Core Strategy - Adopted December 2007

Section 3 - Employment Generating Development

3.1 The Government's central economic objective is to achieve high and stable levels of growth and employment, while ensuring that the benefits of that economic growth can be shared by everyone and so deliver a better quality of life (DEFRA Securing the Future – UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy 2005). The planning system is not, however, solely concerned with maximising competitiveness or wealth creation. The practise of planning for economic development cannot be divorced from the government's broader objectives for land use planning, such as promoting an urban renaissance and social inclusion, minimising the need to travel and promoting sustainable development.

3.2 Planning Policy Guidance 4 (PPG4) provides the main national guidance about planning for Industrial and Commercial Development and Small Firms. It aims to encourage continued economic development in a way which is compatible with its stated environmental objectives. PPG4 is currently in the process of being reviewed.

3.3 Planning Policy Statement 1 (PPS1) Delivering Sustainable Development states that the government is committed to promoting a strong, stable and productive economy which aims to bring jobs and prosperity for all. It considers that planning authorities should inter alia:

  1. recognise that environmental and social benefits can be delivered by economic development;
  2. ensure that suitable locations are available for industrial, commercial, retail, public sector (e.g. health and education), tourism and leisure developments, so that the economy can prosper;
  3. actively promote and facilitate good quality development, which is sustainable and consistent with plans;
  4. ensure that infrastructure and services are provided to support new and existing economic development and housing;
  5. identify opportunities for future investment to deliver economic objectives.

3.4 The Regional Economic Strategy (RES), 'A Shared Vision', sets the long-term vision for the sustainable development of the East of England. It sets out how sustainable economic growth can be achieved throughout the east of England. It outlines eight strategic goals to achieve its vision for the region, including:

  1. a skills base that can support a world class economy;
  2. growing competitiveness, productivity and entrepreneurship;
  3. high quality places to live, work and visit;
  4. social inclusion and broad participation in the regional economy;
  5. making the most from the development of international gateways and national and regional transport corridors;
  6. an exemplar for the efficient use of resources.

3.5 The Regional Economic Strategy (RES) should be considered alongside, and sits within, the spatial planning framework provided by the Regional Spatial Strategy, the 'East of England Plan'. Local Development Documents should take account of and facilitate the delivery of the RES. The East of England Plan sets out a spatial distribution of job growth required to achieve the RES and other spatial policy objectives across the region for the period 2001-2021.

3.6 The East of England Plan sets out sub-regional policy concerning the Essex Thames Gateway regeneration and growth area. Essex Thames Gateway is given an indicative target of 55,000 net new jobs. An overall aim is to achieve a better alignment in the ratio of jobs to homes so that the proportion of people travelling to work outside the are is materially reduced. Southend is one of the three complementary regeneration areas. Southend should become a cultural and intellectual hub, secure a full range of high quality sub-regional services and facilities and provide for mixed use development to secure new jobs and homes (Policy ETG4). Policy ETG5 of the East of England Plan requires this Core Strategy to provide an enabling context for at least 13,000 net new jobs between 2001 and 2021. Those jobs will come from a wide variety of sectors and will be distributed according to the Spatial Strategy at Policy KP1 and as set out in Policy CP1 below.

3.7 Land is a scarce resource in the Borough and economic regeneration and growth is a prime requirement. The Borough Council will therefore, vigorously ensure that proper use is made of land and buildings in Southend so as to provide for the needs of all sectors of the economy. It is essential to help create new jobs and protect existing ones. This will be the focus when considering the use of land and buildings within the town although there will sometimes be situations where the wider regeneration needs of Southend will be better served by replacing poorly located employment uses with other types of development.

3.8 Southend's Community Plan contains the priorities and ambitions for the town. It seeks to promote a prosperous local economy which encourages opportunities for learning for all residents and to raise basic skills levels in order to attain a highly skilled work force. It aims to reduce unemployment levels and increase business survival. It also strives for Southend to be a cultural capital of the East of England by 2010 and reaffirms the regional objective of making Southend a higher education centre of excellence.

3.9 The Council's in depth scrutiny project "Economic Growth Aspirations for Southend on Sea" (2006) sets out how the Council should utilise its assets, policies, powers and influence to assist in achieving the net additional jobs target of 13,000 additional jobs within a sustainable economic base. It identifies the economic growth areas for Southend based on existing nuclei and clusters of activity, and those that are aligned with a number of sectors identified in the RES:

  1. aviation/airport and associate industries;
  2. health and medical industries;
  3. business and financial services;
  4. cultural and intellectual hub and HE centre of excellence;
  5. tourism and leisure, and long term opportunities from Olympics.

3.10 "Making Culture Count" is the Cultural Strategy for Southend on Sea, providing an overarching strategic vision for the development of Southend's cultural sector. Its aims and objectives seek to improve health, regenerate the town, increase participation and life-long learning and develop communities through the use and promotion of culture. Its vision is to develop a cultural infrastructure and facilities which are recognised as being of regional significance and which offer demonstrable benefits to everyone who lives in, works in or visits the Borough. It too holds the vision for the town to be recognised as the cultural capital of the East of England by 2010.

3.11 Borough Local Plan employment Policies (E1, E2, E3, E4 and E5) will remain part of the Development Plan for the Borough, pending their review as part of the preparation of a 'Criteria Based Policies and Site Allocations' Development Plan Document, as programmed in the Borough Council's Local Development Scheme.

3.12 Sustainable economic prosperity will depend on building on existing strengths and seizing new opportunities. This includes maximising the contribution of existing employment areas, the Town Centre and Seafront 'zones of change' and other 'Priority Urban Areas', as well as 'Key Employment Sites', and helping businesses to grow locally.

3.13 Policy seeks, therefore, to deliver a distribution of investment and development reflecting national, regional, sub regional and local policy, based on the following approach:

  1. reinforce and restructure Southend's industrial areas and economic base;
  2. support the provision of incubator units, 'grow-on' space and larger facilities for new and established businesses;
  1. ensure that the area is well connected to the information and communications technology network in order to take advantage of the opportunities for attracting high tech industries to the town;
  2. secure the physical infrastructure needed to maximise the town's role as the cultural and intellectual hub and centre of education excellence in the Thames Gateway and the impact of the new Higher Education/University campus as a driver for both economic and community regeneration;
  3. maximise the role of the Town Centre as a catalyst in the town's regeneration through the implementation of a town centre renewal package with emphasis on refocusing of retail opportunities, a major expansion of town centre housing and an expansion of the town's leisure and cultural provision, including the renaissance of the sea frontage;
  4. secure a vibrant and well served culture and tourism industry within the town, including the consideration of promoting and developing the town as a Hotel and Conference Resort with high quality hotels, casinos and associated facilities, providing broad-based leisure and tourism facilities;
  5. support the future potential of London Southend Airport as a key driver for economic development;
  6. secure the best use of the River Thames as an asset for transport, leisure and business, subject to the safeguarding of the biodiversity importance of the foreshore;
  7. realise the full potential of land at Shoeburyness in association with improved transport access;
  1. harness Southend's existing entrepreneurial culture, build on existing sectoral strengths such as tourism and culture, and promote the growth of related technology and knowledge based industries, including those related to environmental technologies and centres of sporting excellence, research and development.

3.14 It is an approach which has been clearly and widely supported and developed through pre-submission community involvement. This policy will in turn be supported by policies and proposals in a 'Planning Obligations and Vehicle Parking Standards' Development Plan Document, Town Centre and Seafront Area Action Plans, Joint Area Action Plan for Southend Airport and a 'Criteria Based Policies and Site Allocations' DPD, which will subsequently be prepared as an integral part of the Local Development Framework for Southend.

Policy CP1: Employment Generating Development

Provision is made for not less than 6,500 net additional jobs by 2011, and not less than 13,000 net additional jobs by 2021, distributed[6] as follows:

       2001-2021    Per Annum

Town Centre and Central Area 6,500 325

Shoeburyness* 1,500 75

Seafront** 750 37.5

Priority Urban Areas*** 2,750 137.5

Intensification**** 1,500 75

TOTAL 13,000 650

* Further detailed guidance into development in Shoeburyness will be provided in the "Shoeburyness SPD".

** 'Seafront': subject to the safeguarding of the biodiversity importance of the foreshore

*** Priority Urban Areas these comprise the District Centres of Westcliff and Leigh, the Southchurch Road shopping area and the West Road/Ness Road shopping area in Shoebury, together with the town's main industrial estates/employment areas as identified on the Key Diagram and listed at paragraph 2.4. Those Priority Areas falling within the boundaries of proposed Area Action Plans and Supplementary Planning Documents provide a jobs contribution towards these areas rather that the 'Priority Urban Areas' category.

**** In broad terms, intensification takes into account the modern forms of working such as home working and 'hot desking' as well as small scale employment generating mixed use development within the community.

Development proposals involving employment must contribute to the creation and retention of a wide range of jobs, educational and re-skilling opportunities. Employment generating development should be located using a sequential approach in accordance with the spatial priorities and roles set out in Policies KP1 and CP2. Offices, retailing, leisure and other uses generating large numbers of people should be focussed in the town centre. Industrial and distribution uses will be supported on existing and identified industrial/employment sites, where this would increase employment densities and/or reinforce their role in regeneration.

Permission will not normally be granted for development proposals that involve the loss of existing employment land and premises unless it can be clearly demonstrated that the proposal will contribute to the objective of regeneration of the local economy in other ways, including significant enhancement of the environment, amenity and condition of the local area. To promote economic regeneration, development will be expected to:

  1. enhance the town's role as a cultural and intellectual hub, a higher education centre of excellence, visitor destination and cultural centre;
  2. provide for the development and growth of appropriate technology and knowledge based industries, including the provision of businessinnovation/incubator centres with linkages to HE and University facilities and existing centres of excellence;
  3. improve opportunities for small and medium enterprises in all economic sectors, especially those reflecting the vision and strategy for Essex Thames Gateway, including healthcare; education, sports, culture, leisure and tourism, and regionally and locally significant clusters;
  4. support the town's regional potential to develop as a HotelandConference Resort with high quality hotels, casinos and broad-based leisure and tourism facilities;
  5. contribute to the regeneration and development of existing and proposed employment sites; the Town Centre and Seafront; existing industrial areas and other Priority Urban Areas;
  6. improve the vitality and viability of Southend town centre, the district centres of Leigh and Westcliff and smaller local centres;
  7. support the future potential of London Southend Airport and the regeneration of Leigh Port;
  8. improve the level of service of broadband infrastructure and other state of the art information communication technology – including maximising the opportunities of the pan-European fibreoptic network.

The Council will monitor and assess the delivery of both the transport infrastructure priorities set out in the RTS (Regional Transport Strategy) and Southend LTP (Local Transport Plan) and the employment targets required by this policy. Failure to achieve employment targets set for 2011 and thereafter may trigger a review of the Core Strategy to assess whether the phasing and further release of the housing provisions set out within Policy CP 8 should be delayed until a better alignment of employment, infrastructure and dwelling provision is secured and maintained. In order to remain in general conformity with the East of England Plan (Policy H1), and to ensure that there is sufficient housing provision in Southend on Sea to meet the East of England's Plan's housing allocation (2001 – 2021), the 6,500 net additional dwellings will not, however be phased beyond the 2021 end date of this plan.

Core Policy CP1: Employment Generating Development - Monitoring and Implementation Framework

Core Indicator

Policy Indicator


Strategic Objective

SA/SEA Objective

Delivery Body(ies)

Total number of net additional jobs created to meet RSS requirements

Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR)

Total 13 000 net additional jobs by 2021 and/or 650 net

additional jobs per annum

SO1, SO2, SO3, SO4, SO5, SO8, SO11, SO13, SO15

 Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment


partnership, Industrial and business sectors, EEDA

Amount for jobs and employment floorspace meeting local regeneration and economic sectors' needs

(i) Total number of net additional jobs created, by sector, within the plan period (temporally) and within specified areas (spatially) as described in Policy CP1

(ii) Amount of floorspace developed for employment by type

(iii) Amount of floorspace developed for employment by type, in employment or

regeneration areas

6,500 net additional jobs by 2011 and not less that 13,00 net additional jobs by 2021distributed spatially as described in the table in Policy CP1

SO1, SO2, SO3, SO4, SO5, SO10, SO13, SO17

 Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment

 Social progress which recognises the needs of everyone

 Effective protection of the environment


Partnership, Industrial and Business investors, EEDA, Development Industry

Amount of employment land meeting regeneration and local economic sectors' needs

(i) Employment land available by type

(i) No new greenfield employment land to be released until regeneration needs and priorities have been met

(ii) & (iii) Not more than 10% (hectares) of existing employment land in employment and regeneration areas lost to

non employment uses

SO1, SO2, SO3, SO4, SO5, SO10, SO13, SO17

 Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment

 Social progress which recognises the needs of everyone


Partnership, Industrial and Business investors, EEDA, Development Industry

(ii) Amount of employment land lost in employment and

regeneration areas

(iii) Amount of employment land lost to residential development

[6] The figures and phasing have been derived from partnership working with TGSE and ODPM as part of the sustainable communities agenda and growth areas and resulted from "ZAP" and "ZOC" work. The figure will overcome existing deficit – unemployment levels and provide a future balance with housing figures

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