Policy ARL16: Small-Scale Commercial Development

The Policy

Development proposals to provide small-scale B-class employment opportunities will be supported. This will be focussed on the site allocated as part of the Arlesey Cross Masterplan but could also include:

  • Conversion of existing buildings across the Neighbourhood Plan area, subject to the impact of provision on the highway network and parking; or
  • Provision of new buildings or conversion of existing buildings within the settlement boundary of Arlesey.

Employment

The Background

The Arlesey Cross Masterplan allocates 10ha land for new employment opportunities. The principal employment area will be located on the eastern side of Area B (see map above). This will allow a direct access into the employment land to be taken from the new relief road close to the proposed junction on the A507, ensuring that commercial traffic, particularly HGVs, do not need to travel through the town. This direct access to the A507 will also be important in making the employment land as marketable as possible. A secondary employment area is proposed for the south side of the relief road, opposite the new ‘local centre’. This is likely to be an area for small-scale employment units, such as offices, subject to there being local demand.

It is considered that, in order to grow medium- and larger-sized businesses, it is necessary to nurture business start-ups. Nationally, there has been strong growth in self-employment and this has been mirrored in Arlesey. Not all of these businesses will require employment space, as many people will work from home. However, for small start-up businesses, the ability to access workspace, on flexible, ‘easy-in easy-out’ terms, helps to provide the foundation to grow a business. The analysis in Appendix A shows that Arlesey has a well-qualified workforce and this foundation creates the potential for new businesses to be started up by local residents who are keen to also work locally.

This policy provides support to the creation of small-scale businesses premises, ideally on flexible rental terms.