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Chapter 4 Employment, Development & Tourism

Introduction

4.1 The economy of North East Derbyshire has traditionally been based upon the coal, steel and heavy engineering industries. The decline of these industries has led to higher unemployment in the ex-coalfield wards compared to other wards in the District, the County and the UK. The western areas are rural and agricultural in character, and have suffered from the decline in agriculture. The Council is committed to the regeneration of these areas and the economic well being of the District.

4.2 The tourism industry is important to the district's economic prosperity. In addition to the attractive high quality environment of the western part of the District, there are many tourist attractions that reflect the area's industrial heritage. The Council is committed to establishing North East Derbyshire as a sustainable tourist and visitor destination, thereby increasing the contribution made by tourism to the local economy.

4.3 This Plan has an important role to play in achieving the above objectives, by helping to ensure that there are sufficient employment opportunities that provide for choice, flexibility and competition; and by ensuring that attractions and facilities required for the growth of the tourism industry are brought forward in appropriate locations. The policies within this chapter seek to address these issues by providing opportunities for inward investment in an improved environment.

National Guidance

4.4 Planning Policy Guidance Note 4: Industrial and Commercial Development and Small Firms (PPG4) (1992) states that development plans should develop policies to encourage continued economic development whilst having regard to wider environmental objectives. Local Plans should ensure that there are a variety of readily developable sites available to meet differing needs, and should include policies to provide for the needs of small businesses. New development should be directed to locations which will minimise the length and number of trips made, especially by car and, in this respect, proposals which seek to re-use previously developed urban land should be encouraged. Mixed-use developments should also be generally encouraged, as should proposals that help to sustain the rural economy.

4.5 Planning Policy Statement 7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas (PPS7) (July 2004) seeks to ensure both rural prosperity and the protection and enhancement of the environment. Policies should be included within local plans, which seek to encourage rural enterprise and promote good quality development that respects the character of the countryside.

4.6 Planning Policy Guidance Note 21: Tourism (PPG21) (1992) advises local plans to formulate policies and proposals relating to tourism, particularly in areas where it is a major contributor to the local economy. They should both facilitate new tourism developments and protect existing tourism facilities. The needs of tourism should be managed in ways that protect or enhance the intrinsic environmental qualities that attract tourists. PPG21 also underlines the important role that tourism has to play in supporting urban regeneration.

Regional Spatial Strategy

4.7 The Regional Spatial Strategy for the East Midlands (RSS8) (March 2005) recognises the Northern sub-area as a priority area for regeneration and that it is crucial that the area develops a viable new economic base that will support healthy and vibrant communities. Through development plan policies, it seeks to ensure that an appropriate range of sites, in terms of quality, size and location, are readily available. It advocates the use of the sequential approach to site selection, with the use of previously developed sites within urban areas and other sustainable locations to be considered first.

4.8 RSS8 is based upon the findings and objectives of other regional reports and strategies, these include: The State of the Regional Economy (April 2002) and the Regional Economic Strategy (1999) both prepared by the East Midlands Regional Development Agency (emda); the Quality of Employment Land Study (QUELS), commissioned by the Regional Local Government Association, emda and GOEM to provide a comprehensive re-assessment of the quantity and quality of employment land allocations and commitments, to see how far it meets market demand and strategic policy objectives; and the subsequent Regional Employment Land Study which analysed more specific employment needs. RSS8 includes six subject specific policies setting out the regional priorities for:- regeneration; employment land; town centres and retail development; rural diversification; tourism; and ICT Development.

Derby and Derbyshire Joint Structure Plan (January 2001)

4.9 The Joint Structure Plan contains detailed guidance on economic development issues. It sets a requirement for the provision of additional land for business and industrial development in the district for the period 1991-2011, ensuring a diversity of sites and buildings in terms of location, size and environment. It seeks generally to limit the loss of employment land, encourage the expansion or relocation of existing businesses within the same general area, to maximise development on previously used, unused or underused land in areas which reduce the need to travel and to promote the economic regeneration of the former coal mining areas. The need to safeguard the quality of the environment underlies these objectives.

Economic Development Strategy for Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire (2005 – 2015)

4.10 Our vision for North Eastern Derbyshire is that by 2015 we will be:
“A competitive location, providing quality employment opportunities”

4.11 This vision will be achieved through a range of activities which can be grouped under four programme headings:

1. Encouraging Business Competitiveness and Growth.

2. Attracting and Supporting Visitors and Investors.

3. Developing Product and Infrastructure.

4. Regenerating Communities.

4.12 Each programme area is further defined by a series of programme objectives. Both the programme areas and objectives have a close strategic fit with those contained in the Economic Regeneration Theme of the Community Strategy. Policies and proposals in this Plan have an influence on the ability of the Council to achieve these objectives.

Employment and Investment Opportunities

4.13 Parts of the district in the former mining and manufacturing areas suffer from higher levels of unemployment and a low skilled workforce. There are also pockets of despoiled landscape, as a result of the decline of the traditional industries. The need to deal comprehensively with these economic, social and environmental problems to regenerate the area, improve the business environment and re-train and re-skill the workforce has long been recognised by Local and Central Government and by the European Union.

4.14 These problems are being addressed in a number of ways and new investment is being achieved through European Union initiatives, such as Objective 2 funding; central government assistance, and working in partnership with the private sector. The future is likely to see a significant reduction in EU assistance and state aids (e.g. Selective Finance for Investment in England). Currently funding from the East Midlands Regional Development Agency comes through the Alliance SSP (the North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire Strategic Sub-Regional Partnership). The new Northern Way Growth Strategy, currently under development, covers North East Derbyshire through its inclusion in the Sheffield City Region. This may be an important route for Government funding in the future.

4.15 North East Derbyshire District Council and Chesterfield Borough Council have, with other public and private sector agencies, formed a Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) known as CHART (Chesterfield Area Regeneration Team) to promote the economic well-being in the area as part of the implementation of the Community Strategy. The Council has developed local partnerships to formulate action plans and implement regeneration strategies in Clay Cross, Eckington and Killamarsh. There are many other local initiatives, and this Local Plan must play its part in economic regeneration by creating employment opportunities through regulation of land uses. The Council's annual Economic Development Programme gives further information on the Council's evolving policies and initiatives.

4.16 In recent years, a number of studies and reports have been commissioned to examine employment requirements in North East Derbyshire and the Northern Sub Area of the East Midlands Region. These studies have focused upon the regeneration of Callywhite Lane Industrial Estate, the characteristics of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) based companies, the demand and supply of Strategic High Quality Employment Sites (SHQES), the quantity and quality of employment land (QUELS) and the identification of gaps in the property supply. In summary, the studies have found there to be a shortfall of high quality business and office accommodation in the District. There is also the need to provide flexible business premises, including managed work space, incubator units and a range of plot sizes to allow companies to grow and expand without needing to relocate out of the District. The findings of these studies have been fundamental to the Council's review of employment land provision and in helping to shape the pattern of new employment land allocations.

Employment Strategy

4.17 The broad aim of the Council's economic development strategy is to create and sustain employment opportunities in locations which reduce the need to travel, whilst minimising the impact on the countryside.

4.18 The Derby and Derbyshire Joint Structure Plan policies recognise the area's problems, and promotes the regeneration of the former coal mining areas in the east of the District. The aim is to achieve new investment in these areas, however this is not to be achieved at the expense of maintaining or improving the quality of the environment. In the District as a whole, the Council's policy is to promote prosperity, stem net-outward migration of population, create investment and improve the quality of the environment. However, Structure Plan policy also means that differing policies apply in the north and south of the District. The northern parishes are covered by Green Belt policies and the extent of development has been constrained as a result. The Joint Structure Plan provision for the Northern Parishes allows for employment growth in order to reduce out commuting and meet local employment demands. However it is accepted that a proportion of employment demand in this area is likely to continue to be met in neighbouring Sheffield and Chesterfield. Otherwise there is a strategy of locating major new employment sites outside this area, particularly in the south-east of the District.

4.19 The south eastern areas of the District are seen as the major location for new investment, for it is here that there is the greatest need for new employment, there are fewer Green Belt/environmental constraints and there are good opportunities to capitalise on access to the road and rail network, including the M1 Motorway. The Council's strategy is therefore to locate major new employment uses within this area. The Clay Cross/Holmewood Corridor is the main location for industrial and commercial development land, along with the redevelopment of the former Avenue Coking Works site at Wingerworth, and the former Biwaters site at Clay Cross.

4.20 The policies of the Local Plan seek to take account of changes in the economy, and capitalise on the opportunities presented by ICT development, high tech office development and call centres. The sites identified in the plan are principally identified for B1, B2 and B8 uses (of Use Classes Order 1987) and are designed to cater for the wider variety of employment opportunities that exist today. It is recognised however that employment opportunities are not strictly confined to B1, B2 and B8 uses, but are increasingly provided by other commercial and public sectors such as retail, leisure and the health service.

4.21 In the rural areas a proportion of employment need is satisfied by neighbouring employment centres. However, as in most rural areas, there is a need to consider diversification of the economy in the face of the decline of agriculture.

Land Requirements for Employment Uses

4.22 The basis for determining the amount and distribution of land required for employment purposes is the Derby and Derbyshire Joint Structure Plan. The Structure Plan requires that, within North East Derbyshire, provision should be made for 125 hectares of land for general industrial, business use and distribution development in the 1991-2011 period. This represents an annual completion rate of 6.25 ha for the district (4.7ha for the Chesterfield Sub-Area and 1.5 for the Northern Parishes Sub-Area) The Structure Plan divides the District into three Sub-areas, based upon Travel to Work Areas, (as shown in Appendix 1) and allocates the employment land provision within the District as follows:

Sub-area Employment Land Requirement (Hectares)

Chesterfield 95
Northern Parishes 30
Alfreton None

4.23 The Chesterfield and Alfreton Sub-areas cover more than one local authority area. In line with the sequential approach to selection of land for development, as set out in RSS8 there should be joint working between local authorities in respect of the identification and release of sites.

4.24 When the Structure Plan was adopted the Regional Planning Guidance of the time did not impose undue restrictions on employment related development, instead it advocated the need to ensure a readily available supply of well located industrial and commercial sites in all parts of the region. In reviewing the regional guidance the QUELS report was commissioned to comprehensively analyse the current supply of employment land in the region against a strategic long-term market assessment. The conclusions of this report raise questions about the Structure Plan’s approach to employment land supply and development in the region and in this district.

4.25 The QUELS study found that on a general level there would be a significant decline in the demand for industrial floorspace and an increase in demand for office floorspace over the next 10-15 years (therefore in the lifetime of this plan). As a result of the differing requirements of these different sectors it is estimated that there will be a net increase of just 3ha of employment land per annum across the region. In particular the study found that the Northern sub-region (which includes North East Derbyshire) had an extensive supply of (often poor quality) allocated industrial land, but a shortfall in the supply of office land. The implications of these findings are that less employment land needs to be identified in the Local Plan than is currently required by the Structure Plan. Greater focus needs to be given to identifying the right sorts of sites in the right locations to meet the requirements of the market.

4.26 The Council has therefore resolved not to stick rigidly to the employment land requirement set out in the Structure Plan. Instead the Local Plan Review seeks to ensure that sufficient land is available for development to meet the needs of local employers and inward investors, whilst ensuring that brownfield development opportunities in sustainable locations are promoted to fulfil these needs and demands.

4.27 A comprehensive review of all existing employment land allocations in the adopted Local Plan (1999) has been undertaken. Those sites that are still considered to be viable and appropriate and capable of being developed during this plan period are included in tables 4.1 and 4.2. Those sites considered to be constrained and unlikely to be developed during the plan period have been discounted and are not included within these tables.

Chesterfield Sub-Area

4.28 The Joint Structure Plan states that the employment land for this Sub-Area should be generally located in the Clay Cross/Heath/Holmewood area and on the Chesterfield fringes. At April 2005 32.7 hectares of land had been developed for employment purposes during the period 1991 to 2005 and 30.27 hectares were considered to be available for development. (See Table 4.1) The majority of developed land is at Holmewood, and the majority of available land is at Coney Green, Clay Cross.

table 4.1

Northern Parishes Sub-Area

4.29 The Joint Structure Plan indicates that the majority of employment land in this sub-area should be allocated within the eastern half of the Sub-Area in Eckington and Killamarsh, largely to replace the jobs lost when the Westthorpe and High Moor Collieries closed.

4.30 At April 2005 4.8 hectares of land had been developed for employment use since 1991, this being in Eckington and Killamarsh, and a further 3.93 hectares is currently available for development (See Table 4.2). This is mostly located in Killamarsh.

4.31 In this Sub-Area, the three main settlements of Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh offer the most sustainable locations in which to accommodate this new development.

table 4.2

Alfreton Sub-Area

4.32 Although there is no Structure Plan requirement for this Sub-Area, 0.87ha of employment land has been developed at Stonebroom, providing valuable employment premises in this part of the District.

Sites for Employment Development

4.33 In order to determine the most suitable sites to accommodate new employment development a comprehensive assessment of potential sites has been undertaken. A site assessment matrix was devised to determine those sites which best contributed to achieving sustainable patterns of development, in terms of land type (greenfield/brownfield), relation to existing settlement patterns, proximity to public transport routes and accessibility. As a result of these assessments, together with consideration of the reports referred to in paragraph 4.16 above and additional information arising from the public consultation processes the following sites have been allocated for employment development.

Chesterfield Sub-Area

4.34 Within this Sub-Area there are two major brownfield employment sites. The former Avenue Coking works at Wingerworth and the former Biwaters site at Clay Cross. Both sites were in employment use in 1991. In terms of the Structure Plan therefore these sites are not seen to contribute new employment land. However together these sites represent in the region of 70 hectares of potential brownfield employment land. These sites are allocated for mixed-use development in this plan and it is anticipated that together the sites could yield up to 14ha of employment land during this plan period. The redevelopment of these sites is considered preferable and more sustainable than the allocation of new greenfield sites. The Local Plan Review has therefore adopted a more pragmatic approach to these sites by reducing the amount of new greenfield land identified for employment purposes and concentrating development opportunities on these sites. As such the contribution made to employment land supply by these two sites is included within the calculation of land availability.

Land off Derby Road, Clay Cross

4.35 This is a site of approximately 11.3 hectares situated on the northern edge of Clay Cross, adjacent to the Derby Road/Upper Mantle Close industrial areas and the former Biwaters site. The site is part of a larger area which was allocated as expansion land for the Biwaters plant in the adopted Local Plan (1999). The site is located close to Clay Cross town centre, within an existing public transport corridor, with regular bus services ensuring good connections to the town and surrounding settlements, including Chesterfield.

4.36 The development of the site will need to be undertaken in tandem with the redevelopment of the former Biwaters site and would need to take account of existing topography and landscaping features including the pond and stream which should be protected by a 10m corridor. It is also important to recognise that the site provides the opportunity to link Derby Road and Bridge Street to Station Road/Furnace Hill. The scale of development on this site should be justified by redevelopment of the former Biwaters site and should ensure that the redevelopment potential of the former Biwaters site is not compromised. A development brief for this and the former Biwaters site will be prepared to guide the comprehensive development of these two sites.

Markham Vale

4.37 This is a County Council-led project encompassing land in Bolsover District, Chesterfield Borough and a small area in North East Derbyshire District, to redevelop the former Markham Colliery and create a large employment area around a new Junction 29A of the M1. The use of the land at Markham Vale will not be as sustainable as employment uses located in the District's settlements, but it is acknowledged that the land in North East Derbyshire forms part of a larger scheme which will benefit the county and the former Derbyshire Coalfield.

4.38 There are two plots of land contributing to the scheme that are located within North East Derbyshire District. The land located on the eastern side of the motorway is an existing employment site (part of Coalite Works) and therefore its re-use as part of Markham Vale does not contribute towards the Structure Plan requirements.

4.39 The second plot of land is located to the east of Long Duckmanton, between the village and the M1. The site continues into Chesterfield Borough. The Markham Vale scheme indicates the land fronting the motorway to be put forward for development (4.7 ha) and the remainder of the site (about 6 ha) will be landscaped to act as a buffer between the village and the development. This 4.7 hectare plot therefore forms an employment allocation in this plan. Development of this site will only be allowed as part of the comprehensive development of the whole Markham Vale scheme.

Northern Parishes Sub-Area

Callywhite Lane, Dronfield

4.40 The existing Callywhite Lane Industrial Estate is one of two locations within Dronfield, which accommodate the majority of the towns manufacturing and office enterprises. The estate suffers a number of infrastructure problems, including poor highway access, which have in turn led to a decline in its local environment. These problems prevent existing business on the estate from expanding and increasing job opportunities. Without investment in its infrastructure it is likely that the estate will decline and jobs may be lost.

4.41 A study commissioned by this Council to explore issues surrounding the constraints of the existing Callywhite Lane Industrial Estate, noted that the expansion of the Estate could prevent this decline and help diversify the local economy. However, the expansion of Callywhite Lane is restricted by the Green Belt. There is however an area of land located to the south of the existing estate, between the River Drone and the Midland Mainline railway line. This land is located within the existing settlement boundary. The release of this land will provide additional employment opportunities in Dronfield. It will also provide the opportunity to create a new vehicular access from Chesterfield Road to the existing Callywhite Lane Industrial Estate. This will help to alleviate existing infrastructure problems and improve the overall environment of the Estate, by encouraging existing businesses to remain and expand, and facilitating the development of available land.

4.42 Part of the site lies within the 1 in 100 year floodplain of the River Drone and a Wildlife Site. The land in this area is quite steeply sloping and it is unlikely that any development other than road access/bridge works to link to the existing estate would encroach onto the floodplain or Wildlife Site. A development brief will be prepared for the site, detailing site constraints, infrastructure requirements and design principles.

Land adjacent to Norwood Industrial Estate

4.43 This 5.4 hectare area of land adjacent to Norwood Industrial Estate is defined to the north and west by the route of the Chesterfield Canal and Rother Valley Country Park and the County boundary. To the east is Norwood Industrial Estate and to the south is housing and Killamarsh Junior School. The site is well related to the existing industrial estate and the settlement of Killamarsh and offers a prestigious development opportunity to be linked to the restoration of this section of the Chesterfield Canal. It is envisaged that the employment uses will generally be within Class B1 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987.

4.44 A point of access from Bailey Drive across the canal will be needed to serve the employment use. In order to encourage the early development of this site for employment use, and to provide the necessary finance for essential infrastructure and the restoration of the canal in this area, residential development will be permitted within the wider site area identified for mixed-use development under policy E3. During the plan period residential development here will be restricted to allow for a limited number of dwellings during the latter part of the plan period only. The number of dwellings permitted in this plan period will be determined by the level of housing land supply at that time using information from the most recent housing land availability survey, in accordance with the plan, monitor and manage approach as set out in PPG3. A development brief will be prepared for the larger site area identified under policy E3.

E1 New Employment Land Provision

Employment generating development will be permitted in accordance with the criteria given in policy E7 on the following sites which are identified on the Proposals Map:

Chesterfield Sub-Area

(a) Land off Derby Road & adjacent to former Biwaters, Clay Cross (11.3ha).

(b) Markham Employment Growth Zone (4.7ha) (To be developed only as part of the comprehensive employment scheme involving land in the adjacent districts of Bolsover and Chesterfield).

Northern Parishes Sub-Area

(c) Callywhite Lane, Dronfield – (8.9ha) (See Policy E2).

(d) Land adjacent Norwood Industrial Estate, Killamarsh (5.4ha) (See Policy E3).


E2 Callywhite Lane Extension, Dronfield

Planning permission will be granted for employment uses (Use Classes B1, B2 & B8 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987) in accordance with Policies E1 and E7.

Proposals for development of the site should include measures which:

(a) do not preclude the construction of a new access road connecting Chesterfield Road to Callywhite Lane;

(b) ensure the protection of existing species and habitats and the creation of wildlife corridors along the River Drone;

(c) protect the flood plain of the River Drone;

(d) provide for structural open space and landscaping to ensure that the development provides a high quality environment and fits into the wider landscape;

(e) provide for a high quality design and layout which takes account of the proximity of the wildlife site, scheduled monument, water treatment works and existing neighbouring uses; and

(f) provide a convenient means of access by public transport, foot and cycle.


E3 Norwood Extension, Killamarsh

Planning permission will be granted for comprehensive mixed-use development adjacent to Norwood Industrial Estate comprising a site area development ratio of approximately:

(i) 60% employment land in accordance with the principles and criteria of policies E1 and E7;

(ii) 40% residential land permitted only in conjunction with the employment land, and will be restricted to the second half of the plan period (2006-2011). The number of dwellings permitted will be limited by reference to housing land provision at that time (using information from the most recent annual residential land availability survey).

Development of the site should include within the design:

(a) the provision of the requisite on and off site infrastructure, including road access from Bailey Drive into the site to facilitate employment development; and

(b) the restoration of the Chesterfield Canal between Rotherham Road and Sheffield Road; and

(c) structural openspace and landscaping to reflect the sites important links to the countryside via the Chesterfield Canal and the Rother Valley Country Park; and

(d) convenient means of access by public transport, foot and cycle, particularly to the town centre.

The Council will seek to secure phasing of the development to ensure that the residential element is not implemented before or separately from the employment site, by imposing conditions or by seeking to negotiate a S106 Obligation.


Mixed Use Development Sites

4.45 Since 1991 several large employment sites within the district have closed, leaving a legacy of despoiled and vacant land. As these sites closed after the Joint Structure Plan's base date for employment land provision their loss is not accounted for in the Councils employment land provision figures, which are set by the Structure Plan. In Structure Plan terms the redevelopment of these sites for employment uses does not count towards the Joint Structure Plan requirements for new employment land provision.

4.46 The characteristics and requirements of modern employment uses are very different from the uses that formerly occupied these sites and replacement of the number of jobs lost would be likely to require a smaller site area. There are substantial costs associated with the remediation of these sites and in providing the necessary servicing and infrastructure; this can be a barrier to their redevelopment solely for employment uses.

4.47 Any employment land developed on such sites will make a positive contribution to the regeneration of the district. There is only a limited demand for employment land within the district and this demand should be encouraged to locate on these brownfield sites rather than on new, additional greenfield sites. Within the local plan area there are three major brownfield sites that have fallen out of use since 1991, all three sites are located within the Chesterfield Sub-Area. This local plan seeks to reduce the amount of greenfield land allocated for employment uses within the Chesterfield sub-area by focusing development opportunities on the two remaining major brownfield sites of the former Avenue Coking Works, Wingerworth and the former Biwaters site at Clay Cross. An allowance for employment development which is thought likely to occur on these sites within the Plan period has been included within the overall employment land supply calculations used in this Plan.

4.48 The identification of two Mixed Use Development Sites recognises the potential of these sites to attract a wide range of employment uses, with scope for limited housing provision. It will be important for any mixed use scheme to clearly demonstrate that the level of housing development proposed is essential to facilitate the necessary remediation works and to provide the required infrastructure, and is appropriate in terms of housing land provision (using information from the most recent annual housing land availability survey), and is in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. The emphasis of any redevelopment scheme should however be upon employment generation.

4.49 The Renishaw Foundry site was a former large employment site that is currently being redeveloped for a mixture of housing, employment and open space uses.

Avenue Coking Works

4.50 The Avenue Coking Works site closed in 1992 with the loss of 300 jobs, although at its peak the site employed up to 800 people. The site of the former coking works is approximately 45 hectares in size. East Midlands Development Agency (emda) has started work on the reclamation and decontamination of the site, which is expected to be completed by 2010. The site is also included within the National Coalfield Programme and a funding package of £104.5 million has been secured for site remediation. English Partnerships together with emda are currently formulating options for its future use in consultation with the community. The Council has consistently sought to achieve maximum use of the site for employment end uses. To facilitate the reclamation of the site the Council considers it appropriate to designate the site for a limited mixed use redevelopment comprising employment, housing, recreation and open space uses. The emphasis of any proposal should however be upon employment generation.

4.51 The Mixed Use site shown on the Proposals Map is 51.38ha in size and includes an 11ha area of land owned by CPL Industries Ltd, which is currently in active employment use, although a significant proportion of the site is derelict and vacant. The uses of these plots has been linked to the use of the former coking works and are likely to be at risk of contamination and in need of reclamation. In addition the former coking works wraps around these plots, making reclamation and redevelopment awkward if undertaken separately. In order that these issues can be addressed, and that the site is redeveloped in a comprehensive manner these plots are included within the mixed use site. However existing employment uses on the site should be protected and relocated if necessary to a more appropriate location nearby. To ensure the protection of these existing employment uses redevelopment proposals should be phased to begin at the southern end of the site. In view of ownership issues and the likelihood that development of the site will extend well beyond this plan period, it is proposed that the comprehensive development of this site is guided by an agreed comprehensive development brief. The development brief must establish an overriding comprehensive development framework for the decontamination, reclamation and redevelopment of the site, including the provision of essential infrastructure and the protection/relocation of existing employment uses, which allows for the development of the site in phases and does not compromise the development strategy for the District beyond this plan period.

4.52 Due to the scale of decontamination and reclamation works it is unlikely that the site will be available for development until 2008. Employment land development on the site is likely to be slow during the first few years. It is therefore estimated that the site will yield about 4ha of new employment development land during this plan period. However it is expected that more employment land will be developed on this site during and beyond this plan period.

4.53 An additional access to the site is likely to be required to service new development. This access should be located at the southern end of the allocated site, facilitating redevelopment of this southern part of the site as a first phase.

4.54 Residential development in the Chesterfield Sub-Area can largely be met by urban capacity sites within and on the edge of existing settlements. The Avenue site is brownfield and located within an important public transport corridor, however it is some distance from the services and facilities of Wingerworth. Therefore residential development on this site in this plan period must be justified in terms of the supply and provision of housing land using information from the most recent annual residential land availability survey. (It is assumed that no residential development will take place on the site before 2008.)

4.55 The site is not particularly well located in terms of access to the motorway network. There is however the potential to improve access by creating a new road linking the A61, through the site, to the A617. Consideration should be given to the feasibility of providing this link as part of any redevelopment scheme.

4.56 The former fuel stocking yards are located within the Green Belt, and as such, in principle, are not appropriate for development. Whilst no built development existed on the former fuel stocking yards, the high level concrete pad has an established industrial use. Any proposals for redevelopment should have no greater impact than the existing development on the openness of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land in it, and where possible should have less impact. The landform and landscaping to the north and west of the former fuel stocking yards will need to be carefully designed to minimise the impact of any development on the visual amenity of the Green Belt.

4.57 Parts of the allocated site and its surrounding environs have a high nature conservation value. The site is considered to be strategically important within the River Rother corridor and presents an opportunity for sympathetic habitat creation and enhancement. Recent wildlife and habitat surveys of the site, undertaken between 1999 and 2002 have recorded the presence of a number of protected species including great crested newts; bats; badgers; grass snakes and a number of Schedule 1 birds. In addition the proximity of the River Rother means that water voles are found on the river and within some of the ditches on the sites periphery. Registered wildlife sites lie to the north and south of the allocated site. Measures should be included within redevelopment proposals to protect and enhance the wildlife value of the site and to make provision for new habitat creation.

4.58 The greater extent of the former Avenue Works site includes part of the Birdholme Marsh wildlife site, however this area is not included within the allocated mixed use site. This area should be retained to screen the redeveloped part of the site, and therefore a landscaping scheme for this area will be required as part of any redevelopment of the remainder of the site. The landscaping scheme shall take into account the wildlife interests at Birdholme Marsh and not interfere with the use of the adjacent railway line for the movement of passengers and freight.

4.59 Part of the site lies within a 1 in 100 year indicative flood plain, and is therefore in a high risk area. Development will need to comply with policy NE9 Development and Flood Risk. The advice of PPG25 suggests that redevelopment of brownfield sites can be permitted provided that the minimum standards of flood defence are maintained. The River Rother is the main river at the downstream end of the site from the point at which the river passes under the railway. Any works in, over or within 8m of the top of the bank of the main river will require consent from the Environment Agency.

4.60 Due to the scale and nature of redevelopment of this site it is likely that an Environmental Impact Assessment and a Travel Plan will be required with the submission of a planning application. In addition upgrading of the local waste water treatment works may be required to service the sites development. A developer contribution to these works will therefore be sought.

E4 Mixed Use Site at the Former Avenue Coking Works, Wingerworth

Planning permission will be granted for a mixed use redevelopment of the former Avenue Coking Works site at Wingerworth, as shown on the proposals map. Development will be guided by a development brief which will allow for the comprehensive co-ordinated development of the site in phases. The mix of uses should comprise employment, housing, recreation and open space uses. The emphasis of the development should however be on employment generating uses within Classes B1, B2 and B8 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes Order) 1987 and secondary uses with equivalent employment generating opportunities, which are compatible with all other policies of the plan.

Any residential development on the site during this plan period must be justified, particularly in terms of regional and strategic guidance relating to housing land supply.

Redevelopment proposals should include measures which:

(a) allow for the reclamation of sites in active employment use within the site as the first phase in the sites redevelopment. This work should also provide for the continuation and, if necessary, the relocation of these employment uses;

(b) provide a new point of access or upgrade existing access from the A61 at the southern end of the site as appropriate;

(c) do not preclude the construction of a link road from the A61 to A617;

(d) ensure that any housing development is located to maximise accessibility to existing and new local facilities;

(e) improve and maintain pedestrian and cycle access via a trail network linking the site to Chesterfield, Clay Cross, Wingerworth and Grassmoor;

(f) ensure development within the site can be accessed by regular public transport services;

(g) maintain and improve existing known areas of important wildlife habitat and species and includes measures for habitat creation; and

(h) ensure that the development fits into the wider landscape by means of structural landscaping and the provision of public open space.

The Council will seek to secure phasing of the development to ensure that the residential element is not implemented before or separately from the employment development, by imposing conditions or by seeking to negotiate a S106 Obligation.


Former Biwaters Site

4.61 The former Biwaters works in Clay Cross closed in September 2000 with the loss of 600 jobs. Progress is being made to assess the level of contamination and the re-use and redevelopment potential of the site. The new owners of the site are keen to progress on the redevelopment of the site at the earliest opportunity. It has also been included within the National Coalfield Programme, and whilst English Partnerships have no ownership influence on the site, they, together with emda are heavily involved in the regeneration of Clay Cross and see the potential of this site being an important factor in this regeneration process. They therefore wish to be involved in and influence the redevelopment of the site.

4.62 The Council will consider the redevelopment of this site for a mixed use scheme, which incorporates a significant element of employment development as well as residential and recreational uses. Redevelopment of this site must however, take place in a co-ordinated manner. To achieve this the Council will prepare a development brief for this site which will include reference to land allocated between the former works site and the A61 Derby Road.

4.63 The site is 27.4ha in size and is well located to the north east of the town centre adjoining the Bridge Street Industrial Estate, and is closely related to Coney Green and the residential area between it and the town centre. The site also benefits from potential access to the Midland Mainline railway lines to Nottingham and Derby, and access to the M1 via the A6175.

4.64 The redevelopment of both the former Biwaters site and land off Derby Road provides an opportunity to build upon the success of the Coney Green Business Centre development and its expansion and the impetus created by the town centre redevelopment. Together these three development initiatives offer an opportunity to create a wider and more sustainable mix of land-use within the town and to improve the quality of the local environment, making it a more attractive place in which to live and work. A major mixed use development in this location would contribute greatly to the economic regeneration of the town.

4.65 In considering proposals for the redevelopment of this site, the Council will look to the wider implications of proposals and see that they complement the regeneration activity already underway. In particular, the Council will seek to ensure that redevelopment of the site facilitates the provision of a new railway station; contributes to improvements to access around the town from the A61 to the A6175 and the M1; and to improvements to internal movements within the town in terms of public transport, pedestrian and cycle access. It will also be important that the development contributes to improving the quality of the local environment, through the design and layout of the scheme itself and through landscaping and other environmental improvement works both on and off site.

4.66 The redevelopment of this site should link to the development opportunity provided by the allocation of land off Derby Road for employment uses (Policy E1(a)). Together these sites provide the opportunity to provide a new link road from the A61 through to Bridge Street/Market Street, improving access around the town towards the M1. The necessity of providing a link road will need to be properly assessed as part of any planning application.

4.67 The site is well located in terms of services and facilities in Clay Cross. Residential development of a brownfield site in this location accords with sustainable development principles and should therefore be encouraged. The site could accommodate in the region of 750 dwellings if developed solely for housing (based on a minimum 30 to the ha). It is the Council’s intention, however, that a significant proportion of the site should be redeveloped for employment generating uses. Given this and the fact that the majority of housing land supply for the sub-area can be met by urban capacity sites, residential development on the site during this plan period will be restricted.

4.68 Immediately south of Bridge Street opposite the pipeworks site lies the former Biwaters Playing Field. This private open space facility was related in use to the operation of the pipeworks. The re-use or redevelopment of this site may be considered appropriate as part of a comprehensive redevelopment scheme for the Biwaters site. Development of this open space will however only be permitted as part of a comprehensive scheme (which includes appropriate phasing) for the Biwaters site. Replacement open space provision will need to be provided in accordance with the requirements of Policy R2 of this plan.

4.69 The site has only recently fallen out of use and there is, therefore little known data relating to wildlife value on the site. However, due to the scale, location and nature of structures, together with the presence of ditches and ponds on the site it is possible that the site is home to protected species such as great crested newts, water voles and bats. Derbyshire Wildlife Trust will survey the site on behalf of the District Council before any redevelopment commences. The developer will however be asked to provide information relating to known and any other protected species and/ or habitats on the sites. In addition the site is bounded to the east by the River Rother, which is one of the key remaining water vole sites in the county. In the past the presence of water voles has been recorded in the ditch on the north-western boundary of the site. Development proposals for the site should therefore retain the steep banks on the northern boundaries of the site and ensure that an adequate buffer zone is provided between the development and the River Rother to protect the wildlife value of these areas. Opportunities for new habitat creation within the development site should also be explored.

4.70 Part of the site on the eastern boundary lies within the 1 in 100 year indicative flood plain, and is therefore in a high risk area. Development will need to comply with policy NE9 Development and Flood Risk. However the advice of PPG25 suggests that redevelopment of brownfield sites in such locations can be permitted provided that the minimum standards of flood defence are maintained. The buffer zone referred to above will ensure that protection is given to the flood plain of the River Rother. Such a buffer will also provide some structural landscaping and a screen to development, and could present the opportunity to employ sustainable drainage systems for the development.

4.71 Due to the scale and nature of redevelopment of this site, it is likely that an Environmental Impact Assessment and a Travel Plan will be required with the submission of a planning application. In addition upgrading of the local waste water treatment works may be required to service the sites development. A developer contribution to these works will therefore be sought.

E5 Mixed Use Development: Former Biwaters Site, Clay Cross

Planning permission will be granted for the comprehensive redevelopment of the former Biwaters sites at Clay Cross for a mix of uses comprising:

i) employment generating uses within Classes B1, B2 and B8 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes Order) 1987 and secondary uses (such as Leisure (D2) and a hotel (C1) with equivalent employment generating opportunities which are compatible with all other policies of the plan; and

ii) residential development limited to the latter half of the plan period (2006-2011) the level of which should be justified by reference to the most recent annual residential land availability survey. Housing development should be located to maximise accessibility to existing and new local facilities and should make the best use of land through high development densities.

Proposals for the site should also provide for all of the following, if appropriate:

(a) the safeguarding of land to enable the development of a through road from the A61 to Furnace Hill / A6175;

(b) improvements to Furnace Hill Road/ Bridge Street and Market Street to facilitate safe access from the site into the local highway network, and to link this development to the redevelopment of the town centre;

(c) facilitates the provision of rail access for users of the site;

(d) improvements to and the maintenance of pedestrian and cycle access via a trail network linking the site to Clay Cross town centre, Tupton and North Wingfield;

(e) a wildlife corridor and buffer zone along the River Rother to protect the wildlife value of the river corridor and to protect new development from the risk of flooding;

(f) the recording and protection of wildlife habitat and protected species, and includes measures for the creation of new habitats; and

(g) ensures that the development fits into the wider landscape by means of structural landscaping and the provision of public open space.

The Council will seek to secure phasing of the development to ensure that the residential element is not implemented before or separately from the employment development, by imposing conditions or negotiating a S106 Obligation.


Development in Existing Employment Areas

4.72 Within the sites identified in Policy E6, which are already in employment use, either new employment development or extensions to existing premises will be permitted in cases where they would not lead to unacceptable environmental problems. In order to maintain an adequate supply of employment land, proposals for non-industrial development or changes of use of existing premises to non-industrial uses will not be permitted in these locations unless the Council is satisfied that adequate local supplies of employment land and premises remain.

4.73 Retail development will not be permitted on employment sites unless it can be demonstrated that the use is ancillary to the main business use or if it can be shown that it is for a specialist retail use with display space and/or specific accessibility requirements which are unsuited to normal retail requirements. Examples of such retail uses might include show space for specific products or techniques, bulky goods and specialist vehicles. In such cases it should be established that the requirements of PPS6 have been fully met. In particular there should be a demonstrated need for the development, full consideration of its likely impact on existing centres and evidence that the sequential approach has been used to identify sites.

4.74 This policy identifies sites already developed either in part or in full. Sites E6 a), c), d), e), f), and k) are shown to be located within the indicative 1 in 100 year flood plain. Development will need to comply with policy NE9 Development and Flood Risk. In accordance with the advice in PPG25 such sites can be developed or redeveloped provided that the minimum standards of flood defence is maintained. Where sites are crossed or bounded by a watercourse (sites E6 a), c) and f) the Council will try to ensure that at least 10m of land either side of the watercourse is protected from development as a means of protecting the aquatic habitat. In addition development proposals within these locations could provide the opportunity for habitat creation.

4. 75 Development within sites E6 (b) and E6 (j) will need to have special regard to the settings of Hardwick Hall and Bolsover Castle respectively. Both of these buildings are Grade 1 Listed Buildings located in the neighbouring district of Bolsover; however their settings extend within North East Derbyshire and the provisions of Policy BE9 apply.

E6 Existing Employment Areas

Within the existing employment areas listed below and identified on the Proposals Map, proposals for employment development will be permitted subject to the criteria listed in policy E7.

SITES:

(a) Clay Cross (Bridge Street, Coney Road, Derby Road, Market Street and Pilsley Road).

(b) Holmewood (sites known as Williamthorpe, Holmewood Industrial Park and Holmewood Industrial Estate).

(c) North Wingfield, (Hepthorne Lane).

(d) Killamarsh, (Norwood Industrial Estate and Sheffield Road).

(e) Dronfield, (Callywhite Lane and Wreakes Lane/Sheffield Road/Stubley Lane).

(f) Eckington, (Rotherside Road and Littlemoor).

(g) Stonebroom and Morton Industrial Estates.

(h) Killamarsh, (Westthorpe Fields).

(i) Renishaw Industrial Estate.

(j) Coalite Works, near Bolsover.

(k) Corbriggs, (Mansfield Road).

(l) Temple Normanton Business Park.


E7 Development in New and Existing Employment Areas

Within the employment areas referred to in Policies E1, E2, E3, E4, E5 and E6, proposals for the development of land, the extension of existing premises, the redevelopment of existing disused employment sites or their reuse, including conversion, of vacant employment premises, will be permitted for employment uses (Use Classes B1, B2 and B8) provided that:

(a) the effect on the appearance and character of neighbouring uses and the surrounding environment is acceptable;

(b) problems of noise, disturbance and pollution are minimised;

(c) the problems of heavy traffic in residential areas and on unsuitable roads are minimised, and the local and trunk road network in the vicinity of the site is capable of accommodating traffic generated by the proposed development. Where it is considered appropriate a traffic impact study will be required to be submitted prior to the determination of the planning application; and

(d) a high standard of design, materials and landscaping is achieved and that the neighbouring and wider landscape and valued features within can be safeguarded.

In order to maintain an adequate supply of employment land, planning permission will not be granted for the change of use from employment purposes, unless the local planning authority is satisfied that adequate local supplies of employment land and premises remain.

Retail development will not be permitted unless it is ancillary to the main business use or it can be shown that it is for a specialist retail use unsuited to the usual retail locations, and that the principles of PPS6 in respect of need, impact and the sequential approach have been followed.


Employment Development Outside New and Existing Employment Areas

4.76 The above policies cover proposals for employment development in the major new employment areas and existing sites. However, employment uses often exist, or opportunities can arise, for these types of development (mainly in the B1 Use Classes) in areas within the Settlement Development Limits but outside established employment areas. Changes in the structure of the economy have seen the growth of office based research, development and ICT employment, which can operate effectively in residential areas or on small free-standing sites. There is a need to facilitate the development and/or expansion of such firms within settlements to promote sustainable development and to assist in job creation, which in turn will help to strengthen and diversify the local economy. However, office developments should not result in the unacceptable loss of important retail frontage or local shopping facilities within town centres.

4.77 The Council has actively developed and promoted business centres, at Coney Green, Clay Cross and Eckington, and intends to continue to promote the development of new business centres at Killamarsh (with the construction of the Westhorpe Business Centre) and Dronfield. These will be acceptable provided that their nature and scale is appropriate to the area and they would not have an adverse impact on the surrounding area.

4.78 Many small businesses can be run from home without causing nuisance to neighbours or detriment to the environment and, by reducing the need to travel, and can assist in the promotion of sustainable living. It is important however, in predominantly residential areas to ensure the protection of the amenity and privacy of neighbouring properties. Careful controls may need to be exercised to control expansion or extension of business uses within residential areas to ensure that they do not gradually dominate residential uses and cause nuisance.

E8 Employment Development in Other Areas

Within the Settlement Development Limits, proposals for new employment development including working from home, new development, changes of use and extensions to existing sites and buildings will be permitted provided that the proposals do not have an unacceptable effect on the character of the surrounding area through visual impact, noise or pollution resulting from the development or from traffic generated. Adequate parking and access provision will also be required.


Employment Development in the Countryside

4.79 The Council recognises the importance of retaining and providing employment opportunities in rural areas as a means of ensuring a diverse and healthy economy. There are a number of employment activities, particularly those associated with tourism, recreation and rural diversification that can be accommodated in countryside locations, without any adverse effects upon the quality of the rural environment. In some cases the construction of sensitive small-scale new built development can be accommodated within and around settlements (in association with rural diversification) although where possible existing buildings should be used. The conversion or change of use of buildings for such uses can normally be carried out provided any alterations are undertaken sympathetically and do not damage the appearance of buildings of architectural interest or the setting of other such adjacent buildings. It is also important that the various indirect consequences of the change of use such as extra fencing, advertising material, open storage and vehicle parking and manoeuvring provisions do not harm the visual environment. Impact on the countryside and on neighbours must also be taken into account.

E9 Employment Development in the Countryside

In countryside locations, planning permission will be granted for employment development within Use Classes B1, B2 and B8 which involve either proposals for the conversion of existing buildings or new build development, provided that the use is appropriate to such a countryside location.

Proposals should be of a suitable scale, siting and design and should use materials and landscaping appropriate to the locality.


Design and Quality of Employment Development

4.80 To ensure that new employment development has a minimal impact on the surroundings and achieves a high quality environment in which investors will wish to locate, the layout, design, materials of construction and density of development will have to be considered carefully.

4.81 Many industrial estates and sites in the district suffer from a poor environment, which not only makes them bad neighbours, but also inhibits further investment. The Council, therefore, supports environmental improvements to industrial estates and will require landscaping and other improvements where appropriate.

Tourism

4.82 The development of leisure and tourism facilities can help to diversify the local economy and provide new jobs, an important factor in an area where unemployment levels remain high as a consequence of a sustained decline of more traditional employment. Such development also enhances the image of an area thereby aiding the attraction of further inward investment and provides new facilities to local residents.

4.83 The Council has prepared a Tourism Strategy for North East Derbyshire. This will be regularly monitored and reviewed. The main elements of this strategy are the improvement of the basic visitor infrastructure and small-scale facilities and the widespread promotion of a variety of visits, holiday packages and activity breaks to a comprehensive range of potential visitors and markets. The Council is also keen to consider the possible creation of major new visitor attractions in the area.

4.84 Leisure and Tourism Policy 2 of the Joint Structure Plan recognises the need to attract leisure facilities within the former coalfield area as one means of revitalising the local economy and bringing about an improvement in the environmental quality of the area. Outside these areas, other opportunities for leisure and tourism development arise out of the attractive nature of the area, its location immediately adjacent to the Peak District National Park and easy access to a large catchment population.

4.85 Throughout the Local Plan area, for any new leisure and tourism development to be acceptable, it must have regard to the character of the area and be capable of taking place without unacceptable environmental consequences. Leisure and tourism schemes should not be intrusive, nor should they be unrelated to the characteristics of the area in which they are located or be likely to attract excessive levels of traffic unrelated to the capabilities of the local highway network.

4.86 Within the built-up framework of the settlements, tourism developments will, in principle, be acceptable provided they can be accommodated without unacceptable impact on the environment and amenities of the area, and do not conflict with other policies in the Plan. In countryside areas, proposals for tourism development must demonstrate that the development is sensitive to the local environment, is of a high standard of design and appropriate in its scale and location.

4.87 In Green Belt areas existing policies are restrictive because of the requirement to protect the open character of the countryside. Within the Special Landscape Areas, leisure and tourism development will be permitted where they are related to the natural, heritage or wildlife resources of the area and protect the essential character of the area. Therefore within Green Belt and Special Landscape Areas, proposals for tourism development will need to clearly justify why it is necessary and/or appropriate for them to be located in these locations, and should demonstrate that they would not harm the openness of the Green Belt or the character of the Special Landscape Area.

E10 Tourism Developments

Planning permission will be granted for proposals that expand the range of tourist facilities and attractions, provided that:

(a) they are of a scale, nature and design which will be compatible with, and contribute to the protection and enhancement of the environment in relation to the landscape, built environment, open spaces, nature conservation, geological and archaeological features and neighbouring uses;

(b) major attractions are well related to the local transport network and accessible by public transport; and

(c) retail development is small in scale and ancillary to the main use .

Outside Settlement Development Limits, proposals will also need to demonstrate why a countryside location is appropriate. Any residential development outside settlement development limits should be the minimum necessary for operational reasons.


Tourist Accommodation

4.88 The provision of overnight tourist accommodation, including hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast accommodation and self-catering accommodation, is an integral element of the Tourism Strategy for the district. Within the Settlement Development Limits, planning permission will normally be granted for either the conversion of existing buildings or the erection of new buildings. Within the countryside areas outside the Settlement Development Limits, this type of development will be restricted to the re-use of rural buildings that can also assist in the diversification of the rural economy. Proposals for new purpose-built tourism accommodation within the countryside will only be permitted in association with an established tourist attraction.

4.89 Where proposals for tourism accommodation are permitted outside Settlement Development Limits, they will be subject to conditions restricting the occupancy of the units to holiday accommodation only.

E11 Tourist Accommodation

Proposals for tourist accommodation, including hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast accommodation and self catering accommodation, will be permitted if:
(a) they are within a Settlement Development Limit; or
(b) they are outside a Settlement Development Limit and involve the re-use and conversion of an existing building or the extension of an existing tourist facility only. Such proposals should be in keeping with the scale and form of the existing building, preserve or enhance the original character of the building and not create any significant additional external curtilage dedicated to individual units. All planning permissions for this type of accommodation will be subject to conditions limiting their occupancy.


Camping and Caravanning

4.90 Camping and caravanning are popular forms of holiday accommodation, which in recent years have increased in popularity. Most sites tend to be located in countryside areas. Touring caravan and camp sites are inappropriate, in principle, in Green Belt areas but can be acceptable, in principle, in Special Landscape Areas, provided that they do not detract from the surrounding landscape and the proposals are in keeping with the character of the area.

4.91 Elsewhere in the countryside, sites can be acceptable if located away from prominent and attractive areas of landscape and if sites are chosen which are hidden from general views, and are well screened and landscaped. Good screening, incorporating native tree and shrub species, will be important in preventing developments appearing prominent and intrusive in the landscape. The scale of proposals in rural locations will normally be limited to that compatible with the local environment and landscape characteristics. Sites should avoid areas of high flood risk (in accordance with the advice of PPG25) and should take care to avoid areas of nature conservation interest including important habitats, such as unimproved grassland.

4.92 Proposals for new static caravan sites will be subject to the same planning controls as residential development and should normally be located within the built framework of settlements.

E12 Camping and Caravan Sites

Planning permission will be granted for proposals for touring caravan and camping sites in the countryside provided that:

(a) they are located away from visually prominent areas and would not have an adverse impact on the surrounding landscape or on sites of historical or nature conservation importance;

(b) they are of a scale appropriate to the area which can, taking account of ancillary facilities, be acceptably assimilated into the surrounding landscape; and

(c) the site is well screened and is of a sympathetic design and layout.

Proposals for new static caravan sites will not normally be acceptable outside the built framework of settlements.

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