MM/009

Showing comments and forms 1 to 17 of 17

Object

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10027

Received: 09/11/2020

Respondent: Mr & Mrs Ron and Margaret Webster

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? Not specified

Representation:

Council Officer has identified Modification reference.

Whilst we understand that houses are needed surely we should exhaust all avenues in using brown field sites for new homes before moving on to green belt sites.

In our opinion the plan is unacceptable due to fact that the local infrastructure is struggling to support the town as it is.

Full text:

Whilst we understand that houses are needed surely we should exhaust all avenues in using brown field sites for new homes before moving on to green belt sites.

In our opinion the plan is unacceptable due to fact that the local infrastructure is struggling to support the town as it is.

Attachments:

Object

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10079

Received: 04/12/2020

Respondent: Wilson Bowden Developments

Agent: Savills (Birmingham Office)

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Representation:

Objection
MM/009 makes amendments to Policy SS2 and states that the Local Plan employment land provision will be increased from 41ha to 43ha for the period 2014-2034.

This new target is reliant on the findings of the Employment Land Update 2017 and does not take account of the significantly increased demand for employment floorspace caused by Covid-19. As a result, we consider that this Main Modification conflicts with paragraph 31 of the NPPF as it is not “underpinned by relevant and up-to-date evidence” and does not “take into account relevant market signals”.

Attached to this representation is a copy of the Savills Big Shed Report (July 2020) which outlines the effects of Covid-19 on the East Midlands and the prevailing market conditions.

Proposed Change
We consider that the Council’s evidence base is not robust and that the employment provision should be reassessed to account for the effects of Covid-19.

Full text:

Land South of Markham Vale

Objection to MM/009
MM/009 makes amendments to Policy SS2 and states that the Local Plan employment land provision will be
increased from 41ha to 43ha (as recommended by the Employment Land Update 2017) for the period 2014-
2034.

Whilst this increase in employment land provision is encouraging, we object to this Main Modification as the
new target of 43ha (net) does not take account of the effects caused by Covid-19 which have led to a significantly greater demand for employment floorspace. This results in a fundamental conflict with national policy as, due to being informed an Employment Land Update published in 2017, the Main Modification is not “underpinned by relevant and up-to-date evidence” and does not “take into account relevant market signals” as required by Paragraph 31 of the NPPF.

These effects are best explained by the Savills Big Shed Report July 2020 (attached) which has assessed
industrial take-up and supply in the East Midlands and reports that, due to Covid-19, a record 4.75m sqft of
space was transacted over the first half of the year. This is up 115% from the long term H1 average with demand
coming from a diverse range of occupiers including Aldi – who committed to a 1.3 million sqft development and
Amazon who signed for a 20 year lease at Nottingham 550. At the time of this report’s publication, there were
just three “big shed” units under construction in the East Midlands which total 1.17m sqft. The report concludes
that this strong take-up for the region leaves a supply of only 1.08 years remaining.

We consider that this lack of supply represents a clear need for more strategic employment land within the
District and that the current employment land provision target of 43ha should be increased to reflect this.

By limiting growth to 43ha, clear in the knowledge that there is an increasing demand for storage and distribution
uses within the local authority, the Council is artificially frustrating the ability to deliver more employment
development within North East Derbyshire. Additionally, if this 43ha figure is seen (incorrectly) as a maximum
by the Council and is only revised when a review of the plan is required, it may result in current opportunities in
North East Derbyshire having to relocate to areas along the M1 in Derbyshire and Nottingham. Therefore the
Council should capitalise on this unique opportunity by allowing for additional employment land to come forward.

Economically, we are heading for desperate times and this calls for different measures. Relying on 2ha to
support additional employment following a global pandemic is not considered to be a sufficiently robust response and will inevitably lead to a shortage in sustainable employment sites.

Furthermore, we consider that that this Main Modification also fails in being “Positively Prepared” and “Justified”
(paragraph 35 of the NPPF) and that the plan should be considered “unsound” as a result.

Please also refer to related objections, lodged on behalf of Wilson Bowden Developments Ltd, to MM/014,
MM/082 and MM/083.

Proposed Change
Given the scale and significance of the impacts of Covid-19 on the employment land sector, we consider that
the Council’s evidence base is not robust and that the employment land target for the Plan should be
reassessed.

Support

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10343

Received: 13/01/2021

Respondent: Historic England

Representation:

Historic England welcomes the clarification to Policy SS2: Spatial Strategy and Distribution of Development, particularly the clarification of the approach to development in the countryside, as set out in MM/009.

Full text:

Historic England welcomes the clarification to Policy SS2: Spatial Strategy and Distribution of Development, particularly the clarification of the approach to development in the countryside, as set out in MM/009.

Support

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10363

Received: 13/01/2021

Respondent: Dronfield Civic Society

Representation:

The Society welcomes the less prescriptive approach to the spatial strategy, with the removal of the need for "the majority (over 50%) of new housing development" to be focussed on the four level 1 towns and the three strategic sites. This gives flexibility to remove the remaining Green Belt sites from the Plan.

Full text:

The Society welcomes the less prescriptive approach to the spatial strategy, with the removal of the need for "the majority (over 50%) of new housing development" to be focussed on the four level 1 towns and the three strategic sites. This gives flexibility to remove the remaining Green Belt sites from the Plan.

Support

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10422

Received: 19/01/2021

Respondent: Mr David Meechan

Representation:

Support less prescriptive approach.

Full text:

Support less prescriptive approach.

Object

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10496

Received: 21/01/2021

Respondent: Hallam Land Management

Agent: Pegasus Group (East Midlands Office)

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Representation:

4.1 The Plan is no longer positively prepared in extending to only 13 years and with the Council unable to demonstrate a five year supply of housing as early as April 2025.

4.2 MM/009 fundamentally changes the spatial strategy of the Plan with negative sustainable development implications that have failed to be acknowledged. The Inspector’s selective removal of housing allocations from Level 1 settlements, together with the passage of yet more time and the granting of planning permissions by the Council in that period for more dwellings in less sustainable locations, has resulted in a less sustainable spatial strategy that has not been justified having regard to the SA.

4.3 The Plan with MMs fails the tests of soundness and should not be adopted.

Full text:

1.0 Introduction and Background

1.1 This submission is made on behalf of Hallam Land Management Ltd who has land interests in North East Derbyshire and who would be prejudiced by the adoption of the Plan as presently proposed to be modified.

1.2 The Main Modifications (MMs) Consultation seeks to address those modifications identified by the Inspector following the Hearing Sessions as being required in order for the Plan to be found sound. There has been extensive correspondence between the Inspector and the Council over the course of the examination process to ascertain clarity on the Inspector’s initial findings, such that there is no comprehensive letter or report identifying all of the main modifications required by the Inspector.

1.3 The submission focuses on the MMs to Policy SS2 (MM/009) and the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal of the MMs (October 2020), particularly in in relation to changes to the overall spatial strategy.

1.4 As recognised by the Council in its correspondence with the Inspector1, there are concerns with the MMs recommended by the Inspector with regard to Green Belt and housing land supply over the plan period. We share those concerns and are firmly of the view that the Plan would fail a number of soundness tests should it proceed to adoption with the presently proposed modifications. The following sets out our reasons for reaching that conclusion under the following headings:

• A Plan now for only 13 years – not positively prepared

• A new spatial strategy, unsupported by the evidence
1 ED76

2.0 A Plan now for only 13 years – not positively prepared

2.1 With the passage of time since the hearing sessions back in 2018, the date of adoption of the Plan is still uncertain. The Local Development Scheme (LDS) Update of September 2018 set out an expected adoption date of February 2019; the LDS will clearly need to be updated, but adoption is now likely to be sometime in 2021 at the earliest. The Plan seeks to plan until 2034, such that the Plan would no longer “be drawn up over an appropriate time scale, preferably a 15-year time horizon, take account of longer term requirements, and be kept up to date.”2

2.2 The Plan would thus no longer be positively prepared and would fail this test of soundness. This failing is compounded by the need for early review as set out below.
2 NPPF 2012 para157

3.0 A new spatial strategy, unsupported by the evidence

3.1 MMs MM/009 and MM/010 (Housing Distribution Table 4.3) would fundamentally change the spatial strategy of the Plan. As submitted, the Plan was underpinned by a spatial strategy that directed more than half of new housing development to the four Level 1 settlements (the towns) and the two strategic sites. The Local Plan is underpinned by a Sustainability Appraisal (SA), an interrogation of which highlights how the submitted spatial strategy was formulated and how the subsequent updated SA fails to justify the MMs.

3.2 In assessing a range of reasonable alternatives, the purpose of the Sustainability Appraisal3 (SA) is to inform and test the plan's content. Evidentially, it should form the bedrock of the Council's proposed strategic approach. The SA's identification, description and evaluation of the likely significant effects of the Local Plan and its explanation as to how options were identified, rejected and selected is fundamental.

3.3 The Reg 19 SA's conclusion that there are a limited number of residual4 adverse impacts anticipated5 is predicated on policies within the Local Plan being designed to help mitigate certain adverse impacts of development on sustainability.

3.4 The Reg 19 Local Plan SA (February 2018) explains in some detail the process the Council went through in formulating its preferred spatial strategy, having considered various options going back to 2009. The Council thus considered a number of reasonable alternatives as part of the SA process, Table 2.5 of the 2018 SA summarises the distribution of five options and identifies that Spatial Option 1 (SO1) would score more positively than the other options, as set out in Table 2.6. In concluding SO1 to be the preferred option, the SA identifies at paragraph 2.4.15 that “Overall, spatial options 2 and 4 would result in very little development in Level 1 settlements over a 20 year period and would therefore be considered to be directing new development in the district away from the most sustainable locations. Spatial options 2 and 4 would therefore be more likely to have adverse sustainability impacts, or less likely to have positive impacts, on various SA objectives, including climate change mitigation, natural resources and rural barriers”.
3See Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. It is understood the SA which incorporates the requirements of SEA, the latter required by the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004.
4cumulative
5See eg p12 of the SA Reg 19 Report Sub D3a

3.5 The submitted local plan strategy was thus based upon the SA's conclusion that the four main towns (Level 1 settlements) of Eckington, Dronfield, Killamarsh and Clay Cross are considered to be the most sustainable locations for new development in the District. The Council’s justification to adopt a strategy in line with SO1 is set out at paragraph 2.7.3 of the Reg 19 SA: “The Council’s preferred distribution strategy is to focus the majority (over 50%) of new housing development on the four towns of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh and on the Avenue and Former Biwaters Strategic Sites. The towns are considered to be the most sustainable locations for new development in terms of the range of services and facilities they provide and support and because they generate the greatest needs for new housing, jobs, services and facilities. It is logical and reasonable therefore that the Council should look to these towns to maintain their important and prominence and to seek to provide for a significant proportion of the District’s housing growth requirements, to accommodate any required retail growth within their town centres and provide a focus for new employment growth”.

3.6 Despite the content and conclusions in the SA, the Inspector has proposed6 that the spatial strategy set out in draft policy SS2 be modified, to be less prescriptive. The recommeded approach would delete reference to 50% of new housing development being focussed in the four Level 1 towns and strategic sites. Whilst identifying them as "priority locations", the modification would delete the reference to a numerical minimum and include Level 2 settlements on an equal footing. This would detract from applying a level of precision to the application of the policy, leading to greater scope for interpretation. The policy as originally worded placed Level 2 settlements in a secondary category. It would clearly be a substantive change. Indeed, that is the only logical conclusion from the fact that without the modification the Inspector considers the draft plan unsound.
6See eg paragraph 5 of ED65

3.7 Consequently, the modified policy is required to be assessed through a reconsideration of the SA. This includes the other MMs. It is clear that the proposed deletion of sites which were to be released from the Green Belt in the Level 1 settlements would give rise to development pressures and resultant impacts elsewhere in the district, which must be assessed.

3.8 The SA has now been updated to appraise the proposed modified strategy (and MMs generally). The October 2020 version of the SA purports7 to use the same methodology and framework for the appraisal process as that used at all earlier stages in the process. A table is provided above paragraph 4.2.3 of the document, summarising the conclusions of the assessment of the Reg 19 and the MM version of the policy, against SA objectives. The scores for both are (surprisingly and illogically) identical. This begs the question whether MMs are necessary to render the Plan sound. Indeed, the text that follows8 does not appear to reflect the proposition that the modified policy would result in a change to where development is likely to occur (i.e. less to Level 1; greater focus on Level 2 and the countryside). The approach of the modified policy is simply summarised as focussing new development to the Level 1 and 2 settlements and the strategic sites. Overall, the updated SA concludes9 in relation to policy SS2 "the identified SA impacts of these policies would not change as a result of these modifications".

3.9 In the context of the substantive changes to draft policy SS2, we find the SA's analysis and conclusions difficult to comprehend.
7Paragraph N3 and 1.2.2
8Eg para 4.2.5 states " Development is focussed towards the four towns of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh, the strategic sites and the Level 2 settlements. The majority of new residents and employees at these locations would be expected to have good road and pedestrian access as well as good access to sustainable transport modes (SA Objective 3)". Paragraph 4.2.8 states "By focussing new development in the Level 1 and 2 settlements and the strategic sites, most residents will not face barriers traditionally faced by rural residents. Enough development has been directed towards other settlements to ensure their continued vitality and validity (SA Objective 6)".
9Paragraph 5.1.3

3.10 Below is a summary of the spatial distribution of dwellings of SO1 and SO2 in the 2018 SA compared to the Reg 19 Local Plan distribution and the one that would now be delivered with the MMs, taking account of the changes resulting from MM/010:
Level 1 Strategic Level 2 Level 3
Sites &below
Spatial Option 1 2,023 1,541 2,497 539
Spatial Option 2 1,048 1,541 3,475 539
Reg 19 Local Plan 2,034 1,541 2,517 539
Main Mods 1,540 1,556 2,712 903

3.11 It is thus evident that the Reg 19 Local Plan closely followed the SO1 distribution as being the most sustainable option as identified in the SA. The spatial distribution that now flows from the MMs is materially different from the Reg 19/SO1 strategy, with a 24% reduction in dwellings being provided in Level 1 settlements and 559 more dwellings in Levels 2 settlements and below. It is equally evident that this distribution is materially less sustainable than the Reg 19 distribution, as evidenced in findings of the 2018 Reg 19 SA and as summarised above.

3.12 Accordingly, MM/009 and MM/010 change the spatial strategy of the Plan with negative sustainable development implications that have failed to be acknowledged in the SA. The Inspector’s selective removal of Reg 19 housing allocations from Level 1 settlements, together with the passage of yet more time and the granting of further planning permissions by the Council in that period for more dwellings in less sustainable locations, has resulted in a far less sustainable spatial strategy that has not been justified.

3.13 There is a further implication arising from MM/009 that impacts on the soundness of the Plan; even by the Council’s own calculations, the plan will not be able to deliver a rolling 5 year supply of housing from year 610. Given this is only actually four years away now, it is highly unlikely that a local plan review will have been completed by then, such that the application of the NPPF presumption in favour of sustainable development can be expected from 2025. MM/009, in putting development at Level 2 settlements in the same hierarchy of Level 1 settlements, will only serve to increase a spatial distribution of housing development away from the Level 1 towns, three of which are constrained by tightly drawn Green Belt boundaries, in less sustainable locations. MM/009 will thus result in less sustainable patterns of development from 2025, unless the Local Plan review has been completed by then.
10Rolling Five Year Supply Table, April 2020

4.0 Summary and Conclusions

4.1 The Plan is no longer positively prepared in extending to only 13 years and with the Council unable to demonstrate a five year supply of housing as early as April 2025.

4.2 MM/009 fundamentally changes the spatial strategy of the Plan with negative sustainable development implications that have failed to be acknowledged. The Inspector’s selective removal of housing allocations from Level 1 settlements, together with the passage of yet more time and the granting of planning permissions by the Council in that period for more dwellings in less sustainable locations, has resulted in a less sustainable spatial strategy that has not been justified having regard to the SA.

4.3 The Plan with MMs fails the tests of soundness and should not be adopted.

Attachments:

Support

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10528

Received: 24/01/2021

Respondent: John Hinchcliffe

Representation:

I support this Modification, which removes the requirement that over 50% of housing growth should be placed in the four main towns and strategic sites.
This Modification, therefore, gives the necessary flexibility to remove the Green Belt sites from the Plan.

Full text:

I support this Modification, which removes the requirement that over 50% of housing growth should be placed in the four main towns and strategic sites.
This Modification, therefore, gives the necessary flexibility to remove the Green Belt sites from the Plan.

Support

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10616

Received: 27/01/2021

Respondent: Dronfield Town Council

Representation:

The increased emphasis on supporting and facilitating regeneration of level 1 towns is welcomed, however, this is not borne out by the continuing emphasis on release on Green Belt land for housing when there are opportunities for brownfield redevelopment within the town centre of Dronfield as referred to by the Town Council in their response to the Main Matters at the Hearing Sessions. The Governments White Paper Planning for the Future reiterates the long standing requirement that the development potential of brownfield land is maximized.

The list of potential brownfield sites in Dronfield was submitted by the Town Council at that time and was also referred to in the Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan.

The list of brownfield sites within the attachment represent immediate opportunities for development within the District Local Plan timescale.

In total these sites would yield 201-239 dwellings. The Inspector is strongly urged to reconsider the approach to housing allocations in the Dronfield area given these opportunities which would support redevelopment/regeneration in the town.

Full text:

In response to the consultation on the Schedule of Main Modifications, associated changes to the
Policies Map and other supporting documents, Dronfield Town Council would like to submit the
attached table of comments on a selection of the proposed Main Modifications and associated
documents as their feedback to the consultation, along with the accompanying flood report.
The Town Council would like to highlight that while they support a number of the proposed main
modifications, particularly the decision to remove the Green Belt allocation DR2 at Coal Aston from
the plan, thus retaining the site a Greenbelt, the council have strong objections to a number of the
modifications.

The housing supply cut off date should be extended
The figures shown as proposed modifications do not reflect the additional permissions that have been
granted – the cut-off is 9 months out of date. Figures in table 4.1 should be updated to reflect planning
permissions and appeal decisions up until 31st December 2020 to provide a more accurate picture.

Greenbelt sites should remain in the greenbelt
The retention of the Green Belt sites DR1 and DR2 (previously DR3) in the Local Plan remains totally
unacceptable as the District Council and the Inspector have still not demonstrated the exceptional
circumstances necessary for release of Green Belt land in this location. These sites are valued as
Greenbelt by residents and still fulfil the Greenbelt criteria and therefore should remain as Greenbelt.
There are numerous issues with developing the sites including the topography, access and traffic
impact, and viability, further details of which are provided within the council’s official response.
The Iceni report has demonstrated that there could be a reduction of eight dwellings per year, which
over a 20 year period would reduce the housing target by 160 houses, thereby negating the need for
DR1 to be included within the plan at all. In addition, the cut off date for additional planning permission
granted across the District to be considered should be updated to the 31st December 2020. This
would contribute to an additional 358 dwelling in the Plan and further reduce the need for use of
Greenbelt Land. The Town Council, therefore strongly request that DR1 should be removed from the
emerging Local Plan.
Furthermore, we attached a list of alternative sites that were put forward by Dronfield residents during
the drafting of Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan, which shows that there are sufficient alternative sites
available, which would preclude the need to use any of Dronfield Greenbelt for development.
In conclusion we would like the District Council to acknowledge receipt of the Town Council’s
feedback on the consultation, which can be found in the attached table and accompanying report.
Included within the table below are also the Town Councils comments and response to Document D:
Report on the Implications of the ONS 2018-based Household Projections on the objectively-assessed
housing need in North East Derbyshire prepared by Iceni on behalf of the Council and their response to Document F: Five Year Housing Land Supply Statement at adoption (updated data to 31 March 2020).

MM/002 Support, Y The clarification that supporting housing-led neighbourhood regeneration opportunities is welcomed in the Vision

MM/003 Support, Y The clarification that supporting housing-led neighbourhood regeneration opportunities is welcomed for this objective

MM/004 Object, N The figures shown as proposed modifications do not reflect additional permissions that have been granted giving an up to date position. The cut off date of 31/3/2020 is now 9 months out of date. The Town Council request that this is brought up to date until 31st December 2020.
In February 2019 (ED65) the Inspector removed Green Belt sites at Coal Aston, Eckington and reduced the size and capacity of DR1, Dronfield. Noting that this will mean a shortfall on reaching the 6600 housing target, she does not suggest that this in itself would make the plan unsound.
In July 2019 (ED85) – the Council wrote back to the Inspector clarifying that the above, at the time, would mean a shortfall from the 6600 target of 257. However, since February 2020, the Council has updated commitments and completions and their April monitoring figures suggested that the shortfall figure stood at just 80, due to higher than anticipated completions and permissions. Application reference 16/01260/OL (Land North Of Pilsley Road And West Of Coney Green Road (Plot L), Clay Cross) represents a significant development of 84 dwellings which has come about outside of the District Local Plan process and was not therefore “planned”. This eliminates the shortfall detailed
above entirely and leaves a small surplus of 4 dwellings.
Since 31st March 2020 there have been two further large developments approved on appeal which again fall outside of the District Local Plan process. These are:
• Appeal Reference: APP/R1038/W/20/3251224 – Land South East of Williamthorpe Road and West of Tibshelf
Road, Holmewood – 250 dwellings
• Appeal Reference: APP/R1038/W/20/3244154 – Land North of 92 Chesterfield Road, Higham – 24 dwellings
Taken together. the above amounts to a surplus of 278 dwellings on the full District Plan period housing target of
6600, providing the Inspector with ample justification to remove further Green Belt allocations from the emerging
District Local Plan.
In addition to the above, in MM/015, the Inspector also suggests that a further 660 houses at the former Coalite site could come forward during the District Plan period, none of which have been included towards meeting the housing requirement in the District Plan previously due to HS2 blight on the site. The Town Council request that these figures are included.
It is strongly urged that the Inspector removes sites DR1 and DR2 from the District Local Plan allocations given the above justification.

MM/005 Object, N This Table should be updated to reflect planning permissions and appeal decisions up until 31st December 2020 including the sites such as Clay Cross (84 dwellings), Holmewood (250 dwellings) and Higham (24 dwellings).

MM/008 Support, Y The less prescriptive approach is welcomed.

MM/009 Support, Y
The increased emphasis on supporting and facilitating regeneration of level 1 towns is welcomed, however, this is not borne out by the continuing emphasis on release on Green Belt land for housing when there are opportunities for brownfield redevelopment within the town centre of Dronfield as referred to by the Town Council in their response to the Main Matters at the Hearing Sessions. The Governments White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ reiterates the long standing requirement that the development potential of brownfield land is maximized.
The list of potential brownfield sites in Dronfield was submitted by the Town Council at that time and was also
referred to in the Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan (Page 20, third aim to prioritise the use of brownfield sites for
housing and other forms of development and Policy HOU1 which supports windfall housing withing the existing urban area).
The following brownfield sites represent immediate opportunities for development within the District Local Plan timescale.
• Gladys Buxton, Dronfield North. 35 houses. Planning application being progressed.
• The Talbot pub site, Gosforth Valley. 8 houses. Construction started.
• Alma land, Dronfield North. 20 houses. Discussion have been held in the past with NEDDC but not completed.
• Padley &Venables land. 50-55 houses. Application put forward in the past. Not been used in more than 10
years.
• Manor Farm car park. 6 houses. NEDDC have put advanced plans forward.
Alternative sites put forward by residents for development through the NP is
• Thorpe Avenue. Approximately 10-15 units. The owner is willing to build and has been in touch with NEDDC.
(scrub land located very close to the built form of the town)
• Wreakes Lane/Sheffield Road site approximately 70 -80 units, the developer is currently at an advanced stage
of bringing an application forward with NEDDC.
Since the NP was published, the following site has emerged for potential development
• Miners Arms, Carr Lane, 8-12 units
In total these sites would yield 201-239 dwellings. The Inspector is strongly urged to reconsider the approach to
housing allocations in the Dronfield area given these opportunities which would support redevelopment/regeneration in the town.

MM/010 Object. N Should the recommendations by Dronfield Town Council be accepted and DR1 and DR2 (previously DR3) removed from the District Local Plan, the table should be updated to reflect this position.

MM/015 Support The inclusion of 660 dwellings and associated facilities at the Coalite Priority Regeneration Area site in the District Local Plan is supported.

MM/016 Support The inclusion of 660 dwellings and associated facilities at the Coalite Priority Regeneration Area site in the District Local Plan is supported.

MM/026 Object, N Sites DR1, DR2 (previously DR3) should not be allocated in this District Local Plan and removed entirely from this table.

MM/030 Object, N The retention of this Green Belt site DR1 in the District Local Plan is unacceptable as the Council has not demonstrated the exceptional circumstances necessary for release of Green Belt land in this location.
The site is unsuitable for development for the following reasons:
• Development on this site continues to risk settlement coalescence between Dronfield and Unstone by
reducing the historic gap between the settlements.
• Access to the site remains unclear. An additional junction onto the main road could have safety issues which render it unviable. The Inspector said in February 2019: “access arrangements should be identified in order to ensure that the site would be deliverable” but there is no information to suggest they have been identified.
• The Unstone floods in 2019 demonstrated that there may be an issue: substantial flooding was noted in
Unstone village derived from fields at or near this site - despite the plan suggesting that this was unlikely. The
site should be removed from the plan on this basis.
• The site is home to a number of wildlife species.
• The site is still used as agricultural land
Notwithstanding these reasons for removing the site from the District Local Plan, the site area shown in the
modifications is larger than envisaged by the Inspector in her interim findings that required the Council to reduce the site to ‘two fields’. The Council in their response to this have asked that the site is larger than suggested by the Inspector to ‘round off’ the site and align more closely with the existing built development. The Inspector has agreed to a proposed boundary line for the site (ED79). The new site size is 6.52 hectares and with a density of 30 dwellings per hectare would yield 196 dwellings. However, MM/111 clarifies that an assumption should be made that 80% of site areas between 6 and 10ha will be considered developable. This would yield 156 dwellings. The Town Council object to the words ‘approximately 160 dwellings’ in the modified policy. Should the site remain in the District Local Plan it is essential for clarity that the proposed modified Policy DR1 should read ‘a maximum of 160 dwellings’.
In addition, the design of the site should recognize the important ‘gateway’ location of the site and require that the design and layout of the site responds to this context in addition to taking account of the gradients already
mentioned in the policy. More wording should be added to the modified policy to reflect this position, should the site remain in the District Local Plan.
In conclusion, the site is less suitable than sites which have been taken out of the Plan and it is strongly urged that the site should be removed from the District Local Plan.

MM/031 Support The removal of this Green Belt allocation DR2 is supported

MM/032 Object. N The retention of this site in the District Local Plan is unacceptable as there are number of issues with this site still outstanding. The development of this site would have an unacceptable impact upon the vicinity of the site for a number of reasons –
Topography: the site is on a steep slope with a steep bank between the site and Stubley Hollow which will make it difficult to develop. The hill side slope will have surface water run off implications which are likely to have an adverse impact on the valley bottom, Sheffield Road and the railway line.
Access/traffic impact: Stubley Hollow is a narrow lane, not easily widened and with no on street parking, it is the main access road to Dronfield Woodhouse despite its width. There have been longstanding issues with HGV vehicles, particularly truck deliveries to the Gunstones Bakery on Stubley Lane. No detail has been provided as to an appropriate access point for the new housing.
Viability: 40 units is not of economic size to justify the S106 receipts available to mitigate the impact of the
development or make the infrastructure improvements required.
Location: development of this site would result in the demise of the separation between Dronfield Woodhouse
(formerly a separate parish) and the rest of Dronfield which would have an adverse impact on the historic context of the area.
Recent and emerging housing sites will deliver new housing in the immediate locality of up to 30 units. (6 houses at the Hearty Oak pub, Northern Common; 8 houses at The Talbot located off Carr Lane; The Miners Arms which is currently up for sale or lease – 8 to 12 houses; 4 units being built on the Northern Common currently.)
In conclusion, the site is less suitable than sites which have been taken out of the Plan and it is strongly urged that the site should be removed from the District Local Plan.

MM/033 Comment The removal of this Green Belt Allocation appears illogical when compared to the lack of merit of sites DR1 & DR2.
The same arguments that the Inspector has used to remove this site from the District Local Plan could be applied to Dronfield sites.

MM/111 Support The new paragraph gives more clarity on the yield expected from new allocated sites.

MM/118 Support The safeguarding of land for education facilities is supported.

Response to document D: Report on the Implications of
the ONS 2018-based Household Projections on the
objectively-assessed housing need in North East
Derbyshire prepared by Iceni on behalf of the Council
(ED101A)
Dronfield Town Council has the following comments to make on the Iceni Report:
• 2018 ONS data suggests a higher level of population and household growth than predicted in 2014 or 2016. It sets baseline demographic need at 279 dwellings pa.
• This is elevated to 293 dpa, in order to support “improved household formation amongst younger households”.
• Due to higher levels of migration into the District recorded in the ONS 2018 figures, it is no longer necessary to “add on” the extra dpas to justify the ambitious economic growth scenario envisaged in the 2018 Submission version of the District Plan.
• However, they are still applying a 10% uplift to support
affordable housing delivery and therefore set the target as (293 + 10% =) 322 dpa
• Iceni and the District Council suggest that it does not
represent a “meaningful change” from the original target of 330. However, even the reduction of 8 dwellings per year over the 20 year plan period (2014-34) is 160 dwellings and therefore it is strongly urged that DR1 should be removed from the emerging District Local Plan.
The Town Council questions that the 10% uplift for affordable housing is justifiable. Iceni allude to Government planning advice suggesting that it is reasonable, but this overall uplift is unlikely to make a direct material difference on affordable housing delivery and it would be better to address that issue through policies and allocations within the District Plan itself to promote affordable housing.
Iceni allude to the impact of Covid-19 on housing market activity but suggest it is too early to know by how much. There is a need for additional research on this point given that we are further on through the pandemic now and have a realistic understanding that Covid-19 will continue to have a significant impact until well into 2021. Covid-
19 may also impact on migration rates due to less movement and impacts could be longer lasting (people wanting to stay closer to home, family, friends etc). Changing work patterns may also drive changes in the housing market with technology advances enabling
more people able to work at home. This could therefore mean that C19 has an impact both on the delivery and the demand for new housing.

Response to Document F: Five Year Housing Land Supply Statement at adoption (updated data to 31 March 2020)
In the housing land supply documents, for both major and minor sites with planning permission, the District Council has taken the decision to “halve the site promoters’ anticipated completions in 2020/21 as a
minimum precaution” due to Covid-19 (paragraph 11). There is little evidence to support this approach available as yet, but the housing supply and demand in the area and the wider region should be closely scrutinised by the District Council to see if the emerging trends support this approach.
It is highly likely there will be a reduction in demand for employment sites such as office, retail and hospitality space (see reuse/redevelopment of pub sites in Dronfield). More brownfield sites or commercial buildings are likely to become available for housing or conversion in the near future due to the impact of Covid 19.

Attached:
Flood Risk Assessment & Outline Sustainable Drainage Strategy - Residential Development Chesterfield Road, Dronfield, Dronfield Town Council, January 2021

National Risk Register, 2020 edition, HM Government

Object

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10673

Received: 30/01/2021

Respondent: Dr David Owen

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Representation:

The most recently published housing numbers for North East Derbyshire demonstrate there is no longer a shortfall of houses within the plan. The proposed number of 6,600 homes was by a previous Council a number of years ago. Based on the amount of housebuilding that has already happened, been approved or is planned, I do not think there is a gap between the target and what will actually be built. As a result, the Inspector should remove the greenbelt sites she already planned to remove (Eckington) and should go further and remove the remainder that remain in the plan.

Full text:

The most recently published housing numbers for North East Derbyshire demonstrate there is no longer a shortfall of houses within the plan. The proposed number of 6,600 homes was by a previous Council a number of years ago. Based on the amount of housebuilding that has already happened, been approved or is planned, I do not think there is a gap between the target and what will actually be built. As a result, the Inspector should remove the greenbelt sites she already planned to remove (Eckington) and should go further and remove the remainder that remain in the plan.

Object

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10729

Received: 29/01/2021

Respondent: Hallam Land Management

Agent: Freeths LLP

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Representation:

Council Officer has summarised.

There is a clear and obvious inconsistency between MM/08 and MM/09. MM/09 introduces that Level 2 settlements will also be the ‘focus’ of new housing development. This is a change in strategy, it elevates Level 2 settlements on par with Level 1 settlements for the purposes of housing and begs the very real question of what is the distinction between Level 1 and Level 2 settlements in respect of the spatial strategy? Furthermore it is contrary to the Sustainability Appraisal, which should inform strategy and therefore fails to be justified.

Full text:

NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE LOCAL PLAN EXAMINATION – MAIN MODIFICATIONS CONSULTATION RESPONSE

We write on behalf of our client Hallam Land Management Limited (“HLM”) in response to the Main Modifications (“MM”) consultation to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (“the Plan”) Examination.

This letter sets out our comments on the proposed MMs and concludes that they render the Plan unsound against the tests set out in paragraph 182 of the NPPF (2012)1 (1 The plan is examined under the NPPF 2012 version and all references are to 2012 unless stated). The recommendations of the Inspector through her various interim notes and the decision of North East Derbyshire District Council (“NEDDC”) to endorse these recommendations through a MM consultation has resulted in the Plan proposing a flawed strategy that is contradictory and unsupported by the evidence base. The Plan as now proposed to be modified has become more unsustainable as a result of the examination and fails all the tests of soundness of Paragraph 182 of the NPPF.

NEDDC will be aware that HLM has long held concerns regarding the direction that the Inspector’s recommendations were taking the Plan and these were set out in detail in correspondence submitted to NEDDC dated 14 March 2019 and 30 April 2019 and at the meeting held on 21 March 2019 with you and Richard Purcell.

Summary

The Plan is unsound for the following reasons:

• The spatial strategy is unclear and contradictory. The MMs have blurred the distinction between Level 1 and Level 2 settlements both through the text of Policy SS2 and through the disproportionate distribution of housing development to Level 2 settlements compared to Level 1 settlements. This is despite the evidence base showing that the Level 1 towns are by far the most sustainable of locations to meet development needs.
• There is an absence of adequate justification for the removal of Green Belt allocations from the Plan. This appears to have been undertaken on the basis of the Inspector’s individual site assessments.
• The Plan fails to have regard for Paragraph 83 of the NPPF in ensuring that Green Belt boundaries endure over the long term beyond the plan period.
• NEDDC project that by 2024/25 the Plan will not deliver a 5 year housing supply. A Local Plan review will therefore be required almost immediately on adoption and this will inevitably have to involve Green Belt review.
• The proposed MMs result in a Green Belt review that is ineffective, results in inadequate housing provision, an unsustainable strategy to meet development needs and it will not achieve long term Green Belt permanence required by the NPPF. If a comprehensive approach to reviewing the Green Belt is not to be embodied within the Plan, then all Green Belt sites should be removed, enabling a future Local Plan to consider a review of the Green Belt holistically, based on the most up to date housing requirements and without recent alterations to its boundary.
• Alternatively, to ensure the permanence of Green Belt boundaries required by the NPPF the plan should draw back the green belt around the northern towns and identify safeguarded land in accord with paragraph 85 of the Framework.

The concerns expressed back in March/April 2019 have not been addressed in the MM proposals and we maintain that the Plan is unsound.

Spatial Strategy

The spatial strategy of the Plan is proposed to be substantially altered through MM/08 – MM/10.

MM/08 – This relates to paragraph 4.33 of the supporting text to Policy SS2 Spatial Strategy and the Distribution of Development. The following text is deleted:

“It is envisaged that the 4 Towns and 3 Strategic Sites together will accommodate the majority (i.e.
over 50%) of the District’s housing growth requirements during the Plan period and all the new employment land provision

This is replaced with “The level 1 Towns and Strategic Sites will be the focus for the District’s growth requirements during the Plan period, accommodating housing and commercial development, including all the new employment land provision.”

Reason: For soundness and clarity; to be less prescriptive in the approach to give priority to the four level 1 towns and strategic sites.

This amendment is a consequence of paragraphs 5 and 6 of the Inspector’s Interim Note dated 18 February 2019 (ED65). The Inspector expressed concern that the figure of ‘over 50%’ was not justified through an absence of evidence explaining how it was derived. The Inspector advances that the spatial strategy should be less prescriptive but confirms that it should identify the four level 1 towns and strategic sites as the priority locations for new development with remainder of housing development taking place in level 2 settlements.

MM/08 states that level 1 Towns and Strategic Sites will be the focus for the District’s growth requirements. However, the Plan evidently and undeniably does NOT focus the District’s growth on these areas and they cannot rationally be considered ‘priority locations’ given the amount of development that is proposed in these locations compared to level 2 settlements.

MM/09 - Policy SS2 is proposed to be amended as follows (bold new text):

The majority (over 50%) of new New housing development will be focused on: The four level 1 towns of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh; and on the Avenue and former Biwaters Strategic Sites.; and Level 2 settlements as defined in the Settlement Hierarchy in Table 4.2.

The remaining housing development will be focussed on the district’s other most sustainable settlements, defined as Level 2 settlements in the Settlement Hierarchy at Table 4.2

Firstly there is a clear and obvious inconsistency between MM/08 and MM/09. MM/09 introduces that Level 2 settlements will also be the ‘focus’ of new housing development. This is a change in strategy, it elevates Level 2 settlements on par with Level 1 settlements for the purposes of housing and begs the very real question of what is the distinction between Level 1 and Level 2 settlements in respect of the spatial strategy? Furthermore it is contrary to the Sustainability Appraisal, which should inform strategy and therefore fails to be justified.

In summary MM8-MM10 fundamentally alters the spatial strategy of the NEDLP promoting Level 2 settlements to an equal level to Level 1 settlements in respect of spatial housing approach, whilst further exacerbating the actual disproportionate distributions of housing numbers between Level 1 and Level 2 settlements and the north and south of the district. This is despite there being no evidence to support such amendments with the SA and the settlement hierarchy documents concluding that there are clear distinctions in sustainability performance between Level 1 settlements and other settlements within the District.

The MM version of the NEDLP is a consequence of a plan that in its inception was already out of balance through the significant proportion of planning permissions already granted to lower tier settlements. The Inspector’s recommendations to remove sites from the Green Belt has further harmed the balance of the spatial strategy, so that it is now in a form that bears little resemblance to its evidence base. We consider that the Plan is not positively prepared or the most appropriate or a sustainable strategy, when considering reasonable alternatives, and furthermore as currently proposed is likely to have consequences beyond the plan period for distribution of development given the modified approach to sites within the Green Belt.

Green Belt

Firstly, we object to MM/026 (Policy LC1) which amongst other amendments to site allocation numbers, removes proposed housing allocations from the Green Belt, including HLM’s interest, EC1 Eckington South. The impact of the removal of these sites on the spatial strategy and appropriate distribution of sustainable development has been explained above.

Our concerns however extend further, namely:

• lack of justification for removing Green Belt allocations against the exceptional circumstances test of paragraph 83 of the NPPF,
• the absence of a safeguarded land policy
• The impact that such an approach will have on future Local Plan preparation in the District.

Exceptional Circumstances Test

The Inspector’s justification to remove allocations from the Green Belt appears to relate to concerns with individual site circumstances. NEDDC appropriately grappled with the judgements involved in ascertaining whether exceptional circumstances exist by reference in their evidence to the tests set out in Paragraph 51 of the judgment in Calverton Parish Council vs Nottingham City Council and others [2015].

Paragraph 51 of Calverton case states: the planning judgments involved in the ascertainment of exceptional circumstances…. should, at least ideally, identify and then grapple with the following matters:

(i) the acuteness/intensity of the objectively assessed need (matters of degree may be important);
(ii) the inherent constraints on supply/availability of land prima facie suitable for sustainable development;
(iii) (on the facts of this case) the consequent difficulties in achieving sustainable development without impinging on the Green Belt;
(iv) the nature and extent of the harm to this Green Belt (or those parts of it which would be lost if the boundaries were reviewed); and
(v) the extent to which the consequent impacts on the purposes of the Green Belt may be ameliorated or reduced to the lowest reasonably practicable extent.

At present we are not in possession of the Inspector’s full justification for both the remaining Green Belt allocations and those allocations removed from the NEDDC. However, it seems that the NEDDC Inspector has undertaken a limited view in the balancing exercise from information available at present.

Safeguarded Land

In response to the Inspector’s recommendation to remove proposed allocations from the Green Belt, NEDDC proposed the introduction of a safeguarded land policy2 (2 ED76).

The Inspector’s position in respect of safeguarded land (ED78) doesn’t address the provisions of the NPPF in ensuring that Green Belt boundaries endure beyond the Plan period. It seems contrary to the clear evidence from NEDDC that any Local Plan review would require consideration of land within the Green Belt with a ‘high level of certainty’3 (3 P3 of ED76). For the Inspector to simply state that the plan review might provide a ‘different spatial strategy’4 (4 P2 of ED78) seems to be contrary to the evidence relating to the sustainability of settlements in the district, the very clear housing and affordable housing needs of the northern towns and the position of NEDDC regarding the need to revisit Green Belt sites.

The Inspector’s recommendations to remove proposed Green Belt residential allocations and the absence of safeguarded land has two main potential consequences for the review of the Plan. Either NEDDC will have to review Green Belt boundaries for a second time within 5 years (or less), contrary to NPPF policy or NEDDC will feel obligated to ignore the parts of the district constrained by Green Belt for future development in an attempt to adhere to the principles of an enduring Green Belt boundary. This will be to the severe detriment of the northern towns, the spatial distribution of development across the District and the principles of sustainable development. This is exactly why the NPPF requires Green Belt reviews to be dealt with holistically and over the long term. The Plan is contrary to the requirements of paragraphs 83 and 85 of the NPPF.

Green Belt Review

The removal of EC1 and DR2 as proposed residential allocations (and reduction of DR1), coupled with the absence of safeguarded land results in a Plan that has not appropriately grappled with the constraint of Green Belt. The Plan as submitted for examination proposed Green Belt releases that amounted to 1266 dwellings. The exclusion of EC1 and DR2 from the Plan removes 600 dwellings. Whilst DR1 remains, albeit reduced from 235 to 160 dwellings as a consequence of the Inspector’s recommendation, we note that the Inspector requested additional information regarding the site’s access to demonstrate that the site is deliverable. From review of the examination documents it does not appear that any additional information has been submitted and therefore it has not been established that this site is deliverable.

The Green Belt review results in a Plan that fails to provide adequate housing provision for the northern town settlements, nor does it achieve the long term Green Belt permanence required by the NPPF. Given these unsatisfactory outcomes, HLM suggest that if NEDDC is unable to deliver a Green Belt Review that informs sustainable development within its Plan and provides enduring boundaries for the long term, then it should remove all Green Belt allocations from the Plan. This would allow a ‘reset’ of the review of the Green Belt through the next Local Plan review. It would ensure that any Local Plan review could assess the requirement for future Green Belt releases in a comprehensive manner and in the context that the boundaries had not recently been altered. It would also allow consideration for the most up to date housing requirements and a balanced assessment against the alternative distributions of sustainable development to non-Green Belt settlements. Alternatively the plan should include substantial areas of safeguarded land removed from the Green Belt around the Northern Settlements.

Housing Land Supply

The latest Housing Land Supply evidence (ED98) advises that a five year housing supply is achievable based on year 1 being April 2019. However, NEDDC’s own evidence demonstrates that by year 6 (2024-2025) the Plan will not deliver a five year supply (4.83 years). The position understandably worsens year on year to a supply of only 3.02 years by Year 10. Given that adoption is perhaps likely in the first quarter of 2021, the Plan will actually only have a five year supply for the first three years post adoption, by NEDDC’s own figures. Effectively therefore a review will be required to commence straight after adoption if NEDDC is not to be facing speculative applications and appeals on grounds of an absence of five year housing supply.

Conclusion

Following the Inspector’s interim note of February 2019 HLM identified to NEDDC significant concerns regarding the ability of the Plan to be considered sound. The MMs consultation has confirmed this position. The Plan is based on a strategy that is illogical, contradictory and absent of evidence to justify its spatial distribution. It is a planning permission led Plan that has been further damaged by the Inspector’s removal of Green Belt allocations exacerbating spatial distribution anomalies and leading to unsustainable patterns of development. It is a Plan for the very short term that will require immediate review and fails to recognise national policy for long term permanence of Green Belt boundaries. The Plan fails the tests of soundness, it is not positively prepared, it is evidently not the most appropriate strategy and therefore not justified, it is not effective in delivering over the life of the Plan period and is does not accord with national policy.

Attachments:

Support

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10736

Received: 29/01/2021

Respondent: Twin Oaks Hotel Ltd

Agent: DLP

Representation:

Support for the addition of 8. Countryside to clarify the approach to development in the countryside and make clear which policies relate to locations outside of defined settlements.

Full text:

MM/009 – Policy SS2 Spatial Strategy and the Distribution of Development
Support for the addition of 8. Countryside to clarify the approach to development in the countryside and make clear which policies relate to locations outside of defined settlements.

MM/017 – para 4.56 Settlement Development Limits
MM/017 seeks to amend paragraph 4.56 in respect of those smaller villages and hamlets identified within Level 4 of the settlement hierarchy which do not have a settlement development limit. The amendment clarifies that these settlements are considered to lie in open countryside and that development within these villages limited infill development may be appropriate in accordance with Policy SS9: Development in the Countryside, SS10 NED Green Belt or where allocated within an adopted Neighbourhood Plan as set out in Policy SS8: Development in Small Villages and Hamlets.

In principle this is supported, but the fact that in addition to these small villages and hamlets listed in Table 4.2, there are clusters of development within the countryside which are neither hamlets or villages as such but where nevertheless, a significant amount of development or built form already exists and which would equally be suitable for a limited amount of infill development.

It is therefore recommended that a further modification be made to recognise this within both Policy SS8 and paragraph 4.56. The proposed modification to paragraph 4.56 is set out below (MM/017 deletions indicated by score throughs; MM/017 insertions indicated by underlining; My proposed amendments indicated by double strike throughs and double underlining):

4.56 ‘…. Outside of these main built up areas there are some smaller villages and hamlets identified within Level 4 of the settlement hierarchy which do not have a Settlement Development Limit and are considered to lie in the open countryside. Within these villages <double underlined>and where there are clusters of existing substantial built-form,<end double underlined> but where limited infill development may be appropriate in accordance with Policy SS9: Development in the Countryside and SS10: North East Derbyshire Green Belt; or where this is allocated by an adopted Neighbourhood Plan as set out in Policy SS8: Development in Small Villages and Hamlets or SS11 (Development in the Countryside) <double underlined>and SS9 Development in the Countryside<end double underlined>.”

MM/019 Policy SS9 Development in the Countryside
Paragraph 4.61 recognises that the countryside is a constantly changing workplace as well as providing leisure and recreational opportunities and that it is necessary to balance and integrate the requirement to protect the countryside with the need to sustain and encourage the vitality and viability of the rural economy. That is a very positive statement and recognises that change has to take place within the countryside in order to support the rural economy. However, the explanation at paragraph 4.62 goes on to effectively restrict any additional development other than the change of use of existing buildings; it states that ‘Proposals for new buildings in the countryside outside of existing settlements and not on land allocated for development will be strictly controlled’. That statement is a negative policy which fails to recognise the need for existing businesses, some of them with a significant amount of existing built form to expand, nor for those existing clusters of development to contribute in a positive way to further supporting the rural economy. This is reflected in the criteria to Policy SS9 Development in the Countryside. Criteria d) relates to small scale employment uses relating to local farming, forestry, recreation or tourism but there are also other uses entirely appropriate within a countryside area and indeed uses which can only be accommodated within a countryside area: such uses include for instance facilities serving the national highway network; the provision of renewable energy etc. Likewise, criteria e) f) is overly restrictive in that it allows for limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of PDL but then restricts it again in relation to its impact on the character of the countryside, no mention being made of potential enhancements or appropriate mitigation. This is more akin to Green Belt policy and is therefore entirely inappropriate. Countryside policy should support the development of facilities and services including renewable energy and the further development of PDL sites which may result in a greater impact than existing initially but which are necessary to fulfil local and national needs and where impact can be adequately mitigated, sometimes even improving the existing situation. It is therefore recommended that MM/019 be further modified as follows: (My proposed amendments indicated by double strike throughs and double underlining):

“Policy SS9: Development in the Countryside
1. Development proposals in countryside locations outside the Settlement Development Limits will be approved where it can be demonstrated to fall within one or more of the following categories: … d. It involves small scale employment uses <double underlined>including but not restricted to those<end double underlined> related to local farming, forestry, recreation, or tourism; … f. It involves the change of use, re-use, limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of vacant, derelict or previously developed land sites (brownfield land), whether redundant or in continuing use (excluding temporary buildings), which would <double underlined>enhance<end double underlined> or not have a greater impact on the character of the countryside <double underlined>following mitigation<end double underlined> than the existing development; … h. It involves the provision, expansion, or improvement of social infrastructure and accords with policy ID4, or relates to a development which has a demonstrable community and/or social benefit; or g. It is in accordance with the policies of the Nationally Planning Policy Framework or an adopted Neighbourhood Plan.”

MM/113 – Policy SDC13 Environmental Quality
MM/113 to Policy SDC13 Environmental Quality seeks to improve clarity and effectiveness. This Main Modification is supported because it recalibrates the policy from being negative to being positively prepared and therefore more effective and consistent with national policy. In particular, criteria 1. makes it clear that all development proposals will be assessed in relation to their impact on air, light, noise, ground and water pollution. Proposals for green energy including the installation of Electric Vehicle charging points or hubs would be assessed favourably in this respect due to their positive impact on air pollution. This Main Modification is therefore supported.

MM/117 – Policy ID3 Sustainable Travel
Main Modification MM/117 seeks to provide clarity and consistency with paragraphs 32 and 154 of the 2012 NPPF.

Paragraph 32 (which is also taken through to the 2019 NPPF) states that significant adverse impacts on economic, social and environmental objectives should be avoided and wherever possible, alternative options which reduce or eliminate such impacts should be pursued. Paragraph 154 (also taken through to 2019 NPPF) states that applications for renewable and low carbon development should be not be required to demonstrate the overall need for renewable or low carbon energy and recognise that even small-scale projects provide a valuable contribution to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Applications should be approved if its impacts are or can be, made acceptable. There is an expectation that allocations for renewable or low carbon energy should be identified through plans. No such allocations are made within the NEDLP with a reliance on provision through proposals for major development. This is simply not sufficient.

Consequently, it is not considered that the Main Modification proposed goes far enough in either clarity or consistency with the NPPF:

Point 1 seeks merely to maximise walking, cycling and the use of public transport with the aim of reducing congestion and improving air quality and health. However, no mention is made of support for the development and roll out of electric vehicles including the provision of electric vehicle charging points or hubs which will make a significant contribution towards improving air quality. This should be added to point 1.

Point 2 relates to the consideration of major developments and the requirement to promote sustainable travel identified through transport statements attached to major development proposals including both site specific and area wide travel demand measures; improvements to existing pedestrian, cycle and public transport services and facilities and provision of new walking and cycling routes; and optimisation of the existing highway network to prioritise walking, cycling, public transport and other forms of sustainable travel. Again, whilst ‘other forms of sustainable travel’ do get a mention, insufficient emphasis is placed on the need to support the provision of infrastructure which will significantly improve air quality such as Electric Vehicle charging points or hubs – roll out which is required to support the Government’s aim to curtail the manufacture of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. Specific reference to the support for other forms of sustainable travel, or services or facilities that support other forms of sustainable travel in their own right rather than just through other major development proposals. By way of illustration (please see attached sketch plan below), early proposals for the provision of an electric vehicle charging hub close to J29 of the M1 are currently being worked up and which would serve to support necessary longer trips by offering a top-up charge mid-journey to enable the switch between petrol and diesel to electric vehicles. Point 2 should be strengthened accordingly.

Point 3 falls very short of the mark where it refers to highway capacity enhancements to deal with residual car demand (after pedestrian, cycle and public transport) where these are insufficient to avoid significant additional journeys. This point fails to appreciate that travel will always be necessary and that walking, cycling and public transport are never going to be sufficient to remove the need for a significant additional number of journeys. Point 3 should be further modified to accept that travel by other forms of sustainable travel will continue to be required and that support must be given to such initiatives as electric vehicle charging points and hubs to ensure the significant improvements in air quality that the Government is seeking.

Site plans included in attachment.

Support

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10772

Received: 31/01/2021

Respondent: Cllr Martin Hanrahan, Dronfield Town Councillor

Representation:

I totally endorse and welcome the Inspector's decision to keep the Coal Aston site in greenbelt.

I do object to removal of site DR1 and site DR2 (formerly FR3) from greenbelt. These are green spaces, provide openness, habitats and promote well-being. They may be of significant archaeological importance.

Brownfield sites previously developed have been identified as alternatives to green fields, agricultural land and greenbelt. The Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan outlines this along with Policy HOU1 supporting windfall sites within the urbanised area.

The site of Sheffield FC (Wreakes Land/Sheffield Road) which is developed, is flat, near transport and shopping is available and would provide ideal housing for older residents who may wish to move from larger properties suitable for families.

Building on green fields when alternative sites exist is environmental vandalism.

Full text:

I totally endorse and welcome the Inspector's decision to keep the Coal Aston site in greenbelt.

I do object to removal of site DR1 and site DR2 (formerly FR3) from greenbelt. These are green spaces, provide openness, habitats and promote well-being. They may be of significant archaeological importance.

Brownfield sites previously developed have been identified as alternatives to green fields, agricultural land and greenbelt. The Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan outlines this along with Policy HOU1 supporting windfall sites within the urbanised area.

The site of Sheffield FC (Wreakes Land/Sheffield Road) which is developed, is flat, near transport and shopping is available and would provide ideal housing for older residents who may wish to move from larger properties suitable for families.

Building on green fields when alternative sites exist is environmental vandalism.

Attachments:

Support

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10860

Received: 31/01/2021

Respondent: Helen Hanrahan

Representation:

I strongly support the decision of the Inspector to remove the Coal Aston site from the flawed Local Plan.

Brownfield and other sites in the District have been proposed and should be used before any greenbelt is considered for development.

Exceptional circumstances have not been proved.

Sites DR1 and DR2 (formerly DR3) should now be removed from the Local Plan and remain greenbelt in order to make the Plan sound.

Full text:

I strongly support the decision of the Inspector to remove the Coal Aston site from the flawed Local Plan.

Brownfield and other sites in the District have been proposed and should be used before any greenbelt is considered for development.

Exceptional circumstances have not been proved.

Sites DR1 and DR2 (formerly DR3) should now be removed from the Local Plan and remain greenbelt in order to make the Plan sound.

Attachments:

Support

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10862

Received: 31/01/2021

Respondent: Helen Hanrahan

Representation:

I strongly support the decision of the Inspector to retain the greenbelt status of the Coal Aston site.

Government policy ('Planning for the Future' Whitepaper) is that brownfield sites should be used first for development - greenbelt should be used as a last resort.

Dronfield residents greatly value the open spaces and greenbelt which is borne out in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Adequate numbers of houses have been built or planning consent granted since the Interim Report following the hearing. No requirement for building on greenbelt now exists.

Exceptional circumstances have not been proved and so the remaining greenbelt sites must also be removed from the Local Plan to make it sound.

DR1 and DR2 (formerly DR3) should also be kept as greenbelt.

Full text:

I strongly support the decision of the Inspector to retain the greenbelt status of the Coal Aston site.

Government policy ('Planning for the Future' Whitepaper) is that brownfield sites should be used first for development - greenbelt should be used as a last resort.

Dronfield residents greatly value the open spaces and greenbelt which is borne out in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Adequate numbers of houses have been built or planning consent granted since the Interim Report following the hearing. No requirement for building on greenbelt now exists.

Exceptional circumstances have not been proved and so the remaining greenbelt sites must also be removed from the Local Plan to make it sound.

DR1 and DR2 (formerly DR3) should also be kept as greenbelt.

Attachments:

Support

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10868

Received: 31/01/2021

Respondent: Unstone Parish Council

Agent: Cllr Alex Dale

Representation:

The less prescriptive approach is strongly welcomed and furthermore gives additional justification for removing the remaining green belt allocations in the north of the District.

It should be acknowledged that the Parish Council is not against local development taking place within non-green belt, sustainable locations within the northern settlements. We are aware of a number of developments which have been put forward as alternatives within the Dronfield area and these should be very seriously considered by the Inspector as alternatives to the Plan’s current green belt allocations.

Full text:

I am writing on behalf of Unstone Parish Council in response to your consultation on the Local Plan Main Modifications. Unstone Parish is located in the North of the District of North East Derbyshire, south of the Parish of Dronfield and adjacent to the parish of Eckington. Unstone Parish includes the villages and hamlets of Unstone, Apperknowle, Summerley, Hundall and Middle, Nether and West Handley.
In summary, the Parish Council’s view is that, while supportive of a number of Main Modifications and namely those to remove Green Belt allocations at DR2 at Coal Aston and EC1 at Eckington, on the whole the amendments do not go far enough in protecting the green belt and Parish Councillors still have a number of concerns and objections.
The Parish Council strongly objects to the retention of sites DR1 and DR2 (previously DR3) in the Local Plan, which will see many acres of vital Green Belt land lost in order to build 200 new dwellings in our neighbouring town. In the case of DR1, the site clearly fulfils the key purposes of the Green Belt according to the NPPF and perhaps most importantly to prevent the coalescence of communities. Such significant development on this land will erode a hugely important and historic gap between the settlements of Dronfield and Unstone and therefore the Parish Council wish to object in the strongest possible terms to its continued inclusion in the Local Plan.
In addition, the Parish Council wish to cast significant doubt over the justification for any development on the Green Belt within the Local Plan, due to changes in the housing figures over recent years and therefore the remaining Green Belt allocations in Dronfield (DR1 and DR2, formerly DR3) and Killamarsh (KL1 and KL2) should also be removed from the final version of the Plan.
The Parish Council strongly urges the Inspector to reconsider these issues and withdraw the remaining Green Belt allocations from the Plan.
In relation to the specific Main Modifications and other associated documents, the Parish Council wishes to make the following points:
MM/004-MM/005:
• The figures quoted in these MMs should be brought more up to date to reflect more recent permissions which have been granted. The latest cut off date of 31/03/2020 is now 10 months out of date and therefore excludes some key recent developments.
• It is noted that in correspondence between the Inspector and the Council in 2019 (ED65 and ED85), Inspector took the welcome step of reducing and removing some key Green Belt development sites from the Local Plan and in doing so suggested that the resultant shortfall (257) from achieving the 6600 housing target, would not in itself make the Plan unsound. In ED85 (July 2019) the Council clarify that in the intervening months that shortfall had reduced further still to only 80. Between April 2019 and March 2020 an application for 84 dwellings at Coney Green, Clay Cross has achieved permission which had not been planned as part of the Local Plan process. This has therefore eliminated that shortfall entirely and achieves a small surplus of 4 dwellings.
• Since 31st March 2020 there have been three further large developments approved on appeal which again fall outside of the Local Plan process, including one which only very recently was decided. These are:
o Appeal Reference: APP/R1038/W/20/3251224 – Land South East of Williamthorpe Road and West of Tibshelf Road, Holmewood – 250 dwellings
o Appeal Reference: APP/R1038/W/20/3244154 – Land North of 92 Chesterfield Road, Higham – 24 dwellings
o Appeal Reference: APP/R1038/W/20/3259758 - Land South of Hallfieldgate Lane, Shirland, DE55 6AA – 90 dwellings
• Taken together the above amounts to a surplus of 368 dwellings on the full Plan period housing target of 6600. The Parish Council requests that these more recent approvals are noted within the Plan and that it is brought as up to date as possible.
• In addition to the above, in MM/015, the Inspector also suggests that a further 660 houses at the former Coalite site could come forward during the Plan period, none of which have been included towards meeting the housing requirement in the Plan previously due to HS2 blight on the site. Again, the Parish Council requests that these further 660 houses are included towards meeting our housing needs.
• It follows that if the Inspector was willing to allow a shortfall of over 250 houses to remove two and half green belt allocations from the Plan, while not making the Plan itself unsound, now that there is a significant surplus of between 368 and 1028 (dependent on whether the Coalite site is counted), it cannot be said there is any reasonable justification for removing any land from the green belt as the District’s housing needs are clearly being more than met.
• The Parish Council strongly urges the Inspector to remove the remaining green belt allocations from the Plan on this basis.
MM/008-MM/009:
• The less prescriptive approach is strongly welcomed and furthermore gives additional justification for removing the remaining green belt allocations in the north of the District.
• It should be acknowledged that the Parish Council is not against local development taking place within non-green belt, sustainable locations within the northern settlements. We are aware of a number of developments which have been put forward as alternatives within the Dronfield area and these should be very seriously considered by the Inspector as alternatives to the Plan’s current green belt allocations.
MM/015-MM/016:
• The inclusion of 660 dwellings at the Coalite site is strongly supported by the Parish Council and we would ask that the Inspector includes these as contributing towards meeting our District-wide housing target.
MM/026:
• The Parish Council objects to the continued inclusion of the green belt allocations (DR1, DR2, KL1, KL2) and most particularly DR1 which threatens the erosion of the historic boundary between Unstone and Dronfield.
MM/030:
• The Parish Council strongly objects to the continued inclusion of DR1 within the Local Plan.
• It is our view that the site continues to fulfil all five of the purposes of green belt, as specified in the NPPF, not least in preventing the coalescence of Dronfield and Unstone. The Inspector’s previous decision to reduce the original size of the site does not in effect have any material difference in the erosion of the historic gap between the two settlements as the bulk of the development will still be extremely visible from the outskirts of Unstone. For those driving between the two communities it would be extremely difficult to identify where one community finishes and the other begins due to the urban sprawl. It is worth highlighting that the same is true to the south of Unstone where development is currently being pursued. The result is that travellers on the B6057 would be able to travel from Chesterfield, almost to the edge of Sheffield without ever leaving a “built-up” area for anything longer than a few yards.
• Another key concern for us is the impact on local flooding in Unstone – during 2019, the B6057 in Unstone (opp Fleur De Lys pub) was flooded on three separate occasions causing water ingress into some homes and road closure and disruption. The amounts of surface water from the fields in the surrounding area, including those which make up DR1, pooling in a natural low spot was one of the key causes. Development on DR1 could only further worsen the possible impacts of flooding occurring again in the future on the basis that there will be significantly less land to soak away the surface water.
• We understand from residents living close to the site that it is home to a number of important species and the Parish Council is concerned about the impact on wildlife populations.
• The Parish Council has significant concerns over access onto the site from the very busy Chesterfield Road and the possible road safety impacts.
MM/031:
• The removal of this site at Eckington Road, Coal Aston (DR2) is welcomed.
MM/032:
• The Parish Council oppose the inclusion of this site at Stubley Lane, Dronfield, within the Local Plan on the basis of the above reasons (that it is a green belt site and the exceptional circumstances required to removal land from the green belt have not been adequately demonstrated).
MM/033:
• The removal of this site (on land South of Eckington) is welcomed but the same logic should be applied to those green belt allocations which remain within the Plan. It is not clear what makes this site less appropriate than those above which have already been discussed.
MM/118:
• The land safeguarded for education purposes is supported.

Document D – Iceni Report:
• Iceni and the District Council suggest that the updated ONS population statistics justify a target of 322 dwellings per annum, which does not represent a “meaningful change” from the original target of 330 dwellings per annum and therefore there is not a need to change the 330 figure. However, even the reduction of 8 dwellings per year over the 20 year plan period (2014-34) is 160 dwellings – the equivalent to the DR1 site and this is therefore further justification for removing DR1 from the Local Plan.
• In addition, Iceni allude to the impact of Covid-19 and while it is too early to say what the long term impacts will be, it is reasonable to assume that there may be some impact on migration rates due to less movement (people wanting to stay closer to home, family, friends etc). Changing work patterns may also drive changes in the housing market with technology advances enabling more people able to work at home. This in turn could free up more development in inner cities as land previously used for office-based employment can be converted into residential. This further weakens the arguments that building on the green belt is justified.
• Finally, it is questionable whether the 10% uplift for affordable housing is necessary and whether this will actually impact on the affordability of housing in the District. It is arguable that delivery of affordable housing would be better dealt with via policies within the Plan itself.

Object

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10882

Received: 31/01/2021

Respondent: Mr Paul Stock

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Representation:

Council officer has summarised representation.

Renishaw is an area of high demand for housing growth and meaningful levels of growth can only be accommodated by release of Green Belt land.

The proposed Modification MM/009 makes reference to new housing being focused on level 1 towns, the two strategic sites and level 2 settlements as defined in the Settlement Hierarchy in Table 4.2. However in case of the level 2 settlement of Renishaw it will actually see a reduction of 3 dwellings over the plan period.

This clear inconsistency is further highlighted by the proposed amendment to Policy SS2 (7b) which states it will “Support and facilitate the regeneration of...” level 2 settlements. Clearly this will not be possible in case of Renishaw.

This is a serious failing of the Plan which will cause major economic and social damage to the prosperity and sustainability of the settlement and needs to be rectified.

Full text:

Representation Statement


1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

i. This Statement provides our written representations on the Consultation on the proposed Main Modifications on the North East Derbyshire Publication draft plan (the Plan) published in November 2020.


2.1 Previous Submissions
2.1.1 We have previously been involved in the submissions of representations on specific matters relating to consultations undertaken by the Council in the preparation of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan 2014 to 2014, as set out below:

• Schedule of Potential Housing Sites – Consultation (March 2015)
• Strategic Policies and Initial Site Allocations (March 2015)
• Response to Council’s letter dated 20th October 2016
• North East Derbyshire Local Plan – Consultation Draft (April 2017)
• North East Derbyshire Local Plan – Publication Draft (April 2018)
• Green Belt Topic Paper – May 2018.
• Inspectors’ Main Matters, Issues and Questions - 5,6,7,8,9,10 and 11 (October 2018)
• North East Derbyshire District Council’s Targeted Consultation on the Matter of the Five Year Housing Land Supply. (June 2020).

Copies of these previously submitted representations are not appended to the present statement as they already form part of the evidence base for the Local Plan examination.

3.1 Representations on Proposed Main Modifications.

3.1.1 Main Modification MM/008
3.1.2 We believe the amended text is misleading in that it does not recognise the sizeable contribution that will also be made by level 2 settlements which are proposed to provide a total housing supply of some 2,216 dwellings as shown in the amended Table 4.4 Distribution by Level 1 and 2 Settlements. This accounts for 33% of the total new housing supply over the plan period 2014 to 2034.

3.1.3 We consider the text should be further amended to recognise and give weight to the important contribution to be played by level 2 settlements in the implementation of Policy S22 - Spatial Strategy and Distribution of Development in the Plan.

3.2.1 Main Modification MM/009
3.2.2 Renishaw is an area of high demand for growth. The tight constraints of the Green Belt have restricted development in recent years leading to rising house prices and unmet housing need. The lack of available and suitable land within the existing settlement means that meaningful levels of housing growth can only be accommodated by release of land on the southern edge of the settlement within the Green Belt.

3.2.3 The proposed Modification MM/009 makes reference to new housing being focused on level 1 towns, the two strategic sites and level 2 settlements as defined in the Settlement Hierarchy in Table 4.2. However we have previously drawn attention to the Council and the Inspector that in the case of the level 2 settlement of Renishaw it will actually see a reduction of 3 dwellings (our emphasis) over the next 20 years of the plan as shown in the amended Table 4.3. Bizarrely, and for no explained reasons, this is the only level 2 settlement which will see an actual reduction in the total numbers of dwellings available in the Plan period between 2014 and 2034.

3.2.4 This clear inconsistency and serious failing on the part of the Plan is further highlighted by the proposed amendment to Policy S22 (7b) in the Plan which states it will “Support and facilitate the regeneration of...” level 2 settlements. Clearly this will not be possible in the case of the level 2 settlement of Renishaw where it is currently proposed to see a reduction of 3 dwellings in the total land supply over the plan period.

3.2.5 This is a serious failing on the part of the Plan which will cause major economic and social damage to the prosperity and sustainability of the settlement and further prevent any initiatives to meet the challenges of unmet social housing need and prevent housing-led regeneration. Even at this late stage in the plan making process we strongly believe that urgent attention needs to be given to rectify this important matter.

3.2.6 Failure to make changes to the Plan along the lines suggested above will in our opinion make the Plan unsound.

3.3.1 Main Modification MM/010
3.3.2 As part of the Main Modification MM/010 and the proposed amendments to Table 4.3: Housing Distribution by Level 1 & Level 2 Settlements we believe it is essential for a positive housing land supply figure to be found for the level 2 settlement of Renishaw rather than the present negative housing supply of minus 3 dwellings. Should the present position be allowed to continue it will be major failure of planning for the local residents and wider community of Renishaw.

3.3.3 In order to underline the point made in paragraph 3.3.2 above we have set out below a copy of the specific representations submitted to the Publication draft plan on this matter. This explains in greater detail that in the absence of such policy change to the Plan it will be impossible to support the wider policy objectives of regeneration to the settlement, the provision of much needed affordable housing and widen the choice and tenure of housing.

7.3.11 The proposed housing distribution for the Plan is shown in Table 4 – Housing Distribution by Level 1 & Level 2 Settlements. This indicates that for the sustainable Level 2 settlement of Renishaw a provision of only 6 dwellings is proposed in the period 2014 to 2034 even though in Policy WC2 Principal Protected Employment Areas and Table 6.2 it refers to the protection 2.5 hectares of employment land at the Renishaw Industrial Estate for employment use. With such an important employment allocation it is clear there will be considerable local economic pressures for the settlement to grow which have not been catered for in the Publication Plan. Currently the settlement is severely constrained in planning policy terms by being contained on all sides by Green Belt which thwarts much needed expansion on the edge of the settlement. This will have a significant and harmful effect on the ability of the settlement to regenerate and cater for these new requirements, including affordable housing. For this reason we consider the present Policy SS2 and Policy SS10 (Green Belt) is not justified and therefore unsound.

7.3.12 We believe the best way in which to ensure the delivery of housing targets is to ensure all settlements within the Level 2 settlement category receive a sufficient housing provision to cater for development pressures over the plan period. Whilst the new strategic allocations will help meet housing demands in the medium/long term, the level of infrastructure required to deliver the site is costly and substantial it is therefore likely to take time to implement. We would contend however that a greater percentage of should be directed to Level 2 settlements to ensure they meet their short and medium term housing needs.

7.3.13 It is our view the spatial strategy needs to give further consideration for the release of other land from the Green Belt plus the identification of safeguarded sites in order to sufficiently meet the present housing target and spatial strategy and cater for pressures in the future.

7.3.14 Without the release of further land from the Green Belt, the identification of safeguarded areas for the provision of housing in the future, and the provision of further housing allocations at sustainable Level 2 settlements such as Renishaw, we consider that it would be problematic for the proposed spatial strategy to deliver housing needs. We therefore consider the Policy to be inconsistent with National Policy and not justified nor effective, and as such unsound.

7.3.15 We are concerned that the formulated strategy does not support the future housing needs of each settlement within the Level 2 settlement category or the needs of those communities in terms of local facilities in either quality or quantity. As in the case of Renishaw which has a wide range of facilities including a primary school local doctor’s surgery, food shop, public house , Post office, church, village hall and recreation ground plus several bus services (No 71,73,74, 131 and 231, providing wider access to services and sources of employment in nearby Barlborough and Killamarsh. It also has extensive local employment opportunities at Renishaw Park with a further 2.5 hectares of land available for expansion to accommodate more new businesses.

3.4.1 Main Modification MM/011
3.4.2 We disagree with Main Modification MM/011 which proposes to amend paragraphs 4.40 to 4.43 and in particular insert the following new wording “…. currently there is no defined route for this link road and no likelihood of funding before at least 2024. For these reasons a definitive route cannot be safeguarded on the Policies Map.” In our opinion this is a significant retrograde step which will seriously undermine the likelihood of the proposed link road from the A61 to the A617 ever being built and delivered. In turn this will be to the detriment of the overall development of the strategic Avenue site, plus the wider adjacent local road network of Wingerworth.

3.4.3 In our opinion this part of the proposed amendment in MM/011 should be deleted and replaced with a policy requirement in the Plan which directly links the rate of housing development at the strategic Avenue site with the building and delivery of this critical element of infrastructure. In absence of such action we consider the Plan will continue to be unsound in this important respect.

3.5.1 Main Modification MM/015 & MM/016
3.5.2 We disagree with Main Modifications MM/015 and MM/016 which together propose to insert provision for 660 new dwellings on the former Coalite Chemical works site. We consider the insertion of the new paragraph 4.53 as proposed by Main Modification MM/015 and the consequential proposed amendment in MM/016 to Policy SS6 for the location of up to 660 new dwellings at this extensively contaminated site, which is poorly linked to surrounding areas, is misguided and not in accordance with the overall objectives and spatial strategy of the Plan.

3.5.3 For the reasons referred to in our previously submitted representations to the Publication draft plan plus the points raised in paragraph 3.5.2 above we strongly believe any reference to housing development in this location should be deleted from the Plan. Failure to do so will continue to make the Plan unsound in respect of this important matter.

3.6.1 Main Modification MM/025
3.6.2 We disagree with Main Modifications MM/025 and the proposal to insert the following amended wording in paragraph 9 of the Plan, that - “From the start of the Plan Period there has been no significant underdelivery in relation to the Government’s Housing Delivery Tests.” In our opinion the insertion of this new wording into the Plan is misleading of the true overall picture. As demonstrated in our previously submitted representations to the consultation on the Publication draft plan and the Targeted Consultation on the Matter of the Five Year Housing Land Supply the Council has consistently underdelivered on its housing requirement over extended periods of time. As such we are still of the view that a 20% buffer should be applied to the overall housing land requirement in the Plan.

3.7.1 Main Modification MM/O26
3.7.2 We object to the proposed changes to the amended Policy LC1 Housing Allocations because it does not make any reference to new housing allocation in the level 2 settlement of Renishaw. As explained elsewhere in the present Representation statement we believe this to be a serious failing of the present Spatial Strategy and Distribution of Development policy in the Publication draft plan.

3.7.3 We had hoped the matter would be addressed in the present consultation of proposed Main Modifications, but regrettably it is not the case. We consider this to be a major sin of omission on the part of the present schedule of Main Modifications. Therefore without urgent action to rectify the matter it will in our opinion make the Plan unsound at adoption.

3.8.1 Main Modification MM/083
3.8.2 The Main Modification MM/083 deals with the amended Table 6.1 which shows the Local Plan Employment Land Availability. In this Table of existing employment sites and allocations with development land still remaining the industrial estate at Renishaw is shown to have 2.5 hectares of employment land available. It again demonstrates the underlying sustainability of the level 2 settlement, plus the urgent need to accommodate housing–led regeneration in this location.

3.9.1 Main Modification MM/118
3.9.2 With the sustainable level 2 settlement of Renishaw proposed to have a negative housing land supply over the plan period it is particularly pertinent to note that it is still considered necessary to safeguard land for education purposes under Policy ID 6 and also to extend formal sports designation under Policy ID 10 at the primary school off Hague Lane. For a settlement where the Plan is proposing an actual contraction in growth with clear detrimental knock-on effects to the community in social and economic terms the County Council takes a different view and recognizes the existence of immediate and underlying pressures for growth in this popular and sustainable level 2 settlement, that will not be accommodated nor satisfied by the present policies in the Publication draft plan.

4.1 SUGGESTED FURTHER MODIFICATIONS

4.1.1 We consider significant sins of omissions exist in the present schedule of proposed Main Modifications and as such we are of the opinion that other changes to the Publication draft plan need urgently to be addressed by means of schedule of Further Modifications in order for the Plan to be sound on adoption. We recognize this would of course necessitate another round of consultations.

4.1.2 Our suggested Further Modifications to the Publication draft plan are set out below.

NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE GREEN BELT – SAFEGUARDED LAND.

4.1.3 Under the heading North East Derbyshire Green Belt the Plan refers to national guidance and states in paragraph 4.71 that :
“The identification of safeguarded land between the urban area and the Green Belt can help to meet longer-term development needs that extend beyond the current plan period, thereby avoiding the need for a review of the Green Belt with Local Plan review”.

4.1.4 In representations previously submitted on the Publication draft plan we expressed support for the idea of such safeguarded land, but considered it was also required to meet both short and medium term development needs within the plan period. As such we urged the Council to undertake a consultation process to identify such potential Safeguarded Land rather than leaving it vague and unspecified.

4.1.5 We consider the decision reached by the Council not to identify any safeguarded land is arbitrary and not justified and therefore makes the plan unsound. The absence of such safeguarded sites will undermine robustness of the plan to cater for futures pressures.

4.1.6 Regrettably the opportunity provided by the present consultation on proposed Main Modifications has not been used to amend Policy SS10 North East Derbyshire Green Belt and include reference to safeguarded land. We consider this to be a major failing particularly when serious concerns were expressed by a wide range of parties that submitted representations to the Publication draft plan over the need for greater robustness and resilience in the housing supply over the plan period.

Housing Allocations
4.1.7 Renishaw is an area of high demand for growth. The tight constraints of the Green Belt have restricted development in recent years leading to rising house prices and unmet housing need. The lack of available and suitable land within the existing settlement means that meaningful levels of housing growth can only be accommodated by release of land on the southern edge of the settlement within the Green Belt.

4.1.8 We have previously drawn attention to the Council and the Inspector that in the case of the level 2 settlement of Renishaw it will actually see a reduction of 3 dwellings over the 20 years of the plan period as set out in the amended Table 4.3. Bizarrely and for no explained reasons in the Plan this is the only level 2 settlement which will see an actual reduction in the total numbers of dwellings available in the plan period between 2014 and 2034.

4.1.9 This is a serious failing on the part of the Plan that will cause major economic and social damage to the prosperity and sustainability of the settlement over the plan period and further prevent any initiatives to meet the challenges of unmet social housing need and give support to housing-led regeneration. Even at this late stage in the plan making process we strongly believe this serious failing on the part of the Publication draft Plan needs to be urgently addressed.

4.1.10 Regrettably the opportunity provided by the present consultation on proposed Main Modifications has not been used to amend Policy LC1 Housing Allocations and include reference to a site on the southern edge of the settlement of Renishaw. We consider this to be a major failing in the Plan which if left unchanged will make the Plan unsound.

5.1 CONCLUSION

5.1.1 In conclusion we hope careful and sympathetic consideration will be given to the various representations set out in this Statement, which has been prepared in response to the present consultation on proposed Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Publication draft plan.

Attachments:

Support

Main Modifications to the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), 2020

Representation ID: 10894

Received: 29/01/2021

Respondent: Cllr Alex Dale, County, District, Town, Parish Cllr Dronfield

Representation:

In relation to MM/008 and MM/009, the more flexible approach provided by removing the 50% rule is very much welcomed, but again provides further reasoning for removing the remaining green belt sites. It is worth making very clear that those communities affected by these sites are not opposed to development taking place in their local area, but feel that there are far more appropriate alternatives that do not involve the loss of large swathes of green belt land. For example, I am aware that residents in Dronfield have submitted several alternative sites within the town which I would urge the Inspector to reconsider and explore as a means of removing the impact on the local green belt.

Full text:

I am writing in response to the above consultation as a local Councillor representing the areas of eastern Dronfield, Coal Aston, Unstone, Apperknowle, Hundall and the Handleys at different tiers of local Government, including County, District, Town and Parish.

While I support some of the Main Modifications (MMs), and in particular those which seek to reduce the impact of development on the green belt, I remain strongly opposed to several of the remaining sites in the Local Plan and in my view the MMs do not go far enough in alleviating the impact on the green belt. I urge the Inspector to go further in her judgements from February 2019 and remove the remaining green belt allocations at DR1, DR2 (formerly DR3), KL1 and KL2.

My comments can be broadly categorised under the following headings:


Lack of adequate justification and exceptional circumstances to release land from the green belt (MMs 004, 005, 008, 009, 015, 016 and Document D Iceni Report)

The figures quoted for recent completions and commitments should be brought more up to date to reflect more recent permissions which have been granted. The latest end date of 31/03/2020 is now 10 months out of date and therefore excludes some key recent developments.

It is noted that in correspondence between the Inspector and the Council in 2019 (ED65 and ED85), Inspector took the welcome step of reducing and removing some key Green Belt development sites from the Local Plan and in doing so suggested that the resultant shortfall (257) from achieving the 6600 housing target, would not in itself make the Plan unsound. In ED85 (July 2019) the Council clarify that in the intervening months that shortfall had reduced further still to only 80. Between April 2019 and March 2020 an application for 84 dwellings at Coney Green, Clay Cross has achieved permission which had not been planned as part of the Local Plan process. This has therefore eliminated that shortfall entirely and achieves a small surplus of 4 dwellings.

However, since 31st March 2020 there have been three further large developments approved on appeal which again fall outside of the Local Plan process. These are:

• Appeal Reference: APP/R1038/W/20/3251224 – Land South East of
Williamthorpe Road and West of Tibshelf Road, Holmewood – 250 dwellings
• Appeal Reference: APP/R1038/W/20/3244154 – Land North of 92 Chesterfield Road, Higham – 24 dwellings
• Appeal Reference: APP/R1038/W/20/3259758 - Land South of Hallfieldgate Lane, Shirland, DE55 6AA – 90 dwellings

Together the above amounts to a surplus of 368 dwellings on the full Plan period housing target of 6600. The Parish Council requests that these more recent approvals are noted within the Plan and that it is brought as up to date as possible. Additionally, in MM/015, the Inspector also suggests that a further 660 houses at the former Coalite site could come forward during the Plan period, none of which have been included towards meeting the housing requirement in the Plan and I would urge the Inspector to consider that these further 660 houses are included towards meeting our housing needs.

If the Inspector was willing to allow a shortfall of over 250 houses to remove two and half green belt allocations from the Plan, while not making the Plan itself unsound, now that there is a significant surplus of between 368 and 1028 (dependent on whether the Coalite site is counted), it cannot be said there is any reasonable justification for removing any land from the green belt as the District’s housing needs are clearly being more than met.

I would strongly urge the Inspector to remove the remaining green belt allocations (DR1, DR2, KL1, KL2) from the Plan on the basis that there are no exceptional circumstances met which would permit their removal from their green belt status. To further solidify this point, the Iceni report demonstrates that the updated ONS population projections can now only justify a housing target of 322dpa. While Iceni believes this does not represent a meaningful change from the existing target of 330dpa, this point is disputed. The reduction of 8 dpa over the 20 year life of the Plan is 160 houses – equal to the size of the proposal at DR1. If this reduction of 160 houses were noted and taken into account, the surplus would stand at between 528 and 1188.

I would go further too in questioning whether the 10% uplift applied by Iceni for affordable housing is justifiable and whether provision for affordable housing would be better protected by policies within the Plan itself.

Moreover, while Iceni say it is too early to make assumptions around the impact of Covid-19, it is entirely plausible to assume that the changes to work patterns, with more people working from home, may become a more permanent feature, which will free up significant amounts of land and buildings within our town centres and particularly that which has previously been used for offices. Significant regeneration and re-utilisation of town centres is therefore likely to be necessary in the coming years, which further highlights the need to protect the green belt in order that it fulfils the purpose of promoting town centre regeneration, as clearly specified within the NPPF.

And finally, in relation to MM/008 and MM/009, the more flexible approach provided by removing the 50% rule is very much welcomed, but again provides further reasoning for removing the remaining green belt sites. It is worth making very clear that those communities affected by these sites are not opposed to development taking place in their local area, but feel that there are far more appropriate alternatives that do not involve the loss of large swathes of green belt land. For example, I am aware that residents in Dronfield have submitted several alternative sites within the town which I would urge the Inspector to reconsider and explore as a means of removing the impact on the local green belt.


Failure to follow a consistent justification when dealing with the green belt allocations (MMs 026, 030, 031, 032, 033)

While the removal of sites at Eckington Road, Coal Aston (former DR2) and land south of Eckington (EC1) are strongly welcomed, it is difficult to understand why the same logic behind the decision to remove them was not applied to the remaining green belt sites. They all arguably fulfil the same green belt purposes as set out in the NPPF.

As an example, in relation to DR1, the site continues to fulfil all five of the purposes of green belt, as specified in the NPPF, and particularly in preventing the coalescence of Dronfield and Unstone. The Inspector’s previous decision to reduce the original size of the site does not in effect have any material difference on the erosion of the historic gap between the two settlements as the bulk of the development will still be extremely visible from the outskirts of Unstone. For those driving between the two communities it would be extremely difficult to identify where one community finishes and the other begins due to the urban sprawl. It is worth highlighting that the same is true to the south of Unstone where development is currently being pursued. The result is that travellers on the B6057 would be able to travel from Chesterfield, almost to the edge of Sheffield without ever leaving a “built-up” area for anything longer than a few yards.

Another key concern in relation to DR1 is the impact on local flooding in Unstone – during 2019, the B6057 in Unstone (opp Fleur De Lys pub) was flooded on three separate occasions causing water ingress into some homes and road closure and disruption. The amounts of surface water from the fields in the surrounding area, including those which make up DR1, pooling in a natural low spot was one of the key causes. Development on DR1 could only further worsen the possible impacts of flooding occurring again in the future on the basis that there will be significantly less land to soak away the surface water.

I understand from residents living close to the site that it is home to a number of important species and I share their concerns about the impact on wildlife populations. Additionally I am concerned about the access arrangements and road safety, given that Chesterfield Road in particularly is busy main thoroughfare route.

The Inspector will undoubtedly have been made aware of many similar concerns around the other green belt sites at DR2, KL1 and KL2 and I strongly support the comments of residents and Dronfield Town Council in highlighting the many significant barriers to developing these sites.

I would urge the Inspector to follow a consistent logic in dealing with the green belt sites by removing all of them on the same grounds as she did with the former DR2 and EC1 sites.

It is clear to me, as it is to many residents in the communities that I represent that there is simply no need, nor justification, for removing land from the green belt and we sincerely hope that the Inspector will come to the same conclusion as a result of this consultation.

Attachments: