North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Ended on the 4th April 2018
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7 SUSTAINABLE PLACES

(1) Introduction

7.1 This chapter presents the most sustainable places within the district which are the towns of Clay Cross and Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh. It shows their specific characteristics and needs and points out their strengths and challenges.

(17) Dronfield

7.2 Dronfield is the largest town in North East Derbyshire, and the only one with a railway station. Historically, Dronfield developed as two settlements; the principal one being on the hillside around the Parish Church and the secondary, more industrialised township, in the valley below, strung out along the River Drone and Chesterfield Road/Sheffield Road. It is highly constrained by the Green Belt that helps prevent Dronfield from merging with Unstone and in the wider context with Chesterfield, to the south, and Sheffield, to the north. As a retail and service centre it serves the needs of local residents and residents of the villages between the two major centres of Chesterfield and Sheffield. Dronfield also attracts passing trade from the B6057, although this is limited due to the A61 Dronfield-Unstone bypass.

7.3 Dronfield has many positive assets, including two Conservation Areas (the town centre and a small area in Dronfield Woodhouse), together with a further Conservation Area in Coal Aston. The town also has a significant number of listed buildings, and low levels of deprivation, which together with the countryside setting make it an attractive place to live and work. The railway station is a highly valued transport facility both within Dronfield and for the district as a whole, providing excellent links to Sheffield and Chesterfield as well as locations further afield.

7.4 The Local Plan aims to direct new growth to the district's most sustainable settlements based on the Settlement Hierarchy, and to Strategic Sites in suitable locations. Dronfield is the largest of the four towns within the district, and is an area of high demand for growth. The tight constraints of the Green Belt have restricted development in recent years leading to rising house prices and unmet housing needs. The lack of available land within the existing settlement means that meaningful levels of housing growth could only be accommodated by looking around the edge of the town within the Green Belt. Following a review of the Green Belt a selection of land parcels have been released from the Green Belt. These were selected on the basis that they would cause least harm to the strategic functions of the Green Belt while delivering around 475 dwellings by 2034. When adding completions and commitments this will amount to approximately 570 dwellings in total within the plan period.

7.5 Dronfield has got a reasonable mix of house types, although is perhaps lacking smaller properties (the proportion of terrace housing is below the district average). In terms of tenure, there is an imbalance, with only 10% social rented which is half the district average. This will be addressed through housing provision in order to establish a more balanced mixed and sustainable community.

7.6 The Recreation Survey 2017 shows that Dronfield is lacking in green space, children's play spaces, outdoor youth facilities and allotment provision. This means that existing green spaces and recreation sites including large green spaces such as Sindelfingen Park, will need to be protected and new provision encouraged.

7.7 The Playing Pitch Strategy 2017 reveals for this area that present and future demand for all formal pitch sports either can be met or there is a small shortfall. In particular, there is no surplus of grass pitch provision in the north analysis area. In the main, shortfalls expressed can be met by improving pitch quality and through pitch reconfiguration. This means that existing outdoor sport facilities should be protected and in some cases the quality of sport facilities should be improved.

7.8 Dronfield Sports Centre was refurbished in early 2017 when the existing leisure facilities were extended by a new two-storey fitness suite. This helps to meet increasing demand for health and fitness activities from local residents. The Indoor Sports Facilities Strategy 2017 recommends a continued programme of investment at Dronfield Sports Centre to ensure facilities remain as good as they can for as long as possible.

Dronfield Town Centre

7.9 Based on Experian GOAD[32] Data 2016, the Retail and Centres Study[33] assessed the vitality and viability of Dronfield Town Centre in November 2016 which includes 34 retail units. Within the redefined town centre boundary as shown on the Policies Map, there are 5 convenience stores which provide for more than half of all retail floorspace due to the large Sainsbury's which is popular across the area. Dronfield also provides 12 comparison units and 15 service units. There were only two vacant units with 2.7% of the total floorspace recorded which is below the UK average of 9.0%. The Dronfield Sports Centre is particularly popular which is the second most popular leisure centre across the study area.

7.10 Almost 33% of respondents from Zone 4 (Dronfield) of the NEMS household survey[34] identified that they undertook their last main food and grocery shopping at the Sainsbury's. Dronfield's town centre is also popular for going out to bars, pubs, nightclubs and social clubs which is demonstrated by the fact that Dronfield is identified as the third most popular location in this category, behind Chesterfield and Sheffield. Eventually, 74.5% of the respondents said that they would travel to Dronfield by car, 5.5% by bus and 14.7% walked into the town centre.

7.11 Dronfield Heritage Trust and the Town Council are both active and the initiatives such as the Barn project are positive additions to the town's heritage and attractions. The market and historic aspects to the town are real opportunities, but the condition of the civic centre needs addressing in order to maintain the vitality and viability of the town centre.

Dronfield Regeneration Framework

7.12 In January 2017 the Council adopted a Regeneration Framework for Dronfield. This document was prepared together with local residents and identifies key opportunities for improvement within the town, sets a strategic approach to delivering improvements and attracts investment. It will also be used to coordinate the delivery of projects and ensure that they are of the highest quality. The Local Plan draws on the recommendations of the Regeneration Framework. Table 7.1 shows the Framework's Key themes and proposals:

Table 7.1: Dronfield Regeneration Framework Key Themes & Proposals

1. Access and movement

  • Improvement of public transport through linked ticketing and timetabling between bus and rail as well as review of bus services within the town
  • Improvements to Callywhite Lane Industrial Estate through improvement of the junction at Callywhite Lane/Chesterfield Road and provision of a new link road between the eastern end of Callywhite Lane and Chesterfield Road.
  • Improvement of routes for safe walking and cycling.
  • Improved public realm for High Street and Church Street, the Civic Centre and Dronfield Bottom – Station and Sheffield Road.
  • Improved balance between car space and pedestrian space. This could be achieved through audit of vehicle speeds in town centre, improved facilities for pedestrians and an increase of the number of pedestrian crossings.
  • Improvement of car parking through connection of the two town centre car parks and work with Network Rail to facilitate improvement of the station car park.

2. Green routes and spaces

  • Improve green routes and facilities through
    • Mapping and auditing of existing cycleways and greenways
    • Developing a 'Connection Strategy'
    • Improved lighting and surfaces
    • Carrying out a feasibility study for a cycle route to new attractions such as Peak Resort
    • Improvement of the walking/cycling route to the station

3. The Town Centre

  • Improve the Civic Square through:
    • Improving the market offer
    • Moving the Post Office to the Civic Centre
    • Re-surfacing and considering the planting of trees and shrubs
    • New street furniture and improved lighting
    • A new canopy to the shopping precinct.
    • An increase of social use of the Civic Square.
    • A wholesale redevelopment of the shopping precinct.

4. Heritage and Character

  • Make more of existing heritage assets through:
    • Review and consolidation of previous audits and studies of the town's historic assets.
    • Identifying historic buildings and spaces that would benefit from new uses.
    • Making Dronfield's history come alive for children and other residents and visitors, using on-line and other resources.
  • Make the heritage assets work together through:
    • Improving connections between the key clusters of buildings and spaces in the historic centre of Dronfield,
    • Improvement of quality of streets and spaces to match the quality of historic buildings.

5. Community and Social Networks

  • Raise awareness and increase participation through:
    • A town team to maximise the benefits arising from the Peak Resort and Callywhite Lane Industrial Estate expansion proposals.
  • Improve co-ordination for smarter working through:
    • Development of a virtual 'platform' for groups and networks to book rooms and physical space
    • Connecting groups to allow more integration between them and to share/use resources more efficiently.

7.13 Within the Dronfield Regeneration Framework new walking and cycling routes were considered which could run from the town centre to surrounding areas and within Dronfield to improve connectivity of the settlement. In line with that, Derbyshire's Key Cycle Network identified two potential walking and cycling routes which are considered for delivery through the D2N2 Sustainable Travel Programme. These new routes are:

- East-west alignment from Callywhite Lane to Sindelfingen Park

This route would provide good connectivity between residential neighbourhoods, the town centre, railway station and Callywhite Lane Industrial Estate.

- North-south alignment along the B6057 between Dronfield and Unstone

This route would provide good connectivity between the town centre, Unstone and the planned Peak Resort. It could potentially link into the Callywhite Lane extension.


(10) Policy SP1: Dronfield

  1. Dronfield will maintain its role as the social and economic focus of the North of the District.
  1. Provision for new housing will be made in line with Policy SS2 and employment land in accordance with Policies WC1WC2 and WC3.
  1. The efficient reuse of previously developed land within Dronfield will be encouraged, including sites within the Town Centre where such development would help to meet housing needs, including living above shops.
  1. The Council will seek to facilitate the development of land for housing and employment, and will support proposals that provide infrastructure improvements required to unlock the development potential of sites.
  1. In order to maintain Dronfield's role, the Council will:
    1. Support proposals that maximise the benefits from, and protect and improve access to, the railway station.
    2. Help to re-balance the local housing market through the provision of affordable housing in line with Affordable Housing Policies (LC2 & LC3).
    3. Protect and enhance existing green space, children's play spaces, outdoor youth facilities and allotments and outdoor and indoor sport facilities to meet identified demand.
    4. Encourage proposals that facilitate the provision of new green space, children's play spaces, outdoor youth facilities and allotments to meet identified shortfalls.
    5. Encourage uses within the town centre that enhance the offer of the town as an evening destination, particularly leisure facilities
  1. Where appropriate development proposals will be expected to demonstrate how they contribute to the successful delivery of the Dronfield Regeneration Framework's key themes and proposals set out in Table 7.1. In particular, the Council will support proposals that:
    1. improve the highway junctions at B6057 Chesterfield Road / B6158 Green Lane / Callywhite Lane and A61 Bowshaw Roundabout and provide a new link road between the eastern end of Callywhite Lane and Chesterfield Road to improve access to Callywhite Lane
    2. Improve the public realm for High Street and Church Street, the Civic Centre/Square and Dronfield Bottom – Station and Sheffield Road
    3. Extend the existing station car park and connect the lower civic centre car park so it becomes the town centre main parking area
    4. Improve the existing network of footpaths and cycleways and link into the north-south alignment along the B6057 between Dronfield and Unstone and the east-west alignment from Callywhite Lane to Sindelfingen Park
  1. Encourage suitable new uses for historic buildings which are unused or underused

Figure 7.1: Dronfield Town Map

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Clay Cross

7.14 Clay Cross is located on the main A61 corridor between Chesterfield and Alfreton, bordered to the east by the Midland Mainline railway, and the River Rother. To the west, there is very attractive and sensitive Peak fringe landscape, which is a recreational, visual and biodiversity asset.

7.15 Clay Cross has many positive assets with a good range of services and facilities, excellent bus routes and frequency of services, local employment opportunities, and a choice of development sites. It is a relatively modern town but with a rich heritage dating back to the nineteenth century and the development of coal mining and its links with George Stephenson. The town benefits from a historic core of Victorian buildings, with the best preserved historic buildings along High Street and Market Street, together with Clay Cross Hall and its parkland setting, protected with Conservation Area designation. There are larger commercial buildings to the north of the town which is where the former Biwaters site is located. The eastern and south eastern areas of the settlement are mainly residential in character. Sharley Park is a large attractive green space to the east of the town centre and a focus for recreation, containing a leisure centre, and sports facilities. It is also the location of a community hospital.

7.16 The A61 is subject to congestion as it passes through Clay Cross, especially during peak hours and whenever there is congestion or disruption on the M1 motorway. In 2010 protected schemes (in the Local Transport Plan) for a Market Street diversion in Clay Cross were 'rescinded', meaning that the County Council no longer intends to promote them and will not seek the protection of any land against other forms of development.

7.17 Whilst Clay Cross Railway Station is included in the Local Transport Plan 3 as a project for further appraisal as a County Council scheme, it is not being actively pursued and is not included in the Derbyshire Infrastructure Plan. However, there may be opportunity to review the business case and realise the long term aspirations for a station at Clay Cross as the town grows in the future. As such the Plan through Policy SS4 seeks to ensure that the development of the Strategic Site Allocation at the former Biwaters site does not preclude the provision of rail access should the case for the station be established in the future.

7.18 Clay Cross is the second largest town within the district and is an area of high demand for growth. Future residential development would also support and accelerate the regeneration of the town centre as laid out in the Clay Cross Regeneration Framework. A meaningful level of growth can be achieved by allocating housing sites within the settlement in close proximity to the town centre. When adding completions and commitments this will amount to approx. 330 dwellings until the end of the plan period. This figure excludes 825 new houses on the Biwaters Strategic Site.

7.19 There is a significantly above average (District and national) percentage (31.4%) of social rented housing in Clay Cross, as set out in the Settlement Role and Function Study (2013 Update). A good balance of different housing types and tenures is important in maintaining a sustainable community. This could be achieved through implementation of the Biwaters scheme to the north and new housing development proposed in the south of Clay Cross. The town falls within the top 20% nationally of most deprived communities as identified in the national Indices of Multiple Deprivation. There are also issues that need addressing, including high unemployment despite the proximity of jobs, traffic congestion and better management and maintenance of some areas.

7.20 Clay Cross has an open space and recreation provision of 3.48 ha per 1000 population. This figure is well above the district wide average. Clay Cross has a surplus of provision in terms of allotment gardens and green spaces; however, there is a shortfall in terms of informal recreational fields (and a slight shortfall of children play spaces and outdoor youth facilities). With the exception of Rugby Union, current and future demand for playing pitches is being met within the south analysis area. At Sharley Park, there is a new football playing pitch available for community use. However, overall there is not a surplus of provision.

7.21 At present Sharley Park Leisure Centre is adequate in terms of its quantitative provision meeting community needs today; however, quality and condition are another matter. The current facility is old and in need of investment if the Council is to maintain the current level of provision in the future. This might mean refurbishment or provision of a new facility.

Clay Cross Town Centre

7.22 In 2016, there were 84 retail units in the Town Centre of Clay Cross, compared to a total of 97 shops and services in 2008. Both, the numbers of convenience units (food) and comparison shops (non-food) have gone down. However, these figures do not include the latest retail developments of Tesco Extra at Bridge Street and the Aldi foodstore at High Street as they are not included in the Experian GOAD data map. Tesco Extra is a larger store which attracts many costumers from Clay Cross and the surrounding area and was identified as being busier than the rest of the town centre. Currently, there are 44 service units in the centre which is a reduction of 3 units since 2008. The leisure services sector is the strongest, particularly food and drink provision (19 units). The retail study identified that the number of vacant units has reduced from 9 to 7 units (8.3%) since 2008 but found that there were still some areas which were run down.

7.23 However, local people asked about the town centre were generally content with shopping in the town. Almost half of the respondents of the NEMS household survey said that the main reason for visiting the town centre was the choice and range of shops. 89% of respondents indicated that they travelled by car to Clay Cross. When asked about what measures would encourage visits to Clay Cross more often, 11.4% identified a better environment.


Clay Cross Regeneration Framework

7.24 In 2013, the Council adopted the updated Regeneration Framework for Clay Cross, with the vision that "Clay Cross will capitalise upon its unique location within the Sheffield City Region and proximity to the Peak District National Park to create a successful independent town." The Local Plan draws on the recommendations of the Regeneration Framework which identified 5 action areas:

1. Town Centre: consolidating strengths.

2. High Street: reinforcing gateways.

3. Bridge Street Triangle: develop potential.

4. The former Biwaters site: delivering 21st century communities.

5. Coney Green: growing employment opportunities.

Table 7.2: Clay Cross Regeneration Framework Key Priorities and Projects

  • Regeneration of the land and buildings north of Market Street
  • Revision and improvement to the bus station to create an enhanced pedestrian environment
  • Provision of a market square to create a hub to pedestrian routes.
  • Better physical links between public buildings - adult education centre, library, job centre and Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Creation of a 'Community Campus' – grouping of civic and amenity facilities, hospital and leisure centre provide an important community hub facing onto Market Street
  • Arts/cultural and heritage/youth facilities if viable and sustainable
  • Protection of existing urban quality in the conservation area.
  • High quality landscaping
  • Quality office space to maintain existing and attract new businesses
  • Implement town centre pedestrian priority
  • Implement town centre parking accessed directly off A61
  • A new route for the A6175 through the former Biwaters site to provide a direct link to the Coney Green end of Market Street
  • Developing town centre gateways on the A61 and Market Street
  • Opportunity to improve the public realm and the shop fronts including personalising shops and restoring advertising signs
  • Proposals for short term/temporary uses for vacant sites and shops will be encouraged and a flexible approach to uses will be taken where proposals offer street scene improvements
  • Protection of the church of St. Bartholomew's, including views
  • Address the narrowness of the pavements on High Street
  • Consistent improvements to boundary treatments and a common approach to business signage
  • Develop Bridge Street Triangle as a retail and services area
  • Develop additional outdoor sports and leisure facilities at Sharley Park
  • Build upon the sports role of Egstow Park
  • Extend Kenning Park up to Clay Lane providing improved connections to the town centre
  • Secure the Railway Esplanade to deliver a high quality public realm spine planted with an avenue of trees that recreate the railway tunnel through the town.
  • Focus public realm improvements including public spaces on the key movement routes, regeneration areas, and parks.
  • Preparation of development briefs for key sites

One Public Estate Programme

7.25 The One Public Estate initiative is a national programme funded by the Cabinet Office and the Government Property Unit and delivered in partnership with the Local Government Association. It aims at supporting and funding councils to deliver property-focused programmes and getting more from a Council's collective assets. The programme's main objectives are creating economic growth, delivering more integrated, customer-focused services and generating efficiencies through capital receipts and reduction of running costs. Derbyshire County Council is the lead authority for the North Midlands One Public Estate Programme (OPE) which also covers North East Derbyshire.

7.26 In October 2017, North East Derbyshire District Council and Derbyshire County Council secured funding for the OPE programme for an appraisal/feasibility study for Clay Cross Town Centre. The project area is centred around the town centre with the majority of the land and buildings in public ownership. It brings together the relevant public stakeholders (DCC, NEDDC, Clay Cross Parish Council, Rykneld Homes, Derbyshire Community Health Service, etc.) and looks at the existing services including the Leisure Centre, Library, Social Services, Adult Education, Countryside Services, Thriving Communities, Health and the Third Sector. It is considered that OPE funding presents an opportunity to rationalise the public estate through a locality review.

7.27 This work could be delivered through an appraisal/feasibility study which would be based on the findings of the Regeneration Framework. It would fully take into account the town centre's heritage assets whilst welcoming potential contemporary additions to the built environment. The appraisal/feasibility study would not only be about service delivery but will also have a strong focus on place-making and town centre regeneration.


(3) Policy SP2: Clay Cross

  1. Clay Cross will maintain its role as the main social and economic focus of the South of the District.
  2. Provision for new housing will be made in line with Policy SS2 and employment land in accordance with Policies WC2 and WC3.
  3. Where appropriate development proposals will be expected to demonstrate how they contribute to the successful delivery of the Clay Cross Regeneration Framework's key priorities and projects set out in Table 7.2 and the One Public Estate's regeneration and service programme. In particular, the Council will support proposals that:
    1. Reuse previously developed land within and on the edge of Clay Cross where appropriate, including sites within the Town Centre and living above shops.
    2. Contribute to the refurbishment or re-development of Sharley Park Leisure Centre
    3. Protect and provide outdoor sport facilities, children play spaces and outdoor youth facilities to reduce current shortfall
    4. Protect, implement and maintain the route of the esplanade as shown on Map 7.2.
    5. Promote public transport and do not preclude the future provision of rail access
    6. Protect and enhance the church of St Bartholomew's including views to and from the church
    7. Protect the existing urban quality within the conservation area
    8. Increase accessibility to town centre parking from the A61
    9. Develop Bridge Street triangle as a retail-led opportunity area in accordance with policy WC5
    10. Take a flexible approach to uses to encourage proposals for development that will help to secure the regeneration of land north of Market Street
    11. Improve the Public Realm by focusing on key movement routes, regeneration areas and the bus station
    12. Encourage uses within the town centre that enhance the offer of the town as an evening destination, particularly arts and cultural uses and social/leisure facilities for young people
    13. Continue to work with partners to deliver regeneration and place-making projects and innovative service delivery for the town centre to benefit the most deprived members of the community
  4. New retail development will be focused within the town centre, with limited new provision as part of a new local centre to be accommodated within the Biwaters Strategic Site as set out in Policy SS4.

Figure 7.2: Clay Cross Town Map

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(1) Eckington

7.28 Eckington is a small town, located to the east of Dronfield, close to the boundary with Sheffield to the north. The town centre serves the retail and service needs of residents from the town itself, as well as surrounding villages including Mosborough, Renishaw and Marsh Lane. The town centre has benefited in recent years from many improvements, including the resurfaced market street. The town also benefits from many historic buildings, protected by the Eckington and Renishaw Conservation Area. The town is surrounded by the Green Belt which limits development opportunities.

7.29 Although there is a significant need for affordable housing in the Northern sub area, there is above average (District and national) percentage (29%) of social rented housing in Eckington, as set out in the Settlement Role and Function Study 2013 Update. There is a good balance of house types in Eckington, which will need to be maintained. In order to try to redress the imbalance in tenures it is very important to achieve the best mix on any sites that do come forward, either as allocations or windfalls.

7.30 Eckington is an area of high demand for growth. The tight constraints of the Green Belt have restricted development in recent years leading to rising house prices and unmet housing needs. The lack of available land within the existing settlement means that meaningful levels of housing growth could only be accommodated by looking around the edge of the town within the Green Belt. Following a review of the Green Belt a selection of land parcels have been released from the Green Belt. These were selected on the basis that they would cause least harm to the strategic functions of the Green Belt while delivering around 520 dwellings by 2034. When adding completions and commitments this will amount to approx. 600 dwellings within the plan period.

7.31 Eckington has an open space and recreation provision of 3.03 ha per 1000 population which is above the district wide average. The town has a surplus with regards to allotment provision and informal recreational fields compared to the Local Standard but a slight deficit of green space, children's play spaces and outdoor youth facilities. For all pitch sports current and future demand is either being met or there is a small shortfall (at present only for Cricket). There is no surplus of grass pitch provision in the north analysis area. This means that the existing green space, recreation sites and outdoor sport facilities will need to be protected. The Playing Pitch Strategy also shows that the quality of some pitches should be improved in the future.

7.32 In spring 2017, Eckington Swimming Pool was refurbished and re-opened to the public. The Indoor Sports Facilities Strategy recommends ensuring that programming at Eckington Swimming Pool complements other water facilities in the area (by focusing on swimming clubs, etc.) and continue to invest in it to ensure that the facility is improved to better cater for modern standards.


Eckington Town Centre

7.33 Since the 2008 Retail Study the total number of shops and services dropped from 65 in 2008 to 51 in 2016. Despite losses of convenience shops and comparison units, retail services (mainly within the health and beauty category) have gone up by three units. Eckington's town centre is anchored by a single Co-operative Food Supermarket store which is one of only three convenience units (food) in the town centre. In the same period, the amount of vacant units has gone down from 16 units in 2008 to 7 units in 2016. Overall, Eckington has a well-structured pedestrian focused main street which creates a welcoming urban environment.

7.34 The NEMS household survey reflects the limits of the Eckington convenience and comparison offer; only 1.7% of respondents from Zone 5 (Eckington/ Killamarsh) said that they last went to the Co-operative Food Supermarket in town. The majority of respondents travelled to Eckington by car as the driver (66.9%) but notably 17.7% walked to the town centre. NEMS identified that the main reasons for visiting the town centre was choice of services (33.6%), how close it was to home (20.1%) and the choice or range of shops (19%).

Eckington Town Centre Development Framework

7.35 The Eckington Town Centre Development Framework, adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) in May 2012, provides the context for the spatial approach to new development in the town centre taken by the Local Plan. The revitalisation of the town centre is the principal aim of the Framework. The Local Plan builds on the recommendations of the Framework and Table 7.3 shows the Framework's Strategic Objectives:

Table 7.3: Eckington Framework Strategic Objectives

  1. To encourage the revitalisation of Eckington town centre with a distinctive and robust retail core
  2. To promote the heritage and tourism offer within Eckington whilst strengthening local identity and civic pride
  3. To create an attractive and legible network of streets, footpaths and spaces
  4. To encourage activity throughout the day within the town centre
  5. To promote a democratic centre - accessible to all and with facilities for all
  6. To provide diversity of compatible uses within the town centre
  7. To support local employers and employment initiatives which can stimulate development
  8. To integrate the town into its context through public transport and green links


7.36 The Eckington Framework identifies the main town centre development opportunities as the redevelopment of Northgate House, a reorganisation of the bus station to free up land off Pinfold Street, perhaps incorporating this with the land to the rear of Market Street, the Market Street (Foxes Yard) car park and rationalisation of the 'civic campus' area (library, swimming pool etc.). It is important that these opportunities are capitalised upon within the Local Plan.

(3) Policy SP3: Eckington

  1. Eckington will maintain its role as one of the towns in the northern sub-area of the District providing local services to its wider rural catchment area
  1. Provision for new housing will be made in line with Policy SS2 and employment land in accordance with Policies WC2 and WC3.
  1. In order to maintain Eckington as a sustainable town, the Council will support proposals that:
    1. Protect and enhance existing green space, children's play spaces and outdoor youth facilities
    2. Protect and enhance indoor and outdoor sports facilities
  1. Where appropriate development proposals will be expected to demonstrate how they contribute to the successful delivery of the Eckington Town Centre Development Framework's Strategic Objectives set out in Table 7.3. In particular, the Council will support proposals that:
    1. Provide a mix of housing tenures including open market, private rented and affordable housing
    2. Improve the accessibility of the town centre for pedestrians and cyclists
    3. Incorporate public realm improvements within the town centre
    4. Protect and enhance the role of the Civic Campus
    5. Facilitate the regeneration of Northgate House
    6. Promote, protect and enhance heritage assets including historic buildings and sites and their setting

Figure 7.3: Eckington Town Map

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(2) Killamarsh

7.37 Killamarsh is a small town, located in the north-east of the district, close to the boundaries with Sheffield and Rotherham. The town is well served by public transport, with regular buses to and from surrounding large urban areas of Sheffield, Rotherham, Chesterfield and Worksop. There are good links to the Super Tram network with buses to Crystal Peaks and Halfway in Sheffield.

7.38 The Chesterfield Canal, which was routed through Killamarsh, opened in 1777 and played an important part in the social and economic development of Killamarsh up until its closure in the 1950's. Currently, the canal route through Killamarsh is not navigable and some sections have been built upon. However it continues to act as an important recreation and green infrastructure route, along with the Trans Pennine Trail to the west of Killamarsh. The Council alongside other Partners (through the Chesterfield Canal Partnership) is committed to protecting the Chesterfield Canal as a recreational route and restoring it to full navigation acknowledging the economic and regeneration benefits this can bring to communities along its length.

7.39 In 2004, the Chesterfield Canal Partnership commissioned a study to analyse the social, environmental and economic costs and benefits of possible alternative routes through Killamarsh. Following extensive public consultation a preferred route to the east of the town centre was identified and was subsequently safeguarded in the 2005 Local Plan, in order to protect the route from development that could prejudice the restoration of the Chesterfield Canal.

7.40 The Chesterfield Canal Partnership has subsequently assessed the eastern alternative route which showed that problematic and extensive engineering requirements would be necessary. Consequently, a western alternative route has been identified which takes advantage of the re-development of the Tarran Bungalows. Following public consultation the Chesterfield Canal Partnership confirmed its preference for the new 'western' alternative route. As a consequence, both the original route through Killamarsh and the western alternative route are safeguarded in line with Policy ID8.

7.41 Killamarsh is an area of high demand for growth due to its close proximity to Sheffield. The tight constraints of the Green Belt have restricted development in recent years leading to rising house prices and unmet housing needs. The lack of sufficient available land within the existing settlement means that meaningful levels of housing growth could only be accommodated by looking around the edge of the town within the Green Belt. Following a review of the Green Belt a selection of land parcels have been released from the Green Belt. These were selected on the basis that they would cause least harm to the strategic functions of the Green Belt while delivering for around 470 dwellings by 2034. When adding completions and commitments this will amount to approx. 525 dwellings in total within the plan period.

7.42 The current housing stock is well balanced, with both type and tenure broadly in line with the district average. It is important to maintain this balance to ensure a sustainable community.

7.43 With regards to open space and recreation Killamarsh shows the lowest provision figures of the four towns with 1.57 ha per 1000 population. Except for informal recreational fields and children's play spaces which are above or in line with the Local Standard there is a considerable shortfall in green space, outdoor youth facilities and allotment provision. For all pitch sports current and future demand is either being met or there is a small shortfall. There is no surplus of grass pitch provision within the north analysis area. This means that the existing green space, outdoor youth facilities, allotments and playing pitches will need to be protected and if possible new provision added.

7.44 Within the Indoor Sport Facilities Strategy Killamarsh Leisure Centre is rated as above average quality. The primary issue is ensuring its ongoing availability to the general public at the requisite level of quality and maintaining the quality and variety of the programme of activities provided.

Killamarsh Town Centre

7.45 The Retail and Centres Study states that since 2008, retail and service units in Killamarsh Town Centre have gone up slightly from 53 to 55 in 2016. There were five convenience shops in the town centre which is relatively small in size; the main foodstores were the Co-operative Food Supermarket, Aldi and Fulton Foods. 14.3% of respondents within Zone 5 of the NEMS household survey said that they last undertook their main food and grocery shopping at Aldi. Compared to 2008, the number of comparison shops (non-food) has dropped from 14 to 9 units (16.4%; UK average: 32.0%) which shows a lack of comparison goods variety. The town centre provides 31 services units in total; 11 of 17 retail service units are accounted to the health and beauty category. In 2008, there were 9 retail and service units vacant compared to only 6 vacant units in 2016.

7.46 81.8% of respondents of the NEMS household survey travelled by car to the town centre compared to 12.4% who travelled by foot. NEMS identified that the main reasons for visiting Killamarsh were the choice and range of shops (31.5%), the strength of the supermarket provision (25.7%) and how close it was to home (21.6%).

Killamarsh Regeneration Framework

7.47 In January 2017 the Council adopted a Regeneration Framework for Killamarsh. This document was prepared together with local residents and identifies key opportunities for improvement within the town, sets a strategic approach to delivering improvements and attracts investment. It will also be used to coordinate the delivery of projects and ensure that they are of the highest quality. The Local Plan draws on the recommendations of the Regeneration Framework. Table 7.4 shows the Framework's Key themes and proposals:


Table 7.4: Killamarsh Regeneration Framework Key Themes and Proposals.

1. Access and movement

  • Improved public realm for Sheffield Road and Bridge Street through removal of clutter, improved lightening/street furniture and re-surfacing.
  • Speed reduction measures to the east and south of the town.
  • Improvement of car parking in the town centre.
  • Improvement of footpath quality through housing areas through review of condition of surfaces and maintenance, lightening and litter.
  • Improvement of facilities for pedestrians and cyclists through audit of pavements and pedestrians crossings, improvement of access for people with mobility issues and identification of improvements of the street scene.

2. Green routes and spaces

  • Improvement of access to Rother Valley Country Park through audit of existing routes and identification of improvements.
  • Creating and connecting greenways through and around the village, in particular a major new greenway around the western edge of the town.
  • Improvement of parks and green spaces through audit of green spaces and play spaces, preparation of a programme of improvements and creation of a "family activity" area on the east side of the town.

3. The Town Centre

  • Improvement of appearance and attraction of the centre through promoting the 'Cleaner Killamarsh' campaign, increase of police presence, promotion of a face-lift of the precinct and local business support.
  • Improved environment of the Community Campus through re-introduction of a direct access to the Sports and Community Centre from Sheffield Road, new street furniture, signs and lighting and preparation of a tree planting and landscape scheme.
  • Comprehensive re-development of the Community Campus. This could be achieved if other uses such as affordable or sheltered housing would be included.
  • Provision of additional facilities for younger people through a new youth shelter at the skate park and creation of a drop-in centre/youth club/skills and training centre.

4. Heritage and Character

  • Promotion and interpretation of Killamarsh's heritage through co-ordination of local knowledge.
  • Improvement of key aspects of Killamarsh's industrial heritage to bring historic buildings back in to use and identify funding.
  • Development of a western greenway to interpret the heritage of the town.

5. Community and social networks

  • Raising awareness, connecting groups and increasing participation.
  • Link levels of local government and other service providers.
  • Support community action to preserve local history and heritage.
  • Address environmentally and socially negative behaviour.

(12) Policy SP4: Killamarsh

  1. Killamarsh will maintain its role as one of the towns in the northern sub-area of the District providing local services to its wider rural catchment area
  1. Provision for new housing will be made in line with Policy SS2 and employment land in accordance with Policy WC2.
  1. In order to maintain Killamarsh as a sustainable town with a healthy vibrant centre, the Council will support proposals that:
    1. Protect and facilitate the provision and improvement of green space, outdoor youth facilities, allotments and outdoor sport facilities to address identified deficiencies
    2. Facilitate the restoration of the Chesterfield Canal and upgrade the towpath through Killamarsh along the original route or the western alternative route as defined by Policy ID8
  1. Where appropriate development proposals will be expected to demonstrate how they contribute to the successful delivery of the Killamarsh Regeneration Framework's key priorities and projects set out in Table 7.4. In particular, the Council will support development that would:
    1. Improve the public realm for Sheffield Road, Bridge Street and the Community Campus
    2. Improve the appearance and maintenance of the Town Centre
    3. Support new social infrastructure on or the comprehensive redevelopment of the Community Campus.
    4. Promote more efficient use of car parking in the town centre
    5. Secure improvements to pavements, pedestrian crossings, footpaths and cycleways to encourage walking and cycling in and around the town centre and connect to the Canal and Rother Valley Country Park
    6. Secure a major new greenway around the western edge of Killamarsh
    7. Support initiatives/projects to bring historic buildings back into use

Figure 7.4: Killamarsh Town Map

output


[32] Experian GOAD is a retail property intelligence system

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

[34] NEMS Market Research Ltd household survey, November 2016

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