This update is based on an initial skim read of another lengthy, wordy Council plan and initial discussion amongst some residents. For full details, see the Council’s Updated Draft Local Plan, Feb 2018.
REMINDER: PLEASE ATTEND THE DISTRICT COUNCIL CABINET MEETING IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, THIS WEDNESDAY, 14TH FEB 10AM at Wingerworth Council Offices on Mill Lane.
What the Plan means for Dronfield
Two Greenbelt Sites have been REMOVED from plans:
Site i – Land off Hilltop Road – removed from Local Plan due to no suitable road access being found.
Site h – Golf course land at Hallowes Lane – withdrawn by HGC so no longer in plan.
THERE REMAINS 475 HOUSES proposed for DRONFIELD GREENBELT:
235 on land below Shakespeare Crescent and Burns Drive – access to be made from Chesterfield Road, not Burns Drive. Developers are pushing for a much larger area than previously suggested to be built on here. If this plot is removed from Green Belt it seems inevitable that even more than 235 houses will be built on this site over coming years.
200 at Coal Aston, north of Eckington Road – an increase of 20 from previous plan, Council affirm that recreation facilities at this site will be protected. Still no mining survey done! Other landowners in this strip of Greenbelt between north Dronfield and south Sheffield have offered land to NEDDC in the past for development. It has, thus far been refused, but (as with Shakespeare) release of Greenbelt at Coal Aston and Stubley sets a dangerous precedent.
40 at Stubley site, an increase of 15 from last plan – not found details of how site is to be accessed yet or if council have assessed potential ecological constraints.
860 houses down to 475, still on Greenbelt at poorly sustainable outer edges of town is not acceptable, wherever you live!
Any removal of Greenbelt is still damaging, unnecessary and sets a precedent. Sheffield City Council made more representations in the last plan – they’re obviously chomping at the bit for the NE Derbyshire Green Belt to be developed.
Several Hilltop area residents are still wanting to campaign. Dronfield Civic Society and Town Council are also continuing to oppose plans.
PLEASE JOIN US BY CHECKING FOR UPDATES HERE AND / OR JOINING “DRONFIELD GREENBELT” FACEBOOK GROUP where you can see daily discussion. Please re-follow the group if you are already a member and have turned off notifications. We’ve been quiet since last summer, but we’re BACK!
CALLYWHITE PLANS ALSO DROPPED:
The Extension of Callywhite Industrial Estate has also been removed from plans, although NEDDC suggest they may revisit this in future. The new road that you can see on the left as you leave Dronfield on Chesterfield Road is temporary large vehicle access for upgrading sewage works.
OTHER GREENBELT PLANS IN THE DISTRICT THAT COULD SET A PRECEDENT:
Housing plans have been dropped for Renishaw Greenbelt. However, there are still 400 houses proposed for Greenbelt land in Eckington and 400 houses for Greenbelt in Killamarsh. Hence, NE Derbyshire’s Local Plan has a total of 1275 houses allocated on Greenbelt in total. This is despite Sheffield’s brownfield register revealing that there is capacity for 10,268 homes on brownfield land in neighbouring Sheffield.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England have also made representations to NEDDC, arguing that no Greenbelt land needs to be developed in the District in order to meet housing needs. Section 7 of their statement summarises the most relevant points, view statement.
WILL HOUSES BE BUILT AT SHEFFIELD FOOTBALL CLUB, OFF SHEFFIELD ROAD?
Sheffield FC have made representations to the Council – they want to relocate to Sheffield and have the Dronfield ground developed for housing. NEDDC have rejected their request for housing development because that land is in Green Belt!!! Oh, the irony. Dronfield may be left with an empty football pitch and large carpark if Sheffield FC do move back to Sheffield and the site is not redeveloped. It seems that the Coach and Horses buildings near this site would be protected if building occurred – owners have commented on the plan to remind NEDDC of the status of the buildings and protections that apply.
WHAT ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE CONCERNS?
There will still be infrastructure issues affecting all of Dronfield. There is some scant information about infrastructure in chapter 9 of the Local Plan linked above (not yet read in detail) but residents have not yet seen the Council’s supporting documents. The detailed Infrastructure Plan will be one of these and will be released for Public view when the next public consultation begins on Feb 21st. The planning department have been asked today if these supporting documents can be made publicly available any sooner.
RELEVANT SCHOOLS INFORMATION (received from headteachers last year)
Schools remain oversubscribed at present. Dronfield Junior School (small building already for its pupil numbers) had 15 pupils over their agreed official capacity after Sept 2017 intake (figure may have changed slightly from mid-year intakes) and some class sizes exceeding 30, upto 34. Dronfield Henry Fanshawe received 567 applications for 300 places in the September 2017 intake. Approximately 400 of the 567 applications listed DHFS as 1st choice. (DHFS presently has several children who live outside of Dronfield and immediate villages.)
WHAT TO DO:
Keep emailing Cabinet members (see leaflet delivered to you and info posted on this website for email addresses) and get to meetings if at all possible. In emails, START TELLING CABINET THAT WE WANT MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO BE GIVEN THE RIGHT TO VOICE OUR OBJECTIONS TO THE LOCAL PLAN AT A COUNCIL MEETING. The consultation has been so flawed and complex, our objections have been misrepresented and ignored and it’s high time we were given a voice.
SUBMIT OBJECTIONS TO COUNCIL WHEN CONSULTATION PROCESS OPENS ON FEB 21st
Please do this, in addition to any objections you submitted last year and any emails you have sent to Councillors and / or Planners more recently The new plan document says the consultation will be different this time – more focus on whether they conducted the last consultation process correctly (NO! Funny they should mention that!) with some set, statutory questions they have to ask. We will update and guide you on how to object when we know more.
Carefully check the Council’s recording of any objections you sent in on last year’s draft plan as several clear objections have been misclassified as neutral comments by the Council, plus relevant comments have not been linked to all the parts of the plan that they are objecting to. Contact the planning department to correct any errors – Local.Plan@ne-derbyshire.gov.uk 01246 217180 / 217694. If you do not know how to check this, see our Facebook group ideally (post a question if you can’t see the info and we can tag you) or ring the Planning Department. Please inform our Local MP if any errors have been made with how your objection has been reported email@example.com We’re awaiting more advice from Lee Rowley on the minefield of legalities surrounding this planning process and on the procedures when the Plan is submitted to the Government Inspectorate.
OUR 4105 SIGNATURE PETITION OPPOSING DEVELOPMENT ON DRONFIELD’S GREENBELT
Huge thanks to all our hardworking petitioners and all who signed. Our petitioning ran longer than envisaged, from March 2017 to date, owing to the Council’s delays in revising plans and the huge job of trying to translate the baffling Council language to the public. Our petition is now ready to be taken to Council on the day of the Cabinet Meeting, Weds 14th Feb. Subject to Council Governance Procedures this will trigger a debate at the full District Council meeting on March 5th. District Councillors will debate the issue for a maximum of 30 minutes and just 1 resident will get 5 mins speaking time to represent those 4105 people. THERE ARE NO OTHER OPPORTUNITIES YET FOR MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO SPEAK AT COUNCIL MEETINGS ABOUT THE PROPOSED DESTRUCTION OF GREENBELT. Please keep emailing the Council and asking for that opportunity!