We have added this section to our website as there has been some misinformation circulating around Dronfield about the local plan. This is unsurprising given the poor job North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC) have done in communicating the plans to the general public.
- The local plan document is too lengthy and wordy for most of us to read.
- The existence of these plans has been poorly advertised to the general public.
- NEDDC representatives at the recent civic hall public consultation meeting were not consistent with the information they provided in response to questions.
- The representatives appeared to be using divisive tactics by encouraging residents to nominate the site furthest away from them if they don’t like the idea of a development near them.
This section aims to set the record straight! If you have any information to add, please email us at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Similarly, email us if you have heard rumours that you are unsure of or have questions. If you have a facebook account, please join our Dronfield Greenbelt group, where we are regularly exchanging ideas and information. You can post questions here also.
RECAP: There are FIVE SITES around Dronfield where NEDDC are proposing to build a total of 860 houses, plus further industrial development is proposed to Callywhite Lane. Please click on the NEDDC LOCAL PLAN tab, then “The Proposals” to see where the sites are and the number of houses proposed for each site.
COMMON MYTHS ABOUT THE LIKELIHOOD OF THE PLANS GOING AHEAD
“They’ll never build all these houses because the plans are too ridiculous”
“They can’t build on greenbelt.”
NEDDC are required by the government to meet high housing quotas and are under pressure to do so. They have designated Dronfield as a “main settlement”, described the town as “sustainable” due to its size and railway station and have said that there are “exceptional circumstances” that warrant building on the greenbelt. There are other housing development proposals for greenbelt land both locally and nationally. Sadly, this seems to be an increasing trend, even in areas where brownfield sites remain undeveloped. It’s cheaper to develop greenbelt.
While we disagree with the above line of thinking, it does indicate that NEDDC have every intention of building large numbers of houses on our greenbelt land. Hence you DO need to object if you disagree with them too. Government expectations and statements indicate that greenbelt should only be built upon as a last resort, hence we can state that NEDDC are not following government policy in our objections.
“The owners of the land will never be willing to sell it, so the building won’t happen.”
All of the land is either already owned by large developers or the owners have indicated to NEDDC within the last 2 years that they are willing to sell. A planner at one of the NEDDC consultation sessions has confirmed that Hallowes Golf Club indicated a willingness to sell 2 years ago.
“If we allow the land to lose its greenbelt status it doesn’t necessarily mean it will have houses built on it.”
Hallowes Golf Club (HGC) have made a statement to this effect in a letter to its members.
The developers seem poised to build at the site behind Shakespeare Crescent and Burns Drive (g.) They have owned this land for several years (with farmland leased to the farmer) and have sought planning permission previously to build houses here. Housing development here is inevitable if the land comes out of the greenbelt.
Surveyors have been seen by residents in March 2017 at the Coal Aston site (j.) and the site behind Hilltop Road (i). Much of this latter site is owned by HGC.
HGC have suggested in its letter to members that allowing its land to be released from the greenbelt would mean that:
“…the land use is potentially more flexible and its immediate value is increased for the long term benefit of members.”
The letter from HGC goes on to say that:
“If the final plan includes any of HGC’s land then this could of course lead to HGC being approached by housing developers for all or part of our land. If this does occur the Board at the time will consider what is in the best interests of HGC, its members and the wider Dronfield community but any sale or development of HGC land can only occur with HGC’s approval.”
We feel this still fails to give concrete reassurance that HGC will not have houses built upon it. We can only speculate with further thoughts here:
With the plans and pressure from NEDDC to release land for housing, and the eagerness of developers to build on large areas of relatively cheap to develop greenbelt land, house-building does still seem a very real threat.
Building of the Peak Resort development at Unstone is now underway and includes plans for an 18-hole PGA golf course. It could be that HGC are “hedging their bets” and worried about going out of business to this nearby competitor. Selling their land could become a financial necessity and who else, apart from housing developers, would be likely to buy? The Peak Resort also plans for many other leisure facilities; thus it is hard to imagine that anyone could buy the HGC land for some sort of outdoor leisure development and be competitive enough to make a going concern of it.
This could explain why the housing proposals on HGC land are not scheduled to start until 2027. Despite being the last site scheduled for development it is still important to resist having this land removed from the greenbelt now.
“Dronfield is not really at risk of merging with Sheffield, Unstone or Chesterfield if this greenbelt land is built on.”
“The district council are just putting lots of options / ideas out for Dronfield and they will only need to build on 1 or 2 of these 5 sites.”
COMMON MYTHS ABOUT HOW THE PLANS WILL AFFECT US IF THEY GO AHEAD
“The plans won’t really affect me because I don’t live near any of the sites.”
- SCHOOLS AND DOCTORS
- ROADS, TRAFFIC AND PARKING
- “Only the roads near the housing sites will be affected if the plans go ahead.”