Consultation Draft (February 2017)

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4. SPATIAL STRATEGY

(8) Introduction

4.1 The purpose of this chapter is to set out the Spatial Strategy that the Council will follow to achieve its Vision and Objectives. The achievement of sustainable development forms the basis of the strategy approach which seeks to deliver  new development and associated supporting infrastructure to meet future needs of the District in the locations where it is most needed whilst at the same time protecting valued assets and resources.

4.2 The Local Plan will be a key delivery mechanism for projects identified in the Council's Growth Strategy such as supporting enterprise, enabling housing growth, and unlocking the capacity of major employment sites. The Growth Strategy identifies a number of transformational projects for housing and employment, including:

  • Developing the M1 Strategic Growth Corridor proposal as the principal economic growth location,
  • Bringing forward investment and development along the A61 Growth Corridor, working with the LEPs and Derbyshire County Council
  • Bringing forward site development at principal employment growth locations, including:
    • Callywhite Lane Dronfield
    • Former Biwaters Site, Clay Cross
    • The  Avenue  site, Wingerworth
    • Markham Vale
    • Former Coalite Site
  • Realising major housing /mixed use regeneration projects at
    • Former Biwaters Site, Clay Cross
    • The former Avenue site, Wingerworth
    • Former Coalite Site
  • Investigating the potential for new strategic housing sites, including within the M1 Strategic Growth Corridor and eastern sub-area
  • Facilitating a housebuilding programme, including a range of affordable and social housing, and the regeneration of the Council's non-traditional housing stock.

(6) Sustainable Development

4.3 The purpose of the planning system is to contribute to sustainable development[5]. The goal of sustainable development is to enable all people to satisfy their basic needs and to enjoy a better quality of life, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own social, economic and environmental needs.

4.4 The Local Plan's vision and objectives are centred on sustainable growth, which means encouraging sustainable development as a means of protecting and enhancing the environment, growing the District's economy, and supporting the health and wellbeing of the District's communities.

4.5 Achieving sustainable development to create more sustainable patterns and forms of development in the district is the fundamental principle underpinning each policy in the Local Plan. The economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and what this means in North East Derbyshire, are set out in Policy SS1.

(20) Policy SS1: Sustainable Development

In order to contribute to sustainable development in North East Derbyshire, development proposals should:

a. Support the local economy by contributing towards business expansion and growth in key business sectors, attracting and supporting a skilled labour force, and improving skills and access for local people to job opportunities including through targeted recruitment and training;

b. Promote the efficient use of land and the re-use of previously developed land in sustainable locations;

c. Locate development with the aim of reducing the need to travel and contributing to the improvement of sustainable transport solutions;

d. Reduce the need for energy in new development and ensure that it can use energy efficiently through the life time of the development;

e. Promote the social and economic wellbeing of North East Derbyshire's communities and contribute to reducing social disadvantages and inequalities;

f. Support the hierarchy of town and village centres and / or enhance their role as a focus for new services and facilities. Create well designed places that are accessible, durable, adaptable and enhance local distinctiveness;

g. Protect and enhance the character, quality and settings of towns and villages and heritage assets;

h. Protect, create and / or enhance the character, quality and diversity of the District's green infrastructure and local landscapes,  the wider countryside and ecological and biodiversity assets

i. Protect the productive potential of the District's best quality agricultural land, and avoid sterilisation of mineral resources;

j. Support the provision of essential public services and infrastructure;

k. Play a positive role in adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change, including through the use of sustainable drainage systems, to contribute to the health and well being of communities and the environment through the location, design and operation of development;

l. Take account of any coal-mining related land stability and / or other public safety risks, and where necessary, incorporate suitable mitigation measures to address the risk;

All major planning applications must be accompanied by a Planning / Sustainability Statement which addresses the above criteria.

Key Evidence Base

  • UK Sustainable Development Strategy: Securing the Future (March 2005)
  • National Planning Policy Framework

You told us that...

The Plan needs to recognise the difficulties of accessibility to jobs and services, and the constraints on public transport, particularly in rural areas of the District, and provide sufficient flexibility to respond to particular issues in each area. You also said that the Plan needs an overarching policy on sustainable development to set the context for each of the topics to be covered within the Plan. However, the policy should recognise the importance of biodiversity, the use of sustainable drainage systems, for securing environmental gains in the district.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

  1. Not including a sustainable development policy and relying on detailed policies in each topic area.  This option was rejected because a policy is required by the NPPF, and it is considered that an overarching policy is necessary to set the context for each of the topics covered by the Plan.
  2. Including a sustainable development policy which is narrower in scope.  This option was rejected because it is considered that a comprehensive policy is the most effective way of providing the clarity to encourage and guide sustainable development across the District.

The NPPF tells us that...When drawing up Local Plans, LPA's must prepare them with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development (paragraphs 150 and 151).

Which Local Plan Objectives will it meet?

All

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator: Percentage of major planning applications accompanied by a Planning/ Sustainability Statement

Target:  100% of all major planning applications should be accompanied by a Planning/ Sustainability Statement

Trigger for Review: Not meeting target

(3) Housing, Employment and Retail Provision

(21) Housing Provision

4.6 The proposed housing target forms a central building block of the Council's Spatial Strategy in that it contributes to explaining how much residential development is planned during the plan period. A key starting point for the Local Plan is to establish the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for market and affordable housing over the plan period. The North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) (November 2013) plus additional sensitivity testing (April 2014)  identifies the full, objectively assessed need for housing, both across the Housing Market Area and each of the component authority areas.

4.7 The SHMA indicates a need for between 1,180 – 1,350 homes per year across the HMA; with the recognition that higher housing provision might be considered in order to support economic growth. For North East Derbyshire, the SHMA identified the Objectively Assessed Need as being between 270-310 new homes per year. This was amended to between 268-285 new homes per year by sensitivity testing.

4.8 The Local Plan strategy is to provide for the continuation of past population growth levels while acknowledging that these represent a challenging but realistic level of growth for the District relative to recent trends.

4.9 The NPPF states that to boost significantly the supply of housing, Local Plans should ensure that the full, objectively assessed need for their area is met. As a result, when establishing a target for housing provision the Council identified a minimum of 300 homes a year as the most appropriate target. Looking to the higher end of the range on the basis of seeking to more positively support economic growth and deliver affordable housing.

4.10 Since the SHMA was produced the Local Plan timescales have been rolled forward and the Government has released 2014-based population figures and household projections which we need to reflect upon in setting our housing figure. In light of this we are currently working with our strategic partners within the Housing Market Area to look at updating the SHMA. This may affect the housing target set out with this draft Plan.

4.11 In developing the housing target, the Council must also have regard to the activities of the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). Both of the LEP Growth Plans and Economic Strategies are at an early stage of development in relation to the understanding of their impact upon population and housing. In addition, the combined effects of these Growth Plans upon authorities which fall within both LEPs have not been clarified. The figures for jobs growth are LEP-wide totals with no sub-regional breakdown. Consequently, it is difficult to determine whether there are any direct impacts of the LEP strategies upon the scale of housing in the Local Plan, although both strategies intend to assist with housing delivery. As they stand, their background information indicates that the job growth they aspire to would be possible from population growth already projected across the City Region and D2N2 areas.

(6) Employment Land Provision

4.12 The Local Plan aims to provide new jobs along with new housing, ensuring that a range of deliverable and marketable employment land is available both for indigenous firms and for inward investors, but at the same time recognising the relationship of the District with the Sheffield City Region, particularly with Sheffield and Chesterfield.  In particular, it acknowledges the 61% of people who commute out of the District to work.  About 19% commute to Sheffield, 18% to Chesterfield, and 3% each to Amber Valley, Bolsover, Derbyshire Dales and Rotherham (2011 Census)).

4.13 In addition to the relationship with the Sheffield City Region which has strong links with the north of the District, the south of the district has a close economic relationship with the D2N2 economic area covering Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.  The Strategic Growth Plans of the LEPs (submitted to Government in 2014) provide the strategic context for the Council's own Growth Strategy, and for the Local Plan. The District's Growth Strategy & Action Plan seeks to unlock the capacity of major employment sites, maintaining an appropriate supply of suitably located employment land and premises and working with partners to develop, manage and enhance key strategic employment areas.

4.14 The District's economy is diverse and there is a need to plan for a range of different sizes and types of employment sites.  The Local Plan aims to provide employment land of various scales and types across the District along with new housing to provide opportunities for people to live close to their places of work.  In particular, there is a need to unlock development and bring forward strategic and major sites for development to transform economic prospects, and to support regeneration of the district's towns.

4.15 The 2013 Employment Land Update (ELU) recommended that employment land provision for North East Derbyshire should be between 35 & 75ha, with a mid-range figure indicated as being the most appropriate forecast. This figure would allow for significant losses of existing employment land but provide for an overall employment land increase in line with economic forecasts.

4.16 A minimum employment land provision target for North East Derbyshire is therefore identified at 50 hectares (net) for the plan period. However it is important to note that this evidence base work is in the process of being updated to take account of more recent data and this may have an impact on the overall target.

4.17 The Local Plan aims to safeguard and improve existing successful and attractive employment sites, and to allocate new sites to improve the portfolio of available employment land within the District. New employment development for manufacturing and distribution will take place on already committed sites to regenerate previously developed land and, where necessary and sustainable, on Greenfield land in accessible locations.

4.18 Opportunities have been explored to capitalise on development potential in and adjoining employment areas which have locational advantages due to their proximity to the M1 corridor and/or create opportunities to regenerate previously developed land. The focus is on existing large sites, both within the public and private sectors including:

  • The Avenue, Wingerworth
  • Former Biwaters, Clay Cross
  • Markham Vale Enterprise Zone

The 64.8 hectare provision in policy SS3 resulting from the Plan's allocations therefore allows for the loss of existing employment land where it is of lower quality and less attractive to the market and the improvement of the employment portfolio through these strategic sites.

4.19 New employment will also be encouraged in town and local centres, to support the objective of improving and enhancing their economic role. 

(6) Balancing Housing and Economic Growth

4.20 The Plan has an objective to support sustainable growth which brings about regeneration, recognising the housing and employment needs of a growing population. The North East Derbyshire Growth Strategy has been prepared in the light of the continued growth in population used in the Local Plan evidence base, including the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA). The results of the SHMA analysis of the housing provision and forecast growth in employment is that the level of housing planned for would be sufficient to accommodate the levels of economic growth anticipated.

4.21 The Council's Growth Strategy has the intention of raising job densities (jobs/worker) within the District, either through stronger improvements in economic participation (associated with greater access to local employment opportunities) or through lower levels of people commuting out of the area to work (or moving to the District to both live and work). Due also to the existing significantly low job densities, an increased growth in jobs would not directly lead to the need to increase planned housing provision.

4.22 The housing and economic evidence indicates that the proposed employment land provision and housing provision are well balanced, the latter providing sufficient population to support growth in the economy. The District Council's economic and Local Plan objectives also provide sufficient flexibility to accommodate changes, as the result of on going work related to job growth and housing across the Sheffield City Region for example.

4.23 The evidence underpinning the housing and employment targets is under review.  The outcome of this work may amend the current targets and commentary set out in this Draft Plan and will be published in the next iteration of the Plan.

(1) Retail Provision

4.24 Existing evidence on shopping patterns and future retail needs is being updated through a new Retail Study. This work will be important in developing policies and defining the limits for the town centres of Dronfield, Clay Cross, Eckington and Killamarsh and the District's other smaller local centres. The study will consider the need to identify sites for town centre uses, identification of primary shopping frontages and for setting local thresholds to trigger impact assessments.

4.25 The town centre boundaries shown on maps accompanying this draft Plan are those set out in the 2005 Adopted Local Plan. They will be retained until such time as they can be replaced and informed by the new evidence.

(36) Policy SS2 : Scale of Development

For the period 2011 - 2033 the Local Plan will make  sufficient housing and employment  land provision to accommodate a minimum of:

  • 6,600 dwellings; and
  • 50ha of new employment land

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • North East Derbyshire Growth Strategy 2014
  • Strategic Housing Market Area Assessment 2013
  • Employment land study

You told us that...

The Plan should assist in the creation of jobs and link this with housing growth.  The need for housing and employment land should be clearly evidenced. Local residents are generally opposed to higher housing targets, raising concerns about the loss of Greenfield land and the impact on the infrastructure. The development industry wish to see a higher housing provision to support regeneration and job growth. Concern is also raised over the lack of local jobs and the wish to see job growth.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

Alternative spatial distribution of development were considered at early stages of the plan process, and subjected to Sustainability Appraisal and consultation.

The NPPF tells us that...

Every effort should be made objectively to identify and then meet the housing, business and other development needs of an area, and respond positively to wider opportunities for growth. (para 17)

Local plans should:

  • meet the needs for retail, leisure , office and other main town centre uses and these should not be compromised by limited site availability.  LPAs should undertake an assessment of the need to expand town centres to ensure a sufficient supply of sites (para 23)

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D1, D2, D4, D5, D6, D7, D8, D9, D11, D12, D13, D14, N1 & N3, W1, 2 & 3, S1 & 2, E 1 & 2.

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator: Net housing completions

Target: Annual housing delivery target (based on housing trajectory)

Trigger for Review: Performance against annual target

Indicator: Employment land approved & completed (net developed area)

Target:  Annual employment land target

Trigger for Review:  performance against target (delivery behind target)


(24) Distribution of Growth & the Settlement Hierarchy

4.26 In accordance with the fundamental principles of sustainable development and the criteria outlined in Policy SS1 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 that promote the re-use of previously developed land. This will enable the integration of homes, jobs, services and facilities in the most accessible locations.

4.27 Table 4.1 below shows the Settlement Hierarchy, this is based on the findings of the Settlement Hierarchy Study (December 2016), which analyses the roles that different settlements perform for their communities.  A settlement's position in the hierarchy reflects its relative sustainability derived from scores associated with population levels, facilities and services, employment opportunities, and public transport provision. 

4.28 Level 1 Settlements in the hierarchy comprising a) the Principal Towns of Clay Cross and Dronfield; and b) the secondary towns of Eckington and Killamarsh are considered to be the most sustainable locations for new development in terms of the range of services and facilities they provide and support and because they generate the greatest needs for new housing, jobs, services and facilities. In 2011, these four towns contained almost 50% of the district's housing and 48% of the population. 

4.29 The towns also have important roles in providing the economic, commercial and social hearts of the District and growth will be targeted to support and where possible enhance these roles. It is logical and reasonable therefore that we should look to these towns to maintain their importance and prominence and to seek to provide for a significant proportion of the District's housing growth requirements, to accommodate any required retail growth within their town centres and provide a focus for new employment growth.

4.30 It is however recognised that there are specific issues affecting the location of employment growth and the district's towns and regeneration sites do not necessarily provide the optimum locations for all types of employment development, particularly that which is attractive to a wider than local market.   Sites in particularly accessible locations are also required in order to attract investment and compete effectively with neighbouring areas. 

4.31 Four Strategic Sites have been identified at the Former Biwaters Site, Clay Cross, The Avenue, Wingerworth, Markham Vale, Duckmanton and Markham Vale Extension. Between them these sites have the potential to deliver approximately 2000 dwellings, of which just over half is expected to come forward within the lifetime of this Plan, along with 43ha of employment land and XXm2[6] of retail floorspace.

4.32 It is envisaged that the 4 Towns and Strategic Sites together will accommodate the majority (i.e. over 50%) of the District's housing growth requirements during the Plan period and all the new employment land provision.

4.33 Level 2 settlements will provide the locations for much of the remaining planned housing growth, which is expected to be in the region of 1950 dwellings. There will be no housing allocations in Level 3 settlements (over and above existing commitments), although windfall developments of appropriate scale may be acceptable in line with criteria based Policy SS12 or an adopted Neighbourhood Plan. 

4.34 Level 4 Settlements are generally small in scale and lacking in services and facilities, there will be no allocations in these settlements.  Development will be restricted to limited infill development to meet local needs, in line with criteria in Policy SS13 or an adopted Neighbourhood Plan.

4.35 In terms of housing, it is important to note that a proportion of the overall housing target has already been developed. At 31st March 2016, 1016 dwellings had been built since 2011, leaving land for 5584 dwellings remaining to be found (see Appendix A for breakdown per settlement).  There is also a proportion of development already committed having secured planning permission. However, only those commitments that are compatible with the strategy approach set out in the Local Plan will be counted towards the housing requirement and shown as allocations on the Policies Map.


(25) Table 4.1: Settlement Hierarchy

Type of Settlement

Place

Level1a: Principal Towns

Clay Cross

Dronfield

Level 1b: Secondary Towns

Eckington

Killamarsh

Level 2: Settlements with good level of sustainability

Calow

Grassmoor

Holmewood

Morton

North Wingfield

Pilsley

Renishaw

Shirland

Stonebroom

Tupton

Wingerworth

Level 3: Settlements with limited sustainability

Apperknowle

Arkwright Town

Ashover

Barlow Commonside

Barlow Village

Cutthorpe

Heath

Higham

Highmoor

Holmesfield

Holymoorside

Kelstedge

Long Duckmanton

Lower Pilsley

Marsh Lane

Mickley

Old Brampton

Ridgeway

Spinkhill

Stretton

Temple Normanton

Unstone Crow Lane

Unstone Green

Wadshelf

Walton

Wessington

Level 4: Very small villages and hamlets with very limited sustainability

Alton

Bolehill

Brackenfield

Cock Alley

Fallgate

Handley near Stretton

Littlemoor

Sutton Scarsdale

Woolley Moor

(47) Policy SS3 : Spatial Strategy and the Distribution of Development

The Local Plan will promote prosperous and sustainable communities by delivering ambitious levels of new development, whilst protecting the high quality environment that makes North East Derbyshire an attractive place to live and work.

Housing Provision

The Local Plan will make provision for the delivery of a minimum of 6,600 dwellings over the period 2011-2033. 

Housing growth will be focused on towns and the district's other most sustainable settlements as set out in the Settlement Hierarchy in Table 4.1 and on the Avenue and former Biwaters Strategic Sites. 

The distribution between settlements will be as set out in Table 4.2: Housing Requirement by Settlement).

Employment Provision

The Local Plan will make provision for 64.8ha of employment land for the period 2011-2033.

Employment growth will be focused on primary employment areas as identified in Policy WC2 and on Strategic Sites at:

The Avenue

Former Biwaters,

Markham Vale, and

Markham Vale Extension.

Retail Provision

Text to be inserted if necessary to take account of new evidence

Policies for settlements will aim to:

1.Support and enhance the role of the four Towns of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington, and Killamarsh

2. Regenerate towns and  level 2 settlements with identified needs

3. Maintain the role of settlements by supporting their ability to sustain services and facilities through new development that is appropriate in scale and reflects their position in the Settlement Hierarchy.

Green Belt

The general area of the Green Belt will be retained subject to the release of land parcels for allocation (as shown on the Policies Map) to meet either the development needs of this plan period or as Safeguarded Land to meet development needs beyond 2033.


Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • North East Derbyshire Growth Strategy 2014
  • Strategic Housing Market Area Assessment 2013

You told us that...

The Plan should assist in the creation of jobs and link this with housing growth, maintaining the Green Belt boundary where possible. The need for housing and employment land should be clearly evidenced. Local residents are generally opposed to higher housing targets, raising concerns about the loss of Green Belt, Greenfield land and the impact on the infrastructure. The development industry wish to see a higher housing provision to support regeneration and job growth. Concern that growth need to take place in areas of demand and the needs of the North cannot be met by development in the South. Avoiding development in the Green Belt will lead to less sustainable development.  Concern is also raised over the lack of local jobs and the wish to see job growth.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

Alternative spatial distribution of development were considered at early stages of the plan process, and subjected to Sustainability Appraisal and consultation.

To have no indication of settlement hierarchy or role would ignore the particular characteristics of the District, its larger and smaller settlements, and its rural areas.

The NPPF tells us that...

Every effort should be made objectively to identify and then meet the housing, business and other development needs of an area, and respond positively to wider opportunities for growth. Planning should actively manage patterns of growth to make the fullest possible use of public transport, waling and cycling, and focus significant development in locations which car or can be made sustainable (para 17)

Local Plans should:

  • Set out a clear economic vision and strategy for their area which positively and pro-actively encourages sustainable economic growth
  • Support existing business sectors, taking account of whether they are expanding or contracting, and where possible, identify and plan for new or emerging sector likely to locate in their area, Policies should be flexible enough to accommodate needs not anticipated in the plan and to allow a rapid response to changes in economic circumstance
  • Plan positively for the location, promotion and expansion of clusters or networks of knowledge driven creative, or high technology industries (para 21)

Planning policies should avoid the long term protection of sites allocated for employment use where there is no reasonable prospect of a site being used for that purpose.  Land allocations should be reviewed regularly (para 22)

Local plans should also:

  • Allocate a range of suitable sites to meet the scale and type of retail, leisure, commercial, office, tourism, cultural, community, and residential development needed in town centres,  It is important that the needs for retail, leisure , office and other main town centre uses are met and are not compromised by limited site availability.  LPAs should undertake an assessment of the need to expand town centres to ensure a sufficient supply of sites (para 23)

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D1, D4, D7, D11,D14, N1 & 3, W1 & 2, S1 & 2, E1

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator: Employment land approved & completed (net developed area)

Target:  Annual employment land target

Trigger for Review:  performance against target (delivery behind target)

Indicator: Net housing completions

Target: Annual housing delivery target (based on housing trajectory)

Trigger for Review: Performance against annual target

(35) Housing Provision by Settlement

4.36 The Settlement Hierarchy is the basis for determining the appropriate level of new housing for each settlement, informed by the Sustainability Appraisal and the supply of sites in each area. The distribution of housing by settlement is also strongly influenced by Policies SS1 and SS3, in order to support regeneration and the creation of more sustainable communities.

(2) Level 1 & Level 2 Settlements

4.37 Table 4.2 shows the housing requirement by settlement (including Strategic Sites). It includes an overall recommended growth level of 5740 dwellings, which combined with the 1016 dwellings already built is more than sufficient to meet the minimum provision of 6,600 dwellings, as set out in Policy SS2. This along with commitments in areas that do not align with the strategy and on small sites below 10 dwellings provides an added level of flexibility.  Thus ensuring that delivery issues associated with individual development sites would not affect the ability to deliver the overall minimum of 6,600 dwellings.

(19) Table 4.2:  Housing Provision by Level 1 & Level 2 Settlement

Settlement

Housing Provision

2011 - 2033

Level 1 Settlements (Towns)


Clay Cross ( + Biwaters Strategic Site)

477 (+560)

Dronfield

860

Eckington

553

Killamarsh

618

Towns Total

2508

Strategic Sites


The Avenue

710

Former Biwaters

560

Strategic Sites Total

1270



Level 2 Settlements (Large Villages


Calow

82

Grassmoor

155

Holmewood

188

Morton

100

North Wingfield

165

Pilsley

175

Renishaw

270

Shirland

230

Stonebroom

85

Tupton

340

Wingerworth (+ The Avenue Strategic Site)

172 (+710)

Large Villages Total

1962

TOTAL

5740


(4) Level 3 & Level 4 Settlements (Smaller Villages and Hamlets)

4.38 No specific housing requirements are proposed for these settlements and therefore no allocations are proposed. The policy approach to dealing with proposals for new housing on unallocated land in these settlements is set out in Policies SS12 & SS13.

(7) Strategic Site Allocations

4.39 In order to assist in the delivery of the Spatial Strategy (Policy SS3), the Plan allocates strategic sites which are considered critical to achieving the Plan's strategy. This includes 4 Strategic Sites which are considered capable of delivering development within this plan period.  A further site at Coalite is also identified as a priority regeneration area.  Whilst this site is of strategic scale and has planning permission, there are concerns over its ability to deliver within the plan period and for this reason it is not included as a Strategic Site.

(3) The Avenue, Wingerworth

4.40 The site area comprises 120ha of land located to the east of the A61, adjacent to Wingerworth and close to the administrative boundary with Chesterfield Borough.  A significant proportion of the site comprises the former Avenue Coking Works and has a legacy of contamination that is currently the subject of a major remediation programme due to be completed in 2017.

4.41 The Avenue site was allocated for re-development in the previous District Local Plan (which covered the period 2001-2011).  Since this time, the Council has adopted the Avenue Area Strategic Framework as non-statutory planning guidance and it will be a material planning consideration in determining planning applications on the site. This considered the incorporation of an additional area of adjoining land between the site and the A61, together with the former CPL site, to ensure that development takes place in a comprehensive and co-ordinated manner. The Framework considers that the site is capable of delivering around 4-5 hectares of land for employment uses, and up to 1100 new homes, along with ancillary facilities and infrastructure, and public open space. Outline planning permission is in place for part of the site and includes the provision of 469 dwellngs  It is expected that the wider site is likely to deliver around 700 dwellings during the plan period, with further development beyond 2033.

4.42 Given the scale of the site and its role in delivering the strategy of the Plan over the plan period, the land is allocated as a strategic site for mixed use development, comprising employment, housing, recreation and open space uses.

4.43 The Local Transport Plan sets out future proposals for new infrastructure and includes an A61-A617 Avenue link road as a longer term County Council project.

Figure 4.1: Strategic Site Allocation – The Avenue

The Avenue - A3 - Feb 2017.jpg

(11) POLICY SS4: The Avenue

In order to deliver the growth requirements set out in the Spatial Strategy (Policy SS3), land at the former Avenue site, as shown on the Policies Map, is allocated as a Strategic Development Site,

Proposals for mixed use redevelopment within this site will be permitted where they:

a) Optimise the use of the site or make best use of land

b) Provide up to 1100 new homes (approximately 700 within the period up to 2033)

c) Provide for around 4-5 hectares of employment land

d) Include a range of local facilities, including a primary school retail sport and recreation facilities;

e) Protect and/or enhance existing open space, sport and recreation facilities

f) Promote and accommodate sustainable transport for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport

g) Provide effective pedestrian and cycle links to Chesterfield and nearby settlements, including through green infrastructure where this would not have an adverse impact on biodiversity

h) Do not prejudice the construction of a link road from the A61 to A617

i) Create development of the highest quality design and highly energy efficient, with appropriate low carbon technologies;

j) Maintain and improve existing known areas of wildlife habitat and species, and include measures for habitat creation

k) Incorporate an appropriate mix of house types and tenures, to reflect housing need and market considerations

Development will be guided by The Avenue Area Strategic Framework or subsequent approved document.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • The Avenue Area Strategic Framework

You told us that...

The Plan should include the Avenue as a Strategic Site, and be identified for mixed use development. Any resulting demands on the transport network and community infrastructure should be addressed.

Existing sport & recreation facilities should be protected and/or enhanced and new facilities provided to meet needs of the development.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

Not to include a policy for this strategic site would fail to protect its comprehensive reclamation and regeneration in line with a jointly agreed approach

The NPPF tells us that...

To boost significantly the supply of housing, LPAs should identify key sites which are critical to the delivery of the housing strategy over the plan period (paragraph 47).

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D1, D2, D5 & S2

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Gross  employment floorspace and gross no. of housing units approved and completed

Target:

  • Annual housing delivery target based on housing trajectory;
  • A minimum of 4ha (net) of new employment land

(4) Former Biwaters Site, Clay Cross

4.44 The former Biwaters works is a 27.4 ha site, located to the north east of Clay Cross town centre, adjoining Bridge Street Industrial Estate, and is closely related to Coney Green and the residential area between it and the town centre.  It is well located in terms of access to services and facilities in Clay Cross.  The site also benefits from potential access to the Midland Mainline Railway lines to Nottingham and Derby, and access to the M1 via the A6175. Redevelopment of the site will be supported for a mixed use scheme incorporating employment, residential, commercial recreation and leisure uses. 

4.45 Although part of the site to the eastern boundary lies within a high flood risk area,  this land will not be built upon, instead creating a wildlife corridor and buffer zone to ensure minimum standards of flood defence are maintained, in accordance with the NPPF.

4.46 The site was originally allocated in the previous Local Plan (2001-2011). Since that time, the Council has adopted a Design Framework (as non-statutory planning guidance) for the site which will guide proposals coming forward and be a material planning consideration in determining planning applications for the site.

4.47 Outline planning permission has been secured for the site and includes site remediation, public open space, approximately 980 dwellings and 29,500 m2 of employment land. Outline planning permission has also been secured for a foodstore for up to 2,086 m2 and a drive-through restaurant for up to 394 m2.

4.48 Work has commenced on site with the construction of a roundabout on the A61, a 100m length of road into the site and a new public house at the A61 site entrance.   The planning application for the first phase of housing (120 units) is due early in 2017 and it is expected the site will deliver 560 new homes during the plan period.


Figure 4.2: Strategic Site Allocation – Former Biwaters

Former BiWaters - A3.jpg

(6) POLICY SS5:  Former Biwaters Site, Clay Cross

In order to deliver the growth requirements set out in the Spatial Strategy (Policy 2), land at Former Biwaters, Clay Cross, as shown on the Policies Map, is allocated as a Strategic Development Site, for mixed use development.

Development proposals for a comprehensive mixed use redevelopment of this site will be guided by the Design Framework and permitted where they:

a) Provide a high quality, sustainable, mixed use development that is well connected and has a functional relationship with Clay Cross;

b) Provide for a significant element of employment land  to include provision for starter units and managed workspace;

c) Provide  up to 1000 new dwellings (approximately 560 within the period up to 2033);

d) Provide new local facilities to include a range of small shops catering for local needs;

e) Locate the residential element to maximise accessibility to existing and new local facilities;

f) Promote and accommodate sustainable transport for pedestrians, cyclists, and  public transport and does not preclude the future provision of rail access;

g) Provide effective links for pedestrian and cycle access, including to Clay Cross town centre, Tupton, and North Wingfield via a trail network to incorporate the development of a Brassington Lane safe route link to Tupton Hall School;

h) Provide a through road from the A61 to Furnace Hill/A6175;

i) Protect and where possible enhance the setting of heritage assets (including the Grade 1 listed St Lawrence Church in North Wingfield);

j) Provide a wildlife corridor and buffer zone along the River Rother to protect the biodiversity value of the river corridor and protect new development from the risk of flooding;

k) Provide structural landscaping, and public open space in accordance with PoliciesID2 and ID5; and

l) Incorporate an appropriate mix of house types and tenures, to reflect housing need and market considerations

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Clay Cross Regeneration Framework

You told us that...

The Plan should include the former Biwaters site as a Strategic Site, and be identified for mixed use development. The redevelopment of previously developed land is supported.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

Not to include a policy for this strategic site would fail to protect its comprehensive reclamation and regeneration in line with a jointly agreed approach

The NPPF tells us that...

To boost significantly the supply of housing, LPAs should identify key sites which are critical to the delivery of the housing strategy over the plan period (paragraph 47).

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D1, D2, D5, S2

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Gross  employment floorspace and gross no. of housing units approved and completed

Target:

  • Annual housing delivery target based on housing trajectory
  • A minimum of 8 ha (net) of new employment land

(1) Markham Vale, Long Duckmanton

4.49The Markham Vale project is an 85 hectare scheme based around the regeneration of the former Markham colliery. The site area encompasses Bolsover District, Chesterfield Borough, and a small 10ha area of land between Long Duckmanton and the M1 motorway in North East Derbyshire. Outline planning permission for the scheme was granted by partner authorities in 2005, and the regeneration project commenced in 2006 with initial phases of the development now completed Enterprise Zone status was granted on part of the site in 2013.

Figure 4.3: Strategic Site Allocation – Markham Vale

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Figure 4.4: Markham Vale Masterplan Extract showing developable area

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(3) POLICY SS6:  Markham Vale

Land at Markham Vale, as shown on the Policies Map, is allocated as a Strategic Development Site, for employment use.

Development proposals will be permitted where they:

a) Take place as part of the comprehensive development of the whole Markham Vale scheme in line with the Design Framework;

b) Promote and accommodate sustainable transport for pedestrians, cyclists, and buses  in accordance with Policy ID6;

c) Provide structural landscaping, green infrastructure and public open space in accordance with Policies ID1 & ID3;

d) Incorporate sustainable design principles, in accordance with  Policy SS1 and Policy SDC14; and

e) Protect the setting of heritage assets, in particular the Grade 1 Listed Bolsover Castle.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework

You told us that...

The Plan should include the Markham Vale Employment Zone as a Strategic Site for employment use. This will provide significant employment opportunities in the future.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

Not to include a policy for this strategic site would fail to protect its comprehensive reclamation and regeneration in line with a jointly agreed approach, and to reflect its proximity to a major sub-regional Employment Zone and Enterprise Zone.

The NPPF tells us that...

To help achieve economic growth, LPAs should identify strategic sites for local and inward investment to match the strategy and meet anticipated needs over the plan period (paragraph 21).

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D1, D2, D10, D11, D13 E1 & E2

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Gross  employment floorspace approved and completed

Target:

  • 5 ha (net) of new employment land

(1) Land to South of Markham Vale, Long Duckmanton

4.50 This 40 hectare site lies to the south of the A632 Chesterfield Road, Duckmanton and immediately east of the M1. The site lies wholly within North East Derbyshire, it is in close proximity to the administrative boundaries of Bolsover District and Chesterfield Borough and lies opposite the Coalite Priority Regeneration Area.

4.51 The site has been put forward for consideration as an employment allocation.  The site's promoters consider it to be a natural extension to the existing employment uses already developed at Markham Vale. The Markham Vale scheme is almost built out and the allocation of this site could be seen as the next phase. The site consists of agricultural land and is understood to be immediately available.

4.52 The site has the potential to address the outstanding employment land requirements in the District in an area that has a proven track record of delivery.  However it is important to ensure that the allocation of this site does not undermine the delivery of the adjacent Coalite Site which is a Priority Regeneration Area, or the delivery of planned employment within neighbouring administrative areas.

Figure 4.5:Strategic Site Allocation – Land to South of Markham Vale

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(8) POLICY SS7:  Land to South of Markham Vale

Land to the South of Markham Vale, as shown on the Policies Map, is allocated as a Strategic Development Site, for employment use.

Development proposals will be permitted where they:

a) Take place as part of the comprehensive development of the whole site in line with an approved masterplan;

b) Provide approximately 120,000 m2 employment floorspace (B1, B2, B8); 

c) Promote and accommodate sustainable transport for pedestrians, cyclists, and buses  in accordance with Policy ID6;

d) Provide structural landscaping, green infrastructure and public open space in accordance with Policies ID1 & ID3;

e) Incorporate sustainable design principles, in accordance with  Policy SS1 and Policy SDC14;

f) Protect the setting of heritage assets, in particular the Grade 1 Listed Bolsover Castle; and

g) Protect and enhance the adjacent Peter Fidler Local Wildlife Site and protect the biodiversity value of the Doe Lea Corridor.

Key Evidence Base

  • NPPF
  • Emploment Land Study
  • Council's Growth Strategy

You told us that...

Alternative Options considered but not selected:

  • Not to include a policy for this strategic site would fail to provide sufficient employment land in desireble and accessible locations that meet the needs of the district.

The NPPF tells us that...

To help achieve economic growth, LPAs should identify strategic sites for local and inward investment to match the strategy and meet anticipated needs over the plan period (paragraph 21).

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D1, D2, D10, D11, D13 E1 & E2

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Gross  employment floorspace approved and completed

Target:

  • 25ha (net) of new employment land

(3) Coalite Priority Regeneration Area

4.53 The Coalite Regeneration Area comprises the 61 hectare former Coalite Chemical Works site.  This large area of previously developed land is located  to the east of Junction 29A of the M1 motorway and the Markham Vale Enterprise Zone straddling the administrative boundary with Bolsover District Council and in close proximity to the boundary with Chesterfield Borough Council, making it an important cross-boundary strategic site.

4.54 The site is predominately brownfield with a legacy of contamination due to its historical uses associated with coal mining, and coal oil chemical processing. The site forms part of the setting of Bolsover Castle, and includes the Doe Lea Corridor and its important biodiversity, both of which would need to be effectively protected in any regeneration proposals. The site is being promoted by the land owner and outline permissions were secured for the North East Derbyshire part of the site in April 2016 (ref. NEDDC 14/00145/OL) and for the Bolsover District part of the site in December 2015 (ref. BDC 14/00089/OUTEA), subject to conditions relating to the clean-up of the site. The proposals include:

a) the remediation of the site;

b) approximately 660 dwellings;

c) 70,000 sq.m. of employment land;

d) a transport hub;

e) an energy centre;

f) a visitor centre / museum;

g) a local centre;

h) land for a new primary phase school.

Figure 4.6 Coalite Strategic Regeneration Site – Approved Masterplan

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4.55 Based on information provided, the proposal requires approximately 5 years of remediation works prior to the delivery of any built development with a potential first delivery of housing within North East Derbyshire in 2023. No information has been received in relation to the timescale for the employment development in Bolsover District.

4.56 It is noted that High Speed Two (HS2) Limited announced on 7th July 2016 alternative recommendations for HS2's route and station proposals in South Yorkshire. This indicates that the proposed route for HS2 through the East Midlands has been realigned, with the consequence of running through the former Coalite site to a greater degree than previously expected. Whilst at the time of writing the Government's response to the HS2 announcement is awaited, it is noted the new route proposals cast doubt over the above masterplan. The land owner has advised that from a very high level assessment, it would appear the route will prevent Plot R1.1 and Plot C4.0 from being developed. The route is also very close to the proposed roundabout access off Chesterfield Lane so this will likely need to be reviewed.

4.57 These concerns over the deliverability of the approved proposals, together with those relating to the substantial remediation required to make the land available for development, mean that the Council cannot be confident in relying on the housing land proposed to contribute to the delivery of the Local Plan's housing target. However, the Council still strongly supports the site's remediation and development and therefore in accordance with the regeneration ambitions of the Local Plan, the Council will allocate the site as a Priority Regeneration Area and will prepare a Design Brief jointly with Bolsover District Council as a Supplementary Planning Document to guide the general planning principles for the development of the site.

4.58 This policy approach has been discussed and formulated jointly with Bolsover District Council to ensure that this strategic cross boundary site is addressed appropriately in line with the Duty to Co-operate.

Figure 4.7: Coalite Regeneration Area – Cross Boundary Strategic Site

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Figure 4.8: Coalite Regeneration Area – Allocation Area

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(11) POLICY SS8: Coalite Priority Regeneration Area

Whilst not part of the housing requirement for the District, land at the former Coalite Chemical Works site as indicated in Figure 4.8 and defined on the Policies Map is allocated as a Priority Regeneration Area within the Local Plan. As such, the site will be safeguarded from development which would jeopardise its comprehensive remediation, reclamation and redevelopment.

Proposals for the development of this priority regeneration area will be permitted where they are guided by the approved masterplan for the site (see Figure 4.6) or its successor and:

a) Form part of a comprehensive masterplan for re-development on the whole site (including the land in Bolsover District) including infrastructure requirements and delivery, agreed jointly between North East Derbyshire District Council and Bolsover District Council; and

b) Enable the full reclamation of the site prior to the development commencing, in line with a programme of work and delivery plan agreed with both authorities.

c) Protect the setting of heritage assets, in particular the Grade 1 Listed Bolsover Castle; and

d) Protect the biodiversity value of the Doe Lea Corridor .

These principles will be carried forward into a Supplementary Planning Document (to be prepared jointly with Bolsover District Council) to ensure that the Council can respond if required in a flexible way to changes in circumstances during the plan period that would necessitate revisions to the approved masterplan.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Land Availability Assessment,  February 2017

You told us that...

There is a need to regenerate the former Coalite site and this should be undertaken on the basis of a comprehensive re-development of the whole site.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

Omitting to allocate the site would fail to protect its comprehensive reclamation and regeneration in line with a jointly agreed approach

Allocating the site as a Strategic Allocation.  At the current time, there are uncertainties over the ability of the site to deliver within the current Plan period.

The NPPF tells us that...

LPAs should identify strategic sites for local and inward investment to match the strategy and meet anticipated needs over the plan period . The Plan should encourage the effective use of land by reusing brownfield land provided that it is not of high environmental value.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D1, D2, D10, D11, D13 E1 & E2

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

Indicators: 1) Net housing completions

2) Delivery of required infrastructure

Target: Targets: 1) Site housing completion delivery target (based on housing trajectory)

2) By agreed development programme

Triggers for Review: 1) Performance against target

2) Performance against programme

(19) North East Derbyshire Green Belt

4.59 The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open. The essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence,  providing long term protection and certainty from inappropriate development, which is  by definition harmful to the Green Belt. Green Belts can also assist in urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.

4.60 The North East Derbyshire Green Belt covers a substantial part of the District, located between Sheffield and Chesterfield in the north, Chesterfield and Wingerworth in the south, and also the land west of Chesterfield to the Peak Park boundary. It surrounds the towns of Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh and a number of villages. It was first drawn up in 1955, adopted in 1986 and carried forward in the North East Derbyshire Local Plan, (adopted 1999). The Green Belt was subsequently reviewed in the successor Local Plan (adopted 2005). 

4.61 The North East Derbyshire Green Belt has been an effective planning policy tool assisting in focussing development on brownfield sites and undeveloped land within settlements boundaries.  However over time there have been unintended impacts such as localised unmet housing need and demand, development pressure on green spaces and employment land, increased house prices and affordability pressures in those towns and villages constrained by the Green Belt.  As a consequence pressure for growth has been redirected to other areas of the district. 

(34) Green Belt Review

4.62 National Guidance is clear that Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances, through the preparation or review of a Local Plan.  In reviewing Green Belt boundaries authorities should have regard to their intended permanence in the long term, so they should be capable of enduring beyond the plan period.

4.63 The previous iteration of the Draft Local Plan (Part 1) published for consultation in 2015 sought to distribute development in a way that did not involve a review of the Green Belt.  However evidence revealed a significant mismatch between the strategy and the proposed spatial distribution of housing, land availability and demand; such that the level of growth being planned for across the District could not be accommodated in a sustainable way or where demand and viability were highest. 

4.64 This evidence led the Council to undertake a review of the Green Belt during 2016 and provides the exceptional circumstances necessary to justify alteration of the Green Belt boundaries.  

4.65 TheGreen Belt Reviewprovides an objective assessment of the role of individual land parcels in fulfilling the purposes and objectives of the Green Belt.  Initial findings of the review reveal that all but a few parcels continue to perform a valid Green Belt function.  This means that if we wish to achieve a more sustainable pattern of development and provide a sufficient level of development in the North of the District to meet needs, we must accept that this will have an impact on the Green Belt.

4.66 Further supplementary assessment of the Green Belt land parcels has taken place to identify those parcels that would cause least harm to the strategic functions of the Green Belt.  These sites have also been taken through the Council's usual site assessment process to ensure that they are suitable for development.  Maps in Appendix B identify those parcels of land which are proposed to be removed from the Green Belt to meet the development needs of the District during this plan period (as allocated sites) and beyond (through Safeguarded Land); or because they are not considered to perform a valid Green Belt function.

(26) Policy SS9: North East Derbyshire Green Belt

Within the North East Derbyshire Green Belt as shown on the Policies Map inappropriate development will not be approved except in very special circumstances and where the potential harm to the Green Belt is clearly outweighed by other material planning considerations.

The construction of new buildings will be regarded as inappropriate and will not be permitted.  Exceptions to this, where they accord with other policies in the Plan are:

  1. Buildings necessary for the purposes of agriculture or forestry*;
  2. Provision of appropriate facilities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation, and for cemeteries, which preserve the openness of the Green Belt and do not conflict with the purposes of including land within it;
  3. Limited and proportionate extensions or alterations to a building;
  4. Replacement of an existing building for the same use, providing it is not materially larger than the one it replaces;
  5. Limited affordable housing for local community needs in accordance with Policy LC3; or
  6. Limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of previously developed land which would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the current use.

Other forms of development which may be appropriate in the Green Belt, provided it preserves the openness and does not conflict with its purposes include:

  1. Mineral extraction
  2. Engineering operations
  3. Local transport infrastructure which can demonstrate a requirement for a Green Belt location
  4. The re-use or conversion of buildings which are of permanent and substantial construction and
  5. Development brought forward under a Community Right to Build Order.

*i.e where the development is necessary to support a genuine agricultural or forestry business where the majority of income is derived from the business

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Green Belt Review

You told us that...

The Plan needs to recognise the importance of the Green Belt and preserve its openness from inappropriate development. The majority of local residents want to maintain the Green Belt boundary, although some feel that Green Belt land should be released for development. 

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

None

The NPPF tells us that...

Inappropriate development is harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstance. LPAs should respect the permanence of the Green Belt.  When setting boundaries, they should ensure consistency with the Local Plan's strategy, not include land which it is unnecessary to keep open; where necessary, identify areas of safeguarded land for long term development needs, which should not be allocated at the present time; satisfy themselves that Green Belt boundaries will not have to be altered at the end of the Plan period; and define boundaries using physical, permanent features.

The construction of new buildings in the Green Belt should be regarded as inappropriate, but there are exceptions, which include permitting limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of previously developed sites, either redundant or in continuing use.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D6

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Number of planning applications and type of development approved in the GB under this policy

Target:

  • 0 planning applications approved in the GB contrary to this policy

Trigger for Review:

  • Applications approved with no exceptional circumstances demonstrated

(1) Safeguarded Land

4.67 National guidance requires that when defining Green Belt boundaries authorities should have regard to their permanence in the long term, so that they are capable of enduring beyond the plan period[7].  The identification of 'safeguarded land' between the urban area and the Green Belt can help to meet longer-term development needs that extend beyond the current plan period, thereby avoiding the need for a review of the Green Belt with each Local Plan review. 

4.68 The NPPF also identifies that safeguarded land is not allocated for development and planning permission for its permanent development should only be permitted following a Local Plan review which proposes the land for development. This suggests that some types of temporary uses may be acceptable. Given the nature of land proposed for safeguarding in this Plan, and the exceptional circumstances justifying its release, it is considered that any temporary uses of such land should be strictly controlled as if the land remained in the Green Belt.

4.69 Safeguarded land is considered necessary in North East Derbyshire District in order to provide a degree of permanence to the Green Belt boundaries put in place by the Local Plan and means that future reviews of the Green Belt may not be needed. Secondly, it ensures that the need to define Green Belt boundaries using defensible features on the ground does not result in large sites being developed all at once where this would cause problems for local infrastructure. Thirdly, it provides flexibility and allows for the non-delivery of allocated sites to be addressed without a fundamental review of the whole Local Plan.

(8) Policy SS10: Safeguarded Land

Land south of Eckington as shown on the Policies Map is removed from the Green Belt and designated as Safeguarded Land to be protected from development for the plan period up to 2033 in order to meet longer term development needs.

Planning permission for the development of Safeguarded Land will not be granted except where:

  1. The development is temporary or would otherwise not prejudice the ability of the site to be developed in the longer term;, and
  2. It does not have a materially greater impact than the present use on the openness of the safeguarded land adjoining Green Belt.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Green Belt Review

You told us that...

The Plan needs to assess the role of the Green Belt to meet the needs of the current plan period and beyond.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

To not safeguard land for future development needs.  This was rejected on the basis that failure to provide for future needs as part of this Green Belt Review would not give the remaining Green Belt boundaries the necessary certainty of long term protection as a further Green Belt review would be likely to be necessary at the next Local Plan Review.

The NPPF tells us that...

LPAs should respect the permanence of the Green Belt.  When setting boundaries, they should ensure consistency with the Local Plan's strategy, not include land which it is unnecessary to keep open; where necessary, identify areas of safeguarded land for long term development needs, which should not be allocated at the present time; satisfy themselves that Green Belt boundaries will not have to be altered at the end of the Plan period; and define boundaries using physical, permanent features.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D1 & D6

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Number of planning applications and type of development approved Safeguarded Land under this policy

Target:

  • 0 planning applications approved on Safeguarded Land contrary to this policy

Trigger for Review:

Local Plan review or review of housing policies.


(13) Local Settlement Gaps

4.70 Settlement identity has been identified as an important issue for the District, particularly in the south of the District where development pressure has led to the gradual erosion of settlement separation, blurring the distinction between communities.

4.71 The Local Settlement Gaps Study 2014 identifies that  settlement pattern is an important contributor to the wider landscape character of the southern sub area and is characterised by large villages and the town of Clay Cross, a number of which lie in relatively close proximity to one another.  A particular concentration of settlements can be found along the A61 and the A6175 road corridors where the perception of breaks between villages is often weakly defined.  In some areas previous growth has led to the coalescence of settlements or the narrowing of open space between them, such that their individual identities and sense of separation has been significantly eroded.   The rolling terrain of this part of the District sometimes exacerbates the perceived erosion of settlement identity and visual separation as villages and towns fall within the same views from elevated areas.

4.72 The erosion of settlement separation and identity not only has landscape character, cultural and historic impacts, but can also give rise to environmental and community issues, when settlements coalesce or separation is severely reduced through urban growth.   The remaining 'sense of place' can be harmed and the important habitat and recreational roles that green spaces around settlements play can be eroded.

4.73 In response to these issues the Local Plan seeks to protect settlement identity and avoid further settlement coalescence and erosion of character by identifying Local Settlement Gaps.  These localised areas (identified on the Policies Map) have been identified as playing an important role in maintaining settlement identity and development within them will be restricted to that which would not erode the functionality of the settlement gap.

4.74 Proposals will be assessed on the basis of their impact on the functionality of the identified Local Settlement Gap. Local Settlement Gap functionality is defined as:  The role that undeveloped space serves in maintaining the distinct or remaining separation between a town or village with one, or more, other settlements (whether or not within North East Derbyshire District itself) and in doing so, defining settlement identity and avoiding coalescence between settlements.

4.75 Since the identification of the Local Settlement Gaps there have been instances where planning permission has been approved for new development within the defined area.  The evidence base is being reviewed in light of these commitments to understand the implications for the affected areas.


(14) Policy SS11: Local Settlement Gaps

Within those areas identified on the Policies Map as Local Settlement Gaps:

a) Development proposals will be permitted where they do not erode Local Settlement Gap functionality, such as: 

  1. Small scale agricultural development or appropriate  rural development;
  2. Development  which results in a net increase in the openness of the Local Settlement Gap;
  3. Proposals which seek to improve the environmental value and permanence of the Local Settlement Gap whilst maintaining its undeveloped character; or
  4. Proposals for the use of land for outdoor recreational or community uses.

b) Development proposals will not be permitted where they would serve to remove or reduce the settlement separation and identity functions of the Local Settlement Gapunless the benefits of the proposals would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the adverse impacts on Local Settlement Gap functionality.

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Local Settlement Gaps Study 2014

You told us that...

The Plan should protect the local identity of settlements and preserve the open space between them. One of the concerns local residents raised with regard to development, is the loss of village character and identity.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

Omitting a policy would leave areas critical to maintaining the character and identify of particular settlements with no protection from new development.

The NPPF tells us that...

A core principle of planning should be to take account of the different roles and character of different areas, promoting the vitality of our main urban areas, protecting the Green Belts around them, recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it. Also planning should be plan-led, empowering local people to shape their surroundings.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D4, D7, S1

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Number of planning applications and type of development approved in the LSGs

Target:

  • 0 planning applications approved in LSGs without mitigation

Trigger for Review:

  • Applications approved with no mitigation

(23) Settlement Development Limits

4.76 In addition to the development of sites allocated in the Plan, opportunities will exist throughout the plan period for additional development where it is sustainable development and is appropriate to the scale and function of the settlement in which it is located. Such opportunities will mainly comprise of residential development on previously developed land, as well as conversions and the redevelopment of existing buildings.  But may also cover proposals for development such as live/work units, specialist accommodation, small scale retailing, and employment uses not covered by policies elsewhere in the Plan.

4.77 Settlement Development Limits enclose the built framework of settlements and determine the extent of the countryside beyond, by taking into account existing, committed and allocated development and land uses. Within Settlement Development Limits identified on the Proposals Map the principle of development is acceptable provided it is in line with Policy SS12: Development on Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits.  Outside of these main built up areas there are some smaller villages and hamlets identified within Level 4 of the settlement hierarchy which do not have a Settlement Development Limit but where limited infill development may be appropriate. For example where they result in limit infill development of 1 or 2 dwellings, or where they are in line with the policies on an adopted Neighbourhood Plan as set out in Policy SS13 Development in Small Villages and Hamlets or SS14 (Development in the Countryside).

4.78 Outside Settlement Development Limits, countryside and/or Green Belt policies apply and all proposals for development will be considered against these requirements set oput in Policies SS14: Development in the Countryside & SS9: North East Derbyshire Green Belt.  This approach provides certainty to all those involved in the development management process and makes it clear which policies will apply. 

4.79 This approach complies with the plan-led approach advocated in national policy (NPPF); since the Local Plan identifies sufficient housing provision for the District to meet both a five year supply of housing on adoption of the Plan and the development requirements for the Plan period.  Further land outside Settlement Development Limits is therefore not required to meet this need.

4.80 The Settlement Development Limits identified on the Policies Map have been carried forward from the 2005 Adopted Local Plan. However this only applies to settlements that fall within categories 1, 2 and 3 as set out in Table 4.1.  These boundaries are being reviewed to take account of changes that have taken place since 2005 and to allow for future development needs.  Revised settlement boundaries will be published alongside the Publication version of the Local Plan.

(12) Policy SS12: Development on Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits

All development proposals on sites within Settlement Development Limits that are not allocated in the Local Plan or in a Neighbourhood Plan, will be permitted, provided that the proposed development:

a) Is appropriate in scale, design and location to the character and function of the settlement; and

b) Does not result in the loss of valued facilities or services unless it can be demonstrated that it is no longer viable, or is not the subject of a Community Right to Bid; and

c) Is compatible with, and does not prejudice any intended use of adjacent sites and land uses; and

d) Accords with other policies of the Plan

(10) Policy SS13: Development in Small Villages & Hamlets

Within very small villages and hamlets (defined under level 4 in the Settlement Hierarchy at Table 4.1) development will be restricted to limited infill development of 1 or 2 dwellings unless  in accordance with the policies of an adopted Neighbourhood Plan.

Such development should:

a) be of a scale and type that is appropriate to the existing settlement and surrounding landscape character; and

b) be of a design that is sympathetic to the existing built form.

Key Evidence Base – Policies SS12 & SS13

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Localism Act (2011)

You told us that...

Development should preferably take place on previously developed land within settlements, and respect the local character of the settlement.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

None

The NPPF tells us that...

The presumption in favour of sustainable development should be applied when assessing and determining development proposals that are not allocated in the Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plan.  Pursuing sustainable development involves seeking positive improvements in the quality of the built, natural, and historic environment, as well as in people's quality of life, including making it easier for jobs to be created in towns and villages, achieving net gains for biodiversity, achieving better design and better places, as well as widening the choice of high quality homes.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: D1, D4, D7, D8, D9, & D13.

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Number and percentage of housing units completed on unallocated sites, by settlement.

Target

  • None

(1) Development in the Countryside

4.81 As a general principle, new development will be directed to sites within Settlement Development Limits, or sites allocated for development, whilst the countryside will be protected from inappropriate development, in accordance with Policy SS1 (Sustainable Development). Land which is not within a Settlement Development Limit, if not allocated for development, will be treated as 'countryside'.

4.82 As well as providing leisure and recreational opportunities the countryside is a constantly changing workplace. It is necessary to balance and integrate the requirement to protect the countryside with the need to sustain and encourage the vitality and viability of the rural economy, including agriculture and tourism. Whilst many of the activities in the countryside are outside the scope of the planning control, there are other forms of development which can be accommodate without detrimental effect on the countryside.

4.83 There is a range of buildings in the countryside which are no longer suitable for their original purposes. The majority are likely to be agricultural buildings, but there may be other buildings which are no longer in use for their original purpose and for which an alternative use is being sought.  Many of these buildings make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the area.  Provided that they are structurally sound, conversion of these buildings, for example to employment or community use, visitor accommodation or housing, can safeguard their future. By re-using existing resources, conversions can also meet the aims of sustainable built development. However there are some buildings which are not suitable for conversion, including those which are structurally unsound, roofless, missing substantial sections of wall, or so ruined that only vestiges remain of the original structure; of temporary construction; eyesores which should be removed in the interests of landscape conservation; unsuitable in terms of size and forms of construction; or at risk of flooding.

4.84 New buildings should respect the style, and character of the locality. Proposals for new buildings in the countryside outside of existing settlements and not on land allocated for development will be strictly controlled.

(12) Policy SS14: Development in the Countryside

Development proposals in countryside locations outside the Settlement Development Limits will be approved where it can be demonstrated to fall within one or more of the following categories:

a) It involves  a change of use, replacement building, or re-use of vacant, derelict or previously developed land and accords with policy SDC1;

b) It is  necessary for the efficient or viable operation of agriculture, horticulture, forestry and other appropriate land based businesses, including the diversification of activities on an existing farm unit;

c) It involves small scale employment uses related to local farming, forestry recreation, or tourism;

d) It would secure the retention and/or enhancement of a community facility; or

e) It is in accordance with  the policies of  an adopted Neighbourhood Plan

In all cases, where development is considered acceptable, it will be required to respect the form, scale and character of the landscape, through careful siting, design and use of materials

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework

You told us that...

Development in the countryside should be limited. Local residents raise concerns over the protection of the countryside and the impact of development on the landscape.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

Failing to include such a policy would leave the countryside subject to unplanned development, failing to meet the requirements of NPPF and resist unsustainable development patterns.

Not recognising the needs of certain rural communities would not provide for their development requirements to sustain viable communities.

The NPPF tells us that...

We should recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and support thriving rural communities within it, A strong rural economy should be promoted by Local Plans.

Policy implements Local Plan Objectives: D8, D9, D10, D11

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • Appeals upheld contrary to policy

Target:

  • None upheld at appeal

Trigger for Review:

  • increasing trend of appeals upheld contrary to policy

4.85 The Key diagram summarises the key elements of the Spatial Strategy across the District.


(1) Figure 4.9: Key Diagram  

Z:\Forward Planning\MAPPING\LAA Work\LAA - Jan 2017\DOCUMENT\Key Diagram\NEDDC Key Diagram.jpg


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