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Guildford Borough Council

Proposed Submission Local Plan: strategy and sites 2017

Proposed Submission Local Plan: strategy and sites 2017 - Part 1: Policies

4.4 Economy Policies

Policy E1: Meeting Employment Needs


4.4.1 The NPPF states that one of the roles of the planning system is to contribute to building a strong, responsive and competitive economy, by ensuring that sufficient land of the right type is available in the right places and at the right time to support growth and innovation. It goes on to say local planning authorities should plan positively and proactively to meet the development needs of business and support an economy fit for the 21st century.

4.4.2 Our Corporate Plan (2015-2020) states that our borough's economy continues to perform well, being one of the strongest and most vibrant outside London, but there are signs that we could lose our competitivenesscompetitiveness could be lost to other locations. The importance of a healthy economy is a fundamental factor in shaping our society by improving the quality of life and prosperity of residents. Our priority is to encourage economic growth through knowledge, innovation and creativity. This means helping businesses to improve their productivity without damaging our quality of life or environment. A growing cluster of high-tech industries, at the cutting-edge of innovation, continues to create new employment opportunities. Key business clusters in the borough are digital, health and education.

4.4.3 We will support eExisting innovation networks such as the high technology clusters that are suchform a key part of our economy will be supported . We will also supportalong with the wide range of other businesses in our borough. The Corporate Plan supports the Council in playing an active role in Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), supporting its wider objectives to ensure that our economy remains innovative, well-balanced and socially, environmentally and commercially sustainable.

4.4.3a Local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses set up in 2011 to help determine local economic priorities and lead economic growth and job creation within the local area. They carry out some of the functions previously carried out by the regional development agencies which were abolished in 2012. The Enterprise M3 (EM3) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a public/private partnership set up to support and sustain economic growth at a local level by working with businesses, key delivery partners and central government. They signpost opportunities for business and other partners including funding and bring together people, business, public and not-for-profit sectors together to share insights and data.

4.4.4 Guildford's The borough's economy is strong in areas that the government has announced are high priority growth areas for the UK including health and life sciences, space, digital and creative industries, and professional services. We are seeing theInnovative industries have emergence emerged and clustering clusteredof innovative industries, some based at the Surrey Research Park and the University of Surrey and others in the town centre, such as electronic gaming, stem cell research and satellite technology. We have alsoThe borough has benefited from strong cluster growth in high tech innovative businesses including healthcare and bioscience and satellite technology. There are some emerging clusters built around 5G technologies and veterinary science (including the significant recent investment and presence of the Pirbright Institute, world leaders in animal virology) which have considerable potential for inward investment and business start-ups.

4.4.5 A significant amount of existing employment floor space in the borough is located on the seventeen sStrategic eEmployment sSites identified in the Employment Land Needs Assessment (ELNA) (20152017) (ELNA). Each site accounts for over 100 jobs and has greater than 1.5 hectares (ha) and 7,000 sq m of floor space. Together these sites make up over 170 ha of employment land and almost 600,000 sq m and approximately 70 per cent of all B-class floor space within the borough. The seventeen key sites are home to over 1,000 businesses. Elsewhere in the borough a significant contribution is made by employment on much smaller sites. These are located on a mixture of industrial estates, in villages and in our rural areas. The Council is keen to support and, where possible, protect employment on these sites.

POLICY E1: Sustainable Meeting employment needs

(1) The provision of 3,200 additional B class (see glossary) jobs to 2033 will be supported. In order to deliver 4,100 additional B class jobs[1] to 2034these, land will be allocated for a net gain of between 37,00036,100 and 47,00043,700 sq m of floorspace for office and research & development (B1a and B1b uses) and between 4.73.7 and 5.34.1ha land for industrial (B1c, B2 and B8) use class floor spaceuses to ensure an adequate supply of land is available for employment purposes. This will provide a range and choice of employment floor spacepremises over the plan period and accommodate the predicted future growth in economic developmentjobs required for Guildford's the borough's economy to develop and strengthenincrease.


Lower range

Upper range

Office and Research & Development floorspace

(B1a and B1b)

37,20036,100 sq m

47,20043,700 sq m

Industrial land (B1c, B2 and B8)

43.7 ha

5.34.1 ha


(2) The Plan aims to ensure sustainable employment development patterns, promote smart growth (see glossary) and business competitiveness, and allow for flexibility to cater for the changing needs of the economy.

(3) We willThe following will be supported:

(a) support the retention, creation and development of small local business by encouraging a range of types and sizes of new premises including incubator units, managed workspace and serviced office accommodation,

(b) support the provision of essential ancillary employment facilities close to places of employment,

(c) support rural economic development opportunities and,

(d) support proposals which come forward to redevelop outmoded employment floor space and cater for modern business needs.

B Class Uses

Strategic Employment Sites

(4) The seventeen designated Strategic Employment Sitessites that together make up the borough's current core supply of employment land. will be protected as Strategic Employment Sites and changes of use from employment to non-employment uses resisted. The retention, intensification and employment based regeneration of these sites is encouraged. The Strategic Employment Sites are:

(5) The Office (B1a) and Research & Development (B1b) Strategic Employment Sites are:

(a) Guildford Town Centre employment core

(b) Surrey Research Park (extended)

(c) Guildford Business Park

(d) 1000, 2000 and 3000 Cathedral Hill

(e) London Square, Cross Lane

(f) 57 and Liongate Ladymead

(g) The Guildway, Portsmouth Road

(h) The Pirbright Institute

(i) Send Business Centre/Tannery Studios Tannery Lane, Send

(6) When developed, the new employment site at the north side of Gosden Hill Farm (site allocation A25) will be treated as an Office and Research & Development Strategic Employment Site.

(7) The Industrial (B1c, B2 and B8) Strategic Employment Sites are:

(a) Slyfield Industrial Estate

(b) North and south of Lysons Avenue, Ash Vale

(c) Riverway Industrial Estate, Astolat Business Park, and Weyvern Park at Peasmarsh

(d) Cathedral Hill Industrial Estate

(e) Guildford Industrial Estate, Deacon Field

(f) Woodbridge Meadows

(g) Midleton Road Industrial Estate

(h) Merrow Lane (incl Perram Works, Bridge Park, Merrow Business Centre, SCC depot)

The Guildway, Portsmouth Road

(i) Quadrum Park, Peasmarsh

(j) Woodbridge Park, Woodbridge Road

(k) Henley Business Park, Normandy

(8) When developed, the new employment site at Garlick's Arch, Send Marsh/new employment land at Burnt Common, together with the existing employment floorspace, will be treated as an Industrial Strategic Employment Site.

Locally Significant Employment Sites

(9) The Locally Significant Employment Sites will be protected and within these sites changes of use to non-employment uses resisted. The retention and regeneration of these sites is encouraged and intensification where possible will be considered to be appropriate. The Locally Significant Employment Sites include all sites which meet the definitions set out below and include:

(a) 31 Chertsey Street and 1-7 Stoke Road, Guildford

(b) Andrew House, College Road, College House (89 and 91), Stoke House, Leapale House and Bell Court, Guildford

(c) 65 Woodbridge Road, Guildford

(d) Broadford Business Park, Shalford

(e) The Pines Trading Estate, Broad Street

(f) Send Business Centre, Tannery House, Tannery Lane, Send

(g) Grange Court, Tongham

(h) The Courtyard, Wisley

(i) Abbey Business Park, Eashing

(j) Home Farm, Loseley Park

(10) When developed, the new industrial employment land on the west side of the former Wisley Airfield, will be treated as a Locally Significant Employment Site.

(11) The Strategic Employment Sites and the Locally Significant Employment Sites are shown on the borough Policies Map.



4.4.6 The Strategic Employment Sites were identified in the Employment Land Needs Assessment (ELNA). The sites are all larger than 1.7ha 5ha and all have more thanat least 7,000 sq m of employment floorspace, most have more than 10,000 sq m of floorspace. Together the sites make up more than 170ha of employment land and more than 580500,000 sq m of employment floorspace.

4.4.7 The identified Locally Significant Employment Sites listed in the above policy are shown on the Proposals Map however the list is not exhaustive. All sites which meet the definition will be classified as Locally Significant Employment Sites. The sites were identified from the non-strategic sites which were identified in the Employment Land Needs Assessment (ELNA) and local knowledge. They are single buildings of approximately 3,000 sq m or greater, clusters of two or more buildings in the urban area or rural clusters, which given their location we would like to see retained are important to retain to support the rural economy. Sites which fall within the Guildford Town Centre Employment Core Strategic Employment Site have been excluded.

Reasoned justification

4.4.8 The Employment Land Needs Assessment (ELNA) (20152017) assessed the future requirements for B-use class employment land over the plan period. Employment land requirements were derived from a mean average of three employment forecasts. The ELNA identifies a residual requirement for employment land, as set out above. The annual monitoring report, which is produced annually, will keep track of the delivery against this target. A three-yearly review of the ELNA will enable any unforeseen changes in the local economy to be monitored so that the use of policies can be reviewed where necessary to reflect changing circumstances.

4.4.9 Sufficient land has not been identified within the urban area to meet the employment land requirements so it has been necessary to allocate new employment sites. We also need to ensure there isThere needs to be a degree of choice and flexibility of floor space to ensure that the local property market can operate efficiently and allow businesses in the borough to grow. If we do not provide enough suitable land, choice and flexibility is not provided, the Local Plan may not meet the needs of the borough's businesses. In time, this could lead to existing businesses moving out of the borough and new and small businesses not being able to establish themselves or invest in the borough. The retention of existing and creation of new incubator and move-on units is key to supporting new businesses in the borough and helping existing small businesses to thrive. A priority in our economic strategy is to increase the amount of incubator and start-up space for new and emerging SME's.

4.4.10 As set out above, the new Local Plan seeks to protect existing major employment sites and protect its locally strategic employment sites to comply with the NPPF. Loss of these sites to alternative uses runs the risk of constraining employment growth and limiting economic diversification.

4.4.11 The need to renew and refurbish employment floor space, especially office space, is imperative if the borough is to retain existing occupiers and compete effectively for new occupiers looking to locate in the area. There is a particular need for grade A (the best office space) and good quality second-hand floor space.

4.4.11a Three of the Strategic Employment Sites (The Pirbright Institute, Lysons Avenue, Ash Vale and Henley Business Park, Normandy) have been identified as having land which falls within 400m of the SPA.  Development on these sites which falls within the 400m exclusion zone (as defined in Policy P5) will require a project-level HRA.

Delivery strategy

4.4.12 We The Council will work with our partners including the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and local business organisations to support sustainable economic growth in the borough.

4.4.13 Implementation of this policy will be via the development control management process.

Key Evidence

  • Employment Land Needs Assessment (ELNA), (Guildford Borough Council, 2015 2017)
  • Guildford Borough Economic Strategy 2013 - 2031 (Guildford Borough Council, 2013)
  • The Enterprise M3 Strategic Economic Plan - 2014-2020 (Enterprise M3, 2014)
  • The Enterprise M3 Delivery Plan - 2014-2020 (Enterprise M3, 2014)


Monitoring Indicators



Data source

Net change in permitted and completed B1 (a, b, c), B2 and B8 floor space (sq m) in the borough.

Net increase of 37,20036,100 - 47,20043,700 sq m B1a and B1b use class floorspace to 20332034

Net increase of 3.7-4.1ha Industrial land (B1c, B2 and B8) to 20332034

Planning applications and appeals and

building completions data

Amount of employment floor space (sq m) lost to non-B class uses


Planning applications and appeals and building completions data

Number of employee jobs (total and by industry) in the borough.

34,200 100 additional B class jobs to 20332034

Published data e.g. ONS Business Register Employment Survey (BRES)

1. See glossary for definition of B class jobs [back]