Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document

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(5) 3 ECONOMY AND TOWN CENTRES

Local Plan Policies

Other relevant Strategies & Guidance

  • SP3: Employment
  • SP4: Town Centres, Local Centres and Community Shops
  • SP9: Design and sustainability
  • ETC3: New retail, leisure and other main town centre development
  • ETC6: Local Centres
  • D1: Sustainable design
  • Site-specific policy criteria
  • Hertfordshire LEP Strategic Economic Plan
  • Hertfordshire Skills Strategy
  • NHDC Economic Development Strategy
  • Town Centre Strategies for Baldock, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City and Royston

3.1 Policy context

3.1.1 The NPPF seeks to support economic growth and support the role that town centres play at the heart of local communities[12].

3.1.2 The Local Plan sets out our aspiration to provide an appropriate balance between skills, housing and economic development. It recognises the contribution of 'footloose' careers in sectors such as construction and the trades in the overall employment balance of the District.

3.1.3 The retail policies of the Plan seek to maintain the vibrancy and vitality of key centres within the District. This includes the main town centres of our largest settlements as well as smaller parades of shops serving a local function.

3.1.4 The Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) provides the strategic framework for economic growth within the county. This is supported by local strategies for economic development and our town centres.

3.2 Business, economic development, local employment and training

3.2.1 We will support and promote the use of local people and businesses through the construction and delivery phases of new developments. We will particularly encourage these on our larger and strategic sites. These will have build-out periods lasting a number of years and will deliver significant employment and supply-chain opportunities over a prolonged period. Once implemented they will provide ongoing employment opportunities in shops, schools and other facilities. On longer-running schemes we will also encourage the creation of apprenticeship programmes providing the opportunity for local people to develop skills and put these into practice. These approaches will help to deliver social value through the planning system.

3.2.2 Where these measures are pursued, we will incorporate a (commitment to the production of a Local Labour Agreement within the S106 agreement. The detail of the Local Labour Agreement should be informed having regard to recognised resources and toolkits such as the Construction Industry Training Board's client based approach.

3.2.3 Any specific requirements relating to built development for B-class employment uses are set out in relevant policies and site criteria. Where appropriate and necessary, relevant measures may be secured in any legal agreement relating to the relevant planning application(s) for those schemes.

3.3 Regeneration, town centres and streetscapes

3.3.1 Each of the District's four main towns has a recognisable town centre. Over time a range of enhancement works have been carried out to maintain their distinctive characters and vibrancy. Contributions towards future town centre public realm enhancements will be sought from relevant major development schemes potentially including (but not necessarily limited to):

  • Schemes for development within existing town centres;
  • Schemes for out-of-centre development where such contributions may help preserve the vitality and / or viability of the existing centre(s); and
  • Schemes elsewhere that may result in a substantive increase in footfall in existing town centres.

3.3.2 Major residential or non-residential development schemes near town centres have potential to drive substantive increases in footfall in town centres. Schemes for out-of-centre development will have to meet the necessary policy tests in regards to the sequential and impact tests. It may be that within the impact tests, contributions could be nominated or sought to mitigate harm to the vitality or viability of an existing town centre to an acceptable level.

3.3.3 Contributions may be sought for improvements to the wider public realm, the installation of specific facilities such as bike racks or street furniture or features such as public art. Specific projects for which contributions may be sought will be identified in an updated suite of Town Centre Strategies. Work on these is due to commence during 2020.

3.3.4 Where potential improvements are identified adjacent or otherwise in close proximity to a development site it may be appropriate for the applicant to carry out works directly with the approval of any other relevant bodies (such as the freeholder of the land affected). Alternatively, financial contributions may be sought.

3.3.5 Improvements to public realm will not necessarily be confined to the main town centres. Where appropriate, we will seek contributions towards public realm improvements in smaller centres and other areas which play an important role in defining place and supporting the day-to-day function of the built environment. Priorities for public realm enhancements may be identified in Neighbourhood Plans or other locally-led strategies or initiatives, such as Parish Plans. Applicants should have regard to any relevant policies or requirements applicable to their scheme.

3.3.6 The Council may seek contributions towards the ongoing maintenance of any public realm improvements to be provided.



[12] NPPF Paragraphs 80 and 85

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