PPS 4 (Draft): Industry, Business and Distribution
Policy IBD 2
Justification and Amplification
4.8 The Regional Development Strategy indicates that the urban hubs/clusters of the region will be the main focus for employment and services. The objective is to capitalise on development opportunities provided by the concentration of people and goods combined with available infrastructure and the clustering of a range of business services, including the professional, technical and financial services essential to economic development.
4.9 The Department will ensure through development plans that a range of suitable sites are allocated and safeguarded within settlements to meet the future demands of industrial and business enterprises. It is in the interests of the regional economy as a whole that such allocations are retained to provide adequate land for the future industrial and business development of the region. The need to retain such allocated land will, therefore, be an overriding consideration in dealing with development proposals. Even where land has been zoned but undeveloped for a considerable period it may not be appropriate to permit development for other uses.
4.10 Decisions on the reallocation of land zoned but undeveloped for industrial and business purposes, when necessary, will normally be made through the development plan process.
4.11 Town centres will continue to be the primary focus for expanding service employment, as advocated by the RDS. The Department, however, also recognises that some Class 3 office development centred on activities such as communications and computer software design are clearly closely related to high technology knowledge-driven light industrial uses and R&D, and that there are economic and other benefits in grouping such uses in business parks.
4.12 Where an area for a business park is identified in a development plan, the plan will specify the criteria under which Class 3 office development will be acceptable in the area. The development plan may also, on occasion, specify areas in larger settlements outside town centres or business parks where Class 3 uses will be acceptable.
4.13 Exceptionally where there is a definite rather than a speculative proposal for a new Class 3 office development which would make a substantial contribution to the economy of a particular town and no feasible site exists within the existing town centre, a business park or other area identified in a development plan as suitable for such development, consideration may be given to an alternative site within the urban area. A location on the periphery of the existing central area must be considered first. Any site to be acceptable will need to be compatible with existing land uses in the immediate area and meet normal planning and environmental standards.