1. Who is Waystone Developments Ltd?
We are a Derbyshire based developer with substantial mixed-use experience, selected in an open tender call, by Derbyshire County Council as the development partner to reclaim the former American Adventure site and bring it back into effective use. Waystone has expertise in civil engineering, land reclamation, construction and development.
2. Why develop Shipley Lakeside?
The closure of the American Adventure theme park in 2007 left behind a legacy of redundant rides and buildings and their associated foundations along with roadways and other structures. A number of people also lost their jobs. Whilst the site has been cleared at surface and the flora and fauna has been able to develop; it remains a derelict previously used site which requires reclamation.
Shipley Lakeside offers a unique opportunity to create a quality sustainable development respecting the site's natural assets within the wider setting of Shipley Country Park and adjacent nature reserves.
3. Are the proposals in line with planning
The adopted Amber Valley Local Plan (2006) contains a policy (Policy EN3) which identifies the site as a 'Major Developed Site in the Green Belt' which allows for the redevelopment of the site subject to a number of criteria and guiding policies. Amber Valley Borough Council has also adopted a Development Brief (July 2011) for the site which sets out the Borough Council's vision for the future use and development of land within the site.
Waystone has utilised extensive resources
to get to this stage in the belief that the proposals align with Local
Plan Policy and the approved Development Brief. The master plan will
provide the foundations for a sustainable development, which
contributes to healthy living and quality of life for all. High quality
inclusive places will be created for new and existing residents.
4. Will the sites natural features be lost to
the proposed development?
The proposals for Shipley Lakeside will seek to embrace a distinctive identity – a design that will evolve from the topography and the sites natural features. The lake; at the heart of the site, will remain largely untouched, with possible enhancements made around its edges where necessary and the creation of new wetland. The lake will remain the main feature of the site with walkways proving public access all the way around it.
5. How do the proposals fit in with Shipley Park?
There are a great number of existing bridleways and footpath routes in and around Shipley Country Park and a fundamental part of our vision is the provision of new cycleways and footpath connections linking the lake with these wider routes. It is also envisaged that the redevelopment of the site will offer visitors to the Park additional leisure and recreational facilities. We see the redevelopment of Shipley Lakeside within Shipley Park as symbiotic and beneficial to both.
6. How will Shipley Lakeside benefit the area?
The regeneration of the former American Adventure Theme Park will:
- Allow safe public access to the lake
- Provide new jobs
- Deliver much needed new housing
- Improve and enhance existing paths, routes and cycleways across the site
- Deal with the legacy which remains on site
- Contribute to the sustainability of the local area
7. What leisure and commercial developments do
the plans involve?
The Plans currently provide for a broad spectrum of uses, such as:
- 307 new homes.
- A leisure focussed garden centre on the western platforms.
- A mix of potential uses including leisure, retirement, retail, training, healthcare, employment and education.
- A pub, restaurant and hotel and conference suite on the prominent proposed island.
The broad range of proposed uses is intended to respond to the setting, location and topography of the site providing a sustainable mix of uses which complement each other and meet the challenges of scheme viability and ultimate deliverability. The proposed mix of uses allows flexibility to adapt to changes in market focus.
8. Why do we need new houses?
To support the government's housing strategy, which aims to tackle the shortage of new homes in accordance with the inspectors findings at the examination in public. Boost the economy, create jobs and give people the opportunity to get on the housing ladder. The government currently forecasts that we, as a nation, are not building enough housing stock nationally, by 150,000 a year for the last 12 years, and calculate that 4 million new homes are needed.
9. What type of houses would there be?
A variety of family homes are envisaged including affordable.
10. Where will the children go to school?
The wider locality is well served by a choice of schools and looking at current forecasts it is likely that there will be capacity at Primary and Secondary Level. During the course of the planning application the Authorities requirements over the period of the development will of course be assessed. It is important to remember that there will not be a great influx of children all at once as the proposed new homes will be built at a rate of approximately 30-40 per year and families moving in may have children of any age.
11. Is there a supermarket proposed for the site?
No the proposals do not include a supermarket. In order to provide local amenities on the site some small scale neighborhood retail is proposed. A small plot identified for this use (circa 0.7 acres) would most likely contain a few small shops which would be quite typical in most localities – possibly including a convenience store and a couple of other local facilities such as a take-away or hair salon.
We are proposing a leisure-focused garden centre which in formal planning use classes is deemed as retail, however the Local Planning Authority can place specific restrictions on the size and type of retailing allowed if they so wish, so that only a garden centre could be built and not a supermarket.
12. How many jobs would be created when the new
employment areas are full?
This is always difficult to estimate but using data from similar mixed developments 700 - 500 jobs could be created based on the proposed use mix and development areas. There will also be a significant number of construction jobs created.
13. What sort of jobs will be created?
A wide variety which cannot be fully specified until end users are known, however dependant on planning permission, the range of jobs will possibly include hospitality, care, retail, office and professional work. Given the wide range of potential employers and resultant job types it is highly likely that a good variety of both full and part time employment opportunities will be available.
14. What about the existing wildlife across the
Waystone and their consultants are undertaking a series of ecological surveys across the site in the relevant seasons. The outcome of all these surveys will be assessed and dealt with in accordance with accepted guidelines, whilst working with Derbyshire Wildlife and the Environment Agency to achieve the least disruption to the existing wildlife. We have no plans to take away the lake itself, merely to make improvements to its edges and potentially create new areas of wetland habitat. The lake would remain as a wildlife friendly area and former uses such as power boating would not be facilitated.
15. How have you checked what wildlife is there?
We have employed independent ecologists to complete a suite of detailed habitat and wildlife surveys these included:
- Habitat and botanical surveys – these recorded broad habitat types and where interesting habitat were found more quantitative information on species abundance was collected.
- Amphibian Surveys: Four overnight surveys to establish presence or absence of GCN within three ponds. These surveys are in accordance with standard methodologies recommended by Natural England and undertaken by licensed / experienced ecologists.
- Bat Transect Surveys:
Four nocturnal transects of the site were undertaken to provide an
assessment of general use and bat assemblage throughout the site.
Static bat detectors were also employed over a number of
each month to support this information.
- Reptile Survey: Survey following recognised methodologies and included the use of artificial refuges placed strategically throughout the site that could be latter checked over the season.
- Breeding Bird Survey: In accordance with the standard BTO methodology three visits to the site between April and July were undertaken.
- Winter Bird Survey: In accordance with the standard BTO methodology. Involved one ecologist undertaking four visits to the site between November and February.
- Invertebrate Survey:
Two visits to survey terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates.
butterfly transects were also undertaken, focusing mainly on the Dingy
skipper flight period. These specialist surveys were
experienced and accredited experts in their field.
What have you found so far?
As could be expected given the nature of habitats the site has been found to support a range of wildlife, some of with is typical of old post-industrial sites and large water bodies.
- Habitats – habitats generally derived from former use as a theme park or restored colliery, which has been allowed to develop since the theme parks closure. Ornamental shrub beds have become outgrown and dense and dominate much of the site where concrete footings/foundations are not present. Some areas appear to have been seeded in the past; as part of the colliery restoration or theme park development and others appear to have developed naturally. These can be can support lots of flowers although most are common and widespread species.
- Birds – The main lake supports large numbers of wildfowl in winter (teal, wigeon, gadwall, goosander and shoveller). Breeding birds include lots of secretive species representative of the scrubby habitats.
- Bats – Surveys and analysis is still ongoing but initial results suggest that the site supports high numbers of foraging bats (common and soprano pipistrelle, noctule, Daubenton's and Myotis bats) with particular areas of activity in the west and south.
- Amphibians – No great crested newts found. Small populations of smooth newts in former ornamental ponds in east, and medium sized population in lined pond on the northwest of the lake.
- Invertebrates – Dingy skipper was confirmed to be present as could be expected given its presence in the adjacent DWT Woodside Reserve. The site also supports a fair proportion of the less common species commonly found in brownfield sites. It also supports a reasonable diversity of aquatic invertebrates such as dragonflies and damselflies.
– Grass snakes have been found in low number within the site, as could
perhaps be expected due to its wandering habitat and preference for
wetland areas. Records of slow worm and lizard also exist
but these have not been found yet.
How do you intend to deal with these?
Early consultation with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has been undertaken not only as a result of their expert knowledge of the area - a result of their ownership of the adjacent Woodside Nature Reserve - but also to agree the most appropriate habitats for retention, recreation and enhancement.
It is intended that the main focus of habitat enhancement within the site will be focused on the lake and increasing the diversity of wetland habitats associated with it. This is likely to include the enhancement of the lake margins to provide a more varied edge that could support a wide margin of wetland vegetation, the provision of small islands of vegetation and open substrate to provide a refuge for existing wildfowl in addition to others unable to use the existing lake margins. Additional small wetland feature would also be scattered within the site where possible and include a small stream currently culverted through the site.
We are also investigating the possibility of recreating some of characteristic open, free draining habitats that are of so much importance in the adjacent DWT Woodside Reserve but that also occur to a lesser extent within the site. This would re-use some of the existing seed bearing substrate to maximise the chances of maintaining some contiuity of the habitat. If possible these areas would be strategically located to complement the existing habitat within the adjacent Woodside Reserve.
16. What are the timescales of the Shipley
We have re-submitted an application on 4th August 2014 for consideration by the planning committe later this year . If successful, the enabling works would take 12 to 18 months, followed by the commencement of the initial phases of buildings.
We estimate the site will take approximately 10 years to complete and approximately 30 to 40 new homes will be created per annum.
17. When will the first phase start?
Reclamation and early infrastructure works could commence early 2015 however this is dependent on gaining the necessary planning permission and legal agreements.
18. How will the site be accessed?
Via the existing access at Pit Lane. Our highway engineers will undertake a full transport assessment as part of the planning process which will be scrutinized by the Highway Authority. The transport assessment will include existing traffic surveys and modeling to predict future levels based on the quantum of development proposed and also taking into account other local committed developments.
19. How will Waystone deal with dust, noise and
disruption during the construction period?
In applying for planning permission for large projects, developers must set out how they will manage traffic, dust and noise and agree their proposals with the Council and other relevant organization. During construction, the Council would monitor the developer and contractors to ensure planning conditions are adhered to. It is likely that this will include using water to dampen materials which would otherwise blow off site, using mufflers to control the noise of machinery and where close to residential, agreeing working hours outside of which the contractor may only do certain types of work. As well as these measures, the fact that the site lies in a basin will also have a significant influence on the reduction of noise and dust levels.
As Shipley Lakeside is a long-term development project, Waystone will be working very hard to keep dust and noise to a minimum and to ensure that existing and new residents, employees and visitors experience a high quality environment.
20. What will happen to the undeveloped areas of
the site during the early phases?
Development platforms created during the initial earthwork phases will be sacrificially seeded to maintain green cover and reduce windblown dust.
21. Will the site be fenced?
In parts. The current fence will remain as it is now, during the reclamation and earthworks phase for health and safety reasons. Following development, fencing may exist demarcating individual plots or providing security to buildings dependant on the requirements/preferences of the owner. However it is the strong intention to ultimately provide good public access through and around the site and to create an attractive inclusive environment for all to enjoy and use.
22. Will I be able to see/hear the development
from my property?
The impact of the development will be fully assessed as part of the planning process and visual impact and noise impact will be addressed. If this is your concern please provide feedback. At this stage we can say that we consider that the impact of the development will be less than its previous use as the American Adventure Theme Park. The adopted development brief provides guiding principles on the scale and nature of development.
23. Will there be any motorized vehicles on the
No plans exist at present to introduce powered craft.
24. Who will maintain the lake in the long term?
A maintenance company or trust.
25. When will the community be able to access
When the perimeter walkways have been established, probably after circa five years.
26. Will fishing facilities be provided?
This can be considered if it is practical and does not conflict with greater access to the lake for the General Public.
27. I cycle/walk/ride my horse along the
Nutbrook Trail, how will this impact me?
The Nutbrook Trail will remain open, however in order to achieve the required removal of concrete and unsuitable materials from the site at times machinery may be working close to the edge of the Nutbrook Trail. Designated controlled crossing points will be introduced at this phase of the works where required in order to maintain any footpaths and bridleways around the site. The site will remain closed until this phase is complete; however we will be facilitating access to the lakeside for walkers as soon as practicable. There are large amounts of demolition and concrete debris within the site, which we will process and retain on site in order to utilise in the works. We will not be removing any materials from the site and importation will be limited.
28. How realistic is all of this?
Waystone has a good track record of delivery successful high quality mixed developments and award winning schemes, examples of which are Barlborough in Bolsover and Glasshoughton in Wakefield. Our plans have been costed and are sustainable based on the current master plan, therefore the proposals are very realistic but large projects such as this take time to deliver and are always helped by the support of the local community. The rate at which the development proceeds is ultimately a function of the economy.
29. How can you reassure us that this will not
be just another white elephant?
It is a mixed-use development, not a single business or leisure attraction, therefore it is not reliant on just one activity or just one niche in the market. We believe that the range of uses we are promoting will create a successful, sustainable and highly attractive development.
30. What is happening on the site at the moment?
We have undertaken a full site survey and have completed a number of ecological surveys which are seasonally dependant. Further ecological surveys will continue and there will also be a traffic survey on Hassock Lane South. All of these activities will provide information that is required as part of the planning application.
31. What happens next?
We await the outcome of the re-submitted planning application and will be regularly updating this website with news when relevant.