H&H/1901

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Comment

Schedule of Sites Consultation Document (February 2015)

Representation ID: 1982

Received: 25/03/2015

Respondent: Mr David Munn

Representation:


* The sites to the east of the village all have existing roads/tracks connecting them to Main Street/Main Road. The northernmost sites, 1901 and 1902 are located on steep sloping ground which could make development difficult and the need for significant earthworks would probably mean that a development plot ratio of 30dwellings/Ha would be unachievable.

* The area in which the sites are located currently provides a buffer zone from the major transport links of the M1 and A617. Both pose major environmental impacts and HS2 will compound the problems. These could make the sites unattractive to potential developers.

Full text:

In response to your request for comments you will have received a submission from the Heath Village Development Committee. I fully support the comments made by the Committee but there are some additional observations and comments of detail that I would like to make relating to your Schedule of Sites Consultation Document. In some instances the issues I have identified are already referred to in the NEDDC - Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.

General
* The Local Plan covers the period 2011 - 2031 during which it is stated that a housing growth of 30 dwellings is the recommended target. The number of dwellings in the village is recorded at some 120 in 2011 and therefore the recommended growth represents an increase of 25% which is equivalent to an annual growth slightly in excess of 1%.

* Five sites have been identified for potential development and these have a total area of approximately 21 hectares and an estimated total potential yield of some 535 dwellings. Allowing for infrastructure works, this appears to equate to a development plot ratio of 30 dwellings/Ha. The existing Settlement Development Area is approximately half the area of the potential sites but has only 120 dwellings. This gives an existing density of approximately 12 dwellings/Ha which is significantly lower than that proposed and suggests the estimated potential yield may be over optimistic. Conversely building to the proposed plot ratio could result in new development substantially different in character to the existing village and therefore have an adverse impact.

* The identification of the potential sites and their possible yields is somewhat misleading in that the total yield from the combined sites surpasses significantly the target growth for the period up to year 2031. Although it is indicated that all of the sites could be built on before the year 2022, clearly there is unlikely to be a demand warranting this and, in fact, only one or a part of one, of the sites is needed to satisfy the demand for 2011-31.

* In determining the demand for housing in the District, growth rates of between 1% (high) and 2% (highly unrealistic) have been used in the Local Plan and source documentation. Assuming this growth continued unchanged beyond year 2031, the demand for housing in Heath will not reach potential yield levels for all sites combined within this present century. Indeed, the potential yield for Site H&H/1601 alone would satisfy demand for a further 35 to 85+ years beyond year 2031.

* Although Heath is a highly desirable residential area and high growth rates may not be unreasonable, development has to be in concert with demand and therefore growth of the village to the levels inferred is going to be a very lengthy process. The potential yield of 535 represents a five-fold increase in the size of the village which will have a very significant impact. For this to take place in a sustainable manner, development must be carefully structured and land managed and released in appropriately phased sequences.

Potential Sites H&H/1901, 1902, 1904 and 1905
* The sites to the east of the village all have existing roads/tracks connecting them to Main Street/Main Road. The northernmost sites, 1901 and 1902 are located on steep sloping ground which could make development difficult and the need for significant earthworks would probably mean that a development plot ratio of 30dwellings/Ha would be unachievable.

* The area in which the sites are located currently provides a buffer zone from the major transport links of the M1 motorway and the A617. Both of these pose major environmental impacts and the impending high speed rail link HS2 will compound the problems. These could make the sites unattractive to potential developers.

Potential Site H&H/1601
* This site, to the west of the village, has a flatter topography although the ground steepens to the south. Varying levels across the site could possibly be used to advantage to produce an aesthetic development. The southernmost part of the site, at the lower levels, suffers from flooding after periods of heavy rainfall and would require special drainage measures.

* A sizable portion of the site is currently used to provide a valuable source of winter feed for local farmers' livestock. Loss of this could prove a major difficulty for an already hard-pressed industry.

* The site has limited opportunities for connection to the existing road network and a full development would need at least three links - to the north, the east and the south. The central, eastern link would provide essential interconnection between old and new development and ensure that the village does not become a 'settlement of two halves'. The northern link could be achieved via a junction on Mansfield Road where the existing alignment is good leaving the existing Heath Common access remaining as a secondary link. To the east, finding a gap within the existing development will prove more difficult but a secondary connection to Main Road should be feasible. To the south the situation is quite complex because of the constrained alignment of Main Road and the proximity of the junction at Heath Road (A6175). Visibility along the frontage of the site is severely restricted and to accommodate traffic arising from a fully developed site it will be necessary to orientate the new junction such that priority is given to the north-south movement. This would leave the existing Main Road to the east as a branch off the new road. Such an arrangement is only viable if the new site road (northern arm) connects into the new network to the north.

* The existing area to the north and the south is surrounded by a large number of trees with Preservation Orders on them and these will require careful consideration in the design of the development proposals and its new junctions.

* To the south there is also a high voltage electricity transfer station where the site entrance will be. This serves the village and will need to be relocated.

* Future Development

* The Local Plan identifies an immediate (2011-31) requirement for additional housing but, in doing so, has intimated a possible way forward for long-term future growth. If the village is to grow in a sustainable manner, now is the time to consider how this growth should take place and, where possible, include measures or guidelines in the Local Plan to achieve it. Although it may seem beyond the scope of the current Local Plan any development proposals for the immediate future should take account of longer term
requirements. A conceptual form for the future village should be prepared to avoid ad-hoc development taking place and having an adverse effect.
* For many years Heath has lacked a 'village centre' having evolved from a settlement strung along the road connecting Chesterfield and Mansfield. Recently, however, much work has been done to establish a village identity centred upon the Village Hall. This has been so successful that European funding was awarded to help refurbish the existing buildings and aid in the development of community activities. This excellent work should be extended to provide the nucleus for the provision of facilities which will enhance the lives of existing villagers and encourage the influx of a broad spectrum of new residents. Such provisions should include a village green/children's play area, a convenience store, a nursery/playschool, a clinic and a primary school. Initially provision would be made largely in terms of spatial allowance only but as demand occurs the facilities and associated buildings could be added within the space allocated.
* The identity and historic character of Heath has been maintained largely because it is a Conservation Area. Any enlargement of the Settlement Development Limit should also include a similar enlargement of the Conservation Area as necessary. New housing and other buildings must all maintain the appearance and materials adopted throughout the existing village. Trees play an important part in the village landscape and this must be extended to development within the new sites.

* The existing road through the village adopts a torturous route with several bends of sub-standard alignment. This has helped to restrain the passage of through traffic which can arise if there is congestion on the M1 Motorway and A617 Bypass. The provision of a road network within site H&H/1601 should be designed to facilitate movement in and out of the village but not provide a village 'bypass' encouraging passage of external traffic through it.

* The village contains a number of smaller houses which could be used as models for the new development. Many of these occur near the Village Hall and are owned by Chatsworth Estates. Built at a higher density, perhaps in the 'centre' of the village, they would encourage the influx of younger families, counterbalancing the increasing aging population of the village. Imaginative design of the buildings with innovative use of materials and techniques should be able to achieve housing which is attractive but not costly.

Comment

Schedule of Sites Consultation Document (February 2015)

Representation ID: 2526

Received: 26/03/2015

Respondent: Campaign to Protect Rural England

Representation:

Site considered generally detrimental to the rural identity of the settlement or its countryside surroundings.

Full text:

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