Hastings Local Plan Consultation Draft (Regulation 18)

Ended on the 24th March 2021
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3. Development Strategy

3.1 This section of the Draft Local Plan explains our strategy for encouraging and directing development and growth in the Borough and highlights strategic interventions we want to pursue over the life of the Local Plan. These emerging policies, based on the evidence we have collated, and the reasons why we think they are justified in the context of Hastings, are explained below.

Tackling Climate Change

3.2 We have set an ambitious target for the town to become carbon neutral by 2030. We already know that most significant reduction in carbon emissions will come from switching towards the use of electrical heating systems and ultra-low emission vehicles including electric vehicles16. Improving energy efficiency within existing buildings is a significant challenge, but continuing to reduce energy demand through energy efficiency measures in new development and where possible adaptations to these existing developments has an important role to play in carbon reduction. Moving to more sustainable transport options such as walking and cycling, as well as generating more local renewable energy has an important role to play in achieving our carbon neutral ambition17. We know climate change is an emergency. Mitigation and adaptation measures in response are necessarily the foundation of our strategy for development in this Local Plan and are key to unlocking sustainable development that meets the needs of our current and future communities.

3.3 Our strategy is to concentrate higher levels of growth in the 'Focus Areas' of Hastings Central (which includes Hastings Town Centre), Bohemia, Little Ridge and Ashdown House, and West Marina and West St Leonards along with other key development sites (see Appendix 1 for these 'site allocations') which are well supported by existing or planned sustainable transport infrastructure and other services. This will help minimise carbon emissions from travel. Allowing increased development densities, in appropriate locations, can also help to deliver much needed housing and spaces for businesses to grow. This increased demand from occupants can help local shops and services survive by creating the critical mass of demand to support them and may help justify greater investment in infrastructure such as new bus routes or rail improvements within Hastings as well as beyond.

3.4 Managing the pattern of development in this way will lessen encroachment on the natural environment – including protecting the soil, water, and vegetation that have an important role in carbon mitigation. We have taken the further step of identifying land for this purpose in the short term (Breadsell). This is in part of the Borough lacking the infrastructure to sustainably support housing development. We may review this position in the future as implementation of our Climate Emergency Strategy and Action Plan progresses and if infrastructure to unlock development can be secured 18. Until then, it can play a role in supporting our climate mitigation ambitions.

3.5 The pattern of development set out in this strategy also responds to the level of flood risk in different parts of the Borough, which will itself be impacted by climate change. We have sought, as far as possible, to avoid allocating sites in areas with the highest flood risk and where risk cannot be mitigated. Significant levels of new development are not expected within these locations or in areas strictly protected for their natural environmental benefits. The strategy does not however preclude renewal and additional development to intensify areas that are not identified as 'site allocations' in the Draft Local Plan – providing development in these areas meets our vision and is aligned with other policies in the Local Plan.

3.6 The seafront makes an important contribution to the town, not just for its landscape value but also to health and wellbeing. It is also a major tourist draw and an important economic asset. We know that as a result of climate change, our sea defences will become increasingly vulnerable to wave attack during the life of the plan. For the coastal strip between Rock a Nore and Glyne Gap, the long term policy is to 'hold the line' to prevent flooding and erosion of the seafront, and to protect economic, tourism and residential assets. This will continue to require significant coastal engineering interventions19. In view of this, we are exploring the potential for a Coastal Change Management Area. This will cover how to manage future and existing development now which will impact upon, or be impacted by, coastal change in the long term we ensure that the seafront is able to adapt to new economic, tourism and leisure uses over time.

More Jobs

3.7 The Hastings economy differs to the wider South East in that there is lower representation in professional services and office-based activities and more manufacturing, construction, tourism and healthcare20. Across the Hastings and Rother market area the manufacturing sector is locally resilient and contains some long-standing and high performing companies such as in electronics and the creative industries sector (including design, web, gaming, arts, visual arts, performing arts)21. Vacancy rates in our industrial estates are low.

3.8 Over the last few years there has been very limited 'churn' in the industrial premises market – while that means a degree of retention of existing business in the area, it also means there are limited opportunities for new companies to locate in Hastings, despite a desire to do so. Recent analysis has indicated that there has been no significant new supply of industrial space in Hastings and requirements for larger industrial units are reportedly almost impossible to fulfil 22. Analysis has also indicated a backlog of need for smaller premises23. The consequence of this undersupply of industrial space is that no units are available for local companies looking to grow, and it creates missed opportunities to attract incoming companies with a high employment potential. This together with an existing ageing stock and essentially no vacancies are constraining the economic potential of Hastings.

3.9 A need for an additional 81,500sqm of employment floorspace to 2039 has been identified24. New floorspace will support job creation and retention and provide start-up, grow-on and investment space for both existing and incoming employers, as well as mitigating market paralysis25. New, modern premises may also have a role in attracting cleaner, greener industry. We need to support this with new investment in workforce skills training and ensuring we have the digital infrastructure in place to support demand.

3.10 Meeting identified needs will be achieved in part through the development of existing allocations but also through the retention and redevelopment of our existing industrial stock. Our core industrial areas, as illustrated in the key diagram (Figure 3.1), include the Queensway Corridor, comprising sites across Queensway, Castleham, Churchfields and Ridge West, which together with Ponswood and Ivyhouse are the largest footprint employment sites, in Hastings, and offer the most potential for new development and densification. This will benefit not only Hastings, but the wider economic area. Local Development Orders, which can give permission for certain types of use without the need for planning permission, may be used to facilitate intensification in these areas. Sites at Bulverhythe and York Road also have an important economic role delivering waste management infrastructure; transport; distribution and warehousing. Roebuck and Britannia industrial estates and a number of other dispersed business premises across the Borough also have an important role in terms of the space they provide for existing and potential new businesses.

3.11 The demand for office floorspace across East Sussex, in contrast to industrial space, is lower. But there is a growing demand in the local market for managed workspace/small office units for micro-businesses (fewer than 10 people). Space that can be used flexibly to accommodate small business or provide larger spaces for existing business to consolidate their offices would support business stability and, whilst the impact of Covid-19 may depress demand for office space in the short to medium term, Hastings Town Centre, with its existing role as an important sub-regional economic centre, continues to be the primary location for future office development. Smaller and more local scale office uses could perform a similar role in our smaller centres, such as St Leonards.

3.12 New, flexible and upgraded office space can contribute to a vibrant mix of uses as the retail function of Hastings Town Centre potentially changes26. Expanded leisure and cultural provision aimed at both residents and visitors alike are likely to be an even more important part of maintaining the draw of central Hastings. Increased provision of housing would create more demand for services and support economic recovery and job creation in the town centre27.

3.13 In 2020 significant changes were made to planning law. This included extensions to 'permitted development rights' which allow conversions and change of use of certain employment premises without the need for full planning permission. A new 'Commercial Business and Service' planning use class has also been introduced. This allows changes of use, without any need for planning permission, within a wide range of uses including shops, restaurants and cafes, offices, gyms and childcare provision28. Whilst the objectives here to enable a more flexible approach to support town centre recovery and to help promote the delivery of more housing are supported, we will continue to monitor the supply and demand for employment floorspace. We may revise our approach to managing change to office premises in central Hastings and the established industrial areas. This might extend to adopting tools that will require full planning permission for changes of use of office floorspace to residential development currently allowed under permitted development rights (through 'Article 4 Directions').

More Homes

3.14 In common with many other parts of the country, demand for housing is high – with a nationally calculated housing need for Hastings of 430 homes a year, equating to 8,600 over the Local Plan period. We have identified sites that could sustainably deliver 4,275 over the life of the new Local Plan. The projected housing trajectory, excluding sites in Hastings Central Focus Area, is shown in Table 3.1 below. Our housing target is less than half of the amount nationally set, although we think there may also be opportunities for more homes to be delivered through mixed use development on sites in Hastings Town Centre.

Table 3.1: Housing Trajectory29

Year 1 – 5 (2019/20 – 2025/6)

Year 6 – 10 (2026/27 – 2030/31)

Year 11 – 20 (2031+)

1,169

1,610

1,495

Note: we have rounded the housing target to 4,275

3.15 This is because certain areas of the Borough are less suitable for development. In the north, the mainly built up area is close to the administrative boundary with Rother District. Elsewhere, environmental constraints include the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which includes Hastings Country Park with its numerous ecologically important designations. More generally within the main built up area, environmental assets include 2 Historic Parks and Gardens, local nature reserves, nature conservation areas, parks, playing fields and allotments. These are valuable assets which give the Borough its character and appeal, and in general, should be protected. In addition, the developable areas of certain site allocations are also reduced by environmental factors, for example, a high number of Tree Preservation Orders. This means we must maximise densities where development is sustainable and can deliver quality design.

3.16 We expect all new homes to be well-designed and meet the needs of all occupiers. Part of this is ensuring homes have reasonable space standards – a need that will have been reinforced by Covid-19 lockdown as many homes became workplaces as well as schools overnight (more on this in Section 5). There is also a need for homes that meet the needs of people with additional care needs such as housing with care and housing with support30.

3.17 Affordability is of critical importance. In 2017 median house prices were already at 9.33 times annual income31. Whilst Hastings has a high proportion of homes in the private rented sector, with rental levels amongst the lowest in the region, rent levels have risen and there is evidence to show that housing conditions are often poorer in the private rented sector32. The projected demand for affordable housing is even higher (7,200 homes, or 360 homes per year to 2039), by far exceeding anything development sites in Hastings could accommodate.33

3.18 The development of a range of more affordable homes for local people that they can access on their available financial resources is essential and there remains a need to provide for a range of housing options and in particular affordable/social rent homes of three or more bedrooms34. Research on the benefits of mixed income levels in neighbourhoods – accommodating a range of tenures - has been well documented 35. While there has been debate on its impact, there has been a more general acceptance that a range of tenures can avoid the creation of exclusive enclaves on the one hand, or high concentrations of deprivation and the service challenges this brings on the other. We want to use new housing to help address existing imbalances in the housing stock by improving housing choices through size and tenure. This includes recognising the regeneration role housing can have in helping to encourage retention and in-migration of skilled workers.

3.19 The high level of need for affordable housing justifies the Council's approach of maximising affordable housing delivery, where this can be viably supported, whilst allowing room for other important priorities such as additional costs associated with low carbon design or provision of wheelchair accessible homes. In the parts of the Borough where sales values are highest, and viability strongest, there is a greater opportunity for higher affordable housing requirements and, where appropriate, modest increases in density supporting higher levels of affordable housing. Disappointingly development viability challenges in Hastings mean that we will fall short of our ambitions for the number of affordable homes required through developer contributions alone. We will look to maximise investment opportunities and subsidise affordable housing in other ways.

3.20 It is not just about planning for a number of housing 'units' though. Homes need to be supported by good social infrastructure with easy access to shops and other services. Quality living environments should not be limited to new housing development either; there are existing neighbourhoods in Hastings which need improvements to help create better living environments and we want to support development where it enables this. The location of the main areas of new housing development (and requirements for the way these sites are developed is set out later in the Local Plan) aims to ensure that everyone has access to good quality open and play space. We recognise that the natural environment plays an important role in health and wellbeing. Our natural environment, as well as being important in ecological and historic landscape terms, is what makes Hastings an attractive place to live – and for developers – a great part of the country to invest in.

Overarching Strategic Policy 1 (OSP1): Tackling Climate Change

  1. The Council will work with its partners to achieve our Carbon neutral ambitions and deliver sustainable patterns of development that support climate change mitigation and adaptation. To support this over the life of the plan to 2039, the Council will:
    1. Focus largest scale development in areas with existing or potential good public transport accessibility and good access to shops and services, minimising the need to travel by car
    2. Support and encourage investment in major renewable energy, including wind turbines, managing the local environmental impact through sensitive design and siting of this infrastructure
    3. Encourage a shift from reliance on car journeys by improving the walking and cycling environment across the borough and better integrating this with public transport to make this a more attractive transport option
    4. Expand the network of green infrastructure recognising its essential role in carbon storage as well as its health and wellbeing benefits.
    5. Explore the use of land at Breadsell as a Carbon Mitigation Zone for projects that reduce carbon emissions where compatible with protection of important natural habitats.
  2. The Council will support measures that help mitigate and adapt to impacts of climate change at the level of individual sites, recognising the cumulative impact of development and will support:
  3. Adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change is an overarching policy objective and as such key to policies throughout the rest of this draft Local Plan.
    1. New development and, where possible, adaptation of existing buildings that is designed to minimise energy consumption and where feasible, incorporates low carbon energy production.
    2. Provision of electric vehicle infrastructure and, in locations with the highest public transport access, lower car parking provision and car clubs
    3. Incorporation of new green infrastructure as part of new development
    4. Measures that reduce or mitigate flood risk including climate related projections for changes to this.


Diagram

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Strategic Policy 1 (SP1): Directing Growth

  1. The overall development strategy is derived from our approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation set out in Policy OSP1 and is key to ensuring development across Hastings is sustainable.
  2. New industrial floorspace will be delivered through the continuing development of floorspace opportunities, stock renewal, intensification and retention in our Strategic and Local Industrial Employment Areas to close the gap between current demand and supply.
  3. Hastings Town Centre is the primary location for new larger scale office, further and higher education facilities, leisure, visitor accommodation, cultural and retail development, with smaller, more local scale development of this type directed to the District Centres and then to Local Centres.
  4. Significant development of new homes will be maximised in the 'Focus Areas' of Hastings Central, Bohemia, Little Ridge and Ashdown House, and West Marina and West St Leonards. Development in these Focus Areas should optimise densities whilst ensuring high quality design and, wherever feasible, enhancing visibility of and access to natural and historic assets.
  5. Development across Hastings should meet high architectural standards and the Council will support innovative design that makes a positive contribution to the quality, character, local distinctiveness and sense of place in Hastings
  6. Areas that have been designated for their natural environmental quality and formal designated open spaces will be protected and enhanced.
  7. The special historic and architectural character of Hastings will be conserved, enhanced and sustained over the long-term, for the benefit of current and future generations.
  8. Development will be primarily focused in areas of lowest flood risk. Development in areas of higher flood risk will only be permitted where these risks can be effectively mitigated.
  9. Appendix 1, our Site Allocation Schedule, identifies development sites and required uses including provision of new open space, indicative development capacities and other site specific policies reflecting the spatial strategy set out above and in Policies SP2 to SP10. New development (including estate renewal) will be supported, on other appropriate sites, where it is at a scale that complements and integrates with surrounding development and is in line with policies in the Local Plan.

Figure 3.1
Figure 3.1 Key Diagram


Strategic Policy 2 (SP2): New and Affordable Housing

  1. A minimum of 4,275 new homes will be delivered over the Plan period with additional homes delivered in the Hastings Central Focus Area (figure 4.1) as part of mixed-use development.
  2. The Council will seek affordable housing as part of new residential developments as set out in Table 3.2 below.
Table 3.2 Percentage of affordable housing required

Size of Development

Brownfield Sites

Greenfield Sites

0 – 9 units

No minimum requirement

No minimum requirement

10 – 19 units

No minimum requirement

40%

20 units or more

25%

40%

  1. Where justified by a viability appraisal, the Council will apply the 25% affordable housing target flexibly where development is for:
    1. Mixed use schemes, in Hastings Central Focus Area, that include cultural, leisure community facilities or employment generating uses; and
    2. Sites identified in Appendix 1, with capacity of less than 30 units, where there is a specific requirement for provision of onsite cultural, leisure community facilities or employment generating uses.
  2. Where affordable housing is a policy requirement, the Council will expect a tenure mix in line with the requirements set out in Table 3.3 below.
Table 3.3 Percentage tenure mix required for affordable housing

Affordable Rent/ Social Rent

Minimum 60% of total affordable housing

Affordable Home Ownership

10% of total affordable housing

Remaining 30%

Determined through negotiation between the local authority and developer and comprising Affordable Rent/Social Rent, shared ownership or any other affordable tenure including intermediate and low-cost homes (which could extend to First homes)

  1. The required dwelling mix for rented affordable homes is set out in Table 3.4 below.
Table 3.4 Dwelling mix required for affordable/social rent

1 Bedroom Homes

2 Bedroom Homes

3+ Bedroom Homes

30%

35%

35%

  1. The Council will support the provision of specialist accommodation, including homes with care or support.
  2. The Council is considering the accommodation needs of Travellers. If needs are identified, locations to accommodate this will be reflected in the next draft of the plan.
  3. The Council will seek to work with developers on schemes of 40 or more units to identify and secure development phase jobs, training and supply (procurement) opportunities associated with new residential development in Hastings.


Strategic Policy 3 (SP3): Business Development - Office & Industrial Uses

  1. The Council will protect and support the development of new industrial floorspace and stock renewal in Strategic and Local Industrial Employment Areas and encourage retention of industrial floorspace outside of these areas. The Council will support development at these locations that maintains, and where appropriate, intensifies or expands industrial floorspace. The Council will support development of:
    1. Industrial processes;
    2. Storage or distribution uses;
    3. Waste management uses where these are demonstrably compatible with the locality;
    4. Renewable energy production;
    5. Office uses where ancillary to industrial businesses located in Hastings;
    6. Training facilities aligned with supporting manufacturing/green tech skills development and where they would not prejudice the industrial nature of the area.
  2. Development should:
    1. Make maximum use of plot space through efficient design and layout arrangements where parking provision does not dominate the site and where possible consider high densities/multiple storey development;
    2. Create high quality business space capable of flexible use, subdivision and extension; and
    3. Create safe environments that encourage walking and cycling and active travel to work with ancillary office functions orientated to the street frontage.
  3. Outside of Strategic and Local Industrial Employment Areas, the Council will seek to retain uses defined in 1 A to F above, and will only support redevelopment for other uses where:
    1. It is proven no longer viable in its current use or for any alternative business use as demonstrated by evidence of an appropriate marketing campaign; or
    2. Continued use would cause serious harm to local amenities.
  4. Hastings Town Centre is the primary location for new office development and renewal, including flexible co-working space, start-up and incubator space.
  5. The Council may secure specific uses permitted in line with this policy by a planning condition; this will have the effect of limiting changes to other uses within the same planning use class without a planning consent and will allow the Council to better manage floorspace needed to meet demand from businesses.
  6. The Council will seek to work with developers and occupants to identify and secure job, training and supply (procurement) opportunities associated with new development of industrial and office floorspace in Hastings.

Strategic Policy 4 (SP4): Business Development - Retail and Leisure Uses

  1. The network of town, district and local centres will be retained and enhanced to create employment opportunities including those linked to the tourism sector and uses that support residential communities in Hastings and Rother. This includes:
    1. Maintaining and enhancing Hastings Town Centre as the primary town centre and focus for larger scale commercial, community, leisure and cultural development;
    2. Encouraging smaller scale development of this type in the District Centres of St Leonards, Silverhill, and Old Town;
    3. Supporting more local scale provision in the Local Centres of Ore Village, Bohemia and Tower, Battle Road and Bexhill Road;
    4. Limiting main Town Centre uses to Hastings Town Centre, District or Local Centres with the 'sequential approach' applied to new development in line with the National Planning Policy Framework36 . For retail proposals, a locally set impact assessment threshold of 300sqm (Convenience retail) and 200sqm (Comparison retail) will apply.
  2. Tourism and visitor related uses, including hotels and serviced accommodation, will be supported on the seafront, Hastings Town Centre, District Centres and Bohemia Focus Area and in other locations where there is good public transport access.
  3. Loss of hotels and serviced accommodation will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated it is no longer required and there is evidence of an appropriate marketing campaign.
  4. The Council will seek to work with developers and occupants to identify and secure jobs, training and supply (procurement) opportunities associated with new development of retail and leisure floorspace in Hastings.


Strategic Policy 5 (SP5): Conserving and Enhancing the Natural Environment

  1. The Council will expand and improve access to the network of green infrastructure across the Borough, including publicly accessible open spaces and 'urban fringe' areas. Projects that protect and enhance the Boroughs expansive network of open space, capitalising on its benefits to health and wellbeing and its role in mitigating climate change, will be supported.
  2. The Council will protect and enhance the Borough's distinctive landscape character including:
    1. The distinctive landscape setting of the Borough, in particular the structure of ancient gill woodlands, open and amenity green spaces and the relationship and clear division between the unspoilt coastline of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve, the surrounding countryside and the built-up area;
    2. The High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; and
    3. The undeveloped coast.
  3. The Council will protect sites or habitats designated or identified of international, national, regional or local importance for biodiversity or geological importance, including ancient woodland.

Figure 3.2
Figure 3.2 Natural environment and important open spaces


Strategic Policy 6 (SP6): Enhancing the Historic Environment

  1. The Council will support development that further reveals and celebrates the built heritage of Hastings, protects the significance of heritage assets and promotes the history of our town particularly where it helps us to deliver a strong tourism offer, enhanced educational and cultural opportunities, place-making and a sense of community wellbeing and belonging in the town.
  2. The Council will encourage owners and developers to restore and reuse historic buildings to secure their long-term viability. The Council will protect the significance and setting of the following heritage assets:
    1. Listed buildings;
    2. Conservation areas;
    3. Historic parks and gardens;
    4. Scheduled monument sites;
    5. Areas of archaeological potential and known archaeological find sites; and
    6. Locally listed heritage assets.
  3. The seafront is the location of some of the town's most important historic assets and treasured and important long views of the coast. The Council will seek to protect and enhance these important seafront buildings, their setting and the extensive coastal views. The Council will support improvements to the public realm that enhance the setting of these historic buildings and coastal views.
  4. The Council will work with partners to restore, reuse and secure the long-term viability of historic buildings. This will include working with owners and forming partnerships with external funders, to tackle those historic buildings that have been identified as vulnerable on the national Heritage at Risk Register. Where resources allow, the Council will also focus regeneration efforts on vulnerable high status heritage assets and those historic buildings that occupy prominent locations in the town.

Figure 3.3
Figure 3.3 Conservation areas and historic buildings and structures which are concentrated on the coast


Strategic Policy 7 (SP7): Managing Coastal Erosion and Flood Risk

  1. The Council will support the development and improvement of flood defence infrastructure and drainage assets in Hastings. Proposals for sea defences will be supported, subject to the submission of a coastal erosion vulnerability assessment, that demonstrates the sea defence will not be to the detriment of adjacent or downshore sections of coastline.
  2. In line with Policy SP1, major growth and change will be directed away from areas with the highest flood risk, and in areas of lower flood risk, development will only be permitted where flood risk can be mitigated or suitable adaptations provided, taking into account all sources of flooding.
  3. A Coastal Change Management Area is proposed between Rock a Nore and Glyne Gap as shown in Figure 3.3. Within the Coastal Change Management Area, the Council will prevent development that may accelerate coastal change and require development, where permitted, to demonstrate mitigation strategies to manage risk associated with costal change.
  4. Measures that help reduce flooding across the Borough will be supported and specific measures to address surface water flooding particularly encouraged in areas identified as being at particular risk comprising:
    1. Hastings Town Centre
    2. Hastings Old Town
    3. Hollington Stream and
    4. Warrior Square.
  5. The Council will work with partners, including the Lead Local Flood Authority, to review levels of flood risk over the life of the Local Plan including the need for flood storage capacity.

Figure 3.4
Figure 3.4 Flood risk area and proposed Coastal Change Management Area


Strategic Policy 8 (SP8): Transport Infrastructure

  1. Over the lifetime of the Plan, the Council will work with transport providers to enable the delivery of infrastructure which supports development growth, economic connectivity and also the prioritisation of pedestrian movement.
  2. Enhancements that support increased rail capacity and high-speed services to London will be supported including:
    1. Electrification of the Marshlink service between Hastings and Ashford to support decarbonisation;
    2. Infrastructure improvements on the Marshlink line and at Ashford International to enable high speed rail services to run to Eastbourne via Rye, Hastings and Bexhill; and
    3. Hastings to Tonbridge capacity and power supply improvements.
  3. Station improvements that enable better integration with bus, cycle and pedestrian networks will be supported and, where appropriate, permitted.
  4. Bus service infrastructure and development that supports the delivery of bus services including enhanced routes linked to key growth areas, where these will lead to more sustainable transport patterns will be supported and permitted where they require permission.
  5. New cycle and walking infrastructure will be supported including the delivery of a network of walking and cycling improvements identified through the East Sussex Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan being produced by East Sussex County Council.
  6. The Council will support, and where necessary safeguard, land if required for the following local and strategic road improvements:
    1. The completion of the Queensway Gateway Road and other future sites enabling road infrastructure to unlock potential development sites;
    2. Corridor based junction capacity improvements and network management schemes to maximise the efficiency of the existing road network; and
    3. Improvements to capacity and safety on the A21 including the A21 safety package, improvements between Kippings Cross and Lamberhurst, Hurst Green and Flimwell.
  7. Measures that minimise car parking will be supported in areas of high public transport accessibility including low or no car parking.
  8. Proposals for both permanent and temporary park-and-ride, park-and-stride, cycle/scooter hire, and other sustainable transport solutions catering to visitors will be supported where these do not have a detrimental impact on pedestrian movement and local environment quality.
  9. Existing coach parking and coach drop-off points will be protected. Proposals relating to the loss of coach parking or drop-off points should either include evidence that the provision is no longer required or plan for reprovision elsewhere taking into account the need to prioritise pedestrian movement.


Strategic Policy 9 (SP9): Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Heating

  1. The Council will support the development of new renewable energy infrastructure, including large scale and small scale vertical access (50kw and below) wind turbines where impacts on neighbouring amenity, ecology, heritage and townscape and landscape impacts can be avoided or mitigated. This will apply in locations across the borough, including, subject to further feasibility assessments, at:
    1. Land south of Wilting Farm;
    2. Queensway; and
    3. Land at Breadsell.
  2. The Council will engage with communities to ensure impacts are addressed and specific site allocations for energy production development may be identified in the next iteration of this Local Plan.
  3. The Council will also monitor technological changes over the life of the Local Plan to enable further suitable sites to be identified.
  4. The Council may use Local Development Orders in appropriate locations to extend permitted development rights for certain Low and Zero Carbon technologies such as roof mounted solar and air source heat pumps, removing the need for a full planning application and thereby reducing development costs.
  5. The Council will support the development of area wide lower carbon heating solutions including heat networks centred on:
    1. Summerfields Leisure Centre or its replacement (see Policy FA2);
    2. Conquest Hospital; and
    3. Other locations where mixed heat load and other factors make this feasible.


Strategic Policy 10 (SP10): Community Facilities and Digital Infrastructure

  1. The Council will work with partners to enable the delivery of social infrastructure to support development growth over the life of the Local Plan. Demand for, and planned supply of, infrastructure will be monitored through regular updates to its Infrastructure Delivery Plan.
  2. Expanded, or improved, community facilities including: education, sports, health, and cultural facilities will be supported in Hastings Town Centre, District and Local Centres and other areas which offer sustainable transport connections.
  3. High quality redevelopment of community facilities (excluding health) will be permitted where new replacement provision meets the demand met by the existing facility, enhances the quality of the facility, and access to provision has been provided or secured through a legal agreement.
  4. Redevelopment, including expansion or rationalisation of health facilities, including Conquest Hospital, will be permitted where this enables the delivery of improved or expanded health care provision that better meets health and wellbeing needs.
  5. The Council will consider the cumulative impact of development on social infrastructure and planning obligations will be requested to mitigate the impacts on community facilities, including schools, health facilities and libraries. Where appropriate, planning obligations (Section 106 Agreements) will be used to secure financial contributions in line with Policy DP8.
  6. The Site Allocations Schedule in Appendix 1 identifies sites where requirements for new or enhanced play space will be required.
  7. The Council will support the provision of new digital infrastructure across the Borough and particularly in the Hastings Central Focus Area and Industrial Employment Areas. The Council will work with providers to ensure that equipment is sympathetically sited and designed, which may sometimes include the need to use camouflage, particularly in more sensitive locations.


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