This Masterplan sets out a comprehensive framework that will help to deliver positive change, and a range of projects and improvements to transform Worksop Town Centre over the next 20 years, enabling its role and function to adjust to changing market conditions, structural change and user expectations.
Current evidence is that there is strong private sector interest in development in the town. That interest has to be encouraged but it is essential that the Council and its partners play their part by seeking the right mix and quality of development expected by the Masterplan, by negotiating the best outcomes from developer contributions and by providing a robust framework to enable the Council and its partners to maximise opportunities to secure investment and infrastructure which is so essential for generating private sector confidence.
Crucially, the Town Centre ambition needs to be positioned within the wider ambition for Worksop. Action should be taken now to embed the project
clusters into the wider development strategy for Worksop. It is important that the links between edge of town growth proposed through the emerging Local Plan and Town Centre regeneration are clear and contribute towards the same ambition to reinvigorate Worksop to support successful communities and businesses in the future.
Worksop has entered a period in its development where major opportunities for change and regeneration can be realised. Together they have the
potential to increase the attractiveness of the Town Centre, provide additional Town Centre and residential development, deliver new cultural and leisure facilities improve key public spaces and deliver meaningful strategic infrastructure.
A Council that supports growth and partnership working
The Council will provide the strategic lead for Worksop Town Centre’s sustainable regeneration, proactively facilitating strong partnership working between the public, private and third sectors, to achieve agreed outcomes. This includes:
- Providing strong leadership
- Communicating with and involving partners, stakeholders and businesses
- Understanding the needs of residents and local markets to shape places
- Ensuring a positive planning environment
- Using public sector assets more responsively to meet the needs of communities and businesses
- Being ambitious to help deliver an even stronger future for the District and sub-region
To advance the Masterplan’s ambitious agenda will require the Council to be more interventionist, taking on the role of the developer (in part), to assemble land, secure funding and streamline development, build on strong partnership arrangements through local structures such as the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, the North Notts BID and regional structures such as the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Strong coordinated partnership working will enable the Council and its partners to ensure that their funds and programmes which impact on the Town Centre are properly managed and coordinated to deliver best value, lever in investment and be used as match funding in future.
However, many proposals will rely on individual investment decisions by private developers, investors and other businesses. In this context the role of the Masterplan is to create the conditions and the planning framework to encourage these private interests to develop and invest in the Town Centre. The Council and its partners will actively engage with these private interests in order to promote the implementation of the Plan.
Planning Policy Framework
Whilst short term change, including temporary ‘pop-up’ development, can be delivered in the Town Centre through Permitted Development Rights,
establishing a pro-active policy basis for regeneration is vital for permanent, long term change. A flexible, positive and proactive planning strategy is vital as a catalyst for recovery, regeneration and growth to ensure the Town Centre can evolve and attract new investment.
On that basis, and reflecting recent changes to national planning legislation, the emerging Local Plan sets out a flexible policy framework to support
appropriate change in the Town Centre to secure a more diversified offer consistent with Masterplan aspirations. It is anticipated that the Local Plan will be adopted in 2022.
Further changes are expected to the national planning system in the short term so it is important that the effectiveness of adopted Local Plan policies
is assessed to ensure changing national planning policy, market conditions and consumer behaviour can be considered, and, if necessary, re-visited
through future Local Plan reviews.
In the meantime, the Worksop Central Development Plan Document will be prepared. It is anticipated it will be adopted in 2023. Covering this Masterplan area, this detailed planning policy framework will promote the regeneration of the area, through strategic policies and specific site allocations, supported by appropriate strategic infrastructure necessary to deliver change. Draft Local Plan policy ST5 provides the policy
framework to enable the delivery of the Development Plan Document.
Consideration should also be given to preparing development briefs for key sites or Masterplan frameworks for key areas to guide their development
following adoption of the Local Plan.
These will set out how the Council would like the regeneration of the sites/areas to come forward and the overall design codes they should be consistent with. The plans for these sites will be informed by more detailed financial viability testing, as well as consideration of the wider context through the preparation of the Development Plan Document.
This Masterplan will form an important part of the evidence base underpinning both the Local Plan and the Development Plan Document.
Last Updated on Wednesday, September 28, 2022