Northampton Local Plan 1997

CHAPTER 4 : BUSINESS, INDUSTRY AND DISTRIBUTION

LAND ALLOCATIONS FOR BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY 

4.9.           The Northamptonshire Structure Plan (Alteration No 1) makes provision for 450 hectares of industrial and commercial development in Northampton in the period 1988-2006. This implies an annual average rate of land development of 25 hectares. 

4.10.         The principal locations proposed to accommodate this provision are at Brackmills, Crow Lane, Milton Ham, Moulton Park, Northampton Business Park, Pineham (the former Watermills area with additional development, adjacent to the M1 motorway) and Waterside (Bedford Road). Planning applications have been made on these areas for  business uses and the principle of development agreed. Together with other smaller sites, this land will allow for the continued growth and development of Northampton's economy. Major new business development will be permitted at Brackmills, Crow Lane, Milton Ham, Moulton Park, Northampton Business Park, Pineham, Riverside Park and Waterside. 

4.11.         During the period 1983-92 the average annual amount of land developed for business in Northampton was 14.6 hectares. However, in the period 1988 - 1992 the average annual rate has been 18.6 hectares. Therefore the proposals made in policy B1 amounting  to a net increase of 357.5 hectares over a 14 year period (implying an average of 27.5 hectares per year) will provide for continued local economic growth. When land developed since 1988 is added (93.1  hectares) this satisfies the provisions of the Northamptonshire Structure Plan (Alteration No 1). 

4.12.         A list of proposed business sites and a register of sites already developed since the commencement of the Structure Plan (Alteration No 1) period is contained in Appendix 12 to demonstrate the ability of the town to satisfy the Structure Plan (Alteration No 1) allocation.

POLICY B1 : LAND ALLOCATIONS FOR BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

B1 PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF 357.5 HECTARES OF LAND FOR BUSINESS, GENERAL INDUSTRIAL AND STORAGE & DISTRIBUTION USES (AS DEFINED IN CLASS B1, B2 AND B8 OF THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (USE CLASSES) ORDER 1987) OVER THE PERIOD 1993-2006 AT THE PROPOSED SITES FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT LISTED IN APPENDIX 12 AND IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP.

POLICY B1 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICIES E1 E2 E3 & N2 WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014.

 

Policy B2 : LAND ALLOCATION FOR BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

B2 PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR BUSINESS, GENERAL  INDUSTRIAL AND STORAGE AND DISTRIBUTION USE (AS DEFINED IN CLASS B1, B2 AND B8 OF THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (USE CLASSES) ORDER 1987) AT EXISTING BUSINESS AREAS AS LISTED IN APPENDIX 13 AND IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP.

POLICY B2 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICIES E1 E3 & N2 WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014.

 

4.13. Extensive provision has been made for business development in Northampton and given the need to protect the local environment, there is no case for expansion of, or the establishment of large business & industrial development outside existing or proposed business areas.

POLICY B3 : lAND ALLOCATION FOR BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

B3 SUBJECT TO COMPLIANCE WITH OTHER POLICIES OF THE LOCAL PLAN, PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT:

A)   WHICH EXTENDS THE BOUNDARIES OF THE EXISTING AND PROPOSEd BUSINESS AREAS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP AND LISTED IN APPENDICES 12 AND 13

B)   ON SITES IN EXCESS OF 1 HECTARE OUTSIDE THE EXISTING AND PROPOSED BUSINESS AREAS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP.

POLICY B3 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICIES E1 & e2 WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014.

4.14.  It is recognised that minor development of less than 1 hectare which arises from the cessation or contraction of another land use can help revitalise the urban area. Indeed where limited business/ industrial development would enable buildings to be reused, particularly those important for their architectural quality or provide a means of conserving local heritage, it is to be welcomed.

POLICY B4 : land allocation for business and industry

ON SITES OF LESS THAN 1 HECTARE OUTSIDE THOSE BUSINESS AREAS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP AND LISTED IN APPENDICES 12 AND 13, PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTEd FOR BUSINESS PURPOSES PROVIDING THAT THE SCALE, CHARACTER AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECT OF THE PROPOSALS WOULD NOT BE DETRIMENTAl TO OTHER LAND USES OR THE AMENITY OF THE LOCALITY (PARTICULARLY WHERE RESIDENTIAL), AND WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE IN TERMS OF THE EFFECTS ON THE HIGHWAY NETWORK.

POLICY B4 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICIES E1 & E2 WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014.

 

DEVELOPMENT POLICIES FOR PROPOSED  BUSINESS AREAS 

4.15. The expansion of the business area at Brackmills and the new business areas at Pineham and Milton Ham will provide the opportunities for major development. The Council will require each area to provide a high quality environment which will be attractive to new investment and enhance the character and image of the town. The developments will be visible from many aspects and this reinforces the need for a very good standard of design and layout.

4.16. The principles for development of each business area need to be established by means of a plan and development brief which illustrates the relationship of the proposals to the surrounding area, takes account of existing land form and constraints, and respects natural features worthy of conservation. The Council expects a safe, pleasant, convenient and attractive environment to be created and careful consideration needs to be granted to the likely needs of all users of the area. It is essential that effective areas of amenity open space are laid out in addition to planting on individual developments. Phased amenity space should be planted well in advance of development of individual plots (structural planting) and provision made for its maintenance, if necessary by means of a legal agreement with the Council.

POLICY B5 : DEVELOPMENT POLICIES FOR PROPOSED BUSINESS AREAS

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AT BRACKMILLS PHASE THREE, MILTON HAM AND PINEHAM AREAS SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING MATTERS BEING SECURED OR SAFEGUARDED: 

A)   MEANS OF ACCESS TO AND ANY IMPROVEMENTS OF THE STRATEGIC ROAD NETWORK 

B)   ROAD LAYOUT 

C)   ZONES FOR DEVELOPMENT AND AREAS TO BE DEVELOPED PRIMARILY FOR B1, B2 OR B8 PURPOSES 

D)   ANY MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE WORKS INCLUDING SCREEN PLANTING AND NOISE ATTENUATION WORKS 

E)    PUBLIC COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ROUTES, FOOTPATHS AND CYCLE ROUTES

F)    RESERVED SITES FOR ANCILLARY FACILITIES

G)   AREAS OF OPEN SPACE AND LANDSCAPING 

H)   PRINCIPLES FOR BUILDING FORM, HEIGHT, AND SITING.

Policy B5 (BRACKMILLS) : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

POlicy B5 (MILTON HAM) : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

POLICY B5 (PINEHAM) : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

 

 

SUPPORT SERVICES 

4.17. Large business areas need to include their own element of service provision. At Brackmills and Moulton Park, the proliferation of roadside snack bars is evidence of the poor level of permanent catering facilities for site employees and transport drivers. Equally there is an increasing demand for nursery/creche facilities to promote equality of employment opportunities and this should not be constrained by lack of suitable sites or premises.

 4.18. There are current proposals for business support centres at Pineham, Milton Ham and Brackmills; these could include for example, banking, restaurants, minor retailing, social and conference facilities. The Council feel that such provision should address as fully as possible the needs of the working community, with an allowance for future, as yet unspecified, requirements.

 

POLICY B6 : SUPPORT SERVICES

B6 DEVELOPMENT FOR BUSINESS PURPOSES AT BRACKMILLS AND PINEHAM SHALL INCLUDE RESERVE SITES OF APPROXIMATELY 1 HECTARE FOR SERVICES ASSOCIATED  WITH EACH AREA.

IN EXISTING AND EMERGING BUSINESS AREAS, THE COUNCIL WILL SUPPORT PROVISION OF SUCH SERVICES APPROPRIATE TO THE NEEDS OF THE EMPLOYEES WITHIN BUSINESS AREAS.

Policy B6 (Brackmills) : INTERACTIVE  MAPPING JCS

POLICY B6 (PINEHAM) : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

BRACKMILLS 

4.19. In the early 1980's, the Secretary of State allowed expansion of the Brackmills employment onto land south east of Houghton Lane. This was part of a larger area once proposed for residential development. Due to the scale of the industrial buildings on this area, the remaining land is no longer considered suitable for new housing. Policy B1 of the Local Plan now allocates this land for business uses and development has commenced on part of the site. 

4.20. The County Highway Authority has indicated that improvements to the strategic highway network are required in association with further development of Brackmills in order to deal with resulting increase in traffic volumes. This could either mean providing a new southern road link to the A508 south of Wootton and/or improvements to Nene Valley Way and its junction with the existing Brackmills area which is referred to in the Transportation chapter (policy T8).

4.21. Residents of both Great Houghton and Hardingstone have expressed great concern about the environmental impact of further development. The generation of noise and disturbance from buildings and from the traffic generated by the proposals plus fears about pollutants are major considerations, as is the impact of high buildings.

4.22. The Council considers that it will therefore be necessary to minimise the impact of new development on the two villages and also to protect views of the prominent skyline to the south of the site. This can be achieved by careful control of building heights and ensuring major planting is implemented in advance of development particularly around the perimeter of the extension. This will facilitate an extension of the public footpath/bridleway and open space and is dealt with in policy E10. The following policy therefore seeks to ensure that high buildings are restricted to the central parts of the Brackmills extension. It is noted that rising ground levels around the fringes of the site mean that existing ground levels may vary within a single plot. In such circumstances the Council  will assess the height of proposed building in relation to a nominal ground level for the whole plot determined at the time of application.

POLICY B7 : BRACKMILLS HEIGHT CONSIDERATIONS

PLANNING PERMISSION FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AT BRACKMILLS WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT EXCEEDING THE FOLLOWING HEIGHTS ABOVE EXISTING GROUND LEVEL IN THE AREAS IDENTIFIED IN FIGURE 1:

AREA A - 25 METRES

AREA B - 20 METRES

AREA C - 15 METRES.

POLICY B7 (Brackmills) : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

 NORTHAMPTON CATTLEMARKET

 4.23. Land adjoining Brackmills off Liliput Road is a suitable site for the relocation of Northampton Cattlemarket for which a site is required. The site is level, adjoins an existing business area, and has good road access. In order to meet anticipated legislation for animal welfare, any new cattlemarket should include an area of lairage (grazing) which can most readily be achieved on a site on the edge of the built up area of the town. Equally the built/commercial element of the development is also appropriate in relation to the adjoining Brackmills development. For this reason, buildings should be located at the western end of the site, nearest to Liliput Road, with the remainder of the site kept free from built development and used primarily for lairage. This form of development will help safeguard the undeveloped land between Brackmills and Great Houghton village. Provision of mounding and landscaping around the southern and eastern borders of the built development will help ensure that the development is visually acceptable. Access to the site from the Bedford Road would be unacceptable for reasons of highway safety and must be from Liliput Road, within the Brackmills Industrial Estate.

POLICY B8 : Northampton Cattlemarket

B8 PLANNING  PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CATTLEMARKET AT LAND OFF LILIPUT ROAD, BRACKMILLS AS DEFINED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, SUBJECT TO: 

A)   BUILDINGS BEING LOCATED WITHIN THE WESTERN  PART OF THE SITE ADJOINING THE EXISTING BRACKMILLS EMPLOYMENT AREA WITH THE EASTERN PART OF THE SITE BEING FREE FROM ANY BUILDINGS AND USED SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSES OF LAIRAGE (GRAZING) 

B)   THE PROVISION OF A LANDSCAPED MARGIN INCLUDING SCREEN PLANTING ON THE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN BOUNDARIES OF THE BUILT DEVELOPMENT 

C)   THE RETENTION OF THE EXISTING TREE BELT ON THE WESTERN BOUNDARY OF THE SITE INCLUDING THE RETENTION OF SUFFICIENT LAND TO PROVIDE A POSSIBLE FOOTPATH ACCESS FROM LILIPUT ROAD TO THE FORMER PIDDINGTON RAILWAY LINE

D)   VEHICULAR ACCESS TO THE SITE BEING FROM LILIPUT ROAD, BRACKMILLS.

POLICY B8 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

PINEHAM AND MILTON HAM

4.24. The extent of the proposed business development in this area was identified in the South Western District Plan. This was an informal document but its proposals were subject to public consultation and subsequent modification before being approved by the Council. 

 

4.25. The Council has granted planning permission for B1, B2, and B8 uses at Pineham, and offices (B1) at Milton Ham and a planning application has been made for further business development. These proposals are generally reflected in the business allocations of the Plan having careful regard to their impact on adjoining environmentally sensitive areas. 

 

4.26. All these sites are constrained for development until flood balancing works are implemented. The new Junction 15A on the M1 motorway needs to be improved in terms of capacity. The full development of Pineham cannot be realised until new major roads, including a new dual carriageway with grade separated junctions, are constructed between the A45 at Kislingbury and the existing roundabout at the junction of Upton Way/Danes Camp Way (See policies T4 & T6). 

 

4.27. The development of these areas will have a significant impact upon their surroundings - principally the Nene Valley to the north of Pineham, the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal, and to the east and north of Milton Ham and therefore no extension of business development in these areas will be allowed. To ameliorate the impact there will be a requirement for structural planting works to be implemented in advance of development on both areas and careful control of building height and form. It should be stated that if the proposals to widen the M1 motorway should affect landscaping, policies B9 and E14 shall still apply.

POLICY B9 : PINEHAM & MILTON HAM : LANDSCAPING ZONE

DEVELOPMENT AT PINEHAM AND MILTON HAM MUST INCLUDE A LANDSCAPING ZONE OF 50 METRES DEPTH ALONG:

THE M1 MOTORWAY

THE BOUNDARY OF KISLINGBURY PARISH

THE PROPOSED COUNTRY PARK

THE KISLINGBURY GRANGE TRIBUTARY

BANBURY LANE

WOOTTON BROOK

THE CANAL

THE NORTHERN BOUNDARY OF MILTON HAM WEST FROM A LINE 20 METRES TO THE EAST OF THE EASTERN BOUNDARY OF MILTON HAM. 

 

THE FIRST 20 METRES SHALL COMPRISE LANDSCAPING  WORKS ONLY AND WITHIN THE REMAINING 30 METRES PLANTED AREAS SHALL NORMALLY PREDOMINATE. THESE REQUIREMENTS MAY BE RELAXED FOR APPROPRIATE BUILDINGS AND APPROPRIATE USES FRONTING THE CANAL AND WOOTTON BROOK TO THE NORTH OF BANBURY LANE.

POLICY B9 (MILTON HAM) : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

Poicy B9 (PINEHAM) : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

 

POLICY B10 : PINEHAM

B10 ON LAND AT PINEHAM LOCATED BETWEEN THE PROPOSED KISLINGBURY WAY AND COUNTRY PARK PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR BUSINESS PURPOSES OTHER THAN THOSE FALLING WITHIN CLASS B1 OF THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (USE CLASSES) ORDER 1987 OR FOR BUILDINGS EXCEEDING 8 METRES FROM GROUND TO EAVES LEVEL ON ANY ELEVATION.

POLICY B10 (PINEHAM) : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

POLICY B11 : MILTON HAM : HEIGHT CONSIDERATIONS

B11 AT MILTON HAM PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR BUILDINGS LOCATED WITHIN 50 METRES OF THE NORTHERN BOUNDARY WHICH EXCEED 9 METRES FROM GROUND TO EAVES LEVEL ON ANY ELEVATION.

Policy B11 (MILTON HAM) : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

BRINGING LAND FORWARD FOR DEVELOPMENT 

4.30.         The Council monitors planning permissions granted for business purposes and examines the availability of this land. Most of the undeveloped land allocated for business use is currently constrained by the need to provide roads, road improvements or drainage works. 

4.31.         The Council will continue to monitor the availability of land proposed for business purposes in this plan and will where appropriate, adopt a co-ordinating role to sustain its continuous supply. The Council will help to co-ordinate development through the forming of appropriate conditions or agreements. 

4.32.         It has not been Council policy to fund advance works to assist and promote private developments. The responsibility for this will have to continue to be borne by the developer. Nevertheless, the Council has already taken a positive attitude to promoting development of the areas identified for business use at Brackmills, Milton Ham and Pineham. The Council is committed to this important co-ordinating role which aims to reconcile the interests of developers, infrastructure agencies and environmental considerations in order to secure the release of new business land at the earliest possible opportunity.

POLICY B13: SATISFACTORY RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENT

B13 PLANNING PERMISSION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF AREAS FOR BUSINESS USE WILL NOT BE GRANTED UNLESS THE NECESSARY RELATED INFRASTRUCTURE IS PRESENT, OR ITS PROVISION HAS BEEN SECURED.

POLICY B13 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICIES INF1 & INF2 WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014.

 

 

 

LAND USE ON BUSINESS AREAS 

4.33. In considering planning applications for business use, the Council will aim to promote a diversity of business activity and job opportunities, and conserve land resources by guarding against excessive land take for development with low density employment.

4.34. It is important to ensure that both proposed and existing business areas offer opportunity for a wide range of business activity - small offices, starter units for industry, larger units for manufacturing, high technology industry and storage and distribution uses. 

4.35. In Northampton there continues to be a strong demand for large sites for distribution purposes. The redistribution of heavy goods traffic onto new routes (for example the A14 M1/A1 link road) may have an effect upon this but if the trend were to continue then it is possible that remaining land could be developed with relatively few jobs created as a consequence. At Brackmills where a large number of distribution companies are located, the average number of jobs per hectare of land is half that of other business areas in the town. 

4.36. Office development is increasingly requiring good parking facilities and spacious, high quality surroundings and buildings. This has led to a demand for office development out of the town centre. In 1978 only 5% of the town's office floorspace was located on business areas or new sites outside the town centre. In 1990 this figure had risen to 37%. 

4.37. The combined effect of demand for office and distribution development and the diminishing land supply within the town has created a shortage of sites for the relocation and expansion of manufacturing industry which is a vital part of the town's economy. It is therefore necessary to continue to monitor the situation, promote sites suitable for a wide range of industries and guard against excessive areas being developed with a small amount of resultant employment.

4.38. Guidance on business land use relating to existing and proposed business areas is necessary to deal with this issue in more detail. The main principles underpinning this are as follows: 

a) that large storage and distribution uses (B8) should be guided to sites with maximum accessibility to the principal road network and with minimal detriment to the environment 

b) that adequate areas should be promoted as suitable for general industrial (B2) use in order to allow for the  relocation, expansion and modernisation of manufacturing industry, providing that the environmental effects are acceptable. 

4.39. Giving a more specific encouragement to business uses will assist developers and businesses in submitting proposals likely to be acceptable to the Council. More widely it will help to demonstrate that land has been identified for the needs of different uses and ensure that environmental and transportation policies expressed elsewhere in this Plan are fully taken into account. 

4.40. The Council encourages the following business land uses at the proposed business sites and business areas listed below: 

General Industry (B2) 

Brackmills; Crow Lane; Far Cotton; Lodge Farm; Moulton Park; Pineham (south of the proposed Kislingbury Way);  St James  Mill; Westgate; Weedon Road. 

Storage and Distribution use (B8) (over 235 square metres)

Brackmills; Crow Lane; Lodge Farm; Moulton Park; Pineham (south of the proposed Kislingbury Way); Round Spinney; Westgate.

Further guidance will be contained in development briefs. In considering applications for General Industrial or Storage/Distribution development, the Council wishes to see proposals which contribute to improved standards of design and layout.

DEVELOPMENT FOR NON-BUSINESS USES IN BUSINESS AREAS

4.41. In recent years proposals have been made and some implemented for non business purposes such as leisure uses in business areas. Often this arises when properties have been vacated and an alternative planning permission would help to market the property. Such changes need to be approached with caution. Each one represents a loss of business premises and may result in loss of local job opportunities. However, if the former activity was an established "bad neighbour" use or if support services are to be provided for the business area, then change of use may bring positive benefit. The Council has a responsibility to seek to ensure the provision of business premises and it is important that planning policies seek to retain as much existing business floorspace as is practicable, especially in the older business areas which are likely to offer the cheapest premises.

POLICY B14 : DEVELOPMENT FOR NON-BUSINESS USES IN BUSINESS AREAS

WITHIN EXISTING AND PROPOSED BUSINESS AREAS PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT OUTSIDE THE BUSINESS USE CLASSES OF THE TOWN AND COUNTRY (USE CLASSES) ORDER 1987, UNLESS SUCH DEVELOPMENT WOULD BE OF SIGNIFICANT BENEFIT TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND WOULD LEAD TO SUBSTANTIAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES.

USE OF LAND FOR OPEN STORAGE, SALVAGE AND RECYCLING

 

4.44. Waste items including metal, paper, pallets, and tyres have a commercial value and there is a considerable trade in storage, salvage, disposal and recycling of products which requires suitable locations. There has been considerable growth in provision of skips for domestic waste items for collection and recycling which are usually sited ancillary to a main use e.g. car park or foodstore. Further land for commercial recycling and salvage operations is expected to be required over the plan period in order to help increase the proportion of waste materials which are capable of being recycled. These business uses are usually unattractive and a source of environmental pollution. Consequently the best sites are those not visible from main entrances into the town and primarily residential areas. Many of these uses are presently in the area of Ransome Road and South Bridge, Far Cotton, in Martins Yard off Spencer Bridge Road and Harvey Reeves Road. 

 

4.45. The main priority is to ameliorate environmental problems caused by these sites and planning permission must be conditional on landscaping works being fully implemented and further examination of strategic landscaping works to screen the sites.

 

 

POLICY B17 : USE OF LAND FOR OPEN STORAGE, SALVAGE AND RECYCLING

PLANNING PERMISSION FOR OPEN STORAGE, SALVAGE AND RECYCLING WILL BE GRANTED WHERE THE DEVELOPMENT:

 A)   WOULD HAVE NO SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE AMENITY OF NEARBY RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY

 B)   WOULD INCLUDE AN ACCEPTABLE DETAILED SCHEME FOR THE SCREENING AND LANDSCAPING OF THE SITE

 C)   WOULD BE WITHIN THE EXISTING CURTILAGE OF AN ESTABLISHED COMMERCIAL SITE.

POLICY B17 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

EXISTING BUSINESS PREMISES IN PRIMARILY RESIDENTIAL AREAS 

4.46. Many firms operate from premises built earlier this century as an integral part of the  areas of terraced housing around the town centre. These old factories many of which were associated with the shoe trade in Northampton constitute a valuable part of the local economy. They provide a valuable source of local employment, within a community and comparatively cheap premises. They continue an important link with the towns past industrial base and culture. 

 

4.47. In the late 1980's, increasing residential values and the consequences of recession particularly in the shoe industry, left many properties vacant or having a residential value greater than the industrial one, which resulted in a number of these buildings being converted into flats. Others have been subdivided into smaller industrial units, or changed to leisure uses but the great majority remain. Re-development can also contribute to meeting affordable housing objectives.

4.48. In considering planning applications for expansion of or new business uses in primarily residential areas the need to protect the amenity and character of the surrounding dwellings must be paramount. A careful balance has to be maintained between existing business activity and adjoining housing areas. Development resulting in the gradual expansion of business uses will, if permitted, prejudice the quality of the residential environment and must be resisted. Storage uses other than small concerns can be a source of traffic nuisances, and General Industrial (B2) uses are by their nature not compatible with primarily residential areas. 

 

4.49. However certain works and changes of use are already "permitted development" within the terms of the General Development Order 1988 and it would not be reasonable to restrict other minor alterations which can be accommodated in a satisfactory manner.

 

POLICY B19 : EXISTING BUSINESS PREMISES IN PRIMARILY RESIDENTIAL AREA

WITHIN PRIMARILY RESIDENTIAL AREAS, PLANNING  PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR:

A)   THE EXTENSION OF EXISTING BUSINESS PREMISES OR THE INTENSIFICATION OF EXISTING BUSINESS USES WHERE THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD  HAVE A SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE EFFECT ON RESIDENTIAL AMENITY

B)   DEVELOPMENT OF STORAGE AND DISTRIBUTION (B8) USES WHERE FLOORSPACE EXCEEDS 235 SQUARE METRES

C)   GENERAL INDUSTRIAL (B2) USES OR ANY SPECIAL INDUSTRIAL USES

D)   USES INVOLVING NOTIFIABLE QUANTITIES OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS OR USES INVOLVING THE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL OF WASTE MATERIALS.

POLICY B19 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

 

WORKING FROM HOME

4.50. The Council is aware that many small businesses are started by people working in their own homes.

Home working provides a valuable source of employment to residents who cannot travel to work or who prefer to work at home. Such use of part of a house does not necessarily involve a material change of use where the use does not change the overall character of the residence. The need for planning permission depends in each case upon the degree of non residential use of the house.

POLICY B20 : WORKING FROM HOME

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR A CHANGE OF USE FROM RESIDENTIAL TO AN EMPLOYMENT USE TO ENABLE HOME WORKING TO BE CARRIED OUT PROVIDED THAT:

A)   THE HOME WORKING IS CARRIED OUT BY THOSE WHO LIVE IN THE SAME RESIDENTIAL UNIT

B)   THERE IS NO LOSS OF AMENITY TO NEIGHBOURING RESIDENTS

C)   THE USE REVERTS TO RESIDENTIAL ONCE THE HOME WORKING CEASES

D)   THERE IS NO LOSS OF A RESIDENTIAL UNIT.

IF THE SCALE OF THE BUSINESS USE EXPANDS TO CONFLICT WITH THE RESIDENTIAL CHARACTER OF THE AREA THE COUNCIL WILL PURSUE ENFORCEMENT ACTION.

 

POLICY B20 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

SMALL BUSINESSES

4.51. Approximately 3 hectares of land has been identified for potential business development at the western end of the existing business area at Old Towcester Road. The site is part of a larger identified development site which covers some 51 hectares of land on the south side of the river between  the former Power Station at Nunn Mills and the Towcester Road retail development (see  policy  D17  in Chapter 8). The existing area, used for a variety of unsightly purposes including scrap metal, aggregates and waste, has now become more conspicuous particularly from the elevated section of Towcester Road. The opportunity exists therefore for development and improvement of the area.

4.52. This location would be ideal for small business units, but any scheme will need careful design, especially where the development adjoins the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal. A Canal Corridor Study has been carried out by British Waterways in conjunction with the Council and approved as a document to provide a context for improvement measures surrounding the Canal. It is  important that adjoining development is designed in such a way that the Canalside environment is not adversely affected.

4.53. The Council encourages new businesses by providing small units in various areas of the town and there is an ongoing programme of adaptation as premises become vacant. Purpose built units have been developed recently at Lyttleton Road and William Street, and the programme includes the leasing of buildings at Council premises in various parts of the town. Although the demand for these small units fluctuates, further opportunities will be explored as they arise. Most of the units managed by the Council are in or close to residential areas and this has limited the possible range of uses.

4.54. The Council will encourage schemes providing small business units of up to 200 square metres and will examine further the use of its own property, where appropriate, with a view to providing accommodation for small businesses. 

 

4.55. The private sector is playing an increasing role in providing for small businesses, although business units tend to be larger than those built by the public sector. It may be necessary to look to partnership with the private sector to  provide additional small business units during the  Plan period to cater for the evident demand.

 

 

 

 

POLICY B22 : SMALL BUSINESSES : UP TO 200sq.m

PLANNING  PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED  FOR SMALL BUSINESS UNITS OF UP TO 200 SQUARE  METRES WITHIN AND OUTSIDE IDENTIFIED  BUSINESS AREAS, PROVIDING  THESE COMPLY WITH  THE  COUNCIL'S PARKING STANDARDS (APPENDIX 11) AND ARE COMPATIBLE WITH NEIGHBOURING LAND USES.

POLICY B22 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

REPAIR & MAINTENANCE OF VEHICLES 

4.56. A major issue in Northampton is the need for small, inexpensive premises for car repair firms. Approximately 75% of complaints received by the Planning Division are about nuisances from this activity, many concerning businesses using unauthorised sites and buildings in residential or other inappropriate areas. Vehicle repair generates a considerable need for off-street parking space and it is important that proposals for this have adequate parking provision.

POLICY B23 : REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE OF VEHICLES

PLANNING  PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR THE USE OF SMALL BUSINESS UNITS FOR VEHICLE REPAIRS IN EXISTING OR PROPOSED BUSINESS AREAS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP PROVIDING THAT THE SCHEME CONFORMS WITH THE COUNCIL'S PARKING STANDARDS (APPENDIX 11) AND IS COMPATIBLE WITH ADJOINING LAND USES.

Policy b23 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 

4.72. Many nuisances arising from business activity occur in the older parts of the town where premises were established prior to planning legislation. Difficulties may include noise, vibration or smells from industrial processes or working "unsocial" hours. Few established premises are subject to any restrictions. The Council recognises that in many cases "good neighbour" relations with adjoining housing depends upon careful management and respect for the neighbourhood. The Council provides guidance on the siting of businesses and advises upon measures needed to lessen the impact of business development upon the locality.

4.73. Except in a few cases during the era of General Improvement Areas during the 1970's, it has not been the Council's policy to remove and relocate businesses (non-conforming uses) from residential areas, except where nuisances could not be resolved. In fact very few businesses were removed from within any of the GIAs.  

4.74. The Council will seek to control and improve the environmental impact of business development and in considering development will impose appropriate controls when granting permission to ensure that the effects upon the environment are acceptable. The Council will give sympathetic consideration to planning applications which would result in the relocation of businesses causing environmental problems.

POLICY B31 : ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: NEW LOCALITY

PLANNING PERMISSION FOR THE RELOCATION OF A BUSINESS USE WHICH ADVERSELY AFFECTS THE ENVIRONMENT OF ITS SURROUNDINGS WILL BE GRANTED WHERE THE CHARACTER AND ENVIRONMENT OF THE NEW LOCALITY WOULD NOT BE SIMILARLY AFFECTED.

 
POLICY B32 : ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: AMELIORATION

WHERE AN EXISTING BUSINESS USE ADVERSELY  AFFECTS THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE LOCALITY, PLANNING  PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT WHICH  WOULD RESULT IN AN AMELIORATION  OF THE PROBLEMS.

POLICY B33 : ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF BUSINNESS DEVELOPMENT

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR HAZARDOUS DEVELOPMENT, OR WITHIN THE VICINITY OR CONSULTATION ZONE OF AN EXISTING HAZARDOUS INSTALLATION, WHERE THE PROPOSAL WOULD CONSTITUTE OR CARRY A SUBSTANTIAL ELEMENT OF RISK.

POLICY B33 : Interactive mapping jcs