The Sedgefield Plan is a project that is aiming to establish our community’s preferences for how existing land and infrastructure should be used to enable controlled growth and development of housing, amenities and other facilities in the future.
Following the Independent Examiner’s Findings Report into The Sedgefield Plan and the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to grant planning permission for large-scale development at Eden Drive, the Neighbourhood Plan has been modified accordingly. The modified Neighbourhood Plan was adopted by Sedgefield Town Council on Monday 13th February 2017 and has been formally re-submitted to Durham County Council as the Local Planning Authority.
Avant Homes have today announced that they are preparing a planning application for 150 houses on the large field adjacent to Beacon Lane and A689 , this represents additional building to that already known and is of serious concern to the community. Comments please to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team behind the development of The Sedgefield Plan has responded to the latest planning application to build new homes in the town, recently submitted to Durham County Council (DCC). The application, made by North Yorkshire & South Durham Properties, seeks permission to construct 42 new homes in a field adjacent to Stockton Road, between the town centre and the junction with the A689. Sedgefield residents have until Tuesday 9 September to comment on the proposals on the DCC planning portal. So far, over two dozen separate submissions have been made by members of the general public, all of which object strongly to the proposals.
In the research work undertaken by the steering group of The Sedgefield Plan, the site, locally known as “The Three Cornered Field”, is one that Sedgefield residents are clear should not be developed. The road it is next to is one of the main, historic entrances to the town, and the field is regarded as an important green space in Sedgefield. When considered alongside other planning applications for housing in Sedgefield, there are now proposals with DCC amounting to over 1,000 new homes. The draft Durham County Plan has allocated 450 new homes to Sedgefield between now and 2030, while The Sedgefield Plan (and responses to the Durham County Plan by Sedgefield Town Council) argue that a maximum of 300 additional homes should be built during that time period.
David Bowles, chairman of The Sedgefield Plan steering group, comments: “We have stated before that Sedgefield is a community under siege. This latest application is yet another example of that and residents are becoming really concerned that unwarranted and unchecked development will be given the green light in this town. People enjoy living here because of Sedgefield’s rural character and strong community spirit and they feel that this is facing a very real threat.
“Sedgefield accepts that some development must be allowed, and the town has benefitted from growth in the past, but what is on the table at the moment goes way too far. 1,000 new homes would fundamentally alter the shape and character of Sedgefield and beyond that, there is one developer who has previously stated an aspiration to build around 2,000 new homes here. These prospects are frightening people here and are wholly inappropriate for Sedgefield.
“The timescale for the completion of the Durham County Council Local Plan appears to be moving further back on a regular basis. That plan should provide a planning framework to manage, and indeed, limit development here, but the longer it takes to complete, the greater the risk that such development will happen despite it. Because of this danger, we are pressing ahead with drafting The Sedgefield Plan, using evidence gathered here in this community. Our assertion that no more than 300 homes should be built is based on the wishes of residents and the fact that the infrastructure here can support no more. Even with that level of development, we would expect significant parallel investment in health, education and other community facilities. We will clearly articulate how Sedgefield should develop between now and 2030 and press for our plan to be a material consideration in any planning applications to build housing here.”
For more information about The Sedgefield Plan visit www.thesedgefieldplan.co.uk, email email@example.com or follow @SedgefieldPlan on Twitter.
‘Sedgefield a small town with a village at its heart’
The government’s ‘Localism’ agenda has the objective of giving people and communities a say in the planning process and the chance to influence decisions that may impact on the nature and character of the location in which they live. Legislation is in place that requires strategic, or principal, authorities to produce Local Plans that identify land for development and allocate sites for housing and business development between now and 2030. For Sedgefield, the principal authority is Durham County Council (DCC). In its draft Local Plan for the whole of the county, DCC has made an allocation for the development of 470 new homes on a site to the south of Eden Drive.
The Localism legislation also provides the opportunity for individual communities to produce their own Neighbourhood Plans. These must comply with the allocation numbers within wider Local Plans, but can influence the type and nature of developments. Once complete, each Neighbourhood Plan will become a statutory document with legal force that must be taken into account by the principal authority when considering planning applications up until 2030.
Durham County Council’s Local Plan, that was available for consultation during November and December 2013, is scheduled to become a statutory document in the autumn of 2014.
On behalf of the community, Sedgefield Town Council resolved that a Neighbourhood Plan should be developed for Sedgefield. The task of creating that plan, now known as The Sedgefield Plan, has been handed over to an independent steering group, made up of individuals from throughout the community, with many different backgrounds, interests, skills and points of view. The Sedgefield Plan will focus on four key topic areas - Housing, Infrastructure, Economy and Community Development and Environment.
A member of the steering group is leading the task of creating plan content for each topic area. However, The Sedgefield Plan belongs to the whole community and we need your help to make sure that it truly reflects the views of the people of Sedgefield. We welcome contributions from anyone who can offer expertise, experience or enthusiasm to the project, so please get in touch if you would like to get involved in any way.
Managing such a project is complex and time consuming and we have agreed a plan with tasks and milestones that will produce a draft plan in the spring of 2014 followed by ‘inspection’ (by DCC) and finally a referendum. If 51% of all those who vote in the referendum agree, The Sedgefield Plan will become a statutory document in late 2014 or early 2015.
This is an important project that gives us the opportunity for growth while at the same time retaining the scope and character of the community we live in. Importantly, we can secure a major influence on how development is done. Our process will start with a community survey that will be delivered to every home in Sedgefield during January 2014, and which can also be completed online. This survey will seek your views on the major issues that will be covered in The Sedgefield Plan and will establish a baseline on which to build it.
Image courtesy of The Northern Echo. To read the article, please click here
Four working groups have been set up to develop content for The Sedgefield Plan. Each group is focusing on one of the topic areas, but there is also much crossover and co-operation between them. It is vital that the final plan reflects the views of the residents of Sedgefield and throughout the process there will be opportunities for you to get involved. Have a look at the topic area pages and if you would like to contribute to any of them, please get in touch.
In its draft Local Plan, Durham County Council has made an allocation for 470 new homes to be developed on a site to the south of Eden Drive. Of all of the elements that The Sedgefield Plan will consider, the scale and nature of the housing are the most significant. The working group has met on several occasions and has had wide ranging discussions about the housing allocation and its implications for Sedgefield. Read More
The infrastructure supporting our community is wide ranging. It includes the hard public utilities and networks that we rely on, such as roads, energy supplies, telecommunication networks, sewers etc, but also other facilities we rely on like schools, the library, public transport, parking provision, health facilities, other community facilities, the character of the built environment and ‘green’ infrastructure. Read More
There is more to Sedgefield than meets the eye when it comes to the local economy and business. The general perception maybe that business in Sedgefield centres on the high street and the majority of people in work commute elsewhere to earn their living. While both of these are true, there is much more to Sedgefield. Read More
The development of 470 new homes in Sedgefield will have a major impact on the wider community, and will also bring with it environmental challenges and opportunities. Through The Sedgefield Plan, residents can influence future planning decisions that relate to these areas. We need your input to ensure that this content truly reflects the views of the people of Sedgefield. Read More