Question 2

Showing comments and forms 1 to 4 of 4

Object

Examination Consultation Provision for Gypsies and Travellers

Representation ID: 9579

Received: 10/02/2019

Respondent: Ms. Rosanna Horton

Representation:

Summary by Officer.

1. Incorrect definition of "traveller":
The GTAA 2014 (EB-G&T-1b) requirement for 15 additional sites between 2014-2034 is based on the old definition of "traveller" which includes those who have ceased to travel permanently (see EB-G&T-1b page 12).

Two thirds of the respondents to the GTAA survey stated that they did not intend to move in the future, suggesting that the people surveyed to identify the need for 15 sites did not themselves fall within the current definition of "traveller". Therefore the methodology used to identify the need is questionable. (EB G&T2)

2. Whether the site is in a desired area for travellers:
Requirement for 15 pitches is altered by taking account of the current (narrower) definition of traveller.

Members of the travelling community should be consulted on the specific site location. If it is not a desirable location, this supports the argument that the disadvantages of the site outweigh its advantages.

Full text:

I set out below my comments on NEDDC's proposed traveller site GT/09 at Temperance Hill, Woolley Moor by reference to the questions set out in the Inspector's Matters, Issues and Questions (MIQs).

Question 2: Is the assessment methodology in the GTAA robustly based and in line with national policy as set out in the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (2015)? Does the PPTS have any implications for the assessment and would the definition of gypsies, travellers and travelling showpeople in the PPTS have any implication for the need identified?

The Council is asked to reconsider its needs assessment for Gypsy and Traveller Sites. In particular:

1. Incorrect definition of "traveller":

The GTAA 2014 (EB-G&T-1b) requirement for 15 additional sites between 2014-2034 is based on the old definition of "traveller" which includes those who have ceased to travel permanently (see EB-G&T-1b page 12).

As acknowledged at paragraph 3.4 of the G&T Topic Paper May 2018 (EB G&T2), two thirds of the respondents to the GTAA survey stated that they did not intend to move in the future, suggesting that the people surveyed to identify the need for 15 sites did not themselves fall within the current definition of "traveller". Therefore the methodology used to identify the need is questionable.

Further, as set out on page 198 of the GTAA, the suggested requirement for 15 additional sites includes 1.9 sites to be allocated to travellers that currently reside in housed accommodation. Once again, the Council is asked to consider whether those persons in housed accommodation have ceased to travel and therefore do not fall within the current definition of traveller, therefore reducing the need.

The Council is therefore asked to consider whether the requirement for 15 pitches is altered by taking account of the current (narrower) definition of traveller.

2. Whether the site is in a desired area for travellers:

Page 52 of the DCLG Good Practice Guide on Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites (May 2008) provides that "gypsy and Traveller families often wish to have small compact and well-managed sites located in areas where they have historically resided and have a network of local family support. Local authorities have in the past tended to provide accommodation in inappropriate areas and the sites have therefore not always been used to their full potential".

The GTAA provides an overall requirement for 15 sites in North East Derbyshire, but it does not identify where in North East Derbyshire those sites would be best placed to meet the preferences of the travelling community.

Having lived in Woolley Moor (and the neighbouring hamlet of Handley) for 30 years, I am not aware of any travellers ever using the village on their travelling route. Therefore the Council is asked to consider whether a site in the village is best placed to meet the needs and desires of the local travelling population, particularly if the location of the site would mean them moving away from family settled in other areas. Members of the travelling community should be consulted on the specific site location. If it is not a desirable location, this supports the argument that the disadvantages of the site (including lack of services and detriment on the environment) outweigh its advantages.

Question 28: Would the proposed allocation be justified and appropriate in terms of its location including access to services and facilities and the site size?

I do not consider the proposed allocation to be appropriate for the following reasons:

1. Unsuitability of site for businesses:

Paragraph 2.3 of the Gypsy & Traveller Topic Paper dated August 2015 (EB G&T2) identifies that many travellers "prefer to run businesses from the site on which their caravans are stationed. For these reasons sites adjacent to industrial estates may provide locational opportunities".

Further, page 5 of the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (Department for Communities and Local Government, August 2015) provides that local authorities should consider, wherever possible, traveller sites suitable for mixed residential and business uses, having regard to the safety and amenity of the local occupants and neighbouring residents. If mixed sites are not practical, local authorities should consider the scope for identifying separate sites for residential and business purposes in close proximity to one another.

The site does not meet the above guidelines because:

1.1: is located in a rural location where the only local industries are agriculture and leisure/tourism;

1.2: the site is very small with limited, if any, space for carrying out businesses;

1.3: the location of the site (at the top of a small enclosed valley) means that any noise from businesses is likely to travel and affect nearby residents.

1.4: the site sits next to a natural water course in which freshwater shrimps, frogs and newts have all be identified in the past. The stream leads directly into Ogston Reservoir which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The reservoir provides drinking water but is also a local visitor attraction and supports a diverse range of wildlife including migratory birds. Therefore any accidental contamination of the watercourse as a result of businesses being carried out on the site would have a severe detrimental impact on the wildlife resident at the reservoir and on local drinking water.

1.5: the site is not located near any other sites that would allow for separate residential and business accommodation nearby to one another.

2. Lack of local amenities:

Paragraph 3.1 of the DCLG Good Practice Guide on Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites (May 2008) states that "As with any other form of housing, poorly located sites, with no easy access to major roads or public transport services, will have a detrimental effect on the ability of residents to: seek or retain employment; attend school, further education or training; and obtain access to health services and shopping facilities".

Paragraph 4.19 of the G&T Topic Paper dated August 2015 (EB G&T2) provides that sites should be discounted if they are within or next to Level 4 settlements (i.e. settlements of a small size, in remote locations and have a lack of services).

The proposed site is inappropriate should be discounted for the following reasons:

2.1: Woolley Moor has poor accessibility by foot to services. The settlement does not have any services except for a primary school (the route to which is on a narrow lane with no pavement or street lighting). The Updated Addendum to the Gypsy & Traveller Topic Paper (December 2018) (ED44D) incorrectly states that there is a post office within 500m of the site. There is no post office or other shop in the village. Further, the Addendum identifies Stretton as the nearest location for other local services (shops, village hall), but this is not on a bus route from Woolley Moor and therefore can only be accessed by car.

I also note that the discounted site at Temple Normanton (GT/05) has been assessed as a "red" indicator in this category for similarly poor local amenities, yet the site at Woolley Moor has been assessed as "amber". This is not acceptable and must be reassessed by the Council taking into account the above comments.

2.2: The village primary school is very small with only a limited number of places per year. According to the Derbyshire County Council website, the school received 13 applications for its 8 available places for 2017/2018. Paragraph 3.5 of the DCLG Good Practice Guide on Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites (May 2008) acknowledges a "relatively high density of children likely to be on the site". With this in mind, it may be that the local school cannot provide spaces for the number of children on the site as well as the current population that it services.

2.3: There is no medical centre in the village with the nearest GP practices being in Ashover or Clay Cross. The Gypsy & Traveller Sites Assessment (November 2018) (ED44B) incorrectly states at paragraph 3.17.5 that there is a "hospital" in Clay Cross. Clay Cross hospital is not a full service hospital and only provides the following limited services:

2.3.1: Musculoskeletal Service/ Orthopaedic Triage
2.3.2: Community Therapy Services
2.3.3: Physiotherapy
2.3.4: Community Podiatry
2.3.5: Falls Prevention
2.3.6: Continence

2.4: Public transport servicing the village is limited. There are bus services which run every hour to Matlock and to Chesterfield but only between the hours of 7:55am and 5:42pm in respect of buses to Matlock and 9:22am and 4:13pm for buses to Chesterfield. This makes it difficult to access amenities outside of the village generally and almost impossible to use public transport to access places of work if working usual office hours. For example, the first bus to Chesterfield does not leave the village until 9:22am and the last bus leaves from Chesterfield at 5.10pm. Similarly, whilst there is an earlier bus to Matlock, the last bus from Matlock leaves at 3.45pm. The bus timetable on Saturdays is even more limited with buses running on a two hourly basis to Matlock and Chesterfield respectively and no buses at all run on Sundays.

3. Site size is not justified or appropriate:

3.1: The site size is disproportionate to the local neighbourhood:


Page 3 of the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (Department for Communities and Local Government, August 2015) provides that local planning authorities should relate the number of pitches to the circumstances of the specific size and location of the site and the surrounding population's size and density. It also provides that when assessing sites in rural areas, local planning authorities should ensure that the scale of such sites does not dominate the nearest settled community (see page 4). Appendix 5 page 9 of the Updated Addendum to the Gypsy & Traveller Topic Paper (ED44D) suggests that the scale of the site is insignificant, even so compared to the adjacent hamlet of Temperance Hill. This is disputed. A site of 3 pitches in a hamlet of approximately 12 houses represents a 25% increase in residences. Temperance Hill should be considered a separate hamlet to Woolley Moor as it is a distinct settlement that was in existence before Woolley Moor was even created (Woolley Moor was effectively created when the village of Woolley was flooded to make way for the reservoir in 1958).

3.2: The site is too small to accommodate the suggested 3 pitches:

The GTAA (EB-G&T-1b page 175) provides that a pitch size of at least 500 square metres is required to accommodate the following on-pitch facilities:

3.2.1: Hard standing for 1 touring/mobile caravan
3.2.2: 2 car parking spaces
3.2.3: 1 amenity block
3.2.4: Hard standing for storage shed and drying
3.2.5: Garden/amenity area

The Council has stated that the overall plot size is 1500sqm (exactly 3 pitches), but the plot plan does not take account of the public footpath across the site (which would need to be partitioned off) or any space that would need to be allocated for hedge planting (which is suggested as a mitigating factor in the Landscape Appraisal Technical Note for the site (ED44C)). This in itself is likely to reduce the entire site size to below 1500sqm. Further, the Council is asked to consider how any communal areas including play area and any path/driveway on the site to connect the pitches to each other and/or to the public highway will be accommodated on the site whilst maintaining the recommended pitch size of 500sqm. It is suggested that the site, once these factors are taken into account, is only large enough to fit 2 pitches at most. If 3 pitches are placed on the site, this is likely to lead to parking on the road which will obstruct other road users and may obstruct the drive to the adjacent farm. In the event that only 2 pitches can be accommodated, it is argued that the detrimental impact of the site on the environment and the disadvantages of the site in terms of access to facilities and suitability for businesses etc is not outweighed by the Council's need to provide traveller accommodation.

Question 29: Can a satisfactory form of development be achieved having regard to:
* The local environment including the impact on landscape quality;
* Connections to utility services including water, electricity, gas and drainage;
* Access onto the local highway network;
* Adjoining uses; and
* Air and water quality, noise pollution, land stability and flood risk.

I do not consider that a satisfactory form of development can be achieved for the following reasons:

1. The site's close proximity to Ogston Reservoir, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (as noted above).

2. The site would have a detrimental impact on the environment:

The Landscape Appraisal Technical Note (ED44C) identifies that the proposed accommodation is unlikely to be able to be brought forward without adverse effects on the landscape character of the area. Further, the mitigation guidelines that it sets out are provided would only go some way to alleviating the detrimental impact and would not alleviate it to such an extent to make the development suitable. In particular:

2.1: the hedging suggested for the eastern boundary to the site (abutting the road) would not be possible if the site size of 3 pitches is to be achieved as the site is too small to accommodate both.


2.2: I question whether the hedging to the eastern boundary could be achieved given that much of that boundary would be taken up by a visibility splay (as noted below).

2.3: Some of the existing hedgerows (according to the technical note itself), fall outside of the site boundary and therefore it is questionable whether the Council has sufficient control over the hedgerows in order to keep and maintain them in the manner suggested by the report in order to mitigate the adverse impact of the site.

I also note that the Landscape Appraisal Technical Note (ED44C) is only a desktop survey and contains errors. For instance, the technical note does not take account of the well-used footpath running along the site and the effect the site would have on that footpath and those using it (the site will clearly be visible from it). It is suggested that a full survey is required to understand the true impact of the site on the environment.


3. There is likely to be noise pollution:

Paragraph 3.5 of the DCLG Good Practice Guide on Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites (May 2008) states that sites "should also provide visual and acoustic privacy and have characteristics which are sympathetic to the local environment. When selecting locations for permanent sites, consideration needs to be given to the relatively high density of children likely to be on the site".


The landscape surrounding the site (undulating valleys and open fields) tends to allow for noises to carry very easily for considerable distances and therefore there is likely to be noise pollution which will affect other local residents and vice versa. Any effective mitigating factors (high and dense hedgerows, fences etc) would not be appropriate for site residents (and the guidance provides that sites should not be heavily "fenced off" from the community) and would not blend in to the local environment. At the very least, the Council should commission a survey to properly assess the likelihood of noise pollution emanating to and from the site.

4. Highway network issues:

The Council has noted that visibility splays are "likely" to be achievable for the site. However, the Council is asked to consider whether those visibility splays can be met whilst also planting the hedgerow on the eastern boundary of the site as suggested in the Landscape Appraisal Technical Note (ED44C). It does not appear that both can be achieved.


It is argued that there will be an adverse impact on highway safety on Temperance Hill. In particular, there are bad junctions at each end of the road which are difficult turns, particularly for larger vehicles or vehicles towing trailers/caravans. The road is also narrow and would be adversely affected if further vehicles are parked on the road.

Conclusion

For the above reasons, the proposed site GT/09 is inappropriate and should be discounted. The Council has clearly left it very late to finalise its Local Plan and (as set out in the Topic Paper) has had to amend its own methodology in order to quickly find sites to meet its need for traveller pitches. It is a result of this last minute and further search for sites that site GT/09 has been identified. Accordingly, the Council has not properly considered the appropriateness of site GT/09 or its detrimental impact on the local environment. Further, in leaving the Plan so late, members of the public have been given very little time to comment on the proposals and the Inspector is asked to consider this (including extending the period for further comments) in any further consultation process for the site.

Object

Examination Consultation Provision for Gypsies and Travellers

Representation ID: 9666

Received: 15/02/2019

Respondent: NEDDC Conservative Group

Agent: Mr Alex Dale

Representation:

Summary by Officer.

The GTAA 2014 was based on 2007 guidance which has subsequently been withdrawn by the Government in 2016.
The Government produced new policy guidance in 2015 which altered the definition of gypsies and travellers, excluding those who have permanently ceased from travelling.
The GTAA is therefore out of date and we believe it no longer represents a relevant needs assessment on which the Council can base its provision requirements. The Council should have undertaken a new needs assessment which in our view would have resulted in lower level of need.
GTAA relies on data from surveys conducted in 2014, which are out of date and contrary to NPPF para 31.
The methodology relies on inadequate assumptions, for example that the inflow and outflow of gypsies and travellers would be equal, when there is no evidence provided to support this. The assessment does not accurately take account of those who do not wish to stay.

Full text:

I am writing in response to the above consultation on behalf of the Conservative Group on North East Derbyshire District Council. As you will be aware, we are the main opposition group on the Council.

As a group of Councillors, we are aware of very serious concerns from the public over a number of aspects of the proposed new sites and particularly the way in which the consultation has been handled by the Council.

We wish therefore to raise concerns over a number of aspects in relation to this consultation, which can broadly be categorised as follows:
* Out of date needs assessment, methodology and data
* Lack of justification regarding site selection processes
* Poor handling of the consultation

Needs assessments
Firstly, we are concerned that the Council's assessment of the accommodation needs of gypsies and travellers is still based on the GTAA which was conducted in 2014. This of course was based on 2007 guidance issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government, which has subsequently been withdrawn by the Government in 2016.

In addition, the Government produced new policy guidance in 2015 which altered the definition of gypsies and travellers in planning terms. The use of this new definition should exclude those who have permanently ceased from travelling.

The GTAA is therefore now considerably out of date and we believe it no longer represents a relevant needs assessment on which the Council can base its provision requirements. The Council should have undertaken a new needs assessment following the changes in 2015/16 and it is our view that this would have resulted in the authority identifying a significantly lower level of need and thus less pressure on finding suitable sites.

We are also concerned that the GTAA relies on the data from surveys conducted in 2014, contrary to paragraph 31 of the NPPF which highlights the need for up-to-date evidence to be used when preparing a Local Plan.

Finally, the methodology used as part of the GTAA relies on inadequate assumptions - for example that the inflow and outflow of gypsies and travellers would be equal, when there is no evidence provided to support this. The GTAA also suggests that the respondents were self-selecting as those who were more likely to stay in the area, which therefore distorts the objectivity of the needs assessment because it does not accurately take account of those who do not wish to stay.

Site selection processes
The Council has failed to provide adequate information in relation to various aspects of their site selection processes within the Topic Paper. For example, the initial list of 385 sites has not been provided, nor have they adequately explained how they were sifted down to 38. Moreover, the process of sifting the 840 sites down to 8 has not been explained. We believe that this information should be in the public domain so that local residents can assess whether reasonable alternatives have been given proper consideration.

Consultation
We are extremely disappointed with the way in which this consultation has been approached by the Council.

Clearly the rest of the Local Plan is in a late stage in its development and has already now been subject to an inquiry process. For every other proposal within the Local Plan, residents, community groups and other stakeholders have had at least two separate consultations through which to make their views known. While we still have concerns about the way in which these previous consultations were advertised to members of the public, to bring a consultation forward over such a sensitive topic so late in the day in the Plan-making process is of deep concern to us. Residents in communities such as Wingerworth, Woolley Moor, North Wingfield and Sutton understandably feel let down by the Council for failing to bring these proposals to their attention hitherto.

It is our view that the Council has been far too slow to act in bringing together its proposals for gypsy and traveller provision and this has been to the detriment of local residents who have had only a very short timeframe to digest, understand and comment on significant proposals which only became public on 4th January.

The Council's withdrawal of the Wingerworth site part way through the consultation, while a welcome decision, has only served to confuse the public over the status of this site and whether or not there was still a need to engage with the consultation.

In summary we do not believe the Council's approach to gypsy and traveller provision is a sound one and there are far too many flaws in the needs assessment and site selection processes, as well as the consultation itself.

We would be grateful if the above comments could be taken into account as part of the inquiry process moving forward. We also wish to indicate our desire to speak at the planning inquiry sessions on this topic once they have been arranged.

Object

Examination Consultation Provision for Gypsies and Travellers

Representation ID: 9668

Received: 15/02/2019

Respondent: Sheelagh Judge

Representation:

Summary by Officer.

The GTAA is not in line with planning policy as set out in the PPTS 2015. It pre-dates the changes set out in PPTS and Housing and Planning Act 2016.

The GTAA uses an outdated definition of traveller which includes those who have 'permanently ceased' to travel.

The methodology used is outdated and not robustly based. The results of the assessment does not provide an indication of current need. This issue was raised by the Inspector (letter 28/7/2018). Council response concluded that the impact may be to reduce the requirement slightly, if at all. This assumption is not based upon evidence and, given the proportion of respondents who would be excluded from the revised definition, the reduction in requirement will be more than slight.

The purpose of the new definition is to prevent unauthorised encampment. It could be concluded that the requirement for pitches may be low.

Full text:

Please find below my comments in relation to NEDDC's proposed traveller site GT/09, Temperance Hill, Woolley Moor. These are set out in response to the Examination Consultation MIQs.
Main Matter 15
Issue - Whether the plan is based on a robust assessment of need for gypsies and travellers
Question 2:
The GTAA is not in line with planning policy as set out in the PPTS 2015. It pre-dates the changes set out in PPTS 2015 and the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
The GTAA uses an outdated definition of traveller which includes those who have 'permanently ceased' to travel.
Two thirds of the 21 respondents surveyed in NEDDC (i.e. 91.3% of the traveller population households - para 6.3 and 6.4 page 81 of GTAA) stated that they did not intend to move suggesting that these respondents did not themselves fall within the 2015 definition. In addition the GTAA identifies a requirement for 1.9 pitches to be allocated to travellers currently in housed accommodation who may have ceased to travel.
The methodology used in the GTAA is therefore outdated and not robustly based. The results of the GTAA assessment does not provide an indication of current need.
This issue is raised by the Inspector in her letter to the Council dated 28/7/2018. In the Council's reply dated 3/8/2018, Helen Fairfax stated that the council will not commission further assessment but will await a refresh of the GTAA due in 2019/2020. Helen Fairfax concludes that the impact of the new definition may be to reduce the requirement slightly, if at all.
This assumption is not based upon evidence and, given the proportion of respondents who would be excluded from the revised definition, it is likely that the reduction in the requirement will be more than slight.
Further, there were no unauthorised encampments (suggesting limited need) in the NEDDC area in 2014 (GTAA table 9.2 page 143). The purpose of the new definition is to prevent unauthorised encampment. It could be concluded that the requirement for pitches may be low.
Since the rules changed in 2015, many councils have found that they need fewer pitches. Tewkesbury, for instance, cut its assessment from 147 caravan spaces to only eight. Four London boroughs, which at the last count said they needed around 50 new pitches between them, now say they require none. Friends, Families and Travellers, a charity, compiled a list of such changes in south-east England. Of the 27 authorities with comparable data, 21 plan to provide less space than before.

Issue - Whether or not the proposed sites identified for gypsy and traveller accommodation would be soundly based in terms of their location and site specific impacts
Question 12 Is the site selection process soundly based and has it been informed by the relevant factors including site location, access to services and facilities, site size and other relevant constraint?
Question13 Has the site selection process been informed by Sustainability Appraisal and is it clear how this has informed the Identification of the sites proposed for gypsy and traveller accommodation?

The Sustainability Assessment of Site GT/09 is flawed
1. Site GT/09 is next to or within a level 4 settlement and should have been discounted for detailed site assessment as part of the updated LAA methodology
Woolley Moor has been designated as a level 4 settlement (see North East Derbyshire District Council Development Limits Review published January 2019).
The Gypsy and Travellers Topic Paper NEDDC May 2018 updated the Land Assessment Availability methodology so as to widen the scope of sources of available land to bring in new potential sites for travellers

Paragraph 4.19 states that:

'As a first step, these sites were screened through the use of criteria similar to Step 1& 2 of the site selection process. Sites are discounted if they:
* are located within the Green Belt or a Local Settlement Gap area; or
* are situated within or next to Level 4 settlements7;'
Site GT/09 was identified as a potentially available site very late in the process. It was not screened in accordance with this agreed criteria. The Site Selection Approach 2018 (ED44b) did not seek to amend this criteria but sought to identify publicly owned land for site screening and to focus upon family-sized sites. It is submitted that the council was erroneous in their late inclusion of site GT/09 for the detailed assessment stage and GT/09 should have been discounted as part of the initial screening process based on Step1 and Step 2.
Para 2.8 of ED44b clarifies adjustments made to the criteria in order to avoid excluding potentially suitable sites too early. Document ED44b does not amend the criteria in respect of proximity to Level 4 settlements.
The reason that all identified sites situated within or next to Level 4 settlements were automatically excluded is because level 4 settlements are defined as having very limited sustainability and sites in these areas will be unsuitable in terms of location.
I would ask the Inspector to examine whether the stated policies of the NEDDC have been applied consistently and in accordance with their legal duty to do so and in particular whether the decision to include GT/09 for further detailed assessment is contrary to their own policy - SS1.

1. The detailed sustainability appraisal of site GT/09 is inaccurate.
Notwithstanding the issues outlined above I would ask the Inspector to consider the following significant errors in the screening and sustainability appraisal of GT/09.
In document ED44d appendix 5
POLICY ASSESSMENT 28. The suitability conclusion is flawed as it is based upon errors regarding local services and visibility splays as detailed below.
POLICY ASSESSMENT 1. The identified site size is inaccurate. The site is smaller than 1500 square metres and will not accommodate 3 pitches of 500 sq metres. The area will be further reduced if the principals of DCLG Good Practice Guidance on Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites (May 2008) are followed.
POLICY ASSESSMENT 11. The visibility splays have not been calculated with reference to the mitigation recommendations for the eastern boundary.
POLICY ASSESSMENT 25. There is not a post office less than 500 metres away from the site. The nearest post office is in Ashover 2.2miles away. The shop referred to at Stretton is a garage and to describe this as a shop is misleading.
POLICY ASSESSMENT 18. The impact upon nature conservation has been inadequately assessed. The conclusion that 'ecological impacts are not considered likely to be significant' lacks robust investigation and evidence. (see further comment below under Question 28.)
POLICY ASSESSMENT 22. The conclusion as to scale is disputed. This site is near to the remains of old Woolley which forms a separate hamlet and is of significance to the historic environment. It consists of some 12 houses. 3 pitches would be disproportionate in scale to the adjoining hamlet representing a 25% increase.
In document ED44b
Para 3.17.5 GT/09 is not within the target distance of a NHS hospital that provides A&E and mainstream treatment. Clay Cross hospital is an appointment based clinic for orthopaedic and related services. The nearest hospital is Chesterfield Royal Hospital 8.4 miles away.
Para 3.17.6 This conclusion is not supported by evidence. It disregards the stream in the valley below which could become polluted by surface water or other effluent draining away from the site. This stream feeds into Ogston Reservoir which is an SSI. The paragraph makes no mention of noise pollution that may emanate from the site. This part of Woolley Moor is divided by a valley and the undulating topography means that even low level noise, such as conversation, travels and reverberates from one hill to the other with surprising clarity. Further assessment should be carried out regarding possible noise pollution and possible lack of privacy for site occupants. Caravans do not insulate noise efficiently, business may be carried out from the site and animals will most likely be present.
Para 3.17.8: GT/09 the description of the site is misleading. The existing screening around the site is on the part of the site that slopes downhill from the area of level ground where the proposed pitches will be sited. The wooded area will not shield the site sufficiently from view or prevent it from altering the landscape, which is within an area of primary sensitivity according to the Areas of Multiple Environmental Sensitivity Study. The undulating topography provides opportunities for views across the landscape. Much of the surrounding countryside is at a higher level and will look down on site GT/09 and it will be not be possible to shield it from view.
In document ED44c Landscape Appraisal Technical Note for Site GT/09
The Appraisal The appraisal rightly gives weight to the fact that the sensitivity of the area is recognised in the assessment carried out as part of the Areas of Multiple Sensitivity Assessment (Derbyshire County Council, November 2010) which identifies the site as lying within an area of 'Primary Significance' in relation to ecological features, the historic environment and visual unity.

The appraisal fails to give recognition that this site is an open piece of land essential to maintain the setting and the historic environment and character of the village. The history of this open ground is that old cottages were demolished some 50 years ago. The demolition resulted in 'exceptional change' and created an open space on the edge of the village. The NEDDC review of SDL's 2019 recognises 'exceptional change' and states that 'exclusion of a created open space from further development may be desirable to maintain the new setting and the character of a town or village'. In the case of Woolley Moor there are compelling arguments to retain this piece of open land not only to protect the landscape character type (LCT) but to preserve the historical integrity of the area. The cottages and buildings to the south of this land are the remaining properties of the old village of Woolley. This piece of land provides an open view of what remains of old Woolley and acts as a demarcation between these old and traditionally styled properties and the more diverse character of what became new Woolley Moor.


The Conclusion: 'Proposals such as Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation are unlikely to be able to be brought forward without adverse effects on the landscape character of this LCT and the visual amenity of receptors within the local context.' This conclusion is accepted and it is submitted that the issues identified in this response would strengthen this conclusion.

The Mitigation Recommendations:

The first recommendation is to retain the existing natural planting and to respect its root system.

The second recommendation is stated as follows:

'The eastern boundary to the site is open and lacks a physical boundary. Any future proposal for the site should include boundary treatments that respect the character of the local context and help to filter potential views towards the site from the local context, for example, a native, mixed hedgerow with hedgerow trees.'

This recommendation is flawed for the following reasons:
i. The suggested boundary treatments cannot be achieved as envisaged because of the visibility splays that will be required to access the site by vehicles. The mitigation of the boundary treatments would be defeated by on road parking.
ii. Any planting will have to be set back into the site as any overhang would impede pedestrians. This combined with an area to protect the root system would impinge significantly into the site area which is conceded by the council to be smaller than the 1500 sq metres stated.
iii. The planting suggested would not be effective during the winter months and would take many years to establish
iv. The planting suggested would only shield the site from the view of the highway as the surrounding land to the east is at a higher level and looks down upon the site.
v. As GT/09 is approached by car or foot, the openness of the piece of land affords views to the west, southwest and north. It provides an opportunity for a view of the village and to lose the open character of this land would be detrimental to the visual unity of the landscape area.
vi. There are no steps that could mitigate the loss of this open space created by 'Exceptional change' and which is central to the new setting and character of Woolley Moor


Even if the mitigation recommendations were achievable in full they would not prevent the adverse effects that the proposed site would have on the landscape character of this LCT.

The conclusion of the report ED44c recognises the limitations of the mitigation recommendations and continues to conclude:
' .....Proposals which do not respect or enhance the local context, such as Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation, are likely to have an adverse effect on the character of this sensitive landscape.'


I would ask the Inspector to consider that adequate mitigation cannot be achieved nor would it address the issue raised at point vi) regarding the historical character of the village. The benefit to be gained from the provision of a small number of Gypsy and Traveller pitches (less than 3) would not outweigh the irretrievable detriment to the local landscape.



Question 28
Would the proposed allocation be justified and appropriate in terms of its location including access to services and facilities and the site size?
This question has been addressed in part by my comments in relation to the Sustainability Appraisal.
Location and Access to services and facilities
* Location - Woolley Moor is not on an established travelling route for gypsies and travellers.
* The size and location of the site is inadequate and would not provide space to run a business. There are no identifiable sites in close proximity suitable for a business purpose. See para 2.3 of EB G&T2 and page 5 Planning Policy for Travellers Sites, Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) August 2015.
* Para 3.1 DCLG Good Practice Guidance on Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites (May 2008) refers - there is poor access on foot to the primary school in Woolley Moor. From Temperance hill the road is narrow with no pavement and has a dangerous blind bend. There is no street lighting. In the interests of safety it is likely that primary school children will be transported the short distance by car as are other children from within the village.
* There are no other services available within 2.2 miles of Temperance Hill and these are not accessible by foot due to narrow roads without continuous pavements or street lighting.
* Public transport is very limited. It does not serve the nearest shop identified in ED44b. Accessing employment and amenities/ health care would be very difficult because of the restricted service and inadequate times of the service bus.

Site Size
* The size of the site is too small to accommodate 3 pitches. The available space is less than the stated 1500 square metres which will be reduced further by the mitigation recommendations and required access roads. The GTAA page 175 sets out required 'on pitch' facilities. There is no provision for grazing of animals.
* The site is of insufficient size to provide off road parking for both private and business vehicles and for visitors. On road parking would restrict movement of vehicles on Temperance Hill (a narrow lane) and would reduce the visibility towards the junction of Beresford Lane and to the south of Temperance Hill. There is restricted visibility in both directions because of the natural lay of the road. Parking across the pavement would put pedestrians at risk. On road parking would also counteract the mitigation recommendations.


1. Question 29
Can a satisfactory form of development be achieved having regard to:
* The local environment including the impact on landscape quality
The comments made above in relation to the Sustainability Appraisal are relevant to this question. It is submitted that a satisfactory development cannot be achieved for the following reasons:
Loss of village amenity space and green open space - this parcel of open land has been used for the general benefit of villagers for in excess of 50 years.
The close proximity to an SSI and the close proximity to an area of woodland on the National Forest inventory.
Adverse impact upon the natural habitat. The site supports an abundance of wildlife including badgers.
GT/09 is a parcel of land that has not been farmed. It has remained unimproved for in excess of 50 years. It is mown once per year following the flowering season. It is likely to represent valuable grassland and may contain many species. It is unimproved, species-rich grassland. This is grassland that hasn't been reseeded, fertilised or drained and as such it tends to be full of flowers and wildlife. Loss of unimproved grassland impacts upon the numbers of butterflies and breeding birds, such as curlew and lapwing which continue to decline. The NEDDC have a responsibility to preserve valuable natural resources and I would ask the Inspector to conclude that this site should not be included as available until a full evidence based assessment has been undertaken by environmental conservation specialists.

* Access onto the local highway network
It is argued that there will be an adverse impact on highway safety. It is not accepted visibility splays can be achieved.
The road is relatively narrow with bad junctions at each end of Temperance Hill. The exit from Beresford lane onto Temperance Hill is a junction with very poor visibility. The poor visibility at all these junctions makes it particularly difficult for larger vehicles and for towing vehicles to turn safely for themselves and for safety of the oncoming traffic.

Conclusion

The benefit of providing a maximum of 2 pitches in an area with only very limited sustainability cannot outweigh the harm that would be caused to the landscape character and local environment nor would it be proportionate. This is especially the case when the identified need for pitches is not consistent with current policy.

Support

Examination Consultation Provision for Gypsies and Travellers

Representation ID: 9707

Received: 15/02/2019

Respondent: Derbyshire County Council

Representation:

Summary by Officer

Derbyshire County Council's officers consider that the GTAA is a comprehensive, thorough, robust and up-to-date piece of evidence to inform the pitch and plot requirements that are being identified in emerging district and borough Local Plans across Derbyshire, particularly the pitch and plot requirements over the period 2014 to 2019.
The GTAA has been tested at a number of Local Plan Examinations in Public (EIPs) since it was published and has been deemed by respective Inspectors to provide a sound and robust basis for the assessment of Gypsy and Traveller pitch and Travelling Showpeople's plot provision in emerging Local Plans.
Although Planning Policy for Traveller Sites has been revised by Government (August 2015) since the GTAA was published, primarily relating to Green Belt matters and an amended definition of Gypsies and Travellers, the GTAA is still considered to be compliant with requirements for accommodation assessments in the revised Policy document.

Full text:

NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE LOCAL PLAN EXAMINATION CONSULTATION
PROVISION FOR GYPSIES AND TRAVELLERS
MATTERS, ISSUES AND QUESTIONS
STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF DERBYSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
Main Matter 15: Whether or not the plan would make appropriate provision for
Gypsy and Traveller accommodation over the plan period having regard to the
evidence of need and proposed sites.
Issue: Whether the plan is based on a robust assessment of need for gypsies
and travellers (Questions 1 to 7 and 9)
Derby, Derbyshire, Peak District National Park Authority and East Staffordshire Gypsy
and Traveller Accommodation Assessment
1.1 Under the requirements of the Duty to Cooperate set out in the Localism Act
and in accordance with the provisions of the (former) National Planning Policy
Framework (NPPF) (2012) and Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS)
(2012), the Derby, Derbyshire, Peak District National Park Authority and East
Staffordshire Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) was
jointly commissioned in August 2013 by the following partners to update the
previous GTAAs published in 2008 for Derbyshire and 2013 for East
Staffordshire:
* Amber Valley Borough Council
* Bolsover District Council
* Chesterfield Borough Council
* Derby City Council
* Derbyshire County Council
* Derbyshire Dales District Council
* Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group
* East Staffordshire Borough Council
* Erewash Borough Council
* High Peak Borough Council
* North East Derbyshire District Council
* Peak District National Park Authority
* South Derbyshire District Council.
1.2 Derbyshire County Council was the lead authority for overseeing the
commissioning and project management of the GTAA. RRR Consultancy
Limited was commissioned to undertake the assessment in August 2013,
following which extensive consultation and liaison took place between RRR and
the partners (including North East Derbyshire District Council) over the course
of the commission. North East Derbyshire District Council's officers were also
represented on a Steering Group, which was set up to oversee the preparation
of the GTAA. RRR completed the final version of the GTAA on 26 June 2015.
1.3 The methodology applied in the GTAA is based on the approach recommended
in PPTS and other Practice Guidance issued by the (then) Department for
Communities and Local Government (CLG). It contains seven basic
components: five assessing need and two assessing supply, which are applied
to each sub-group of Gypsies and Travellers based on primary data and using
a fifteen stage assessment process. The GTAA draws on primary and
secondary data sources including:
* Primary data: face-to-face surveys with Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling
Show people;
* Secondary information: including a literature review and secondary data
analysis, for example, analysis of the Department for Communities and Local
Government's Bi-Annual Traveller Caravan Count; and
* Stakeholder consultation with local organisations involved with Gypsies,
Travellers and Travelling Show people.
1.4 The GTAA has a base date of 2014 and provides a snapshot in time based
largely on survey evidence collected between October 2013 and February
2014. The GTAA sets out recommendations for the accommodation needs
across the study area as a whole and for each local authority area for the period
2014 to 2034, showing need for the number of:
* Permanent Gypsy and Traveller pitches;
* Travelling Show people plots;
* Transit sites / emergency stopping places (study area as a whole only);
* Bricks and mortar accommodation units.
1.5 The 15 stage assessment process takes account of overcrowding on existing
sites (stage 12), newly forming households (stage 14) and future household
formation from families moving out of bricks and mortar accommodation (stage
15).
1.6 The GTAA does not identify specific sites to accommodate future pitch and plot
requirements in the study area. The Assessment makes it clear that this will be
the responsibility of the individual city, district and borough local planning
authorities (LPAs) through the preparation and review of their local plans.
1.7 The final GTAA report was agreed by all Derbyshire partners, including North
East Derbyshire District Council, for publication on Derbyshire County Council's
website in August 2015. Since its publication, the GTAA has been used by all
the partner authorities in Derbyshire, including North East Derbyshire District
Council, to inform policies for the pitch and plot requirements set out in their
emerging Local Plans.
1.8 For North East Derbyshire District, based on the 15 stage assessment
methodology, the GTAA recommends that there is an overall requirement for a
total of 15 additional Gypsy and Traveller pitches over the period 2014 to 2034,
together with 7 additional bricks and mortar units. The Assessment does not
identify the need for any additional Travelling Showpeople's plots in North East
Derbyshire District. The assessment indicates a need for 6 Traveller pitches to
be provided in the period 2014 - 2019 and 9 additional pitches to be provided
thereafter over the period 2019 - 2034.
1.9 Section 10.61 and 10.62 of the GTAA also sets out recommendations for the
site size of new pitches noting that as a general guide, an average family pitch
must be capable of accommodating at least an amenity building, a large trailer
and touring caravan, drying space for clothes, a lockable shed, parking space
for two vehicles and a small garden area.
1.10 Section 10.62 indicates that a pitch of approximately 325 square metres would
take into account all minimum separation distance requirements between
caravans and pitch boundaries as stipulated in guidance and regulations for
caravan development. A pitch size of at least 500 square metres would
accommodate the following on-pitch facilities:
* Hard standing for 1 touring / mobile caravan and 1 static caravan;
* 2 car parking spaces;
* 1 amenity block;
* Hard standing for storage shed and drying space;
* Garden / amenity area.
1.11 Derbyshire County Council's officers consider that the GTAA is a
comprehensive, thorough, robust and up-to-date piece of evidence to inform
the pitch and plot requirements that are being identified in emerging district and
borough Local Plans across Derbyshire, particularly the pitch and plot
requirements over the period 2014 to 2019. The GTAA has been tested at a
number of Local Plan Examinations in Public (EIPs) since it was published and
has been deemed by respective Inspectors to provide a sound and robust basis
for the assessment of Gypsy and Traveller pitch and Travelling Showpeople's
plot provision in emerging Local Plans. Although Planning Policy for Traveller
Sites has been revised by Government (August 2015) since the GTAA was
published, primarily relating to Green Belt matters and an amended definition
of Gypsies and Travellers, the GTAA is still considered to be compliant with
requirements for accommodation assessments in the revised Policy document.
1.12 The Derbyshire Traveller Issues Working Group (TIWG) comprises officers
from all the local authorities in Derbyshire, including officers from the
emergency services and health organisations, who have responsibility for
Gypsy and Traveller matters. The TIWG has been monitoring the
recommendations, implications and requirements of the GTAA, since it was
published in August 2015. At the time of writing, there are no firm proposals at
the current time by the TIWG to commission a refresh or update of the GTAA.
However, in the context that it is likely that there may be a need to commission
such an update in 2019, once the first five year pitch requirement period in the
GTAA has expired, the TIWG discussed the issue of a need to update the GTAA
at its meeting on 5 February 2019. Prior to the meeting, RRR Consultancy had
been contacted by Derbyshire County Council's Officers for a quote for
undertaking a full review of the GTAA. Agreement was reached at the TIWG
meeting by partners that this issue should be discussed more widely with all the
respective local planning authorities in the coming weeks, particularly at a
forthcoming Derbyshire Planning Policy Officer Group meeting on 7 March
2019, including the investigation of potential funding sources.
Investigation of Derbyshire County Council owned sites as possible sites for Gypsies
and Travellers (Question 1)
1.13 In the context of the Duty to Cooperate, Derbyshire County Council's officers
have engaged in joint working with officers from North East Derbyshire District
Council over the last 16 months or so to seek to identify land in the County
Council's ownership that might be suitable for use as Gypsy and Traveller sites.
A number of potential sites were initially identified by Derbyshire County
Council's officers, which were subsequently assessed in further detail for their
suitability based on a range of criteria, particularly their location, highways and
environmental impacts, planning policy constraints and continuing operational
requirements by the County Council. As a result of this detailed analysis,
Derbyshire County Council's officers concluded that none of the potential sites
were suitable for release for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation. North East
Derbyshire District Council was subsequently informed of the County Council's
position.
Issue: Whether or not the proposed sites identified for Gypsy and Traveller
accommodation would be soundly based in terms of their location and site
specific impacts.
1.14 As part of the County Council's consideration of the acceptability of the four
sites, which North East Derbyshire District Council are proposing for allocation,
consultation has been undertaken with County Councillor Kevin Gillott, Clay
Cross South Electoral Division; County Councillor Nigel Barker, Sutton
Electoral Division; and County Councillor Brian Wright, Clay Cross North
Electoral Division for their comments on the respective sites which fall within
their electoral divisions. Their comments are set out below, where relevant,
relating to the respective sites.
1.15 In addition, consultation has also been carried out with a range of Derbyshire
County Council's officers for comments on the acceptability of the proposed site
allocations in respect of their highways, landscape and flood risk implications.
These officer comments are set out below where appropriate.
Site CAL/2301T - The Old Potato Store, Dark Lane, Calow (2 pitches)
Q 15: Can a satisfactory form of development be achieved on the site?
Landscape Comments
1.16 The site is relatively small and unlikely to have any significant landscape or
visual effects.
Flood Risk Comments
1.17 There are no flood risk issues associated with the proposed use of the site.
Highways Comments
1.18 Due to its small scale, no highways comments are made on this site.
Site NW/2310T/ Dark Lane, North Wingfield
Q 19: Can a satisfactory form of development be achieved on the site?
Councillor Comments
1.19 Councillor Nigel Barker has commented that he will be objecting to the proposed
site on Dark Lane at North Wingfield but this will be on issues beyond highways
matters and therefore he will submit his comments to the Inspector at a later date.
Landscape Comments
1.20 The site is relatively small and unlikely to have any significant landscape or
visual effects.
Flood Risk Comments
1.21 There are no flood risk issues associated with the proposed use of the site.
Highways Comments
1.22 Due to its small scale, no highways comments are made on this site.
Site GT/06 - Greenway, Wingerworth
Q 15: Can a satisfactory form of development be achieved on the site?
Highways Comments
1.23 An initial site inspection revealed that a satisfactory access was not achievable
from Greenway, due to insufficient width, at the site boundary with the publicly
maintainable highway. The site boundary with Derby Road appeared of
sufficient width to cater for a vehicular access and there was therefore,
potential, for some form of direct access onto Derby Road.
1.24 However, the site was situated on a long downhill gradient, on the outside of a
sweeping bend and given that Derby Road at this point was subject to a 50mph
speed limit, the County Council advised the District Council that there were
concerns relating to the potential impact on the existing highway and that the
required level of exit visibility may not be achievable (the required level of
visibility is based upon the speed limit of the road in question or alternatively,
the 85th percentile of measured speeds).
1.25 Subsequently, a speed survey was commissioned by the District Council which
determined the required level of visibility necessary (2.4m x 116m & 2.4m x
103m); the site was then measured by the County Council which established
that a satisfactory level of visibility was achievable for the measured speeds on
this section of road. The District Council was advised that the required level of
visibility was achievable.
1.26 The County Council also considered the proposed access to a consented
residential development site, which was almost directly opposite the potential
traveller site. The plans for the residential development incorporated a right
turn harbourage with associated approach markings and hatching.
1.27 When taking the planned changes to the road layout into account, the provision
of a traveller site access would have resulted in traveller vehicles
entering/exiting the site encroaching upon the road markings/hatching and
potentially affecting vehicles turning right into the residential development.
1.28 The potential for shortening the proposed right turn harbourage running lane
was investigated, however it was found that this would impact upon the
deceleration requirements for this road layout, and may have resulted in an
increased risk of collision for other road users.
1.29 The potential for providing a 'left in - left out' arrangement was also investigated,
however a number of issues with the site including limited site frontage, the
presence of undertakers equipment and the positioning of motorists at the
access meant that it was unlikely that a suitable access could be designed to
ensure enforceability and which would not adversely affect the free and safe
flow of traffic on Derby Road.
1.30 In view of the above matters it was established that the provision of a safe
access at this site was not possible, and the District Council was advised
accordingly.
Landscape Comments
1.31 The site is relatively small and unlikely to have any significant landscape or
visual effects.
Flood Risk Comments
1.32 There are no flood risk issues associated with the proposed use of the site.
Site GT/09/Temporance Hill, Woolley Moor
Q 15: Can a satisfactory form of development be achieved on the site?
Member Comments
1.33 Councillor Kevin Gillott objects to the proposed Gypsy and Travellers site and
will be submitting his objection direct to the Inspector.
Highways Comments
1.34 The County Council was consulted on this site at the same time as the
Wingerworth site. An initial site inspection revealed that the site was
approached in both directions via narrow and relatively steep lanes. A tractor
and trailer was observed travelling past the site and it was therefore considered
that the site would be accessible to towing caravans, however it could not be
determined that adequate visibility was achievable in either direction.
1.35 As with the Wingerworth site, a speed survey was commissioned by the District
Council and the site measured to determine whether a satisfactory level of
visibility was achievable. Given the approaches to the site, the measured
speeds were predictably low, and as a result the required visibility splays were
shortened to comply with the national criteria (2.4m x 47m & 2.4m x 38m).
Consequently, it was established that the site could meet the visibility criteria in
both directions, and could be reasonably expected to be accessible to, and
cater for, a limited number of traveller vehicles.
Landscape Appraisal
1.36 This is the most sensitive site of the four sites under consideration, as reflected
in the landscape and visual impact assessment that has been prepared for this
site. The LVIA acknowledges that this site is located in an area of 'Primary
Sensitivity' as defined in the County Council's Areas of Multiple Environmental
Sensitivity (AMES) study. However, the site almost presents itself as informal
open space with an open frontage to Temperance Hill. Provided the
recommended mitigation proposals were undertaken and there are not
secondary impacts associated with highway improvement requirements, then it
may be possible for this site to be developed as a Gypsy and Traveller location,
without having adverse impacts on the surrounding landscape. Officers would
strongly urge North East Derbyshire District Council to secure these
requirements prior to allocation.
Flood Risk Comments
1.37 There are no flood risk issues associated with the proposed use of the site.
Issue: Whether or not the approach to assessing other proposals for Gypsy and
Traveller and Travelling Showpeople's accommodation would be soundly based
and five year supply (Question 32)
1.38 Derbyshire County Council submitted comments on the North East Derbyshire
Local Plan Publication Draft on 4 April 2018. With regard to the policy approach
for Gypsies and Travellers in the Plan, Derbyshire County Council made the
following comments:
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 Derbyshire
County Council 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.
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. 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).