Core Strategy Preferred Approaches
The Spatial Strategy For The Period Up To 2026
6.1 The spatial strategy shows how we will achieve the vision for the town by 2026.
Moving On from the Present
6.2 The town already has a clearly agreed focus centred around economic and social regeneration. This is signed up to by the Council, partners in the voluntary and private sector and the community, is voiced in the Community Strategy and the Task Force Five Point Plan, and supported by a range of plans and strategies such as the Housing Strategy, the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy, the Seafront Strategy, the draft South East Plan.
6.3 Delivery of major projects such as Millennium Communities, new education facilities and new business space is underway and has been enabled by large amounts of grant funding and inward investment by regional bodies such as SEEDA and by government agencies. Such high levels of public funding are not likely to continue in the longer term, and the spatial strategy aims to create the right conditions to attract and retain increased levels of private sector investment in the town.
6.4 The new strategy also reflects a culture change in planning – moving from an emphasis on the control of development through the granting/refusal of planning permissions, to a broader more pro-active, managed approach, working with local partnerships and the community to be clear about how much and what type of development will occur, when, where and how.
The Structure of the Spatial Strategy
6.5 The spatial strategy sets out the where, when and how for future development in the town up to 2026.
6.6 Firstly, the strategy shows the location and type of major development planned for employment and housing development; it then goes on to consider specific areas of the town and details the type of changes planned for these locations. Finally, the strategy deals with how change will be managed through policies and proposals relating to the whole area, covering issues such as affordable housing, transport, climate change, and open space provision.
6.7 A summary of the main elements of the spatial strategy is presented below, and more detail is provided in the chapters that follow.
Summary Spatial Strategy
6.8 We have adopted a joined-up approach to planning ‘across the border’, in that the strategic housing, employment and transport policies have been developed in co-operation with Rother District Council - recognising the sub-regional functions of the Hastings/ Rother housing market, the travel-to-work area, which encompasses Hastings and Rother, the impacts of the Hastings/Bexhill link road and the North East Bexhill business park and housing proposal, and the role of the Pebsham Countryside Park in maintaining a strategic gap between Hastings and Bexhill.
Land For Employment, Retail and Education Uses
6.9 Identification of an enviro-economic corridor along Queensway in the north-west of the town with potential to provide 18,500m² business floorspace on high quality attractive greenfield sites. The Hastings & Bexhill Task Force, will provide this floorspace with public and private sector funding, between 2009 and 2013
6.10 Continued regeneration of Hastings town centre to provide employment opportunities and maintain its role as a sub-regional shopping centre.
6.11 32,000m² of office development will be generated within Priory Quarter by the Task Force, with public subsidy, and by the private sector between 2008 and 2016.
6.12 Hastings Town Centre is the preferred location for 30,000m² of comparison goods floorspace along with related service trade shops. This would be a private sector development in the period 2016-2026, with the Council using its compulsory purchase powers to aid land assembly, if necessary.
6.13 The creation of new employment opportunities is linked to the upskilling of the local workforce through supporting development of sites for Further and Higher Education in Hastings town centre and at the Ore Valley Millennium Communities site. The Learning and Skills Council development of a new Further Education College at Hastings Station Yard is due to be completed by September 2009, and a new Construction Skills College, to be developed will be completed at the Ore Valley by Autumn 2009. The expansion of University Centre Hastings (UCH) will be provided through the Priory Quarter development by 2011.
6.14 Taken together these will create around 6,000 student places by 2011, with courses on offer being matched to local skills requirements.
6.15 The major employment allocations in the Core Strategy have been subject to transport modelling to determine their impacts on the strategic and local road networks.
Land For Housing
6.16 To provide at least 4200 net new dwellings in the period 2006 – 2026.
6.17 Housing will be delivered on a mix of brownfield and greenfield sites throughout the urban area. The table below sets out the proposed distribution using area coordination areas, and is based on housing potential identified in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment and reflects the availability of land for development in this densely developed urban area.
|Area Co-ordination Zone||Number of additional housing units to be provided 2006-2026||Wards included|
|North St Leonards||1879||
|South St Leonards||1297||
Central St Leonards
West St Leonards
6.18 It is anticipated that Planning permission will be given for housing to meet the targets indicated in each of the area co-ordination zones.
6.19 A contingency plan is included to deal with any shortfall in housing development in the long term – it is proposed that a major greenfield site in the north west of the town, capable of accommodating up to 1000 new dwellings, has been identified for release in the 2021-2026 period. Further details about this proposal can be found in Chapter 1, pages 43-48. Hastings Borough Council will release this site before 2021 should monitoring show it to be needed in line with national policy in PPS3. The trigger for release of this site before 2021 will be when, and if, housing delivery falls more than 15% below the annual target of 210 units per annum for 3 years in a row.
6.20 The major housing allocations at the Ore Valley Millennium Community and the major Greenfield site mentioned above have been subject to transport modelling to determine their impacts on the strategic and local road networks
The Hastings and Bexhill Link Road
6.21 This is a key element of both Hastings and Rother Core Strategies, since it is not only critical in reducing current congestion, and helping to address accessibility and economic regeneration issues, but also in enabling substantial development as required by the draft South East Plan.
6.22 Traffic modelling to test the impact of different development scenarios on the Link Road is being undertaken.
6.23 A planning application for the Link Road was submitted in April 2007 and a decision is expected early this year. However, it is likely that an Inquiry will follow, which, given a favourable outcome, should mean that Secretary of State approval could be in towards the end of 2008. The road could then open in Autumn 2011.
6.24 Should the Link Road not go ahead, it would have a major impact on the regeneration strategy for Hastings and Bexhill. In Hastings, this could prevent the release of housing sites at Seaside Road and Bulverhythe with potential to provide up to 500 dwellings. Without the scheme only 100 of these units would be attainable. It could also impact on housing numbers on the major new site in the northwest of the town.
6.25 The ESCC Regeneration Statement accompanying the planning application for the Link Road shows how the take-up of employment generation schemes, including Land off Queensway, and office and education development in Hastings Town Centre will be seriously delayed, with employment generation taking place post 2025. (See pages 75 and 76). The North East Bexhill development would also be unlikely to proceed, which would result in the loss of 48,000m² of business and industrial floorspace.
6.26 If this eventuality were to occur, it would be likely to affect business confidence and slow down the progression of the Task Force developments in the town. There are no alternative sites to accommodate development to the scale of North Bexhill within the town, which would mean that we would seek to make the most of existing available land, and use it to its maximum potential. We would however, be dependent on market conditions to bring forward employment sites, but would continue to lobby the Government to secure investment in Hastings.
Areas of Change
6.27 As part of the strategy for the town we need to identify areas where a substantial amount of change is planned for the future. Reflecting the town’s four Area Co-ordination zones, the summaries below show the overall direction of change proposed within Central Area, South St Leonards, East Hastings and North St Leonards – further details are included in chapter 2 of the strategy.
Hastings Town Centre – major regeneration centred around office, education and retail development to secure a vibrant, safe and thriving town centre.
South St Leonards
Central St Leonards – economic and social regeneration to support housing renewal, the viability of the district shopping centre and a more sustainable community in one of the most deprived areas of the town.
Pebsham Countryside Park - a joint project with Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council to provide a major, managed greenspace between Hastings and Bexhill, with opportunities for informal recreation, nature conservation and employment.
Ore Valley Millennium Community – positive change in one of the most deprived parts of the town. The Millennium Communities project will make good use of brownfield land to bring new high quality, eco friendly housing, a new college, improvements to Ore Station and rail services and a new green park to an area of high unemployment and poor infrastructure.
North St Leonards
The Queensway Enviro Corridor – economic regeneration opportunity on greenfield sites in the northwest of the town. To be marketed to attract environmental technology businesses.
The Seafront – Covering South St Leonards, Central and East Hastings Area Co-ordination Zones
Cutting across three of these areas – South St Leonards, Central and East Hastings is the seafront. This is identified as an area vital to the future of the town and our consultations have shown that for many local people it is ‘the face’ of Hastings.
The strategy here is to enhance its tourism and economic role through identifying potential development and redevelopment sites, to support the successful Grotbusters campaign to maintain seafront buildings in a smart condition, and to improve access and environment through extending the National Cycleway route and harmonising design of the promenade and its features.
A greenfield site, mostly in Rother District, on the town’s western boundary. Opportunities exist for housing and hi-tech employment development, but the future of the area is dependent on decisions to be made by Rother District Council. The feasibility of providing a rail station is an important element of this.
Managing and Implementing Change
6.28 The strategy is about achieving improvements in quality of life, and this means we need clear policies to manage and implement change. Policy areas covered in this section are summarised below and spelled out in more detail in chapter 3.
6.29 Land Supply – the Council must identify a fifteen year supply of housing land, with a five year supply being available at all times. This will comprise a mixture of greenfield and previously developed land. The location of individual housing sites will be the subject of a site allocations development plan document.
6.30 Affordable housing – a clear policy on the provision of affordable housing backed up by evidence from a housing needs survey, a housing market assessment and a viability study.
6.31 Gypsies and travellers – a criteria based policy detailing issues to be considered when dealing with planning applications for gypsy and traveller sites.
6.32 Housing stock – policies to encourage the reuse of vacant dwellings and to provide a mix of housing types and sizes, including meeting the needs of the growing population of older people.
6.33 Housing density – higher density developments to be located in areas with good public transport access.
The Local Economy
6.34 Land Supply - ensuring the future prosperity of existing employment/industrial estates through greater flexibility over uses and identification of opportunities for renovation/redevelopment and refurbishment
6.35 Protection of existing sites for employment uses, unless it can be proved they are no longer viable
6.36 Raising economic activity levels – providing land for a range of employment uses and for education and training facilities
Transport and Accessibility
6.37 The County Council is the responsible authority for local transportation and have a Local Transport Plan (LTP) for the county. They will also prepare a Local Area Transport Strategy (LATS) which will identify key local transport problems and issues and provide a framework for transport planning which takes into account the longer term strategy for Hastings and Bexhill.
6.38 The Council and its partners will continue to lobby national and regional government for improvements to the strategic road and rail networks linking the town to London, the wider south east and the continent.
6.39 Sustainable transport measures such as “Travel Plans”, provision of pedestrian and cycling facilities and linkages to established public transport networks are required for all major new development.
6.40 The majority of new development is planned close to public transport interchanges, such as in the town centre.
6.41 The Hastings and Bexhill link road will serve new business developments along Queensway, and will also permit measures to ease traffic congestion on Bexhill road – such as the introduction of bus priority lanes.
6.42 The Core Strategy will contain a schedule of community and infrastructure needs arising directly from the development proposals in the Strategy together with the agency responsible for the timescale of their provision.
6.43 The Core Strategy will contain an up-dated policy on developer contributions towards community and other infrastructure, which will be supported by the development of a detailed Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
Greenspace and Leisure
6.44 A network of greenspaces throughout the town is identified, along with a pedestrian/cycle network to provide improved access to these areas. This provides opportunities for recreation, exercise and relaxation and supports the health improvement aims of the Primary Care Trust.
6.45 Biodiversity conservation, mitigation and enhancement of our greenspaces.
6.46 Policy on the provision of children’s play areas.
Environmental Sustainability and Design
6.47 We are planning for climate change: the construction of environmentally sustainable housing designed to a high standard will be encouraged on all sites, and the flood risk associated with all new development will taken into account at all stages in the planning process including the preparation of future DPDs and SPDs.
6.48 All new commercial development above a threshold of 1000m, or residential development of 10 or more dwellings, will be expected to provide at least 10% of their energy requirements from onsite renewable energy generation, unless it can be demonstrated that the development will be unviable in terms of development type, location, design or economics. This approach will be subject to further evidence gathering to determine its viability
6.49 We already protect and enhance the built heritage through designations such as Conservation areas, Listed Buildings and Ancient Monuments and Sites of Archaeological Interest. The upkeep of historic buildings is aided in certain areas through grant funding schemes such as Townscape Heritage Funding.