E08 - Land Adjacent to A12 and Slip Road, Ingatestone

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Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 24102

Received: 19/03/2019

Respondent: Freeths LLP

Agent: Freeths LLP

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Not specified

Representation:

Although broad support is given for the flexible approach of the required employment size, this flexibility should be reflected in the stated "Development Principles" that underpin the Policy as per the November 2018 draft rather than relegated to the reasoned justification. The National Planning Practice Guidance is explicit that "the local plan should make it clear what is intended to happen over the life of the plan, where and when this will occur and how it will be delivered". As drafted Policy E08 is not sufficiently clear and the support for flexibility in terms of accessable uses should therefore be reinstated under the Development Principles part of the Policy.

Change suggested by respondent:

suggest redrafting the text to stated "other uses outside of Class B that enable job opportunities, taking account of market needs." The requested changes are wholly consistent with the statement at paragraph 9.226 that the "primary purpose of the policy is to deliver jobs for the local area" and should therefore be acceptable.

Full text:

Brentwood Pre-Submission Local Plan (Regulation 19) Ingatestone - Land adjacent to A12 slip road - Policy E08. Representations on behalf of Simons Developments Limited and RP Gaymer. I refer to the above and set out below further comments on the emerging land allocation policy (E08). These comments should be read in the context of our representations at the Regulation 18 consultation stages in respect of the Draft Local Plan in March 2016 and the Preferred Site Allocations in March 2018. In order to assist discussions with the local planning authority a detailed Statement of Delivery was prepared and submitted in December 2016 which provided supporting analysis on highways, flood risk and drainage, noise, ecology, landscape and visual impact; and heritage. The purpose of the statement was demonstrate that there was no technical constraint that would prevent the site from coming forward for development. Moreover, Simons Developments Limited (SDL) have an option to purchase the site from R P Gaymer and have actively promoted its redevelopment since early 2016. Not only have SDL engaged in the local plan preparation process they have also sought advice on occupier demand from Bidwell (Commercial Agents) and that advice has been shared with the local planning authority at a series of meeting for the purpose of informing the evolution of the draft land allocation policy for this site. Importantly, Bidwells have highlighted that market interest in the site is evident across a range of sectors beyond traditional B class employment uses all of which will nevertheless generate a significant number of new jobs. Against the background of the above, SDL fully support the proposed removal of the site from the Green Belt and its allocation by Policy E08 as "2.06 ha of employment land (principally use classes B1, B2, B8 and any associated employment generating sui generis uses)" alongside recognition in the reasoned justification at paragraph 9.226 that "the primary purpose of the allocation is to deliver jobs for the area and so consideration will be given to other uses that enable job opportunities, taking account of market needs". The flexibility provided for in paragraph 9.226 is consistent with the fact that the emerging Plan recognises the importance of providing a wide range of employment opportunities. Strategic Objective SO3 - Deliver sustainable communities with diverse economic and social cultural opportunities for all - identifies the need for "opportunities which flexibly respond to the changing economic climate and employment sector trends". Moreover, Policy PC01 - Cultivating a strong and competitive economy - acknowledges the need to "improve access to a range of employment opportunities for the borough's residents". The flexibility is also consistent with Bidwells assessment of market demand for the site which spans a range of sectors and uses beyond traditional B class employment uses. Accordingly, the broad intent of Policy E08 is consistent with the strategic objectives of the emerging Plan. The intended flexibility also recognises that identifying market demand for employment land (in use classes B1, B2, and B8) over the plan period to 2033 is not a precise science. Indeed Chapter 7 of the draft Local Plan - Prosperous Communities - notes a forecast requirement at Figure 7.5 (Employment Land Need) for between 33.76 hectares and 45.96 hectares up to 2033. By comparison the Plan seeks to allocate 47.39 hectares in order to provide a choice of sites in a range of sizes and locations. The point here is that the flexibility for sites to come forward for "other uses that enable job opportunities, taking account of market needs" is balanced by a total employment land allocation in excess of the upper end of the forecast range over the Plan period. Notwithstanding SDL"s support of the broad intent of Policy E08 it is noted that the policy wording has changed from that presented to the Council in November 2018 which is attached to these representations for completeness. The change shifts the flexibility and support for "other uses that enable job opportunities, taking account of market needs" from the wording of the Policy itself to the reasoned justification. The National Planning Practice Guidance is explicit that "the local plan should make it clear what is intended to happen over the life of the plan, where and when this will occur and how it will be delivered" (Reference ID 12-002-20140306). As drafted Policy E08 is not sufficiently clear and the support for flexibility in terms of acceptable uses should therefore be reinstated under the "Development Principles" part of the Policy. Assuming that the flexibility in respect of acceptable land uses is reinstated under the "Development Principles" part of the policy a further useful addition to the drafting would be to make it clear that the other employment generating uses referred to are uses outside of Class B. The suggested drafting for this addition is underlined as follows "other uses *outside of Class B* that enable job opportunities, taking account of market needs". The requested changes are wholly consistent with the statement at paragraph 9.226 that "primary purpose of the policy is to deliver jobs for the local area" and should therefore be acceptable. For the reason set out above SDL do not consider that the Plan passes the test of soundness set out at Paragraph 35 of National Planning Policy Framework because Policy E08 is not "effective" nor is it "consistent with national policy". Paragraph 36 of the Framework notes that the test of soundness "will be applied to non strategic policies (such as Policy E08) in a proportionate way, taking into account the extent to which they are consistent with relevant strategic policies for the area". In this respect the strategic policies of the Plan are clear about the importance of ensuring a range of employment opportunities and that should be clearly reflected in Policy E08. This above is easily rectified by a non material change to the drafting of Policy E08 prior to submission of the Plan for examination. I hope that the above comments are helpful and will be pleased to discuss further with the objective of agreeing revised wording that would allow SDL to withdraw its objection.

Support

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 24103

Received: 19/03/2019

Respondent: Freeths LLP

Agent: Freeths LLP

Representation:

Support the removal of the site from the Green Belt.

Full text:

Brentwood Pre-Submission Local Plan (Regulation 19) Ingatestone - Land adjacent to A12 slip road - Policy E08. Representations on behalf of Simons Developments Limited and RP Gaymer. I refer to the above and set out below further comments on the emerging land allocation policy (E08). These comments should be read in the context of our representations at the Regulation 18 consultation stages in respect of the Draft Local Plan in March 2016 and the Preferred Site Allocations in March 2018. In order to assist discussions with the local planning authority a detailed Statement of Delivery was prepared and submitted in December 2016 which provided supporting analysis on highways, flood risk and drainage, noise, ecology, landscape and visual impact; and heritage. The purpose of the statement was demonstrate that there was no technical constraint that would prevent the site from coming forward for development. Moreover, Simons Developments Limited (SDL) have an option to purchase the site from R P Gaymer and have actively promoted its redevelopment since early 2016. Not only have SDL engaged in the local plan preparation process they have also sought advice on occupier demand from Bidwell (Commercial Agents) and that advice has been shared with the local planning authority at a series of meeting for the purpose of informing the evolution of the draft land allocation policy for this site. Importantly, Bidwells have highlighted that market interest in the site is evident across a range of sectors beyond traditional B class employment uses all of which will nevertheless generate a significant number of new jobs. Against the background of the above, SDL fully support the proposed removal of the site from the Green Belt and its allocation by Policy E08 as "2.06 ha of employment land (principally use classes B1, B2, B8 and any associated employment generating sui generis uses)" alongside recognition in the reasoned justification at paragraph 9.226 that "the primary purpose of the allocation is to deliver jobs for the area and so consideration will be given to other uses that enable job opportunities, taking account of market needs". The flexibility provided for in paragraph 9.226 is consistent with the fact that the emerging Plan recognises the importance of providing a wide range of employment opportunities. Strategic Objective SO3 - Deliver sustainable communities with diverse economic and social cultural opportunities for all - identifies the need for "opportunities which flexibly respond to the changing economic climate and employment sector trends". Moreover, Policy PC01 - Cultivating a strong and competitive economy - acknowledges the need to "improve access to a range of employment opportunities for the borough's residents". The flexibility is also consistent with Bidwells assessment of market demand for the site which spans a range of sectors and uses beyond traditional B class employment uses. Accordingly, the broad intent of Policy E08 is consistent with the strategic objectives of the emerging Plan. The intended flexibility also recognises that identifying market demand for employment land (in use classes B1, B2, and B8) over the plan period to 2033 is not a precise science. Indeed Chapter 7 of the draft Local Plan - Prosperous Communities - notes a forecast requirement at Figure 7.5 (Employment Land Need) for between 33.76 hectares and 45.96 hectares up to 2033. By comparison the Plan seeks to allocate 47.39 hectares in order to provide a choice of sites in a range of sizes and locations. The point here is that the flexibility for sites to come forward for "other uses that enable job opportunities, taking account of market needs" is balanced by a total employment land allocation in excess of the upper end of the forecast range over the Plan period. Notwithstanding SDL"s support of the broad intent of Policy E08 it is noted that the policy wording has changed from that presented to the Council in November 2018 which is attached to these representations for completeness. The change shifts the flexibility and support for "other uses that enable job opportunities, taking account of market needs" from the wording of the Policy itself to the reasoned justification. The National Planning Practice Guidance is explicit that "the local plan should make it clear what is intended to happen over the life of the plan, where and when this will occur and how it will be delivered" (Reference ID 12-002-20140306). As drafted Policy E08 is not sufficiently clear and the support for flexibility in terms of acceptable uses should therefore be reinstated under the "Development Principles" part of the Policy. Assuming that the flexibility in respect of acceptable land uses is reinstated under the "Development Principles" part of the policy a further useful addition to the drafting would be to make it clear that the other employment generating uses referred to are uses outside of Class B. The suggested drafting for this addition is underlined as follows "other uses *outside of Class B* that enable job opportunities, taking account of market needs". The requested changes are wholly consistent with the statement at paragraph 9.226 that "primary purpose of the policy is to deliver jobs for the local area" and should therefore be acceptable. For the reason set out above SDL do not consider that the Plan passes the test of soundness set out at Paragraph 35 of National Planning Policy Framework because Policy E08 is not "effective" nor is it "consistent with national policy". Paragraph 36 of the Framework notes that the test of soundness "will be applied to non strategic policies (such as Policy E08) in a proportionate way, taking into account the extent to which they are consistent with relevant strategic policies for the area". In this respect the strategic policies of the Plan are clear about the importance of ensuring a range of employment opportunities and that should be clearly reflected in Policy E08. This above is easily rectified by a non material change to the drafting of Policy E08 prior to submission of the Plan for examination. I hope that the above comments are helpful and will be pleased to discuss further with the objective of agreeing revised wording that would allow SDL to withdraw its objection.