Evidence base

Click on the links below to find out more.

Retail study

The borough council appointed Roger Tym & Partners to undertake a retail study covering the four market towns of Alfreton, Belper, Heanor and Ripley and the local centre of Langley Mill.

The Amber Valley Borough Local Plan, adopted in 2006, establishes retailing and town centre policies for the four towns. There was a need to update the information upon which local retail policies are based to provide the evidence base for the emerging Core Strategy and to assist in the consideration of retail development proposals, including various evidence and impact statements submitted in support of proposals.

The Local Plan has defined town centre boundaries for each of the towns together with primary shopping frontages at Alfreton, Belper and Ripley which will need to be reviewed and a decision taken as to if Heanor would benefit from having a primary shopping frontage.

Another issue to be addressed is if Langley Mill should be upgraded to town centre status, by building upon the recent investment in the form of a new ASDA store.


The main purpose of the study was to assess the current performance and future retail prospects of each of the towns, identify likely trends in food and non-food retailing and implications and identify shortfalls in and opportunities for retail provision including different types of provisions.

The study provides information on the following:-

  • (a) the retail capacity within towns in Amber Valley highlighting any shortfall in quantitative or qualitative retail provision in relation to reasonable expectation of retail offer of comparable locations;
  • (b) Belper's capacity for change, including size and rate, given its location within the Belper and Milford conservation area and Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site;
  • (c) shopping patterns including a graphical definition of the catchment areas from which each town draws its trade;
  • (d) how people shop, where people shop, mode of transport, combined trips;
  • (e) gaps in provision for which there is retailer demand in a format and at a scale which could be accommodated within towns in Amber Valley in relation to physical and demand requirements;
  • (f) a recommendation as to if further investment should be promoted to bring Langley Mill up to town centre status, taking account in particular of any potential impacts on the town centres of Heanor and Eastwood;
  • (g) recommendations for any changes to existing defined town centre boundaries and primary shopping frontages;
  • (h) a recommendation as to if Heanor should have a defined primary shopping frontage, and if so what areas of the town centre it should include.

Employment land review

In 2008 Derby City Council (DCC), Amber Valley Borough Council (AVBC) and South Derbyshire District Council (SDDC) jointly commissioned the preparation of an 'employment land review' of the whole Derby Housing Market Area (HMA).

Its purpose was to consider the area's employment land requirements up to 2026 (the period covered by the Regional Spatial Strategy) and to review the quantity and quality of the HMA's existing and allocated employment land supply. It was not the purpose of this report to identify new or additional employment sites.

This report will form part of each authority's 'evidence base' for their forthcoming core strategies and subsequent local development framework documents. It will help us to identify some of the 'issues' the core strategy must address and will help to formulate some of the 'options' to be considered.

Cleaner greener energy study

The study contains information to allow the partner authorities to:

Prepare an 'evidence base' for the partner authorities' Local Development Frameworks, establishing the potential for the decentralised and renewable and low carbon source of energy and recommending carbon standards for future development.

  • Prepare recommendations on key carbon reduction opportunities (responding to National Indicator 186 performance targets), including analysis of options for the delivery of renewable energy generation (this work is mainly focused on Derby City but is of relevance to Amber Valley).
  • Providing guidance on sustainable construction issues (for development control officers and the developer community).

This report has been produced for the purpose of providing strategic level advice on water infrastructure and environmental capacity to the council local development frameworks and strategic site allocation. The study area has been identified as the three local authority boundaries of Amber Valley borough, Derby City and South Derbyshire District to cover the growth area of the Derby Housing Market Area (HMA).

The Derby housing market area water cycle study

The aims and objectives of the Derby housing market area water cycle study can be outlined as follows:

  • Take an integrated approach to management of the water environment
  • Meet EU framework targets on water quality, determining whether environmental resources can cope with providing water and receiving wastewater to/from further development
  • Ensure sustainable flood risk management over the long term are delivered through policies to protect future development from flooding
  • Aspire for water neutrality in all developments, by identifying mechanisms for achieving high standards of water efficiency, with the aim of reaching water neutrality through a stepped programme of measures and planning policy
  • Determine whether the existing water and wastewater services infrastructure has sufficient capacity to support the planned development
  • Determine whether environmental resources can cope with providing water and receiving wastewater to/from further development
  • Provide the evidence base for the Local Development Framework

The study has been prepared in accordance with the guidance prepared by the Environment Agency on water cycle studies, complying with the scoping and outline stages to clearly outline the impact of projected growth on the water cycle in the Derby HMA and highlight any potential problems that may need addressing in order to achieve this growth sustainably. The study has involved working with the key stakeholders, the water companies, the Environment Agency and the councils to establish the key constraints within the water cycle to identify integrated solutions in order to achieve sustainable development.

Amber Valley strategic flood risk assessment

Faber Maunsell Limited was appointed by Amber Valley Borough Council (AVBC) in February 2008 to undertake a Level 1 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) of Amber Valley Borough, the scope of which was described in a brief issued by the borough council [1].

The agreed methodology, designed to comply with planning policy statement 25 (PPS25) [2] and its practice guide [3], divides the study into two phases. The first phase of the study consisted of the collection and evaluation of all available data and information relevant to the strategic assessment of flood risk within the Borough. The second phase of the study involves the preparation of a strategic flood risk assessment for the whole of Amber Valley Borough and is divided into two levels, as defined in PPS25 practice guide. Level 1 involves an assessment of the flood risk throughout the borough and Level 2 will focus on particular areas of interest to Amber Valley Borough Council.

The following reports are available to view:

To view Level 1 SFRA maps click the links below.

Figure 001 River network

Figure 002 Strategic flood risk map

Figure 003 Water management infrastructure

Figure 004 Flooding history

Figure 005 Potential flood risk

Figure 006 Existing emergency plans

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)

A SHLAA identifies sites with the potential for housing and if they are achievable, deliverable and developable.

The SHLAA was first carried out in 2007 covering only the Derby Principal Urban Area (PUA). The 2010 SHLAA superseded the 2007 SHLAA and the scope for the project was broadened to cover the whole Derby Housing Market Area (HMA), which includes all of Amber Valley Borough and Derby City as well as South Derbyshire District.

The SHLAA was updated again in December 2013 and forms the background evidence to the new Local Plan.

The inclusion of any site in a SHLAA does not imply that planning permission for housing would be granted except for those sites which already have planning approval or which are allocated for housing in an adopted Local Plan. Similarly, the SHLAA is not an allocations document and it should not be taken as implying that any sites assessed would be allocated in forthcoming local authority development plans.

The housing land supplies will be reassessed annually to make sure that the evidence is up to date and we intend to publish a revised SHLAA in December 2014 which will include any additional sites being promoted. This work will continue to be overseen by the Local Housing Partnership. A large number of sites were identified during the first call for sites in 2010, however there will be no formal call for sites as part of the next SHLAA review. New sites, which have been promoted since the publication of the 2013 SHLAA, will be assessed during the review and will include all sites being promoted to date.

Submit a SHLAA site submission form.

Library of evidence base documents

A complete library of evidence base documents is available on the useful documents page.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841584 or email ldf@ambervalley.gov.uk