Policy E2: Location for new employment floorspace

GBC Policy

Policy E2: Location for new employment floorspace 

Proposals for new office and research and development (use Class B1a and B1b) floorspace will be directed first to Guildford town centre, then sequentially to: 

  • locations within 500m of a public transport interchange,
  • Office and Research & Development Strategic Employment Sites unless 

the proposed floorspace is limited in scale (less than 200 sq m or 25% of the existing office/R&D floorspace whichever is the lower) and/or ancillary to the primary use of the site OR the proposed floorspace meets the criteria set out in policy E4 and is appropriate to be located on Surrey Research Park. 

Where net additional floorspace exceeding 200 sq m or 25% of the existing office/R&D floorspace is proposed (whichever is the lower) in the redevelopment or extension of a building in locations other than those set out above, it will need to be demonstrated that there are: 

  • no sites available in the locations set out above
  • there is a demonstrated need, and
  • the site is or will be made accessible by sustainable modes of transport. 

The expansion of existing offices in locations outside town centres and Strategic Employment Sites should be limited and any development not limited in scale is to be directed to sequentially preferable locations. 

Industrial, warehousing and storage:

Proposals for new industrial, warehousing and storage (use Class B1c, B2 and B8) floorspace will be directed to the Industrial Strategic Employment Sites. 

All B class development:

Proposals for the development of new B class uses will be encouraged and provision for small business units (less than 50sq m), suitable for start-ups and SME will be encouraged. 

Proposals, particularly those of over 5,000 sq m, will be encouraged to provide childcare facilities on or close to the site. 

GGG Response

Summary

We OBJECT to this policy as it stands.  We are of the opinion that all new office and research and development (use Class B1a and B1b) floor space should be within Guildford town centre. We do not support the policy of expanding the Research Park onto Blackwell Farm and we do not believe there are exceptional circumstances to justify incursion into this permanent and high quality area of Green Belt

Detailed response:

  • The Surrey Research Park currently extends to 65,000 sq m
  • There is already granted consent to expand to a further 9,000 sq m (14%)
  • The past trend of expansion of Office/R &D is 0.43% pa over the period from 2004 to 2012 based on ELNA 2015 derived from VoA analysis
  • The ELNA 2015 calculated annual floor space demand is 0.7%
  • The data point for our analysis is today in 2016 so we have 17 years to go to the end of the plan period.
  • The necessary growth in floor space over the plan period is therefore 17 years x 0.7% = 11.9%
  • There is currently 14% expansion space already available
  • The proposal by GBC to expand the 65,000 sq m by 9,000 sq m (existing allocation) with an additional 35,000 sq m amounts to an increase of 67% of the Research Park which is not required
  • The Research Park is currently developed at a density of 25% plot ratio. The majority of existing buildings are 2 storeys giving a developed floor space plot ratio of 12.5%.
  • The existing Research Park has the opportunity to markedly increase its density without infringing any Green Belt land nearby. Any density increase would be cost effective for the use of all existing infrastructure and would also have the potential to match the existing densities of existing academic buildings on the university campus which are three to four times higher.
  • Together with the existing expansion of 14% through existing consents and the opportunity to increase its density the Research Park has ample capacity to expand to embrace new demand for B1b uses linked to the university.
  • A preferred location for increased B1a and B1b space should be on other existing sites close to housing and a convenient transport hub

 

 


2017 Guildford Local Plan

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