PPS 5: Retailing and Town Centres
9. This Planning Policy Statement will take precedence over existing development plans, in relation to retail planning policy and policies for town, district and local centres. Future development plans will take account of and be consistent with the policies contained within this statement. The Planning Policy Statement and development plans provide an important basis for deciding planning applications.
10. Development plans cater for the development needs of retailing alongside demands from other forms of development, and fro the protection of the environment. They give retail developers and local communities greater certainty about the types of development that will or will not be permitted in a given location. The Department consults widely in the course of plan preparation.
11. Development plans will identify policies for retailing in a specific area and may indicate where new retail development is to be focused and existing provision is to be enhanced. Development plans may, where appropriate, identify a primary retail core within town centres. Plans may also identify retail development opportunity sites and the nature and scale of acceptable retail developments in appropriate locations may be indicated.
12. Development Plans may identify locations for different types of retail development. Applications for retail development will not normally be permitted on land zoned for other uses. However, where substantial areas of land are zoned for residential purposes, a suitable site may be identified in the development plan for local shopping facilities in such zoned areas.
13. In the course of preparation of development plans an assessment of the health of town centres may be made (see paragraph 18). This will assist in informing local policies and proposals and may be useful in assessing the impact of out-of-centre retail proposals. Health checks will also provide the basis for future monitoring of town centre vitality and viability.