North East Bexhill Masterplan

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(9) 8. Implementation

8.1 The Council will work closely with both developers and service agencies to ensure that the development progresses efficiently, conforms to the overall vision and development principles set out above and adopts a coordinated approach to service provision.

Timetable

8.2 Timing of development will largely be driven by progress with the Link Road timetable. It is expected that development will be started as soon as the Link Road contract is let, while occupation must await its opening. The respective programmes are indicated below, although this is subject to the Link Road progressing through its procedures efficiently, and successfully.

Year Link Road Development
2007 Application submitted Draft Masterplan SPD
Application approved Masterplan approved
2008    
Public Inquiry Outline application
2009 Government decision  
Work starts Outline permission
2010   Full permissions
  Construction starts
2011 Link Road opens First occupation
   

8.3 It is noted that, as a major land release, development at north east Bexhill will take place over a number of years. The pace of development will be influenced by market factors.

8.4 Development must clearly be viable to proceed. There is every expectation of this, with more high value uses, notably residential, in each policy area effectively cross-subsidising low value uses. The large-scale of housing in the east will play a key role in funding shared infrastructure and kick starting business development.

8.5 Continuing improvements in commercial land values are likely to be required to assist the viability of development in the west. With the ongoing regeneration efforts of the Hastings and Bexhill Task Force and planned infrastructure improvements, this can reasonably be anticipated.

Phasing

8.6 Local Plan policy DS6 gives priority to the development of the BX2 Policy Area, in part to reflect the need to provide access to the Link Road from the north of the town as soon as possible. This will need to be reflected in the phasing of development.

8.7 In addition, careful consideration has been given to the opportunity and appropriateness of some development taking place in advance of the Link Road. The main traffic impact would be on increasing congestion on the A259 at Glyne Gap. Even a small proportion of the development would inevitably compound existing difficulties.

8.8 Therefore, while a small development that incorporated transport improvements and/or management measures such that there was negligible net impact on the road network is not wholly ruled out, this is likely to still be very limited in scale - c50 dwellings - and involve considerable off-site transport improvements, such as improved cycling facilities and bus services.

8.9 Any individual schemes for development of part of the allocated land would need to demonstrate that it will integrate with the development of the overall area and proportionally contribute to its eventual achievement.

8.10 Successive phases of residential development should reflect the overall housing mix, including for affordable housing.

Delivery

8.11 A key issue affecting the deliverability of development is the range of contributions that it is required to make to fund necessary infrastructure improvements.

8.12 The SPD has not been subject to an overall viability appraisal. This will be carried out as soon as there is a greater clarity, through the public engagement process and further discussions with service agencies, of what is necessary in terms of meeting the vision for development as well as simply servicing it.

Infrastructure requirements

8.13 The viability appraisal will inform the scope and scale of legal obligations under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act in the final SPD. These are the main means of agreeing the provision of (or contributions to) "infrastructure" to serve development. These will be tied to the grant of planning permission.

8.14 Transport improvements are regarded as of critical importance to the success of the development. In the first instance, the development must contribute to the Link Road, recognising it directly benefits from its construction. The development will also contribute to it by early provision of the spur road to Wrestwood Road.

8.15 Funding for new public transport services is also vital to a sustainable transport strategy for the area, ensuring that residents and employees have travel choice at the earliest opportunity. This will need to be developed in conjunction with the County Council's Local Area Transport Strategy and bus operators.

8.16 In relation to the provision of affordable housing, agreements will need to involve providers (normally registered Social Landlords) as well as developers and the Council. Guidance on this process is contained in the Council's 'Affordable Housing SPD'.

8.17 It is clear that the commercial development needs an element of cross-subsidy to be viable. In relation to industrial development, this necessitates infrastructure and site servicing costs, including access roads. It may be appropriate to look at alternative ways of bringing forward office development in order to establish a more significant office sector in the area.

8.18 There is considerable green space incorporated in the development, and planned at the adjoining Countryside Park. Management and maintenance of these and existing woodlands, must be catered for, as well as being initially laid out in accordance with current standards.

8.19 The full scope of anticipated S106 contributions is presented in the table below.

S106 heads Form Scale
Affordable housing On-site provision 40% of all housing, tenure and mix as set out
Primary School On-site provision 1 form entry, with potential expansion to 2FE
Nursery School On-site provision of building May link to Primary School
Secondary school Contribution See ESCC guidance
Library services Contribution and on-site 'local access point' (LAP) See ESCC guidance
Community hall/centre On-site building and reserved land To meet a range of uses
Community development Contribution to development officer post For duration of development
Public open space and woodlands On-site provision and maintenance funding See indicative layouts and relevant guidance on play and sports pitch provision
Countryside Park Contribution and access measures To reflect additional usage, plus links and parking
Percent for Art On-site provision Features at key nodes
Link Road Contribution  
Bus services New services and subsidies to residents/workers Early, phased introduction with subsidy for occupiers until development complete
Off-site junction improvements Improvements Subject to detailed transport assessment
Cycle ways On and off-site provision Links to town centre, Sidley and other local services
Youth services On-site provision Reserve Youth centre site
Health services -pharmacy On-site provision Reserved commercial unit on High Street
High energy efficiency standards Residential and business development Subject to Energy Audit

NB These are based on current and known deficits

Planning applications

8.20 The provisions of this document need to be translated into a more detailed site 'masterplan' for each policy area which will provide the basis of, and accompany, initial planning applications.

8.21 Applications would need to be accompanied by a formal Environmental Impact Statement and be supported by:

  • A detailed masterplan for the whole Policy Area in line with this SPD
  • An infrastructure strategy for both policy areas
  • A phasing plan, linked to the above
  • A detailed biodiversity assessment and strategy
  • A landscape management strategy
  • A comprehensive landscape and public realm strategy
  • A transport assessment and strategy, incorporating 'green travel plans' as appropriate
  • A trees and woodland management strategy
  • A waste audit and management strategy
  • A design and access statement, including three-dimensional illustrative material and design coding as appropriate

8.22 Conditions would additionally cover matters including archaeological evaluation measures and methods, floor levels, materials and planting.

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