Consultation Draft (February 2017)

Ended on the 7th April 2017
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7. SUSTAINABLE PLACES

(1) Introduction

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

(19) Dronfield

7.2 Dronfield is the largest town in North East Derbyshire, and the only one with a train station. Historically, Dronfield developed as two settlements; the principal one being on the hillside around the Parish Church and the secondary, more industrialised township, in the valley below, strung out along the River Drone beside the Chesterfield to Sheffield Road. It is highly constrained by the Green Belt that helps prevent Dronfield from merging with Chesterfield, to the south, and Sheffield, to the north. As a retail and service centre it serves the needs of local residents and residents of the villages between the two major centres of Chesterfield and Sheffield. Dronfield also attracts passing trade from the B6158, though this is limited due to the A61 Dronfield-Unstone bypass.

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

7.4 The Local Plan aims to direct new growth to the district's most sustainable settlements based on the Settlement Hierarchy, and to Strategic Sites in suitable locations. Dronfield is the largest of the four towns within the district, and is an area of high demand for growth. The tight constraints of the Green Belt have restricted development in recent years leading to rising house prices and unmet housing needs. The lack of available land within the existing settlement means that meaningful levels of housing growth can only be accommodated by looking around the edge of the town within the Green Belt. Following a review of the Green Belt a selection of land parcels have been indentified for release from the Green Belt. These have been selected on the basis that they would cause least harm to the strategic functions of the Green Belt and could provide for at least 860 dwellings by 2033.

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

7.6 Based on 2011 population figures and using the current standards (Dronfield is significantly lacking in green space, outdoor sports and children's play space. This means that the existing green spaces within the Settlement Development Limit, including the large green places such as Sindelfingen Park, will need to be very strictly protected.

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.

(7) Dronfield Town Centre

7.7 The town centre health check shows that between 2008 and 2013 there has been a sharp drop in the amount of office floorspace, but the number of shops has increased, and the town centre remains relatively buoyant. Evening uses stand at 9.4% of total floorspace, mainly made up of cafes and takeaways, with a particular concentration of uses on Chesterfield Road. Vacancy rates of ground floor retail floorspace have decreased in a period where many towns have seen a significant increase, and are well below the national average.  In relation to the national averages, ground floor retail figures show that in 2013 comparison retail was well below the national average for floorspace, balanced by the level of convenience floorspace which is significantly higher than the national average. Service retail is broadly in line with the national average. Overall, the town centre is performing well, providing a decent range of town centre uses and types of shop. Car parking is an issue however, both in overall terms and in accessibility. In the town centre in 2013 around 4% of car parking bays were disabled bays. This is below the recommended 6% of bays (or 3 bays per car park) as set out in the DETR Advisory Leaflet 5/95.

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. The outcome of this work will be published in the next iteration of the Plan.

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

(6) Dronfield Regeneration Framework

7.9 In January 2017 the Council adopted a Regeneration Framework for Dronfield. This document was prepared together with local residents and identifies key opportunities for improvement within the town, sets a strategic approach to delivering improvements and attracts investment. It will also be used to coordinate the delivery of projects and ensure that they are of the highest quality.

Table 7.1: Dronfield Regeneration Framework Key Themes & Proposals

1. Access and movement

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

2. Green routes and spaces

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

3. The Town Centre

  • Improve the Civic Square through:
    • Improvement of the market offer
    • Move the Post Office to the Civic Centre
    • Re-surfacing and consider the planting of trees and shrubs
    • New street furniture and improved lighting
    • New canopy to the shopping precinct.
    • Increase social use of the Civic Square.
    • Wholesale redevelopment of the shopping precinct.

4. Heritage and Character

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

5. Community and Social Networks

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

(30) Policy SP1: Dronfield

a) Dronfield will maintain its role as the social and economic focus of the north of the District.

b) Provision will be made for at least 860 more homes by 2033 and employment land in accordance with Policy WC1, WC2 and WC3.

c) The efficient reuse of previously developed land within Dronfield will be encouraged, including sites within the Town Centre where such development would help to meet housing needs, including living above shops.

d) The Council will seek to facilitate the development of land for housing and employment, and will support proposals that provide infrastructure improvements required to unlock the development potential of sites.

e) In order to maintain Dronfield as a Principal town, the Council will:

  1. Support proposals that maximise the benefits from, and protect and improve access to, the railway station
  2. Help to re-balance the local housing market through the provision of affordable housing in line with Affordable Housing Policy (LC2 & LC3)
  3. Encourage proposals that facilitate the provision of new green space, indoor and outdoor sports facilities and children's play space to meet identified needs
  4. Encourage uses within the town centre that enhance the offer of the town as an evening destination, particularly leisure facilities

f) Where appropriate development proposals will be expected to demonstrate how they contribute to the successful delivery of the Dronfield Regeneration Framework's key themes and proposals set out in Table 5. In particular, the Council will support proposals that:

  1. improve the highway junction at Callywhite Lane/Chesterfield Road and provide a new link road between the eastern end of Callywhite Lane and Chesterfield Road to improve access to Callywhite Lane
  2. Improve the public realm for High Street and Church Street, the Civic Centre/Square and Dronfield Bottom – Station and Sheffield Road
  3. Secure improvements to the station car park and connect the lower civic centre car park so it becomes the town centre main parking area
  4. Improve the existing network of footpaths and cycleways and connect identified gaps in the network.
  5. Encourage new uses for historic buildings which are unused or underused

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • The Northern Settlements Housing Capacity Study 2012
  • Dronfield Regeneration Framework (2016)
  • Housing Needs, Market and Affordability Study (HNMA) (2011)
  • North East Derbyshire Strategic Green Belt Functionality Study (2014)
  • North East Derbyshire Green Belt Review (2016)

You told us that...

The Green Belt around Dronfield is very important to local people.  Previously developed land within the settlement should be used for development and green spaces should be preserved.  The Plan should also respect the local character of the town.  However, it is also mentioned that the provisional housing target should be much higher with regards to the size and importance of the town.  There is a need for a Neighborhood Plan in Dronfield.  There should be given support to the provision of outdoor sports facilities which needs a robust and up to date evidence base.  The policy should be formulated with a more positive notion in regards to Dronfield town centre which is relatively buoyant.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

None

The NPPF tells us that...

Plans should be positive, recognising town centres as the heart of their communities, and set out policies for the management and growth of centres, supporting their vitality and viability.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: N1

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • None identified

Target

No target

(4) Figure 7.1: Dronfield Town Map

Dronfield%20Town%20Map p


Clay Cross

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

7.11 Clay Cross has many positive assets with a good range of services and facilities, excellent bus routes and frequency of services, local employment opportunities, and a choice of development sites. It is a relatively modern town but with a rich heritage dating back to the nineteenth century and the development of coal mining and its links with George Stephenson. The town benefits from a historic core of Victorian buildings, with the best preserved historic buildings along High Street and Market Street, together with Clay Cross Hall and its parkland setting, protected since 2010 with Conservation Area designation. There are larger commercial buildings to the north of the town which is where the former Biwaters site is located. The eastern and south eastern areas of the settlement are mainly residential in character. Sharley Park is a large attractive green space in the centre of the town and a focus for recreation, containing a leisure centre, and sports facilities. It is also the location of a community hospital.

7.12 The A61 is subject to congestion as it passes through Clay Cross, especially during peak hours and whenever there is congestion or disruption on the M1. In 2010 protected schemes (in the Local Transport Plan) for a Market Street diversion in Clay Cross were 'rescinded', meaning that the County Council no longer intends to promote them and will not seek the protection of any land against other forms of development. A Clay Cross rail station is identified in the Local Transport Plan 3 as having the potential for appraisal as County Council sponsored scheme (see Policy ID7 Provision & Safeguarding of Transport Infrastructure). Provision of a railway station as part of the development of the Biwaters site is a priority of the Council. (See Policy SS5 Biwaters).

7.13 Clay Cross is the second largest town within the district and is an area of high demand for growth. Future residential development would also support and accelerate the regeneration of the town centre as laid out in the Clay Cross Regeneration Framework. The lack of available land for housing within the existing settlement means that meaningful levels of growth can only be accommodated by looking around the edge of the town which could provide for at least 477 dwellings by 2033 (without housing provision on the Former Biwaters site).

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

However, it is important to note that evidence base work on outdoor sport facilities is in the process of being updated to take account of more recent data and this may have an impact on the overall target.

Clay Cross Town Centre

7.15 The town centre health check shows that between 2008 and 2013 the number of units in the town centre has increased by 15, with a resulting increase in floorspace of around 7000sqm, due to the new Tesco and Bridge Street development. There has been a notable increase in service retail beauty sector. Takeaways are a significant element of the town centre offer at 8.5% of units, and along with public houses, represent the majority of evening uses with a particular concentration of activities in High Street and Market Street. Despite the overall increases in floorspace, vacancy rates of ground floor retail floorspace have doubled between 2008 and 2013, and are above the national average, as is the amount of charity shop floorspace.

7.16 Recent surveys (Citizens Panel) indicate that people using the town centre are dissatisfied with road traffic, the quality of the pedestrian environment, graffiti and emissions from traffic. Facilities for cyclists are limited. The first phase of the pedestrian walkway through the town (the esplanade) associated with the new Bridge Street development is improving the accessibility and environment for pedestrians, although the narrow pavements on High Street and high volumes of traffic create difficulties for those walking in some areas of the town. There is a good amount of public and private surface car parks in the town. There are opportunities to enhance the market and provide indoor market, and to build on the good location on the A61. The new Tesco and Bridge Street development is a benefit to the town, but has skewed the balance of the town in terms of lacking a defined centre.

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 above figure. The outcome of this work will be published in the next iteration of the Plan.

Clay Cross Regeneration Framework

7.17 In 2013 the council adopted a regeneration framework for Clay Cross, with the vision that "Clay Cross will capitalise upon its unique location within the Sheffield City Region and proximity to the Peak District National Park to create a successful independent town." The framework identified 5 action areas:

1. Town Centre: consolidating strengths.

2. High Street: reinforcing gateways.

3. Bridge Street Triangle: develop potential.

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

5. Coney Green: growing employment opportunities.

Table 7.2: Clay Cross Regeneration Framework Key Priorities and Projects

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

(5) Policy SP2: Clay Cross

a) Clay Cross will maintain its role as the main social and economic focus of the southern sub area of North East Derbyshire District.

b) Provision will be made for at least 477* more homes by 2033 and employment land in accordance with Policy WC2 and WC3.

c) Where appropriate development proposals will be expected to demonstrate how they contribute to the successful delivery of the Clay Cross Regeneration Framework's key priorities and projects set out in Table 6. In particular, the Council will support proposals that:

  1. Reuse previously developed land within and on the edge of Clay Cross where appropriate, including sites within the Town Centre and living above shops.
  2. Seek to provide a new outdoor sports facility in Sharley Park in line with Policy ID3
  3. Protect, implement and maintain the route of the esplanade as shown on  Map 7.2.
  4. Protect sites/land for the future provision of a railway station
  5. Protect and enhance the church of St Bartholomew's including views to and from the church
  6. Protect the existing urban quality within the conservation area
  7. Safeguard/allocate land off the A61 for parking provision
  8. Identify/allocate Bridge Street triangle as an employment area in accordance with policy WC2
  9. Take a flexible approach to uses to encourage proposals for development that will help to secure the regeneration of land north of Market Street
  10. Encourage uses within the town centre that enhance the offer of the town as an evening destination, particularly arts and cultural uses and social/leisure facilities for young people
  11. Continue to work with partners to deliver regeneration projects to benefit the most deprived members of the community
  12. Ensure that Local Labour Agreements are secured on major developments in order to provide employment and training opportunities to local people

d) New retail development will be focused in and on the edge of the town centre, with limited new provision as part of a new neighbourhood centre to be accommodated within the Biwaters Strategic site as set out in Policy SS5.

* Figure excludes housing commitment on the Biwaters Strategic Site

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Housing Needs, Market and Affordability Study (HNMA) (2011)
  • Clay Cross Regeneration Framework

You told us that...

The Plan should support the regeneration of Clay Cross and the town's role as the largest centre in the south of the District. Development should preferably take place on previously developed land, and respect the local character of the town. Clay Cross should have far more housing than has been first proposed including the Biwaters site. No reference to the Clay Cross Conservation Area has been made which is potentially at risk from development.  Kenning Park and Meadow Farm Pond should be developed as a hub for green educational use and could be designated as a wildlife and conservation site.  Green buffer zones should also be defined more including Kenning Park and Meadow Farm Pond.

  • The retail policies are not supported by an up to date evidence base.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

None

The NPPF tells us that...

Plans should be positive, recognising town centres as the heart of their communities, and set out policies for the management and growth of centres, supporting their vitality and viability.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: S1

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • None identified

Target

  • No target

Figure 7.2:  Clay Cross Town Map

Clay%20Cross%20Town%20Map p


(4) Eckington

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

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

7.20 Eckington is one of the secondary towns within the district and is an area of high demand for growth. The tight constraints of the Green Belt have restricted development in recent years leading to rising house prices and unmet housing needs. The lack of available land within the existing settlement means that meaningful levels of housing growth can only be accommodated by looking around the edge of the town within the Green Belt. Following a review of the Green Belt a selection of land parcels have been indentified for release from the Green Belt. These have been selected on the basis that they would cause least harm to the strategic functions of the Green Belt and could provide for at least 553 dwellings by 2033.

7.21 An area of Safeguarded Land to the south of Eckington is also proposed in order to provide for development need beyond the plan period. This will also give 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. The Safeguarded Land is an area of approx. 31ha as shown on the Policies Map (without existing allotment site) which would in particular ensure that future residential development would support and accelerate the regeneration of the town centre as laid out in the Eckington Town Centre Development Framework.

7.22 There is a deficiency of green space and children's play space in Eckington, based on 2011 population figures and using the current standards.  This means that the existing green spaces within the Settlement Development Limit will need to be very strictly protected.

However, it is important to note that this evidence base work on green space is in the process of being updated to take account of more recent data and this may have an impact on the overall target.

(1) Eckington Town Centre

7.23 Between 2008 and 2013 the number of units in the town centre has stayed the same, and apart from increases in comparison and residential and a drop in vacant units, the changes in the town centre have been relatively minor. In 2013 evening uses made up 9.2% of units, the majority being cafes and takeaways concentrated on Market Street and to a lesser extent on Southgate. Eckington market continues to contribute to the town centre.

7.24 Ground floor retail figures show that in 2013 comparison retail was significantly below the national average, balanced by the level of convenience floorspace which is significantly above the national average. Although overall vacancies have reduced, the levels of vacant ground floor retail are above the national average at 13.2% by premises (national average is 11.54% GOAD data 2012), and 13.6% by floorspace (national average is 9.38% [20]GOAD data 2012). 

7.25 The Eckington health centre and pharmacy on Gosber Road on the edge of the town centre along with the significant number (9) of A1 retail uses, mainly comparison and service retail, on High Street, could form extensions to the town centre boundary, which is currently investigated through an ongoing retail study.

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 above figure. The outcome of this work will be published in the next iteration of the Plan.

7.26 A recent survey (Citizens Panel) indicated that although the majority of people use the car to travel to Eckington, a significant number walk, and none cycle. The survey revealed dissatisfaction with road network access and road traffic, cycle routes and cycle parking, footpaths, paving and street furniture. Almost half of respondents felt that Eckington town centre does not feel like a place with a distinctive character, and a significant number felt that the town centre area was not well defined.

Eckington Town Centre Development Framework

7.27 The Eckington Town Centre Development Framework, adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) in May 2012, provides the context for the spatial approach to new development in the town centre taken by the Local Plan. The revitalisation of the town centre is the principal aim of the Framework. The Framework sets the following strategic objectives:


Table 7.3:  Eckington Framework Strategic Objectives

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

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

(7) Policy SP3: Eckington

a) Eckington will maintain its role as a secondary town providing local services to its wider rural catchment area in the northern sub area of the District.

b) Provision will be made for at least 553 more homes by 2033 and employment land in accordance with Policy WC2 and WC3.

c) Where appropriate development proposals will be expected to demonstrate how they contribute to the successful delivery of the Eckington Town Centre Development Framework's Strategic Objectives set out in Table 7. In particular, the Council will support proposals that:

  1. Facilitate the provision of green space, indoor and outdoor sports facilities and children's play space to address identified deficiencies
  2. Provide a mix of housing tenures including open market, private rented and affordable housing
  3. Improve the accessibility of the town centre for pedestrians and cyclists
  4. Incorporate public realm improvements within the town centre
  5. Protect and enhance the role of the Civic Campus
  6. Facilitate the regeneration of Northgate House
  7. Promote and protect heritage assets including historic buildings and sites

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • Eckington Town Centre Development Framework (2012)
  • The Northern Settlements Housing Capacity Study 2012
  • Housing Needs, Market and Affordability Study (HNMA) (2011)
  • North East Derbyshire Strategic Green Belt Functionality Study (2014)
  • North East Derbyshire Green Belt Review (2016)

You told us that...

The protection of services in Eckington is important to local people. Accessibility through the town centre, as well as to and from the town centre, should be improved. The Plan should assist in making the town centre a vibrant place, which attracts an increased footfall.  No reference to the protection and enhancement of heritage assets within the Eckington Policy has been made.  Support to the provision of outdoor sports facilities should be given which needs a robust and up to date evidence base.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

None

The NPPF tells us that...

Plans should be positive, recognising town centres as the heart of their communities, and set out policies for the management and growth of centres, supporting their vitality and viability.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: N1

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • None identified

Target

  • No target

Figure 7.3: Eckington Town Map

Eckington%20Town%20Map p


(4) Killamarsh

7.29 Killamarsh is a small town, located in the north eastern corner of the district, close to the boundaries with Sheffield and Rotherham.  The town is well served by public transport, with regular buses to and from surrounding large urban areas of Sheffield, Rotherham, Chesterfield and Worksop. There are good links to the Super Tram network with buses to Crystal Peaks and Halfway in Sheffield. The town is surrounded by the Green Belt which limits development opportunities. 

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

7.31 In 2004, the Chesterfield Canal Partnership commissioned a study to analyse the social, environmental and economic costs and benefits of possible alternative routes through Killamarsh. Following extensive public consultation a preferred route was identified and was subsequently safeguarded in the 2005 Local Plan, in order to protect the route from development that would prejudice its implementation.  Further information is now available concerning the problematic and extensive engineering requirements for the preferred alternative route; and opportunities that have arisen along a second potential route.  The Chesterfield Canal Partnership is currently re-examining the options and subject to further consultation with the community is likely to suggest that a different route be safeguarded.  The outcome of this would be included in the next iteration of the Local Plan, however in the meantime the original preferred route will continue to be safeguarded in line with Policy ID2.

7.32 Killamarsh is one of the secondary towns within the district and is an area of high demand for growth due to its close proximity to Sheffield. The tight constraints of the Green Belt have restricted development in recent years leading to rising house prices and unmet housing needs. The lack of available land within the existing settlement means that meaningful levels of housing growth can only be accommodated by looking around the edge of the town within the Green Belt. Following a review of the Green Belt a selection of land parcels have been indentified for release from the Green Belt. These have been selected on the basis that they would cause least harm to the strategic functions of the Green Belt and could provide for at least 618 dwellings by 2033.

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

7.34 There is a significant deficiency of green space and outdoor sports facilities in Killamarsh, based on 2011 population figures and using the current standards. This means that the existing green spaces and outdoor sports within the Settlement Development Limit will need to be very strictly protected.

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.

(1) Killamarsh Town Centre

7.35 A recent Town Centre Health Check has revealed that between 2008 and 2013 the number of units in the town centre has increased by 2, with a significant decrease in the amount of vacant floorspace due to the Aldi development.  In 2013, vacancy rates were 8.9% by premises (national average is 11.54% GOAD data 2012), and 4.6% by floorspace (national average is 9.38% GOAD data 2012). In 2013 half of vacancies were on Sheffield Road. Takeaways make up a significant element of the town centre offer at almost 10% of units, and account for the majority of evening uses with a particular concentration on Bridge Street and Sheffield Road. This is almost double the national average for fast food and takeaways (2012 GOAD data) is 5.52% of units.

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. The outcome of this work will be published in the next iteration of the Plan.

7.36 There is a good amount of public and private surface car parks in the town, with much of it free, although in 2013 only 4.5% of designated car parking bays were disabled bays which is below the recommended 6% of bays (or 3 bays per car park) as set out in the DETR Advisory Leaflet 5/95. Recent surveys (Citizens Panel) indicate that a significant number of people walk into the town centre, and there is a high level of satisfaction with footpath routes into the town centre. None, however, cycle, and there was a notable dissatisfaction with open space, and no public green open spaces within the town centre.

(1) Killamarsh Regeneration Framework

7.37 In January 2017 the Council adopted a Regeneration Framework for Killamarsh. This document was prepared together with local residents which identifies key opportunities for improvement within the town, sets a strategic approach to delivering improvements and attracts investment. It will also be used to coordinate the delivery of projects and ensure that they are of the highest quality.

Table 7.4: Killamarsh Regeneration Framework Key Themes and Proposals.

1. Access and movement

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

2. Green routes and spaces

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

3. The Town Centre

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

4. Heritage and Character

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

5. Community and social networks

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

(5) Policy SP4: Killamarsh

a) Killamarsh will maintain its role as a secondary town providing local services to its wider rural catchment area in the northern sub area of the District.

b) Provision will be made for at least 618 more homes by 2033 and employment land in accordance with Policy WC2 and WC3.

c) In order to maintain Killamarsh as a sustainable town with a healthy vibrant centre, the Council will support proposals that:

  1. Facilitate the provision and improvement of green space and outdoor sports facilities to address identified deficiencies
  2. Facilitate the restoration of the Chesterfield Canal and upgrades to the towpath through Killamarsh along the original route or the preferred alternative route as defined by Policy ID2
  3. Improve facilities for cyclists in the Town Centre
  4. Focus new social infrastructure in the Community Campus area as shown on Figure 7.4.

d) Where appropriate development proposals will be expected to demonstrate how they contribute to the successful delivery of the Killamarsh Regeneration Framework's key priorities and projects set out in Table 8. In particular, the Council will support development that would:

  1. Improve the public realm for Sheffield Road, Bridge Street and the Community Campus
  2. Improve the appearance and maintenance of the Town Centre
  3. Support the comprehensive redevelopment of the Community Campus.
  4. Promote more efficient use of car parking in the town centre
  5. Secure improvements to pavements, pedestrian crossings and footpaths to encourage walking in and around the town centre and connection to the Canal and Rother Valley Country Park
  6. Secure a major new greenway around the western edge of Killamarsh
  7. Support initiatives/projects to bring historic buildings back into use

Key Evidence Base

  • National Planning Policy Framework
  • The Northern Settlements Housing Capacity Study 2012
  • Housing Needs, Market and Affordability Study (HNMA) (2011)
  • Killamarsh Regeneration Framework
  • North East Derbyshire Strategic Green Belt Functionality Study (2014)
  • North East Derbyshire Green Belt Review (2016)

You told us that...

The Green Belt around Killamarsh is important to local people, as well as the protection of services and infrastructure. The Plan should also encourage the reinstatement of the Chesterfield Canal through Killamarsh and both the original and the proposed new routes should be protected instead of just the original.  The proposed housing target for Killamarsh is insufficient in light of an objective assessment of housing requirements.

Alternative Options considered but not selected...

None

The NPPF tells us that...

Plans should be positive, recognising town centres as the heart of their communities, and set out policies for the management and growth of centres, supporting their vitality and viability.

Policy implements Local Plan Objective: N1

How will the policy be monitored?

Indicator:

  • None identified

Target:

  • No target

Figure 7.4:  Killamarsh Town Map

Killamarsh%20Town%20Map p

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