Development Sites and Places Consultation Draft 2012

13 08 2012

Introduction

Planning matters usually generate plenty of local opinion.  This Association was set up following mass objection to a Pogmoor planning issue.  In the following months, many residents voiced their opinions regarding this, and subsequent, planning applications on this website.  More recently, objectors to a planning application in Dodworth shared their concerns with us as it became abundantly clear that we are affected by planning decisions outside of our community boundary.

In July, the Council published its Development Sites and Places Draft Consultation document.  This forms part of the set of strategic development plans for the borough which will replace the existing unitary development plan. ‘Sites and Places’ considers the potential future uses of land and contains guidelines for making decisions on planning applications.  A series of maps show the designation of specific areas. Of particular interest are those areas reserved for employment use or housing.

An independent assessment of the local economy in 2010  identified a need for significantly more employment sites.  25,000 jobs would be required to achieve the Y&H average jobs density and 32,000 to reach the national average.  This equates to between 350-500 ha of new employment sites. ‘Sites and Places’ identifies the potential sites for this extra employment land and new housing required as well.

Proposed changes to land use adjacent to our area

These are the sites which are nearest to our area:

UB4B – This 51 ha parcel of green belt land lies north of Hermit Lane, Gawber down to Barugh Green Road.  It has been identified as ‘potential employment land – options from which the final allocation will be chosen’. It is denoted as ‘potential’ because 681 ha of land has been similarly earmarked but the plan requires between 350-500 ha. This is one of the larger parcels of employment land that has been selected (64 ha if combined with UB4A).  According to the planners, the size of this site will mean that ‘substantial road infrastructure improvements’ will be necessary if it is finally selected. The site selection scoring document notes that access to this site will be from M1 J37.  Presumably, this will mean significant alteration of Hermit Lane for deliveries.  Local employees might be more likely to use the road network in our area as a means of access.  The scoring document suggests that this site would provide borough-wide employment opportunities.  The type of employment is ‘the full range of Class B’.

This proposal will effectively remove the green belt separating the communities of Gawber and Barugh Green. The reduction in Green Belt appears to contradict the Government’s fundamental aim of Green Belt policy which is to ‘prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence’ National Planning Policy Framework, 2012).

West Road

The land on the south side of West Road is shown as ‘urban fabric – land within the settlement with no specific allocation’. In this built up area, it is expected that the predominant use remains.  The Core Strategy  CSP 19 policy covers the protection of existing employment land.  It states:

“Existing employment land, or land last used for employment purposes will be retained in order to safeguard existing or potential jobs. The redevelopment of employment land and buildings for non-employment uses will only take place if:

  • redevelopment would not result in a loss of existing jobs or employment potential; and
  • there will still be an adequate supply of employment land in the locality

If the above criteria can be satisfied then redevelopment will be allowed where it can be demonstrated that the buildings or land cannot satisfactorily support continued employment use.”

The key issues here are:

  • How far away can be defined to be in the ‘locality’?  Could this be UB4B for instance?
  • What is needed to demonstrate that the land can not support employment?

DAR 44 – the former Kingstone School

The grounds will be designated for ‘low density’ (executive) housing.

Consultation

You can view the plans online, although the maps contain much data and might take a while to load up. An alternative is inspect them in the Archive section, on the top floor of the central library. Further information and clarification is available from the Planner themselves.  I found them extremely helpful when I phoned them for help in navigating through the documentation.

The council is inviting comments on its plans.  If you intend to comment, you need to submit them by 4 pm on 28th September. We would also be interested to hear your thoughts. Please let us have your views below on this page.