AM35

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Object

Schedule of Additional Modifications

Representation ID: 24651

Received: 10/09/2019

Respondent: SeaChange Sussex

Representation:

1. Master planning - In our experience such an approach is highly limiting to the range of potential interest and particularly damaging to the prospect of attracting considerable inward investment. We therefore consider this policy burden unsound and unenforceable.

2. In relation to criterion v, if this were retained along with the LPA's current stance on site density of less than 30% there would be a need to allocate considerable additional land as the buffers shown are not in compliance with proposals under the existing planning permission RR/2017/2181/P and are in excess of 30 metres on the NBAR frontage. . This policy should at a minimum be amended to ensure that policy burdens do not preclude the delivery of the 33,500 sqm of development that presently has outline planning permission on the site.

3. Policy criterion vi is unprecedented as Southern Water have a statutory obligation to deliver this infrastructure and no other allocation has been placed under such a policy burden. It should be removed from the proposed DASA in entirety as it only serves to deter investment and introduce complications into the planning system unnecessarily as this is a matter for regulation by OFWAT and not the LPA.

Full text:

While we welcome the removal of the "prior to occupation" element of this policy and the recognition that the policy should take account of the conditions of the existing planning permission RR/2017/2181/P we do not consider this modification is enough to make the policy sound.

We are of the opinion that this policy still places considerable policy burdens on an employment site. While Sea Change Sussex, as a not for profit regeneration partner, is able to deliver space in more marginal development viability conditions than commercial counterparts, the policy should be designed to encourage the return of market led development and ensure that the scale of obligations and policy burdens placed on allocations do not threaten their ability to be developed or their viability in accordance with NPPF (2012) paragraph 173.

In addition to this amendment we would suggest that the LPA give consideration to dropping other planning burdens introduced by policy BEX1 that will act as a substantial barrier to the ability to secure investment in the area and the delivery of development on the site. We consider the following policy burdens should be removed from the policy to ensure that a suitable quantum of development is brought forward on this site and remove unrealistic aspirations contrary to NPPF (2012) paragraph 154 at a time when development is desperately needed within the district;

1. Master planning - In our experience such an approach is highly limiting to the range of potential interest and particularly damaging to the prospect of attracting considerable inward investment. As identified in the brief comments on employment viability made by the LPA's consultant's in the preparation of the viability assessment supporting the proposed DASA demand in the area is driven by occupiers as such it is unrealistic to assume that a flexible occupier requirement led approach will not be required on this site to secure delivery. It is also unrealistic on an employment site of this scale in the current market to assume that a masterplan could be carried out with vaguely realistic assumptions on demand, with the most likely outcome being that the site would be blighted by the exercise in securing interest in later phases were one to be imposed.
We would also highlight that the existing planning permission RR/2017/2181/P contains no such obligations and we are advised that it would be extremely difficult for the LPA to justify such obligation on future consents should the current outline planning permission expire due to changes in national planning policy and the approach taken by the LPA in granting this planning permission initially. We therefore consider this policy burden unsound and unenforceable.

2. In relation to criterion v, if this were retained along with the LPA's current stance on site density of less than 30% there would be a need to allocate considerable additional land as the buffers shown are not in compliance with proposals under the existing planning permission RR/2017/2181/P and are in excess of 30 metres on the NBAR frontage. The retention of this criterion would impose a considerable development constraint and be a very costly burden to place on a low density employment allocation such as this. Our estimate is that, if adopted, this would take deliverable area back down to 26,000sqm based on the areas shown. This policy should at a minimum be amended to ensure that policy burdens do not preclude the delivery of the 33,500 sqm of development that presently has outline planning permission on the site.

3. Policy criterion vi is unprecedented as Southern Water have a statutory obligation to deliver this infrastructure and no other allocation has been placed under such a policy burden. There is also no evidence to suggest that an employment allocation within an area where the market is known to struggle in terms of viability, could bear the burden of contributing to such a scheme. Such a policy burden clearly conflicts with NPPF (2012) paragraph 173. We would suggest that this burden is removed from the proposed DASA in entirety as it only serves to deter investment and introduce complications into the planning system unnecessarily as this is a matter for regulation by OFWAT and not the LPA.