SA of Canalside DPD

Ended on the 11th May 2020
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Assessment of Alternatives in SA/SEA

4.1 The EU SEA Directive requires assessment of the likely significant effects of implementing the plan and "reasonable alternatives" taking into account "the objectives and geographical scope" of the plan and the reasons for selecting alternatives should be outlined in the report. The Directive does not specifically define the term "reasonable alternative"; however, UK SA/SEA guidanceadvises that it is taken to mean "realistic and relevant" i.e. deliverable and within the timescale of the plan.

4.2 It is acknowledged that there is a hierarchy of alternatives that are relevant and proportionate to the tiering of plan-making. The SA does not need to be done in any more detail, or using more resources, than is considered to be appropriate for the content and level of detail in the plan. Case law in England has clarified and provided further guidance for SA/SEA practice of development plans. The SA Repot must include an outline of the reasons for selecting or rejecting options; it is the plan-making authority that is the primary decision-maker in relation to identifying what is to be regarded as a reasonable alternative.

Assessment of Options in Plan-Making

4.3 Development planning issues, such as how much, what kind of development and where, are considered within the requirements of legislation and policy together with the characteristics of the plan area and the views of its communities. Potential options for resolving such issues are identified by the local planning authorities through various studies, such as population projections and housing need, community strategies, infrastructure capacities, and environmental constraints analysis – and through consultation with the regulators, the public, businesses, service providers, and the voluntary sector.

4.4 At the earlier and higher levels of strategic planning, options assessment is proportionate and may have a criteria-based approach and/or expert judgment; the focus is on the key differences between possibilities for scale, distribution and quality of development. At the later and lower levels of development planning for site allocations, options assessment tends to be more specific - often focused on criteria and thresholds, such as land availability, accessibility to services, and impacts on local landscape.

Options Considered for the Canalside DPD

4.5 The Local Plan in Policy DS17 identified 3 potential areas for additional residential development alongside the canal in areas of Leamington Spa and Warwick. These areas are industrial estates for small scale local manufacturing and are characterised by buildings that no longer reflect the needs of many businesses and less than easy access to the road network. The 3 areas are:

  • Sydenham Industrial Estate
  • Cape Road/Millers Road
  • Montague Road

4.6 The Council's Employment Land Review (2013) concluded that future redevelopment for alternative uses may be appropriate with a managed release of employment land at these 3 locations. Therefore, rationalisation and regeneration at these 3 locations was progressed into the draft Canalside DPD as the evidence indicated suitability and deliverability of such site options. Accordingly, these 3 sites were subject to SA using the full SA framework and to demonstrate compatibility with the previous SA undertaken during the development of the Local Plan and its Site Allocations.

4.7 A number of other potential sites were identified and investigated for reuse (residential and/or employment) should they be available, suitable or become available. Information on the sites is listed in Appendix I of the draft DPD with a summary of current use/planning history and includes an outline of the analysis together with an indication of whether there might be potential in the future. The other potential sites investigated may be summarised, as follows:

Table 4.1: Other Potential Sites Investigated

Ref No




Key issues or Opportunities

Potential Site if becomes Available?


North of Warwick Parkway Station

Station car park & located within the Green Belt



WCC site adjacent to A46

Used as offices, highways storage etc

Only if WCC vacate & sell


Units off Budbrooke Road

Industrial units in comparative good order & appear viable – for sale



Spring Cottage Birmingham Road & opposite

Previous scrapyard & derelict cottages with outline planning permission for up to 5 dwellings

None beyond that proposed


Saltisford Common Bridge

Saltisford Trust run businesses & events from Canal Arm land – viable community & recreational resource



North end of Saltisford Common




Unit off Harris Rd (Wedgnock Industrial Estate)

Industrial unit with offices in good condition



Wedgnock Park Bridge

Small area of land with no road access



Land rear of units on Ladbrooke Park (Millers Rd)

Industrial units occupied and meeting a variety of employment needs



Coventry Road Bridge

Part of larger site allocated for residential in Local Plan -allocated H11 Montague Rd for 140 dwellings



Unit of Nelson Lane with landing stages to rear

Ideal for moorings associated with existing boating & other small businesses.



Warehouse, Nelson Lane

Industrial unit fully occupied & protected by Local Plan EC3



Adjacent Charles Street Bridge & Wharf Street

Industrial unit fully occupied & protected by Local Plan Policy EC3



East of All saints Bridge, Emscote road

Small site currently used as car rental/sales; access would be an issue



Lidl, Myton Road

Small retail unit



NW of Europa Way roundabout

Small area of open land/scrub; too small, access & noise problems



Shrublands Recreation Ground north of Queensway

WDC recreation ground, protected by LP Policy HS2



Land between canal & Bury Road

Open land adjacent to canal & towpath – best for green infrastructure not development



Rangemaster, Ranelagh Street

Industrial unit in use

Possibly in longer term?


Althorpe Industrial Estate

Part of Creative Quarter & mixed-use development; subject of current planning application



1-13 Neilston Street

Small industrial, warehouse units for sale; appear well- used



Berrington Road Sydenham

Small industrial units; part of land already redeveloped for housing



Playground, Rushmore Street

Playground & important local space, protected by LP Policy HS2



Units between St Mary's Rd & Clapham St

Industrial units in mixed-use area – occupied & appear popular

Possible under DS8 but unlikely in short term


North of St Mary's Rd, west of Ramsey Rd

Continuation of Sydenham Industrial Estate

Possible under DS8 but unlikely in short term


Land at end of Gulliman's Way

Open land in flood zone 3 & 3a


4.8 Thus the other potential sites investigated were found mostly to be not suitable for new development or were not available; a few sites were indicated as possibly suitable if they were to become available in the longer term. Therefore, these sites were not considered to be reasonable alternatives for the purposes of SA/SEA, and they were not investigated any further through the assessment process.

The Do-Nothing Scenario

4.9 Doing nothing is not a reasonable alternative for the Council as the local planning authority is required to provide sufficient development land to meet the needs of the local communities for housing and employment. The adopted Local Plan with Policy DS17 makes the commitment to preparation of a Canalside DPD and the importance of the canals and their immediate environs has been recognised with the development of the Canal Conservation Area.

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