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Contents

Preface
Timetable
  1. Introduction
  2. Background to the Plan

Part One

  3. General strategy and Part One policies

Part Two

  4. The reasons for the Council's strategy
  5. Environment
  6. Housing
  7. Employment and economic activity
  8. Traffic and transportation
    Annex 1 - Parking policy standards
  9. Shopping and town centres
  10. Tourism and leisure
  11. Bexleyheath Town Centre
  12. Thames-side
  13. Community services
  14 Minerals and waste processing
  15. Monitoring and review

Maps and plans

  4.1 Context diagram
  7.1 Crayford Industrial Area
  9.1 Sidcup - Major district centre
  9.2 Crayford - Major district centre
  9.3 Erith - Major district centre
  9.4 Welling - Major district centre
  9.5 Blackfen - District centre
  9.6 Belvedere - District centre
  9.7 Northumberland Heath - District centre
  9.8 Old Bexley - District centre
  11.1 Bexleyheath – Strategic centre
  12.1 Thames Policy Area
  12.2 Erith Riverside Redevelopment areas referred to in Policy TS21
    Lesnes Abbey Woods Nature Reserve
    Danson Park Bog Garden Nature Reserve
    Foots Cray Meadows Nature Reserve
    Crossness Nature Reserve
  K. Controlled Parking Zones

Design and Development Control guidelines

  1. New residential development
  2. Extensions to houses
  3. Residential conversions
  4. Considerate design for the less agile
  5. Highways considerations in Development Control
  6. Erith Riverside
  7. Shopfronts and advertisements
  8. Industrial and commercial development
  9. Temporary planning permissions
  10. Playspace provision in new developments

Appendices

  A Glossary
  B Local Nature Reserves
  C Areas and Sites of Nature Conservation
  D1 Statutorily listed buildings
  D2 Locally listed buildings
  D3 Scheduled ancient monuments
  D4 Registered historic parks and gardens
  E Conservation Areas
  F1 Housing provision in Bexley (April 2004)
  F2 Housing proposals schedule
  F3 Residential Areas of Special Character
  G Neighbourhood Centres
  H Hierarchy of public open space
  I Business land provision
  J Additional uses for which Policy E13 applies
  K Existing and proposed Controlled Parking Zones
  L Key indicators and targets for the UDP
  M Index to policies by subject
Policy list
Policy text
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7. Employment and economic activity

7.1        When the Borough Plan was prepared in the early 1980s, high unemployment associated with international recession led to importance being attached nationally, regionally and locally, to the encouragement of industrial and commercial activity

7.2        Following a significant decline in the late 1980s, local employment began to increase. Table 7.1 shows more recent unemployment trends in the borough in comparison with Greater London and outer London. Although there are significant variations in unemployment levels throughout the borough, local unemployment has tended to be lower than in both Greater London and Outer London. However, the local economy as a whole remained vulnerable to a range of outside influences. These include:

Table 7.1 Unemployment trends 1994-2002

Year

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

L.B. Bexley

8.2

7.3

6.7

4.6

3.6

3.1

2.4

2.1

2.5

London

13.3

11.9

11.1

8.0

6.8

6.0

4.9

4.3

4.7

Great Britain

11.8

10.2

9.6

7.0

6.2

5.6

4.7

4.2

4.2

The rates shown indicate people receiving the Jobseeker’s Allowance each September as a percentage of claimants plus all employee jobs as estimated at 30th June of the preceding year.

7.3        Industry is also becoming increasingly aware of environmental protection issues and the essential contribution of environmental protection measures to the quality of life.  The increased use of fiscal incentives for good environmental performance, such as the introduction of taxes on landfill and carbon emissions, also affects local industry. The 'green' impetus has a series of implications for the local economy in terms of increased operating costs and a reduction in investment opportunities. Part One of this Plan refers to the need to strike a balance that places a high value on environmental protection and the quality of life, whilst helping to sustain a healthy economy in a period of uncertainty and change.

7.4        The Council’s employment, economic development and regeneration strategies reflected in this Plan have the following aims:

Additionally, the Council will pursue other non land use objectives as part of its employment strategy related to vocational training, small business development services and counselling and advice services.

7.5        For the purposes of this Plan, references to industrial or commercial uses relate to the following unless otherwise stated.

The Classes referred to are as described in Part B of the Schedule to the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. The Special Industrial Zones in Policy E13 below, are intended only for the uses prescribed in that policy and in Appendix J. Sui generis uses (uses that do not fall into a use category prescribed by the Use Classes Order 1987) will be considered on their individual merits having regard to the objectives and policies for each area and the appropriateness of the use in each location.

General policies

Policy E1

Proposals for development for industrial and commercial uses will be resisted unless the following conditions are met:

  1. there should be no material adverse effects on the health, safety or amenities of the occupants of residential areas or neighbouring properties;
  2. the development is satisfactory in terms of design, scale and layout in relation to adjoining uses and buildings;
  3. the development satisfies the requirements of Policy T6 with regard to effects on the local highway network and the availability of public transport, and adequate site access can be provided; and
  4. the proposal makes adequate provision for vehicle parking in accordance with the Council's current standards and there is adequate turning and manoeuvring space.

    In addition the Council will take into account the following when determining applications for planning permission for these uses:

  5. provision of appropriate landscaping, including the retention of suitable trees and shrubs and nature conservation features; and
  6. the need for safeguards against discharges from the development that could lead to the build up of high levels of pollution or find their way into water courses.

7.6               The Council wishes to encourage the retention and expansion of existing firms in the borough and to attract new business to the area, but a balance needs to be struck between this and the need to maintain environmental standards and safeguards. Indeed, a good quality environment will encourage new investment to the area. Policy E1 applies to all employment locations. The Primary Employment Areas, Secondary Employment Areas and Preferred Office Locations designated on the Proposals Map are the subject of more specific policies that would need to be met in addition to Policy E1. However, not all businesses need or can be located in the main centres of industry and commerce. In these instances, and in all instances where industry and commerce are located close to housing, it will be especially important that new development is compatible with the surrounding area. Proposals should have regard to the appended Design and Development Control Guidelines for industrial and commercial development.

Policy E2

Where appropriate and as long as a demand exists, the Council will encourage the provision of small business units, by means of redevelopment or conversion of existing premises and as part of new developments within Primary Employment Areas. The Council will take account of the needs of existing or proposed occupiers and the scale and type of development proposed in deciding the amount and type of small unit accommodation to be sought.

7.7        There is a need for good quality accessible sites and buildings for small businesses. Because the development and management of this type of property is an unattractive proposition for the majority of developers, such development needs to be encouraged as part of developments comprising generally larger units. The small business units referred to in Policy E2 relate to the uses defined at paragraph 7.5. The amount and type of small business accommodation which will be sought will depend on the particular local circumstances and it may be inappropriate, for example, to seek such accommodation where a site is to be developed for a named occupier. As a guide, the Council has identified a need for enterprise units (up to 50m²) and accommodation for small businesses (up to 250m²). To achieve this, it may be necessary for arrangements to be made whereby a single head lease is taken by those managing the small unit accommodation. Tenants would have the advantage of a licence offering easy in/easy out tenure. This would ease the administrative and management burden on the developer/landlord and could be instrumental in providing small businesses with umbrella support. Sometimes, older industrial buildings, no longer suited to their original purposes, can be successfully adapted to provide small unit accommodation on terms attractive to small businesses. The Council will support suitable proposals, subject to Policy E1 above.

7.8        The demand for accommodation for small businesses may also vary during the Plan period and will accordingly be monitored and appropriate adjustment made in the implementation of this policy.

Policy E3

The Council will encourage industrial and commercial uses to locate in the Primary Employment Areas shown on the Proposals Map in accordance with the area policies set out in this chapter and Chapter 12 (Thames-side). Land and buildings in the Primary Employment Areas will be safeguarded for industrial and commercial uses as appropriate to each area.

7.9        In accordance with Policy G14 Primary Employment Areas have been identified on the Proposals Map, and these are the Council's preferred locations for major new investment in industry and commerce. The Primary Employment Areas are as follows.

Industrial and commercial uses are defined at paragraph 7.5

7.10      In selecting these areas, national and regional policy guidance has been taken into account. They are well established as the principal locations for industry and commerce and their continued identification for these uses brings added certainty about the types of development that will be permitted. They are generally adequately separated from housing and appropriately accessed but where the constraints of the existing urban area imply otherwise, the constraints are addressed through policies addressing the detail of development.

7.11      The Council has aimed to provide for flexibility in the type of industrial and commercial development to be permitted in the Primary Employment Areas, where light industry, research and development, general industry and warehousing will generally be acceptable. For certain types of industry, Special Industrial Zones are allocated (Policy E13) and the use of the River Thames for transport is encouraged (Policy TS20).

7.12      The safeguarding of land and buildings in Primary Employment Areas for industrial and commercial uses is intended to ensure that the supply of land for these uses, in particular, the contribution for the development of land that is at present open land, is not diminished by losses to other uses. The Plan makes separate provision for other uses, such as residential and shopping. The Plan has already made a significant reduction in the allocation of land for industry (paragraphs 4.15-4.19 above) and further changes were considered through the Development Plan review process.

Policy E4

The Council will support the development of Secondary Employment Areas shown on the Proposals Map for business (Class B1) uses. Development for other uses may be permitted in the following order of preference:

  1. industrial and commercial uses, subject to Policy E1;
  2. leisure uses, subject to Policies TAL19 and TAL20;
  3. residential uses;
  4. retail uses;

or a mix of the above uses.

The Council may seek the provision of a community use as part of any major development. Before planning permission is granted for uses other than industrial or commercial, regard will be taken of the likely impact of activities undertaken by existing businesses on potential occupiers and users of the proposed development.

7.13      For the purposes of this policy, industrial and commercial uses are as defined in paragraph 7.5 and leisure uses are as referred to in policies TAL19 and TAL20. Planning Policy Guidance Note number 4 states that local planning authorities should aim to ensure there is sufficient land available for industry and commerce and that a variety of sites are provided to meet the differing practical needs of the user. It encourages the identification of specific locations for business developments in local plans, and policies for particular types of development. The Primary Employment Areas are the Council’s preferred locations for major, new industrial and commercial development, but the Secondary Employment Areas shown on the Proposals Map can play a useful role in providing local, easily accessible employment opportunities for small firms that need to be located close to their customers. Close proximity to residential streets can in turn give rise to disturbance and loss of residential amenity and the Council’s preference for uses within Use Class B1 is to ensure that the environment of nearby housing is protected as required by Policy G1. Nevertheless, there may be circumstances where other types of industrial or commercial activity may be appropriate and, in these circumstances, the conditions in Policy E1 would need to be met to ensure that the development is compatible with its location and environmental safeguards are met. In considering other uses, the requirements of Policy ENV39 will apply.

7.14      Leisure and retail development may be considered in Secondary Employment Areas provided that a need has been demonstrated for the use and that all alternative town centre and edge of centre sites have been assessed for their suitability. Mixed use development will be considered favourably at those sites immediately adjacent to major district centres. In addition, it will be important to ensure that new uses are compatible with industrial and commercial activities that remain, to avoid problems for the occupiers and users of both the new and existing developments.

7.15      In addition, it will be important to ensure that new uses are compatible with industrial and commercial activities that remain, to avoid problems for the occupiers and users of the new and existing development.

Primary Employment Areas

7.16      The Council believes that the planning approach to Primary Employment Areas should be tailored to their individual needs and potential. Furthermore, not all the land proposed for industrial/commercial development is suitable for the whole range of employment generating uses because of possible adverse effect on residential areas, traffic generation or other matters related to the considerations in Policy E1.

7.17      Much of Bexley's industry and commerce is situated in a corridor between the River Thames and the North Kent (Dartford to Woolwich) Railway line. This area straddles the South Thames Development Route and offers considerable potential for the achievement of the Council's medium term aims for economic and employment development over the next decade. The Council's strategy and policies for the Thames‑side Primary Employment Areas are set out in Chapter 12 of the Plan. Paragraphs 7.18 to 7.33 set out the Council's strategy and acceptable uses for other Primary Employment Areas.

Foots Cray Business Area

7.18      Foots Cray Business Area is the principal business area in the southern half of the borough. It sits at a prominent position at the edge of the built‑up, metropolitan area and Green Belt. It is also especially well located for road access with the A20, improved to dual two‑lane carriageway standard in 1988, providing fast links to the M25 and thence to the rest of the U.K., the Channel ports, Heathrow and Gatwick. Foots Cray has attracted firms in the manufacturing, software-support and distributive sectors and demand for land and premises in the area has remained strong.

Policy E5

In the Foots Cray Business Area the Council will:

  1. encourage the modernisation and renewal of older industrial and commercial premises to provide more high quality accommodation;
  2. encourage the rationalisation of landholdings within the area to enable the improvement or redevelopment of premises;
  3. aim to improve the identity of the area by means of marketing and environmental improvements;
  4. aim to improve access and off‑street car parking provision, particularly in the Powerscroft Road area; and
  5. seek to relocate the Powerscroft Road travellers' site as and when a suitable alternative site becomes available.

7.19      Land available for development in 2002 amounted to approximately 4 hectares in two sites. In addition, there are other sites which offer industrial investment possibilities. Although these would not necessarily increase the number of jobs, the renewal of older premises would upgrade the image of the area and help to safeguard the longer term future of jobs in Foots Cray. The present pattern of land ownerships in the area does not lend itself to easy site assembly for redevelopment and the Council has a role in helping to realise development opportunities through assistance and promotion of the area, and as a landowner.

7.20      Whilst parts of the area have improved greatly since 1981, for example parts of the Maidstone Road frontage, much of the area has developed in a piecemeal and uncoordinated way, often presenting a poor image to the visitor and potential investor. By a phased programme of environmental improvements and by gradual redevelopment and refurbishment of premises, it is intended the process of renewal and improvement will be extended to other parts of the Foots Cray Business Area. Comprehensive redevelopment for either large, single users or estates of units for smaller users can enable enhancements to the Business Area to be achieved that could not otherwise be achieved through piecemeal redevelopment. Piecemeal schemes that would prejudice wider, comprehensive proposals will be discouraged

Policy E6

Within the Foots Cray Business Area, upon land becoming available for redevelopment, the following are the only land uses (as defined by paragraph 7.5) which, together with open space, associated buildings and infrastructure, will normally be permitted:

  • business; and

subject to adequate protection of residential areas, having particular regard to visual amenities, noise, vibration and other emissions and the impact of heavy goods vehicles

  • storage and distribution
  • general industry

7.21      In comparison with some other industrial areas, Foots Cray is densely developed and only a little undeveloped land remains. It is a prime business location because of the close proximity of the A20 Strategic Road and M25 motorway and other advantages (see paragraph 7.18). Whilst existing businesses will be encouraged to stay and expand, it is essential to the Council’s strategy for the area that land which comes forward for new development/redevelopment is safeguarded for business, storage and distribution and general industrial use. A number of prominent and larger key sites on main road frontages offer opportunities for major, landmark proposals that could contribute significantly to the local industrial and commercial environment and designs should respond to this opportunity.

7.22      Adequate separation from residential areas is required by Policy E6 because some parts of the Foots Cray Business Area border residential streets, notably Maidstone Road.  It is important to ensure that developments for storage and distribution uses and general industry do not adversely affect residential amenities because of their appearance, noise, vibration or other impacts. Frontage properties in Maidstone Road comprise a mix of industry, shops, offices and housing. A significant increase in the use of Maidstone Road by heavy goods vehicles as a result of development could harm residential amenity and spoil the environment of shopping areas. For this reason the Council will resist development and redevelopment for storage, distribution and general industrial uses in this part of the Foots Cray Business Area if such development would lead to a significant increase in the use of Maidstone Road by heavy goods vehicles. Elsewhere, for example, on sites bordering Edgington Way, general industry, storage and distribution uses may also be acceptable.

Crayford Industrial Area

7.23      The Crayford Industrial Area consists of four separate estates covering about 20 hectares on land between Crayford town centre and Maiden Lane on the south side of the River Cray (Map 7.1). The former Samas Roneo site (4) includes a modern, freestanding factory in extensive grounds. It operates independently from the rest of the Crayford Industrial Area with access from Maiden Lane. The redevelopment of Acorn Industrial Park (3) for small industrial units is almost complete. The former Rich Estate has been redeveloped and now comprises the Tower Retail Park and some modern industrial units. The Crayford Industrial Estate and Swaislands Drive area (1) comprises densely developed older buildings. The Council wishes to overcome problems of poor access and circulation, inadequate servicing and car parking and to secure the longer term future of this industrial area in a manner that does not prejudice the Council's objectives for Crayford town centre (see Policy SHO(CRAY)2).

Policy E7

The Council will seek to avoid any unacceptable increase in traffic generation or environmental impact arising from the future development of the four estates that comprise the Crayford Industrial Area, in accordance with Policies G2 and T6.

7.24      The Crayford Industrial Area is located on the eastern edge of the borough. Access to the A2 at the Black Prince interchange via Bourne Road and at the Dartford Heath interchange via Princes Road and Old Bexley Lane is relatively good. Located on a busy junction between the A207 east/west route and the A2000 (Perry Street) and A223 (Bourne Road) north/south route, Crayford suffers from through traffic. The location of the Crayford Industrial Area adjacent to Crayford town centre, in conjunction with some access difficulties, has contributed to deteriorating traffic conditions in the town centre and the adjoining residential areas.

7.25      Access to both the former Rich Estate and the Acorn Industrial Park has been improved through redevelopment. However, in the longer term, solutions are required to address the traffic problems. These will be considered in conjunction with work on the Crayford Strategy and Action Plan (see Policy SHO(CRAY)3).

7.26      Policy E7 is needed to keep traffic generation from the estates, associated with new development, to a level that does not overburden the existing junctions onto Crayford Road and Maiden Lane and roads in Crayford town centre. It is needed to protect residential amenities and to prevent the viability and vitality of Crayford town centre from being undermined by the environmental effects of Crayford Industrial Area traffic, including noise, vibration, pollution, congestion, severance and visual intrusion. In applying this policy to individual planning proposals, regard will be had to Policy G2 and Policy T6, which set out the basis for assessing the effects of proposals on the highway network.

Policy E8

The Council will seek the interlinkage of all the four estates within the Crayford Industrial Area, together with new or improved access arrangements.

7.27      Although the estates that make up the Crayford Industrial Area share common boundaries, they have separate arrangements for vehicular access and these are not interlinked. Crayford is located on a busy intersection of secondary roads and traffic levels are high. The number and location of access points to the Crayford Industrial Area in relation to Crayford town centre and, in some cases, their unsuitability for present day industrial requirements, contribute to traffic congestion and delay and to a poor environment in the shopping area. They also affect the redevelopment potential of the older parts of the Crayford Industrial Area and its potential for regeneration in the longer term. Traffic conditions at Crayford Bridge, in particular, are aggravated by the access onto Swaislands Drive, which provides the principal vehicular access to the Crayford Industrial Estate. Full interlinkage of the four estates would enable the rationalisation of access points onto Crayford Road, more internal traffic movements to take place within the Crayford Industrial Area, fewer turning movements, and improved traffic conditions on Crayford Road. It would also allow the closure of the access onto Swaislands Drive, thereby easing traffic movements on the Crayford gyratory system. This would allow more of the development potential of the Crayford Industrial Area to be realised, as well as allowing improvements to be made to traffic and environmental conditions in the town centre.

7.28      A development brief was prepared for the Crayford Industrial Area in consultation with the owners of the four estates. The form that interlinkage should take was addressed as part of this process.

Policy E9

Subject to Policy T6 and following interlinkage of all estates in the Crayford Industrial Area, the Council will support development on the former Samas Roneo estate for business, general industry, storage and distribution uses. In advance of interlinkage, development for these purposes will be acceptable for these purposes provided it accords with Policy E7 and does not prejudice interlinkage, in accordance with Policy E8

7.29      The former Samas Roneo site operates independently from the rest of the Crayford Industrial Area with vehicular access from Maiden Lane. It is a long established industrial location and the range of acceptable uses reflects this. Maiden Lane is designated as a Local Access Road. The restricted width of the road under the railway line to the south east of the site means that heavy goods vehicles from the estate would have to travel northwards along Maiden Lane and through a residential area before obtaining access to the primary road network. Interlinkage of the four estates in the Crayford Industrial Area, in accordance with Policy E8, will provide estate traffic with an alternative route to Crayford Road avoiding the residential area to the north. Until full interlinkage of all the estates is achieved it is necessary to restrict the amount of new development to a level that will help ensure there is no worsening of traffic conditions in Maiden Lane and other residential roads. This is to protect the amenities of housing in those roads. Additionally, it is necessary to safeguard opportunities for interlinkage to maximise the development potential of the Crayford Industrial Area.

Policy E10

Subject to Policy T6 and following interlinkage of all estates in the Crayford Industrial Area, the Council will support the development of the Acorn Industrial Park for business, general industry, storage and distribution uses. In advance of interlinkage, development for these purposes will be acceptable provided it accords with Policy E7 and does not prejudice interlinkage in accordance with Policy E8.

7.30      Redevelopment of the Acorn Industrial Park with modern industrial units is nearly complete with only the southern part of the site and final phase of the existing permission remaining to be built. The range of acceptable land uses in Policy E10 reflects those approved by the planning permission. The planning permission provided, amongst other things, for improvements to the Acorn Road junction and a contribution to improvements to the bridge over the railway adjacent to the Acorn Road junction. It also provided for the safeguarding of the route of a Crayford industrial link road through the Acorn Industrial Estate, from boundary to boundary, thereby facilitating interlinkage with adjoining estates. Although the Crayford industrial link road has not been progressed as a proposal in this Plan, full interlinkage of the four estates remains a policy objective (Policy E8 above).

7.31      The safeguarded route through the Acorn Industrial Park could be used as part of the interlinkage process, although the final form that interlinkage should take will be determined after consultation with the landowners in accordance with Policy E8 and paragraph 7.27.

Policy E11

Subject to Policy T6 and following interlinkage of all estates in the Crayford Industrial Area, the Council will support the development of the Crayford Industrial Estate for business, general industry and storage and distribution use. In advance of interlinkage, development for these purposes will be acceptable provided it accords with Policy E7 and does not prejudice interlinkage in accordance with Policy E8.

7.32      The Crayford Industrial Estate comprises older factory buildings, which have mostly been converted into small units. The combination of overall poor condition of buildings and roads, poor layout and access, and unattractive appearance make them increasingly unsuitable for modern business needs. The Council supports its redevelopment in conjunction with full interlinkage. Principal vehicular access to the estate is from Swaislands Drive, a narrow road feeding into Waterside near to its junction with Crayford Road at Crayford Bridge. Traffic conditions at this junction are worsened by the Swaislands Drive access and it is a Council objective to stop up this access near to the southern end of Swaislands Drive. For this reason the Council will resist any development of the Estate in the interim, which intensifies the use of Swaislands Drive. Until full interlinkage and alternative access arrangements are achieved it is necessary to restrict the amount of new development to a level that will help to ensure no worsening of traffic conditions in the town centre. Additionally it is necessary to safeguard opportunities for linking to adjoining estates to maximise the development potential of the Crayford Industrial Area.

Policy E12

Development of industrial land adjacent to the River Cray should, where appropriate, incorporate landscaping, to create a continuous riverside landscape feature alongside the River Cray.

7.33      The setting of the Crayford Industrial Area alongside the River Cray is an asset that could be used to provide an attractive landscaped feature for employees. The layout of buildings should also be designed to take into account the riverside setting in order to enhance its appearance for users of the landscaped area and walkers using the public footpath on the opposite bank of the River Cray. This will meet the objectives of improving access to the rivers in the borough and open up views to interesting river frontages.

Special Industrial Zones

Policy E13

The Special Industrial Zones shown on the Proposals Map will be reserved for the following uses as long as a demand exists for sites for them in this borough:

  1. ready-mixed concrete manufacture;
  2. manufacture of building products of concrete, cement, lime or plaster;
  3. ground and processed minerals, including roadstone;
  4. processing and distribution of sea‑dredged aggregates;
  5. working of stone and other non‑metallic minerals;
  6. waste processing, including recycling and scrap metal sorting; and/or
  7. the former special industrial uses identified under the Use Classes Order 1987 (see Appendix J).

Proposals should meet the conditions in Policy E1 and, where appropriate, also comply with Policy WAS2.

Proposals for waste incineration and waste to energy plants will only be permitted where they form part of the Mayor of London’s Municipal Waste Management Strategy and Spatial Development Strategy.

The Council will normally resist proposals to establish these uses outside the Special Industrial Zones and will in addition apply Policies T6 and TS14 to all developments within the Special Industrial Zones.

7.34      These uses can give rise to nuisances such as dust either from the manufacturing processes or from the transportation of materials and will tend also to be high traffic generating uses. The Council is required to make provision for such uses. Locating them within the Special Industrial Zones defined on the Proposals Map will minimise any adverse effects they may have on residential areas and on other users. The zones are remote from housing areas and, located on the Thames riverside, are capable of making good use of the river for transporting materials. Development within Special Industrial Zones should take account of the requirement to ensure that the Thames river walk and its associated accesses are retained and improved wherever the opportunity arises. The demand for land for the purposes listed in Policy E13 will be monitored and, should it become evident that a demand has or is capable of being satisfied, the Council will permit other uses. Preference would be given to other commercial and industrial uses as defined by paragraph 7.5. The land comprising Special Industrial Zones (SIZs) represents an appropriate provision of sites well located for the uses listed in Policy E13 and Appendix J for the Plan period. The objective is to ensure that proposals for development within the SIZs provide for a wide range of such uses and that they reflect efficient and economic use of available land. In pursuance of this objective, development proposals which, by virtue of their size, scale and nature, require significantly more land for non operational purposes, thus reducing the availability of land for the intended wide range of uses, are to be discouraged.

7.35      The Government recognises the importance of addressing the issue of waste disposal and in association with the relevant bodies, has prepared National Waste Strategy 2000. Certain objectives of the strategy are already widely accepted, for example, the proximity principle, which seeks to ensure that waste is processed close to where it is generated. The Mayor of London published his Municipal Waste Management Strategy (MWMS) in 2003. The land use considerations of this strategy are to be developed through Sub Regional Development Frameworks (SRDF), supplementary to the London Plan. The Council will contribute to the formulation of the East London SRDF. The Council will consider development proposals for waste processing in the light of the MWMS, the London Plan and the emerging East London SRDF and will seek to ensure that, in the interim, proposals are not contrary to the emerging SRDF.

Offices

Policy E14

The Council will encourage office developments, including changes of use and extensions within the Preferred Office Locations indicated on the Proposals Map, at Bexleyheath town centre, Erith town centre, Sidcup town centre, Crayford town centre, Foots Cray Business Area and Sidcup station, provided the following conditions are met:

  1. the development will not result in the net loss of shopping floor space in the core shopping frontages and thereby be in conflict with Policy SHO4;
  2. the development satisfies the conditions listed under Policy E1; and
  3. changes of use of upper floor accommodation comply with Policies BTC5 and SHO18.

7.36      Offices help to support and strengthen the borough's economic base, stimulate investment, provide local employment opportunities and offset commuting. The borough has not fully realised its potential for employment generation in this sector of business activity and its development would contribute to the vitality and diversity of the area. The locations identified in Policy E14 are well positioned in relation to other services and there would be positive benefits to the local economy in attracting more office development. The sales generated by office employees would benefit local shops and services and improve the climate for further commercial investment, in accordance with the Council's objective of promoting Bexleyheath town centre and other town centres (Policy G11)

Policy E15

Small-scale office developments, including changes of use and extensions, will be acceptable in other locations when all of the following criteria are met:

  1. the development satisfies the conditions listed in Policy E14;
  2. there is some planning advantage associated with the development such as an improvement to the layout and appearance of an area, or the conservation of buildings or areas of architectural or historic interest;
  3. the proposal will not result in the loss of residential land or buildings; and
  4. the proposal does not conflict with other policies of this Plan.

7.37      There is a demand for small-scale offices in District and Neighbourhood Centres. Offices also provide jobs for the largest number of residents in the borough. A policy for office location, which has regard to the need to protect the environment and residential amenities, will help to meet the need for small office suites in the borough and the demand for locally accessible employment. The criteria listed under Policy E15 are designed to ensure the compatibility of a development with the area in which it is located. A small-scale office building is as defined in paragraph 4.40. For sites on roads with a residential character, the development must be domestic in scale and appearance and incorporate a frontage building which respects the established building line. Additionally, it must be no more than three storeys in height on its road frontage and normally no more than two storeys high behind the frontage block. The design and layout should additionally have regard for the Council's layout and privacy guidelines for new residential development. In the case of buildings of architectural or historic interest, regard will also be had to Policy ENV52.