Spelthorne Local Plan - Issues & Options

Spelthorne Local Plan Issues & Options consultation paper

Employment

Employment needs

We have assessed the need for new employment floor space. This is set out in the Employment Land Needs Assessment (ELNA). We calculated the amount of floorspace needed by looking at two published forecasts for the number of people who will be employed in the Borough over the plan period and using this to work out how much floor space will be needed to accommodate them.

The ELNA only looks at the need for office, industrial and warehousing space. It doesn't include other types of development such as shops, hospitals, schools or estate agents even though people are employed in these places.

The forecasts show we will need extra land for offices and for warehousing and storage however we won't need as much land for industrial uses. The numbers are set out in the table below.

Forecast change in floorspace 2017-2035

Use Class

Change in floorspace 2017-2035 (sqm)

Offices (B1)

15,000

Industrial (B2)

-21,000

Warehousing and Storage (B8)

14,000

Total B Class

8,000

Available employment land

Options for where new employment sites could be delivered include:

  • Some of the industrial land which is no longer needed. This could be used for new warehousing and storage or for new offices. The land would need to be in the right places and suitable for such use with appropriate roads and parking
  • Intensification of existing sites
  • Mixed use development combining flats with offices in the town centre
  • Whether we should look at any weakly performing Green Belt land to deliver sites

The challenge

  • Office floorspace is being lost as buildings are converted into flats. This is done through permitted development so planning permission is not needed. Mostly older, lower quality office space has been lost
  • Protecting existing fit-for-purpose employment land from residential development. At the moment developers can make bigger profits from building homes but we need to meet the needs for jobs as well
  • Getting the right mix of flats and offices in the most sustainable locations
  • If Heathrow build a third runway they will need additional land during the construction phase and then once it is operational