Development Management Plan Consultation Document 3rd February - 27th April 2012

If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.

6 The Economy

Town centre commercial and shopping areas

(3) The first issue

6.1 The strategic objectives for the Town Centre and the broad commercial area are set out in the emerging Planning Strategy. The boundary for this is shown on the consultation map.

6.2 Do you support the boundary as shown?

(5) The second issue

6.3 Increasing the range and quality of the town’s cultural offer is an important component of the Planning Strategy, helping to promote the image and increasing the vitality of Hastings town centre, particularly in the evenings.

Figure CQ1: Potential cultural quarters

Figure CQ1

6.4 New cultural facilities could act as a catalyst for the wider redevelopment of other areas. Encouraging new restaurants and cafés to establish in and around these quarters could create a complementary ‘café culture’ to support other cultural facilities, such as the theatre, the library, activities at the college and across the town, in art galleries and museums.

6.5 Two such potential areas have been identified on figure CQ1, above.

6.6 These facilities must provide ground floor uses with active frontages that are open to the public. These may include high quality specialist retail, cafés and restaurants, which would allow a complementary café culture to develop, with lively outside seating onto pedestrian areas that would help to support cultural facilities. To achieve this, Class A3 uses (hot food take-aways) that provide only take away facilities with no seating will be discouraged. This is an issue that could be considered further through Supplementary Planning Documents.

6.7 Do you support the concept of cultural quarters?

6.8 Do you support the choice of location for these quarters?

(1) The third issue:

6.9 To protect the viability of commercial and shopping activities in the town centre and the mix of shops and services on offer, some guidance over the particular use of land and premises might be required.

6.10 The extent of these areas will also need to be defined in order to retain that viability and vitality.

(1) Option 1: To create a shopping area boundary and policies to manage activities within it

6.11 In order to be able to undertake this option we would need to:

  • Determine the extent of the shopping area boundary in the town centre.

  • Identify what proportions of A1 uses (Shops) compared to other uses in the town centre should it be maintained. A healthy concentration of shops helps to increase the numbers of people visiting that area.

  • Identify which areas (roads) were considered as primary and secondary frontages. Primary shopping frontages are the main shop fronts within a town centre as defined by high commercial rental values and usually a high proportion of retail uses.

6.11 Further guidance in the form of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), could also be produced that would be subject to periodic review.

Option 2: To create a shopping area boundary but have less stringent policies to manage activities within it

6.12 In order to undertake this option we would still need to determine the extent of the shopping area boundary in the town centre. This would help to retain the vitality and a concentration of all commercial uses. Having less stringent policies, with less protection of proportions of retail uses or the identification of primary and secondary frontages could result in a dispersal of shops with perhaps a weakening of the core shopping frontages and a less healthy retail area.

(1) Option 3: Not to have a shopping area boundary

6.13 This option would mean relying on the wider Town Centre boundary of the Planning Strategy. This option could allow for greater flexibility in the determination of applications, but might reduce the protection and promotion of a healthy concentration of retail premises.

Relationship to other plans

6.14 Planning Strategy (2012): Objectives: 1, 3 and 5

Local Plan (2004): Reference to policy S1

Commercial centres

The issue:

6.15 In order to protect the viability of commercial and shopping centres and to balance the aspirations and needs of local communities guidance might be required to set out what types of land use will remain suitable in these areas.

6.16 Such centres provide a range of facilities including not only shops and banks but also GP surgeries and dentists. They help reduce the need for people in the mentioned neighbourhood, to make long distance journeys. These centres are focal point and are also accessible to less mobile members of the community, both of which aid social inclusion.

6.17 The areas are of great importance for the provision of employment opportunities and services, there is potential to add to the number of people using the shops and services in the centres. It is, therefore, valuable to protect the land uses in these areas so they remain predominantly in retail and business uses.

6.18 The extent of these areas will also need to be defined in order to retain that viability and vitality. For the purposes of this consultation general areas will appear on the consultation maps, and they will eventually be defined through the process to the final proposals map. In the meantime suggestions on the extent of these boundaries for each individual centre are welcome.

Option 1: A policy to guide managing commercial centres

6.19 This option introduces a policy basis for managing the shops and services inside defined shopping areas and would highlight it as an important issue requiring specific detail. This is a level of detail over and above that contained in the earlier issues of this document.

Suggested policy:

In the commercial areas (The Old Town, Central St Leonards, Bohemia, Silverhill, Ore, West St Leonards, Battle Road, Mount Pleasant and Mount Road) uses within classes A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, and B1 (as defined in the Town and Country Planning Use Classes Order) will be encouraged. A change of use from Use Class A1 will only be permitted where at least 50% of the non-residential premises remain in class A1.

Certain types of retail activity have greater affect on their neighbours; this could be because of what they sell or the hours which they open. The particular nature of alcohol and take away sales means that people use the premises which sell them in a different way to other shops and restaurants.

(2) Option 2: To define commercial centre boundaries but to make the policy more or less stringent

6.20 There might be an option to make the policy less stringent. This could allow or a more flexible approach to considering potential applications, but might result in less efficient decisions through the need for increased investigations.

6.21 Or it could be argued that any guidance should be more stringent, this could stifle development however, and this could also lead to decisions not being made in a consistent manner.

Option 3: To define commercial centre boundaries but not have a specific policy for this issue and add detail to the suggested policies of the general guidance section

6.22 This guidance could be incorporate into a general policy on development guidance. This approach, however, might make it harder for potential applicant to appreciate the importance of this issue

Option 4: Not to define commercial area boundaries for this issue and rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy

6.23 It could be deemed sufficient to rely upon national guidance and policies in he Planning Strategy. This option could allow for greater flexibility in the determination of applications, but might reduce the protection and promotion of a healthy concentration of retail premises.

Relationship to other plans:

6.24 Planning Strategy (2012): Objectives: 1, 3 and 5

Local Plan (2004): Reference to policies: S2 and S3

(1) Shops and services outside defined shopping areas

The first issue

6.25 Shops and services outside of the retail areas shown on the consultation map might require extra policy guidance. Some local shops and services provide a particularly important focal point for a community. The corner shop or doctors surgery that is outside of the main commercial areas is potentially more accessible, especially for those without private transport, and might need some protection.

6.26 Busy local shops are generally beneficial but they have the potential to increase the issues of littering or anti-social behaviour so the Council would expect to see ways to mitigate these included in any proposal and will also consult the local constabulary.

6.27 It is also acknowledged that where it can be demonstrated that the shop or service is not economically viable and has been tested through being marketed, it may be unreasonable to refuse a change of use.

(1) Option 1: A policy to guide the retention of shops and services outside the commercial centres

6.28 This option introduces a policy basis for retaining the shops and services outside defined shopping areas and would highlight it as an important issue requiring specific detail. This is specific detail in addition to that already provided in this consultation document.

Suggested policy:

Proposals for the change of use or redevelopment that would result in the loss of a shop or service outside the defined commercial areas will only be permitted when:

  1. There is an alternative within reasonable walking distance; or

  2. It is demonstrated that the existing use is no longer viable.

Option 2: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and add detail to the suggested policies of the general guidance section to deal with it

6.29 This guidance could be incorporate into a general policy on development guidance. This approach, however, might make it harder for potential applicant to appreciate the importance of this issue

(1) Option 3: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy

6.30 It could be deemed sufficient to rely upon national guidance and policies in he Planning Strategy. This option would allow greater flexibility in the consideration of planning applications, but could lead to less consistent decisions. It might be the case that this is not, in fact, an issue that needs particular attention in any eventual plan for the town.

(1) Option 4: To make the policy more or less stringent

6.31 There might be an option to make the policy less stringent. This could allow for a more flexible approach to considering potential applications, but might result in less efficient decisions through the need for increased investigations.

6.32 Or it could be argued that any guidance should be more stringent, this could stifle development however, and this could also lead to decisions not being made in a consistent manner.

The second issue

6.33 There may be a need to manage the intensity of shops and services outside defined shopping areas, and the concentration of single types of outlet to reduce, for example, noise or litter production.

6.34 Certain types of retail activity have greater effect on their neighbours; this could be because of what they sell or the hours which they open. The particular nature of alcohol and take away sales means that people use the premises which sell them in a different way to other shops and restaurants.

6.35 Proposals that involve licensed premises and (hot food) take-aways should include careful consideration of the ways that people are going to use the premises; how they will get in and out and if there is enough parking and at what times customers are likely to use them, and how all these things will affect both direct neighbours and those in the local vicinity.

(2) Option 1: A policy to guide managing certain types of premises

6.36 This option introduces a policy basis for managing the shops outside defined shopping areas and would highlight it as an important issue requiring specific detail. This is specific detail further to the general guidance and commercial areas already discussed in this consultation document.

Suggested policy:

Planning permission for new shops and services outside the commercial area will be granted provided that:

  1. The precise nature of the use proposed (which should be specified in the planning application) including opening hours is given;

  2. The proposal would not adversely affect neighbours, for example, causing excess noise or smell

  3. The proposal would not, on its own, or cumulatively with other such uses in the area, be likely to result in problems of disturbance or public disorder;

  4. Suitable off-street parking can be provided, or there is sufficient on-street parking; and

  5. It would not cause inconvenience or danger on the public highway as a result of the additional stopping and manoeuvring of vehicles.

Option 2: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and add detail to the suggested policies of the general guidance section to deal with it

6.37 This guidance could be incorporate into a general policy on development guidance. This approach, however, might make it harder for potential applicant to appreciate the importance of this issue

Option 3: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy

6.38 It could be deemed sufficient to rely upon national guidance and policies in the Planning Strategy. This option would allow greater flexibility in the consideration of planning applications, but could lead to less consistent decisions. This approach may also have the consequence of there not being enough specific guidance for development to suit the town.

Option 4: To make the policy more or less stringent

6.39 There might be an option to make the policy less stringent. This could allow for a more flexible approach to considering potential applications, but might result in less efficient decisions through the need for increased investigations.

6.40 Or it could be argued that any guidance should be more stringent and cover more than just proposals outside the potentially defined commercial areas. This approach could stifle development however, and this could also lead to decisions not being made in a consistent manner.

Relationship to other plans

6.41 Planning Strategy (2012): Objectives: 1, 3 and 5

Local Plan (2004): Adapted from a combination of policies: DG17, DG18, DG19, S4 and S5

Small businesses

The issue

6.42 In order to encourage new businesses and to support the viability of those that already exist (key objectives of the Planning Strategy) some policy guidance might be required to allow for appropriate conversion and extension of premises. The issues of traffic, noise and neighbours are likely to be important when considering the wording of this potential policy and balancing those with supporting the local economy and attracting new investment.

(4) Option 1: A policy to guide small business enterprise

6.43 This option introduces a policy basis for managing the small business development and highlights it as an important issue requiring specific detail, in addition to that already provided in this consultation document.

Suggested policy:

The intensification or replacement of existing employment uses and for the development of land for small workshops will be permitted where:

  1. The proposals are in scale and character with the existing premises.

  2. In can be demonstrated that there is reasonable access to the public transport network and an investigation into green travel options (cycling and walking to work) has been made;

  3. any increase in traffic would not cause serious inconvenience and/or danger on the public highway; and

  4. The development would not cause serious harm to the amenities of local residents as a result of, for example, noise or other disturbance.

Consideration will also be given to the length of time the business has been established on the site, the investment already made, and the contribution to employment in the locality.

Option 2: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and add detail to the suggested policies of the general guidance section to deal with it

6.44 This guidance could be incorporate into a general policy on development guidance. This approach, however, might make it harder for potential applicant to appreciate the importance of this issue

Option 3: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy

6.45 It could be sufficient to rely upon national guidance and policies in the Planning Strategy. This option would allow greater flexibility in the consideration of planning applications, but could lead to less consistent decisions. This approach may also have the consequence of there not being enough specific guidance for development to suit the town.

Option 4: To make the policy more or less stringent.

6.46 There might be an option to make the policy less stringent. This could allow for a more flexible approach to considering potential planning applications, but might result in less efficient decisions through the need for increased investigations.

6.47 Or it could be argued that any guidance should be more stringent, this could stifle development however, and this could also lead to decisions not being made in a consistent manner.

Relationship to other plans

6.48 Planning Strategy (2012): Objectives: 1, 3 and 5

Local Plan (2004): Adapted from policies: E6, E8 and E9

Tourist facilities

The issue

6.49 Tourism is a major contributor to the economy and vibrancy of Hastings. It is important that whilst supporting appropriate tourism proposals, they are managed in a sustainable and suitable manor. It might be considered that the issues that surround tourist facilities and their proposed location are covered by earlier issues and potential polices, of this document. There might, however, be an argument that a separate policy is required to deal specifically with the issues that surround the location of certain types of tourist facility and the effects that all types have on their neighbours. The seasonal nature of tourism could also be of particular importance when considering this issue.

6.50 The Planning Strategy contains guidance towards visitor accommodation and language schools. Some more guidance for the management of attractions and amusements might be required.

(2) Option 1: A single policy

6.51 This option would allow an applicant to view a potentially more user friendly single piece of guidance around proposals specifically involving planning permission for tourist facilities. To achieve this particular approach the existing policies would need to be reviewed and potentially grouped together and the likely changes in national guidance would also need careful consideration. There could be some issues that are not covered by the existing policies that also need to be included in the eventual Development Management Plan policy.

6.52 The current local plan policies relating to tourist facilities broadly cover the following topics: (For more detailed information please see the Hastings Local Plan 2004, pages 41 – 47).

New Tourist Attractions: provides guidance for proposals that the should complement the existing built and natural environment of the town; not cause harm to amenity; the scale and appearance of the development is in keeping with the surroundings; protection of identified areas of open space; and that they should be reached by a frequent public transport service and are on convenient pedestrian and cycle route(s).

Amusements: Guidance for amusement arcades, scenic and novelty rides and other amusement facilities – discouraging them from the Town Centre and Old Town Conservation Areas. There is guidance for the ‘Stade area,’ and ‘other parts of the town,’ where generally the forms of amusement are generally acceptable as long as they would not cause harm to the living conditions of people residing in the area and/or its surroundings as a result of noise, other disturbance or the intended operating hours; they are designed in character with their surroundings and they would preserve or enhance the character or appearance of any conservation area.

6.53 There is also some guidance towards specific proposals such as those for conference facilities, water-based recreation and the Pier.

(2) Option 2: Split the guidance into separate policies

6.54 Another option could be to split the guidance into separate policies; this might help to reinforce the view that each aspect of tourist facilities is important in its own right. A greater number of policies, however, covering one area could also have the consequence of reducing their impact when considering applications. The flexibility to respond to applications would remain if there were more policies but their consistent use might be reduced.

6.55 This option could allow for areas for the focus of tourism activities to be identified. Within these areas new facilities will be permitted as long as they adhere to the general guidance of this document.

Option 3: Some more stringent guidance

6.56 Some more stringent guidance is another way to view this policy. It is possible to be more prescriptive, especially around design matters in heritage terms, and this approach would have the advantage of achieving minimum standards across the town. Standards, however, can become outdated and setting them limits the chances of certain types of development occurring where it might be most needed. It could also be the case a standard for one area is different to the next, and what was intended to be a minimum standard could become an unintended maximum. It could be argued that a way to achieve specific standards for developments is through site specific negotiations or potential Neighbourhood Plans.

Option 4: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy, and the general guidance from this consultation

6.57 It could be deemed sufficient to rely upon national guidance and policies in the Planning Strategy. The sites identified on the eventual proposals map would relate to the Planning Strategy and the less detailed policies of that plan. This option would allow greater flexibility in the consideration of planning applications, but could lead to less consistent decisions. This approach may also have the consequence of there not being enough specific guidance for development to suit the town.

Relationship to other plans

6.58 Planning Strategy (2012): Objectives: 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7

Local Plan (2004): Reference to policies: T1, T2, T10, T11 and T12

Caravan and camping sites

(1) The issue

6.59 Caravan and camping sites contribute in an important way to tourism. The existing caravan and camping pitches in the district are close to vulnerable ecological and natural habitat areas and their expansion might require specific guidance that is not covered by other issues in this document. New proposals might also require close scrutiny if their location is likely to be on the fringe of the urban area and to encroach into the open countryside. What is an appropriate level of guidance for proposals of this nature?

(6) Option 1: A policy to manage proposals involving caravan and camping sites

6.60 This option introduces a policy basis for managing the proposals involving caravan and camping sites and highlights it as an important issue requiring specific detail, in addition to that already provided in this consultation document.

Suggested policy:

Planning permission will only be granted for additional caravan and camping sites or the expansion of existing sites provided:

  1. Safe and convenient access to and from the public highway can be provided;

  2. The proposal would not have an adverse impact on surrounding residential areas or the wider environment, and an assessment of potential the ecological and landscape impact is provided;

  3. The use of the site is restricted to a seasonal basis (between the 28th February in any one year and the 14th January in the following year); and

  4. A minimum of one third of the total number of pitches on new or extended static caravan sites is reserved for touring caravans or campers.

Development within Caravan Sites

Planning permission will be granted for development designed to enhance facilities within existing caravan sites, including accommodation and the replacement of static caravans by chalets, provided that the above criteria is adhered to and:

  1. It would not be visually intrusive; and

  2. It would not unacceptably affect the living conditions of nearby residents.

Option 2: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and add detail to the suggested policies of the general guidance section to deal with it

6.61 This guidance could be incorporate into a general policy on development guidance. This approach, however, might make it harder for potential applicant to appreciate the importance of this issue

Option 3: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy

6.62 It could be deemed sufficient to rely upon national guidance and policies in the Planning Strategy. This option would allow greater flexibility in the consideration of planning applications, but could lead to less consistent decisions. This approach may also have the consequence of there not being enough specific guidance for development to suit the Borough

(2) Option 4: To make the policy more or less stringent

6.63 There might be an option to make the policy less stringent. This could allow for a more flexible approach to considering potential applications, but might result in less efficient decisions through the need for increased investigations.

6.64 Or it could be argued that any guidance should be more stringent, this could stifle development however, and this could also lead to decisions not being made in a consistent manner.

Relationship to other plans:

6.65 Planning Strategy (2012): Objectives: 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7

Local Plan (2004): Adapted from policies T6 and T7

If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.
back to top back to top