Development Management Development Plan (DPD)

Ended on the 9 August 2010
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Section 7: Economic Development

Issue DM18 – Network of Centres

Issue

Southend-on-Sea’s network of centres provides a strong foundation and basis for delivering sustainable growth within the borough. The Core Strategy identifies a hierarchy of retail centres with a focus upon Southend-on-Sea Town Centre for retail development and other uses that attract large numbers of people. Whilst Southend-on-Sea Town Centre will continue to be the focus for the provision of large scale retail and leisure facilities, it is important to maintain local shopping facilities within walking distance from home which can also contribute to quality of life and sustainable travel patterns. Within the hierarchy of centres, different uses are appropriate due to the nature and function of their place in the hierarchy. Table 2 identifies the appropriate uses for each centre within the hierarchy.

Context

Policy CP2 of the Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy sets out the quantum, type and general location of extra retail capacity for the period to 2016. The identified retail capacity is based on quantitative analysis set out in the Southend-on-Sea Retail Study (2003) and supporting household survey (2005). The Council is currently updating its quantitative and qualitative retail evidence and a revised Southend-on-Sea Retail Study is scheduled for completion in the summer 2010.

The Core Strategy sets out the spatial strategy for retail development in the borough. In particular, Southend-on-Sea Town Centre’s strategic function as a sub-regional comparison shopping destination and focus for retail development in the borough is supported. Renaissance Southend Ltd (RSL), within their policy documents, identify Southend-on-Sea Town Centre as the key driver and focus for the borough’s regeneration and growth. The regeneration of the Town Centre will be guided and delivered by the RSL’s Regeneration Framework and Town Centre Masterplan, supported by the Local Development Framework, including the Southend Central Area Action Plan.

The District Centres of Westcliff and Leigh are identified in the Core Strategy and supporting documentation as having a strong function that serves the convenience, comparison and service needs of the neighbouring communities. It is however stated that there is little or no scope for significant additional floorspace in these centres and any expenditure growth generated in the foreseeable future should be used to support the vitality and viability of existing floorspace.

The other centres in the borough are described in the Core Strategy and supporting documentation as serving a more local function, primarily providing main and top-up food and convenience shopping and local service needs.

Network of Centres – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To enhance Southend-on-Sea’s Town Centre to improve its viability and vitality and sustain a network of supporting key district and local centres. The focus is for the network of centres to provide existing and future residents and visitors to the borough, access to a range of high quality employment opportunities facilities and services, including retail, leisure, recreation, arts, entertainment, health, education and training and other community infrastructure.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Seeking appropriate uses within the locations identified in Table 2 and the proposals map. There will be a preference for Class A retail uses within the town, district and local centre frontages.

2. The scale of development should be appropriate to the scale and function of the network of centres.

Table 2 Network of Centres

Centre Hierarchy Proposed Outcome Acceptable Uses
Town Centre The Council will support the town centre's vitality and viability by promoting and enhancing appropriate development in the Southend Central Area that supports its function as a Regional Centre. Acceptable uses at street frontage:
Class A1 - Shops
Class A2 - Financial and professional services
Class A3 - Cafes and restaurants
Class A4 - Drinking establishments
Class A5 - Take-aways
Class C1 – Hotels (where they add vitality and activity to the street scene)
Class D1 - Community and education facilities (where they add vitality and activity to the street scene)
Class D2 and sui generis - Appropriate leisure, entertainment and cultural and recreation facilities (e.g. night clubs, casinos, theatres)

Open air markets

Acceptable uses above the street-level frontage include:
Class B1a - Smaller-scale office development
Class B1a and b - Non-office business development
Class C1 - Hotels
Class C2 - Residential Institutions
Class C3 - Housing
Class D1 - Community and education facilities
District Centre The District Centres provide an important retail and employment function. These centres will continue to provide valuable employment in the Class A, C and D uses including hotels, restaurants, tourism and leisure. Acceptable uses at Street Frontage:
Class A1 - Shops
Class A2 - Financial and professional services
Class A3 - Cafes and restaurants
Class A4 - Drinking establishments (inc. night time economy)
Class A5 - Take-aways
Class C1 – Hotels (where they add vitality and activity to the street scene)
Class D1 - Community and education facilities (where they add vitality and activity to the street scene)
Class D2 and sui generis - Appropriate leisure, entertainment and cultural and recreation facilities (e.g. night clubs, casinos, theatres)Launderettes Acceptable uses above the street-level frontage include:
Class B1a - Smaller-scale office development
Class B1a and b - Non-office business development
Class C1 - Hotels
Class C2 - Residential Institutions
Class C3 - Housing
Local Centre Local Centres have a key role in sustainable development,providing access to day-to-day necessities within walking distance from home, such as, food, newsagents and post offices. Class A1 - Shops
Class A2 - Financial and professional services
Class A3 - Cafes and restaurants
Class A4 - Drinking establishments Class A5 - Take-aways
Class D1 - Community facilities
Out of Centre Local Convenience Providing stand alone, essential local convenience shopping and community services within walking distance of home. Class A1 – Small scale shops (50 sq m or less)
Class D1 – Small scale community facilities

Network of Centres – Alternative Options

1. To allow an alternative range of uses within each of the centres.

It is considered that the range of the uses is appropriate for each centre and reflects the evidence in the retail study.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy E5: Regional Structure of Town Centres
  Policy ETG4: Southend on Sea Key Centre for Development and Change
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 1
Strategic Objective 8
Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy
Policy KP3: Implementation and Resources
Policy CP1: Employment Generating Development
Policy CP2: Town Centre and Retail Development

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy S1: New Shopping Development
Policy E2: Major Office Development
Policy E3: Secondary Offices
Policy U10: Provision of Other Community Facilities

Issue DM18: Questions

(5) 68. Do you agree with the suggested option?
(1) 69. Do you consider the alternative option to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(1) 70. Are there any other issues relating to the network of centres that should be considered?

Issue DM19 – Shop Frontage Management

Issue
Shop frontage management is important to ensure that the viability and vitality of Southend-on-Sea’s network of centres are maintained and enhanced. In seeking to enhance the vitality and viability of Southend-on-Sea Town Centre, it is considered that there still retains a need to define Primary and Secondary Shopping Frontages with the aim of retain the retail focus within the Primary Shopping Frontage and recognise the role other non-retail uses, such as culture, leisure and restaurants uses which support the function of the centres and increases their sense of vitality and viability.

Context
The shop frontage applies not only to those units within retail use but also to restaurants, bars, public houses, clubs and other buildings within the primary and secondary shopping frontages. As such there is a need to plan for both the daytime and night time economies and ensure that a balance is struck between these sometimes conflicting but important economies.

The network of centres also have an important non-retail service function, such as banks, building societies and public consumer services such as Job Centres. These services provide an important draw of people that together with retail can increase a centres viability, effectiveness and general attractiveness to the public.

Shop Frontage Management – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To manage the primary and secondary frontages within Southend-on-Sea’s network of centres to reinforce their attractiveness, vitality and viability within the daytime and night time economies.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Resisting the loss of Class A1 retail uses at the ground floor in identified primary shopping frontages. A loss of Class A1 retail use will only be considered if:

  1. The primary retail function of the centre is not harmed and that a precedent is not established that will set about its harm;
  2. Non-Class A1 retail uses will not exceed 30% of the centres ground floor frontages;
  3. The proposed use is an appropriate use for the centre as listed in Table 2; and
  4. An active shopfront is retained or provided.

2. Ensuring that in the secondary shopping frontages there will be no discrimination between Class A1 retail use and the other uses listed as appropriate for the centre in Table 2. All developments in the secondary shopping frontage must maintain or provide an active shopfront.

3. Ensuring that new shop frontages are of a high standard of design that is compatible with the architectural style and character of the building. Shop fronts will be designed so that

  1. The fascia signs are integrated into the overall design and are in proportion to the shop front and the building as well as adjacent buildings and general street scene;
  2. Roller shutter boxes and guides are incorporated behind the fascia and the shutters are open grills or punched;
  3. Blank frontages will be avoided on principal elevations;
  4. Active street frontages will be maintained and enhanced in non-residential frontages throughout Southend-on-Sea;
  5. Opportunities for exposing upper floor windows are maximised; and
  6. The loss of traditional features and shop fronts which contribute to the appearance and visual amenity of a building or surrounding area will not be allowed.

4. Annually monitoring the units within the primary and secondary frontages of the network of centres. Where there are a number of empty units within a centre and little prospect of these units being occupied in the short term, the Council will work with the landowner/landlord to encourage the display of local art within the windows of the empty units.

Shop Frontage Management – Alternative Options

1. To allow the market to decide the appropriate uses within the primary shopping frontages.

It is considered that the potential loss of retail uses will conflict with the East of England Plan which identifies Southend-on-Sea as a Regional Centre for retail and town centre purposes.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy E5: Regional Structure of Town Centres
  Policy ETG4: Southend on Sea Key Centre for Development and Change
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 1
Strategic Objective 8
Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy
Policy KP3: Implementation and Resources
Policy CP1: Employment Generating Development
Policy CP2: Town Centre and Retail Development

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy S1: New Shopping Development
Policy C7: Shop and Commercial Frontages and Fascias

Issue DM19: Questions

(3) 71. Do you agree with the suggested option?
72. Do you agree that a proportion of the primary retail frontage should be protected for Class A1 retail purposes? (2) If so do you think the proportion should be 20%, 30% or other? Alternatively do you think there should be no retail protection?
73. Do you consider the alternative option to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(5) 74. Are there any other issues relating to shop frontages that the Council should consider?

Issue DM20 – Employment Sectors

Issue
As part of the Thames Gateway South Essex Growth Area and as a regional Key Centre for Development and Change, Southend-on-Sea is set to experience significant growth, particularly through the urban renaissance of the town centre and the development of the airport and associated business park and the development of Southend-on-Sea’s role as a cultural and intellectual hub and centre of excellence and the development of the leisure and visitor economy.

Sustainable economic prosperity will depend on building on existing strengths and seizing new opportunities and helping businesses to grow locally. As such the 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.

Context
The Core Strategy states that the Council will ensure that proper use is made of land and buildings in Southend-on-Sea so as to provide for the needs of all sectors of the economy. In this respect there are a number of key economic sectors that are emerging within Southend-on-Sea that have specific locational requirements.

The aviation industry is set to grow rapidly following a series of proposals for the extension of London Southend Airport and delivery of supporting infrastructure including a new railway station, control tower and terminal building. A planning application for the extension of London Southend Airport was approved by the Council in January 2010 and was subsequently approved by the Secretary of State. The extension is scheduled to be fully functional by 2012 and will increase access to variety of destinations across Europe. This growth will 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-on-Sea economy.

Health and medical industries are becoming an important element to Southend-on-Sea’s economy. KeyMed, which manufactures medical equipment, is one of the most important employers in the town, providing highly skilled, high value-added jobs. A number of smaller companies dealing in medical instruments have emerged in the surrounding area, either directly or indirectly linked to KeyMed. There should be opportunities to facilitate links with the public sector around the procurement of medical instruments and advancements in research and development. Southend Hospital seeks to expand and the Essex University Southend-on-Sea Campus is planning to expand its health school, with a particular focus on dentistry. This level of expected growth provides an opportunity for a cluster of health and medical industries that are well related to KeyMed, the Hospital and University.

The business and financial services is already well represented in Southend-on-Sea and currently accounts for 23% of the borough’s workforce. The Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review (2010) states that it is unlikely that there will be any significant back office relocations to the borough but states that there could still be a market for small to medium sized professional service companies looking for a workforce skilled in administrative and financial activities. The Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review notes that a major constraint in the borough is the lack of good quality premises required by the finance and business services.

The Southend-on-Sea Economic Development & Outline Tourism Strategy states that there is an emerging cultural and creative sector in the borough. 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. Creative and educational sectors represent a good opportunity for Southend-on-Sea. Research by the Arts Council indicates that there is a significant concentration of creative and cultural businesses located in and around Southend-on-Sea, particularly at Leigh-on-Sea. Culture and education are important sectors for Southend-on-Sea as they will play an important part in developing growth in business services, particularly in the town centre.

Growth in tourism and leisure has been relatively weak since 2001 however there are a number tourism and cultural developments in the pipeline which could reverse this trend. In addition there is potential to launch Southend-on-Sea as a conference destination. Like education and cultural employment growth, tourism and leisure growth will build the reputation of Southend-on-Sea as a vibrant cosmopolitan urban centre.

Employment Sectors – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To promote and foster sustainable economic growth by increasing employment capacity and quality (land, floor-space, and/or jobs) within Southend-on-Sea. The focus is on creating an economic environment in which businesses can thrive.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Ensuring that development proposals within the employment sectors identified within Table 3 will be directed to the locational preference in the first instance.

Table 3 Employment Sectors

Employment Sectors Key Activities and features Locational Preference Additional Policy Document
Aviation/airport and associate industries Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) London Southend Airport;Existing Industrial and Employment Areas. London Southend and Environs JAAP
Health and medical industries Medical instruments; research and development; training and enterprise; Existing health facilities; Existing Industrial and Employment Areas; and North Fringe.
Business and financial services Small and medium enterprises; managed accommodation; incubator/seedbed centres. Central Southend-on-Sea; Employment Areas; London Southend Airport; and close proximity to rail stations. Southend Central AAP
Cultural and intellectual hub and HE centre of excellence Individual creativity; skill and talent; arts; digital media; design, music etc; combination units comprising e.g. office and workshop; and Flexible space. Central Southend-on-Sea; Leigh-on-Sea; Employment Areas; Existing facilities. Southend Central AAP
Tourism and leisure Retailing; hotels; restaurants; catering; Visitor Conference; other tourism related activities. Central Southend-on-Sea; The Seafront. Southend Central AAP
Manufacturing, Construction and Warehousing Low density industrial; flexible; small and medium sized units; storage yards. Existing Industrial and Employment Areas; North Fringe.
Civic and Government administration Borough Council and HMRC Central Southend-on-Sea; Victoria Avenue Masterplan. Southend Central AAP

Employment Sectors – Alternative Options

1. To consider alternative locational preferences for the identified employment sectors

These locational preferences are based on research carried out in the Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review (2010). It is considered that to suggest alternative locations would be based on unfounded evidence.

2. To not have a policy that considers the employment sectors.

Southend-on-Sea is located in the Thames Gateway an important growth region of national importance. To facilitate the growth agenda for Southend-on-Sea in the context of the wider Thames Gateway initiatives, it is considered that a holistic approach to employment sector development is necessary to ensure sustainable development.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policies E1 – E7
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 1
  Strategic Objective 2
Strategic Objective 3
Strategic Objective 4
Strategic Objective 5
Policy CP1: Employment Generating Development
Policy CP2: Town Centre and Retail Development

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy E2: Major Office Development
Policy E3: Secondary Offices
Policy L1: Facilities for Tourism
Policy L5: Entertainment and the Arts
Policy U4: Southend Hospital
Policy U6: Non-Residential Health Care Facilities
Policy U7: Existing Education Facilities
Policy U8: Provision of New Education Facilities

Issue DM20: Questions

(4) 75. Do you agree with the suggested option?
(1) 76. Do you consider the alternative options to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(1) 77. Are there any employment sectors that are not mentioned but should be considered?
(2) 78. Are there any other issues relating to the employment sectors that the Council should consider?

Issue DM21 – Industrial Estates and Employment Areas

Issue
Due to the urbanised nature of Southend-on-Sea and tightly defined administrative boundary, land is a scarce resource which needs to be utilised to deliver the growth vision for the borough and sub-region. The main issue with economic development is the relatively lower land values compared to other land uses such as residential. This means that land in employment uses or desirable locations for employment development in market and sustainable terms, needs to be safeguarded or allocated to facilitate economic growth.

Improving the quality of the existing stock of industrial estates and employment areas is essential if Southend-on-Sea is to meet the objectives of the Core Strategy and continue and 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-on-Sea.

Context
The industrial estates and employment areas are identified in the adopted 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-on-Sea by 2021.

The Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review (2010) assessed the demand of the future provision of employment floorspace. It was found that there is potential to redistribute 5.75 ha of industrial and employment land to other uses. It was noted that existing employment permissions resulted in a loss of 2.38 ha of employment land, reducing the potential redistribution to 3.37 ha. The Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review recommends that Southchurch Business Park, Prince Close and Boscombe Mews should be released from employment use when they become available for development.

The Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review also identified several sites as potentially suitable for future employment provision. These sites are discussed below.

Progress Road and Prittle Brook Industrial Estate offer significant regeneration opportunities over the long term. Progress Road, has several vacant units many in a poor state of repair. It is clear that redevelopment for modern employment uses over the long term is required and the Council is already working in partnership to redevelop the site on a plot-by-plot basis in line with a development brief. Prittle Brook Industrial Estate is available for comprehensive redevelopment with a significant proportion having already been cleared.

Terminal Close is currently in poor condition and that the site provides an opportunity for a mixed use scheme, to provide modern good quality provision in the centre of Old Shoebury. 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 ups businesses.

The Garrison Phase 2 is currently allocated employment land. The existing Phase 1 has several new good quality units available for rent and should be safeguarded. Phase 2 has potential employment capacity to provide a business park capable of supporting 48,060m2 and 2,400 new jobs.

Grainger Road and Sutton Road are located outside the town centre area. Grainger Road consists of older industrial units with some vacant units, whilst Sutton Road has mixed quality post war units with higher vacancy. The Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review 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 Sutton Road is also redeveloped but with a residential-led scheme that provides active commercial and retail uses on the ground floor.

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

Industrial Estates and Employment Areas – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To provide a managed approach to the development of the existing industrial estates and employment areas that will enable an increase in employment capacity and facilitate economic growth.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Retaining and protecting the following industrial and employment areas for employment uses:

  • Thanet Grange;
  • Comet Way;
  • Airborne Close;
  • Airborne Industrial Estate;
  • Laurence Industrial Estate;
  • Temple Farm;
  • Stock Road;
  • Priory Works*;
  • Vanguard Way;
  • Towerfield Road;
  • Campfield Road;
  • Tickfield Avenue.

2. Seeking the maintenance and supply of modern employment floorspace at the locations listed below within a mixed-use context. A flexible, managed approach will be sought at these locations through planning briefs.

  • Progress Road;
  • Prittle Brook Industrial Estate;
  • Terminal Close;
  • § Grainger Road;
  • Shoebury Garrison;
  • Short Street.

3. Allowing appropriate non-employment uses in the following areas:

  • Southchurch Road Business Park;
  • Boscombe Mews*;
  • Sutton Road;
  • Prince Close*.

* subject to annual monitoring to assess demand for existing industrial and warehouse units.

Employment Sectors – Alternative Options

1. To consider an alternative strategy to protecting industrial estates and employment areas in Southend-on-Sea.

The suggested approach was recommended within the Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review and constitutes up-to-date evidence in respect to the employment land situation in the borough. It is considered that an alternative strategy would be based on unfounded evidence.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policies E1 – E7
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 1
  Strategic Objective 2
Strategic Objective 3
Strategic Objective 4
Strategic Objective 5
Policy CP1: Employment Generating Development
Policy CP2: Town Centre and Retail Development

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy E4: Industry and Warehousing

Issue DM21: Questions

(8) 79. Do you agree with the suggested option?
(3) 80. Do you consider the alternative option to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(3) 81. Are there any other issues relating to the industrial and employment areas that should be considered?

Issue DM22 – Employment Uses

Issue
There is a need to manage existing employment land and buildings within Southend-on-Sea to ensure that the right balance is struck between protection of such land and its release for alternative uses.

Context
Evidence from the Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review indicates that there will be a decline in industrial jobs and an increase in business related jobs across the borough which generally requires less space. As a result of these likely changes, it is important to make the best use of the land available and to maximise the use of existing employment sites and premises.

Upgrading employment land will provide an opportunity to improve the stock of industrial and employment premises in the borough. A number of the existing industrial estates and employment areas surveyed as part of the Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review 2010 were found to be in poor condition. Improving the quality of the existing stock of the industrial estates and employment areas is essential if Southend-on-Sea is to be an attractive location for a diverse range of successful businesses and employers.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make an important contribution to the Southend-on-Sea economy. Approximately 4,375 businesses in the borough employ between 1 and 10 employees. This comprises 81.3% of all the VAT and PAYE registered companies (Source: Interdepartmental Business Register (IDBR) 2009). SMEs account for 12,880 employees, which is equivalent to 13% of the borough’s workforce. SMEs are diverse and have varying accommodation requirements.

The Southend-on-Sea Employment Land Review Evidence highlights a need within Southend-on-Sea 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 premises size for business services. If Southend-on-Sea is to facilitate growth, incubator, grow-on and medium sized premises are required in a variety of locations.

Employment Uses – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To protect land and buildings within employment use and adopt a managed approach for their redevelopment for employment uses and where appropriate their release from employment uses.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Only allowing the development of redundant and underused buildings and land within Class B employment use for alternative uses where:

  1. It can be demonstrated that the existing employment uses in their existing form or within a refurbished form would no longer be viable or feasible for continued use;
  2. Provision is made for alternative floorspace to accommodate employment generating uses of at least equivalent jobs to the existing employment floorspace; and
  3. The new uses are compatible with neighbouring uses and will not harm the viability of the surrounding employment area.

Alternative uses that are necessary to enable the delivery of high quality modern employment floorspace will be considered on a site-by-site basis to take account the merits of the proposal and contribution to the Council’s economic objectives. Non-employment development of redundant and underused buildings and land within employment use will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances where the site is not identified for protection and retention and it can clearly demonstrated that there are no prospects of any employment generating use using the site in its current form or within a redevelopment aimed at meeting the accommodation requirements of the key existing and emerging employment sectors in the borough.

2. Resisting Non-B Class uses within the existing industrial estates and employment areas identified for protection and retention except where they provide a complementary and supporting use and do not result in a material change to the Class B character and function of the area.

3. Seeking flexible accommodation within new employment proposals that includes a range of unit sizes such as: accommodation for small and medium sized businesses; incubator / seedbed centres; and affordable and flexible workspaces.

4. Allowing employment generating uses outside identified industrial areas where they do not impact upon the amenity of the surrounding uses and do not conflict with other development plan policies.

Industrial Estates and Employment Areas – Alternative Options

1. Only allow Class B1, B2 and B8 and sui generis uses within existing industrial estates and employment areas.

It is considered that this approach is too restrictive and does not allow for economic changes other the life time of the plan. It would also conflict with the policy objectives of PPS4.

2. Prevent the loss of all buildings and land in the borough last used for employment uses.

It is considered that this approach is too restrictive and does not allow for economic changes other the life time of the plan. It would also conflict with the policy objectives of PPS4.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policies E1 – E7
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 1
  Strategic Objective 2
Strategic Objective 3
Strategic Objective 4
Strategic Objective 5
Policy CP1: Employment Generating Development
Policy CP2: Town Centre and Retail Development

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy E1: Employment Protection

Issue DM22: Questions

(4) 82. Do you agree with the suggested option?
(2) 83. Do you consider the alternative options to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(4) 84. Are there any other issues relating to employment uses that should be considered?

Issue DM23 – Visitor Accommodation

Issue
The aim is to promote economic regeneration development by variety of means including enhancing the town’s role as a cultural and intellectual hub and as a visitor destination. This provides the opportunity to promote Southend-on-Sea as a hotel and conference resort and support the expansion of London Southend Airport.

The level of tourism is likely to expand from current levels as a result of the economic growth agenda and as it is considered it important that proposals that improve the quality and offer of existing visitor accommodation or generates new visitor accommodation in the right locations should be considered favourably.

Context
The Core Strategy identified a number of growth areas to achieve the additional jobs target of 13,000 in its ‘Economic Growth Aspirations’ document (2006). Policy CP1 is the overarching policy which allows for supporting development that will help deliver Southend-on-Sea’s regional potential to develop as a Hotel and Conference Resort with high quality hotels, casinos and broad-based leisure and tourism facilities.

The Southend-on-Sea Economic Development & Tourism Strategy (2007) sets out the role of tourism, culture and the creative industries as key sectors to create a new image and period of sustained economic growth in Southend-on-Sea. The Development & Tourism Strategy sets out a vision for Southend-on-Sea to secure its place in the top 10 UK seaside resorts over the next 5 years, attracting higher end visitors motivated to visit the cultural capital of the East of England. Target market segments are:

  • 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 – in the medium term once a quality hotel with conferencing is in place;
  • Foreign language students – using out of term student accommodation;
  • London 2012 staying visits – using the direct rail link to Stratford.

The Southend-on-Sea Hotel Futures Report 2010 made an assessment of potential hotel market demand and set out indicative projections for growth. It was found that in the next 10 to 20 years there is likely to be:

  • Longer-term potential for an additional 3 star hotel;
  • Scope for existing 3 star hotels to up-grade and possibly expand;
  • Possible scope for the development of small (20-30 bedroom) independent boutique hotels;
  • Immediate market potential for a further budget or upper tier budget hotel and longer term potential for up to a further 1 to 3 new budget/upper tier budget hotels;
  • Possible scope for residential apartments to be let as serviced apartments for long stay corporate customers.

This report notes that there are many sites in Southend-on-Sea that could accommodate future hotel sites but stressed that there is a need to prioritise locations and sites to ensure that hotels are directed to where they can deliver the greatest benefit. The report recommends directing hotel development to the town centre, the Seafront and also London Southend Airport. New hotels in the town centre and on the Seafront will be needed to achieve the vision of Southend-on-Sea as a Hotel and Conference Resort. They will also contribute to developing the visitor and evening economy of these locations. The expansion of the airport and planned business park may be able to support hotel development in this location.

The report suggests that there is a need to restrict out-of-town hotel development in order to secure new hotels in the town centre, on the Seafront and at the airport. It is stated that the proposed out-of-town hotels would compete for a share of the wider Southend-on-Sea market and would undermine the potential in the suggested priority locations and their long term sustainability.

The research in the report identified no clear case for designated Hotel Development Zones. The current Visitor Accommodation Area now contains little hotel accommodation.

The report states that it is appropriate for the Council to continue to have a policy to retain hotels alongside encouraging new provision given the importance of developing tourism and the strategy to develop Southend-on-Sea as a hotel and conference resort.

Visitor Accommodation – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To support Southend-on-Sea’s tourism, education and business economy by encouraging overnight and longer periods of visitor stay. Visitor accommodation would be focused within Southend-on-Sea Town Centre, the Seafront and at London Southend Airport. Proposals to improve the quality and range of hotels in Southend-on-Sea will be encouraged.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Encouraging visitor accommodation in the Southend-on-Sea Centre Area AAP area, the Seafront and London Southend Airport JAAP.

2. Ensuring that proposals for new visitor accommodation:

  1. Are well related to the primary road network and have good public transport accessibility;
  2. Will not create parking stress in the area they are located; and
  3. Does not impact upon the character and amenity of neighbouring buildings and the surrounding area.

3. Encouraging extensions and improvements to existing visitor accommodation subject to other development management policies.

4. Seeking to retain existing visitor accommodation in the Southend-on-Sea Centre Area AAP area, the Seafront area and London Southend Airport JAAP area. Where a loss of visitor accommodation is proposed within the borough it will need to be demonstrated that:

  1. The existing use is no longer viable or feasible. It will also need to be demonstrated that other visitor accommodation types are no feasible or viable at the site;
  2. The proposed development will enhance the character of the area; and
  3. The new use does not impact upon the amenity of the area and neighbouring uses or adversely impact upon the transport network.

Visitor Accommodation – Alternative Options

1. Consider visitor accommodation on a site by site basis.

It is considered that this approach could lead to a dispersal of visitor accommodation sites across the borough to the detriment of developing the tourism sector in Southend-on-Sea.

2. Resist the loss of all existing visitor accommodation.

It is recognised that some visitor accommodation may no longer be suitable for its continued use and an alternative use may be more appropriate.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy E6: Tourism
  Policy ETG5: Employment Generating Development
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 2
Strategic Objective 14
Policy KP1: Spatial Strategy
Policy CP1: Employment Generating Development

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy L6: Hotels and Guest Houses
Policy L7: Retention of Hotel and Guest House Uses

Issue DM23: Questions

(3) 85. Do you agree with the suggested option?
(2) 86. Do you consider the alternative options to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(1) 87. Are there any areas where visitor accommodation should be concentrated that are not referred to?
(2) 88. Are there any other visitor accommodation issues that need to be considered by the Council?
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