Cities unveil enterprise zone orders

Two more city councils have set out their plans for simplifying planning rules in their government-designated enterprise zones.

Draft local development orders (LDOs) have been published by Hull and Bristol City Councils. LDOs allow local authorities to extend permitted development rights for certain forms of development.

Hull aims to attract large-scale development in the renewable and low-carbon industries and has produced an order that it says will free developers from having to carry out long and costly environmental impact assessments (EIAs).

Meanwhile, Bristol's order aims to attract businesses to a site for a temporary period until the land is ready for long-term redevelopment.

The Hull order, now out for public consultation, covers the Alexandra Dock and Elizabeth Dock zone. It would automatically grant outline planning permission for any development associated with the renewable and low-carbon sector, although matters such as detailed design and landscaping would require full planning permission.

The council has already carried out its own EIA to support the order. It said that this approach is unlike other enterprise zone LDOs published so far, in that developers will not need to do their own EIA.

Hull Council city planning manager Alex Codd said the firms the council wants to attract would often require large-scale schemes that would need an EIA. "We will have done that work up front, which gives applicants a head start, bringing development forward swiftly," he said.

Bristol's LDO, which was out for consultation until last week, covers a car park owned by regeneration quango the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) at Temple Quay, in the Temple Quarter enterprise zone.

The HCA and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership want the 0.9-hectare site, in the city's office quarter, to become home to creative businesses. But until the construction market improves, the council said it wants "innovative and attractive" temporary uses, such as open-air cinemas, theatres, hot food markets and galleries, to use the site.

The LDO grants planning permission for five years only to certain uses including retail and leisure.

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