NEDDC don’t yet hold a brownfield register and have not received monies from the government’s brownfield fund. Brownfield registers will become a legal requirement later this year. (information in response to questions asked of a planner at a consultation session). Without a brownfield register, which would enable developers to more quickly find sites suitable for development, the exceptional circumstances for building on green belt cannot be deemed to have been met.
Within the local plan and supporting documents, the council has not demonstrated that all brownfield sites have been explored. Callywhite Lane has failed to attract businesses for more than ten years. The possibility of re-designating the land for housing development should be explored before resorting to greenbelt land.
NEDDC have not demonstrated within this plan that they have fulfilled the duty to co-operate with neighbouring authorities in order to meet allocations for unmet housing need.
Chesterfield Borough Council are at an earlier stage of bringing forth their local plan. Nevertheless, they are presently assessing suitable sites and bringing forth plans for 4,600 homes on brownfield sites with 1000 reserve homes on greenfield. Greenfield constitutes land that has not been previously developed; it does not fulfil the same special functions as greenbelt land. It should therefore be explored before greenbelt land is considered. CBC have taken regard of their “Parks and Open Spaces” strategy when selecting these reserve sites.
Section 2.2 (p11) of the Chesterfield Borough Council Local Plan states that the population of Chesterfield is projected to rise by 9,100 by 2031. Applying an average of 2.5 persons per home (a multiplier supplied by an NEDDC planner at a consultation session) the 4,600 homes would accommodate 11,500 people. Notwithstanding the further suitability assessments on parcels of land that will be required it seems that Chesterfield Borough will be able to provide a surplus of housing for its projected increase in population. The borough is almost surrounded by a border with NE Derbyshire and Dronfield is extremely close to the north of the borough. Exceptional Circumstances for removal of greenbelt land do not apply when a surplus of potential housing exists so nearby.
NEDDC have also failed to demonstrate that they have explored options with Sheffield City Council.
A recent government press release has stated that there are 73 councils piloting the brownfield register which aims to make sure brownfield plots are identified for developers to speed up building. Sheffield and Bassetlaw are both in the list of councils piloting the brownfield register.
Sheffield is one of 15 councils with the most brownfield land in England, as identified in the final complete publication of National Land Use Database statistics. With so much brownfield land in a neighbouring council district, there is no justification to build on Dronfield’s greenbelt land.
There are 1000 long term empty properties and large areas of council owned land suitable for housing across the two districts of Bolsover and North East Derbyshire which could both contribute towards meeting housing needs and improving neighbourhoods. Ref. p 21 of document: Growth Strategy Unlocking Our Growth Potential.
- Protecting our Greenbelt and Local Community
- Loss of Recreational Space / Reduced Access to Countryside and Footpaths
- Loss of Farmland
- Environment and Wildlife
- Health and Wellbeing
- Transport and Infrastructure
- Previous Coal Mining Activity
- The Fracking Threat
- Concerns regarding employment and industrial development
- Brownfield sites and vacant properties
- Dronfield Railway station
- Not suitable for a large scale development