Policy EMP1: Economic Growth and Investment

Open22 Jan, 2024, 10:00am - 4 Mar, 2024, 11:59pm

Policy EMP1:  Economic Growth and Investment

Proposals will be permitted which support economic growth and productivity, taking into account both local business needs and wider opportunities for development. Economic growth within the borough must be predicated on clean growth principles[1]  and proposals must meet the Plan’s climate change policies to support the council’s climate emergency and ecological emergency declarations.

Over the plan period, the plan will aim to support the creation of a minimum of 560  jobs per annum.

Inward investment the growth of existing enterprises and the formation and growth of new businesses will be enabled by:

  1. Protecting strategic employment sites for employment use (E(g)/Bclass) and enabling the regeneration/redevelopment of these sites for employment uses;
  2. Allocating new employment sites for industrial, storage and distribution uses;
  3. Permitting employment uses at the strategic housing sites detailed in policies, where the employment uses are of a scale and type appropriate to the sites location and where they will contribute to the creation of sustainable mixed-use communities.
  4. Permitting new employment uses in suitable locations outside of the areas identified above where this can be justified, as per the criteria set out below (criteria k – q).

Opportunities to develop the following key employment sectors will be supported:

  1. Specialist/advanced manufacturing (including research and development)
  2. Financial and business services in Basingstoke town centre and the established office locations of Basing View, Chineham Business Park (including Hampshire International Business Park) and Viables.
  3. Storage and distribution in suitable locations.
  4. Digital and ICT
  5. Chemical and Pharmaceuticals, and life sciences
  6. Green/low carbon technologies.

Development proposals within the Basingstoke Settlement Policy Boundary (outside of Strategic Employment Areas), or in exceptional circumstances, adjacent to the Basingstoke Settlement Policy Boundary, for economic development falling within use class E (g) (ii) (iii) or B2 or B8, will be supported where:

  1. It can be demonstrated that there is a need for the proposed development;
  1. It can be demonstrated that there are not suitable sites available for the proposed development within Strategic Employment Areas;
  1. The proposal can be reasonably accessed via sustainable travel options;
  2. There is safe and convenient access to the strategic highway network (in the case of B8 uses only);
  3. It will not have an unacceptable detrimental impact on neighbouring land uses, including residential properties;
  4. The proposal will not have an unacceptable impact on the character of the area, including nearby settlements; and
  5. The proposal successfully mitigates the landscape and biodiversity impacts (and achieves 10% biodiversity net gain), which will include provision of sufficient space for appropriate soft landscaping/green infrastructure, appropriate location of development within the site, and utilises a design, layout of built form and use of materials in order to ensure that any significant landscape and biodiversity impacts are minimised.
8.4 For the purposes of Policy EMP1 an ‘employment use’ includes classes E (g) (i) (ii) (iii) (office, research and development and light industrial), B2 general industry and B8 storage/distribution uses. The policy sets out the strategic approach to employment development in the borough.
8.5 The retention of the Strategic Employment Areas is seen as important in maintaining an employment land supply that provides a range of sites across the borough. Policy EMP2 provides more detail on the protection afforded to such areas. The regeneration and intensification of existing employment sites will be supported to allow businesses to expand and enable the provision of modern employment stock to replace properties that are reaching the end of their functional life.
8.6 The borough has a diverse employment base and the policy sets out the key employment sectors that the council is seeking to support in the borough to enhance the diversity of the boroughs economy over the Local Plan period. It also highlights the council’s desire to support business which form part of the green economy. The council’s Economic Growth Strategy sets out a vision and strategy which positively and proactively encourages sustainable economic growth. This includes addressing inclusive and clean growth to ensure all residents enjoy the benefits of economic prosperity and that, whenever possible, the impact of growth on the environment is limited.
8.7 The council’s Economic Needs Assessment (ENA) 2023 sets out the approach for the provision of office, industrial and logistics floorspace in the Borough. The ENA outlines that 40,000 sqm of  office floorspace will be needed over the plan period, with 20,000 over the ten year period. A substantial contribution towards this floorspace could come from the better use of existing office floorspace which is currently underutilised.  New sites will be required to meet the need for  industrial floorspace which amounts to 24,000 sqm  and also for logistics floorspace  with needs of 99,000 sqm identified.  
Implementation and Monitoring

The policy will be implemented through:

  • Development management decisions on planning applications.
  • Working proactively with landowners and site promoters to help ensure the delivery of development which will meet identified needs and support economic growth.
  • Working proactively with other stakeholders such as the Local Enterprise Partnership (and relevant successors) in relation to specific development site and the production of economic strategy documents.

The policy will be monitored through:

  • Annual monitoring data regarding gains and losses of employment floorspace. This will be assessed against the figures set out within the Economic Needs Assessment 2023.
  • Future updates to the Employment Land Review
  • Annual monitoring data on net new jobs in the borough.



[1] Applications should set out to what extent they will address the principles set out in the supporting text.