This report sought Cabinet approval to adopt the Innovation Park Medway Masterplan 2020 as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The masterplan outlined a scheme that would deliver a high quality innovation park, with flexible plots to encourage a wide range of high-value technology, engineering, manufacturing and knowledge-intensive businesses.
The report explained that the masterplan was publicly consulted on for six weeks from 17 September to 29 October 2018. A total of 42 responses were received through the 2018 public consultation. Two public events were held; one on a weekday evening and one on a weekend during the day. Only a small number of local residents/businesses had attended. Comments were summarised in section 6 of the report.
The report advised that throughout the development of the masterplan, discussions were held with Highways England in relation to the traffic impacts the scheme would generate. In March 2019, the Cabinet was advised that the Masterplan could be adopted subject to Highways England comment, with final adoption to follow.
Further work had since been undertaken to demonstrate the impact of Innovation Park Medway on the strategic and local road network, including modelling and mitigation design. The report stated that Highways England had suggested that a monitor and manage approach would be appropriate for the site, to be delivered through conditions in the proposed Local Development Order (LDO), agenda item 5 refers.
Highways England’s response to the LDO consultation ensured that the highways impact could be dealt with in a way that would not have a significant impact on the strategic road network, considered in combination with future development (as proposed in the draft Local Plan through the Strategic Transport Assessment).
The report explained that Highways England had now responded, removing its objection, enabling Medway Council to fully adopt the Masterplan. No changes to the masterplan document itself had been made since the recommendation to adopt in 2019, subject to Highways England comment.
It was noted that as the site crossed the boundary with Tonbridge & Malling, the masterplan would need to be adopted by both Medway Council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council.
A Diversity Impact Assessment (DIA) on the Masterplan was set out at Appendix B to the report.
The Cabinet agreed to adopt the Innovation Park Medway Masterplan (2020), set out at Appendix A to the report as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), in line with paragraph 3.1 of the report.
Adoption of the masterplan as an SPD formally sets a standard through planning policy for high quality development to come forward at Innovation Park Medway.