Innovation Park Medway Local Development Order Consultation

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Consultation on the Draft Local Development Order at the Innovation Park Medway site

Notice of Consultation Under Article 38 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015

Innovation Park Medway is a new opportunity for high-value technology, engineering, manufacturing and knowledge-intensive businesses looking to grow in the South East. The park will promote innovation and business growth across Medway, complementing the existing Innovation Centre.

Innovation Park Medway will support the development of up to 101,000sqm of high value technology, advanced manufacturing, engineering and knowledge-intensive businesses within the Use Classes of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended):

  • B1(a) office;
  • B1(b) research and development, studios, laboratories, high-technology industries;
  • B1(c) light industry; and
  • B2 general industrial uses.

Innovation Park Medway is one of three locations within the North Kent Enterprise Zone that offers tax breaks and government support, including business rate discounts worth up to £55,000 annually for 5 years (a maximum of £275,000 per business).

The Innovation Park Medway site is within both Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council and Medway Council administrative areas. This means that decisions must be made by both councils.

In 2018, Medway Council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council consulted on a draft masterplan for Innovation Park Medway. This was subsequently adopted by the Borough Council for economic development purposes in March 2019 subject to Highways England comments.

The main aims of the masterplan are to:

  • Strengthen the performance of the local economy
  • Create jobs to secure growth and prosperity
  • Realise the area's potential whilst ensuring the long-term operating future of Rochester Airport

Local Development Order Consultation

Both Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council and Medway Council are consulting on draft Local Development Orders (LDOs) for the areas of Innovation Park Medway that fall within their respective areas, and must adopt separate documents. Information on Medway Council's consultation can be accessed via the Medway Council website.

The purpose of an LDO is to simplify the planning process within the site. It enables businesses and organisations that would support the objectives of the Innovation Park Medway to develop on the site without the need for planning permission but subject to a number of criteria set out in the LDO. Development proposals that do not conform with the LDO or that cannot satisfy the conditions of the LDO will require planning permission in the usual way.

The District Council has screened the LDO proposals as required and has determined that the LDO is EIA development. As such, an Environmental Statement has been prepared in accordance with EIA regulations. The Environmental Statement accompanies the LDO and has informed its preparation.

A copy of the draft LDO and a statement of the Council's reasons for making the order are available for inspection during opening hours at:

  • Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council Offices at Gibson Building, Gibson Drive, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4LZ
  • Medway Council Offices, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR
  • Rochester Community Hub, Eastgate, Rochester, Kent ME1 1EW
  • Innovation Centre Medway, Maidstone Road, Chatham, Kent ME5 9FD
  • and are published on the Council's website, available via the link below.

Anyone who wishes to make representations about this proposed local development order should either:

  • submit comments on Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council's Planning website using the planning reference 19/01419/FL
  • email the Council at planning.applications@tmbc.gov.uk or
  • write to the Council at Innovation Park Medway LDO Consultation, Planning, Housing and Environmental Health, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, Gibson Building, Gibson Drive, Kings HIll, West Malling, Kent ME19 4LZ by midday on Monday 22 July 2019.

All responses must be received by midday on Monday 22 July 2019. Please be aware that all comments received will be publicly available and will be included on the Council's website.

All relevant documents can be found via the Planning Portal (click on applications online and put in reference 19/01419)