Economic Profile of South Bucks
This page is the District Statement for South Bucks District Council. It sets out the economic profile of the District and planning policies in relation to economic development. We are working with many partners on economic issues, particularly those concerned with future policy on the availability of employment land.
The Economic Profile of South Bucks
South Bucks District is bordered by London (Hillingdon) to the east, Slough to the south, Maidenhead to the west and High Wycombe to the north west. Principally it is a rural district, wholly within the Metropolitan Green Belt around London. 87% of the district is specifically allocated as Green Belt. Areas not so designated are the larger settlements, which include Beaconsfield, Burnham, Gerrards Cross, Farnham Common, Iver and Stoke Poges. Other settlements are smaller and more rural. There are a number of industrial and business areas in South Bucks including The Ridgeway, Bison and Court Lane industrial estates in Iver, Broadwater Park in Denham, Sefton Park in Stoke Poges and Wexham Springs. Major new offices are under development at the newly named Uxbridge Business Park.
In terms of transport links, the M4, M25, and M40 all cross the District. There are good rail links to London and many other parts of the country, and Heathrow Airport is situated to the south east. The population of the District is highly mobile as just over half of all households have access to at least two cars. Only 11% of households in 2001 did not have a car.
South Bucks is within an area which has one of the lowest unemployment rates in England. Consistently low levels of unemployment can have certain implications for the economy. Issues such as labour short ages and skills mismatches are of concern.
The district has a population of just over 62,000. Of the 2001 resident population, about 30,000 were in employment. In 2001, there were just under 30,000 jobs in the District of which about 19,000 were held by people who commuted into South Bucks for work. About 19,300 residents commuted out of the District for work. These commuters included 7,950 into Greater London. Of all commuters, about 2,120 travelled by train or tube (as about 8% of all those not working at home). About 19,600 were car drivers (as about 75% of all those not working at home).
Major employers in South Bucks include the following:
- Martin Baker Aircraft, an aerospace engineering company in Denham
- Pinewood Studios and associated companies involved in film production in Iver. There are also small to medium companies at the Media Park in Denham, and the National Film and Television school in Beaconsfield
- Wyeth Europa, a pharmaceutical company in Burnham
- Robert Bosch, an electrical goods importer/distributor in Denham
- Hitachi Data Systems and Tivoli Systems UK Ltd, electronic and IT companies in Stoke Poges
Several of these companies employ more than 200 people or there about. However, a significant proportion of the jobs in the District occur in firms of less than 25 employees.
The number of people working from home increased from 2530 in 1991 to 3,960 in 2001. In terms of skills , 25.8% of the working population are in managerial positions and 28.8% are in professionals or associate d occupations.
South Bucks is not an area that is looking to attract major inward investment. The Structure Plan for Buckinghamshire confirms the District as an area of development restraint. Instead the emphasis for economic development is on supporting existing firms and local businesses and improving existing town and village centres so that the District continues to be a pleasant and attractive place to live and work.
As South Bucks is a district within the Thames Valley it is recognised that we need to play a part in the wider economy of the area. Therefore our strategy for economic development accords with our support of organisations concerned with the economy of the sub-region.
Tourist Attractions in South Bucks
There are a variety of tourist attractions in the District. Within South Bucks there are the historic houses of Cliveden and Dorney Court with their impressive gardens. Other attractions include Bekonscot Model Village at Beaconsfield and Odds Farm Park. There are also several country areas for visitors to enjoy such as Burnham Beeches,Black Park, Langley Park and Denham Country Park and other smaller nature reserves and woodlands. In terms of sports facilities there area number of golf courses in the District including two 'pay and play' courses. The Authority has three sports facilities, the Beacon Centre,the Evreham Sports Centre at Iver Heath and the Farnham Park all-weather area. Angling clubs and a waterski clubs operate on lakes in the Colne Valley Regional Park. The Eton/Dorney Rowing Lake,constructed by Eton College, has been selected to host the rowing events for the 2012 London Olympics, and is available to host other international rowing events from time to time.
These attractions provide employment for local people such as park wardens and create spin offs for local shops and cafes. Therefore the attractions are important to the viability of the local economy and they give impetus to the importance of protecting the Green Belt, not just for residents but for visitors too.
South Bucks District Local Plan
The planning strategy for South Bucks is one of restraining development, with local needs being largely met by the efficient and sensitive use of land within the built up areas. Key features reflected in policies in the adopted South Bucks District Local Plan 1999include:
- maintaining the green belt and protecting it from inappropriate development - this being of paramount importance
- focusing development in existing built up areas whilst avoiding town cramming
- minimising the need to travel
- maintaining a stock of employment sites in the District whilst not adding to them
- continuing to provide for the community needs within town and village centres
- protecting the environment and conserving and improving its quality
- providing sufficient land to meet the Structure Plan housing allocation up to 2006
Please note that the South Bucks District Local Plan will be replaced by the South Bucks Local Development Frameworkunder the new planning system. As part of the evidence for the preparation of the Core Strategy, a joint Buckinghamshire Employment Land Review Study, with other Buckinghamshire Local Authorities was conducted in 2006 .
Detailed objectives in terms of economic development in the South Bucks District Local Plan include:
- To safeguard land already zoned in business and industrial use as it cannot be replaced if lost
- To enable a sufficient and diverse range of employment opportunities to prosper on existing employment generating developments
- To assist small businesses to set up and prosper
- To assist the necessary diversification and health of the rural economy whilst protecting the countryside from inappropriate development
Environmental Protection, Care and Enhancement
- To foster accessible, attractive, convenient, vibrant and interesting town and village centres which have a sense of identity and individuality
- To minimise the need to travel
- To encourage the use of public transport and cycling
- To encourage energy conservation
- The local plan is due for review. For the latest position on this, please see the
Local Plan page.
Business in the Community
For more information please contact the Council offices on: