Proposed Main Modifications Schedule

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Chapter 12: Employment and Economy

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Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Section 12.2,

Paragraphs 12.2.1 to 12.2.6

Modification

12.2.1 In order to ensure the delivery of sustainable development, jobs should be provided where market demand has been identified, with specific consideration of meeting local business needs, supporting a diverse range of employment opportunities for Central Bedfordshire residents. Employment generating uses will therefore be delivered through the extensive portfolio of employment land across Central Bedfordshire., which consists of:

  • Existing permitted land;
  • Allocated employment land (as identified on the Policies Map);
  • Key employment sites (as identified on the Policies Map);
  • Established (non-key) sites in employment use;
  • Existing Significant Facilities as identified in Policy EMP6
  • Allocations to meet national strategic warehousing and distribution needs;

And

  • Mixed use allocations.

Insert new paragraphs after 12.2.1:

12.2.2 To meet the jobs target of approximately 24,000 jobs, it is considered 470,075 sqm of floorspace is required across 118ha of land within the plan period. Land to meet local employment need comprises:

Completions since the start of the plan period (2015)

15ha

Existing Planning Permissions

12ha

Existing saved allocations (as identified in Policy EMP1)

27ha

Strategic mixed-use allocations (as set out in Policy SP1) – Policies SA1, SA2, SA4 and SE3

64ha

Total

118ha

12.2.3 27ha of land remains available for employment uses on sites which are allocated in the South Bedfordshire Local Plan (2004) and the Core Strategy and Development Management Policies (2009). These policies are not superseded by the Central Bedfordshire Local Plan (this plan) and these sites remain suitable for employment generating uses, subject to the requirements of Policy EMP1

12.2.4 The 64ha of land as identified in Policy SP1 via strategic allocations comprises:

7ha at North of Luton (SA1)

30ha at Marston Valley (SA2)

2ha at East of Biggleswade (SA4)

25ha at Holme Farm (SE3)

12.2.5 Three additional sites are allocated within the plan to contribute to the delivery of strategic employment opportunities (as identified in Policy SP1 and detailed in Section 7). These sites include:

45ha at Sundon RFI (SE1)

30ha at Marston Gate (SE2)

38ha at Holme Farm (SE3)

12.2.6 Other than the 25ha identified specifically within Policy SE3 to meet local employment needs, these three additional sites do not contribute towards the 24,000 jobs target.

12.2.2 7 This approach will deliver sustainable patterns of development and will be attractive and responsive to market demand over the plan period, as well as seeking to balance labour supply and demand.

12.2.3 8 If market demand for B-uses exceeds supply, the Council will consider the potential benefits in terms of job creation and local need of bringing forward the delivery of further employment land. Additional locations for the delivery of employment generating uses will be considered where it is appropriate to do so.

Justification

To improve plan clarity and following discussion in the Hearings (revise policy, particularly the different categories).

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Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Figure 2

Modification

Delete Figure 2 in its entirety as follows:

Figure 2: Distribution of Existing Key Employment Sites and Allocations (including mixed-use)

As submitted: to be deleted

Justification

For clarity and effectiveness

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Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Section 12.6, Paragraphs 12.6.3 – 12.6.4

Modification

12.6.3 Whilst the Council would not wish to see substantial amounts of employment land lost to other uses, it is recognised that non B-uses can make a significant contribution to the local economy and job creation, and that some non b-uses can complement and enhance B-uses. Consideration will be given to non B-use employment generating proposals on allocated and existing key employment land against a series of criteria which seek to ascertain that such proposals are suitable for the proposed location and will not detrimentally impact upon the delivery of B-uses or the quantity of land available to deliver B-uses. A minimum of 12 months marketing period would need to be undertaken, including through the Council's Inward Investment Portal, to confirm that there is no need to retain the land/site for B1, B2, B8 or E (g) employment uses. In all occasions, marketing should be directed for both leasehold and freehold. Although the clear economic benefits of residential development are recognised, it does not qualify as an employment generating use for the purposes of Policy EMP2.

12.6.4 In instances where allocated or key employment land is no longer suitable for employment generating uses, detailed evidence should be provided to demonstrate that the site has been effectively marketed, as detailed in 12.6.3 above, for these uses and that no suitable interest has subsequently materialised. For existing and non-key employment sites, evidence will be sought to ensure that redevelopment for B or non-B employment uses is not viable. In these cases where this can be proven, the loss of employment land to a non-employment generating use may therefore be the only reasonable option. Sites identified within Appendix 4 to this plan have already been identified as suitable for alternative, non-employment generating uses and therefore do not need any additional marketing to be demonstrated.

Justification

To improve plan clarity following discussion at Examination.

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Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy EMP1

Modification

Policy EMP1: Small and Medium Employment Sites and Uses

In addition to the strategic allocations identified in Policy SP1, the following sites, Across the portfolio of employment land within Central Bedfordshire, as identified on the Policies Maps, are carried forward as saved allocations for employment development to meet the identified local Objectively Assessed Need of 24,000 jobs within the plan period:

Land East of Stratton Park, Biggleswade

Phase 4 Stratton Business Park, Biggleswade

Land West of University Way/Wharley End, Cranfield

Arenson Way, Woodside Estate, Dunstable

Eyncourt Road, Dunstable

Robinson's Depot and Land off Steppingley Road, Flitwick

Stanbridge Road, Leighton Linslade

Chartmoor Road, Leighton Linslade

Eden Way/Chartmoor Road, Leighton Linslade

Billington Road, Leighton Linslade

Grovebury Road, Leighton Linslade

Land North of Beamish Close, Sandy

Land North of Sunderland Road, Sandy

Land West of Girtford Bridge, Sandy

p Across these sites, and the existing employment areas shown on the policies maps, planning permission will be granted for for appropriate B1, B2, and B8 and E(g) uses. In order to provide flexibility, choice and the delivery of a range of employment uses, changes of use for other non-B employment generating uses will be supported where all of the following criteria are met:

  • The application provides sufficient evidence to demonstrate that there is no need for the premises to remain as a B1, B2 or B8 use;
  • The proposal would not unacceptably reduce the supply, variety or quality of available industrial and commercial land and property within the surrounding area;
  • The proposal would contribute towards meeting the overall employment needs of the district, or widening the range of employment opportunities;
  • The proposal would be suitable in relation to the location and not conflict with neighbouring land uses; and
  • The location is appropriately accessible and the proposal would not result in unacceptable levels of traffic generation.

For the purposes of bullet point one, evidence of ongoing proactive marketing for a minimum of six months must be provided.

Opportunities to strengthen existing clusters through the delivery of complementary employment generating uses will be encouraged.

To support the role and function of the town centres, A1 E(a, b, c) retail uses will not be considered appropriate on employment sites, except as an ancillary operation. Exceptions will be considered on a site by site basis for specialist retailing less suited to a town centre location and will be subject to the separate retail policies set out in this Plan.

Justification

To improve plan clarity and following discussion at Hearings.

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Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy EMP2

Modification

Policy EMP2: Change of Use to Non-Employment Generating Uses

Sites identified within Appendix 4 will be considered favourably for alternative, non-employment generating uses. No additional marketing of these sites is required, and they do not need to meet the criteria set out below.

Other than where permitted development allows, proposals for non-employment generating uses on identified employment land will only be considered where suitable and detailed evidence is submitted demonstrating that the following criteria can be met:

In relation to unallocated and non-key sites:

  • The site is not currently actively used for employment generating uses;
  • There is no reasonable or viable prospect of the site delivering an employment generating use;
  • A change of use will not detrimentally impact on the deliverability of existing employment uses of B1, B2 and B8 uses within the locality; and
  • The proposed use would not detrimentally impact upon existing surrounding land uses.

In relation to allocated employment land , and the existing employment areas shown on the policies maps, and key sites, in addition to the above:

  • The site has been comprehensively marketed for at least six 12 months for the current employment generating uses as well as for alternative employment generating uses and has been promoted through the Council's Inward Investment Portal. In all instances, marketing should be directed for both leasehold and freehold;
  • There is a local need for the proposed intended use; and
  • There are no strong economic reasons why the proposed intended use would be inappropriate.

All proposals for non-employment generating uses should be in accordance with other relevant policies set out within the plan.

Justification

To improve plan clarity and following discussion at the Hearings (in relation to key and non-key sites).

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Policy EMP3

Modification

Policy EMP3: Employment Proposals Within or Adjacent to Settlement Envelopes Development on non-allocated sites

Within settlement envelopes, development Development for appropriate employment generating uses will be supported.

Proposals for new employment land where they are within or immediately adjacent to the Settlement Envelopes will be supported where;

  1. the site is not in the Green Belt;
  2. there are no comparable existing or allocated sites, or comparable existing buildings within the locality that are available, suitable, achievable and or viable within the settlement envelope or within another closely related settlement;
  3. for proposals to extend existing businesses onto adjoining land, evidence is provided that intensification within the existing site is not possible or practical;
  4. evidence is provided of the significant economic benefits that would flow from the proposal taking account of the environmental and social aspects;
  5. the size and scale of the development proposed is appropriate to its location;
  6. the location is appropriately accessible, and the proposal would not result in unacceptable levels of traffic generation.; and
  7. any identified adverse impacts on the historic and natural environment, including designated sites and landscapes can be appropriately mitigated.

Outside settlement envelopes, proposals for new employment uses will be supported where, in addition to the above criteria;

  1. they are on previously developed land; and
  2. will not have an unacceptable adverse impact on the local environment and residential amenity.

In all cases criteria set out in Policy EMP1 will also be relevant considerations and proposals should be in accordance with other relevant policies set out within the plan.

Justification

To improve plan clarity and following discussion at the Hearings

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Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy EMP4

Modification

Policy EMP4: Rural and Visitor Economy

The contribution of the rural area and tourism to the wider economy will be supported and proposals

Proposals for to expand existing employment generating uses within the rural area and those related to the visitor economy will be considered in relation to supported where:

  • They would have no adverse impact on the suitability and impact of the proposal in relation to the location, and neighbouring land uses or residents;
  • The proposed use can be demonstrated to be viable evidenced viability of the proposed use;
  • There would be an increase in the number of jobs that can be delivered; and
  • There would be no detrimental the impact upon traffic generation, and where suitable accessibility and sustainable forms of transport can be demonstrated; and
  • Any identified adverse impacts on the historic and natural environment, including designated sites and landscapes, can be appropriately mitigated.

Proposals for new employment opportunities within the rural area, in addition to the above criteria, will be required to demonstrate that a rural location is required for technical and/or operational reasons.

The Council will seek to promote the rural area and visitor economy across the whole of Central Bedfordshire by supporting the principle of proposals for tourist and leisure developments, particularly those which will also provide opportunities for rural diversification and which are well located to support local services, businesses and other tourist and leisure attractions.

Proposals located within the Green Belt will be expected to demonstrate consistency with other relevant policies within this plan and with national planning policy. only be considered where exceptional circumstances. are identified and where the need for the proposal outweighs any demonstrable harm to the Green Belt.

All rural and visitor economy pProposals including for static holiday and touring caravan parks and holiday chalet developments will be considered against the need to protect historic environments, valuable landscapes and environmentally sensitive sites as well as the potential impact on local residents.

In line with Policy R2, the Council will seek to retain existing public houses and shops in order to encourage diverse employment opportunities, provide tourist accommodation and in recognition of the contribution such uses make, particularly to the rural economy.

Justification

To improve plan clarity and following discussion at the Hearings

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Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Section 12.10

Paragraph 12.10.4

Modification

Add new paragraph after 12.10.3

12.10.4 RAF Henlow has been declared surplus to MoD requirements and is due to be vacated by 2023. At that point it, will be available for redevelopment to help meet future growth requirements. It is expected that the site will be redeveloped with alternative, non-military uses. The suitability of future uses, and the redevelopment of the site will need to be carefully considered in the context of the existing and neighbouring uses, local infrastructure provision, community uses and landscape character, as well as the historic nature of the site, including on-site heritage assets such as the airfield and associated buildings.

Justification

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Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy EMP5

Modification

Policy EMP5: Significant Facilities in the Countryside and Green Belt

The significant facilities in the countryside and Green Belt, as identified on the policies maps, are:

  • Cranfield University (including the area formerly known as Cranfield University Technology Park and Cranfield Airport (excluding the Airpark),
  • Rookery South Resource Recovery Facility (RSRRF)
  • Shuttleworth College,
  • Millbrook Proving Ground,
  • RSPB, Sandy,
  • DISC Chicksands,
  • RAF Henlow
  • ZSL Whipsnade,
  • Woburn Safari Park,
  • Center Parcs,
  • Toddington Motorway Services Area,
  • Faldo Road Industrial Estate in Barton-le-Clay,
  • Kier at Tempsford and
  • Lockheed Martin, Ampthill

Planning permission will be granted for expansion, infilling or redevelopment of, significant facilities provided that the expansion, infilling or redevelopment is within the boundaries of the existing use, relates to that use and enhances the contribution to the local or national economy.

Significant expansion of existing facilities into the open countryside will be subject to the production of a management plan, development brief or masterplan prior to any application which will ultimately need to be endorsed by the Council. Within the Green Belt, the expansion of existing facilities will only be considered where proposals are consistent with National Policy.

All proposals for significant development at these facilities will be assessed on an individual basis and in accordance with other relevant policies within the plan, including, but not limited to:

  1. impact on the open countryside and any heritage assets;
  2. provision of sustainable transport;
  3. justification;
  4. scale, layout and design – which must be appropriate to the establishment and its setting.

Planning applications that are considered acceptable against these criteria and all other relevant plan policies will be considered favourably.

In the future, major new sites may emerge in Central Bedfordshire. Any new Further major facilities that may be developed with a similar level of importance in terms of employment or research once built, including Cranfield Airpark, will be considered under this policy as well as other relevant policies within the plan. Where a management plan, development brief or masterplan for a facility identified above has already been produced and endorsed by the Council, this should be a material consideration for future planning decisions.

Justification

To improve plan clarity and following discussion at the Hearings (to list facilities within the Policy).


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