The Derbyshire Dales consultation on where to locate 400 new houses in Ashbourne started last week. There are two issues which are under discussion:
1. Ashbourne’s Draft Settlement Framework Boundaries
2. Where 400 new houses can be built by 2028
Settlement Framework Boundaries
DDDC laid out a strategic framework to try and lead planning policy in their area. The Settlement Framework Boundaries set out the limits of the town. The objective is that new development for Ashbourne should take place within the boundaries. The policy also laid down that where possible development should be on existing developed land. The boundaries are supposed to follow physical features and incorporate the main housing and community facilities within them. Areas which are designated formal or informal recreation areas could be excluded to protect them. So in Ashbourne’s case the Recreation Ground and The Brickyard are protected. Development inside the boundary is encouraged and development outside the boundary are considered countryside and therefore subject to strict planning control.
The Council wants online views on whether their criteria for the boundaries are correct, whether the plan conforms with the criteria and what modifications are necessary.
Proposed new house locations
The need for new housing is driven by a forecast from the Department for Communities and Local Government that there will need to be 20% more households in DDDC by 2028. The Council states that population growth in the area is desirable as a provider of labour to local businesses and that lack of new housing will hamper the economy. The Council also recognises the need for affordable housing as part of the development and the need to protect the landscape as an asset of our area. As the development within the Peak District is severely restricted the bulk of the development is targeted for Matlock and Ashbourne. Ashbourne’s target is 400 new dwellings. The council has recognised that this may not be achievable due to limitations on the size of QEGS. To compare the scale there have been 324 new houses built in Ashbourne since 2006.
There are four sites listed:
By far the biggest site is Ashbourne Airfield which could accommodate a further 500 houses. This has the advantage of being brownfield development but its weakness is its distance from the town centre amenities.
The second site is an area which stretches along the bypass and runs along the back of the Willow Meadow Road estate. It could accommodate 269 houses. This is a greenfield site which would be close enough to the town centre but which has some challenges with pylons and noise from the bypass.
The third site also runs along the bypass but from the other side of Wyaston Road behind the Premier Avenue estate. This could hold 234 houses but it is also a greenfield site. It is close enough to the town centre but has a steep gradient down to the bypass and could suffer from noise from it.
The final site is in a pocket of farmland between Premier Avenue and the transmitter at the top of Old Derby Hill. It could fit 161 dwellings and is also greenfield. As it is surrounded by housing already it is seen as being least damaging to the environment of the greenfield sites.
DDDC are looking for feedback from the residents of Ashbourne on:
Option A – development based on the greenfield sites to the South of Ashbourne
Option B – development on the Airfield
Option C – spread the development across all the sites
They would like to know which Option we prefer, which sites we prefer to support our chosen option, any other sites we would like to see included and any other “reasonable” options we can think of.