DLP Planning Ltd have secured full planning permission subject to conditions and the signing of a S106 agreement for the residential redevelopment of the former Newbold School site in Chesterfield.
The development will comprise of 55 new dwellings, with house types ranging from 2 to 5 bedrooms in size. 11 affordable homes were included on-site within the scheme which equates to a 20% contribution, and the floorspace of the social housing will be deducted from future CIL calculations for the site.
The site was allocated for housing under saved policies in the Chesterfield Local Plan and continued to be included as a site capable of delivering housing in the Local Authority prepared housing land supply documents. The capacity anticipated in the allocation was 60 units, however a reduced density was required in order to deliver an appropriate layout within the parameters of the site. The layout and design was informed by detailed survey work and site investigations by Miller Homes in advance of purchasing the site from the Council. It was also developed in accordance with the Planning Brief prepared by the Council in May 2015 for the site as well as pre-application discussions in November 2015.
DLP undertook a public consultation exercise as part of the community involvement process. Letters were sent to the 172 addresses nearest to the site. Only 4 responses were received with support given but some concerns were raised in respect of highways matters, which were addressed in the Transport Assessment which accompanied the planning application. Subsequently 2 letters of support were received by the Local Planning Authority as part of the statutory neighbour consultation process and a single letter raising concerns with the access still.
By early assessment of archaeological work commissioned by Miller Homes it was possible to remove those items as pre-commencement conditions due to the findings of trial trenching on the site. Negotiations on the ecological value also had to be undertaken due to differing opinions on the potential for reptiles on site although an agreed mitigation strategy has now been established for the purposes of the recommendation to grant planning permission.
Ongoing discussion through the application process were still required in order to ensure mature trees around the perimeter of the site would be retained taking account of drainage connections and development requirements. Changes to house types to introduce bungalows to ensure key views associated with the Grade II* Listed Eyre Chapel were also carried out to the satisfaction of heritage asset value assessors.
With the additional benefits of housing delivery, affordable housing provision, on site open space and improved access through a re-worked junction to the site the development was considered a good use of the site and the Planning Committee wished the developer good luck with delivery of the redevelopment.