North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)
9 INFRASTRUCTURE & DELIVERY
9.1 This section of the Plan addresses infrastructure that will be needed to support the development identified in the Plan and considers how it will be funded. In order to achieve sustainable development it is essential that new development is supported by the necessary infrastructure it needs to function, and that it does not place undue strain on the district's existing infrastructure, services and facilities.
9.2 The term infrastructure is broadly used for planning purposes to define all of the requirements that are needed to make places function efficiently and in a way that creates sustainable communities. Infrastructure can be physical (such as transport and water supply), social (such as education and community buildings) and green (such as public open space and wildlife habitats). The focus here is primarily on physical infrastructure, social infrastructure, and green infrastructure. Minerals and waste infrastructure is dealt with by the County Council in its Minerals and Waste Local Plans.
9.3 In general, infrastructure requirements relate to strategic and local need. Strategic infrastructure refers to facilities or services serving a wide area that may include several communities, the whole District, or further afield. For example improvements to the M1, or investment in water, sewerage, and ITC networks. The infrastructure may be required where broader strategies are pursued to accommodate the cumulative impacts of growth, for example in a sub-region, rather than simply to accommodate the needs of the development proposals of a particular town or village.
9.4 Local infrastructure includes facilities or services that are essential to meet the day-to-day needs of specific communities - for example schools, health facilities, community facilities and local green spaces. These are often essential for a development to occur and/or are needed to mitigate the impact of development at the site or neighbourhood level and to help integration into local surroundings.
9.5 The provision of infrastructure is managed by a wide range of public and commercial organisations, not just the District Council. The Council has worked closely with statutory undertakers, utility companies and other agencies to prepare an Infrastructure Study and Delivery Plan (IDP) which will support the proposed development identified in the Local Plan. This identifies planned infrastructure to serve existing and proposed development, as well as ensuring the objectives of the Local Plan can be met. This complements the strategic work undertaken by Derbyshire County Council in the Derbyshire Infrastructure Plan (DIP); which focuses on strategic infrastructure, including highways and transport, surface water flood management, waste, green infrastructure, broadband, education and social care. The DIP provides evidence on the condition of and investment in existing strategic infrastructure and services in the County. It also sets out strategic priority projects across the County, including identifying specific needs in North East Derbyshire, delivery schedules for future investment and potential sources of funding. The Local Plan, supported by infrastructure planning, will play a key role in securing private sector involvement in infrastructure delivery, and in aligning the programmes of various infrastructure providers.
Plan Delivery and the Role of Developer Contributions
9.6 Where new development necessitates new or improved infrastructure or where mitigation is required to make a development acceptable in planning terms the Council will require developers to contribute towards any necessary site specific infrastructure and planning obligations in line with policies ID2 to 9. Depending upon the application this may include contributions towards infrastructure needs generated by development such as highway improvements, new open space, schools, GP facilities, or other requirements such as contributing to local employment, skills and training initiatives. Requirements for affordable housing are separate to this and are covered in Policy LC2.
9.7 Developer contributions help to fund the infrastructure that is needed to make development acceptable in planning terms. Required infrastructure or community benefits must make development sites acceptable and mitigate the impact of additional demand caused by one or more new development sites. Benefits can be provided either on site or off site, depending on the local circumstances, but wherever possible, provision should be made on-site for facilities required through a planning obligation. All infrastructure improvements, where appropriate, will also need to be in accordance with Policy SS1 to ensure that any potentially adverse impacts are mitigated and the goal of sustainable development is achieved.
9.8 Where justified, development proposals will be required to provide or contribute towards delivering the infrastructure needed to support the growth in the Local Plan. Such infrastructure should be provided in advance of, or alongside, the development unless it can be proven that there will be sufficient existing capacity. The appropriate phasing for the provision of infrastructure will however be determined on a case by case basis.
Infrastructure Study and Delivery Plan (IDP)
9.9 National policy states that the Local Plan should be supported by evidence of what physical, social and green infrastructure is needed to support the overall quantum and distribution of growth proposed in the Plan. To this end, the Council has worked closely with Derbyshire County Council and other infrastructure providers to prepare an Infrastructure Study and Delivery Plan (IDP). The IDP provides a detailed assessment of the infrastructure needs of North East Derbyshire, and gives indication of the specific requirements for the different types and scales of infrastructure needed across the district, within its neighbourhoods, and at a site-specific level. In doing so, the IDP draws heavily on other studies covering a range of infrastructure types.
9.10 Whilst the infrastructure planning work shows there are no absolute infrastructure constraints to the delivery of the development proposed in the Local Plan, key infrastructure items will be required to facilitate the development proposed. A full list of these infrastructure projects are set out in the Infrastructure Delivery Schedule of the IDP. These infrastructure projects are categorised either as critical, essential or place-making infrastructure based upon their role and timeliness in supporting the planned growth in the District. Key infrastructure items are discussed in turn below from paragraph 9.22 onwards.
9.11 At a strategic level, the Council will continue to work closely with neighbouring districts and Derbyshire County Council through its infrastructure planning process to effectively deliver any infrastructure projects of cross boundary significance for North East Derbyshire.
9.12 Delivering infrastructure does not stand still and infrastructure requirements may change over time as development is brought forward and new infrastructure requirements are identified. Therefore, the IDP will be regularly monitored, reviewed and updated as a 'live' document during the plan period.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
9.13 The preparation of the IDP was the first step in determining whether the introduction of a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) would be appropriate for the district. Work on the IDP demonstrates that while there are some strategic infrastructure requirements, for example the transport improvements along the A61 corridor, much of the infrastructure required to facilitate the levels of growth proposed in the Local Plan is local infrastructure. As described in paragraph 9.4 above, although much of this local infrastructure is essential to make the development acceptable in planning terms it is relevant at the site specific or settlement level. As such it is considered that much of the infrastructure needed to support the growth in the Local Plan is capable of successful delivery through the current S106 regime.
9.14 Alongside this infrastructure planning work, the Council has carried out a Whole Plan Viability Assessment to assess the viability of the Plan as a whole, and to determine whether there would be enough economic incentive to provide new development with these infrastructure requirements in place. Whilst the assessment shows that new housing development with some level of affordable housing would be viable across all parts of the district it found that only limited additional surplus monies would be available for capture as a CIL charge, and even that would be achievable only in the very highest value areas of the district.
9.15 Since the vast majority of the housing development proposed in the Plan lies outside of these high value areas it is not considered likely that the introduction of such a CIL charge in North East Derbyshire would contribute meaningfully towards the delivery of the necessary infrastructure to support the Plan. Given the viability assessment found relatively tight margins of development viability across significant parts of the district it is considered that the flexibility afforded through the section 106 regime is of particular benefit to the successful delivery of development in the district.
9.16 Based on the above findings the Council will continue with the use of Section 106 agreements to help fund the infrastructure required to support the Plan and that is needed to make development acceptable in planning terms, rather than seek to introduce a CIL charge.
9.17 Policy ID1 (Infrastructure Delivery and Developer Contributions) sets out the Council's policy on the use of Section 106 agreements (planning obligations) to secure contributions towards the infrastructure provision necessary to deliver the objectives of the Local Plan.
Viability and Developer Contributions
9.18 In circumstances where the viability of a development is in question, the developer will be required to demonstrate that this is the case through a site specific financial evaluation undertaken to the Council's satisfaction at the earliest possible stage in the application process.
9.19 Where a scheme is agreed to be unviable or marginal, the Council will review the policy arrangements or the development and the timing or phasing of payments to assist the financial viability of the scheme. Where policy arrangements have been negotiated, review mechanisms and/or overage payment clauses will be built into Section 106 Agreements to ensure that the planning obligations can be periodically reviewed and updated to reflect any changes in circumstances or changes to market conditions.
9.20 In cases where essential/critical site specific infrastructure and mitigation cannot be secured because of viability concerns and the infrastructure is an essential prerequisite to enable the development to proceed, schemes will not be supported.
9.21 In all cases contributions must be necessary and ensure the viability of the development is maintained. Developers will be required to provide sufficient information to allow for independent assessment of site viability if necessary.
Policy ID1: Infrastructure Delivery and Developer Contributions
- Proposals for development will only be permitted
provided they can be made acceptable through:
- the provision of necessary physical, social and green infrastructure in accordance with Policies ID 2 to 9;
- suitable measures to mitigate the impacts of development.
- Where new development will necessitate the provision of new or improved infrastructure, and / or when suitable mitigation is required the developer will be required to make direct provision of such infrastructure on site within the development, or make a financial contribution to its funding through the use of Planning Obligations (Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990).
- Where justified, development will be required to provide or contribute towards delivering the infrastructure requirements to support the growth in the Local Plan as set out in the Infrastructure Study and Delivery Plan, or any future updates.
Provision of New Transport Infrastructure
9.22 Transport infrastructure improvements are a key element in delivering the Plan strategy. They will support economic growth, sustainable transport, and the regeneration of previously developed land, helping to improve connectivity between North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield, Sheffield and the Sheffield City Region, and towns and communities across Derbyshire, the East Midlands and further afield. Secured funding and/or developers contributions will enable the delivery of some of the identified key transport infrastructure improvements, informed by the Infrastructure Study and Delivery Plan, such as the A61 corridor. Other infrastructure improvements may be required following more detailed transport assessment work at site level. It is expected that such interventions will be funded through developer contributions as necessary.
9.23 The safe efficient and free flowing movement of people and vehicles across the highway network is critical to achieving the Council's ambitions for the local economy and for more sustainable communities. Proposals for improvements to highway infrastructure will be supported where it can be demonstrated to be necessary, and contribute to improving the economic prosperity of the area. These works will however need to take place alongside the promotion of sustainable travel. The Council is committed to working in partnership with Derbyshire County Council and other neighbouring authorities to ensure a co-ordinated approach to transport infrastructure improvements, recognising that transport issues do not stop at administrative boundaries.
9.24 In co-operation with Derbyshire County Council and neighbouring authorities the Council has undertaken extensive transport modelling work since 2010 utilising the North Derbyshire 'SATURN' model to assess the cumulative traffic impacts of development across North Derbyshire. This work has shown that pressure on the A61 through the district will increase substantially as a result of planned development in the area. As such the A61 has been identified in a number of wider strategies, including the strategic economic plans of the D2N2, and Sheffield City Region LEP's, as a critical transport corridor through Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire which plays an important role to deliver housing and employment growth in the south of the district, but where a co-ordinated balanced approach is required to mitigate against the effects of congestion.
9.25 The A61 Growth Corridor Strategy led by Derbyshire County Council but in partnership with the District Council and Chesterfield Borough Council (CBC), focuses on the A61 corridor between the Sheepbridge junction in the north and Clay Cross in the south. Whilst focussed upon the road it is, by design, multi-modal and has a core objective of supporting a strong economy through managing and accommodating the movement of people and goods, rather than simply managing highway traffic.
9.26 The A61 Growth Corridor Strategy sets out the intention of the authorities to work in partnership to deliver the best outcome for the social and economic wellbeing of the area. Development proposals planned adjacent to the A61 will increase the demand for movement along the corridor and the adjacent roads. No 'engineering' solution would deal fully with the impacts, and nor would it be appropriate to approach the issue in this way. Instead, the Strategy recognises the need for a balanced approach, and identifies the A61 corridor as a priority location for a combination of sustainable transport measures and highway improvements.
9.27 Along the A61, there will be a particular focus on addressing the current capacity issues and unlocking development potential along the corridor between Chesterfield and Clay Cross. The strategy together with an investment plan for the A61 Growth Corridor has identified priority projects and interventions, and funding is in place to support growth along the corridor. This District Council will continue to work in partnership with the County Council and Chesterfield Borough Council to support and develop this work.
9.28 In addition to the proposals to provide the second principal access to help bring forward the Avenue Strategic Site at Wingerworth it is expected that through this work a number of packages of interventions will be taken forward with secured funding to help mitigate the overall impact of development in the area. Such interventions will be likely to include bus detection and upgrades to traffic signal control at junctions along the A61 south of Chesterfield town centre; the completion of walking and cycling routes between the Avenue site and Peak Resort; and the provision of real-time bus information and other roadside displays giving traffic and parking guidance to road users along the A61 corridor.
9.29 Whilst the A61/A617 Avenue link road, with potential to support the regeneration of the Avenue site, is identified as a possible solution to address highway capacity issues along the A61, the County Council is pursuing an alternative mitigation strategy through the A61 Growth Corridor strategy and investment plan to help accommodate the increase demand for travel for which funding is already in place. As such policy SS4 requires that development of the Avenue Strategic Site Allocation does not prejudice the construction of the A61/A617 Avenue link road should it be needed beyond the plan period.
9.30 Subsequent to previous transport modelling work, the Council has worked collaboratively with Derbyshire County Council to commission an update to the transport evidence base to test the impact of the planned housing and employment development identified in the Local Plan in particular at the main towns of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh.
9.31 Whilst this work recognises that a mitigation strategy to cater for growth along the A61 corridor is being developed it has found that there may be a need to consider mitigation measures at two locations at Dronfield, namely the Chesterfield Road / Green Lane / Callywhite Lane junction, and the approaches to the A61 Bowshaw Roundabout, on the basis of cumulative traffic impacts. The details of any mitigation scheme and its costs are currently unknown, but it is expected that developer contributions will be needed to support the delivery of any necessary improvements.
9.32 In addition, this work has highlighted that traffic, albeit not in large volumes, arising from the proposed housing development mainly at Renishaw, Eckington and Killamarsh would route to and from junction 30 of the M1 motorway. The Council will therefore continue in its dialogue with Derbyshire County Council and Highways England together with relevant neighbouring authorities to more fully explore the cumulative impacts of planned growth on Junction 30 of the M1.
9.33 On other key local roads in the district, although the result of planned growth will be some increases in traffic the analysis concludes that such impacts would likely to be limited or could be satisfactorily addressed through the travel planning and transport assessment process as and when individual developments come forward.
High Speed Rail (HS2)
9.34 The Government is committed to delivering High Speed Rail Phase 2 (HS2) and announced on 15th November 2016 the preferred route for Phase 2b. The route runs from the West Midlands to Leeds (Eastern leg) and Manchester (Western Leg), with connections onto the existing network and new stations in Manchester, Leeds and the East Midlands.
9.35 The Eastern Leg passes through North East Derbyshire affecting the eastern parishes of North East Derbyshire running roughly parallel with the M1 to the east of Heath & Holmewood and Sutton-Cum-Duckmanton and Killamarsh. A connection is also proposed into the existing rail network with a link to the Midland Mainline to the east of Stonebroom serving Chesterfield and Sheffield.
9.36 In order to protect the preferred route from conflicting development, the Secretary of State for Transport has safeguarded this section of HS2 using safeguarding directions. The route and safeguarded area are identified on the Policies Map for information, however they are not proposals of the LPA and the route will not be determined through the development plan process. The route will be considered in Parliament under hybrid Bill procedures, which will provide appropriate opportunities for petitions to be made to Parliament by those directly affected by the scheme.
9.37 Safeguarding provides a statutory mechanism by which Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) must consult High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd on new and undecided planning applications which fall within the safeguarded area, and provides HS2 Ltd with a statutory remit to comment on such applications. The Safeguarding Directions also put in place statutory blight provisions, whereby owners of land or property within the safeguarded area can serve a blight or purchase notice on the Secretary of State for Transport or LPA respectively.
Midland Mainline Improvements and Electrification
9.38 The East Midlands is well connected to other areas of the country by rail but journey times to London and other major centres do not compare well with other parts of the country. As part of Network Rail's enhancement programme a programme of work has now been developed to address this by improving capacity and removing rail bottlenecks. This allows line speed improvements from London to Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield. Whilst a section between Clay Cross and Sheffield through Chesterfield is still expected to be electrified to allow HS2 trains to serve the city, the plans to complete electrification through Derby, Leicester and Nottingham have been cancelled by the Government. The District Council will work with partners to ensure that the benefits and opportunities of this programme are maximised.
9.39 National policy supports the protection of sites and routes which could be critical in developing infrastructure. The legacy of coal mining has left a number of disused rail routes throughout the District, which have the potential to be returned to beneficial use to reduce the number of journeys made by road, increase the movement of freight by rail, or increase opportunities for recreation. These routes are safeguarded for recreation purposes as Greenways through Policy ID7.
9.40 The Local Transport Plan 3 identifies potential major transport projects. Whilst the Clay Cross Railway station is included 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.
Policy ID2: Provision and Safeguarding of Transport Infrastructure
- New transport infrastructure will be permitted provided
that it is necessary to:
- improve the existing highway or rail network, or improve connectivity; or
- support economic growth or unlock future development sites; and
- minimise and mitigate any harmful impact on the environment and the amenity of local communities; and
- make safe and proper provision for the movement of pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport.
Sustainable Transport Measures and Highway Improvements:
Where justified, development will be required to provide or contribute towards delivering the following transport infrastructure to support development including:
- improvements to the A61 corridor, south of Chesterfield to Clay Cross, including the Southern Access to the Avenue Strategic Site Allocation from the A61;
- improvements to key road junctions to support growth at Dronfield including the B6057 Chesterfield Road / B6158 Green Lane / Callywhite Lane, and the A61 Bowshaw Roundabout;
- measures to mitigate any impacts of development on the M1 motorway;
- other transport projects at Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh as identified in the Regeneration Frameworks for these towns and in accordance with Policies SP1, SP2, SP3 and SP4.
9.41 The rural nature of North East Derbyshire, and its dispersed settlement pattern means that the majority of residents do not live, work or shop all in one place. The location of housing, employment, education, health, retail and leisure facilities can have a significant impact on patterns of travel, and accessibility, particularly for those without access to a car. The relationship between planning, transport and infrastructure is acknowledged as crucial in creating successful and sustainable places that work for everyone. Whilst the planning system cannot directly change people's travel behaviour, it can provide the framework for more sustainable transport choices. It is crucial that the Council, developers, and other stakeholders work together to deliver such choices.
9.42 Derbyshire County Council is responsible for transportation, which includes producing the Local Transport Plan. The Derbyshire Local Transport Plan 3 (LTP3) sets out the transport vision, goals and challenges, covering the period 2011 to 2026. Whilst the District Council has only limited control over highways or transport matters, its role as the Local Planning Authority is an important one in influencing transportation in the District through policies in the Local Plan and decisions on planning applications.
9.43 Sustainable modes of travel such as walking, cycling, public transport, car sharing, and alternative fuel vehicles can help to cut down on congestion and have positive benefits for the environment in terms of improving air quality. It can be provided through good planning and design, but also through travel planning such as promoting car sharing and providing car share spaces within new development. New infrastructure such as charging points for electric vehicles further supports sustainable travel journeys.
9.44 Access to sustainable forms of transport must be integrated into the design of new development. All future development should be planned to maximise opportunities for walking, cycling, public transport, car sharing, and electric vehicles. The Plan does however; recognise that in some smaller settlements, particularly in rural areas, there is a greater reliance on private cars. This will be taken into consideration in determining planning applications.
Walking and cycling
9.45 New development should incorporate a 'pedestrian and cycle first' principle. All transport journeys include an element of walking, whether it is walking to a bus stop or to a car park. All new developments must include pedestrian and cycle routes which are direct, convenient, and take priority over motor traffic. New developments must provide direct links to new or existing footpath or cycling networks, where appropriate, as well as to nearby local attractors, such as schools and shops, thereby negating the need for short trips by car.
9.46 Cycling provides great potential to reduce reliance on the private car. The Local Transport Plan 3 identifies walking and cycling as a priority, including for new infrastructure provision, focusing on strategic and local cycle networks. The recently published Derbyshire Cycling Plan 2016-2030 has great ambitions to promote and support cycling in Derbyshire. This should be mainly achieved through improvements to the connectivity of cycle infrastructure as well as measures to increase participation such as through marketing, communication and lobbying for change. Where appropriate, opportunities should be taken to link with strategic cycle routes for Chesterfield.
9.47 Bus travel is by far the most used form of public transport across North East Derbyshire and is considered to be fit for purpose. Discussions with Derbyshire County Council highlight a good frequency of available bus service throughout the day along the A61 corridor and within the four main towns, but more patchy and infrequent in the more rural parts of the district. The Infrastructure Study and Delivery Plan identifies some limited gaps in provision of commercial and supported services for example in Marsh Lane, Coal Aston and the area to the west of Clay Cross.
9.48 When allocating proposed development sites, accessibility to bus services has been a key consideration. When submitting planning applications, developers must consider the impact of the development on local bus routes. Where possible, bus routes should penetrate new development sites through permeable routes and bus priority measures will be considered. Where appropriate, developers will be asked for a financial contribution so the Council and bus operators can work together to improve bus provision for a particular site. The County Council's capital programme and LTP3 Investment Protocol commit funding for the maintenance and improvement of physical infrastructure to support bus services.
9.49 As part of the objective of promoting sustainable forms of transport, the Local Plan seeks to reduce the adverse impact of transport on the environment (Objective D12). The growth in car ownership has led to an increasing need to mitigate the worst effects of increased traffic movement. The availability of car parking has a major influence on the choice of means of transport.
9.50 Parking provision for new development and other on or off street parking proposals sought by the Council will reflect the need to balance the legitimate operational requirements of any development with wider environmental considerations. The future focus will therefore be on limiting parking supply at destination. All new developments must provide parking as part of new development. The detailed design implications relating to this policy are detailed in the Parking Standards. Derbyshire County Council's guidance on car parking is included in the 6C's Guide.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Car Sharing
9.51 Passenger cars are often the only practical choice for residents living in some parts of the District, particularly rural areas. Therefore it is important that the Plan supports the growth of alternative fuel vehicles and actively discourages the number and frequency of single occupancy car journeys through the provision of car sharing bays in new development. Promotion of car sharing and alternative fuel vehicles will be delivered through the Travel Plan process.
9.52 Policy ID3 sets out the Council's policy on sustainable travel by providing a hierarchical approach to the management of travel demand and the delivery of sustainable transport networks.
Policy ID3: Sustainable Travel
- The Council will seek to maximise walking, cycling, and the use of public transport through the location and design of new development, with the aim of reducing congestion, and improving air quality and health.
- Proposals for major developments will be required to
promote sustainable travel through necessary interventions
as set out in the priority order below:
- Site specific and area wide travel demand management measures including active travel planning, such as promoting car clubs and provision of car share spaces so to reduce the demand for travel by the private car;
- Improvements to existing pedestrian, cycle and public transport services and facilities, and provision of new walking and cycling routes. New routes should be permeable for all users and provide direct links to new or existing footpaths, cycling networks, and local facilities
- Optimisation of the existing highway network to prioritise walking, cycling, public transport and other forms of sustainable travel such as measures to prioritise the need of pedestrians above the car, and improved cycle and bus lanes, and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles for example;
- As a last resort, Highway capacity enhancements would have to deal with residual car demand where the initiatives required in criteria (a) to (c) above are insufficient to avoid significant additional car journeys.
- In all cases planning permission will only be granted provided that the development would be served by a safe access, and any traffic generated by new development can be accommodated safely on the surrounding local and strategic highway network, or can be made safe by appropriate transport improvements.
Water Supply and Waste Water Treatment
9.53 Water supply and waste water treatment are crucial to supporting new development and to attracting inward investment. While Severn Trent covers the south of North East Derbyshire, Yorkshire Water is responsible for waste water treatment infrastructure in the north of the district. The Derbyshire Infrastructure Plan 2013 includes details of the current available capacity at each of Yorkshire Water's main water treatment works in North East Derbyshire, and any planned or potential investment.
9.54 During the preparation of the Infrastructure Study and Delivery Plan dialogue has taken place with relevant water companies, including Yorkshire Water, to further investigate capacity of existing waste water treatment works. Whilst previous assessments highlighted limited capacity at the Staveley Waste Water Treatment Works (which may serve some of the settlements in North East Derbyshire) the IDP highlights that it is anticipated that any necessary re-enforcement works would be delivered and funded by Yorkshire Water in accordance with its regulatory funding arrangements with Ofwat.
9.55 Currently access to the internet is mainly through the national telephone network infrastructure. In rural areas, access to broadband is very limited and is a major barrier to the ability of rural business to grow and for such areas to attract new business. The Housing and Economic Development Strategy includes Improved Access to Superfast Broadband as a strategic priority for supporting the rural economy. Nationally, the Government is committed to investing in the UK's broadband network with the objective of delivering 90% coverage of superfast broadband.
9.56 Digital Derbyshire is a £27.67 million programme to delivery broadband infrastructure and services across the County. The project has identified areas of poor broadband access (many of them in North East Derbyshire) and has been allocated funding from the Government to improve the situation. The Derbyshire Infrastructure Plan and the North Derbyshire Infrastructure Study and Delivery Plan provide details of how this will be rolled out. The Council will work with Derbyshire County Council to ensure that superfast broadband in North East Derbyshire is improved as a priority. In designing new development, developers can help to anticipate the future needs of residents and businesses and prevent having to retrofit properties in the future by providing for the delivery of broadband infrastructure.
9.57 Developers can help to anticipate the future needs of residents and businesses and prevent having to retrofit properties in the future by providing for the delivery of broadband infrastructure and services as part of the on-site design of their development scheme in accordance with Policy ID1.
9.58 Sustainable development has a social role in supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities. Providing sufficient community and cultural facilities and services to meet local needs is a core planning principle of the NPPF.
9.59 Physical facilities for different groups, individuals and communities, including leisure, health, education and community facilities (local shops, meeting places, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship), can be collectively termed 'social infrastructure'. They include public, private and voluntary facilities. Such facilities are often at the heart of local communities and essential to the quality of life of the District's residents, making a positive contribution to safe, healthy and active communities. They can provide a sense of local identity and encourage active participation in community life. It is important that facilities are available locally and are accessible. The Council in working with other partners will seek to ensure adequate provision of such services and facilities.
9.60 The 2016 Settlement Hierarchy Study identifies the extent of existing provision of facilities and services in each settlement across the District. New facilities, and the enhancement of existing provision, will be encouraged in accessible locations, preferably within town and local centres. The loss of existing facilities can have a major impact on communities and existing social infrastructure assets therefore need be protected and enhanced, especially in areas that are not currently well served as indicated by the Settlement Hierarchy Study.
9.61 In order to protect existing community facilities, local communities can nominate important local buildings and facilities for inclusion on a central list held by the Council. This gives the community the opportunity to develop a proposal and raise the required capital to bid for a specific 'Asset of Community Value'.
9.62 The improvement of skills, training and education, particularly amongst young people and the long term unemployed, is also a key priority relating to social infrastructure and inclusivity, but also clearly related to the success of the District's economy and inclusion of all sections of the community in the economic growth. To ensure convenient access to educational facilities for all residents across the District, any expansion of education or training facilities should be easily accessible by public transport in order to ensure that new development supports access to education and improvements in skills for local people to enable them to compete effectively in the job market.
Policy ID4: New Social Infrastructure
- Development proposals involving the provision,
expansion, or improvement of social infrastructure
facilities will be permitted where they:
- Are accessible by public transport, walking and cycling, unless they are meeting a specific local need; and
- Are provided, wherever practicable, in multi-use, flexible and adaptable buildings, or co-located with other social infrastructure uses which encourage dual use and increase public access.
Policy ID5: Loss of Existing Social Infrastructure
- Development proposals which would result in the loss of
social infrastructure facilities will not be permitted
- it can be shown that the facility is no longer needed, or that the service could be adequately provided in an alternative way, or elsewhere in an alternative location that is equally accessible by public transport, walking and cycling; or
- It can be demonstrated through a viability assessment that the current use is not economically viable and all reasonable efforts have been made to let or sell the facility for the current use over a 12 month period.
9.63 Derbyshire County Council is responsible for ensuring the adequate provision of primary and secondary school places. Each year, Derbyshire County Council produces pupil projection information based on the current pupil census data and information provided by the Local Health Authority. When analysing an individual school's pupil projections, no account is taken in the modelling of proposed housing development in the school's normal area (formerly catchment area of that school). Such information has to be considered separately for individual schools on a case by case basis.
9.64 Large scale population growth can trigger a need for additional investment in education. The County Council normally seeks developer contributions towards the provision of necessary primary and secondary school places through S106 Agreements, on a case by case basis. As a guide, development proposals of around 1,000 dwellings will normally require provision of a new single form entry primary school and around 6,000 dwellings will normally require provision of a new secondary school. Developments of a smaller scale may also trigger a need for new schools if the existing normal area schools are expected to have no surplus capacity and are unable to expand.
9.65 The Derbyshire Infrastructure Plan identifies that strategic growth at the former Avenue (a strategic site allocation in Policy SS3) would require a new single form entry primary school and an extension to the existing Tupton Hall Secondary School. However, it concludes that residential development elsewhere in North East Derbyshire could potentially be accommodated through capacity and expansion (subject to funding) of existing schools. Whilst the County Council has re-iterated that this continues to be its approach in the absence of an agreed education provision strategy it has indicated through work on the North East Derbyshire Infrastructure Plan that feasibility studies are underway to look at capacity issues at primary schools within Brampton, and Morton parishes.
9.66 Green infrastructure is defined in the National Planning Policy Framework as "a network of multi-functional green space, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities". As well as public open space, it includes wildlife sites, river and canal corridors, moorland, and woodland. Collectively these areas contribute to the ecological network of the District. With regards to Natural England's definition, Green Infrastructure should be strategically planned and actively managed. It should also respect and enhance the character and distinctiveness of an area and should be delivered at all spatial scales.
9.67 Green Infrastructure fulfils a numbers of important functions, including:
- Access and recreation – public open spaces, and the public rights of way network provide a free recreational resource as well as formal playing pitches for more active sports
- Biodiversity and geodiversity – providing habitat within towns and countryside
- Economic development – green infrastructure improves the setting and image of towns and villages, making them more attractive places to live, work and invest
- Energy – the natural environment provides a resource for renewable energy
- Health and well being - well-planned green infrastructure promotes healthy lifestyles, with a positive impact on mental and physical health
- Landscape – green infrastructure is a crucial element in defining and linking to the character of the surrounding landscape
- Townscape – open spaces , street trees and other green infrastructure as a crucial element in defining the character of the urban areas
- Sustainable Drainage - green infrastructure helps to manage water flow and quality by holding it in times of high rainfall and releasing it slowly, reducing the likelihood of flood and drought; and can prevent pollution by filtration of surface water runoff, thereby contributing to improvements in quality of watercourses; and
- Climate change mitigation – plants and trees absorb carbon dioxide. Trees act as windbreaks and provide shade and flood management mechanisms to reduce the impact of climate change on the local environment
9.68 In 2012, the Council published a Green Infrastructure Study for the first time which has been recently updated (February 2017). The study identifies the existing Green Infrastructure assets across the District and the external linkages of the wider Green Infrastructure network, and considers how they could be extended and improved.
Policy ID6: Green Infrastructure
- Development proposals should conserve and where appropriate improve and extend the Green Infrastructure Network running through and beyond North East Derbyshire.
- Development proposals that would result in the loss or
isolation of existing green infrastructure will not be
- The affected site or feature does not have a significant recreational, ecological, landscape or townscape value; or
- The affected site can be demonstrated to be surplus to local requirements, or
- A compensatory amount of green infrastructure of an equivalent or better quality can be provided in the local area
- To ensure the quality of new or improved Green
Infrastructure, development proposals shall, where
- Incorporate Green Infrastructure as an integral part of designs at an early stage in the planning process in line with Policy SDC12
- Enhance connectivity between green spaces and improve public access to green infrastructure in line with Policy SDC12
- Contribute to the character and creation of high quality and locally distinctive places and having regard to the landscape, townscape, ecological character of the locality and the setting of heritage assets
- Protect trees, woodland and hedgerows in line with Policy SDC2
- Incorporate native species and habitats in line with Policy SDC4
- Capitalise on any opportunities provided by rivers, streams, ditches, drains and canals in order to improve their ecological status.
Greenways & Public Rights of Way
9.69 Greenways as part of Green Infrastructure link spaces and places throughout the district. The existing Greenways network consists of traffic-free pathways that connect towns and villages with the countryside and is suitable for walking, cycling and horse riding. Greenways support a sustainable and healthy way of travelling to schools, work places, shops and local amenities.
9.70 Since the publication of the Derbyshire Greenways Strategy (1998), Derbyshire County Council has with various partners brought back into beneficial use as greenways a number of disused railway lines including the Five Pits Trail and Trans-Pennine Trail. These routes have been carried forward from the 2005 Adopted Local Plan and are shown as greenways on the Policies Map.
9.71 However, a fully linked network is yet to be established. A number of future strategic routes were prioritised in the 1998 Derbyshire Greenways Strategy including a route linking Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh in the north of the District. Such a route would meet the need for a link between the three towns, but could also feed a route to Chesterfield. It would also act as a link from the Trans-Pennine Trail to Hardwick Hall, Chesterfield and the southern part of the Peak District. As part of the preparation of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan the Council will collaborate with Derbyshire County Council to identify proposed routes that are considered to be deliverable over the plan period. These proposed Greenways differ from existing ones due to their condition and legal status.
9.72 Beyond the Greenways network, Public Rights of Way (PROWs) provide considerable opportunities for people to enjoy the countryside. Where they exist within settlements they can provide good links between areas of housing, places of employment, shops and community facilities. It is important to ensure that development does not have an adverse impact upon the integrity of these routes.
9.73 The Council will support the use and improvement of all public rights of way and encourage additional provision and links as opportunities arise and safeguard them against development likely to prejudice their integrity. If an alternative route for a footpath is sought an application for footpath diversion must be made. If a planning application affects the route of a footpath equivalent alternative provision within the new development shall be made or a diversion order could be implemented.
Policy ID7: Greenways and Public Rights of Way
- The Council will seek to protect all existing and proposed Greenways throughout the district as identified on the Policies Map and any new provision added during the plan period.
- The Council will liaise with Derbyshire County Council to further develop the existing network through promoting proposed Greenways.
- Development proposals will be expected to maintain or improve the permeability of the built environment and access to the countryside for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Proposals that would result in the loss of, or deterioration in the quality of existing Public Rights of Way (PROWs) will not be permitted unless equivalent alternative provision is made. Where diversions are required, new routes should be direct, convenient and attractive, and should not have an unacceptable adverse impact on environmental or heritage assets.
9.74 Generally, canals and canal routes are an important element of green infrastructure, linking homes and communities, workplaces and services, and providing access to the wider countryside. They often provide a role on linking fragmented habitats over degraded land.
9.75 The Chesterfield Canal is a route of cross boundary strategic significance passing through Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. In North East Derbyshire the Chesterfield Canal crosses the north east of the District and runs through Killamarsh and Renishaw. The Chesterfield Canal Partnership, formed in 1995, is a working group whose membership includes the Canal & River Trust, the Chesterfield Canal Trust and the Local Authorities through which the canal passes. The Partnership ensures a co-ordinated approach to the restoration, protection and management of the canal route. Work on restoration is well underway and a significant part of the route is now navigable and once fully restored could be reconnected to the national network.
9.76 The Council alongside other Partners (through the Chesterfield Canal Partnership) is committed to securing the restoration of the canal through the district and improving the canal towpath as an important part of the GI network. The 2005 Adopted Local Plan has already included both the original route of the Chesterfield Canal and the identified preferred alternative route which would run through the east of Killamarsh town centre. This ensured that both routes were protected from development that could prejudice the restoration of the Chesterfield Canal.
9.77 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 assessed in more detail. This route would take advantage of the re-development of the Tarran bungalows to the west of the town centre and showed that it may be a more economic and attractive solution. Based on these findings and coordinated with Killamarsh Parish Council the Chesterfield Canal Partnership carried out a further consultation with local residents on the western alternative route in June 2017. Members of the public expressed clearly their preference for this route and thus the Chesterfield Canal Partnership supports the views to reflect the western alternative route restoration. As a consequence, beside the original route through Killamarsh the western alternative route will now be safeguarded through Policy ID8.
Policy ID8: Chesterfield Canal
- The original route of the Chesterfield Canal as identified on the Policies Map will be safeguarded from development likely to prejudice its future restoration and its existing function of providing a quality green space and leisure route.
- The western alternative route through Killamarsh as identified on the Policies Map will be safeguarded from development that is likely to prejudice its implementation.
- Development proposals associated with the recreational, leisure, nature conservation and historical potential of the Chesterfield Canal will be encouraged along its route.
Open Space, Sports and Recreation Facilities
9.78 Open space, sports and recreations facilities all contribute to the health and well-being of communities in and around North East Derbyshire. The Council has an important role to play in ensuring that there are sufficient facilities, that they are in the right location and that they are of high quality.
9.79 The Council is committed to the protection and enhancement of open space, sports and recreation facilities which contribute to creating high quality environments and sustainable communities. The implementation of Policy ID9 seeks to protect and enhance existing sites and secure additional provision to meet identified needs.
9.80 Open space, recreation sites and allotments were assessed by the Recreation Survey 2017. The Survey shows that local residents highly value the existing open spaces and recreation facilities and that there is no surplus of provision in the district compared to nationwide recreation standards (Fields in Trust Guidelines and National Allotment Society). In the following, the different typologies of open space and recreation are explained which form part of Policy ID9.
9.81 Urban Green Spaces are larger informal open spaces that contribute to the form and character of the settlement, often providing a pleasant setting or view. These include parks, green corridors, churchyards and cemeteries and amenity green space and commons as shown on the Policies Map. In addition to these areas, smaller informal open spaces exist but these are not shown on the Policies Map. However, the Council seeks to protect all forms of informal open space provision from inappropriate development.
9.82 Recreation sites comprise informal recreational fields which are accessible to the public and are used for informal sporting activities. It also includes children's play spaces and outdoor youth facilities.
9.83 Allotments are designated areas which provide opportunities for those people who wish to grow their own produce as part of the long term promotion of sustainability, health and social inclusion. A flexible supply of allotment space should be retained in order to accommodate fluctuating demand. The Recreation Survey shows that demand for and the supply of allotments varies significantly between settlements within the district and is linked to the type and tenure of housing.
9.84 Formal sport sites were assessed by the Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS) 2017 and built sports facilities by the Indoor Sports Facilities Strategy (IFS) 2017. Both strategies are based on detailed assessment work and incorporate Action Plans which give guidance on how these facilities should be developed in the future.
9.85 Formal Sport sites include a wide range of formal outdoor facilities such as pitch sports (e.g. football, cricket, rugby, etc.), hard court sports (e.g. tennis, basketball), bowls and athletics. The PPS concludes that there is no surplus of grass pitch provision or non-pitch sports in the district. Current and future demand for all pitch sports is either being met or there is a small shortfall. Any shortfall can be met by a range of measures such as: improving pitch quality, pitch reconfiguration, increasing access to school sites etc. or new provision through development. For non-pitch sports both current and future demand is being met. In case of a potential loss the Council is required to consult with the Secretary of State on the planning application.
9.86 Indoor sports facilities include mainly sports halls and swimming pools which are located in the district's towns like Dronfield Sports Centre, Eckington Swimming Pool, Killamarsh Sports Centre and Sharley Park Leisure Centre at Clay Cross. The sports halls are situated in appropriate locations and all are available for community use. Compared to a current available supply both sports halls and swimming pools are 'in balance' to demand. Indoor sport facilities are also designated in the Policies Map as Formal Sport Sites.
9.87 Although the Council will seek to protect all existing green spaces, recreation sites, allotments and formal sports sites there might be the case that a site or facility is threatened to be lost. In this case, a development proposal would not be permitted unless it could clearly demonstrate that there are circumstances which would make the proposal acceptable. These are laid out specifically within Policy ID9.
9.88 Appendix D shows the relation of open space, sports and recreation categories to their designation in the Policies Map.
New and upgraded Facilities
9.89 The Council is committed to not only protect existing open space, sports and recreation facilities but to invest in existing facilities and new provision for local residents and to provide facilities that are accessible by sustainable modes of transport. To achieve this, financial contributions should be sought from relevant proposals which means that residential developments of 10 units or less are excluded. The Council's protocol on financial contributions will lay out a mechanism in more detail to calculate developer contributions.
9.90 New provision or developer contributions will be sought for at least one of each of the following category, if a need arises:
- Urban Green space,
- Informal recreational fields,
- Equipped children's play spaces,
- Outdoor youth facilities,
- Formal sport sites
- Indoor sports facilities
9.91 Any residential development which exceeds more than 10 dwellings and employment proposal or educational development of 1000 m2 floorspace and above will need to provide or contribute to urban green space, recreation sites, allotments and formal sports sites. The Council seeks to establish thresholds in relation to sizes of residential developments. It is assumed that residential developments with more than 50 dwellings would create a demand large enough for a new facility on-site. These thresholds are as follows:
- For proposals of more than 10 and up to 50 dwellings financial contributions for improvement of an existing off-site facility or for a new off-site provision will usually be required and
- For proposals of more than 50 dwellings on-site provision will usually be requested
With regards to sport facilities (playing pitches, non-pitch sports and indoor sport facilities) it is however often the case for smaller residential developments that they do not create demand for a whole pitch. In this case, the protocol would recommend making a financial contribution to increase the capacity of an existing site to meet demand generated from the development.
9.92 The protocol will also advise on which type of provision of open space, sport and recreation is needed most in the area. This would be based on findings of the Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS) and Indoor Sports Facilities Strategy (IFS) for formal sport sites and on the Recreation Survey for green space, recreation sites and allotments. To determine demand for playing pitches the Sport England's Playing Pitch Demand Calculator should be applied and the PPS to determine non-pitch demand. For urban green space, recreation sites and allotments the Local Quantity Standard derived from the Recreation Survey should be used as follows to determine demand for new residents:
Table 9.1: Local Quantity Standard
Urban Green Space
Informal Recreational Fields
Equipped Children's Play Spaces
Outdoor Youth Facilities
25 plots per 1,000 households
9.93 If a financial contribution towards urban green space, recreation sites and allotments is required the Ward situation should be considered and compared to Quantity, Quality and Accessibility standards and determined which existing site should be upgraded or extended. For formal sport sites the Action Plan of the Playing Pitch Strategy would indicate which existing site should benefit. In both cases it is advised to consult with local partners (local clubs/groups, parish/town council, local allotment societies, etc.).
9.94 The Recreation Survey shows that the level of quality of urban green space, recreation sites and allotments can vary considerably throughout the district. It is envisaged that the quality of a facility should score 'Good' or 'Very good'. Therefore, where a facility scores only 'average' or 'poor' according to the quality assessment, financial contributions should be made to improve this site.
9.95 Also, the location of a proposal to existing facilities will vary from case to case. In determining which facility should be improved or extended the Accessibility Standard will be applied. Therefore, where the proposal site lies outside of the defined catchment area of one type of facility financial contributions should be sought to provide new provision which is closer to the proposal. The Accessibility standard is as follows:
Table 9.2: Local Accessibility Standard
Straight Line distance
Urban Green Space:
Amenity green spaces & commons and Housing green spaces
Parks, Green corridors and Cemetery & churchyards
280 metres (based on 5 min adult walking speed) or
560 metres (based on 10 min adult walking speed)
Equipped Children's Play Spaces
240 metres (based on 5 min child walking speed)
Outdoor Youth Facilities
560 metres (based on 10 min adult walking speed)
Outdoor Sport Facilities
840 metres (based on 15 min adult walking speed)
560 metres (based on 10 min adult walking speed)
9.96 In addition to providing on-site facilities or contributing to new off-sites facilities a development proposal will be required to cover maintenance costs.
Policy ID9: Open Space, Sports and Recreation Facilities
- The Council will seek to protect and enhance all
existing open space, sports and recreation facilities and
any new provision added during the plan period. These
facilities are shown on the Policies Map as
- Urban Green Space,
- Recreation Sites,
- Formal Sport Sites, and
Protection of existing facilities
- Development proposals that would result in the loss or
isolation of the typologies a. to d. above will not be
- An assessment has been undertaken that clearly shows there to be surplus in all of the typologies a. to d. above; or
- The loss resulting from the proposed development would be replaced by equivalent or better provision in terms of quantity and quality in a suitable location; the replacement facility should be made available prior to the loss; or
- The development is for alternative provision of typologies a. to d. above, the needs of which clearly outweigh the loss; or
- The proposed development is ancillary to the recreational use of the site and does not adversely affect the quality of the sites in terms of its recreational use; or
- The proposed development only affects land that is incapable of performing a recreational function.
Provision of new facilities
- In line with Policy ID1, financial contributions for a new off-site provision or for enhancing an existing off-site provision will be sought from residential developments of more than 10 and up to 50 dwellings, and employment proposals or educational developments of 1000 m2 floorspace and above. On-site provision will be required from residential developments of more than 50 dwellings.
- To calculate necessary developer contributions the Council's protocol on financial contributions applies. Financial contributions will be sought towards the maintenance of all on-site and new off-site facilities and contributions towards new off-site provision and towards the enhancement of existing off-site provision (Appendix C).
Local Green Spaces
9.97 'Local Green Spaces' are green spaces of particular importance to the local community. National policy makes provision for these to be identified through local and neighbourhood plans. Local communities will be able to rule out new development other than in very special circumstances by designating land as Local Green Spaces. However, National Policy makes clear that this specific designation would not be appropriate for most green spaces and specifies when it should be used. In North East Derbyshire, the Local Plan does not designate Local Green Spaces, but any forthcoming Neighbourhood Plans may do so.
9.98 Where new Local Green Spaces are proposed, it is
envisaged that clear funding and delivery mechanisms are in
place for its long term management and maintenance.
 North East Derbyshire District Council – Infrastructure Study and Delivery Plan, December 2017
 North East Derbyshire Local Plan, Transport Evidence Base, Dec 2017
 The safeguarding maps and a copy of the formal Safeguarding Directions can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hs2-safeguarding.
 North East Derbyshire is categorised as a Rural 50 district by Defra, which means that between 50 - 79.9% of its population live in rural census output areas.https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/239063/2001-la-class-intro.pdf
 Please note that urban green space, recreation sites and allotments as well as indoor and outdoor sport facilities are dealt with within the 'Open space, Sports and Recreation Facilities' chapter
 In paragraph 70 of the National Planning Policy Framework 'Community Facilities' are described as 'local shops, meeting places, sports venues, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship'
 North East Derbyshire District Council, Recreation Research Report, September 2017