Important document to go before Chesterfield councillors

The draft Local Plan will be debated by councillors at Chesterfield town hall.
The draft Local Plan will be debated by councillors at Chesterfield town hall.

Councillors are set to debate a draft masterplan which lists planned sites for thousands of new homes across Chesterfield.

Chesterfield Borough Council has produced a draft Local Plan which details the proposed future housing, industrial, commercial and leisure land use in the area until 2033.

READ MORE: Here's where thousands of new homes could be built in Chesterfield in the future

Between now and then, the important document proposes:

• Setting aside enough land for around 5,250 new homes, with a requirement to build at least 4,374 of those. This is a lower figure than in previous versions of the Local Plan. Most of the sites identified were included in the 2017 draft Local Plan but have been updated following comments made during that consultation process

• Continuing to use the existing Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 planning agreements to provide community facilities, such as schools and GP services, in places where development takes place

• That major housing developments have up to 30 per cent affordable housing included within them

• Up to 25 per cent of homes on major developments meet the higher ‘accessible and adaptable’ standard in the building regulations, which means they can be altered to suit people with mobility issues

• All new homes and commercial developments are required to include electric vehicle charging points

• Continued support for the restoration of Chesterfield Canal

• Continued protection of the green belt, and a group of new ‘green wedges’ and ‘strategic gaps’

• Developing 108 acres of employment land

• Providing 7,736 square metres of new retail space

The authority’s cabinet and full council meetings – which will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 12, respectively - will both consider the draft Local Plan with a view to approving it to go out to a six-week public consultation next January.

When the consultation is completed, the plan will be considered by an independent Government planning inspector at a public inquiry later in 2019.

Councillor Terry Gilby, the council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “The Local Plan is important to local residents and businesses because it is the starting point for assessing the merits of individual planning applications.

“It will guide development to the most appropriate places, achieving a balance between protecting green spaces and meeting the housing developments we are legally required to deliver, while also providing the jobs and leisure opportunities residents need.

“Many of the sites within this plan will not be developed for many years but we have to include them to show that we can meet the demand over the medium term. Having a robust plan enables us to then resist planning applications at less appropriate sites.

“Much of our future housing need will be met from building on large brownfield sites, including at Waterside and the former Staveley Works area. We also have to show a mix of smaller and medium sized housing schemes.”

According to the council, most of the proposals within the draft Local Plan build upon the existing document but have been updated to reflect new planning guidance and legislation, as well as the latest statistical information on a range of topics including population size, housing need and requirements for open spaces.

Coun Gilby added: “The public and businesses will have a full opportunity to give their views, both during the public consultation and at the independent planning inquiry before anything is adopted. We will also hold drop-in information events so that residents can discuss specific issues within their community.

“We will publicise full details about the consultation and engagement events in January so that everyone knows when and how they can give their views.”