Following news that London and Metropolitan are Pfizer's preferred bidder for its site in Sandwich, Dover District Council is working with them and a range of partners to see how simplified planning rules can support investment and growth for the future.
DDC is now working with partners including: businesses located in the Enterprise Zone; Kent County Council; the Environment Agency; English Heritage; Natural England; Locate in Kent; Business Link; Thanet District Council; and Sandwich Town Council.
The Pfizer site, which has been renamed Discovery Park, has been designated as an Enterprise Zone by the Government. The planning tool for simplifying the planning procedures in an Enterprise Zone is a Local Development Order (LDO). The exact details about what the LDO will include and how it will operate are currently being brought together by the District Council.
The aims of the LDO would include: to remove the need to make planning applications for certain types of development on the site; to provide a clear framework for business development, making it easier to achieve economic growth; and to cover change of uses without the need for planning permission, but it can not remove the need for other consents (eg building regulations). Development proposals falling outside the order would have to apply for planning permission in the normal way.
Cllr Paul Watkins, Leader of Dover District Council said: "The preparation of the LDO is the next stage in the process, and builds on the excellent work that has already been undertaken by the Sandwich Economic Development Task Force to designate the site as an Enterprise Zone. DDC is pleased to hear that Pfizer has a preferred bidder for the site, and we look forward to working with London and Metropolitan, and a range of organisations to simplify the planning procedures. We will be consulting fully on the draft LDO so that everyone can have their say for the future of the whole area."