South Derbyshire is a rural District in central England covering an area of over 100 square miles.
Its population is growing and currently stands at around 95,000. It adjoins and is heavily influenced by the city of Derby to the north, Burton upon Trent to the west and Ashby-de-la-Zouch to the east.
The town of Swadlincote, in the south of the district, is the main urban centre with a population of around 35,000.
For many years the district has been the fastest growing in Derbyshire and is, in fact, currently one of the fastest growing areas in England. This reflects the fact that the area offers a high quality of life and is a place people want to live.
It means, however, that people are increasingly likely to commute from South Derbyshire to other areas to work.
The challenges involved in taking forward the legacy of heavy industry are compounded by the physical characteristics of the district. In the north, there are good east-west communications along the Trent Valley (the A50 corridor), giving easy access to the regional and national road network as well as rail and air transport.
In contrast, direct north-south communications within the district are difficult, as are movements from Swadlincote to neighbouring areas.
However, despite strong population growth, the district remains largely rural.
Away from Swadlincote, the district is scattered with a network of villages of varying sizes. Considerable efforts have been made to conserve the character of the villages and a number, such as Repton, Ticknall and Melbourne are of particular historic value.
The villages and rural areas are attractive places to live and important for tourism but a key challenge for the Core Strategy will be to ensure their sustainability by promoting the right amounts and types of development.