Consultation Draft (February 2017)

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(38) 1. INTRODUCTION

1.0 Planning shapes the places where we live, work, shop and spend our leisure time. North East Derbyshire District Council is required by legislation to prepare a Local Plan setting out its vision, objectives and policies to guide the future sustainable growth and development of the area.  

(13) North East Derbyshire's Local Plan

1.1    North East Derbyshire's Local Plan will cover the area of North East Derbyshire outside of the Peak District National Park and look forward to 2033. The Plan will be used to guide decisions on planning applications and areas where investment should be prioritised. Once adopted, it will become part of the development plan for North East Derbyshire and will replace the 'saved' policies of the 2005 Adopted North East Derbyshire District Local Plan.

           The Local Plan does not cover minerals and waste planning as this is the responsibility of Derbyshire County Council. Once adopted, the new Derby and Derbyshire Minerals Local Plan and the Derby and Derbyshire Waste Local Plan will form part of the development plan for North East Derbyshire.

1.2   The Local Plan will contain a vision, objectives and a planning strategy for development. This will include policies on the scale of development and its overall pattern across the district. It will also allocate sites for development needed to meet the district's objectively assessed needs, and designate important areas to be protected and enhanced. The Plan will also set out criteria based policies on a range of planning issues to be used to determine planning applications on allocated and 'windfall' sites. A set of targets and indicators will be included to provide the basis for monitoring the plan's effectiveness and to indicate the need for any early review.

(38) The Consultation Draft Local Plan

1.3 North East Derbyshire District Council first began work on replacing its development plan with a Core Strategy under the old system of Local Development Frameworks. It then moved forwards to prepare a Local Plan in two parts and consulted upon an Initial Draft Local Plan (Part 1) in February 2015.

1.4     Although a number of representations in support were received to this previous draft plan, the Council has changed its format to prepare a single local plan rather than one in 2 parts. In addition, a revised spatial distribution of development is proposed which gives greater focus on development at the main towns of Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh in the north of the district and which involves some release of land from the Green Belt in the light of the findings of a comprehensive review of Green Belt boundaries.

1.5   Taking into account all comments received during the previous consultation and in the light of new evidence the Council has produced this document for public consultation as part of the process of developing the new Local Plan

This draft Plan sets out:

  • a description of the area and the issues that North East Derbyshire faces;
  • what kind of place North East Derbyshire might be by 2033; and
  • the Council's draft policies and proposals to plan and manage growth and development to deal with the issues facing the district, and to achieve the Plans vision for North East Derbyshire.

1.6    This draft Plan consists of the written document, which sets out and explains the Council's policies, and a number of Policies Maps which shows where they apply. These maps are included as Appendix B.

1.7    The written document starts with this introduction to North East Derbyshire's Local Plan including a brief summary of the context within which the Plan is being prepared. The document structure is as follows:

          Chapter 2 provides a short description of the geographic, economic, social and environmental characteristics of the area (called the Spatial Portrait) along with the key issues facing the district.

          Chapter 3 sets out the Plan's vision for North East Derbyshire describing the kind of place North East Derbyshire will be by 2033. A number of objectives are defined to achieve the vision and help guide the Plan's strategy

          Chapter 4 sets out the Plan's strategy for housing, employment and retail growth together with overarching policies to guide the distribution of development. It also includes 4 strategic site allocations earmarking land for major mixed use developments and which are considered critical to achieving the strategy.

          Chapter's 5 and 6 set out policies on housing and economic development respectively. Both chapters propose further housing and employment land allocations at the district's towns and other more sustainable settlements, and which will deliver the levels of growth set out in the strategy.

          Chapter 7 sets out area based policies, building on the settlement and retail hierarchy policies, which focus on the sustainable growth of North East Derbyshire's towns namely Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh

          Chapter 8 sets out specific criteria based policies aimed at achieving sustainable patterns and forms of development including policies to protect and enhance the natural and built environment, to address climate change, and to ensure high quality design and place-making throughout North East Derbyshire.

          Chapter 9 sets out policies dealing with the delivery of the physical, social and green infrastructure required to support the development and growth set out in the Plan. This chapter will be more fully developed as the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) is produced alongside the next publication version of the Local Plan.

          Chapter 10 sets out the arrangements for monitoring the effectiveness of the Plan's policies.

1.8    The draft plan covers a wide range of planning issues and it is often the case that several policies are relevant to a development proposed. Therefore, it important that the plan is read as a whole rather than treating each policy in isolation.

1.9    Where practicable, cross referencing between policies has been used where this makes the Plan easier to read. However, absence of cross references does not mean that other policies of the Plan do not apply.

1.10  Furthermore, where a policy has a list of criteria, all of them should be met, unless otherwise stated. Applications for planning permission will be considered against all relevant policies in the Local Plan and against the National Planning Policy Framework. Development proposals that comply with all relevant policies will be supported.

1.11 Some policies in the Plan refer to 'Supplementary Planning Documents' (SPD's). These documents provide detailed information on the implementation of certain policies and aim to help those preparing planning applications. Although not part of the Plan, SPD's may be taken into account as a 'material consideration' in considering a planning application.

(3) Local Plan Context

1.12   The Local Plan is being drawn up in accordance with the legislation regulating plan-making and in the context of the Government's planning policies. In addition, regard is being had to the relevant plans and strategies of other public bodies and organisations insofar as they raise strategic planning matters of cross boundary significance for North East Derbyshire.

(2) National Planning Policy

1.13 In terms of national planning policy, the Local Plan is being prepared in the context of national planning policy principally set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published in March 2012, and more detailed National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG). 

1.14 The NPPF states that Local Plans must be prepared with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development[1] which requires the planning system to perform an economic, social, and environmental role[2].

1.15 Legislation also requires that Plans are "sound", namely that they have been positively prepared, justified, effective and are consistent with national planning policies[3].

In order to ensure "soundness" the Local Plan must be underpinned by an up to date evidence base that is proportionate to the economic, social and environmental issues facing the area[4].

(8) Relationship with other Local Plans and the Duty to Co-operate

1.16 As a statutory consultee, the Council is consulted by and in turn consults with neighbouring authorities in the preparation of Local Plans. In addition, in order to fulfil the Duty to Cooperate which is both a legal requirement and relates to the test of soundness  the councils and and a number of public sector bodies and service providers are required to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis to  cooperate proactively on strategic  matters in the preparation of Local Plans.  The Council has cooperated with the relevant bodies in developing the Plan and in the preparation of the evidence that will be used to underpin the Plan's policies. So far in terms of gathering evidence this has included work on the Strategic Housing Market Assessment, the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment, the Retail Capacity Study, and a number of other technical studies on transport, and flood risk and water cycle issues, for example. In order to show how the Council has cooperated with other bodies in the preparation of the Local Plan the Council will produce a draft Statement of Compliance with the Duty to Co-operate at the next Publication stage.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)

1.17 LEPs have been established as collaboration between the public and private sectors to ensure the growth of a rebalanced local economy and to contribute significantly to the renewal of the national economy as a whole. North East Derbyshire District sits within the area covered by two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs): the Sheffield City Region LEP, and the D2N2 LEP.

1.18  As part of its long term economic plan the Government has agreed Growth Deals with both LEP's. Whilst the Sheffield City Region Growth Deal will boost the economic growth of the region with investments in key transport, infrastructure, skills and business support projects, the D2N2 Growth Deal will invest in a number of projects in the LEP's priority sectors – including advanced transport engineering and life sciences.

1.19  Taken together these LEP Growth Deals received £91.3 million in their first year, and as part of the Government's on-going commitment to the LEP's provided an indicative award of a further £378.4 million of funding from 2016/17 onwards. Both deals aim to help create at least 26,000 jobs, allow some 13,000 homes to be built, and bring forward at least £790 million of additional investment from public and private investment across the Sheffield City Region, and Derbyshire and Nottighamshire area.

1.20 Within North East Derbyshire, the Growth Deal will directly fund the A61 Growth Corridor Strategy, which targets transport infrastructure improvements along the A61 to release additional site capacity at key development sites and enable more efficient movement of goods, services and people through this important economic corridor.  Figure 1.1 below shows the District's location and its relationship with other authorities within the wider area.

(1) Figure 1.1: North East Derbyshire in context

A4 Spatial Context Fig 3


(2) Local Strategies and Initiatives

Sustainable Community Strategy for Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire 2009-2026

1.21 Although there is no longer a statutory requirement to produce a Sustainable Community Strategy, this document produced by the CHART Local Strategic Partnership  provides a framework for service providers who operate in the area to target resources effectively to address the needs of communities and improve the quality of life in the district for all. Its overarching strategic areas identified for priority actions relate to:

  • Accessible communities
  • Living communities
  • Safer, healthier and active communities
  • Sustainable communities
  • Working and learning communities

The Local Plan provides an important means of expressing the spatial aspects of the Sustainable Community Strategy.

North East Derbyshire District Corporate Plan 2015 - 2019

1.22 The Council's Corporate Plan was developed following consultation with local community organisations. It sets out the Council's main aim to unlock the district's growth potential with a focus on supporting enterprise, realising the development potential of major employment sites, and enabling housing growth. It further aims to support healthier, cleaner and greener communities. 

North East Derbyshire Growth Strategy & Action Plan (2014)

1.23 North East Derbyshire District Council, working in partnership with Bolsover District Council has prepared a new Growth Strategy which sets out the Council's ambitions, priorities and approach that it will take to enable the growth of the local economy to create stability and prosperity. 

1.24 The Growth Strategy recognises that there needs to be significant residential development over the next 10 years to meet future requirements and to achieve a better balance between future housing and workforce growth and available employment. It sets out to align with the growth plans of the LEPs, specifically Sheffield City Region (SCR) and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire (D2N2).

1.25 The Growth Strategy includes as its strategic priorities:

  • supporting enterprise,
  • enabling housing growth; and
  • unlocking development potential. 

The Housing and Economic Development Strategy 2015-20

1.26 The Strategy identifies key challenges and opportunities facing the District over the next 5 years.  From these, it sets a range of Key Strategic Objectives which will direct the delivery of the Strategy to meet the housing and economic needs of the District. The Local Plan will have a key role in delivering many of these objectives.

Regeneration Frameworks (Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington, and Killamarsh)

In order to provide a focus for the physical regeneration of the district's main towns the Council has adopted Regeneration Framework documents for Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington, and Killamarsh. These aim to:

  • identify key opportunities for improvement within the towns
  • set a strategic approach to delivering improvements
  • attract and manage investment
  • coordinate the delivery of projects
  • ensure that projects are of the highest quality

1.27  Many of the general planning and design principles within the Frameworks have been taken forward through the policies in the Local Plan, for example Policy SDC14 on High Quality Design and Place Making. In addition, the more specific projects and infrastructure improvements which are considered to have prospects for delivery within the plan period have been embedded within the area based policies in Chapter 7: Sustainable Places.  

(4) Sustainability Appraisal

1.28 In drawing up a Local Plan, the local planning authority must carry out an appraisal of the sustainability of the Plan's proposals. Consequently, a process called Sustainability Appraisal (hereinafter referred to as SA)  has to be carried out alongside the preparation of a  Local Plan. The process helps the local authority to check and consider how its emerging local plan policies may affect the achievement of sustainable development. Consequently, S A may lead to changes in the plan or to additions or amendments to the plan's policies.

1.29 SA is an iterative process that is undertaken throughout the development of the Local Plan as options are explored and refined and policies produced. Work first commenced on SA in 2007 with the preparation of the Scoping Report which provided a baseline review of the social, economic and environmental conditions of the district. It also set out a number of SA objectives against which the policies and proposals of the plan would be assessed. This work was updated in 2012 to ensure it provided a sound basis upon which to conduct the appraisal. A report setting out the progress on the SA, including assessment of policies and the reasonable alternatives considered has been prepared to inform the draft plan at this stage.


(1) Habitats Regulations Assessment

1.30  There is a requirement for all Local Plans to be subject to Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA).

1.31  The aim of the HRA is to identify any aspects of the Plan that would have the potential to cause a likely significant effect on European Sites of nature conservation importance.

1.32  The designated sites of European interest in North East Derbyshire are the Peak District Moors Special Protection Area (SPA) and the South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation (SAC), albeit they are located outside of the area covered by the Local Plan. Other European sites near to North East Derbyshire, but outside of the administrative boundary, are the Peak District Dales SAC, and the Gang Mine SAC in Derbyshire Dales District.

1.33  As a first stage in the HRA process an initial 'Screening Report' of an early 'Core Strategy' version of the Plan in 2011, assessed whether there were likely significant effects on European sites. This highlighted uncertainty over whether likely significant effects might arise through the detailed policies of the plan. Screening will be revisited in advance of the publication version of the Plan to examine the risks of adverse affects and to ensure suitable mitigation measures are put in place within the Local Plan.

(9) Your Views

1.34 Comments are invited on this Consultation Draft Local Plan (February 2017).

The consultation period runs for 6 weeks from Friday 24th February until Friday 7th April 2017. During this time the Consultation Draft Local Plan will be available:

  • online at www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/localplan
  • at the North East Derbyshire District Council Offices, Mill Lane, Wingerworth, S42 6NG
  • at the following libraries: Chesterfield Central, Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington, Holmewood, Killamarsh, Wingerworth and the Mobile service during normal library opening hours.

Please send us your comments on the Consultation Draft Local Plan. There are a number of ways in which you can do this:

Online using our web-based consultation system

This is the Council's preferred means of receiving comments because it is the fastest and most accurate method and it will enable us to manage your comments quickly and efficiently.

  • A link to the Council's on-line system can be accessed at:

www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/localplan

(If you require help using the on-line system please contact the Planning Policy Team on 01246 217169 or 217694 or 217113 or 217180) 

By email

By post

  • Alternatively, if you do not wish to submit your comments on-line or do not have access to a computer, you can write to us or send a completed comments form to us at:

North East Derbyshire District Council

Planning Policy Team

2013 Mill Lane

Wingerworth

Chesterfield

S42 6NG

  • Copies of the comments forms are available online, at the Council Offices and Libraries, and during drop-in sessions, as advertised in the Local Plan leaflet or online.

(1) Next Steps

1.35 The Council will consider all the comments received, using them to refine policies that will be included in the Publication version of the Local Plan. There will then be a further opportunity for final representations to be made on the Local Plan at this stage.

1.36 The Local Plan will then be submitted to the Secretary of State, along with the comments made, and an Examination in Public will be held. This will give an independent Planning Inspector the opportunity to test the soundness of the Local Plan, ensuring it has been positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national planning policy. Figure 1.2 shows the key milestones towards the adoption of the Local Plan with the current consultation stage highlighted in yellow.


Figure 1.2: Local Plan – Key Milestones

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[1] NPPF (2012), paragraph 151, page 37

[2] NPPF (2012), paragraph  7, page 2

[3] NPPF (2012), paragraph 182, page 43

[4] NPPF (2012), paragraph 158. page 38


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