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Chapter 5
ECONOMY
   
5.1 This chapter contains policies for employment development and also policies for shopping and town centres.  Both are of key importance to the future economic prosperity of the District.
   
Employment
5.2 In seeking to maintain and enhance the economic prosperity of the District, it is necessary to ensure that there is both sufficient and readily available land to meet economic development needs. Employment generating development should take place in locations which accord with sustainable development objectives such as reducing the need to travel, and on sites which can be readily developed. The Plan aims to ensure that brownfield land is developed before greenfield where possible.   Whilst the strategy of the local plan in terms of economic development is promotional this is not at the expense of the district's environment or heritage.  Indeed, maintaining, enhancing and extending the quality of 'the environment' is seen as a vital factor in promoting the district as a place in which to invest.  In all circumstances, therefore, the protection of the environment in terms of environmental impact and the level of traffic movement is seen as a priority concern.
5.3 Government guidance emphasises the need for continued economic development, and encourages Local Planning Authorities to identify preferred areas and sites for employment that offer realistic, safe and easy access by a range of transport modes. In some cases this may mean protecting existing industrial sites that are in accessible locations, in order to retain sufficient employment land in a given area. In rural areas, such as South Holland, such development should be focussed in or near to local service centres, such as market towns and key villages, in order to support the rural economy and reduce the need for commuting to jobs.  The policies in this section of the Plan seek to enhance economic prosperity and opportunity within the District in a way which does not undermine the quality of the District’s environment.
5.4 Traditional agricultural (including horticultural) activity and related businesses have long been a significant element of the local economy. However, anomalies such as low average wage levels, high house prices and pockets of deprivation reveal an identified need for economic support. Problems exist in remote rural areas due to dependence on agriculture, seasonal employment and difficulties of access to training and employment opportunities.  Agriculture itself is an industry which has faced significant structural changes and which has declined and continued to decline as a major employer with significant impacts upon the rural economy. The various problems faced by the agricultural sector may well continue to affect the rural economy and continued management of the countryside.
5.5 The Council believes that the best way to ensure future economic well-being and to guard against unemployment is to strengthen the food sector and to promote a more competitive and broadly based economy and encourage business start-ups. This will help in improving the economic output of the District.  By this means it should be possible to reduce the number and length of motorised trips to work outside the district, to retain generated wealth in the area and to encourage young people to stay in the locality.
 
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5.6 The review of the Local Plan provided a key opportunity to support the local economy, by the identification of a variety of sites and locations suitable for the growth of local businesses and inward investment, and by ensuring that policies are sufficiently flexible to adapt to the likely changes in the economy.    Within this objective and in terms of the plan's strategy a broad approach is adopted ranging from the identification of major employment areas in, or close to, the towns down to the encouragement of appropriate small scale enterprises within, or adjacent to, communities and the conversion of suitable buildings in the countryside.  This ensures that the existing towns continue to be the main focus of the economic life of the community and also helps to support the rural economy.  As part of the Council’s continued commitment to encouraging business start ups the future LDF documents will link closely with the emerging Economic Development Strategy for the District and the Regional Economic Strategy.
5.7 However, the provision of these additional employment opportunities can only be sustainable if the opportunities relate satisfactorily to housing and the availability and skills of the labour force.  An appropriate balance must be struck.  The Rural Action Zone is a national pilot scheme aiming to tackle the problems of social exclusion, reducing inequality and promoting rural regeneration in the District. The Rural Action Zone strategy provides a number of cross cutting initiatives aimed at strengthening the food sector, diversifying the local economy, tackling the skills deficit of the workforce, raising the expectations of individuals and communities in terms of childcare, healthcare, social integration and improving and protecting the natural and built environment.  The land use policies of this Local Plan add weight to these initiatives.
5.8 The development of offices in town centres also ensures that beneficial use is made of past investment and the range of services available in them.  The concentration of offices here means that employment opportunities are accessible to the greatest number of people and maximum potential use is made of modes of transport other than the motor car.
5.9 For the purposes of the Plan, 'employment development' will refer to development within classes B1, B2 and B8, as defined by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 as amended by the Town and Country (Use Classes) Order 1994. Employment development which does not fall within these categories may nevertheless be appropriate, depending on the circumstances of the case.
 
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Major Employment Areas- Sites Allocated For Employment Use
5.10 In line with the spatial strategy of the Plan, new employment allocations have been focussed in, or close to, the towns in the District. The Local Plan identifies those areas within which land is allocated for employment to meet the development needs within the District in accordance with the aims of the emerging Lincolnshire Structure Plan.  The previous Structure Plan contained figures for the amount of employment land to be allocated during the plan period.  The Adopted and First Deposit Local Plans followed this guidance.  Following on from the Quality of Employment Land Study (QUELS) which indicated a general oversupply of employment land the emerging Structure Plan simply provides criteria to judge existing allocations against in terms of site quality, quantity and sustainability.  We have followed this procedure regarding our existing and new employment allocations.  The availability and take up of land and premises for industry, warehousing and business uses will be monitored during the plan period to ensure that there is an adequate supply of employment land available.   This data will be produced in the AMR.
5.11 The District's food, agriculture and distribution sector, centred on Spalding, is of major importance both regionally and nationally.  Investment has been increasing and there is a strong cluster, that is to say a grouping of businesses that collaborate closely and intensively for mutual benefit in ways that mean that their competitive advantage relies on this collaboration.  This covers procurement, packing, preparation and delivery, as well as research and development and corporate innovation.  Suitably located serviced sites are necessary to accommodate further development of the food sector and to accommodate other enterprises.
5.12 The South Holland Enterprise Park, Wardentree Lane area of Pinchbeck and land off West Marsh Road, Spalding and the Wingland Enterprise Park at Sutton Bridge will be able to accommodate the majority of demand for the whole of the plan period.  These extensive areas will continue to provide a significant pool of land for employment development in the longer term.  They have been designated major employment areas along with less significant, although still important, designations at Crowland, Holbeach, Little / Long Sutton and Donington.  Much of the land at Crowland benefits from extant planning permission for employment development, but there has been no progress on that site. Its allocation and permission will therefore be kept under review in the light of take-up of employment land.  (It should be noted that this policy does not provide for residential or retail use of the site as an alternative.)  The sites at Donington and Holbeach are new sites and were first proposed in the First Deposit Draft Local Plan.  Development of the site at Holbeach is linked to housing and community infrastructure provision under policy HS3. 
5.13 Wingland Enterprise Park provides a long term strategic location for employment development in the east of the District.  However the site has been slow to develop because of a number of constraints that currently exist. There is not yet a large supply of electricity to the site, water and sewerage supplies have not been formally resolved and there have been uncertainties about highway capacity and flood risk. A significant amount of development can be served by the existing junction with the A17. Flood risk will need to be considered in more detail at planning application stage, both in terms of the probability and the consequences of flooding, whether the proposed use is appropriate and what mitigation measures may be necessary.  The Council is though continuing to be proactive in exploring these issues and facilitating delivery of the necessary infrastructure.  Further discussions about the future development potential of the site have led to part of the allocation being placed under review.  (It should be noted that this policy does not provide for residential or retail use of the site as an alternative.)  This large site is expected to provide sufficient supply of land for at least the plan period and, as such, we intend to phase this site to ensure a continuous supply of employment land throughout the plan period.  In reviewing part of the allocation (as shown on the proposals map) we will have regard to all of the following:
 
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  • the availability of land;
  • constraints on development and any measures which would be deliverable as part of development to overcome such constraint (for example, where traffic generated would exceed the capacity of existing highways but where the development would provide the necessary highways capacity improvement);
  • the preference to make the best use of existing investment in infrastructure;
  • the likelihood of land being brought forward for employment development.
5.14 The phased release of land within the review area, in terms of size, location and sequence (and any future review of the allocation in principle) will be guided by the outcomes of that review. Currently employment development on this site is expected to be confined to Classes B1, B2 and B8 use but exceptionally other employment which does not fall within these categories may nevertheless be appropriate. The site is extensive and in a strategic location and as such could well accommodate other employment-generating development without prejudicing the supply of B1, B2 and B8 development land, subject to reviewing phasing within the site. Any such proposals would in particular be considered in terms of their sustainability, employment generation, contribution to the local economy, impact on the environment and impact on vitality and viability of nearby centres.
5.15 These major employment areas have been selected principally in relation to the existing strategic transport network, their accessibility by public transport and other modes, their closeness to existing investment in utilities infrastructure, to major sources of employment and to their impact on the environment and amenity of the surrounding area.  Wingland is additionally located close to Port Sutton Bridge.  A location adjacent to Port Sutton Bridge itself has also been identified to assist in the development of the port, that is for warehousing used for goods and materials coming in and out of the port and for no other purpose, but here particular care is required because of potential conflicts with adjoining land uses, concerns over vehicular access and environmental impact. 
5.16 It is the intention of this policy that these major employment locations should be able to accommodate proposals for general industrial development although attention needs to be given to the environmental effects upon existing and future businesses and to the planned development of the area as a whole as well as the effects upon the amenity of any nearby residential properties. Individual proposals may require submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment, as referred to in the text supporting Policy SG6.
 
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5.17 To promote an attractive and efficient business environment the District Council will, where appropriate, encourage landscaping schemes, including boundary treatments and will expect a high quality of design on new employment sites. The Council may prepare development briefs for these sites.
   
  Policy EC1 - Major Employment Areas - Sites Allocated for Employment Use
  Within the major employment areas listed below and shown on the proposals map planning permission will be granted for employment uses:
  1) Spalding (106 hectares)  -  land off Wardentree Lane and Spalding Road (Pinchbeck) and off West Marsh Road
  2) Sutton Bridge (Wingland) (54 hectares)  -  land in the vicinity of the power station (in part to be kept under review)
  3) Long Sutton/ Little Sutton (12 hectares)  -  land south of Bridge Road and north of the A17
  4) Holbeach (10 hectares) -  land on the west side of Holbeach adjacent to the A151
  5) Crowland (7 hectares)  -  land at Crease Drove and Harvester Way (to be kept under review)
  6) Donington (11 hectares)  -  land adjacent to the railway north of the A52 roundabout.
  provided that access and highway considerations are satisfactory and that the amenity of any nearby properties can be adequately protected.
  Within the area adjacent to the sea port at Sutton Bridge (13 hectares), planning permission will be granted for port related uses to assist in the development of the port, provided that access and highway consideration are satisfactory, that amenity of any nearby residential properties can be adequately protected and that any impact on environmental assets of acknowledged importance is acceptable.
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New Employment Development In Built Up Areas But Outside The Major Employment Areas
5.18 Many small scale employment activities may be compatible with an urban, suburban or village location.  Proposals for small scale employment development within existing settlements can help to sustain the economy and provide employment opportunities that are easily accessible to local residents. Business (B1) uses, including office or light industrial uses, can take place in or near residential areas without harm to the environment or residential amenity.  Some of the larger villages are already important service and employment centres and new employment generating initiatives particularly those associated with the agricultural sector can help ensure economically and socially balanced rural communities and to provide the potential to reduce travel-to-work movements by car.  Within, or close to, urban residential areas well located industrial activities of an appropriate scale can also provide employment opportunities for local people accessible by foot or bicycle, reducing the need for travel-to-work by car.  Within villages, new employment will be supported where it is of a scale appropriate to serving local needs and enhancing the self-containment of the settlement.
 
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5.19 The intention of the policy is to encourage a range of employment generating activities compatible with their setting and without detracting from the main thrust of the strategy of concentrating most new development in the major employment areas.
5.20 Whilst businesses in and around the towns are the major sources of a range of employment opportunities, it is important that economic activity is encouraged in the wider rural area. This can help to diversify and enhance the area’s economy and provide for those wishing to work locally. A strong rural economy can also ensure that the rural landscape of the District is maintained and managed so that it retains its diverse character and quality which is itself a prime asset to the economy of the District.    However, new large scale industrial uses will not be appropriate in the open countryside.
   
  Policy EC2 - New Employment Development In Built Up Areas But Outside The Major Employment Areas
  Within or immediately adjacent to defined settlement limits, proposals for employment development will be permitted only if the scale and impact  of  development in relation to the service base, size, character and location of the settlement and in relation to its surroundings, to access and traffic movement, to neighbouring uses and to general amenity are acceptable.
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Existing Employment Areas/Premises
5.21 Within the District there are existing established employment areas and premises of varying sizes which represent an important investment and resource.  New development in these areas including the extension of existing premises, the redevelopment of existing premises and the change of use of buildings will be supported in order to enable full use to be made of existing public investment in roads and services, and of private investment, provided that the proposal does not lead to unacceptable development in terms of environmental impact, the level of traffic movement and intrusion into the open countryside.  Where appropriate, contributions will be required towards any new infrastructure works necessitated by the development.
 
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5.22 Employment uses within the District's towns, villages and countryside contribute towards the mix of uses within settlements, provide valuable opportunities for jobs close to where people live, and benefit the local economy. The loss of land currently in employment use can increase commuting and / or unemployment and reduce opportunities for certain types of employment. It is considered important therefore to retain existing employment land and buildings and to prevent the development of existing or allocated employment sites for other uses.
5.23 Proposals for the loss of any employment site will be considered, in the first instance, in terms of the quantitative and qualitative effect the proposed loss would have on this supply and proposals which would have a detrimental effect individually or cumulatively will be refused. An exception to this policy for retention would be where employment uses are causing significant problems to the local environment. Where a polluting or otherwise non compatible use is in a sensitive area such as adjacent to housing or schools, then changes to a more environmentally acceptable use may be permitted. In such cases, the District Council will encourage redevelopment for a less harmful employment use (such as B1 business use) as the first preference, followed by other uses that generate employment, including tourism uses or retail development (subject to relevant policies of the Plan), and seek to ensure that the development would facilitate the relocation of the existing business to a more suitable site. The District Council will require applicants to demonstrate that real effort (through appropriate advertising at values that reflect the local market conditions) has been undertaken to achieve alternative employment uses on that site.
5.24 To ensure that the District can accommodate and retain a range of employment uses, this Plan will protect employment sites to ensure that a balanced range in terms of size and location is retained.  The Council is particularly concerned about pressure to redevelop small scale local employment sites within the urban areas and villages which add to the important mixture of uses necessary for communities in the District.
   
  Policy EC3 - Existing Employment Areas/Premises
  Proposals for new development, redevelopment and changes of use for employment uses within existing employment curtilages and / or proposals for the expansion of existing employment undertakings will be permitted provided they are acceptable in terms of environmental impact, the level of traffic movement and intrusion into the open countryside.
  Exceptionally, the redevelopment and/or change of use to non employment uses will be permitted where the existing use is unsatisfactory or where the benefit of the proposed use outweighs the need to retain the existing use.
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Farm Diversification Including Re-Use Of Redundant Rural Buildings
5.25 Farm diversification enterprises provide a significant source of new and varied employment opportunities and are an important way of supporting farm incomes.  They help to maintain the vitality of farms and to sustain the rural economy.  In line with the Council’s desire to promote and protect the rural economy we will support farm diversification proposals that help to sustain farming or contribute to the local economy whilst at the same time not having an adverse impact on the environment, landscape character and social and economic vitality of rural areas. PPS7 recognises that “diversifying into non-agricultural activities is vital to the continuing viability of many farm enterprises”.  Proposals should not however “result in excessive expansion and encroachment of building development into the countryside”.
 
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5.26 The inter-relationship between the type and level of activity together with its location, requires careful consideration if the character of the landscape is to be conserved or enhanced.  Proposals will be assessed in terms of the ability or capacity of the locality or wider landscape to accommodate the development proposed without an unacceptable adverse impact on its character or appearance.  In this respect the visual impact of a proposal and the effect of any increased activity levels will all be considered both individually and in terms of any cumulative effect.
5.27 Farm diversification projects not only assist the viability of the farm, but may also in some cases create additional employment and contribute to the development of tourism.  However, projects which create large numbers of jobs and/or attract large numbers of visitors will need careful assessment in relation to their environmental and transportation impacts.
5.28 The nature and scale of any farm diversification scheme should be appropriate to its landscape and countryside setting.  PPS7 encourages the re-use of existing buildings and the potential visual impacts of a proposal will be reduced if it can be accommodated through the conversion of an existing farm building.  However some enterprises may require new build accommodation.  Applicants must therefore fully demonstrate why it is not possible to accommodate a proposal through the re-use of an existing building.  In these cases the Council will impose conditions to ensure that activities within new buildings are operated and remain as part of the agricultural holding.  New buildings will need to satisfy development objectives of the Plan and be of a design and scale appropriate to their rural surroundings. 
5.29 Where proposals are likely to generate additional levels of traffic, it will be beneficial for sites to be accessible by a range of transport modes, such as public transport, cycling and walking.  This will broaden the travel choice for potential users and may reduce the overall number of vehicle trips, as well as enabling access for non-car users.
5.30 Examples of projects which are acceptable in principle for farm diversification projects include small scale holiday accommodation (e.g. barn conversions, caravan sites) capitalising on the rural environment, businesses involving the keeping of animals, and farm shops. Tourism related development is an important aspect of many farm diversification proposals.  Provision of overnight accommodation for tourists can provide a valuable source of additional income.
 
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5.31 Planning permissions for farm diversification projects may need to limit the range of acceptable uses if some other possible developments within the use class of the project would be unacceptable.  Significant expansion proposals by businesses which started as farm diversification projects will need to be examined critically to avoid contact with the overall strategy and sustainability considerations.
5.32 When considering planning applications for farm diversification schemes the Council will need to be satisfied that the proposal is part of a genuine attempt to support an existing farming enterprise- not to replace that business.  Applications should be accompanied by sufficient supporting information to enable the Council to assess the benefits of the proposal to the agricultural unit over a long-term period.  Genuine farm diversification projects will provide a regular supplement to the income of the farm, rather than a one-off receipt.
   
  Policy EC4 - Farm Diversification Including Re-use of Redundant Rural Buildings
  Proposals for farm diversification projects will be permitted provided that all of the following criteria are met:
  1) The proposed activity is compatible with agricultural operations on the farm and would not prejudice the efficient functioning of surrounding land uses.
  2) Existing or redundant rural buildings are utilised wherever it is practicable to do so.
  3) Where a proposal involves utilising existing buildings which are of architectural or historic merit, the design, materials and detailing of any alterations or additions must be sympathetic to the character and appearance of the building.
  4) It does not result in excessive expansion and encroachment of building development into the open countryside.
  5) It does not result in an unacceptable traffic impact on roads servicing the site.
  6) The development would not result in an adverse impact on neighbouring residential properties or the local landscape and environment.
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Shopping And Town Centres
5.33 This section sets out policies aimed at supporting South Holland's market towns as focal points for retailing and other services and facilities.  There are also policies relating to retailing in other locations, and for particular types of retailing; these policies do not detract from the priority given to the main shopping centres.
 
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5.34 National planning policy for retailing in Planning Policy Statement 6- Planning for Town Centres sets the context for the Council's policies.  The Council commissioned a consultant's report to study retailing in the district and to recommend a policy approach, together with an update report since the First Deposit Draft.  The update report is available as a background paper to the local plan.  The consultants found no need for the Local Plan to identify specific sites for convenience shopping, although there will be need to do so when we prepare the Local Development Framework. In respect of comparison shopping, some need has been identified but the Council proposes to rely on existing identified or vacant sites until we prepare the LDF.
5.35 Town centres play an important economic and social role for the people of the District, whether they live in towns or in the surrounding rural areas.  Town centres are, however, subject to many pressures and changes, resulting from the commercial changes in retailing, changes in accessibility and transport, and changes in personal lifestyles.  The Council is keen to promote South Holland's town centres through town centre management and initiatives such as the Rural Action Zone and Market Towns Initiative.
5.36 The most significant recent retail development in the District is the Springfields Retail Outlet which is on the outskirts of Spalding.  This proposal was supported in acknowledgement of circumstances which resulted in the rejuvenation of the original horticultural gardens to provide new Festival Gardens, visitor attractions and Tourist Information together with retail facilities.
5.37 Retailing is one important role for town centres.  They also contain professional and administrative services and leisure, recreation and tourism facilities such as licensed premises, amusement arcades and hot food takeaways.  Together all these create sustainable locations of activity.  The following policies are designed to enable town centres to develop for a mixture of uses.
5.38 Hotel accommodation is an important service to tourism and local businesses.  The policies allow for hotel development in town centres to contribute to the mix of uses.  Town centres are seen as first priority for hotel development.
5.39 Although non-residential development is essential to support the role of town centres, this does not rule out the development of sites for new residential development (e.g. flats over shops), subject to individual proposals being acceptable in the context of the strategy for housing development, and not impeding the development of town centre businesses.
5.40 A hierarchy of centres in South Holland has been devised, based on the consultant's study and the definitions contained previously in PPG6.
5.41 Spalding and Holbeach are both of sufficient size and contain a broad enough range of facilities and services to be defined as Retail Town Centres.  For Spalding, the plan makes specific mention of the Northern Expansion Area and of the land to the rear of the White Hart Hotel.
 
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5.42 In Holbeach, the land and premises adjacent to the town centre boundary between the rear of premises in High Street (eastwards from the Chequers Hotel) and Park Road (opposite to the car-park entrance), is of particular significance.  Any development in this area should contribute to the aim of strengthening links between the recent Tesco store and nearby car parks and the main shopping streets of Holbeach.  Retail development which may form part of any proposals for this area will need to satisfy the policies in this plan.  The site will be given considerable weight in 'sequential test' terms because of its location.
5.43 Long Sutton is classed as a Retail District Centre since it contains a single supermarket, a limited range of non-food shops and a high proportion of retail units occupied by the service sector.  We intend to encourage appropriate retail development in Long Sutton in order to strengthen its role as a retail district centre.
5.44 Sutton Bridge, Crowland and Donington are classed as Retail Local Centres.  We intend to encourage additional appropriate retail development in Crowland if a suitable opportunity arises during the plan period, because of the need to strengthen Crowland's town centre in the face of competition particularly from Peterborough.  Donington is classed as a retail local centre, despite the settlement not being defined as a town in the Structure Plan.  It has a more limited influence than Sutton Bridge and Crowland, but is well-used and does have some non-retail services.
 
Development Within Retail Town, District And Local Centres
5.45 This policy applies to Spalding, Holbeach, Long Sutton, Crowland, Sutton Bridge and Donington.  It defines their centres (the ‘defined retail centres’ as shown on the proposals map), where the development of "town centre" uses is to be promoted as the Council's first priority.  No specific sites are allocated solely for retail development (but see policies EC13 and EC14 for mixed use development including retail.)  We do however anticipate a need to consider potential allocations as part of preparing our Local Development Framework in due course.
5.46 A wide range of uses contributes to the vitality and viability of town centres, including hotels and dwellings.  Developments which include residential accommodation require careful siting to co-exist satisfactorily with other town centre activities, and to avoid displacing important town centre business frontages. The Council will monitor the impact of non retail uses on vitality and viability.
   
  Policy EC5 - Development Within Retail Town, District and Local Centres
  Defined retail centres will be the focus for new retail, employment, leisure and other key town centre uses.  Retail (and other) proposals which help to sustain and enhance the economic role of the defined retail centres, and which are otherwise in accordance with the policies of this plan, will be permitted.
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Development In Primary Shopping Areas
5.47 This policy applies to Spalding and Holbeach, which are South Holland's main shopping centres.  This role is characterised by the presence of large numbers of shops in the main shopping streets, which are defined in this policy and protected from harmful reductions in the number of shops. There are no specific measures regarding the number of units not in Class A1 use. The Council will assess the degree of undermining or harm to the area on a case by case basis. However, given the amount of change that has taken place over time, the policy will be applied rigorously.
   
  Policy EC6 - Development In Primary Shopping Areas
  Development proposals resulting in the change of use from retail (Class A1) to non-retail on the ground floors within the primary shopping area will be permitted except where the number or coalescence of such uses would undermine the dominant retail function or harm the vitality and viability of the town centre.
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Retail Development Outside Defined Retail Centres
5.48 This policy applies to retail developments of significant size i.e. of 200 sq m or more gross floorspace.  Proposals will need to satisfy the challenging requirements set out in PPS6 in order to demonstrate that they will not jeopardise the vitality and viability of town centres, and that the proposed sites are sustainable.
   
  Policy EC7 - Retail Development Outside Defined Retail Centres
  Retail development outside defined retail centres will be permitted only where there is an identified need for the development, and:
  1) the proposal is consistent with the sequential approach to site selection;
  2) the development would not adversely affect the vitality and viability of any nearby retail town, district or local centre;
  3) the development would be conveniently accessible to its catchment population by a choice of means of transport; and
  4) there would be no significant adverse environmental impact.
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Small Scale Retail Development
5.49 This policy applies to small scale retail developments of under 200 sq m gross floor space.  It allows for the development of new shops in villages and in urban areas outside the defined retail centres, to serve the locality.
   
  Policy EC8 - Small Scale Retail Development
  Within the defined settlement limits, or at, or close to, the centre of other rural settlements, small scale retail developments will be permitted provided that they are of a scale to meet only the immediate needs of the local community.
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Town Centre Evening Economy
5.50 Town centres act as a focus for community leisure activity and the night time economy makes a valuable contribution to their overall vitality and viability. Facilities include cafes, restaurants, public houses, nightclubs, casinos and cinemas and it is important to ensure that the needs of all sectors of the community including those who live in town centres are balanced. An over emphasis on alcohol-based leisure can result in problems of anti-social behaviour, vandalism and public disorder which may intimidate and deter other town centre visitors, harm the amenity of town centre residents and place pressure on limited police resources.  Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires that in carrying out its functions the Council considers measures to prevent crime and enhance community safety.
5.51 Whilst wishing to encourage a diverse evening economy the Council will carefully assess proposals for Class A3 (cafes and restaurants), Class A4 (public houses) and other leisure uses within town centres to ensure that individually or cumulatively they do not cause demonstrable harm. 
5.52 Applicants for planning permission for these uses will be expected to address the following issues:-
 
  • refuse storage and collection arrangements, including collection of bottles for recycling;
  • a statement detailing delivery and servicing arrangements to include hours, frequency and size of delivery vehicles, and the point of drop-off;
  • an operational statement detailing the precise nature of the operation, including hours of opening and capacity;
  • an acoustic assessment including mitigation measures to prevent noise nuisance;
  • CCTV provision and other community safety initiatives including lighting in the locality, without causing light pollution.
 
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5.53 Planning conditions may be used in some circumstances to restrict the type of use permitted, for example to restrict the use of a particular premises to restaurant use, or to require minimum opening hours to ensure that there is daytime as well as evening use.
5.54 Class A5 uses (hot food take-aways) are considered separately under policy EC10.
   
  Policy EC9 - Town Centre Evening Economy
  Within defined retail centres, proposals for cafes, restaurants, public houses and other leisure uses will be permitted provided that individually, or cumulatively with other existing such uses, they would not harm the amenity of town centre residents or businesses or prejudice the enjoyment of town centres by the wider community by virtue of noise or general disturbance, smell, anti-social behaviour or public disorder.
  Applicants for planning permission for these uses will be required to demonstrate that they have taken into account matters including refuse storage and disposal, servicing, noise mitigation measures, community safety and measures to prevent anti-social behaviour associated with the use.
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Hot Food Take-Aways
5.55 The effect of Class A5 uses (hot food take-aways) in the local environment can vary widely.  In town centres fast food outlets with attractive frontages can add to the vitality of a shopping area.  However, they can also give rise to vehicular and pedestrian traffic, litter, noise, smells and fumes, often in the late evening, which can have a harmful effect on the amenity of local residents.  In some instances they may reduce the choice of local convenience shops to serve the daily requirements of local people.   The cumulative effect of a number of these outlets in town centres can add to these problems.
   
  Policy EC10 - Hot Food Take-Aways
  Proposals for the establishment of hot food take-away outlets will be permitted where:
  1) the use would not harm the amenity of local residents by reason of smell and noise nuisance or be likely to lead to harm to their amenity by reason of anti-social behaviour associated with customers and vehicles;
  2) the proposal would not lead to a concentration of such uses within a particular area which would cumulatively harm the amenity of local residents by reason of noise and general disturbance, or anti-social behaviour, or be likely cumulatively to harm the character or the shopping function of the area; and
  3) satisfactory extract ventilation can be achieved without the need for externally mounted equipment which would harm the character and appearance of the host building and of the area in which it is set.
  Planning conditions will be imposed to restrict hours of use in appropriate circumstances and an acoustic report may be required to demonstrate that there will be no noise nuisance to any adjoining residential property.
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Farm Shops
5.56 This policy accords with Government advice which envisages farm diversification to support agriculture and the rural economy in ways which are acceptable in the rural environment. Farm shops principally sell produce from the farms on which they are located.  We will implement this policy through our formal planning procedures, including the imposition of conditions on planning permissions which define the types of goods which may be sold at farm shops.
   
  Policy EC11 - Farm Shops
  Proposals for new farm shops will be permitted subject to all of the following criteria being met:
  1) The sale of produce to the public remains an ancillary operation to the main function of the farm.
  2) The proposal does not affect the viability of existing accessible local shopping facilities.
  3) Existing farm buildings are used where possible, or the proposed shop buildings should relate well to the existing farm buildings.
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Garden Centres
5.57 Garden centres are retail outlets which sell a variety of products including flowers, plants, garden equipment and other related goods. They often require large buildings and car parks and are often situated on the edge of settlements.
5.58 The retail impact of any proposals will be assessed as for other retail developments outside defined retail centres.
5.59 We will implement this policy through our formal planning procedures, including the imposition of conditions on planning permissions to define the types of goods which may be sold at garden centres in the interests of protecting the overall strategy for retailing generally.
 
South Holland Local Plan - Adopted July 2006
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  Policy EC12 - Garden Centres
  Proposals for new garden centres or extensions to existing garden centres will only be permitted where the following criteria are met:
  1) The range of goods to be sold is predominantly garden centre related, and consists mainly of plants and associated gardening goods, and not household wares, ornaments, general gifts, clothing or other goods.
  2) The site is easily accessible by a choice of means of transport to the catchment population.
  Where a site is outside the defined retail centres, all proposals will be assessed in accordance with either Policy EC7 or EC8.
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The Northern Expansion Area, Spalding
5.60 This land, extending alongside the railway line from north of Chatterton Tower to Pinchbeck Road, was allocated in the previous local plan for retail development, together with an associated road linking Pinchbeck Road and the existing roundabout.
5.61 There is no longer a need for this site to be allocated solely for retail development.  However, its strategic location close to the town centre and public transport mean that it is suitable for a mixed use development, the form of which requires detailed study. We will consider preparing a development brief for this site in partnership with the owners of the site.  As part of this work we will examine the possibility of constructing a new link road as part of the development scheme.  The route for this road is safeguarded by policy TC1.
   
  Policy EC13 - The Northern Expansion Area, Spalding
  Proposals for mixed use development on the Northern Expansion Area, as defined on the proposals map, should be appropriate to its location close to the town centre and with a significant number of dwellings nearby. A significant proportion of development on the site must comprise retail and development may also include residential.
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Land Rear Of The White Hart, Spalding
5.62 This site is located close to the heart of Spalding's traditional shopping centre.  It has planning permission for retail development, part of which has been implemented.  There has also been some residential development.  The site has constraints including access and its relationship to nearby buildings, many of which are listed, and uses which appear to be making it unattractive commercially for an entirely retail development.  It is therefore allocated for a mixed use development, including retail.
 
South Holland Local Plan - Adopted July 2006
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  Policy EC14 - Land Rear of The White Hart, Spalding
  Proposals for mixed use development, on land to the rear of the White Hart, Spalding, as defined on the proposals map, should be appropriate to its town centre location and its relationship to the buildings which surround it. A significant proportion of development on the site must be retail.
 
 
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