Employment Land Retention Supplementary Planning Document

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(3) 1. Purpose and Objectives of This Document

1.1 This Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) supports the Council’s planning policy E4 from the Hastings Local Plan 2004 relating to the retention of employment land. This guidance should be used by applicants wishing to apply for the change of use or redevelopment of employment land to an alternative use (outside of the B use classes from the Use Classes Order 2005)1. As an SPD, this document will be treated as a material planning consideration in the determination of planning applications.

1.2 Under Local Plan Policy E4, the Council seeks to safeguard all employment land within the built up area. This SPD provides clarity on the circumstances where change of use or redevelopment to alternative uses may be appropriate and the criteria which would have to be satisfied in order to obtain planning permission for these alternative uses. This SPD seeks to ensure that loss of any existing employment site (land or premises) is not at the expense of the local economy.

(1) 1.3 The objectives of this SPD are:

  1. To ensure an adequate supply of employment land within Hastings up to 2026, including:
    1. the provision of suitable locations which are available for industrial and commercial developments, and;
    2. provision for a broad range of business types from small start-up businesses, through to small, medium and large enterprises.
  2. To protect existing and allocated employment sites/premises for industrial and commercial use where there is a good prospect of employment use and to also consider the upgrading or improvement of existing sites.
  3. To help maintain and create employment opportunities within the town.

1.4 As part of the development of this SPD, an Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) has been carried out. This can be found in Appendix 1 and is a risk assessment which centres on discrimination and cohesion.

1.5 In accordance with the 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act, Appendix 2 details the Sustainability Appraisal Report for the draft Employment Land Retention Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). It proposes two options to take the proposed SPD forward. An assessment of each of these options is presented, supported by the sustainability appraisal matrix. 


1 The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended in 2005) puts uses of land and buildings into various categories. A ‘Use Class’ is a grouping together of similar land uses. For example, general industry is grouped under B2, storage and distribution centres are B8.

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