Friday, March 2, 2012

News: Simplified planning to help businesses get in the zone


Businesses locating in the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone will benefit from a simplified planning process.

The city region was granted Enterprise Zone status by the government in 2011. It will be based on a series of key sites along the M1 that will focus growth within the advanced engineering and technology sectors.

Enterprise Zone status is conditional upon putting in place a genuinely simplified approach to planning. The delay and cost of obtaining planning permission for the development of commercial buildings can often be a disincentive to businesses and developers.

Local Development Orders (LDOs) are being drafted that set out the types of developments which can take place without the need for planning permission to be obtained from the local planning authority.

The LDO grants conditional planning permission for certain uses which meet the specific advanced engineering and technology criteria.

The Enterprise Zone contains a number of key employment sites in Rotherham and LDOs will cover areas on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) at Waverley and at Grange Lane and Magna 34 at Templebrough.

Details usually found in planning applications, such as the usage, size and location for potential developments for each area have been drafted and will now go out for consultation.

Businesses hoping to move into areas in the Enterprise Zone not covered by the LDOs will receive planning support from the local authority, such as pre-application advice.

Other benefits that the zones will offer is a business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per eligible business over a five year period.

Companies within the zone could also take advantage of enhanced capital allowances (instead of business rate discounts) for plant and machinery.

All business rates growth within the zone for a period of at least 25 years will be shared and retained by the Sheffield City Region, to support the Local Enterprise Partnership's economic priorities and ensure that Enterprise Zone growth is reinvested locally.

The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership hope that the zone will create 12,600 jobs and attract around 250 new advanced manufacturing and technology-based businesses to the city region by 2015 – potentially rising to 20,000 jobs when the zone is fully developed.

Rotherham Investment and Development Office
Sheffield City Region website

Images: RiDO


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