Core Strategy - Adopted December 2007
Section 8 - Community Infrastructure
8.1 Southend is already a compact, densely developed urban area with heavy demands upon its infrastructure. Any further growth within the Borough must not only safeguard but seek to enhance the infrastructure balance. Improvements to infrastructure must therefore accompany development or act as a precondition to it.
8.2 At a national level, Planning Policy Statement PPS1, Delivering Sustainable Development, states that policies should promote communities which are inclusive, healthy, safe and crime free, whilst respecting the diverse needs of communities and the special needs of particular sectors of the community. Suitable locations should be made available for mixed use development that allow for the creation of linkages between different uses that create more vibrant places, taking into account issues such as accessibility and the provision of essential infrastructure.
8.3 Crime, education and health and well being are key topics in creating sustainable communities. Compliance with national objectives and guidelines evident in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, Health Act 1999 and the Education Act 2005 is therefore a major consideration.
8.4 In addition, Planning Policy Guidance Note PPG17 outlines that planning for open space, sport and recreation all underpin people's quality of life and are fundamental to delivering broader government objectives, including supporting an urban renaissance; improving health and well being; and the promotion of social inclusion and sustainable development.
8.5 Similarly, the spatial planning vision set out in the East of England Plan is to sustain and improve the quality of life for all people who live in, work in, or visit the region. One of the key requirements in achieving this vision is to improve social inclusion and create sustainable communities in line with the government's sustainable communities plan and other national, regional and local plans.
8.6 The East of England Plan aims to achieve a sustainable relationship between jobs, homes and services at the strategic and local level where growth is led by improvements in quality of life and prosperity. The plan looks to ensure that infrastructure programmes, including social infrastructure, will meet current deficiencies and development requirements, and that new development contributes appropriately to this, thereby enhancing the quality of life, character, appearance and biodiversity of the local area. Policy SS2 ensures that local strategies give due priority to health, education and social inclusion.
8.7 This is reinforced in the Essex Thames Gateway sub-regional policies:
- Policy ETG1 aims to enhance the education and skills base and improve access to higher education and to deliver new jobs and houses which meets the needs of the population by providing for a better alignment between homes and workplaces; and
- Policy ETG5 looks to raise skill levels at NVQ level 2, 3 and 4 to national averages.
8.8 At the local level, Southend's Community Plan looks to achieve sustainable development and social inclusion as key objectives. A number of targets and action plans are given in order to achieve certain goals. These include:
- reducing the level of and the fear of crime;
- improving health across the borough and access to health services;
- continuing the rise in standards of achievements in schools whilst delivering quality education and a skilled workforce for Southend; and
- improved and integrated transport services, which make the town and its facilities accessible.
8.9 The Council's own aims and critical corporate priorities similarly reflect this, seeking to achieve a community that is safe, clean and healthy, and prosperous.
8.10 Southend must be a town for people, and it is important that everyone feels they are included and can access the opportunities the town has to offer – development and new facilities should be designed, built and maintained on the principle that people come first. This will mean providing facilities within the communities they serve, ensuring that they are accessible by all modes of transport and ensuring that people with disabilities and mobility difficulties can gain access simply and easily. Residents, visitors and the business community should also be able to go about their daily lives protected from crime and free of the fear of crime.
8.11 The Council considers that this will mean protecting and upgrading the town's existing facilities and promoting the development and provision of new facilities, both in association with new development and through maximising the potential of underused land and buildings as opportunities arise.
8.12 The health and social well being of the town's residents and their educational attainment levels are vitally important to the regeneration of the town. Policies will need to reflect the complementary role of planning in supporting other strategies and initiatives which seek to provide essential services and facilities within the town.
8.13 Vibrancy and richness of experience are essential if the town is to see a step change in the quality of life it offers and the image it projects. This will mean maintaining and enhancing its cultural, leisure and recreational facilities.
8.14 The Council's preferred approach to delivering an improved quality of life in the Borough is based on the following principles:
- secure the physical infrastructure related to the new University campus, with parallel development of a town wide educational and skills training infrastructure, including sporting excellence, research and development;
- promote new opportunities for sports, recreation, leisure and cultural facilities;
- secure the future development of Southend Hospital and the facilities provided by the Primary Care Trust to meet the needs of the sub-region and local communities in a sustainable and accessible manner;
- ensure that the future land requirements of education and skills, health and social services, local emergency services and utilities are adequately catered for;
- promote the location of community services and facilities within the area they serve;
- ensure the design of new buildings, and their relationship to adjacent public areas, contribute to improving public safety (including road safety and crime reduction) and minimise crime and the fear of crime;
- ensure that the use of land and buildings reflects people's needs and are designed; and located in ways which contribute to including all sectors of society through ease of access; and
- promote development which contributes to the delivery of relevant service strategies.
8.15 Policy CP6 seeks to establish a strategic policy framework to deliver these principles. It will be supported by subsequent, more detailed local development documents, in particular a 'Planning Obligations and Vehicle Parking Standards' Development Plan Document (DPD) prepared as the second DPD priority following this Core Strategy. Until the adoption of that second DPD, Policy CP6 reinforces and updates relevant policies in the Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan, which will remain as 'saved' development plan policies namely
Policy U1 – Infrastructure Provision
Policy U2 – Pollution Control
Policy U4 – Southend Hospital
Policy U6 – Non Residential Health Care Facilities
Policy U7 – Existing Education Facilities
Policy U8 – Provision of New Education Facilities
Policy U9 – Child Minding Facilities
Policy U10 – Provision of Other Community Facilities
8.16 The achievement of social inclusion, and an appropriate and sustainable balance between development and infrastructure, will be monitored through the Southend-on-Sea Annual Monitoring Report (SAMR), in accordance with the monitoring framework below together with wider contextual indicators relating to the demographic and socio-economic profile of the Borough.
Policy CP6: Community infrastructure
Development proposals must mitigate their impact on community infrastructure by contributing appropriately to services and facilities that would be adversely affected, in accordance with Circular 05/2005, Planning Obligations. New development should demonstrate that it will not jeopardise the Borough's ability to improve the education attainment, health and well being of local residents and visitors to Southend. This will be achieved by;
- providing for health and social care facilities in particular supporting the strategic services development plan of the Primary Care Trust, and the improvement and expansion plans of Southend Hospital and other key health and social care agencies where these demonstrate clear net benefits in terms of accessibility to services for the local community. This will include the establishment of Primary Care Centres at Leigh, Eastwood, Westcliff, Central Southend, Southchurch and Shoeburyness.
- supporting improvements to existing, and the provision
of new, facilities to support the needs of education,
skills and lifelong learning strategies particularly by:
- securing the physical infrastructure needed to maximise the impact of the Higher Education/University Campus in the Town Centre;
- the provision of academic and vocational education/training at a new Prospects College in east Southend; and
- providing for an academy of educational/training skills in aviation at London Southend Airport.
- safeguarding existing and providing for new leisure,
cultural, recreation and community facilities,
- optimising the potential of Garon's Park;
- Phase 2 of the refurbishment of the Cliffs Pavilion;
- Securing a landmark facility to exhibit finds associated with the 7th Century Saxon King;
- Reinforcement of Southend Pier as an Icon of the Thames Gateway;
- Cliff Gardens Land Stabilisation.
- ensuring the needs of all residents and visitors, including the disabled and other vulnerable groups, are met; and
- ensuring access and safety concerns are resolved within all new development.
Core Policy CP6: Community Infrastructure – Monitoring and Implementation Framework
Amount of completed leisure, health, social care and education/lifelong learning development respectively
Total amount of additional or improved leisure, health, social care and education / lifelong learning) floorspace / facilities developed
Positive and commensurate contributions made to the community facilities' needs and priorities identified in Policy CP5 (Targets to be set within the 'Planning Obligations and Vehicle Parking Standards DPD')
SO1, SO2, SO4, SO8, SO13,
Southend NHS Trust, PCT, RSLtd, SBC, EEDA