Bexhill Enterprise Park North
- Capital Investment - East Sussex, Less than £2m, LGF3
Construction in progress
Expected completion date
Bexhill Enterprise Park North is a key element in a package of measures to address the ongoing socio-economic challenges facing the Bexhill area. Bexhill Enterprise Park North gained outline planning approval in May 2018 for 33,500 sqm (net internal area) of employment floorspace. The Bexhill Enterprise Park North site unlocked by this project will deliver the first light industrial units essential to address the jobs deficit in the local area.
The LGF funding will be used to deliver the site and servicing infrastructure required to provide full access to the individual development plots within the business park from the North Bexhill Access Road. These works will directly enable development of the business park and will facilitate private sector investment in the site to bring forward 8,000 sqm of light industrial units and up to 8,000 sqm of manufacturing space.
A project update was considered by Accountability Board on 14th February 2020 following identification of a significant risk to the delivery of the project.
It was noted in the project Business Case that outline planning permission had been granted in May 2018 for up to 33,500 sqm of employment floorspace. In October 2018, an application for approval of reserved matters following outline planning approval was submitted to the District Council. After a lengthy period of engagement and consultation, the District Council planning committee considered the application on 10th October 2019, and resolved to refuse the application. An appeal was lodged with the Planning Inspectorate in respect of the refusal of the reserved matters application on 24th December 2019.
The decision to refuse the reserved matters application presents a significant deliverability risk to the project. As a result, the Accountability Board took the decision to agree that further LGF spend on the delivery of the project should be paused until planning consent has been granted.
The Board have continued to receive updates on project delivery, with the latest update being provided on 12th March 2021. This update indicated that the Planning Appeal hearing took place between 19th and 22nd January 2021. Whilst it was anticipated that a decision on the appeal would be given in late February or early March 2021, the decision has not yet been issued. If the planning appeal is successful it is expected that delivery of the enabling works will complete in Summer 2021.
In light of this update, and the ongoing uncertainty regarding the outcome of the planning appeal, the Board took the decision that the LGF funding should remain allocated to the project subject to the planning appeal being successful and the outcome being known by 1st September 2021. If the planning appeal is unsuccessful or the outcome is not known by 1st September 2021, the LGF funding must be returned to SELEP for reallocation.
Project Update July 2021
The Accountability Board were advised that outstanding planning permission had been granted and the project could proceed to completion. At this time the Board were advised that East Sussex County Council and Sea Change Sussex were taking steps to enter into a back to back LGF grant agreement. Completion of this agreement will allow LGF funding to be issued to Sea Change Sussex to support delivery of the required enabling works.
Project Update September 2021
At the Accountability Board meeting in September 2021, the Board were advised that the back to back agreement between East Sussex County Council and Sea Change Sussex remained unsigned. This would mean that the project would not be in a position to complete the spend of LGF until after the 30 September 2021. It was agreed the spend of LGF beyond 30 September 2021 and the revised completion date of March 2022. The Board agreed that the back to back agreement must be in place by 19 November 2021, or the LGF would be reallocated to the LGF prioritised pipeline of projects.
Project Update November 2021
The Accountability Board were asked to note that that the Bexhill Enterprise Park North project has met the conditions that the back to back agreement should be in place by this meeting and that it will now progress to delivery, with completion of the LGF funded works expected in March 2022.
Capital Programme delivery update
Take a look at our update on the delivery of the Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Growing Places Fund (GPF) capital programmes.
£579m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock
In total the SELEP Growth Deal with Government has brought £579m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock. Over the lifetime of the Growth Deal (2015-2021) we aim to deliver 78,000 jobs and 29,000 homes across the SELEP area, with the Deal set to attract a further £960m of investment into the South East over the six year period.