Consultation Draft (February 2017)

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Consultation Draft (February 2017)

The Consultation Draft Local Plan

Representation ID: 5556

Received: 05/04/2017

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation Summary:

We can confirm that we support the vast majority of policies at a strategic level. However, we have several suggestions for alterations and/or additions that we consider will deliver better environmental outcomes and increase the 'soundness' of the Plan, from an environmental perspective.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting us on the Consultation Draft of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan, on 24 February 2017. We understand that the purpose of the document is to set out the proposed strategy for growth and development across the area.

We can confirm that we support the vast majority of policies at a strategic level. However, we have several suggestions for alterations and/or additions that we consider will deliver better environmental outcomes and increase the 'soundness' of the Plan, from an environmental perspective. For our full detailed comments on the content of the Local Plan, and the proposed policies, please see the information enclosed in the attached Appendix.

Whilst you can find our detailed comments in the appendix, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some particular areas/sites where environmental constraints exist. We recognise that we have already commented on some of these sites during previous versions of the Local Plan, however, we have revisited and updated comments where necessary to ensure clarity and consistency, and to take account of updated national policy and guidance.

With particular reference to flood risk, we have concerns that a handful of proposed housing sites are located in flood risk areas. We support the fact that several sites in flood risk areas are not currently proposed for allocation, but in particular, we have identified the following sites as having some sort of flood risk constraint or implication:

Site ref Constraints Notes

CX/2104 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
KIL/2305 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
SS8 Large areas of FZ2 and FZ3 Proposed for housing

GRA/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
NW/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
ECK/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
TUP/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation

In summary, should any of these sites be put forward for allocation, the flood risk sequential test will need to be undertaken in accordance with both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Draft Policy SDC12 of the emerging Local Plan. We request to see evidence of this test being carried out, prior to any examination, to ensure that the Plan is based on a sound evidence base.

If your Authority ultimately determine that the sequential test has been passed then a site specific flood risk assessment (FRA) will be required as part of the flood risk exception test, to support any formal planning application. The FRA will be required to demonstrate the safety of the development and future occupants, and should focus on flood risk reduction, both on and off site. Ultimately, if sites are to be allocated within Flood Zones 2 and 3, we would wish to comment on the site specific policies to ensure that FRA requirements are appropriately covered. We are therefore keen to meet with your Authority to discuss how you intend to apply the flood risk exception test to those sites which are subsequently allocated.

We would also like to take this opportunity to present the following site specific advice on flood risk and climate change.

Site specific comments for CX/2104:
We support the statement within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which suggests that development will only be permitted if it 'passes the sequential test' - we would like to see this evidence submitted in advance of any allocation, to ensure that the any allocation can be supported by robust and defined evidence.

Site specific comments for SS8:
It is our opinion that housing must not be sited in areas of Flood Zone 2 or 3, until such a time as adequate sequential test evidence has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Such an approach would be consistent with the principles of both the NPPF and Objective 12 of the supporting SA. Furthermore, the supporting SA recognises that the development 'may have adverse impacts' on important features. We therefore strongly recommend that a 10m buffer zone should be implemented either side of the watercourse on this site, to prevent development in these areas. This will help support the aspiration for the LP to deliver long term sustainable development. We therefore request that such a requirement should be outlined in a site specific policy.

In summary, we look forward to developing our partnership working with you. Should you have any questions, or would like to discuss the comments set out above, please contact me on the number below.

Yours sincerely



Mr Rob Millbank
Planning Specialist

Direct dial 02030 255036
Direct e-mail rob.millbank@environment-agency.gov.uk




APPENDIX - detailed EA comments on sites with particular environmental constraints/opportunities

Policy SS4 - The Avenue
We are aware of the complex planning history surrounding this site as we have participated in many discussions, and responded to several planning applications, in the past few years. We are supportive of the plan to accommodate significant development at this site, subject to the site being fully remediated prior to any development taking place. We strongly support this policy at a strategic level as its successful implementation will assist in delivering significant environmental benefits, in accordance with The Avenue Area Strategic Framework (AASF).

Whilst we note the intention to address transport and community infrastructure, we also feel that the provision of adequate sewerage infrastructure is a key factor in delivering sustainable development. One of the key sustainability principles of the AASF is to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is provided in a timely way to minimise the impact of development on existing infrastructure. Continued co-operation with Yorkshire Water is therefore required to deliver this site in a sustainable manner. We therefore strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added which requires development proposals to identify, and submit details of, adequate foul drainage solutions as part of any future planning applications.

Policy SS8 - Coalite Regeneration Area
We support this policy and agree that a piecemeal approach to development on this site should be avoided, given the complexities involved. Whilst there are flood risk constraints to a section of the site, we are pleased to note that housing is not going to be allocated on this site, in the first instance. We support this approach, as there is still work to be done in terms of demonstrating the flood risk sequential and exception tests. In contrast to this, we recognise that there are major environmental gains to be had from bringing this site forward and so we are supportive in principle. We continue to welcome a collaborative approach for this site and we therefore request that we are included in any future discussions relating to either remediation and/or water quality implications of the River Doe Lea.

Policy SS12 - Development in Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits
We support this policy. Whilst the re-use of previously developed land can be considered sustainable development, an avoidance of high flood risk areas should still be the favoured approach. Whilst we trust that this matter can be adequately addressed through other policies (such as SDC12) within the plan, we strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added to this policy to indicate that sights outside of flood risk areas will be given preference in the first instance. This change would help to avoid potential conflicts with other policies within the plan, or the overarching aims of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Policy SDC4 - Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Whilst we support and welcome the principles of this policy at a strategic level, we recommend that the wording 'wherever possible' should be removed from the opening paragraph. We recognise there may be scenarios where the provision of a net gain is unachievable, and the NPPF already recognises that, but the onus should be on the developers to demonstrate that on a case by case basis in this local area. This is ultimately a local policy with the potential to secure significant betterment for the local environment, and the wording 'wherever possible' is loosely defined and may ultimately result in a failure to secure the environmental enhancement that both the NPPF and the Local Plan aspire to deliver.

Policy SDC12 - Flood Risk
We fully support and welcome this policy. The policy is informed by an appropriate evidence base, is clearly worded and makes reference to key areas of national guidance contained within the NPPF. We are pleased to see that flood risk avoidance is key to the policy aspirations.

Policy SDC14 - Environmental Quality
We consider the wording of this policy to be very weak. Whilst it is a positive measure that developments would be expected to 'prevent unacceptable levels of water quality', there is no reference to supporting guidance or legislation. It also implies that there may be 'acceptable' levels of water pollution. It is our opinion that any development proposals likely to impact surface or ground water should consider the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). In all cases where development is adjacent to WFD-designated water bodies, it is expected that they will ensure there is no deterioration in water quality, as an absolute minimum. The Environment Agency will not support proposals that will negatively impact the water quality of WFD monitored watercourses in particular.

The main objective of the WFD is to achieve good ecological status in all surface water bodies and this policy has the potential to assist this objective. We recommend that the Borough's network of watercourses i.e. rivers, streams, ditches, drains and canals are reflected in the policy, in an attempt to ensure that their water quality is enhanced and protected.

In light of this, we strongly recommend that the following policy wording should be added: 'Development proposals will be expected to contribute positively to the water environment and its ecology, and should not adversely affect surface or ground water quality, in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive'. This change would give developers greater clarity on what is expected of them in these situations, whilst also adding weight to the policy.

Finally, the evidence base also needs to be updated to make reference to the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Policy SDC15 - Contaminated Land and Unstable Land
We support the inclusion of this policy, and considerate it highly necessary given the contamination issues associated with many of the proposed site allocations. This policy will also assist delivery of the overarching WFD objective for groundwater to achieve 'Good' status.

Additional EA comments on water resources
We have noticed that there is currently no policy relating to the provision of water resources, or promoting increased water efficiency. However, the importance of water to North East Derbyshire is otherwise well recognised within the draft Local Plan.

Paragraph 8.61 in particular states that 'In particular the Local Plan has an important role in the key actions of promoting water efficiency,' which links nicely to strategic objective D8 and its aspiration to '...address, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on people.' Strategic objective 5 within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (2017) also recognises the importance of safeguarding natural resources, including water supply.

Table 1 of the Environment Agency's report 'Water stressed areas - final classification' (dated 2013) shows the areas of England serviced by both Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water as areas of 'moderate water stress' in various scenarios. This high level assessment is based upon individual assessments of water bodies. Figure 2 shown below shows the specific water bodies across the Derbyshire area that are classified as being under water stress.


Figure 2: Map showing final water body stress classification at a water body scale.

The importance of water management is also recognised by North East Derbyshire Council in the 2012 SA scoping report. The report highlights the need to support the highest possible levels of water efficiency measures.

In addition to inclusion as a key issue in the SA, the 2015 Humber River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) also recognises the significant challenges associated with water resources. Section 1.4 entitled 'significant water management issues' states that 'reduced flow and water levels in rivers and groundwater caused by human activity (such as abstraction) or less rainfall than usual can mean that there is not enough water for people to use... in the long term, there will be less water available to abstract for drinking, industry and irrigating crops.' With particular reference to climate change, the RBMP goes on to state that 'studies to learn more about the effects of climate change on the river basin district are underway. In the meantime, it makes sense to implement measures that are flexible or increase resilience to extreme weather events and future warming.'

Section 3.5 goes on to recommend measures that could be implemented to prevent deterioration of the water environment. The following two measures are listed in particular:

- All sectors take up or encourage water efficiency measures, including water industry work on metering, leakage, audits, providing water efficient products, promoting water efficiency and education;
- Local government sets out local plan policies requiring new homes to meet the tighter water efficiency standard of 110 litres per person per day as described in Part G of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.

In terms of planning policy on the matter, Paragraph 99 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states 'Local Plans should take account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as ... water supply. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change. When new development is brought forward in areas which are vulnerable, care should be taken to ensure that risks can be managed through suitable adaptation measures....'

Having considered the information set out above, there appears to be an opportunity for this local plan to help deliver exceptional sustainable development that is resilient to future climate change. We therefore recommend that, due to the evidence presented above, the Local Plan should include, in policy, a requirement for all new residential development to meet the tighter water efficiency measures of 110 litres per person per day.

We therefore recommend that the following wording should be added to a new standalone policy, or added to existing draft policy SDC14 under a new sub heading of 'protecting the water environment':

- Protecting the Water Environment
Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that water is available to support the development proposed, and that they meet the Building Regulation water efficiency standard of 110 litres per occupier per day.

Finally, we are aware that some local councils have previously highlighted they are concerned about costs to developers if they ask for higher standards. However, for water efficiency, we would like to highlight that the cost of achieving 110 litres per person per day is just £0 - £9 per dwelling, when compared to achieving the baseline building regulations standard (125 litres per person per day).

Comment

Consultation Draft (February 2017)

Housing Allocations

Representation ID: 5559

Received: 05/04/2017

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation Summary:

A handful of proposed housing sites are located in flood risk areas. We support the fact that several sites in flood risk areas are not currently proposed for allocation, but in particular, some sites have been identified as having some sort of flood risk or constraint or implication. These if put forward would need flood risk sequential tests to be undertaken in accordance with NPPF and Draft Policy SDC12. Request made to see evidence of this test being carried out, prior to any examination, to ensure that the Plan is based on a sound evidence base.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting us on the Consultation Draft of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan, on 24 February 2017. We understand that the purpose of the document is to set out the proposed strategy for growth and development across the area.

We can confirm that we support the vast majority of policies at a strategic level. However, we have several suggestions for alterations and/or additions that we consider will deliver better environmental outcomes and increase the 'soundness' of the Plan, from an environmental perspective. For our full detailed comments on the content of the Local Plan, and the proposed policies, please see the information enclosed in the attached Appendix.

Whilst you can find our detailed comments in the appendix, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some particular areas/sites where environmental constraints exist. We recognise that we have already commented on some of these sites during previous versions of the Local Plan, however, we have revisited and updated comments where necessary to ensure clarity and consistency, and to take account of updated national policy and guidance.

With particular reference to flood risk, we have concerns that a handful of proposed housing sites are located in flood risk areas. We support the fact that several sites in flood risk areas are not currently proposed for allocation, but in particular, we have identified the following sites as having some sort of flood risk constraint or implication:

Site ref Constraints Notes

CX/2104 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
KIL/2305 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
SS8 Large areas of FZ2 and FZ3 Proposed for housing

GRA/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
NW/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
ECK/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
TUP/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation

In summary, should any of these sites be put forward for allocation, the flood risk sequential test will need to be undertaken in accordance with both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Draft Policy SDC12 of the emerging Local Plan. We request to see evidence of this test being carried out, prior to any examination, to ensure that the Plan is based on a sound evidence base.

If your Authority ultimately determine that the sequential test has been passed then a site specific flood risk assessment (FRA) will be required as part of the flood risk exception test, to support any formal planning application. The FRA will be required to demonstrate the safety of the development and future occupants, and should focus on flood risk reduction, both on and off site. Ultimately, if sites are to be allocated within Flood Zones 2 and 3, we would wish to comment on the site specific policies to ensure that FRA requirements are appropriately covered. We are therefore keen to meet with your Authority to discuss how you intend to apply the flood risk exception test to those sites which are subsequently allocated.

We would also like to take this opportunity to present the following site specific advice on flood risk and climate change.

Site specific comments for CX/2104:
We support the statement within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which suggests that development will only be permitted if it 'passes the sequential test' - we would like to see this evidence submitted in advance of any allocation, to ensure that the any allocation can be supported by robust and defined evidence.

Site specific comments for SS8:
It is our opinion that housing must not be sited in areas of Flood Zone 2 or 3, until such a time as adequate sequential test evidence has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Such an approach would be consistent with the principles of both the NPPF and Objective 12 of the supporting SA. Furthermore, the supporting SA recognises that the development 'may have adverse impacts' on important features. We therefore strongly recommend that a 10m buffer zone should be implemented either side of the watercourse on this site, to prevent development in these areas. This will help support the aspiration for the LP to deliver long term sustainable development. We therefore request that such a requirement should be outlined in a site specific policy.

In summary, we look forward to developing our partnership working with you. Should you have any questions, or would like to discuss the comments set out above, please contact me on the number below.

Yours sincerely



Mr Rob Millbank
Planning Specialist

Direct dial 02030 255036
Direct e-mail rob.millbank@environment-agency.gov.uk




APPENDIX - detailed EA comments on sites with particular environmental constraints/opportunities

Policy SS4 - The Avenue
We are aware of the complex planning history surrounding this site as we have participated in many discussions, and responded to several planning applications, in the past few years. We are supportive of the plan to accommodate significant development at this site, subject to the site being fully remediated prior to any development taking place. We strongly support this policy at a strategic level as its successful implementation will assist in delivering significant environmental benefits, in accordance with The Avenue Area Strategic Framework (AASF).

Whilst we note the intention to address transport and community infrastructure, we also feel that the provision of adequate sewerage infrastructure is a key factor in delivering sustainable development. One of the key sustainability principles of the AASF is to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is provided in a timely way to minimise the impact of development on existing infrastructure. Continued co-operation with Yorkshire Water is therefore required to deliver this site in a sustainable manner. We therefore strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added which requires development proposals to identify, and submit details of, adequate foul drainage solutions as part of any future planning applications.

Policy SS8 - Coalite Regeneration Area
We support this policy and agree that a piecemeal approach to development on this site should be avoided, given the complexities involved. Whilst there are flood risk constraints to a section of the site, we are pleased to note that housing is not going to be allocated on this site, in the first instance. We support this approach, as there is still work to be done in terms of demonstrating the flood risk sequential and exception tests. In contrast to this, we recognise that there are major environmental gains to be had from bringing this site forward and so we are supportive in principle. We continue to welcome a collaborative approach for this site and we therefore request that we are included in any future discussions relating to either remediation and/or water quality implications of the River Doe Lea.

Policy SS12 - Development in Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits
We support this policy. Whilst the re-use of previously developed land can be considered sustainable development, an avoidance of high flood risk areas should still be the favoured approach. Whilst we trust that this matter can be adequately addressed through other policies (such as SDC12) within the plan, we strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added to this policy to indicate that sights outside of flood risk areas will be given preference in the first instance. This change would help to avoid potential conflicts with other policies within the plan, or the overarching aims of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Policy SDC4 - Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Whilst we support and welcome the principles of this policy at a strategic level, we recommend that the wording 'wherever possible' should be removed from the opening paragraph. We recognise there may be scenarios where the provision of a net gain is unachievable, and the NPPF already recognises that, but the onus should be on the developers to demonstrate that on a case by case basis in this local area. This is ultimately a local policy with the potential to secure significant betterment for the local environment, and the wording 'wherever possible' is loosely defined and may ultimately result in a failure to secure the environmental enhancement that both the NPPF and the Local Plan aspire to deliver.

Policy SDC12 - Flood Risk
We fully support and welcome this policy. The policy is informed by an appropriate evidence base, is clearly worded and makes reference to key areas of national guidance contained within the NPPF. We are pleased to see that flood risk avoidance is key to the policy aspirations.

Policy SDC14 - Environmental Quality
We consider the wording of this policy to be very weak. Whilst it is a positive measure that developments would be expected to 'prevent unacceptable levels of water quality', there is no reference to supporting guidance or legislation. It also implies that there may be 'acceptable' levels of water pollution. It is our opinion that any development proposals likely to impact surface or ground water should consider the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). In all cases where development is adjacent to WFD-designated water bodies, it is expected that they will ensure there is no deterioration in water quality, as an absolute minimum. The Environment Agency will not support proposals that will negatively impact the water quality of WFD monitored watercourses in particular.

The main objective of the WFD is to achieve good ecological status in all surface water bodies and this policy has the potential to assist this objective. We recommend that the Borough's network of watercourses i.e. rivers, streams, ditches, drains and canals are reflected in the policy, in an attempt to ensure that their water quality is enhanced and protected.

In light of this, we strongly recommend that the following policy wording should be added: 'Development proposals will be expected to contribute positively to the water environment and its ecology, and should not adversely affect surface or ground water quality, in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive'. This change would give developers greater clarity on what is expected of them in these situations, whilst also adding weight to the policy.

Finally, the evidence base also needs to be updated to make reference to the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Policy SDC15 - Contaminated Land and Unstable Land
We support the inclusion of this policy, and considerate it highly necessary given the contamination issues associated with many of the proposed site allocations. This policy will also assist delivery of the overarching WFD objective for groundwater to achieve 'Good' status.

Additional EA comments on water resources
We have noticed that there is currently no policy relating to the provision of water resources, or promoting increased water efficiency. However, the importance of water to North East Derbyshire is otherwise well recognised within the draft Local Plan.

Paragraph 8.61 in particular states that 'In particular the Local Plan has an important role in the key actions of promoting water efficiency,' which links nicely to strategic objective D8 and its aspiration to '...address, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on people.' Strategic objective 5 within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (2017) also recognises the importance of safeguarding natural resources, including water supply.

Table 1 of the Environment Agency's report 'Water stressed areas - final classification' (dated 2013) shows the areas of England serviced by both Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water as areas of 'moderate water stress' in various scenarios. This high level assessment is based upon individual assessments of water bodies. Figure 2 shown below shows the specific water bodies across the Derbyshire area that are classified as being under water stress.


Figure 2: Map showing final water body stress classification at a water body scale.

The importance of water management is also recognised by North East Derbyshire Council in the 2012 SA scoping report. The report highlights the need to support the highest possible levels of water efficiency measures.

In addition to inclusion as a key issue in the SA, the 2015 Humber River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) also recognises the significant challenges associated with water resources. Section 1.4 entitled 'significant water management issues' states that 'reduced flow and water levels in rivers and groundwater caused by human activity (such as abstraction) or less rainfall than usual can mean that there is not enough water for people to use... in the long term, there will be less water available to abstract for drinking, industry and irrigating crops.' With particular reference to climate change, the RBMP goes on to state that 'studies to learn more about the effects of climate change on the river basin district are underway. In the meantime, it makes sense to implement measures that are flexible or increase resilience to extreme weather events and future warming.'

Section 3.5 goes on to recommend measures that could be implemented to prevent deterioration of the water environment. The following two measures are listed in particular:

- All sectors take up or encourage water efficiency measures, including water industry work on metering, leakage, audits, providing water efficient products, promoting water efficiency and education;
- Local government sets out local plan policies requiring new homes to meet the tighter water efficiency standard of 110 litres per person per day as described in Part G of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.

In terms of planning policy on the matter, Paragraph 99 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states 'Local Plans should take account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as ... water supply. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change. When new development is brought forward in areas which are vulnerable, care should be taken to ensure that risks can be managed through suitable adaptation measures....'

Having considered the information set out above, there appears to be an opportunity for this local plan to help deliver exceptional sustainable development that is resilient to future climate change. We therefore recommend that, due to the evidence presented above, the Local Plan should include, in policy, a requirement for all new residential development to meet the tighter water efficiency measures of 110 litres per person per day.

We therefore recommend that the following wording should be added to a new standalone policy, or added to existing draft policy SDC14 under a new sub heading of 'protecting the water environment':

- Protecting the Water Environment
Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that water is available to support the development proposed, and that they meet the Building Regulation water efficiency standard of 110 litres per occupier per day.

Finally, we are aware that some local councils have previously highlighted they are concerned about costs to developers if they ask for higher standards. However, for water efficiency, we would like to highlight that the cost of achieving 110 litres per person per day is just £0 - £9 per dwelling, when compared to achieving the baseline building regulations standard (125 litres per person per day).

Support

Consultation Draft (February 2017)

b. Land North of Clay Lane, Clay Cross

Representation ID: 5563

Received: 05/04/2017

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation Summary:

Site specific comments for CX/2104:
We support the statement within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which suggests that development will only be permitted if it 'passes the sequential test' - we would like to see this evidence submitted in advance of any allocation, to ensure that the any allocation can be supported by robust and defined evidence.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting us on the Consultation Draft of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan, on 24 February 2017. We understand that the purpose of the document is to set out the proposed strategy for growth and development across the area.

We can confirm that we support the vast majority of policies at a strategic level. However, we have several suggestions for alterations and/or additions that we consider will deliver better environmental outcomes and increase the 'soundness' of the Plan, from an environmental perspective. For our full detailed comments on the content of the Local Plan, and the proposed policies, please see the information enclosed in the attached Appendix.

Whilst you can find our detailed comments in the appendix, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some particular areas/sites where environmental constraints exist. We recognise that we have already commented on some of these sites during previous versions of the Local Plan, however, we have revisited and updated comments where necessary to ensure clarity and consistency, and to take account of updated national policy and guidance.

With particular reference to flood risk, we have concerns that a handful of proposed housing sites are located in flood risk areas. We support the fact that several sites in flood risk areas are not currently proposed for allocation, but in particular, we have identified the following sites as having some sort of flood risk constraint or implication:

Site ref Constraints Notes

CX/2104 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
KIL/2305 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
SS8 Large areas of FZ2 and FZ3 Proposed for housing

GRA/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
NW/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
ECK/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
TUP/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation

In summary, should any of these sites be put forward for allocation, the flood risk sequential test will need to be undertaken in accordance with both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Draft Policy SDC12 of the emerging Local Plan. We request to see evidence of this test being carried out, prior to any examination, to ensure that the Plan is based on a sound evidence base.

If your Authority ultimately determine that the sequential test has been passed then a site specific flood risk assessment (FRA) will be required as part of the flood risk exception test, to support any formal planning application. The FRA will be required to demonstrate the safety of the development and future occupants, and should focus on flood risk reduction, both on and off site. Ultimately, if sites are to be allocated within Flood Zones 2 and 3, we would wish to comment on the site specific policies to ensure that FRA requirements are appropriately covered. We are therefore keen to meet with your Authority to discuss how you intend to apply the flood risk exception test to those sites which are subsequently allocated.

We would also like to take this opportunity to present the following site specific advice on flood risk and climate change.

Site specific comments for CX/2104:
We support the statement within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which suggests that development will only be permitted if it 'passes the sequential test' - we would like to see this evidence submitted in advance of any allocation, to ensure that the any allocation can be supported by robust and defined evidence.

Site specific comments for SS8:
It is our opinion that housing must not be sited in areas of Flood Zone 2 or 3, until such a time as adequate sequential test evidence has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Such an approach would be consistent with the principles of both the NPPF and Objective 12 of the supporting SA. Furthermore, the supporting SA recognises that the development 'may have adverse impacts' on important features. We therefore strongly recommend that a 10m buffer zone should be implemented either side of the watercourse on this site, to prevent development in these areas. This will help support the aspiration for the LP to deliver long term sustainable development. We therefore request that such a requirement should be outlined in a site specific policy.

In summary, we look forward to developing our partnership working with you. Should you have any questions, or would like to discuss the comments set out above, please contact me on the number below.

Yours sincerely



Mr Rob Millbank
Planning Specialist

Direct dial 02030 255036
Direct e-mail rob.millbank@environment-agency.gov.uk




APPENDIX - detailed EA comments on sites with particular environmental constraints/opportunities

Policy SS4 - The Avenue
We are aware of the complex planning history surrounding this site as we have participated in many discussions, and responded to several planning applications, in the past few years. We are supportive of the plan to accommodate significant development at this site, subject to the site being fully remediated prior to any development taking place. We strongly support this policy at a strategic level as its successful implementation will assist in delivering significant environmental benefits, in accordance with The Avenue Area Strategic Framework (AASF).

Whilst we note the intention to address transport and community infrastructure, we also feel that the provision of adequate sewerage infrastructure is a key factor in delivering sustainable development. One of the key sustainability principles of the AASF is to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is provided in a timely way to minimise the impact of development on existing infrastructure. Continued co-operation with Yorkshire Water is therefore required to deliver this site in a sustainable manner. We therefore strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added which requires development proposals to identify, and submit details of, adequate foul drainage solutions as part of any future planning applications.

Policy SS8 - Coalite Regeneration Area
We support this policy and agree that a piecemeal approach to development on this site should be avoided, given the complexities involved. Whilst there are flood risk constraints to a section of the site, we are pleased to note that housing is not going to be allocated on this site, in the first instance. We support this approach, as there is still work to be done in terms of demonstrating the flood risk sequential and exception tests. In contrast to this, we recognise that there are major environmental gains to be had from bringing this site forward and so we are supportive in principle. We continue to welcome a collaborative approach for this site and we therefore request that we are included in any future discussions relating to either remediation and/or water quality implications of the River Doe Lea.

Policy SS12 - Development in Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits
We support this policy. Whilst the re-use of previously developed land can be considered sustainable development, an avoidance of high flood risk areas should still be the favoured approach. Whilst we trust that this matter can be adequately addressed through other policies (such as SDC12) within the plan, we strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added to this policy to indicate that sights outside of flood risk areas will be given preference in the first instance. This change would help to avoid potential conflicts with other policies within the plan, or the overarching aims of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Policy SDC4 - Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Whilst we support and welcome the principles of this policy at a strategic level, we recommend that the wording 'wherever possible' should be removed from the opening paragraph. We recognise there may be scenarios where the provision of a net gain is unachievable, and the NPPF already recognises that, but the onus should be on the developers to demonstrate that on a case by case basis in this local area. This is ultimately a local policy with the potential to secure significant betterment for the local environment, and the wording 'wherever possible' is loosely defined and may ultimately result in a failure to secure the environmental enhancement that both the NPPF and the Local Plan aspire to deliver.

Policy SDC12 - Flood Risk
We fully support and welcome this policy. The policy is informed by an appropriate evidence base, is clearly worded and makes reference to key areas of national guidance contained within the NPPF. We are pleased to see that flood risk avoidance is key to the policy aspirations.

Policy SDC14 - Environmental Quality
We consider the wording of this policy to be very weak. Whilst it is a positive measure that developments would be expected to 'prevent unacceptable levels of water quality', there is no reference to supporting guidance or legislation. It also implies that there may be 'acceptable' levels of water pollution. It is our opinion that any development proposals likely to impact surface or ground water should consider the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). In all cases where development is adjacent to WFD-designated water bodies, it is expected that they will ensure there is no deterioration in water quality, as an absolute minimum. The Environment Agency will not support proposals that will negatively impact the water quality of WFD monitored watercourses in particular.

The main objective of the WFD is to achieve good ecological status in all surface water bodies and this policy has the potential to assist this objective. We recommend that the Borough's network of watercourses i.e. rivers, streams, ditches, drains and canals are reflected in the policy, in an attempt to ensure that their water quality is enhanced and protected.

In light of this, we strongly recommend that the following policy wording should be added: 'Development proposals will be expected to contribute positively to the water environment and its ecology, and should not adversely affect surface or ground water quality, in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive'. This change would give developers greater clarity on what is expected of them in these situations, whilst also adding weight to the policy.

Finally, the evidence base also needs to be updated to make reference to the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Policy SDC15 - Contaminated Land and Unstable Land
We support the inclusion of this policy, and considerate it highly necessary given the contamination issues associated with many of the proposed site allocations. This policy will also assist delivery of the overarching WFD objective for groundwater to achieve 'Good' status.

Additional EA comments on water resources
We have noticed that there is currently no policy relating to the provision of water resources, or promoting increased water efficiency. However, the importance of water to North East Derbyshire is otherwise well recognised within the draft Local Plan.

Paragraph 8.61 in particular states that 'In particular the Local Plan has an important role in the key actions of promoting water efficiency,' which links nicely to strategic objective D8 and its aspiration to '...address, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on people.' Strategic objective 5 within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (2017) also recognises the importance of safeguarding natural resources, including water supply.

Table 1 of the Environment Agency's report 'Water stressed areas - final classification' (dated 2013) shows the areas of England serviced by both Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water as areas of 'moderate water stress' in various scenarios. This high level assessment is based upon individual assessments of water bodies. Figure 2 shown below shows the specific water bodies across the Derbyshire area that are classified as being under water stress.


Figure 2: Map showing final water body stress classification at a water body scale.

The importance of water management is also recognised by North East Derbyshire Council in the 2012 SA scoping report. The report highlights the need to support the highest possible levels of water efficiency measures.

In addition to inclusion as a key issue in the SA, the 2015 Humber River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) also recognises the significant challenges associated with water resources. Section 1.4 entitled 'significant water management issues' states that 'reduced flow and water levels in rivers and groundwater caused by human activity (such as abstraction) or less rainfall than usual can mean that there is not enough water for people to use... in the long term, there will be less water available to abstract for drinking, industry and irrigating crops.' With particular reference to climate change, the RBMP goes on to state that 'studies to learn more about the effects of climate change on the river basin district are underway. In the meantime, it makes sense to implement measures that are flexible or increase resilience to extreme weather events and future warming.'

Section 3.5 goes on to recommend measures that could be implemented to prevent deterioration of the water environment. The following two measures are listed in particular:

- All sectors take up or encourage water efficiency measures, including water industry work on metering, leakage, audits, providing water efficient products, promoting water efficiency and education;
- Local government sets out local plan policies requiring new homes to meet the tighter water efficiency standard of 110 litres per person per day as described in Part G of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.

In terms of planning policy on the matter, Paragraph 99 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states 'Local Plans should take account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as ... water supply. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change. When new development is brought forward in areas which are vulnerable, care should be taken to ensure that risks can be managed through suitable adaptation measures....'

Having considered the information set out above, there appears to be an opportunity for this local plan to help deliver exceptional sustainable development that is resilient to future climate change. We therefore recommend that, due to the evidence presented above, the Local Plan should include, in policy, a requirement for all new residential development to meet the tighter water efficiency measures of 110 litres per person per day.

We therefore recommend that the following wording should be added to a new standalone policy, or added to existing draft policy SDC14 under a new sub heading of 'protecting the water environment':

- Protecting the Water Environment
Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that water is available to support the development proposed, and that they meet the Building Regulation water efficiency standard of 110 litres per occupier per day.

Finally, we are aware that some local councils have previously highlighted they are concerned about costs to developers if they ask for higher standards. However, for water efficiency, we would like to highlight that the cost of achieving 110 litres per person per day is just £0 - £9 per dwelling, when compared to achieving the baseline building regulations standard (125 litres per person per day).

Comment

Consultation Draft (February 2017)

Coalite Priority Regeneration Area

Representation ID: 5564

Received: 05/04/2017

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation Summary:

Site specific comments for SS8:
It is our opinion that housing must not be sited in areas of Flood Zone 2 or 3, until such a time as adequate sequential test evidence has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority (LPA).
Furthermore, the supporting SA recognises that the development' may have adverse impacts' on important features. We therefore strongly recommend that a 10m buffer zone should be implemented either side of the watercourse on this site, to prevent development in these areas. We look forward to developing our partnership working with you.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting us on the Consultation Draft of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan, on 24 February 2017. We understand that the purpose of the document is to set out the proposed strategy for growth and development across the area.

We can confirm that we support the vast majority of policies at a strategic level. However, we have several suggestions for alterations and/or additions that we consider will deliver better environmental outcomes and increase the 'soundness' of the Plan, from an environmental perspective. For our full detailed comments on the content of the Local Plan, and the proposed policies, please see the information enclosed in the attached Appendix.

Whilst you can find our detailed comments in the appendix, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some particular areas/sites where environmental constraints exist. We recognise that we have already commented on some of these sites during previous versions of the Local Plan, however, we have revisited and updated comments where necessary to ensure clarity and consistency, and to take account of updated national policy and guidance.

With particular reference to flood risk, we have concerns that a handful of proposed housing sites are located in flood risk areas. We support the fact that several sites in flood risk areas are not currently proposed for allocation, but in particular, we have identified the following sites as having some sort of flood risk constraint or implication:

Site ref Constraints Notes

CX/2104 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
KIL/2305 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
SS8 Large areas of FZ2 and FZ3 Proposed for housing

GRA/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
NW/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
ECK/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
TUP/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation

In summary, should any of these sites be put forward for allocation, the flood risk sequential test will need to be undertaken in accordance with both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Draft Policy SDC12 of the emerging Local Plan. We request to see evidence of this test being carried out, prior to any examination, to ensure that the Plan is based on a sound evidence base.

If your Authority ultimately determine that the sequential test has been passed then a site specific flood risk assessment (FRA) will be required as part of the flood risk exception test, to support any formal planning application. The FRA will be required to demonstrate the safety of the development and future occupants, and should focus on flood risk reduction, both on and off site. Ultimately, if sites are to be allocated within Flood Zones 2 and 3, we would wish to comment on the site specific policies to ensure that FRA requirements are appropriately covered. We are therefore keen to meet with your Authority to discuss how you intend to apply the flood risk exception test to those sites which are subsequently allocated.

We would also like to take this opportunity to present the following site specific advice on flood risk and climate change.

Site specific comments for CX/2104:
We support the statement within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which suggests that development will only be permitted if it 'passes the sequential test' - we would like to see this evidence submitted in advance of any allocation, to ensure that the any allocation can be supported by robust and defined evidence.

Site specific comments for SS8:
It is our opinion that housing must not be sited in areas of Flood Zone 2 or 3, until such a time as adequate sequential test evidence has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Such an approach would be consistent with the principles of both the NPPF and Objective 12 of the supporting SA. Furthermore, the supporting SA recognises that the development 'may have adverse impacts' on important features. We therefore strongly recommend that a 10m buffer zone should be implemented either side of the watercourse on this site, to prevent development in these areas. This will help support the aspiration for the LP to deliver long term sustainable development. We therefore request that such a requirement should be outlined in a site specific policy.

In summary, we look forward to developing our partnership working with you. Should you have any questions, or would like to discuss the comments set out above, please contact me on the number below.

Yours sincerely



Mr Rob Millbank
Planning Specialist

Direct dial 02030 255036
Direct e-mail rob.millbank@environment-agency.gov.uk




APPENDIX - detailed EA comments on sites with particular environmental constraints/opportunities

Policy SS4 - The Avenue
We are aware of the complex planning history surrounding this site as we have participated in many discussions, and responded to several planning applications, in the past few years. We are supportive of the plan to accommodate significant development at this site, subject to the site being fully remediated prior to any development taking place. We strongly support this policy at a strategic level as its successful implementation will assist in delivering significant environmental benefits, in accordance with The Avenue Area Strategic Framework (AASF).

Whilst we note the intention to address transport and community infrastructure, we also feel that the provision of adequate sewerage infrastructure is a key factor in delivering sustainable development. One of the key sustainability principles of the AASF is to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is provided in a timely way to minimise the impact of development on existing infrastructure. Continued co-operation with Yorkshire Water is therefore required to deliver this site in a sustainable manner. We therefore strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added which requires development proposals to identify, and submit details of, adequate foul drainage solutions as part of any future planning applications.

Policy SS8 - Coalite Regeneration Area
We support this policy and agree that a piecemeal approach to development on this site should be avoided, given the complexities involved. Whilst there are flood risk constraints to a section of the site, we are pleased to note that housing is not going to be allocated on this site, in the first instance. We support this approach, as there is still work to be done in terms of demonstrating the flood risk sequential and exception tests. In contrast to this, we recognise that there are major environmental gains to be had from bringing this site forward and so we are supportive in principle. We continue to welcome a collaborative approach for this site and we therefore request that we are included in any future discussions relating to either remediation and/or water quality implications of the River Doe Lea.

Policy SS12 - Development in Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits
We support this policy. Whilst the re-use of previously developed land can be considered sustainable development, an avoidance of high flood risk areas should still be the favoured approach. Whilst we trust that this matter can be adequately addressed through other policies (such as SDC12) within the plan, we strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added to this policy to indicate that sights outside of flood risk areas will be given preference in the first instance. This change would help to avoid potential conflicts with other policies within the plan, or the overarching aims of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Policy SDC4 - Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Whilst we support and welcome the principles of this policy at a strategic level, we recommend that the wording 'wherever possible' should be removed from the opening paragraph. We recognise there may be scenarios where the provision of a net gain is unachievable, and the NPPF already recognises that, but the onus should be on the developers to demonstrate that on a case by case basis in this local area. This is ultimately a local policy with the potential to secure significant betterment for the local environment, and the wording 'wherever possible' is loosely defined and may ultimately result in a failure to secure the environmental enhancement that both the NPPF and the Local Plan aspire to deliver.

Policy SDC12 - Flood Risk
We fully support and welcome this policy. The policy is informed by an appropriate evidence base, is clearly worded and makes reference to key areas of national guidance contained within the NPPF. We are pleased to see that flood risk avoidance is key to the policy aspirations.

Policy SDC14 - Environmental Quality
We consider the wording of this policy to be very weak. Whilst it is a positive measure that developments would be expected to 'prevent unacceptable levels of water quality', there is no reference to supporting guidance or legislation. It also implies that there may be 'acceptable' levels of water pollution. It is our opinion that any development proposals likely to impact surface or ground water should consider the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). In all cases where development is adjacent to WFD-designated water bodies, it is expected that they will ensure there is no deterioration in water quality, as an absolute minimum. The Environment Agency will not support proposals that will negatively impact the water quality of WFD monitored watercourses in particular.

The main objective of the WFD is to achieve good ecological status in all surface water bodies and this policy has the potential to assist this objective. We recommend that the Borough's network of watercourses i.e. rivers, streams, ditches, drains and canals are reflected in the policy, in an attempt to ensure that their water quality is enhanced and protected.

In light of this, we strongly recommend that the following policy wording should be added: 'Development proposals will be expected to contribute positively to the water environment and its ecology, and should not adversely affect surface or ground water quality, in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive'. This change would give developers greater clarity on what is expected of them in these situations, whilst also adding weight to the policy.

Finally, the evidence base also needs to be updated to make reference to the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Policy SDC15 - Contaminated Land and Unstable Land
We support the inclusion of this policy, and considerate it highly necessary given the contamination issues associated with many of the proposed site allocations. This policy will also assist delivery of the overarching WFD objective for groundwater to achieve 'Good' status.

Additional EA comments on water resources
We have noticed that there is currently no policy relating to the provision of water resources, or promoting increased water efficiency. However, the importance of water to North East Derbyshire is otherwise well recognised within the draft Local Plan.

Paragraph 8.61 in particular states that 'In particular the Local Plan has an important role in the key actions of promoting water efficiency,' which links nicely to strategic objective D8 and its aspiration to '...address, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on people.' Strategic objective 5 within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (2017) also recognises the importance of safeguarding natural resources, including water supply.

Table 1 of the Environment Agency's report 'Water stressed areas - final classification' (dated 2013) shows the areas of England serviced by both Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water as areas of 'moderate water stress' in various scenarios. This high level assessment is based upon individual assessments of water bodies. Figure 2 shown below shows the specific water bodies across the Derbyshire area that are classified as being under water stress.


Figure 2: Map showing final water body stress classification at a water body scale.

The importance of water management is also recognised by North East Derbyshire Council in the 2012 SA scoping report. The report highlights the need to support the highest possible levels of water efficiency measures.

In addition to inclusion as a key issue in the SA, the 2015 Humber River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) also recognises the significant challenges associated with water resources. Section 1.4 entitled 'significant water management issues' states that 'reduced flow and water levels in rivers and groundwater caused by human activity (such as abstraction) or less rainfall than usual can mean that there is not enough water for people to use... in the long term, there will be less water available to abstract for drinking, industry and irrigating crops.' With particular reference to climate change, the RBMP goes on to state that 'studies to learn more about the effects of climate change on the river basin district are underway. In the meantime, it makes sense to implement measures that are flexible or increase resilience to extreme weather events and future warming.'

Section 3.5 goes on to recommend measures that could be implemented to prevent deterioration of the water environment. The following two measures are listed in particular:

- All sectors take up or encourage water efficiency measures, including water industry work on metering, leakage, audits, providing water efficient products, promoting water efficiency and education;
- Local government sets out local plan policies requiring new homes to meet the tighter water efficiency standard of 110 litres per person per day as described in Part G of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.

In terms of planning policy on the matter, Paragraph 99 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states 'Local Plans should take account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as ... water supply. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change. When new development is brought forward in areas which are vulnerable, care should be taken to ensure that risks can be managed through suitable adaptation measures....'

Having considered the information set out above, there appears to be an opportunity for this local plan to help deliver exceptional sustainable development that is resilient to future climate change. We therefore recommend that, due to the evidence presented above, the Local Plan should include, in policy, a requirement for all new residential development to meet the tighter water efficiency measures of 110 litres per person per day.

We therefore recommend that the following wording should be added to a new standalone policy, or added to existing draft policy SDC14 under a new sub heading of 'protecting the water environment':

- Protecting the Water Environment
Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that water is available to support the development proposed, and that they meet the Building Regulation water efficiency standard of 110 litres per occupier per day.

Finally, we are aware that some local councils have previously highlighted they are concerned about costs to developers if they ask for higher standards. However, for water efficiency, we would like to highlight that the cost of achieving 110 litres per person per day is just £0 - £9 per dwelling, when compared to achieving the baseline building regulations standard (125 litres per person per day).

Support

Consultation Draft (February 2017)

Policy SS4: The Avenue

Representation ID: 5565

Received: 05/04/2017

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation Summary:

Policy SS4 - The Avenue
We are supportive of the plan to accommodate significant development at this site, subject to the site being fully remediated prior to any development taking place. We strongly support this policy at a strategic level as its successful implementation will assist in delivering significant environmental benefits, in accordance with The Avenue Area Strategic Framework (AASF). The provision of adequate sewerage infrastructure is a key factor in delivering sustainable development, continued co-operation with Yorkshire Water is therefore required to deliver this site in a sustainable manner.

We therefore strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added which requires development proposals to identify, and submit details of, adequate foul drainage solutions as part of any future planning applications.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting us on the Consultation Draft of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan, on 24 February 2017. We understand that the purpose of the document is to set out the proposed strategy for growth and development across the area.

We can confirm that we support the vast majority of policies at a strategic level. However, we have several suggestions for alterations and/or additions that we consider will deliver better environmental outcomes and increase the 'soundness' of the Plan, from an environmental perspective. For our full detailed comments on the content of the Local Plan, and the proposed policies, please see the information enclosed in the attached Appendix.

Whilst you can find our detailed comments in the appendix, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some particular areas/sites where environmental constraints exist. We recognise that we have already commented on some of these sites during previous versions of the Local Plan, however, we have revisited and updated comments where necessary to ensure clarity and consistency, and to take account of updated national policy and guidance.

With particular reference to flood risk, we have concerns that a handful of proposed housing sites are located in flood risk areas. We support the fact that several sites in flood risk areas are not currently proposed for allocation, but in particular, we have identified the following sites as having some sort of flood risk constraint or implication:

Site ref Constraints Notes

CX/2104 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
KIL/2305 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
SS8 Large areas of FZ2 and FZ3 Proposed for housing

GRA/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
NW/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
ECK/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
TUP/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation

In summary, should any of these sites be put forward for allocation, the flood risk sequential test will need to be undertaken in accordance with both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Draft Policy SDC12 of the emerging Local Plan. We request to see evidence of this test being carried out, prior to any examination, to ensure that the Plan is based on a sound evidence base.

If your Authority ultimately determine that the sequential test has been passed then a site specific flood risk assessment (FRA) will be required as part of the flood risk exception test, to support any formal planning application. The FRA will be required to demonstrate the safety of the development and future occupants, and should focus on flood risk reduction, both on and off site. Ultimately, if sites are to be allocated within Flood Zones 2 and 3, we would wish to comment on the site specific policies to ensure that FRA requirements are appropriately covered. We are therefore keen to meet with your Authority to discuss how you intend to apply the flood risk exception test to those sites which are subsequently allocated.

We would also like to take this opportunity to present the following site specific advice on flood risk and climate change.

Site specific comments for CX/2104:
We support the statement within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which suggests that development will only be permitted if it 'passes the sequential test' - we would like to see this evidence submitted in advance of any allocation, to ensure that the any allocation can be supported by robust and defined evidence.

Site specific comments for SS8:
It is our opinion that housing must not be sited in areas of Flood Zone 2 or 3, until such a time as adequate sequential test evidence has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Such an approach would be consistent with the principles of both the NPPF and Objective 12 of the supporting SA. Furthermore, the supporting SA recognises that the development 'may have adverse impacts' on important features. We therefore strongly recommend that a 10m buffer zone should be implemented either side of the watercourse on this site, to prevent development in these areas. This will help support the aspiration for the LP to deliver long term sustainable development. We therefore request that such a requirement should be outlined in a site specific policy.

In summary, we look forward to developing our partnership working with you. Should you have any questions, or would like to discuss the comments set out above, please contact me on the number below.

Yours sincerely



Mr Rob Millbank
Planning Specialist

Direct dial 02030 255036
Direct e-mail rob.millbank@environment-agency.gov.uk




APPENDIX - detailed EA comments on sites with particular environmental constraints/opportunities

Policy SS4 - The Avenue
We are aware of the complex planning history surrounding this site as we have participated in many discussions, and responded to several planning applications, in the past few years. We are supportive of the plan to accommodate significant development at this site, subject to the site being fully remediated prior to any development taking place. We strongly support this policy at a strategic level as its successful implementation will assist in delivering significant environmental benefits, in accordance with The Avenue Area Strategic Framework (AASF).

Whilst we note the intention to address transport and community infrastructure, we also feel that the provision of adequate sewerage infrastructure is a key factor in delivering sustainable development. One of the key sustainability principles of the AASF is to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is provided in a timely way to minimise the impact of development on existing infrastructure. Continued co-operation with Yorkshire Water is therefore required to deliver this site in a sustainable manner. We therefore strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added which requires development proposals to identify, and submit details of, adequate foul drainage solutions as part of any future planning applications.

Policy SS8 - Coalite Regeneration Area
We support this policy and agree that a piecemeal approach to development on this site should be avoided, given the complexities involved. Whilst there are flood risk constraints to a section of the site, we are pleased to note that housing is not going to be allocated on this site, in the first instance. We support this approach, as there is still work to be done in terms of demonstrating the flood risk sequential and exception tests. In contrast to this, we recognise that there are major environmental gains to be had from bringing this site forward and so we are supportive in principle. We continue to welcome a collaborative approach for this site and we therefore request that we are included in any future discussions relating to either remediation and/or water quality implications of the River Doe Lea.

Policy SS12 - Development in Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits
We support this policy. Whilst the re-use of previously developed land can be considered sustainable development, an avoidance of high flood risk areas should still be the favoured approach. Whilst we trust that this matter can be adequately addressed through other policies (such as SDC12) within the plan, we strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added to this policy to indicate that sights outside of flood risk areas will be given preference in the first instance. This change would help to avoid potential conflicts with other policies within the plan, or the overarching aims of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Policy SDC4 - Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Whilst we support and welcome the principles of this policy at a strategic level, we recommend that the wording 'wherever possible' should be removed from the opening paragraph. We recognise there may be scenarios where the provision of a net gain is unachievable, and the NPPF already recognises that, but the onus should be on the developers to demonstrate that on a case by case basis in this local area. This is ultimately a local policy with the potential to secure significant betterment for the local environment, and the wording 'wherever possible' is loosely defined and may ultimately result in a failure to secure the environmental enhancement that both the NPPF and the Local Plan aspire to deliver.

Policy SDC12 - Flood Risk
We fully support and welcome this policy. The policy is informed by an appropriate evidence base, is clearly worded and makes reference to key areas of national guidance contained within the NPPF. We are pleased to see that flood risk avoidance is key to the policy aspirations.

Policy SDC14 - Environmental Quality
We consider the wording of this policy to be very weak. Whilst it is a positive measure that developments would be expected to 'prevent unacceptable levels of water quality', there is no reference to supporting guidance or legislation. It also implies that there may be 'acceptable' levels of water pollution. It is our opinion that any development proposals likely to impact surface or ground water should consider the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). In all cases where development is adjacent to WFD-designated water bodies, it is expected that they will ensure there is no deterioration in water quality, as an absolute minimum. The Environment Agency will not support proposals that will negatively impact the water quality of WFD monitored watercourses in particular.

The main objective of the WFD is to achieve good ecological status in all surface water bodies and this policy has the potential to assist this objective. We recommend that the Borough's network of watercourses i.e. rivers, streams, ditches, drains and canals are reflected in the policy, in an attempt to ensure that their water quality is enhanced and protected.

In light of this, we strongly recommend that the following policy wording should be added: 'Development proposals will be expected to contribute positively to the water environment and its ecology, and should not adversely affect surface or ground water quality, in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive'. This change would give developers greater clarity on what is expected of them in these situations, whilst also adding weight to the policy.

Finally, the evidence base also needs to be updated to make reference to the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Policy SDC15 - Contaminated Land and Unstable Land
We support the inclusion of this policy, and considerate it highly necessary given the contamination issues associated with many of the proposed site allocations. This policy will also assist delivery of the overarching WFD objective for groundwater to achieve 'Good' status.

Additional EA comments on water resources
We have noticed that there is currently no policy relating to the provision of water resources, or promoting increased water efficiency. However, the importance of water to North East Derbyshire is otherwise well recognised within the draft Local Plan.

Paragraph 8.61 in particular states that 'In particular the Local Plan has an important role in the key actions of promoting water efficiency,' which links nicely to strategic objective D8 and its aspiration to '...address, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on people.' Strategic objective 5 within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (2017) also recognises the importance of safeguarding natural resources, including water supply.

Table 1 of the Environment Agency's report 'Water stressed areas - final classification' (dated 2013) shows the areas of England serviced by both Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water as areas of 'moderate water stress' in various scenarios. This high level assessment is based upon individual assessments of water bodies. Figure 2 shown below shows the specific water bodies across the Derbyshire area that are classified as being under water stress.


Figure 2: Map showing final water body stress classification at a water body scale.

The importance of water management is also recognised by North East Derbyshire Council in the 2012 SA scoping report. The report highlights the need to support the highest possible levels of water efficiency measures.

In addition to inclusion as a key issue in the SA, the 2015 Humber River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) also recognises the significant challenges associated with water resources. Section 1.4 entitled 'significant water management issues' states that 'reduced flow and water levels in rivers and groundwater caused by human activity (such as abstraction) or less rainfall than usual can mean that there is not enough water for people to use... in the long term, there will be less water available to abstract for drinking, industry and irrigating crops.' With particular reference to climate change, the RBMP goes on to state that 'studies to learn more about the effects of climate change on the river basin district are underway. In the meantime, it makes sense to implement measures that are flexible or increase resilience to extreme weather events and future warming.'

Section 3.5 goes on to recommend measures that could be implemented to prevent deterioration of the water environment. The following two measures are listed in particular:

- All sectors take up or encourage water efficiency measures, including water industry work on metering, leakage, audits, providing water efficient products, promoting water efficiency and education;
- Local government sets out local plan policies requiring new homes to meet the tighter water efficiency standard of 110 litres per person per day as described in Part G of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.

In terms of planning policy on the matter, Paragraph 99 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states 'Local Plans should take account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as ... water supply. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change. When new development is brought forward in areas which are vulnerable, care should be taken to ensure that risks can be managed through suitable adaptation measures....'

Having considered the information set out above, there appears to be an opportunity for this local plan to help deliver exceptional sustainable development that is resilient to future climate change. We therefore recommend that, due to the evidence presented above, the Local Plan should include, in policy, a requirement for all new residential development to meet the tighter water efficiency measures of 110 litres per person per day.

We therefore recommend that the following wording should be added to a new standalone policy, or added to existing draft policy SDC14 under a new sub heading of 'protecting the water environment':

- Protecting the Water Environment
Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that water is available to support the development proposed, and that they meet the Building Regulation water efficiency standard of 110 litres per occupier per day.

Finally, we are aware that some local councils have previously highlighted they are concerned about costs to developers if they ask for higher standards. However, for water efficiency, we would like to highlight that the cost of achieving 110 litres per person per day is just £0 - £9 per dwelling, when compared to achieving the baseline building regulations standard (125 litres per person per day).

Support

Consultation Draft (February 2017)

Policy SS8: Coalite Priority Regeneration Area

Representation ID: 5567

Received: 05/04/2017

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation Summary:

We continue to welcome a collaborative approach for this site and we therefore request that we are included in any future discussions relating to either remediation and/or water quality implications of the River Doe Lea.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting us on the Consultation Draft of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan, on 24 February 2017. We understand that the purpose of the document is to set out the proposed strategy for growth and development across the area.

We can confirm that we support the vast majority of policies at a strategic level. However, we have several suggestions for alterations and/or additions that we consider will deliver better environmental outcomes and increase the 'soundness' of the Plan, from an environmental perspective. For our full detailed comments on the content of the Local Plan, and the proposed policies, please see the information enclosed in the attached Appendix.

Whilst you can find our detailed comments in the appendix, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some particular areas/sites where environmental constraints exist. We recognise that we have already commented on some of these sites during previous versions of the Local Plan, however, we have revisited and updated comments where necessary to ensure clarity and consistency, and to take account of updated national policy and guidance.

With particular reference to flood risk, we have concerns that a handful of proposed housing sites are located in flood risk areas. We support the fact that several sites in flood risk areas are not currently proposed for allocation, but in particular, we have identified the following sites as having some sort of flood risk constraint or implication:

Site ref Constraints Notes

CX/2104 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
KIL/2305 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
SS8 Large areas of FZ2 and FZ3 Proposed for housing

GRA/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
NW/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
ECK/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
TUP/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation

In summary, should any of these sites be put forward for allocation, the flood risk sequential test will need to be undertaken in accordance with both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Draft Policy SDC12 of the emerging Local Plan. We request to see evidence of this test being carried out, prior to any examination, to ensure that the Plan is based on a sound evidence base.

If your Authority ultimately determine that the sequential test has been passed then a site specific flood risk assessment (FRA) will be required as part of the flood risk exception test, to support any formal planning application. The FRA will be required to demonstrate the safety of the development and future occupants, and should focus on flood risk reduction, both on and off site. Ultimately, if sites are to be allocated within Flood Zones 2 and 3, we would wish to comment on the site specific policies to ensure that FRA requirements are appropriately covered. We are therefore keen to meet with your Authority to discuss how you intend to apply the flood risk exception test to those sites which are subsequently allocated.

We would also like to take this opportunity to present the following site specific advice on flood risk and climate change.

Site specific comments for CX/2104:
We support the statement within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which suggests that development will only be permitted if it 'passes the sequential test' - we would like to see this evidence submitted in advance of any allocation, to ensure that the any allocation can be supported by robust and defined evidence.

Site specific comments for SS8:
It is our opinion that housing must not be sited in areas of Flood Zone 2 or 3, until such a time as adequate sequential test evidence has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Such an approach would be consistent with the principles of both the NPPF and Objective 12 of the supporting SA. Furthermore, the supporting SA recognises that the development 'may have adverse impacts' on important features. We therefore strongly recommend that a 10m buffer zone should be implemented either side of the watercourse on this site, to prevent development in these areas. This will help support the aspiration for the LP to deliver long term sustainable development. We therefore request that such a requirement should be outlined in a site specific policy.

In summary, we look forward to developing our partnership working with you. Should you have any questions, or would like to discuss the comments set out above, please contact me on the number below.

Yours sincerely



Mr Rob Millbank
Planning Specialist

Direct dial 02030 255036
Direct e-mail rob.millbank@environment-agency.gov.uk




APPENDIX - detailed EA comments on sites with particular environmental constraints/opportunities

Policy SS4 - The Avenue
We are aware of the complex planning history surrounding this site as we have participated in many discussions, and responded to several planning applications, in the past few years. We are supportive of the plan to accommodate significant development at this site, subject to the site being fully remediated prior to any development taking place. We strongly support this policy at a strategic level as its successful implementation will assist in delivering significant environmental benefits, in accordance with The Avenue Area Strategic Framework (AASF).

Whilst we note the intention to address transport and community infrastructure, we also feel that the provision of adequate sewerage infrastructure is a key factor in delivering sustainable development. One of the key sustainability principles of the AASF is to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is provided in a timely way to minimise the impact of development on existing infrastructure. Continued co-operation with Yorkshire Water is therefore required to deliver this site in a sustainable manner. We therefore strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added which requires development proposals to identify, and submit details of, adequate foul drainage solutions as part of any future planning applications.

Policy SS8 - Coalite Regeneration Area
We support this policy and agree that a piecemeal approach to development on this site should be avoided, given the complexities involved. Whilst there are flood risk constraints to a section of the site, we are pleased to note that housing is not going to be allocated on this site, in the first instance. We support this approach, as there is still work to be done in terms of demonstrating the flood risk sequential and exception tests. In contrast to this, we recognise that there are major environmental gains to be had from bringing this site forward and so we are supportive in principle. We continue to welcome a collaborative approach for this site and we therefore request that we are included in any future discussions relating to either remediation and/or water quality implications of the River Doe Lea.

Policy SS12 - Development in Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits
We support this policy. Whilst the re-use of previously developed land can be considered sustainable development, an avoidance of high flood risk areas should still be the favoured approach. Whilst we trust that this matter can be adequately addressed through other policies (such as SDC12) within the plan, we strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added to this policy to indicate that sights outside of flood risk areas will be given preference in the first instance. This change would help to avoid potential conflicts with other policies within the plan, or the overarching aims of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Policy SDC4 - Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Whilst we support and welcome the principles of this policy at a strategic level, we recommend that the wording 'wherever possible' should be removed from the opening paragraph. We recognise there may be scenarios where the provision of a net gain is unachievable, and the NPPF already recognises that, but the onus should be on the developers to demonstrate that on a case by case basis in this local area. This is ultimately a local policy with the potential to secure significant betterment for the local environment, and the wording 'wherever possible' is loosely defined and may ultimately result in a failure to secure the environmental enhancement that both the NPPF and the Local Plan aspire to deliver.

Policy SDC12 - Flood Risk
We fully support and welcome this policy. The policy is informed by an appropriate evidence base, is clearly worded and makes reference to key areas of national guidance contained within the NPPF. We are pleased to see that flood risk avoidance is key to the policy aspirations.

Policy SDC14 - Environmental Quality
We consider the wording of this policy to be very weak. Whilst it is a positive measure that developments would be expected to 'prevent unacceptable levels of water quality', there is no reference to supporting guidance or legislation. It also implies that there may be 'acceptable' levels of water pollution. It is our opinion that any development proposals likely to impact surface or ground water should consider the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). In all cases where development is adjacent to WFD-designated water bodies, it is expected that they will ensure there is no deterioration in water quality, as an absolute minimum. The Environment Agency will not support proposals that will negatively impact the water quality of WFD monitored watercourses in particular.

The main objective of the WFD is to achieve good ecological status in all surface water bodies and this policy has the potential to assist this objective. We recommend that the Borough's network of watercourses i.e. rivers, streams, ditches, drains and canals are reflected in the policy, in an attempt to ensure that their water quality is enhanced and protected.

In light of this, we strongly recommend that the following policy wording should be added: 'Development proposals will be expected to contribute positively to the water environment and its ecology, and should not adversely affect surface or ground water quality, in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive'. This change would give developers greater clarity on what is expected of them in these situations, whilst also adding weight to the policy.

Finally, the evidence base also needs to be updated to make reference to the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Policy SDC15 - Contaminated Land and Unstable Land
We support the inclusion of this policy, and considerate it highly necessary given the contamination issues associated with many of the proposed site allocations. This policy will also assist delivery of the overarching WFD objective for groundwater to achieve 'Good' status.

Additional EA comments on water resources
We have noticed that there is currently no policy relating to the provision of water resources, or promoting increased water efficiency. However, the importance of water to North East Derbyshire is otherwise well recognised within the draft Local Plan.

Paragraph 8.61 in particular states that 'In particular the Local Plan has an important role in the key actions of promoting water efficiency,' which links nicely to strategic objective D8 and its aspiration to '...address, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on people.' Strategic objective 5 within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (2017) also recognises the importance of safeguarding natural resources, including water supply.

Table 1 of the Environment Agency's report 'Water stressed areas - final classification' (dated 2013) shows the areas of England serviced by both Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water as areas of 'moderate water stress' in various scenarios. This high level assessment is based upon individual assessments of water bodies. Figure 2 shown below shows the specific water bodies across the Derbyshire area that are classified as being under water stress.


Figure 2: Map showing final water body stress classification at a water body scale.

The importance of water management is also recognised by North East Derbyshire Council in the 2012 SA scoping report. The report highlights the need to support the highest possible levels of water efficiency measures.

In addition to inclusion as a key issue in the SA, the 2015 Humber River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) also recognises the significant challenges associated with water resources. Section 1.4 entitled 'significant water management issues' states that 'reduced flow and water levels in rivers and groundwater caused by human activity (such as abstraction) or less rainfall than usual can mean that there is not enough water for people to use... in the long term, there will be less water available to abstract for drinking, industry and irrigating crops.' With particular reference to climate change, the RBMP goes on to state that 'studies to learn more about the effects of climate change on the river basin district are underway. In the meantime, it makes sense to implement measures that are flexible or increase resilience to extreme weather events and future warming.'

Section 3.5 goes on to recommend measures that could be implemented to prevent deterioration of the water environment. The following two measures are listed in particular:

- All sectors take up or encourage water efficiency measures, including water industry work on metering, leakage, audits, providing water efficient products, promoting water efficiency and education;
- Local government sets out local plan policies requiring new homes to meet the tighter water efficiency standard of 110 litres per person per day as described in Part G of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.

In terms of planning policy on the matter, Paragraph 99 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states 'Local Plans should take account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as ... water supply. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change. When new development is brought forward in areas which are vulnerable, care should be taken to ensure that risks can be managed through suitable adaptation measures....'

Having considered the information set out above, there appears to be an opportunity for this local plan to help deliver exceptional sustainable development that is resilient to future climate change. We therefore recommend that, due to the evidence presented above, the Local Plan should include, in policy, a requirement for all new residential development to meet the tighter water efficiency measures of 110 litres per person per day.

We therefore recommend that the following wording should be added to a new standalone policy, or added to existing draft policy SDC14 under a new sub heading of 'protecting the water environment':

- Protecting the Water Environment
Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that water is available to support the development proposed, and that they meet the Building Regulation water efficiency standard of 110 litres per occupier per day.

Finally, we are aware that some local councils have previously highlighted they are concerned about costs to developers if they ask for higher standards. However, for water efficiency, we would like to highlight that the cost of achieving 110 litres per person per day is just £0 - £9 per dwelling, when compared to achieving the baseline building regulations standard (125 litres per person per day).

Support

Consultation Draft (February 2017)

Policy SS12: Development on Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits

Representation ID: 5570

Received: 05/04/2017

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation Summary:

We support this policy. Whilst the re-use of previously developed land can be considered sustainable development, an avoidance of high flood risk areas should still be the favoured approach.

We strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added to this policy to indicate that sights outside of flood risk areas will be given preference in the first instance.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting us on the Consultation Draft of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan, on 24 February 2017. We understand that the purpose of the document is to set out the proposed strategy for growth and development across the area.

We can confirm that we support the vast majority of policies at a strategic level. However, we have several suggestions for alterations and/or additions that we consider will deliver better environmental outcomes and increase the 'soundness' of the Plan, from an environmental perspective. For our full detailed comments on the content of the Local Plan, and the proposed policies, please see the information enclosed in the attached Appendix.

Whilst you can find our detailed comments in the appendix, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some particular areas/sites where environmental constraints exist. We recognise that we have already commented on some of these sites during previous versions of the Local Plan, however, we have revisited and updated comments where necessary to ensure clarity and consistency, and to take account of updated national policy and guidance.

With particular reference to flood risk, we have concerns that a handful of proposed housing sites are located in flood risk areas. We support the fact that several sites in flood risk areas are not currently proposed for allocation, but in particular, we have identified the following sites as having some sort of flood risk constraint or implication:

Site ref Constraints Notes

CX/2104 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
KIL/2305 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
SS8 Large areas of FZ2 and FZ3 Proposed for housing

GRA/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
NW/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
ECK/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
TUP/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation

In summary, should any of these sites be put forward for allocation, the flood risk sequential test will need to be undertaken in accordance with both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Draft Policy SDC12 of the emerging Local Plan. We request to see evidence of this test being carried out, prior to any examination, to ensure that the Plan is based on a sound evidence base.

If your Authority ultimately determine that the sequential test has been passed then a site specific flood risk assessment (FRA) will be required as part of the flood risk exception test, to support any formal planning application. The FRA will be required to demonstrate the safety of the development and future occupants, and should focus on flood risk reduction, both on and off site. Ultimately, if sites are to be allocated within Flood Zones 2 and 3, we would wish to comment on the site specific policies to ensure that FRA requirements are appropriately covered. We are therefore keen to meet with your Authority to discuss how you intend to apply the flood risk exception test to those sites which are subsequently allocated.

We would also like to take this opportunity to present the following site specific advice on flood risk and climate change.

Site specific comments for CX/2104:
We support the statement within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which suggests that development will only be permitted if it 'passes the sequential test' - we would like to see this evidence submitted in advance of any allocation, to ensure that the any allocation can be supported by robust and defined evidence.

Site specific comments for SS8:
It is our opinion that housing must not be sited in areas of Flood Zone 2 or 3, until such a time as adequate sequential test evidence has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Such an approach would be consistent with the principles of both the NPPF and Objective 12 of the supporting SA. Furthermore, the supporting SA recognises that the development 'may have adverse impacts' on important features. We therefore strongly recommend that a 10m buffer zone should be implemented either side of the watercourse on this site, to prevent development in these areas. This will help support the aspiration for the LP to deliver long term sustainable development. We therefore request that such a requirement should be outlined in a site specific policy.

In summary, we look forward to developing our partnership working with you. Should you have any questions, or would like to discuss the comments set out above, please contact me on the number below.

Yours sincerely



Mr Rob Millbank
Planning Specialist

Direct dial 02030 255036
Direct e-mail rob.millbank@environment-agency.gov.uk




APPENDIX - detailed EA comments on sites with particular environmental constraints/opportunities

Policy SS4 - The Avenue
We are aware of the complex planning history surrounding this site as we have participated in many discussions, and responded to several planning applications, in the past few years. We are supportive of the plan to accommodate significant development at this site, subject to the site being fully remediated prior to any development taking place. We strongly support this policy at a strategic level as its successful implementation will assist in delivering significant environmental benefits, in accordance with The Avenue Area Strategic Framework (AASF).

Whilst we note the intention to address transport and community infrastructure, we also feel that the provision of adequate sewerage infrastructure is a key factor in delivering sustainable development. One of the key sustainability principles of the AASF is to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is provided in a timely way to minimise the impact of development on existing infrastructure. Continued co-operation with Yorkshire Water is therefore required to deliver this site in a sustainable manner. We therefore strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added which requires development proposals to identify, and submit details of, adequate foul drainage solutions as part of any future planning applications.

Policy SS8 - Coalite Regeneration Area
We support this policy and agree that a piecemeal approach to development on this site should be avoided, given the complexities involved. Whilst there are flood risk constraints to a section of the site, we are pleased to note that housing is not going to be allocated on this site, in the first instance. We support this approach, as there is still work to be done in terms of demonstrating the flood risk sequential and exception tests. In contrast to this, we recognise that there are major environmental gains to be had from bringing this site forward and so we are supportive in principle. We continue to welcome a collaborative approach for this site and we therefore request that we are included in any future discussions relating to either remediation and/or water quality implications of the River Doe Lea.

Policy SS12 - Development in Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits
We support this policy. Whilst the re-use of previously developed land can be considered sustainable development, an avoidance of high flood risk areas should still be the favoured approach. Whilst we trust that this matter can be adequately addressed through other policies (such as SDC12) within the plan, we strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added to this policy to indicate that sights outside of flood risk areas will be given preference in the first instance. This change would help to avoid potential conflicts with other policies within the plan, or the overarching aims of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Policy SDC4 - Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Whilst we support and welcome the principles of this policy at a strategic level, we recommend that the wording 'wherever possible' should be removed from the opening paragraph. We recognise there may be scenarios where the provision of a net gain is unachievable, and the NPPF already recognises that, but the onus should be on the developers to demonstrate that on a case by case basis in this local area. This is ultimately a local policy with the potential to secure significant betterment for the local environment, and the wording 'wherever possible' is loosely defined and may ultimately result in a failure to secure the environmental enhancement that both the NPPF and the Local Plan aspire to deliver.

Policy SDC12 - Flood Risk
We fully support and welcome this policy. The policy is informed by an appropriate evidence base, is clearly worded and makes reference to key areas of national guidance contained within the NPPF. We are pleased to see that flood risk avoidance is key to the policy aspirations.

Policy SDC14 - Environmental Quality
We consider the wording of this policy to be very weak. Whilst it is a positive measure that developments would be expected to 'prevent unacceptable levels of water quality', there is no reference to supporting guidance or legislation. It also implies that there may be 'acceptable' levels of water pollution. It is our opinion that any development proposals likely to impact surface or ground water should consider the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). In all cases where development is adjacent to WFD-designated water bodies, it is expected that they will ensure there is no deterioration in water quality, as an absolute minimum. The Environment Agency will not support proposals that will negatively impact the water quality of WFD monitored watercourses in particular.

The main objective of the WFD is to achieve good ecological status in all surface water bodies and this policy has the potential to assist this objective. We recommend that the Borough's network of watercourses i.e. rivers, streams, ditches, drains and canals are reflected in the policy, in an attempt to ensure that their water quality is enhanced and protected.

In light of this, we strongly recommend that the following policy wording should be added: 'Development proposals will be expected to contribute positively to the water environment and its ecology, and should not adversely affect surface or ground water quality, in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive'. This change would give developers greater clarity on what is expected of them in these situations, whilst also adding weight to the policy.

Finally, the evidence base also needs to be updated to make reference to the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Policy SDC15 - Contaminated Land and Unstable Land
We support the inclusion of this policy, and considerate it highly necessary given the contamination issues associated with many of the proposed site allocations. This policy will also assist delivery of the overarching WFD objective for groundwater to achieve 'Good' status.

Additional EA comments on water resources
We have noticed that there is currently no policy relating to the provision of water resources, or promoting increased water efficiency. However, the importance of water to North East Derbyshire is otherwise well recognised within the draft Local Plan.

Paragraph 8.61 in particular states that 'In particular the Local Plan has an important role in the key actions of promoting water efficiency,' which links nicely to strategic objective D8 and its aspiration to '...address, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on people.' Strategic objective 5 within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (2017) also recognises the importance of safeguarding natural resources, including water supply.

Table 1 of the Environment Agency's report 'Water stressed areas - final classification' (dated 2013) shows the areas of England serviced by both Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water as areas of 'moderate water stress' in various scenarios. This high level assessment is based upon individual assessments of water bodies. Figure 2 shown below shows the specific water bodies across the Derbyshire area that are classified as being under water stress.


Figure 2: Map showing final water body stress classification at a water body scale.

The importance of water management is also recognised by North East Derbyshire Council in the 2012 SA scoping report. The report highlights the need to support the highest possible levels of water efficiency measures.

In addition to inclusion as a key issue in the SA, the 2015 Humber River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) also recognises the significant challenges associated with water resources. Section 1.4 entitled 'significant water management issues' states that 'reduced flow and water levels in rivers and groundwater caused by human activity (such as abstraction) or less rainfall than usual can mean that there is not enough water for people to use... in the long term, there will be less water available to abstract for drinking, industry and irrigating crops.' With particular reference to climate change, the RBMP goes on to state that 'studies to learn more about the effects of climate change on the river basin district are underway. In the meantime, it makes sense to implement measures that are flexible or increase resilience to extreme weather events and future warming.'

Section 3.5 goes on to recommend measures that could be implemented to prevent deterioration of the water environment. The following two measures are listed in particular:

- All sectors take up or encourage water efficiency measures, including water industry work on metering, leakage, audits, providing water efficient products, promoting water efficiency and education;
- Local government sets out local plan policies requiring new homes to meet the tighter water efficiency standard of 110 litres per person per day as described in Part G of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.

In terms of planning policy on the matter, Paragraph 99 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states 'Local Plans should take account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as ... water supply. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change. When new development is brought forward in areas which are vulnerable, care should be taken to ensure that risks can be managed through suitable adaptation measures....'

Having considered the information set out above, there appears to be an opportunity for this local plan to help deliver exceptional sustainable development that is resilient to future climate change. We therefore recommend that, due to the evidence presented above, the Local Plan should include, in policy, a requirement for all new residential development to meet the tighter water efficiency measures of 110 litres per person per day.

We therefore recommend that the following wording should be added to a new standalone policy, or added to existing draft policy SDC14 under a new sub heading of 'protecting the water environment':

- Protecting the Water Environment
Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that water is available to support the development proposed, and that they meet the Building Regulation water efficiency standard of 110 litres per occupier per day.

Finally, we are aware that some local councils have previously highlighted they are concerned about costs to developers if they ask for higher standards. However, for water efficiency, we would like to highlight that the cost of achieving 110 litres per person per day is just £0 - £9 per dwelling, when compared to achieving the baseline building regulations standard (125 litres per person per day).

Support

Consultation Draft (February 2017)

Policy SDC4: Biodiversity and Geodiversity

Representation ID: 5572

Received: 05/04/2017

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation Summary:

Whilst we support and welcome the principles of this policy at a strategic level, we recommend that the wording 'wherever possible' should be removed from the opening paragraph.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting us on the Consultation Draft of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan, on 24 February 2017. We understand that the purpose of the document is to set out the proposed strategy for growth and development across the area.

We can confirm that we support the vast majority of policies at a strategic level. However, we have several suggestions for alterations and/or additions that we consider will deliver better environmental outcomes and increase the 'soundness' of the Plan, from an environmental perspective. For our full detailed comments on the content of the Local Plan, and the proposed policies, please see the information enclosed in the attached Appendix.

Whilst you can find our detailed comments in the appendix, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some particular areas/sites where environmental constraints exist. We recognise that we have already commented on some of these sites during previous versions of the Local Plan, however, we have revisited and updated comments where necessary to ensure clarity and consistency, and to take account of updated national policy and guidance.

With particular reference to flood risk, we have concerns that a handful of proposed housing sites are located in flood risk areas. We support the fact that several sites in flood risk areas are not currently proposed for allocation, but in particular, we have identified the following sites as having some sort of flood risk constraint or implication:

Site ref Constraints Notes

CX/2104 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
KIL/2305 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
SS8 Large areas of FZ2 and FZ3 Proposed for housing

GRA/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
NW/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
ECK/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
TUP/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation

In summary, should any of these sites be put forward for allocation, the flood risk sequential test will need to be undertaken in accordance with both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Draft Policy SDC12 of the emerging Local Plan. We request to see evidence of this test being carried out, prior to any examination, to ensure that the Plan is based on a sound evidence base.

If your Authority ultimately determine that the sequential test has been passed then a site specific flood risk assessment (FRA) will be required as part of the flood risk exception test, to support any formal planning application. The FRA will be required to demonstrate the safety of the development and future occupants, and should focus on flood risk reduction, both on and off site. Ultimately, if sites are to be allocated within Flood Zones 2 and 3, we would wish to comment on the site specific policies to ensure that FRA requirements are appropriately covered. We are therefore keen to meet with your Authority to discuss how you intend to apply the flood risk exception test to those sites which are subsequently allocated.

We would also like to take this opportunity to present the following site specific advice on flood risk and climate change.

Site specific comments for CX/2104:
We support the statement within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which suggests that development will only be permitted if it 'passes the sequential test' - we would like to see this evidence submitted in advance of any allocation, to ensure that the any allocation can be supported by robust and defined evidence.

Site specific comments for SS8:
It is our opinion that housing must not be sited in areas of Flood Zone 2 or 3, until such a time as adequate sequential test evidence has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Such an approach would be consistent with the principles of both the NPPF and Objective 12 of the supporting SA. Furthermore, the supporting SA recognises that the development 'may have adverse impacts' on important features. We therefore strongly recommend that a 10m buffer zone should be implemented either side of the watercourse on this site, to prevent development in these areas. This will help support the aspiration for the LP to deliver long term sustainable development. We therefore request that such a requirement should be outlined in a site specific policy.

In summary, we look forward to developing our partnership working with you. Should you have any questions, or would like to discuss the comments set out above, please contact me on the number below.

Yours sincerely



Mr Rob Millbank
Planning Specialist

Direct dial 02030 255036
Direct e-mail rob.millbank@environment-agency.gov.uk




APPENDIX - detailed EA comments on sites with particular environmental constraints/opportunities

Policy SS4 - The Avenue
We are aware of the complex planning history surrounding this site as we have participated in many discussions, and responded to several planning applications, in the past few years. We are supportive of the plan to accommodate significant development at this site, subject to the site being fully remediated prior to any development taking place. We strongly support this policy at a strategic level as its successful implementation will assist in delivering significant environmental benefits, in accordance with The Avenue Area Strategic Framework (AASF).

Whilst we note the intention to address transport and community infrastructure, we also feel that the provision of adequate sewerage infrastructure is a key factor in delivering sustainable development. One of the key sustainability principles of the AASF is to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is provided in a timely way to minimise the impact of development on existing infrastructure. Continued co-operation with Yorkshire Water is therefore required to deliver this site in a sustainable manner. We therefore strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added which requires development proposals to identify, and submit details of, adequate foul drainage solutions as part of any future planning applications.

Policy SS8 - Coalite Regeneration Area
We support this policy and agree that a piecemeal approach to development on this site should be avoided, given the complexities involved. Whilst there are flood risk constraints to a section of the site, we are pleased to note that housing is not going to be allocated on this site, in the first instance. We support this approach, as there is still work to be done in terms of demonstrating the flood risk sequential and exception tests. In contrast to this, we recognise that there are major environmental gains to be had from bringing this site forward and so we are supportive in principle. We continue to welcome a collaborative approach for this site and we therefore request that we are included in any future discussions relating to either remediation and/or water quality implications of the River Doe Lea.

Policy SS12 - Development in Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits
We support this policy. Whilst the re-use of previously developed land can be considered sustainable development, an avoidance of high flood risk areas should still be the favoured approach. Whilst we trust that this matter can be adequately addressed through other policies (such as SDC12) within the plan, we strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added to this policy to indicate that sights outside of flood risk areas will be given preference in the first instance. This change would help to avoid potential conflicts with other policies within the plan, or the overarching aims of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Policy SDC4 - Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Whilst we support and welcome the principles of this policy at a strategic level, we recommend that the wording 'wherever possible' should be removed from the opening paragraph. We recognise there may be scenarios where the provision of a net gain is unachievable, and the NPPF already recognises that, but the onus should be on the developers to demonstrate that on a case by case basis in this local area. This is ultimately a local policy with the potential to secure significant betterment for the local environment, and the wording 'wherever possible' is loosely defined and may ultimately result in a failure to secure the environmental enhancement that both the NPPF and the Local Plan aspire to deliver.

Policy SDC12 - Flood Risk
We fully support and welcome this policy. The policy is informed by an appropriate evidence base, is clearly worded and makes reference to key areas of national guidance contained within the NPPF. We are pleased to see that flood risk avoidance is key to the policy aspirations.

Policy SDC14 - Environmental Quality
We consider the wording of this policy to be very weak. Whilst it is a positive measure that developments would be expected to 'prevent unacceptable levels of water quality', there is no reference to supporting guidance or legislation. It also implies that there may be 'acceptable' levels of water pollution. It is our opinion that any development proposals likely to impact surface or ground water should consider the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). In all cases where development is adjacent to WFD-designated water bodies, it is expected that they will ensure there is no deterioration in water quality, as an absolute minimum. The Environment Agency will not support proposals that will negatively impact the water quality of WFD monitored watercourses in particular.

The main objective of the WFD is to achieve good ecological status in all surface water bodies and this policy has the potential to assist this objective. We recommend that the Borough's network of watercourses i.e. rivers, streams, ditches, drains and canals are reflected in the policy, in an attempt to ensure that their water quality is enhanced and protected.

In light of this, we strongly recommend that the following policy wording should be added: 'Development proposals will be expected to contribute positively to the water environment and its ecology, and should not adversely affect surface or ground water quality, in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive'. This change would give developers greater clarity on what is expected of them in these situations, whilst also adding weight to the policy.

Finally, the evidence base also needs to be updated to make reference to the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Policy SDC15 - Contaminated Land and Unstable Land
We support the inclusion of this policy, and considerate it highly necessary given the contamination issues associated with many of the proposed site allocations. This policy will also assist delivery of the overarching WFD objective for groundwater to achieve 'Good' status.

Additional EA comments on water resources
We have noticed that there is currently no policy relating to the provision of water resources, or promoting increased water efficiency. However, the importance of water to North East Derbyshire is otherwise well recognised within the draft Local Plan.

Paragraph 8.61 in particular states that 'In particular the Local Plan has an important role in the key actions of promoting water efficiency,' which links nicely to strategic objective D8 and its aspiration to '...address, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on people.' Strategic objective 5 within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (2017) also recognises the importance of safeguarding natural resources, including water supply.

Table 1 of the Environment Agency's report 'Water stressed areas - final classification' (dated 2013) shows the areas of England serviced by both Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water as areas of 'moderate water stress' in various scenarios. This high level assessment is based upon individual assessments of water bodies. Figure 2 shown below shows the specific water bodies across the Derbyshire area that are classified as being under water stress.


Figure 2: Map showing final water body stress classification at a water body scale.

The importance of water management is also recognised by North East Derbyshire Council in the 2012 SA scoping report. The report highlights the need to support the highest possible levels of water efficiency measures.

In addition to inclusion as a key issue in the SA, the 2015 Humber River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) also recognises the significant challenges associated with water resources. Section 1.4 entitled 'significant water management issues' states that 'reduced flow and water levels in rivers and groundwater caused by human activity (such as abstraction) or less rainfall than usual can mean that there is not enough water for people to use... in the long term, there will be less water available to abstract for drinking, industry and irrigating crops.' With particular reference to climate change, the RBMP goes on to state that 'studies to learn more about the effects of climate change on the river basin district are underway. In the meantime, it makes sense to implement measures that are flexible or increase resilience to extreme weather events and future warming.'

Section 3.5 goes on to recommend measures that could be implemented to prevent deterioration of the water environment. The following two measures are listed in particular:

- All sectors take up or encourage water efficiency measures, including water industry work on metering, leakage, audits, providing water efficient products, promoting water efficiency and education;
- Local government sets out local plan policies requiring new homes to meet the tighter water efficiency standard of 110 litres per person per day as described in Part G of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.

In terms of planning policy on the matter, Paragraph 99 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states 'Local Plans should take account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as ... water supply. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change. When new development is brought forward in areas which are vulnerable, care should be taken to ensure that risks can be managed through suitable adaptation measures....'

Having considered the information set out above, there appears to be an opportunity for this local plan to help deliver exceptional sustainable development that is resilient to future climate change. We therefore recommend that, due to the evidence presented above, the Local Plan should include, in policy, a requirement for all new residential development to meet the tighter water efficiency measures of 110 litres per person per day.

We therefore recommend that the following wording should be added to a new standalone policy, or added to existing draft policy SDC14 under a new sub heading of 'protecting the water environment':

- Protecting the Water Environment
Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that water is available to support the development proposed, and that they meet the Building Regulation water efficiency standard of 110 litres per occupier per day.

Finally, we are aware that some local councils have previously highlighted they are concerned about costs to developers if they ask for higher standards. However, for water efficiency, we would like to highlight that the cost of achieving 110 litres per person per day is just £0 - £9 per dwelling, when compared to achieving the baseline building regulations standard (125 litres per person per day).

Support

Consultation Draft (February 2017)

Policy SDC12: Flood Risk

Representation ID: 5573

Received: 05/04/2017

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation Summary:

We fully support and welcome this policy. The policy is informed by an appropriate evidence base, is clearly worded and makes reference to key areas of national guidance contained within the NPPF. We are pleased to see that flood risk avoidance is key to the policy aspirations.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting us on the Consultation Draft of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan, on 24 February 2017. We understand that the purpose of the document is to set out the proposed strategy for growth and development across the area.

We can confirm that we support the vast majority of policies at a strategic level. However, we have several suggestions for alterations and/or additions that we consider will deliver better environmental outcomes and increase the 'soundness' of the Plan, from an environmental perspective. For our full detailed comments on the content of the Local Plan, and the proposed policies, please see the information enclosed in the attached Appendix.

Whilst you can find our detailed comments in the appendix, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some particular areas/sites where environmental constraints exist. We recognise that we have already commented on some of these sites during previous versions of the Local Plan, however, we have revisited and updated comments where necessary to ensure clarity and consistency, and to take account of updated national policy and guidance.

With particular reference to flood risk, we have concerns that a handful of proposed housing sites are located in flood risk areas. We support the fact that several sites in flood risk areas are not currently proposed for allocation, but in particular, we have identified the following sites as having some sort of flood risk constraint or implication:

Site ref Constraints Notes

CX/2104 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
KIL/2305 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
SS8 Large areas of FZ2 and FZ3 Proposed for housing

GRA/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
NW/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
ECK/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
TUP/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation

In summary, should any of these sites be put forward for allocation, the flood risk sequential test will need to be undertaken in accordance with both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Draft Policy SDC12 of the emerging Local Plan. We request to see evidence of this test being carried out, prior to any examination, to ensure that the Plan is based on a sound evidence base.

If your Authority ultimately determine that the sequential test has been passed then a site specific flood risk assessment (FRA) will be required as part of the flood risk exception test, to support any formal planning application. The FRA will be required to demonstrate the safety of the development and future occupants, and should focus on flood risk reduction, both on and off site. Ultimately, if sites are to be allocated within Flood Zones 2 and 3, we would wish to comment on the site specific policies to ensure that FRA requirements are appropriately covered. We are therefore keen to meet with your Authority to discuss how you intend to apply the flood risk exception test to those sites which are subsequently allocated.

We would also like to take this opportunity to present the following site specific advice on flood risk and climate change.

Site specific comments for CX/2104:
We support the statement within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which suggests that development will only be permitted if it 'passes the sequential test' - we would like to see this evidence submitted in advance of any allocation, to ensure that the any allocation can be supported by robust and defined evidence.

Site specific comments for SS8:
It is our opinion that housing must not be sited in areas of Flood Zone 2 or 3, until such a time as adequate sequential test evidence has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Such an approach would be consistent with the principles of both the NPPF and Objective 12 of the supporting SA. Furthermore, the supporting SA recognises that the development 'may have adverse impacts' on important features. We therefore strongly recommend that a 10m buffer zone should be implemented either side of the watercourse on this site, to prevent development in these areas. This will help support the aspiration for the LP to deliver long term sustainable development. We therefore request that such a requirement should be outlined in a site specific policy.

In summary, we look forward to developing our partnership working with you. Should you have any questions, or would like to discuss the comments set out above, please contact me on the number below.

Yours sincerely



Mr Rob Millbank
Planning Specialist

Direct dial 02030 255036
Direct e-mail rob.millbank@environment-agency.gov.uk




APPENDIX - detailed EA comments on sites with particular environmental constraints/opportunities

Policy SS4 - The Avenue
We are aware of the complex planning history surrounding this site as we have participated in many discussions, and responded to several planning applications, in the past few years. We are supportive of the plan to accommodate significant development at this site, subject to the site being fully remediated prior to any development taking place. We strongly support this policy at a strategic level as its successful implementation will assist in delivering significant environmental benefits, in accordance with The Avenue Area Strategic Framework (AASF).

Whilst we note the intention to address transport and community infrastructure, we also feel that the provision of adequate sewerage infrastructure is a key factor in delivering sustainable development. One of the key sustainability principles of the AASF is to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is provided in a timely way to minimise the impact of development on existing infrastructure. Continued co-operation with Yorkshire Water is therefore required to deliver this site in a sustainable manner. We therefore strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added which requires development proposals to identify, and submit details of, adequate foul drainage solutions as part of any future planning applications.

Policy SS8 - Coalite Regeneration Area
We support this policy and agree that a piecemeal approach to development on this site should be avoided, given the complexities involved. Whilst there are flood risk constraints to a section of the site, we are pleased to note that housing is not going to be allocated on this site, in the first instance. We support this approach, as there is still work to be done in terms of demonstrating the flood risk sequential and exception tests. In contrast to this, we recognise that there are major environmental gains to be had from bringing this site forward and so we are supportive in principle. We continue to welcome a collaborative approach for this site and we therefore request that we are included in any future discussions relating to either remediation and/or water quality implications of the River Doe Lea.

Policy SS12 - Development in Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits
We support this policy. Whilst the re-use of previously developed land can be considered sustainable development, an avoidance of high flood risk areas should still be the favoured approach. Whilst we trust that this matter can be adequately addressed through other policies (such as SDC12) within the plan, we strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added to this policy to indicate that sights outside of flood risk areas will be given preference in the first instance. This change would help to avoid potential conflicts with other policies within the plan, or the overarching aims of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Policy SDC4 - Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Whilst we support and welcome the principles of this policy at a strategic level, we recommend that the wording 'wherever possible' should be removed from the opening paragraph. We recognise there may be scenarios where the provision of a net gain is unachievable, and the NPPF already recognises that, but the onus should be on the developers to demonstrate that on a case by case basis in this local area. This is ultimately a local policy with the potential to secure significant betterment for the local environment, and the wording 'wherever possible' is loosely defined and may ultimately result in a failure to secure the environmental enhancement that both the NPPF and the Local Plan aspire to deliver.

Policy SDC12 - Flood Risk
We fully support and welcome this policy. The policy is informed by an appropriate evidence base, is clearly worded and makes reference to key areas of national guidance contained within the NPPF. We are pleased to see that flood risk avoidance is key to the policy aspirations.

Policy SDC14 - Environmental Quality
We consider the wording of this policy to be very weak. Whilst it is a positive measure that developments would be expected to 'prevent unacceptable levels of water quality', there is no reference to supporting guidance or legislation. It also implies that there may be 'acceptable' levels of water pollution. It is our opinion that any development proposals likely to impact surface or ground water should consider the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). In all cases where development is adjacent to WFD-designated water bodies, it is expected that they will ensure there is no deterioration in water quality, as an absolute minimum. The Environment Agency will not support proposals that will negatively impact the water quality of WFD monitored watercourses in particular.

The main objective of the WFD is to achieve good ecological status in all surface water bodies and this policy has the potential to assist this objective. We recommend that the Borough's network of watercourses i.e. rivers, streams, ditches, drains and canals are reflected in the policy, in an attempt to ensure that their water quality is enhanced and protected.

In light of this, we strongly recommend that the following policy wording should be added: 'Development proposals will be expected to contribute positively to the water environment and its ecology, and should not adversely affect surface or ground water quality, in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive'. This change would give developers greater clarity on what is expected of them in these situations, whilst also adding weight to the policy.

Finally, the evidence base also needs to be updated to make reference to the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Policy SDC15 - Contaminated Land and Unstable Land
We support the inclusion of this policy, and considerate it highly necessary given the contamination issues associated with many of the proposed site allocations. This policy will also assist delivery of the overarching WFD objective for groundwater to achieve 'Good' status.

Additional EA comments on water resources
We have noticed that there is currently no policy relating to the provision of water resources, or promoting increased water efficiency. However, the importance of water to North East Derbyshire is otherwise well recognised within the draft Local Plan.

Paragraph 8.61 in particular states that 'In particular the Local Plan has an important role in the key actions of promoting water efficiency,' which links nicely to strategic objective D8 and its aspiration to '...address, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on people.' Strategic objective 5 within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (2017) also recognises the importance of safeguarding natural resources, including water supply.

Table 1 of the Environment Agency's report 'Water stressed areas - final classification' (dated 2013) shows the areas of England serviced by both Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water as areas of 'moderate water stress' in various scenarios. This high level assessment is based upon individual assessments of water bodies. Figure 2 shown below shows the specific water bodies across the Derbyshire area that are classified as being under water stress.


Figure 2: Map showing final water body stress classification at a water body scale.

The importance of water management is also recognised by North East Derbyshire Council in the 2012 SA scoping report. The report highlights the need to support the highest possible levels of water efficiency measures.

In addition to inclusion as a key issue in the SA, the 2015 Humber River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) also recognises the significant challenges associated with water resources. Section 1.4 entitled 'significant water management issues' states that 'reduced flow and water levels in rivers and groundwater caused by human activity (such as abstraction) or less rainfall than usual can mean that there is not enough water for people to use... in the long term, there will be less water available to abstract for drinking, industry and irrigating crops.' With particular reference to climate change, the RBMP goes on to state that 'studies to learn more about the effects of climate change on the river basin district are underway. In the meantime, it makes sense to implement measures that are flexible or increase resilience to extreme weather events and future warming.'

Section 3.5 goes on to recommend measures that could be implemented to prevent deterioration of the water environment. The following two measures are listed in particular:

- All sectors take up or encourage water efficiency measures, including water industry work on metering, leakage, audits, providing water efficient products, promoting water efficiency and education;
- Local government sets out local plan policies requiring new homes to meet the tighter water efficiency standard of 110 litres per person per day as described in Part G of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.

In terms of planning policy on the matter, Paragraph 99 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states 'Local Plans should take account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as ... water supply. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change. When new development is brought forward in areas which are vulnerable, care should be taken to ensure that risks can be managed through suitable adaptation measures....'

Having considered the information set out above, there appears to be an opportunity for this local plan to help deliver exceptional sustainable development that is resilient to future climate change. We therefore recommend that, due to the evidence presented above, the Local Plan should include, in policy, a requirement for all new residential development to meet the tighter water efficiency measures of 110 litres per person per day.

We therefore recommend that the following wording should be added to a new standalone policy, or added to existing draft policy SDC14 under a new sub heading of 'protecting the water environment':

- Protecting the Water Environment
Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that water is available to support the development proposed, and that they meet the Building Regulation water efficiency standard of 110 litres per occupier per day.

Finally, we are aware that some local councils have previously highlighted they are concerned about costs to developers if they ask for higher standards. However, for water efficiency, we would like to highlight that the cost of achieving 110 litres per person per day is just £0 - £9 per dwelling, when compared to achieving the baseline building regulations standard (125 litres per person per day).

Comment

Consultation Draft (February 2017)

Policy SDC14: Environmental Quality

Representation ID: 5575

Received: 05/04/2017

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation Summary:

We consider the wording of this policy to be very weak. Whilst it is a positive measure that developments would be expected to 'prevent unacceptable levels of water quality', there is no reference to supporting guidance or legislation. It also implies that there may be 'acceptable' levels of water pollution.

In light of this, we strongly recommend that the following policy wording should be added: 'Development proposals will be expected to contribute positively to the water environment and its ecology, and should not adversely affect surface or ground water quality, in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive'.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting us on the Consultation Draft of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan, on 24 February 2017. We understand that the purpose of the document is to set out the proposed strategy for growth and development across the area.

We can confirm that we support the vast majority of policies at a strategic level. However, we have several suggestions for alterations and/or additions that we consider will deliver better environmental outcomes and increase the 'soundness' of the Plan, from an environmental perspective. For our full detailed comments on the content of the Local Plan, and the proposed policies, please see the information enclosed in the attached Appendix.

Whilst you can find our detailed comments in the appendix, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some particular areas/sites where environmental constraints exist. We recognise that we have already commented on some of these sites during previous versions of the Local Plan, however, we have revisited and updated comments where necessary to ensure clarity and consistency, and to take account of updated national policy and guidance.

With particular reference to flood risk, we have concerns that a handful of proposed housing sites are located in flood risk areas. We support the fact that several sites in flood risk areas are not currently proposed for allocation, but in particular, we have identified the following sites as having some sort of flood risk constraint or implication:

Site ref Constraints Notes

CX/2104 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
KIL/2305 Partly FZ2 Proposed for housing
SS8 Large areas of FZ2 and FZ3 Proposed for housing

GRA/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
NW/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
ECK/1603 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation
TUP/2301 Areas of FZ3 Not currently proposed for allocation

In summary, should any of these sites be put forward for allocation, the flood risk sequential test will need to be undertaken in accordance with both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Draft Policy SDC12 of the emerging Local Plan. We request to see evidence of this test being carried out, prior to any examination, to ensure that the Plan is based on a sound evidence base.

If your Authority ultimately determine that the sequential test has been passed then a site specific flood risk assessment (FRA) will be required as part of the flood risk exception test, to support any formal planning application. The FRA will be required to demonstrate the safety of the development and future occupants, and should focus on flood risk reduction, both on and off site. Ultimately, if sites are to be allocated within Flood Zones 2 and 3, we would wish to comment on the site specific policies to ensure that FRA requirements are appropriately covered. We are therefore keen to meet with your Authority to discuss how you intend to apply the flood risk exception test to those sites which are subsequently allocated.

We would also like to take this opportunity to present the following site specific advice on flood risk and climate change.

Site specific comments for CX/2104:
We support the statement within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which suggests that development will only be permitted if it 'passes the sequential test' - we would like to see this evidence submitted in advance of any allocation, to ensure that the any allocation can be supported by robust and defined evidence.

Site specific comments for SS8:
It is our opinion that housing must not be sited in areas of Flood Zone 2 or 3, until such a time as adequate sequential test evidence has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Such an approach would be consistent with the principles of both the NPPF and Objective 12 of the supporting SA. Furthermore, the supporting SA recognises that the development 'may have adverse impacts' on important features. We therefore strongly recommend that a 10m buffer zone should be implemented either side of the watercourse on this site, to prevent development in these areas. This will help support the aspiration for the LP to deliver long term sustainable development. We therefore request that such a requirement should be outlined in a site specific policy.

In summary, we look forward to developing our partnership working with you. Should you have any questions, or would like to discuss the comments set out above, please contact me on the number below.

Yours sincerely



Mr Rob Millbank
Planning Specialist

Direct dial 02030 255036
Direct e-mail rob.millbank@environment-agency.gov.uk




APPENDIX - detailed EA comments on sites with particular environmental constraints/opportunities

Policy SS4 - The Avenue
We are aware of the complex planning history surrounding this site as we have participated in many discussions, and responded to several planning applications, in the past few years. We are supportive of the plan to accommodate significant development at this site, subject to the site being fully remediated prior to any development taking place. We strongly support this policy at a strategic level as its successful implementation will assist in delivering significant environmental benefits, in accordance with The Avenue Area Strategic Framework (AASF).

Whilst we note the intention to address transport and community infrastructure, we also feel that the provision of adequate sewerage infrastructure is a key factor in delivering sustainable development. One of the key sustainability principles of the AASF is to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is provided in a timely way to minimise the impact of development on existing infrastructure. Continued co-operation with Yorkshire Water is therefore required to deliver this site in a sustainable manner. We therefore strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added which requires development proposals to identify, and submit details of, adequate foul drainage solutions as part of any future planning applications.

Policy SS8 - Coalite Regeneration Area
We support this policy and agree that a piecemeal approach to development on this site should be avoided, given the complexities involved. Whilst there are flood risk constraints to a section of the site, we are pleased to note that housing is not going to be allocated on this site, in the first instance. We support this approach, as there is still work to be done in terms of demonstrating the flood risk sequential and exception tests. In contrast to this, we recognise that there are major environmental gains to be had from bringing this site forward and so we are supportive in principle. We continue to welcome a collaborative approach for this site and we therefore request that we are included in any future discussions relating to either remediation and/or water quality implications of the River Doe Lea.

Policy SS12 - Development in Unallocated Land within Settlements with defined Settlement Development Limits
We support this policy. Whilst the re-use of previously developed land can be considered sustainable development, an avoidance of high flood risk areas should still be the favoured approach. Whilst we trust that this matter can be adequately addressed through other policies (such as SDC12) within the plan, we strongly recommend that a bullet point should be added to this policy to indicate that sights outside of flood risk areas will be given preference in the first instance. This change would help to avoid potential conflicts with other policies within the plan, or the overarching aims of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Policy SDC4 - Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Whilst we support and welcome the principles of this policy at a strategic level, we recommend that the wording 'wherever possible' should be removed from the opening paragraph. We recognise there may be scenarios where the provision of a net gain is unachievable, and the NPPF already recognises that, but the onus should be on the developers to demonstrate that on a case by case basis in this local area. This is ultimately a local policy with the potential to secure significant betterment for the local environment, and the wording 'wherever possible' is loosely defined and may ultimately result in a failure to secure the environmental enhancement that both the NPPF and the Local Plan aspire to deliver.

Policy SDC12 - Flood Risk
We fully support and welcome this policy. The policy is informed by an appropriate evidence base, is clearly worded and makes reference to key areas of national guidance contained within the NPPF. We are pleased to see that flood risk avoidance is key to the policy aspirations.

Policy SDC14 - Environmental Quality
We consider the wording of this policy to be very weak. Whilst it is a positive measure that developments would be expected to 'prevent unacceptable levels of water quality', there is no reference to supporting guidance or legislation. It also implies that there may be 'acceptable' levels of water pollution. It is our opinion that any development proposals likely to impact surface or ground water should consider the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). In all cases where development is adjacent to WFD-designated water bodies, it is expected that they will ensure there is no deterioration in water quality, as an absolute minimum. The Environment Agency will not support proposals that will negatively impact the water quality of WFD monitored watercourses in particular.

The main objective of the WFD is to achieve good ecological status in all surface water bodies and this policy has the potential to assist this objective. We recommend that the Borough's network of watercourses i.e. rivers, streams, ditches, drains and canals are reflected in the policy, in an attempt to ensure that their water quality is enhanced and protected.

In light of this, we strongly recommend that the following policy wording should be added: 'Development proposals will be expected to contribute positively to the water environment and its ecology, and should not adversely affect surface or ground water quality, in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive'. This change would give developers greater clarity on what is expected of them in these situations, whilst also adding weight to the policy.

Finally, the evidence base also needs to be updated to make reference to the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Policy SDC15 - Contaminated Land and Unstable Land
We support the inclusion of this policy, and considerate it highly necessary given the contamination issues associated with many of the proposed site allocations. This policy will also assist delivery of the overarching WFD objective for groundwater to achieve 'Good' status.

Additional EA comments on water resources
We have noticed that there is currently no policy relating to the provision of water resources, or promoting increased water efficiency. However, the importance of water to North East Derbyshire is otherwise well recognised within the draft Local Plan.

Paragraph 8.61 in particular states that 'In particular the Local Plan has an important role in the key actions of promoting water efficiency,' which links nicely to strategic objective D8 and its aspiration to '...address, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on people.' Strategic objective 5 within the supporting Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (2017) also recognises the importance of safeguarding natural resources, including water supply.

Table 1 of the Environment Agency's report 'Water stressed areas - final classification' (dated 2013) shows the areas of England serviced by both Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water as areas of 'moderate water stress' in various scenarios. This high level assessment is based upon individual assessments of water bodies. Figure 2 shown below shows the specific water bodies across the Derbyshire area that are classified as being under water stress.


Figure 2: Map showing final water body stress classification at a water body scale.

The importance of water management is also recognised by North East Derbyshire Council in the 2012 SA scoping report. The report highlights the need to support the highest possible levels of water efficiency measures.

In addition to inclusion as a key issue in the SA, the 2015 Humber River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) also recognises the significant challenges associated with water resources. Section 1.4 entitled 'significant water management issues' states that 'reduced flow and water levels in rivers and groundwater caused by human activity (such as abstraction) or less rainfall than usual can mean that there is not enough water for people to use... in the long term, there will be less water available to abstract for drinking, industry and irrigating crops.' With particular reference to climate change, the RBMP goes on to state that 'studies to learn more about the effects of climate change on the river basin district are underway. In the meantime, it makes sense to implement measures that are flexible or increase resilience to extreme weather events and future warming.'

Section 3.5 goes on to recommend measures that could be implemented to prevent deterioration of the water environment. The following two measures are listed in particular:

- All sectors take up or encourage water efficiency measures, including water industry work on metering, leakage, audits, providing water efficient products, promoting water efficiency and education;
- Local government sets out local plan policies requiring new homes to meet the tighter water efficiency standard of 110 litres per person per day as described in Part G of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.

In terms of planning policy on the matter, Paragraph 99 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states 'Local Plans should take account of climate change over the longer term, including factors such as ... water supply. New development should be planned to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts arising from climate change. When new development is brought forward in areas which are vulnerable, care should be taken to ensure that risks can be managed through suitable adaptation measures....'

Having considered the information set out above, there appears to be an opportunity for this local plan to help deliver exceptional sustainable development that is resilient to future climate change. We therefore recommend that, due to the evidence presented above, the Local Plan should include, in policy, a requirement for all new residential development to meet the tighter water efficiency measures of 110 litres per person per day.

We therefore recommend that the following wording should be added to a new standalone policy, or added to existing draft policy SDC14 under a new sub heading of 'protecting the water environment':

- Protecting the Water Environment
Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that water is available to support the development proposed, and that they meet the Building Regulation water efficiency standard of 110 litres per occupier per day.

Finally, we are aware that some local councils have previously highlighted they are concerned about costs to developers if they ask for higher standards. However, for water efficiency, we would like to highlight that the cost of achieving 110 litres per person per day is just £0 - £9 per dwelling, when compared to achieving the baseline building regulations standard (125 litres per person per day).

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