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Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Policy SS2: Spatial Strategy and the Distribution of Development

Representation ID: 8231

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Zafeen Ltd

Agent: Freeths LLP

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Summary and changes to Plan not received on representation form; Council Officer has made interpretation.

The approach to housing distribution proposes 2934 dwellings on allocated sites in southern sub-area. These may place strain on the A61 corridor which already suffers from major traffic congestion issues. Serious concerns also exist about the proximity of competing sites in this area and the housing trajectory suggesting a degree of simultaneous delivery. This is considered highly unlikely and unrealistic.
The housing target fails to account for Sheffield's unmet need and should be increased to better integrate housing strategy with economic growth strategy.
Further sites are required to provide choice, competition and account for issues such as, elevated lapse rates (the Plan does not apply a lapse rate to larger sites), stalled sites, delayed delivery or changing market conditions. The windfall allowance should contribute solely towards flexibility and should not be relied upon to meet the identified need.

Change suggested by respondent:

Increase the OAN to better integrate the housing strategy with the economic growth strategy and clarify/detail whether any unmet needs arising between the amended plan periods has been accounted for;
Increase/amend housing allocations in the southern sub-area to meet identified need, addressing concerns relating to cumulative impact of development along A61 corridor and associated deliverability issues;
Account for windfall sites solely in the context of flexibility;

Full text:

Re: North East Derbyshire Local Plan - Publication Draft Consultation

I refer to the above consultation and set out below representations in response to the Publication
Draft document on behalf of our client Zafeen Ltd, promoters of land east of Little Morton Street, North Wingfield for residential purposes (see attached site plan outlined red). This letter amplifies the attached response forms concerning our client's OBJECTION to the proposed strategy for housing development within the District relating to policies SS2 (Spatial Strategy and Distribution of Development) and LC1 (Housing Allocations).

Background
In recent years it had been the original intention of the Council to prepare a two part replacement for the saved 2005 North East Derbyshire District Local Plan ("the Saved Plan"); Part 1 incorporating strategic policies and Part 2 incorporating allocations and development management policies. However, in August 2015 the Council moved to the preparation of a single Local Plan as significant problems were highlighted relating to the successful delivery of the proposed strategy. The Council subsequently considered options for an alternative strategic distribution including amendments to the Green Belt boundary.

The emerging North East Derbyshire Local Plan currently at Publication Draft ("the Plan") is intended to cover the administrative area of North East Derbyshire outside of the Peak District National Park for the period of 2014 - 2034, replacing the Saved Plan once adopted. The Plan follows on from an earlier Consultation Draft Local Plan which included draft policies and proposals where, as referenced in the current document, the key issues raised through consultation primarily related to the distribution of housing growth. It is stated in the Plan that changes have been made to the overall strategy accounting for these earlier representations and updates to the evidence base. One of the main changes is stated to be the inclusion of new housing sites where planning permission exists and the deletion of some housing sites elsewhere.

Objection - Spatial Strategy, Distribution of Development and Housing Allocations
Policy SS2 'Spatial Strategy and the Distribution of Development' states that the Plan will make provision for the delivery of a minimum of 6,600 dwellings (330 dwellings per annum) over the plan period with the majority (over 50%) of new housing development focussed in the 4 main towns of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh, in addition to the Avenue (Clay Cross) and former Biwater (Wingerworth) Strategic Sites. The remainder of the housing development will thereafter be focussed in the District's other most sustainable settlements, defined as Level 2 settlements in the Settlement Hierarchy which is a 4 tier structure (Level 1: Towns, Level 2: Settlements with a good level of sustainability, Level 3: Settlements with a limited sustainability and Level 4: Very small villages and hamlets with very limited sustainability).

The resulting approach to housing distribution is set out in Policy LC1 'Housing Allocations' which proposes a total of 2934 dwellings on allocated sites in the southern sub-area across the settlements of Clay Cross, Grassmoor, Morton, North Wingfield, Pilsey, Stonebroom, Tupton and Wingerworth. Of these allocations a total of 2505 dwellings are alone proposed across the 3 settlements of Clay Cross (995), Tupton (329) and Wingerworth (1181) positioned directly on the A61 and includes the strategic Biwater and Avenue sites, accounting for some 38% of the District's overall requirement and 85% of the southern sub-area's provision. This significant level of growth alone does not account for planning permissions on unallocated sites, as well as those with pending applications and/or appeals, or allocations at Grassmoor (127), Morton (80) and Stonebroom (65) which will likely filter out onto the A61 also and further intensify the situation.

This intended strategy of housing distribution in the southern sub-area will, as a result, place great strain on the A61 corridor which is already identified to suffer from major traffic congestion issues during busy periods as is acknowledged at paragraph 2.20 of the Plan. Such concerns have been historically raised in response to development along on the A61 corridor both by neighbouring authorities and by Derbyshire County Council ("DCC") as Highway Authority. These concerns remain to date and are clearly evident through consultation responses to current 'live' applications, including those that relate to development of proposed housing allocations. DCC commonly reference their 'concerns about the long term implications arising from development land which is likely to have an impact across the wider highway network', noting that 'a significant level of development is taking place, or being proposed, along the A61 corridor, which already suffers from congestion at certain parts of the day (this also extends into and through the adjoining Borough Council areas)' and the need to establish 'cumulative traffic impacts' of the various proposals. DCC advise that 'large scale highway improvement works to increase capacity of the highway network are relatively limited and would come at a significant cost both financially and environmentally'. Therefore, as a result, there are serious transport and infrastructure concerns about the impact of the intended south sub-area strategy seeking to focus large swathes of housing development along the A61 corridor, as well as the likely traffic implications this will have for surrounding villages. To compound matters further, this issue will be exacerbated by the mixed use developments proposed at the Avenue and Biwater Strategic Sites which also includes retail, commercial, employment and leisure uses.

In the context of deliverability, serious concerns also exist about the strategy of site selection and the proximity of competing sites, particularly those at Wingerworth, Grassmoor and Tupton which cumulatively propose a total of 1637 dwellings within a 1.5km radius. Add to this those proposed at Clay Cross (995) results in a total of 2632 dwellings within 4km of each other and a trajectory suggesting a degree of simultaneous delivery as set out at Appendix 3 of the January 2018 Housing Topic Paper (1013 dwellings are envisaged within the 5 year tranche of 2017-2022). Given the proximity of these competing sites, it is highly unlikely and considered unrealistic that these housing delivery will be at the rates envisaged and required to meet in full the identified housing need as a result.

Not only are concerns raised about the housing trajectory in the Housing Topic Paper's appendices (3 and 6) as a result of the proximity of competing sites detailed above, but also in terms of questionable delivery rates as a result of site status and market trends. For example, the trajectories include sites where planning permission has now expired, sites that are envisaged to deliver housing within the next 12 months yet no Reserved Matters have been submitted, and sites where the rate of delivery is far beyond that experienced elsewhere in the District. This questionable trajectory is further compounded by the fact that, for example, the Avenue Strategic Site at Wingerworth, this being the second largest allocation within the southern sub-area, is heavily contaminated as a result of its former coking works operations. Despite the major remediation programme currently underway, housing is proposed for local needs and intended for occupiers whom will be aware of the site's history and contamination. This often results in a stigma attached to such sites as result, thus impacting on market sales and the rate at which properties are subsequently brought to the market.

For these reasons it is considered that the proposed housing strategy set out in Policies SS2 and LC1 is significantly flawed and will fail to deliver housing at the rates envisaged. This ultimately has consequences for the anticipated supply and the ability of the plan to deliver the level of housing required to satisfy the identified need over the plan period.

Objectively Assessed Housing Need and 5 Year Housing Land Supply
The Plan's target for housing is identified as 330 dwellings per year, this being a significantly reduced figure from that historically adopted in the East Midland Regional Spatial Strategy and fails account for neighbouring Sheffield City Council's ("SCC") unmet need. Whilst it is acknowledged that SCC does not form part of the North East Derbyshire Housing Market Area, the Plan recognises that there is interaction between the regions such that any unmet need should be accounted for in accordance with paragraph 182 of the NPPF which requires plans to be 'positively prepared'. This includes devising a strategy to meet 'unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so', the Council being well aware that SCC has already sought to accommodate some of its need outside of its administrative boundary.

Further, the Plan refers to application of a Regeneration Scenario which is stated to reflect the
Council's Growth Strategy and the wider Local Enterprise Partnerships ambitions. However, it is considered that the proposed housing target should be increased to better integrate the housing strategy with the economic growth strategy. Clarification is also required concerning amendments to the plan period originally proposed from 2011-2033 but now amended to 2014-2034, and whether the unmet needs identified arising between the period of 2011-2014 have been appropriately accounted for.

Of course, any upward amendments to the plan target will impact on the 5 year supply of housing land, this being further compounded by the spatial strategy issues and questionable deliverability rates raised earlier in these representations. The current 5 year housing supply figure offers little contingency or flexibility and counters the requirements of NPPF paragraph 47 to significantly boost the supply of housing. It is acknowledged that subject to compelling evidence, a windfall allowance may be included in the 5 year supply and this is proposed in the Plan as set out at paragraph 6.10 of the Housing Topic Paper. This details that minor unallocated sites (considered by the Council as windfall sites) will provide an element of land supply up to 2021/22 at a completion rate of 84 dwellings per year, followed by a flexibility windfall of 75 dwellings per year for the remaining Plan period. It is, however, considered given the concerns raised that the windfall supply should contribute only in the context of acting as a flexibility allowance throughout the plan period rather than being relied upon to address need, and that additional sites are identified to ensure that this need can be met regardless of windfall sites.

It is submitted, therefore, that further sites are indeed required to provide choice, competition and account for issues such as, for example, elevated lapse rates (it is noted the Plan does not apply a lapse rate to larger sites), stalled sites, delayed delivery or changing market conditions impacting on viability, particularly in relation to the larger sites. The windfall allowance should contribute solely towards flexibility and should not be relied upon to meet the identified need.

Sustainability Appraisal
The Sustainability Appraisal ("SA") accompanying the Plan has been updated with a February 2018 version. Appendix A of SA contains the site assessments and this is restricted to sites that are proposed for allocation.

Paragraph 1.1.5 (page 3) of Appendix A explains that "Some site allocations have been assessed in previous iterations of the SA. The assessments and outcomes for each objective of each site allocation do not necessarily match the assessments and outcomes in previous iterations of the SA. This is because the latest assessments in this report take into account the latest data and evidence and the sites are assessed individually and in greater detail."

The NPPG (paragraph 001 Reference ID: 11-001-20140306) states "A sustainability appraisal is a systematic process that must be carried out during the preparation of a Local Plan. Its role is to promote sustainable development by assessing the extent to which the emerging plan, when judged against reasonable alternatives, will help to achieve relevant environmental, economic and social objectives". A situation therefore arises whereby the 2018 SA contains the sites proposed for allocation but advises the 'reasonable alternatives' were considered through the 2017 SA (Paragraphs 2.5.1- 2.5.6).

The 2018 SA explains that the assessments of the proposed allocations do not necessarily match the assessment in previous iterations of the SA. On closer inspection it is noted that the 2018 version contains a number of changes to the 2017 SA assessments. For example, across the 4 main towns and including the Former Biwater Strategic Site there are 17 proposed allocations and 16 show a number of changes to their individual SA assessment scores in the 2018 version (the exception is KL5 which was not part of the 2017 SA).

Whilst in principle there is no objection to reviewing the SA scores, the purpose is to compare the proposed allocation against reasonable alternatives and therefore these must also be reviewed to ensure fair comparison. The adjustments to the SA scores has seen both favourable and unfavourable amendments for allocated sites but without an explanation to why such a review is not justified for the reasonable alternatives, the SA is fundamentally flawed. It is noted that a small number of allocated sites have had adjustments to site area etc, but this alone is not sufficient to justify a re-appraisal of only proposed allocated sites.

A key purpose of the SA is not only to assess all reasonable alternatives but to explain the reasons for selecting the preferred option. This is supported by caselaw in Heard v Broadland DC [2012] where the judgement states:

"an outline of reasons for the selection of alternatives for examination is required, and alternatives have to be assessed, whether or not to the same degree as the preferred option, all for the purpose of carrying out, with public participation, a reasoned evaluative process of the environmental impact of plans or proposals. A teleological interpretation of the directive, to my mind, requires an outline of the reasons for the selection of a preferred option, if any, even where a number of alternatives are also still being considered. Indeed, it would normally require a sophisticated and artificial form of reasoning which explained why alternatives had been selected for examination but not why one of those at the same time had been preferred. (Paragraph 69)"

An explanation to why sites have been selected does not appear within the SA and accordingly it is very difficult for a participant to understand or comment on the rationale behind any decisions.

Land East of Little Morton Street, North Wingfield
As referenced earlier in these representations, our client is currently promoting the attached site at North Wingfield for residential development, a site formerly assessed and identified as NW/1603 in the February 2017 SA (albeit with a slightly extended boundary to the east at that time). The site measures approximately 11.36ha and forms an undeveloped parcel of land adjoining the settlement's existing built form, with potential for delivery of up to 265 dwellings. The site is in single ownership and our client is currently working closely with a major housebuilder preparing a planning application ready for imminent submission.

The Council's Settlement Hierarchy (December 2017 update) forms part of the Plan's evidence base and identifies North Wingfield as a Level 2 settlement in context of the overall 4 tier hierarchy, these being areas with 'good levels of sustainability' and are locations that will provide for the remainder of planned housing growth beyond the 4 towns and 2 Strategic Sites identified in emerging policy SS2. The Settlement Hierarchy Document details that outside of the 4 towns, in terms of services and facilities, North Wingfield is 'the most well provided for settlement included in the Study' (paragraph 4.10) and that along with Wingerworth 'has the best level of public transport services' (paragraph 4.22). The overall conclusion resulting from the Study was that North Wingfield ranked highest as 'the District's most sustainable settlement' (paragraph 5.2 and 5.3) outside of the 4 towns, providing services, facilities, employment, leisure opportunities and regular public transport links. As the most sustainable Level 2 settlement, it therefore has the ability to accommodate a greater level of development than that currently set out in the Plan which in its current form, conversely proposes the second lowest housing numbers allocated in the southern sub-area's Level 2 settlements and third lowest Plan-wide.

It is therefore submitted that our client's site should be included as a housing allocation in the Plan, providing choice and competition in the market for land and consumers, an approach required in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and advocated in the Housing White Paper (Fixing Our Broken Housing Market February 2017). The site is not constrained by Green Belt, heritage assets or contamination, nor is it identified to be at a heightened risk of flooding (save for a very small area of Zone 2/3 to south-western corner) such that its development is therefore consistent with the sequential approach to development prescribed in the NPPF. The 2017 SA also identifies the site as Grade 4 Agricultural Land, again according with NPPF requirements of protecting land that is considered best and most versatile (which this is not).

Initial transport assessment work details that the impact of residential development at the scale envisaged would not be 'severe' in accordance with the NPPF given that development generated trips can be safely/satisfactorily accommodated on the existing local highway network. Whilst concerns have been raised earlier in these representations relating to the A61 and the impact of cumulative development, our client's site is located away from this corridor serving the east-west strategic needs of the District and the employment opportunities available at Holmewood and off the M1 i.e. Markham Vale and South Normanton, without any meaningful impact on the A61. With a range of transport options available, including cycling and walking which encourage more sustainable patterns of travel and reduced reliance on the private car, development of the site is consistent with the sustainable principles set out in the NPPF.

In terms of ecology, the site is not designated as a statutory or non-statutory site of nature conservation interest and has no significant ecological value. An initial appraisal concludes that there is no significant ecology or protected species interest in existence on site and that subject to appropriate management, there will have be no adverse impact on ecology.

An assessment of the landscape recognises that the site does not have any form of landscape designation for quality, abutting the urban edge of North Wingfield and notably the busy Willimthorpe Road (A6185) which has a strong influence on the surrounding landscape. It is considered that the site is well contained in both landscape and visual terms by landform, vegetation and existing built form, with the ability to absorb the scale of development envisaged without appearing incongruous in view of the site's context. Any effect on the local landscape is considered to be limited and minimal in extent. The assessment concludes that residential development would relate well to Little Morton Road, the existing residential development along it and the edge of North Wingfield. It comments that such scale of residential development would not be out of character or context with the nature of the landscape in which it is proposed and that it can be successfully assimilated into the local landscape without any unacceptable landscape or visual effects.

With the above in mind, development of this site for residential purposes will significantly assist with housing delivery in a sustainable location and by way of logical extension to the built settlement. As the site has no major constraints and is in single ownership with interest from a major house builder, it is available and deliverable within 5 years. It is therefore respectfully requested that this site be included in the emerging Local Plan as a residential site allocation.

Amendments required to the Plan
In context of the above representations, the following amendments are required to the Plan in order for it to be considered sound:

* Increase the OAN to better integrate the housing strategy with the economic growth strategy and clarify/detail whether any unmet needs arising between the amended plan periods has been accounted for;
* Increase/amend housing allocations in the southern sub-area to meet identified need, addressing concerns relating to cumulative impact of development along A61 corridor and associated deliverability issues;
* Account for windfall sites solely in the context of flexibility;
* Increase allocation of land in North Wingfield for housing which is identified as the most sustainable Level 2 settlement;
* Allocation of land east of Little Morton Street, North Wingfield for 265 dwellings as a sustainable location and logical extension to the built settlement; and,
* Provide clarity in the SA to compare the proposed allocations against reasonable alternatives.

Conclusion
In conclusion, it is submitted that the Plan in its current form fails the NPPF tests set out at paragraph 182 insofar that it is not positively prepared, it is not justified, it is not effective and it is not consistent with national policy for the reasons set above. It is considered that amendments are required to increase the housing target and include additional sustainable sites in southern subarea away from the A61 corridor such as North Wingfield. North Wingfield is identified as the most sustainable Level 2 settlement and our client's site would form an appropriate and logical extension to the built form. In turn this will provide choice and competition in the market for consumers and allow for a greater flexibility to ensure the District's identified housing need can be accommodated at the pace and scale required over the plan period.




Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Policy LC1: Housing Allocations

Representation ID: 8232

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Zafeen Ltd

Agent: Freeths LLP

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Summary and changes to Plan not received on representation form; Council Officer has made interpretation.
Our client is currently promoting the attached site at North Wingfield for residential development, a site formerly assessed and identified as NW/1603 in the February 2017 SA.
The Settlement Hierarchy Study details that outside the 4 main towns, North Wingfield is the most sustainable settlement. It therefore has the ability to accommodate a greater level of development than that currently set out in the Plan which in its current form, conversely proposes the second lowest housing numbers allocated in the southern sub-area's Level 2 settlements and third lowest Plan-wide.
It is therefore submitted that our client's site should be included as a housing allocation in the Plan.

Change suggested by respondent:

Increase allocation of land in North Wingfield for housing which is identified as the most sustainable Level 2 settlement;
Allocation of land east of Little Morton Street, North Wingfield for 265 dwellings as a sustainable location and logical extension to the built settlement;

Full text:

Re: North East Derbyshire Local Plan - Publication Draft Consultation

I refer to the above consultation and set out below representations in response to the Publication
Draft document on behalf of our client Zafeen Ltd, promoters of land east of Little Morton Street, North Wingfield for residential purposes (see attached site plan outlined red). This letter amplifies the attached response forms concerning our client's OBJECTION to the proposed strategy for housing development within the District relating to policies SS2 (Spatial Strategy and Distribution of Development) and LC1 (Housing Allocations).

Background
In recent years it had been the original intention of the Council to prepare a two part replacement for the saved 2005 North East Derbyshire District Local Plan ("the Saved Plan"); Part 1 incorporating strategic policies and Part 2 incorporating allocations and development management policies. However, in August 2015 the Council moved to the preparation of a single Local Plan as significant problems were highlighted relating to the successful delivery of the proposed strategy. The Council subsequently considered options for an alternative strategic distribution including amendments to the Green Belt boundary.

The emerging North East Derbyshire Local Plan currently at Publication Draft ("the Plan") is intended to cover the administrative area of North East Derbyshire outside of the Peak District National Park for the period of 2014 - 2034, replacing the Saved Plan once adopted. The Plan follows on from an earlier Consultation Draft Local Plan which included draft policies and proposals where, as referenced in the current document, the key issues raised through consultation primarily related to the distribution of housing growth. It is stated in the Plan that changes have been made to the overall strategy accounting for these earlier representations and updates to the evidence base. One of the main changes is stated to be the inclusion of new housing sites where planning permission exists and the deletion of some housing sites elsewhere.

Objection - Spatial Strategy, Distribution of Development and Housing Allocations
Policy SS2 'Spatial Strategy and the Distribution of Development' states that the Plan will make provision for the delivery of a minimum of 6,600 dwellings (330 dwellings per annum) over the plan period with the majority (over 50%) of new housing development focussed in the 4 main towns of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh, in addition to the Avenue (Clay Cross) and former Biwater (Wingerworth) Strategic Sites. The remainder of the housing development will thereafter be focussed in the District's other most sustainable settlements, defined as Level 2 settlements in the Settlement Hierarchy which is a 4 tier structure (Level 1: Towns, Level 2: Settlements with a good level of sustainability, Level 3: Settlements with a limited sustainability and Level 4: Very small villages and hamlets with very limited sustainability).

The resulting approach to housing distribution is set out in Policy LC1 'Housing Allocations' which proposes a total of 2934 dwellings on allocated sites in the southern sub-area across the settlements of Clay Cross, Grassmoor, Morton, North Wingfield, Pilsey, Stonebroom, Tupton and Wingerworth. Of these allocations a total of 2505 dwellings are alone proposed across the 3 settlements of Clay Cross (995), Tupton (329) and Wingerworth (1181) positioned directly on the A61 and includes the strategic Biwater and Avenue sites, accounting for some 38% of the District's overall requirement and 85% of the southern sub-area's provision. This significant level of growth alone does not account for planning permissions on unallocated sites, as well as those with pending applications and/or appeals, or allocations at Grassmoor (127), Morton (80) and Stonebroom (65) which will likely filter out onto the A61 also and further intensify the situation.

This intended strategy of housing distribution in the southern sub-area will, as a result, place great strain on the A61 corridor which is already identified to suffer from major traffic congestion issues during busy periods as is acknowledged at paragraph 2.20 of the Plan. Such concerns have been historically raised in response to development along on the A61 corridor both by neighbouring authorities and by Derbyshire County Council ("DCC") as Highway Authority. These concerns remain to date and are clearly evident through consultation responses to current 'live' applications, including those that relate to development of proposed housing allocations. DCC commonly reference their 'concerns about the long term implications arising from development land which is likely to have an impact across the wider highway network', noting that 'a significant level of development is taking place, or being proposed, along the A61 corridor, which already suffers from congestion at certain parts of the day (this also extends into and through the adjoining Borough Council areas)' and the need to establish 'cumulative traffic impacts' of the various proposals. DCC advise that 'large scale highway improvement works to increase capacity of the highway network are relatively limited and would come at a significant cost both financially and environmentally'. Therefore, as a result, there are serious transport and infrastructure concerns about the impact of the intended south sub-area strategy seeking to focus large swathes of housing development along the A61 corridor, as well as the likely traffic implications this will have for surrounding villages. To compound matters further, this issue will be exacerbated by the mixed use developments proposed at the Avenue and Biwater Strategic Sites which also includes retail, commercial, employment and leisure uses.

In the context of deliverability, serious concerns also exist about the strategy of site selection and the proximity of competing sites, particularly those at Wingerworth, Grassmoor and Tupton which cumulatively propose a total of 1637 dwellings within a 1.5km radius. Add to this those proposed at Clay Cross (995) results in a total of 2632 dwellings within 4km of each other and a trajectory suggesting a degree of simultaneous delivery as set out at Appendix 3 of the January 2018 Housing Topic Paper (1013 dwellings are envisaged within the 5 year tranche of 2017-2022). Given the proximity of these competing sites, it is highly unlikely and considered unrealistic that these housing delivery will be at the rates envisaged and required to meet in full the identified housing need as a result.

Not only are concerns raised about the housing trajectory in the Housing Topic Paper's appendices (3 and 6) as a result of the proximity of competing sites detailed above, but also in terms of questionable delivery rates as a result of site status and market trends. For example, the trajectories include sites where planning permission has now expired, sites that are envisaged to deliver housing within the next 12 months yet no Reserved Matters have been submitted, and sites where the rate of delivery is far beyond that experienced elsewhere in the District. This questionable trajectory is further compounded by the fact that, for example, the Avenue Strategic Site at Wingerworth, this being the second largest allocation within the southern sub-area, is heavily contaminated as a result of its former coking works operations. Despite the major remediation programme currently underway, housing is proposed for local needs and intended for occupiers whom will be aware of the site's history and contamination. This often results in a stigma attached to such sites as result, thus impacting on market sales and the rate at which properties are subsequently brought to the market.

For these reasons it is considered that the proposed housing strategy set out in Policies SS2 and LC1 is significantly flawed and will fail to deliver housing at the rates envisaged. This ultimately has consequences for the anticipated supply and the ability of the plan to deliver the level of housing required to satisfy the identified need over the plan period.

Objectively Assessed Housing Need and 5 Year Housing Land Supply
The Plan's target for housing is identified as 330 dwellings per year, this being a significantly reduced figure from that historically adopted in the East Midland Regional Spatial Strategy and fails account for neighbouring Sheffield City Council's ("SCC") unmet need. Whilst it is acknowledged that SCC does not form part of the North East Derbyshire Housing Market Area, the Plan recognises that there is interaction between the regions such that any unmet need should be accounted for in accordance with paragraph 182 of the NPPF which requires plans to be 'positively prepared'. This includes devising a strategy to meet 'unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so', the Council being well aware that SCC has already sought to accommodate some of its need outside of its administrative boundary.

Further, the Plan refers to application of a Regeneration Scenario which is stated to reflect the
Council's Growth Strategy and the wider Local Enterprise Partnerships ambitions. However, it is considered that the proposed housing target should be increased to better integrate the housing strategy with the economic growth strategy. Clarification is also required concerning amendments to the plan period originally proposed from 2011-2033 but now amended to 2014-2034, and whether the unmet needs identified arising between the period of 2011-2014 have been appropriately accounted for.

Of course, any upward amendments to the plan target will impact on the 5 year supply of housing land, this being further compounded by the spatial strategy issues and questionable deliverability rates raised earlier in these representations. The current 5 year housing supply figure offers little contingency or flexibility and counters the requirements of NPPF paragraph 47 to significantly boost the supply of housing. It is acknowledged that subject to compelling evidence, a windfall allowance may be included in the 5 year supply and this is proposed in the Plan as set out at paragraph 6.10 of the Housing Topic Paper. This details that minor unallocated sites (considered by the Council as windfall sites) will provide an element of land supply up to 2021/22 at a completion rate of 84 dwellings per year, followed by a flexibility windfall of 75 dwellings per year for the remaining Plan period. It is, however, considered given the concerns raised that the windfall supply should contribute only in the context of acting as a flexibility allowance throughout the plan period rather than being relied upon to address need, and that additional sites are identified to ensure that this need can be met regardless of windfall sites.

It is submitted, therefore, that further sites are indeed required to provide choice, competition and account for issues such as, for example, elevated lapse rates (it is noted the Plan does not apply a lapse rate to larger sites), stalled sites, delayed delivery or changing market conditions impacting on viability, particularly in relation to the larger sites. The windfall allowance should contribute solely towards flexibility and should not be relied upon to meet the identified need.

Sustainability Appraisal
The Sustainability Appraisal ("SA") accompanying the Plan has been updated with a February 2018 version. Appendix A of SA contains the site assessments and this is restricted to sites that are proposed for allocation.

Paragraph 1.1.5 (page 3) of Appendix A explains that "Some site allocations have been assessed in previous iterations of the SA. The assessments and outcomes for each objective of each site allocation do not necessarily match the assessments and outcomes in previous iterations of the SA. This is because the latest assessments in this report take into account the latest data and evidence and the sites are assessed individually and in greater detail."

The NPPG (paragraph 001 Reference ID: 11-001-20140306) states "A sustainability appraisal is a systematic process that must be carried out during the preparation of a Local Plan. Its role is to promote sustainable development by assessing the extent to which the emerging plan, when judged against reasonable alternatives, will help to achieve relevant environmental, economic and social objectives". A situation therefore arises whereby the 2018 SA contains the sites proposed for allocation but advises the 'reasonable alternatives' were considered through the 2017 SA (Paragraphs 2.5.1- 2.5.6).

The 2018 SA explains that the assessments of the proposed allocations do not necessarily match the assessment in previous iterations of the SA. On closer inspection it is noted that the 2018 version contains a number of changes to the 2017 SA assessments. For example, across the 4 main towns and including the Former Biwater Strategic Site there are 17 proposed allocations and 16 show a number of changes to their individual SA assessment scores in the 2018 version (the exception is KL5 which was not part of the 2017 SA).

Whilst in principle there is no objection to reviewing the SA scores, the purpose is to compare the proposed allocation against reasonable alternatives and therefore these must also be reviewed to ensure fair comparison. The adjustments to the SA scores has seen both favourable and unfavourable amendments for allocated sites but without an explanation to why such a review is not justified for the reasonable alternatives, the SA is fundamentally flawed. It is noted that a small number of allocated sites have had adjustments to site area etc, but this alone is not sufficient to justify a re-appraisal of only proposed allocated sites.

A key purpose of the SA is not only to assess all reasonable alternatives but to explain the reasons for selecting the preferred option. This is supported by caselaw in Heard v Broadland DC [2012] where the judgement states:

"an outline of reasons for the selection of alternatives for examination is required, and alternatives have to be assessed, whether or not to the same degree as the preferred option, all for the purpose of carrying out, with public participation, a reasoned evaluative process of the environmental impact of plans or proposals. A teleological interpretation of the directive, to my mind, requires an outline of the reasons for the selection of a preferred option, if any, even where a number of alternatives are also still being considered. Indeed, it would normally require a sophisticated and artificial form of reasoning which explained why alternatives had been selected for examination but not why one of those at the same time had been preferred. (Paragraph 69)"

An explanation to why sites have been selected does not appear within the SA and accordingly it is very difficult for a participant to understand or comment on the rationale behind any decisions.

Land East of Little Morton Street, North Wingfield
As referenced earlier in these representations, our client is currently promoting the attached site at North Wingfield for residential development, a site formerly assessed and identified as NW/1603 in the February 2017 SA (albeit with a slightly extended boundary to the east at that time). The site measures approximately 11.36ha and forms an undeveloped parcel of land adjoining the settlement's existing built form, with potential for delivery of up to 265 dwellings. The site is in single ownership and our client is currently working closely with a major housebuilder preparing a planning application ready for imminent submission.

The Council's Settlement Hierarchy (December 2017 update) forms part of the Plan's evidence base and identifies North Wingfield as a Level 2 settlement in context of the overall 4 tier hierarchy, these being areas with 'good levels of sustainability' and are locations that will provide for the remainder of planned housing growth beyond the 4 towns and 2 Strategic Sites identified in emerging policy SS2. The Settlement Hierarchy Document details that outside of the 4 towns, in terms of services and facilities, North Wingfield is 'the most well provided for settlement included in the Study' (paragraph 4.10) and that along with Wingerworth 'has the best level of public transport services' (paragraph 4.22). The overall conclusion resulting from the Study was that North Wingfield ranked highest as 'the District's most sustainable settlement' (paragraph 5.2 and 5.3) outside of the 4 towns, providing services, facilities, employment, leisure opportunities and regular public transport links. As the most sustainable Level 2 settlement, it therefore has the ability to accommodate a greater level of development than that currently set out in the Plan which in its current form, conversely proposes the second lowest housing numbers allocated in the southern sub-area's Level 2 settlements and third lowest Plan-wide.

It is therefore submitted that our client's site should be included as a housing allocation in the Plan, providing choice and competition in the market for land and consumers, an approach required in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and advocated in the Housing White Paper (Fixing Our Broken Housing Market February 2017). The site is not constrained by Green Belt, heritage assets or contamination, nor is it identified to be at a heightened risk of flooding (save for a very small area of Zone 2/3 to south-western corner) such that its development is therefore consistent with the sequential approach to development prescribed in the NPPF. The 2017 SA also identifies the site as Grade 4 Agricultural Land, again according with NPPF requirements of protecting land that is considered best and most versatile (which this is not).

Initial transport assessment work details that the impact of residential development at the scale envisaged would not be 'severe' in accordance with the NPPF given that development generated trips can be safely/satisfactorily accommodated on the existing local highway network. Whilst concerns have been raised earlier in these representations relating to the A61 and the impact of cumulative development, our client's site is located away from this corridor serving the east-west strategic needs of the District and the employment opportunities available at Holmewood and off the M1 i.e. Markham Vale and South Normanton, without any meaningful impact on the A61. With a range of transport options available, including cycling and walking which encourage more sustainable patterns of travel and reduced reliance on the private car, development of the site is consistent with the sustainable principles set out in the NPPF.

In terms of ecology, the site is not designated as a statutory or non-statutory site of nature conservation interest and has no significant ecological value. An initial appraisal concludes that there is no significant ecology or protected species interest in existence on site and that subject to appropriate management, there will have be no adverse impact on ecology.

An assessment of the landscape recognises that the site does not have any form of landscape designation for quality, abutting the urban edge of North Wingfield and notably the busy Willimthorpe Road (A6185) which has a strong influence on the surrounding landscape. It is considered that the site is well contained in both landscape and visual terms by landform, vegetation and existing built form, with the ability to absorb the scale of development envisaged without appearing incongruous in view of the site's context. Any effect on the local landscape is considered to be limited and minimal in extent. The assessment concludes that residential development would relate well to Little Morton Road, the existing residential development along it and the edge of North Wingfield. It comments that such scale of residential development would not be out of character or context with the nature of the landscape in which it is proposed and that it can be successfully assimilated into the local landscape without any unacceptable landscape or visual effects.

With the above in mind, development of this site for residential purposes will significantly assist with housing delivery in a sustainable location and by way of logical extension to the built settlement. As the site has no major constraints and is in single ownership with interest from a major house builder, it is available and deliverable within 5 years. It is therefore respectfully requested that this site be included in the emerging Local Plan as a residential site allocation.

Amendments required to the Plan
In context of the above representations, the following amendments are required to the Plan in order for it to be considered sound:

* Increase the OAN to better integrate the housing strategy with the economic growth strategy and clarify/detail whether any unmet needs arising between the amended plan periods has been accounted for;
* Increase/amend housing allocations in the southern sub-area to meet identified need, addressing concerns relating to cumulative impact of development along A61 corridor and associated deliverability issues;
* Account for windfall sites solely in the context of flexibility;
* Increase allocation of land in North Wingfield for housing which is identified as the most sustainable Level 2 settlement;
* Allocation of land east of Little Morton Street, North Wingfield for 265 dwellings as a sustainable location and logical extension to the built settlement; and,
* Provide clarity in the SA to compare the proposed allocations against reasonable alternatives.

Conclusion
In conclusion, it is submitted that the Plan in its current form fails the NPPF tests set out at paragraph 182 insofar that it is not positively prepared, it is not justified, it is not effective and it is not consistent with national policy for the reasons set above. It is considered that amendments are required to increase the housing target and include additional sustainable sites in southern subarea away from the A61 corridor such as North Wingfield. North Wingfield is identified as the most sustainable Level 2 settlement and our client's site would form an appropriate and logical extension to the built form. In turn this will provide choice and competition in the market for consumers and allow for a greater flexibility to ensure the District's identified housing need can be accommodated at the pace and scale required over the plan period.




Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Sustainability Appraisal

Representation ID: 8233

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Zafeen Ltd

Agent: Freeths LLP

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Summary and changes to Plan not received on representation form; Council Officer has made interpretation.
The 2018 SA contains a number of changes to the 2017 SA assessments. Whilst in principle there is no objection to reviewing the SA scores, the purpose is to compare the proposed allocation against reasonable alternatives and therefore these must also be reviewed to ensure fair comparison. The adjustments to SA scores has seen amendments for allocated sites but without an explanation to why such a review is not justified for the reasonable alternatives, the SA is fundamentally flawed.
An explanation to why sites have been selected does not appear within the SA and accordingly it is very difficult to understand or comment on the rationale behind any decisions.

Change suggested by respondent:

Provide clarity in the SA to compare the proposed allocations against reasonable alternatives.

Full text:

Re: North East Derbyshire Local Plan - Publication Draft Consultation

I refer to the above consultation and set out below representations in response to the Publication
Draft document on behalf of our client Zafeen Ltd, promoters of land east of Little Morton Street, North Wingfield for residential purposes (see attached site plan outlined red). This letter amplifies the attached response forms concerning our client's OBJECTION to the proposed strategy for housing development within the District relating to policies SS2 (Spatial Strategy and Distribution of Development) and LC1 (Housing Allocations).

Background
In recent years it had been the original intention of the Council to prepare a two part replacement for the saved 2005 North East Derbyshire District Local Plan ("the Saved Plan"); Part 1 incorporating strategic policies and Part 2 incorporating allocations and development management policies. However, in August 2015 the Council moved to the preparation of a single Local Plan as significant problems were highlighted relating to the successful delivery of the proposed strategy. The Council subsequently considered options for an alternative strategic distribution including amendments to the Green Belt boundary.

The emerging North East Derbyshire Local Plan currently at Publication Draft ("the Plan") is intended to cover the administrative area of North East Derbyshire outside of the Peak District National Park for the period of 2014 - 2034, replacing the Saved Plan once adopted. The Plan follows on from an earlier Consultation Draft Local Plan which included draft policies and proposals where, as referenced in the current document, the key issues raised through consultation primarily related to the distribution of housing growth. It is stated in the Plan that changes have been made to the overall strategy accounting for these earlier representations and updates to the evidence base. One of the main changes is stated to be the inclusion of new housing sites where planning permission exists and the deletion of some housing sites elsewhere.

Objection - Spatial Strategy, Distribution of Development and Housing Allocations
Policy SS2 'Spatial Strategy and the Distribution of Development' states that the Plan will make provision for the delivery of a minimum of 6,600 dwellings (330 dwellings per annum) over the plan period with the majority (over 50%) of new housing development focussed in the 4 main towns of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh, in addition to the Avenue (Clay Cross) and former Biwater (Wingerworth) Strategic Sites. The remainder of the housing development will thereafter be focussed in the District's other most sustainable settlements, defined as Level 2 settlements in the Settlement Hierarchy which is a 4 tier structure (Level 1: Towns, Level 2: Settlements with a good level of sustainability, Level 3: Settlements with a limited sustainability and Level 4: Very small villages and hamlets with very limited sustainability).

The resulting approach to housing distribution is set out in Policy LC1 'Housing Allocations' which proposes a total of 2934 dwellings on allocated sites in the southern sub-area across the settlements of Clay Cross, Grassmoor, Morton, North Wingfield, Pilsey, Stonebroom, Tupton and Wingerworth. Of these allocations a total of 2505 dwellings are alone proposed across the 3 settlements of Clay Cross (995), Tupton (329) and Wingerworth (1181) positioned directly on the A61 and includes the strategic Biwater and Avenue sites, accounting for some 38% of the District's overall requirement and 85% of the southern sub-area's provision. This significant level of growth alone does not account for planning permissions on unallocated sites, as well as those with pending applications and/or appeals, or allocations at Grassmoor (127), Morton (80) and Stonebroom (65) which will likely filter out onto the A61 also and further intensify the situation.

This intended strategy of housing distribution in the southern sub-area will, as a result, place great strain on the A61 corridor which is already identified to suffer from major traffic congestion issues during busy periods as is acknowledged at paragraph 2.20 of the Plan. Such concerns have been historically raised in response to development along on the A61 corridor both by neighbouring authorities and by Derbyshire County Council ("DCC") as Highway Authority. These concerns remain to date and are clearly evident through consultation responses to current 'live' applications, including those that relate to development of proposed housing allocations. DCC commonly reference their 'concerns about the long term implications arising from development land which is likely to have an impact across the wider highway network', noting that 'a significant level of development is taking place, or being proposed, along the A61 corridor, which already suffers from congestion at certain parts of the day (this also extends into and through the adjoining Borough Council areas)' and the need to establish 'cumulative traffic impacts' of the various proposals. DCC advise that 'large scale highway improvement works to increase capacity of the highway network are relatively limited and would come at a significant cost both financially and environmentally'. Therefore, as a result, there are serious transport and infrastructure concerns about the impact of the intended south sub-area strategy seeking to focus large swathes of housing development along the A61 corridor, as well as the likely traffic implications this will have for surrounding villages. To compound matters further, this issue will be exacerbated by the mixed use developments proposed at the Avenue and Biwater Strategic Sites which also includes retail, commercial, employment and leisure uses.

In the context of deliverability, serious concerns also exist about the strategy of site selection and the proximity of competing sites, particularly those at Wingerworth, Grassmoor and Tupton which cumulatively propose a total of 1637 dwellings within a 1.5km radius. Add to this those proposed at Clay Cross (995) results in a total of 2632 dwellings within 4km of each other and a trajectory suggesting a degree of simultaneous delivery as set out at Appendix 3 of the January 2018 Housing Topic Paper (1013 dwellings are envisaged within the 5 year tranche of 2017-2022). Given the proximity of these competing sites, it is highly unlikely and considered unrealistic that these housing delivery will be at the rates envisaged and required to meet in full the identified housing need as a result.

Not only are concerns raised about the housing trajectory in the Housing Topic Paper's appendices (3 and 6) as a result of the proximity of competing sites detailed above, but also in terms of questionable delivery rates as a result of site status and market trends. For example, the trajectories include sites where planning permission has now expired, sites that are envisaged to deliver housing within the next 12 months yet no Reserved Matters have been submitted, and sites where the rate of delivery is far beyond that experienced elsewhere in the District. This questionable trajectory is further compounded by the fact that, for example, the Avenue Strategic Site at Wingerworth, this being the second largest allocation within the southern sub-area, is heavily contaminated as a result of its former coking works operations. Despite the major remediation programme currently underway, housing is proposed for local needs and intended for occupiers whom will be aware of the site's history and contamination. This often results in a stigma attached to such sites as result, thus impacting on market sales and the rate at which properties are subsequently brought to the market.

For these reasons it is considered that the proposed housing strategy set out in Policies SS2 and LC1 is significantly flawed and will fail to deliver housing at the rates envisaged. This ultimately has consequences for the anticipated supply and the ability of the plan to deliver the level of housing required to satisfy the identified need over the plan period.

Objectively Assessed Housing Need and 5 Year Housing Land Supply
The Plan's target for housing is identified as 330 dwellings per year, this being a significantly reduced figure from that historically adopted in the East Midland Regional Spatial Strategy and fails account for neighbouring Sheffield City Council's ("SCC") unmet need. Whilst it is acknowledged that SCC does not form part of the North East Derbyshire Housing Market Area, the Plan recognises that there is interaction between the regions such that any unmet need should be accounted for in accordance with paragraph 182 of the NPPF which requires plans to be 'positively prepared'. This includes devising a strategy to meet 'unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so', the Council being well aware that SCC has already sought to accommodate some of its need outside of its administrative boundary.

Further, the Plan refers to application of a Regeneration Scenario which is stated to reflect the
Council's Growth Strategy and the wider Local Enterprise Partnerships ambitions. However, it is considered that the proposed housing target should be increased to better integrate the housing strategy with the economic growth strategy. Clarification is also required concerning amendments to the plan period originally proposed from 2011-2033 but now amended to 2014-2034, and whether the unmet needs identified arising between the period of 2011-2014 have been appropriately accounted for.

Of course, any upward amendments to the plan target will impact on the 5 year supply of housing land, this being further compounded by the spatial strategy issues and questionable deliverability rates raised earlier in these representations. The current 5 year housing supply figure offers little contingency or flexibility and counters the requirements of NPPF paragraph 47 to significantly boost the supply of housing. It is acknowledged that subject to compelling evidence, a windfall allowance may be included in the 5 year supply and this is proposed in the Plan as set out at paragraph 6.10 of the Housing Topic Paper. This details that minor unallocated sites (considered by the Council as windfall sites) will provide an element of land supply up to 2021/22 at a completion rate of 84 dwellings per year, followed by a flexibility windfall of 75 dwellings per year for the remaining Plan period. It is, however, considered given the concerns raised that the windfall supply should contribute only in the context of acting as a flexibility allowance throughout the plan period rather than being relied upon to address need, and that additional sites are identified to ensure that this need can be met regardless of windfall sites.

It is submitted, therefore, that further sites are indeed required to provide choice, competition and account for issues such as, for example, elevated lapse rates (it is noted the Plan does not apply a lapse rate to larger sites), stalled sites, delayed delivery or changing market conditions impacting on viability, particularly in relation to the larger sites. The windfall allowance should contribute solely towards flexibility and should not be relied upon to meet the identified need.

Sustainability Appraisal
The Sustainability Appraisal ("SA") accompanying the Plan has been updated with a February 2018 version. Appendix A of SA contains the site assessments and this is restricted to sites that are proposed for allocation.

Paragraph 1.1.5 (page 3) of Appendix A explains that "Some site allocations have been assessed in previous iterations of the SA. The assessments and outcomes for each objective of each site allocation do not necessarily match the assessments and outcomes in previous iterations of the SA. This is because the latest assessments in this report take into account the latest data and evidence and the sites are assessed individually and in greater detail."

The NPPG (paragraph 001 Reference ID: 11-001-20140306) states "A sustainability appraisal is a systematic process that must be carried out during the preparation of a Local Plan. Its role is to promote sustainable development by assessing the extent to which the emerging plan, when judged against reasonable alternatives, will help to achieve relevant environmental, economic and social objectives". A situation therefore arises whereby the 2018 SA contains the sites proposed for allocation but advises the 'reasonable alternatives' were considered through the 2017 SA (Paragraphs 2.5.1- 2.5.6).

The 2018 SA explains that the assessments of the proposed allocations do not necessarily match the assessment in previous iterations of the SA. On closer inspection it is noted that the 2018 version contains a number of changes to the 2017 SA assessments. For example, across the 4 main towns and including the Former Biwater Strategic Site there are 17 proposed allocations and 16 show a number of changes to their individual SA assessment scores in the 2018 version (the exception is KL5 which was not part of the 2017 SA).

Whilst in principle there is no objection to reviewing the SA scores, the purpose is to compare the proposed allocation against reasonable alternatives and therefore these must also be reviewed to ensure fair comparison. The adjustments to the SA scores has seen both favourable and unfavourable amendments for allocated sites but without an explanation to why such a review is not justified for the reasonable alternatives, the SA is fundamentally flawed. It is noted that a small number of allocated sites have had adjustments to site area etc, but this alone is not sufficient to justify a re-appraisal of only proposed allocated sites.

A key purpose of the SA is not only to assess all reasonable alternatives but to explain the reasons for selecting the preferred option. This is supported by caselaw in Heard v Broadland DC [2012] where the judgement states:

"an outline of reasons for the selection of alternatives for examination is required, and alternatives have to be assessed, whether or not to the same degree as the preferred option, all for the purpose of carrying out, with public participation, a reasoned evaluative process of the environmental impact of plans or proposals. A teleological interpretation of the directive, to my mind, requires an outline of the reasons for the selection of a preferred option, if any, even where a number of alternatives are also still being considered. Indeed, it would normally require a sophisticated and artificial form of reasoning which explained why alternatives had been selected for examination but not why one of those at the same time had been preferred. (Paragraph 69)"

An explanation to why sites have been selected does not appear within the SA and accordingly it is very difficult for a participant to understand or comment on the rationale behind any decisions.

Land East of Little Morton Street, North Wingfield
As referenced earlier in these representations, our client is currently promoting the attached site at North Wingfield for residential development, a site formerly assessed and identified as NW/1603 in the February 2017 SA (albeit with a slightly extended boundary to the east at that time). The site measures approximately 11.36ha and forms an undeveloped parcel of land adjoining the settlement's existing built form, with potential for delivery of up to 265 dwellings. The site is in single ownership and our client is currently working closely with a major housebuilder preparing a planning application ready for imminent submission.

The Council's Settlement Hierarchy (December 2017 update) forms part of the Plan's evidence base and identifies North Wingfield as a Level 2 settlement in context of the overall 4 tier hierarchy, these being areas with 'good levels of sustainability' and are locations that will provide for the remainder of planned housing growth beyond the 4 towns and 2 Strategic Sites identified in emerging policy SS2. The Settlement Hierarchy Document details that outside of the 4 towns, in terms of services and facilities, North Wingfield is 'the most well provided for settlement included in the Study' (paragraph 4.10) and that along with Wingerworth 'has the best level of public transport services' (paragraph 4.22). The overall conclusion resulting from the Study was that North Wingfield ranked highest as 'the District's most sustainable settlement' (paragraph 5.2 and 5.3) outside of the 4 towns, providing services, facilities, employment, leisure opportunities and regular public transport links. As the most sustainable Level 2 settlement, it therefore has the ability to accommodate a greater level of development than that currently set out in the Plan which in its current form, conversely proposes the second lowest housing numbers allocated in the southern sub-area's Level 2 settlements and third lowest Plan-wide.

It is therefore submitted that our client's site should be included as a housing allocation in the Plan, providing choice and competition in the market for land and consumers, an approach required in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and advocated in the Housing White Paper (Fixing Our Broken Housing Market February 2017). The site is not constrained by Green Belt, heritage assets or contamination, nor is it identified to be at a heightened risk of flooding (save for a very small area of Zone 2/3 to south-western corner) such that its development is therefore consistent with the sequential approach to development prescribed in the NPPF. The 2017 SA also identifies the site as Grade 4 Agricultural Land, again according with NPPF requirements of protecting land that is considered best and most versatile (which this is not).

Initial transport assessment work details that the impact of residential development at the scale envisaged would not be 'severe' in accordance with the NPPF given that development generated trips can be safely/satisfactorily accommodated on the existing local highway network. Whilst concerns have been raised earlier in these representations relating to the A61 and the impact of cumulative development, our client's site is located away from this corridor serving the east-west strategic needs of the District and the employment opportunities available at Holmewood and off the M1 i.e. Markham Vale and South Normanton, without any meaningful impact on the A61. With a range of transport options available, including cycling and walking which encourage more sustainable patterns of travel and reduced reliance on the private car, development of the site is consistent with the sustainable principles set out in the NPPF.

In terms of ecology, the site is not designated as a statutory or non-statutory site of nature conservation interest and has no significant ecological value. An initial appraisal concludes that there is no significant ecology or protected species interest in existence on site and that subject to appropriate management, there will have be no adverse impact on ecology.

An assessment of the landscape recognises that the site does not have any form of landscape designation for quality, abutting the urban edge of North Wingfield and notably the busy Willimthorpe Road (A6185) which has a strong influence on the surrounding landscape. It is considered that the site is well contained in both landscape and visual terms by landform, vegetation and existing built form, with the ability to absorb the scale of development envisaged without appearing incongruous in view of the site's context. Any effect on the local landscape is considered to be limited and minimal in extent. The assessment concludes that residential development would relate well to Little Morton Road, the existing residential development along it and the edge of North Wingfield. It comments that such scale of residential development would not be out of character or context with the nature of the landscape in which it is proposed and that it can be successfully assimilated into the local landscape without any unacceptable landscape or visual effects.

With the above in mind, development of this site for residential purposes will significantly assist with housing delivery in a sustainable location and by way of logical extension to the built settlement. As the site has no major constraints and is in single ownership with interest from a major house builder, it is available and deliverable within 5 years. It is therefore respectfully requested that this site be included in the emerging Local Plan as a residential site allocation.

Amendments required to the Plan
In context of the above representations, the following amendments are required to the Plan in order for it to be considered sound:

* Increase the OAN to better integrate the housing strategy with the economic growth strategy and clarify/detail whether any unmet needs arising between the amended plan periods has been accounted for;
* Increase/amend housing allocations in the southern sub-area to meet identified need, addressing concerns relating to cumulative impact of development along A61 corridor and associated deliverability issues;
* Account for windfall sites solely in the context of flexibility;
* Increase allocation of land in North Wingfield for housing which is identified as the most sustainable Level 2 settlement;
* Allocation of land east of Little Morton Street, North Wingfield for 265 dwellings as a sustainable location and logical extension to the built settlement; and,
* Provide clarity in the SA to compare the proposed allocations against reasonable alternatives.

Conclusion
In conclusion, it is submitted that the Plan in its current form fails the NPPF tests set out at paragraph 182 insofar that it is not positively prepared, it is not justified, it is not effective and it is not consistent with national policy for the reasons set above. It is considered that amendments are required to increase the housing target and include additional sustainable sites in southern subarea away from the A61 corridor such as North Wingfield. North Wingfield is identified as the most sustainable Level 2 settlement and our client's site would form an appropriate and logical extension to the built form. In turn this will provide choice and competition in the market for consumers and allow for a greater flexibility to ensure the District's identified housing need can be accommodated at the pace and scale required over the plan period.




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