2.85 The NPPF requires that Local Plans should give significant weight to supporting economic growth and productivity. The Placemaking Plan sets out two policies to facilitate new industrial development and protect and manage existing industrial sites.
2.86 Evidence shows that since the start of the Local Plan period in 2011 losses of the industrial sites across the District have exceeded the levels set out in the Plan, and the necessary new employment development has not been realised. Additionally, evidence shows that demand for industrial space has increased and is greater than was envisaged at the time of preparing the current Local Plan. There are also limited opportunities to provide new industrial land, especially in Bath. Therefore, it is necessary to review the policy approach.
2.87 In Bath since 2011 over 44,241 sqm net of industrial space has already been lost and a loss of a further 492 sqm of space has planning permission, plus an additional 15,648 sqm is expected to be lost through the Placemaking Plan allocations. The total loss of industrial floorspace is therefore more than 60,000 sqm. This is significantly in excess of the 40,000 sqm of managed reduction by 2029 set out in Policy B1.
2.88 In Keynsham Policy KE1 facilitates the supply of industrial/warehouse floorspace to change from about 52,000 sqm in 2011 to 60,300 sqm in 2029 resulting in a net increase of 8,300 sqm. The monitoring shows a net loss of 35,480 sqm of industrial space between 2011 and 2019 and a further 367 sqm of space is expected to be lost with extant planning permissions. Even though 30,000 sqm of new employment floorspace is sought at the East Keynsham strategic site allocation (Policy KE3a), overall delivery would still fall short of meeting the required increase in industrial space.
2.89 In the Somer Valley Policy SV1 facilitates a managed reduction of industrial floorspace from 126,400 sqm in 2011 to 112,000sqm in 2029, resulting in a net managed loss of 14,400sqm. Since 2011 over net 5,789 sqm of industrial space has been lost between 2011 and 2019 and a further 17,663 sqm of space is expected to be lost with extant planning permissions, totalling 23,452 sqm loss. This is significantly greater than the managed reduction planned for through Policy SV1. However, the Old Mills employment allocation (SV9) is currently expected to deliver 48,000 sqm and this is further facilitated through designation of the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone.
2.90 Therefore, it is proposed to amend Policies ED2A and ED2B to strengthen the protection of existing industrial land.