The Sedgefield Plan

Public meetings to discuss progress with The Sedgefield Plan 29th and 30th June commencing at 7pm in Parish Hall. Please comment on the draft Sedgefield Plan by email to info@thesedgefieldplan.com

This is your chance to view the plan as it has developed so far, to see and discuss the key issues and policies, to suggest amendments and additions and to give your approval. This is a critical time for Sedgefield; we are under siege from potential developers, The County Plan inspection in late September will set the planning rules to 2030, so a strong plan for Sedgefield is critical to the future of the community we all love. It’s your future so please come along and support this vital project.

‘Sedgefield a small town with a village at its heart’

Sedgefield – a community under siege

David Bowles of The Sedgefield Plan

The team behind the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for Sedgefield responds to recent statements (and resulting media coverage) of developer ESRG’s proposals for building housing in the town.

Sedgefield is a small town with a village at its heart, that makes it an attractive place to live and raise a family. This fact is not lost on landowners and potential developers who have been encouraged by the government’s drive to build houses and see Sedgefield as a good location for their aspirations to mature.

The community feels threatened and has commissioned ‘The Sedgefield Plan’ that will set out policies which, in conjunction with Durham County Council’s ‘Local Plan’, will ensure the development and growth of the community until 2030 does not destroy the character and cohesiveness that has created its attractiveness.

Work on The Sedgefield Plan (TSP) is well underway. A steering group, chaired by local resident David Bowles, has been working hard since autumn 2013, gathering evidence and opinion from the community and developing a framework for the plan and the policies that will be at the heart of it. The steering group’s objective is for TSP to become a statutory planning document by the end of 2014.

The depth and scope of the research that underpins the plan’s policies and other content is extensive. 2,500 households have been surveyed to establish a baseline on which to build policies. 24% of households responded and 90% indicated that they want to see fewer than 300 additional homes built in Sedgefield over the next 20 years.

An additional recent survey has gauged the community’s opinion about eight specific sites within the parish boundary where developers have expressed an interest, that if taken forward could result in the building of over 3,000 new homes. This would more than double the size of Sedgefield. In responses to this latest survey (which was delivered to all homes in the town), residents made it clear that brownfield sites should be developed before greenfield.

ESRG, a developer supported by Gradon Architecture of Ryton on Tyne, has aspirations to build over 400 houses on greenfield agricultural land in the short to medium term, with a longer term ambition to increase that number to over 2,000 houses on green spaces. A recent ESRG/Gradon leaflet and consultation event speaks of “Advantage Sedgefield”, and their follow up press release states that their plans have wide support in the community. The Sedgefield Plan steering group refutes that claim.

David Bowles states: “Nothing could be further from the truth. In our site preferences survey, over 50% of the 350 respondents (more than double the number that ESRG/Gradon surveyed) rated the ESRG site on Beacon Lane as their least favoured, many offering additional opinions that this is agricultural land that is prone to seasonal flooding.

“If ESRG and its architects want to quote accurate statistics that are not designed to mislead, then they should carry out in depth research and not quote unsubstantiated statistics from the comments of the relatively small number of people who attended their consultation event, which was held outside the town (at the racecourse) and therefore not easy to access for all residents.

“I have a copy of their consultation feedback form, which does not even specifically ask whether people support their proposals. The positive figures that they have quoted do not reflect the community views expressed through our two much larger surveys that were proactively sent to all households and which asked specific questions about preferences about the scale and location of developments in Sedgefield. We believe that ESRG, Gradon and their PR team have grossly misrepresented the views of people in Sedgefield.

“Localism is about community engagement and The Sedgefield Plan has, and will continue, to engage with residents and businesses on a regular, transparent and thorough basis. Sedgefield is in fact pro-development. The community accepts the need for development and growth but only at a rate that is reasonable given the current size of the town, and in locations that allow it to be properly integrated into the wider infrastructure, without damaging the fundamental character of Sedgefield.”

Read Full Document
The Parish Hall was packed for a residents' meeting to discuss The Sedgefield Plan

The Parish Hall was packed for a residents' meeting to discuss The Sedgefield Plan

The Parish Hall was packed for a residents' meeting to discuss The Sedgefield Plan

Morton Spalding and David Bowles at a residents meeting to discuss The Sedgefield Plan


David Bowles and Chris Lines of The Sedgefield Plan

Tony Guest shares details of the young peoples survey during the public meeting

Public Meeting to discuss The Sedgefield Plan

To download or view the presentation delivered by David Bowles and Morton Spalding please click the image.


Public Meeting - 10th & 11th March

Commencing at 7pm in the Parish Hall
  • Public Meetings 10th and 11th March - Agenda
  • Members of the steering group will be at both meetings to answer questions on topics, provide guidance, recruit new steering group members and organise ‘post it’ note exercise, it would be helpful if you were able to come along. After the general discussion we will have boards (wall space) assigned to each of our main topic’s manned by steering group members who will invite people to ‘post’ comment and ideas.

    The results of the community survey and an opportunity to discuss the issues emerging as The Sedgefield Plan develops will be the topic of two public open meetings to be held in Sedgefield Parish Hall at 7pm on 10th and 11th of March 2014, please come along and participate in this important project to determine the future of our community.

  • Public Meeting 10th/11th March Presentation
  • Public Meeting 10th/11th March Public Comments
  • ‘Post it Note’ comments from Public Meetings

    Some 61 post it note comments were made by the members of the public attending the two evening sessions. A selection are highlighted below. Please click this link to view all of the comments.

    • Quality of life is so important, this will not be improved by massive development
    • Living next to the A689 is not desirable for domestic residents, the area currently provides a natural buffer
    • The council has not invested in Sedgefield housing for years, How much are they getting for this development?
    • Relocate GP surgery to Community Hospital Freeing up more parking space in the village centre
    • Please don’t forget that families are welcome in surrounding villages to buy vacant property.
    • Where are the 2000 families that want to live in our village?
    • Net migration from the North East
    • Will developers contribute to shortfall in amenities sewage, schools, parking etc?

    All meetings to be held at the Town Council Offices. All Steering Group meetings commence at 7pm.

    • 2nd September, 10am: Peer Review of The Sedgefield Plan at Durham County Hall
    • 15th September: Steering Group meeting, 7pm in Fletcher room (Parish Hall)
    Housing
    Housing

    The next working group meeting date will be announced soon. All welcome.

    Infrastructure
    Infrastructure

    The next working group meeting date will be announced soon. All welcome.

    Economy

    The next working group meeting date will be announced soon. All welcome.

    Community & Environment
    Community & Environment

    The next working group meeting date will be announced soon. All welcome.