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Erewash Core Strategy Review – our response

By Lewis Townsend
24th May 2022

Erewash’s core strategy review has just completed its eight week consultancy phase. With several developments proposed on the edge of the Erewash Green Belt, we’ve submitted a new objection, and some alternative recommendations.

The main thrust of our response and counter-proposal to Erewash’s Core Strategy Review comes from their proposals to build on Green Belt land – something that we feel should be protected and have previously objected to. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that Green Belt boundaries can only be altered in ‘exceptional circumstances’. Further, local authorities should not set planning targets for levels of growth that harm the Green Belt. This framework has not been adhered to and we do not believe that these proposals constitute ‘exceptional circumstances’

Read our response in full

House building pressure

Erewash District Council have so far managed to avoid building on Green Belt land, largely down to the allocation of brownfield land in Stanton which CPRE will always push for as the first option for development. However, housing targets set by government are putting extra pressure on Erewash Council to allocate more land – and part of their proposal involves chipping away at Green Belt land. Although we have some sympathy towards Erewash Council because a large percent of the area outside urban conurbations is Green Belt, we don’t think enough has been done to justify these ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Green Belt objections

Crucially, we believe that stronger evidence-based assessments from a more recent Green Belt review (than the 2006 Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire review) are required before developments can be justified. This includes detailed Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments (LVIAs) and general countryside impacts. Without this, CPRE Derbyshire will maintain its strong objection to the inclusion of three of the four proposed Green Belt sites in the proposed Local Area Plan. The sites are: Kirk Hallam, south of Spondon Wood and North of Cotmanhay.

'CPRE Derbyshire will maintain its strong objection to the inclusion of three of the four proposed Green Belt sites in the proposed Local Area Plan'
John Ydlibi, CPRE Derbyshire

Kirk Hallam

We have major concerns regarding the size of the proposed increase to the estate by 1300 additional houses. This will have a huge impact on the village of Kirk Hallam and will significantly impact traffic levels on the roads which are already very busy at peak times of the day. It will also cause the need to increase the provision of primary health care and schools. The landscape character would be hit significantly, and the Pioneer Meadows Nature Reserve and Sow Brook green corridor will be potentially cut off from the surrounding countryside, causing a fragmentation in green infrastructure.

Existing residents and visitors to Kirk Hallam may lose recreational footpaths in the development, negatively impacting their ability to enjoy their local green spaces and use them to nourish their mental health.

'The landscape character would be hit significantly'
John Ydlibi, CPRE Derbyshire

We would like to mention and credit the Friends of the Pioneers Nature Reserve in Kirk Hallam for all the work they’ve done in mobilising residents to object against these developments. Their campaigning has led to almost 3000 objections to building in Kirk Hallam and Cotmanhay.

Spondon Wood

The land south of Spondon Wood, also a proposed development, also gives us concern. While there may be limited impact on the openness of the Green Belt, we fully support residents in their objections to this site on the basis that it will have an impact on natural habitats on the strip of land affected. It would also bring the urban edge of Spondon closer to the woodland, interfering with woodland wildlife and habitats.

Cotmanhay

The proposal to extend Cotmanhay by a further 250 houses puts huge pressure on local infrastructure such as schools, healthcare and public transport – as well as eradicating Green Belt land. The area around Cotmanhay Woods is an important wildlife habitat and a vital green space for residents of Cotmanhay to enjoy for recreational and mental health reasons. There would also be adverse impacts on the landscape and views towards Shipley.

Our counter-proposals

We submitted several counter proposals to the developments outlined in the Core Strategy Review. A summary of these are:

  • Build more houses on existing brownfield land – in particular the West Hallam storage depots
  • Look to other boroughs to meet demand through the duty to cooperate
  • Increase housing density by building more town houses and low level apartment blocks
  • Meet more of the need through the building of smaller developments

Read our response in full

 

Green Belt land in Erewash
Part of the Green Belt is in Erewash is under threat Friends of the Pioneer Nature Reserve