In drawing up local plans, local planning authorities should:
- set out a clear economic vision and strategy for their area which positively and proactively encourage sustainable economic growth;
- set criteria, or identify strategic sites, for local and inward investment to match the strategy and to meet anticipated needs over the plan period;
- support existing business sectors, taking account of whether they are expanding or contracting and, where possible, identify and plan for new or emerging sectors likely to locate in their area. Policies should be flexible enough to accommodate needs not anticipated in the plan and to allow a rapid response to changes in economic circumstances;
- plan positively for the location, promotion and expansion of clusters or networks of knowledge driven, creative or high technology industries;
- identify priority areas for economic regeneration, infrastructure provision and environmental enhancement; and facilitate flexible working practices such as the integration of residential and commercial uses within the same unit.
- [Draft Local Plan 3.5]
We can find no economic plan in the Local Plan that sets out how the Council will attract enough employers to Herne Bay to soak up thousands more job-seekers. We already have above average unemployment in Heron ward. The explosion in housing planned for Herne Bay can only make it worse.
“…Generally the private sector and key growth sectors are under-represented in the local economy, which instead continues to rely upon a few consumption driven, low-value added sectors and the publicly funded sector.” [Draft Local Plan 3.14]
We have low value jobs locally, and not enough employment in growth sectors. We can see nothing in this Plan that sets out how the Council will resolve this for our town. It looks as if the Council’s plan is to have people live near Herne Bay and commute in their droves to Canterbury.