Bexhill Enterprise Park North
- Capital Investment - East Sussex, Less than £2m, LGF3
Design 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. A date for the appeal is not yet known.
The delay in securing the required planning consent will have a significant impact on the delivery programme. Whilst the LGF project was originally expected to complete by March 2020, it is now estimated that the LGF works will not be completed until February 2021 (subject to the appeal being decided in June 2020). The Accountability Board agreed that a further update on the project which confirms the outcome of the planning appeal should be provided at the Board meeting on 3rd July 2020.
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.
In line with the Board decision, a further update on project delivery was provided to the Accountability Board on 3rd July 2020. It was originally intended that this update would provide the outcome of the planning appeal, however, this was not possible due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Planning Inspectorate have indicated that the time to process appeals has been affected due to site visits and other events being postponed during March, April and May 2020 as part of the measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a result, a date for the appeal hearing has not yet been set. As a result of this delay, it is now expected that the LGF enabling works will not be completed until June 2021 at the earliest. The Board will be provided with a further update at the Board meeting on 18th September 2020, which confirms the outcome of, or sets out a clear timetable for conclusion of, the planning appeal.
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.