Surrey Heath Draft Local Plan Issues Options/Preferred Options, 2018

4 Employment

 Image 3 - Employment



4.1 This section sets out the Council's preferred approach and alternative approaches to employment land within Surrey Heath. A key strength of Surrey Heath's economy is in the diversity of the sectors present. Strong employment sectors include: specialist engineering; pharmaceuticals and chemicals; information technology; financial/business services, logistics/distribution; and, health. Surrey Heath has high rates of employment and economic activity, strong GVA per head and overall, a highly skilled labour market catchment area. High proportions of the working age population have higher level qualifications and/or high level occupations.

National Policy Context

4.2 In the preparation of this section, regard has been had to paragraphs 18-22 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), 2012 which sets out the Government's approach for building a strong and competitive economy, including the need for sites for employment use.

4.3 The Planning Practice Guidance (PPG): Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment sets out guidance for considering economic development needs in the plan making process.

The national policies relating to economic development and employment land are available to view in more detail in the online version of the Government's NPPF.

View the guidance contained within the PPG, located on the Government's website.


Sub Regional Context

4.4 Surrey Heath Borough lies within the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area that stretches for approximately seventy-five miles through Hampshire and Surrey from the New Forest in the south to the perimeter of Heathrow Airport in the north.


Enterprise M3 LEP Area


4.5 The allocation and protection of sufficient employment land in the Borough will be necessary to successfully deliver the objectives of the LEP's Strategic Economic Plan, specifically developing the key sectors and increasing the amount of jobs and businesses by 2020.

The full version of the Enterprise M3 LEP Strategic Economic Plan is accessible from the LEP's website.

Local Strategies and Evidence

Surrey Heath Corporate Plan - Five Year Strategy

4.6 The preferred policy approach would support the objectives set out in Surrey Heath's Five Year Strategy 2016-2021. One of the Council's principal objectives' is to sustain and promote the local economy so that Surrey Heath's people can work and do business across the Borough.

View the full version of Surrey Heath's Five Year Strategy, located on the Council's website.


Surrey Heath Economic Development Strategy

4.7 The Council's Economic Strategy recognises that Surrey Heath has an active business community with several prestigious and global firms located in the Borough. The Strategy contains three principal economic objectives, based upon evidence gathered about the Borough's economic trends, performance and future employment trajectory.

View Surrey Heath's Economic Development Strategy, located on the Council's website.


2016 Employment Land Review of Functional Economic Area

4.8 Surrey Heath shares strong economic linkages with Hart District and Rushmoor Borough, which are both located in Hampshire. The three authorities together form a single Functional Economic Area referred to as the HRSH FEA.

4.9 An updated Employment Land Review (ELR) was produced in 2016 covering the HRSH FEA. The ELR is a key piece of evidence that informs the Borough's emerging policy approaches to employment land.

4.10 The ELR sets provision that the FEA authorities may decide to select one of the following allocation options for each of the employment sites assessed in this study through their emerging Development Plan:

1. Allocate the site as a strategic employment site through emergingDevelopment Plans.

2.Allocate the site as a locally important employment site throughemerging Development Plans.

3.Allocate the site as either a strategic or locally important employmentsite, but revise the site boundary through emerging Development Plans.

4. Do not allocate the site through emerging Development Plans.

This approach is taken forward is in this Issues and Options consultation document.

View the 2016 ELR study, including Appendix 1 which contains the Surrey Heath site assessments, located within the Evidence Base section of Surrey Heath Borough Council's website.

4.11 The following policies will be replaced in the new Local Plan (2016-2032).

Adopted Core Strategy & Development Management Policies DPD 2012

  • CP8 - Employment
  • DM1 - The Rural Economy
  • DM2 - Development within Chobham
  • DM13 - Employment and Development Outside Core Employment Areas

Saved Surrey Heath Local Plan 2000 Policies

  • E6 - Employment Revitalisation Areas
  • E8 - Land at Half Moon Street, Bagshot

Camberley Town Centre Area Action Plan 2014

  • TC5 - Employment


Draft Objectives for Employment Policies

4.12 The following table sets out the draft objective for employment land in the Issues and Options/Preferred Options consultation draft Local Plan.

Objective B

To identify and protect Strategic and Locally Important employment sites to help fulfil the Borough's role in facilitating strong economic performance across all sectors within the Functional Economic Area (Hart Rushmoor and Surrey Heath) and the wider EM3 LEP area


Policy Approaches to Employment Land

4.13 The preferred policy approach and alternative approaches to employment land are set out below.

Preferred Policy Approach to Employment Land

The preferred approach seeks to promote economic growth in Surrey Heath, securing the retention of existing businesses that contribute to the local economy and support the EM3 LEP's identified priority and niche sectors. This will be achieved by:

  • Allocating the following sites as Strategic Employment Sites - sites that fulfil a strategic function within the Functional Economic Area:
    • Admiralty Park, Camberley
    • Albany Park, Frimley
    • Camberley Town Centre,
    • Eli Lilly, Windlesham
    • Frazer Nash, Chobham
    • Frazer Nash, Mytchett,
    • Frimley Business Park, Frimley
    • Lyon Way, Frimley,
    • Sir William Siemens Square, Frimley,
    • Watchmoor Business Park, Camberley,
    • York Town Industrial Estate, Camberley;
  • Allocating the following sites as Locally Important Employment sites - sites that are recognised for the important role they play in servicing the local economy and supporting small / local businesses:
    • Tanners Yard, Bagshot;
    • SC Johnson, Frimley Green,
    • Linsford Business Centre, Mytchett,
    • Bridge Road Trade & Industrial Park, Camberley,
    • Former Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) Site, Longcross near Chobham,
    • Mitie, Frimley Green,
    • St Georges Industrial Estate & Helix Business Park, Camberley,
    • Employment land at Fairoaks Airport
  • Introducing a policy that protects Strategic Employment Sites for employment uses (B-class, which includes: B1 - Business, B2 - General Industry, B8 Storage & Distribution) and encourages the redevelopment or upgrading of these sites for additional employment uses (B-class), including the provision of incubator uses for short term occupancy;
  • Introducing a policy that affords protection for Locally Important Employment Sites for employment uses (B-class) whilst enabling the redevelopment of such sites for employment and alternate uses including the provision of incubator uses for short term occupancy;
  • Revising boundaries to include areas adjacent to existing Core Employment Areas which could fulfil employment needs or alternatively, exclude certain areas that no longer meet employment needs;
  • Introducing a policy that supports the sustainable growth and expansion of businesses within rural areas including those which provide for leisure and tourism, having regard to the impact of employment uses on the countryside;
  • Working with partner authorities such as Surrey County Council to ensure the delivery of infrastructure to support the needs of businesses in Surrey Heath.
  • Working with infrastructure providers, such as broadband operators, to support small and medium businesses, including home working.

Alternative Approaches to Employment Land

  • Retaining the existing Core Employment Areas and not allocating or reallocating sites as Strategic Employment Sites or Locally Important Employment Sites;
  • To not have a policy on rural businesses and to consider each application for business use on its individual impact on the countryside.