West Berkshire Council has formally adopted a Local Development Order for the Greenham Business Park.
The LDO, which is the first such initiative in the District, will now provide a streamlined planning process to encourage further economic growth and regeneration at the Business Park, which has established on the old Technical Area of the former Greenham Common airbase.
The advantage of an LDO over the normal planning application process, or more traditional masterplan, is that it helps existing businesses and potential new investors to commit to investing in a property, knowing they can develop it to meet their needs within these broad parameters, and without the usual cost, time and potential risk involved in a full planning application.
Now that the LDO has been adopted, proposals that are within the agreed development parameters will be able to proceed following the submission of a pre-development notification to the council, reducing the time it takes for planners to process the notification to just three weeks.
This is a significant time saving compared to normal planning applications. It also means significantly less time and cost for both applicants and the council, in preparing and considering an application, as all the key planning issues have already been addressed. The overall effect is a significantly streamlined planning process.
Chris Boulton, Chief Executive of Greenham Trust and Greenham Business Park Ltd said: “We are delighted that the LDO is to go ahead. In a competitive economy, a LDO can be key to businesses deciding whether to invest in our area or not. It also benefits the local Planning Authority and other local stakeholders by managing the site in a comprehensive, rather than piecemeal way and reduces the need to assess similar planning issues over and over again.”
The LDO was prepared in partnership with the Trust, supported by their planning consultant Pro Vision. James Iles, Planning Director at Pro Vision said: “A lot of careful thought has gone into the preparation of this simplified planning regime for the business park, which as well as helping to unlock the development potential of the former airbase, also provides strong protection of the neighbouring common, the local historic interest, and the amenity of neighbours.”
Hilary Cole, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Planning said: “We’re very pleased to have worked with Greenham Trust on this LDO, which is a great Economic Development opportunity for West Berkshire.
“Promoting our district as being well and truly open for business is one of our biggest priorities and streamlining what can be a repetitive and time consuming process will make investing here even more attractive.”