Part 1 - Initial Draft (February 2015)
Representation ID: 1522
Respondent: Bolsover Land Ltd
Agent: iSec Group
Paragraph 5.6: The Local Plan should make it explicit that the 6,000 figure is the minimum requirement, and that, should the Council be able to demonstrate a five year supply, this would not limit proposals which come forward where there would be no harm from a scheme, or where benefits would demonstrably outweigh harm.
Reference is made to an appeal decision where the Inspector considered that 'irrespective of whether the five year housing land supply figure is met or not, the NPPF does not suggest that this has to be regarded as a ceiling or upper limit on permissions.
See enclosed attachments
Part 1 - Initial Draft (February 2015)
Representation ID: 1698
Respondent: Sheffield City Council
The target of 6,000 new homes will be an increase from recent housing delivery levels and takes account of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment, economic forecasting and household and population projections. However, it would appear that this is largely 'trend-based' and does not and cannot yet take account of the ongoing SCR work on job growth and housing across the region. In our view, the NED Local Plan should reflect the output from the SCR work (Flute model analysis of jobs growth, demographic forecasting by Edge Analytics and SCR growth options by URBED).
The target of 6,000 new homes will be an increase from recent housing delivery levels and takes account of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment, economic forecasting and household and population projections. However, it would appear that this is largely 'trend-based' and does not and cannot yet take account of the ongoing SCR work on job growth and housing across the region. In our view, the NED Local Plan should reflect the output from the SCR work (Flute model analysis of jobs growth and demographic forecasting by Edge Analytics) and take into account the Urbed study on growth options commissioned by SCC.
Part 1 - Initial Draft (February 2015)
Representation ID: 1877
Respondent: Home Builders Federation
The proposed distribution of housing must satisfy housing needs of the District.
When identifying site allocations the widest variety of sites by size, location and market type should be considered.
There is no 5 years housing land supply (YHLS). The decision to produce a two part Plan will exacerbate this position. If the Plan is not to be out of date on adoption it is critical that the land supply requirement is achieved.
The Council should give further consideration to 5 YHLS before submission of the Local Plan for Examination.
Dear Sir / Madam
NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE DRAFT LOCAL PLAN CONSULTATION
Thank you for consulting with the Home Builders Federation (HBF) on the above mentioned consultation. The HBF is the principal representative body of the house-building industry in England and Wales. Our representations reflect the views of our membership, which includes multi-national PLC's, regional developers and small, local builders. In any one year, our members account for over 80% of all new "for sale" market housing built in England and Wales as well as a large proportion of newly built affordable housing. We would like to submit the following representations and in due course attend the Examination Hearing Sessions to debate these matters in greater detail.
Duty to Co-operate
North East Derbyshire has five neighbouring authorities namely Sheffield City Council, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Amber Valley and Bolsover District Councils as well as forming part of the Peak District National Park. There are also two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) for the Sheffield City Region and Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire D2N2.
The Council considers that North East Derbyshire forms a Housing Market Area (HMA) together with Bassetlaw, Bolsover and Chesterfield. However in the Housing Topic Paper dated 2015 it is acknowledged that "it should be recognised that there are economic links more widely across the Sheffield City Region" (Paragraph 2.2.3) and "overall evidence does point towards a set of relationships towards the larger economic centres to the north such as Sheffield" (Paragraph 2.2.8). These important wider inter relationships should be taken into account in both defining the relevant HMA and the objective assessment of housing needs (OAHN).
At this time the Council has not produced a Duty to Co-operate Statement but it has confirmed working in partnership with Bolsover District Council on a new growth strategy with particular regard to the Coalite Regeneration Area which straddles the administrative boundaries of the two LPAs. Last year the Bolsover Local Plan failed the Duty to Co-operate because of a lack of joint working on this strategic matter. Therefore before the North East Derbyshire Local Plan is submitted for Examination a Duty to Co-operate Statement should be prepared setting out the Council's compliance with the legal requirements of the Duty to Co-operate and the outcomes of collaborative working without which the Local Plan should not be found sound.
Policy LP2 - Spatial Strategy proposes a minimum housing requirement of 6,000 dwellings (300 dwellings per annum) over the plan period of 2011 - 2031. This housing requirement is stated to meet OAHN, economic growth and deliver affordable housing.
The Council's OAHN is set out in two documents comprising North Derbyshire & Bassetlaw SHMA Final Report dated November 2013 by G L Hearn and North Derbyshire & Bassetlaw SHMA Sensitivity Testing Analysis dated March 2014 by G L Hearn. These reports are now somewhat dated so no doubt before the submission of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan for Examination the Council will be commissioning an up-date taking into account the recently published 2012 based household projections.
As set out in the National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) household projections produced by DCLG are just the starting point for OAHN (ID 2a-015-20140306). It should be stressed that the official household projections are projections of past trends and not forecasts as such these projections reflect past influences on household formation. Housing shortages over the last two decades, and poor housing affordability, have restricted the ability of many young people to form independent households. In addition, household formation has been adversely hit by poor economic, housing and mortgage market conditions since 2008. Therefore the 2012-based projections should be treated as under-estimates of true future requirements as these projections build into future housing provision the adverse impacts on household formation of past undersupply and very weak economic and market conditions between 2008 and 2012.
There are a number of observations to be made about the Council's OAHN and its housing requirement as set out in the documents referenced above.
It is overly reliant on demographic projections. The range of OAHN identified in the original SHMA of 270 - 310 dwellings per annum represents at the bottom end of this range a household formation rate (HFR) midway between 2008 and 2011 household projections whilst at the top end higher population growth and / or HFR. In the Housing Topic Paper 2015 (Table 1) the OAHN range is reduced to 268 - 285 dwellings per annum based on the Sensitivity Testing Analysis Report. This over reliance on demographic projections alone is confirmed in Paragraph 3.52 of the Housing Topic Paper 2015 which states
"meeting the assessment of need represented by a figure at the top end of the range of demographic projections".
The NPPG identifies that plan makers should also assess employment trends (ID 2a-018-20140306) which may necessitate an upward adjustment above demographic projections. This is acknowledged in the original SHMA (Paragraph 1.11) stating "higher provision might be considered in order to support economic growth". Indeed the Sensitivity Testing Analysis identified an OAHN of 312 dwellings per annum based on residents in employment model. However this calculation may be unduly low because of assumptions about changing commuting patterns and economic participation rates. Furthermore the original SHMA uses only an Experian economic forecast rather than a range of economic forecasts and even when a comparison is made to an Oxford Economics forecast data from 2007 is used (Paragraph 4.4.2 Housing Topic Paper 2015).
The NPPG states that market signals such as land prices, house prices, rents, affordability, rates of development and overcrowding should be considered in OAHN (ID 2a-019-20140306). A worsening trend in any of these market signals will require an upward adjustment to planned housing numbers compared to ones based solely on household projections (ID 2a-020-20140306). However the Council considers no such adjustments are necessary.
The NPPG advises that Councils should estimate the number of existing and future households without their own home or living in unsuitable accommodation, who cannot afford to meet their housing needs in the open market (ID 2a-022-20140306). This total affordable housing need should be considered in the context of its likely delivery as a proportion of mixed market and affordable housing developments. An increase in the total housing figures included in the Local Plan should be considered where it could help deliver the required number of affordable homes (ID 2a-029-20140306). The more significant the affordability constraints and the stronger other indicators of high demand, the larger the improvement in affordability needed and therefore the larger the additional supply response should be (ID 2a-020-20140306). An affordable housing need of 482 dwellings per annum is identified. The Council considers that it is unrealistic to expect this level of affordable housing to be delivered and any shortfall will be met by the private rented sector.
Such an assumption is unacceptable as set out in the recently published Eastleigh Borough Local Plan Examination Inspector's Preliminary Conclusions on Housing Needs and Supply and Economic Growth dated November 2014 in which Mr Emerson wrote "there is no justification in the Framework or Guidance for reducing the identified need for affordable housing by the assumed continued role of the private rented sector with local housing allowance (housing benefit). This category of housing does not come within the definition of affordable housing in the Framework ... the Framework requires planning authorities to meet the housing needs of its area including affordable housing needs ... I recognise that I and other Inspectors elsewhere have previously accepted an on-going role for the PRS with LHA to discount the assessment of affordable housing needs, but I am no longer persuaded
that this approach is justified ... the failure of the Council to recognise the true scale of need for affordable housing and therefore the consequential failure to consider how it might be addressed is a serious shortcoming" (Paragraphs 29, 30 and 33).
In conclusion the question arises as to whether or not a housing requirement of 6,000 dwellings (300 dwellings per annum) is a sufficient response to the Government's overall growth agenda and more specifically the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requirement under Paragraph 47 "to boost significantly housing supply". Previously the adopted East Midland Regional Spatial Strategy set a housing target of 380 dwellings per annum for North East Derbyshire. Under the Duty to Co-operate the Council will also "need to consider the Sheffield City Region and unmet needs of other areas" (Paragraph 1.12 North Derbyshire & Bassetlaw SHMA Final Report 2013). Therefore before submission of the Local Plan for Examination the Council should give further consideration to its OAHN and the housing requirement set out in Policy LP1.
As the Council is proposing a two part Local Plan only strategic policies and strategic site allocations are included in the Part 1 Plan, which are intended to be sufficient to maintain a 5 years housing land supply (YHLS) until the Part 2 Plan adopted. Similarly settlement limits will not be reviewed until the Part 2 Local Plan and under Policy LP7 - North East Derbyshire Green Belt existing boundaries will be re-confirmed after the Green Belt review to be carried out with Sheffield City Council.
The NPPF envisages that "each Local Planning Authority should produce a Local Plan for its area" (Paragraph 153). The NPPG confirms this approach stating "the NPPF makes clear that the Government's preferred approach is for each local planning authority to prepare a single Local Plan for its area". Although other Development Plan Documents (DPD) may be produced such DPDs must be justified. The Council has not provided any justification for the proposed Part 2 Local Plan.
Under Policy LP2 - Spatial Strategy recommended housing growth is distributed according to a defined settlement hierarchy. In this settlement hierarchy Dronfield and Clay Cross are defined as principal towns whilst Eckington and Killamarsh are defined as secondary towns. There are sixteen named large settlements, twenty two named small settlements and eight named very small villages & hamlets. Elsewhere is defined as countryside.
The total growth of 6,000 dwelling is broadly distributed across the District as:-
* The North : 1,000 dwellings ;
* The South : 3,000 - 3,400 dwellings ;
* The East : 600 - 900 dwellings ;
* The West : 700 - 900 dwellings.
In the main towns and secondary towns numbers of dwellings are proposed as :-
* Policy LP20 - Dronfield : at least 285 dwellings ;
* Policy LP21 - Clay Cross : 735 dwellings ;
* Policy LP22 - Eckington : 260 dwellings ;
* Policy LP23 - Killamarsh : at least 153 dwellings.
The strategic site allocations are included in :-
* Policy LP3 - The Avenue an allocation of 1,100 dwellings of which 700 dwellings will be delivered in the plan period ;
* Policy LP4 - Former Biwaters an allocation for minimum 800 dwellings.
Policy LP6 - The Coalite Regeneration Area is safeguarded for future development beyond the plan period. This site straddles the administrative boundary with Bolsover District Council so its regeneration will be subject to a comprehensive master plan as determined by both Councils working together.
With regard to Policy LP24 - Large & Small Settlements the Council should re-consider whether this policy is appropriate given that large and small settlements are separate tiers in the settlement hierarchy.
There are no housing requirements or site allocations specified for the very small villages & hamlets. Any future development in these locations is determined by Policy LP9 - Development on unallocated land within settlement development limits and Policy LP10 - Development on unallocated land in the Countryside. Policy LP10 is confusing as it attempts to deal with small settlements and countryside as one entity rather than two separate tiers of the settlement hierarchy. The Council should re-consider this policy.
The Council should confirm that the proposed distribution of housing is going to satisfy the housing needs of the District especially in the rural areas as set out in Paragraphs 17 and 55 of the NPPF. The Council should be mindful that when identifying locations for growth and site allocations to meet OAHN the widest variety of sites by size, location and market type should be considered to enable the house building industry to maximise housing delivery.
The prioritising of previously developed land as described in the supporting text (Paragraph 5.22) is inappropriate. This proposed prioritising of previously developed land is contrary to the NPPF. The core planning principle set out in Paragraph 14 of the NPPF is to "encourage the effective use of land by re-using land that has been previously developed (brownfield land)" such encouragement is not setting out a principle of prioritising brownfield before greenfield land. Similarly Paragraph 111 of the NPPF states that "Local Planning Authorities may continue to consider the case for setting a locally appropriate target for the use of brownfield land" again there is no reference to prioritising the use of brownfield land. The Council's proposal to
prioritisation relates back to previous national policies which are now inconsistent with current national policy. In Paragraph 17 of his determination of the Planning Appeal at Burgess Farm in Worsley Manchester (APP/U4230/A/11/215743) dated July 2012 (4 months after the introduction of the NPPF) the Secretary of State confirms that "national planning policy in the Framework encourages the use of previously developed land but does not promote a sequential approach to land use. It stresses the importance of achieving sustainable development to meet identified needs".
As confirmed by the Council's Annual Monitoring Report there is no 5 years housing land supply (YHLS) calculated on a 20% buffer because of past under delivery. The Council's decision to produce a two part Local Plan will only exacerbate this position. If there is not reasonable certainty that the Council has a 5 YHLS the Local Plan is not be sound as it would be neither effective nor consistent with national policy as set out in Paragraph 47 of the NPPF. Moreover if the North East Derbyshire Local Plan is not to be out of date on adoption it is critical that the land supply requirement is achieved as under Paragraph 49 of the NPPF "relevant policies for the supply of housing will not be considered up to date if the LPA cannot demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable housing sites".
In conclusion the Council should give further consideration to 5 YHLS before submission of the Local Plan for Examination.
Policy LP8 - Local Settlement Gaps the Council should re-consider whether or not the level of protection proposed is justified.
In Policy LP10 there is a conflict with the House of Commons Written Statement (HCWS50) Support for Small Scale Developers, Custom and Self-builders concerning commuted sums which the Council should correct.
Policy LP12 - Housing Need, Range & Choice misinterprets the House of Commons Written Statement (HCWS50) Support for Small Scale Developers, Custom and Self-builders therefore the threshold should be 11 units not 10 units. The reference to Building for Life in Policy LP12 is unnecessary and superfluous. This reference should be deleted.
Policy LP12 requires 40% affordable housing provision in the North and West sub areas and 30% affordable housing provision in the South and East sub areas. However it is noted that the Council's viability assessment is dated 2011 which pre dates the NPPF requirement for whole plan viability testing as set out in Paragraphs 173 and 174. It is recommended that the Council commissions a new study before the Local Plan is submitted for examination.
It is suggested that Policy LP14 - Type & Mix of Housing is reviewed by the Council when the final outcomes of the Government's Housing Standards Review consultation are known in particular the reference to Lifetime Homes. Similarly it is unlikely that Bullet Point (a) of Policy LP25 - Sustainable
Design & Construction will comply with the outcomes of the Housing Standards Review (when known) and a modification will be necessary.
The Council should also consider reviewing Bullet Point (h) of Policy LP25 - Sustainable Design & Construction on public art with particular reference to Paragraph 204 of the NPPF, the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations (2010) and in particular the NPPG (ID 23b-004-20140306) which states that "planning obligations should not be sought - on for instance, public art - which are clearly not necessary to make a development acceptable in planning terms".
Likewise Policy LP29 - Renewable & Low Carbon Energy should be re-consider for compliance with recent consultations such as "Next Steps to Zero Carbon Homes - Allowable Solutions" and "Next Steps to Zero Carbon Homes - Small Sites Exemptions".
In Policy LP37 - Developer Contributions the reference to the District Valuer should be replaced with a reference to an independent assessor as agreed by the parties.
For the North East Derbyshire Local Plan to be found sound under the four tests of soundness defined by Paragraph 182 of the NPPF, the Local Plan positively prepared, justified, effective and compliant with national policy. At present the Draft Local Plan is unsound because of a number of unresolved issues which in summary include :-
* OAHN and the housing requirement ;
* no 5 YHLS ;
* out of date viability assessment ;
* missing evidence such as Duty to Co-operate Statement ;
* non-compliance with national policy re affordable housing and Housing Standards Review.
Therefore the Local Plan has not been positively prepared or justified so it will not be effective or compliant with national policy.
It is hoped that these comments are helpful to the Council in informing the next stages of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan. In the meantime if any further assistance or information is required please contact the undersigned.
for and on behalf of HBF
Susan E Green
Planning Manager - Local Plans
Part 1 - Initial Draft (February 2015)
Representation ID: 2041
Respondent: Ackroyd & Abbott Homes Ltd.
Agent: JVH Town Planning Consultants
It is interpreted from the Housing Topic Paper that the model that has been used to reach the 6,000 new homes figure does not include the full extent of the strategic housing market area and is not using the most up to date information.
The proposed level of growth is proposed to be accommodated without the need for a strategic review of the green belt.
It appears that the local plan is not taking into account the overall housing requirement or the impact of the growth strategies of the two LEPs.
Part 1 - Initial Draft (February 2015)
Representation ID: 2121
Respondent: Derbyshire County Council
The approach to housing provision is fully supported. The approach is based on a wide range of up-to-date evidence, which includes a SHMA and SHMA Update, updated population and household projections and employment forecasts. Importantly, the conclusions and recommendations of the SHMA for the future housing provision requirements have been subject to 'sensitivity' testing. This is identified as a key requirement of the NPPG for local authorities in assessing their objectively assessed housing needs (OAHN) and is now widely required by Inspectors. This provides for a sound and robust approach in the Plan to assess the District's future housing requirement.
Part 1 - Initial Draft (February 2015)
Representation ID: 2454
Respondent: Mr G Hancock
Agent: IBA Planning Limited
In seeking to deliver a minimum of 6,000 new dwellings, will clearly provide a significant boost in housing supply, in line with the NPPF and evidently necessary owing to the persistent under delivery in recent years.
It is welcoming to note that the level of growth could be accommodated without the need for a strategic Green Belt Review. Our site at Shirland lies outside the Green Belt.
Part 1 - Initial Draft (February 2015)
Representation ID: 2474
Respondent: Campaign to Protect Rural England
Although the proposed housing target can be accommodated without a strategic review of the Green Belt, we are concerned that this has the potential to distort the pattern of development towards unsustainable non Green Belt locations. (Please see comments on District housing target and spatial distribution)