Policy SS8: Development in Small Vilages & Hamlets

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Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Representation ID: 7558

Received: 28/03/2018

Respondent: Mr David Wakefield

Agent: John Church Planning Consultancy Limited

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation:

Council officers have amended the summary to approximately 100 words. Full representation available.

Respondent objects to Policy SS8 because development in Brackenfield will be limited to infill development allocated by an adopted Neighbourhood Plan.
Within the respondent's 2017 representations it was considered that policy SS13 was unnecessarily restrictive and the proposed policy should be amended by making reference to limited "rounding off" as being acceptable in addition to infill development.
There is an additional qualification with regard to the acceptable nature of such development and this is not disputed.

Change suggested by respondent:

The proposed policy should be modified by the removal of the qualification that infilling will only be permitted pursuant to an allocation in a Neighbourhood Plan by accepting that limited rounding of may also be considered appropriate. Such a modification would satisfy the objection in this case.

Full text:

This objection is submitted on behalf of Mr D Wakefield of Ogston Hall, Brackenfield who is also the owner of land off The Green, Brackenfield.
The Council will recall that, in response to the consultation draft (February 2017) I submitted representations (ID:6189) with regard to the policy in respect of Distribution of Growth and the Settlement Hierarchy. Whilst no objection was raised at that time to the principle of the identification of Brackenfield under level 4 in the Settlement Hierarchy (table 4.1), it was considered that policy SS13 was unnecessarily restrictive and that the then proposed policy should be amended by making reference to limited "rounding off" as being acceptable in addition to infill development.
The Local Plan 2014-2034 (Publication Draft) places a different emphasis on new housing development at Wessington. Brackenfield remains included within a list of very small villages and hamlets and new policy SS8 says that within such settlements, defined under level 4 in the Settlement Hierarchy, development will be limited to infill development allocated by an adopted Neighbourhood Plan. There is an additional qualification with regard to the acceptable nature of such development and this is not disputed.
Nevertheless, it is the objective of the Development Plan system that Plans provide a degree of certainty as to proposed future development. Particularly importantly the delegation of site allocations within such small settlements as Brakenfield to the local community by means of allocations in an adopted Neighbourhood Plan creates as considerable degree of uncertainty. There is no guarantee that, in respect of any defined community, there will be an intention to provide a Neighbourhood Plan. Indeed, a public meeting held at Brackenfield during 2017 evidence that there was no significant desire in the community for the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan.
The proposed policy should be modified by the removal of the qualification that infilling will only be permitted pursuant to an allocation in a Neighbourhood Plan by accepting that limited rounding of may also be considered appropriate. such a modification would satisfy the objection in this case.

Attachments:

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Representation ID: 7561

Received: 28/03/2018

Respondent: Mr & Mrs D Walker

Agent: John Church Planning Consultancy Limited

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation:

Council officers have amended the summary to approximately 100 words. Full representation available.

In response to the consultation draft (February 2017) I submitted representations (ID:6189) with regard to the policy in respect of Distribution of Growth and the Settlement Hierarchy. It was considered that policy SS13 was unnecessarily restrictive and that the then proposed policy should be amended.
There is now a different emphasis on new housing development at Wessington. New policy SS8 says that within such settlements, as Brackenfield, development will be limited to infill development allocated by an adopted Neighbourhood Plan.
However, there is no guarantee that there will be an intention to provide a Neighbourhood Plan in Brackenfield.

Change suggested by respondent:

The proposed policy should be modified by the removal of he qualification that infilling will only be permitted pursuant to an allocation in a Neighbourhood Plan. Such a modification would satisfy the objection in this case.

Full text:

This objection is submitted on behalf of Mr & Mrs D Walker, the owners of Carr Lane Nursery, Brackenfield.
The Council will recall that, in response to the consultation draft (February 2017) I submitted representations (ID:6189) with regard to the policy in respect of Distribution of Growth and the Settlement Hierarchy. Whilst no objection was raised at that time to the principle of the identification of Brackenfield under level 4 in the Settlement Hierarchy (table 4.1), it was considered that policy SS13 was unnecessarily restrictive and that the then proposed policy should be amended by making reference to rounding off as being acceptable in addition to infill development.
The Local Plan 2014-2034 (Publication Draft) places a different emphasis on new housing development at Wessington. Brackenfield remains included within a list of very small villages and hamlets and new policy SS8 says that within such settlements, defined under level 4 in the Settlement Hierarchy, development will be limited to infill development allocated by an adopted Neighbourhood Plan. There is an additional qualification with regard to the acceptable nature of such development and this is not disputed.
Nevertheless, it is the objective of the Development Plan system that Plans provide a degree of certainty as to proposed future development. Particularly importantly the delegation of site allocations within such small settlements as Brackenfield to the local community by means of allocations in an adopted Neighbourhood Plan creates a considerable degree of uncertainty. There is no guarantee that, in respect of any defined community, there will be an intention to provide a Neighbourhood Plan. Indeed, a public meting held at Brackenfield during 2017 evidence that there was no desire in the community for the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan.
The proposed policy should be modified by the removal of he qualification that infilling will only be permitted pursuant to an allocation in a Neighbourhood Plan. Such a modification would satisfy the objection in this case.

Attachments:

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Representation ID: 7930

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: A & D Architecture Ltd.

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation:

Representation refers to policies SS8, SS9 & SS10.

Policy SS8 is too restrictive in respect of limited infilling in small villages and hamlets as defined as Level 4 settlements. This policy approach is also inconsistent with other policies of plan, namely SS9 and SS10 which allow for limited infilling in the countryside and Green Belt.

Change suggested by respondent:

Policies allowing infilling within villages need to be redrafted to avoid inconsistency, to avoid overburdening developers to type 4 settlements and to remove unjustifiable restrictions on market housing growth by infilling Green Belt villages.

Full text:

Representation refers to policies LC5, SS2, SS8, SS9 & SS10.

Rules governing house extensions to carers / dependent relatives and / or to accommodate extended "multi-generational" family life should be consistent inside and outside settlement development limits and inside and outside the Green Belt and are not. The Local Plan must not treat people unequally depending upon where they live. The wording of policy must not leave development controllers in doubt that planning decisions must be consistent and respect human rights of people to an "extended family" life.

LC5 treats residential extensions in the countryside and Level 4 villages unfairly.

SS8 p.56 unfairly requires all development in small villages to be allocated in a Neighbourhood Plan contrary to national policy (NPPF 21).

Green Belt designation is a functional designation and it is reasonable therefore to relate the test of proportion in Paragraph 89 bullet point 3 to the reasonable interior functional planning of a dwelling extension in the Green belt and elsewhere and make this the benchmark of a fair policy.

If Policy in respect of residential development is not in practice sympathetic to people's needs (Para. 5.90 p.83) the physical appearance of the District will increasingly be determined by permitted development rights.

Policy SS8 restricts development in Level 4 settlements to limited infilling allocated by a Neighbourhood Plan. Type 4 settlements have "very limited sustainability" (paragraph 4.35 p.39 and Table 4.2 p.40) but are presumably more sustainable than the open countryside (4.60 p.57) where policy SS9 (e) allows limited infilling (without restriction to brownfield land) without land being allocated in a Neighbourhood Plan. Where settlement development limits are proposed to be removed these two polices must be consistent and are not. Policy SS10(f) allows "limited infilling" to accommodate other development in the Green Belt but not "limited infilling in villages" to accommodate market housing which is allowed by National Policy in other Green Belts (NPPF Paragraph 89.6 - NB this policy is more liberal than SS8). Consequently, the Local Plan is internally inconsistent, over-burdens developers in Level 4 settlements without justification, subsequently drives relatively compact and sustainable development inside small villages towards less sustainable countryside sites contrary to National Policy and restricts Green belt developers to a greater degree than national policy does. The Local Plan is consequently unsound for lack of coherence, lack of justification and lack of consistency with national policy.

The Local Plan recognises District-wide requirements for economic growth (4.9 p.34) and District-wide housing needs (2.13 p.16, 5.86 p.83). National policy requires the Council to promote sustainable development everywhere including development patterns that will reinforce local bus services and by reducing reliance on the private car cut green-house gas emissions (NPPF 17.11, 30 and 95.1) and to significantly boost housing supply and widen housing choice for all groups in the community including people living and wishing to work in villages (NPPF 47 and 50). Attached A&D 3 provides evidence that the Local Plan treats village communities in Level 3 and 4 settlements unfairly and is correspondingly unjustified and inconsistent with national policy.

Attachments:

Support

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Representation ID: 8137

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Derbyshire County Council

Representation:

Representation not received on representation form; Council Officer has made interpretation.

Policy SS11: Local Settlement Gaps and Policy SS13: Development in Small Villages and Hamlets, are both supported where they will assist in protecting landscape character in those areas defined by nucleated settlement patterns such as the Derbyshire coalfield, and also those areas with a more dispersed settlement pattern with small villages and hamlets, typical of the Peak Fringe. Overall this approach will assist in preventing urban sprawl and alongside other policies in the Plan, it should help to restrict development within the countryside.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting Derbyshire County Council (DCC) on the North East Derbyshire Local Plan Publication Draft (LPPD). The comments below are Derbyshire County Council's Member and officer technical comments.

DCC submitted extensive comments on the North East Derbyshire Local Plan Consultation Draft (LPCD) on 7 April 2017. These comments are referred to below and reaffirmed where necessary.

A report on the LPPD, including the comments below, will be considered at a forthcoming meeting of the County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure on 17 May 2018. In the meantime, in order to meet your statutory deadline, I should be grateful if you would accept these comments until I confirm the decision made on the report at the Cabinet Member Meeting following a five-day call-in period. I will, therefore, contact you again at that time to confirm DCC's formal comments.

Member Comments

Local County Councillors with electoral divisions in North East Derbyshire District were consulted on the LPPD. No comments have been received at the time of writing. However, I will forward any comments subsequently received for your information.

Officer Comments

1 Spatial Portrait

1.1 The sub-division of the District into four sub-areas (North, South, East and West) is well justified and fully supported as the basis to plan for the future spatial growth needs of the District. It is clear that each of the four sub-areas have their own close physical and functional relationships, their own characteristics and development needs to be addressed in the LPPD.

1.2 The analysis in the Spatial Portrait provides a thorough and comprehensive assessment of the issues and challenges facing the District. However, the Accessibility and Transport Section in paragraph 2.4 should make reference to the emerging proposals for HS2 and the Government's proposals for the HS2 route refinement through Derbyshire, including proposals for HS2 services to stop at Chesterfield railway station via a new link that runs along the existing Erewash Valley line and then utilising the existing Midland Mainline in the vicinity of Clay Cross. Although not located within North East Derbyshire District, the HS2 station proposals are likely to have an impact on the District's economy, particularly towards the end of the Plan period.

2 Vision and Objectives

2.1 The inclusion of a range of both district-wide and sub-area strategic objectives is fully supported and should ensure that the Local Plan provides for a sustainable pattern of development and meets the future growth needs of the District over the Plan period.

2.2 It is welcomed that DCC's comments on the LPCD have been taken into account in the LPPD relating to Objective D1, which now appropriately makes reference to the need for the local economy to maximise the economic benefits for the District that are likely to be generated by HS2. It is welcomed that Objective E3 appropriately seeks to ensure that any environmental impacts arising from the development of HS2 are effectively mitigated. Objective D6 is fully supported, which seeks to ensure that the general area of the Green Belt is protected and that the purposes of including land within the Green Belt takes account of the need to promote sustainable patters of development across the District (see further comments below). Objective D14 is also fully supported, which recognises the potential cross boundary issues arising from new strategic development and seeks to ensure that there is a co-ordinated approach to delivering sustainable growth, working with neighbouring authorities and other partners in a constructive way (see further comments below).

3 Spatial Strategy

3.1 The broad spatial strategy set out in Section 4 and Policy SS2 is fully supported and is considered to provide for the most sustainable pattern of development throughout the District. This indicates that the Local Plan will focus the majority of the District's future housing growth on the four main towns of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh and key strategic sites at The Avenue and former Biwater's site at Clay Cross. For employment, future growth will be focussed on Principal Protected Employment Areas and on the strategic sites at The Avenue, former Biwater's site and Markham Vale.

3.2 DCC has worked in partnership with, and has been fully supportive of, the District Council's aims to bring these major strategic sites forward for development, not least for their major housing, economic, job creation and regeneration benefits that they are likely to deliver to the residents of the District.

3.3 Historically, DCC has been supportive of such a spatial distribution of growth based on the four main towns and key regeneration sites through the revoked Derby and Derbyshire Joint Structure Plan (DDJSP) and more recently the former East Midlands Regional Plan (EMRP) as providing for the most sustainable pattern of growth in the District, particularly as a large part of the District is covered by strategically important Green Belt, particularly to the north of the area.

4 Housing Matters

Housing Provision Requirement

4.1 When DCC provided comments on the proposed housing requirement in the LPCD, at that time the key evidence base was in the form of the North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw SHMA 2013, which indicated an Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) of between 270 - 310 dwellings pa for the District over the Plan period. Based on that evidence, DCC supported the proposed housing provision requirement set out in the LPCD of 300 dwellings pa (6,600 dwellings) over the Plan period, which was set at the higher end of the OAN range to support economic growth and the delivery of more affordable housing in the District.

4.2 Since DCC commented on the LPCD in April 2017, it is noted from Section 4.6 to 4.10 that a key part of the evidence base to inform housing provision in the District has been updated in the form of the North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw Strategic Housing Market Area Update 2017 (SHMA Update), which particularly takes into account the most up-to-date 2014-based Sub-National Population and Household Projections. It is noted from paragraph 4.7 that the SHMA Update indicates an OAN for 1,184 dwellings pa for the whole of the North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw HMA and an OAN specifically for North East Derbyshire District of 283 dwellings pa. As set out in paragraph 4.11, this should be considered as a baseline OAN for the District.

4.3 As appropriately set out in Paragraph 4.8 of the LPPD, however, the Local Plan housing target should also take into account the Vision and Objectives of the Plan, the District Council's ambitions for growth and the wider growth ambitions of the D2N2 and Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). It is noted that in this context, the SHMA Update has modelled a housing provision requirement for the District based on the District Councils Growth Strategy and the wider LEP's growth ambitions - a 'Regeneration Scenario'. This Scenario provides for employment growth in the District of 3,000 jobs, which translates into a housing requirement of 322 dwellings per annum (330 rounded up to the nearest 10). In this context, paragraph 4.11 indicates that the District Council has concluded that the housing provision requirement for the District should be 330 dwellings pa over the Plan period of 2014 - 2034.

4.4 In the context of the above, the housing provision requirement proposed for the District of 330 dwellings pa is considered to be robust, justified by extensive and up-to-date evidence and is therefore supported as being the most appropriate housing requirement to plan for in the Local Plan. It would meet the full OAN baseline requirement for housing in the District, include an uplift to help deliver more affordable housing and meet the economic growth ambitions of the District Council and wider LEPs. Importantly, the level of housing provision would also ensure that NEDDC would meet its full proportionate OAN requirement for the North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw HMA as set out in the SHMA update. Consequently, none of the other local authorities in the HMA would have to meet any potential shortfall in housing provision arising in North East Derbyshire District.

4.5 Since 2004/2005, North East Derbyshire District has been defined as falling within a North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw HMA together with the neighbouring local authority areas of Bolsover District, Chesterfield Borough and Bassetlaw District in Nottinghamshire, based on extensive evidence first commissioned by the (then) East Midlands Regional Assembly in 2004 and more recently in the 2013 SHMA and SHMA Update referred to above. DCC's Officers are fully supportive of the continued approach to the assessment of housing requirements across the four local authorities being based on the North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw HMA because of the close functional and travel-to-work relationships that exist between the four local authority areas. This support has recently been reaffirmed in the County Council's consultation responses on the Bolsover District Draft Local Plan (December 2016) and Chesterfield Borough Local Plan Consultation Draft (February 2017).

Employment Land Requirement

4.6 The approach to the provision of employment land over the Plan period is set out in paragraphs 4.13 to 4.21 and recommends an employment land requirement for the District of 41 ha of land. The overall approach is considered to be well conceived and justified and importantly based on new up-to-date evidence in the District Council's 2017 Employment Land Review, which recommends an employment land requirement for the District of between 28ha and 41 ha. It is noted that the bottom end of 28 ha represents a baseline requirement and the upper end of 41 ha is related to the forecasts relating to the 'Regeneration Scenario' used to inform the housing provision requirement above. This is considered to be the appropriate level of provision to plan for in the Local Plan as importantly it ensures that the assessment of the District's housing and employment needs are based on a consistent approach using a 'Regeneration Scenario'. This should ensure that the housing provision and employment land requirements set out in the LPPD are well balanced and that the housing provision requirement should support sufficient growth in the population to support growth in the local economy over the Plan period.

Settlement Hierarchy and Distribution of Development

4.7 The definition of a Settlement Hierarchy for the District in Table 4.2 as the basis for the spatial distribution of the Local Plan's proposed housing growth set out in Policy SS2 and table 4.3, appears to be well conceived and justified and based on extensive evidence in the North Derbyshire Settlement Hierarchy Study Update (SHS) (September 2017). The SHS analysed the roles that the different settlements in the District performed for their communities and based the hierarchy on a range of criteria which included population levels, facilities and services, employment opportunities and public transport provision. The hierarchy sets out four levels of settlements including Level 1: Towns; Level 2: Settlements with a Good Level of Sustainability; Level 3: Settlements with a Limited Sustainability; and Level 4: Very Small Villages and Hamlets with Limited Sustainability.

4.8 In the context of the above, Policy SS2 and Table 4.3 is fully supported which seeks to focus the majority of the District's housing growth in the Level 1 towns of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh; and level 2 settlements of Calow, Grassmoor, Holmewood, Morton, North Wingfield, Pilsley, Renishaw, Shirland, Stonebroom, Tupton and Wingerworth. The remainder of the District's growth is proposed to be focussed on the key strategic sites of the former Biwaters site at Clay Cross and The Avenue site at Wingerworth. As noted above, historically, DCC has been supportive of such a spatial distribution of growth through the revoked DDJSP and more recently the former EMRP as providing for the most sustainable pattern of growth in the District. The broad distribution of growth, therefore, with 2,024 dwellings proposed in the four main towns; 1,541 dwellings on the strategic sites; and 2,517 dwellings in the Level 2 settlements, appears to be well conceived and should provide for a sustainable distribution of the District's housing growth.

4.9 The definition of settlement boundaries for the Level 1 Towns and Level 2 Larger Settlements identified on the relevant Policies Maps is fully supported. The use of settlement boundaries is an effective mechanism to ensure that new housing development is provided in sustainable locations within and well related to the District's settlements. It will provide clarity and certainty to the public and to developers as to which land is included within the built form of the settlements and which other land should be considered as open countryside for planning policy purposes relating to Policy SS9, where a more restrictive approach to development is to be applied

Strategic Site Allocations

4.10 The identification of three key strategic housing and employment site allocations at The Avenue, Wingerworth; Former Biwaters site; and Markham Vale is fully supported, particularly the provision in the Plan for specific policies (SS3, SS4 and SS5) to guide the future development of these sites, including requirements for key infrastructure to support their delivery. DCC has worked in partnership with NEDDC over many years to secure the delivery of these large-scale, previously derelict and contaminated brownfield sites for large-scale housing and / or employment purposes. It is particularly important that NEDDC's Officers continue to work closely with DCC's Officers to secure the necessary infrastructure required to support the development of these sites, particularly highways improvements, school place provision and Green Infrastructure.

Former Coalite Site

4.11 It is noted that the former Coalite site has not been identified in the LPPD as a strategic site allocation but instead has been identified a Priority Regeneration Area under Policy SS5. The latest route refinement proposals for HS2 announced by Government includes a realignment of the HS2 line which has a direct impact on the Coalite site, so that the refined route proposals cut across the eastern part of the site compared to the original route proposals which cut across the western part of the site. In its consultation response to Government on the route refinement proposals, DCC expressed significant concern that the new route would cut across land that has been identified on the approved masterplan as forming the first phase of housing development on the eastern part of the site, which is seen to be crucial to kick starting the wider redevelopment of the whole site for housing and employment purposes and which could ultimately impact on the viability and delivery of the whole site.

4.12 It is noted that similar concerns have been expressed by NEDDC in the background text to Policy SS8 relating to the impact of the HS2 route on the deliverability of the masterplan proposals, which together with the need for extensive remediation of the site, mean that the District Council cannot be confident in relying on the housing land proposed on the site to contribute to the Local Plan's proposed housing target. Accordingly, NEDDC has identified the site as a Regeneration Priority Area. This is considered to be an appropriate and justified approach given that there can be no degree of certainty that the Coalite site will contribute to meeting the Local Plan's housing target, which would otherwise be likely to be required by an Inspector, if the land was identified as a Strategic Allocation Site.

4.13 However, this will require careful consideration by NEDDC together with Bolsover District Council, within whose administrative area much of the northern part of site falls to ensure consistency of approach. This is particularly important as the Bolsover District Consultation Draft Local Plan which was published in November 2016 by BDC, proposes to allocate the Coalite site as a Strategic Site Allocation. In this respect it is noted and welcomed that paragraph 4.54 indicates that the 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 cooperate.

Other Housing Allocations

4.14 It is noted that Policy LC1: Housing allocations, identifies a range of around 40 proposed housing allocations, which would contribute to meeting the housing requirement for the District over the Plan period of 6,600 dwellings. Each of these proposed allocations will raise a range of infrastructure requirements to support their development, particularly primary and secondary school place provision (potentially including new schools), highway and access improvements and Green Infrastructure. It is noted that a number of the proposed allocations already benefit from planning permission. DCC has previously provided Officer developer contributions and strategic planning policy comments on a number of these allocated sites, which remain largely relevant to their development. Under the Duty to Cooperate, NEDDC is requested to liaise with DCC on an ongoing basis to identify and secure the strategic infrastructure requirements that would be required to support the development of the proposed allocation sites in order to ensure that they provide for a sustainable form of development (see further comments below).

4.15 It is noted that 6 of the proposed allocations in Dronfield, Eckington and Killmarsh are on land which is proposed to be released from the Green Belt. Further comments on this issue are set out in Section 5 below.

4.16 It is noted that paragraphs 5.8 and 5.9 provide details of the District Council's approach to the provision of its five year housing land supply assessment. This indicates that in the context of the requirements of the NPPF there has been a very slight undersupply of delivery against Local Plan housing requirement over the period 2014 to 2017 (975 dwellings completed compared to requirement of 990). It is considered to be a robust approach set out in paragraph 5.9 that the District Council has adopted a 20% buffer in its housing land supply assessment notwithstanding the fact that the undersupply is only slight, which is supported. However, it is considered that Section 5.9 would be enhanced significantly if it included details of the District Council's most up-to-date five year housing land supply assessment, which is set out in the Council's Housing Topic Paper (January 2018) and indicates that based on the approach above, the District Council can demonstrate a 5.5 year land supply in year 1 after Local Plan adoption and taking account of the proposed housing allocations. This is likely to be a key soundness issue for the Local Plan and therefore needs to be highlighted.

Affordable Housing

4.17 The proposed approach to affordable housing set out in Policy LC2 and the background text is fully supported as it is based on an extensive range of evidence. The background text indicates that the North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw SHMA Update estimated that there was a need for around 172 affordable homes pa in the District to fully meet affordable housing need but that an adjustment to meet the full requirement would be unrealistic and undeliverable. It is considered that the Local Plan's proposed housing requirement for 330 dwellings over the Plan period, which is significantly above the OAN baseline requirement of 283 dwellings pa, would help deliver higher levels of affordable housing across the District to seek to address the affordability issue.

4.18 It is also noted that the policy approach to affordable housing in Policy LC2 has also been informed by a Whole Plan Viability Assessment, based on which Policy LC2 sets out a requirement for new housing proposals of more than 10 dwellings within high value areas to provide at least 30% of the units as affordable dwellings and at least 20% in low value areas. Again this evidence is considered to fully justify the policy approach in LC2.

4.19 The viability of housing schemes is a key consideration across the whole of Derbyshire, which impacts on housing delivery as well as in North East Derbyshire. It is supported, therefore, that Policy LC2 incorporates a criterion 4, which requires that in circumstances where viability of the scheme is in question, the applicant will need to demonstrate, through an 'open book' procedure, that the required proportion of affordable housing would not be achievable and that the Council will negotiate a lower proportion of affordable housing.

Gypsy and Traveller Issues

4.20 It is welcomed that paragraph 5.103 makes appropriate reference to the Derby, Derbyshire, Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) and East Staffordshire Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) (2014), which was commissioned by DCC on behalf of the nine city, district and borough councils in Derbyshire, the PDNPA, East Staffordshire District Council and the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group.

4.21 The GTAA recommended that there was a requirement for 15 additional pitches in North East Derbyshire District between 2014 and 2034, of which 6 pitches would be required between 2014 - 2019 and 3 pitches for each five year period thereafter up to 2034. This is appropriately set out in paragraph 5.103 of the LPPD, which is welcomed. It is noted that paragraph 5.106 makes reference to the fact that although to date, no sites have come forward which allow the District Council to propose site allocations in the LPPD, work on identifying potential allocations is continuing by the District Council. Officers of DCC are currently liaising with officers at NEDDC to assess the suitability of a number of sites in the County Council's ownership for the provision of Gypsy and Traveller accommodation.

4.22 In the context of this on-going work, the inclusion in the LPPD of Policy LC9 is broadly supported, which indicates that sites will be 'encouraged' to meet the accommodation needs of Travellers and which sets out a range of criteria for the assessment of any potential sites that come forward for Traveller pitches, in line with the recommendations of national policy guidance for Travellers in Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (March 2012). It is recommended, however, that the wording of the Policy should be amended to set out a firmer commitment by the District Council to ensure that sites are brought forward for Travellers to meet the identified need such as:

The District Council will seek to ensure the provision of sufficient pitches within the District to meet the accommodation needs of gypsies and travellers as assessed through the current Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (or its replacement).

5 Green Belt

5.1 Green Belt covers much of the northern and central parts of North East Derbyshire District. In the north of the District, the Green Belt is very narrow and strategically very important particularly in preventing the coalescence of the urban area of southern Sheffield with the towns of Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh in North East Derbyshire and in preventing the coalescence of the three settlements with each other. The Green Belt to the south of the three settlements plays and important role in preventing the coalescence of the settlements with the urban areas of Chesterfield and Staveley to the south.

5.2 In the context of the above, Strategic Objective D6 is fully supported which seeks to protect the general area of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land within it taking account of the need to promote sustainable patterns of development across the District.

5.3 However, whilst the North East Derbyshire Green Belt has been an effective planning policy tool since its first designation in the 1980s, which has assisted significantly in focussing development in the District on brownfield sites and undeveloped land within its settlements, as paragraph 4.66 appropriately points out, the Green belt has also had a range of unintended impacts such as impacting on housing need and the availability of land for new housing growth in some of the District's main settlements, particularly Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh, putting development pressure on green spaces and existing employment land for housing uses, and particularly impacting on increased house prices and affordability in those villages constrained by Green Belt, particularly in the north of the District.

5.4 As a consequence of the impacts above, it is noted from paragraph 4.69 that NEDDC has undertaken a Green Belt Review, which provides an objective assessment of the role of individual parcels of Green Belt land in fulfilling the five main Green Belt purposes set out in the NPPF.

5.5 DCC's officers were grateful to NEDDC's officers for consulting them in March 2016 on the proposed methodology which was used for undertaking the Green Belt Review. DCC's officers concluded that the overall methodology was robust and consistent with the agreed methodology for undertaking Green Belt Reviews that was developed by officers of the Sheffield City Region local authorities, including DCC, in August 2014. Generally, the assessment criteria for Green Belt purposes 1 to 4 appeared to be appropriate and well-conceived as did the scoring mechanism. In the assessment of local landscape character in Stage 3 of the methodology, DCC's Officers recommended that the County Council's Landscape Character of Derbyshire assessment and work on Areas of Multiple Environmental Sensitivity (AMES) should be used for this stage of the assessment.

5.6 Government guidance set out in the NPPF is clear that the Government attaches great importance to Green Belts and that Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances. It is considered that the LPPD has set out an appropriate and well-reasoned justification in section 4.68 for there to be exceptional circumstances within the District for undertaking a review of Green Belt boundaries. This is because extensive evidence has revealed that there is a significant mismatch between the Local Plan strategy and the proposed spatial distribution of housing and that land availability and demand, such that the level of growth being planned for to meet the full OAHN in the District, could not be accommodated in a sustainable way or where demand and viability were highest.

5.7 The LPPD Proposals Maps identify those areas of land which are proposed to be removed from the Green Belt to facilitate new housing development on the edges of Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh. Whilst the County Council's Officers would not wish to comment in detail on each individual area of land, it would appear in principle, that all the areas that have been identified for removal from the Green Belt are well related to and / or are well contained by existing areas of built development and are those areas which would appear to be likely to have least harm on the main Green Belt purposes and overall strategic role of the North Derbyshire Green Belt.

6 Local Settlement Gaps

6.1 The identification of Local Settlement Gaps is supported in Policy SS11 Historically, DCC has been supportive of the definition of Strategic Gaps and Green Wedges in Local Plans being prepared across Derbyshire through Derbyshire Structure Plans (1980 and 1990), the DDJSP and the former EMRP. Strategic Gaps and Green Wedges can play an important and complementary role to a local authority's Green Belt in providing a more localised function of preventing the coalescence of neighbouring settlements and facilitating the community's need for an 'identification of place'. It is noted and acknowledged in paragraph 4.73 that the Southern Sub-Area of the District, which does not benefit from Green Belt protection, is particularly vulnerable to settlement coalescence and identity loss.

7 Highways

7.1 As the District Council will recall, DCC expressed significant concerns in its response on the LPCD on 7 April 2017 about the Plan's approach to highways and transport matters. These concerns largely stemmed from the absence of any substantive transportation evidence to underpin the Plan, and the absence of the consideration of any strategy to mitigate the (at the time) unidentified impacts of the Local Plan's proposed development growth upon the wider transportation networks. This, together with the inherent weaknesses in the emergence of a strategy that would make provision for the delivery of sustainable transportation measures was also highlighted to be of significant concern.

7.2 Since DCC expressed the concern above, DCC's officers have worked collaboratively with NEDDC's officers to commission an update to the transport evidence base, particularly updated transport modelling works to test the impact of the planned housing and employment development identified in the Local Plan on the highway network, in particular at the main towns of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh. A summary of the outcome of those modelling works is appropriately set out at paragraphs 9.31 to 9.33, particularly:

* the need for mitigation measures at two locations at Dronfield, namely the Chesterfield Road/Green Lane/ Callywhite Lane junction, and the approaches to the A61 Bowshaw Roundabout on the basis of cumulative impacts and the need for developer contributions to support the delivery of any necessary improvements;

* that traffic, albeit not in large volumes arising from proposed housing development mainly at Renishaw, Eckington and Killamarsh would route to and from junction 30 of the M1 motorway. Consequently DCC will continue to liaise with NEDDC and Highways England together with the other relevant neighbouring authorities to more fully explore the cumulative impacts of planned growth on junction 30 of the M1; and

* that on other roads in the District, although the result of planned growth will be some increases in traffic the analysis concludes that such impacts would be likely to be limited or could be satisfactorily addressed through the travel planning and transport assessment process as and when individual development come forward through the planning process.

7.3 In the context of 7.1 and 7.2 above, it is welcomed that Chapter 9 in the LPPD has been updated from that set out in the LPCD and considers a number of transport issues together with wider strategic transportation considerations. It is welcomed and supported that Chapter 9, particularly polices ID1 - 3, largely meet the County Council's concerns discussed above at 7.1. In particular, Policy ID2 appropriately reflects the outcomes of the updated transport modelling works and the identification of the need for highway improvements or sustainable transport measures to support development in Dronfield, Eckington, and Killamarsh as set out in paragraph 7.2 above. Policy ID3 has been largely amended to incorporate the comments made by DCC on the LPCD by the inclusion of a more hierarchical approach to the management of travel demand in Criterion 2 a) to c) and criterion 3.

7.4 It is noted that the spatial distribution of the housing allocations proposed under Policy LC1 of the LPPD has changed slightly from that proposed under Policy LC1 of the LPCD although it is considered that this should not present any insurmountable issues in terms of the Plan's test of soundness. Overall, the County Council, as Highway Authority, is reasonably satisfied that with the assistance of NEDDC it should be able to address any 'Matters of Clarification' raised by an Inspector and that the Local Plan should in due course meet its test of soundness, at least in terms of the Inspector's likely highways and transportation considerations.

7.5 In parallel with the strategic transportation analysis, the Highway Authority has provided advice to NEDDC regarding safe and satisfactory access to specific site allocations proposed in the Local Plan. Whilst detailed access design will be the subject of individual application proposals together with transport assessments, transport statements and design and access statements as appropriate, the County Council's comments to NEDDC on the site allocations should provide assurance that there is a reasonable prospect of access being achievable.

8 Infrastructure

8.1 Policy ID1: Infrastructure Delivery and Developer Contributions is welcomed and fully supported. The policy indicates that

Proposals for development will only be permitted provided they can be made acceptable through:

* The provision of necessary physical, social and green infrastructure;
* Suitable measures to mitigate the impacts of development;

Where new development will necessitate the provision of new or improved infrastructure, and / or when suitable mitigation is required, the developer will be required to:

* Make direct provision of such infrastructure on site within the development; or
* Make a financial contribution to its funding through the use of a Planning Obligations (Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

8.2 The policy approach above is broadly consistent with the approach to developer contributions set out in the Derbyshire Developer Contributions Protocol Interim Update (March 2018).

8.3 It is welcomed and supported that paragraph 9.11 indicates that at a strategic level, the District Council will continue to work closely with neighbouring district councils and Derbyshire County Council through its infrastructure planning process to effectively deliver any infrastructure projects of cross boundary significance for North East Derbyshire.

8.4 It is welcomed and supported that paragraph 9.16 indicates that the District Council will continue with the use of Section 106 agreements to help fund the infrastructure required to support the Plan and that is needed to make development acceptable in planning terms, rather than seek to introduce a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charge. Currently only one local authority in Derbyshire has adopted a CIL, which has raised significant ongoing issues and concerns for the County Council in seeking to secure contributions to fund strategic infrastructure, particularly school place provision.

8.5 In particular, it welcomed and supported that paragraphs 9.13 to 9.15 of the LPPD sets out a well-reasoned and justified case for the District Council not seeking to adopt a CIL. In particular, paragraph 9.14 highlights that the District Council has carried out a Whole Plan Viability Assessment to assess the viability of the Plan and to determine whether there would be enough economic incentive to provide new development with these infrastructure requirements in place. Whilst the assessment shows that new housing development with some level of affordable housing would be viable across all parts of the District, it found that only limited additional surplus monies would be available for capture as a CIL charge and even that would be achievable only in the highest value areas of the District. Paragraph 9.15 goes on to indicate that since the vast majority of the housing development proposed in the Plan lies outside these high value areas it is not considered likely that the introduction of such a CIL in the District would contribute meaningfully towards the delivery of necessary infrastructure to support the Plan.

8.6 It is clear therefore that the introduction of a CIL in the District would be unworkable. The continued use of Section 106 agreements as the main source of seeking developer contributions towards new infrastructure provides the County Council with more certainty that it will be able to secure developer contributions to fund strategic infrastructure, particularly school place provision.

Education Issues

8.7 As noted above, the LPPD has proposed the allocation of around 40 strategic and other housing allocation sites to meet the District's housing requirement of 6,600 dwellings over the Plan period. NEDDC's officers are requested to continue to liaise with DCC's Children's Services Officers to consider the primary and secondary school place requirements generated by these proposed housing developments in the LPPD.

8.8 Paragraph 9.65 of the LPPD includes a summary of primary and secondary school place capacity issues within the District. As you will be aware, however, DCC's Children's Services Officers are currently liaising with NEDDC's officers on school place capacities and are currently updating individual primary and secondary school place capacity figures for schools in North East Derbyshire District based on the January 2018 school place projections. This updated information will inform an update of the District Council's Infrastructure Delivery Plan but may also affect the summary of school capacity issues set out in paragraph 9.65 of the LPPD, which also includes reference to the school place requirements associated with the Avenue strategic site.

Notified School Sites

8.8 Since the publication of the LPCD in 2017, DCC's Children's Services officers have undertaken a review of notified sites within the District. In this respect, you will be aware that DCC's officers recently met with NEDDC's officers to discuss a range of education issues affecting the District, including the issue of notified school sites. Those discussions highlighted the County Council's concerns that the LPPD Proposals Maps do not identify any of the County Council's notified sites that it wishes to retain for education purposes. Furthermore, the infrastructure section of the Plan does not make any specific reference to notified school sites other than loosely through Policies ID4 and ID5 regarding social infrastructure. As a consequence, DCC's officer has sent maps of all its notified sites to NEDDC which it wishes to retain (subject to Cabinet approval scheduled for May 2018). This includes a site at Flaxpiece Road, Clay Cross which DCC wishes to retain but is proposed as a housing allocation in the LPPD under Policy LC1 (site CC1). DCC therefore requests that the District Council addresses the concerns above and identifies the County Council's notified sites on the relevant Local Plan Proposals Maps and includes reference to notified sites and the importance of the need for their retention for education purposes within the Social Infrastructure Section of the LPPD and Policy ID5.

9 Landscape Comments

9.1 The LPPD's approach to landscape and landscape character is broadly welcomed and supported. It is particularly welcomed that many of the Plan's proposed housing allocations appear to accord with the landscape and visual impact recommendations DCC's officers made as part of the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) process.

9.2 Policy SS6 identifies the former Coalite site as a Strategic Priority Area. The proposed collaborative working between NEDDC and BDC to address the comprehensive restoration of the former Coalite site is fully supported but DCC's officers still have concerns about the potential scale of development as currently proposed with respect to its potential impact on landscape character and the setting/sense of arrival at Bolsover Castle, which will require careful consideration as the development scheme is progressed. However, it is welcomed that this issue is referenced in Policy SS6 criterion c) which seeks to ensure that proposals for development of the site should protect the setting of heritage assets, in particular the Grade 1 Listed Bolsover Castle and Sutton Scarsdale Hall.

9.3 Policy SS11: Local Settlement Gaps and Policy SS13: Development in Small Villages and Hamlets, are both supported where they will assist in protecting landscape character in those areas defined by nucleated settlement patterns such as the Derbyshire coalfield, and also those areas with a more dispersed settlement pattern with small villages and hamlets, typical of the Peak Fringe. Overall this approach will assist in preventing urban sprawl and alongside other policies in the Plan, it should help to restrict development within the countryside.

10 Minerals Comments

10.1 It is welcomed that paragraphs 8.82 - 8.86 appropriately make reference to the fact that mineral resources are essential to support economic growth and are a finite resource; that there is an important need to ensure that minerals of national and local importance are not needlessly sterilised by non-minerals development; and that prior extraction of minerals is considered, if it is necessary for non-minerals development to take place.

10.2 It is particularly welcomed that reference is made to the emerging Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan (DDMLP), which is being progressed by DCC and Derby City Council and for which a Draft Local Plan was published for consultation on 19 March 2018. The Plan includes policies for Mineral Safeguarding Areas (MSA) and Mineral Consultation Areas (MCA) to prevent the unnecessary sterilisation of the minerals resource across the County, which is likely to include minerals resources in North East Derbyshire District. In this context, paragraph 8.85 is fully supported which indicates that within MSAs and MCAs defined in the emerging DDMLP, the presence of the mineral resource will be considered by the District Council as part of the determination of planning applications and once confirmed in the DDMLP, MSAs and MCAs will be illustrated on the North East Derbyshire Local Plan's Policies Map.

11 Public Health Issues

11.1 DCC's Public Health officers have considered how the LPPD aligns with the Strategic Statement Planning and Health across Derbyshire and Derby City (attached) and the comments set out below indicate where it is considered that the Plan supports the priories, where it is felt it could be strengthened or may need to be more explicit.

11.2 Section 4.40 of the LPPD refers to the Avenue strategic site. DCC's Public Health officers request inclusion of the following statements and reference to the attached HIA document-

* An extensive Health Impact Assessments (HIA) on the Avenue development was conducted in August 2016 setting out clear recommendations that will maximise the positive health impacts and minimise the negative health impacts.
* Planning applications for major residential development of 100 dwellings or more should ideally be accompanied by a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) where there is likely to be a negative impact on population health as a consequence of the development.

11.3 The LPPD makes no reference to Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and 'population and human health' as one of the EIA considerations.

To what degree does the LPPD meet the health priorities within the shared Strategic Statement (attached Section 6):

6.1 Prioritising positive prevention: promote the development of healthy environments that actively support people to maintain a healthy weight:
* Plan makes good reference to elements of positive prevention, e.g. walking and cycling, public transport, connectedness, green infrastructure.
6.2 Supporting positive mental wellbeing:
* Not explicitly mentioned but may be subsumed with the 'wellbeing' agenda which is supported in the Plan, in particular access to the natural environment, physical activity opportunities, connectedness, community facilities, etc.
6.3 Supporting healthy ageing: only really covers this in respect of the housing agenda, e.g. in planning to develop mixed housing and the projected housing needs of different groups including older people.
* Makes good reference to the provision of specialist housing and the housing needs of aging populations, health needs, dementia and disabilities (para's 5.86 - 5.90).
* Not explicitly mentioned, design of neighbourhoods suitable for all including older people, e.g. the use of development design standards such as BFL12 which encourage developments that facilitate connectedness.

6.4 Enabling people to connect with each other
* Makes good reference to social infrastructure (e.g. 9.58) and mechanisms to enable connectedness. The Strategic Statement states that -The planning system can continue to support connectedness within communities by creating places which promote opportunities for meetings between members of the community who might not otherwise come into contact with each other including, for example, through housing developments that are mixed use, design of residential streets to encourage their use for social interaction, shared recreational space to encourage intergenerational contact, provision of neighbourhood centres and well-designed street frontages.
6.5 Healthy Homes
* Makes good reference to the supply of new mixed housing.
* Not explicitly mentioned, the quality of existing housing stock, including renovating or replacing existing poor quality housing stock. Living in poor quality homes that require improvement is fundamental to health, the wider determinants of health and the impact on vulnerable people, e.g. children and older people.
Other areas where Public Health Officers consider the LPPD is particularly strong and supports the wider determinants of health are:

1. Economy: supporting economic development is welcomed as a thriving economy supports health.
2. Gypsies and travellers: providing homes/sites for gypsy and traveller families (para 5.103) is welcome.
3. Air quality: encouraging sustainable travel, landscape management and new developments which should not negatively impact on air quality.

I hope these comments are of assistance in progressing the LPPD. If you wish to discuss the comments further, please contact me