Policy SDC12: High Quality Design and Place Making

Showing comments and forms 1 to 5 of 5

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Representation ID: 7030

Received: 21/03/2018

Respondent: Severn Trent Water Ltd - Coventry office

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? Yes

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation:

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

No objection in principle. However, Severn Trent encourages NED to impose the expectation on developers that properties are built to the optional requirement in Building Regulations of 110 litres of water per person per day.

Change suggested by respondent:

Amend criterion j) of policy SDC12.

Full text:

We have provided our comments relating to the site allocation potential impact on the sewerage network on the document attached 'NE Derbyshire WCS Feb 18'. In addition to this, we have provided further general information and advice on a separate attachment 'NE Derbyshire 4 Response'.

Supporting documents are attached as follows:
NE Derbyshire WCS Feb 18; and
NE Derbyshire 4 Response.

Attachments:

Support

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Representation ID: 7375

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Natural England (Lincoln office)

Representation:

We generally welcome this policy, particularly the integration of green infrastructure into developments, opportunities for biodiversity enhancement and the provision of SuDs and green and brown roofs.

Full text:

We generally welcome this policy, particularly the integration of green infrastructure into developments, opportunities for biodiversity enhancement and the provision of SuDs and green and brown roofs.

Support

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Representation ID: 7731

Received: 30/03/2018

Respondent: CPRE South Yorkshire & Friends of the Peak District

Representation:

Representation not received on representation form; Council officer has made interpretation. Compliance/soundness tests interpreted by Council officer.

The policy sets out a robust set of decision-making criteria, which we support.

Full text:

Full submission attached.

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Representation ID: 7885

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Persimmon Homes Nottingham

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation:

Representation not received on form so Council Officer has made interpretation.

Policy SDC12 (High Quality Design and Place Making)
There is recognition that high quality design contributes to place making and sustainable developments. This policy is supported in general and ensuring proposals are integrated well within the local setting is key to this. There is further support for 2(h) which ensures efficient use of land.
Part 3 of this policy references the SPD 'Successful Places: A guide to Sustainable Housing Layout and Design'. Although there is an aspiration of the Council to utilise this document, there needs to be recognition of flexibility. An expectation that guidance (not policy) is over and above and proposals should only have to consider this document as part of the process. This is particularly important when considering the impact of an increased design specification will have on a proposal's viability.

Change suggested by respondent:

Part 3 of this policy references the SPD 'Successful Places: A guide to Sustainable Housing Layout and Design'. Although there is an aspiration of the Council to utilise this document, there needs to be recognition of flexibility. An expectation that guidance (not policy) is over and above and proposals should only have to consider this document as part of the process. This is particularly important when considering the impact of an increased design specification will have on a proposal's viability. This needs to be reflected within the policy and NEDDC needs to consider this as part of all developments.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting with Persimmon Homes on the draft NED Local Plan (2014-2034). As one of the nation's largest housebuilders, with current and future development activity planned in the North Derbyshire region, the Local Plan is of key importance to us in ensure we can operate and deliver much needed new housing. This representation will go through the different policy's that are relevant and can impact on our ability to deliver in an efficient and viable manner.

It is noted that NEDDC has come under scrutiny from central Government on the lack of progress with the Local Plan. These concerns are recognised by Persimmon and ensuring an up-to-date Local Plan is needed to provide a direction of travel for the borough and stability. This provides a working environment which can be accounted for during the early stages of delivering a new site for housing. It is therefore encouraging that the Council is moving forward with the Local Plan and it is encouraged that this process is done as thoroughly and quickly as possible.

Policy SS1 (sustainable Development)
This is the Local Plan's overarching policy to guide development and to establish the key principles that form the rest of the plans' policy. The efficient use of land is supported as a principle as this will ensure that the impact from development elsewhere is reduced. This policy should go further and reference nation Allocating the al planning policy (NPPF) to ensure that the key principles nationally are reflected locally.

Policy SS2 (Spatial Strategy and the Distribution of Development)
This policy goes into depth about the distribution of development and the settlement hierarchy in an attempt to ensure that sustainable settlements are the focus for developments. This hierarchy is generally supported. However, it needs to be recognised that the housing requirement is a minimum and therefore sites not recognised in LC1 may come forward for development. Further, the requirement is a minimum that correlates closely with the identified number of sites (6, 600 versus 6, 621 respectively). This is not robust and requires further site allocations to ensure flexibility in the event that some do not come forward.

There is further concern about the Duty to Coopoerate and that unmet need from the surrounding boroughs, especially Sheffield, has not been considered in depth with a defined outcome. The housing markets overlap and this needs to be further considered in Duty to Cooperate Statement and subsequently reflected in the allocations and housing requirement. This has become increasingly important with the new NPPF/NPPG out for consultation which has continued to focus on the duty and its importance. This includes the use of Statements of Common Grounds which should be done in conjunction with the Local Plan.

Policy LC1 (Housing Allocation)
Persimmon Homes is not going to comment at this stage on the deliverability on any specific allocation. This policy however needs to recognise that these allocations are a minimum and that major sites not allocated may come forward and should be supported if they can be demonstrated to be sustainable.

I would like to draw the Council's attention to the site at the end of this representation which can confirm as deliverable within the next 5 years and should be included in the allocation list for a minimum of 120 houses. The section at the end of the representation will explore further the site's deliverability credentials.

Policy LC2 (affordable housing)
Persimmon Homes recognises the need for affordable housing and to introduce different tenures in an area to ensure there is a wide choice of housing available. The emerging NPPF includes a broader definition of affordable housing than previously and it is recommended that this is accounted for in the Local Plan.

It is encouraging that there is a split between affordable housing requirements to reflect the different values across the borough and it is not overly complicated. However there does need to be further justification for the percentages used.
The chart at para 13.20 within the Whole Plan Viability Assessment (2018) indicates that very few scenarios are capable of providing 20% or 30% affordable housing. Although this is the baseline assessment and does not account for site specific variations and costs, it provides a clear overview of how much affordable housing can be delivered on sites. Further, the conclusions at 13.46 clearly indicate that the 20% target is ambitious. This would suggest that the 20% figure is sensitive and minor build cost increases that are likely over the next few years could make this target achievable. Although there appears to be flexibility built into the policy (under Part 4) this needs to be strengthened and that sites will be supported when the development costs, including those related to planning policy (particularly design), make a site unviable.

It is identified that there is a requirement of 273 affordable housing dwellings per annum. This is over 80% of the annual requirement. It is therefore encouraged that more sites are identified to ensure there is a greater possibility of delivering affordable housing. Allocating the minimum of sites will make delivering affordable housing in the borough more difficult.

Policy LC4 (Type and Mix of Housing)
There is a general support for a mix of housing to meet a range of needs, but it needs to be recognised that this has to be primarily market-led. Developments will reflect unmet demand which will fluctuate over time. Policy LC4 needs to recognise this to avoid it going out of date.

With regards to part 3 of this policy (relating to Building Regulations part M4(2)), the lack of justification and evidence that there is a need and that sites can support this provision. From a viability perspective, there is no evidence to suggest it should be included. From a deliverability perspective, the practicalities of doing so make ensuring that it gets to the right people difficult. It is not known if adapting only some of the housing will actually have the desired effect of the policy. This should be left with Building Regulations and it is not necessary and not justified to include this within local planning policy.

Policy SDC11 (Flood Risk and Drainage)
Persimmon Homes support the overall principles of not increasing flood risk elsewhere and that the management of surface water will ensure that flood risk is minimised; also accounting for climate change. To ensure that this policy is met, a wide range of management solutions should be supported including a mixture of hard and soft engineering infrastructure. The solution will generally reflect the constraints of the site and the design proposed. This may require a variety of drainage solutions. Therefore, the policy should be amended to reflect this; recognising that SuDs might not be the best solution to manage the surface water on the site.

With regards to foul water disposal; limited capacity should not be a reason to delay or even not deliver any of the allocated sites. The Council should be working closely with Severn Trent Water and Yorkshire Water to ensure that foul water infrastructure is operating efficiently and new development can be accommodated for.

Policy SDC12 (High Quality Design and Place Making)
There is recognition that high quality design contributes to place making and sustainable developments. This is clearly identified within the NPPF and this has been expanded upon in policy SDC12.This policy is supported in general and ensuring proposals are integrated well within the local setting is key to this. There is further support for 2(h) which ensures efficient use of land. This is critical and will ensure that the allocated sites deliver the correct amount of dwellings thereby reducing the requirement to release green belt. This should be thoroughly assessed as part of the Green Belt Review to ensure that land is not released unnecessarily.

Further consideration of in this policy needs to be recognised of the physical and legal constraints that affect land. Due to these constraints, there may be reasons to deviate away from elements of this policy that it is still delivered.

Part 3 of this policy references the SPD 'Successful Places: A guide to Sustainable Housing Layout and Design'. Although there is an aspiration of the Council to utilise this document, there needs to be recognition of flexibility. An expectation that guidance (not policy) is over and above and proposals should only have to consider this document as part of the process. This is particularly important when considering the impact of an increased design specification will have on a proposal's viability. This needs to be reflected within the policy and NEDDC needs to consider this as part of all developments.

Policy ID1 (Infrastructure and Delivery)
Persimmon Homes acknowledges that infrastructure is impacted by development and this is a duty in law to provide planning obligations. The Policy as drafted goes beyond this by suggesting development pays for infrastructure that is strategic in nature and is not a direct result from development. This is infrastructure that the Council would generally want to persue rather than done to mitigate development. This policy needs ot be clearer and that contributions will only be sought to mitigate the impacts of development.

Policy ID2 (Provision and Safeguarding of Transport Infrastructure)
With regards to Policy ID2, it is the second part that it relevant here. This links to the above comments on policy ID1 in which contributions should be sought for mitigation. The listed infrastructure is location-specific and may be unaffected by certain development. There should therefore not be an assumption that these development contribute to this work.

Policy ID3 (sustainable Travel)
Persimmon Homes support the principle of sustainable travel and ensuring that this is promoted to new residents. However, it is important that this policy does not become too onerous as this will impact on viability and therefore delivery of the site. The option of sustainable modes of transport is important and can help reduce the impact on the highways however this should primarily only be promoted within the site as very little impact can be demonstrated on the wider footpath network. Further, point 3 is not supported and is above and beyond the control of development. It is an individual's choice what mode of transport they take and this cannot be changed by the developer. It also conflicts with point 4 as the highway impact is assessed through the planning process and not retrospectively once the site is established and live.

Policy ID9 (Open Space, Sports and Recreation Facilities)
Only parts 3 and 4 are relevant for this policy. There needs to be further clarity on the scale of requirement unless there is a flexible policy approach. This is critical when preparing new site designs and ensuring all key elements are identified earlier so SDC12 can be met. Appendix C demonstrates the calculation for the open space maintenance. It needs to be recognised in this policy that there are other management options available. If a contribution is prepared, it is expected that the land would therefore be transferred to the Council in perpetuity. Within Appendix C, there is little evidence to support how the current rates were calculated.

Site Allocation - Derby Road, Tupton
Persimmon Homes would like to draw attention to the attached plan and offer it for inclusion within the Local Plan. The site is 3.51 hectares and can accommodate approximately 120 residential units.

These units are proposed alongside substantial open space, attenuation features and extensive landscaping to integrate the site into its rural setting. Persimmon can confirm that this site can be delivered within the next 5 years and therefore can be included within the immediate supply.

The site access would be from the A61 (Derby Road) and is located to the western edge of Tupton; a level 2 settlement indicating it is one of the more sustainable locations within the borough. The site is currently adjacent to TU2 allocation (along the northern boundary). On the remaining boundaries includes residential estates (east and south) and the A61 and agricultural fields on the west. This site would be a natural extension to Tupton and can be viewed as a sustainable infill due to the strong boundaries ensuring it is well contained. The sites current use is overgrown grassland (formerly agricultural) and the boundaries are made up of fencing and vegetation (primarily hedging).

To safeguard the sites delivery, it needs to be included in the site allocations. Further, the settlement boundary of Tupton needs to be revisited to include the boundary of this site. To ensure a sound and robust Local Plan, all sustainable sites should be explored and included in the allocations to ensure there is a flexible supply of land that can deliver a wide choice of housing. It can be confirmed that this site does not fall within the green belt and has no other protections that would restrict its development.

Conclusion
The above commentary on key points within the current Local Plan draft should be taken into account to ensure the plan is positively prepared, justified, effective and compliant with nationally adopted policy. The comments should be taken on board as part of wholesale changes to the plan to ensure it is found sound and can be delivered over the plan period.

I trust the above is clear however if you require any further comments or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me on the above details. Please keep me informed of the progress of this document as we would be very interested in attending the Examinations in Public and commenting on any future modified iterations.

Attachments:

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Representation ID: 8032

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Home Builders Federation

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

Representation not received on rep form. Council Officer has made interpretation. Full representation attached.

Policy SDC12 proposes development achieves the "highest" quality design which is subjective and provides no guidance to the developer or decision maker.

Under Policy SDC12 Bullet Point (j) the Council's requirements are unclear. The HBF is not aware of the Council seeking to impose optional higher standards above the mandatory standards for energy and water efficiency as set out in the Building Regulations -the bullet point is superfluous, unnecessary and confusing.

Regarding Policy SDC12 Bullet Point (3) the Council should not be seeking to impose higher standards in an SPD which have not been subject to viability testing. The Regulations are equally explicit in limiting the remit of an SPD so that policies dealing with development management cannot be hidden in an SPD.

Change suggested by respondent:

It is suggested that "highest" is reworded to "high" as a minor modification to Policy SDC12.

Bullet Point (j) should be deleted.

Full text:

Other Housing Policies
If the Local Plan is to be compliant with national policy the Council must satisfy the requirements of the NPPF whereby development should not be subject to such a scale of obligations and policy burdens that viability is threatened (paras 173 & 174). Policy LC2 - Affordable Housing requires on sites of 10 or more dwellings at least 30% affordable housing provision in the West of the District and at least 20% affordable housing provision elsewhere. Any variation from these policy requirements will be subject to open book viability testing. The Council's up to date viability evidence is set out in Whole Plan Viability Assessment dated February 2018 by Bailey Venning Associates. The Council's viability evidence shows that policy compliant residential development is unviable across all parts of the District except in Value Area 4 (see Table 13.3 below). (SEE FULL REP FOR TABLE 13.3 AND 13.5)
Policy compliant residential development only becomes viable if BCIS build costs are reduced (see Table 13.5 below). The residual land value model is highly sensitive to changes in its inputs whereby an adjustment or an error in any one assumption can have a significant impact on viability. Therefore it is important that the Council understands and tests the influence of all inputs on the residual land value as this determines whether or not land is released for development. This theoretical reduction in build costs is achieved by using the lower quartile rather than the median cost which is in addition to an applied discount for economies of scale and efficiency on sites of more than 40 dwellings. At the same time there is no compensatory cost added back for the assumption that the higher build cost are replied upon to meet the policy requirements for design set out in Policy SDC12. The
Council's viability evidence with or without the dubious proposal to nuance build
costs does not support or justify the affordable housing provisions set out in
Policy LC2 in particular the "at least" prefixes. There is also a disconnect between the Value Area 4 where development is viable and the proposed Policy Boundary Map as large parts of the West of the District are outside of Value Area 4 (compare Figure 13.6 and Figure 1.5 below). It is understood that the vast majority of proposed housing in the District is outside the highest value areas. The Council should clarify the proportion of proposed residential development located in each value area of the District together with the proportion of sites with the benefit of planning permission and signed Section 106 Agreements in order to assess the extent to which delivery of the Local Plan is threatened by an unviable affordable housing policy. (SEE FULL REP FOR FIGURE 13.6 AND 1.5).
The cumulative burden of policy requirements should not be set at a level which results in routine rather than occasional negotiations because development is unviable.
It is also suggested that the definition of affordable housing in the Glossary is updated to align with the Government's most recent proposals in the NPPF Draft Text and Draft Updates to NPPG consultations.
Policy LC4 - Type & Mix of Housing proposes that on sites of more than 10 dwellings 20% of all dwellings achieve the higher optional standard of M4(2) for accessible / adaptable homes. The Written Ministerial Statement dated 25th March 2015 stated that "the optional new national technical standards should only be required through any new Local Plan policies if they address a clearly evidenced need, and where their impact on viability has been considered, in accordance with the NPPG". If the Council wishes to adopt the higher optional standards for accessible / adaptable homes the Council should only do so by applying the criteria set out in the NPPG. It is incumbent on the Council to provide a local assessment evidencing the specific case for North East Derbyshire which justifies the inclusion of optional higher standards for accessible / adaptable homes M4(2) in Policy LC4. The Council acknowledges that its ageing population is not unusual and is not a phenomenon specific to North East Derbyshire stating that "in common with many other areas is experiencing an ageing population" (para 2.13 of Local Plan). All new homes are built to Building Regulation Part M standards. If it had been the Government's intention that the generic statement provided by the Council justified adoption of M4(2) then the logical solution would have been to incorporate the standard as mandatory via the Building Regulations which the Government has not done. Therefore it is incumbent on the Council to provide a local assessment evidencing the specific case for North East Derbyshire to justify the inclusion of M4(2) optional higher standards for accessible / adaptable homes in its Policy and the quantum thereof. M4(2) should only be introduced on a "need to have" rather than "nice to have" basis. Furthermore an unintended consequence of such a policy requirement may be to exacerbate under-occupation and discourage older households from moving. This policy requirement should be deleted from the Policy LC4.
Policy SDC12 - High Quality Design & Place Making proposes development achieves the "highest" quality design which is subjective and provides no guidance to the developer or decision maker. It is suggested that "highest" is reworded to "high" as a minor modification to Policy SDC12.
Under Policy SDC12 Bullet Point (j) the Council's requirements are unclear. The HBF is not aware of the Council seeking to impose optional higher standards above the mandatory standards for energy and water efficiency as set out in the Building Regulations. Therefore the Bullet Point is superfluous, unnecessary and confusing which should be deleted.
Under Policy SDC12 Bullet Point (3) the Council is reminded that the NPPF is explicit that a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) should not add to the financial burden of development (para 154). The Council should not be seeking to impose any higher standards in an SPD which have not been subject to viability testing. The Regulations are equally explicit in limiting the remit of an SPD so that policies dealing with development management cannot be hidden in an SPD. As currently worded Policy ID1 Infrastructure Delivery & Developer Contributions goes beyond the requirement for developer contributions where new development necessitates new or improved infrastructure or where mitigation is required to make a development acceptable in planning terms. It is suggested that Bullet Points (1a & 1b) are deleted from Policy ID1.

Attachments: