Sevenoaks District Draft Local Plan Consultation July 2018

Document Section Draft Local Plan July 2018 Supporting a Vibrant and Balanced Economy Economic Land and Development Policy 13 - Supporting a Vibrant and Balanced Economy [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID DLPP1115
Respondent Maidstone Borough Council (Ann… [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 28 Sep 2018
Current Status Accepted

There is total need for 11.6ha additional employment land over the plan period. MBC supports
Policy 13 – Supporting a Vibrant and Balanced Economy which demonstrates the Council can
meet its employment need. MBC notes that considerable office space has been lost to
residential conversion as a result of permitted development rights. The Local Plan states that
Article 4 directions will be served on all office accommodation on allocated sites to remove
permitted development rights in regard to office to residential conversions. Whilst it is
acknowledged that Article 4 directions are an effective way to protect existing good quality
office stock. MBC would reiterate our comments made to the Issues and Options Consultation
– Article 4 directions should only be used where it is necessary to retain the best quality
office stock. A critical and focused approach should be taken to ensure that the directions do
not inhibit a positive contribution towards the OAN. The conversion of poor quality office stock
to residential reflects paragraph 137(a) of the NPPF, which requires local authorities, in
releasing Green Belt through exceptional circumstances, to demonstrate they have utilised
brownfield sites.