At least 4,000 additional jobs will be provided between 2001 and 2021 in line with the indicative targets set out in the East of England Plan. Job growth will be achieved via policies for tourism, retail and the rural economy as well as provision of employment land. A range of sites and premises will be made available for employment development, through designation of existing employment sites in all Principal Settlements, Secondary Settlements and some Service Villages and Coastal Service Villages and the allocation of new sites in order to increase the choice of sites available and to address the self-containment of settlements in terms of homes / jobs balance.

In Employment Areas, as designated on the Proposals Map, only employment generating development proposals (xviii) will be permitted. Retail warehousing and hotels may be permitted provided that there is no sequentially preferable site available. Allocations for new employment land or as part of mixed-use schemes will be made in Fakenham, Holt and Stalham. One or more employment allocations will be identified for employment uses that cannot be accommodated on other identified employment land owing to environmental or operational requirements (e.g. noise etc).

The distribution of employment land will be approximately as follows:

Area Total
Eastern Area 91 ha
North Walsham 65
Stalham 5
Hoveton 10
Catfield 12
Central Area 50 ha
Cromer 20
Holt 15
Melton Constable 8.5
Sheringham 6
Western Area 62 ha
Fakenham 59
Wells-next-the-Sea 3
TOTAL 204 ha

The tourist industry will be supported by retaining a mix of accommodation and encouraging new accommodation and attractions which help diversify the offer and extend the season. Proposals should demonstrate that they will not have a significant detrimental effect on the environment, and cycling, walking and heritage tourism will be encouraged by promoting and enhancing long distance walking and cycling routes and heritage trails.

The rural economy and farm diversification will be supported including extensions to existing businesses of an appropriate scale and re-use of existing buildings, including appropriate re-use of the operational land at redundant defence establishments.

The role of town centres as a focus for a broad range of shopping, commercial, cultural and other uses will be supported. Other than on identified Retail Opportunity Sites (xix), residential proposals will be permitted where they do not result in the loss of shops or other main town centre uses (xx) located within a defined Primary Shopping Area. Proposals should also have regard to the integration of public transport in town centres and seek to provide pedestrian friendly environments. A retail hierarchy guides decisions on the scale of new retail and leisure development that will be permitted. The retail hierarchy is:

  • Large town centres: Cromer, Fakenham and North Walsham;
  • Small town centres: Holt, Hoveton, Sheringham, Stalham and Wells-next-the-Sea;

Proposals for large scale developments will be located in large town centres with schemes in the smaller town centres limited to those that meet local needs and support their roles as visitor and tourist destinations.

Primary Shopping Areas and Primary Retail Frontages are defined in order to concentrate retail development in central areas of towns. Retail opportunity sites will be identified in the Site Specific Proposals document to allow for between 13,300 and 19,900sqm additional comparison goods retailing and leisure floor space. This floor space will be distributed in the large town centres in these approximate amounts:

  • Fakenham 4,000 to 6,000sqm
  • Cromer 2,000 to 5,000sqm
  • North Walsham 2,500 to 5,000sqm.

(xviii) - Use Class B1, B2 and B8, petrol filling stations, car / vehicle hire, the selling and display of motor vehicles and builders yards

(xix) - To be identified in the Site Specific Proposals Development Plan Document

(xx) - Retail, leisure, entertainment, offices, arts, culture and tourism (as defined in para 1.8 of PPS6)