Local Plan 2015-2030 Preferred Options for Consultation

Ended on the 3 October 2013
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Chapter 3: Core Policies

(14) Policy CP1 Sustainable Development

When considering development proposals the Council will take a positive approach that reflects the presumption in favour of sustainable development contained in the National Planning Policy Framework. It will always work proactively with applicants jointly to find solutions which mean that proposals can be approved wherever possible, and to secure development that improves the economic, social and environmental conditions in the area.

Planning applications that accord with policies in this Local Plan (and, where relevant, with polices in neighbourhood plans) will be approved without delay, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Where there are no policies relevant to the application or relevant policies are out of date at the time of making the decision then the Council will grant permission unless material considerations indicate otherwise – taking into account whether:

  1. Any adverse impacts of granting permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole; or

  2. Specific policies in that Framework indicate that development should be restricted.

Alternative Approach

No alternative policy has been identified.


3.1 National Planning Policy describes the presumption in favour of sustainable development as “the golden thread” which runs throughout plan-making and decision taking. This Plan includes the Planning Inspectorate’s 'Model' policy highlighting the Council’s commitment to taking take a positive, proactive approach to achieve sustainable development in the Borough.

(19) Policy CP2: Managing Growth

The Council expects the majority of new development to be provided within existing settlements, as identified on the Policies Map, through the development, conversion or re-use of previously developed land and buildings. In allocating sites or granting planning permission the Council will have regard to:

  1. The settlement hierarchy and role of key settlements

  2. The need to phase development to ensure employment and infrastructure are delivered prior to, or in conjunction with, new housing development

  3. Areas where development should not take place (eg undeveloped Green Belt, land valuable for food production or at risk of flooding or of high landscape value)

  4. The need to achieve a better balance of jobs, services, facilities and homes

  5. Essential infrastructure requirements (whether existing or new requirements)

  6. The importance of creating well designed places which are socially inclusive and respect local character

  7. The need to ensure a flexible, responsive supply of land, and to prioritise the re-use of previously developed land and buildings in order to support regeneration

Alternative Approach

No alternative policy has been identified. The Council considers the preferred approach to be essential in order to deliver sustainable development.


3.2 The level of development planned for the Borough aims to strike a balance between responding to the need for development and acknowledging constraints which determine how much development the Borough can sustainably accommodate. Residents place a high value on protecting the Green Belt and safeguarding the quality and character of the Borough.

3.3 NPPF core principles are that plans should take account of the role and character of different areas, promote the vitality of the main urban areas, achieve high quality, inclusive design, protect Green Belt and the intrinsic value of the countryside and support thriving rural communities. The Council’s preferred approach to managing development and growth in the Borough reflects these principles and the overriding presumption in favour of sustainable development.

3.4 The emphasis on recycling and re-using previously developed land and buildings reflects national policy and the Council’s commitment to making the best use of scarce land resources within the Borough.

3.5 Phasing refers to the timing of development in relation to other activity, for example, land assembly or provision of infrastructure. Development may require phasing, both to ensure that new occupants have access to services they need and to minimise disruption caused by development to existing communities or the services they depend on. Phasing helps ensure the timely delivery of development over the plan period. Therefore in this regard, an important role of this plan is to indicate when sites are expected to come forward.


Constraints: Land designations and existing use eg sites of value for nature conservation, landscape or agriculture. Evidence from the Strategic Flood Settlement Hierarchy – sets out the role and function of different settlements (see Policy S1 justification above).
Housing Trajectory – see Figure 2.2 above and Appendix 3.
Risk Assessment, Water Cycle Study and Landscape Character Assessment, Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, Infrastructure Delivery Plan (forthcoming), transport modelling. Availability of services, public transport and other infrastructure are among factors which influence the suitability of a site or location for development.

National Policy

NPPF paragraph 17, Core Principles.

Consultation Feedback

Key issues for respondents, to both the 2009 and 2011 consultations (Issues and Options to 2031: Pathway to a Sustainable Brentwood and Your Neighbourhood Consultation) include protecting the character and quality of the Borough and ensuring the necessary infrastructure exists to support new development.


Deliver development in accordance with policy.


Monitor development to assess compliance with policy.


Development management and site allocations.

(11) Policy CP3: Strategic Sites

In order to meet identified development requirements in accordance with the spatial strategy the following strategic sites are allocated:

West Horndon – Mixed Use Development – housing, employment, community/education/health, open space, retail

Sites 020, 021 & 037

William Hunter Way – Mixed Use Development – retail, leisure, housing

Site 102

The Baytree Centre – Mixed Use Development – retail, housing

Site 100

Brentwood Enterprise Park – Employment

Site 101A

Site 101B

Alternative Approach

Alternatives are considered alongside site specific policies below.


3.6 The above sites are deemed strategic because they are critical to delivering the Plan. Other site specific allocations are set out in Development Management Policies.


Sustainability Appraisal
Site Analysis / pro formas

National Policy

NPPF, paragraph 21: In drawing up local plans, local planning authorities should set criteria, or identify strategic sites, for local and inward investment to match the strategy and to meet anticipated needs over the plan period.

The NPPF, paragraph 17, advises that in selecting sites for allocation the preferred choice should be brownfield land and land of lesser environmental value.


Development in line with policy.


Monitoring delivery through the AMR


See site specific policies CP4, 5 and 6

(843) Policy CP4: West Horndon Opportunity Area

The Council will work in partnership with the local community to identify and realise opportunities for regeneration and improvement through redevelopment of employment land and a strategic allocation to provide mixed use development for Housing, Employment, Retail, Community, Open Space, Education and Health purposes. The Council will seek a community masterplanning exercise, to agree the form, mix and siting of development which best reflects local aspirations and the wider Borough Spatial Strategy.

West Horndon could give rise to further capacity depending on its ability to accommodate a self sustaining community and provision of infrastructure can be met over the plan period.

Sites 020, 021 & 037

(1) Alternative Approach

1. Redevelop for housing with supporting community, health and retail facilities

Reason for rejection: This option would require the Council to identify land and premises elsewhere to offset the loss of business and jobs that would occur and would exclude the established business community. There is no guarantee new jobs and businesses would be forthcoming elsewhere or that established business would relocate within the Borough. The preferred option has the ability to better serve residents and business, both existing and new.

2. Redevelop to provide a high tech business park with some residential and community facilities

Reason for rejection: This option would require high density residential development to be able deliver the level of housing required, and commitment from the business and residential community to deliver. This would be more challenging to deliver than the preferred option.


(2) 3.7 Having good road and rail access, local shops and community facilities, West Horndon offers potential for sustainable development to the benefit of the local community. As well as meeting the village’s longer term needs, developing here provides an opportunity to address current conflicts from competing uses, most notably, heavy freight passing through residential areas; improve the quality of the public realm; provide multi-functional, accessible green space; and strengthen the village centre.

(1) 3.8 It is envisaged that development here would provide a mix of uses, including housing, community, health and neighbourly (ie compatible) employment uses. To ensure that development takes into account long term community aspirations for the village the Council will seek a community masterplanning exercise to determine the precise scale, nature and siting of development and associated works.


Infrastructure Delivery Plan (forthcoming)
Modelling work (forthcoming)
Site Analysis/pro formas

National Policy

NPPF, Paragraph 17: A core principle of the NPPF is that plans should:

  • encourage the effective use of land by reusing land that has been previously developed (brownfield land), provided that it is not of high environmental value; and

  • promote mixed use developments, and encourage multiple benefits from the use of land in urban and rural areas, recognising that some open land can perform many functions (such as for wildlife, recreation, flood risk mitigation, carbon storage, or food production)

NPPF, Paragraph 21: Planning policies should recognise and seek to address potential barriers to investment, including a poor environment or any lack of infrastructure, services or housing. In drawing up Local Plans, local planning authorities should:

  • set out a clear economic vision and strategy for their area which positively and proactively encourages sustainable economic growth;

  • set criteria, or identify strategic sites, for local and inward investment to match the strategy and to meet anticipated needs over the plan period;

  • support existing business sectors, taking account of whether they are expanding or contracting and, where possible, identify and plan for new or emerging sectors likely to locate in their area. Policies should be flexible enough to accommodate needs not anticipated in the plan and to allow a rapid response to changes in economic circumstances;

  • plan positively for the location, promotion and expansion of clusters or networks of knowledge driven, creative or high technology industries;

  • identify priority areas for economic regeneration, infrastructure provision and environmental enhancement; and

  • facilitate flexible working practices such as the integration of residential and commercial uses within the same unit.”

NPPF, Paragraphs 37 and 38:

Planning policies should aim for a balance of land uses within their area so that people can be encouraged to minimise journey lengths for employment, shopping, leisure, education and other activities.

For larger scale residential developments in particular, planning policies should promote a mix of uses in order to provide opportunities to undertake day-to-day activities including work on site. Where practical, particularly within large-scale developments, key facilities such as primary schools and local shops should be located within walking distance of most properties.

NPPF, Paragraph 58 states that planning policies should aim to ensure that developments: “optimise the potential of the site to accommodate development, create and sustain an appropriate mix of uses (including incorporation of green and other public space as part of developments) and support local facilities and transport networks.”

NPPF paragraph 70: To deliver the social, recreational and cultural facilities and services the community needs, planning policies and decisions should:

  • plan positively for the provision and use of shared space, community facilities (such as local shops, meeting places, sports venues, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship) and other local services to enhance the sustainability of communities and residential environments;

  • ensure an integrated approach to considering the location of housing, economic uses and community facilities and services”


Realisation of development in line with policy


Development Monitoring


CiL Charging Schedule (forthcoming), Infrastructure Delivery Plan
Development Management Decisions
Development Briefs/Masterplan

(6) Policy CP5: William Hunter Way

The Council will seek the redevelopment of the car park Site to provide for new retail/ commercial floorspace to maintain and enhance Brentwood Town Centre as a shopping destination. The Council will promote improvements to the character and built environment of William Hunter Way, including the public realm, creating an attractive mixed use environment with integrated High Street links.

Opportunities to improve frontages on the south side of William Hunter Way will be encouraged through landscaping and redevelopment. A mix of uses including residential will be considered appropriate. For proposals affecting the rear of premises on the north side of the High Street, the Council will encourage additional shopfronts and the provision of double fronted shops.

Site 102

Alternative Approach

No alternative policy has been identified. The Council considers the preferred approach essential in order to deliver sustainable economic growth and realise opportunities in an underutilised area in Brentwood Town Centre for the benefit of all.


3.9 William Hunter Way is a former service road north of Brentwood High Street that faces directly onto the rear of High Street premises. Yards and spaces serving these on the southern side of William Hunter Way are underutilised and untidy, with the area used mainly for car parking. Significant opportunities exist to improve this frontage and public realm through high quality landscaping and redevelopment. Enhancement can be delivered by improving pedestrian links, encouraging double fronted units, and redeveloping yards for a mix of uses including residential.

3.10 The boundaries of Brentwood Town Centre Conservation Area were amended in 2010 to include the southern frontage of William Hunter Way in recognition of this underutilised land and to encourage high quality redevelopment that is sympathetic to the wider Conservation Area.

3.11 Redevelopment of the William Hunter Way car park site will provide a major new leisure and retail destination for Brentwood Town Centre. This development is the largest in the town centre for many years, providing opportunities to attract more visitors and additional investment. However, it is vital that the development is carefully integrated to the High Street and not seen as a separate destination.

3.12 A key part of Brentwood’s local economy is linked trips. Many people who park and shop at Sainsbury’s combine their trip with a visit to the High Street to shop for other goods offered by local shops, or use the variety of services available, eg cafes, restaurants, banks. The redevelopment of William Hunter Way provides an opportunity to attract more people to the High Street and better serve existing patrons. Creating a more pleasant built environment with legible links to the High Street is vital in order to realise this potential.


Brentwood Town Centre Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan (2007)
William Hunter Way Development and Enhancement Review (Essex Design Initiative, 2010)
Retail and Commercial Leisure Study (2011)

National Policy

NPPF paragraph 23: Planning policies should be positive, promote competitive town centre environments and set out policies for the management and growth of centres over the plan period. In drawing up Local Plans, local planning authorities should:

  • ...Recognise town centres as the heart of their communities and pursue policies that support their vitality and viability...

  • ...Promote competitive town centres that provide customer choice and a diverse retail offer and which reflect the individuality of town centres...

  • ...Recognise that residential development can play an important role in ensuring the vitality of town centres and set out policies to encourage residential development on appropriate sites...”


Develop in line with policy


Development Monitoring


CiL Charging Schedule (forthcoming)
Development Management Decisions
Development Briefs/Masterplan
Infrastructure Delivery Plan

(3) Policy CP6: The Baytree Centre

The Council will seek a mixed use scheme to include retail, leisure and residential as part of the redevelopment of Baytree Centre shopping precinct. Redevelopment will also provide public realm improvements around the Chapel Ruins to create better links with the High Street and between new retail/leisure at William Hunter Way.

Site 100


(1) 3.13 Brentwood Town Centre will need to continue to extend the range and quality of shopping outlets in order to respond to and compete with the continuing development of other retail centres. Consideration is therefore given to what opportunities exist for enhancing the provision of shopping. Not unexpectedly in a centre the size of Brentwood, the range of comparison shops is limited and a large outflow of expenditure is experienced. In assessing the potential for further retail provision within the town centre there are two sites of any significance that can be identified at the present time: William Hunter Way Car Park and the Baytree Centre.

(1) 3.14 The Baytree Centre provides an important opportunity for improving the range and quality of shopping provision in the town centre. The Centre, while having been refurbished in 2005, does not meet modern retailer needs in the 21st century. The quality of a shopping environment plays an important role in encouraging people to shop in a particular centre and may have a positive impact in the long term on its viability.

(28) Policy CP7: Brentwood Enterprise Park

Brentwood Enterprise Park will provide new floorspace for employment development (Use Classes B1, B2 and B8), made up of land at the former M25 works site (south of A127, site ref: 101A) and land at Codham Hall (north of A127, site ref: 101B), as set out on the Policies Map. Development proposals should meet the following criteria:

  1. Employment uses and jobs provided on site are consistent with the economic strategy set out within this Plan, and support the vitality and viability of Brentwood Town Centre and other Borough centres

  2. Development is of a high design standard, meeting aspirations to enhance this location as a key gateway to Brentwood

  3. Landscaping and planting should be used to create a buffer and provide improved visual amenity between the site and surrounding land, minimising any amenity impacts

  4. In accordance with Policy CP13 (Sustainable Transport) proposals should be accompanied by:

    1. a Green Travel Plan linking this site with Brentwood Town Centre and West Horndon
    2. a Transport Assessment

Brentwood Enterprise Park will comprise employment floorspace requirements, as set out below:

Land at former M25 works site, south of A127 (101A)

Provision of 23.5ha (235,000sqm) of employment land is made at the former M25 Works Site, with a particular onus on high quality B1 employment floorspace along the site frontage with the A127 exit road to M25 Junction 29. Behind this frontage will be a mix of B1, B2 and B8 employment floorspace. No more than 12ha (120,000 sqm) of the total site area (approx 51%) will be made up of B8 uses.

Site 101A

Land at Codham Hall, north of A127 (101B)

An opportunity will be taken to regulate existing employment uses on land at Codham Hall with provision of up to 4ha of employment development, specifically Use Classes B2 and B8 but with B1 office space where appropriate to support industrial uses and provide front-office functions.

Site 101B


(2) 3.15 Previously developed land in this location provides an opportunity for new employment land in the form of a business park. The location is excellent in terms of transport links and is suitable for new floorspace of a scale that it would be extremely difficult to accommodate elsewhere in the Borough.

3.16 Employment allocations for this site are proposed to be made up of two areas of land adjacent to the M25. Referred to collectively as Brentwood Enterprise Park (draft name), this includes the former M25 works site (101A) to the south of the A127 and land at Codham Hall (101B) to the north, as set out on the Policies Map.

(2) 3.17 It is proposed that land at the M25 works site (101A) will accommodate a new business park of mixed B-uses. The front of the site facing the A127 exit slip road, as it approaches M25 Junction 29, will be used to provide high quality building design of a higher density than the rest of the site. This area will predominantly provide B1 office floorspace and create an attractive gateway to the Borough. In order to ensure the site caters for a range of employment uses, and maximises the potential for job creation, a maximum of 12ha of B8 use (warehousing) can be accommodated on the site. A study analysing industrial sector growth potential recommends a figure of 12.1ha for new B8 employment land (Heart of Essex Economic Futures Study (2012) dwelling constrained scenario).

3.18 Figure 3.1 sets out the site in context including the approximate frontage area.

Figure 3.1: Brentwood Enterprise Park location (north & south of A127)

Figure 3.1

3.19 Land at Codham Hall, site 101B, provides an opportunity to regulate existing industrial uses that have grown up over the years in agricultural type buildings. The site is well screened from the south and can accommodate predominantly B2/B8 uses.

3.20 For both 101A and 101B, it is expected that careful attention will be paid to minimising amenity impacts. Provision of improved visual amenity and landscaping will be required as part of any development proposal.


Employment Land Review (2010)
Heart of Essex Economic Futures Study (2012)

National Policy

NPPF paragraph 21 In drawing up Local Plans, local planning authorities should: set criteria, or identify strategic sites, for local and inward investment to match the strategy and to meet anticipated needs over the plan period


To deliver employment land at the site in accordance with the Policy in order to provide for local job growth.


Development monitoring.


Development management.

(16) Policy CP8: Housing Type and Mix

The Council will seek a mix of dwelling types, sizes and specialist accommodation to provide choice, respond to needs and contribute towards the creation of sustainable, balanced communities. In all new residential schemes the Council will expect a proportion of new homes to be affordable. Schemes should be inclusive and designed in such a way that affordable housing is indistinguishable from market housing.

On sites of six units and above or 0.2 hectares or more, at least 50% of total dwellings should be one and two bedroom properties except where this would be detrimental to the character of the area or site constraints prevent this.

In determining the mix for any particular scheme, the Council will take into account local housing market conditions, housing needs, the nature, character and context of the site and specific scheme requirements. The Council may use conditions to ensure a particular housing type provided, such as a bungalow, remains available in perpetuity.


  1. application is made for part development of a larger residential site identified on the local plan Policies Map, or

  2. the proposed residential development site is contiguous with one or more other potential residential development sites

The area to be used for determining whether this policy applies will be the larger site in relation to (a) above and the aggregate area of such contiguous sites in relation to (b) above.

In appropriate circumstances a condition will be imposed on smaller units to prevent extensions providing additional habitable floor space.

Alternative Approach

1. To have no policy and leave the mix and type of housing to market forces.

Reason for rejection: This approach is less likely to respond to the Borough’s housing needs than the preferred approach.

2. To have a more prescriptive policy with regard to type, tenure and size, for example controlling the size of conversions from other properties.

Reason for rejection: The preferred policy is more flexible and should therefore be more responsive to changing circumstances.


3.21 A high proportion of the Borough’s existing dwellings are larger three and four bedroom detached properties. By contrast, evidence shows a significant need for smaller one and two bedroom properties with single person households accounting for half of projected household growth (2008 to 2033). Recent completions have started to address this imbalance, with 60% of completions in 2010/11 being one and two bedroom homes. With regard to the size of dwellings required, the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA, 2010) forecasts a need for 58.6% of new dwellings to be 1 and 2 bedroom dwellings and 41.4% dwellings 3 or more bedrooms.

3.22 11.7% of households in the Borough contain a member with special needs, a rate comparable to the national average. An above average proportion of the Borough’s households contain older persons (27.1%).The proportion of the Borough's population living beyond 65 years of age is forecast to rise from 18% in 2012 to 22% in 2033 and for those aged 85 years from 3% to 5% over the same period.

(1) 3.23 Increasing the provision and range of accessible, special needs and supported accommodation in the Borough will be essential if development is to meet the needs of an ageing population and foster housing choice and mobility. Meeting the accommodation needs of older people who wish to downsize will have the added benefit of freeing up larger properties for families.

3.24 One consequence of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 is that people in receipt of Housing Benefit living in homes considered too large for their needs may move to smaller properties. This in turn could increase the need for smaller dwellings in the Borough.

3.25 Factors which will influence the type, tenure and mix of housing that should be provided include the following:

  • The largest proportion of household growth is among single people and this is expected to increase demand for smaller homes

  • The significant majority of need is for intermediate housing. However this is price sensitive. Pitching rents at 80% of market level will exclude some people and apply additional pressure to social housing.

  • The provision of affordable intermediate housing has the potential to release social housing

  • The implications of introducing fixed term tenancies and affordable rents

  • Rural communities’ needs

  • Older Person’s and specialist housing needs, taking account of provision within the Council’s own stock and the implications for the ageing population and models of social care

  • An increased demand for private rented property driven by reductions in access to owner occupation as identified by the SHMA

  • The need to address overcrowding among Black and Ethnic Minority households

  • A Strategic Housing Market Assessment, currently underway, will provide evidence on need for different types of housing, including affordable housing.


Affordable Housing Viability Assessment (2010)
Greater Essex Phase 3 Demographic Forecast (June 2012)
Housing Strategy (forthcoming)
Local Investment Plan
Older Person’s Housing Strategy (forthcoming)
Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), 2010
Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2013 (forthcoming)
Sustainability appraisal (2009 and forthcoming)

National Policy

NPPF paragraph 50: To deliver a wide choice of high quality homes, widen opportunities for home ownership and create sustainable, inclusive and mixed communities, local planning authorities should:

  • plan for a mix of housing based on current and future demographic trends, market trends and the needs of different groups in the community (such as, but not limited to, families with children, older people, people with disabilities, service families and people wishing to build their own homes); and

  • identify the size, type, tenure and range of housing that is required in particular locations, reflecting local demand.


To deliver homes which meet policy requirements


Housing completions monitoring by type, size and tenure


Development management decisions
Site Allocations
Local Investment Plan

(13) Policy CP9: Protecting the historic and natural environment and landscape character

The Council is committed to safeguarding the diversity and local distinctiveness of the Borough, including its varied landscapes, heritage, biodiversity and habitats. New development should foster a sense of place and local identity, and respect, and where possible enhance, the character of the area. In assessing proposals, regard will be given to:

  1. The sensitivity of an area to change

  2. The importance of retaining the individual identity of separate settlements and parts thereof

  3. Conserving and, where appropriate, enhancing heritage assets and their settings

  4. Conserving and enhancing biodiversity and habitats, including through the creation of new habitats

The Borough Council will designate and keep under review Conservation Areas in order to protect or enhance their special architectural or historic interest, and will seek to protect the character, significance, and setting of Listed Buildings, Historic Parks and Gardens and Protected Lanes.

Alternative Approach

No alternative has been identified to this policy approach.


3.26 The Borough is fortunate to have significant natural and built heritage assets, and these are valued by residents, visitors and business. Any future development should therefore conserve, protect and enhance these features.

3.27 National planning policy requires local authorities to set out a positive strategy in their Local Plan for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment. It also states that Local Plans should plan positively for the protection and enhancement of the natural environment. The Council is committed to protecting Brentwood’s special and valued historic environment and natural landscapes. This commitment is supported by consultation responses which identify protecting the historic environment as a high priority. The preferred policy approach seeks to ensure that the historic and natural environment is protected and that new development will contribute towards the enhancement of Brentwood’s historic and natural environment.


3.28 The Mid-Essex Landscape Character Assessment (2006) gives an insight into the Borough’s varied landscapes, their qualities, distinctiveness and sensitivity to change. The study identifies three types of landscape in the Borough: wooded farmland, river valley and fenland.

  • The vast majority of the rural area is “wooded farmland”, comprising undulating areas of deciduous and mixed woodland interspersed with arable fields, mature hedgerows, smaller pastures and paddocks, and narrow lanes with a sense of tranquillity away from the main roads. Several areas of ancient woodland are present. This landscape type is highly sensitive to change.

  • The Roding River valley, to the north-west of the Borough, comprises linear patches of woodland, mature hedgerows, a dispersed settlement pattern, sense of remoteness and tranquillity. There are 15 areas of ancient woodland. This landscape type is highly sensitive to change.

  • Fenland south of the A127 is characterised by widespread arable agriculture with a flat landscape with a pattern of large fields, large field pattern, hedgerows, distant views south to Tilbury and north to Little Warley and East Horndon Church, and four areas of ancient woodland. This landscape type is moderately sensitive to change.

3.29 In the Mill Green area lies the Forest of Writtle, a designated Ancient Landscape.

Nature Conservation Sites

(1) 3.30 The Borough contains three Sites of Special Scientific Interest: Curtis Mill Green, Thorndon Park and The Coppice, Kelvedon Hatch.

(1) 3.31 A Local Nature Reserve at Hutton Country Park and 147 Local Wildlife Sites are identified for their value as semi-natural habitats and occasionally for their role in environmental education and public engagement with wildlife. Other natural features of conservation interest include commons, small copses, tree belts, ponds and watercourses, hedgerows and protected lanes.

Historic and Archaeological Heritage

3.32 Registered Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest are at Warley Place, Weald Park and Thorndon Park.

3.33 Within the Borough are 13 Conservation Areas: Blackmore, Brentwood Town Centre, Fryerning, Great Warley, Herongate, Highwood Hospital, Hutton Village, Ingatestone Village Centre, Ingatestone Station Area and South Weald, Thorndon Park, Warley Place and Weald Park. 518 buildings are Listed for their Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

3.34 Essex Historic Environment record identifies 636 sites within the Borough of known archaeological interest. These include isolated discoveries like Stone Age flint axe, below ground evidence of prehistoric, Roman, Saxon and medieval occupation and upstanding post medieval and modern structures. Of known sites, 12 are Scheduled Ancient Monuments, including the St Thomas a Becket Chapel in Brentwood town centre.


Brentwood Borough Local Wildlife Sites Review (Essex Wildlife Trust, 2012)
English Heritage Registered Parks and Historic Gardens
Essex Biodiversity Action Plan
Essex Biodiversity Project
Essex Historic Environment Record
Mid-Essex Landscape Character Assessment (2006)
National Heritage List for England
Natural England Sites of Special Scientific Interest

National Policy

NPPF paragraph 17 recognises the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside as a core planning principle.

NPPF paragraph 114: Local planning authorities should set out a strategic approach in their Local Plans, planning positively for the creation, protection, enhancement and management of networks of biodiversity and green infrastructure.

NPPF paragraph 126: local planning authorities should have a positive strategy for conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, in particular recognising that new development can make a positive contribution to local character and distinctiveness.

NPPF paragraph 137: local planning authorities should look for opportunities for new development within Conservation areas and heritage assets to enhance their significance. Proposals that preserve those elements of the setting that make a positive contribution to or better reveal the significance of the asset should be treated favourably.


To prevent harm to landscapes, heritage assets, protected flora, fauna and their habitats and sites of nature conservation value.

100% of Conservation Areas with up to date appraisals by 2020.


Number of permissions for development adversely affecting species and habitats covered by the Essex Biodiversity Action Plan, Local Wildlife Sites/Local Nature Reserves

Number of adopted Conservation Appraisals

Number of Conservation Appraisal recommendations implemented

Total area in Borough designated a Local Wildlife Site or other Nature Conservation Designation


Development Management decisions, Streetscene – Countryside & Open Spaces
Working with Essex Wildlife Trust, Essex Biodiversity Project, English Heritage and Natural England.
Implementation of Conservation Appraisal recommendations

(71) Policy CP10: Green Belt

The general extent of the Green Belt across the Borough will be retained subject to minor allocations made in this Plan affecting Green Belt, where new development has had the effect of consolidating settlement patterns so as to create a defensible boundary.

The following settlements are excluded from the Green Belt as identified on the Policies Map:

Blackmore, Brentwood, Doddinghurst, Herongate, Hook End, Ingatestone, Ingrave, Kelvedon Hatch, Mountnessing, Stondon Massey, West Horndon and Wyatts Green.

Alternative Approach

No alternative has been identified.

The National Planning Policy Framework stresses the great importance of Green Belts and their essential characteristics of openness and permanence. The importance of protecting Green Belt land is supported by Borough residents who in consultations identify the protection of the Green Belt as their top priority. The Council supports this through strategic objective SO7 which aims to safeguard the Green Belt.


(1) 3.35 The majority of the Borough (80%) lies within the Green Belt and comprises a mix of villages, residential properties and agricultural land. There are large areas of woodlands, golf courses, playing pitches, parks and an extensive network of public rights of way providing public access to open countryside. The Green Belt contains extensive areas important for nature conservation including Hutton, Weald and Thorndon Country Parks, three Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and 147 Local Wildlife Sites. The Green Belt has local strategic importance preventing coalescence of settlements within the Borough and adjoining districts.

(2) 3.36 The new Local Plan provides an opportunity to refresh Green Belt boundaries for minor alterations to be made where necessary. The Council will set these out on the Policies Map to reflect any changes around urban areas and defined settlements where new development has taken place since 2005.

3.37 The Green Belt serves five purposes:

  1. to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas

  2. to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another

  3. to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment

  4. to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and

  5. to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.


Landscape Sensitivity Testing and Green Belt Assessment (forthcoming)
Survey and Assessment of Needs and Audit of Open Space, Sport and Recreation Facilities in Brentwood Borough (PMP, 2007)

National Policy

NPPF paragraph 79: The Government attaches great importance to Green Belts. The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence.

NPPF paragraph 80 sets out the five purposes of the Green Belt as set out in paragraph 3.22 above.

NPPF paragraph 83: Local planning authorities with Green Belts in their area should establish Green Belt boundaries in their Local Plans which set the framework for Green Belt and settlement policy. Once established, Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances, through the preparation or review of the Local Plan. At that time, authorities should consider the Green Belt boundaries having regard to their intended permanence in the long term, so that they should be capable of enduring beyond the plan period.

NPPF paragraph 85 advises that when defining boundaries local planning authorities should:

  • ensure consistency with the Local Plan strategy for meeting identified requirements for sustainable development;

  • not include land which it is unnecessary to keep permanently open;

  • where necessary, identify in their plans areas of ‘safeguarded land’ between the urban area and the Green Belt, in order to meet longer-term development needs stretching well beyond the plan period;

  • make clear that the safeguarded land is not allocated for development at the present time. Planning permission for the permanent development of safeguarded land should only be granted following a Local Plan review which proposes the development;

  • satisfy themselves that Green Belt boundaries will not need to be altered at the end of the development plan period; and

  • define boundaries clearly, using physical features that are readily recognisable and likely to be permanent.


Maintain the extent, character and openness of the Borough’s countryside and Green Belt, allowing proposals only where these meet national policy guidance.


Number and type of planning permissions granted within Green Belt.


Development Management decisions based on Green Belt policy and boundaries defined on the Policies Map.

(16) Policy CP11: Strong and Competitive Economy

The Council and its partners will seek to maintain high and stable levels of local economic growth, enabling the Borough’s economy to diversify and modernise through the growth of existing business and the creation of new enterprises. Support will be given to proposals that secure job growth with ‘high value’ business and retail. This will be secured by:

  1. Capitalising on the economic benefits that arise from Crossrail

  2. Improving access to a range of employment opportunities for Borough residents in order to meet local employment needs and maintain viable, sustainable communities

  3. Promoting economic growth through the intensification of vacant employment floorspace and underutilised sites, the regeneration of previously developed land, and the allocation of new sites necessary to support employment growth in sustainable locations

  4. Making better use of existing business premises by opening up vacant employment floorspace for use by other businesses

  5. Directing major new retail, office and leisure investment to the Borough’s Town Centres, stimulating improvement and regeneration

  6. Supporting proposals which achieve the renewal and improvement of business premises to provide local employment opportunities, particularly in areas with good public transport

  7. Enhancing and protecting the important role of small and medium sized commercial enterprises within the Borough’s economy

  8. Supporting the Borough’s rural economy and growing agricultural enterprises.

(1) Alternative Approach

No alternative has been identified.


(1) 3.38 Brentwood Borough is an attractive location for business, combining a high quality environment with close proximity to London, a well qualified workforce and good transport links. A diverse local economy provides a total of 30,383 jobs (2008) with an annual growth rate of 1.6% (1998-2008). The Borough has a thriving entrepreneurial culture, with above average rates of business start-ups, and is popular with some major national firms whose regional headquarters are located here.

3.39 The Council seeks to promote a mixed economic base and a discerning approach to economic growth. High value employment uses will be particularly encouraged. This will tend to be business uses such as offices with related high-tech manufacturing floorspace that provide a significant number of skilled jobs, rather than large distribution warehouses that employ very few people. A diversity of uses will also be encouraged with an emphasis on good quality, sympathetic and efficient use of land and buildings and good quality jobs, including through better utilising, upgrading and redeveloping existing land and buildings. This approach recognises and responds to the Borough’s strengths: skilled workforce, attractive environment and good transport links, and takes account of land and infrastructure constraints. Continuing prosperity in future will rely upon safeguarding those features which comprise Brentwood’s distinctive offer and make the Borough a destination of choice today.

3.40 The map below (Figure 3.2) shows how well Brentwood is placed in terms of transport links to surrounding centres in Essex, London and Kent, legacy opportunities from the 2012 Olympic Park, and airports at Stansted and Southend. Crossrail will improve links with Central London and open new direct links to West London and Heathrow airport. The Borough is close to competing retail centres such as Basildon, Romford and Chelmsford, and Lakeside, Bluewater, and Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centres.

Figure 3.2: Transport Links

Figure 3.2

3.41 Currently a high proportion of Borough residents commute to work elsewhere. While it is accepted that many residents will continue to work outside the Borough local employment opportunities need to be enhanced and diversified in order to reduce this need to travel and benefit the local economy.

(1) 3.42 More than half of total employment is provided by small businesses of up to 49 employees and development that supports this sector will be encouraged. The role of larger companies is also recognised and the Council with partners such as Brentwood For Growth to consider how best their needs can be met.

3.43 Brentwood and Shenfield will be the focus to attract economic growth given their excellent geographic position along with provision at West Horndon and Brentwood Enterprise Park (see policies CP4 and CP7). Larger villages are in a position to accommodate a limited amount of employment and retail development and here the emphasis will be on the provision of local services.

(1) 3.44 Sustainable patterns of growth should be encouraged by utilising existing employment space where possible, developing on previously developed land and encouraging smart working practices. In Brentwood Town Centre, and suitable locations elsewhere, opportunities for higher density business development will be considered since this will relieve pressure to develop in less sustainable locations.

3.45 Improvements in technology and working arrangements have enabled more flexible working, freeing up existing employment floorspace. This trend is expected to continue in future with more remote and home working. Businesses with underused floorspace will be encouraged to make this available for use by other business users.

3.46 The Borough has seen an above average growth in agriculture since 1998. Rural enterprise is fundamental in maintaining and developing rural communities by securing appropriate business, inward investment, jobs and wealth in rural areas and is a vital part of the local economy. Rural enterprise and development which supports its expansion should be encouraged providing there are no severe adverse impacts on the environment and development is sympathetic to its rural surroundings.

3.47 Rural enterprise refers to land-based industries, such as agriculture and forestry, enabling rurally based businesses, tourism and the environment. It is recognised that some activities in rural areas might equally well be carried out in a built up area. The key difference is their impact and whether the activity in question, due to its scale and nature has an urbanising effect or can be sensitively accommodated with no adverse impact on the countryside. Stewardship of the countryside, soil and landscapes has traditionally rested with farmers and therefore sympathetic diversification schemes which support this sector should be encouraged in recognition of these wider benefits.

3.48 New employment allocations are identified in Policy DM6 and on the Policies Map.


Brentwood and Epping Forest Employment Land Review (2010)
Brentwood Retail and Commercial Leisure Study (2011)
Heart of Essex Economic Futures Study (2012)
2011 Census

National Policy

According to the NPPF, a key dimension to achieving sustainable development is the economic role of planning. This is to contribute “to building a strong, responsive and competitive economy, by ensuring that sufficient land of the right type is available in the right places and at the right time to support growth and innovation; and by identifying and coordinating development requirements, including the provision of infrastructure” (NPPF paragraph 7)

NPPF paragraph 9: Pursuing sustainable development involves seeking positive improvements... making it easier for jobs to be created in cities, towns and villages”

NPPF paragraph 17, Core Planning Principle: planning should proactively drive and support sustainable economic development to deliver the homes, business and industrial units, infrastructure and thriving local places that the country needs. Every effort should be made objectively to identify and then meet the housing, business and other development needs of an area, and respond positively to wider opportunities for growth.

To help achieve economic growth, local planning authorities should plan proactively to meet the development needs of business and support an economy fit for the 21st century” (NPPF paragraph 20)

NPPF paragraph 21:

In drawing up Local Plans, local planning authorities should:

  • Set out a clear economic vision and strategy for their area which positively and proactively encourages sustainable economic growth

  • Set criteria, or identify strategic sites, for local and inward investment to match the strategy and to meet anticipated needs over the plan period

  • Support existing business sectors, taking account of whether they are expanding or contracting and, where possible, identify and plan for new or emerging sectors likely to locate in their area. Policies should be flexible enough to accommodate needs not anticipated in the plan and to allow a rapid response to changes in economic circumstances

  • Plan positively for the location, promotion and expansion of clusters or networks of knowledge driven, creative or high technology industries

  • Identify priority areas for economic regeneration, infrastructure provision and environmental enhancement

  • Facilitate flexible working practices such as the integration if residential and commercial uses within the same unit.


An average growth rate of 285 net additional jobs per annum over the Plan period


Borough employment rates, business start ups and GVA, compared with county, region and national average

Distribution of non-residential and retail development compared with spatial strategy


BBC and other bodies, such as Brentwood for Growth and Brentwood Renaissance

(6) Policy CP12: Thriving Town and Local Centres


Within the Borough’s urban areas the Council will promote sustainable urban living and working through development proposals that support a diverse range of uses, make best use of previously developed land, and protect and enhance local character. Development should enhance the attractiveness, vitality, safety, environmental quality, historic character, employment opportunities and social inclusiveness of these areas.

Change of use of upper floors above commercial premises to residential will be encouraged provided reasonable facilities and amenities are provided for and development does not result in demand to replace lost storage space.

Proposals should take account of the Hierarchy of Place as set out in Policy S1. The Borough’s Primary Shopping Areas are defined as follows:

Town Centres:

Brentwood Town Centre

Shenfield, Hutton Road

Village Centre:

Ingatestone High Street


The Council will conserve the positive qualities of Brentwood Town Centre while enhancing and improving negative aspects of function and appearance. Proposed development should balance requirements of those who live, work, shop, and enjoy leisure time to create a vibrant town centre around an efficient, convenient network of public transport, cycling and walking routes and a high quality High Street and public realm.

Opportunities to enhance the public realm around the Chapel Ruins will be encouraged. This space should be used as the centre of the High Street, somewhere for people to enjoy spending time while providing the key link from the High Street to both the Baytree Centre and William Hunter Way.


Cultural, entertainment and leisure uses will be encouraged as part of mixed use development. After-hours leisure should raise standards and broaden the appeal of the night-time economy. Proposals should:

  1. Be safe and welcoming, delivering high standards of customer care

  2. Allow people to walk and cycle around the centre with ease

  3. Offer a vibrant choice of leisure and entertainment for a diversity of ages, lifestyles and cultures, including families and older people

  4. Provide a mix of activities that reinforce local character and identity.

  5. Provide evidence of responsible management and stewardship arrangements to ensure there is no disturbance to surrounding properties and residents or harm to the amenity of the surrounding area

Alternative Approach

1. Have separate policies for Brentwood Town Centre and other Borough centres

Reason for rejection: To be succinct the Preferred Option is to have one policy dealing with all Borough Centres. As the main town centre and the focus for growth Brentwood Town Centre is given its own section within the Policy. However some issues relating to Brentwood will be relevant to Shenfield and other centres. Therefore, a joint Policy for all Borough centres is considered most suitable.

2. Have a separate policy covering the night-time economy

Reason for rejection: The night-time economy is particularly relevant to Brentwood Town Centre and it is therefore considered most appropriate to set this out within the same Policy.


3.49 The Borough has two main centres: Brentwood and Shenfield, both within the wider Brentwood urban area and a number of smaller village centres and shopping parades. The Borough’s centres are performing well at a time when the future of high streets is under threat from growing competition elsewhere. This plan seeks to achieve a good balance of mixed uses in the Borough’s centres to meet the needs of those who live, work, shop and spend leisure time here.

3.50 Brentwood Town Centre is the Borough’s focus for shopping, cultural, leisure community and employment uses. It is also a place where people live. Brentwood attracts many visitors with good access to major roads and rail links and benefits from a refurbished, high quality shopping environment. This policy aims to encourage existing strengths to be supported and developed further, such as a distinctive offer, high quality shopping environment, ‘niche’ independent shops, and a variety of evening entertainment.

3.51 As noted earlier, the Council’s Preferred Option is to include Warley Hill (area around Brentwood Station) within the Brentwood Town Centre boundary, as shown on the Policies Map.

3.52 Shenfield is home to a major railway station with fast train services into central London. It will be the terminus for Crossrail and it is vital that the most is made of this opportunity to invest in improving Shenfield’s retail offer.

(1) 3.53 Ingatestone has the largest village centre in the Borough, an attractive local service and convenience centre with a train station. There is potential for West Horndon to be a similar order centre in future if the Preferred Option of housing redevelopment here provides sufficient investment in community, service and retail facilities. If so, the review of the Local Development Plan post 2030 may need to consider identifying West Horndon as a high order Borough centre.

3.54 At present West Horndon’s retail offer is largely provided by convenience stores in local shopping parades. Elsewhere in the Borough villages of varying sizes are served by shopping parades. These provide key local services to the community and communities nearby.

(2) 3.55 Brentwood Town Centre Regeneration Strategy (2010), produced with Brentwood Renaissance and Essex County Council, sets out a regeneration framework and vision for the town centre. This policy reflects that vision. The following priorities are based on the Strategy, particularly relating to Brentwood and Shenfield, although some, eg the need for attractive shopfronts, may apply equally elsewhere:

Quality public realm: Opportunities exist for a high quality, safe, pedestrian-friendly public realm. Within Brentwood Town Centre, development needs to complement the local distinctive character and opportunities taken to reconnect key spaces such as the Chapel Ruins, Baytree Centre, William Hunter Way and Brentwood station. Public space around the Chapel Ruins is vital to achieving this with an opportunity to provide a public square or piazza. Public realm improvements in Shenfield will be encouraged, capitalising on the arrival of Crossrail.

Sustainable transport network: Development should enhance key gateways to Brentwood and Shenfield. Opportunities to improve railway stations and surrounding forecourts should be prioritised as key gateways. Development will be encouraged that improves sustainable transport connections and offers alternatives to the car, including safe, direct, well located cycle and pedestrian routes.

Investment in local heritage: Brentwood Town Centre has a rich, diverse character and built environment. The town centre is designated a Conservation Area. Development that improves the character of Shenfield will be encouraged.

Attractive shopfronts: No other single aspect of a building has such significant impact on its surroundings as shopfronts and signage. Proposals need to incorporate high quality, attractive shopfronts, enhance the street scene and be designed to a high standard, in line with the Council’s adopted shopfront guidance SPD.

Mix of residential and commercial uses: A mix of uses is essential to create vibrant and successful town centres. Where appropriate, higher density development can help meet the need for more affordable housing and local jobs. The most efficient use of previously developed land and buildings should be made, such as making good use of upper floors above shops. To create a vibrant and competitive location high quality retail needs to be attracted. Major drivers of footfall in suitable locations will help increase the number of ‘linked trips’ to benefit all local shops.

Culture, entertainment and leisure: Borough centres host a wide variety of culture, leisure and entertainment, such as libraries, theatres, gyms, restaurants, arts and youth clubs, adult education and sports facilities. Brentwood Town Centre has a flourishing night-time economy popular with many people visiting to eat out and socialise in the evenings. The Policy aims to positively manage the night time experience to overcome negative public perceptions by creating a high quality environment that is safe, convenient and enjoyable for all.


Brentwood Town Centre Regeneration Strategy (2010)
Shopfront Guidance for Brentwood Town Centre SPD (2010)
Retail and Commercial Leisure Study (2011)

National Policy

NPPF paragraphs 23-27

NPPF paragraph 23

Planning policies should be positive, promote competitive town centre environments and set out policies for the management and growth of centres over the plan period. In drawing up Local Plans, local planning authorities should:

  • Recognise town centres as the heart of their communities and pursue policies that support their vitality and viability;

  • Define a network and hierarchy of centres that is resilient to anticipated future economic changes;

  • Promote competitive town centres that provide customer choice and a diverse retail offer and which reflect the individuality of town centres;

  • Allocate a range of suitable sites to meet the scale and type of retail, leisure, commercial, office, tourism, cultural, community and residential development needed in town centres. It is important that needs for retail, leisure, office and other main town centre uses are met in full and are not compromised by limited site availability. Local planning authorities should therefore undertake an assessment of the need to expand town centres to ensure a sufficient supply of sustainable sites;

  • Allocate appropriate edge of centre sites for main town centre uses that are well connected to the town centre where suitable and viable town centre sites are not available. If sufficient edge of centre sites cannot be identified, set policies for meeting the identified needs on other accessible locations that are well connected to the town centre;

  • Set policies for the consideration of proposals for main town centre uses which cannot be accommodated in or adjacent to town centres

  • Recognise that residential development can play an important role in ensuring the vitality of town centres and set out policies to encourage residential development on appropriate sites; and

  • Where town centres are in decline, local planning authorities should plan positively for their future to encourage economic activity.”

NPPF paragraph 24 requires that the sequential test be applied to applications for main town centre uses that are not in an existing centre.

Consultation Feedback

In 2011 the Council carried out an extensive consultation allowing residents, business and stakeholders to have their say on local plan issues. Feedback included a desire to see town centres thrive, with a good mix of shops and convenient parking. Residents in smaller centres are keen to maintain local shops and facilities. When asked what could be improved a common response was ‘more or better shops’. Key issues raised regarding the Borough’s centres were the need for a mix of shops, including provision for independent business and ‘niche’ shopping and better management of the nigh-time economy.

(43) Policy CP13: Sustainable Transport

The Council will work with partners to facilitate and promote sustainable transport. This includes improving accessibility, creating opportunities for ‘active travel’ and reducing congestion and pollution.

Future development in accessible locations will help reduce the need to travel. Where travel is necessary, public transport (rail, bus, taxi), walking and cycling will be promoted as an alternative means of transport to the private car. Major generators of travel demand should be located in Brentwood Town Centre and in District Centres.

Sustainable transport links will be improved, including provision for cycling, walking and Quality Bus Partnerships. Where appropriate contributions will be sought towards sustainable transport improvements in association with planning permission for new development. Sustainable travel will be encouraged through the requirement for travel plans from major developments, employers and institutions and residential travel packs.

In order to provide better Borough links for strategic allocations for housing and employment outside Brentwood urban area, a Green Travel Plan will be required. A Green Travel route linking Brentwood Town Centre with strategic allocations at West Horndon and Brentwood Enterprise Park will provide sustainable public transport.

Applications for large scale development proposals will need to be accompanied by a Transport Assessment. For smaller scale developments a Transport Statement may suffice.

The Council, in consultation with partners, will seek the retention of existing bus and rail services and, where possible, encourage improved and new services. Support and encouragement will be given to the refurbishment of rail station buildings and other improvements in facilities for public transport users including transport interchange improvements. The Council will seek additional taxi facilities for the Borough, where appropriate.

Traffic and car parking will be carefully managed to encourage sustainable travel.

The Council will support the development of Crossrail, maximising the potential for an overall improvement to Borough rail services, and mitigating any environmental or transport impacts as a consequence of the proposals through improving and encouraging sustainable transport, and other measures as required. In suitable locations, the Council will consider the scope for ‘park and walk’ schemes.

Cycling will be promoted through the provision of improved cycle parking and other facilities and new cycle routes as part of highway infrastructure improvements/traffic management measures and, where appropriate, in association with planning permission for new development.

(43) Alternative Approach

To have a more prescriptive policy in addition to requirements above, to incentivise sustainable travel, through the creation of home zones, quiet lanes, priority for car sharers, car clubs, low emission vehicles, pedestrianisation, community transport schemes and car free development.

Reason for rejection: This approach would require a commitment from partners, including Essex County Council, transport providers and the local community to promoting, and using, alternatives to the car and accepting development schemes in suitable locations with parking below adopted standards.


3.56 Sustainable transport is a key component of sustainable development. Sustainable transport refers to any means of transport with a low impact on the environment, and includes non-motorised transport, ie walking and cycling, public transport, low emission vehicles and car sharing. This policy aims to ensure that new development reduces the need to travel, gives priority to pedestrians and cyclists and convenient access to jobs, homes, shops, public transport and services, such as education, healthcare, recreational facilities and open space.

3.57 While the aim will be to offer a choice of transport, reducing dependency on the car will improve resilience in the face of future fuel shortages or price rises. Securing public transport improvements and better provision for walking and cycling will reduce pollution, make it safer and easier for people to travel to jobs and services and lead to better health, less congestion and more pleasant streets. The Government’s Active Travel Strategy (Dept of Health and Dept for Transport, 2010) aims to get more people walking and cycling in recognition of the many benefits these bring. As the Strategy notes, walking or cycling can be quicker and cheaper than driving or taking public transport for many short trips and are an easy way to become more physically active thereby improving health and wellbeing.

3.58 In order to consider the transport implications of development proposals, applications for large scale development proposals will need to be accompanied by a Transport Assessment. For smaller scale developments a Transport Statement may suffice.

(2) 3.59 To better link strategic allocations at West Horndon and Brentwood Enterprise Park (M25 Junction 29), it is proposed that a Green Travel Route will link these areas to Brentwood Town Centre. This will provide sustainable public transport links that integrate key locations in the Borough. Figure 3.3 illustrates this proposal:

Figure 3.3: Green Travel Route

Figure 3.3

(7) 3.60 The arrival of Crossrail will provide many benefits to local residents and businesses in terms of improved service and connections. The Council will encourage improvements to the public realm surrounding Brentwood and Shenfield stations, and look to improve access and parking provision. For this reason a suitable site will be sought to provide a ‘Park & Walk’ facility in Shenfield, potentially leaving existing car parks around Shenfield Station available for redevelopment (see site allocations reasonable alternatives). The most appropriate location for a Park & Ride site is to the north-east of Shenfield due to quick vehicle access to the A12 and approx 10 min walking time via Alexander Lane to Shenfield Station. However, Alexander Lane itself is not suitable for vehicles to access a site. Therefore, vehicle access from Chelmsford Road (A1023) may be required. Figure 3.4 illustrates this proposal, showing the area of search for a suitable site and potential access arrangements.

Figure 3.4: Shenfield Park & Walk

Figure 3.4


Essex Local Transport Plan 2011
Manual for Streets Department for Transport, Communities and Local Government 2007
Infrastructure Delivery Plan (forthcoming)
Shenfield Parking Study Steer Davies Gleave, December 2009

National Policy

Active Travel Strategy (Dept of Health and Dept for Transport, 2010)

NPPF paragraph 29: The transport system needs to be balanced in favour of sustainable transport modes, giving people a real choice about how they travel.

NPPF paragraph 34: Plans and decisions should ensure developments that generate significant movement are located where the need to travel will be minimised.

NPPF paragraph 35: Plans should protect and exploit opportunities for the use of sustainable transport modes for the movement of goods or people. Development should be located and designed where practical to

  • accommodate the efficient delivery of goods and supplies; give priority to pedestrian and cycle movements, and have access to high quality public transport facilities;

  • create safe and secure layouts which minimise conflicts between traffic and cyclists or pedestrians, avoiding street clutter and where appropriate establishing home zones;

  • incorporate facilities for charging plug-in and other ultra-low emission vehicles; and

  • consider the needs of people with disabilities by all modes of transport


Feedback from the Issues and Options and Your Neighbourhood consultations in 2009 and 2011 highlights the need for a more comprehensive cycle network in the Borough and improved public transport in rural areas.


An increase in % of trips by walking and cycling
An increase in % of trips by public transport
A fall in % of trips by private car


Data on modal split


Through the development management process
By liaison and working with Essex County Council as transport and highway authority
By supporting Rural Transport initiatives
Through specific projects, such as the provision of cycle racks
CIL (pending adoption of Infrastructure Delivery Plan and Charging Schedule)
Initiatives identified by the health and wellbeing boards

(12) Policy CP14: Sustainable Construction and Energy

The Council will require all development proposals, including the conversion or re-use of existing buildings, to:

  1. maximise the principles of energy conservation and efficiency in the design, massing, siting, orientation, layout and use of materials

  2. incorporate water conservation measures and suitable Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDs), such as green roofs and rainwater attenuation measures, particularly in critical drainage areas

  3. submit a Water Sustainability Assessment

The Council will expect

  1. all residential development to achieve a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes (or the equivalent standard) Level 3, rising in line with the increases to Part L of the Building Regulations; and

  2. all new commercial development of more than a 1000m2 to achieve a minimum BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating (or the equivalent replacement standard), rising in line with the increases to Part L of the Building Regulations.

  3. major schemes to incorporate the use of renewable and low carbon technology

Where it is not possible to meet these standards, applicants must demonstrate compelling reasons why achieving the sustainability standards outlined above for residential and non residential developments would not be technically feasible or economically viable.

Renewable Energy Schemes

Proposals for renewable, low carbon or decentralised energy schemes will be supported provided they can demonstrate that they will not result in unacceptable harm to the local environment, including cumulative and visual impacts which cannot be satisfactorily addressed. Renewable and low carbon energy development proposals located within the Green Belt will need to demonstrate very special circumstances and that harm to the Green Belt is outweighed by the added environmental benefits of development.

Allowable Solutions

Where on-site provision of renewable technologies is not appropriate, new development can meet the requirements through off-site provision by making ‘allowable solutions contributions’. These funds will then be used for energy efficiency and energy generation initiatives or other measure(s) required to offset the environmental impact of the development.

Alternative Approach

1. To require proposals to achieve higher standards, eg Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and BREAM Excellent.

2. Set a target that requires development above a certain size to provide a minimum percentage (say 15%) of predicted energy requirements from decentralised or low carbon sources.

Reason for rejection: These approaches would be justified on environmental grounds, but may be harder to deliver in practice. The Council is in the process of gathering local evidence regarding the scope for renewable energy. Once this is available, it may provide a basis for a target for the provision of renewable energy.


Climate Change and Emissions

3.61 Climate change is recognised as a significant environmental challenge. The burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), and is the main cause of climate change. Most sources of energy, domestic, industrial or transport are fossil fuel based.

3.62 Ignoring climate change could have severe adverse economic, social and environmental consequences. Brentwood residents are likely to experience increased frequency and severity of flooding, water shortages, hotter summers, rising energy costs and increased risk of damage to homes, health and infrastructure. We need to plan for development that will help slow the rate of, and be resilient to the effects of, climate change by minimising our carbon emissions.

3.63 Among the practical benefits of reducing dependency on fossil fuels are fuel security, thermal comfort (for example, warmer homes that are cheaper and easier to heat) and less pollution. The policy aims to ensure that the Borough’s built environment can mitigate and adapt to climate change, influence the quality of development proposals and promote energy efficiency and sustainable sources of energy supply. The policy sets out a supportive framework for delivering low and zero carbon energy infrastructure which will assist Brentwood in reducing CO2 emissions and in moving towards a low carbon economy.

3.64 The Climate Change Act (2008) legislates for a 34% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions against 1990 levels by 2020, and an 80% reduction by 2050. Incorporating renewable energy generation and energy efficiency measures into new development will be essential in order to achieve these targets. The Council’s Environmental Policy (December 2009) acknowledges that its operations have an impact on our local and global environment and sets out actions to manage and monitor our environmental impacts. In 2007, the Council signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change, a commitment to reduce its own emissions and encourage all sectors of the local community to do so.

Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Development

3.65 The National Planning Policy Framework positively encourages an increase in the use and supply of renewable energy and low carbon development. The UK Renewable Energy Strategy (2009) includes the UK’s legally binding renewable energy target of 15% by 2020, as part of a wider suite of strategies within the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan. The Council will therefore encourage suitable renewable energy technologies, including micro-generation, as stipulated in the Department of Energy and Climate Change East of England Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Capacity 2011 Study. The majority of the Borough lies within the Green Belt therefore renewable energy development proposals will need to demonstrate that harm to the Green Belt is outweighed by the wider benefits of the development.

3.66 From 2013, the European Performance Building Directive-2 (EPBD) will establish minimum energy performance requirements for all heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water and lighting demands from new buildings. A significant proportion of residual regulated energy will come from renewable energy sources provided either on site or nearby.

3.67 The Government aims to ensure all new homes are zero carbon by 2016 and 2019 for new non-domestic buildings. Improvements in resource efficiency will be made further through Part L Building Regulations. Progress towards ‘zero carbon’ development will be made through progressive tightening of the Building Regulations. Over time these changes will replace the energy related elements of the Code for Sustainable Homes standards and the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) standards for non-domestic buildings. Developing in accordance with the nationally recognised Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM will ensure developments demonstrate a commitment to sustainable development in practice and enable the carbon compliance target to be met. The Code for Sustainable Homes is the Government's adopted rating system for the design and construction of new homes. BREEAM is a national sustainable design and construction standard and an environmental assessment for all other types of developments. Both ensure low environmental impact buildings by requiring developments to include energy and water efficiency measures, climate change adaptation measures and use of less polluting materials.

Allowable Solutions

3.68 As part of the Government’s policy for achieving zero carbon performance, the policy seeks to establish realistic limits for carbon compliance (on site carbon target for buildings) and allows for the full zero carbon standard to be achieved through the use of “allowable solutions”. These are envisaged as mainly near site or off site carbon saving projects which would compensate for carbon emissions reductions that are difficult to achieve on site. Local authorities could explore opportunities for using carbon offset funds and community energy funds as a way of delivering the concept of allowable solutions in their areas.

Sustainable Design and Construction

3.69 Consideration of sustainable design and construction issues should take place at the earliest possible stage in the development process. This will provide the greatest opportunities for a well designed and constructed development and at the same time enable costs to be minimised. Therefore the Local Planning Authority and developer should consider sustainable construction issues in pre-application discussions. Necessary policy requirements should be captured within a sustainability statement, which can form part of the design and access statement. The need for such a statement should also be discussed at the pre-application stage.

Water Conservation

3.70 Brentwood Scoping and Outline Water Cycle Study 2011 identifies the Borough as lying within an area of Serious Water Stress. Having a semi-arid climate and succession of dry winters, has led to groundwater levels within Brentwood being susceptible to multi-season droughts. The quality of the Borough’s watercourses is generally poor, while sewerage infrastructure in the north of the Borough is operating at full capacity. The study recommends requiring all new developments to submit a water sustainability assessment and developers to demonstrate that they will achieve the water consumption Level 3/4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes for all residential developments and for non residential developments to achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’ standard for water consumption targets.

3.71 Legislation, policy and technology is continually changing in this area. Therefore the Council will review and update this Policy as and when required.


Brentwood Council’s Environmental Policy (December 2009)
Brentwood Scoping and Outline Water Cycle Study (2011)
East of England Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Capacity Study (2011)
Good Practice Guidance: Sustainable Design and Construction (Cross Sector Group on Sustainable Design and Construction, August 2012)

National Policy

UK Renewable Energy Study

NPPF paragraph 6 states that the purpose of the planning system is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.

NPPF paragraph 7 defines three dimensions to sustainable development and points out that the planning system needs to perform an environmental role which contributes to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment, and to help improve biodiversity, use natural resources prudently, minimise waste and pollution and mitigate and adapt to climate change including moving to a low carbon economy.

NPPF paragraph 93: planning plays a key role in helping shape places to secure radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, minimising vulnerability, providing resilience to the impacts of climate change, and supporting the delivery of renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure.

NPPF paragraph 95: local planning authorities should plan for new development in locations and ways which reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support energy efficiency improvements to existing buildings and when setting local requirements for a building sustainability, do so in a way consistent with the Government’s zero carbon buildings policy and adopt nationally described standards.

NPPF paragraph 96: in determining planning applications, local planning authorities should expect new development to comply with adopted Local Plan policies on local requirements for decentralised energy supply unless it can be demonstrated by the applicant, having regard to the type of development involved and its design, that this is not feasible or viable and take account of landform, layout, building orientation, massing and landscaping to minimise energy consumption.

NPPF paragraph 97: local planning authorities should design their policies to maximise renewable and low carbon energy development while ensuring that adverse impacts are addressed satisfactorily, including cumulative landscape and visual impacts, consider identifying suitable areas for renewable and local carbon energy sources, and supporting infrastructure, and support community led initiatives.

NPPF paragraph 91: when located in the Green Belt, elements of many renewable projects will comprise inappropriate development. In such cases developers will need to demonstrate very special circumstances if projects are to proceed. Such very special circumstances may include the wider environmental benefits associated with increased production of energy from renewable sources.


All developments to meet the required environmental sustainability standards set out in the policy.

Maximise the provision of renewable energy capacity - By 2020 15% of Borough’s energy will come from renewable resources.


Development Monitoring

Percentage of developments that meet the required environmental sustainability standards

Renewable energy capacity installed by type.


Development Management Decisions
Building Control and Private Sector

(8) Policy CP15: High Quality Design

The Council will require all new development to be high quality and well designed in its own right. New development should acknowledge and be sympathetic to its context, reinforcing local distinctiveness and sense of place. All development proposals must be fit for their purpose, appropriate for and responsive to their site and setting, be adaptable and responsive for long term use and create successful relationships with existing development.

Layout, density, design and landscaping should contribute positively towards the creation of high quality, attractive development where people choose to live, work and visit, by making places that are legible with a mix of uses where appropriate, and safer by design. Requirements, including parking, cycling and recycling facilities, green space and landscaping must form an integral part of the design process.

All new development must be based on a thorough site and context appraisal which demonstrates how the above criteria will be met.

Further detailed criteria for specific development proposals are set out in subsequent policies.

Alternative Approach

A policy combining design of new development and the public realm.

Reason for rejection: Separate policies (CP15 Design and CP16 Public Realm) have been put forward in order to more clearly separate the two issues. Creating a high quality public realm is a specific aim in the Brentwood Town Centre Regeneration Strategy. Design and the public realm are important issues in their own right and therefore the Council considers it makes sense to include a separate policy in the Plan.


(1) 3.72 An important part of making high quality places is to ensure that new buildings are well designed. This means making buildings attractive in their own right, appropriate in their setting and fit for purpose. The Borough’s good quality and distinctive character needs to be reinforced by any new development proposal. It is also important that buildings are designed in an adaptable way to ensure flexibility in their potential use and function.


Brentwood Town Centre Regeneration Strategy (2010)
Design Council Cabe Panel Review Brentwood Local Plan Workshop (2012)
The Sign of a Good Place to Live, Building for Life 12 (2012, Building for Life Partnership)
Essex Design Guide (2005, to be updated late 2013)
Urban Place Supplement SPD (2007)

National Policy

Creating a high quality built environment is a key part of the social role in the central NPPF aim to achieve (NPPF paragraph 7)

NPPF paragraphs 56-68 ‘Requiring Good Design’:

Good design is a key aspect of sustainable development, is indivisible from good planning, and should contribute positively to making places better for people.

It is important to plan positively for the achievement of high quality and inclusive design for all development, including individual buildings, public and private spaces and wider area development schemes.

Planning policies and decisions should ensure developments are visually attractive as a result of good architecture and appropriate landscaping.

Local planning authorities should consider using design codes where they could help deliver high quality outcomes. However, design policies should avoid unnecessary prescription or detail and should concentrate on guiding the overall scale, density, massing, height, landscape, layout, materials and access of new development in relation to neighbouring buildings and the local area more generally.. Planning policies and decisions should not attempt to impose architectural styles or particular tastes and they should not stifle innovation, originality or initiative through unsubstantiated requirements to conform to certain development forms or styles. It is, however, proper to seek to promote or reinforce local distinctiveness.

Although visual appearance and the architecture of individual buildings are very important factors, securing high quality and inclusive design goes beyond aesthetic considerations. Therefore, planning policies and decisions should address the connections between people and places and the integration of new development.

In determining applications, great weight should be given to outstanding or innovative designs which help raise the standard of design more generally in the area.

Local planning authorities should have local design review arrangements in place to provide assessment and support to ensure high standards of design.

They should also when appropriate refer major projects for a national design review.

In general, early engagement on design produces the greatest benefits. In assessing applications, local planning authorities should have regard to the recommendations from the design review panel.


High quality and innovative building design that is sympathetic to its context and reinforces local distinctiveness


Policy usage as monitored in the Council’s Authority Monitoring Report


Planning applications to include site and context appraisals
Pre-application discussions
Design briefs
Design Review Arrangements

(7) Policy CP16: Enjoyable and Quality Public Realm

The Council will require the layout and design of all new development to create well designed high quality places, where people enjoy living, working and visiting. New development must be based on a thorough site and context appraisal and be sensitive to its context incorporating:

  1. legible and well planned routes, enhancing linkages between buildings and spaces

  2. high quality, well designed blocks and spaces to an appropriate scale

  3. integrated residential, commercial and community activity

  4. safe, convivial public spaces and pedestrian routes

  5. clearly defined public and private spaces

  6. attractive buildings and landscaped spaces that integrate into existing neighbourhoods

Alternative Approach

A policy combining design of new development and the public realm.

Reason for rejection: Separate policies (CP15 Design and CP16 Public Realm) have been put forward in order to more clearly separate the two issues. Creating a high quality public realm is a specific aim in the Brentwood Town Centre Regeneration Strategy. Design and the public realm are important issues in their own right and therefore the Council considers it makes sense to include a separate policy in the Plan.


3.73 Also known as public space or public domain, the public realm comprises features such as streets, paths, squares and urban green spaces. The success of places is ultimately judged by how enjoyable they are to use or visit. In the public realm the space between buildings matters as much as the buildings themselves. How buildings and adjacent spaces function and relate to each other has a strong bearing on how safe, convenient and attractive a place looks and feels as a whole. These qualities matter in development of all sizes.

3.74 Successful development will connect people and places, integrating a high quality environment with local distinctive character. Opportunities to reconnect key spaces in the Borough’s urban areas will be encouraged, providing a public realm for everyone that is safe, pedestrian-friendly and encourages walking and cycling. Well designed public realm is fundamental to health and well-being. Applying the principles of this policy will help ensure that new development positively enhances the public realm, securing improvements where needed for the Plan period and beyond.


Brentwood Town Centre Regeneration Strategy (2010)
Design Council Cabe Panel Review Brentwood Local Plan Workshop (2012) Manual for Streets (2007, Department for Transport/Communities and Local Government)
Street Materials Guide: Design and Good Practice (2012, Essex County Council)
Urban Place Supplement SPD (2007)

National Policy

Creating a high quality built environment is a key part of the social role in the requirement to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development (NPPF paragraph 7)

NPPF paragraph 58: Planning Policies and decisions should ensure developments:

  • establish a strong sense of place, using streetscapes and buildings to create attractive and comfortable places to live, work and visit

  • optimise the potential of the site to accommodate development, create and sustain an appropriate mix of uses (including incorporation of green and other public space as part of developments) and support local facilities and transport networks

  • respond to local character and history, and reflect the identity of local surroundings and materials, while not preventing or discouraging appropriate innovation

  • create safe and accessible environments where crime and disorder, and the fear of crime, do not undermine quality of life or community cohesion

NPPF paragraph 69: Planning can play an important role in facilitating social interaction and creating healthy, inclusive communities. Planning policies should aim to achieve places which promote safe and accessible developments, containing clear and legible pedestrian routes and high quality public space.

NPPF paragraph 70: To deliver the social, recreational and cultural facilities and services the community needs, planning policies and decisions should:

  • plan positively for the provision and use of shared space, community facilities (such as local shops, meeting places, sports venues, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship) and other local services to enhance the sustainability of communities and residential environments;

  • take account of and support local strategies to improve health, social and cultural well-being for all, and deliver sufficient community and cultural facilities and services to meet local needs.


New development positively enhances the public realm.


Monitoring policy usage.


Developer contributions, CIL, IDP.
Design Review
Working in Partnership with other bodies whose activities affect the public realm, such as the Highways Agency and Brentwood Renaissance.

(48) Policy CP17: Provision of Infrastructure and Community Facilities

The Borough Council will require all new development to meet on and off-site infrastructure requirements necessary to support development proposals and mitigate their impacts.

Planning obligations secured through Section 106 agreements, will be used to provide necessary site related infrastructure requirements such as new access arrangements, provision of open space and other community infrastructure, local highway/transportation mitigation and environmental enhancements.

Necessary off-site infrastructure will continue to be secured through the pooling of contributions secured through Planning Obligations and, once adopted, according to the Borough Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule.

Alternative Approach

Continue to collect contributions through Section 106 agreements and not implement CIL.

Reason for rejection: Choosing not to implement CIL is not the preferred option as relying solely on Section 106 Planning Obligations would make it very difficult for the Council to plan for and deliver infrastructure the Borough needs.


3.75 The term ‘infrastructure’ covers a wide range of services and facilities required to support new development which includes community infrastructure and services. All development, regardless of size and scale, places additional demands on services and facilities which will affect their ability to meet the needs of the community. Timely delivery of necessary infrastructure that supports and mitigates the impact of new development is therefore essential to support the Borough Council’s preferred Spatial Strategy.

3.76 Planning Obligations will include specific infrastructure requirements made necessary by individual developments. Section 216 of the Planning Act (2008) sets out the broad types of infrastructure which CIL can be used for. This includes transport facilities, flood defences, schools, medical facilities, recreational facilities, open spaces and affordable housing. Further information regarding requirements will be set out in the Council’s Infrastructure Delivery Plan.

3.77 The Council’s preferred approach is to draw up a CIL Charging Schedule. Until this is adopted, the Borough Council will assess all development proposals and seek the provision of, or contributions to, necessary on or off-site infrastructure to be secured through planning obligations.

(1) 3.78 Infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, the following examples:

  • Utilities and Waste – water supply, foul water sewerage, waste and recycling, energy generation, telecommunications and broadband

  • Transport – highway, rail, bus, pedestrian and cycle network

  • Social and Community – hospital, GP, dentist, children’s centres, schools, further education, emergency services, libraries, youth centres, leisure centres, community halls, local convenience store, theatres, public realm, public house

  • Green Infrastructure – waterways, parks, natural and semi natural spaces, outdoor sports facilities, allotments, play areas, wildlife corridors/footpaths, green roofs


Infrastructure Delivery Plan (forthcoming)

National Policy

NPPF paragraph 21 states “Planning policies should recognise and seek to address potential barriers to investment, including a poor environment or any lack of infrastructure” and identify priority areas for infrastructure provision.

The Local Plan should set out strategic priorities for

  • the provision of infrastructure for transport, telecommunications, waste management, water supply, wastewater, flood risk and coastal change management, and the provision of minerals and energy (including heat)

  • the provision of health, security, community and cultural infrastructure and other local facilities (NPPF paragraph 156)

“Local authorities should work with neighbouring authorities and transport providers to develop strategies for the provision of viable infrastructure necessary to support sustainable development” (NPPF paragraph 31)

“Local planning authorities should not refuse planning permission for buildings or infrastructure which promote high levels of sustainability because of concerns about incompatibility with an existing townscape, if those concerns have been mitigated by good design.” (NPPF paragraph 65)

“Planning has a key role in supporting… the delivery of renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure.” (NPPF paragraph 93)

Local Plans should:

  • “promote the retention and development of local services and community facilities in villages, such as local shops, meeting places, sports venues, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship.” (NPPF paragraph 28)

  • “plan positively for the provision and use of shared space, community facilities (such as local shops, meeting places, sports venues, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship) and other local services to enhance the sustainability of communities and residential environments;” (NPPF paragraph 70)

  • “ensure an integrated approach to considering the location of housing, economic uses and community facilities and services.” (NPPF paragraph 70)


Secure developer contributions in line with Infrastructure Development Plan


Development Monitoring



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