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Chapter 5 Housing

Introduction

5.1 The Council wishes to ensure that sufficient good quality housing is provided within the District to meet the needs of all sections of the community. The Joint Structure Plan sets a requirement to provide 4300 dwellings to meet these needs. In allocating sites to meet this requirement, the Council has applied the principles of sustainable development to ensure that the impact on the environment is minimised.

5.2 In developing housing policies and proposals for inclusion in the Local Plan, regard has been given to Government Planning Policy Guidance on the provision of housing set out in PPG3, to the Regional Spatial Strategy for the East Midlands (RSS8) and to the Derby and Derbyshire Joint Structure Plan.

National Guidance

5.3 Planning Policy Guidance Note 3: Housing (PPG3) (March 2000) and amendments (January 2005) provide the national guidance in respect of housing. The main themes of PPG3 are that:

a) The housing requirements of the whole community should be met, including those in need of affordable and special needs housing, in both urban and rural areas.

b) A wider choice and mix of housing should be provided to reduce social distinctions.

c) Good design should be promoted in new housing development to assist urban renaissance and to improve the quality of life.

d) More efficient use should be made of land. Local Planning Authorities should seek densities of at least 30 dwellings per hectare.

e) Housing provision should be kept under regular review, in accordance with the plan, monitor and manage approach, to ensure that housing requirements are being met.

f) Housing provision should promote more sustainable patterns of development. Central to this is the sequential approach to site selection, which maximises the re-use of previously developed land and empty properties and the conversion of non-residential buildings for housing within existing towns and cities. A national target is set for 60% of new housing to be built on previously developed sites by 2008. By focusing most additional housing within existing towns, this should ensure improved accessibility to employment, education, shops, leisure and local services by more sustainable forms of transport, including public transport, walking and cycling. Loss of greenfield land beyond settlements will be minimised.

Regional Spatial Strategy

5.4 The Regional Spatial Strategy for the East Midlands (RSS8) (March 2005) provides guidance on the broad location of housing provision. It sets an average annual completion rate of 2550 dwellings for the Derby and Derbyshire Structure Plan area for the period 2001-2021. It reinforces the requirement to undertake the sequential approach to site selection and to providing a phasing mechanism for the provision of housing land. The Regional Spatial Strategy requires joint working between neighbouring authorities in respect of the managed release of sites for residential development. In cases where there are concentrations of previously developed land in one authority and a lack of it in neighbouring authorities, the release of sites will have to be considered over each Sub-Area as a whole in order to achieve sustainable development. Therefore, in the Chesterfield Sub-Area, the Council is working with Chesterfield Borough Council and the District of Bolsover in respect of giving priority to the release of previously developed sites across the Sub-Area as a whole. Regular meetings are held with neighbouring authorities to discuss cross boundary issues in this Sub-Area. Joint monitoring of housing data is proposed to ensure the sustainable release of housing sites across the Sub-Area. Likewise, with regard to the release of sites in the Northern Parishes Sub-Area, the Council will liaise with Sheffield City Council, if necessary, in respect of the relationship with South Yorkshire.

5.5 RSS8 advocates the plan, monitor and manage approach to providing land for housing so that a sustainable balance can be achieved between supply and demand, giving preference to previously developed land within urban areas. In this respect, it states that, by 2021, 60% of all new housing in the East Midlands Region should be built on previously developed land. This is seen as the best means of tackling social exclusion, regenerating disadvantaged areas and promoting the strategic conservation of the Region’s natural and cultural assets.

5.6 In order to tackle the problems of affordability and to promote social inclusion, RSS8 emphasises the importance for local plans to contain policies which provide for affordable housing and which are justified by local housing needs assessments.

Derby and Derbyshire Joint Structure Plan (January 2001)

5.7 The Derby and Derbyshire Joint Structure Plan provides more detailed policy guidance on housing provision, including an overall requirement for additional housing in North East Derbyshire between 1991 and 2011 and broad policies on the scale and location of development.

Housing Requirements

5.8 The Derby and Derbyshire Joint Structure Plan sets out a requirement for 4300 dwellings to be provided within North East Derbyshire between 1991 and 2011.

5.9 In terms of housing requirements, the district is divided into three Structure Plan Sub-Areas. (See Appendix 1.) The housing requirement for each of these Sub-Areas is as follows:

Alfreton Sub-Area: 200
Northern Parishes Sub-Area: 1100
Chesterfield Sub-Area: 3000

Alfreton Sub-Area

5.10 Only a small part of the Alfreton Sub-Area falls within North East Derbyshire District, and comprises the rural parishes of Shirland & Higham and Wessington, immediately north of Alfreton.

5.11 The whole of the Alfreton Sub-Area saw a rapid increase in population between 1986 and 1991, largely due to in migration. The Structure Plan strategy seeks not to perpetuate this growth, and has set the housing requirement for this Sub-Area to accommodate only natural population changes.

Northern Parishes Sub-Area

5.12 This Sub-Area comprises the parishes of Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh, but excludes Renishaw. It is heavily constrained by the Green Belt, which surrounds the towns, and retains a vital gap between Chesterfield and Sheffield. In the past, this Sub-Area has taken large increases in housing development, but has not had the same level of employment development. The Structure Plan strategy is, therefore, to balance past housing developments with the provision of new employment opportunities. To accommodate the Joint Structure Plan requirement for 1100 dwellings, only a modest amount of new housing land will be required in this Sub-Area. This figure reflects the capacity of the area to accommodate residual development without incursions in to the Green Belt.

Chesterfield Sub-Area

5.13 This Sub-Area comprises the parishes of Ashover, Barlow, Brackenfield, Brampton, Calow, Clay Cross, Grassmoor, Hasland & Winsick, Heath & Holmewood, Holmesfield, Holymoorside & Walton, Morton, North Wingfield, Pilsley, Stretton, Sutton-cum-Duckmanton, Temple Normanton, Tupton, Unstone and Wingerworth. The housing requirement is 3000 for this Sub-Area, the highest for the district, recognising the regeneration opportunities that are available within the former coalfield settlements to the south of Chesterfield. The north and western parts of this Sub-Area are rural in character, and are constrained by the Green Belt and Special Landscape Area. Therefore, the focus for development opportunities will be within the settlements and transport corridors to the south of Chesterfield, particularly where development opportunities are well related to existing and proposed employment development. The Chesterfield Sub-Area as a whole crosses in to Chesterfield Borough and the District of Bolsover. It is, therefore, necessary to consider housing provision, and particularly the availability of previously developed sites, within these neighbouring districts. Cross boundary discussions on this issue are ongoing.

Housing Provision

5.14 At 31 March 2005, 3262 dwellings had been completed in the district since 1991. Commitments totalled 1025, which includes those dwellings under construction and those with the benefit of planning permission but which had not been started at March 31, 2005. As a result, there is currently a shortfall of 13 dwellings district wide, which must be provided between 2005 and 2011. This information is shown by Sub-Area in Table 5.1.

table 5.1

Site Selection

5.15 Site selection is based on the sequential approach, set out in PPG3. This starts with the consideration of potential capacity within urban areas, that have been identified by the Urban Capacity Study, then suitable sites adjoining urban areas which are well served by public transport and, finally new development around nodes in good public transport corridors. In all cases, primary consideration should be given to the re-use of previously developed sites.

Urban Capacity Study

5.16 PPG3 sets out the requirement for all local authorities to undertake urban capacity studies. They establish the amount of additional housing that can be accommodated within existing urban areas in order to both maximise the use of previously developed land and reduce the need to travel. This will help to reduce the loss of greenfield land outside settlements and will encourage the promotion of sustainable patterns of development. An Urban Capacity Study has been undertaken for North East Derbyshire and has formed the basis of the sequential approach to residential site selection. This is available as a separate document.

5.17 Initially, sites identified through the Urban Capacity Study were considered for allocation. Consideration was then given to potential sites on the immediate edge of the main settlements to meet any remaining shortfall in housing provision. In this context, the provision of land for new housing will be considered by Sub-Area.

Alfreton Sub-Area

5.18 The latest Residential Land Availability Survey (April 2005) has shown that there are sufficient sites either developed or with planning permission to meet the Structure Plan requirement for the part of the Alfreton Sub-Area which falls within this district. As a result, there is no need to identify further sites in this Sub-Area.

Northern Parishes Sub-Area

5.19 The latest Residential Land Availability Survey (April 2005) has shown that there are sufficient sites either developed or with planning permission to meet the Structure Plan requirement for the Northern Parishes Sub-Area. As a result, there is no need to identify further sites in this Sub-Area.

Chesterfield Sub-Area

5.20 The Urban Capacity Study identifies potential development sites to accommodate approximately 353 dwellings in this Sub-Area. Those sites with a capacity for 10 or more dwellings form allocations, accommodating a total of approximately 209 dwellings. The remainder of the identified small site capacity forms a windfall allowance of approximately 144 dwellings.

5.21 The Joint Structure Plan housing requirement for the Chesterfield Sub-Area has been met through completions, commitments and the identification of urban capacity sites. However, to assist in the Council’s regeneration strategy for the former coalfield area, additional previously developed sites are identified for residential development in this area. Policy H1 and Table 5.2 provide a summary of how the housing requirement for the period 1991-2011 will be met.

H1 Sites for Residential Development

Planning permission will be granted for residential development on the sites identified below:

Northern Parishes Sub-Area: Hectares Capacity
(a) Former Dronfield School, Carr Lane, Dronfield 2.7 81
Chesterfield Sub-Area: Hectares Capacity
(b) Depot off Stretton Road, Clay Cross 1.9 57
(c) Land off Penncroft Lane, Clay Cross 2.3 69
(d) Land off Curbar Close, North Wingfield 3.7 111
(e) Land off Grange Road, Pilsley 1.16 27

An allowance has also been made for an element of housing provision on the former Biwaters Site in Clay Cross (about 200 dwellings in this Plan period) and the Avenue Site in Wingerworth (about 90 dwellings in this Plan period) which are identified as mixed use sites under Policies E4 and E5. Since the housing element forms part of wider proposals for redevelopment, these sites are not formally allocated as housing sites under Policy H1.


table 5.2


Housing Development on Other Sites Within Settlement Development Limits

5.22 In addition to development on those sites allocated in Policy H1, a number of smaller previously developed sites with a capacity of fewer than 10 dwellings have been identified through the Urban Capacity Study. These are sites which, because of their small size, can not be specifically allocated, but are listed in the Urban Capacity Study and form a windfall allowance. They all lie within the defined Settlement Development Limits, and offer the potential to encourage sustainable patterns of development. The numbers identified for the next 10 years are slightly below those that have been achieved in the previous 10 years.

5.23 The comprehensive nature of the Urban Capacity Study means that the majority of sources of capacity, traditionally calculated as a windfall figure, have been taken into account. However, unpredictable opportunities can always arise and it is still necessary and appropriate to make provision for previously developed sites which come forward unexpectedly for development within the defined Settlement Development Limits. These could include the conversion or re-use of existing dwellings, the change of use of buildings or land in other uses or new build development on previously developed land. The Council also encourages the re-use of vacant rooms over shops for residential use, in accordance with the Government’s Living Over The Shop Scheme (LOTS).

5.24 The re-use of redundant or unused employment land and buildings for housing or mixed use development will be permitted unless it would lead to a qualitative or quantitative deficiency of supply of employment land and unless it can be demonstrated that there is a realistic prospect of the land/buildings being taken up for its stated use in the Plan period. Its redevelopment for housing should also not undermine regional or local regeneration strategies.

5.25 Sufficient previously developed sites are identified to meet the housing requirement. Therefore, planning permission will only be granted for residential development on greenfield sites if, through the Plan period, monitoring indicates that allocated sites are not coming forward at the necessary rate and there will be a clear shortfall of available housing land to meet the Structure Plan requirements, and this shortfall cannot be met through the development of other previously developed sites that come forward in sustainable locations. In this respect, the availability of previously developed sites in neighbouring authorities will be taken in to account.

H2 Housing Development on Other Sites Within the Settlement Development Limits

Within the Settlement Development Limits, planning permission will be granted for residential development on the smaller previously developed sites identified through the Urban Capacity Study, or on other previously developed sites provided that the site is not identified, required or protected for other purposes.

Should annual monitoring indicate that a shortfall of land for housing would occur; a Development Plan Document will be prepared in order to identify alternative sites. This would be carried out in accordance with the sequential approach to site selection.


Monitoring Housing Provision

5.26 In accordance with the plan, monitor and manage approach to the delivery of housing, as set out in PPG3, annual monitoring of residential development will be carried out. Sufficient sites have been identified in the Local Plan to meet the Structure Plan housing requirements. However, further previously developed sites may come forward through Policy H2. The contribution of these additional sites will be monitored carefully to ensure that their development would not lead to significant over provision of housing in the Plan period. The development of large, as yet unidentified, previously developed sites which come forward and which would lead to significant over provision will only be permitted if they would help to achieve the wider objectives of the Plan. Should the results of annual monitoring indicate that sites are not being developed at the necessary rate to achieve the agreed housing requirements, the Council will identify new sites through the preparation of a Development Plan Document under the provisions of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. This would be carried out in accordance with the sequential approach to the identification and allocation of sites for residential development, with previously developed sites in neighbouring authorities being a consideration.

5.27 The former Biwaters site in Clay Cross and, to a lesser extent, the Avenue site at Wingerworth, have capacity to provide development beyond this Plan period. These sites will, therefore, be subject to phasing to ensure that the Structure Plan requirement for the current Plan period is not significantly exceeded.

Housing Outside Settlement Development Limits

5.28 In the rural areas outside the defined Settlement Development Limits, restrictive policies will apply, both within and outside the North East Derbyshire Green Belt in order to prevent intrusive development in the countryside. New development should be directed away from the countryside to sites within existing settlements to encourage sustainable patterns of development. Within the Special Landscape Areas, the requirement to protect the essential character of the high quality landscape from damage arising from development, imposes further restrictions.

5.29 There are, however, some limited circumstances in which proposals for housing development may be permitted in countryside locations such as the change of use of buildings to housing from other uses subject to the provisions of Policy GS7. However, employment or tourism uses can often have a more beneficial impact upon the local economy than a purely residential use. The applicant should, therefore, be able to demonstrate that every reasonable attempt has been made to secure employment or tourism uses.

5.30 New build development in the countryside is limited to proposals that can be shown to be necessary for the operation of a rural based activity, and where a countryside location is essential. The need for a dwelling will be based on the functional and financial tests set out in Annex A of PPS7. Where the need for a dwelling is established, careful consideration will be given to details of location, size, design and materials of construction to reduce the impact on the surroundings. In cases where planning permission is granted for a new dwelling in the countryside, the Council will seek to negotiate a Section 106 Obligation to limit the occupation of the dwelling to a person solely working in the locality in agriculture or forestry and to any resident dependants.

5.31 Proposals for replacement dwellings in the countryside will be permitted only if the number of dwellings would not be increased, the resulting dwelling would not be materially larger than that which it replaces and it would not have a greater impact upon its setting than the original dwelling.

5.32 Affordable housing may be permitted on rural exception sites in areas where there is a proven identified need for such housing. This allows Councils to grant planning permission for local needs housing on sites where residential development would not normally be allowed. (See Policy H9).

5.33 Where planning permission is granted for housing outside Settlement Development Limits, conditions may be imposed, where considered necessary and appropriate, to bring within control all future extensions and/or alterations to the building and other activities within the curtilage of the site which would otherwise be permitted without express consent by virtue of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order, but which might be harmful to the character of the area.

H3 New Housing Outside Settlement Development Limits

Planning permission will only be granted for housing development outside the defined Settlement Development Limits if the proposal falls within one or more of the following categories:

(a) The change of use of existing buildings to housing provided that the building or buildings is/are of a permanent and substantial construction, of a form, bulk and design in keeping with their surroundings and would be capable of being converted without the need for major repair, alteration, extension or reconstruction. The applicant should also be able to demonstrate that every reasonable attempt has been made to secure employment or tourism uses.

(b) New build development in the countryside which can be shown to be necessary for the operation of an agricultural or other use appropriate to a rural location, and where a countryside location is essential. The Council will seek to negotiate a Section 106 Obligation which will ensure that the dwelling is permanently tied to the holding which justified its erection.

(c) Replacement dwellings, provided that the number of dwellings would not be increased and any resulting dwelling would not be materially larger than that which it replaces or have a greater impact upon its setting.

(d) Affordable housing on rural exception sites in areas where there is a proven identified need for such housing.


Renewal of Planning Permissions

5.34 Applications for renewal of planning permission for residential development will not be granted automatically. All applications will be reconsidered in light of current planning policy guidance, and will take account of the need to give priority to the development of previously developed land in sustainable locations, the requirement for higher quality and higher density development and any other material change in circumstances.

H4 Renewal of Planning Permissions

Proposals for the renewal of planning permission for residential development will be considered against the site assessment criteria set out in PPG3 and should also satisfy all the criteria in Policy H12.


Domestic Extensions

5.35 Extensions to homes to provide improved living conditions are likely to be acceptable, provided that they do not have a detrimental effect upon the privacy and amenity of neighbouring properties and also on highway safety. In addition, domestic extensions should be of a good design that respects the character and appearance of the property and locality.

Ancillary Accommodation

5.36 Sometimes additional accommodation is required for a dependant person to enable them to live alongside a carer who is often a relative. This can take the form of an extension to the carer’s dwelling, the conversion of a suitable outbuilding or the erection of a separate self-contained unit of accommodation. All the normal policy provisions will apply to all applications for ancillary accommodation as relate to proposals for extensions, conversions or new build dwellings within settlements or rural areas. However, standards of privacy and amenity may be relaxed in relation to the main dwelling, but not in relation to neighbouring properties. In such circumstances the occupation of the accommodation will be tied by condition to the occupation of the main dwelling.

H5 Domestic Extensions

Where planning permission is required, all extensions to dwellings should be in keeping with the property and street scene in terms of their style, proportion and materials and should avoid significant loss of privacy and amenity for the residents of neighbouring properties. In addition, highway safety should not be compromised.

Outside Settlement Development Limits, proposals which either individually or cumulatively involve a significant change in the scale and character of the original dwelling will be assessed as a proposal for a new dwelling.


Affordable Housing

5.37 The combination of the attractiveness of the rural setting of many of the settlements in the Plan area and the ease of commuting to larger centres of employment in North Derbyshire and South Yorkshire has led to an increasing demand for houses in areas where development constraints exist. This demand has forced up house prices and land values. At the same time, the stock of low cost housing for rent has been reduced by legislation enabling the purchase of Council houses. The result has been that those on modest or low incomes have found it increasingly difficult to find housing that they can afford to rent or buy, particularly in the more rural parts of the district and those settlements constrained by the Green Belt.

5.38 PPG3 and Circular 06/98: Planning and Affordable Housing set out the Government’s approach to the provision of affordable housing through the planning system. Circular 06/98 states that where there is evidence of need for affordable housing based on an up to date survey, local planning authorities should include a policy in the Local Plan that seeks an element of affordable housing provision on suitable sites.

5.39 This policy should include a definition of affordable housing, indicate how many affordable homes need to be provided throughout the Plan area, set indicative targets for specific suitable sites (either as a number or a percentage of the homes on the site) and indicate an intention to negotiate with developers for the inclusion of an element of affordable housing on suitable sites.

5.40 The Council will seek to formulate a Supplementary Planning Document to provide developers with more detailed guidance on the means by which it expects affordable housing to be delivered.

5.41 The Council completed a Housing Needs Survey in December 2002. In determining the level of need for affordable housing in the district, the survey assessed the general characteristics of households across the district and affordability in the housing market, taking into account house prices, rental and income levels.

Definition of Affordable Housing

5.42 The District wide Housing Needs Survey recognises that Government definitions of affordable housing in Circular 6/98, include both subsidised and non-subsidised housing to meet the needs of people who cannot ordinarily afford to buy or rent suitable accommodation on the open market. As a result, the survey investigated the full range of tenure aspirations and needs, including owner occupation, low cost ownership, shared ownership, market renting and social renting. It found that the majority of the need is for subsidised housing rather than low cost market housing.

Assessing Needs

5.43 The Housing Needs Survey (2002) identifies an annual need for an additional 261 dwellings to be provided as affordable housing units across the district, a total of 1728 over the period 2003 to 2011. The level of need is exacerbated by the continuing rise in house prices in the area and the continuing loss of cheaper properties through the Right to Buy process. The survey also indicates an additional annual need for about 40 unsubsidised low cost market housing units. This contrasts with the total identified supply of land for market housing across the district, which is only about 1600 housing units from 2003 to 2011 (about 200 per annum). Table 5.3 shows affordable housing need by parish.

Table 5.3 Affordable Housing Need by Parish to 2006
Parish Affordable Housing Need
Dronfield 241
Clay Cross 97
Eckington 34
North Wingfield 62
Wingerworth 56
Holmesfield 38
Holymoorside & Walton 44
Killamarsh 31
Ashover 51
Grassmoor, Hasland & Winsick 40
Unstone 35
Brampton 37
Tupton 15
Shirland & Higham 11
Pilsley 12
Heath & Holmewood 18
Morton 12
Barlow 12
Calow 7
Brackenfield/ Wessington 11
Sutton-cum-Duckmanton 0



5.44 The Council recognises that this level of need clearly cannot be met solely through the planning system. To seek the level of provision that would meet these needs could actually restrict house building and inflate house prices further. It is considered, therefore, that, given the level of identified need, a more practical and deliverable option is to increase the percentage of affordable homes sought on suitable sites which come forward for residential development, using the lower site size threshold referred to in Circular 6/98. The Council will, therefore, seek the provision of up to 40% of all new dwellings as affordable on allocated sites and other sites of 0.5 hectares and above, or where the number of dwellings proposed is 15 or more, within the Settlement Development Limits of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington, Grassmoor, Holmewood, Killamarsh, North Wingfield, Pilsley, Tupton and Wingerworth. In areas where the Needs Survey has identified a particularly high need, this requirement may be higher.

5.45 The Council will negotiate with the developer to determine the exact scale and nature of provision on each site. This will have regard to local influences at the time, such as the precise scale and type of local need, the economics of developing the site, site suitability, proximity to local services and access to public transport and the need to achieve a successful housing development. The size, type and tenure of dwellings provided on a site will be negotiated on the basis of the particular need in that locality, as identified by the Housing Needs Survey and other relevant information which may be available at the time.

5.46 In cases where a developer of a site is to provide an element of affordable housing but no social landlord is involved, the Council may impose conditions or seek to negotiate a S106 Obligation to provide occupancy criteria, to ensure that all new housing that is to be provided by the developer is occupied either initially or in perpetuity by people falling within particular categories of need for affordable housing. In such cases the following cascade approach will be used. The time required for the housing to remain unallocated before cascading to the next level of eligibility will be 6 weeks for rental schemes and 3 months for owner occupied or shared ownership schemes.

1. a) people residing b) with local connections or c) employed by a firm located within the parish in which the affordable housing is provided. If no such people can be found.
2. to a) people residing b) with local connections or c) employed by a firm located within a parish immediately adjacent to the parish in which the affordable housing is provided. If no such people can be found
3. to a) people residing b) with local connections or c) employed by a firm located elsewhere in the district. If no such people can be found
4. to a) people residing b) with local connections or c) employed by a firm located within a district council area abutting this district.

5.47 In circumstances where it can be clearly shown that all levels of eligibility have been explored and the property remains unoccupied, it may be disposed of on the open market.

5.48 A resident is defined as a person who has lived continuously within the relevant qualifying area for a period of not less than three years out of the previous four years.

5.49 A person with a local connection is defined as somebody who is related to a resident of the qualifying area or who has lived continuously in the qualifying area for more than ten years out of the previous twenty.

H6 Affordable Housing Provision in the Main Settlements

In determining applications for residential development within the Settlement Development Limits of the settlements of Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington, Grassmoor, Holmewood, Killamarsh, North Wingfield, Pilsley, Tupton and Wingerworth, as shown on the Proposals Map, the Council will seek to enter into a S106 Obligation with the developer to secure the provision of an element of affordable housing on suitable sites of 0.5 hectares and above, or where the number of dwellings proposed is 15 or more. The subdivision of a site will not provide exemption from the need to comply with the policy.

The precise proportion and type of affordable housing provided on individual sites will be the subject of negotiation and will be determined with regard to the following criteria:

(a) housing needs within the local area;
(b) the proximity of local shops and services;
(c) access to public transport services;
(d) the economics of developing the site; and
(e) the need to achieve a successful housing development.


Affordable Housing in Rural Areas

5.50 Circular 6/98 states that in settlements in rural areas of fewer than 3000 people, Local Planning Authorities should adopt appropriate thresholds for the provision of affordable housing, taking account of local circumstances. The level of need for affordable housing is exacerbated by the continuing rise in house prices in the area and the continuing loss of cheaper properties through the Right to Buy process. The Council’s Housing Needs Survey indicates that, in view of the identified scale of need, the provision of affordable housing should be negotiated on all suitable sites. As a result of the generally limited number and small size of sites that come forward in rural areas, the threshold should be set at a low enough level to enable some of the identified housing need to be met. The Council considers that this justifies the provision of an element of affordable housing on sites of 0.1 hectares and above, which come forward for residential development within the smaller, more rural settlements. However, in accordance with the underlying sustainable principles of the Local Plan, this will only apply to those settlements with a defined Settlement Development Limit. Therefore, the Council will only apply this threshold to settlements with a population of 3000 people or fewer which have a defined Settlement Development Limit. These settlements are listed below.

Apperknowle
Ashover
Barlow
Brackenfield
Calow
Cutthorpe
Heath
Higham
Highmoor
Holmesfield
Holymoorside
Kelstedge
Littlemoor
Long Duckmanton
Marsh Lane
Mickley
Morton
Old Brampton
Renishaw
Ridgeway
Shirland
Spinkhill
Stonebroom
Stretton
Temple Normanton
Unstone
Wadshelf
Wessington
Woolley Moor

5.51 The Council will seek to negotiate affordable housing provision in respect of new build housing, conversions and changes of use. The Council will negotiate with the developer to determine the exact scale and nature of provision on each site. This will have regard to local influences at the time, such as the precise scale and type of local need, the economics of developing the site, site suitability, proximity to local services and access to public transport and the need to achieve a successful housing development. The size, type and tenure of dwellings provided on a site will be negotiated on the basis of the particular need in that locality, as identified by the Housing Needs Survey and other relevant information which may be available at the time.

H7 Affordable Housing in Settlements With a Population of 3000 or Fewer

In determining applications for residential development within the defined Settlement Development Limits of the settlements listed at Paragraph 5.50, where there is an identified need, the Council will seek to negotiate the provision of affordable housing on suitable sites of 0.1 hectare and above.

The precise proportion and type of affordable housing provided on individual sites will be the subject of negotiation and will be determined with regard to the following criteria:

(a) housing needs within the local area;
(b) the proximity of local shops and services;
(c) access to public transport services;
(d) the economics of developing the site; and
(e) the need to achieve a successful housing development.


5.52 Where the Council and the developer agree that it is not feasible to provide affordable housing on site, the Council will seek to negotiate a financial or other contribution towards the provision of affordable housing elsewhere in the area, including the re-use of empty properties and flats over shops. Applicants will be required to show that there will be a benefit from providing off-site affordable housing i.e. that affordable housing needs can be better met elsewhere in the Plan area or there would be a benefit to the community.

H8 Affordable Housing: Alternative Provision

In cases where it is not considered appropriate to provide on-site affordable housing, the Council will seek to negotiate a financial or other contribution towards the provision of affordable housing on suitable sites elsewhere in the Plan area, including the re-use of long term vacant properties and flats over shops, provided there are shown to be positive benefits to be gained from providing off-site affordable housing.


Affordable Housing on Exception Sites in Rural Areas

5.53 PPG3 and Circular 6/98 state that Councils should seek to meet the needs of local people for affordable housing through the implementation of policies such as H6 and H7. However, in recognising that this may not always be possible and where there remains a lack of affordable housing to meet identified local needs there is the potential for the provision of rural affordable housing to be augmented by an exception policy. This allows Councils to grant planning permission for local needs housing on sites where residential development would not normally be allowed. These will be in locations within and adjoining small rural communities, (further guidance on this matter will be included within the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document). Dwellings permitted in this way will be additional to those identified to meet the Structure Plan housing requirement.

5.54 Housing on rural exception sites must meet a genuine identified local need in areas where no other appropriate sites are available within the defined boundaries of the settlement. This need will have to be confirmed by a survey carried out by the developer, in conjunction with the Council’s Housing Department and, wherever possible, the Parish Council, prior to the submission of a planning application. Where a need for additional affordable housing is shown to exist in small rural settlements with a Settlement Development Limit, and this cannot be satisfied on sites within the SDL, the exception policy may be used to provide affordable housing on appropriate sites on the edge of the settlement. These should be well related to the settlement. In small rural settlements with no defined SDL, development of affordable housing will be expected to take place within the built framework of settlements, including greenfield sites where no suitable brownfield sites are available, only using sites on the edge of the settlement if there are no suitable sites within the settlement. Developers will be expected to pay due regard to the usual requirements concerning design, layout, access, impact upon the highway network and the character of the area.

5.55 Housing provided on exception sites must remain available for affordable local need in perpetuity. Conditions and/or Section 106 Obligations will be imposed to ensure this.

5.56 The following groups of people will normally be considered to come within the definition of local need for the purposes of assessing planning applications and submitted schemes in rural areas.

a) people residing continuously for a period of not less than five years out of the previous ten years in the parish and currently living in accommodation which is overcrowded or otherwise unsatisfactory.

b) people residing continuously for a period of not less than five years out of the previous ten years in the parish and forming a household for the first time.

c) people who are related to a resident of the parish or are not now resident in the parish but who have resided continuously within the parish for more than ten years out of the previous twenty.

d) people who have an essential need arising from age or infirmity to live close to other people who have lived continuously within the parish for more than five years out of the previous ten.

e) people who have an essential need to live close to their work in the parish.

H9 Affordable Housing: Exception Sites in Rural Areas

As an exception to normal planning policies applying throughout the area, the District Council will grant planning permission for affordable housing on rural sites that would not normally be released for development, provided that:

(a) it would meet a genuine local need that would not otherwise be met by the housing market (this need should be shown by the applicant);

(b) arrangements are made to ensure that the benefits remain in perpetuity for local people who cannot afford to occupy houses generally available on the open market;

(c) it is of a size, type, tenure, occupancy and cost suitable to meet the identified local needs; and

(d) it takes full account of environmental considerations as set out in policies elsewhere in the Local Plan. Sites should be located within the built up area of small rural settlements, only using land on the edge of settlements if it can be shown that there are no sites available within the settlement.


Special Needs Housing

5.57 In accordance with advice contained in PPG3, it is the intention of the Council to ensure a reasonable mix of house types and sizes to meet the housing requirements of the whole community.

5.58 Potentially, disability, either temporary or permanent, can affect everyone at some stage of their lives. The Council will seek to ensure that the housing needs of the elderly and people with disabilities are met, and that these groups are not restricted in their choice of housing. It will encourage developers and other agencies to provide dwellings which will enable more people to remain in their homes, if they become disabled or infirm, and live as independently as possible in the community. New housing can easily be designed from the outset to be suitable for adaptation to meet the needs of these groups of people.

5.59 Information from the Housing Needs Survey provides a picture of the level of need for specialised housing. The Council will seek to negotiate the provision of special needs housing on suitable sites to meet an identified need.

H10 Special Needs Housing

Where there is clear evidence of need, the Council will expect developers of residential sites to provide a proportion of dwellings that are designed to mobility standards, particularly on level sites that are well served by shops, community services and public transport. This provision will be secured either through a Section 106 Obligation or by the imposition of planning conditions.


Accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers

5.60 Government guidance set out in Circular 1/94 stresses that it is important for local plans to contain policies relating to the provision of sites for Gypsies and travellers. The provision of sites should be consistent with the protection of the character of the countryside and landscape, and nature conservation interests. Sites should also be well related to the pattern of service provision including shops, schools and other community facilities.

5.61 One site is provided for Gypsies and travellers in North East Derbyshire. This is a permanent site at Corbriggs. Within the District in recent years, there has been evidence of demand for an additional facility through the unauthorised use of sites, albeit of a temporary nature for short periods of the year. The needs of Gypsies and travellers are not solely for residential sites, for many prefer to run businesses from the site on which their caravans are stationed. For these reasons sites adjacent to industrial estates may provide locational opportunities. The position regarding the actual need for further sites for Gypsies will be monitored in association with adjoining authorities and other groups including the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group.

5.62 Regular meetings are now being held between the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group, Bolsover District Council, Chesterfield Borough Council and North East Derbyshire District Council to discuss on-going issues regarding the Group’s concerns. This group will liaise with the County Wide Research Group to draw up a study to determine the current need for Gypsy sites in the area. The results of this study will inform Local Plan policy in determining planning applications for Gypsy sites.

H11 Sites for Gypsies and Travellers

Planning permission will be granted for new Gypsy and traveller caravan sites where there is an identified need for such provision, provided that all the following criteria are met:

(a) the site is within reasonable travelling distance of schools, shops and community facilities;

(b) the site is capable of being provided with a reasonable level of services including water, electricity and sewage disposal facilities, washing facilities and regular refuse collection;

(c) the proposal would not have an adverse effect on the amenity of surrounding uses;

(d) the proposed development would not harm the character and visual amenity of the surrounding landscape; and

(e) the site is not in the Green Belt, Special Landscape Area, within a conservation area or affects the setting of a listed building.


Mobile Homes, Residential Caravans and Chalets for Permanent Occupation

5.63 In cases where this type of accommodation is occupied as a main residence, it will be subject to the same planning considerations as conventional housing. These dwellings require essentially the same range of services and utilities for their proper functioning as conventional housing. As a result, planning applications for this type of accommodation will be judged against the same Local Plan policies as applications for conventional dwellings in similar locations.

Quality and Design of Housing Development

5.64 PPG3 states the Government’s desire to improve the quality and attractiveness of residential areas through the implementation of good urban design principles.

5.65 To fulfil the desire to create and maintain an attractive high quality built environment, it is necessary to ensure that the development itself meets acceptable standards, by paying due regard and attention to details of design, materials, scale, form, siting and access, while at the same time protecting important landscape features and areas of natural history interest.

5.66 In accordance with advice in PPG3, new housing development will be provided at a minimum density of 30 dwellings per hectare to help maximise the efficient use of land, unless it can be shown that this would be inappropriate, having regard to the character of the locality and the physical constraints of the site. In locations where there is good access to public transport or where services and facilities are within convenient walking or cycling distance, there will be scope to seek higher densities.

H12 Design and Layout of New Housing

Proposals for new housing development and the conversion of existing buildings, will be required to:

(a) respect the character of the site or building, its surroundings and the area in which it is located, with particular regard to maintaining and contributing to local distinctiveness;

(b) not damage the amenity of adjoining land and premises or that of existing residents adjoining the new development;

(c) ensure adequate standards of privacy and outlook;

(d) protect important landscape features and areas of natural history interest;

(e) provide landscaping appropriate to the setting, particularly where the development is visually prominent or situated on the urban fringe;

(f) provide a safe traffic circulation system for vehicles and pedestrians and satisfactory vehicular access to the road network; and

(g) further the objectives of sustainable development, not only in locational terms, but in respect of density, design and the capacity of existing infrastructure to support the development and the impact on the natural environment.

Development will be expected to be at a minimum of 30 dwellings per hectare, unless in exceptional circumstances it can be demonstrated that there are significant constraints to development or that the development would have an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the locality. The Council will seek to secure higher densities of development, especially in locations with good public transport accessibility, including town centres or around major nodes along public transport corridors and on other suitable sites.

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