User Research Plan 2018

Ended on the 1 July 2018

Section 2: Design and Townscape

Policy UR – Design Quality

2.1 High quality, innovative design is essential in creating and maintaining successful and sustainable places that are safe, attractive, and distinctive and where people will want to live, work, visit and enjoy. It is therefore necessary that this is at the forefront of all planning applications and the Council will require all new development to achieve a high design standard that contributes positively to the local distinctiveness and characteristics of places, spaces and neighbourhoods within the Borough.

2.2 The Council's Design and Townscape Guide SPD provides detailed design advice for achieving high quality development within the Borough that draws on local distinctiveness. The aim of the Design and Townscape Guide SPD is to provide a practical basis for achieving high quality design that enhances local character, the quality of an area and the way it functions.

2.3 Development proposals should seek to address the objectives and principles of this SPD where applicable. The SPD addresses the following matters: site appraisal; creating successful places; building form; intensification; relationship with neighbours; accessibility and community safety; sustainable development and design; the historic environment; alterations and additions to existing residential buildings; additional guidance for commercial schemes; and telecommunications. Where considered necessary and appropriate, the Council will consider the use of Design Codes where they can help to deliver good design locally.

Context and Sense of Place

2.4 To ensure that new development is sympathetic to its surroundings and responds positively to local character,a comprehensive context appraisal should inform the design process. All development proposals should seek to successfully integrate into the existing built fabric by ensuring a positive relationship with theirsurroundings with respect to: layout, density, form, scale, massing, height, landscaping, access arrangements, elevational design and by drawing reference from local materials. The Southend Borough Wide Character Study 2011 provides a detailed description and understanding of the Borough's urban character and should be used as a reference document when considering a sites context.

Public Realm

2.5 The design of the spaces between buildings, both private and public, is a fundamental component in contributing to successful place-shaping. This includes hard and soft landscaping, art/sculpture, as well as boundary treatments, bin and cycle stores, use of materials and lighting. Landscape design and the intended use of any open spaces must form an integral part of any proposal, and should be considered from the outset to inform the design process and the creation of successful, inclusive places. Particular attention needs to be given to the interface between the public and private space and how an area will connect or relate to the wider open space network. The design of a development should also seek to encourage walking and cycling and use of public transport by creating attractive, safe and accessible entrances and routes. Further guidance on the design of the Borough's streets and public space can be found in the Council's Streetscape Manual SPD.


2.6 High quality development by definition should provide a positive living environment for its occupiers whilst not having an adverse impact on the amenity of neighbours. Protection and enhancement of amenity is essential to maintaining people's quality of life and ensuring the successful integration of proposed development into existing neighbourhoods. Amenity refers to well-being and takes account of factors such as privacy, overlooking, outlook, noise and disturbance, the sense of overbearing, pollution and daylight and sunlight. A proposed development will need to consider its potential impact upon neighbouring properties and the surrounding area. Such considerations apply equally to proposals to extend and alter existing buildings as they do to new developments.

Secured by Design

2.7 Developments should be safe and secure and take account of crime prevention and community safety considerations as cited in the Association of Chief Police Officers Secured by Design principles. This will require particular consideration to the layout of the development to allow for effective natural surveillance and supervision of public areas. Where appropriate, public areas should be clearly visible from adjoining buildings and the design and landscaping should provide for clear sight-lines on public routes (paths, cycleways etc) and not create unnecessary concealed or negative/unused spaces.

Pre-Application Discussions and Community Involvement

2.8 Good urban design requires a 'partnership' approach between applicants, the Council and the local community. As such, the Council will encourageapplicants toengage in pre-application discussions with the Local Planning Authority, the local community and stakeholders at an early stage to help gain a better understanding of the proposals and to ensure any issues or concerns highlighted can be resolved as part of the design process, prior to submission. The pre-application process will alsodefine the scope of drawings and reports to be submitted with a planning application. Under the provisions of the Local Government Act 2003 the Council will normally make a charge for pre-application advice. Further information can be found in the Council's adopted Statement of Community Involvement

Design Review

2.9 Design Review is a formal process that can be put in place to review, and subsequently make recommendations on, development proposals, and this is usually most successfully undertaken at pre-application stage before the scheme is finalised. It provides an opportunity for Local Planning Authorities and applicants to work with independent experts to discuss proposed developments and to seek to reach an understanding on particular matters, supporting Local Planning Authorities in approving high quality, innovative design.

2.10 The Council recognises the important role high quality and innovative design can play in raising the standard of design locally, and will give support to developments that are considered to achieve this. The Council will provide professional design advice on planning applications and, where considered appropriate, the use of local and regional Design Review Panels will be encouraged by the Council particularly, where suitable, for sensitive sites with complex issues, to ensure a high standard of design is achieved. Where appropriate, the Council will refer significant major projects for a national design review by Design Council CABE.             

Policy UR1 – Design Quality

1. The Council will support good quality, innovative design that contributes positively to the creation of successful places. All developments should draw reference from the design principles set out in the Design and Townscape Guide SPD, where applicable, and where a Design and Access Statement is required demonstrate how this guidance has been addressed to achieve high quality, sustainable design. In order to reinforce local distinctiveness all development should:

(i) Add to the overall quality of the area and respect the character of the site, its local context and surroundings in terms of its architectural approach, height, size, scale, form, massing, density, layout, proportions, materials, townscape and/or landscape setting, use, and detailed design features giving appropriate weight to the preservation of a heritage asset based on its significance in accordance with Policy UR3 where applicable;

(ii) Provide appropriate detailing that contributes to and enhances the distinctiveness of place;

(iii) Contribute positively to the space between buildings and their relationship to the public realm;

(iv) Protect the amenity of the site, immediate neighbours, and surrounding area, having regard to privacy, overlooking, outlook, noise and disturbance, visual enclosure, pollution, and daylight and sunlight;

(v) Provide an internal and external layout that takes account of all potential users including prioritising pedestrians and cyclists and accessibility to public transport; and

(vi) Address security issues by having regard to the principles of 'Secured by Design'.

Core Strategy Linkage:



Strategic Objective 14

Policy KP2: Development Principles

Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Question 1

Do you agree with the wording of Policy UR1 as set out above? Would it be more appropriate to follow the Essex Design Guide, rather than having Southend specific design principles?

Policy UR2 – The Efficient and Effective Use of Land

2.37 With a population density of 41.6 persons per hectare in an area of 4,176 hectares (Census, 2011), Southend is a densely populated urban Borough. In contrast to its immediate neighbours of Castle Point and Rochford which, with population densities of 19.5 and 4.9 persons per hectare respectively, can be described as being less intensively built-up. The predominant land use in Southend is residential, and this dominates the Borough.

2.38 The Core Strategy seeks to secure a major refocus of function and the long term sustainability of Southend as a significant urban area. In order to realise this there is a need to maximise the potential of the Borough's land and buildings, whilst ensuring a balanced and managed approach is achieved. Given the constraints and urban characteristics of Southend it is essential that existing land is used in an efficient and effective manner that contributes to the sustainable objectives set out in the Core Strategy, whilst protecting and positively promoting a high quality of life and standard of amenity for the Borough's residents.


2.39 A design-led approach to the density of a development proposal is necessary to balance the efficient use of land with the promotion of local distinctiveness. Proposals for high density development will need to ensure that increased densities will optimise the use of the site, without having a detrimental impact upon the amenity and character of the surrounding area, including local facilities and transport networks. Where required, Design and Access Statements should set out the rationale for the density selected, in particular its impact on the capacity of the site to meet other necessary policy requirements, and how it relates to local physical and environmental characteristics (including the rhythm/grain and massing of existing buildings), itsrelationship to surrounding buildings and occupiers as well as the location's sustainability, or potential to be made sustainable, with regard to accessibility, transport and infrastructure capacity, and provision of or proximity to local services.

Backland and Infill

2.40 Backland development refers to the development of land to the rear of existing buildings whilst infill sites are development sites on the street frontage between existing buildings. The NPPF includes recognition of value of residential gardens and enables local planning authorities to consider the case for resisting inappropriate development of residential gardens, particularly in cases where development would cause harm to the local area. The Council recognises that backland and appropriate infill sites have made an important contribution to the delivery of housing in Southend. Nevertheless a balance needs to be struck to ensure that development does not intensify the use of a site to such an extent that it causes a detrimental impact for its intended occupiers, its neighbours and the surrounding area. It is also necessary to consider the relationship of the site to the surrounding area in terms impact on local character, ecology and the general environment. The Borough Council will therefore resist backland and infill development where any of these matters are detrimentally affected. The Design and Townscape Guide SPD provides further detail on how backland and infill development may be successfully achieved in Southend.

Conversion of Existing Dwellings

2.41 The conversion of existing single dwellings into self-contained flats (in combination with a rise in provision of new build flats) over the last 20 years has led to a higher proportion of 1-bed and 2-bed dwellings in Southend. Indeed, the Thames Gateway South Essex (TGSE) Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) 2013 identifies that Southend has a higher proportion of flats/maisonettes (36%) relative to the English average and other authorities within the TGSE housing market area (ranging from 9% in Castle Point to 23% in Thurrock). Furthermore, Southend has a housing stock comprised of a greater proportion of 1-bed units (20% in Southend in contrast to an average of 11% across the other TGSE local authority areas) and a higher level of smaller properties (less than 50sqm), a consequence of which is that there is a lower percentage of accommodation of a suitable size for families in Southend, (52% 3+bed dwellings compared to an average of 61% 3+bed dwellings across the other TGSE local authority areas).

2.42 The conversion of existing dwellings can, where appropriately justified, be an effective way of meeting local housing demand and offer opportunities for enhanced sustainability through retrofitting. Nonetheless, conversions of single dwellings to more than one self-contained unit can also give rise to a number of problems within an area. These include contributing to pressure on on-street parking capacity, changes in the social and physical character and function of an area. It is also important that conversions do not result in a poor quality internal environment that detrimentally impacts upon the intended occupiers' quality of life.

2.43 The cumulative impact from multiple conversions in an area through population growth can also put pressure on local services and infrastructure that is not immediately recognised as part of an individual planning application and may lead to development which is not sustainable for that locality. Applicants wishing to convert an existing property will therefore be required to demonstrate how the proposals will create a high quality internal layout and will not, on its own and in association with other conversion schemes, impact detrimentally upon the surrounding area. In determining whether a conversion has led to a detrimental change of a street's function the Council will consider, amongst other things, the proportion of single dwelling houses that have already been converted, both existing and committed[1], within a street block.


2.44 The 2011 Census highlights that Southend has a higher proportion of older people when compared to the national average. Notably, Southend has more adults aged 75 or over, including those aged 90 or over, comparative to England (SHMA, 2013). Population projections indicate that the proportion of older people in Southend is expected to rise.

2.45 The Southend Health and Wellbeing Strategy (2013-2015) seeks to support independent living, with the Older Peoples' Accommodation Strategy (2008-2011) and Older Peoples' Strategy (2007-2010) supporting a continued reduction in the rate of admission of older people into residential care. In response to this, as suggested by the SHMA (2013), the Council aims to ensure that older people are able to secure and sustain their independence in a home appropriate to their circumstances and to actively encourage developers to build new homes to the 'Lifetime Homes' standard so that they can be readily adapted to meet the needs of those with disabilities and the elderly as well as assisting independent living at home.

2.46 Indeed, many of Southend's older residents want to remain living in their own home and community as long as possible within accommodation that helps them to feel safe and secure. Data from the 2011 Census indicates that 78% of Southend's population aged 65 and over live in their own home compared with an average of 75% in England. The Southend-on-Sea Older People's Accommodation & Support Needs Strategy 2008 – 2011 states that 81% of residents aged 55-64 and 50% of people aged 85 years and over live in a house or bungalow and, as reported in the SHMA (2013), bungalows represent 12% of Southend's building stock; it is evident therefore that this type of accommodation continues to be important in meeting the housing needs of Southend's older residents. For the purposes of this policy older residents are defined as 75+.

2.47 To ensure that homes and neighbourhoods are sustainable it is necessary to provide accommodation that allows people to remain in their own home as their physical and social needs change. There is a growing pressure in Southend to redevelop bungalow dwellings for higher density housing schemes. However, with the projected increase in the older people's population in Southend, who do not require specific care assistance and seek to remain in their home, it is evident that there is a pressing need to conserve bungalow dwellings in the Borough as this house type, being single storey, often detached and usually on a larger plot size than other types of housing is the most suitable and adaptable as a person's physical and social needs change.

2.48 The Southend Borough Wide Character Study 2011 notes that there are a number of streets within Southend where the prevailing character is for single storey dwellings. The nature of these streets and the presence of bungalows in the streetscene is a distinctive feature of Southend and as such this local distinctiveness and type of accommodation should be conserved to meet the needs of the Borough's older population, to allow them to continue to live within their own homes and community. Indeed, where there are areas of bungalows, which create a consistent scale and defined character, this might easily be broken through insensitive development, including an increase in height. Proposals involving the redevelopment of bungalows will therefore need to demonstrate that specific bungalow design advice contained within the Design and Townscape Guide has been adhered to, setting this out within a Design and Access Statement where required. However, in more mixed areas where a bungalow is clearly part of a varied scale it may be possible in some cases to consider redevelopment to a larger house which respects the character and scale of the area, having regard to the Lifetime Homes Standards.

Additions and Alterations

2.49 Alterations and additions to an existing building is a common way in Southend of adapting existing building stock to the changing needs of a household, business or other use. A well designed and well integrated extension can complement and even enhance an existing property, whereas a poorly designed addition can easily destroy the original character and have a detrimental effect on the streetscene. The Design and Townscape Guide SPD provides detailed guidance on how to successfully integrate an alteration or addition with the original building. All alterations and additions, in accordance with guidance set out within the Design and Townscape Guide SPD, will be required to make a positive contribution to the character of the existing building and the surrounding area.

Policy UR2 – The Efficient and Effective Use of Land

1. The Council will seek to support development that is well designed and that seeks to optimise the use of land in a sustainable manner that responds positively to local context and does not lead to over-intensification, which would result in undue stress on local services, and infrastructure, including transport capacity.

2. All development on land that constitutes backland and infill development will be considered on a site-by-site basis. Development within these locations will be resisted where the proposals:

(i) Create a detrimental impact upon the living conditions and amenity of existing and future residents or neighbouring residents; or

(ii) Conflict with the character and grain of the local area; or

(iii) Result in unusable garden space for the existing and proposed dwellings; or

(iv) Result in the loss of local ecological assets including wildlife habitats and significant or protected trees.

3. The conversion of existing single dwellings into two or more dwellings will only be permitted where the proposed development:

(i) Does not adversely impact upon the living conditions and amenity of the intended occupants and neighbouring residents and uses; and

(ii) Will not harm the character and appearance of the existing building or wider area; and

(iii) Will not lead to a detrimental change of a street's function; and

(iv) Meets the residential standards and the vehicle parking standards set out in Policy UR7.

4. The conversion or redevelopment of single storey dwellings (bungalows) will generally be resisted. Exceptions will be considered where the proposal:

(i) Does not create an unacceptable juxtaposition within the streetscene that would harm the character and appearance of the area;and

(ii) Will not result in a net loss of housing accommodation suitable for the needs of Southend's older residents having regard to the Lifetime Homes Standards.

5. Alterations and additions to a building will be expected to make a positive contribution to the character of the original building and the surrounding area through:

(i) The use of materials and detailing that draws reference from, and where appropriate enhances, the original building, and ensures successful integration with it; and

(ii) Adopting a scale that is respectful and subservient to that of the original building and surrounding area; and

(iii) Where alternative materials and detailing to those of the prevailing character of the area are proposed, the Council will look favourably upon proposals that demonstrate high levels of innovative and sustainable design that positively enhances the character of the original building or surrounding area.

Core Strategy Linkage:



Strategic Objective 4

Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy

Strategic Objective 14

Policy KP2: Development Principles

Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Question 2

Do you agree with the wording of Policy UR2 as set out above? UR2 (3) allows in some instances the conversion of existing single dwellings into two or more, do you agree with this? Or should all proposals for the conversions of existing single dwellings be resisted?

Policy UR3 – Southend-on-Sea's Historic Environment

2.60 The historic environment provides a sense of place that draws links with the past and contributes to local character and distinctiveness. Southend has a rich heritage, comprised of a range of heritage assets that includes both designated heritage assets such as conservation areas, listed buildings, and scheduled ancient monuments, and non-designated heritage assets such as locally listed buildings, frontages of townscape merit, and non-designated sites of archaeological importance. All designated and non-designated heritage assets will be a material planning consideration in accordance with their significance.

2.61 The significance of a heritage asset can be harmed or lost through alteration or destruction of the asset or development within its setting. As heritage assets are irreplaceable, any development proposals affecting a heritage asset should include a description of its significance, including any contribution made by its setting, proportionate to its significance. As a minimum this should include consulting the relevant Historic Environment Record and, where necessary, be assessed using appropriate expertise.

2.62 Substantial harm to or total loss of significance of a designated heritage asset will not be permitted unless it can be clearly demonstrated that the substantial harm or loss is necessary to achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh this harm or loss, or all the tests set out in Paragraph 133 of the NPPF are demonstrated to apply. Not all elements of a designated heritage asset will contribute positively to its significance, and where a development proposal is demonstrated to constitute less than substantial harm this will be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal, including securing its optimum viable use.

2.63 The effect of a development proposal on the significance of a non-designated heritage asset will be taken into account, and a balanced judgement made having regard to the scale of any harm to or loss of the significance of the asset. Development proposals that unjustifiably harm the significance of a non-designated heritage asset will be resisted.

2.64 The Borough Council will seek to conserve and enhance Southend's built and landscape heritage and ensure that it continues to provide benefits to the Borough's economy, cultural offer and quality of life for its residents now and in the future.

2.65 Southend comprises a number of former villages and small settlements, including the medieval villages of Prittlewell and Leigh, absorbed by the rapidly expanding town of Southend during the late 19th and early 20th Century, and Shoebury Garrison which has many listed buildings and special architectural and historic interest in its own right.

Conservation Areas

2.66 Conservation Areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest where the Borough Council has a statutory duty to preserve or enhance their character and appearance. The boundaries of the Borough's Conservation Areas are shown on the Policies Map. To conserve and enhance the character and quality of the Conservation Areas, development proposals, both traditional and modern, will have to be carefully considered and demonstrate a high quality design that not only integrates with the surroundings but also conserves and enhances its intrinsic character and distinctiveness. High quality redevelopment of existing buildings within conservation areas which are considered to be of no architectural quality will be encouraged. Development adjoining these areas will also have to demonstrate that it does not detrimentally impact the setting of the Conservation Area.

Listed Buildings

2.67 The statutory list for Southend was first published in 1974 and there are to date around 150 historic buildings and structures in the Borough included on it. These important assets are links to Southend's past, which the Borough Council will seek to ensure are conserved and enhanced to protect local heritage and promote a sense of place.

2.68 When considering proposals affecting listed buildings, local authorities have a statutory duty to have special regard to the desirability of conserving the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest. There is a clear presumption against proposals for the total or substantial demolition of any listed building, or for any alteration or extension that would adversely affect its special architectural or historic character. Proposals which affect the setting of a Listed Building will also be appropriately assessed.

Locally Listed Buildings

2.69 A Locally Listed building is a building or other structure which is deemed to be of local architectural or historic interest and is included on the Local List drawn up by the Borough Council. The Borough Council locally lists buildings in order to give them the recognition they deserve. Locally Listed buildings do not have the statutory protection afforded to Listed buildings but nonetheless make an important contribution to Southend's historic character and distinctiveness and consequently need to be conserved. A building's Locally Listed status will be a material consideration for all planning applications affecting it and, as with Listed Buildings, there will be a clear presumption against its demolition.

Frontages of Townscape Merit

2.70 There are a number of buildings in the Borough whose street frontages, while not protected by statutory designations, nevertheless contribute significantly to the historic quality of the local townscape in shopping streets or commercial areas through their architectural character, either individually or as part of a group, and owing to their prominence in the streetscene. These frontages often have decoration at upper levels and attractive windows or balconies that are key to their special character. Such frontages are identified by the Council on the Policies Map as Frontages of Townscape Merit. They are situated in parts of the Central Area and the district centre of Hamlet Court Road. The Council intends that such frontages are retained. Where considered acceptable in principle, development proposals that affect a designated frontage should ensure that their architectural character is complimented by appropriately designed replacement shopfronts, fascias, signage, materials and other alterations that respect their form and function.

2.71 Unlike other designations Frontages of Townscape Merit only affect the main frontage(s) of the building, which is usually the front elevation only, except where the building is on a corner and has a dual street frontage.

Archaeology and Scheduled Ancient Monuments

2.72 Southend contains numerous sites of archaeological importance, including six Scheduled Ancient Monuments. They constitute a finite and non-renewable resource and are in many cases highly fragile and vulnerable to damage and destruction. Many locations within the Borough have sites that may have archaeological potential but have no statutory protection. Where development affects sites of archaeological significance, or potential significance, the Council will require an archaeological investigation that sets out appropriate measures to protect and record historic remains. Developments close to/in the vicinity of a Schedule Ancient Monument will be expected to ensure that the Monument and its setting are preserved and enhanced. Guidance should be sought from the Council on the scale and nature of information required.

Policy UR3 – Southend-on-Sea's Historic Environment

1. All development proposals that affect a heritage asset will be required to include an assessment of its significance, and to conserve and enhance its historic and architectural character, setting and townscape value.

2. Development proposals that result in the total loss of or substantial harm to the significance of a designated heritage asset, including listed buildings and buildings within conservation areas, will be resisted, unless there is clear and convincing justification that outweighs the harm or loss. Development proposals that are demonstrated to result in less than substantial harm to a designated heritage asset will be weighed against the impact on the significance of the asset and the public benefits of the proposal, and will be resisted where there is no clear and convincing justification for this. High quality redevelopment of existing buildings within conservation areas which are considered to be of poor architectural quality will be encouraged.

3. Development proposals that result in the loss of or harm to the significance of a non-designated heritage asset, such as a locally listed building or frontages of townscape merit, will normally be resisted, although a balanced judgement will be made, having regard to the scale of any harm or loss, the significance of the asset and any public benefits.

4. Development proposals, including replacement shopfronts, that impact upon the 'Frontages of Townscape Merit' will be required to pay regard to the preservation and restoration of features which contribute to the special character of their frontage, including form and function. Special attention will be paid to the quality of replacement shopfronts and associated signage to ensure that their design and materials are appropriate to the historic character of the building.

5. Any alterations and additions to a heritage asset will need be evidenced. They should be informed by a heritage statement explaining the significance of the building, including any contribution made by its setting, giving a justification for the works, and clearly identifying their impact on the building's fabric and character in a manner appropriate to the significance of the heritage asset. Where appropriate this may be incorporated in the Design and Access Statement.

6. Where development might affect archaeological deposits an evaluation should be carried out beforehand so that it is possible to assess the likely impact of the application on the deposits, and that provision is made for them toremain in situ, or for their investigation and recording. Developments that are close to or in the vicinity of a Scheduled Ancient Monument will be expected to ensure that the Monument and its setting are preserved and enhanced.

Core Strategy Linkage:



Strategic Objective 14

Policy KP2: Development Principles

Policy CP4: The Environment and Urban Renaissance

Please refer to the Policies Map where applicable for land use designations related to Policy UR3.

Question 3

Do you agree with the wording of Policy UR3 as set out above? Is the policy fit for purpose or should development not take into account the preservation of historic buildings and character?

Policy UR4 – Employment Sectors

5.2 Sustainable economic prosperity will depend on building on existing strengths, seizing new opportunities and helping businesses to grow locally. As such the Borough Council considers it important to promote economic diversity within the local and sub-regional economy and ensure that there is sufficient flexibility to enable emerging growth sectors to prosper. The Southend-on-Sea Local Economic Assessment 2010 and its refresh in 2013 (LEA 2013) and the Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review 2010 (ELR 2010) identify a number of key sectoral groups that are important to the Borough's economy and future economic growth. The Council will seek to promote these sectors and ensure that their locational requirements are supported in a sustainable manner.

Aviation Industries

5.3 The aviation industry is set to grow rapidly following the redevelopment of London Southend Airport. Recent developments have included a new air traffic control tower (July 2011), a new Airport railway station (September 2011); a runway extension and new passenger terminal (March 2012); a new executive handling lounge (July 2012); and a Holiday Inn hotel development (October 2012). This growth is expected to support a number of complementary sectors including high-tech manufacturing and engineering. The Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) activities related to the airport are a critical element to the Southend economy.

Health and Medical Industries

5.4 Health and medical industries are an important element to Southend's economy. Southend University Hospital is the Borough's largest employer, whilst Olympus KeyMed, which manufactures medical equipment, is also a significant employer. A number of smaller companies dealing in medical instruments have emerged in the surrounding area, either directly or indirectly linked to Olympus KeyMed. Both the LEA 2013 and the ELR 2010 have forecast these industries to grow, which will provide an opportunity for a cluster of health and medical industries that are well related to Olympus KeyMed, the Hospital and University.

Business and Financial Services

5.5 The business and financial services sector is well represented in Southend and currently accounts for 23% of the Borough's workforce (ELR 2010). Both the LEA 2013 and the ELR 2010 indicate that whilst there is limited scope for large scale 'back-office' relocations of the scale once seen in Southend, there may be scope for medium sized operations. These documents also indicate that this sector has important indirect influence over other sectors in the Borough such as restaurants, bars and shops and will continue to be a key economic driver within the economy.

Culture and Intellectual Hub

5.6 The Department for Culture, Media and Sport defines the creative industries sector as those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent which have the potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property. Significant investment has already taken place in the form of the new University of Essex campus in the town centre and further development works are scheduled. The creative and educational sectors represent a good opportunity for Southend to expand its economic diversity. The LEA 2013 identifies Southend Central, Westcliff and Leigh-on-Sea as the main cultural centres within the South Essex sub-region and the best locations in which to develop this industry.

Tourism and associated Leisure Activities

5.7 The tourism sector accounts for 12.3% of the Borough's economy (LEA 2013) and has a wider positive impact upon retailing, catering, entertainment and transport industries. A number of tourism and cultural developments are being progressed, which could stimulate economic growth in the Borough. In addition there is potential to launch Southend as a conference destination. As per education and cultural employment growth, the growth in tourism and associated leisure activities will enhance the reputation of Southend as a vibrant cosmopolitan urban centre.

Manufacturing, Construction and Warehousing

5.8 Although long term employment trends, as reported in the LEA 2013, outline a decline in the number of manufacturing and wholesale jobs in Southend, those associated with construction remained broadly neutral, these employment sectors continue to be an important part of the local economy.

Civic and Government Administration

5.9 The LEA 2013 reports that approximately a third of all jobs in Southend are in the public sector. An important public sector hub is centred along Victoria Avenue and contains the Borough Council offices and HM Revenue and Customs.

Policy UR4 – Employment Sectors

1. Development that contributes to the promotion of sustainable economic growth by increasing the capacity and quality of employment land, floorspace, and jobs will be encouraged.

2. The Southend Central Area, as defined in the Southend Central Area Action Plan, will form the primary location for major economic growth particularly for Class B1 office uses.

3. Development proposals within the employment sectors identified within Policy Table 7 will principally be directed to the Priority Location Areas.

Policy Table 7 - Employment Sectors

Employment Sectors

Key Activities and features

Priority Location Areas

Aviation Industries

Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO)

London Southend Airport; Existing Employment Areas as identified in Policy Table 8.

Health and medical industries

Medical instruments; research and development; training and enterprise;

Existing health facilities; Existing Employment Areas as identified in Policy Table 8.

Business and financial services

Small and medium enterprises; managed accommodation; incubator/seedbed centres.

Southend Central Area; Employment Growth Areas as identified in Policy Table 8; London Southend Airport.

Cultural and intellectual hub and Higher Education centre of excellence

Individual creativity; arts; digital media; design, music etc; combination units comprising e.g. office and workshop; and Flexible space.

Southend Central Area; Leigh-on-Sea and Westcliff District Centres; Existing facilities.

Tourism and associated Leisure Activities

Hotels; restaurants; catering; Visitor Conference; other tourism related activities.

London Southend Airport (in relation to hotel provision, see UR6); Southend Central Area; the Seafront.

Manufacturing, Construction and Warehousing

Low density industrial; flexible; small and medium sized units; storage yards.

Existing Employment Areas as identified in Policy Table 8.

Civic and Government administration

Borough Council and HMRC

Southend Central Area.

Core Strategy Linkage:



Strategic Objective 1

Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy

Strategic Objective 2

Policy CP1: Employment Generating Development

Strategic Objective 3

Strategic Objective 4

Strategic Objective 5

Please refer to the Policies Map where applicable for land use designations related to Policy UR4.

Question 4

Do you agree with the wording of Policy UR4 as set out above? Do you agree that development proposals within employment sectors are directed to priority location areas, or should the market be free to decide?

Policy UR5 – Employment Areas

5.10 Due to the urbanised nature of Southend and its tightly defined administrative boundary, developable land is a scarce resource which needs to be effectively utilised to deliver the growth vision for the Borough and sub-region. A key consideration for economic development is that employment land has relatively lower land values compared to other land uses such as residential. As a consequence, it is necessary for land in employment use or desirable locations for employment development in market and sustainable terms, to be safeguarded or allocated to facilitate present and future economic growth, otherwise it is likely that this land will be developed for alternative uses.

5.11 Improving the quality of the existing stock of employment areas is essential if Southend is to meet key objectives of the Core Strategy and continue to further develop as an attractive location for a diverse range of successful businesses. This is necessary to stimulate regeneration and investment and raise the profile of Southend. Industrial estates and employment areas are identified in the Core Strategy as 'Priority Urban Areas', which form a network of areas where new development and investment will be focused with the aim of contributing to the creation of 2,750 of the 13,000 jobs to be delivered in Southend by 2021.

5.12 The retention and provision of employment sites is particularly necessary to enable balanced job and housing growth in line with the Core Strategy. Furthermore, the 'Employment Areas' contain a range of sites and premises that meet the needs of the business community as identified within the Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review 2010. However, the National Planning Policy Framework advises local authorities to take a pragmatic approach to the protection of employment sites where there are high vacancy rates and where there is no long term or reasonable prospect of a site being used for the designated employment use. To create a strong, responsive and competitive economy, whilst supporting sustainable economic growth in line with the Core Strategy, policies need to be flexible whilst ensuring that the needs of the community are met. To this end, the Borough Council will seek to retain Class B uses at employment sites, whilst at the same time acknowledge that it may not always be appropriate to retain units which are persistently vacant and where there is no prospect of them coming into Class B use in the long term. In these circumstances the Borough Council recognises that other non-Class B uses may be appropriate where they are deliverable, and do not significantly undermine overall future employment supply based on identified need.

5.13 In May 2013 the Government introduced new permitted development rights[2] allowing the change of use of offices to residential, subject to certain limitations and conditions. Policy UR5 will apply where permitted development rights cannot be exercised.

5.14 The Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review (2010) provides an assessment of employment areas in the Borough. It recommends that some existing employment areas have the potential to provide for increased/ modern employment floorspace – these are termed 'Employment Growth Areas' in this policy. Similarly, the Employment Land Review also recommends sites that should be retained and protected for employment uses – these sites are termed 'Industrial Estates and Business Estates' in this policy, however, both terms fall under the umbrella of Employment Areas and are defined on the Policies Map. The Survey of Key Employment areas (Sept 2013) outlined that these Employment Areas are performing well with the majority having high occupancy levels.

5.15 The Council will monitor and manage the function of the Employment Areas so that these areas can continue to positively contribute to strategic and local economic objectives.

5.16 Site specific allocations for the provision of new employment land will be progressed through other appropriate development plan documents. These will consider, inter alia, the allocation of impending and upcoming sites within broad spatial locations, such as those within Priority Urban Areas as defined by the Core Strategy; including potential allocations at Fossetts Farm and Shoebury Garrison.

5.17 The Core Strategy, in setting out broad locations for employment growth, identifies inter alia Shoebury Garrison (Phase 1 & 2) and Fossetts Farm as Priority Urban Areas, where appropriate regeneration and growth will be focused. As previously stated, potential land allocations for these impending and upcoming locations, will be further addressed in future development plan documents as appropriate.

Small and Medium Enterprises

5.18 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make an important contribution to the Southend economy. Approximately 4,245 businesses in the Borough employ between 1 and 10 employees. This comprises 80.2% of all the VAT and PAYE registered companies (Source: Interdepartmental Business Register (IDBR) 2011). SMEs account for 11,880 employees, which is equivalent to 13% of all economically active people in the Borough. SMEs are diverse and have varying accommodation requirements.

5.19 The Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review 2010 highlights a need within Southend for more managed accommodation for new companies, particularly grow-on space from incubator units. It's important the future provision provides a choice in terms of location and premise size for business services. If Southend is to facilitate growth, incubator, grow-on and medium sized premises are required in a variety of locations.

Employment Growth Areas

5.20 The Southend Central Area, as defined in the Southend Central Area Action Plan, will form the primary location for major economic growth particularly for Class B1 office use. The Southend Central Area Action Plan contains a number of Proposal Site Policies that provide detailed information on where this investment should be prioritised. Nevertheless, the Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review 2010 also identified several existing employment sites across the borough that have the potential to provide suitable locations for increased modern/ future employment provision and will be managed by appropriate means. These sites are outlined below.

5.21 Progress Road and Prittle Brook Industrial Estate offer significant regeneration opportunities over the long term. Progress Road, has several vacant units, many of which are in a poor state of repair. It is clear that redevelopment of old units for modern employment uses is required over the long term. The Progress Road Estate Framework: Design Brief (2009) outlines which use classes are appropriate within the estate and the Borough Council is working in partnership to redevelop this area on a plot-by-plot basis in line with the adopted Brief.

5.22 Prittle Brook Industrial Estate is available for comprehensive redevelopment with the site being completely cleared of all premises. The Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review 2010 recommends protecting this large employment development opportunity and primarily redeveloping the site for future employment purposes as part of a mixed use scheme. Such a scheme should be taken forward through a planning brief.

5.23 Terminal Close, in Shoeburyness, is currently in poor condition. This site provides opportunity for mixed use development, to provide modern, good quality employment provision. It is considered that the site should be primarily retained for employment uses providing a minimum of 4,000m2 of hybrid office/workshop units to support business service and potential creative industries and start-up businesses.

5.24 The existing employment floorspace at Shoebury Garrison (Phase 1 development) has several new good quality units and should be safeguarded. As outlined above, Shoebury Garrison Phase 2 is a potential forthcoming employment site, identified for future employment growth as part of a mixed use development. Any future site allocation for Shoebury Garrison Phase 2 land will be addressed through other appropriate development plan documents. Phase 1 and 2 were first identified in the Shoebury Garrison Development Brief (1999) as containing approximately 0.9 and 11.3 ha of land for employment and other mixed-use purposes respectively.

5.25 Grainger Road and Short Street are located outside the town centre but within the wider Southend Central Area. Grainger Road consists of older industrial units with some vacant units, whilst Short Street comprises a mixture of employment units. The Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review 2010 recommends protecting Grainger Road for employment uses with potential to redevelop as an employment-led mixed-use scheme to provide a better relationship with surrounding residential uses. It is also recommended that Short Street is protected and retained for employment uses.

Industrial Estates and Business Estates

5.26 There is a need to manage existing employment land and buildings within Southend. Upgrading employment land will provide an opportunity to improve the stock of employment premises in the Borough. Indeed improving the quality of the existing stock of the industrial and business estates is essential if Southend is to be an attractive location for a diverse range of successful businesses and employers.

5.27 The Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review 2010 sets out the existing employment sites that are considered to have continued value and therefore should continue to be protected from loss in the first instance.

Marketing and Market Demand evidence

5.28 In instances where marketing and/ or market demand evidence is required in accordance with Policy UR5, planning applications must demonstrate clear and robust evidence that there is no demand for use of the building, unit, floorspace and/or site for employment purposes. Evidence that the floorspace has been vacant and actively marketed for employment purposes during a period of at least two years will be required to demonstrate this. In exceptional cases, where market demand may be affected by site-specific circumstances and the floorspace has been vacant for less than two years, a market demand analysis may be considered suitable as evidence of lack of demand. This must be submitted alongside or, where justified, in place of marketing and vacancy evidence. The applicant may be required to fund an independent assessment of the market demand analysis, which will be commissioned by the Council. Appendix 4 sets out the information to be provided in relation to marketing of vacant floorspace (Part A) and for market demand analysis (Part B).

5.29 Outside the Employment Areas an appraisal will be required in order to satisfy the loss of employment floorspace and/ or employment land in instances where planning permission is required. Appendix 4 Part C sets out the information to be provided.

Policy UR5 –Employment Areas

1. Major redevelopment proposals within the Employment Areas (Policy Table 8) should seek to make provision for a range of flexible unit sizes including accommodation that supports small and medium sized enterprises, where this is feasible, to ensure the needs of businesses are met in accordance with market signals. This should take account of the location and type of business proposed to ensure land is used efficiently. Where appropriate, incubator / seedbed centres and/or affordable workspaces will be sought.

2. The Borough Council will support the retention, enhancement and development of Class B uses within the Employment Areas shown on the Policies Map and described in Policy Table 8. Proposals that fall outside of a Class B employment use will only be granted permission where:

A. the development proposal is a 'sui generis' use of a similar employment nature, which is compatible with and will not compromise the operating conditions of the Employment Area; or

B. the development proposal is in conformity with a planning brief, or similar planning policy document, that has been adopted by the Borough Council for the concerned site, which sets out other appropriate uses; or

C. it can be demonstrated to the Council's satisfaction that:

  1. there is no long term or reasonable prospect of the site concerned being used for Class B purposes.*; and
  2. the use is compatible with and will not compromise the operating conditions for other employment uses or the potential future use of neighbouring sites for employment uses; and
  3. the alternative use cannot be reasonably located elsewhere within the area it serves**; and
  4. the use will not give rise to unacceptable traffic generation, noise, odour or vehicle parking; or

D. it can be shown that the development will be a complementary and supporting use, which is both subservient and ancillary to the principal employment uses and serves the day-time needs of the estate's working population and will not result in a material change to the Class B character and function of the area.

* This should include a minimum 2 year active marketing exercise where the vacant site / floorspace has been offered for sale or letting on the open market at a realistic price and that no reasonable offers have been refused. In exceptional cases related to site-specific circumstances, where the vacancy period has been less than two years, a robust market demand analysis which supplements any marketing and vacancy evidence may be considered acceptable. Appendix 4 sets out the information to be provided in relation to marketing and market demand.

** The Borough Council will make a judgement about the extent of the area based upon the site concerned and the proposed use.

3. The Employment Growth Areas identified within column 1 of Policy Table 8 will be promoted as locations for increased modern employment floorspace.

A managed approach will be sought at the Employment Growth Areas through other planning policy documents, including planning briefs, that will set out the quantum of development and appropriate uses.

4. Proposals for employment generating uses outside the Employment Areas (Policy Table 8) will be allowed where they do not impact upon the amenity of the surrounding uses and do not conflict with other development plan policies.

5. Outside the Employment Areas (Policy Table 8), proposals for alternative uses on sites used (or last used) for employment purposes, including sites for sui-generis uses of an employment nature, will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that:

(i) it will no longer be effective or viable to accommodate the continued use of the site for employment purposes***; or

(ii) Use of the site for B2 or B8 purposes gives rise to unacceptable environmental problems.

It will need to be demonstrated that an alternative use or mix of uses will give greater potential benefits to the community and environment than continued employment use.

*** Appendix 4 Part C sets out the information to be provided as part of this appraisal.

Policy Table 8: Existing Employment Areas

Employment Areas

1. Employment Growth Areas

2. Industrial / Business Estates

Shoebury Garrison (Phase 1)

Progress Road

Prittle Brook Industrial Estate

Terminal Close

Grainger Road

Short Street

Thanet Grange

Comet Way

Airborne Close

Airborne Industrial Estate

Laurence Industrial Estate

Aviation Way

Temple Farm

Stock Road

Rosshill Industrial Park

Priory Works

Prince Close

Vanguard Way

Towerfield Road

Campfield Road

Tickfield Avenue

Core Strategy Linkage:



Strategic Objective 1

Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy

Strategic Objective 2

Policy CP1: Employment Generating Development

Strategic Objective 3

Strategic Objective 4

Strategic Objective 5

Please refer to the Policies Map where applicable for land use designations related to Policy UR5.

Question 5

Do you agree with the wording of Policy DM5 as set out above? What do you make of the suggested employment growth areas in policy table 8? Should these be the growth areas promoted for increased modern employment floorspace?

Policy UR6 – Visitor Accommodation

5.30 Tourism and cultural industries within Southend are important for sustained economic growth in the Borough. Visitor accommodation is an important part of the tourism sector, which is emphasised in the Southend-on-Sea Local Economic Assessment 2013. This document notes that whilst only 5% of visitors to Southend stay overnight, 28% of tourism jobs in Southend are sustained by overnight stays. There are opportunities in Southend to develop this sector by promoting the following market segments:

  • Higher income group day visitors – drawn by developing cultural attractions;
  • Short break activity weekends – based on watersports, kitesurfing, golf, riding, indoor tennis, arts festivals;
  • Business conference tourism – following the establishment of recent quality hotel conferencing facilities with potential for this sector to grow;
  • Foreign language students – using out of term student accommodation; and
  • London staying visits – utilising the regular, accessible and direct rail linksfrom Southend to London.

5.31 The Southend-on-Sea Hotel Futures Report 2010 made an assessment of potential hotel market demand and indicated potential for future growth in this sector over the next 20-years. It is necessary therefore that the Borough Council manages this growth in a sustainable manner that positively contributes to the Borough's regeneration and economic objectives.

Hotel Locations

5.32 The Southend-on-Sea Hotel Futures Report 2010 considered existing and planned (new and refurbished) hotel capacity as at 2010, against prospects for growth in provision. The identified hotel capacity for Southend included the recently completed hotel development at London Southend Airport and a former permission as part of the development of a new stadium for Southend United at Fossetts Farm, and the hotel at Garon Park promoted in the adopted Garon Park Development Brief in response to Core Strategy Policy CP6 3.a.

5.33 The study went on to identify potential for hotel development over the next 10 to 20 years as the town's economy and leisure tourism offer develops, and stated that there are many sites in Southend that can accommodate future hotel sites, although there is a need to prioritise locations and sites to ensure that hotels are directed to where they can deliver the greatest benefit. In accordance with the study, hotel development will therefore be prioritised within the 'Key Areas': Southend Central Area, at London Southend Airport and close to the Seafront.

5.34 In this context, the Seafront will not be considered as a defined area but as relating to an area that clearly has a strong relationship with the Seafront. This relationship will be considered on a site-by-site basis and will take account of an area's function and connectivity with the Seafront and specifically whether there are clear, convenient and direct walking routes to the Seafront. New hotels in the town centre and Central Area and close to the Seafront will contribute to developing the visitor and evening economy of these locations. The expansion of the airport and associated business parks will help support hotel development that is directly associated with the airport's operations.

5.35 In line with Policy KP2 of the adopted Core Strategy development proposals should seek to minimise the use of 'greenfield' land and make the best use of previously developed land, wherever possible. To ensure new hotel development is located in sustainable and accessible locations the Council will expect proposals to relate well with the Borough's strategic routes and distributer roads.

5.36 Outside of these areas, further hotel development will be discouraged in order to facilitate new hotels in the town centre and Central Area, close to the Seafront and at the airport. Hotels outside of these locations would compete for a share of the wider Southend market and would undermine potential growth in the key locations and detrimentally impact upon sustainable tourism and economic growth in the Borough.

Viability Assessment

5.37 The loss of visitor accommodation could have an adverse impact on the resort character and economy within Southend. The Council will protect sites used, or last used, for visitor accommodation within the 'Key Areas' of Southend unless non-viability can be demonstrated. With regard to meeting Policy UR6.2(i), applications for change of use will need to be accompanied by:

  • Proof of marketing for sale - for a continuous period of at least 2 years at a competitive price taking account of current trading performance and condition (Appendix 4, Part A, sets out the information to be provided in relation to marketing);
  • Evidence of business performance – including, details of occupancy and achieved occupancy rate data for the last 2 years along with accounts to explain how the business is performing in line with levels of occupancy typical of industry/ destination norms; and
  • Evidence of professional management – this includes details of marketing and business plans for the last 2 years to demonstrate investment plans and attempts made to attract business.

5.38 The Council will encourage an open book approach and may seek independent advice, funded by the applicant, to test the veracity of any viability assessment. This verification will assess the accuracy and robustness of the matters listed above.

5.39 It is recognised that for smaller 'lifestyle' businesses, commercial viability is more difficult to test. In such cases proof of marketing for sale with specialist and local agents at a realistic price may be sufficient on its own. The Council will be flexible in its approach and have regard to all material considerations at the time of the application. In all instances the level of information required should be agreed with the Council prior to submitting a planning application

Policy UR6 – Visitor Accommodation

1. New visitor accommodation will be focused within the Southend Central Area, London Southend Airport area and at locations with good access and a clear and strong relationship with the Seafront (the 'KeyAreas'). Proposals must relate well to strategicroutes and the distributor road network, have good public transport accessibility, and meet the requirements of other relevant planning policies.

2. Within the Key Areas in (1) visitor accommodation will be retained. Proposals for alternative uses on sites used (or last used) for visitor accommodation will be considered where it can be demonstrated that:

(i) the site is no longer viable or feasible for visitor accommodation*; and

(ii) the proposal meets all other relevant planning policies.

Where an alternative use is considered acceptable by the Council, applications that would contribute positively to the leisure, recreation and tourism offer in the Borough will be considered favourably.

*Supporting text paragraph 5.37 and Appendix 4 Part A sets out the information to be provided

3. Proposals for alternative uses on sites used (or last used) for visitor accommodation outside the Key Areas in (1) will generally be permitted provided that the proposal meets other relevant planning policies

Core Strategy Linkage:



Strategic Objective 1

Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy

Strategic Objective 2

Policy KP2: Development Principles

Policy CP1: Employment Generating Development

Strategic Objective 14

Please refer to the Policies Map where applicable for land use designations related to Policy UR6.

Question 6

Do you agree with the wording of Policy UR6 as set out above? Should all loss of visitor accommodation be resisted?

Policy UR7 – Sustainable Transport Management

7.1 Sustainable Transport in Southend plays a key role in supporting economic growth, reducing carbon emissions, promoting equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life and health. Sustainable transport management will provide a number of benefits that contribute towards sustainable development such as:

  • Reducing emissions, improving local air quality and counteracting the effects of climate change;
  • Improving health through better air quality and making walking and cycling an attractive and viable alternative to the use of private motor vehicles;
  • Helping equitable access to services for all, not putting those who cannot or do not own a car at a disadvantage; and
  • Reducing congestion on the road from car travel, which can have benefits for the economy.

Transport Choices

7.2 The Southend-on-Sea Local Transport Plan (LTP) in line with national transport policy seeks to reduce the need to travel, particularly by car, and to broaden the number of travel options available. Consequently development should be located in areas which are sustainable, or areas which it can be demonstrated can be made sustainable, and accessible by non-car modes and which reduce the overall need to travel.

7.3 Development provides opportunities to make significant improvements to the road network for public transport, which aids the provision of suitable and sustainable alternatives to car based travel. The availability of safe, coherent, legible and easy to use footpaths and cycle routes, enhanced by and combining with green infrastructure, as well as good public transport information, high quality facilities and an environment free from street clutter, can have a significant impact on people's choice of transport. The Council's Streetscape Manual SPD provides guidance on the use of street furniture and materials and opportunities for minimising clutter and merging functions.

7.4 Developments should also facilitate opportunities for people to use public transport both for local journeys and to access the wider public transport network as a viable and practical alternative to private transport. Through the Evalu8 'Plugged in Places' project, the Council has seen a number of electric vehicle charging points installed in the Borough and, where practical, the incorporation of facilities for charging electric vehicles and other ultra-low emission vehicles into a development to enhance opportunities for other sustainable transport options will be encouraged.

7.5 Developments that will generate significant amounts of movement should be supported by a Transport Statement or Transport Assessment. This could include: information on what opportunities for sustainable transport modes have been taken, dependent on location, to reduce the need for major transport infrastructure; how safe and suitable access to the site can be achieved for all; how improvements can be undertaken to the existing transport network that limit the significant impacts of the development cost-effectively.

Smarter Choice Measures

7.6 The Southend-on-Sea LTP seeks to tackle congestion by placing greater emphasis on travel plans and by the incorporation of other 'smarter choice' measures. 'Smarter choices' are techniques for influencing people's travel behaviour towards more sustainable alternatives such as encouraging school, workplace and individualised travel planning. They also seek to improve public transport and marketing services such as travel awareness campaigns, supporting car clubs and encouraging flexible working. Applicants will need to agree appropriate 'smarter choice' measures with the Council prior to a planning application submission. A travel plan and arrangements for its monitoring will be required for any proposal where the Council considers it necessary, based on the potential individual or cumulative impact of the proposal in the area.


7.7 As Policy UR3 sets out, Southend is a densely populated Borough, and the demand for travel in Southend is expected to continually increase as a result of the regeneration proposals programmed within the town and as a result of changing lifestyle choices. Managing car parking space provision can actively encourage more sustainable choices to be made in respect to the need to travel and the choice of mode.

7.8 The Parking Review 2013 Addendum highlights that although maximum parking standards in residential areas has restricted the amount of parking available, the ownership of cars has not reduced and consequently, in some cases, developments have contributed to a number of localised parking pressures. Therefore, the parking standards as set out by Appendix 6 no longer apply maximum standards to residential ('trip-origin') development.

7.9 Due to the interrelationship between Southend and its neighbouring districts both in terms of travel to work patterns and shopping and leisure trips, it is considered important that a consistent approach to vehicle parking standards is adopted across the sub region that reflects local circumstances. The EPOA Parking Standards 2009 provide the basis for the Council's approach to setting local parking standards, including cycle parking provision, for Southend, as set out in Appendix 6. Applying the EPOA Parking Standards, where appropriate, will enable the Council to provide clarity and certainty for developers and residents within the Borough. This issupplemented byPolicy UR1 andthe Design and Townscape Guide SPD, which provides further guidance in respect to the design and layout of parking areas and cycle parking facilities, and the consideration of context.

7.10 The Southend LTP seeks to promote sustainable travel options, focussing initially on journeys to the town centre, and linking reductions in on-street parking provision to the promotion of public transport, walking and cycling. The Council considers, in accordance with guidance contained within the EPOA Parking Standards 2009, that it is appropriate to set a lower provision of vehicle parking standards in the Central Area (Appendix 6). This recognises that town centres have good public transport options and have services and facilities within walking distance making sustainable travel choices a realistic alternative for many people without compromising its vitality.

7.11 Garages are often an important feature of a residential development and are multi-functional in that they are used for both car parking and general storage. Storage space is an important component of modern living and sustainable development. Garages therefore need to be large enough to accommodate a modern, family sized car and some storage. Garages that have an internal dimension below 7.0m x 3.0m will not be considered or counted as a parking space.

Policy UR7 – Sustainable Transport Management

1. Development will be allowed where there is, or it can be demonstrated thatthere will be,physical and environmental capacity to accommodate the type and amount of traffic generated in a safe and sustainable manner. For developments that generate significant amounts of movement, a supporting Transport Statement or Transport Assessment should be provided.

2. Access to the proposed development and any traffic generated must not unreasonably harm the surroundings, including the amenity of neighbouring properties and/or the public rights of way.

3. To prioritise and promote viable alternatives to private vehicle use developmentproposals must prioritise the needs of pedestrians, including disabled persons and those with impaired mobilityand cyclists, including safe, secure and covered on-site cycle parking and where appropriate changing facilities, creating safe and secure layouts that minimise conflicts with traffic and avoid street clutter and barriers to movement;

The provision of facilities for charging electric vehicles and other ultra-low emission vehicles will be encouraged wherever practical and feasible.

4. All major* development proposals must incorporate and include provision for:

(i) safe, convenient and legible access to public transport for pedestrians and cyclists, and appropriate 'smarter choice' measures to reduce dependency on vehicles such as Travel Plans (Personal, Workplace and School), car clubs, car sharing and pooling, real-time public transport information and marketing and communication materials and welcome packs. All other development should seek to include such measures where site specific circumstances allow; and

(ii) servicing and emergency vehicles.

5. All development should meet the parking standards (including cycle parking) set out in Appendix 6. Residential vehicle parking standards may be applied flexibly where it can be demonstrated that the development is proposed in a sustainable location with frequent and extensive links to public transport and/ or where the rigid application of these standards would have a clear detrimental impact on local character and context.

Reliance upon on-street parking will only be considered appropriate where it can be demonstrated by the applicant that there is on-street parking capacity.

The parking standards in Appendix 6 will be kept under review.

*Major development is defined as:

(i) the number of dwelling-houses to be provided is 10 or more; or

(ii) the development is to be carried out on a site having an area of 0.5 hectares or more and it is not known whether the development would constitute 10 dwellings or more.

Core Strategy Linkage:



Strategic Objective 3

KP1: Spatial Strategy

Strategic Objective 9

Strategic Objective 10

KP2: Development Principles

KP3: Implementation and Resources

CP3: Transport and Accessibility

Question 7

Do you agree with the wording of Policy UR7 as set out above? UR7 (5) suggests that reliance upon on-street parking can be considered appropriate where there is demonstrable on-street parking capacity.

What are your views on this? Should on-street parking be considered as acceptable provision in any instance?

[1] The term 'both existing and committed' relates to those existing developments which have undertaken since 1st July 1948, and to any outstanding valid planning permissions.

[2] Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013

For instructions on how to use the system and make comments, please see our help guide.
back to top back to top