Southend Central Area Action Plan & Proposals Map - Proposed Submission

Ended on the 17 October 2011
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2. Strategic and Local Planning Context

2.1 Key regeneration and planning policies for Southend

9. The Southend Central AAP reflects the spatial vision and objectives of the Core Strategy DPD and includes more detailed policies and proposals to deliver regeneration and growth within this area. Where appropriate, cross-references are made to the Core Strategy and other relevant Southend Local Development Framework documents which the Southend Central AAP policies and proposals will assist in delivering and expand upon.

10. The Southend Central AAP provides the framework in which to manage the built environment and ensure successful placemaking to ensure that the central area is a place where people enjoy living and working. This document will contribute positively to the health and well-being of residents, businesses and visitors alike and consequently will deliver sustainable development and support balanced communities.

11. All policies within this DPD should be read alongside national planning policies, the policies of the Core Strategy DPD, other DPDs and guidance in Supplementary Planning Documents that comprise the Local Development Framework.

12. One of the key outcomes sought in Southend Together’s Community Plan, Sustainable Community Strategy 2007 – 2017: Building our Future, is the creation of a competitive regional Town Centre that would contribute to a thriving and sustainable local economy, which extends opportunity for local residents and promotes prosperity throughout the Borough. In addition this strategy seeks to improve accessibility in the Borough, particularly to the Town Centre and to also establish a coherent car parking and payment strategy.

13. To meet the ambitions and priorities identified by the Community Plan the Council has adopted a set of strategic objectives. These provide a firm basis for the Core Strategy and the policies and proposals that it contains. The Core Strategy is part of the adopted development plan and is one of the key means of implementing these ambitions and priorities. Core Strategy strategic objective SO8 is to secure a thriving, vibrant and attractive Town Centre.

14. The Core Strategy is a spatial strategy that seeks to deliver a distribution of investment and development based on the following approach:

  • A Town Centre renewal package with an emphasis on refocusing of retail opportunities, a major expansion of Town Centre housing, expansion of education/lifelong learning, culture and leisure provision, including the strengthening of Southend’s position as a ‘University Town,’ renaissance of the seafront, and integration with public transport interchanges.
  • Reducing and preventing flood risk through the control of development and through providing for appropriate and sustainable flood risk management measures as part of a comprehensive shoreline management strategy. In those areas that are identified as being at risk, development will only be permitted where it is appropriate to its location in terms of its type, siting and sustainable mitigation measures proposed.

15. Core Strategy policy KP1 sets out the Council’s Spatial Strategy. As a principal basis for sustainable development in the town, development and investment will be expected to build on and contribute to the effectiveness and integration of the key transport corridors and interchanges. The primary focus of regeneration and growth within Southend will be in the Town Centre and the central area. The spatial strategy is to regenerate and transform the existing Town Centre, as a fully competitive sub-regional centre led by the development of the University Campus, securing a full range of quality sub-regional services to provide for 6500 new jobs and provide for at least 2000 additional homes. This should be achieved in conjunction with the upgrading of the strategic and local passenger transport accessibility, including the development of Southend Central and Victoria Railway Stations as strategic transport interchanges and related travel centres. In addition, appropriate regeneration and growth will be focussed on the Seafront to enhance its role as a successful leisure and tourist attraction and place to live, and make the best use of the River Thames, subject to safeguarding the biodiversity importance of the foreshore.

16. Southend Town Centre will remain the first preference for all forms of retail development and other Town Centre uses attracting large numbers of people, as set out in relevant national planning policy, and local strategies and plans. Core Strategy Policy CP2 promotes the development of the Town Centre:

  • As a regional centre providing the full range of high quality sub-regional services and facilities required to meet the needs of Essex Thames Gateway for higher order retail, leisure, cultural and higher education services, for office-based employment, and for higher quality mixed use development to secure new jobs and homes;
  • As the key focus and driver for the regeneration of Southend, and
  • As a priority location for urban renaissance.

17. In order to meet the forecast quantitative shopping needs and currently identified qualitative deficiencies, this policy makes provision for additional comparison and convenience goods floorspace to be located in accordance with the sequential preference:

  1. Within Southend Town Centre;
  2. On the edge of Southend Town Centre, where the development will contribute to and not prejudice achievement of the regeneration and urban renaissance objectives for the Town Centre.

18. Core Strategy Policy CP3 seeks improvements to transport infrastructure and services by widening travel choice and providing for the development of high quality transport interchanges at Southend Victoria Railway Station, Southend Central Railway Station, and Southend Travel Centre.

19. Good quality urban design is a vital component and a key catalyst in regeneration and urban renaissance. Core Strategy Policy CP4 specifies the measures and considerations that would lead to the creation of a high quality, sustainable urban environment which enhances and complements the natural and built assets of Southend.

2.2 Sustainable Development and Design

20. National planning policy seeks to achieve good design that ensures attractive, usable, durable and adaptable places and is a key element in achieving sustainable development. Government policy requires local authorities to promote energy efficient buildings; community heating schemes, the use of combined heat and power, small scale renewable and low carbon energy schemes in developments; the sustainable use of water resources; and the use of sustainable drainage systems in the management of run-off.

21. The aims of the Council in delivering true sustainability are broader than ecology and the reduction of energy consumption. Sustainable development should provide a better quality of life for everyone, now and in the future.

2.3 Development Management Policies

22. The AAP is being developed within a very strong planning and regeneration policy context provided by the Core Strategy DPD and Development Management DPD. Therefore the policies within the Core Strategy and emerging Development Management DPD apply to all development within the Central Area.

23. Where there are specific development requirements associated with a site or development area then these have been included. The following section summarises the existing planning policy context within which the AAP has developed and how the Core Strategy and the Development Management DPD will influence all development in the town.

Design and Townscape

24. Delivering a high standard of design and townscape quality is essential if the vision for the Town Centre, and the wider aims of the Borough’s Local Development Framework are to be met. The Core Strategy sets a clear design and development agenda through policy KP2 and CP4. The Development Management DPD builds on this policy foundation and sets out five specific design and townscape policies that:

  • Sets the overall design quality and public realm;
  • Incorporates low carbon technologies into the design process and ensures the efficient use of resources;
  • Ensures that design and townscape considerations are taken into account when making efficient and effective use of land;
  • Sets a strategy to ensure that tall and large buildings can be accommodated into the Borough in an acceptable manner that improves in the quality of the built environment; and
  • Protects and enhances the Borough’s historic environment.

25. Applicants and designers of town centre schemes will need to respond to these overarching design and townscape policies.

Core Strategy Objectives Core Strategy Policy Development Management Policy

Strategic Objective 4

Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy

Policy DM1 – Design Quality

Strategic Objective 14

Policy KP2: Development Principles

Policy DM2 – Low Carbon Development and Efficient Use of Resources

Strategic Objective 15

Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Policy DM3 – The Efficient and Effective Use of Land

Strategic Objective 17

Policy DM4 – Tall and Large Buildings

Strategic Objective 18

Policy DM5 – Southend-on-Sea’s Historic Environment

The Seafront

26. The River Thames and the Seafront have had a major influence on the urban form and structure of the urban area of Southend-on-Sea. Its character varies significantly along its length from Two Tree Island and the historic Leigh fishing port in the west to the old Garrison at Shoeburyness and Foulness in the east. This relationship will be considered on a site-by-site basis and will take account of a number of factors that may include proximity to Seafront, flood risk, biodiversity and impact on the international and European sites for nature conservation, visual associations, function and connectivity.

27. The Core Strategy sets the spatial vision for development along the Seafront. The Development Management DPD sets a seafront specific policy that seeks to ensure that residents, visitors, businesses and the built environment benefit from their close relationship with the River Thames whilst at the same time safeguards, conserves and enhances the significant biodiversity, green space and other environmental resources of the area and ensure the sites for nature conservation on the foreshore are not adversely affected by any new development.

Core Strategy Objectives Core Strategy Policy Development Management Policy

Strategic Objective 4

Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy

Policy DM6 – The Seafront

Strategic Objective 12

Policy KP2: Development Principles

Strategic Objective 14

Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance


28. The Core Strategy, supported by evidence based documents such as the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), sets the strategic level of market and affordable housing to be provided in the Borough for the period 2001 to 2021. The Development Management DPD provides further policy coverage in respect to the mix of dwelling sizes to be provided with an emphasis on the provision of family homes and the standards that are expected of new dwellings. Specifically this refers to minimum space standards and a number of specific requirements that will ensure that new dwellings are fit for purpose not just for now but for future generations. It is essential that new dwellings maintain a degree of flexibility so that they can be adapted to reflect changing needs of a family’s lifecycle and allowing people to live in their home for as much of their life as possible.

29. The Development Management DPD also ensures that as the need arises the residents have access to a variety of residential housing types that meets their needs.

Core Strategy Objectives Core Strategy Policy Development Management Policy

Strategic Objective 7

Policy CP6: Community Infrastructure

Policy DM7 – Dwelling Mix

Strategic Objective 14

Policy CP8: Dwelling Provision

Policy DM8 – Residential Standards

Policy DM9 – Specialist Residential Accommodation

Economic Development

30. The Core Strategy sets the spatial economic growth strategy for the Borough. To develop as a key regional centre and realise the regeneration and growth within the Borough, the economic focus is to deliver the following key drivers:

  • The renaissance of the Town Centre;
  • The development of the London Southend Airport and associated business park;
  • The development of Southends role as a cultural and intellectual hub and centre of excellence; and
  • The development of the leisure and visitor economy.

31. The Development Management DPD adds additional economic policy that strives to support the growth of new and existing businesses in the Borough, harness the growth of key economic sectors and promote a diverse local economy that is sufficiently flexible to enable emerging growth sectors to prosper. This DPD considers the locational requirements of each sector and seeks to direct these sectors to the most sustainable locations.

Core Strategy Objectives Core Strategy Policy Development Management Policy

Strategic Objective 1

Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy

Policy DM10 – Employment Sectors

Strategic Objective 2

Policy CP1: Employment Generating Development

Policy DM11 – Industrial Estates and Employment Areas

Strategic Objective 3

Policy CP2: Town Centre and Retail Development

Policy DM12 – Visitor Accommodation

Strategic Objective 4

Policy DM13 – Southend-on-Sea Town Centre

Strategic Objective 5

Policy DM14 – Shopping Frontage Management

Strategic Objective 8

Strategic Objective 14

Environmental Management

32. No development should give rise to any unacceptable pollution and land instability risks that could impact on human health, property and the wider environment. Through the Core Strategy and Development Management DPD the Borough Council seeks to ensure that consideration will be given to adopting environmental best practice measures in all cases.

Core Strategy Objectives Core Strategy Policy Development Management Policy

Strategic Objective 12

Policy KP2: Development Principles

Policy DM15 – Environmental Protection

Strategic Objective 14

Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Sustainable Transport Management

(1)33. A key aim of the Borough Council is to reduce the need to travel by car and ensure the community can safely and easily access jobs and key services. This is set out in the Local Transport Plan 3, Core Strategy and Development Management DPD.

Core Strategy Objectives Core Strategy Policy Development Management Policy

Strategic Objective 3

KP1: Spatial Strategy

Policy DM16 – Sustainable Transport Management

Strategic Objective 9

KP2: Development Principles

Strategic Objective 10

CP3: Transport and Accessibility

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