Skip to main content

Newark & Sherwood Local Development Framework Plan Review - Preferred Approach Strategy July 2016

Newark & Sherwood Local Development Framework Plan Review - Preferred Approach Strategy July 2016

3.0 Spatial Strategy

Main towns and Villages - Spatial Policies 1 & 2

3.1 In order to ensure that the Council's Spatial Strategy is in line with the National Planning Policy Framework the housing and employment targets are being updated to reflect the latest research. These are lower targets than were previously approved through the Core Strategy. Those targets were set by the Regional Planning Body, through the Regional Plan, which based the distribution of dwellings according to its policy of Urban Concentration and areas with growth point status which was in line with the government's approach at that time. That situation has now changed, Regional Plans have been abolished and government guidance is clearly set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and the accompanying Planning Practice Guidance. The Framework, at paragraph 14, requires the local planning authority to positively plan to meet its objectively assessed needs. The Strategic Housing Market Assessment was commissioned to evaluate the full objectively assessed housing need for the three authorities in the Housing Market Area; and the Employment Land Feasibility Study was commissioned for the housing market area and the neighbouring Nottingham Core Housing Market Area in accordance with the guidance which accompanies the National Planning Policy Framework.

Housing Target

3.2 At the Issues Paper stage we proposed that the housing target for Newark and Sherwood should be set at the level of the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) figure derived from the Nottingham Outer Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA). As discussed in the report this differs from the previous target set out in the Regional Plan which was influenced by both planning policy and land supply issues throughout the Region. The full OAN established through the SHMA is for 454 dwellings per annum over the period 2013 to 2033. This gives a total figure of 9080 dwellings to be built over the 20 year period.

Consultation Response - Housing Target

3.3 There was a mixed response to using the OAN figure as the housing target for Newark & Sherwood with a number of respondents supporting the figure and some suggesting it was too high with insufficient infrastructure to support that level of development. The majority of the responses from the development industry seek a range of higher annual figures. Specific representations suggested that the SHMA materially under-estimates the OAN, which should in fact be between 500 and 550 dpa having regard to demographic and economic projections, and market signals.

3.4 At a recent Appeal decision in Farnsfield, one Inspector disagreed with the annual requirement figure, noting that the information for the whole HMA was not before her. She agreed with the appellants with regard to demographic and economic projections and concluded that on the balance of the evidence available to her, a reasonable assessment of the Full Objectively Assessed Need for Newark & Sherwood would be in the order of 550 dwellings per annum. However, the Council disagrees with the Inspectors reasoning, particularly with regards to the position on migration/unattributable population change and employment issues.

Potential Options

Option 1 - Housing Requirement is the SHMA Objectively Assessed Need figure of 9080 dwellings between 2013 to 2033 - 454 dwellings per annum

3.5 Ashfield, Mansfield and Newark & Sherwood District Councils, who form the Nottingham Outer Housing Market Area, commissioned consultants G L Hearn, in conjunction with Justin Gardner of JG Consulting, to produce a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) for the housing market area. The SHMA has been produced in line with planning policy guidance and covers the period 2013 to 2033.

3.6 The National Planning Policy Framework states that Councils should use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area. The SHMA concludes that the full objectively assessed need for Newark & Sherwood is an annual dwelling requirement of 454 dwellings per annum, giving a total requirement of 9080 dwellings over the period 2013 to 2033.

3.7 It is likely that the sites currently allocated within the Core Strategy and Allocations & Development Management DPD can accommodate this level of development with limited change needing to be proposed. An assessment of the current deliverability of allocations is taking place and site specific proposals will be consulted on at a later date.

Option 2 - Housing Requirement is 11,000 dwellings between 2013 to 2033, based on 550 dwellings per annum

3.8 In November 2015 a Public Inquiry was held to consider an appeal against the refusal to grant outline planning permission for the erection of up to 48 dwellings at Southwell Road, Farnsfield. Although the Inspector acknowledged that the SHMA will be tested in due course as part of the development plan process and full details in relation to the HMA as a whole were not before her, she considered that it was necessary for her to reach an evidence based conclusion about the FOAN for Newark & Sherwood, before assessing whether there is any shortfall in housing supply to meet that need. She concluded that on the balance of the evidence available to her, with particular regard to demographic change, economic growth, and contributing to meeting the need for affordable housing, a reasonable assessment of the Full Objectively Assessed Need for Newark & Sherwood would be in the order of 550 dwellings per annum. This would mean a target of 11,000 dwellings over the period 2013 to 2033.

3.9 Providing sufficient sites to accommodate 11,000 dwellings could provide a greater number of sites which would meet the requirements to provide for affordable housing. The Government have indicated their intention to make provision in legislation for developers to provide starter homes, which will be sold at below market price, as part of affordable housing provision. This is considered further in the Housing Policy Section.

3.10 It is possible that additional sites/locations may be needed to ensure that sufficient land can be brought forward to meet the requirements to maintain a rolling 5 Year Land Supply. If the authority cannot show sufficient suitable, deliverable sites on which developers could realistically build the number of dwellings required over the five year period, including any shortfall which has built up and the appropriate buffer as set out in the NPPF, then the policies in the Development Plan will be considered out of date and less weight can be attached to them in determining applications.

 

Option 3 - Housing Requirement is an intermediate figure of 10, 000 dwellings between 2013 to 2033, based on a figure of 500 dwellings per annum

3.11 A third option would be to plan for 500 dwellings per annum or a housing requirement of 10,000 dwellings between 2013 to 2033. This figure sits between the figure of 454 identified in the Councils SHMA and the 550 dwellings per annum as suggested by the Inspector at the Farnsfield Inquiry.

3.12 A figure of 500 dwellings per annum would be an uplift of approximately 10% on top of the identified Objectively Assessed Need figure and planning practice guidance sets out that an increase in the total housing figures included in the local plan should be considered where it could help deliver the required number of affordable homes.

Preferred Approach

3.13 The Council's preferred approach is Option 1. As part of the SHMA process enquiries were made of the authorities who are adjacent to the Housing Market Area to see if they would be seeking to have any unmet need in their authority areas provided elsewhere through the duty to co-operate. It has been confirmed that the adjacent authorities both within and outside of the HMA are intending to make sufficient provision for their own requirements. We engage with our neighbours on a regular basis to ensure that we understand their current planning positions.

3.14 In order to be assured of meeting the housing requirement, it will be necessary to have sufficient sites to more than meet the requirement. Some sites may be developed for greater numbers than indicated in the Plan whilst other may bring forward less. Some sites may no longer be deliverable due to a change in land ownership or other material considerations coming to light which may prevent development of sites as anticipated.

3.15 Using the SHMA OAN figure of 9080 dwellings over the twenty year period would meet the needs of the area as required by the NPPF. This figure is not a maxima and adopting this figure as the housing target would not prevent additional sustainable, currently unidentified, sites which are in accordance with the development plan from coming forward.

3.16 A number of developers disagreed with the findings of the SHMA, believing that the Full Objectively Assessed Need was more likely to be 500 or 550 dwellings per annum, a total requirement of 10,000 or 11,000 dwellings over the plan period. One of those developers was heard by the Inspector at the Farnsfield Inquiry, and as noted above, the Inspector agreed with the appellants in that case with particular regard to the position on migration and unattributable Population Change (UPC), economic forecasts and market signals. However, the District Council does not agree with the Inspectors decision for the following reasons:

Migration and Population Change

3.17 As part of the Review of the Plan, specialist consultants were commissioned to update the evidence base which will inform the Review process. In October 2015, the District Council along with Ashfield and Mansfield District Councils published the final version of the Nottingham Outer Strategic Housing Market Assessment Report. This document has been commissioned by the three Authorities who together form the Nottingham Outer Housing Market Area.

3.18 The Planning Practice Guidance which accompanies the NPPF sets out the approach for assessing the full objectively assessed housing need, providing clarity on how elements of the NPPF should be interpreted. The Nottingham Outer SHMA follows the approach set out in the Guidance and sets the full objectively assessed need as 454 dwellings per annum for Newark & Sherwood.

3.19 The Inspector noted that "I heard evidence on the final draft of the SHMA, which identifies a HMA that covers the area of N&S and two adjacent local authority administrative areas, those of Ashfield and Mansfield. There is nothing before me that leads me to consider that the identified HMA is inappropriate." The Inspector went on to note that "The SHMA will be tested in due course as part of the development plan process and full details in relation to the HMA as a whole are not before me."

3.20 When looking at the issue of longer term migration trends and unattributable population change (UPC) the Inspector accepted the appellants view that the longer term migration figure is appropriate. It is accepted that an adjustment to take account of longer term migration trends results in an identified need for some 499 dpa for N&S. However, the Council contends that it is necessary to make an adjustment to this figure to take into account the SNPP adjusted for UPC in order to ensure that the overall figure for the HMA would be sufficiently accurate in relation to individual local authority areas, particularly in respect of Mansfield. Such an adjustment would reduce the level of housing need for N&S to 446 dpa. Indeed the Inspector accepts that the HMA is greater than that of the administrative area of N&S but concludes that the Full Objectively Assessed Need for Mansfield is not a matter that is before her as part of the appeal.

3.21 The SHMA however, uses professional judgement in arriving at these figures, looking at outputs across all areas and using a consistent approach. By not considering the whole HMA it is difficult to get the full picture. It is considered that the lack of consideration of the HMA is a shortcoming in the approach taken by the inspector which is in conflict with both the NPPF and Planning Practice Guidance.

Economic Circumstances

3.22 A key issue considered at the appeal was whether any adjustment to the housing provision would be required to take account of economic circumstances and market signals. In examining this issue, the Inspector referred to the evidence on economic growth being derived from the Employment Land Forecasting Study (ELFS) produced by Nathaniel Litchfield and Partners (NLP) for the Councils which make up the Nottingham Core and Outer Housing Market Areas. The Inspector acknowledges that the use of a common source may be useful, but considered that "it is nonetheless important to consider whether this forecast appears reasonable in relation to the particular circumstances of the area and to understand the subsequent implications for housing growth."

3.23 The Councils have produced a detailed Position Statement: Farnsfield Appeal Decision and the economic forecasts set out in the Employment Land Forecasting Study, which provides full details of why the Councils feel the Inspector erred in coming to her conclusions on this matter. The position statement is available to view on the website www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/planreview. The position in brief summary is detailed below.

3.24 In this appeal decision, the Inspector accepted the appellant's argument that job forecasts contained in ELFS may have underestimated the level of likely job growth in Newark and Sherwood and also that the participation rates used for older workers were too optimistic. In reaching these conclusions the Inspector considered that the balance of the evidence provided suggests that some further upward adjustment to the demographic housing need figures is likely to be justified in this case.

3.25 Whilst acknowledging the Inspector's conclusions are based on a planning judgement the HMA Councils consider it important to counter the Inspector's criticisms of ELFS which is considered by the HMA Councils to be a robust part of the evidence base. In so doing the HMA Councils have written to NLP and Experian for advice and more explanation on their forecasts.

3.26 It is concluded that if the assumed increase in activity rates were not to occur then the growth in the labour force would be significantly curtailed with lower economic activity and job demand as a result locally, regionally and nationally. In this context, the Inspector's report includes conclusions that are difficult to reconcile:

  • the Experian forecasts which are more optimistic than other national forecasts underestimate economic growth when compared to past trends; and
  • That the participation rates used in the same Experian forecasts are too optimistic.

3.27 On the one hand, it could be argued that the Experian policy-on forecasts may already be on the high side but reflect the policy aspirations of the various partners. On the other hand, if the forecast participation rates used by Experian are too high the forecasts would show far less economic growth nationally, with fewer jobs to fill, higher unemployment and consequently less need for in migration. Experian concur that the implications of lower economic activity rates would need to be tested by rerunning the results through the same model which would result in there being less jobs overall.

3.28 It is accepted that there are inherent uncertainties in forecasting future levels of economic output and jobs. However, the scenarios based on employment forecasts are able to make informed assumptions about likely changes in future, particularly those of a demographic nature such as an aging workforce but also changes in the sectoral distribution of jobs with the shift to service based jobs and increasing dominance of Nottingham City as a service centre location. The HMA Councils consider that the ELFS Policy-on forecasts reflect the policy aspirations of the various key stakeholders and provide a robust basis for the future planning of the two HMAs.

Market Signals and Affordable Housing

3.29 The Inspector goes on to note that an uplift of 8 dwellings would not have any material effect on the relationship of the demand for housing to its supply. She notes "I recognise that house prices are affected by macro-economic issues and the housing market in N&S does not operate in isolation. Nonetheless, this does not justify making only a very limited adjustment to the supply within N&S. If such an approach were followed more widely, then broader issues regarding affordability would remain unresolved."

3.30 The Inspector makes the following conclusion: "Bringing together the above factors, I consider that the minimum housing need figure resulting from demographic change for N&S should be 499 dpa. Furthermore, in order to achieve a meaningful level of upward adjustment, which I consider to be necessary for the above reasons to reflect likely future economic growth, address issues of affordability and make some contribution towards meeting the identified need for affordable housing within the area, I conclude that, on the balance of the evidence available to me, a reasonable assessment of the FOAN for N&S would be in the order of 550 dpa."

3.31 However, the Local planning authority believes the uplift needs to be understood in the context of the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG). Para 019 of the PPG is clear that a market signals adjustment is to be applied to the starting point. For the whole HMA the final number (1,310 dpa) is some 22% higher than the start point (1,074 dpa).

3.32 Wherever possible, the District Council will seek to secure affordable housing provision in accordance with the amended provisions of Core Policy 1. The Council's Strategic Housing Business Unit is also actively engaged in the direct delivery of affordable housing along with working in partnership with registered affordable housing providers and developers. Whilst the Council could set a higher housing target in order to boost the supply of affordable housing, this would potentially divert housing from adjacent authorities. If all the local Councils are seeking to meet there own need then increasing the level of housing provision in any district will have to draw additional population in from other areas. Whilst there is clearly a need for affordable housing provision within the District, it is not as acute as in many other parts of the country. The full objectively assessed need of the District is already based on an increase from the original demographic starting point. It is not considered appropriate to further increase the housing target as a means of providing more affordable housing as affordable units can only be secured on eligible sites over the Government threshold, where they are viable. The Council will seek to maximise the provision of affordable housing and starter homes in accordance with Core Policy 1 alongside the direct delivery of affordable housing.

3.33 Although the Inspector was persuaded by the developers evidence at the appeal, further investigations have clarified that the approach taken with regards to the economic activity rates and job projections were based on incorrect assumptions. The correct forum for testing the results of the SHMA is through the Development Plan Process. This point was also noted by the Inspector. The Council considers that the SHMA represents the best evidence presently available in respect of housing need, which is capable of being a robust and sound assessment of that need.

Question 1

Do you agree with the Council’s Preferred Approach to the housing target?

Option Results Count
Yes
No

Employment Target

3.34 The Issues paper discussed the need for the employment and housing targets to be aligned. The Employment Land Feasibility Study (ELFS), jointly commissioned with the Authorities of the Nottingham Core and Outer housing Market Areas, sets a range of provision for new employment land from 62.6 to 74.5 hectares for industrial/storage and distribution uses (B1c/B2/B8 and 91,192 sqm to 113,040 sqm for office and research establishments (B1a/b).

Consultation Response

3.35 The majority of respondents support the target range for new employment although Newark Town Council disagreed with the proposed approach, saying that the starting point for calculations of future targets may be flawed because the document does not 'reflect the current reduction in existing employment sites'. The development industry noted that the upper target should not be treated as a maximum figure and the Council should plan for sufficient flexibility to deliver a strong and prosperous economy. It was further noted that flexibility is required to accommodate proposals with atypical plot densities/employment densities within new buildings.

Preferred Approach

3.36 The Council commissioned the Employment Land Feasibility Study jointly with the other Councils in the Nottingham Outer and Nottingham Core Housing Market Areas. At the time of the issues paper it was proposed to use the range of figures produced as the employment target.

3.37 In order to allocate land for B1a/b uses an assumption of 40% plot coverage has been made and floor space calculated for 2 storey developments. Whilst it is likely that office development in town centres will be developed as a much higher level of plot coverage (i.e. the office floor space, on one or more storeys, could cover the whole site with no dedicated parking facilities provided) larger office or research establishments on employment estates are more likely to be developed with areas of car parking and landscaping provided and in some instances may be single storey. It is therefore considered that an average plot ratio of 40% is a reasonable assumption to calculate the area of land required.

3.38 The four scenarios identified through the Employment Land Feasibility Study expressed in hectares of land are therefore:

 

1.

Job Growth based on Experian Baseline

2.

Job Growth with Experian Data and LEP jobs target

3.

Labour Supply Housing Requirements

4.

Projections Based on Past Completions continue

B1c/B2 and B8 (Ha)

66.40

71.36

74.53

62.60

B1a/b (Ha)

11.40

11.72

12.11

14.13

Total

77.80

83.08

86.64

76.73

 

3.39 However, all the other authorities within both the Core and Nottingham Outer Housing Market Areas are using the figures which were produced taking account of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership [LEP], or 'Policy-On' scenario 2. This makes an additional allowance over and above the Experian projections to allow for the growth strategy set out in the LEP's Strategic Economic Plan. This is scenario is only 3.5 hectares below the highest scenario. Under the Duty to Cooperate, it is considered that using the same scenario as all the other partner authorities in the Housing Market Area would be more appropriate.

3.40 As can be seen above, the largest requirement for B1c/B2/B8 is from the labour supply housing requirements whilst for office/research establishments the projection based of past trends is greatest. When looking at the requirements in total it can be seen that the largest requirement is that based on the labour supply. However, in order to ensure meeting the target, allowing sufficient flexibility for a choice of sites and to accommodate proposals with atypical plot densities/employment densities within new buildings as noted in the consultation responses, it is likely that more than sufficient land will continue to be identified.

Question 2

Do you agree with the Council’s Preferred Approach to the employment target?

Option Results Count
Yes
No

Settlement percentage distribution

3.41 It was agreed by the Inspector that consideration would be given to reducing housing targets in Lowdham and Blidworth as part of the Plan Review if it was not possible to meet the percentages set out. Whilst detailed work on available sites and delivery is still on going, it is clear that sufficient land is unlikely to be available or deliverable within the settlements as constrained by the Green Belt. As noted below, it is not intended to review the Green Belt boundaries as part of the plan review process. It will therefore be necessary to re-assess the settlement percentages as expressed in Spatial Policy 2 Spatial Distribution of Growth.

3.42 The earlier than anticipated closure of Thoresby Colliery in July 2015 has also had an impact on the Sherwood Area. The Sherwood Area objectives seek to encourage the regeneration and redevelopment of the former mining communities of the area. At the time of the Core Strategy, Thoresby Colliery was the District's last working deep mine employing approximately 600 people. Proposals have been put forward as part of the Plan Review for the re-development of the colliery site to accommodate housing, employment and leisure uses on the restored tip site which would link in to the adjacent Sherwood Forest and relocated Visitor Centre. This opens up the opportunity for a new strategic site in the west of the District.

Option 1 - Include Land at the Former Thoresby Colliery Edwinstowe as a Strategic Site

3.43 Edwinstowe is currently identified as a Principal Village and was allocated 20% of the housing growth set out for Principal Villages (2.5% in total). The strategy for Edwinstowe was one of securing Sustainable Communities: to secure and support the role of Service Centres and Principal Villages identified for this approach, provision will be made for new housing to meet local housing need and support for employment to provide local jobs.

3.44 We are currently investigating what the impacts of redeveloping this site could be. There will obviously need to be consideration given to the potential impacts of any new development on the important national and local nature conservation sites which surround Thoresby Colliery. Infrastructure improvements will also need to be considered with particular regard to any possible impacts or improvements to the Ollerton roundabout as well as additional needs which may arise for facilities within or adjacent to Edwinstowe as a result of development. The District Council is keen to gather views on whether or not the principle of the redevelopment of this site is acceptable.

3.45 Harworth Estates, who are proposing the development of the site, believe that this would support the retention of existing facilities and amenities within Edwinstowe itself whilst creating an opportunity for new community facilities within the development which will be for the benefit of everyone in the area. It is also suggests that the development would lend support to any future proposals for extending the Robin Hood Line due to increased passenger numbers.

Option 2 - Do not Include Land at the Former Thoresby Colliery Edwinstowe as a Strategic Site

3.46 An alternative option is to not allocate the site. The site is subject of a restoration condition which should return the land to a greenfield site. The closure of the colliery and the loss of employment to the local area have already taken place.

3.47 Edwinstowe is already identified as a sustainable community where development proposals should seek to meet local housing need and provide support for employment to provide local jobs.

Preferred Approach

3.48 The Council's preferred approach is to allocate the former Thoresby Colliery site as a strategic mixed use for the west of the District. The opportunity presented by this site could help to bring more significant employment provision to the west of the district than can be provided under the current strategy. Developing the whole site for a mix of housing, employment, leisure and nature conservation uses will allow for more significant community benefits to be provided which could be of benefit to the wider area. The incorporation of additional green space could provide alternative destinations which would take the pressure off some of the Districts more sensitive sites.

3.49 However, if we accept Thoresby Colliery as a strategic site, the level of development anticipated would be beyond that of just securing and supporting the role of Edwinstowe as a Principal Village. The strategy for development at Edwinstowe would therefore now more appropriately be one of regeneration where the District Council will seek to secure new employment opportunities, the regeneration of vacant land and the provision of new housing. The provision of this strategic mixed use site linked to the existing community of Edwinstowe would move it away from being a Principal Village to one with a greater range of local facilities which would sit more comfortable within the spatial hierarchy as a Service Centre.

3.50 We have adjusted the housing and employment percentages to reflect Edwinstowe's proposed new status as a Service Centre which is a focus for regeneration. This has led to a percentage reduction in overall provision in Newark Urban Area, which reflects the longer lead in timescales for the Strategic Sites than was originally anticipated at the time of the Examination of the Core Strategy. This has also resulted in other Service Centre changing modestly. We have also reduced the level of development in Blidworth and Lowdham, and adjusted the other Principal Villages to reflect proposals on the ground. This leads to the following:

Spatial Policy 1

Settlement Hierarchy

The Settlement Hierarchy for Newark and Sherwood identifies which settlements are central to the delivery of Newark and Sherwood's Spatial Strategy and identifies the role of these settlements in delivering that Strategy. The Hierarchy is defined below:

Settlements central to delivering the Spatial Strategy

Sub-Regional Centre

Features - Major centre in the Sub-Region, containing services and facilities for the District.

Function - To be the focus for housing and employment growth in Newark & Sherwood and the main location for investment for new services and facilities within the District.

The Sub-Regional Centre is defined as Newark Urban Area which is made up of Newark, Balderton and Fernwood.

The extent of the main built-up areas of the Sub-Regional Centre will be defined by an Urban Boundary.

Service Centres

Features - Service Centres have a range of local facilities, normally including a secondary school, good public transport and local employment.

Function - Act as a focus for service provision for a large local

population and a rural hinterland.

The following communities have been designated as Service Centres within the various Areas of the District:

Southwell Area

Southwell

Sherwood Area

Ollerton & Boughton, Edwinstowe

Mansfield Fringe Area

Clipstone, Rainworth

The extent of the main built-up areas of Service Centres will be defined by an Urban Boundary.

Principal Villages

Features - Principal Villages which have a good range of day to day facilities - primary school, food shop, health facilities, employment or access to nearby employment and complement the role of Service Centres.

Function - Act as secondary focus for service provision in each Area. Support for service provision in these locations to assist rural accessibility.

The following communities have been designated as Principal Villages within the various Areas of the District:

Newark Area

Collingham, Sutton-on-Trent

Southwell Area

Farnsfield

Nottingham Fringe

Lowdham

Sherwood Area

Bilsthorpe, Edwinstowe

Mansfield Fringe

Blidworth

The extent of the main built-up areas of the Principal Villages will be defined by Village Envelopes.

Other Villages in Newark & Sherwood

Within the Green Belt development will be considered against Spatial Policy 4B Green Belt Development.

Within the rest of the District development will be considered against the sustainability criteria set out in Spatial Policy 3 Rural Areas.

 

 

Question 3

Do you agree with the Council’s Preferred Approach to change the status of Edwinstowe within the Settlement Hierarchy to accommodate a strategic site at Thoresby Colliery? 

Option Results Count
Yes
No
Section
Spatial Policy 2

Spatial Distribution of Growth

The spatial distribution of growth in Newark and Sherwood District will focus on:

1. Supporting the Sub-Regional Centre of Newark Urban Area (Newark, Balderton and Fernwood). Newark Urban Area will be the main location for new housing and employment growth in the District. Newark Town Centre will act as a focus for new retail, cultural and leisure development. To support such growth the District Council and its partners will work together to secure and provide new infrastructure, facilities and services.

2. Regeneration. Within Service Centres and Principal Villages identified for regeneration, the District Council will seek to secure new employment opportunities, the regeneration of vacant land and the provision of new housing.

3. Securing Sustainable Communities. To secure and support the role of Service Centres and Principal Villages identified for this approach, provision will be made for new housing to meet local housing need and support for employment to provide local jobs.

The housing requirements for Newark & Sherwood District between 2013 and 2033 are 9080 dwellings. When discounting dwelling completions and commitments in settlements which are not central to the delivery of the Spatial Strategy, the total number of dwellings to be allocated by the District Council between 2013 and 2033 in the Sub-Regional Centre, Service Centres and Principal Villages is in the region of 8806 dwellings. In allocating sites for housing development the following percentages will be met:

Location

Strategy

Percentage of Housing Growth

Sub-Regional Centre

Newark Urban Area

Support for the Sub-Regional Centre

60% of overall growth

Service Centres

 

30% of overall growth

Ollerton & Boughton

Regeneration

30% of Service Centre growth

Rainworth

Regeneration

10% of Service Centre growth

Southwell

Sustainable Communities

10% of Service Centre growth

Clipstone

Regeneration

25% of Service Centre growth

Edwinstowe

Regeneration

25% of Service Centre growth

Principal Villages

 

10% of overall growth

Bilsthorpe

Regeneration

30% of Principal Village growth

Blidworth

Regeneration

20% of Principal Village growth

Collingham

Sustainable Communities

20% of Principal Village growth

Farnsfield

Sustainable Communities

24% of Principal Village growth

Lowdham

Sustainable Communities

1% of Principal Village growth

Sutton-on-Trent

Sustainable Communities

5% of Principal Village growth

 

The employment land requirement for Newark & Sherwood District between 2013 and 2033 is around 83.1 hectares. This figure is distributed amongst the five Areas of the District, and in allocating sites for employment development, the following figures will be achieved:

Area

Overall employment land to be provided (In hectares)

Newark Area

51.9

Southwell Area

4.5

Nottingham Fringe Area

0.1

Sherwood Area

16 .2

Mansfield Fringe Area

10.4

Total

83.1

 

3.52 The Table below compares the Housing targets and residual requirements between those in the Core Strategy and what is now proposed in the Plan Review. It should be noted that both the Core Strategy and Plan Review Requirements take account of completions and planning permissions in the rest of the District before apportioning the percentages to the settlements central to the delivery of the spatial strategy. The requirements set out in the table below are therefore 14,182 (Requirement 14,800) for the core Strategy and 8,806 (9080) for the Plan Review. The residual requirement takes account of dwellings completed from the beginning of the plan periods to the dates noted, as well as current planning permissions.

Settlement

Core Strategy Requirement (2006- 2026)

Plan Review Preferred Approach Requirement (2013 - 2033)

Core Strategy

Residual Requirement (as at 1 April 2009)

Plan Review Residual Requirement

(as at April 2016)

Newark Urban Area

9913

5284

7760

2324

Service Centres

2832

2642

1864

959

Ollerton & Boughton

1133

793

513

206

Rainworth

425

264

421

77

Southwell

425

264

294

151

Clipstone

850

660

636

-21

Edwinstowe

n/a

660

n/a

545

Principal Villages

1416

881

990

420

Bilsthorpe

354

264

232

121

Blidworth

354

176

300

138

Collingham

142

176

117

124

Edwinstowe

283

n/a

121

n/a

Farnsfield

142

211

109

-4

Lowdham

71

9

65

3

Sutton on Trent

71

44

46

37

 

3.53 Although the detailed work on existing allocations and their delivery is still being completed, the following table sets out the Plan Review Residual Requirement and then includes an allowance for existing allocations, which do not yet have the benefit of planning permission, to give a better picture of the current position. This table is only indicative at this stage and may be subject to change once the detailed work is completed. It should be noted that where permission has been granted subject to the signing of a S106 legal agreement (and therefore not yet counted in the planning permission figures) for a larger number of dwellings than shown in the allocation, this figure has been used instead.

Settlement

Plan Review Residual Requirement

(as at April 2016)

Allowance for existing allocations still to gain planning permission

Approximate

Residual

Dwelling

Numbers to be

found

Newark Urban Area

2324

5971

-3647

Service Centres

959

960

-1

Ollerton & Boughton

206

370

-164

Rainworth

77

190

-113

Southwell

151

230

-79

Clipstone

-21

120

-99

Edwinstowe

545

50*

495

Principal Villages

420

412

8

Bilsthorpe

121

75

46

Blidworth

138

155

-17

Collingham

124

140

-16

Farnsfield

-4

0

-4

Lowdham

3

5

-2

Sutton on Trent

37

37

0

 

3.54 Where there is a negative figure shown this indicates that there is potential for more houses to be delivered than are needed to meet the minimum requirement. In Newark Urban Area this includes the totals as allocated within the Core Strategy for the remaining Strategic Urban Extensions at Land East of Newark and Land around Fernwood. It is currently anticipated that development on Land East of Newark will be for significantly lower numbers that originally identified and that development of the Land around Fernwood may extend beyond the Plan period so not all of these number are likely to be available. Firmer figures for all of the allocations will be available once the site specific work on the allocations has been completed. Consultation on the site specific details will take place later in the year. The figures for Southwell and Blidworth do not include an allowance for So/MU/1 (former Minster School) and Bl/Ho/4 (Dale Lane Allotments) allocations as we have been informed by the owners that these sites are no longer available for development.

3.55 As can be seen above the only settlements where additional land may possibly be required are in Edwinstowe and Bilsthorpe. Within Bilsthorpe an area of land next to Bi/Ho/2 (former Nobles Food Site) was identified as having planning permission but this has now lapsed. It is currently understood that proposals for the redevelopment of the whole of the former Nobles Food site incorporating both the allocation and the land identified as HoPP are being considered. Therefore it is our current belief that only in Edwinstowe, where we are proposing the inclusion of the Thoresby Colliery Strategic Site, will a new allocation need to be made.

Question 4

Do you agree with the Council’s Preferred Approach to the distribution of development within the Settlement Hierarchy?

Option Results Count
Yes
No

Rural Areas - Spatial Policies 1 and 3

3.56 The Issues Paper discussed the fact that the Settlement Hierarchy in Spatial Policy 1 does not identify settlements below principal villages as locations suitable for development without the requirement to satisfy a number of criteria (location, scale, need, impact and character). A number of communities are concerned that this does not always allow for proposals that support sustainable development. The Issues Paper discussed identifying such communities in an expanded hierarchy.

Consultation Response

3.57 There was broad agreement for some level of change to support small scale sustainable growth however Parish Council's where not of a single mind on this matter; other than that the vast majority did not want to be named in the settlement hierarchy. Other stakeholders set out a range of possible options for considering how appropriate development could be facilitated in rural communities and suggested a range of potential settlements that could be suitable for further development. Only a small number of Parish Council's put their communities forward for consideration for identification for future growth.

Potential Options

Option 1 - Identify Settlements below Principal Villages in a hierarchy

3.58 This would require the identification of the features that settlements should have to be considered sustainable and to support growth. Appendix B contains our latest understanding of the services and facilities available in various communities in the rural areas of the district, along with an understanding of accessibility to larger centres. It is regarded that everyday facilities would be regarded as a Public House, Post Office, Shop, Primary School, Village Hall/Community Centre. The following communities are currently potential options for inclusion in an amended hierarchy:

  • Bleasby
  • Caunton
  • Coddington
  • Elston
  • Farndon
  • Fiskerton
  • Halam
  • Harby
  • Kneesall
  • North Muskham
  • Norwell
  • Walesby
  • Winthorpe

 

3.59 Within the main built up area of these villages new residential development would be supported provided it was appropriate to the size and location of the settlement, its status in the settlement hierarchy and in accordance with the Core Strategy and other relevant Development Plan Documents.

3.60 The consultation responses revealed that communities did not wish to be identified in the hierarchy; because they felt it would lead to increased development or that any identification based on criteria relating to service provision will change over time. The District Council has always been clear that whilst change to policy would apply to all rural communities, there would need to be a level of community support to do this. Parish Council's were not keen to see their communities named and therefore consideration would need to be given to how sustainable development could be achieved without identification in the hierarchy.

Option 2 - Retain the current approach

3.61 Whilst retaining the current approach would still allow an element of housing growth in some communities, the "local need" requirement would remain and thereby not allow the level of housing some communities have requested.

Option 3 - Amend Spatial Policy 3

3.62 Several consultees have highlighted that selection of communities based on current levels of service provision or accessibility could quickly change if a bus route is withdrawn or a facility closes. Therefore under this option Spatial Policy 3 would continue to provide the basis for assessment of the ability of a settlement to support growth, rather than this being predetermined in Spatial Policy 1. It would be proposed that the policy would be amended to reshape the local need requirement to reflect the need for new development to support local services and the ability to allow development in communities that are well related to villages with services. The propose changes are underlined in the wording below

Spatial Policy 3

Rural Areas

The District Council will support and promote local services and facilities in the rural communities of Newark & Sherwood. Local Housing need will be addressed by focusing housing in sustainable, accessible villages. The rural economy will be supported by encouraging tourism, rural diversification and appropriate agricultural and forestry development. The countryside will be protected and schemes to increase biodiversity, enhance the landscape and, in the right locations, woodland cover will be encouraged.

Beyond Principal Villages, proposals for new development will be considered against the following criteria:

  • Location - new development should be within the main built-up areas of villages which have sustainable access to Newark Urban Area, Service Centres or Principal Villages and have a range of local services themselves which address day to day needs. Local services include but are not limited to Post Office/shops, schools, public houses and village halls;
  • Scale - new development should be appropriate to the proposed location and small scale in nature;
  • Need - Employment and tourism which requires a rural/village location. New or replacement facilities to support the local community. Development which supports local agriculture and farm diversification. New housing where it helps to support community facilities and local services and reflects local need in terms of both tenure and house types;
  • Impact - New development should not generate excessive car-borne traffic from out of the area. New development should not have a detrimental impact on the amenity of local people nor have an undue impact on local infrastructure, including drainage, sewerage systems and the transport network; and
  • Character - New development should not have a detrimental impact on the character of the location or the landscape setting.

Within the main built up area of villages consideration will also be given to schemes which secure environmental enhancements by the re-use or redevelopment of former farmyards/farm buildings or the removal of businesses where the operation gives rise to amenity issues. The scale of such enabling development should be appropriate to the location of the proposal.

Within the main built up area of settlements which do not meet the locational criterion of this policy but are well related to villages that do, consideration will be given to the infilling of small gaps with 1 or 2 dwellings so long as this does not result in the joining of outlying areas into the main built up areas of the village in question or the coalesence with another village. Such development will need to comply with the scale, need, impact and character criteria of this policy.

Development away from the main built-up areas of villages, in the open countryside, will be strictly controlled and restricted to uses which require a rural setting such as Agriculture and Forestry. Consideration will also be given to the re-use of rural buildings of architectural merit. The Allocations & Development Management DPD will set out policies to deal with such applications.

 

 

3.63 The Council's Preferred Approach is  Option 3, it provides the right balance between allowing development in sustainable accessible locations and allowing unrestricted development.

Question 5

Do you agree with the Council’s Preferred Approach to the Rural Areas?

Option Results Count
Yes
No

Nottingham-Derby Green Belt - Spatial Policies 4A and 4B

3.64 The Issues Paper set out the Council's proposed approach to the element of the Nottingham-Derby Green Belt in Newark & Sherwood. It was proposed that no further amendments should be made to the Nottingham-Derby Green Belt and that if no additional sites were found that housing figures in Lowdham and Blidworth be lowered.

Consultation responses

3.65 There was equal support and opposition for the proposed approach, a number thought it was not appropriate to re-distribute housing requirements beyond the Green Belt, or fail to address housing need in and around Lowdham and Blidworth.

Preferred Approach

3.66 As recognised through national policy an essential characteristic of the Green Belt is its permanence, with boundaries only being altered in exceptional circumstances, through the Development Plan process. In reviewing boundaries there is the expectation that regard shall be had to their intended permanence in the long term, so that they should be capable of enduring beyond the plan period. Taking account of this, the fact that the proposed new plan period (2013 - 2033) overlaps with the existing (2006 - 2026) and that Green Belt boundaries were only recently amended, in 2012, the Council does not intend to further review Green Belt boundaries.

3.67 As set out in the amendments to Spatial Policy 2, above, housing figures will be adjusted for all settlements in Newark & Sherwood in line with the new proposed housing targets; and in the case of Blidworth and Lowdham to reflect the lack of sites within the villages not in the Green Belt to meet housing requirements. Whilst Blidworth will continue to see significant levels of housing provision, in Lowdham it is recognised that whilst currently no suitable sites other than those allocated is available in the future such sites could emerge. Therefore it is proposed that in future Lowdham be included within the list of settlements where consideration will be given to the development of 'Rural Affordable Housing Exceptions Sites.' This approach will allow for any sites which subsequently emerge to be considered around the edge of Lowdham to help address local housing need.

3.68 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) provides the most up to date national guidance on development in the Green Belt. In respect of new housing, it states that the construction of new buildings is, by definition, inappropriate unless it comprises limited infilling in villages and limited affordable housing for local community need under policies set out in the Local Plan. In line with this part of the NPPF the District Council has specifically designated settlements for Rural Affordable Housing Exception Sites through Spatial Policy 4B. No settlements have been identified for the limited infilling of development. It is therefore proposed to make this clear in Spatial Policy 4B.

3.69 Given the proposed changes and the need to provide clear guidance regarding the status of the Green Belt and the settlements (in particular Gunthorpe and Bulcote) within it we propose to amend the Spatial Policies 4A and 4B accordingly.

Spatial Policy 4A

 

Extent of the Green Belt

The extent of the Nottingham - Derby Green Belt which lies within Newark & Sherwood District, as set out on the Policies Map, will remain unchanged following the earlier small scale review undertaken in 2012.

 

Spatial Policy 4B

Green Belt Development

Within the extent of the Nottingham - Derby Green Belt which lies within Newark & Sherwood District, as set out on the Policies Map, new housing and employment development will be focused in the Principal Villages of Blidworth and Lowdham, along with Gunthorpe and the part of Bulcote which is attached to Burton Joyce. These locations are excluded from the Green Belt and defined by Village Envelopes. Development proposals in the two Principal Villages will be judged according to the provisions Spatial Policy 1 and Policy DM 1. Development proposals within Gunthorpe and the part of Bulcote attached to Burton Joyce will be judged according to the provisions of Spatial Policy 3.

No villages 'washed over' by the Green Belt have been identified for limited infilling.

In or adjacent to the main built up areas of the following villages consideration will be given to the development of 'Rural Affordable Housing Exceptions Sites' to meet local housing need:

Bulcote, Caythorpe, Epperstone, Gonaldston, Gunthorpe, Hoveringham, Lowdham, Hoveringham and Oxton.

Proposals should be in line with Core Policy 2 Rural Affordable Housing. Development should be small scale in nature, should not have detrimental impact on the character of the village or on the openness of the Green Belt.

Other development in the Green Belt will be judged according to national Green Belt policy.

 

 

Question 6

Do you agree with the Council’s Approach to the Green Belt?

Option Results Count
Yes
No

Delivering the Strategy

3.70 Spatial Policy 5 was originally a policy detailing the allocation of the three strategic sites. It is considered that this policy should more appropriately consider the wider delivery strategy for the Plan. Although the Objectively Assessed Need of 9080 dwellings for the 20 year period is lower that the Core Strategy Target of 14800 dwellings there will still need to be some flexibility in the amount of land allocated in order to ensure that the targets can be delivered. The delivery of development is influenced by many factors including the economic climate. Should development on key strategic sites not be forthcoming at the levels anticipated or delays in delivery occur, there needs to be additional capacity within the Plan to ensure that the Council can identify a Five year housing land supply in accordance with the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework. A number of sites which were originally allocated within the Allocations & Development Management DPD are still considered to be developable but are subject to a level of uncertainty over the timescale for delivery. These sites will be identified on the Proposals Map as 'Opportunity Sites' and if it becomes clear through the monitoring process that delivery rates are dropping the Council will work with land owners and developers to actively try to actively resolve delivery issues where this will bring forwards development on these opportunity sites. The following wording is suggested:

Spatial Policy 5

Delivering the strategy

To ensure that the housing and employment needs of the District are delivered over the plan period, sufficient sites have been allocated to more than meet the requirements. There is sufficient flexibility to allow for some sites not delivering as anticipated whether in terms of the rate of delivery or due to unanticipated considerations preventing development occurring. The following strategic sites will be developed as new neighbourhoods, in a phased manner throughout the plan period and beyond:

  • Land South of Newark
  • Land East of Newark
  • Land around Fernwood;
  • Land at the former Thoresby Colliery, Edwinstowe

Where it becomes clear through the monitoring process that delivery is not taking place at the rates required, the Council will actively seek to bring forward opportunity sites by working with landowners and developers to release sites earlier in the plan period.

 

Question 7

Do you agree with the Council’s proposed amendments to Spatial Policy 5?

Option Results Count
Yes
No

Any other comments on the Spatial Strategy?

One person has answered this question.