TWELVE MODEL POLICIES
TWELVE MODEL POLICIES
Local plan policy is a fundamental tool for securing a positive approach to cultural planning. Drawing on relevant policy wording that has been tested through the planning system, this section sets out a series of model policies on cultural facilities and infrastructure.
While it is hoped that the model policies will be a useful starting point, they can and should be tailored for local circumstances.
Model development plan policies
This section outlines a set of twelve model Development Plan (Local Plan) policies specifically focused on cultural facilities and infrastructure. It also includes model Planning Obligation SPD policies and provisions, which should be included as part of a separate Planning Obligations SPD that the Local Plan policy should reference.
The model policies included are:
- Cultural facilities
- Protecting existing cultural facilities (including a model planning obligation SPD provision for creative facilities)
- Cultural provision as part of new developments (again, accompanied with a policy for a SPD)
- Public art
- Place quarters
- Cultural quarters
- A specific policy for a special policy area or cultural cluster
- Town or city centre cultural facilities
- Meanwhile and temporary uses
- Protecting existing cultural venues and activities
- Affordable, flexible and managed workspace
All these policies are taken from either adopted Development Plans or plans that are at an advanced stage in their preparation. Therefore, they are both realistic and appropriate and are actively being used. They have been subject to scrutiny and challenge and in most cases subjected to the Examination in Public process.
The reason and justifications that accompany the policies are not included here as these should derive directly from the previously prepared local culture evidence base and the springboard provided by this and the Cultural Strategy and its Culture Investment Programme.
Strategic cultural policy for cultural facilities
Culture should become one of the key objectives of any Local Plan and should be part of the Plans joined-up overall spatial strategy. This is because culture and cultural infrastructure is a critical component of place-making and a fundamental tool in regeneration, particularly of town and city centres and in revitalising existing and in creating new communities.
Model Policy 1 is a strategic policy for culture covering all key aspects to be used as a singular policy or as a ‘strategic’ policy (part one of a Local Plan / joint Development Plan), which is followed by more detailed cultural policies in a specific cultural section / chapter (in part two of a Local Plan). Where this 10-point policy is the only policy in the Local Plan that deals with cultural facilities it should include reference to the requirement to produce a Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan, as set out in the fifth critical component in section two.
As noted at the start of this section, the model policies should be tailored for local use. In this model policy, for example, consideration could be given to adapting the list of facilities to be protected in point one. This could include making specific reference to protecting public realm as an important informal cultural space.
Model Policy 1:
Through this Plan we will proactively develop and support cultural businesses and attractions in our cities and towns through a range of measures including:
- Protecting existing heritage, cultural and community venues, facilities and uses.
- Supporting the development of new cultural venues in town centres and places with good public transport connectivity.
- Promoting new, or enhance existing, locally-distinct clusters of cultural facilities, especially where they can provide an anchor for local regeneration and town centre renewal.
- Identifying protecting and enhancing strategic clusters of cultural attractions.
- Supporting the use of the public realm and green spaces for public art and as outdoor venues for cultural events and festivals.
- Considering the use of vacant properties (particularly heritage buildings) and land for pop-ups or meanwhile uses for cultural and creative activities during the day and at night-time to stimulate vibrancy and viability and promote diversity in town centres.
- Maximising opportunities for redundant heritage assets and the role they can play in economic and social well-being.
- Considering the designation of ‘Creative Improvement Districts’ where there is evidence that the designation will enhance the local economy and provide facilities and workspace for the creative industries.
- Supporting a mix of uses which derive mutual benefits from, and do not compromise, the creative industries and cultural facilities in the Creative Improvement District in line with the Agent of Change principle. If development would potentially result in conflict between a cultural activity and another use, especially in terms of noise, then the development responsible for the change must secure the implementation of appropriate mitigation before it is completed.
- Development proposals for all strategic sites and in the Town / Centre will need to demonstrate that future cultural provision has been considered (which may include the provision of public realm capable of hosting events and performances, as well as cultural space within buildings). This assessment should be included in a Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan, describing how the above provisions of this policy have been addressed (as outlined in the Development Plans Planning Obligations SPD). The Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan should be developed through detailed engagement with the local community and its proposed proposals should co-designed at an early stage at pre-application.
Protecting existing cultural infrastructure
Model Policy 2 is a specific policy to protect existing cultural facilities. While some local authorities or development corporations may decide not to include it, the policy does include the approach to be taken if, in exceptional circumstances, facilities will be lost to ensure that a replacement or compensatory community cultural benefit is provided. To operationalise this policy, it should include reference to a Planning Obligation SPD that includes the trigger scale of development and the impact involved. It should be noted that it is suggested that this should be all scales and all impacts as this is about protection of existing and potential loss of a cultural facility. The mechanism for the assessment involved should be the requirement to produce a Culture Wellbeing Action Plan (see the fifth point in section two) with its provisions for early engagement and co-design.
Model Policy 2:
Protecting existing cultural facilities
Development involving the loss of arts, culture and entertainment facilities will be resisted, unless exceptionally re-provided in accordance with other policy requirements. Where loss of the facility is necessary to secure a development which will deliver benefits for the community, and this can be demonstrated to the Council’s satisfaction, a contribution towards cultural, public art or creative projects should be provided in accordance with the Council’s Planning Obligations SPD.
This assessment should be included in a Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan, describing how the above provisions of this policy have been addressed (as outlined in the Development Plans Planning Obligations SPD). The Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan should be developed through detailed engagement with the local community and its proposals should be co-designed at an early stage e.g. pre-application.
Where loss is proposed, how to address the loss should be specifically addressed in the Planning Obligation SPD.
Model Planning Obligation SPD provisions: creative facilities / project contribution
Provision of onsite cultural facilities or, in exceptional circumstances, a contribution towards cultural, public art or creative projects should be provided to address any loss of cultural facilities (scale / impact – ALL).
This assessment should be included in a Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan, describing how the above provisions of this policy have been addressed. The Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan should be developed through detailed engagement with the local community and its proposed proposals should co-designed at an early stage at pre-application.
Cultural provision in new developments
Model Policy 3 is a detailed policy that seeks to obtain new cultural provision, improvements to existing facilities or improvement to access to cultural facilities through new development. It would, therefore, make enhanced cultural provision to cater for a growing local population in expanding towns and cities. This includes the requirement for the developer to provide a Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan to indicate how they intend to meet the cultural policy requirements of the Local Plan.
Should the local planning authority exceptionally agree that such an Action Plan is not required then a commuted sum would be used instead. The commuted sum route should be clearly stated as an exception as many authorities encounter real problems in spending such commuted sums and there is commonly a spending deadline involved (where failure to spend may require the commuted sum to be repaid to the developer). However, when collected, commuted sums can be useful as match-funding for bids to lever in additional funds for cultural infrastructure schemes.
In adapting Model Policy 3 for local use, thought should be given to whether an additional bullet point should be included at the top of the list that would require development proposals to ‘support and enhance existing cultural facilities and/or activities and services that are permanent.’
The reason and justification narrative supporting this policy (and its supporting Planning Obligation SPD) should sign-post the developer to the place-based Culture Investment Partnership or Board as the key pathway for production and co-design of the Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan and its proposals. It should also state the need to liaise with the council or development corporation’s planning team and, where they exist, culture focused colleagues in its production.
To have real teeth, this policy requires an up-to-date Planning Obligation SPD and that SPD to specifically include cultural facilities and the relevant development thresholds and commuted sum calculations. The Local Plan policy should reference this SPD. A model Planning Obligation SPD policy is also outlined below for ease.
Model Policy 3:
Cultural provision as part of new developments
Cultural wellbeing is identified as one of the twelve core planning principles underpinning both plan-making and decision-making in the National Planning Policy Framework.
Development proposals will be supported where they are designed to sustain, enhance, and add value to the special qualities and significance of xxx’s cultural character, assets, capacity, activities, and opportunities for access.
Development proposals will be supported where they:
- Enable and promote the delivery of new cultural facilities and/or activities and services such as permanent and temporary public arts.
- Provide facilities, opportunities, and/or resources for cultural programmes and activities, during an/or after the development period.
- Do not cause the loss of cultural facilities, activities, or services.
- Do not cause the loss of venues or spaces, including in the public realm, that deliver cultural opportunities, activities, or services.
Development proposals for all strategic sites and in the town / city centre(s) will need to demonstrate that future cultural provision has been considered (which may include the provision of public realm capable of hosting events and performances, as well as cultural space within buildings). This assessment should be included in a Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan, describing how the criteria of above are satisfied.
- As part of the planning application where applicable, as detailed in the Planning Obligation SPD the applicant will be required to produce and realise a robust Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan to enhance the range of arts and cultural opportunities in the area.
- The Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan should be developed through detailed engagement with the local community and its proposed proposals should be co-designed at an early stage at pre-application. The developer is required to also liaise with both the council’s culture and planning officers in the preparation of the Action Plan.
- In accordance with the council’s adopted Planning Obligation SPD, in exceptional circumstances agreed by the Council where an applicant is unable to provide a Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan, it is not appropriate due to the scale and nature of the scheme, or within the following defined development zone(s) where specific facilities are being required, then a commuted sum will be sought to enable the council to meet the requirements for such provision within the local area.
To support the implementation of the policy above, a specific cultural requirement policy will need to be included in a Planning Obligation SPD. The threshold figures and commuted sum calculations need to be determined at the local or sub-regional level – responding to local market conditions.
Model Planning Obligation SPD provisions: cultural facilities
This applies to developments involving the provision of one or both of the following:
- XXX or more dwellings; or
- XXX m² or more of non-residential floorspace.
The Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan (below) should be developed through detailed engagement with the local community and its proposed proposals should be co-designed at an early stage at pre-application.
The developer is encouraged to discuss the requirements of the obligation in relation to arts and culture with the planning case officer [and, if relevant the council’s arts and cultural services or other relevant departments with an emphasis on culture] at an early stage.
The council will seek planning obligations to secure new or replacement provision of arts and culture of equal or improved capacity, design and layout in appropriate development proposals and where the three planning obligation tests are satisfied (CIL Regulation 122). If an alternative site for re-provided arts and culture would result in a better outcome for the facility and its users, the new site should be secured and the replacement facility delivered before development of the existing facility can be begun.
Where an existing facility is to be re-provided on-site in order to maintain ongoing provision of arts and culture during construction, alternative interim premises should be secured.
As part of the planning application, the applicant will be required to produce and realise a robust Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan to enhance the range of arts and cultural opportunities in the area. The applicant will then provide an assessment as part of the Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan on how they propose to meet and deliver the objectives set out in the Plan. This will need to be approved by the council’s culture service and the Planning team.
In circumstances agreed by the council where an applicant is unable to provide a Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan, or it is not appropriate (e.g. for smaller schemes), then a commuted sum will be sought to enable the council to meet the requirements in the local area. This will only be in exceptional circumstances.
Any future documents that may be produced by the council which set out future cultural needs for the area, such as a Cultural Strategy and specific cultural guidelines, would be used as the basis for negotiations. Where appropriate, a planning obligation in the form of a commuted sum will be secured to meet the requirements in the local area in accordance with the planning obligation tests. If funds are pooled for one objective in one part of the borough, this will not prevent the council from pooling for an objective in a different part of the borough. This amount, and any cultural obligations, will be excluded from the affordable housing viability assessments.
Commuted sum calculations
All applications that meet the threshold are obligated to contribute to the provision of public arts (either through delivering their own Arts and Culture Action Plan or through commuted sums as set out in (1) Public Arts, below).
Where further information on cultural needs is available, such as through specific visions and/or guidance documents, then the additional figures for (2) Arts and Cultural Infrastructure will be used as the basis for the planning obligation calculation in accordance with the planning obligation tests. This contribution will be in addition to Public Arts.
The commuted sum contributions are based on Museums, Libraries and Archives / Arts Council England guidance for Arts, Museums and New Development – A Standard Approach, IXIA guidance, former Percent for Art programmes and legal advice pertaining to cultural obligations within planning policy.
These are as follows:
(1) Public Arts:
- £xxx per dwelling
- £xxx per 10,000 m² of non-residential floor space*
These contributions will fund projects which relate to the provision of Public Arts
(2) Arts and Cultural Infrastructure:
- £xxx per dwelling
- £xxxx per xxxxm² of non-residential floorspace*
These contributions will be used to address issues relating to the provision of cultural infrastructure, such as affordable cultural and creative space, workspace and associated support (e.g. through subsidised capital lease, subsidised rent and/or fit out).
Where further information on cultural needs is available which indicates and supports that a higher cost is required to meet needs, then these additional figures will be used as the basis for the planning obligation calculation in accordance with the planning obligation tests.
In determining the level of commuted sums, consideration will be given to the time and cost involved in establishing or re-establishing a cultural facility. Set up costs will form part of the commuted sum.
*This only applies for schemes exceeding xxx m2, with the price applied proportionally to any additional floorspace over this value (e.g. a scheme of xxx m2 would result in a contribution of £xxx).
Specific policy for public art
Model Policy 4 is a specific policy for public art, which can be used if public art has not been covered elsewhere. Development cost and floorspace calculation need to be developed locally due to local circumstances and the cultural evidence base. Such sums could be used to provide a funding post for public art works which could enable a public art programme as a part of the Cultural Infrastructure Investment Boards overall investment programme.
Model Policy 4:
The provision of public art and cultural activity can not only enhance the environment but also create a wide variety of other important benefits such as:
- Improving the quality of life for local people.
- Creating a local distinctiveness and a sense of place.
- Enriching the cultural life of the Borough and raise its profile.
- Providing a focus and stimulus for tourism.
A minimum of 0.x% of the gross development cost of proposals for xxx or more dwellings or non-residential development of xxx sqm or more should, subject to viability, be allocated towards cultural wellbeing. This includes public art that enhances the cultural offer and appearance of the development, its surroundings and the Borough as a whole, and engaging local residents throughout.
Identification, protection, enhancement and development of cultural clusters and or cultural quarters
Four policies are set out in relation to this topic. These are:
- Model Policy 5 identifies the place quarter spatially, usually as part of a grouping of development / enhancement policy areas – including a plan (this should be followed by a more detailed policy for each development quarter).
- Model Policy 6, which is a specific policy for a cultural quarter.
- Model Policy 7 is a detailed policy for a special policy area / cultural cluster.
- Model Policy 8, which is a specific policy for town and city centre cultural facilities.
Policy for place quarters
In all these policies the requirement for a Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan should be included.
Model Policy 5:
The city / town centre has areas where specific uses cluster together or which have a particular character or identity. To make the most of these clusters and characters and to ensure new development does not impact negatively on these areas, City Centre Quarters have been defined where a specific policy approach applies. These are:
- xxx a list item here
- xxx a list item here
- xxx a list item here
Specific policy for a cultural quarter
Model Policy 6 is included as an example for a policy relating to a cultural quarter. The actual components listed in the policy will depend upon the nature of the quarter and its cultural aspects and local aspiration – as determined from the cultural evidence base.
Additionally, a cultural quarter can be supported by its identification as a cultural and creative zone. For example, Newcastle and Gateshead Cultural and Creative Zone, for which Newcastle and Gateshead states that the programmes and opportunities provided by the zone will be tailored to:
- Meet the needs of existing cultural operators.
- Attract and retain creative talent.
- Facilitate the development of a diverse and highly skilled creative workforce for the future.
- Champion the development of sustainable, low-carbon, cultural production.
- Catalyse the growth of the cultural economy and the wider economy.
- Create a distinctive new cultural destination for participants, residents and visitors.
Model Policy 6:
Within the ‘Creative Quarter’, as shown on the policies map, planning permission will be granted for development that is consistent with and does not undermine the delivery of the following strategic aims:
- Supporting the creative industries sector through the provision of an affordable range of workshops, studios, offices and other commercial/ employment premises suitable for newly formed, growing and established businesses.
- Providing a flexible range of new and converted employment premises of varying sizes, with an emphasis on those that are suitable for the needs of identified growth sectors and maximising the opportunities for co-ordinated and complementary infrastructure provision, including access to high technology communication facilities, specialist business advice and support networks.
- Maximising opportunities for the positive re-use of existing buildings, including historic buildings identified as being at risk or with a record of long-term vacancy or under-occupation, and preserving and enhancing the significance of heritage assets.
- Providing specialist services including training, education, ancillary retail and leisure facilities that are complementary to the creative industries sector.
- Supporting the visitor and business economy through provision of facilities to enhance the city’s convention/conferencing offer.
- New housing provision, including student accommodation and innovative formats as part of mixed-use schemes, where this is compatible with and does not prejudice the activities of adjoining uses.
- Improving linkages (pedestrian, bus and cycle) between the core of the city/town centre and adjoining neighbourhoods.
Specific policy for a Special Policy Area / cultural cluster
The development of a policy for this theme is less easy as its contents really depends upon the nature of the area and the specific cultural characteristics that are being protected and / or reinforced. The Special Policy Area / cluster should be accompanied by a plan outlining the boundaries of the area subject to the policy. However, the basics are set out below.
It should be noted that in adapting this policy for specific use the policy could be more explicit about what would constitute ‘high quality’ development. This might link to other policies in the local plan where they exist or could emphasise requirements in relation to net-zero, for example.
Model Policy 7:
XXX Special Policy Area
Development in the xxx Special Policy Area will reflect its unique character and function and demonstrate how it respects, protects and enhances the existing scale and grain of the built environment and the unique mixture of uses present there.
The following uses will be supported [as example – the policy needs to list those attributes unique to the area / cluster to be protected / reinforced]:
- small and medium enterprise (SME);
- workspace, particularly in the creative industries;
- specialist retailing;
- new live music venues;
- physical, social and green infrastructure;
- small-scale hotels; and
- food, drink and entertainment uses.
Loss of any of these unique functions will only be supported where:
- There is no reasonable prospect of its continued use for xxx use or complementary facilities, as evidenced by vacancy and appropriate marketing for a period of at least 12 months.
- The proposal is for high quality residential development.
Specific town / city centre cultural policy
Model Policy 8 is a specific cultural infrastructure policy for a town or city centre. Many of the other model policies reference the town / city centre – however, if a specific strategic policy is required then this can be used.
Model Policy 8:
Town / city centre cultural facilities
Cultural facilities and activities are an important component of a vibrant and successful town / city centre. Our town / city centre and its high streets are struggling in response to a rapidly changing retail market and changing retail habits. As such enhanced cultural facilities and activities and the colour and attractiveness they bring will be critical to its reimagining, regeneration, place-making and enhanced attractiveness.
Developments in xxx town / city centre will be supported where they:
- Protect existing heritage, cultural and community venues, facilities and uses.
- Involve and / or support the development of new cultural venues.
- Can provide an anchor for town / city centre renewal.
- Protect and enhance strategic clusters of cultural attractions.
- Support the use of the public realm, parks and green spaces for public art and as outdoor venues for cultural events and festivals.
- Involve the positive use of vacant properties (particularly heritage buildings) and land for pop-ups or ‘Meanwhile’ uses for cultural and creative activities during the day and at night-time to stimulate vibrancy and viability and promote diversity in the town / city centre.
- Maximise opportunities for redundant heritage assets and the role they can play in economic and social well-being.
- Provide opportunities for town / city centre living and the enhancement of the liveability of existing town /city centre neighbourhoods.
- Support a mix of uses which derive mutual benefits from, and do not compromise, the creative industries and cultural facilities in the town / city centre in line with the Agent of Change principle. If development would potentially result in conflict between a cultural activity and another use, especially in terms of noise, then the development responsible for the change must secure the implementation of appropriate mitigation before it is completed.
- Support the creative industries sector through the provision of an affordable range of workshops, studios, offices and other commercial/ employment premises suitable for newly formed, growing and established businesses.
- Development proposals in the Town / City Centre will need to demonstrate that future cultural provision has been considered (which may include the provision of public realm capable of hosting events and performances, as well as cultural space within buildings). This assessment should be included in a Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan, describing how the above provisions of this policy have been addressed (as outlined in the Development Plans Planning Obligations SPD). The Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan should be developed through detailed engagement with the local community and its proposed proposals should be co-designed at an early stage at pre-application.
Meanwhile and temporary uses
Model Policy 9 is a detailed policy seeking to support ‘meanwhile’ and temporary cultural activities and uses on vacant and/or underused sites and buildings as a mechanism to animate and regenerate areas, particularly town and city centres. Such an approach can be particularly valuable at the early stages of new developments when normally land might be locked behind hoardings or to provide places to go before other facilities are developed. Further guidance about the benefits of, and enabling, meanwhile use is in Section 5, in the various best practice examples listed, but such approaches can achieve quick wins and a swift change of image in regeneration areas.
Model Policy 9:
Meanwhile and temporary uses
Proposals for meanwhile and pop-up uses will be supported where they:
- Mitigate the impact of construction or optimise under-utilised capacity during the phasing of development; and/or
- Can demonstrate that they will enhance the vibrancy and vitality of the area, including through:
- promoting arts and cultural uses;
- providing community space or facilities;
- reusing vacant or underused historic buildings and / or prominent buildings;
- providing employment opportunities for local people and independent businesses, such as an incubator hub; or providing affordable workspace; or providing food growing spaces; or otherwise meeting the ambitions of the relevant Area Strategy; and/or
- help animate the public realm.
- Temporary permissions and/or planning conditions will be used to assess or regulate the impact of the meanwhile use to a particular length of time.
- The temporary use of sites and premises for cultural activities, particularly in locations where they can help to animate the public realm, and the provision of public art will be supported.
- The council will produce a meanwhile use toolkit to support the development of meanwhile uses.
Protecting existing cultural venues – the ‘agent of change’ principle
Population growth means that some new developments will inevitably be built next to established cultural venues. It is important to accommodate and design new developments in ways which ensure that cultural venues remain viable, despite the noise they generate. This means finding ways to militate against neighbour complaints, licensing restrictions or the threat of closure as outlined in Model Policy 10.
Under the ‘agent of change’ principle, if a cultural venue is in place before a residential development, as the ‘agent of change’, the residential development is responsible for mitigating against potential residents’ complaints for example by paying for soundproofing. Equally, if a cultural venue, as the ‘agent of change’ opens in a residential area, the venue is responsible for these works. This approach encourages, therefore, music venues, for example, to work alongside communities to manage noise. It encourages developers to build homes that reflect their surroundings. Agent of change can apply equally to any cultural venue where there is noise – from theatres to pubs to skate parks.
Model Policy 10:
Protecting existing cultural venues and activities
If a development would potentially result in conflict between a cultural activity and another use, especially in terms of noise, then the development responsible for the change must secure the implementation of appropriate mitigation before it is completed (known as the ‘agent of change’ principle). This conflict and its mitigation to be evidenced as part of the planning application and secured through the consent.
Multi-functional / co-location of cultural and community facilities
Model Policy 11 seeks to support the provision of multifunctional and shared facilities and spaces, to aid viability and deliverability. This model policy has combined cultural facilities with community space (see section six for further guidance on co-location).
Model Policy 11:
Multifunctionality and co-location
New or improved cultural facilities – multifunctional co-location
- The council will support the provision of high quality, accessible community and cultural facilities to serve new and existing communities, regenerate areas and raise the profile of the place as a destination for culture and the arts.
- The council will encourage the development of multi-functional community and cultural facilities / co-location in particular as an integral part of all major development in the Borough.
- Developers are required to outline such multi-functional / co-location proposals in a Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan, describing how the above provisions of this policy have been addressed (as outlined in the Development Plans Planning Obligations SPD). The Cultural Wellbeing Action Plan should be developed through detailed engagement with the local community and its proposed proposals should be co-designed at an early stage at pre-application.
Key projects [if a list of projects is available]:
The council will work with relevant partners to deliver the following multi-functional cultural / community hubs at: xxx (list).
Funding and developer contributions:
Proposals for new development will be required to contribute towards these multi-functional hubs as part of their Cultural Wellbeing Action Plans and/or exceptionally be required to provide commuted sums as set in the council’s Planning Obligation SPD.
Managed and affordable workspace
Model Policy 12 is aimed at achieving managed and affordable workspace in general but with a particular emphasis on space for creatives and artists. This policy can appear as part of the culture section of the Local Plan or as part of the employment/economy chapter. The policy is very detailed because of the affordability requirement. As such the evidence base for such a policy needs to be robust to avoid challenge and to be deliverable. The floorspace and affordability figures referenced in the policy should be determined via local need and local market circumstances and through the employment and cultural evidence bases.
Alternatively, some of the detail of the policy could be reduced and included separately in the Planning Obligation SPD. If this is the approach taken, then the Local Plan policy needs to reference the SPD.
Model Policy 12:
Affordable, flexible and managed workspace
- All development for economic uses will be expected to be leased at reasonable rents and under flexible leasing arrangements taking account of the Code for Leasing and Business Premises in England and Wales 2007.
All development that provides economic floorspace will be expected to contribute to the provision of affordable, flexible and managed workspace, in perpetuity, which will be secured by way of s106 planning obligation and/or conditions. Planning applications will be assessed in accordance with the following:
- Developments that would provide less than xxx sqm of economic floorspace will be expected to provide a range of unit sizes, unless a specific end user has been identified and that there is sufficient certainty regarding their occupation at the time of submitting the application, or if the proposed development is for a co-working space (or similar ‘open workspace’ models).
Developments that would provide more than xxx sqm of economic floorspace will be expected to:
- Provide a proportion of ‘open workspace’, equivalent to x% of the gross economic floorspace and no less than xxx sqm (whichever is greater), which includes a wide range of features that minimise overhead and upfront investment costs and provide business support for micro- and small-businesses, especially early-stage businesses; or
- Provide a proportion of economic floorspace at an affordable rent, in perpetuity, subject to scheme viability – at least x% of gross economic floorspace at a capped rate of x% less than the prevailing market rate for comparable premises.
- The redevelopment of existing affordable, flexible and managed workspace must re-provide the maximum viable quantum of such employment floorspace in perpetuity, at equivalent rents (taking into account service charges). These should be suitable for the existing or equivalent uses, subject to current lease arrangements and the expressed desire of existing businesses to remain on-site. For sites over xxx sqm, where this re-provision would result in less floorspace than is provided under 2b. above, additional provision to at least this amount is required.
Development proposals for affordable, flexible and managed workspace will be supported in order to meet the specific needs of SMEs in the local economy, including for those in specialist sectors where the borough demonstrates, or has the potential to develop, local specialisation. In particular, the council will support workspace that meets the specific needs of the cultural, creative, digital, and food and drink industries; which accommodates sectors that have social value or which improve educational outcomes; or that provides for disadvantaged groups wishing to start up in any sector. Opportunities for the clustering of sites will be encouraged. To support this, the provision of cultural workspace will be:
- Required on sites in: xxx (list),
Encouraged on sites in:
- town centres;
- local centre; or
- other focal points of activity
Affordable workspace should be made available for occupation at the same time as, or prior to, the first occupation of the remainder of the economic floorspace in the development.
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