Development Management Policies DPD

Ended on the 30th April 2010
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Economic Development

(1) Vision

In five years…

  • The Council are using the findings of the Employment Land Study to ascertain future employment provision to meet the District’s needs, and to assist in identifying alternative locations for old and poorly located employment sites which are no longer fit-for-purpose.
  • The long term future of the wharfage at Baltic Wharf as an employment area has been secured.
  • Area Action Plans for Rochford, Rayleigh and Hockley have been finalised and the first phase of enhancement opportunities are being implemented.
  • The potential of London Southend Airport and its environs is beginning to take shape through the provision of a Joint Area Action Plan in partnership with Southend Borough Council.
  • The Joint Area Action Plan seeks to realise the airport’s potential as a driver for the sub-regional economy, providing significant employment opportunities and ensuring the quality of life for its residents and workers.

By 2017…

  • Sustainable, well used and strategically located industrial estates are being protected and enhanced, where appropriate.
  • New businesses are being supported at the most vulnerable points in their lifecycle through the development of an Eco-Enterprise Centre.
  • The Eco-Enterprise Centre is a flagship, eco-friendly building creating an inward investment draw which is bringing new businesses into the area.
  • Appropriate uses within the District’s commercial centres are being supported.
  • London Southend Airport and its environs has become a driver for the sub-regional economy, providing a range of aviation and non aviation-related employment opportunities for the local population.
  • A skills training academy within the vicinity of London Southend Airport and its environs has been established to provide high-skilled training in aviation-related industries.
  • The Joint Area Action Plan supports and regulates the operations of London Southend Airport taking into consideration environmental and social effects, and residential amenity.
  • A new airport terminal building at London Southend Airport has been completed and is operational following the implementation of an agreed surface access strategy.
  • A new employment park in the west of the District with good links to the main access networks has been developed which caters for a range of employment types in a flexible manner that adapts to changes in the economy.

By 2025…

  • Old, poorly located, "bad neighbour" industrial estates have been relocated to fit-for-purpose sites in sustainable locations which meet the needs of businesses and benefits residential amenity.
  • The new employment park is accompanied by a travel plan and is accessible to workers by a range of transport options.
  • At least 3000 jobs have been provided by 2021, and additional employment which meets local need continues to be generated.

(1) Objectives

  1. Ensure the growth of local employment opportunities and deliver an additional net 3000 local jobs by 2021.
  2. Enhance the local skills base in the District through providing additional training and support.
  3. Implement the London Southend Airport and Environs Joint Area Action Plan to realise the potential of this local resource.
  4. Ensure the delivery of an Eco-Enterprise Centre which will provide valuable support for new businesses within the District.
  5. Support the continued functioning and growth of small and medium sized businesses, and encourage flexible practices such as home-working to enhance the range of local employment opportunities in the District.
  6. Implement Area Action Plans for the commercial centres of Rayleigh, Rochford and Hockley to enhance their attractiveness and increase spending retention within the District.
  7. Support projects within the District such as Cherry Orchard Jubilee County Park and aid the delivery of priorities in the Economic Development Strategy.
  8. Ensure the protection of existing employment land in sustainable locations, and reallocate "bad neighbour" industrial estates for more appropriate uses, such as residential, to meet the District’s housing needs.
  9. Allocate the minimum amount of Green Belt necessary for additional employment land, as appropriate, and fully utilise the office space potential of Rayleigh and Hockley centres.

(2) Introduction

The overarching approach to economic development in the District is detailed within the emerging Core Strategy. There are four key strategic economic issues identified seeking to enhance the growth, adaptability and flexibility of the local economy. These are employment growth, London Southend Airport, existing employment land and future employment allocations.

The emerging Core Strategy identifies several important areas which can encourage the growth of local employment opportunities including the development of Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project, the enhancement of the District’s commercial centres and the development and growth of home-working. The emerging Core Strategy also supports the Economic Development Strategy.

London Southend Airport is recognised as an important employment generator in the District with the potential to become a catalyst for economic growth and employment generation in the sub-region. It is recognised that the development of this local facility needs to be weighed against any detrimental impacts on the local environment and residential amenity. As such, specific policies regarding London Southend Airport will be determined through the Joint Area Action Plan produced in conjunction with Southend on Sea Borough Council.

The Core Strategy also seeks to protect important employment land and reallocate "bad neighbour" employment land, having regard to the Employment Land Study (2008). Where new allocations for employment land are proposed to meet local employment and economic needs, the sites will be expected to be of high quality and to incorporate appropriate environmental controls. 

This chapter elaborates on the appropriate use of employment land and the encouragement of home working in the District.

Employment Land

It is important to maintain the viability and vibrancy of employment land within the District. Appropriate uses on designated employment land should be within classes B1 (Business) and B2 (General Industrial) as defined by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 and as amended by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Order 2006. However, we recognise the necessity of maintaining a flexible approach to employment uses to reflect the current economic and employment situation and ensure that employment land remains vibrant with minimal vacancies. Alternative use classes will be permitted if they are an appropriate use which does not undermine existing employment uses and positively contributes to the viability of the employment land.

(3) DM27 Employment Land – Preferred Option

New and existing employment land should have a predominance of B1 (Business) and/or B2 (General Industrial) employment uses. Alternative uses will be considered having regard to:

  1. the number of jobs likely to be provided;
  2. the viability of retaining B1 and B2 uses;
  3. the impact on the vitality and vibrancy of the District’s town centres;
  4. the proportion of alternative uses present; and
  5. wider sustainability issues.

Retail use is not normally permitted on employment land. However where the proposal passes our sequential approach to the location of retail development, then consent may be granted for businesses selling bulky goods.

Working From Home

Advancements in technology mean that there is more scope for residents to work from home. This can enable people to become economically active who may otherwise be denied the opportunity. However, whilst there are economic and social benefits to working from home it is important to ensure that proposals do not have a detrimental impact upon the character or amenity of the surrounding residential area.

Some forms of home working do not require a formal planning application, but consent will be required for other forms, particularly when the activity constitutes a material change of use. In these cases a material change of use will create a mixed use at the property, where formerly it was solely residential. The employment element must remain linked to the residential use of the dwelling with the residential use remaining dominant for planning consent to be granted in order to prevent a gradual change in the character of residential areas. Furthermore proposals for working from home should relate to business uses within Class B1 as defined by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 and as amended by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Order 2006.

DM28 Working From Home – Preferred Option

Proposals for B1 business uses operating from dwellings, which require planning permission, will be supported provided that the use:

  1. is ancillary to the residential use and does not become a separate commercial unit;
  2. will not have a significant adverse effect on residential amenity;
  3. will not have a detrimental effect upon the visual character of the surrounding residential area; and
  4. will not create on street parking or unacceptable highway problems.

Where such uses are approved they will be subject to appropriate conditions, for example controlling the size and frequencies of delivery vehicles, times of deliveries, visits, etc. as well as a condition relating the use solely to the person who occupies the dwelling and undertakes the activity.

Are there any other issues which should be addressed within this chapter?

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