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Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Policy ID3: Sustainable Travel

Representation ID: 7817

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Rippon Homes

Agent: RPS (Birmingham office)

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

Council Officer has amended the summary to approximately 100 words. Full representation attached.

The Policy ID3 on Sustainable Travel is unclear as to the mandatory and supported requirements of the policy. Within paragraph a) suggests that much of this policy is not mandatory and better suited to the supporting text than within an enforceable planning policy.
Paragraph b) states that 'new routes should be permeable for all users'.
In many cases this is not possible, eg when providing recreational routes through open spaces or where vehicle access is restricted. The policy wording could therefore cause pedestrian and cycle routes to not be delivered on the basis that they should be providing vehicular access. The policy is therefore inconsistent with national policy.

As paragraph a), paragraph c) suggests examples. For the policy to be effective these should be provided within the supporting text to ensure that there is sufficient clarity about how development proposals will be treated.

Change suggested by respondent:

Rep suggests some deletion of wording, see full representation attached.

Any examples or measures which are not mandatory should be provided within the supporting text. For the policy to be clear, enforceable and in accordance with paragraph 154 of the NPPF the Policy should be amended as follows:
Policy ID3: Sustainable Travel
1. The Council will seek to maximise walking, cycling, and the use of public transport
through the location and design of new development, with the aim of reducing
congestion, and improving air quality and health.
2. Proposals for major developments will be required to promote sustainable travel
through necessary interventions DELETE "as set out in the priority order below:" ADD "including the following:"
a. Site specific and area wide travel demand management measures; DELETE "including active travel planning, such as promoting car clubs and provision of car share spaces so to reduce the demand for travel by the private car;"
b. Improvements to existing pedestrian, cycle and public transport services and
facilities, and provision of new walking and cycling routes. New routes should DELETE "be permeable for all users and" provide direct links to new or existing footpaths, cycling networks, and local facilities;
c. Optimisation of the existing highway network to prioritise walking, cycling, public
transport and other forms of sustainable travel; DELETE "such as measures to prioritise the need of pedestrians above the car, and improved cycle and bus lanes, and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles for example;"
3. As a last resort, Highway capacity enhancements would have to deal with residual
car demand where the initiatives required in criteria (a) to (c) above are insufficient
to avoid significant additional car journeys
4. In all cases planning permission will only be DELETE "granted provided that the development would be served by a safe access, and any traffic generated by new development can be accommodated safely on the surrounding local and strategic highway network, or can be made safe by appropriate transport improvements." ADD "prevented or refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts of development are severe."

Full text:

The promotion of sustainable travel is a core principle of the NPPF which states that 'planning should actively manage patterns of growth to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling, and focus significant development in locations which are or can be made sustainable', however how this is achieved should be considered on a case by case basis. A priority order is therefore inappropriate to enable this and unjustified.
The Policy is currently unclear as to the mandatory and supported requirements of the policy. For example, SUCH AS within paragraph a) suggests that much of this policy is not mandatory and therefore better suited to the supporting text than within an enforceable planning policy.
Paragraph b) states that 'new routes should be permeable for all users'. In many cases this is not possible, such as when providing recreational routes through open spaces or where vehicle access is restricted. The policy wording could therefore cause pedestrian and cycle routes to not be delivered on the basis that they should be providing vehicular access. The policy is therefore inconsistent with national policy.
Similar to paragraph a), paragraph c) suggests examples. For the policy to be effective these should be provided within the supporting text to ensure that there is sufficient clarity about how development proposals will be treated.
5
This is necessary to ensure that the Policy is in accordance with Paragraph 154 of the NPPF which states that:
'Local Plans should be aspirational but realistic. They should address the spatial implications of economic, social and environmental change. Local Plans should set out the opportunities for development and clear policies on what will or will not be permitted and where. RIPPON HOMES EMPHASIS(UNDERLINED): Only policies that provide a clear indication of how a decision maker should react to a development proposal should be included in the Plan'.
The policy does not 'provide a clear indication' and is therefore not effective or consistent with National Policy.

Attachments:

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Wingerworth

Representation ID: 7818

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Rippon Homes

Agent: RPS (Birmingham office)

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

Council officers have amended the summary to approximately 100 words. Full representation attached.

The Council should demonstrate that the buffer of 13% is sufficient.

RPS reserves the right to comment on the Council's latest housing position through the examination process, once the new housing supply information for 2017/18 has been produced.

No clear evidence that sites allocated in the plan or with outline planning permission will begin within five years.

The lapse rate should be applied across all sites.

Concerns regarding delivery assumptions on certain sites, such as Coalite.

The Avenue site does not serve the needs of Wingerworth and should not be classed as a Wingerworth allocation.

Concerns about the dis co-ordination of the HMA Local Authority plan periods and the potential unmet need of Sheffield.

The reference to off-setting effects of removing land from the Green Belt is not realistic.

Site WW1609 Deerlands Road, Wingerworth should be considered as reasonable alternative to Green Belt releases.

Change suggested by respondent:

Landscape and biodiversity improvements to the development site are a requirement of all planning applications. No information is provided as to how compensatory improvements to the Green Belt would be delivered above these requirements and therefore the final paragraph of Policy LC1 is ineffective and insufficient to offset the harm of the development to the Green Belt.

We would therefore suggest that the final paragraph of Policy LC1 be removed and that further evidence is provided to demonstrate the consideration of sites outside of the Green Belt as set out in RPS representation to Policy SS2 - Spatial Strategy and the Distribution of Development.

Furthermore the Council should provide clear evidence that sites allocated in the plan or with outline planning permission will begin on-site within 5 years and justify their inconsistent approach to lapse rates across smaller and larger sites.

There is a lack of justification for the non inclusion of certain sites (reference WW1609).

The Council also needs to make available the latest housing monitoring data (2017/18) in advance of the date for Hearing Statements for the EiP.

Full text:

Policy LC1 (in Chapter 5) sets out the proposed site allocations for housing to deliver the housing land requirement set out in Policy SS2: Spatial Strategy and the Distribution of Development. Appendix B of the Publication Draft local plan provides the Council's housing trajectory for the anticipated housing delivery for each year up to 2034.
The Council states that "Between 2014 and 2017 there has been a very slight under-delivery of 15 dwellings" and therefore the housing trajectory in Appendix C has sought to ensure a 20% buffer within the first five years after adoption. The housing trajectory in Appendix B simply provides a list of allocations and expected completions per year. The table does not indicate the status of the site in terms of whether they do or don't have permission. The table shows that anticipated completion rates over the 5 year period from 2018/19 range from 550 dwellings per year to 410 dwellings per year.
The Council suggests that their proposed housing figures provide sufficient flexibility through a buffer of around 13% to its overall HLS. This is however reliant on a windfall allowance of 900 dwellings based on 76dpa from 2022/23 onwards and is therefore reliant upon unplanned and therefore uncertain housing delivery. The Council should therefore be required to demonstrate that this limited contingency is sufficient. The latest available information for housing completions relates to housing supply for the 2016/17 year. It is apparent from the recently adopted Local Development Scheme that the Local Plan examination is timetabled for September 2018. Therefore, the Council will be producing new housing supply information for the 2017/18 year and RPS reserves the right to comment on the Council's latest housing monitoring position through the Local Plan examination process once this new housing supply information has been produced.
Past rates of Completion / Plan period
Whilst the Council refers to housing completions from 2014 to 2017, it is noted that the level of completions over prior years was substantially lower as set out in the Council's Monitoring Report 2014 (AMR10 1st April 2013 - 31st March 2014).
Specifically, Figure 1 of the Council's AMR10 shows that the number of net housing completions for 2013/14 was only 49, against an annual target of 300 (for the period 2011/12 through to 2013/14) and it can be clearly seen that there was significant under delivery over the 5 year period (2009/10 to 2013/14). Just taking the completions data from 2011/12 to 2013/14, there were only 323 completions against a target of 300 dwellings per year. Therefore, the under supply was some 577.
Once the new housing monitoring information is published for 2017 / 18, then RPS reserves the right to comment on the Council's track record of housing delivery.
Deliverability of Sites
The Draft Revised Consultation NPPF at paragraph 68 refers to the need to identify a supply of "specific, deliverable sites for years one to five of the plan". The definition of deliverability in the Draft Revised Consultation NPPF differs from the existing definition of deliverability in the NPPF and footnote 11 to paragraph 47. Whereas footnote 11 to paragraph 47 of the NPPF states that "Sites with planning permission should be considered deliverable until permission expires", the Draft Consultation NPPF differentiates between sites with detailed permission and other types of sites. Specifically, the Draft Consultation NPPF states that "Sites with outline planning permission, permission in principle, allocated in the development plan or identified on a brownfield register should only be considered deliverable where there is clear evidence that housing completions will begin on site within five years".
The Council has not currently provided this necessary clarity in terms of clear evidence that sites allocated in the plan or with outline planning permission will begin on site within five years.
Even where sites have outline planning permission, such as WW1 Hanging Banks, Wingerworth, then the Council would need to determine any subsequent reserved matters application, which will have a bearing on the housing trajectory.
Once the Council's new housing monitoring information for 2017/18 is available, RPS will consider lead in times for planning applications, including considering the time taken from date of approval to first completion date. For example, it is noted that application NED/12/00431/FL for a three bedroom detached dwelling was 6
approved on 25/10/2012 yet was not completed until more than four years later (31/03/2017).
Whilst the HLS applies a 5% lapse rate to sites of less than 10 dwellings they do not apply it to sites of over 10 dwellings and provide no reasoning for this approach. Consistently applying the lapse rate across all sites would lead to a reduction to the Council's HLS below their minimum housing requirement.
Therefore, the policy is currently not considered to be effective; justified or consistent with national guidance. The change sought is for the Council to provide this clear evidence.
There are also concerns regarding delivery assumptions of certain sites including the Coalite site, which has 230 dwellings indicated within the plan, period, despite the acknowledgements within the Housing Topic Paper (para 4.3) that significant uncertainties exist over the deliverability of the site, give the presence of HS2.
Given new monitoring data will/should be available, prior to the Examination Rippon Homes reserves the right to provide further assessments (possibly as an appendix to its Examination Statements addressing delivery assumptions on several sites).
Wingerworth Allocations
The policy identifies three allocations at Wingerworth. These are SS3: The Avenue Strategic Site (716 dwellings); WW1 Land at Hanging Banks, Wingerworth (250 dwellings); and WW2: Land at South of Mill Lane, Wingerworth (215 dwellings).
SS3: The Avenue Strategic Site and WW1: Land at Hanging Banks both benefit from planning permission. WW2: Land South of Mill Lane, Wingerworth is partly under construction and there is "a resolution to grant permission on the western part of the site for 95 dwellings" (paragraph 5.65).
With regard to The Avenue this is identified as a Strategic Site for mixed use development, including 1,100 homes (approximately 700 within the plan period), employment, open space and sports facilities, and a range of facilities such as a primary school and retail. This site should effectively be treated as a new settlement. It is not part of Wingerworth settlement, as it is separated by the A61. RPS does not consider The Avenue Strategic Site serves the needs of the settlement of Wingerworth and should not therefore be classed as a Wingerworth allocation.
Green Belt Allocations
The housing allocations in LC1 include a significant number of Green Belt releases at other settlements. Paragraph 83 of the NPPF states that "Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances, through the preparation or review of the Local Plan" The Draft Consultation NPPF uses almost identical wording but refers to "updating" rather than "review" and it tightens the guidance on Green Belt.
Paragraph 136 of the Draft Consultation NPPF sets out that local authorities "should have examined fully all other reasonable options for meeting (their) identified need for development", which would include "considering the consequences for sustainable development of channelling development .. towards locations beyond the Green Belt boundary".
This should be 'informed by discussions with neighbouring authorities about whether they could accommodate some of the identified need for development, as demonstrated through the statement of common ground'. The assessment of this is provided in the Council's Green Belt Topic Paper and Duty to Co-operate Statement both released in March 2018. RPS reserves the right to comment on these prior to the 3rd May 2018 consultation deadline.
The Duty to Co-operate is a requirement of NPPF paragraphs 156, 178-181 which requires the Council to 'engage constructively, actively and on an on-going basis.'
North East Derbyshire and the neighbouring authorities have confirmed that each authority will be meeting its own needs in full within its own Local Authority boundary. RPS concern however is the dis co-ordination of the HMA Local Authority plan periods and the potential unmet need of Sheffield City Council.
Furthermore Policy LC1 Housing Allocations states that "In order to off-set the effect of removing land from the Green Belt at allocation sites DR1, DR2, DR3, EC1, KL1 and KL2, compensatory improvements to the environmental quality or accessibility of the remaining Green Belt land will be required where appropriate" (p68). This phraseology relating to compensatory improvements has been lifted from the Draft Consultation NPPF. It is not clear how this could be delivered and it would not be realistic to seek such improvements on private land. Equally it is assumed that this would have to be secured in perpetuity. This policy is therefore considered to be 'unsound' as it is not justified or effective.
Paragraph 137 of the Draft Consultation NPPF states that "where it has been concluded that it is necessary to release Green Belt land for development, plans should give first consideration to land which has been previously-developed and/or is well-served by public transport".
Therefore RPS recommend the Council re-consider Omission Site WW1609 Deerlands Road, Wingerworth as a reasonable alternative to Green Belt releases for a housing allocation under Policy LC1.
The site is suitable, available and viable and able to provide both market and affordable housing in a sustainable location. Appended to this statement is the Design and Access Statement for the site and the officers Report to committee, which was for approval and demonstrates, despite the Council's view that a five year land supply exists, the proposal represents sustainable development.
The site is capable of directly addressing some of the key challenges and objectives of the plan by:
Providing a mix of market and affordable housing in close proximity to local services and employment opportunities
- Located close to public transport routes to encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport
- Providing development on the edge of a sustainable settlement without causing harm to the Green Belt or coalescence with neighbouring settlements
- Providing a high quality, well designed and locally distinctive development
- Being sufficiently well contained and free from environmental constraints to deliver open space, landscape improvements and biodiversity enhancements

Attachments:

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Policy LC4: Type and Mix of Housing

Representation ID: 7820

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Rippon Homes

Agent: RPS (Birmingham office)

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Council Officers have amended the summary to approximately 100 words. Full representation attached.

This policy is based on the figures in the 2013 SHMA and does not have regard to paragraph 7.28 of the SHMA-OAN Update, 2017.

The policy is too prescriptive, and contradicts the current Housing Need of the District. Given that the SHMA mix will continue to change over the duration of the Local Plan it is considered more appropriate to simply cross reference the mix as contained within the SHMA which is likely to be updated more frequently over the Plan Period. The Policy should continue to provide flexibility as to how this should be applied on a site by site basis.

The Self and Custom Build Homes Policy LC4 is not considered effective or justified, due to low interest.

Change suggested by respondent:

Paragraphs 5.83 and 5.84 recommend a mix of housing that is based on out of date evidence. Table 5.1 should be removed and paragraphs 5.83 and 5.84 should be amended as follows:

DELETE: "5.83 The SHMA recommends the following size mix for market housing, low-cost homes ownership and affordable rented housing.

5.84 DELETE" It should be noted that these figures are indicators against which delivery is monitored rather than a target for each individual site."
ADD "The proposed housing mix of new development should have regard to the most recent Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)."
DELETE "On some sites, it will not be"
ADD "It is not" appropriate to be prescriptive on the housing composition for a single scheme, particularly on smaller sites where it may be impractical, or where there are specific physical site constraints that may limit the range of housing that it possible, or where there may be market demand or viability issues. Such issues will always be considered and explored in negotiation with developers using the latest information from housing need studies as a basis.

Full text:

Policy LC4 - Type and Mix of Housing
This policy is based on the figures in the 2013 SHMA and does not have regard to paragraph 7.28 of the most recent Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) - Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) Update Report, published in October 2017 which refers to a suggested housing mix as follows:
* 1-bed properties: 0-5% * 2-bed properties: 30% * 3-bed properties: 50% * 4-bed properties: 15-20%
The update includes details regarding the current OAN of the district, meaning that the previous SHMA used to inform this policy is now out of date.
Policy LC4 Mix of Housing is too prescriptive, and contradicts the current Housing Need of the District. Given that the SHMA mix will continue to change over the duration of the Local Plan it is considered more appropriate to simply cross reference the mix as contained within the SHMA which is likely to be updated more frequently over the Plan Period. The Policy should continue to provide flexibility as to how this should be applied on a site by site basis.
Self and Custom Build Homes
Policy LC4 refers to encouraging the inclusion of self and custom build dwellings. Supporting paragraph 5.92 explains that as at August 2017, only 7 people had expressed an interest in this type of house building in North East Derbyshire, even
5 though the register had been running for over a year since April 2016. Whilst the Council also refers to "encouraging developers of larger schemes to designate parts of these as plots available for self and custom build", this will lead to uncertainty of delivery issues for developers and the sites. It may not be possible to provide custom and self-built homes on larger sites depending on existing land agreements and characteristics. The policy is therefore not considered to be effective or justified.

Attachments:

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Local Plan Objectives

Representation ID: 7823

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Rippon Homes

Agent: RPS (Birmingham office)

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

Council Officer has amended the summary to 100 words. Full representation attached.

Whilst Objective D5 refers to different tenures, there is no reference to affordable housing. There is a significant backlog of affordable housing need. The Plan is severely lacking in its commitment to address the issue of: 'the high ratio of house prices to household income means that affordability of housing is a key issue for many parts of North East Derbyshire.'Section 2 (p17)

Objective D6 should be tightened up, reflecting the Housing Topic Paper which refers to it as 'A Last Resort'- consistent with NPPF, paragraph 136 which states that before concluding that exceptional circumstances exist to justify changes to Green Belt boundaries, Council's should examine all other reasonable options for meeting the identified need, including non-Green Belt locations well served by public transport. In Rippon Homes view, this necessitates a re-think/ re-consider of non-Green Belt sites/ locations in advance of Green Belt locations.

Change suggested by respondent:

To ensure that the Plan positively enforces the need to boost the supply of housing in accordance in accordance with paragraph 47 of the NPPF; 'to boost significantly the supply of housing' the wording of Objective D5 should be amended as follows:
D5 Housing For All
ADD "To boost the supply of market and affordable housing" DELETE: "To meet the objectively assessed housing needs of the District" ensuring there is an adequate mix of housing types, sizers and tenures to meet the needs of all sectors of the District's communities.

D6 Green Belt:
To protect the general area of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land
within it ADD"by examining all other reasonable options for meeting the identified need" taking account of the need to promote sustainable patterns of development across the District.

Full text:

Whilst Objective D5 refers to different tenures, there is no reference specifically to affordable housing. The Council currently have a significant backlog of affordable housing need and in this respect the Plan is severely lacking in its commitment to address one of the key issues identified at Section 2 (p17) that 'the high ratio of house prices to household income means that affordability of housing is a key issue for many parts of North East Derbyshire.'
The change sought is to ensure that needing to boost the supply of housing is specifically referenced as an Objective and that sufficient provision is made in the plan to boost housing supply and the delivery of affordable housing. Without this RPS considers that the plan and specifically the Objectives are not positively prepared, effective or consistent with national policy.
Objective D6 refers to protecting the Green Belt. This objective, should be tightened up, reflective of what the Housing Topic Paper refers to as 'A Last Resort'. This would also be consistent with Government Policy in the form of the emerging NPPF which at paragraph 136 states that before concluding that exceptional circumstances exist to justify changes to Green Belt boundaries, strategic plan making authorities should have examined all other reasonable options for meeting the identified need. The options include non-Green Belt locations well served by public transport. In Rippon Homes view this necessitate a re-think of the objective and the consequences which follow to re-consider non-Green Belt sites and locations in advance of Green Belt locations.

Attachments:

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Sustainability Appraisal

Representation ID: 7830

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Rippon Homes

Agent: RPS (Birmingham office)

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Council Officer has amended the summary to approximately 100 words. Full representation attached.

Representation refers to paragraph 1.35, 1.36, 4.36, 4.70, 5,5 of the Local Plan and the Sustainability Appraisal itself

RPS has considered the Sustainability Appraisal and how this has informed both the strategy in terms of distribution as well as site selection. There are a number of concerns:

Reasonable Alternatives: Site WW/1609 Land at Deerlands Road, Wingerworth is clearly within the geographical scope of the Local Plan and should have been considered as a reasonable alternative to other allocations and yet this has clearly not occurred.
Paper Chase: The Final SA Report does not make it clear why earlier options have been rejected in terms of why sites have been discounted.
Sustainability of Wingerworth: Wingerworth is a sustainable settlement where it is appropriate to make housing allocations.
Housing Site Assessment Critique of WW/1609: there are a number of criteria where RPS disagree with the Council's scoring

Change suggested by respondent:

Presently, the relationship of the SA, the Council's Housing LAA Appendix Site Assessment Report and the Local Plan is unsatisfactory. Whilst the Council has rejected the site at an earlier stage, they have failed to consider the more detailed analysis contained in the Officer's report relating to Planning Application NED/17/00268/OL, which directly contradicts the assessment in the Site Assessment Report and also in the SA / SEA.
The Housing Site Assessment Report and SA / SEA should be updated to reflect the Council's analysis as expressed in considering the planning application, and WW/1609 Land at Deerlands Road should therefore clearly be considered as a reasonable alternative.
The Council should therefore review their position on WW/1609 Land at Deerlands Road, and include this omission site within the plan as a way for the Council to meet the identified need for housing

Full text:

RPS has considered the Sustainability Appraisal and how this has informed both the strategy in terms of distribution as well as site selection. There are a number of concerns with the SA incorporating SEA process, which can be summarised as follows.
Reasonable Alternatives
Site WW/1609 Land at Deerlands Road, Wingerworth is clearly within the geographical scope of the Local Plan as required by Article 5(1) of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive 2001/42/EC and should have been considered as a reasonable alternative to other allocations and yet this has clearly not occurred. The purpose of the SA incorporating SEA is to consider reasonable alternatives and articulate how and why these have either been discounted or included within the plan.
Paper Chase
The Final SA Report does not make it clear why earlier options have been rejected in terms of why sites have been discounted. Furthermore, the documents are not organised and presented in a way that avoids a paper chase being required. Therefore, it is considered that the SA process is not legally compliant as it does not follow the principles regarding Regulation 12. 5. In Calverton Parish Council v Nottingham City Council [2015] EWHC 1078 (Admin) at [67] Jay J. summarised the following principles regarding the application of Regulation 12 and the requirement to assess reasonable alternatives: "(1) It is necessary to consider reasonable alternatives, and to report on those alternatives and the reasons for their rejection; (2) While options may be rejected as the Plan moves through various stages, and do not necessarily fall to be examined at each stage, a description of what alternatives were examined and why has to be available for consideration in the environmental report; (3) It is permissible for the environmental report to refer back to earlier documents, so long as the reasons in the earlier documents remain sound; (4) The earlier documents must be organised and presented in such a way that it may readily be ascertained, without any paper chase being required, what options were considered and why they had been rejected; (5) The reasons for rejecting earlier options must be summarised in the final report to meet the requirements of the SEA Directive; (6) Alternatives must be subjected to the same level of analysis as the preferred option."
Sustainability of Wingerworth
Table 2.5 of the SA sets out the Council's preferred approach for settlement distribution of new homes, and this clearly includes Wingerworth (+ the Avenue Strategic Site), which is identified within the table as a 'Large (level 2) settlement to which a proposed total quantity of new housing is 370 and allocations of 449 (+716). Paragraph 2.74 of the SA makes it clear that the remaining housing (other than at the four towns) "will be focused on the District's other most sustainable settlements, defined as level 2 settlements in the settlement hierarchy". It is therefore clear that Wingerworth is a sustainable settlement where it is appropriate to make housing allocations.
Housing Site Assessment Critique
The Local Plan Evidence Base includes the Council's Housing LAA Appendix Site Assessment Report (February 2018). Site WW/1609 Land at Deerlands Road, Wingerworth has been assessed was included in this assessment. The Council's Individual Site Assessments are provided at Appendix C of the document, and follow a colour coded site assessment matrix of Green (G), Amber (A), or Red (R) for 26 criterion. RPS has reviewed the Council's assessment of WW/1609, and whilst the Site scores Green for the majority of the criterion, there are a number of criterion where RPS fundamentally disagree with the Council's scoring of Amber or Red and an inconsistent approach appears to have been taken. The table below therefore sets out the Council's assessment on the left, with RPS's assessment against the Council's own Site Assessment Matrix on the right and comments in red text:

See table in full rep attached and sustainability appraisal critique.

RPS has submitted a substantial evidence base with its current application, which demonstrated that:
- there are no major landscape constraints or negative impact on built form and character, as confirmed by the appeal decision and by the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment supporting the outline application and as recognised by Council Officers in their report of 12 December 2017.
 - any potential impact on the adjacent woodland can be mitigated through design;
 - there is are unlikely to be impacts on heritage assets that cannot be mitigated;
 - the site is located within a Development High Risk Area (Referral Area), but this does not preclude development.

The Local Plan fails to recognise these conclusions and specifically, the Plan's Sustainability Appraisal / SEA process has failed to consider the site as a reasonable alternative to accommodate its growth options. The original SA (as contained in the 2015 report) is considered to be flawed as is the Council's Housing LAA Appendix Site Assessment Report table, particularly when compared against the Officer's advice when considering planning application NED/17/00268/OL.
The Final SA report does not make any mention of WW/1609 Land at Deerlands Road and has not provided any reasons for not selecting it as the preferred approach to be clearly articulated within the final Environmental Statement / SA Report. The Final SA Report should have considered the information provided in the Officer's reports relating to the site and then correspondingly updated the SA / SEA.


RPS have provided a critique of the Housing Site Assessments, contained in the Council's Housing LAA, February 2018 in relation to Site WW/1609 Land at Deerlands Road, Wingerworth. See full representation attached.

Attachments:

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Policy SDC3: Landscape Character

Representation ID: 7832

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Rippon Homes

Agent: RPS (Birmingham office)

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

Council Officer has amended the summary to approximately 100 words. Full representation attached.

Representation quotes Paragraph 109 of the NPPF with emphasis on the "valued landscapes". The purpose of Policy SDC3 is to ensure that valued landscape features are protected and enhanced and that landscape design is a key component in the design of new development.
The current policy wording however requires ALL development proposals to provide for the conservation, enhancement, or restoration and re-creation of the local landscape. The policy goes beyond NPPF and its requirements are therefore excessive, unjustified and inconsistent with national policy.

Furthermore, whilst conservation and enhancement of the landscape is a NPPF objective the 'restoration and re-creation' of the landscape does not form part of this and in most cases this requirement would be undeliverable depending on the availability of historic records.

Change suggested by respondent:

The policy does not reflect the relevant landscapes and requirements of the NPPF. We would therefore suggest the following changes to the policy wording:
1. Proposals for new development will only be permitted where they would not cause significant harm to the character, quality, distinctiveness or sensitivity of the landscape, or to important features or views DELETE ",or other perceptual qualities such as tranquillity" unless the benefits of the development clearly outweigh the impacts.
2. Development proposals should be informed by, and be sympathetic to, the distinctive landscape areas identified in the Derbyshire Landscape Character Assessment and the Areas of Multiple Environmental Sensitivity (AMES), or any successor document(s), and contribute, where appropriate, to the conservation and enhancement DELETE ",or restoration and re-creation" of the local landscape taking into account its wider landscape character type.

Full text:

Paragraph 109 of the NPPF states that, 'the planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by protecting and enhancing VALUED landscapes.' In accordance with this the purpose of Policy SDC3 is to ensure that valued landscape features are protected and enhanced and that landscape design is a key component in the design of new development.
The current policy wording however requires ALL development proposals to provide for the conservation, enhancement, or restoration and re-creation of the local landscape. The policy goes beyond NPPF and its requirements are therefore excessive, unjustified and inconsistent with national policy.
Furthermore, whilst conservation and enhancement of the landscape is a NPPF objective the 'restoration and re-creation' of the landscape does not form part of this and in most cases this requirement would be undeliverable depending on the availability of historic records. Returning the landscape to a previous form is unnecessary besides very few significant historic landscape cases and therefore the policy is considered to be unjustified and inconsistent with national policy.

Attachments:

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Policy SDC10: Decentralised, Renewable and Low Carbon Energy

Representation ID: 7833

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Rippon Homes

Agent: RPS (Birmingham office)

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

Council Officer has amended the summary to approximately 100 words. Full representation attached.

Representation objects to SDC10 and refers to NPPF paras 157, 173 and 174 and NPPG paragraphs. It states that imposing requirements set out in para 4 and 5 of SDC10 for all major housing schemes will create viability problems as the capital costs are significant. It will also lead to uncertainty of delivery issues for developers and the sites. The Local Plan should therefore reference the NPPF and NPPG and contain wording that recognises that flexibility will need to be afforded, where the viability of a development is in question.

There is a lack of evidence to demonstrate that such a viability assessment has been undertaken.

Change suggested by respondent:

The inflexibility of the current policy could cause many developments to become unviable which is inconsistent with viability policies in the NPPF and NPPG as described above. Criterion 4 should be deleted from the Policy.
DELETE: "4. Major new developments will be expected to connect to or be designed to connect in the future to district or community heating networks where appropriate. Where no district heating scheme exists or is proposed in the proximity of major development the potential for developing a new scheme on site should be explored and pursued where feasible."

Full text:

Policy SDC10 primarily relates to proposals for energy generation. However its final two paragraphs state "Major new developments will be expected to connect to or be designed to connect in the future to district or community heating networks where appropriate" and "Developments along water courses will be expected to investigate the feasibility of using small scale hydro power taking into account flood risk."
Paragraph 157 of the NPPF refers to Local Plans planning positively for the development and infrastructure required in the area. Paragraph 173 of the NPPF refers to requiring careful attention to viability and costs in plan-making and decision-taking and making sure that sites are not threatened in terms of being able to be developed viably. Paragraph 174 states that "LPAs should assess the likely cumulative impacts on development in their area of all existing and proposed local standards, supplementary planning documents and policies that support the development plan, when added to nationally required standards. In order to be appropriate, the cumulative impact of these standards and policies should not put implementation of the plan at serious risk".
The NPPG states at Paragraph: 007 Reference ID: 10-007-20140306 "that their cumulative cost should not cause ...development types to be unviable".
As also set out in Paragraph: 001 Reference ID: 10-001-20140306, "the National

Planning Policy Framework policy on viability applies also to decision-taking... viability can be important where planning obligations or other costs are being introduced. In these cases decisions must be underpinned by an understanding of viability, ensuring realistic decisions are made to support development and promote economic growth. Where the viability of a development is in question, local planning authorities should look to be flexible in applying policy requirements wherever possible" (RPS emphasis).
Imposing such requirement on major housing schemes will create viability problems as the capital costs are significant. It will also lead to uncertainty of delivery issues for developers and the sites. The Local Plan should therefore reference the NPPF and NPPG and contain wording that recognises that flexibility will need to be afforded, where the viability of a development is in question.
There is a lack of evidence to demonstrate that such a viability assessment has been undertaken. The policy is therefore considered unsound as it is unjustified and inconsistent with national policy.

Attachments:

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

SDC11: Flood Risk and Drainage

Representation ID: 7835

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Rippon Homes

Agent: RPS (Birmingham office)

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? Yes

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

The policy is generally supported but could be amended. The policy states that with regard to foul water drainage, "Development will only be permitted where adequate foul water treatment and drainage infrastructure exists, or can be made available to serve the development..." The supporting text to the policy makes it clear that the Council relies on feedback from Severn Trent Water and Yorkshire Water (RPS emphasis) in order to ascertain "whether sufficient capacity exists within the network to accommodate new development or where it may be necessary to coordinate development in line with any upgrading work".

RPS supports this approach to take the advice of statutory consultees. This is the most effective and justified approach to technical matters.

Change suggested by respondent:

The policy could be amended as set out below.
The policy states that with regard to foul water drainage, "Development will only be permitted where adequate foul water treatment and drainage infrastructure CURRENTLY (Rippon Homes suggested additional wording) exists, or can be made available to serve the development..."

Full text:

The policy is generally supported but could be amended. The policy states that with regard to foul water drainage, "Development will only be permitted where adequate foul water treatment and drainage infrastructure exists, or can be made available to serve the development..." The supporting text to the policy makes it clear that the Council relies on feedback from Severn Trent Water and Yorkshire Water (RPS emphasis) in order to ascertain "whether sufficient capacity exists within the network to accommodate new development or where it may be necessary to coordinate development in line with any upgrading work".
RPS supports this approach to take the advice of statutory consultees. This is the most effective and justified approach to technical matters.

Attachments:

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Policy SS1: Sustainable Development

Representation ID: 7836

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Rippon Homes

Agent: RPS (Birmingham office)

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

Council Officer has amended the summary to approximately 100 words. Full representation attached.

Whilst this policy is in accordance with the NPPF with regards to the sustainable location of development and protection of natural environment, the policy demonstrates that insufficient weight has been given to the protection of Green Belt.

Sufficient provision should be made to boost the supply of housing and delivery of affordable housing. The policy currently contradicts other policies within the Local Plan undermining, Policies SS9 and LC3.

NPPF does not require development to be provided within settlement limits or allocations, however proposals are required to be considered on the sustainability of their location. The Council's development boundaries are drawn so tight around the built form that any further sustainable development would conflict with this policy.

Wingerworth is proposed as a level 2 settlement based on the size and service provision of the settlement, however Policy SS1 operates so inflexibly, that it would be difficult for new development to come forward.

Change suggested by respondent:

To make the policy consistent with national policy as described above we would suggest the following amendments to the policy wording:
a. Meet development needs ADD "including the need for affordable housing" DELETE "within defined settlements or other allocated areas" having regard to the defined settlement hierarchy and the need to enhance their role as a focus for new services and facilities (Policy SS2 & Table 4.2)"

A new objective should also be included regarding Green Belt:

AMEND TO INCLUDE:
"n. Avoid inappropriate development in the Green Belt and aim to deliver landscape/biodiversity enhancements and recreational opportunities where possible."

Full text:

Whilst this policy is in accordance with the NPPF with regards to the sustainable location of development and the protection of the natural environment, the policy demonstrates that insufficient weight has been given to the protection of the Green Belt. The Plan is therefore inconsistent with national policy.
The change sought is to ensure that sufficient provision is made within the Plan to boost the supply of housing and the delivery of affordable housing. The policy currently contradicts other policies within the Local Plan undermining, Policy SS9: Development in the Countryside, particularly with regards to brownfield development outside settlement limits which is highly supported by national policy and, Policy LC3: Exception Sites for Affordable Housing which can deliver much needed affordable housing outside of settlement limits or allocations.
The NPPF does not require development to be provided within settlement limits or allocations, however proposals are required to be considered on the sustainability of their location in accordance with the core planning principles of the NPPF, including 'actively manage patterns of growth to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling'.
RPS concerns here with the Council's approach is that the development boundaries are drawn so tight around the built form that any further sustainable development would conflict with this policy.
Wingerworth is proposed as a level 2 settlement based on the size and service provision of the settlement, however Policy SS1 operates so inflexibly, that it would be difficult for new development to come forward. The Policy is therefore not in accordance with paragraph 14 of the NPPF since it does not reflect the principles of the presumption in favour of sustainable development.
RPS considers that the policy is not positively prepared, effective or consistent with national policy.

Attachments:

Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Policy SS2: Spatial Strategy and the Distribution of Development

Representation ID: 7840

Received: 04/04/2018

Respondent: Rippon Homes

Agent: RPS (Birmingham office)

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

Council Officer has amended the summary to 100 words. Full representation attached.

-Rippon Homes objects to the housing requirement of 6,600 homes during the Plan period (330dpa) and considers an annual figure of 400 dpa as a more appropriate figure.
- RPS is concerned with the implications of the Plan Period change from 2011-2033 to 2014-2034.
- RPS does not consider that the Avenue Strategic Site serves the needs of Wingerworth and therefore should not be classed as a Wingerworth allocation.
- No flexibility built into housing numbers.
- Emphasis is on Green Belt sites and release. Wingerworth is a sustainable settlement outside of the Green Belt with sites that are delivering homes and no signs of 'market saturation'. The plan places insufficient emphasis on the protection of the Green Belt and the assessment of reasonable non- Green Belt alternatives.

Change suggested by respondent:

The housing requirement should be set higher and greater consideration given to the 400dpa.
The Plan period should start at 2011.
Reconsideration should be given to deliverable non Green Belt sites, before the 'Last Resort' of Green Belt releases is considered.
To demonstrate 'exceptional circumstances' for the Council's high number of Green Belt allocations and to therefore be considered in accordance with Green Belt policy in the NPPF and Draft Consultation NPPF, the Council should provide further evidence through an up-dated sustainability appraisal to demonstrate that alternative spatial strategies have been considered that would not impact on the Green Belt.

Full text:

Housing Requirement
Policy SS2 states that: 'The Local Plan will make provision for the delivery of a minimum of 6,600 dwellings over the period 2014-2034.' This equates to a target of 330 dwellings per annum which is significantly lower than the previous 380 dwellings per annum target of the former East Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy. Paragraphs 4.6 - 4.11 of the Local Plan make it clear that this housing target is based on the SHMA Update (October 2017), relating to the North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw Strategic Housing Market Area (2017 SHMA). The Housing Topic Paper (2.23) states that the latest 2018 assessment 'Considering North East Derbyshire OAN' Report indicates a requirement in the region of 332 dwellings per annum (dpa). Rippon Homes objects to the housing requirement figure in the Local Plan as it lacks sufficient evidence base to support its conclusions, particularly in relation to other potential housing growth figures which were tested. Rippon considers a figure of 400 dpa as tested in the Housing Growth Topic Paper (para 2.24) provides a more appropriate figure to address significant issues of affordability and economic regeneration.
Table 35 of the 2017 SHMA indicates that in 2016 North East Derbyshire has the highest ratio of house prices to earnings in the Housing Market Area (ratio of 6.16) and has seen the largest increase in this ratio between 2006 and 2016. Although the SA has tested this option, it does not appear that the 2017 SHMA has considered the implications of the 400dpa, the implications for the working age population and how these increases in supply might assist in closing the divide between earnings and house prices.
Plan Period
RPS is concerned with the implications of the change to the plan period (amended from 2011-2033 in the Draft Local Plan to 2014-2034 in the Proposed Submission Local Plan). To ensure that any backlog is not cancelled out from the period 2011-2014 the Council should be required to set out their housing requirement with reference to an up to date OAN and to add to this any shortfall in housing delivery from the start of the previously adopted plan period. This would also ensure a continuation of plan periods from the previous Local Plan for North East Derbyshire.
Spatial Strategy
The policy states that:
'The majority (over 50%) of new housing development will be focused on the four towns of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh and on the Avenue and former Biwaters Strategic Sites.' and
'The remaining housing development will be focused on the district's other most sustainable settlements, defined as level 2 Settlement Hierarchy at Table 4.2.'
Policy SS2 states that housing growth will be focussed on towns and the district's other most sustainable settlements (as set out in the Settlement Hierarchy in Table 4.2) and on the Avenue and Biwaters Strategic Sites. The distribution between settlements is set out in Table 4.3: Housing Distribution by Level 1 and Level 2 Settlement. Wingerworth is regarded as a Level 2 settlement with good levels of sustainability.
Table 4.3: Housing Distribution by Level 1 and 2 Settlement proposes 2,024 dwellings to be allocated to Level 1 Settlements, 1,541 dwellings to Strategic Sites, 2,517 dwellings to Level 2 Settlements, and 539 dwellings through commitments in level 3 and 4 Settlements and countryside locations. Whilst the Plan states that Wingerworth is proposed to accommodate 1,316 dwellings, of which 716 relate to the Avenue Strategic Site, RPS in its representations to policy LC1 does not consider that the Avenue Strategic Site serves the needs of Wingerworth and should therefore not be classed as a Wingerworth allocation. This is consistent with the Housing Topic Paper which at para 3.22 states the Avenue site is not part of the Wingerworth allocation and 4.9 which states that Wingerworth commitments do not include the Avenue site.
Flexibility in Supply
RPS is concerned by the levels of new housing set out in Table 4.3: Housing Distribution by Level 1 & Level 2 Settlements. The overall growth level in Table 4.1 is 5,646 yet the overall housing requirement is set as a minimum of 6,600 dwellings. Paragraph 4.12 states combined with the 975 dwellings already built there is more than sufficient to meet the minimum provision of 6,600 dwellings. However this only allows for a slippage of 21 dwellings not to be delivered. It is recommended that the Local Plan ensure that the minimum housing requirement be met through the flexibility of an increased housing growth for the Level 1 and 2 Settlements and the Strategic Sites above 5,646 dwellings. As currently drafted the Local Plan is therefore not consistent with National Policy (NPPF paragraph 14).
Green Belt Emphasis
Rippon Homes is concerned that the emphasis of the Plan would appear to be allocating growth to those settlements which are constrained by Green Belt which will then require significant Green Belt releases. The Council's Green Belt Topic Paper (March 2018) indicates that the release of Green Belt land is necessary in order that at least 50% of the housing requirement is delivered in the four main towns and strategic sites. The Council consider that this is necessary to ensure that a sustainable distribution of development is achieved. RPS reserves the right to provide further comment on the Green Belt Topic Paper on the basis that this is being consulted on until 3rd May 2018. This however, is not consistent with the Housing Topic Paper which at paragraph 5.13 states that any allocations in the Green Belt must be a 'Last Resort'. Such an approach is consistent with the emerging NPPF. However, by allocating land within the Green Belt, in preference to deliverable Non Green Belt land, the plan is not delivering on this point.
Approach to Spatial Distribution of Growth
RPS concerns relate to the Council's alternative strategy assessment and specifically the alternative strategy to 'focus development on level 2 settlements in the south, east and west' to which the Council state: 'this alternative strategy would put even more sites in competition with each other, do nothing to avoid the prospect of market saturation and above all fail to achieve a step change in the delivery of housing that is clearly needed to meet the district's housing target.'
RPS delivery assessment demonstrates that this is not the case, evident by the current activity in Wingerworth. Wingerworth is a sustainable settlement outside the Green Belt. WW2 (Land South of Mill Lane, Wingerworth) is currently under construction for 178 dwellings and there is a resolution to grant planning permission on the western part of the site for a further 95, WW1 (land at Hanging Banks, Wingerworth) has outline planning permission for a further 250 dwellings. This shows no evidence of market saturation or a drop in delivery rates due to market conditions. Rippon Homes own experience of delivery of 51 units within 2 years on its Phase 1 Deerlands Road site demonstrates this is an acknowledged highly sustainable Non-Green Belt settlement, where the market wants to locate and no evidence exists of 'market saturation'.
There is therefore no evidence to justify why sustainable settlements without the constraint of Green Belt could not provide a greater number of dwellings than proposed within Table 4.2. The Plan places insufficient emphasis on the requirement to protect the Green Belt, and the assessment of reasonable alternatives as required by the Draft Consultation NPPF is incomplete. There is a lack of evidence witth the Sustainability Appraisal to support the Council's approach. Further evidence should therefore be provided to demonstrate that the need of the north sub-area is sufficient to be considered as 'exceptional circumstances' given that there are opportunities to accommodate growth within the district outside of the Green Belt.
RPS therefore considers that the plan is unsound, on the basis that it fails, to provide for an 'aspirational' level of growth as required by paragraph 154 or the NPPF or, to provide sufficient flexibility in the number of allocations to ensure that the full housing need is met. The Council should therefore be looking to increase the number of allocations to ensure that the level of housing delivery required can be reliably delivered.

Attachments:

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