Research identifies out-of-date employment land requirements
Much of the evidence base for employment land requirements in local development plans and used for planning determinations is out of date, research by consultancy Turley has shown.
The research highlighted that half of all local authorities in England have published evidence which predates the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in 2012. Of those authorities that have published a local plan, 60 per cent used evidence that predated the framework.
The consultancy also reported that economically dynamic Local Enterprise Partnership areas, including those in the Thames Valley and across large parts of the Northern Powerhouse area, rely on some of the oldest evidence in relation to employment land.
Turley claimed that for one of the fastest evolving business sectors, logistics, the reliance on dated market evidence meant that current and emerging occupier requirements were not being met, often in the areas of highest demand.
The research was based on a survey of 326 local planning authorities across England. The survey was carried out over the period June to July 2015 with data captured from LPA’s last full employment land review or studies which included a forecast of future land requirements. The results represent a snapshot of published evidence as of June/July 2015.
David Smith, head of business space at Turley, said: “It is vital that planning for offices, logistics and other commercial uses is not overlooked in the dash to build more homes.
“For the UK to be a strong, growing economy we need an approach which provides space for workplaces as well as homes and this can only be done effectively if local authorities have up-to-date evidence on which to base their decision-making.”