Draft Settlement Investment and Development (ID) Plans-Esher

Strategic Employment Land

3.9 The Government’s planning framework highlights the importance of taking a flexible approach to the management of employment land including the need to avoid the long-term protection of sites where there is no reasonable prospect of a site being used for that purpose[1] .  It also states that land allocations should be regularly reviewed.  This section therefore seeks to review the Strategic Employment Land designation included within the Replacement Elmbridge Local Plan 2000 and the Core Strategy (Policy CS23 – Employment Land). Employment land not designated as strategic will continue be protected under Policy CS23 unless redevelopment for other purposes provides wider benefits to the community.

3.10 All sites outside of town centres and included in the Employment Land Review[2]were assessed for their potential to be designated as Strategic Employment Land.  Full details of this assessment, including how we define ‘strategic’, are included within the Site Assessment Methodology documents.  The Council has identified the following options for the designation of Strategic Employment Land and selected a Preferred Option.

Option A – Designate Strategic Employment Land based on the criteria set out in the Site Assessment Methodology documents
Option B – Designate Strategic Employment Land based on alternative criteria
 
Preferred Option: Designate Strategic Employment Land based on the criteria set out in the Site Assessment Methodology documents
 
Commentary: The preferred option will ensure a flexible approach to the management of employment land protecting them where necessary but avoiding the long-term protection of sites where this can be justified and in the event that there is no reasonable prospect of a site being used for that purpose.
 

3.11 The Council welcomes comments on the options and Preferred Option proposed which has been used in identifying key areas to be designated as Strategic Employment Land.

3.12 The only employment area outside of the town centre in Esher is the River Mole Business Park/ Sandown Industrial Estate in the north of the settlement area. The site is relatively small and there is limited scope for improvement or intensification as a result of the constrained nature of the access due to low bridges and the residential nature the area. It is therefore not considered appropriate to place a Strategic Employment Land designation on this site. 

Core Strategy links
CS23-Employment land provision
Framework paragraphs
18-22
Development Management Plan
DM10-Employment
Other documents or guidance
Employment Land Review, Town Centre Audit
1. Paragraphs 21 and 22 of the National Planning Policy Framework – www.communities.gov.uk [back]
2. Employment Land Review & Addendums – www.elmbridge.gov.uk [back]