road/Chesterfield Road, Dronfield
  1. A sequential approach will be taken to assessing development proposals for the main town centre uses as defined in the NPPF, in line with this hierarchy.
  1. Proposals for retail and other town centre uses in the Centres defined in the Retail Hierarchy above should:
    1. Be consistent in scale with the size and function of the centre; and
    2. Safeguard the retail character and function of existing centres and not detract from their vitality and viability.
  1. Any quantitative expansion or new provision within the town centres should contribute to enhancing the town centre public realm.
  1. To ensure the vibrancy and economic health of the District's centres, the mix of uses will be controlled in order that uses other than A1 will:
    1. Contribute to the diversity of leisure and cultural attractions, without overwhelming the retail function of the centre, street or frontage by having a detrimental impact on vitality and viability
    2. Help to create an active, well used and safe evening environment, with acceptable impacts on residential amenity;
    3. help to address vacant, under-used or derelict buildings within centres
    4. Contribute to an appropriate mix of licensed premises
  1. Retail development outside centres

Small shops serving the day to day needs of local communities will be permitted within Settlement Development Limits subject to an assessment in accordance with the thresholds below.

  1. In all locations outside of those identified in the retail hierarchy, the loss of local shops and other local services will be resisted, in line with Policy ID6 (Social Infrastructure).
  1. Proposals for retail or town centre use development in the countryside will only be permitted where they accord with Policy SS9 (Development in the Countryside) and where they are of an appropriate scale for their location.
  1. Local Threshold for Impact Assessment

    A retail impact assessment will be required for retail proposals n edge-of centre or out-of-centre locations which propose additional retail floorspace as follows:

    1. 200 m2 (net) for proposals within the catchment (500m) of protected Local Centres;
    2. 280 m2 (net) for proposals within the catchment (500m) of the Town Centres defined above; and
    3. 500 m2 (net) for proposals across the remainder of the District.

(1) Tourism and Rural employment

6.43 The Plan aims to support the District's role as a visitor/tourist destination, building on and adding to, the strength of existing attractions, townscapes and landscapes, encouraging the development of new visitor attractions and accommodation, capitalising on the District's role and location on the Peak Fringe. Sustainable rural employment and diversification will be supported in villages and within the countryside where this does not conflict with other local plan policies. Employment generating developments of a scale appropriate to a small settlement and / or rural surroundings will be supported in rural areas where the development or activities are related to farming, forestry and other activities which need a rural location. Proposals will also be supported where the business has no negative implications for the area and will help to support a sustainable rural economy and contribute to rural environmental or social regeneration. Proposals for employment development in the countryside other than for tourism will be considered under Policy SS9: Development in the Countryside; that policy and policy SDC1: Re-use of Buildings in the Green Belt and Countryside may also be apply to certain minor tourist developments.

6.44 A healthy tourism economy can help sustainable economic growth in the District, building on both North East Derbyshire's proud heritage and its location on the fringe of the Peak District. The visitor economy is a significant, growing and a resilient part of the District's economy, supporting around 1,800 jobs and with annual expenditure well in excess of £100m[31]. A strong tourism economy will help to support and maintain communities and community facilities, especially in rural areas, and maintain attractive environments.

6.45 The Local Enterprise Partnership strategies both give attention to growing the tourism economy. In particular the visitor economy is one of eight key sectors of the D2N2 Growth Plan. D2N2 is working on developing the visitor economy by increasing opportunities and markets. It is supporting 'Visit Peak District and Derbyshire' which has developed 6 aims within its own Growth Strategy.

6.46 The rural and tranquil nature of much of the District's countryside is an important asset for residents and visitors. Therefore, development within the countryside needs to be compatible with its location in order to protect the area's special character. It is important to ensure that all heritage and environmental assets are both protected and supported in appropriate ways to enable them to flourish. In particular, proposals should have regard to Policies in Chapter 8, Sustainable Development and Communities.

6.47 New tourist attractions will be directed to accessible and sustainable locations, particularly the main towns and larger settlements in order to expand the tourism offer in the District and encourage visitors to stay longer. Tourist development in settlements and on employment sites will be considered in the same way as other development, according to appropriate policies. Where it is appropriate, tourism development in less accessible locations will be resisted, except for small-scale accommodation, which should be focussed on the conversion of existing buildings and developments that contribute to rural diversification, enjoyment of the countryside, and access to heritage.

6.48 The Local Plan seeks to support sustainable rural tourism development which can be shown to benefit rural communities and businesses, and which respect the character of the countryside. Planning for tourism in rural areas of the District should make the most of the area's rural assets, enriching and enhancing them, rather than harming the very character, quality and beauty that makes them attractive to visitors and residents. This can be achieved by ensuring that developments and levels of visitor activity are not likely to significantly affect key assets, including protected sites and species, landscape character and historic buildings and conservation area

(2) Policy WC6: Visitor Economy and Tourism Development in the Countryside

  1. Proposals for leisure, visitor and tourism development (including for accommodation) in the Countryside will be permitted where they:
    1. Can demonstrate why a countryside location is appropriate; and
    2. Are located in accessible locations within areas that can accommodate additional visitor numbers without detriment to the environment or the vitality of existing centres; and
    3. Are appropriate to the site's location in terms of scale, design, or materials; and
    4. Are appropriate to the role of any nearby settlement respecting the character and appearance of the open countryside; and
    5. Do not have a significant adverse impact on any environmental designation.
  1. Proposals for tourism development will particularly be encouraged subject to a - d above where they would:
    1. enhance the tourism offer within towns and villages;
    2. assist in the restoration and enhancement of Chesterfield Canal;
    3. support the promotion of the District's industrial heritage;
    4. Build on links with the Peak District National Park;
    5. Extend and/or upgrade the District's Green Infrastructure and network of multi-user trails and/or
    6. Provide a viable and appropriate use for under-used buildings.
  1. Proposals for visitor accommodation will also be subject to policy WC7.
  1. In all cases, where development is considered acceptable in principle, it will be required to respect the form, scale and character of the landscape, through careful siting, scale design and use of materials.

Tourist Accommodation

6.49 Visitor accommodation in rural areas, in suitable locations, can have a positive impact on the local economy. Appropriate conditions restricting this accommodation to holiday use will be applied, to avoid the provision of owner occupied second homes which are economically less beneficial and do not positively contribute to sustainable communities. As a result, tourist accommodation (but not use as a second home) is considered to be an employment use as referred to in Policy SS9 (c).

6.50 The occupation of static caravans for permanent residential use is not considered appropriate in the countryside unless they are located within an established static caravan park specifically developed for that purpose. Storage sites for touring caravans help remove caravans from residential areas where they are often unsightly. However, sites need to be secure, well screened throughout the year, and preferably located close to settlement where they can easily access and support local shops and services.

6.51 Proposals for visitor accommodation in the countryside will need to be accompanied by a business plan which identifies tourism related needs and demonstrates the likely impact on business viability.

(1) Policy WC7: Tourist Accommodation in the Countryside

  1. In addition to being subject to Policy WC6, New visitor accommodation, or extensions to existing visitor accommodation, will be permitted where it is not used for permanent residential occupation and:
    1. Where is an extension to existing visitor accommodation and helps to ensure future business viability; or
    2. It is in accordance with Policy SS9:Development in the Countryside; or
  1. In addition, proposals for new, and extensions to existing camp sites, and sites for chalets, static (non-dwelling) or touring caravans, including for caravan storage, will be permitted where:
    1. They are adequately screened all year round; and
    2. They are laid out in a manner which would not adversely affect the character of the area; and
    3. The materials and colour of the chalets and caravans, services and infrastructure are appropriately designed to reduce the visual impact of the proposal on the landscape to a satisfactory level; and
    4. They do not significantly adversely affect the amenity of local residents.


[16] These are the 2008 Employment Land Review, the 2013 and 2017 Employment Land Update and the 2014 and 2017 Employment Sites Review.

[17] Employment Report and employment Land Assessment (NEDDC) 2017.

[18] Ne-Derbyshire's job density is 0.50, compared to 0.75 for the East Midlands

[19] Joint with Bolsover District Council.

[20] Other scenarios are presented in the Report to provide a context/reality check.

[21] 2017 Employment Land Update para 6.13 (pt)

[22] 2017 Employment Land Assessment, NE-Derbyshire

[23] Paragraph: 033 Reference ID: 2a-033-20140306 and NPPF Glossary.

[24] 2017 Employment Land Update

[25] 2017 Employment Land Update para 6.13 (pt)

[26] 2017 Employment Land Assessment; NE-Derbyshire

[27] Asdefined in the NPPF Glossary as Economic Development, i.e. developments "including those within the B Use Classes, public and community uses and main town centre uses (but excluding housing development)".

[28] The recommendations of the Employment Sites Study and Employment LAA (2017) will be referred to when considering this criterion.

[29] Bolsover, Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire: Retail and Centres Study, January 2018

[30] Superseded Planning Policy Statement PPS 5: Retailing and Town Centre defines 'Convenience Goods' broadly as 'food, drinks, tobacco, newspapers, magazines, cleaning materials, toilet articles.' 'Comparison Goods' are therefore 'Other goods not classified as convenience goods.'

[31] North East Derbyshire Housing & Economic Development Strategy 2015-2020

  1. Proposals for the redevelopment of existing employment sites, or for the use of those sites for other employment generating uses, including where the proposed use, if integral or of smaller scale would be ancillary to the main employment use of an application site, will be permitted where:
    1. the proposed use directly supports the functioning of the application site and any attached employment area for employment purposes and
    2. it can be demonstrated that the proposal will maintain or increase local employment opportunities and maximize opportunities for employing local people and developing skills
    3. the proposal does not prejudice the future development of the viable existing uses on that or nearby protected employment sites by reason of conflicting activities, access arrangements or movements of traffic or people.
  1. Any proposal will need to accord with other policies in this Plan.
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