Waveney Local Plan

PowerPark

Employment development

049 Gulliver and OrbisEnergy2.16 There is huge potential for growth in Waveney associated with the development of offshore wind farms. The East Anglia Array which is located just off the coast of Lowestoft will be one of the largest wind farms in the world with a capacity of up to 7GW. The first phase of this scheme has consent and the Outer Harbour which forms part of the PowerPark has been chosen as the construction management and operations and maintenance base for the phase. The second phase is now being considered for consent and four further phases are being progressed to planning. In total it is estimated that at least 1,500 new direct and indirect jobs will be created in Waveney as a result of these developments.

2.17 In addition to offshore wind, there are also opportunities for growth from other offshore related sectors, including oil and gas and other offshore renewables.

2.18 The PowerPark Demand and Need Report (BVG Associates, 2009) identifies that the PowerPark is well placed to capitalise on growth in the offshore energy sector. The study advises that a mix of energy sectors including offshore wind, offshore research and development, and marine engineering will deliver the maximum economic and employment benefit from the PowerPark. Responding to this, the Area Action Plan identified the site as the main focus for a cluster of offshore related businesses. This Local Plan continues this approach.

2.19 The PowerPark is already home to a number of offshore related companies including Greater Gabbard Wind Farm, East Anglia Offshore Wind and Sembmarine SLP. The PowerPark is also home to OrbisEnergy which provides office space for businesses focused on the energy sector. The objective for this site is to further enhance this cluster through new development and redevelopment and re-use of existing premises within the site. There is limited vacant land available within the site for new development, so most development will involve the redevelopment or re-use of existing premises. The Council has prepared a relocation strategy and will continue to support and facilitate existing businesses operating in the area that are not in the energy sector to relocate to other areas within the town. Additional employment land has been allocated by Policies WLP2.12 and WLP2.17 in North Lowestoft which could accommodate businesses wishing to relocate.

 

Policy WLP2.2 - PowerPark

Land comprising the PowerPark (23.37 hectares) as defined on the Policies Map is allocated for employment development (falling under use classes B1, B2 and B8) and port related development. Associated and ancillary uses necessary to support the offshore energy and engineering sectors will also be permitted.

Proposals involving the redevelopment or change of use of existing premises, to uses not falling within the uses allocated in the paragraph above will not be permitted.

The Council will work with Suffolk County Council, Associated British Ports, the Environment Agency and landowners to:

  • Improve the general appearance of the site through improvements to the public realm, landscaping improvements and on-site branding.
  • Improve cycle and pedestrian connectivity to and through the site and ensure sufficient car parking is available.
  • Provide wayfinding and orientation facilities including signposting to the town centre, the Scores, the historic High Street, the East of England Park and Ness Point.
  • Improve the visibility and appearance of the waterfront. This should include improvements to the current fencing treatment and ensure proposed flood walls are attractive and allow for visibility of the waterfront.

New development and redevelopment within the site should be developed in accordance with the following site specific criteria:

  • Appropriate provision should be made for cyclists including covered secure cycle parking and showering facilities for employees.
  • Development should mitigate any impact on the Outer Harbour Kittiwake Colony and Ness Point County Wildlife Site.
  • Proposals should respect the cultural heritage of the area and ensure buildings which are non-designated heritage assets are retained as part of any redevelopment.
  • All new development will be subject to a site specific flood risk assessment. A flood evacuation plan and details of mitigation measures to the satisfaction of the Council's Emergency Planners must be submitted with any planning application.