Economic and Employment Land Evidence for Local Plans

We help local authorities to understand the drivers of economic development and growth, and the potential future demand for employment land in their area. This informs their Local Plans, which guide future economic and physical development.

How We Can Help

Our work is compliant with national policies and guidance, and contributes to a wide range of policymaking strands, including:

  • Employment Land Review
  • Economic Development Needs Assessment (including Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment)
  • Other employment land and economic development evidence base requirements

The Importance of Robust Evidence

We understand the importance of a strong vision and framework for the future economic development of local areas, and through our work we can help to identify an area’s strategic economic development priorities. We provide focused, concise, and accessible findings, whilst ensuring sufficient detail is provided to enable developers and local communities to understand the nature and scale of development needs.

We are also acutely aware of the benefits of producing joint evidence across multiple local planning authorities as a means of planning for an area’s strategic priorities in an efficient and effective way, addressing cross-boundary issues, and reducing costs through sharing of evidence base work. We have extensive experience of delivering joint evidence in this way.

Our Approach

We ensure that our approach draws together a wide range of evidence to deliver robust analysis. We triangulate information gathered from various sources, helping our clients to understand the process. Given the challenges around policymaking for a future that is uncertain, our work draws together the best available evidence to bring increased clarity policymaking decisions.

Our work will typically include:

  • Aligning to strategic ambitions: we undertake a review of both the economic and planning context at national, regional, and local levels. This is outcome focused and sets the context for much of our work, grounding the work in an area’s economic aspirations and expectations and its spatial policy priorities.
  • Economic profiling: we look at current and historic economic performance in order to identify strengths and weaknesses in the economy, as well as trends which may present opportunities or challenges.
  • Grappling with commercial market realities: often working with commercial market experts, we set out quantitative and qualitative analysis of local commercial property markets segmented by office, industrial, and logistics.
  • Understanding economic futures: we undertake analysis of future requirements in compliance with national planning policy and guidance. Our two-phase proprietary model for assessing future sites and premises requirements ensures that policy makers can be confident that both net changes in the economy and wider market factors are given due consideration. Our work includes consideration of economic scenarios, drawing on economic forecasts, to present a range of possible outcomes. This enables alignment with strategic aspirations and demographic analysis.  Our approach also draws on analysis of historic development patterns and takes full account of commercial market factors.  
  • Stakeholder engagement: we consult with key stakeholders, including policy makers and commercial market professionals (e.g. agents and developers), to test and validate emerging findings, and provide an opportunity for others to input and comment on the process.

We are experienced in working alongside others, in particular with respect to integrating our work on economic development with housing and commercial market workstreams.

Service Lead

Stuart Hardisty

Director

  • Wiltshire Employment Land Review and updates

    We are continuing our work on behalf of Wiltshire Council to develop evidence that will underpin their Local Plan. This includes Functional Economic Market Area Assessment and Employment Land Review work.

  • Harlow Gilston Garden Town Employment

    HJA were instructed by Harlow Council to develop a strategy for allocated employment sites within the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town – a proposal for a garden town comprising a minimum of 23,000 new homes and a new employment hub.

  • Bath & North East Somerset Economic and Employment Land Evidence

    HJA was commissioned to produce an Employment Growth and Employment Land Review for Bath & North East Somerset Council to support the preparation of a new Local Plan, for which the Council required an updated economic and employment evidence base.

  • Wiltshire Employment Land Review and updates

    We are continuing our work on behalf of Wiltshire Council to develop evidence that will underpin their Local Plan. This includes Functional Economic Market Area Assessment and Employment Land Review work.

  • Harlow Gilston Garden Town Employment

    HJA were instructed by Harlow Council to develop a strategy for allocated employment sites within the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town – a proposal for a garden town comprising a minimum of 23,000 new homes and a new employment hub.