Policy 2.17 Strategic industrial locations



A  The Mayor will, and boroughs and other stakeholders should, promote, manage and, where appropriate, protect the strategic industrial locations (SILs) designated in Annex 3 and illustrated in Map 2.7, as London’s main reservoirs of industrial and related capacity, including general and light industrial uses, logistics, waste management and environmental industries (such as renewable energy generation), utilities, wholesale markets and some transport functions.

Map 2.7 Strategic Industrial Locations

Map 2.7 Strategic Industrial Locations

Planning decisions

B  Development proposals in SILs should be refused unless:

a  they fall within the broad industrial type activities outlined in paragraph 2.79

b  they are part of a strategically co-ordinated process of SIL consolidation through an opportunity area planning framework or borough development plan document

c  the proposal is for employment workspace to meet identified needs for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) or new emerging industrial sectors; or

d  the proposal is for small scale ‘walk to’ services for industrial occupiers such as workplace crèches or cafes.

C  Development proposals within or adjacent to SILs should not compromise the integrity or effectiveness of these locations in accommodating industrial type activities.

LDF preparation

D    In LDFs, boroughs should identify SILs on proposals maps and develop local policies based on clear and robust assessments of need to protect their function, to enhance their attractiveness and competitiveness for industrial type activities including access improvements.

Supporting text

2.79   London’s strategic industrial locations (SILs) listed in Annex 3 and illustrated in Map 2.7 are London’s main reservoir of industrial land comprising approximately 50 per cent of London’s total supply[1]. They have been identified following an assessment of future need.  They are of two types to meet and support the requirements of different sorts of industrial occupier:

  • Preferred Industrial Locations (PIL) which are particularly suitable for general industrial, light industrial, storage and distribution, waste management, recycling, some transport related functions, utilities, wholesale markets and other industrial related activities.
  • Industrial Business Parks (IBP) which are particularly suitable for activities that need better quality surroundings including research and development, light industrial and higher value general industrial, some waste management, utility and transport functions, wholesale markets and small scale distribution.

IBPs are not intended for primarily large scale office development. Where office development is proposed on an IBP, this should not jeopardise local provision for light industrial accommodation where there is demand for these uses. SILs perform a particular role in London’s industrial land supply (see Policy 4.4) in accommodating strategically important logistics, waste management and transport functions as well as meeting other and more local needs including provision of relatively affordable workspace.

2.80  SILs are given strategic protection because their scale and relatively homogenous character means they can accommodate activities which elsewhere might raise tensions with other land uses. Most are over 20 hectares in size although in some areas, especially parts of west and south-west London where there is particular pressure on industrial land, smaller locations, for example of 10 hectares, can be of strategic importance. Typically, SILs are located close to the strategic road network and many are also well located with respect to rail, river and canals and safeguarded wharves which can provide competitive advantage and address broader transport objectives.

2.81  SILs are important in supporting the logistics system and related infrastructure which are essential to London’s competitiveness[2].  In 2007 the London logistics sector’s output was £8 billion (3.4 per cent of London’s total output) and it directly employed over 220,000 people (5.2 per cent of London’s employees)[3]. The Mayor will work with authorities in the wider south-east to secure adequate provision including inter-modal freight interchanges to ensure effective logistics provision throughout the city region.

2.82  Within London, and informed by TfL’s Freight Plan[4], strategic logistics provision should continue to be concentrated on PILs, related to the trunk and main road network and to maximise use of rail and water based infrastructure. Innovations to make more effective use of land should be encouraged and there is particular need to develop consolidation centres and accommodate freight break bulk points more efficiently as a part of the freight hierarchy. It will be particularly important to secure and enhance strategic provision in west London, especially at Park Royal and near Heathrow; in east London, north and south of the Thames; in the Upper Lea Valley in north London and in the Purley Way/Beddington area to the south.

2.83  The boundaries of SILs should be defined in LDFs taking into account strategic and local assessments of supply and demand for industry and joint working on planning frameworks. In collaboration with the Mayor, boroughs should manage the differing offers of PILs and IBPs through co-ordinated investment, regeneration initiatives, transport and environmental improvements and the use of planning agreements. They should also provide local planning guidelines to meet the needs of different types of industry appropriate to each.

2.84  Development in SILs for non-industrial or related uses should be resisted other than as part of a strategically co-ordinated process of consolidation, or where it addresses a need for accommodation for SMEs or new emerging industries, or where it provides local, small scale, ‘walk to’ services for industrial occupiers (workplace crèches for example), or office space ancillary to industrial use. Policing and other community safety infrastructure may also be appropriate uses in these locations.

2.85  In the Thames Gateway and parts of north London there is particular scope for strategically co-ordinated consolidation and/or reconfiguration of parts of some SILs. Release of surplus industrial land should be focused around public transport nodes and town centres to enable higher density redevelopment, especially for housing. The Housing SPG provides guidance on exceptional circumstances where densities may exceed the top of the density range for a particular location. This release process must be managed carefully through opportunity area planning frameworks and/or LDFs, taking into account strategic and local assessments of industrial land demand and supply and monitoring benchmarks for industrial land release (see Policy 4.4).

[1]     Mayor of London. Supplementary Planning Guidance: Land for Industry and Transport. GLA 2012; Roger Tym & Partners, King Sturge Industrial Land Demand and Release Benchmarks in London. GLA 2011; URS/DTZ. London Industrial Land Baseline. GLA 2010.

[2]     Transport for London. London Freight Plan. Sustainable Freight Distribution. A Plan for London. TfL, 2007. URS, GVA Grimley, Cranfield SLSCM. Demand and Supply of Land for Logistics in London. GLA, 2007

[3]     GLA Economics. Working Paper 37: London’s Logistics Sector. GLA, 2009

[4]     Transport for London. London Freight Plan Sustainable Freight Distribution. A Plan for London. TfL, 200

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