Chapter 6 - EMPLOYMENT
   
BACKGROUND
OBJECTIVES
 
Policies and Proposals:
EMPLOYMENT PROVISION
EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT
OFFICES
DEVELOPMENT OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT AREAS
SPECIALIST EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT
   
   
 
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BACKGROUND
6.1 Darlington serves as an employment centre for an area extending well beyond the Borough boundaries. It is able to provide employment within its boundaries for approximately 75% of its working population, and there is a significant net inflow of workers from South Durham and North Yorkshire (1991 Census).
6.2 Employment in the Borough has been increasing in recent years, primarily in female and part-time jobs in the service industries, with a loss in full-time male employment in manufacturing industries.
6.3 Unemployment is similar to that in Durham City, which is higher than Teesdale and the adjacent North Yorkshire districts, but lower than in Teesside, Tyne and Wear and large parts of County Durham.
6.4 Employment in the Borough is concentrated in the town centre, the older mixed housing and industrial areas of inner Darlington, the industrial estates at Faverdale and Yarm Road, and small areas at Middleton St. George and Teesside Airport. There is also a spread of employment throughout the Borough in local services such as schools, shops, pubs and hotels, and, in the rural area, agriculture.
6.5 Employment in manufacturing industry in inner Darlington has declined significantly in recent years. Several major employers have ceased operation and their sites have been cleared and / or redeveloped for housing (e.g. Coles Cranes, Whessoe, Phoenix Tubeman), although other sites (e.g. Darlington Forge) are being redeveloped as employment areas.
6.6 Darlington Travel-to-Work Area (which includes most of Teesdale District and part of Richmondshire but excludes Heighington Parish) is now classified as a non-Assisted Area. Only minimum central government funding to encourage employment and employment related initiatives is available. This is less than that for the adjacent Travel-to-Work Areas to the east and north which continue to benefit from Assisted Area status.
6.7 These areas include Newton Aycliffe and Teesside, the latter having benefited from Teesside Development Corporation and City Challenge investment. Whilst this seriously detracts from Darlington’s competitive position, these areas are in close proximity and are able to provide employment for Darlington residents.
6.8 The loss of Assisted Area status, and in particular the Regional Selective Assistance grant, acts as a severe disincentive for business expansion and inward investment, which is exacerbated as neighbouring parts of the region have maintained their designated status. Grant aid for reclamation and infrastructure improvements have been further reduced, leaving the Borough dependent on other sources of funding, particularly cross-subsidisation through mixed employment and other development.
6.9 At a sub-regional and regional level, Darlington’s location on the principal north-south and east-west transport routes has nevertheless helped it to attract inward investment. It is at the southern point of entry to the North-East’s ‘central corridor’, adjacent to the main London-Edinburgh railway line and A1(M) Motorway, extending through or close to Newton Aycliffe, Spennymoor, Durham and the Tyneside conurbation. The corridor has generally been more successful than other parts of the region in attracting inward investment.
   
 
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6.10 The Council’s Economic Development Strategy identifies Darlington’s excellent location in the communication network as a key element in attracting inward investors, and supports improvements to the transport infrastructure. It also highlights a shortage of fully-serviced industrial land.
6.11 For the purposes of the Plan, employment uses are those within Part B of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987.
   
 
OBJECTIVES
6.12 The Council’s objectives for employment, to be pursued through the policies and proposals of the Plan, are:
  i) To provide for and sustain a robust and diverse local economy;
  ii) To provide conditions conducive to the retention and expansion of existing employment and economic activity, the stimulation of new local business and the attraction of inward investment;
  iii) To encourage the formation and development of small businesses;
  iv) To encourage investment in research and development and high technology industries and services;
  v) To provide for and sustain a wide range of employment opportunities for the inhabitants of the Borough and the surrounding area;
  vi) To encourage employment in locations readily accessible to local people, by public transport, cycling or walking;
  vii) To allocate sufficient land and buildings to provide for development of a wide variety of employment providing uses;
  viii) To ensure that adequate fully serviced industrial land is available at all times;
  ix) To maintain the importance of the town centre;
  x) To promote the Yarm Road and Faverdale industrial areas as employment centres;
  xi) To assist the efficient distribution of goods and services with minimum environmental impact.
     
Policies and Proposals:
   
EMPLOYMENT PROVISION
 
POLICY EP1 - Land Supply for Employment
  PROVISION WILL BE MADE FOR A CONTINUOUS SUPPLY OF LAND SUITABLE FOR A WIDE RANGE OF EMPLOYMENT PROVIDING ACTIVITIES TO ATTRACT NEW EMPLOYERS AND MEET THE EMPLOYMENT NEEDS OF DARLINGTON AND THE SURROUNDING AREA. THIS SHOULD BE EASILY ACCESSIBLE BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT, CYCLING OR WALKING.
     
6.13 There will continue to be a need to allocate land to attract inward investment, provide for the expansion of existing activity and provide additional employment opportunities to compensate for losses in established areas and provide for the changing employment needs of people in Darlington and the surrounding area.
 
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6.14 Activities for which provision needs to be made include:
  i) office, research and development and light industrial activities seeking locations with high standards of amenity and accessibility (e.g. office / business parks);
  ii) other industrial activities with similar requirements (e.g. ‘prestige’ industry);
  iii) single large industrial users;
  iv) other industrial, storage and distribution uses;
  v) activities requiring special transport facilities (e.g. heavy goods, rail, air); and,
  vi) small businesses.
6.15 Provision also needs to be made for employment development to be located so as to:
  i) minimise dependence on the motor car for home to work and other business related journeys;
  ii) minimise the environmental and amenity impact of the road traffic it generates;
  iii) cater for local employment needs, in the villages and rural area as well as in the town;
  iv) be attractive to inward investment.
6.16 It is considered that these needs can best be met by concentrating new development in the town centre, and the Faverdale and Yarm Road industrial areas, and by retaining employment in inner Darlington.
 
EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT
 
POLICY EP2 - Employment Areas
  PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR BUSINESS (USE CLASS B1) USES WITHIN THE FOLLOWING EXISTING EMPLOYMENT AREAS:
  1. VALLEY STREET;
  2. CLEVELAND STREET / THE FORGE;
  3. ALBERT HILL / DODSWORTH STREET;
  4. BLACKETT ROAD / RED BARNES WAY;
  5. BANKS ROAD;
  6. YARM ROAD INDUSTRIAL AREA;
  7. FAVERDALE INDUSTRIAL AREA;
  8. WHESSOE ROAD;
  9. AYCLIFFE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE;
  10. BOROUGH ROAD.
  GENERAL INDUSTRIAL (USE CLASS B2) AND WAREHOUSING (USE CLASS B8) USES WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY DO NOT HARM THE AMENITY OF THE AREA OR NEARBY RESIDENTIAL AREAS. DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED IF ITS ACCESS IS VIA A RESIDENTIAL STREET AND IT WILL HAVE A MATERIAL ADVERSE IMPACT ON RESIDENTIAL AMENITY. WHERE PRACTICABLE, ACCESS SHOULD BE OBTAINED FROM STREETS NOT IN RESIDENTIAL USE.
   
6.17 Most of these areas are well established or include land with planning permission, and have good access to the existing or proposed main road network. Also most abut or are in close proximity to the proposed Cross Town Route. Policy H15 applies to development which would adversely affect residential amenity. Policy T40 applies to development which would be likely to result in a significant increase in the number and size of heavy goods and other large vehicles.
 
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6.18 Industrial and other business uses already predominate. These areas are normally separated from residential areas by physical features such as areas of open space and roads, and it is important that this separation is maintained and enhanced. Part of Yarm Road industrial area is defined as a prestige employment area (Policy EP6).
6.19 The Council seeks improvements in the appearance of these areas through improved design and landscaping of development, particularly on sites close to their boundaries, visible from residential development, adjacent to the main road and rail routes, and adjacent to the River Skerne (Policies E14, E16, E18 and E29). Where necessary vacant and derelict sites will be reclaimed to enable them to be brought back into use (Policy E17). Where appropriate, planning briefs will be prepared for the guidance of landowners and developers.
   
 
PROPOSAL EP3 - New Employment Areas
  LAND WILL BE PROVIDED FOR NEW EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT (USE CLASSES B1, B2 AND B8) IN THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:
  1. McMULLEN ROAD (WEST) (6ha);
  2. McMULLEN ROAD (EAST) (6ha);
  3. YARM ROAD INDUSTRIAL AREA (56ha);
  4. FAVERDALE INDUSTRIAL AREA (49ha);
  5. HEIGHINGTON LANE BUSINESS PARK EXTENSION (14ha).
   
6.20 These areas are proposed in pursuance of Policy EP1 to ensure that a wide range of sites is available to meet opportunities as they arise throughout the Plan period. (Note that there is no site EP3.4.) They have good road access to the A1(M) motorway and the main road network (Policy T40), and have good public transport links with Darlington and other major population centres. They are capable of accommodating a wide variety of uses, including offices, research and development, light industry, prestige industry, general industry and warehousing. Policy EP6 identifies areas to be developed for prestige employment and Policy EP7 identifies areas where office / business park development (use class B1) will be encouraged.
6.21 The site at Faverdale (EP3.5) is an extension to the existing industrial area. It has been provided with drainage infrastructure, has good road access to the Cross Town Route and A1(M) motorway, and has potential for rail access. Substantial advance structure planting will be required on the northern edge of the site (Policy E14).
6.22 The site at Yarm Road (EP3.3) is adjacent to the existing industrial estate, can be easily serviced, has good road access to the A66(T) and has potential for rail access.
6.23 The site at McMullen Road (East) (EP3.2) is adjacent to the existing industrial development and will have good road access to the Cross Town Route via a proposed junction at McMullen Road. The site at McMullen Road (West) (EP3.1) is already allocated in the Inner Darlington Local Plan, is on tipped land, is adjacent to existing industrial development and will have good road access to the Cross Town Route via a proposed junction at Blackett Road.
6.24 The site at Heighington Lane (EP3.6) is an extension to a site proposed as a prestige business area by the adjoining local authority, Sedgefield Borough Council. It is intended that it will be developed as an integral part of that site, which has good road access and potential for rail access, and that it will gain access from it. Advance planting and landscape works will be required on the western edge of the site.
6.25 Substantial structural landscaping and a high standard of design will be required, paying particular attention to views from main travel routes (Policy E16) and the retention of tree belts, hedgerows and other natural features (Policy E12).
 
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PROPOSAL EP4 - Haughton Road
  10ha OF LAND OFF HAUGHTON ROAD WILL BE RESERVED FOR BUSINESS (USE CLASS B1), LEISURE OR RECREATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, TO BE UNDERTAKEN COMPREHENSIVELY AND IN CONJUNCTION WITH PROPOSAL R21.
   
6.26 This area is prominently located adjacent to the main railway line and close to the town centre, and is easily accessible by all means of transport from the town and the surrounding area. It is therefore considered to be suitable for a range of uses such as research and development, light industry, exhibition / hotel / conference, entertainment (subject to the provisions of Policy R24), or sports grounds.
6.27 It comprises former railway land and the Council’s depot at Vicarage Road. Reclamation is likely to be required, together with major improvements to off-site drainage facilities which will need to be secured by an appropriate legal agreement. Design and landscaping will need to take account of the area’s proximity to housing and the main railway line. Access will need to be taken from Haughton Road.
6.28 Opportunities exist to rationalise the Council’s depot operation, and secure environmental improvements in conjunction with development of the former railway land.
6.29 Comprehensive development of the site, in conjunction with Proposal R21 is necessary to assist in the implementation of the latter to overcome the constraints referred to above, and to maximise the opportunities provided by its large site and its proximity to the centre of the town. This should conform to a planning brief setting out in particular the broad disposition of land uses, access details and landscaping. Outline approval for development - to include leisure, petrol filling station, fast food restaurant, non-food retail, offices and recreation facilities on an area including this site - was granted in 1996, with details being approved in May 1997.
   
 
POLICY EP5 - Other Uses in Employment Areas
  DEVELOPMENT OTHER THAN FOR B1, B2 AND B8 EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES WILL BE PERMITTED IN THE AREAS IDENTIFIED IN POLICY EP2 AND PROPOSALS EP3 AND EP4 (OTHER THAN THOSE TO WHICH POLICY EP6 APPLIES) ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT IT ACCORDS WITH THE POLICIES APPLICABLE TO IT AND FORMS PART OF COMPREHENSIVE PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT OR REDEVELOPMENT WITHIN USE CLASSES B1, B2 AND / OR B8 OR (IN THE CASE OF PROPOSAL EP4) FOR LEISURE AND RECREATIONAL PURPOSES. EXCEPTIONS MAY, SUBJECT TO THE OTHER PROVISIONS OF POLICY EP2, BE MADE IN THE CASE OF DISUSED LAND THE SUBJECT OF THAT POLICY WHICH IT IS IMPRACTICAL TO INTEGRATE INTO COMPREHENSIVE REDEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS.
   
6.30 These areas are intended to provide specifically for a broad base of economic activity and employment, and other uses will not normally be acceptable. Possible exceptions might include other uses which in view of their physical and locational characteristics, and their contribution to the provision of employment infrastructure, might appropriately be located in employment areas (other than prestige employment areas).
   
 
POLICY EP6 - Prestige Employment
  THE FOLLOWING AREAS OF EMPLOYMENT LAND WILL NORMALLY ONLY BE DEVELOPED FOR PRESTIGE EMPLOYMENT SITES:
  1. YARM ROAD INDUSTRIAL AREA;
  2. FAVERDALE INDUSTRIAL AREA;
  3. HEIGHINGTON LANE BUSINESS PARK EXTENSION.
  DEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE A HIGH STANDARD OF DESIGN AND LANDSCAPING. ONLY USE CLASSES B1, B2 AND EXCEPTIONALLY B8 WILL BE CONSIDERED.
 
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6.31 Prestige employment development requires locations which offer the opportunity to provide a high profile appearance, attractive and prominent settings, and good access to the main road network and A1(M). Site requirements are sometimes extensive, with the need to accommodate, for example, large buildings set in extensive grounds. Because of the scarce nature of prestige quality land only use classes B1, B2 and exceptionally B8 are appropriate.
6.32 The identified areas may also be considered for office / business parks (Policy EP7).
6.33 The boundaries within the employment areas indicate the general areas to be reserved. Detailed boundaries will be determined when there are firm development proposals.
6.34 The policy includes areas within established (Policy EP2) and proposed (Proposal EP3) employment areas, to help safeguard and enhance established prestige frontages, for example Yarm Road.
   
 
POLICY EP7 - Office / Business Park Development
  OFFICE / BUSINESS PARK DEVELOPMENT (USE CLASS B1) WILL NORMALLY BE PERMITTED IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS OF EMPLOYMENT LAND:
  1. McMULLEN ROAD (EAST)
  2. YARM ROAD INDUSTRIAL AREA
  4. FAVERDALE INDUSTRIAL AREA
  5. HAUGHTON ROAD
  6. HEIGHINGTON LANE BUSINESS PARK EXTENSION.
   
6.35 This type of development includes offices, research and development and other similar activities in use class B1, having similar environmental and locational requirements to those of prestige industry.
6.36 The areas within which this type of development is considered to be most appropriately located are those reserved for prestige industry at Yarm Road and Faverdale and Heighington Lane Business Park extension, together with McMullen Road and Haughton Road. Other uses for these areas are not precluded, nor is the development of office / business parks in other locations proposed for employment development and which are well served by public transport. (Note that there is no site EP7.3).
   
 
POLICY EP8 - Reserve Employment Site
  LAND NORTH OF FAVERDALE CLOSE TO THE A1(M)-A68 JUNCTION WILL BE RESERVED FOR DEVELOPMENT BY LARGE INDUSTRIAL USERS.
   
6.37 A site of approximately 120 hectares which already has planning permission for industrial development is to be held in reserve for development by up to two single major industrial users. It will not be developed on a piecemeal basis by smaller users, for whom provision is made elsewhere.
6.38 The site is strategically located, close to and visible from the junction of the A1(M) and A68. It is being promoted as a location for inward investment of sub-regional importance, with the potential for bringing major economic and employment benefits to the Darlington sub-region.
 
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6.39 High standards of landscaping and design, particularly in respect of views from the A1(M) and A68 at Burtree, will be sought. Wherever possible, existing landscape features should be retained and enhanced as part of the development. Road access will be obtained from the Cross Town Route, and rail access from the Faverdale road / rail freight depot (Proposal T47) should be safeguarded.
6.40 The site’s reserve status is reflected in its exclusion from the development limit for the town, and in the terms and conditions of the existing planning permission. It is not available for the wider range of employment uses covered by Policy EP2 and Proposal EP3.
   
 
POLICY EP9 - Teesside Airport Employment Land - North
  DEVELOPMENT REQUIRING A LOCATION AT OR ADJACENT TO AN AIRPORT WILL BE PERMITTED AT TEESSIDE AIRPORT TO THE NORTH OF THE MAIN RUNWAY IN THE VICINITY OF THE AIRPORT TERMINAL
   
 
POLICY EP10 - Teesside Airport Employment Land - South
  LAND TO THE SOUTH OF THE MAIN RUNWAY WILL BE SAFEGUARDED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH REQUIRES A LOCATION AT OR ADJACENT TO AN AIRPORT AND WHICH:
  1. CANNOT BE LOCATED TO THE NORTH OF THE MAIN RUNWAY IN THE VICINITY OF THE AIRPORT TERMINAL; AND
  2. FORMS PART OF A COMPREHENSIVE SCHEME PROVIDING FOR ACCESS TO, AND THE ORDERLY DEVELOPMENT OF, THE WHOLE OF THE AREA TO THE SOUTH OF THE MAIN RUNWAY, TOGETHER WITH LAND IN THE ADJOINING LOCAL AUTHORITY AREA; AND
  3. INCORPORATES ACCESS ARRANGEMENTS WHICH DO NOT INTERFERE WITH THE OPERATION OF THE AIRPORT; AND
  4. PROVIDES FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THE AREA OF HIGH LANDSCAPE VALUE TO THE SOUTH OF THE AIRPORT.
   
6.41 The Council wishes to maximise the economic development opportunities provided by Teesside Airport’s unique combination of physical capacity to support further development, location close to Darlington, Teesside and the Tees estuary, and excellent road and rail links. Development should be limited to that requiring a location at or near an airport, rather than development which would be more appropriately located in Darlington or Teesside, to enable that potential to be realised. Adequate land for development which does not need to be located adjacent to the airport is available nearby in Darlington and Teesside. Such development at the airport would result in excessive and unnecessary commuting, unnecessary strain on inadequate infrastructure and unnecessary intrusion into the countryside.
6.42 The area occupied by former Ministry of Defence buildings and roads between the terminal area, the Darlington - Middlesbrough branch railway line and the A67 road offers the greatest potential for development and redevelopment. It has good access to the airport terminal and related facilities, and to the main road (Policy T40) and passenger rail (Policy T44) networks.
6.43 It is, however, occupied by a number of buildings and under-used sites whose appearance would benefit from improvement. Upgrading and / or renewal of the existing road and drainage infrastructure is also desirable and should accompany any development or redevelopment proposals. Development in the vicinity of the terminal should not prejudice the future expansion of the latter.
 
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6.44 Existing uses which require a location at or adjacent to an airport include fire training school, car hire facilities, aviation personnel training, aircraft engineering and servicing, flight servicing and hotel. Acceptable new uses may include air freight handling and storage, airport-related road transport, travel agency, mail / parcels handling and sorting, and conference accommodation.
6.45 The future development potential of the airport, and adjoining land, is being investigated by the airport operator and the local authorities. The Borough Council considers that land to the south-east of the main runway, within the airport perimeter, may, notwithstanding its countryside location, have potential for development which requires a location at or near an airport. As this land cannot be accessed other than through the adjacent land to the east within the area of the adjoining local authority, Stockton Borough Council, it can only be developed in conjunction with the development of that land. Additionally the form of development must provide for the protection of the character and appearance of the Tees Valley landscape to the south (Policy E8), including, for example, advance structural planting.
 
OFFICES
 
PROPOSAL EP11 - Central Area Development Sites
  CLASS B1 OFFICE DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED AT THE FOLLOWING CENTRAL AREA DEVELOPMENT SITES:
  1. CROWN STREET (0.6ha);
  2. BEAUMONT STREET (0.9ha);
  3. BEAUMONT STREET WEST (0.1ha);
  4. COMMERCIAL STREET (0.8ha).
  DEVELOPMENT AT CROWN STREET, BEAUMONT STREET AND COMMERCIAL STREET WILL BE UNDERTAKEN IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF MULTI-STOREY CAR PARKING (PROPOSAL T19). OTHER TRAVEL INTENSIVE USES FOR WHICH A TOWN CENTRE LOCATION IS APPROPRIATE AND WHICH ACCORD WITH THE PLAN MAY ALSO BE PERMITTED.
   
6.46 All but one of these sites are currently used as surface public car parks and adequate alternative provision must be made as part of or in conjunction with any redevelopment proposed. Class B1 office use is identified in the first instance as this is normally travel intensive and can help to enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre. Other possible uses for some of the sites include shopping (Policy S1), leisure facilities (Policy R24), and hotels (Policy TO4) where these accord with other policies in the Plan. (Note that there is no site EP11.2.)
   
 
POLICY EP12 - Office Development Limits
  CLASS B1 OFFICE DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED ELSEWHERE WITHIN THE CENTRAL AREA OFFICE DEVELOPMENT LIMIT, THE NORTHGATE FRINGE SHOPPING AREA, EMPLOYMENT AREAS AND DISTRICT CENTRES UNLESS OTHER USES ARE PROPOSED OR SAFEGUARDED.
   
6.47 Further office development in and in close proximity to the town centre will help to enhance the latter’s vitality and viability, and encourage the use of public transport. Suitable sites exist which are either unused or in temporary use, together with a stock of buildings, or unused upper floors of buildings, suitable for conversion.
6.48 Office / business parks and free standing offices which require surrounding grounds to accommodate, for example, landscaping or car parking may be located within employment areas and in particular at the locations specified in Policy EP7.
   
 
POLICY EP13 - Office Development Elsewhere
  CLASS B1 OFFICE DEVELOPMENT OUTSIDE THE AREAS COVERED BY POLICY EP12 WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE IT IS WELL SERVED, OR HAS THE CLEAR POTENTIAL TO BE WELL SERVED, BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT AND INVOLVES:
  1. EXTENSIONS TO EXISTING OFFICES WHICH DO NOT HAVE A MATERIAL ADVERSE IMPACT ON THEIR SURROUNDINGS; OR
  2. PROPOSALS FOR OFFICES ANCILLARY TO THE MAIN USE OF THE PREMISES; OR
  3. THE CHANGE OF USE OF AN EXISTING BUILDING WHERE THERE IS NO MATERIAL ADVERSE IMPACT ON THE APPEARANCE OF THE BUILDING, ON HIGHWAY SAFETY OR THE AMENITIES OF THE SURROUNDING AREA.
 
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6.49 Outside the areas referred to in EP12 there are sites and buildings in established office use where extensions may not have adverse impact on their surroundings.
6.50 These exceptions should only be made, however, where the site is well served by public transport, as offices can be travel intensive and generate excessive additional car-borne traffic.
6.51 Listed buildings or other buildings of historic or architectural interest, houses set in extensive grounds, or former industrial buildings, whose existing or previous use may no longer be viable, may be suitable for use as offices, particularly where improvements to the buildings and surroundings can be incorporated. Proposals must comply with other policies in the Plan.
 
DEVELOPMENT OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT AREAS
 
POLICY EP14 - Existing Employment Development
  PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT NORMALLY BE GRANTED FOR REDEVELOPMENT OR CHANGE OF USE FOR OTHER PURPOSES OF EXISTING EMPLOYMENT SITES WHICH ARE LOCATED OUTSIDE THE AREAS DEFINED IN POLICY EP2. EXCEPTIONS MAY BE MADE WHERE:
  1. THE COUNCIL CONSIDERS THAT THE IMPACT OF THE PROPOSAL ON THE SUPPLY OF LAND AND BUILDINGS FOR EMPLOYMENT USE WILL BE ACCEPTABLE; AND
  2. THE PROPOSAL WILL RESULT IN MATERIAL IMPROVEMENTS TO THE AMENITIES OF THE SURROUNDING AREA; AND
  3. THE PROPOSAL WILL SATISFY LOCALLY-ARISING DEMANDS FOR DEVELOPMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH OTHER PLAN POLICIES NOT PROVIDED FOR BY SPECIFIC ALLOCATIONS.
   
6.52 The Plan envisages that existing employment uses will continue to make a substantial contribution to employment and economic activity, and the purpose of this policy is to maintain the stock of sites and buildings. Where buildings and sites become vacant they should normally continue in employment use unless this would conflict with other policies in the Plan and another use might be more appropriate. The circumstances in which continued employment use would not be desirable will frequently be where the use adversely affects residential amenity in the older mixed use areas of the town close to the town centre and district centres and with good public transport provision. These locations are often well suited, in whole or in part, for making provision for specialist housing, community facilities or open space.
 
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POLICY EP15 - Development Outside Employment Areas
  OUTSIDE THE AREAS DEFINED UNDER POLICIES EP2, EP8 AND EP9 AND PROPOSALS EP3 AND EP4, DEVELOPMENT WITHIN USE CLASSES B1, B2 AND B8 WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT ANY MATERIALLY ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE AMENITIES ENJOYED BY NEIGHBOURING OCCUPIERS AND ON HIGHWAY SAFETY IS AVOIDED, AND:
  1. SUCH DEVELOPMENT IS PROVIDED FOR IN EP11, EP12, OR EP13; OR
  2. IT INVOLVES THE ALTERATION OR SMALL-SCALE EXTENSION OF AN AUTHORISED OR ESTABLISHED ACTIVITY; OR
  3. IT IS SO RELATED TO AGRICULTURE OR TO OTHER RURAL ACTIVITY THAT ITS LOCATION IN THE COUNTRYSIDE OR IN A VILLAGE IS REASONABLY REQUIRED; OR
  4. IT INVOLVES THE CONVERSION OR CHANGE OF USE OF AN EXISTING BUILDING IN THE COUNTRYSIDE, AND THE CHARACTER OF THE SURROUNDINGS IS NOT IMPAIRED.
   
6.53 Employment development which adversely affects residential amenity, or is located in the countryside, will not normally be acceptable.
6.54 Exceptions may be made where alterations and extensions improve the appearance of a development and ameliorate other environmental and traffic problems e.g. noise attenuation or other forms of pollution control, access, parking and servicing.
6.55 Agricultural or land-based activities include horticulture, forestry, countryside recreational uses (Policy R14), some horse-related activities (Policy R15), countryside and farm-based tourism (Policies TO1, TO5 and TO6), and other forms of farm diversification appropriate to the countryside.
 
SPECIALIST EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT
 
POLICY EP16 - Hazardous Industry
  STRICT CONTROL WILL BE EXERCISED OVER HAZARDOUS, OR POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS, INSTALLATIONS AND OVER DEVELOPMENT IN THEIR VICINITY. DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD PLACE LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE POTENTIALLY AT RISK WILL BE PERMITTED ONLY EXCEPTIONALLY. OTHER DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED ONLY IF, AFTER CONSULTATION WITH THE RELEVANT AGENCIES, THE LEVEL OF RISK IS CONSIDERED TO BE ACCEPTABLE.
   
6.56 Because hazardous uses are extremely diverse in their locational and other characteristics it is not considered appropriate to make specific land allocations in the Plan. Proposals will be considered having regard to the particular characteristics of the process(es) involved. Any application will be required to be accompanied by a justification for the proposed location.
   
 
POLICY EP17 - Waste Material Storage, Processing and Transfer
  PREMISES FOR THE STORAGE AND PROCESSING OF RECLAIMED OR SCRAP MATERIALS OR FOR THE DISMANTLING OF MOTOR VEHICLES AND OTHER MACHINERY MAY BE PERMITTED WITHIN THE EMPLOYMENT AREAS COVERED BY POLICY EP2 AND PROPOSAL EP3 (EXCLUDING AREAS COVERED BY POLICIES EP6 AND EP7) WHERE:
  1. THERE ARE NO ADJACENT CLASS B1 USES;
  2. THE STORAGE OR PROCESSING OF ANY MATERIAL IN THE OPEN IS NOT VISIBLE FROM THE MAIN OR BRANCH LINE RAILWAYS, THE MAIN ROAD NETWORK, THE LINE OF THE CROSS TOWN ROUTE, OR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY;
  3. THERE IS ADEQUATE SCREENING OF THE SITE BY A FENCE, WALL OR OTHER MEANS OF ENCLOSURE;
  4. THERE IS NO MATERIAL ADVERSE IMPACT ON THE AMENITY OF THE SURROUNDING AREAS.
 
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6.57 The Plan encourages the recycling of materials and components and it is important that provision is made for the accommodation of the necessary processing and transfer activities.
6.58 The policy provides guidance on the location, appearance and operation of activities which are generally unsightly, and can cause problems even in industrial areas.