Congresbury Neighbourhood Development Plan

4.5 Employment

4.5 Employment - Background

There are very few employment opportunities in Congresbury with the majority of residents working elsewhere and commuting.  83 businesses located in and around Congresbury were surveyed in 2016 to provide a snapshot of employment opportunities within the area (see Appendix M).

Policy E1 – Retention of Business and Employment within the Parish

  1. Planning permission for conversion of business premises, (Classes B2 and B8) to residential use will not be granted unless there are exceptional circumstances. Any claim that the business is not viable should be supported by documentary evidence to show that the current use is no longer viable, alternative business uses have been seriously considered and effectively marketed.
  2. Subject to acceptable impact on nearby residential areas minor development proposals to facilitate home working, (such as office or small craft work) will be permitted.
  3. Encourage the conversion of redundant farm buildings into small industrial units.
  4. The old Green Holm Nursery site at Smallway should be designated for employment and community uses.
  5. The Cadbury Garden Centre site at Smallway should be designated as an employment site.

congresbury precinct

Congresbury Precinct

Justification for Policy E1

Congresbury is an out-commuting village with many residents working in Bristol and further afield.  Retention and creation of jobs within the village is vital for community cohesion, reducing out commuting and sustainability.

Appendix M shows that of the 83 businesses surveyed only 4 were employing more than 21 people with the majority employing 5 or less.  Also many businesses were operating from people’s homes.  They are all linked to the service industry including the largest employers Double Tree Cadbury Hotel and Spa and Cadbury (Wyevale) Garden Centre.  A number of thriving businesses have been established in converted farm buildings on the edge of the village thereby providing employment opportunities and business for local shops etc.

Since completing this survey in the summer of 2016 a number of employers operating out of converted farm buildings have had to relocate from the area due to the loss of their business premises.  The owners have had these units reclassified as residential properties.  This has not only led to a loss of employment opportunities within the village but increases the number of residential properties in rural locations.  Owners of such business units must inform the Parish Council of the marketing methods they have or intend using before a change to residential use can be allowed.  A time limit will be set by the Parish Council.

There is a need to retain employment sites within the village and therefore by designating the Cadbury Garden Centre as an employment site and the old Green Holm Nursery site as a site for employment/community use it is hoped to preserve these sites and provide employment and business opportunities for the local community.  Designating the Green Holm Nursery site for Community Use in addition to employment would not prevent it from being a potential site for a medical centre or other community uses.

Map 9: Proposed Employment Sites

Congresbury Map 9

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