Five Year Housing Land Supply Statement at adoption (updated data to 31 March 2020)

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Comment

Supporting Documents to Main Modifications (for comment)

Representation ID: 10055

Received: 25/11/2020

Respondent: Helen Boffy

Representation:

Council Officer has identified Supporting Document.

Extract from Draft Local Plan Appendix 2
17/00841/RM - Land at the Junction of Narrowleys Lane And, Moor Road, Ashover Reserved Matters permission for 26 dwellings was granted in March 2018. A start has been made on site, with the first footings in the ground in January 2020. Site survey work finds footings for 16 dwellings in March 2020. The builder indicates that they are hoping to continue on site later in the year, with an 18 month programme. Due to the uncertainties in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Council has projected 6 dwelling completions in 2021/22, 13 completions in 2022/23 and the remaining 7 completions in 2023/24.

I would like to comment that there are not footings visible for 16 dwellings on the site. I live opposite the site on Narrowleys Lane and the only footings that have been dug are adjacent to the site entrance on Moor Rd, which I think is for 1 property.

Full text:

Extract from Draft Local Plan Appendix 2 17/00841/RM - Land at the Junction of Narrowleys Lane And, Moor Road, Ashover Reserved Matters permission for 26 dwellings was granted in March 2018. A start has been made on site, with the first footings in the ground in January 2020. Site survey work finds footings for 16 dwellings in March 2020. The builder indicates that they are hoping to continue on site later in the year, with an 18 month programme. Due to the uncertainties in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Council has projected 6 dwelling completions in 2021/22, 13 completions in 2022/23 and the remaining 7 completions in 2023/24.

I would like to comment that there are not footings visible for 16 dwellings on the site. I live opposite the site on Narrowleys Lane and the only footings that have been dug are adjacent to the site entrance on Moor Rd, which I think is for 1 property.

Comment

Supporting Documents to Main Modifications (for comment)

Representation ID: 10101

Received: 09/12/2020

Respondent: Mr Robert Barron

Representation:

Paragraph No. 6 in conjunction with ED65
Even after the late submission of the Local Plan was made, these developments have manifested themselves on the landscape. Therefore there is no need to build on Green Belt. In MM/065 the Inspector recognised that 660 houses on the Coalite site could come forward. This and the windfall/brown field sites within the Dronfield part of the plan makes a weak case for advancing the “exceptional circumstances” element. Therefore the logic applied to other areas within the Plan, should see the removal of this proposal being retained.

Full text:

Referring to diagram DR1 The retention of the intention to build 160 houses at the Chesterfield Road site does not make any provision for the recognition that a number of developments which have made a significant contribution to the District’s housing development requirements. Even after the late submission of the Local Plan was made, these developments have manifested themselves on the landscape. Therefore there is no need to build on Green Belt.

F. Five Year Housing Land Supply Statement at adoption (updated data to 31 March 2020) paragraph 6. Even after the late submission of the Local Plan was made, these developments have manifested themselves on the landscape. Therefore there is no need to build on Green Belt. In MM/065 the Inspector recognised that 660 houses on the Coalite site could come forward. This and the windfall/brown field sites within the Dronfield part of the plan makes a weak case for advancing the “exceptional circumstances” element. Therefore the logic applied to other areas within the Plan, should see the removal of this proposal being retained.

Comment

Supporting Documents to Main Modifications (for comment)

Representation ID: 10113

Received: 10/12/2020

Respondent: Mrs Lindsay Barron

Representation:

Paragraph No. 5.18

A significant part of the working population work in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. The population of Dronfield rose as a direct consequence of employers in Sheffield engaging staff who chose to live in Dronfield as it had undergone a significant rise in dwelling numbers during, and from, the 1970s’
.Sheffield has also had to produce a plan, but this accommodates green belt reduction in Dronfield if a holistic view is taken. Within the existing Dronfield imprint, there are a number of windfall and brown field sites where small pockets are developing. These new dwellings are not “affordable housing” provision, yet planning permission is given for these and thereby reflects a weak perspective of planning for 2014-2034.

Full text:

The Green Belt loss in the shape of DR1 is not driven by any exceptional circumstances appertaining to Dronfield residences.

A significant part of the working population work in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. The population of Dronfield rose as a direct consequence of employers in Sheffield engaging staff who chose to live in Dronfield as it had undergone a significant rise in dwelling numbers during, and from, the 1970s’
.Sheffield has also had to produce a plan, but this accommodates green belt reduction in Dronfield if a holistic view is taken. Within the existing Dronfield imprint, there are a number of windfall and brown field sites where small pockets are developing. These new dwellings are not “affordable housing” provision, yet planning permission is given for these and thereby reflects a weak perspective of planning for 2014-2034.

Comment

Supporting Documents to Main Modifications (for comment)

Representation ID: 10115

Received: 10/12/2020

Respondent: Mrs Lindsay Barron

Representation:

Paragraph No. 5.18

The local Town Council of Dronfield created a Neighbourhood Plan which was adopted in following a local referendum. 88.8% voted in favour of this Neighbourhood Plan This vote demonstrated through a democratic process that the Planning was sound in its support for the maintenance of the Green Belt. Indeed the Examiner at the time of the publication of this democratic exercise said the issue ”has great significance for the local community”. To remove this bit of the green belt, when so many other sites across the county that the plan accommodates is contrary to the legitimately held democratic process. (Ref Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan Final Decision Statement 5 November 2019)

This Plan is part of the NE Derbyshire Development Plan in accordance with Regs 19 of the Neighbourhood Planning document 2012. The previous leadership administration was late in approaching the required Local Plan and this proposal is a casualty of that approach.

Full text:

The Green Belt was brought in to protect the environment. Any development should only enhance an area. The 2 fields proposed for development DR1 is contradictory to the wider held views of local residents in Dronfield as evidenced by the Neighbourhood Plan (MM/030 - MM/032)

The local Town Council of Dronfield created a Neighbourhood Plan which was adopted in following a local referendum. 88.8% voted in favour of this Neighbourhood Plan This vote demonstrated through a democratic process that the Planning was sound in its support for the maintenance of the Green Belt. Indeed the Examiner at the time of the publication of this democratic exercise said the issue ”has great significance for the local community”. To remove this bit of the green belt, when so many other sites across the county that the plan accommodates is contrary to the legitimately held democratic process. (Ref Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan Final Decision Statement 5 November 2019)

This Plan is part of the NE Derbyshire Development Plan in accordance with Regs 19 of the Neighbourhood Planning document 2012. The previous leadership administration was late in approaching the required Local Plan and this proposal is a casualty of that approach.

Comment

Supporting Documents to Main Modifications (for comment)

Representation ID: 10205

Received: 23/12/2020

Respondent: Philip and Jill Andrews

Representation:

We do not believe that the “exceptional circumstances” test has been made to remove any land in North East Derbyshire from the Green Belt. We want the Inspector to review the current status of the plan, the five-year housing land supply that can be demonstrated and the housing numbers that have come forward in recent years (see below). We believe that should remove any need to build on Green Belt and the remaining sites in the draft plan should be removed. (Ref Five Year Housing Land Supply Statement)

Full text:

We wish to object to the Main Modifications of the independent planning inspector to the North-East Derby shire local plan. We do so on the following technical grounds:


We recommend you disagree with the Inspector that housebuilding at Chesterfield Road, Dronfield (DR1) should remain in the plan, which leaves proposals to build 160 houses at Chesterfield Road in the plan. It should be removed from the final document. (Ref MM/030). It represents unacceptable further urban sprawl which will result in a continuous conurbation from north Sheffield to south Chesterfield unless halted. As we point out below, there is now no reason for these houses to be included in the plan.


We recommend you disagree with the Inspector that housebuilding at Stubley Hollow, Dronfield (DR3) should remain in the plan. We recommend that you strongly oppose the retention of this proposal and ask for it to be removed from the final document. (Ref MM/032)

We do not believe that the “exceptional circumstances” test has been made to remove any land in North East Derbyshire from the Green Belt. We want the Inspector to review the current status of the plan, the five-year housing land supply that can be demonstrated and the housing numbers that have come forward in recent years (see below). We believe that should remove any need to build on Green Belt and the remaining sites in the draft plan should be removed. (Ref Five Year Housing Land Supply Statement)

Evidence:

There are several housing sites which could contribute to the District wide target of 6600, but are not being counted in the current draft of the Plan. If included, they could further weaken the case that “exceptional circumstances” have been met: a number of developments have been approved on appeal in recent years, which make a significant contribution towards the District’s housing requirements (including 84 at Coney Green, Clay Cross and 250 at Holmewood). In MM/015, the Inspector also suggests that 660 houses at the former Coalite site could come forward during the Plan period, none of which have been included towards the housing requirement previously due to HS2 blight on the site. Taken together, these developments make a significant contribution to meeting housing need and further weaken the case that “exceptional circumstances” to remove Green Belt in the northern towns have been met. (Ref Five Year Housing Land Supply Statement)

The most recently published housing numbers by North East Derbyshire demonstrate there is no longer a shortfall of houses within the plan: in her interim report of February 2019 (ED65), the Inspector acknowledged a shortfall of 257 houses. It is important to highlight that this shortfall has now been eliminated entirely (due partly to the appeal approvals above), further removing the case that “exceptional circumstances” can be demonstrated to justify the removal of land from the Green Belt in Dronfield. If the Inspector was willing to allow a small shortfall in order to remove two Green Belt sites last year, she should use the same logic now to remove the remaining ones. (Ref Five Year Housing Land Supply Statement)

The Inspector’s justification for the removal of sites at Coal Aston and Eckington could be applied to the remaining sites in Dronfield. The Inspector should apply her own logic, as outlined in correspondence dated 18/02/2019, to remove the remaining Green Belt sites in Dronfield (DR1 and DR3) (Ref MM/026, MM/031, MM/033, MM/031, MM/032)

We would be grateful if you would take these considerations into account in your review.

Comment

Supporting Documents to Main Modifications (for comment)

Representation ID: 10517

Received: 14/01/2021

Respondent: Mr Paul Johnson

Representation:

See attached document.

Full text:

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS AND EVIDENCE.
NEDDC LOCAL PLAN.
(See photographs in the attachment)

My comments are both personal and made on behalf of a group of Killamarsh residents who are opposed to building on Green Belt land in Killamarsh. The comments are relevant to one particular proposed site in Killamarsh not currently covered in the main modifications. They relate, in the main, to the unfairness of the allocation of this specific site, together with evidenced reasons for its removal.

In addition, new evidence, that was not available during the period for the submission of comments during the public consultation period prior to the November/December, 2018 public hearings, is now available. It is my submission that this new evidence, outlined within this document, has a strategic implication for the Local Plan (The Plan) and not just a site-specific one to be considered by the Planning Authority.

I totally support the removal from the North East Derbyshire Local Plan (Publication Draft), (subsequently referred to as ‘the Plan’) of 2.5 sites, in Dronfield, Coal Aston (DR/1 and DR/2) and Eckington (EC/1), because of the problematic planning issues identified by the Inspector.

However, this leaves an anomalous situation in respect of one of the remaining sites, currently within a Green Belt location in Killamarsh – site KL/1.

Site KL/1 bears a remarkable similarity, in descriptive terms, to the site at Eckington (EC1), now quite properly removed from the Plan.

The Inspector referred to Site EC1 thus, “…it extends along an elevated ridgeline creating a distinctive west – east axis to the built up area. In contrast, the proposed site allocation would extend in a north – south down the hillside……..opening up views of the development. The new dwellings, access road and changes to vegetation and landform would be readily visible due to the topography of the site” (Letter from Inspector to NEDDC Planning Office Manager, dated 18.2.19).

This exactly describes the situation of Site KL1, as the appended photograph, taken from Station Road, Spinkhill, shows. (Photograph 1).

Background evidence documents show that there is a 43 metre drop from the northeast to the southwest of this site. The proposed buildings on this site would fill any of the green space shown on photograph 1, showing an obvious extension to the built area of Killamarsh.

This view is supported by the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of KL/1 which states, “However, a development would have a visual impact because of its prominent setting on the southern edge of Killamarsh and its slope downward to the southwest “.

An amber score was recorded for the site, when it should have been red. Views from the northern aspects of the proposed site give wide-ranging views of the hills and valleys of Derbyshire to the south and west. These will be lost, giving a significantly negative impact on a public visual amenity (see below).

Although the site is privately-owned currently there are five public rights of way crossing the land, all of which give access to such views.

Local knowledge of the consequences of development is supported by the SA, dated February, 2018, in a table at paragraph 1.20.2, which states, “The proposed development would alter the urban fringe and extend the built form of Killamarsh into the countryside. It would be likely to detract from southward views into the countryside for existing residents and from nearby public footpaths”.

Photograph 1.



Table 5.1 of this SA (page 55) assesses the site KL/1 to have 6 negative points while the two sites subsequently removed have only five.

It is fully appreciated that the Westthorpe Fields Business Park is located in low-lying ground, to the left of the proposed site as it is viewed from Spinkhill, but it is completely concealed from long views of the area because of the tree and shrub cover. The proposed site would be an obvious and significant intrusion into the countryside, as described by the Inspector in her letter dated 18.2.19, and contravenes policy SS11, paragraphs 1 (a.ii), and 1 (c).

However, the challenges in respect of this particular site do not end there.

Now that Sites EC/1, DR/1 and part of DR/2 have been removed from the Plan a totally disproportionate development burden falls upon Killamarsh. This is contrary to the principles of Paragraph 1.5 of the Plan, which states that, “In addition, a revised spatial distribution of development was proposed to give greater focus on development at the main towns of Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh in the north of the District”.

The removal of the sites in Dronfield and Eckington, in my view, creates a contravention of paragraph 1(a) of Policy SS1 in terms of ‘meeting the need in defined settlements or other allocated areas having regard to the defined settlement hierarchy’. Policy SS2, paragraph 8(c) refers to ‘new development that is appropriate in scale and reflects their position in the settlement hierarchy’.

This is clearly no longer the case in respect of Killamarsh, and appears to be a contravention of MM/008, MM/009 and MM/010.

The figures shown for the three northern towns of the District in MM10 are as follows:

Dronfield 303
Eckington 213
Killamarsh 560

The alleged need for an additional 560 dwellings in Killamarsh makes it the highest requirement amongst all the tier 1 settlements and the highest in the district, apart from the strategic sites.

The removal of site KL/1 from the Plan would reduce the Killamarsh requirement to 230 additional homes, a figure much more relevant to its size within the northern settlements.

It may be considered that the removal of this site from the Plan allocations will fail to allow the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) to be achieved. Please bear in mind that the OAN for North East Derbyshire was significantly less than the Regeneration Scenario decided upon. If this should lead to an eventual small shortfall in numbers it would be in accord with the eventual decision reached in R (Hunstanton Properties Ltd.) v SSLG and St. Albans City and District Council (2013). Here, on appeal, Sir David Kean commented that, “Local Planning Authorities are required to ensure that the full OAN for housing are to be met, as far as is consistent with the policies set out in the framework”.

He continued, “The government attaches great importance to Green Belts and it seems clear, and is not in dispute in this appeal, that a Local Plan could properly fall short of meeting the full OAN for housing in its area because of the conflict which would otherwise arise with policies on the Green Belt (and other protected land designations)”. He also commented that, “What is likely to be significant in the preparation of this Local Plan ….is that virtually all the undeveloped land in the district outside the built up areas forms part of the…Green Belt”. He also stated that the removal of land from the Green Belt designation was not an automatic result of there being less than a five year supply of development land; it was more a question of the scale of any shortfall.

He further commented upon the planning context of relevant decisions, stating that if a district was subject ‘to a considerable scale’ to policies protecting much or most of the undeveloped land (through Green Belt or other designations) it may be wholly unsurprising that there is not a five year supply. He concluded this aspect of the discussions by saying that “a decision maker is entitled to conclude that ‘some shortfall of land supply was inevitable”.

North East Derbyshire does have a five year housing supply of deliverable land and so should be even less subject to Green Belt removal than the case in point.

Sir David Kean could have been commenting on the situation in the northern part of North East Derbyshire instead of the location he was considering.

Sir David also made some interesting and relevant comments about Green Belt removal in this same judgement. He recognises that the Local Plan process envisages some review of Green Belt boundaries but emphasises that, “The general extent of the Green Belt across the country is already established. A new Local Plan process is not sufficient to justify change, it still needs ‘exceptional circumstances’ to be demonstrated. Once a Green Belt boundary has been established and approved it requires more than general planning concepts to justify an alteration”. Mr Lockhart-Mummery confirmed that the test is “a very stringent one”.

It is noteworthy that Sir David used the same terminology for the removal of land from the Green Belt as the 2012 NPPF, i.e. ‘exceptional circumstances’. There is no mention within the NPPF of ‘least harm’ to the Green Belt, a phrase still used in MM/094 in respect of Dronfield, and which is used in respect of site KL/1 in Killamarsh. Where is the legitimacy of the ‘least harm’ option against the stringency of ‘exceptional circumstances’?

There is no suggestion that the North East Derbyshire Green Belt designation has been incorrectly made, and I completely agree with the refined wording of MM/020, in respect of Policy SS10 (1), that now accords with the NPPF.

In terms of the NEDDC Local Plan Inspector Housden has queried whether the Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum v Leeds City Council (and others), (2020), has any relevance. I believe that this Judgement has relevance, with my comments relating to the period of time when the public consultation was taking place prior to the Publication Draft being considered.

One of the issues considered in Aireborough was the illegality of failing to provide up-to-date information on the actual surplus of delivery of dwellings.

I contend that such up-to-date information was not provided by the then NEDDC administration in sufficient time prior to the public hearings in November/December, 2018, thus preventing a more focussed discussion and challenge to the ‘exceptional circumstances’ allegedly informing the need for Green Belt release. This relates to information omitted in respect of:
• Completed dwellings,
• Plots with existing planning permission,
• Brownfield plots inappropriately disregarded , and
• The exclusion of windfall predictions and the use of inappropriate lapse rates.

Completed Dwellings.

The completion figures provided by the Council took into account completions from 2014 to 31.3.17. This left a year or more where completion figures were not provided before the consultation documents were published and some 20 months before the hearings began.

The % Year Housing Land Supply document (April 2020) shows that there were 396 completions between 2017 and 2018. This is a figure which, if added to the disclosed figures, would obviate the requirement for both of the GB sites within Killamarsh being utilised.

Existing Permissions.

The figures for level 1 and 2 sites were provided up to January, 2018 (still 10 months before the hearings), but those in respect of level 3 and 4 sites were only provided up to 31.3.17 – again some 20 months before the hearings began. NEDDC only released figures up to 17.1.18 - 2 days prior to the scheduled public hearings. This may have allowed experts to assimilate the new information, but it was insufficient for lay people. The figures showed that 113 dwellings had received planning permission in level 3 and 4 settlements.

Brownfield plots inappropriately disregarded.

The Coalite strategic site had all 660 proposed dwellings excluded from the Plan due to fears of incursion by HS2. This only affected a small part of the site and should have allowed at least a proportion of the dwellings to be built. This is even more relevant now due to the probability that the relevant HS2 line will not be constructed.

The Avenue strategic site only brought forward 400 of the 1,100 proposed plots before 2034 and only 825 of the potential 1,000 plots at the Bywaters strategic site were included before 2034.

Additionally, only 225 of the potential 550 dwellings were included at a Holmewood development. The Housing Topic paper, Jan. 2018, raised a query about this site, but there was no explanation as to why only 225 dwellings had been shown as deliverable.

Windfall sites/Lapse rates.

Windfall site figures were only included in the calculations up to 17.3.17, and an assumption within the Plan does not include any windfall sites having:

• Become available,
• Gained planning permission, or
• Being completed

Before 2021/2022.

Lapse rates were calculated at more than twice the actual rate (5% against an actual of 2.13%) despite LGA advice stating that such rates should be calculated on ‘historic data rather than a standard approach’.

The above issues give rise to a reasonable belief that full, accurate and up-to-date data was not provided prior to the 2018 public hearings, thus precluding a viable challenge on both housing need requirements and the ‘exceptional circumstances’ justifying the removal of land from the Green Belt.

Whilst this differs significantly, in terms of scale, from the Aireborough Judgement it correlates in terms of the finding that a failure to provide up-to-date data is an error in law.

As Mrs. Justice Lieven stated in the Aireborough case, “The level of discrepancy is such as to wipe out the entire numerical need for the Green Belt release”. She also commented that, “Even if the error figure was somewhat less….it would materially diminish the need for Green Belt release, and in pure numerical terms remove it from Aireborough, where the Green Belt release figure was 475”. Again this differs from the NEDDC Plan only in scale.

A similar issue was raised by the Inspector in the case of the County Durham Local Plan in 2014. The Inspector gave a ruling that the release of Green Belt land was unnecessary, because housing supply was not being accounted for elsewhere. The Inspector’s report states, “Given the Plan is reliant on demonstrating exceptional circumstances for the release of Green Belt sites, in this particular situation I consider it of paramount importance that sources of supply are fully accounted for”.

Settlement Gaps.

MM/021 relates to Policy SS11. Paragraph 1(c) of the amended document is much clearer in respect of the closure of settlement gaps. I believe that the development of site KL/1 contravenes this section by ‘resulting in the erosion of existing settlement separation and identity, created by the undeveloped character of those spaces’ (see photograph 1), in relation to its proximity to Spinkhill.

Exceptional Circumstances and Spatial Strategy.

Taking these findings into account, together with subsequent evidence, it is apparent that the retention of site KL/1 does not now demonstrate the necessary ‘exceptional circumstances’ and that its removal, even if this leads to a small shortfall in the delivery of new homes is the District, would be legally acceptable. Paragraph 2.14 of the Plan identifies the need for ‘balancing the housing need of these specific areas (Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh) against the impact on the Green Belt and countryside’.

In terms of size and population Killamarsh will now meet not only the lion’s share of the defined development need identified within the settlement hierarchy, certainly within the north of the District, but will cause the most damage to the well-established Green Belt.

This is totally unfair because the Green Belt and countryside needs of Dronfield and Eckington are being rightly and justifiably protected, whereas those of Killamarsh are not.

In background evidence to the Local Plan Killamarsh was judged to have inadequate green space at present. Development on this site will only exacerbate this situation, thereby contravening Policy N2 in respect of countryside recreational pursuits. The site in question has five public footpaths/rights of way crossing it, with views to the south and west being particularly attractive to walkers.

The next important issue relates to the reasons why the Regeneration Scenario of ‘a minimum of 6,600 (dwellings)’ was chosen as the housing target rather than the OAN target of 5,660. Three reasons were given for this choice, with the third one being ‘the delivery of more affordable homes’. This requirement of the Plan is still present at paragraph 3.5 of the revised Plan which states that the policies within it will be “helping to deliver much-needed affordable homes”.

If the removal of site KL/1 from its Green Belt designation is viewed as a rational, unavoidable decision necessitated by ‘exceptional circumstances’, then the sites chosen for development should be judged against their ability to deliver affordable homes, bearing in mind the many occasions when the ‘viability’ card is played by developers to obviate their previously agreed commitments. This issue is particularly pertinent in relation to development undertaken in areas of high mining risk and ground contamination, as is undeniably the case for Site KL/1, due to the costs inherent in remediation work.

It is worth noting that an examination of a specific site in the Amber Valley Local Plan examination in May, 2018, (PPG Ref: EMS.1640) relates to a proposal to build 200 homes on a landfill site, in a mining area, where contamination was an issue. The potential S. 106 agreement required funds to move the land tenants (a Rugby Club) to a different location, to remediate the land and to provide affordable homes accounting for 20%-30% of the development. Amber Valley did not have a 5 year housing supply (only 3.3 years). North East Derbyshire has a Housing Land Supply of 8.3 years (amended 5 Year Housing Land Supply Statement, 22.5.20).

The Amber Valley site was removed from the Plan and an Appeal was launched, commencing on the 19th July, 2017.

The Inspector in this case accepted that the Authority had a significant under-supply of much-needed housing and noted that an expert’s view was that the risks were unlikely to be more extensive than previously identified. This is not the definitive case in respect of site KL/1.

Whilst weighing the benefits of the scheme against the drawbacks the Inspector commented that the remediation costs of the development would result in the provision of affordable homes being far less that the 20% - 30% required by the Plan and gave only limited weight to that, possibly due to the insufficient 5 year housing supply.

However, in the case of the NEDDC Local Plan, the need for more affordable homes was a prime consideration in the decision to opt for a Regeneration Scenario that significantly exceeded the OAN, suggesting that more weight needs to be given to a potential failure to provide the required percentage of affordable homes (and the many other compensatory benefits promised to ameliorate the loss of a well-used and locally-important Green Belt site).

The Inspector for the Amber Valley plan placed great weight on the potential for harm to health and living conditions, due to contamination on the proposed site, when deciding that the potential for harm outweighed the benefits and would ‘not accord with the environmental dimension’. When considering the issues as a whole he decided that the proposed development would not be sustainable and dismissed the appeal.

Site KL/1 contains a myriad of development challenges including, but exceeding, those encountered in the above case, and including land contamination (see later for contamination evidence).

While these issues may be regarded as a decision for the Planning Committee of the North East Derbyshire District Council they are absolutely at the core of the Local Plan because they impinge upon the very basis of policies within the Plan and challenge the foundations of the decision to adopt the Regeneration Scenario as the housing target, which necessitated the decision to remove land from the Green Belt due to the presence of alleged ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Viability Issues.

Additionally, and importantly, the viability of the development is very probably at issue – a fact even admitted by the agent of the developer, if the developer is obliged to provide compensatory benefits and 20% affordable homes on site KL/1.

This site is not classed as ‘high value’ within the Plan despite it being claimed as such by the owners of the site, due to the alleged clamour from people wishing to move from Sheffield to a more rural area. If it were classed as high value it would require 30% affordable homes to be built, bringing viability even more into play. It is also interesting to note that Dronfield and Killamarsh are still referred to as areas of ‘high demand for growth’. Eckington was so labelled before the relevant site was removed from the Plan, as indicated in MM/096. Surely this ‘high demand’ for growth should result in the areas being designated as ‘high value’, and a requirement for 30% of affordable homes to be built on the relevant sites?

Mr Adam Murray, then of Coda Planning, consultants to Harworth Estates, states in a pre-application planning statement for site KL/1 (page 7), “On a more practical level the developers of the site will, where viability allows, be required to provide financial contributions which will be ring-fenced by the Local Authority to go towards the provision of local community infrastructure, such as school and GP places”.

Later in the same statement, in respect of Developer Contributions and Affordable housing (page 20 of statement), “The applicant is aware of these requirements and intends to fulfil these obligations where viability allows, bearing in mind the significant remediation works required as a result of the historic use of the site”.

A planning error by the would-be developer will also cause additional expenditure or loss of revenue by preventing the developing of some plots of land as a report from Yorkshire Water states that the indicative Master Plan for site KL/1 shows that “buildings, trees and the attenuation pond will be located over the line of a 225/300mm public combined sewer (which is not shown on the drawings) which would jeopardise Yorkshire Water’s ability to maintain the sewerage network”.

Buildings, landscape features and an attenuation pond will have to be moved elsewhere, impinging even more on viability.

The last, and possibly most relevant issue, is that the Local Plan allocation for this site is 330 dwellings, while the OPL submitted by the developer is for 397 dwellings. NEDDC still appear to support their estimate of 330 dwellings being the optimum number for this site. The potential ‘loss’ of 67 dwellings will be a significant financial issue, and will certainly impinge upon viability.

The Judgement in Parkhurst Road Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (and others) (2018) EWHC 991 (Admin), albeit based on actual figures rather than high probability, found that the ‘appeal proposals would not provide the maximum reasonable level of affordable housing in accordance with policies’. Holgate J commented that, “It is also important to ensure that new development is sustainable, delivering the maximum level of affordable houses in all cases so as to meet the needs of all”.

There are many reported cases where the viability clause has been used by developers to change and reduce S 106 agreements designed to ameliorate and mitigate the damage done to a community by large-scale development. Developers then get the benefit of sales, but local people have to live with the damage, disruption and consequences afterwards. Hopefully this anomalous situation will be remedied if the newly-published government white paper on housing is enacted, which proposes to replace the porous S 106 agreements with a mandatory Infrastructure Levy.

The clear and present danger of a viability challenge, leading to fewer affordable homes being built, and ameliorating benefits dropped, would contravene MM3 and objective D5 – Housing for All.

The ICENI Objectively Assessed Housing Need report of July, 2020, at paragraph 35, shows that the housing need has received a 10% uplift to assist the delivery of affordable homes. Surely this means that the provision of affordable homes should be a significant and compelling priority consideration when deciding on a site’s suitability, particularly when it forms one of the three pillars used to enforce its removal from the Green Belt?

Obviously the viability is realistic conjecture, but based on ‘hard’ evidence.

In respect of MM/063 I suggest an additional paragraph should be entered on page 78, paragraph 5.72. After the first sentence ending ‘proposed scheme’ an extra sentence should be added. This should read, “Where the provision of the full requirement of affordable homes within a development scheme is manifestly unviable from the outset, due to significant remediation costs, then the proposed site will not be considered for inclusion within the Plan”.

(See further within the ‘Sustainability’ section).


Mining Risk.

In Killamarsh the site KL/1 is located in a mining high risk area. Six mine entrances are recorded as being present on-site and mining plan maps show that mine workings lie beneath much of the site. Only one of these mine entrances had been capped. There is no evidence that the entrances or workings have been treated. One entrance has not even been found during an initial site survey. The reason that I have stressed the recording aspect in relation to this site is that there is evidence of unrecorded mining works that pre-date records maintained by The Coal Authority.

There are a number of other challenges that will cause significant expenditure for the developer(s) at this site, and which will consequently impinge on the viability of it. These issues are evidenced by site examination documents made public during an outline planning application in respect of the site, but are relevant in respect of the strategic aspects of this site and the Local Plan. These documents, produced by Rogers Leask Environmental Ltd. (RLE), show;

• Collapsed unrecorded mine workings were observed to the north of the site (during test drilling),
• Unrecorded shallow working has likely occurred from the five recorded mine shafts to the east of the site,
• The risk of unrecorded workings at shallow depth impacting the development is considered high,
• The known mine work remediation will affect 175 of the proposed 397 dwellings (330 in the Local Plan draft),
• The Technical Note provided by RLE in respect of this site shows that 275 potential building plots would be affected by the need to grout mine entrances and shafts,
• There is a geological fault line running through the centre of the site (NE to SW). In areas of significant coal mining there is an increased risk of fault reactivation, particularly when unrecorded workings have taken place in the vicinity of the fault,
• High concentrations of carbon dioxide gas are being generated from the old coal spoil heap to the north of the site,
• Gas escapes are occurring on other parts to the east of the site. Gas escapes will impact upon 18 of the dwellings planned for the site,
• Untreated mineshafts may provide a possible migration path for mine gasses to reach the surface,
• A book (Holbrook and Halfway, The Early Years – by James Walton), published in 1996, shows that there are 442 old, abandoned mine workings between Killamarsh and Barlborough, the locations of which are ‘not known with any certainty’. These pre-date Coal Authority records. (Not from RLE findings),
• The geological fault crosses the centre of the proposed site. This could also be reactivated due to ground disturbance during excavations and construction. The potential movement of the ground, together with the collapse of unrecorded bell pits (seen during ground survey) and other unrecorded mine workings (alleged high chance of their existence) could well lead to the appearance of sink holes, either during construction or subsequently.
• One such sink hole appeared on this plot of land when it was being cultivated by a local farmer (local knowledge). These circumstances could well injure the site workforce and existing residents in the properties adjoining the site. Some parts of the site remain unexamined – providing the opportunity for further dangers/abnormal costs to become apparent (RLE report).

Contaminated Land.

Further issues relating to the former mining use of the site relate to the presence of;

• Contaminated material amongst the soil samples taken that would present ‘a potential risk to end users’,
• This means that the spoil heap and contaminated ground will have to be dug up and transported away from the site to a safe disposal area. New, clean topsoil will have to be transported to the site to replace that which has been taken away,
• Obviously this will not only bring significant additional costs to the remediation project but will ensure that current residents to the east, northeast and southwest of the site will be plagued and impacted by dust, fumes, unpleasant smells and the potential transfer of contaminated material to local dwellings from the site, certainly for the early part of the project but for the full duration of it. This may span 10-15 years.
• Most importantly, some of the contaminants are potential carcinogens, predominantly Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), which incorporate other potential health threats.

These known and identified issues have been commented upon by the agent of the land owner in the Planning Statement that accompanies planning application 18/01003/OL, which can be found on the North East Derbyshire District Council Planning Portal. These matters, together with many others will, without doubt, impinge upon the site viability previously referred to.

More importantly, in my view, they contravene Policy SDC 14, paragraphs 1,2 and 3.

Archaeological and Historical Issues.

The investigative work undertaken on this site by Wessex Archaeology (WA) has also shown the presence of medieval and post-medieval features:

• a rectilinear enclosure with internal features,
• a medieval Holloway,
• ring ditches,
• evidence of a strip field system, ridge and furrow ploughing and field boundaries corresponding with the 1845 Tithe Map of Killamarsh.

The Detailed Gradiometer Survey Report by WA highlighted the presence of:

• potential archaeological anomalies, ferrous burnt and fired objects and magnetic trends.

Just as importantly a bell pit was identified together with evidence of mining or mineral extraction, of uncertain date (WA), giving support to the assertion made by this company that “the risk of unrecorded workings at shallow depth impacting the development is considered to be high”.

This company also identified that “large pit-like anomalies have also been noted throughout the survey area [due to] activity on uncertain dates”.

The report by WA notes that, “small, weakly magnetised features may produce responses that are below the detection threshold for magnetometers. It may therefore be the case that more archaeological features may be present than have been identified through geophysical survey”.

Apart from the potential to harm workers on the site this evidence shows that the costs of remediation will be extremely significant. The investigation of the archaeological evidence will likely be expensive and, potentially time-consuming to resolve in order to comply with the 2012 NPPF. This recognises heritage assets as an irreplaceable resource, a fact acknowledged by WA in their comment, “Any adverse impact to buried archaeological features would be permanent and irreversible in nature”.

The appropriate investigation of the findings described above will, no doubt, prove to be a time-consuming and expensive challenge to MM/106 and policy SDC 7.

It is my submission that the development of this site would contravene paragraph 2.25 on the Plan, Policy D10 and Paragraph 192 (a) and (b) of the NPPF, 2012.

Air Quality (relevant to MM/113 and SDC 13).

The northern part of site KL/1 is flanked on three sides by existing dwellings, many pre-dating the former Westthorpe Colliery. The building of a large housing estate, together with the traffic pollution inherent in the habitation of the eventual buildings, must have a negative effect on existing residents – a fact acknowledged in the SA of the Local Plan. Amongst a number of points that placed the site into an ‘amber’ category the SA stated that it would “engender a significant increase in Greenhouse Gas emissions”.

Background evidence document supporting the Local Plan show no Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) in Killamarsh. However, they show that the east of the North East Derbyshire District (including Killamarsh) suffers the most from air pollution, due to its proximity to the M1 motorway.

Killamarsh is located at the north-eastern tip of the District and site KL/1 is located less than 1 mile, as the crow flies, from the M1. Killamarsh and this site KL/1 were specifically highlighted within an area then currently suffering from the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulates in the District, in a map shown at page 24 of the ‘Scoping Report for the Sustainability Appraisal of the NE Derbyshire Core Strategy, February, 2012’.

This situation has not improved, in fact it has likely deteriorated due to the expansion of the M1 motorway in this area to 8 lanes. The M1 motorway to the north of Killamarsh, on the eastern approach to the city of Sheffield, also has eight lanes. This is currently subjected to a 60mph speed limit which, according to motorway signs, is to ‘reduce air pollution’. Those same eight lanes pass beside Killamarsh where the speed limit on the motorway is still 70mph, leading to an increased pollution probability.

Despite these factors a response from the Environmental Protection Officer (Ms. Caroline McMaffrey) to comments about application 18/01003/OL states that ‘the application is not accompanied by an air quality assessment and although it is a large development we do not consider we have sufficient grounds to request an assessment’. This seems to be a remarkable omission.

The Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) has produced guidance entitled ‘Land-use Planning and Development Control: Planning for Air Quality’ V1.2, dated January, 2017. Table 6.2 of that document sets out indicative criteria for proceeding to an Air Quality Assessment.

“A significant change in LDV (light-duty vehicle) flows (cars and small vans) is classed as an increase of more than 500 trips as AADT (Annual Average Daily Traffic), outside of AQMAs”.

The Transport Assessment which accompanies the application indicates that the trip generation of the scheme will result in almost 2000 additional daily trips. This exceeds the IAQM’s screening criteria by almost four times, therefore clearly triggering the need for an appropriate Air Quality Assessment to be undertaken.

In addition to potential operational phase traffic impacts, the scheme also exceeds the IAQM’s screening criteria for assessment of potential dust impacts during the construction phase given the proximity of existing residential properties to the north, east and west. The criteria state that an assessment will normally be required where there is a human receptor within:
• 350m of the boundary of the site; or
• 50m of the route(s) used by construction vehicles on the public highway, up to 500m from the site entrance(s); or an ecological receptor,
• Within 50m of the boundary of the site; or
• 50m of the route(s) used by construction vehicles on the public highway, up to 500m from the site entrance(s).

As this proposed development is intended to be built beside existing, longstanding homes all the requirements for an air quality assessment are fulfilled.

In short, a full Air Quality Assessment, including detailed dispersion modelling of traffic impacts, should be submitted in order to assess the potential risks to existing sensitive receptors during both the construction and operational phases of the development.

This will be another expense for the developer, additional to the very significant known remediation costs, and added to the costs and time delays inherent in exploring the potentially-significant archaeological evidence on the site.

Clearly, each of the identified problems on this site is capable of eventual remediation, but at what cost, both financial, disruption-wise and danger to the lives, health and welfare of existing and future local residents?

It is my submission that development on this site would contravene Policy SDC 13, points 1, 2 and 4, together with paragraph 109, bullet points 3 and 4 of the NPPF 2012. It also contravenes paragraph 3.4 of the Plan in terms of creating safe, integrated and healthy communities.

Sustainability.

Paragraph 173 of the NPPF 2012 states, “Pursuing sustainable development requires careful attention to viability and costs in plan-making and decision-taking. Plans should be deliverable. Therefore, the sites and the scale of development identified in the plan should not be subject to such a scale of obligations and policy burdens that their ability to be developed viably is threatened. To ensure viability, the costs of any requirements likely to be applied to developments, such as requirements for affordable housing, standards, infrastructure contributions or other requirements should, when taking account of the normal cost of development and mitigation, provide competitive returns to a willing landowner and willing developer to enable the development to be deliverable”.

Returning to the viability argument I believe that paragraph 173 is stating that plans for development should be carried out, in total, when development and mitigation costs are known at the outset, thereby negating any subsequent viability claim. The known costs of remediation at site KL/1, together with the additional costs which will be necessary, show that viability is at issue right from the outset. The requisite number of affordable homes will not be built, despite this being a keystone in the decision to remove site KL/1 from its Green Belt status.

In Parkhurst Road Ltd v SSCLG and London Borough of Islington (2018) Holgate J said, “It is clear that the appeal proposal would not provide the maximum reasonable level of affordable housing in accordance with policies”. He continued, “It is also important to ensure that new development is sustainable, delivering the maximum reasonable level of affordable housing in all cases so as to meet the needs of all”.

Gallagher Homes v Solihull MBC (2014) shows that sustainable development is an ‘ongoing duty’.

The NPPF, 2012, paragraphs 83 and 84 states that “When drawing up or reviewing Green Belt boundaries Local Planning Authorities should take account of the need to promote sustainable patterns of development”.

Whilst most of the foregoing and subsequent information emanates from local knowledge and a specific Outline Planning Application (OLP) in respect of KL/1, the evidence contained within it must be considered when qualifying and enhancing the educated guesses and estimates included within the SA for this site. Actual evidence, particularly when this emanates from professional investigation, should ‘trump’ a mere opinion, despite the quality of the expert giving the ‘opinion’.

The following issues also challenge the sustainability of development on this site.

Ecological Matters.

The whole concept of development in this location appears to contravene MM/101, 103 and 104, together with policies SDC 3 and SDC 4.

There are significant ecological challenges to the development of Site KL/1, and major issues in respect of the site’s sustainability – contrary to the rosy picture painted by the developer’s agent. The whole site sustainability, within the terms of the NPPF, is also questionable, despite assertions to the contrary made by the planning consultant to the developer.

Policy SDC4 promotes the enhancement of all sites of bio/geo diversity value, together with sites providing habitats for priority and protected species.

A survey report completed by Access Ecology (AE) shows that significant damage will be caused to ecology at the site location. It does indicate that mitigation measures to ameliorate some of the effect can be taken. The Ecological Impact Assessment, revision B, May, 2018 (page 60) states that development of this site will cause,

• Habitat loss,
• Disturbance of and damage to habitats,
• Pollution from dust, spoils and run-off,
• Fragmentation or isolation of habitats,
• Disturbance and injury/death to fauna.

The construction work will require the removal of both sections and whole hedgerows, the felling of mature trees and the removal of approximately 70% of the species-rich, semi-improved grassland. There are:

• 14 hedgerows on site,
• 11 of these have been examined,
• 5 of these hedgerows are ecologically important under the Hedgerow Regulations, 1997 and of high value, being assessed as more than 140 years old (the three unexamined hedgerows may be similarly important, but we do not yet know). Their loss will reduce ecological connectivity across the site,
• Construction work will require the removal of five full hedgerows. More than half of two more hedgerows will also be removed, together with smaller parts of six more (of the 14 shown on the site). The removal of the hedgerows will cause the loss of 8 mature trees.
• An assessment of these trees believes them not to be important species. This may be true of the tree per se, but they have ecological importance to the myriad of birds, mammals and animals that use them,
• The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for this potential site states that, “the hedgerow and tree removal will cause a noticeable change to existing environmental conditions across the site in that connective habitat features across the site will be lost and the functionality and structure of the retained hedgerows will mean that there is no longer a functional green network across the site”. The developer will, again dependent upon viability, introduce a new greenway at the edge of the site, having destroyed a functional existing greenway.
• 66 different species of bird have been identified as using the site,
• At least 15 of these species are on the ‘red’ endangered species list,
• 5 species of bat use the site,
• Great crested newts have been found in the vicinity of the site, with more expected to be actually on-site,
• 25 Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) are located within a 2km radius of the site,
• 1 LWS is located on the site,
• 2 others are located within 150 metres of the site,
• The disturbance, damage and pollution of the site will be of ‘moderate negative significance’, according to the report by Access Ecology, although the EIA for the site says, “the impacts are considered to be present in both the short and the long term and are unlikely to be reversible over a reasonable period of time”. This is surely would be a contravention of policy SDC 4 (2).
• The EIA states that there will be ‘adverse effects, mostly at the local level’
• The fields of the site are described as ‘fairly species-rich, semi improved grassland’. They were remediated by RJB Mining (a predecessor of the current developer) and made into a wildflower meadow. They contain many species of wildflower and orchid. Their removal during construction is described as having ‘moderate negative significance’,
• A report in 1998 by RJB mining showed that the company, as part of their efforts to clean up, remediate and improve the site, removed the culvert directing water from the site into Park Brook. This was removed because there was a significant increase in iron concentrations between the entrance and the exit of the culvert. RJB reinstated an open watercourse to Park Brook in the belief that this would ‘significantly improve water quality downstream of the site’. It did, and there are local wildlife sites now associated with Park Brook.
• Development plans for the site include the re-introduction of a culvert emptying into Park Brook (MM/109, SDC and Local Plan page 150, para 8.51)
• This site, if developed, will increase the flooding risk at the lowest points of Green Lane and Spinkhill Road, which are currently susceptible to infrequent flooding and closure, although the periods between flooding are reducing, possibly due to climate change. This flooding is not a 100 year event; it has happened three times in the last 12 months to both roads (see photographs 2 and 3 for examples).
• The development will rob this rural site of most of its ability to absorb excess water, which will then, because of the topography of the area, run onto the road system – mainly the Green Lane carriageway. The output from the detention ponds will flow into Park Brook, which does, and will, flood Spinkhill Road which, despite being an unclassified road, is a main route into Killamarsh from the south and M1, J30, and for those travelling south of Killamarsh. Green Lane serves a similar function. (see photographs 2 and 3).

Photograph 2 – Green Lane, Killamarsh,
taken 11.59am, 7.11.19.

Photograph 3 – Spinkhill Road, 11.32am, 7.11.19.


The Green Infrastructure section of the Plan (page 176, paragraph 9.67, bullet point 8) states, in respect of Sustainable Drainage, that, “green infrastructure helps to manage water flow and quality by holding it in times of high rainfall and releasing it slowly, reducing the likelihood of flood and drought, and can prevent pollution by filtration of surface water runoff, thereby contributing to improvements in quality of watercourses…”

• This important safeguard will be removed if this site is allowed to be developed.

The proposals for this site show an intention to enhance the amenity of the remaining land. How this will be achieved, by devastating a large proportion of the site with the construction of houses and tinkering with a small portion of the site to make that tiny portion better than the original free-ranging land, is an interesting conundrum. Will this ‘minimise harm to biodiversity, or provide gains where possible?’ I believe that the development of this site will cause significant, long-lasting and irreversible damage.

Extensive views of the Derbyshire hills to the west of the site will be lost, as will the public amenity of five public rights of way that cross the site. Any upgrading of land to the south of the site will not provide viable views due to the topography (MM/1212 and SDC12).


Economic Issues.

The development is alleged to be part of a scheme to regenerate the economy of Killamarsh. This will be challenging as the background papers to the Local Plan assert that 80% of the current economic benefit accrued from residents in the northern part of North East Derbyshire goes to Sheffield. NEDDC will benefit from ‘one-off’ New Homes Bonus and Council Tax payments, but there is no guarantee that this money will be used to benefit the areas where development has taken place.

This fact negates the intention, articulated in Policy N1, of ‘supporting improvements compatible with their local employment’. Policy SS2 (6) states that, ‘new employment should be focussed on principle protected employment sites’

The Local Plan intention for Killamarsh is that the Norwood Industrial Estate will remain as a protected site, thereby providing current businesses and incoming start-ups to provide work.

The Aspinall Verdi Employment Sites Review (evidence base document), December, 2017, states that ‘the site will be attractive to users looking for a site for open storage and other ‘dirty’ uses (suitable for B2 and B8 uses). This is unlikely to provide many substantive opportunities for employment. The Employment and Economic Topic Paper (EETP), August 2018, page 39, states that this site is ‘distant from most services, which would encourage car use’. There has been little interest in developing this site for much more than a decade.

In terms of site KL/1 the Westthorpe Fields Business Park has only one available plot of land upon which development might take place. This has been available since the last Local Plan was introduced and has not proved to be an attractive proposition to businesses either. An old planning application for the site expired in June, 2011. There has been nothing since, other than an extension to one of the businesses already on site. The EETP states that this site has ‘poor access to local services’ and is ‘not compatible with surrounding uses’

The possibility of local employment that minimises out-commuting by car is almost non-existent.

This appears to be a contravention of MM/007 which relates to “the improvement of the employment portfolio through the loss of existing, less marketable employment land”. Surely the retention of these two sites fall into this category.

How this situation is expected to miraculously change is not explained within the Plan. Without locally-available work for current and new residents the only result will be a significant increase in out-commuting, thus increasing traffic emissions and ever- worsening air quality.

MM 8 and 9 and paragraph 4.33 of the Plan state that Level 1 towns will be the focus for growth. However, this should not be achieved by breaching the requirements of Policy SS2.

The proposal for a sustainable transport policy, which might obviate such a situation, is superficially attractive, yet arguably doomed to failure.

The proposed development site (KL/1) is located as far away from the centre of Killamarsh as it is possible to be, whilst still being a part of Killamarsh. It is well outside the distance that a report published in April, 2015, by the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation – ‘Planning for Walking’ recommended. This report states that “Most people will walk if their destination is less than a mile away….with a typical catchment area of around 800 metres, or a 10 minute walk”. The facilities and amenities of Killamarsh centre are 2 kilometres from the site. It is also worth noting that the Supertram service to Sheffield has a local tram stop which is 3km from the site.

Distance is not the only challenge to walking or cycling to the shops, schools or work. The topography of the area provides a major challenge. Every route from the proposed site to the centre of Killamarsh contains steep hills; some being 1:10.

Public Transport is another issue that is relevant to a sustainable transport policy. The Settlement Hierarchy Study for the Local Plan scored each area for public transport value. Killamarsh scored 26 points in this survey, giving it 15th place in the Settlement Hierarchy, by far the lowest score of the Tier 1 settlements and significantly below many in Tier 2. The public transport service has diminished further since this survey was conducted, with some services being withdrawn.

In terms of existing footpaths, for those fit enough to walk the 2 kilometres up and down the hills, the site agent, in the Planning Statement for application 18/01003/OL, states, “increased activity levels through this area of the settlement will provide new and improved connectivity, particularly for pedestrians. In turn this will contribute towards a greater sense of safety for residents….”.

Unfortunately, residents leaving the newly built estate will have to use connective footways to visit the facilities that Killamarsh has. An investigation was conducted and a report prepared by ODEM entitled ‘Killamarsh 2035 A Vision for the Village’ (background/evidence documents for the Local Plan) concludes, “The layout of the 20th century housing areas include many footpaths and alleyways that vary in condition and use. Many are either poorly maintained or suffer from anti-social behaviour because of the absence of ‘natural’ surveillance”. There are no known or identified plans to provide infrastructure improvements that mitigate these issues; certainly there is nothing suggested in any Infrastructure Delivery Plan I have seen. This contravenes MM/117 and Policy ID3.

The wording of the Sustainable Travel proposal from the developer is compliant with the Plan; the reality of practical application is not. It also contravenes Policy D12.

It is fully accepted that all these identified matters are capable of some remediation, but at considerable expense. If the applicant is asked to foot the bill for such remediation it creates a significant risk that the ability to provide affordable homes will be hidden even further under the ‘affordability’ get-out-of-jail-free card.

MM/115 suggests that the relatively small quantum of development at Killamarsh and Eckington ‘will not necessitate improvements to M1, J30’, despite the fact that the relevant site is located at the south eastern edge of Killamarsh, which would naturally require people travelling anywhere to the south to use J30. Paradoxically, MM/116 shows that infrastructure requirements from developer contributions will be targeted at the A61 corridor, Dronfield and the MI, J30. This seems to contradict MM/115, although it does link to ‘other transport policies as identified in Dronfield, Clay Cross, Eckington and Killamarsh’. I have not seen any transport policy change relevant to Killamarsh that might improve either connectivity or ease congestion.

Perhaps my argument in respect of increased traffic, and diminishing air quality, is best supported by an article published in October, 2018 by the BBC, entitled “Young Couples Trapped in Car Dependency”, relating to the situation where planners allow edge-of-town housing estates where travel by car is the only option.

Jenny Raggett, a researcher for Transport for New Homes, is quoted as saying, “We were appalled to find so many new housing developments built around the car, with residents driving for almost every journey. As those cars head for our towns and cities they clog up existing roads. Commuter times get longer and longer. Car-based living of this kind is not good for our health or quality of life” (BBC News, 24.10.18). This will epitomise the situation in Killamarsh if site KL/1 is included in the Local Plan, and could have been written specifically in respect of this proposed site.

Given the facts and issues outlined I strongly contend that site KL/1 complies with the sustainability requirements of the NPPF in terms of economic, social and environmental elements.

Concluding Comments.

It may be considered that many of the comments made within this document are more appropriate for consideration by a Local Planning Authority at any subsequent planning application.

In my view the issues I have raised relate directly to the strategic aspects of the NEDDC Local Plan, including the Main Modifications as indicated.

As previously stated, comments within the SA, and in important evidence documents such as the Green Belt Review, are based upon educated guesswork, albeit based on expert opinion. The work I have referred to, again carried out by experts, gives actual, examined and tested evidence rather than opinion and, in my view, should be given more weight.

It is accepted that many of the issues raised in respect of site KL/1 are capable of a measure of remediation – some of the areas more than others. No expert has said that the damage done can be totally remediated.

When the total havoc wrought on the proposed site is fully taken into consideration the question posed should not be whether partial remediation can be satisfactorily carried out, rather whether it should be contemplated at all, in view of the many and disparate challenges outlined.

A key question is whether a significant amount of affordable homes – a key aspect of the ill-considered ‘regeneration strategy’, leading to an illogically high housing target – will be built. The need for affordable homes was proffered as part of the ‘exceptional circumstances’ argument in respect of Green Belt removal. Even the agent for the developer doubts that the requisite number of homes will be built, or the compensatory aspects delivered, as already evidenced.

Personally, and on behalf of R.A.G.E. supporters, who are residents of Killamarsh, I request that site KL/1 be removed as an allocated site for development within the NEDDC Local Plan.

Comment

Supporting Documents to Main Modifications (for comment)

Representation ID: 10630

Received: 27/01/2021

Respondent: Dronfield Town Council

Representation:

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.

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

Comment

Supporting Documents to Main Modifications (for comment)

Representation ID: 10802

Received: 30/01/2021

Respondent: Cllr Angelique Foster, Dronfield Town, District and County Councillor

Representation:

Council Officer has summarised.

There has been a considerable change in circumstances due to Covid 19 in recent month, which could potentially affect anticipated completions. There is ground to scrutinise the housing supply and demand in the area. Demand for employment sites will reduce as both the private and public sector are looking to put in place remote working strategies to increase numbers of employees working from home. Therefore current employment land could potentially be repurposed for housing. It is also highly likely that we will see a reduction in demand for employment sites for retail and hospitality space as evidenced in Dronfield where a number of pub sites have now been redeveloped to provide housing. 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. One example is where one restaurant developer is now seeking support to change his site to a housing site (between 8 and 10 dwelling near DR1).

Full text:

I am writing in response to the consultation on the Schedule of Main Modifications, associated changes to the Policies Map and other supporting documents, I would like to submit my objection to the Draft local Plan as well as my comments and concerns with regards to the proposed Main Modifications.

MM/031.
Please note my support of the decision to remove the Green Belt allocation DR2 at Coal Aston from the plan, and therefore retain the site as Greenbelt. This site plays an important role as Green Belt Land for the community of Coal Aston and Dronfield as a whole.

MM/026. MM/030.MM/032
However, I strongly object to the two Green Belt sites DR1 (Chesterfield Road/Shakespeare Crescent) and DR2 (Stubley Hollow) (previously DR3) being kept in the Local Plan and ask that they should be removed from the Plan and retained as Greenbelt land.

I do not believe that the exceptional circumstances required in order to release land from Green Belt have been demonstrated by the District Council. Both of these sites still fulfil Green Belt criteria and therefore should remain as Green Belt. Furthermore there are many issues with developing those sites , in terms of the topography, access and traffic impact, and viability.
I strongly object to the Green Belt site DR1(Chesterfield Road/Shakespeare Crescent) being kept in the Local Plan on the grounds that, as aforementioned, the District Council has not demonstrated the exceptional circumstances necessary for release of Green Belt land at this location.

Any development on this site will still risk settlement coalescence between Dronfield and Unstone by reducing the historic gap between the two settlements. This is something that neither of these two communities want to see happen.

There are other sites in Dronfield that would be more suitable for housing development. Examples of these were put forward by residents during the consultation on Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan, and a list has been provided before by the Town Council as an appendix to the Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan. Some of the sites mentioned have progressed further over the last year. For example, the Gladys Buxton site has now been sold and the developer is progressing with a planning application for approximately 35 dwellings. The Talbot Arms Pub site has now been developed and is delivering an additional 8 dwellings. These are two concrete examples showing that Dronfield is and will continue to see some housing growth over the coming years. Dronfield Town Council has also demonstrated in their representation that other viable alternative sites present opportunities for more than 200 dwellings across the Town and there is no need to release Green Belt land.

Furthermore, access to the site remains unclear. An additional junction onto the main road will 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 these have not been identified. There is real concerns that a potential junction onto the main road would increase the risk to pedestrians and cyclists. A dedicated cycling lane is near completion and therefore more cyclists are expected on that stretch of road. There are also concerns that any other routes via Shakespeare Crescent or Burns Drive might be presented as likely alternatives. However either of these suggestions are unacceptable as they would present added road safety risk to existing residents. Burns Drive is a narrow street which leads to a cul-de-sac. Visibility is poor around the bend at the top of the street. The current trend is that young adults live longer with their parents, which means that very often we have a ratio of 3 cars per house. This causes car parking issues which makes it difficult for pedestrians at times, especially mothers with pushchairs, who often have to use the road instead. Shakespeare Crescent is a long winding road with similar difficulties. It is also a bus route and complaints have been recurring over the years about buses not being able to get through at times due to the number of parked cars on either side of the road. This present an added concern for emergency services access.

Additionally, the Unstone floods in 2019 demonstrated that there is an issue regarding flooding. Substantial flooding was noted in Unstone village derived from fields at or near this site - despite the District Local plan suggesting that this was unlikely. This is substantiated by a recent flooding report that was commissioned by Dronfield Town Council and submitted in their representations. The site is also currently used as agricultural land and continues to be home to a number of wildlife species.
I object to the site DR2 (Stubley Hollow) being kept in the emerging local Plan. As per the above statement, the exceptional circumstances have not been demonstrated by the District Council. There are additional specific issues concerning this site. Its topography presents difficulties of access, which would bring added risk to existing road users and pedestrians. It is recognised in the District Plan that this site presents potential ecological constraints which could lead to the destruction of ecological habitats. The Greenbelt review has also classed this site as still “assisting in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment”.

MM/033. I believe that the same arguments used by the Inspector to justify the removal of Green Belt land in Eckington, and other sites in the District should be applied to the two Dronfield sites DR1 and DR2 and similarly provide justification to retain them as Green Belt.

MM/004. MM/005. I strongly believe that the housing supply cut off date should be extended. There has been a number of planning permissions granted and appeal decisions across the District over the last year, which should be reflected in the Plan. The figures in table 4.1 should be updated to reflect these. The cut off date should be brought forward to 31st December, which would result in a much more accurate picture.
I refer for examples to application on sites such as Clay Cross (84 dwellings), Holmewood (250 dwellings) and Higham (24 dwellings).
Furthermore, the Inspector has accepted the fact that a further 660 houses at the former Coalite site could come forward during this Plan period (in MM/15). I strongly suggest that there are caused for including these figures in this Plan and this would negate the need to release Green Belt land.

Response to document D. In addition, some of the Icenci report findings show that we will see a potential reduction of eight dwellings per year, effectively reducing the housing target by 160 houses over a 20 year period. I believe these findings should be taken into account. There would be no reasonable need for DR1 to be included within the Plan at all. I therefore ask that DR1 is removed from the Local Plan.
Response to Document F. There has been a considerable change in circumstances due to Covid 19 in recent month, which could potentially affect anticipated completions. There is ground for the District Council to scrutinise the housing supply and demand in the area. Demand for employment sites will reduce as both the private and public sector are looking to put in place remote working strategies with a view to increase numbers of employees working from home. Therefore current employment land could potentially be repurposed for housing across the District. It is also highly likely that we will see a reduction in demand for employment sites for retail and hospitality space as evidenced in Dronfield where a number of pub sites have now been redeveloped to provide housing. 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. We have such an example already in Dronfield where one restaurant developer is now seeking support to change his site to a housing site. This site is likely to deliver between 8 and 10 dwelling in the same area where the DR1 is.
Finally, I would like to point out that residents have worked hard over the years to bring reasonable solutions to the issues presented to them by the District Council. In doing so, they have presented a number of very well researched and valid arguments to show that there is no need for the release of Green Belt land in our area. There is sufficient evidence to support this and I would urge the District and the Independent Inspector to take this into consideration, revise their Local Plan and keep the Dronfield Green Belt untouched and protected.


Follow up email:
Further to my email yesterday I would like to add an additional point with regards to the unsuitability of DR1 as development land.
I refer to the Flood report provided by Dronfield Town Council. It shows that the current flooding issues we have experienced in Unstone would be increased substancially should the land on DR1 be developed, unless a number of mitigating measures are put in place. The substantial cost of these mitigating measures would be added to any development plans and potentially decrease their financial visibility, hence making the delivery of that site unlikely.

Comment

Supporting Documents to Main Modifications (for comment)

Representation ID: 10808

Received: 30/01/2021

Respondent: Cllr Mark Foster, Town and District Cllr for Coal Aston

Representation:

Council Officer has summarised.

There has been a considerable change in circumstances due to Covid 19 in recent month, which could potentially affect anticipated completions. There is ground to scrutinise the housing supply and demand in the area. Demand for employment sites will reduce as both the private and public sector are looking to put in place remote working strategies to increase numbers of employees working from home. Therefore current employment land could potentially be repurposed for housing. It is also highly likely that we will see a reduction in demand for employment sites for retail and hospitality space as evidenced in Dronfield where a number of pub sites have now been redeveloped to provide housing. 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. One example is where one restaurant developer is now seeking support to change his site to a housing site (between 8 and 10 dwelling near DR1).

Full text:

Please accept this document as my response to the consultation to the main modifications of the local plan. I would also like to submit my objection to the Draft local Plan.

MM/031.
Please note my support of the decision to remove the Green Belt allocation DR2 at Coal Aston from the plan, and therefore retain the site as Greenbelt. This site plays an important role as Green Belt Land for the community of Coal Aston and Dronfield as a whole.

MM/026. MM/030.MM/032
I strongly object to the two Green Belt sites DR1 (Chesterfield Road/Shakespeare Crescent) and DR2 (Stubley Hollow) (previously DR3) being kept in the Local Plan and ask that they should be removed from the Plan and retained as Greenbelt land.

I do not believe that the exceptional circumstances required in order to release land from Green Belt have been demonstrated by the District Council. Both of these sites still fulfil Green Belt criteria and therefore should remain as Green Belt. Furthermore there are many issues with developing those sites , in terms of the topography, access and traffic impact, and viability.
I strongly object to the Green Belt site DR1(Chesterfield Road/Shakespeare Crescent) being kept in the Local Plan on the grounds that, as aforementioned, the District Council has not demonstrated the exceptional circumstances necessary for release of Green Belt land at this location.

Any development on this site will still risk settlement coalescence between Dronfield and Unstone by reducing the historic gap between the two settlements. This is something that neither of these two communities want to see happen.

There are other sites in Dronfield that would be more suitable for housing development. Examples of these were put forward by residents during the consultation on Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan, and a list has been provided before by the Town Council as an appendix to the Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan. Some of the sites mentioned have progressed further over the last year. For example, the Gladys Buxton site has now been sold and the developer is progressing with a planning application for approximately 35 dwellings. The Talbot Arms Pub site has now been developed and is delivering an additional 8 dwellings. These are two concrete examples showing that Dronfield is and will continue to see some housing growth over the coming years. Dronfield Town Council has also demonstrated in their representation that other viable alternative sites present opportunities for more than 200 dwellings across the Town and there is no need to release Green Belt land.
Furthermore, access to the site remains unclear. An additional junction onto the main road will 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 these have not been identified. There is real concerns that a potential junction onto the main road would increase the risk to pedestrians and cyclists. A dedicated cycling lane is near completion and therefore more cyclists are expected on that stretch of road. There are also concerns that any other routes via Shakespeare Crescent or Burns Drive might be presented as likely alternatives. However either of these suggestions are unacceptable as they would present added road safety risk to existing residents. Burns Drive is a narrow street which leads to a cul-de-sac. Visibility is poor around the bend at the top of the street. The current trend is that young adults live longer with their parents, which means that very often we have a ratio of 3 cars per house. This causes car parking issues which makes it difficult for pedestrians at times, especially mothers with pushchairs, who often have to use the road instead. Shakespeare Crescent is a long winding road with similar difficulties. It is also a bus route and complaints have been recurring over the years about buses not being able to get through at times due to the number of parked cars on either side of the road. This present an added concern for emergency services access.
Additionally, the Unstone floods in 2019 demonstrated that there is an issue regarding flooding. Substantial flooding was noted in Unstone village derived from fields at or near this site - despite the District Local plan suggesting that this was unlikely.
I would especially like to draw the attention towards the flood risk assessment and outline sustainable drainage strategy recently undertaken by Detectronic and submitted as evidence by Dronfield Town Council. The report demonstrates that the proposed development is at risk of flood from surface water and will increase flood risk to others unless the recommended flood mitigation strategies are implemented. The strategies detailed in the report are substantial and make prospect of a financially viable development on the proposed site very unlikely.
Furthermore, the site is still currently used as agricultural land and continues to be home to a number of wildlife species.
MM/033. I believe that the same arguments used by the Inspector to justify the removal of Green Belt land in Eckington, and other sites in the District should be applied to the two Dronfield sites DR1 and DR2 and similarly provide justification to retain them as Green Belt.

MM/004. MM/005. I strongly believe that the housing supply cut off date should be extended. There has been a number of planning permissions granted and appeal decisions across the District over the last year, which should be reflected in the Plan. The figures in table 4.1 should be updated to reflect these. The cut off date should be brought forward to 31st December, which would result in a much more accurate picture.
I refer for examples to application on sites such as Clay Cross (84 dwellings), Holmewood (250 dwellings) and Higham (24 dwellings).
Furthermore, the Inspector has accepted the fact that a further 660 houses at the former Coalite site could come forward during this Plan period (in MM/15). I strongly suggest that there are caused for including these figures in this Plan and this would negate the need to release Green Belt land.

Response to document D. In addition, some of the Icenci report findings show that we will see a potential reduction of eight dwellings per year, effectively reducing the housing target by 160 houses over a 20 year period. I believe these findings should be taken into account. There would be no reasonable need for DR1 to be included within the Plan at all. I therefore ask that DR1 is removed from the Local Plan.
Response to Document F. There has been a considerable change in circumstances due to Covid 19 in recent month, which could potentially affect anticipated completions. There is ground for the District Council to scrutinise the housing supply and demand in the area. Demand for employment sites will reduce as both the private and public sector are looking to put in place remote working strategies with a view to increase numbers of employees working from home. Therefore current employment land could potentially be repurposed for housing across the District. It is also highly likely that we will see a reduction in demand for employment sites for retail and hospitality space as evidenced in Dronfield where a number of pub sites have now been redeveloped to provide housing. 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. We have such an example already in Dronfield where one restaurant developer is now seeking support to change his site to a housing site. This site is likely to deliver between 8 and 10 dwelling in the same area where the DR1 is.
Lastly I would urge the district and the inspector to listen to the concerns and respect the wishes of the community of Dronfield. Many valid arguments have been put forward as to why the greenbelt around Dronfield should be kept and protected. Residents have also made clear that they are not against development but that it should be in the right place. This is evidenced by the Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan.

Comment

Supporting Documents to Main Modifications (for comment)

Representation ID: 10812

Received: 30/01/2021

Respondent: Paul Parkin

Representation:

Council Officer has summarised.

There has been a considerable change in circumstances due to Covid 19 in recent month, which could potentially affect anticipated completions. There is ground to scrutinise the housing supply and demand in the area. Demand for employment sites will reduce as both the private and public sector are looking to put in place remote working strategies to increase numbers of employees working from home. Therefore current employment land could potentially be repurposed for housing. It is also highly likely that we will see a reduction in demand for employment sites for retail and hospitality space as evidenced in Dronfield where a number of pub sites have now been redeveloped to provide housing. 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. One example is where one restaurant developer is now seeking support to change his site to a housing site (between 8 and 10 dwelling near DR1).

Full text:

I object to the two Green Belt sites DR1 (Chesterfield Road/Shakespeare Crescent) and DR2 (Stubley Hollow) (previously DR3) being kept in the Local Plan and believe that they should be removed from the Plan and retained as Greenbelt land.
I do not believe that the exceptional circumstances required in order to release land from Green Belt have been demonstrated by the District Council. Both of these sites still fulfil Green Belt criteria and therefore should remain as Green Belt. Furthermore there are many issues with developing those sites , in terms of the topography, access and traffic impact, and viability.
I also object to the Green Belt site DR1(Chesterfield Road/Shakespeare Crescent) being kept in the Local Plan on the grounds that, as aforementioned, the District Council has not demonstrated the exceptional circumstances necessary for release of Green Belt land at this location. Any development on this site will still risk settlement coalescence between Dronfield and Unstone by reducing the historic gap between the two settlements. This is something that neither of these two communities want to see happen.
There are other sites in Dronfield that would be more suitable for housing development in Dronfield. Examples of these were put forward by residents during the consultation on Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan, and a list has been provided by the Town Council as an appendix to the Dronfield Neighbourhood Plan. Some of the sites mentioned have progressed further over the last year. For example, the Gladys Buxton site has now been sold and the developer is progressing with a planning application for approximately 35 dwellings. The Talbot Arms Pub site has now been developed and is delivering an additional 8 dwellings. These are two concrete examples showing that Dronfield is likely to see some housing growth over the coming years. Dronfield Town Council has also demonstrated that other viable alternative sites present opportunities for more than 200 dwellings across the Town and there is no need to release Green Belt land.
Furthermore, access to the site remains unclear. An additional junction onto the main road will 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 these have not been identified. There is real concerns that a potential junction onto the main road would increase the risk to pedestrians and cyclists. A dedicated cycling lane is near completion and therefore more cyclists are expected on that stretch of road. There are also concerns that any other routes via Shakespeare Crescent or Burns Drive might be presented as likely alternatives. However either of these suggestions would be unacceptable as they would present added road safety risk to existing residents. similar difficulties. It is also a bus route and there have been sever issues with buses not being able to get through due to the number of parked cars on either side of the road. This presents an added concern for emergency services access.

Response to document D.
In addition, some of the Icenci report findings show that we will see a potential reduction of eight dwellings per year, effectively reducing the housing target by 160 houses over a 20 year period. I believe these findings should be taken into account. There would be no reasonable need for DR1 to be included within the plan at all. I therefore ask that DR1 is removed from the Local Plan.
Response to Document F. There has been a considerable change in circumstances due to Covid 19 in recent months, which could potentially affect anticipated completions. There is ground for the District Council to scrutinise the housing supply and demand in the area. Demand for employment sites will reduce as both the private and public sector are looking to put in place remote working strategies with a view to increase numbers of employees working from home. Therefore current employment land could potentially be repurposed for housing across the District. It is also highly likely that we will see a reduction in demand for employment sites for retail and hospitality space as evidenced in Dronfield where a number of pub sites have now been redeveloped to provide housing. 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. We have such an example already in Dronfield where one restaurant developer is now seeking support to change his site to a housing site. This site is likely to deliver between 8 and 10 dwelling in the same area where the DR1 is.